As The Year Winds Down

December 16, 2019, Shirley Rubio Blake

It is mid-December, and only a couple of weeks to wind down the rest of the year. How did that happen?! I am reminded of the New Year, including my long-forgotten new year’s resolution. What I do remember is that this month we are concluding the protective factor series. The last two factors of the series are support and resilience.

I enjoyed reading the Chicken Soup for the Soul books while growing up. The books were filled with true inspirational stories of hope and happiness. The stories were written by many different people who had faced adversity or had overcome challenges. Somehow, they were able to draw from hope and see the good in the situation. It was inspiring to see how the writers took control of their lives and found good in difficult situations.

I often think about the resilience the writers shared in their stories. Sometimes what helped them was having concrete support when they needed it. Other times it was never losing faith. No matter what the people in the stories were facing, they persevered and found a way to overcome.

The ability to persist and carry on is so important when facing challenging circumstances, and we cannot always do this alone, especially as parents. It is important to identify your own concrete supports before challenges arise. Are they family, friends, or neighbors? Or counselors, pastors, or a home visitor?

Sometimes pausing in a quiet moment helps to reflect and consider who can help us. We all know that moving forward in our lives has brought us to this point.

Perseverance through challenging times also requires a balance of slowing down and rest. This special time of the year where we get to celebrate many good things, is the perfect time to slow down. Slow down to cherish what we do have, or what we have preserved through, and give yourself some love for all that you have done. Being a parent is hard work and perseverance is a good word to describe parenthood.

This time is busy and I encourage you to slow down to renew your energy so you can cherish the small things,  especially our children. These are the times that our children will reflect on when they are adults. Don’t worry about all the materialistic and busyness of the season. Put care and energy in making our little ones feel cherished, loved, and that they are worthy of our undivided attention.

I cannot wait to take time with my sons, as school gets out for break and my work slows down. My hope is to make time to listen to them, to ask them questions, to read to them, or just learn more about them. This time is so precious and they are growing up fast.

I hope you can take time to be present too, and cherish the time in your home with those you hold dear.
The year is winding down and let’s fill the rest of 2019 with some good memories.

Happy Holidays!