Five things Friday roundup: transitions

— Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash
Here in Kansas we are on the brink of a new school year.  Classroom teachers and other educators are busy attending inservice and preparing to welcome new students.  The college football team is out on the field in the afternoons, and we’re eagerly waiting to hear who will be spending five days a week guiding and loving our child.
There are a lot of feelings and emotions any time we experience times of transition.  How can we all care for each other more tenderly during transitions, big and small? 
1. Remember who God is and what God longs for us to know. We recently read the updated edition of Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart by Glenys Nellist. These beautifully illustrated stories of women from the Old and New Testaments tell my sweet daughter the things that I most want her to know about herself and who she is in relation to her creator and redeemer. From the story of Eve and the Truth that she has been created GOOD and that God longs to cover her with love and forgiveness when she goes to God when she makes bad choices, to the way God will whisper hope into her heart in the darkest times, each page shares important Truths in bite-size pieces perfect for nightly bedtime reading or a pause in our busy summer days to share a moment with God. Other books in the series include Love Letters from God: Bible Stories, Christmas Love Letters from God and Easter Love Letters from God.
2. Music.  There are plenty of studies showing the impact that music can have on our mental and physical health. At bedtime my 6-year-old loves listening to an old Gather Round  CD–she relaxes and falls asleep to reminders of God’s love and God’s story in the Bible. There are fantastic musical offerings from the current Anabaptist Sunday school curriculum–Shine as well as the Voices Together Hymnal.
3. Build Community. When we have a community of support, we are better able to weather the turbulence of transition. Twice this week, I had conversations with individuals from church who talked about how they had recently made connections across generations over the tables in our fellowship hall. When we gather for food or simply fellowship around the table, we strengthen our relationships and reduce isolation. How can you nurture connections in your life?
4. Read. There are a lot of great books and other resources out there about change and transition.  I’ve added to my reading list Making Peace with Change: Navigating Life’s Messy Transitions with Honesty and Grace by Gina Butz.  I’d also like to explore Marlene Kropf’s 2016 women’s Bible study, Faith Travels: Trusting God  in Life’s Transitions (hard to find online, but I know several libraries and many churches have copies floating around).
5. Listen. In our family, we’ve found that there is power in simply listening as someone speaks about their feelings around changes we’re experiencing.  This is important family work, but it’s holy work as well!  This weekend my area conference of MC USA (Western District Conference) will gather around the theme, “Holy (Wholly) Listening.”  Promotional material reminds us of the importance of listening carefully to one another as siblings in Christ so that we might all grow together–particularly when we have differing understandings of scripture.  Worship services can be viewed live on their website.

Jennie Wintermote

Jennie Wintermote splits her day-time hours between the Western District Conference Resource Library in North Newton, Kansas and Anabaptist World. Read More

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