Saturday, December 23, 2017

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 
-- Matthew 1:23


May the grace and peace from the Lord be with you.

James and I are thankful for journeying another year by the Grace of God. Getting together to read the Bible almost every day has helped us to be reconnected with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and with one another. Walking up and down the hills keeps us healthy and provides time to talk and pray.

We have written a one-page year-end letter with more details of our life and ministries, and photos of our fourth grandchild, our trips to the East Coast and Toronto, and our Christmas photo. You may read it by clicking HERE.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cultivating a Grateful Heart

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever." (Psalm 136:1)

James and I celebrated Thanksgiving with his mom and extended family. I was both happy and a bit sad, wishing our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren were there too.  Thank God that we could Skype with them the next morning!

Recently, we spent one week in the Greater Toronto area for ministries and visiting friends. We participated in an one-day pre-discipleship-training conference, James preached on Sunday and led small group Bible study on Tuesday night. We also counseled/coached couples in different cities. I'm grateful for the trip, especially a chance to see some dear friends from Hong Kong.

We stayed with my elderly Kai-ma 契媽 (in Cantonese or Gan-ma 乾媽 in Mandarin) for a few days. We were neighbors living in the same 4-story building in Hong Kong. Kai-ma and my mom were good friends. She liked me and took me under her wing. I still remember spending time in her place after school, doing homework or playing with her children. Kai-ma taught me how to draw! I'm forever grateful for the time and energy she invested in me. Thank God that Kai-ma still recognized James and me. One morning, I thought about my mother (who passed away in 1975) and felt sad.  How I wish Mom was still on earth visiting Kai-ma with me!

I was happy just sitting with Kai-ma, listening to her stories. Her children joined us for dinner and lunch and I was treated with my favorite food, like the egg custard, through out the day. How I wish I could visit her more often. It's the same yearning I had a few years ago to spend more time with my birth sister and brother. I prayed and God has made a way. I'm grateful for our annual family reunion ever since.

Counting Your Blessings and Sharing Thanks
I have learned to be grateful for people in my lives. How about you? Would you join me in counting blessings and sharing thanks? Try these questions:

1. What one biggest gift (tangible or intangible) have you received this year?
2. What two things changed your life this year?
3. What three incidents help you grow in your faith this year?
4. What four blessings in your home should you thank God for?
5. What five happy experiences have you had?
6. What six things created by God are things that we cannot live without even though we sometimes take them for granted?
7. Who are seven people, inside and/or outside of your home, for whom you are most thankful?

Enjoying Simple Pleasure of Life

My biggest gift in 2017 is our 4th grandchild.  Sometimes we Skype during mealtime, when they are having lunch and we are having breakfast. It is a joy to sit with someone you love, and eat and drink whatever you enjoy the most. James and I take walks whenever we can. We love reading and discussing the Bible, and applying God's truth and grace in our lives.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

How have you been in 2017?  I'd love to hear your blessings, joy and sorrow, and pray for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!  May God bless you!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

As a Result of Effective Communication

After integrating and practicing the communication tips I have been sharing with you, you will experience the peace and joy of:

  • Changing failed communication patterns so nobody (including you!) feels hurt or left out.
  • Connecting with each other to create an atmosphere of getting along instead of constant conflict.
  • Giving others the confidence that you are a caring person, so they say "yes" to talking with you in spite of cultural, gender, generational and other differences.
  • Integrating essential communication elements to create ongoing understanding, trust and mutual support to face challenges through different stages of life.
  • Building an emotionally healthy family even though you don't have such experience growing up.

Unless you intentionally break your destructive cycle, you will be stuck in the same old repeated patterns. Think of yourself as a thermostat, NOT a thermometer. If you want, you could change the atmosphere in your home!

Not making the change will cost you physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually when your family is stuck in the same old unhealthy pattern. That's not the way to live.

I know these struggles because I was there. Years ago, NOT knowing how to have constructive communication was damaging my marriage, parenting, and my life. Even though I looked successful from the outside, I felt miserable, hopeless and helpless inside!

Changes take courage and work and a lot of grace from God.

If you missed or never received the special communication report that was sent out in August, go here to download your f.r.e.e. gift - Say It! Hear It!

Love, Joy and Peace to you!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Communication Pitfall You Want to Avoid

Have you ever had someone said, "Forget it! You are not listening!" and then walked out on you?

