Dear Jennie

Dear Me,

( This is a dear me story, started by Aliza Latta over at I wanted to write one of my own so I am).

Dear Jennie

You place a lot of expectations on yourself, even when no one placed it on you. So much that it is suffocating. I remember a few days ago when you said, “then it’s NOT MY FAULT?” You realized that your night eating syndrome was pretty genetic and a little bit you. That you weren’t to blame for all the struggles that you were going through.

What a relief it was.

To be honest right now, all I want to do be is thin and have a boyfriend once I go to DC. I know I’ll never be model skinny, cause no matter how hard I try, it’s not in my genes. As my doctor said: you can only fight it so much. But the thing is, I don’t need to be model thin. I just want to be skinnier. I just want to be 10-15 lbs lighter. BUT I am so angry at myself for not resisting at night. I’m so tired of myself.

I want a bf. Yes, I’m shallow, but it’s true. Cannot deny it.

Also, in my heart? Right now. I want to be an active fighter for asian american mental health. And I have this huge heart for Korean American youth of Virginia. Seeing that I have felt this way for a long time, I cannot think that this is a coincidence.

I dont know what I’m going to do with this love and with this passion, but I can only but hope that God will show up and show me. I am scared.

I cant say that I am terrified about moving to DC. Terrified is not the word;. I am more or so excitedly nervous.

There’s a lot on my heart. It is heavy but it is also light.

Senior year has been a flux due to changing relationships with friends and God. It’s been weird and strange and I dont know what to make of myself and my life.

I just hope and hope and hope.

I am tired of myself.

I want to be pretty. I want a boyfriend. I want to be skinnier. I am weird. I want to love people. I want to tell stories. I want to hear stories. I am confused about what being a peacemaker means for me. And I wonder what is wrong with me.


Second semester senior year

I realized, I hate literature. I like language.

Why am I an English major? LOL PtL that I’m not going into teaching secondary English.

God knew what was up when He got my attention to teach elementary education.

How crazy is this?


My health journey in January.

I haven’t written on here in a while.

Life has been pretty crazy. Winter break ended. I went to DC for a much needed vacation. Came back to school for my last semester of undergrad. Saw friends. Went vegan gluten free and all that jazz. I’ve applied to different places. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed harder than I’ve laughed. I’ve sat in stillness. I’ve met up with people. I’ve prayed. I’ve started running. I stopped doing yoga. I’ve bought books. Oh yeah. I also lost 5 lbs (for the first time in four years), and I got into grad school!

As you can probably tell, it’s been a whirlwind of a month. I knew that this semester would fly by, and I haven’t been wrong in my assumptions. There’s been a lot of life lived, and time flies when you live.

I felt compelled to post today because I want to share what I’ve learned this month. It’s been incredibly mindblowing, and so so so indicative of His Great Mercies.

I started off this semester pretty worn out, not going to lie. There were so many things weighing on my mind– especially post grad, and there was the matter of my health. I was being vegan gluten free with 1200 calorie diet with working out pretty rigorously. Yeah recipe for disaster. I binged for the first time in such a long time– months actually. I wanted to cry all the time. Night Eating became ridiculously bad. And I just came off of a 2 day eating whatever the crap I wanted phase. Yet, it is so fascinating to me that I actually still lost weight.

I know that this is God. Seriously, I should have gained instead of lost weight, but my skin became even more clear, and I’ve had more energy than I’ve ever had.

Thus, it is because of this that I realized what I realized.

1. All glory to God. Seriously. That one is a no-brainer.

2. We are meant to eat what is truly good for us. This means minimal processed snacks like croissants, chips, and all that jazz. You know what I’m talking about. The foods that we reach for when we have no time. They truly have no nutritional value, and they do not fill you up. They made me have skin problems, and I’m so glad that I figured out that I’m definitely allergic to gluten. No brainer. I start breaking out like CRAZY. I can have one or two as a treat sometimes, and I will continue to do so as I believe that treats are a healthy part of a balanced diet.

3. Vegans can get enough protein through veggies and legumes. I would say dont do paleo and veganism at the same time (haha you’ll be starving), but I truly wasn’t hungry filling myself up on veggies and beans. Yes, I did have tuna and salmon and milk at times, but the amount wasn’t huge to make a difference. (I’m not allergic to tuna and salmon and eggs.) Just make sure to eat fibrous veggies.

