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Archive for the ‘reflections’ Category

By April Yamasaki

What is time?

I’ve been watching a mini-series on Albert Einstein, the brilliant physicist who asked this grand question, whose great intellect and imagination were so taken with it, to the detriment of his personal and professional life. (more…)

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Aging: God With Us

Photo by Waiting For The Word

By Diana Gee

Today I forgot to buy red peppers for a dish I’m making for a church potluck. A week I ago I forgot I had a house community dinner. A few months ago I completely forgot a meeting and left a friend eating lunch by herself. Age, it seems, is catching up with me. It’s not bad if I remember to write things down. Still, it’s rather disconcerting when your mind, or body, begins to betray you despite your best efforts to live like nothing is changing. (more…)

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Photo by Nan Palmero

By Ajung Sojwal

Soon after I turned 31, having been a stay-home mom with two kids for six years or so, I became anxious that life was passing me by. I became afraid of waking up one day filled with regrets for having wasted my life. My conversations and reading materials seemed to begin and end with everything to do with children and nothing else. (more…)

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Aging: Choiceless Choices

Photo by chico945

By Angela Ryo

My dad turned 80 last month. I never thought I’d see the day my dad would turn 80, but there I was, driving to Chicago from Detroit to celebrate his 80th birthday. He celebrated just the way he wanted:  Eating take-out Chinese food from his favorite place, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, and talking to his 88-year-old brother in Korea over the phone. (more…)

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Photo by emdot

By Sarah D. Park

In the bathroom of my parents’ home, there is a poem scotch-taped to the wall. Should you sit down on the toilet, you can easily read it from there. I cannot remember when this poem first appeared — at least since the time I was in fifth grade — and it did not come with any explanation or fanfare when it simply appeared one day. And I’d like to share it with you. (more…)

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Photo by Elisa Self

By Joy Wong

Beauty’s a tough subject for me — and, I imagine, for most women. It seems that nearly every woman I encounter is unhappy about some aspect of her appearance. One woman laments the size of her hips and thighs. Another mom marvels at the ability of a lady on a blog who gave birth seven times and is still able to maintain a flat stomach. Personally, I’ve been noticing an increasing amount of freckles and sunspots on my face. I also wonder when (or if) my tummy will ever go flat again, and if I will ever lose all my postpartum weight.

What’s funny (and horrific) about it all is that it seems that my ideal self is an ever-moving target. These days, I pine for my slim self when I was in my 20s, but as I recall, back then I wasn’t happy about some other aspect…  perhaps some acne, or volumeless hair, or whatever. One of the graces I find about being a mom of three kids is that while I’m too busy to work on my appearance, I’m also too busy to spend too much time critiquing myself either.

“Beauty is fleeting,” as Proverbs 31:30 says (NIV). It makes me think of cut flowers — beautiful for a couple days, and if you’re lucky, for a week or so; but in a short time, it all starts to brown and wither. I find that roses tend to die most gracefully, but even dead roses are such a sad comparison to their former gorgeous blooms. Very depressing, especially when we think of our own beauty in the same way!

But a new metaphor is now dawning on me, and giving me a bit more hope: not the beauty of cut roses, but the beauty of a rose bush, planted in the ground. It reminds me of the tree “planted in streams of living water, which yields its fruit [or in the case of our metaphor, flowers] in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:3 NIV). Or even of Paul’s exhortations to be “rooted and grounded in love” (Eph. 3:17) and/or “rooted…abounding in thanksgiving” (Col. 2:7) (NIV).

Perhaps it’s true that our beauty is fleeting, but just as a rose bush yields new flowers in new seasons, so also perhaps our lives yield new beauty in different seasons of our lives. In aging, perhaps there is new beauty in confidence, in joy, in maturation, in appreciation, in wisdom, in gentleness, in patience, in perspective… and the list goes on.

For me, something I’d like to gain is appreciation… for the beauty I have, rather than the beauty I’ve lost, or don’t have anymore. After all, beauty is fleeting, right? What I have now (and fail to appreciate), I may not have tomorrow, and perhaps I may be lamenting the loss of it in the next season. Instead of succumbing to the incessant nagging of my inner critic, I want to be grateful. Moreover, I want to be rooted, yielding beauty in the due seasons of my life.

Joy Wong has an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, a BA in English from Princeton University, as well as four years’ experience in industrial distribution management.  She is a contributing author to Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters, published in September 2010. 

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Photo by newskin0

By Wendy Choy-Chan

I joined a line dancing class recently to get some regular exercise. The instructor is around seventy years old, and some of my classmates are in their eighties already. Needless to say, I don’t know any of the “pop songs” that we dance to. I feel I am being transported to an era before my time, but these ladies and one gentleman feel right at home, dancing like stars, with the rest of the universe as audience. (more…)

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