By: Jennifer Michael, Business Services Coordinator
As most of us relish the change in seasons from winter to spring, I think we can agree that we all look forward to the fresh starts in life from time to time. We get a fresh start on January 1st, at the beginning of a new school year, with a new car, new job or a new house. I anticipate a fresh start with each new season of my kids playing soccer. Sitting outside in the fresh air, with a wind chill temperature index of 23, getting a sunburn…or wait…maybe that’s wind burn. Ahhhhhh. Now THAT is fresh!
Sometimes, a fresh start can indicate that we are putting something negative behind us. Bad decisions. Failures. Fears. Mistakes. Maybe what’s fading into the background are feelings of confusion, frustration and weariness. We’re ready to move forward to something new. Something better.
By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
Can you feel it? The days are getting longer. The temperatures outside are getting warmer. Spring is in the air, and spring is the season for fresh starts. Even parents need a fresh start sometimes...
Every time I sit down to write a blog post on parenting or begin teaching a parenting class I always feel the need to clarify that I’m not an expert. Most people already know this but you’d be surprised at how many think mother of five children equals expert!
One of the interesting things about my current stage in life is that I now have two adult children living out of my house and three still at home. So I’m starting to hear from the older kids areas they feel I could have done better and I have the opportunity to make some of those changes now with the younger kids. While my big kids will often lament about how differently we parent their younger siblings, my response is always of course! Just like them, their dad and I are always growing and evolving and trying to do a little better than we did before. In some ways one of the gifts of having multiple children that span a ten-year age gap is that we get ongoing chances to pivot and do better. I often hear from parents in coaching that they feel stuck or in a rut with their kids, especially teenagers. I’d like to offer a few ways to pursue a fresh start!
The Key to a Successful Fresh Start: Forgiveness
By: Kermit Rowe, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
Can you feel it? The days are getting longer. The temperatures outside are getting warmer. Spring is in the air, and spring is the season for fresh starts. Hence our theme this month: fresh starts.
Where are fresh starts needed more than in marriage, right? You live under the same roof with someone who you eventually find out isn’t the perfect mate you had thought they were (by nature, none of us are). The sometimes result: tension, which grows into frustration, which leads to escalation, then explosion. Things are said in the heat of the moment. And they hurt.
What is needed? A fresh start, a second chance. And what is the basis of a fresh start? Forgiveness.
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
Have you ever wanted a do-over in a relationship? A sort of golf mulligan where you didn't like the outcome of your shot, and you know it could be much better if you had a chance to try again?
Another picture of a fresh start is the feeling you have after a ferocious thunderstorm has passed, the clouds are clearing, and the sun is coming back out with a refreshing warmth.
How do we experience such fresh starts in relationships with others? That's what this series in March is all about. What you're about to see is remarkably simple, yet requires great wisdom and sensitivity to do it well. It could be as simple as a chuckle. But don't do it until you've read further!
By: Kevin Frank
Champion at Encompass Connection Center
It’s no secret that after the "honeymoon phase” in a marriage relationship, there are plenty of opportunities for details, requirements of life, and the pursuit of happiness to introduce strain to the romantic bond that once lit a fire in your hearts and souls for one another. It’s amazing how quickly money, parenting, home repairs, social outings, social media, or just some simple “me time” in front of a screen can add so much space between a once impassioned couple who looked lovingly into each other’s eyes while dreaming about the incredible future they would build in bliss.
It’s no wonder so many couples find themselves 3-7 years into marriage asking questions, doubting their decisions, worrying about about the future, and reevaluating the spouse they once saw as “perfect”. Often in this window of misalignment, emotional disconnection becomes evident and when left untreated, can ultimately lead to infidelity, divorce, heartbreak, and a picture of a life that is much different than expected from those doe-eyed newlyweds. Furthermore, the amount of pain associated with the destruction of romance is indescribable. It parallels the weight of the grief of a lost loved one and requires a healing process - and often counseling - to truly work through.
What if it was possible to recover romance even after the process of emotional disconnection had begun? If you’re in that season of emotional disconnection right now, I realize that a statement like that sounds like either a lie or a ploy to get you to send money. I promise we’re not looking for a check in the mail. However, as it turns out, we are human - and while that makes us imperfect and prone to mistakes and selfishness - we are also highly capable of affecting change, increasing our maturity, and we do have the capacity to realign and recover our romance if we choose to do so. It is not an easy, fast, or painless process - but it is possible. In my experience the recovered romance is sweeter than the romance that was lost. Here’s to you and your second honeymoon phase..
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.