One of the common pitfalls someone might experience while trying to improve communication is listening passively instead of actively, or at least giving that impression.
How to avoid that?

Good communication is a two way street: speaking and listening. Listening is such a large part of effective communication because everyone loves to be heard and be understood.

That's why a effective communicator is the person who seeks to understand before seeking to be understood.

Listening doesn't mean just keeping quiet. To be an effective listener requires certain behaviors and attitudes. Listening is an action word. Find out how well you listen actively.

1. Listening means paying attention. When I listen to someone, I focus my attention on the speaker. I look directly at him or her, and concentrate on hearing what he or she is saying.

2. Listening means accepting what the other person says. When I listen to someone, I withhold judgment and accept what he/she is saying "as is". I acknowledge what the person is saying without labeling it right or wrong, good or bad, true or false.

3. Listening means being interested in what the other person says. When I listen to someone, I invite the speaker to give his/her opinion, say what's on his/her mind, or say how he/she feels about the topic or issue.

4. Listening means confirming and clarifying what I believe I heard. When I listen to someone, I ask specific questions such as "What I heard you say is ... is that right?" or "I think I understand what you said, but will you elaborate on ...?" or "When you say ..., do you mean...?

5. Listening means being empathetic. When I listen to someone and I begin to feel defensive or impatient or angry, I try to put myself in the other person's shoes and appreciate what he/she might be going through.

6. Listening means being involved. When I listen to someone, I respond actively by nodding, making interjections and asking caring questions such as "How do you feel about that?" or "What would you have liked to do or say?"

7. Listening means letting go of control. When I listen to someone, I don't always jump right in with a solution, or try to fix things, or have to say the "right" thing.

8. Listening means not judging the speaker. When I listen to someone, I really try to not get hung up on the delivery, even if it's awkward, hesitant or garbled, or if his/her voice or speech mannerisms are irritating.

9. Listening means withholding any rebuttal until the speaker is finished. When I listen to someone, I listen to the entire message before I mentally begin my rebuttal, defense, argument or denial. Then, I wait a beat or two before I begin speaking to make sure I've let the speaker finish, and I am focused in my response.

10. Listening means paying attention to the whole message. When I listen to someone, I also pay attention to their non-verbal messages —facial expressions, gestures, eyes, tone of voice, even posture, because I understand these can contradict or confirm the words that are spoken.

11. Listening means being present. Sometimes I'm unable to give my full attention to someone. When this is the case, I let the person know by saying something like, "Now's not a good time for me to talk about this, can we discuss it later?" then agree to a specific time to have the discussion.

Remember, just because we're born with ears, doesn't mean we start off life as good listeners. Becoming a good listener is a skill we learn, and like other skills, it takes practice to get better. Being a good listener is also a gift we can give to other people. Letting someone know he/she has really been heard is one of the best things we can do for each other.

Without listening, there is no communication. It takes two to tango. Who wants to listen first?

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." (James 1:19-20)

Friday, August 18, 2017

It's Here, the Solution to Sending the Wrong Message without Knowing It!

I hope you liked your free Say it! Hear it! report and it has helped you start improving your relationships.
Here are some of the common questions that many of my clients have with the tip on "5 Ways to Use Non-verbal Communication More Effectively" when you are trying to send a message to someone.
(1) Question: "How could my tone of voice and body language contribute more to the effectiveness than the words I say? It does not make any sense!"
Response: You are right. Your words are important. However, there will be a problem when your words say one thing but your posture or gestures or tone say something different. Can you think of someone who makes a statement without saying a word? How about these examples? What message is the person communicating?
(a) a child hiding in the closet when dinner guests arrive his home,
(b) a teenager rolling her eyes when being lectured by her dad,
(c) a visiting grandfather from China greeting people in United States with smiles and nods, or
(d) a mother holding her fists and yelling "OF COURSE I LOVE YOU!!!" to her child.
(2) Question: "I was taught to stick with the facts and be clear about what I want. Why do I have to pay attention to my emotions in a conversation?"
Response: What you said might work in some business situations when staying calm, cool and collected is highly valued. However, while in relationships, most people need to know, like and trust you before they could have deep sharing and meaningful conversation with you. Healthy and productive communication means two people can openly share how they are feeling, what they are thinking, and the needs they have. If you were upset but did not express your feelings, the other person might not feel safe enough to continue the conversation. It's just human nature.
Emotions are often times hard to hide. When emotions take over, the other person will pay attention to your emotions instead of what you are really saying. They might try to calm you down or get out of there. Then communication breaks down, you think they don't care, and miscommunication happen.
Knowing your own emotions and sharing it verbally is one of the best ways to connect with someone at a deeper level as long as you are not blaming them. If necessary, take a few deep breaths, count backward from 10 to 1 (it really works!) or take a time out if necessary.
(3) Question: "My husband and children keep accusing me of yelling all the time, but I wasn't! Sometimes I just have to raise my voice to make sure they hear what is important. I feel discouraged. How do I change their minds about me?"
Response: Everyone has different needs. If someone says you are talking too loud or too fast, they are saying it's too loud or too fast for them. If you want them to hear you, listen to them. It's hard to change a habit, especially if that's something your family did when you were growing up. I understand your disappointment, but arguing or reasoning would only look like defending yourself. Try to say things in different ways and adjust your tone of voice as an experiment. Don't be surprised when you catch someone's attention by your whisper.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Why Say it! Hear it! Communication works for parenting and relational challenges

