To receive and share God’s accepting Grace, challenging Wisdom and transforming Love

STEDY, October 3, 2018

It’s interesting how the things we make fun of the most are often the things we remember best. When I was in junior high there was a commercial where a dad catches his son using drugs. The father is yelling at the kid, asking him where he learned to do such a thing and through tears the kid yells, “You, alright? I learned it from watching you”. Like all things intended to instruct kids, this very well-meaning PSA was mocked shamelessly by everyone in my school and is still quoted by friends of mine today, mostly while watching our own children misbehave. While we still laugh at how ridiculous that commercial seemed, clearly it stuck with us. I think of it even when I’m talking to kids in my church or simply observing kids out in the community. I’ve noted how conversations are only about what they need to do and how they have recently failed. They all say they are tired and overwhelmed by thoughts of the future. So often I can see the family resemblance in the learned carriage of stress which sits in eyes, on foreheads and shoulders. Why are kids stressed? Why are they so overwhelmed, tired and worried about the future? Us, they learned it by watching us.
For most of us hearing someone say we need to relax is like a verbal mallet being slammed down on the tops of our heads. “Relax” is another thing to add to the massive to-do list that we can cross after an unproductive pause we will have to make up for later. As I write this I do so with a slight cringe, reminded of people preaching this to me during times of my life when I felt like I was drowning and everyone around me was just adding more water. Hating those people for their self-righteousness, I knew they were right. My health and my family were only being hurt by my stress. I looked and found a few, tiny moments in which I was able to sneak in a mindfulness practice, moments that have thankfully been able to expand and be shared with my son.
One practice I found that I get to do a lot is confess stuff in my mind when I’m washing dishes. The bad thoughts I’ve had about other people, things I wish I hadn’t said as well as all the things I wish I had just let fly I acknowledge in my head as I scrub, rinse and put everything back in order. All the hurtful things people have said or done to me I imagine being ground to a pulp as I run the disposal – that part is actually really satisfying. A time I have been able to do a relaxation practice with my son is when I am putting him to bed. We take turns naming a muscle which we then tighten as much as we can and then release. When we’ve run out of muscles we pray together and list the things we are grateful for: our family, our home, our beds, his school and fantastic teacher. Instead of falling asleep with lists of things I need to clean dancing in my head, I can appreciate how much I love our home and the way it feels. For him, instead of thinking about tests and reading comprehension, I hope he is learning to appreciate what a tremendous gift his education is and that his teachers love him and want him to do well. Every week in Sunday school we focus on another mindfulness practice so that students have their own toolbox of ways to ease stress and anxiety in their lives. My prayer is that by doing and modeling these tiny little things, one day we will catch our kids doing something to manage their stress and perhaps even hear them say that they learned it by watching us.

~ Upcoming Events ~

Thursday, October 4
Managing Stress in the Teenage Brain
Presented by Dr. Marc Milstein
11 am | Carver Scrim Auditorium
7 pm | HMS Auditorium

Why do teenagers act the way they do? Discover the latest cutting-edge science that uncovers take-home tips and strategies to better understand, support, and help the teenage brain. Learn the surprising science of what happens in the developing teenage brain and why the teenage years are a critical time in brain development. Understand the impact of stress and trauma, why certain types of stress should be embraced, and science-based strategies parents and educators can utilize to teach teenagers effective stress management and resilience.

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Sunday, October 7
Blessing of the Animals
Team 1 Acolyting
Bring your pet to the close for a special blessing.

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Sunday, October 14
Team 2 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Sunday, October 21
Team 3 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Sunday, October 28
Team 4 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classroom

Nightmare Before Christmas
El Capitan Theater

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Sunday, November 4
Daylight Savings
Team 1 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Sunday, November 11
Team 2 Acolyting

Children’s Liturgy
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

~ Upcoming Events to Put on Your Calendar ~

Sunday, December 2
Goat Yoga & Craft Fair

Please feel free to contact Heather if you have questions.