CCSF Newsletter October 2021

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

Sydney Harris

Dear Friends,

It’s the time of year when we are all looking ahead to the holidays, and some family time with all that goes with it. Every season has its joys and sorrows. We want to present some ideas that may be implemented to help oil the relational wheels in this season. May your Thanksgiving be happy and blessed beyond your hopes!

This month’s e-newsletter includes:

Why We Focus on Under-resourced Families

Food Insecurity

Neuroscience on Gratitude

Creating a Calm Holiday

Enjoy the beautiful colors of fall!

Stop the Abuse, Heal the Family, Change the Future




Christian Coalition for Safe Families October 2021

Why We Focus on Under-resourced Families

Why does CCSF focus so often on homelessness and under-resourced families? When a relationship breaks down due to domestic abuse, the family finances are often devastated. A woman might flee with her children or she might remain in the family home with the children. Either way, the abused woman must now try to make ends meet, frequently on half the income or no income.

If she was a stay-at- home mom, she might not have current skill sets needed to find a job that will support her and the children. As well, the expense of childcare becomes an issue, if she works outside the home. The woman who flees often cannot afford housing, or much else for that matter.

The children who suffered emotionally and/or physically from the abuse now suffer in additional ways. Food insecurity is often a problem. The children often leave family and friends, school, the family pet, etc. More insecurities and more trauma become part of their new daily life.

CCSF recognizes the multi-faceted devastation that occurs when there is domestic violence in the home. We strive to raise awareness about domestic violence and offer information and resources that may be helpful to those who work with these families. We also offer tools and resources for prevention of domestic violence, so that someday fewer and fewer families will suffer the effects of domestic violence.

Food Insecurity

Over 900 kids in the Lake Washington School District struggle with food insecurity every week, according to the Northshore.Church in Bothell, Washington. One in six children in America suffers from real hunger, also called food insecurity. These kids live in every state and every county in the nation.

Washington is home to 284,480 hungry children, including 67,810 in King County. About 12.2 percent of kids in King County are food insecure, according to a Feeding America study. In 2017, 15.9 percent of kids in Snohomish County were food insecure. Some 13 million American children aren’t just hungry, they’re suffering from real hunger that can leave kids lightheaded and lethargic. That’s according to new figures from the nonprofit Feeding America, which operates food banks across the U.S.

While 13 million U.S. children are considered food insecure, even more families are “a $500 car repair or a broken arm away from food insecurity,” said Erica Olmstead, a field manager for No Kid Hungry, a project of Share Our Strength, a nonprofit group that works to ease hunger and poverty worldwide.

Even before the pandemic hit, some 13.7 million households, or 10.5 percent of all U.S. households, experienced food insecurity at some point during 2019 according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That works out to more than 35 million Americans who were either unable to acquire enough food to meet their needs or uncertain of where their next meal might come from.

The USDA estimates 15.6 million U.S. households were food insecure at some point during 2016. This included 6.5 million children. The majority of those food insecure households were single women with children.

Neuroscience on Gratitude

Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to be Happier

When you say “thank you,” do you really mean it or is it just politeness to which you give little attention? The regular practice of expressing gratitude is a facet of the human condition that reaps true benefits to those who mean it.

Neuroscientists have found that if you really feel it when you say it, you’ll be happier and healthier. Expressing gratitude results in feeling more optimistic and positive, becoming more physically active and fewer visits to a doctor, improves sleep quality, reduces feelings of anxiety and depression, having better moods, having less fatigue and inflammation, reduces the risk of heart failure, promotes feelings of self-worth and compassion for others, strengthens interpersonal relationships.

In times of hardship or stress it might seem difficult to be grateful. But if you really think about it, we all have something to be grateful for. If you engage in only one prayer, let it be simply a heartfelt “thank you.”

Creating a Calm Holiday

By Carol L.

When we are looking forward to seeing our family members or friends for a holiday meal, we can set ourselves up for a real let down. It only takes one person to ruin the time together. It’s sad but true that almost any group we join can have one high conflict person who seems focused on turning the festivities into an upsetting experience.

There are some skills we can learn that will deflect direct attacks in minutes. We can also de-escalate a problem in the making that has not become full blown. The person who is showing strong emotions has a way of hooking others into high conflict, leaving no room for peacemaking. How do we learn some skills before the event and be ready to defuse the explosion?

The first step is to disengage your own emotions from the fray and realize this is not about you. The words we say in the moment can make a huge difference. Approaching the initial comment which is building conflict with an empathetic response allows the person to know they are heard. Showing immediate attention to the concern that has been voiced may calm the situation. Validating the fears or anger with a calm “wow, that is difficult” will possibly defuse the problem. If this fails, it is good to reframe the statement with corrective information, kindly but firmly. The less said the better at this point and a request to table the subject until a better time is appropriate.

Think about the problem person in advance (this is not judgmental, just wise), and be ready with a few off hand comments that you might use. “That’s a thought.” “Sounds like you are taking it seriously.” “I am glad you care.” These neutral comments can make a difference.

Next month, I will talk about repairing a serious conflict with time, kindness, and firmness.

©2021 Christian Coalition for Safe Families

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