Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


Top Ten Activities to Restore Hope After Job Loss

During this transition time, these activities have helped me greatly:

10. Run Toward Love. After I was fired, I drove out to my parents’ home where they served me pot roast and just let me cry, tell my story multiple times, and love me.
9. Take Someone with YouIf you still have to clear out your classroom or cubicle, take a loving person with you to finish off the job of clearing out your things. My Mom accompanied me; it helped to have a cheerleader.
8. Unpack Your Boxes and Reorganize Your Life. I let the boxes from work sit there for a week, then I tackled the project of finding spots for all those books. Just face into the boxes and start creating new life rhythms by putting your favorite work objects around your home.
7. Connect with Loving Co-workers, if possibleI communicated with several people at my old job about what happened, and it surprised me how compassionate they were! Several wrote me emails and cards full of truth and encouragement. One former co-worker brought chocolate and came over to talk; it was hard, but helpful to hear her opinion. Multiple people encouraged me to not let this situation jade me toward teaching, and told me “You ARE a good teacher.” Their words helped pull the poison out of the wound the job loss had afflicted. Because that co-worker had more objective viewpoint right then, she helped me know what I could say about the job loss. I’m so thankful for her coaching.
6. Go Away for a Few Days. Yes, file for unemployment as soon as possible, but you just need time away for a bit to let down so that you can heal. I visited my brother and his family the week after my job ended, and it was there, surrounded by love that I had the strength to file for unemployment. Filing and retelling the story was hard and very humbling, but it helped me process the trauma. Hugs from my one-year-old nephew, and then an invitation from my sister-in-law to stay for four days instead of one was healing balm. My mind could let down, forget what happened for a while, and just rest, play, and love.
5. Create a New Life Structure. Get up early on work days. Apply for jobs, go network, and let job hunting be your new “work.” Have hope; you will get another job.
4. ExerciseI planned exercise into my day because it relieved stress, and brought me joy! Go run by the lake or plan to go dancing.
3. Maximize Your Networks. Yes, sign up and use networking and job hunting sites, but also connect with people in person. I went to my grad school’s career office, and they loaned me career books (a great one is The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry), critiqued my resume, and supported me in thinking about different career choices. They helped me know it’s fine to try something different, like floral design…
2. Do What You Love and Feel Your FeelingsI read, I sang, I cooked. I took floral design classes, and I started writing a book. I cried, felt sad, shouted with anger, ached with loss, and chose to forgive. Then a tutoring job came!
1. Believe and Know That You Are Loved Just As You AreYes, sudden job loss wounds your heart and your confidence. Yes, you need time to heal, but while you are healing, just know that there is a plan for you designed by the Great Creator. Know that you are loved. You are not your job; you are of full value just as you are.
Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell

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Push Into The Throb

I know the pain slices through your hope, it casts your eyes toward the darkness, thinking it is bigger than the light,
But it’s NOT!
Feel the pain,
Push into the throb,
Hold onto it until you navigate its rapids because if you numb out, medicate, and avoid it, it will stay there, buried, still aching.
Numbing seems safe, but it just delays healing.
Healing comes through feeling, weeping, cleansing, and releasing.
Be free
to heal,
to live.


Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell

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I Wish I Hadn’t Said That….Grrrrr

Processing Regret from Saying Stupid Things To a Cute Guy

The first statement that I said that has haunted me a bit is “You remind me of a combination of both of my brothers.” I meant he looked cute like both of my handsome brothers and had some of their other positive qualities such as kindness, brains, and love for God.

I did not convey all of that background knowledge when I said, “You remind me of a combination of both of my brothers,” and if there had been any spark, it was gone after that, and he soon started dating his eventual wife. This reminded me that guys can’t read my mind and to communicate clearly!

 Another statement I said to a guy that I regret is: “Don’t do that! [Act very different when following God’s leading to do something.] Stay the same. Learn to integrate them so that it doesn’t feel like you’re two different people.” Reflecting back on this situation, I didn’t like feeling uncomfortable, so I tried to control the situation. The guy never did it again with me, but I see now how I wasn’t able just to let him be who he was. There probably was some truth in my observations, but I could have just trusted the guy and not cared about the awkwardness his actions were causing.

 Via text: “No, I’ll be awake for a while.” Letting the conversation stop there would have been best! Late night texting with a guy you are not married to is not wise. Thoughts turn to areas that you don’t need to talk about with someone you don’t know well.

