By most people’s standards I’m pretty easy going and laid back.  However, due to life circumstances and happenstances like moving, and doing a workout challenge, being intentional about gift-giving, learning how to be a better husband, my natural tendency to be a people pleaser and accommodator, and my God given personality of being sensitive and emotional, there tends to be seasons (such as now) in which am confronted head on with the things I think of as weaknesses (or things I would like to work on myself personally). Specifically I have come to see that when pressed with a deadline or thinking that I am caring or thinking of others, I often find myself to be inflexible with my own plans or way of doing something, or, on the flip side, I just give up completely and don’t follow through. A good example of this is my theory on how to answer calls on my cell phone.

If you have ever called me you might have realized that I don’t answer the phone as often as I probably should or would like to. The reason for this is not that I don’t want to talk to you, it’s just that I hate answering the phone and not being able to give my full attention or devote my time to that person calling (I know, the people pleaser in me). I believe that if it’s extremely important they will either leave a message or call back again immediately.  My intention is to call the person back when I have the time to have a solid conversation with someone. Of course I know this logic is flawed, extremely flawed, especially when I mean to call someone back after they left a message and I don’t for awhile saying that, “I couldn’t find the time”. Again, this a good illustration of me not changing my way of thinking, and of course not being a good person by calling people back sooner.

Of course since my life also seems to play out in themes. P90X (which, for whatever odd reason, I decided to start during the holiday season) has also been a perfect compliment in my life to help me to see that I need to continue to work on these areas. As I mentioned in previous updates, part of the struggle with p90x is keeping up the motivation to continue, especially when you are stressed and tired. But it was a challenge that I undertook, that I agreed to, and on the days that I don’t want to work out, it is so easy and tempting to just not. Sometimes, I will also find myself giving up in exercises rather than putting more effort into it.  As my aunt said to me recently, “Actions speak louder than words” and while I agree with this, actually doing what you say you are going to do is not necessarily easy, for anyone.

So here is my gift to my friends and family this Christmas: I am going to continue to work hard to answer my phone and return calls in a prompt fashion. I’m going to honor important relationships with love and with flexibility, meaning: being willing to grow and let people encourage and support me, even if it is difficult. But most importantly, I will not let myself give in to complacency and the perception that this “work in progress” (thanks to Gwyneth for this title) is for show. Instead I will use this time in my life as a real opportunity to honor the gifts, blessings, and people God has given me by being authentically and truthfully me, even if that means it will take some time.

On another note, one thing that we have completed is operation “Move the Changs”. We have moved from our friends’ house (whom we will miss) to a small, fun, and manageable apartment in North Portland. For pictures of the craziness that was this weekend, see the before and after pictures below:

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