Relationship problems is one of the biggest problems of our time for people who feels isolated, frustrated, ignored or rejected. We recently shared in our special communication report some tips on how to communicate for understanding and deeper connection.
But does this REALLY work?
Let’s take Tom and Mary (not their real names) for example.
Mary came from Taiwan and Tom was from Hong Kong. They are high-tech professionals raising two American Born Chinese children in the Silicon Valley. They approached parenting differently. When Tom rationalized things, Mary got mad. When she attacked and blamed, he retreated and withdrew. Their interaction spiraled downward with negative thoughts, actions and words. They both felt stuck. Here’s what Mary said about our services when she finally sought help.
"I felt better after talking to my counselor. I was reassured that our family dynamic was not uncommon. I felt relieved that I was not alone. When I felt understood and accepted, I started to calm down and examine my role in re-enforcing our negative cycle. Instead of fighting, I started listening, and that drew Tom to open up with his feelings and needs, not just sharing his opinions. We became close again. Working as a parenting team, we have learned to provide an emotionally healthy environment for our children to grow up."
As you can see, Parenting ABC worked for Tom and Mary, hundreds of others, and will work for you too. This is why we are frequently invited to speak and lead workshops and seminars at churches, retreats, conferences and conventions!
If you’re struggling with parenting or other relational issues, and you’re looking for the right solution, click here now to schedule a consultation.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

How to Get Along with, Enjoy, and Influence People You Love?

I’ve prepared a special report on communication called Say it! Hear it! The Power of Effective Communication. In the report, I want to show you how you can improve interactions in your family.
You see, most people who struggle with parenting and other relationship issues try all the wrong approaches to talk things out and just get more and more frustrated. But in this special report, I’m going to show you exactly how to rid yourself from hurtful destructive patterns once and for all.
You see, most people who struggle with parenting or other relationship issues, try all the wrong approaches to talk things out and just get more and more frustrated. But in this special report, I’m going to show you exactly how to rid yourself from hurtful destructive communication patterns once and for all. 
Effective 2-way communication will give you these benefits:
  • Getting along instead of having constant conflicts 
  • Enjoying conversations that promote understanding and support
  • Closing the cultural, gender and generational gaps
  • Building an emotionally healthy family

Friday, June 16, 2017

Reflection Before Father's Day

Father's Day is coming soon. I want to appreciate the fathers and father-figures I know. Whether you have children of your own, don't ever underestimate your role and the difference you can make as a caring male model in the life of even one young person.

Yesterday there was an explosion near the front gate of a kindergarten in eastern China. At least eight people were killed, almost seventy people were injured. Authorities have said that the deadly blast was the work of a 22-year-old suicide bomber.

My heart cried for the victims and their families. Such traumatic event will affect many lives for years to come. People are shocked, angered, afraid, depressed. Something insensible like this reminds us that life is short, the world is not safe, and things are not under our control ... There will be anxiety and fear.

I also feel very sad for the suicide-bomber. How could he plan such evil to destroy? Then I wonder whether he could have asked for help to deal with his own pains, struggles, anger, depression and hopelessness.

As I was losing peace, I prayed and I remembered what Jesus said. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I thought about those little kids and their fathers, mothers, grandparents who were picking them up after school. I thought about the teachers, the helpers, ... I wish they have all known our Heavenly Father and His unconditional love.

