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Photo by Riley Kaminer

Photo by Riley Kaminer

By Liz Chang
The furniture fidgets got me last week for the first time in six months, and the reality of transition has become too obvious for me to ignore. I am moving out of a full-time-student-with-work-on-the-side world into a full-time-employee-with-workshops-on-the-side world.

I find myself resisting and embracing the change.

Hours and hours. Those hours that were once spent pouring my soul over self-reflective papers and research studies have now become hours that I resist learning to make new use of, especially on those evenings when I sit in my room watching television for hours. How did I embrace a 4-hour outlet mall trip with friends last week? When I was in school, I could not last more than thirty minutes of being in a store with friends without feeling guilt for wasting precious homework time.

Stress and commitments. Three years of studying in a Masters program gave me plenty of stress to push me to cut back on other life commitments such as church involvement, social events and friendships, and oftentimes the self-care that I needed. Each year of school stress made me wish I had fewer and fewer commitments, and I longed for the day when I would have a “manageable” amount of stress. Here I am on the other side of graduate school stress, and I find myself resisting the idea of having any gaps in my schedule. Instead, I am embracing new commitments, reconnecting with friends, and packing my schedule with all the social time that I think I missed out on over the past year. Is this self-care or setting myself up for the amount of stress that I have grown accustomed to having in my life? I think it could be both.

Money and budgeting. As I was a child and family therapist intern, I could not wait to have a full-time job so that I could get paid for the work I put in and set up a budget for myself. I grew tired of living from month to month, depending on loans and my parents’ financial support. Here I am, with a job set up for full-time employment, and I am resisting the idea of having an income because that means it is time to start paying off debt and be more responsible with the money I earn. At the same time, I embrace and am excited about full-time employment because that means I am paid for my labor and I will soon have the means to support my parents.

This is why I got the furniture fidgets.

Transitions in life have a way of pushing and pulling me to be who God created me to be. The push comes with inevitable life changes, and the pull comes with character refinement. As I become aware of the ways I am resisting the inevitable life changes that lie ahead, I am challenged to embrace the character refinement that can happen throughout the change. So, to resist and embrace is the paradox in which I find myself living these days. And that is completely OK.

How do you sit with the paradox of resistance and embrace that comes with transitions in life?

Liz Chang is getting an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapy) degree at Seattle Pacific University. She graduated Taylor University with a BA in Psychology and Biblical Literature, and was raised in New York City.
Photo by Nayu Kim

Photo by Nayu Kim

By Debbie Gin

I begin this blog with the question: What have you seen that makes a good leader?

Let me offer my own couple thoughts.  A church friend and I have been in an extended conversation about the Myers-Briggs (or Keirsey-Bates) Temperament Indicator and how this is related to good leadership.  Continue Reading »

Photo by m01229

Photo by m01229

By Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

I have a confession to make: I’m not very good at using those self-checkout machines at the grocery store. Somehow I end up losing track of which items I’ve scanned, or my reusable bags mess up the weighing mechanism and the attendant on duty has to release me from a locked system. Continue Reading »

Photo by seyed mostafa zamani

Photo by seyed mostafa zamani

By Jerrica Ching

On April 4th of this year, my 95-year-old grandfather was called home to be with God.  I consider him to be the most independent man I know to date; he cut the grass on his own lawn and drove his car around town up to the age of 93!  To me he was invincible, and I truly believed he would live to be 100 or even older.  Continue Reading »

Lamb Tongues

Photo by hobvias sudoneighm

Photo by hobvias sudoneighm

By Vivian Mabuni

I push the grocery cart fast, breezing through the aisles. Places to go, errands to run, lots of this and that on my mind. And out of the corner of my eye I see the yellow tray. It doesn’t register until after I push past the glass case.

I’m brought to a complete stop. And then I back up my cart and peer in. Continue Reading »

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Embracing Wholeness

Photo by Horia Varlan

Photo by Horia Varlan

By Tina Teng-Henson

After 9 months of being my daughter’s main care-provider, I was finally ready to find and pay for consistent childcare so I could focus anew on schoolwork — which then led me further down a path I needed to take: one of more fully integrating this new identity of mine as a new mom with the other parts of who I was before my daughter arrived – daughter, grad student, minister, friend, wife. Continue Reading »

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