By: Hollie Kowalski, Encompass Outreach Coordinator
Every day, at some point, my mind somehow finds its way to my sister. At 37, she and my nephew are “starting over.” Single mom is her new label. Her thoughts of failure and hopelessness are often almost too much to bear. My mom repeated a conversation the two of them had not long ago in which my sister said to her “why couldn’t my marriage have been like my sister’s?”
The past 22 years of my life have without a doubt, been my favorite. This is the number of years Joe and I have been together, (married 19 of those.) He is my favorite person, my very best friend, and hand picked for me by God. I do feel very blessed, but I remember a time when I did not.
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
The term "new" sparks different responses, doesn't it? For some, "new" is associated with a freshly purchased item that is going to make life soooo very much better. For others, "new" is something that requires major adapting to yet another change. Which are you? And how can you best navigate the two sides of new?
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: Ronda Nissley, Co Director
Ahhhh, February- a month of ROMANCE. Each week in February we're discussing the seasons of romance in marriage. After visiting the pre-marital, honeymoon, and "with kids at home," seasons, this week we're ready to find out what happens romantically after the kids leave home! Next week, we’ll finish with the golden years.
Romance…. When the kids leave home
We’ve seen it many times. Kids go off to college, they move out and start their own lives. What was once a flurry of daily activity that centered around the children has now ceased. The days of shuttling kids to school; attending sporting events; washing mountains of laundry; re-stocking the refrigerator and pantry (daily); de-cluttering dropped book bags and coaching our children through life’s challenges eventually do come to an end.
Suddenly, parents find themselves alone again with the realization that they hardly know, let alone like their partner anymore. It doesn’t have to be that way!
By Abby Glaser
Hi, my name is Abby, and I hate change! I am a creature of habit and routine. I love predictability, schedules and knowing what will come next. I follow the same routine every day. I’m also the mother of five children so you can imagine how much work it takes to maintain that!
Due to these quirks of my personality, you can probably imagine how difficult aspects of the COVID epidemic have been for me! Working from home, overseeing my children’s education and all the other changes and adjustments have been a challenge. Now we’re 18 months in and transitioning back to the office and school! Some of you, like my husband, may thrive on change and adventure so this is easy for you! But if you are like me and struggle with it, I would like to offer a few tips to navigate!
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.