TRANSITIONS

Sep 6, 2017 by

In a five month span in 2017 our family has experienced a lot of transition. Jerolyn and I resigned a position, stepped out in a new business venture, and relocated some 2000 miles…temporarily to see where home base for our business should be located. At the same time, our youngest child also started a new position and moved several hundred miles. Our oldest and her family assumed a new position in ministry work while purchasing their first home. Finally, our son and middle child, well…they just purchased their first home. Jokingly, we said just buying a first home was the easiest transition of all of our changes.

We have always placed a high value on our family relationships, and these transitions have caused us to be even more intentional on making these family relationships stronger than ever before. Planning trips to be together, using technology to keep in touch and see one another, as well as, simple texts and calls help us to stay connected across three time zones. We are so thankful for technology to have video conference calls with our kids and grandkids. It’s not the same as being physically together, but it does get us closer than generations before us have had and helps our granddaughters remember, recognize, and even reach out to us via the screen.

Whether you are only a few blocks apart or separated by thousands of miles and multiple time zones, in what ways are you being more intentional to value, develop, and strengthen those family relationships?

Transitions can be difficult. Selling most of what we had, which was just “stuff,” was the easy part. There are many other stressors that we all must deal with during transition times of our lives.

Who has transitioned in your family recently and could use a more intentional connection with you?

We also realize that everyone experiences some kind of transition multiple times throughout their life:

  • a new child being born,
  • kids starting or ending school,
  • a new job,
  • a move (even if simply moving to a new street in the same zip code,)
  • co-workers coming and going,
  • seasons of life such as empty nest,
  • a death in the family,
  • and the list goes on.

Some transitions are more challenging and higher stressors than others, but still they all affect our relationships.

How are you preparing for those transitions especially as it relates to your most cherished relationships of family?

SOME SUGGESTIONS TO HELP DURING AND AFTER TRANSITION:

Prioritize Personal Development: Find space and time for your personal growth — spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and physically. Certain habits and disciplines may be derailed during a transition. Work to get those healthy activities back in place.

Maintain Current Relationships: Prioritizing these relationships in your life is key. Intentionally create a game plan that you will commit to implement to maintain these high priority relationships such as family and dear friends. My accountability partner and I (Jerolyn) have worked hard to keep the same weekly appointment we have had for over twenty years. It’s just that now it’s via video chat.

Develop New Relationships: It does take work but start to establish new friendships. We have reconnected with old friends and acquaintances who live in our new community, as well as, attempted to meet some neighbors. First, we carved out time and made ourselves available for these connections. Then we took the lead.

Be proactive. Yes, some of us are more socially shy and reaching out can be challenging, but take a risk by being the first to say “hello” or by introducing yourself to a coworker. If invited, go out with others. It may be easier to stay home, but stepping out to build those relationships is invaluable.

Depending on the transition some of this will take more or less effort. Some transitions are more traumatic than others. But whatever the change or transition be patient with the process and make relationships a priority.

Be intentional and allow this process to be a strength-builder for you and your relationships.

What attitude shift, heart adjustment, or intentional action do you need to include to make your relationships healthy and strong through transition?

~ Jim and Jerolyn

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