The Bible and resources like the "Father's Love Letter" (in print, audio and video) have helped millions of people, including me, when something triggered us into depression and anxiety. Check it out!

For English go to http://fathersloveletter.com/index.html
For Chinese go to http://fathersloveletter.com/Chinese/

Let us honor our Abba Father who created us and has given us new lives in Christ. May you have peace in Christ and share His love with someone today.

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Reflection on Mother's Day

I have not forgotten writing you. I was just having too much fun in the East Coast, mixing work and play. James and I were away a total of ten days. First we presented workshops at a church; then we reunited with my brother and sister, and their spouses. We also visited James' sister and brother-in-law one evening. We are grateful for a chance to serve and interacted with so many special people in the Greater New York area.

We arrived home late Saturday night. The next day after church, we went to San Francisco to celebrate Mother's Day with James' mom, sister, brother and their families.  How wonderful it is to enjoy time with both sides of the family in May!

At age 95, James' mom has many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We celebrated with yummy Chinese food, cakes and beautiful flowers. Mama was very happy.

On Monday, James and I took her to the park and walked around the lake. I went brisk walking while they strolled with her walker. We reunited just in time to see a pair of Canadian geese taking care of their little ones.  Obviously the mom and dad were protective and watchful while training their little ones. Finally they went for a swim. Those goslings will grow up and fly away.  And that is good!

As we were celebrating Mother's Day with James' mom, our son and his family Skyped us. I'm grateful for technology. But even if there was no Internet, physical distance really does not have to break heart-to-heart connections.

I love the card our son sent me. As a mother and grandmother, I was so encouraged by his note. The photos of him, his wife and their kids are precious. Oh how fast the kids have grown!

I remembered how James took our young son to Yeye and Nainai on the weekends, and how our adult son walked around the lake with me when he visited the Bay Area. As I am writing now, my heart is filled with love, gratitude and contentment. Jesus Christ my Savior can also transform your life, marriage and family. Even though I still missed my mom who passed away in 1975, I am grateful for my family and the body of Christ. Although I still feel sad that my mom never met my husband and son, I can now sit with that sadness and experience joy. What great things our Lord has done!

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works." (Psalm 145:3-5)

Enjoy people you love. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Saving Ourselves from Self-Sabotage

When he was a boy, Stan vowed he’d never be a father like his own father—aloof, critical and emotionally unavailable. Yet, 30 years later, he catches himself treating his son harshly and constantly judging him for not measuring up.

Patricia loves her job and her boss. The only thorn is that her boss prizes punctuality and Patricia just can’t seem to be on time for anything, whether it’s a team meeting or that project that was due last week.

What Stan and Patricia have in common is the all-too-common disease called self-sabotage. It eats away inside, creating a cycle of self-destruction with the result that we aren’t really living the life we want for ourselves, nor the life that God intends us to have.

Self-sabotage “hides inside us and toils against our best interest. If we don’t succeed in identifying and owning this sinister part, we can never be free,” says Stanley Rosner, author of The Self-Sabotage Cycle: Why We Repeat Behaviors That Create Hardships and Ruin Relationships.

Numerous studies show that women are more prone to lower self-esteem and self-doubting thoughts. This leads to self-sabotaging behavior, according to author Nancy Good. In her book Slay Your Own Dragons: How Women Can Overcome Self-Sabotage in Love and Work, she lists several signs of self-defeating behavior that women (and men) can recognize:

1. Being overly passive, fearful, listless or indecisive, so that chances pass us by.

2. Having a chronically chaotic financial situation.

3. Being controlled by depression and anxiety.

4. Being controlled by compulsive behaviors to abuse alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, food, physical exercise, etc. Being compulsively late. Expressing anger inappropriately.

5. Being mistreated by partners and spouses. Being stuck in an unhappy relationship but doing nothing to change the situation. Having a series of unsatisfying relationships.

Recognizing self-defeating thoughts and behavior is the first step to change. Many experts agree that to change the behavior, people must change their thinking. Therefore, the first step is to observe ourselves and our thoughts.

The next step is to take responsibility for our thoughts and behavior—so that we control them and they stop controlling us. If we accept that we are doing this to ourselves, we can also understand that we have the option to change.

Self-observation is a powerful tool against the behaviors that defeat us. For example, Stan could take his son fishing and be careful to be positive and to stay silent when he feels a criticism rising in his throat. To do this, he would first have to decide that a good relationship with his son was more important that being “right.”

