Saturday, November 26, 2016

Watch Episode Two: The Chaos of School Social Problems!

This month's episode of Chaos to Calm is on "The Chaos of School Social Problems!" Hear an expert bring CALM to the CHAOS of anxiety, grief, and bullying in school aged children. 

Is your child or a child you know struggling with:

* separation anxiety

* performance anxiety
* grief over the loss of a loved one or pet
* being bothered at school

I interview expert Aida Swon on these topics; Aida is a licensed social worker with a private practice, a school counselor for over a decade, and a former elementary school teacher. She gives us practical advice along with suggestions for further reading for both parents AND children. 

Don't miss it! You can watch the episode here: The Chaos of School Social Problems.

Also, if you haven't seen the first episode of Chaos to Calm, you can watch it here: The Chaos of Family Scheduling!

Thanks for watching and SHARING friends! Be sure to subscribe to this blog via your email address on the homepage in order to get each episode sent to your inbox. The topic for December will be navigating the chaos of the holidays with meaning and intention!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Giving Thanks for a One-Eyed Turkey

As we’re rounding the corner to another holiday season, I find myself missing the finger painted turkeys from my sons’ preschool days this year. Young children have a way of capturing the essence of the holiday spirit with their enthusiasm, innocence, and adorable art – even if their turkeys are one eye or leg short!

A recent study found that cultivating Thanksgiving’s spirit of gratefulness in our children actually has many lasting, positive effects. The University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good publication cites: “…Until 2005, we know of no studies that examined gratitude and well-being in young children. Then, in 2006, psychologists Nansook Park and Christopher Peterson conducted an analysis of parents’ descriptions of their children’s strengths—and found that gratitude had the strongest relationship to life satisfaction.” What a gift to cultivate in our children!

The Bible isn’t shy about promoting a continual spirit of thanksgiving in everyone. In I Thessalonians 5:18 we read, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” When we’re obedient, we can experience the three life-changing characteristics of giving thanks. Local folks, I'll be preaching about what those characteristics are at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit at 5 PM this Sunday.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving week, the second episode of my new parenting series, Chaos to Calm, will be airing. Tune into NJ's HomeTowne TV at 9 PM on Tuesday night, 11/22, for “The Chaos of School Social Problems.” I interview a licensed social worker and local school counselor on grief, anxiety, and bullying in children. The episode will also be available via on demand. Stay tuned!

To watch my gratefulness segment for TODAY, click here.

To read my most recent article on being grateful, click here.

This post was also shared on Central Presbyterian Church in Summit's staff blog.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Lift Your Perspective, Change Your Life

Fall leaves crunch underfoot, beautiful auburn hues paint the trees, and the smell of warm fire fills the cold air. Thanksgiving season is approaching once again...but what happens if you don't feel thankful? In this article for the Redbud Post, I explore the true meaning and benefits of thanksgiving. Find the motivation to treasure every blessing and the inspiration to change your life.

You wake up late and rush through the morning. You haven’t had your coffee, cereal is all over the floor, and the children are screaming. It’s hard to be thankful.
An opportunity you really wanted didn’t work out. You feel hurt, dejected, and maybe even, forgotten by God. It’s hard to be thankful.
You’re pouring yourself into your commitments. Despite your best effort, you see no change, and instead, encounter frustration, stress, and exhaustion. It’s hard to be thankful.
Despite these relatable scenarios, I’m learning the secret to contentment isn’t necessarily a change in circumstances—it’s a change in perspective. Actually, it’s living each day with thankfulness.
In the often memorized verses of Philippians 4:6-7, Paul writes, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace…” (NLT, emphasis mine). It’s easy to focus on the prayer and petition part and miss Paul’s encouragement to be thankful. Because let’s face it: Life can give us ample reasons to petition to God.
The Bible says that in this world, we will know hardship. It can span from everyday trials to far graver situations. There can be “thorns” in our side, thorns that no matter how much we pray, sometimes remain and inflict pain. I know those thorns, those challenge-me-to-my-core and all-I-can-do-is-fall-on-my-knees issues, and Paul did too. 
Paul writes Philippians as a man who has known great hardship: persecution, imprisonment, beatings. Yet, he professes to be someone who has learned to be content in all circumstances. His contentment flows from a deep-seated conviction that God will never leave him, and his purpose will be fulfilled through him. This kind of man would not advocate a Pollyanna-world kind of thanksgiving. Paul is advocating thankfulness from the trenches. 
Are you in the trenches today? Thanksgiving not only pleases God, but it’s beneficial to us...
To finish reading this article and discover the three ways that thanksgiving can make a difference in your life, click here. If you think a friend or loved one could benefit from it today, please share it!

Also, stay tuned for November's episode of Chaos to Calm on school social problems! It will air on November 22nd at 9 PM on HomeTowne TV. I'll be talking with a licensed social worker and local school counselor about anxiety, grief, and bullying. Subscribe by email to this blog to have the episode sent right to your inbox!

TODAY Video Clip