Posts Tagged ‘rest’

Photo by Jakob Montrasio

By Tina Teng-Henson

When was the last time you did something kind…for yourself? That was good for your body?

Last week, on a whim, I walked into a little beauty school around the corner from where we live, that I’d never paid attention to before.  I’d often walked right by it over the past 5 years, nestled as it is between our pediatrician’s office and the Rite Aid pharmacy. I checked their hours and wrote down their rates for a haircut.

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a real haircut since I’d essentially been with our third child full-time, non-stop since her birth 8 months ago. I’d gotten 10 min trims at a Great Clips in the same plaza using coupons we’d received in the mail — but not a real cut.

When I finally got the chance to return the following week for a haircut, sans baby, and discovered that no hair stylist was available right then, I suddenly found myself asking about their rates for a facial.

I had no idea I’d ask for that, but perhaps motherhood to 3 children under 5 had finally taught me to seize the day whenever it presented itself. Here I was, entirely kid-free… and I had the rare opportunity to do something nice for myself, spontaneous and unplanned. My 5-year-old daughter had pointed out to me over the weekend that there were bumps on my forehead and had asked what they were. I didn’t know, but I told her they’d been there as long as I could remember. At the time, I half-wondered if a facial would help. But since I’d never had a facial, I didn’t know.

In any case, I heard the rate for a facial, and immediately agreed to this. Who knew what this would entail, but I was excited.

A moment later, I found myself in a little room with clean white linens laid on a reclined bed with a folded wraparound towel-shirt beside it. A petite Indian woman instructed me to remove my shirt and wrap the towel-shirt around myself, and lie down beneath the sheet.

As I blissfully lay there on the bed, waiting for the woman to return, I gazed up at the charts up on the wall, featuring the muscles of the face in delicate anatomical detail, fine lines and tight whirls overlapping in concentric circles. Ohh, would a facial include massage?! I thought it was just about skincare!

Soon enough, Mona returned to the room, and my spontaneous and delightful treat began. Layer after layer of refreshing creams, soothing lotions, warm washcloths were applied to my face. Her fingers gently and confidently massaged the furrow marks off from between my brow and relaxed my tightened jaw muscles. A steam mist opened the pores of my skin and cleared my sinuses, allowing dirt and oils to be released and a sense of well-being to rest upon me. I lay there, grateful, happy, enjoying the fact that I could be quiet and non-conversant — that I was able to lie down, be still, be attended to by another.  Someone knew how to take care of my needs. I didn’t have to know what my bumps were about, or receive coaching on how to better care for my skin. I could simply be still, receive care, enjoy the quiet and relax.

I imagine that if you write for this blog or read from it, you are probably quite similar to me: Asian American women who give their time, energy, and hearts to care for the souls of others — and create community wherever they go. If you have children, these sweet gifts draw so much from you that the well often runs far too dry.

Taking time to replenish oneself never seems to make it onto the calendar, or be included in the day’s agenda. Yet kindness towards oneself needs to be practiced daily so one has something to share.

What would it take to spontaneously lavish kindness upon yourself today? Who reminds you of your belovedness and your need to tend to your own hunger, your own fatigue, your own body’s needs and desires?

What do you gravitate towards that unexpectedly subtracts from your overall balance sheet?  What could you let go of today to make your overall well-being that much more robust?

In a world of endless tasks that never feel completed, doing something kind for yourself and your body is never the priority. But may the Holy Spirit prompt you to attend to his invitation — to come and sit. To lay down your burdens, your heavy bookbag, your cluttered pursue. Even just for a moment. So you can breathe again. Rest. And be still.

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 three children live in northern California.


Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

Photo by Simon Matzinger

Photo by Simon Matzinger

By Jerrica KF Ching

I believe that some of my fellow AAWOL sisters will agree that giving comes as second nature, while taking is quite a challenge. As Joy Wong pointed out in her most recent entry, the idea of taking brings upon shame, guilt, and doubt. What right do we have to take?  Giving is meant to be selfless, so therefore how do we find the balance of channeling our gifts of leadership by giving and the need to compromise and rest by taking? (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo by jenny downing

Photo by jenny downing

By Ann Chen

I’ve always been somebody who’s rushing from one thing to the next.

In my grade school days, I often would be the first one done, often forgoing neatness to finish faster. At home, my mom always commented that I didn’t seem to want to stay still and rarely just sat down and rested, going from youth group to movies with friends to working on the paper at school. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo by Butch Osborne

Photo by Butch Osborne

By Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

I’ll admit, I sometimes wonder about this. The impossible standards, the emotional distance, the indirect communication — and all that smiting in the Scriptures for offenses that really don’t seem that bad. All God would have to do is add piano-playing and good grades to the Fruit of the Spirit to become a fully fledged Asian deity. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo by Jack Batchelor

By Melanie Mar Chow

Freedom comes in knowing God’s voice. In listening, we will hear God’s invitation to experience His life for us and others.  Vacations, holidays, or extended times of quiet can help us develop the ability to know God’s voice, and momentarily set aside the other voices that vie for our attention.

For me, it comes in a simple beckoning, and it is often quiet and persistent. It came again last month while I was sitting at my desk, busy with ministry preparation. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi

Shared by Tammy Peng

In the past two months, I’ve come to realize that my life has become too packed.  Our church was planted in 2007, and that was a job in itself.  I was also working a full-time job and starting a business on the side. Eventually, I ended up quitting my job which helped, but somehow my life just got filled up with other things.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: