By: Ronda Nissley
I grew up in the small town of Kalona, Iowa as the seventh of nine children. My mother never worked outside the home and Dad was employed by a variety of small Christian schools and church agencies – earning a modest income even by standards of that day. Looking back, I’m sure our family would have been classified as “poor” by pretty much any economic measure. To my parent’s credit, I never figured that out until I was an adult. Thanks to my mother’s large garden and skills as a seamstress-we were always well fed and clothed.
Our blog posts theme for December surrounds "special Christmas memories/stories." Certainly, the holiday season has plenty of opportunities to describe as "thriving" or "strifing" in relationships. What memories or stories are uplifting and help family trees to be forever changed?
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
I was scrolling through my iPhone photos looking for Christmas memory ideas. Wow! So many flooded my heart and mind. But when I condensed them down to several common themes that were fulfilling and significant, it became very clear what we value as a family. My heart is warmed as I reflect on them!
By: Cindee Johnson, Relationship Coach
Are you making those holiday lists and checking them twice? What do you gift the kids? Your spouse? Friends? Family? All. Those. Lists. Yes, we are in the midst of the greatest gift-giving season of the year. Also, the most stressful...
By: Hollie Kowalski
Encompass Outreach Coordinator
The holiday season is once again, upon me… uh, I mean us. I am an enneagram 2, wing 3. If you’ve never done an enneagram study, I highly recommend it. This study helped me learn so much about myself and my loved ones, why we are the way we are, and how to be healthier versions of ourselves. As a 2 wing 3 combination, I’m described as “the hostess,” and boy do I love hosting and entertaining others! Making our home festive, our gatherings joyous, and the season itself “perfect,” has been my goal in the past…even if it makes my Christmas, not so merry. Ha!
I tend to put much undo pressure on myself during this season while trying to achieve perfection in every little Christmas thing, but this season I’ve decided to follow these guidelines to a less stressful and more peaceful holiday season:
By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
January means many of us are feeling the pressure to set resolutions! We begin each year setting lofty, vague and often unattainable goals for ourselves that end up failing by the time the Superbowl airs! But what if we flipped the script and instead of setting goals for new things to do we set an anti-resolution: a commitment to stop doing something. You might be thinking that’s what you always do…
I’m gonna work out every day. I’m gonna write in my journal every day. I’m gonna stop smoking.
But these are all new goals to achieve and can often turn from inspiring to overwhelming quickly. An anti-resolution is ultimately identifying the things that need to change in your life and stopping the behavior that no longer serves you.
Here are a few to consider in 2022:
1. Stop saying ‘Yes’. If you find yourself regularly overwhelmed, overly busy and exhausted this may be one you need to practice. One rule that has helped me in this area is the reminder that every ‘yes’ I give is a ‘no’ to something else. So anytime I’m asked to do something I think through what thing I would be saying no to and weigh if it’s worth it. For example: if I’m asked to join a committee that meets weekly, I’m saying ‘no’ to a minimum of four dinners a month with my family. Sometimes the answer will still be yes but it’s a better-informed yes.
By: Abby Glaser
It’s hard to believe the holidays are here! If you are like me, you are already making progress on your shopping list for Christmas. One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is seeing the generosity of our community. There’s something about the Christmas spirit that brings out the best in us! You may like to give to organizations that help those in need or you may prefer to do it yourself through adopting families or giving trees. However you spread Christmas joy this year, consider giving the gift of dignity! You may be wondering what that means... allow me to explain!
By Encompass Outreach Group
When you get married, you get your first experience of having in-laws with your partner’s parents. This can often be a time filled with frustration and complications. However, once you have children and they grow up, get married, and have families of their own, you suddenly become the mother-in-law or father-in-law that you once had to deal with. Here’s how to be a good in-law when your child has a family of their own:
By Lavern Nissley
Practical jokes and pranks are what April 1 is known for. Kinda fun to lure people into thinking something unbelievable is true, and then exclaiming, "April Fools!" One comes to expect good-natured pranks on this day, but what if we shifted the terrain a bit? What if we could identify some pretty foolish things, and then NOT do them in April? What if we narrowed the list of foolish items to relationships? Maybe this is what would emerge . . .
By Abby Glaser
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
The holiday season is upon us after a monumental year! You may be looking forward to the holiday or you may be dreading it. You might even be feeling a little bit of both! Nothing has been typical about 2020 and that includes how we will all celebrate the holiday season. For many, holidays can bring stress, anxiety or loneliness. After a crazy year you might be unsure how to navigate this season.
Here are five tips to help your days be merry and bright!
By Kermit Rowe
(Kermit is a relationship facilitator with Encompass)
There’s no denying it … the holiday rush has kicked into high gear. Finishing the shopping and baking, the decoration hanging and last-second plan-making. Lots of “-ings” but not lots of time left to be “finish-ing” them.
What’s a person to do? Or for the purposes of this post, what’s a couple to do?
While checking our list twice, we do well to ask ourselves who should be at the top of that list.
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.