Setting a goal is the next step. Without blame or shame, choose one behavior to change. For example, Patricia could decide not to be late anymore. To do this, she would have to decide that something was more important than being late—a job she loves, for example. One tactic might be to write a positive affirmation each night in a journal, or set her clock an hour early, or enlist a friend to call her for a week, reminding her to walk out the door. After a while, the rewards of being on time could become greater than the self-defeating cycle of being late.

It’s not easy to change patterns of self-sabotage, but with time and practice—and a good dose of self-love—it is possible to end a self-defeating cycle and live the life we truly want for ourselves.

Jesus knew our circumstances and conditions. He knows the human hearts, and he came to save us. That's why he told His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

Are you struggling with the ups and downs of life? How have you been sabotaging yourself? Write me if you wanted to get some help and prayers.

Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Happy Easter!!!

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

Friday, March 24, 2017

One-Liners to Avoid in an Argument

They slice and dice, cutting wounds not easily healed by pacifying words.

They inflame like a lit match near gasoline.

They suck the life out of all that they touch. 

They’re the zingers we fling at each other during arguments, the cruel and aggressive wisecracks or retorts that escalate a fight like nothing else. And when the zingers begin to outnumber the kind words spoken to each other, it may be too late to fix the relationship because the love has dried up and blown away.

Learning how to communicate well in a conflict—how to argue without hurting and insulting each other—is possibly the most important relationship survival skill ever. Doing so reduces divorce and domestic violence rates—and increases personal happiness, relationship satisfaction and peace of mind.

Here, then, are a few one-liners you’d do well to avoid: 

“That’s not what’s happening here!” This is just one of many versions of the line: “I’m right and you’re wrong!” And whether you say it or just think it, the only thing “You’re wrong!” creates is a lose-lose situation. 

“You always…” or “You never…” Starting a sentence with either two-word phrase is guaranteed to raise temperatures. How about stating instead that the other person does XYZ “more times than feels good.” Rather than, “You never listen to me,” try something like this: “When you respond that way, I get the sense that you’re not understanding me in the way I’d like you to.” 

“You really know how to hurt me.” This line assumes that the other person is intentionally trying to hurt you. It also implies that someone other than yourself has power over what you feel. It places you in the role of emotional “victim.” But you can choose whether or not to be hurt by someone’s actions.

“How can you be that way?” This isn’t really a question. It’s an aggressive statement something to the effect of, “You’re a terrible person, and you should be ashamed of yourself."

Of course, these are mild, compared to the even more hurtful words we can come up with in the heat of an argument. But for love to flourish and deepen, for healthy and long-lasting relationships, we need to learn how to incorporate acceptance, self-understanding, compassion and tolerance into our conflicts. And maybe one-liners like, “I love you!”

We keep arguing because we think we are right or we have to defend ourselves even if we were wrong; but there is a deeper meaning: we argue because we care about this particular subject matter. I used to argue with James a lot about parenting issues. To change, I need to have more awareness, knowledge, and skills, and I need to be intentional. How about you? What kind of improvements do you need?

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." (James 1:19-20)

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Workshops at BASS Convention 2017

Some of you are wondering why I am not presenting any workshop at BASS this year. One reason is I wanted to take a break after teaching every year since 2006; but the most important reason is that my husband James will be presenting four workshops this year. So I wanted to be there to listen to him and support him the way he has been supporting me all these years, although I think he still will be his own tech guy!

As you know, I became a Christian in January, 1989 and my changed life caught James by surprise. In order to make sure I was not involved in a cult, James started his own investigation by studying the Bible. And as the saying goes, "The rest is history."

If you wonder how two strong-willed high tech professionals could change and become ONE team as husband and wife (and as parents, grandparents and co-workers in ministries), come and find out how reading and applying the Bible could really change lives by the truth and grace of God.

Here are the line up for four workshops to be presented by Rev. James Chiang. Beware that two will be in English on Friday (Christian Ed track), and two in Mandarin (Asian track) on Saturday. See you there!

Reading Between the Lines: Sharpen Your Bible Interpretation Skills (English)
Friday, March 3, 2017 - 9:00-10:15 AM Room: N11

Reading between the lines will help track the author's train of thought. Why should we capture the train of thought of a Biblical author? An author will develop the points of his writing by leaving clues. Capturing the author's thought process from the clues left for us goes a long way for us to go after God's own heart. This workshop, “Reading between the lines”, introduces a simple method to uncover the biblical author’s train of thought by asking the right questions from the context of the Scripture.

