Posts Tagged ‘seasons of life’

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 Kevin Dooley

By Joy Wong

I’m currently a full-time stay-at-home mom with a 4-year-old, 2-year-old, and another baby on the way. Most days I’m barely getting through the day, just trying to keep everyone fed, clothed, and my toddler diapered. If I can keep everyone bathed, that’s a bonus.

Because of this, my vocational goals in recent years involving ordination and getting certified as a spiritual director have been shelved — which I’m ok with. (more…)

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Friendship: Ever Evolving

Photo by banoootah_qtr

By Jerrica KF Ching

When I was in elementary school I was convinced that my best friend would be my best friend forever.  I had a BFF locket that I shared with her which further reinforced this belief.  My views on friendship were very static at the time; you make a friend and you keep that friend forever.  It should be simple, right? (more…)

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By Pedro Fernandes

By Pedro Fernandes

By Wendy Choy-Chan

The trees outside my window are changing colors. My daughter is happily taking the sweaters out of her closet, while I am dreading about having less daylight and more rain. As each season approaches, we make adjustments. Sometimes, just when we have settled in with the changes, another season comes. Sometimes, on the other hand, we get tired of the same old season, and we gladly welcome the next. (more…)

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I Hate Change…

Photo by Jonathan Kriz

Photo by Jonathan Kriz

By Debbie Gin

…or so I thought.  When friends or family decide on a venue for dinner, I typically get annoyed if additional options are mentioned after the decision’s been made because that means we waste more time considering the pros/cons of those options instead of proceeding right away to the restaurant.  It doesn’t help that I’m not a “foodie,” but change has always felt unreliable to me. (more…)

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Photo by lina smith

Photo by lina smith

By Liz Chang

Once, during my sophomore year of high school, I went to the salon and asked the stylist to trim about three inches off. I left crying because they cut six inches off instead.

Fast forward to present.

Recently, I decided to go to the salon to get my haircut. I was planning to get another trim, layer it like I usually do, and be content with the way I’ve gotten haircuts for the past several years. I left smiling because they convinced me to get an “inverse bob” cut by chopping seven inches off instead. I felt refreshed and strengthened to embrace the major life changes I have been encountering over the past two months. (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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