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Forefront families by Sally Burgess;Can't See the Wood for the Trees; www.forefrontfamilies.org

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                        by Sally and Brian Burgess, Forefront Families LLC

Fall is a most beautiful time of year here in Nashville, TN. The trees are breathtaking as their leaves turn to the most stunning colors in the fall. Once there are no leaves left, it starts looking very gaunt around here - ghostly even.

Seasons create variety. If it was always summer we would get sick of the heat; always winter and we would yearn for being able to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Changes of season are necessary for our planet to evolve and rejuvenate.

All the experiences we go through are necessary for the healthy growth and development as a family. Sometimes we feel the excitement and anticipation of new things ahead. Sometimes we feel frustrated or sad. Many times, the most difficult times, in hindsight, created the greatest opportunity to prove that we are stronger than we think we are and we actually made it to the other side!

So, how can we take advantage of the 'seasons' in our families?

In the winter:

We can stop, rest and contemplate where our family is going e.g. Who are we? What do we represent? Where are we going? We can create goals for ourselves, evaluate how we spend our time, decide who our friends really are or what the atmosphere is like in our home - positive or negative. We can take the time to make adjustments for the better physical, spiritual, emotional and social health in our homes.


In the spring:

We can take the time to learn new skills, develop new hobbies, learn to play an instrument, or play a new sport and plan vacations. Just look at all the new growth around you and ask what you can do to rejuvenate yourself, activities you could do and words you might say that might bring new personal growth to your family.

In the summer:

We can just jump out of bed and make the most of each day…just 'do it'. We might use our, 'out there, go ahead' times to encourage others to join us. The days are longer and you can achieve more in one day than you can in the short days of winter. We can get involved in voluntary activities as a family and spend more time having fun with our children.

In the fall:

For those living in the northern hemisphere it's back to school for your children and college students. It's a time for intellectual renewal. It's a time when you can take stock of your own personal growth.

Maybe it's time for you to start some retraining for the workforce once your children are at school or the last child leaves home for those parents who made the choice to be stay-at-home moms/dads. It's a time to be talking to your children about careers even if they are in lower grade school. It's never too early to talk about what the jobs are, or the requirements, benefits and choices there are in the work force.

The Internet can be very helpful in this regard. In the ‘seasons’ where we struggle, we need to know we are never alone. When we cannot always find the answers and when situations are beyond us, there is always help available. We needn't get stuck in one place. It is important to take the courage to say, "I need help", and reach out to the experts.

The great thing about seasons is that they do change and we know that before long spring, full of new life, is around the corner.

If you have any comments or suggestions on this topic please feel free to contact us at sally@forefrontfamilies.org, or check our website at www.forefrontfamilies.org and our blogspot at www.forefrontfamilies.blogspot.com

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