4.  Eat mostly veggies/things that come from the ground/really clean and whole foods. Be prepared.

5. You don’t need to count calories to lose weight. This does NOT mean go HAM on like your food intake. Nope. Eat until you are moderately full. You know yourself best and you know when that hanger comes on. Get to know yourself and eat accordingly. You start craving when hanger starts, but I’ve found that I can stave off the I NEED EVERYTHING mentality and really choose what I want to eat when I eat when I know that I’m about to be hungry/need fuel but not really there. And it is TONS more satisfying.

6. Workout. You don’t have to work out upwards of 1 hour a day, but seriously MOVE YOUR BODY. Incorporate interval training. Incorporate steady state cardio. Do some stretching and foam rolling (hurts so goooood). I’ve started running, and at first it was reallllly hard. Even now, I can’t run a full mile yet, but I’m getting stronger, faster, and overall better.

7. But stop when something feels wrong. My hamstring felt like it was going to break apart for a bit, so I had to stop running for a week. I did steady state cardio on the elliptical, and relatively rested it. Now it feels super better. You’d rather be safe than sorry.

8. Incorporate treats once in a while. Give yourself freedom to eat what you really crave. (Doesn’t mean give in to every craving. Be smart about it. At first you’re not used to it so you’re going to want to EAT ALL THE THINGS. Practice some self control, and it’ll get better. I promise). Don’t deprive yourself of that croissant or chocolate ALLLLLL THE TIMEEEE. You’re going to go crazy if that happens.


10. Eat regularly. Goes hand in hand with eating before hanger thing. Promise ya, it works. You’ll be less worried about food and eating, but you’ll have freedom to really live and know when to eat and when not to.


12. HAVE FUN. Go out and LIVE. Dont be so focused on food that you are so obsessed. I promise. The scale will go down as long as you practice healthy habits. If you’re not seeing results, take a gooood long look at what you’re doing, and make some tweaks based on YOU.

13. Try to not eat past 7. I promise, hold in your hunger for a bit at night, and the need will pass. That craving will pass. But if you’re really hungry, just eat. Just try to choose something healthier and dont eat too much. You’re going to have wicked NES and not be able to sleep because your body says ENERGY!!! I WILL NOT SLEEEP!!!!! DIGESTION!!!!!! yeah. it makes for a bad cycle. But make sure to eat enough in the day.

14. Eat breakfast.

15. Give yourself grace. You’re going to fall down here and there, and it does no one good if you keep on moaning about the mistakes you made yesterday. You’re the only one blocking your own self. Learn from it. Move on. But remember, JUST DO IT. Make what matters happen with a purpose.

* Disclaimer I am not a health professional. These are based on how I’ve learned through trial and error with my own body, and this is written primarily to my own self.

I plan on losing 15 lbs by the end of April, and my mission is to lose 25 lbs this year. I can so totally do this. So can you.

Don’t just hope. Make it happen!

I was talking to my Mentor Teacher (turned principal at the ripe old age of 24, may I add– go Kevin!) today, asking him for some pointers on something, and at the end, he said, “Don’t just hope; make it happen!”

I was telling him that I was going to do my best and hope for the best, and he said those words that you just read above.

It’s been pretty cool, because last semester’s theme was be still and now, the theme for this semester seems to be MAKE IT HAPPEN. Don’t just sit around and HOPE. Hope is good, but unless you do something about it, it’s not going to happen.

I’ve spent so long WISHING and HOPING and yeah doing, but not in a very healthy way.

Kevin basically firmed it down. Don’t just HOPE; MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Coincidentally, I’ve ordered Lara Casey’s Powersheets and Make Things Happen book.

This is going to be a semester for the books.

So this season? My phrase is MAKE IT HAPPEN.




A lot of people do that one word of the year thing. I know I did, as referenced in a past post.

The word that God has really put to the forefront for me this year is THRIVE. There are others like bloom and love that I really like that will be in my ideas for 2015, but Thrive is the main one.

The Merriam Webster dictionary states THRIVE as:

:  to grow vigorously :  flourish
:  to gain in wealth or possessions :  prosper
:  to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances
1. (v. i.) To prosper by industry, economy, and good management of property; to increase in goods and estate; as, a farmer thrives by good husbandry.2. (v. i.) To prosper in any business; to have increase or success.3. (v. i.) To increase in stature; to grow vigorously or luxuriantly, as a plant; to flourish; as, young cattle thrive in rich pastures; trees thrive in a good soil.(n.) (I HOPE I DONT GET FATTER, Just more confident and slimmer)


HERE: is the topical Bible study on the word Thrive. I love looking at this.


