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Expectations: To Reset

Photo by Roelen Fernandez

Photo by Roelen Fernandez

By Jerrica Ching

Farewell to the first month of 2016!  Just as some of you pointed out throughout the month of January, I too am the type of person who typically will have the same resolutions year after year.  I have noticed however that after each year, the expectations that I have for myself to follow through with resolutions have become much more realistic.  When the expectations for myself are reasonable, I am much more likely to follow through.

As a therapist I work with many teens and young adults experiencing intense anxiety resulting from not being able to meet the expectations they set for themselves.  Clients will describe being able to initially follow through with expectations, such as turning in homework on time, balancing school with part-time jobs, attending all extracurricular activities, etc.  The majority of my clients describe their successes and accomplishments with sentiments such as, “I feel amazing!” “I felt so productive!” or “I’ve been feeling happier than usual!”  A few sessions later however, clients will describe to me uncertainty, loss of direction, and worry, telling me things like, “I have more things to do now so I’m not sure if I can get everything done…” “I wanted to be a good friend so I offered my help but I think I should’ve said no” or “I thought I could do it, but I think I was just kidding myself – this is too much.”

A supervisor and I recently had a discussion about how people so often strive for perfection and completion, instead of striving for long-term commitment and maintenance.  It feels great to check off all of the things on a daily to-do list, to cram three tasks into a fifteen-minute window, and then to share all of our accomplishments with friends.  In the long run however, it is a healthier practice to accept that there will be times when the expectations that you set for yourself are not met.  It’s also healthy to accept that just because expectations not met, this does not mean you are incapable, incompetent, or unsuccessful.  Committing to resetting is like committing to a marathon race; there will be times when you can sprint as fast as you can, but there are also times where you will need to slow down to maintain your energy, stop on the side to retie your shoelaces, or slow down to a walk.  Committing to perfection is more like committing to multiple 100-yard dashes; you need a burst of energy to get to your goal, but having to do it over and over again would most likely result in physical and mental exhaustion.

I remind my clients, as well as myself, that committing to resetting as opposed to committing to perfection can alleviate anxiety, improve confidence, and ensure long-term success.  Expect that there may be times when you do not feel as productive as you were yesterday, but realize that this is part of your marathon.  Expect that there will be times to reset throughout the year, and expect that you will always make it through.

Jerrica KF Ching lives in the beautiful state of Washington and works as a Mental Health Primary Care Provider serving children, adolescents, and their families at Columbia Wellness.  She graduated with an MA in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling from George Fox University and is working towards becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Photo by Take Back Your Health Conference

Photo by Take Back Your Health Conference

By Sharon Lee Song

At the end of 2015 as I started discerning and moving forward with a major transition from urban ministry to another ministry called Alive & Well Women, the burning question at the forefront of my mind was, “Lord, how am I supposed to BE in this season of transition?” I had been struggling with feeling disconnected with God and remaining alive and well through it. Continue Reading »

Photo by Kevin Dooley

Photo by Kevin Dooley

By Melanie Mar Chow

“…God loves a cheerful giver.” –2 Corinthians 9:7

I am not one to make official new years’ resolutions, for I know that doing so is almost always an invitation for failure. I am still trying to lose the same 10 pounds each year, still trying to be a more loving mom, wife and co-worker, etc. Now it is even humorous each year to report to our friends about our resolutions.  Continue Reading »

Photo by francois schnell

Photo by francois schnell

By Diana Gee

It’s that time of year again. The beginning of the year when we feel the slate is clean and fresh. When we traditionally make decisions to improve ourselves and find the resolve to implement them. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions though, I fail every time: Lose ten pounds. Get fit. Spend less. Continue Reading »

Photo by Seán A. O'Hara

Photo by Seán A. O’Hara

By Young Lee Hertig

After 13 years of living in a quaint block in South Pasadena, we moved to Monterey Hills among a hill full of condos in mid-September.  I am grateful for this new place, but leaving behind my house on my familiar old block, though still close by, was not easy.

Despite Southern California’s culture of driving everywhere, the old cul-de-sac where we used to live provided the rare privilege of walking to the neighborhood Trader Joe’s, farmers’ markets, local coffee shops, and stopping by my dear friends’ homes along the way.  Unlike driving, walking in the neighborhood creates opportunities to make friends and catch up on the latest news on the block. Continue Reading »

Editor Pic2Greetings to our readers, old and new — happy 2016 to you all!

In an effort to crystallize and improve the nature and quality of our writing, we have decided to choose a particular theme each month for our blog. While we hope to cover topics that are particularly relevant for Asian American women in ministry leadership, we also intend to cover a variety of other subjects as well. If you have any suggestions for themes, we’d like to hear them!

For the month of January, we are beginning with the theme “Resolutions.”

I’m also happy to report that our blog reached a milestone in November 2015, publishing its 300th post. Our dedicated contributors include Asian American women leaders with varied ministry experience including pastors, campus ministers, psychologists, and those in academia, many who are themselves published authors and bloggers. These women represent a diversity in walks of life, from those who are single, married, mothers, etc.

We remain committed to the main task of telling our stories. We have found that one of the main difficulties of Asian American women in ministry leadership is loneliness and isolation, and we have found that sharing our stories is one of the best remedies. While we may include some preaching, teaching, or expressing of opinions in our blogs, our mainstay is our stories.

We hope you will continue reading and responding to our blogs, walking alongside us in our faith journeys. AAWOL first began under the motto of “Never Alone Again.” As we connect through our stories, may we know this to be true in our lives, through highs and lows, thick and thin — we are not alone! Praise be to God:)

Joy Wong is the editor and administrator for aawolsisters.com and a contributing author to Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters, published in September 2010.  She has an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, a BA in English from Princeton University, as well as managerial experience in industrial distribution.  Joy and her family attend Northland Village Church.

Photo by PJD-DigiPic

Photo by PJD-DigiPic

Wishing all our readers and writers a moment of pause in this post-Christmas season to reflect on the gift of Jesus Christ to this world and how it leads us in hope, joy, and peace into this coming new year.  Happy 2016 to you all!

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