Here’s to the bridge-builders, the hand holders, the light bringers, those extraordinary souls, wrapped in ordinary lives, who quietly weave threads of humanity into an inhuman world.L.R. Knost
We present some current ideas to bring support and inform you all. A little rest, and intentional time outs, would make for a healthier holiday. We hope what we humbly offer each month enhances your work and relationships. May your Christmas be truly joy-filled!
This month’s e-newsletter includes:
November is Family Court Awareness Month
Cascadia College and Career Foundations
Repairing A Relationship Before A Holiday Get Together
With thankfulness for the Christ child our Lord.
Stop the Abuse, Heal the Family, Change the Future
Christian Coalition for Safe Families November 2021
November is Family Court Awareness Month which is an opportunity to raise awareness of one of the most important branches of our judicial system. In this article by Tina Swithin, founder of Family Court Awareness Month, “the very system that was established to govern family law cases and make decisions that are ‘in the best interest’ of children, has some undeniable shortcomings that warrant awareness, conversation, solutions and ultimately, change.
Over one-hundred children in the United States have been murdered by a parent after a custody court rejected the other parent’s plea for protection, according to the Center for Judicial Excellence. These deaths were preventable had judicial officers or family court professionals heeded the warnings. Shockingly, there is little, if any, requirement for judges to be educated on domestic violence and post separation abuse. Children are losing their lives because the present-day family court not only lacks critical training, but it continues to prioritize parental rights over a child’s right to safety.
The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence estimates that more than 58,000 children per year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce. ‘The available research and statistics are undeniable,’ says Ms. Swithin. She goes on to explain, ‘this is a social justice issue and it’s a world-wide crisis. The failings of the family court system are a problem that belongs to all of us, regardless of whether someone is directly affected by the family court system or not.’
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in families experiencing domestic violence, there is a 30 to 60 percent chance of co-occurring abuse directed at both an adult and child victim. A prior history of domestic violence is the number-one risk factor in family homicide cases. When victims of domestic violence make the brave decision to leave their abusive partner and there are children involved, the only resource available is the family court system. In its current state, the system is failing the most vulnerable members of society.”
College and Career Foundations
Cascadia College has started taking applications for their College and Career Foundations classes. They offer loan out laptops, flexible class schedule, individualized advising, small classes and much more!
Most of the classes meet in person now. Cascadia College is happy to serve students who do not have the following visas: B1, B2, F1, M1 or J1. If one does not have any of these visas, Cascadia welcomes them to complete the application to join their program. Please feel free to refer individuals from your community that you think would benefit from Cascadia’s services. They are accepting applications for Winter quarter 2022. The first day of Winter quarter is January 3rd and the last day is March 18th. Students can apply to their program by calling (425) 352-8158 and will receive help filling out the application.
Repairing A Relationship Before A Holiday Get Together
By Carol L.
There are few dilemmas that sabotage a family gathering at the holidays more than a fractious relationship held over for a year or two. If you want to repair a relationship in anticipation of the season, here are some pointers that may help. The most important component would be the desire to let bygones be bygones for the sake of our faith and our loved ones.
1. Given there has been time passed without another incident, test the waters with a short friendly email before the event wishing the person well, and extend a positive wish for the holidays. This is presuming you haven’t done something that requires an apology, in which case, an apology would be appropriate. Also, a personal call or letter would be a great idea.
2. In this outreach to the person, let them know of your good wishes and hopes for a reconciliation. Truthfully saying what their friendship means to you adds a tender touch.
3. Keep the communication simple and wholehearted, without making excuses.
4. It is good to be brief without getting into a long explanation, making it clear that you hope for a time of enjoyment and celebration with them for the holidays.
5. If the person is not willing to reconcile at the time, let them know you are ready to talk anytime they would like.
6. Remember the best you can do is not always enough, so leaving the subject may be a good thing in the moment.
7. For long standing rifts, this method may not be great, but even a short note in an early Christmas card could bring a healing balm or at least show a willingness to resolve any hard feelings.
By Alanah Dillard, LMFT, ACS, MHP, CMHS
This Fall’s edition of Reaching Out, the magazine of Hopelink, has an excellent article on Resilience.
Resilience is the ability to mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually access a sense of hope in times of despair and adversity. You have to continue to cultivate resilience daily, often, and be willing to shift your approach to build upon it, depending on what you may need at the time to promote wellness and hope.
With individual development of resilience comes community wide resilience that ultimately can unite us through a shared sense of connection and dependence on the greater good.
Here are some tips to build resilience:
Gratitude – put sticky notes around your house, in your car, computer screen, and phone [with inspiration messages that are meaningful to you – my words].
Meditation – a state of relaxation, emptying the mind of all thought, to access your inner self.
Strengthen and establish your tribe or emotional-social network; those who you trust to speak to, who you trust to speak into you, to support you in your resilience and life journey.
Exercise, eat healthy foods, drink lots of water.
Soul care – expanding the concept of self-care. Moving from coping or doing things to just “feel better” to the need to thrive and heal.
Setting healthy boundaries and managing your energy.
To cancel plans or say no to an invitation is OK.
Getting and giving to those life-enhancing, life-enriching activities that illuminate your inner joy and confidence.”
(CCSF adds to this list: Prayer)
©2021 Christian Coalition for Safe Families