Discovering the Value Gap: Applying Scripture (English)
Friday, March 3, 2017 - 1:30-2:45 PM Room: N11

We all have preconceived notions, and our value system supports and reinforces these notions. Just by understanding the Bible alone will not change our default thinking, unless we could discern the gap between our value system and God's. This workshop helps the Bible reader to discern the gap, thus guiding the reader in personal transformation, in order to acquire the mind of Christ by the renewing of the mind.

Reading Between the Lines: Sharpen Your Bible Interpretation Skills (Mandarin)
《話中有話》釋經之銳煉
Saturday, March 4, 2017 - 8:00-9:15 AM Room: N10
研討會將有助於呈現聖經作者的思路。我們為什麼要掌握聖經作者的思路呢?因為這有助於了解神的心意。有時經文的要點並不那麼明顯。為了要捕捉作者的思維,我們有時必須由留在字裡行間的線索來搜尋。本次研討會將介紹一種簡單的方法,從聖經的上文下理找出正確的問題。問出正確的問題可以幫助我們發現聖經作者本來的思路。《話中有話》研討會將以普通話進行。

Discovering the Value Gap: Applying Scripture (Mandarin)
《破舊立新》︰經文的應用
Saturday, March 4, 2017 - 12:45-2:00 PM Room: N10
我們都有先入為主的觀念。這些觀念來自於我們的價值觀,以至根深蒂固。單靠理解聖經很難改變我們先入為主的觀念,除非我們能夠看出我們的價值觀和神心意之間的差距。 《破舊立新》研討會能幫助聖經讀者認清差距,從而導致心意更新而變化,以得著基督的心。 本研討會將以普通話進行。

The Word of God is powerful. Reading His Word and praying establish two-way communication between our God and us. James and I both have come a long way. I am amazed how much I have enjoyed studying the Bible with James and talking about real-life issues that matter to each of us. I pray that these workshops would be helpful to you and other brothers and sisters in your faith community. Looking forward to seeing you at BASS 2017.

You could find out more about BASS 2017 at bassconvention.org



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Things to Say Before It's Too Late

It happens again. I caught a cold last Thursday walking towards a community event. I felt bad. Imagine my disappointment being sick one week before visiting my son's family. Could I get well soon?

I needed to stay home to rest. This morning, James and I exchanged "Happy Valentine's Day!" at breakfast before he left all for an all day meeting. He asked me to take a good rest and I said I would.

I was surprised when he came back into the house in just a few minutes.

"Remember what you said about the blinkers?" he asked. "I couldn't start the car. Could you give me a ride to the carpool?"

Last night when he got home, I warned him I had left the blinkers on for a few hours by mistake and wondered whether the car could start today. So I wasn't surprised. But I told him, "How about you just take the van? I will be here all day anyway."

"But I don't want you to be without the van."

"Just in case I need to go somewhere?"

You have to watch our body language and listen to our tone of voice to understand how much we care for each other. I know James cares about me, and that's what counts.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Listening to Our Bodies They Know More than We Do!

Belated Happy New Year! I'm so glad I can write you today. I had no idea I would catch a cold/flu the first week of the year. In order to get well, I had to cancel my appointments, ask someone for support, drink chicken soup, take it easy and rest.

By the grace of God, I recovered in a week and was able to resume my work, including giving two presentations. I am so grateful for my health!

The body holds much of the information we need to function at our best, but too often we ignore its messages and plow ahead with what our minds tell us. Perhaps because we’re not taught from early on to pay attention to internal messages as well as external demands, we frequently ignore our body’s communications.

So we take another extra-strength aspirin rather than investigating what’s causing our head to ache. We use more caffeine or sugar to give us a lift when we feel tired, rather than hearing our body’s message about needing rest or recognizing our fatigue as an early symptom of burnout we’d do well to heed. A look at little children may be all the message we need about the value of naps.

We fail to take into account the thousand little messages communicated to us by how we’re holding ourselves: the mouth that’s pinched and tight rather than relaxed. The fact that our shoulders are up around our ears, the knot of tension in our stomach as we promise to do something when closer consideration might tell us we are already over-extended.