Trees of Transition

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


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Speeding in a Car Full of Lemons (Or Two Bags Worth!)

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“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
This works literally and figuratively: Making lemonade from my cousin’s Lisbon lemons is marvelous, and choosing to learn from the challenges of our road trip instead of get mad about them is a productive way to live.

In Nevada, with hours to drive on the open road, I thought I could use the “drive ten over” miles per hour rule. So with a little thought, I set cruise control at 85 mph and just sailed. Continue reading


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Fighter Pilot Dream Gets Queasy…

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Homeschooling’s Black, White, & Gray Series 1 Episode 9

The career guidance test question asked, “Would you like to be a fighter pilot?” My choices: Yes or No. I thought, “I would like to be a fighter pilot once at least…but I don’t want to kill anyone…” So I marked, “Yes.” This might have messed up the results of the career test a little bit, but it felt empowering to mark, “Yes!”

When I received the results back, they were helpful in thinking about my future. I still mainly wanted to be a wife and a mother, but it gave me more self-awareness. In traditional schools, you take aptitude tests to help you figure out your career, but in homeschool, it’s up to the parents or the students to go after taking these tests. It’s a good idea to take at least one career aptitude test.

My parents helped me sign up and take those tests. They didn’t make all of us kids take them, but if we showed interested, then we could. I took the Career Direct test (and it is still around: http://www.careerdirectonline.org/). My parents and I still laugh about my wanting to be a fighter pilot.

What did I want from being a fighter pilot? Adventure, seeing new sights, and speeding through the heavens comes to mind.

Last weekend I got a little taste of being just a regular pilot, and it was different than I thought…
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Life Is All About Learning And Gaining Knowledge

Here’s an interesting guest post on the topic of homeschooling:

Hi, I am the Momma from “A Momma’s View” (https://amommasview.wordpress.com/ ) and I am a homeschooling mom. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. But what I learned from this experience is, that life in itself is all about learning and gaining Knowledge. The world is nothing more than an oversized classroom.

First I was hesitating when my husband mentioned that he wants to home-school our son. Of course I had all kind of questions (not to say worries). What about socialization, what about isolation, what about teaching them the right things? Will we be able to handle it? Will we teach him right?

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Smoking: I Hate What It Does to People

You’ve seen it: A cigarette dangling from a lady’s slender fingers, as the smoke spirals up above her head; these images have a seductive pull to them, but they are deadly. I love a lot of people who smoke, but I hate what that nicotine-filled smoke does to them. Smoking killed my brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law, Don, created intricate, graceful pieces of furniture for people who desired custom-built furniture. His creativity came out through creating his fine furniture, drawing, and what he talked about. 

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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.
 
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Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell


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Forgiving Yourself After Sudden Job Loss

The morning after I got fired, I wrote my former bosses a resignation letter because the word “fired” just seemed too painful; I wanted to control the situation and just resign. My sister-in-law, Erin, was the one who gently reminded me: “They fired you yesterday, so sending them this letter would just confuse them.” Right, that made sense.

Just writing the letter was enough (I didn’t need to send it); it helped me grapple with what I was feeling. Writing has helped me bring resolution to this situation; even just typing out a password for a job search website has helped my brain through the forgiving process.

At first I believed I could have done better and kept my job; however, looking back I see that I did the best I could. I fully jumped in and engaged the students, yes, I wasn’t perfect, but I connected and helped those high school Seniors become better writers for a month.

Over the last couple months, I have felt multiple emotions other than peace. First, when I was told I had two weeks to do even more with the students, teach better, I felt tension, but also a challenge. After working 12 hour days and doing the best I could, I felt confusion, when after those two weeks I was fired because I had not met their expectations. Crying and anger mixed with relief followed. Elation and tons of job ideas trailed by sadness and just needing to lay there and watch movies for hours have been part of my healing journey. Talking with people and finding out how many people have been fired at different parts of their lives has helped me connect deeper with humanity in general.

Each workday I would log into a job searching website and type in my password: 77forgive, and then continue on with my search. Each time I entered those job hunting passwords the forgiveness would grow toward the bosses that fired me and the pain would lessen. I just realized I also was forgiving myself for what had happened. Just seeing the word “forgive” and having to think it several times a day has really paid off by having that job episode fade peacefully into the past.

I’ve had to go through the cycle of grief in regards to losing this job. Numbness, followed by sadness and anger, mixed with a desire for revenge. As I received love and support from family and friends, I could let down and just be sad about it all and then acceptance. As this happened, I had the strength and courage to get back out there, apply for jobs, interview and land another job.

I chose to forgive from the start because I knew it was what I was supposed to do, but as I’ve daily typed in “77forgive,” my heart healed enough to forgive my old bosses and to forgive myself. I drove by my old school yesterday and felt peaceful; I give the credit for healing my heart to God (and the passwords you type every day influence you more than you think!)

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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.

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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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Give Short Guys a Chance!

Ladies, Let’s Break Out of Disney’s Myth of Needing to be with a Guy who is Tall

In the movies, the stunning heroine marries the handsome and TALL hero, and they look perfect together. I’m guessing that in animation, there is some formula to calculate the perfect height ratio of prince to princess; however, in real life, there is no such formula, and we don’t have to give that idea power in our lives!
I’m just releasing myself from a mindset I had of believing I SHOULD be with a guy like my brothers (who are tall and handsome); yes, I desire to be with someone who makes my heart skip a beat, but he might not be the Hollywood version of a hottie, and that is becoming fine with me.

Think about it: If you are with a guy who everyone thinks is cute, you will have to work more at managing jealousy and feelings of possessiveness than if you were with a guy who is wonderful and cute in your eyes.
The world’s standards of handsomeness and beauty change, but the character of the person is what is most important.
I’ve found that as I’ve gone on dates with all types of guys that the shorter guys tended to be more real, more emotionally present, and more interested in me as a person. When a person has to work more for something, character (the values that drive a person’s life) is built, and out of harder situations comes empathy, care, and LOVE. There are many tall guys with these qualities as well, but some shorter guys may have an extra dose, and I value that.
So don’t just write off a guy because he is shorter or the same height as you. Tall does not need to be on the “must have” list; we all shrink as we grow older as well, so maybe you’ll shrink at different rates and even out!
It also can be fun–figuring out who needs to hunch or stand on tippy toes so that in a photo you don’t see the difference.
But seriously, there are shorter men out there with strong character, fun personalities, that are romantic, and if you are open, you could fall in love with one of them!

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Letting Your Heart Surface

Tears loosen the icy grip of fear:
Fear of letting down, letting people see, letting people close, and letting yourself just be real–pimples, farts, screams, smiles, hugs, and all.

A heart buried out of fear of losing love if not perfect or doing what others want.

A heart surfacing through the unconditional love of Jesus, shown through people: the hugs and kisses of a one year old nephew, of walking alongside sisters through widowhood and marriage, of brothers letting me into their lives, and parents’ nurture and prayer.

A heart surfacing through giving 100 percent, of being rejected, but still having hope to heal and teach again.
I still have hope…for my life, for my city, for my world…
An engaged heart means deeper pain, but deeper hope.

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