It’s a really great word, right? God has been whispering this word into my heart, making its way in and firmly planting it so that I can’t ignore it.
I dont know what this word means to God. I feel like I’m on this roller coaster where God now wants me to grasp for things in my reach. He’s telling me that my eating disorder is fully over (as evidenced as to how I have been handling my winter break), and that now, I can really live fully and be who I was meant to  be.
I feel like God is telling me, “Go Jae! Go Jae! Go!  You can do this. Your heart is in ME. You will THRIVE in ME. You know how to put everything in the confines of the Cross, and when you stray, I will gently lead you back to safety in ME. You can be vulnerable with people because I will protect you. You know how to love. You know how to care. You know how to BE STILL in me. You’ve been through a lot in the past two years, but I am so proud of you for not giving up even when things seemed so bleak and you did not know the way out. Go reach for your promised land. It is in reach. You just have to do and persevere with your heart in me. I am rooting you on. I have great plans for you. You know how to love others the way that they need to be loved. I show you what is in their hearts and show you why they might be hurting you. I hem you in from behind before around. Keep close to me, and I show you where to put your feet, where to go. I show you how to lose weight, to go postgrad, and what true love really is. I am with you and I am for you.Be brave. Be bold. Be loved.”
I am fearful. I am scared. The more I know of this life, the less excited I am, and I know others have had it far worse than I have had.
Yet, one thing that Jesus is putting in front of me is that:
YEAH. Life has its challenges. But I take care of it all. Keep on stepping. Keep on walking. Keep on praying. Keep on praising.
Perfect peace is not perfect peace because everything is fine and dandy. But perfect peace is perfect peace because even when things are going wrong, we can have this reassurance that Jesus has it ALL UNDER CONTROL and that His timing is more than perfect. Nothing can come to us unless He has a plan to use it for us and for this world.
Guys, I’m going to throw off the weight of this world, and I’m going to give that weight to Jesus. I’m handing it straight to Jesus.
He’s clearly shown me that I don’t fit into a box, but He’s also shown me that He shows me how to act, how to speak, and how to feel/think. I have wisdom and discernment (that do fail me at times), I know how to be my truest self in JESUS.
Guys, this year, I WILL THRIVE. Jesus is going to show me exactly what that is, and I hope that at the end of 2015, I’ll look back and smile at Jesus saying, “You did good. We did good.”
Thrive means so much for me right now, but the biggest thing I know is that I want to THRIVE in with and for Jesus. Because without Him, there is nothing.
There’s a question on either Desiring God or Relevant Magazine that asked Christians whether they’d rather have The Holy Spirit within them or beside them. I don’t like helicopter parenting, so I say I’d rather have Him RIGHT INSIDE OF ME. Cause even though sometimes He’s not that clear, other times, He’s as clear as the sun shining.

The joys are renewed every day

Hi Friends,

I’ve been doing some QT with Jesus this morning, and something stuck out at me that I really wanted to share:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

– Lamentations 3:22-23

It’s a verse that I’ve grown to love, and it started when a friend started posting it every single day for a few days last year, and I wandered over to it.

This year, it’s gotten me through a lot and has had me meditate deeply on it.

No matter what we’ve gone through that day, God comes to meet us every single morning. Every single day is a new day ripe for blessings to overflow in one’s life, and every new dawn is a new one to take ahold of.

No matter how dark the night has been, we can ALWAYS count on Him to come through with His shining light in the morning.

There’s a quote, somewhere that says something along the lines of:

Darkness cannot remain where there is light, even a glimmer, for the light will soon over take it.

Be glad and of good courage:)



Why the title?

You might wonder, why did she choose to put her own name as the url of the page? Why not something fancy or whatnot?

I was mulling over a lot of ideas while I toyed with the idea of a public blog, in its totality, and then I just came to the conclusion that all those titles? They’re going to change.

I’m not ever just going to be a fitness guru, or just a student, or just a resident of city xyz; etc. All those things? They’re prone to change based on where I am in my life, the seasons that come and the seasons that go.

I hope my last name will change to the one of my future significant other. Yet, even when it does, I will still be Jennie Shin. It’s who I was born into.

I don’t need a fancy name designating a specific niche my blog will fall into. That’s not my thing.

I kindasorta don’t fall into a specifically designed box (but I have no qualms against those who do! to everyone, their own).

It’s an idea I’ve struggled with and against, so roughly. The struggle has quite often left me in a quandary of sorts, and thus, I’ve found it far better to embrace me for me, how God designed me to be :).

