Coffee Talk: Synergy is the Place to Be

Last weekend I was honored to attend the first Synergy Women’s Leadership Summit in Dallas, TX. The weekend was full of reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones, and hanging with writing buddies (yeah, Gifted for Leadership and Redbud Writer’s Guild).

I’ve been connected to Synergy for several years (currently serving on the Board of Advisers) and remain passionate about the organization because of its core values of being kingdom minded, spiritually grounded, leader focused, community driven, authentically generous, and culturally progressive. The evangelical community needs Synergy and I trust that God has great things ahead! Women leaders need Synergy to continue as a safe place of education, encouragement, renewal, challenge, and hope.

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#RacialRec: Voice # 4 ~ Asian American ~ Vivian Mabuni Part 2

Vivian Mabuni interview continues: I met and married Darrin when I was 25 and brought into our marriage the same rigid view of Christianity into our marriage relationship. I had difficulty representing myself and giving him feedback. I had mistakenly played the “submission/respect card” and understood it to mean if I respected him I would not question his ideas or thoughts. Instead of being a true helpmate, I sought to manipulate and control his emotions by heading off any potential conflict by not speaking up about my concerns and perspective. He would comment that when he came home I would emotionally shut down and no longer give input, direction and would take on the “cruise director” role of making everyone happy. I still struggle with this dynamic. I also somehow came to believe that in order for my husband to lead, he had to be better and stronger than me in all areas. In no way did he share this view; in fact he was often bewildered I actually thought these things. I felt frustrated and dead inside. My posture was one of passivity and confusion.

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#RacialRec: Voice # 4 ~ Asian American – Vivian Mabuni Part I

We have featured Vivian Mabuni here before sharing her plight with breast cancer. I am honored she has again agreed to share her story with us. Hear the voice of this Asian American.

I was blown away when I heard you speak at the Synergy Women’s Conference in 2010. You spoke about the challenges of being a strong Asian, Christian, woman and some of the culture and religious issues that arise with that. Can you please explain this phenomenon to our readers?

I walk each day as an Asian-American Christian woman drifting between four separate worlds (Asian. American. Christian. Woman.). These worlds often have opposing values that affect my mindset and how I respond and make decisions.

I grew up in Boulder, CO one of a handful of Asian-Americans in a graduating class of 650. My dad was a producer and director for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. When I was nine years old, he directed Romeo and Juliet and I would accompany him to the rehearsals. He mentioned in passing I would never play the lead role of Juliet because I was Chinese. His words confirmed what I already knew as a young girl: because of how I looked, I would be treated differently and there was nothing I could do to change their preconceived ideas about me. I wanted more than anything to fit in. I’d scan the shelves at the toy stores-no Asian Barbies or Disney Princesses, look through pictures in magazines, in textbooks, on TV or in the movies and no one looked like me.

Continue reading “#RacialRec: Voice # 4 ~ Asian American – Vivian Mabuni Part I”