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Photo by Toshimasa Ishibashi

By Tina Teng-Henson

I’m living my life
as it is
in this moment
as best I can
So help me God

but I can’t help
constantly imagining
(parallel processing?)
Other lives
Slightly better lives
Alternate future lives
‘If we had only’ lives
That could’ve been
That could be
Instead

I often imagine
What it would have been like
What it would be like
If we had bought a house earlier
If we had stayed in contract
If they hadn’t issued me that letter

What will it be like
To have a job again
To own a home
As we raise three littles?

My brain is always somewhere else
Imagining something better
Implicitly discontent with the present
Without meaning judgment
Not intending to compare
Not unhappy
Not discontent
It’s just the way my mind works

Instead of living my actual life
In the moment
The good and the bad

Here I sit.
In a darkened room
Letting the baby
Rest on my chest

It’s the middle of the night
Her breath
Wafts upward
The fragrance of
Mother’s milk

Tomorrow the electrician
Will come and fix
The breakers
Of this rental

Tomorrow I’ll talk to
A listening friend
Our realtor
Another parent
of three

Tomorrow I’ll listen again
For what my assignment is
For that day
And I will follow

Tomorrow I’ll hug the children
Kiss the husband
Unload the dishwasher
Prepare lunch

We’ll both take a nap
Eat well
Keep each other company

Smile
Laugh
And see friends

Have mercy on me
Dear Lord
As I imagine something
Requiring
Courage
Wisdom
Discipline

Help me God
As I live
This actual life
You have given to me
And as we unfold together
what you have
Written down
Folded up

Walk with me
Step by step
Patiently
Making the fantastical
Real, embodied…
The imaginary
Feasible, edible.

They’re not flights of fancy
This is not unfaithful folly

You who created me
And called me good
And crafted me for a purpose
You give me visions and imagination
To get me from here to there

Thank you
I trust you
And
I am not afraid

Here I am
I am yours

Tina Teng-Henson has been blessed to learn + grow alongside so many different people, in so many places: Long Island, NY — Harvard College + the South End of Boston — Nairobi, Kenya and Lanzhou, China. Tina, her husband, and their two children live in northern California.

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Photo by jessicahtam

By Maria Liu Wong

January was a pretty tough month. It began with a fairly calm, retrospective New Year’s Day with my family. After a festive brunch, we took out last year’s personal and family goals written on strips of paper and kept in a glass jar on the dining room cupboard, a reminder of new beginnings and possibilities. We took turns reading our 2017 goals and considering what was ahead for 2018. (more…)

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Photo by Martin Garrido

By Tina Teng-Henson

For years, my wise younger sister would hear my husband and I plan our trips back East to see beloved family and friends, raise her eyebrows at the ambitious itineraries we’d set, and listen empathetically when a few weeks later, we’d be back to the relational rigor of our lives, no more refreshed than before. Over time, she would ever so gently extol the benefits and attributes of what she would call “a real vacation,” which involved a getaway to some new place, with fresh tastes and unique experiences to be enjoyed, interspersed with downtime and rest — to actually return home refreshed and restored. (more…)

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By Maria Liu Wong

My son Joshua turned 13 last Saturday. And now, Tony and I are the parents of a New York City teenager. For his birthday, we gave Joshua a NIV Life Application Study Bible, and inscribed Joshua 1:7-9 and 1 Timothy 4:12 in the dedication. (more…)

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Tina’s children, Beatrice and Peter, with her maternal grandparents

By Tina Teng-Henson

As I reflected on what the Lord might want me to write about, one word kept coming to mind — this Hebrew word ‘toledot’ — which means “generations.”

I recall learning about this word in a class I took on the Pentateuch years ago with Dr. Gordon Hugenberger (who recently retired as senior minister of historic Park Street Church in Boston).  (more…)

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Photo by Frank de Kleine

Photo by Frank de Kleine

By Joy Wong

In the last few months, our family has been going through a lot of transition, including buying our first home and moving while expecting our next baby, due in July. On top of all this, I’m still finishing up my spiritual direction certification, continuing  – albeit, very slowly – in the ordination process, and staying home to care for my daughter who is now close to the age of 2. (more…)

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Photo by  Jonathan Kos-Read

Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read

By Tina Teng-Henson

Dear Reader,

I realize, I don’t really know you. I read your little bios at the bottom of your blog posts, and I remember bits and pieces of things you’ve shared over the years… but who are you really? And who the heck am I? 🙂 Our words take us a long way on this journey to know and be known – yet at their best, they are still an approximation.

It’s mid-January, 2015. I don’t have any formal ministry responsibilities lined up ahead of me. I have one class this quarter then one class next quarter — then I’m done with my MDiv. I am, Lord willing, going to give birth to our second baby this summer, but that’s about it. (more…)

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