My friends allllllways tell me I’m a free spirit. You see it in the people and places and activities I interact with. It’s lots of fun, and it exposes me to friends I would have never met and had great relationships with otherwise, but again, it doesn’t put me in a nice and tidy little box like some people would want me to be in.

I am thankful for friends who embrace me with all my quirks and conformities. It’s really comforting to know I have those few people that just get me (#youknowwhatimean?), and show and tell me that I am loved and accepted despite everything.

I’ve struggled for so long that I want to be able to say YES this is Jennie Jae Shin, and YES, I am unworthy to be called a daughter of the KING but it is His Grace who deems me worthy and beautiful and lovable in His eyes.

During and after Boston, I will finally walk out with confidence, my head held high, into the world. This comes from the fact that my identity and confidence come from Christ, and it is He Who upholds me with His right hand, saying “Do not be afraid. I will go with you. I have gone before you. And I will circle all around you to protect you.” There’s someone on the internet who called this ‘God confidence’. I like it. It sounds a lot better than self-confidence haha.

Here are some songs for ya. Kari Jobe, definitely worthwhile listening to.


I walk into 2015 not having spent much time in prayer, when I know I should, when I want to, but the words won’t come out. I’m so used to spilling my heart to God on my private Tumblr for hours on end, but right now? The prayers that come from my heart happen when I’m laid out in child’s pose on my yoga mat maybe for fifteen minutes, tops.

I’m thinking, maybe that’s where He wants me right now? I don’t have to spill my heart in physical words, but He can hear me thinking, feeling, happening, right there on that pink yoga mat I’ve had for ages in my childhood home.

It’s funny. I’m only surrounded by my parents here at home, but there is so much noise that I can’t seem to properly focus on Jesus like I want to, like I crave. At school, though, there are so many people and things that capture my attention, but I get my time with Jesus, just like I need it. I don’t like New Orleans very much because I never found that community that I know I need. I love Boston because it made me into the person I am today, brought me that community and allowed me to give it as well.

2013 was that year where I just crashed and burned so badly without having very clear answers as to what and why everything was going on and how I could get out that deep hole I was in. I was in a very different place this day last year.

2014? It became that year I came to that lowest point I never knew I had, but I started to understand how Jesus wanted to redeem me through that struggle. I began to understand the point in my struggles, what my passions were, who I could trust, and had my shaky foundation replaced with a rock solid one. It became that year of desperately needed heart-transformation. It was great, but it brought me face to face with the fact that #noicantdoitonmyown and #yesineedjesus. I came face to face with my deepest sins, my deepest fears, and the redeeming joy from acknowledging them and giving them straight to Jesus to proclaim over and done with.

2015 is the year that I foresee a lot of physical change happening, and an overall pace in rhythm. I guess it’s time now since I am graduating in May and all that jazz.

I can’t tell you that I’m fear-less or worry-less going into this year. In fact, I see it magnified more than ever. There is so much uncertainty, but with that, I’m going to proclaim victory over everything. You see, the funny thing is, I’ve realized those fears or worries don’t define me. They don’t have this hold over me like they would have in the past. It is through those struggles that I see that I need God more than ever. I put those fears and worries into His capable Hands, pray and ask for prayer on those topics, and I ask for His Will to be done. That’s all I can do, and that in itself, gives me peace.

There’s a lot of things God has shared with me over the past few months– some hard and some really joyful, and I’m scared out of my wits. But as my friend Nadesha told me, “It has already been done, and Jesus has claimed victory.”

Walking into this year, I want to claim victory over everything that has happened and will happen. I want to proclaim joy and peace over it all. And I will. He already has.

I toyed with the idea that I wouldn’t set a word for this year, kinda wanted to see what God was going to do all by Himself, and so there is no definite word, but there are themes I’ve set out that I want to see happen.

to Bloom

to Thrive

to Love

and maybe some more I’ll find along the way.

My word for 2014 was reclaim. I thought it was reclaiming my life for myself, but oh boy, did Jesus come in and say, “NO. You’re not going to reclaim your life for YOUR glory. You’re going to reclaim your life for MY GLORY. You will become smaller while I become bigger.” 2014 was the most definite lesson in humility. Ouch, did that hurt, but I realized that it’s always a heart transformation before God can use you. I don’t know if He’s going to use me, but I have a hunch that He will. He always has a purpose for everything, even little me.

I’m dreaming big because I have a BIG and LOVING God who ALWAYS has my best interests at hand. And because I know that it is He who gives us these great big dreams for a reason (I’ll expand on the dreams in a later post).