When I think about these three situations, I wince a bit, have a twinge of regret, but then just decide to learn from the situations. I’ve said these things once and seen the results, so now I know not to do these things again. Three important lessons I learned from these experiences include:

  1. Guys can’t read my mind!
  2. Late night texting is not a great idea…
  3. Let the guy be who he is, and don’t try to change him.

Copyrighted 2014 by M. H. Campbell

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Reaping Acceptance: My Sister-in-law’s Book is getting Published and Thoughts on Self-Acceptance


Great news: Hark is going to be published because over 245 people worked together to accept Erin and her dream, and now the children’s book will come out in December! Thank you for being part of my sister-in-law’s dream. Erin is someone who has modeled for me acceptance of others and self-acceptance.

How do we learn to accept ourselves? Healthy leaders and authorities over us should model healthy boundaries, self-acceptance, and acceptance of others. If they do not, it is harder to learn, but self-acceptance can be learned through rejecting lies about ourselves and believing the truth: that we are deeply loved and wanted. What do I mean by self-acceptance? Liking yourself, knowing that you are valuable for just being you and not anything you do, and loving how you were made! Many people hate themselves and show it through abusing substances, people around them, and hurting themselves intentionally. How can self-hate turn into healthy self-love? We can’t love ourselves or others well on our own; we have to receive love from an outside source: God.

To illustrate God imparting His love to us, picture this: This morning at my school we had an assembly where a troop of youth from Nicaragua came and did a program of street dances to music that also was a drama illustrating the fight between light and darkness, good and bad in our world. One young man wore white, representing God the Father, and there was a kid in white who represented Jesus. In one scene, God was holding out his hands to Jesus, wanting to give him something. He repeated the motion of putting his hands near his heart, like he was wanting to give Jesus his heart. The kid playing Jesus wasn’t sure at first, but then God pointed to the dying people around him (the other people were laying around on the floor after the darkness had knocked them down and hurt them). Then Jesus did a receiving motion, taking up God’s heart and receiving it into his own, then going out and loving the dying people, giving the love and life to them. Acceptance first comes from God, then as we are stabilized in His love we can love others. The assembly ended with the leader sharing how many of those young people from Nicaragua grew up having to sell things on the streets starting around age 10, and now seeing them so joyful as they danced and acted, it showed the power acceptance can bring.

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Musings after a Blind Date: Rejection or Acceptance?


Several weeks ago my Dad, an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, and a close friend within 24-hours all wanted to set me up with different guys they knew or knew of through friends. I wasn’t interested in the first two guys, but the last one made me curious; my close friend described him as “short, sincere, and I think you two are similar in some ways.” (Or at least from her friend’s description of him). I wasn’t sure how to take that, but my curiosity got the best of me, and I let my friend finagle her plan. She was in cahoots with her friend who knew this guy, so she had her friend bring this guy to a party she was having, then we could meet. My friend warned beforehand: “My matchmaking skills have never worked.” I just laughed and reassured her I was open to it just to see what would happen.

On the day of the blind-date (blind-hanging out at a party), I threw something on, played with my hair a bit, but still was late to the party. Once I arrived, my friend happily introduced me to this guy who had come to the party to meet me. We enjoyed the food and talking about places we have travelled and desire to travel to; our friends drifted in and out of the conversation, so it was nice to have that support.

Then the guy had to get to a meeting, so he shook my hand, said, “Nice to meet you. Good-bye!” And that was that. Later I found out that he thought I was nice, but not a good match for him.

Even though I hardly knew him, the rejection in “you’re not a good match” stung. I’ve been hearing that phrase a lot recently. It’s hard to hear, but I can come at it two different ways. One way: I can take the rejection to heart and believe I’m an unlovable person (which is a LIE) and stop trying. Or I could realize that I’m only looking for ONE person, so as I date, each person that says “No,” leads me closer to the one that will want to be with me for life. I choose the option to keep going.

Part of me wondered if I had done something wrong on the blind date until my Mom reminded me: “This rejection has more to do with him than you. You don’t need to take it as a rejection of yourself.” He didn’t want to come closer to me, and that’s his right, but I’m just as valuable as before I met him, and I’m thankful for the experience.

So for all of us who know the sting of rejection: The truth is that we are not made to be rejected, so when it happens, it’s jarring. It goes against the fabric of our being. We are made to be accepted, treasured, longed for, and just belong in loving relationships. May you be filled with belonging this week.