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Culture Shock "Practical"

>> 8.09.2011

I realize I sort of slapped the common “Christian band-aid” over an issue that can really affect a woman’s life: moving.  I didn’t mean to do that at all!  But as soon as I pushed the “publish” button I thought I’d better follow- up with some practical suggestions to aid in the “culture shock” transition time.  Here are 5 {my mom} and I came up with:
1)      Acknowledge the hardship of transitioning to a new location/ministry for what it is (number 3 stresser in anyone's life!) and be graceful towards yourself and others.  Situational depression can be a very real result of such a major transition in life.  In recognizing the hardship for what it is, you can aim to recognize when your emotions may be affecting the way you are treating those closest to you and the way they are behaving as well.  Be full of grace towards all in the family!

2)     Use this time (that tends to be not as full schedule-wise) to do something you’ve always wanted to do.  Take a cake-decorating class or an exercise class at a local gym.  Spend more time reading stories to the kids or playing outside.  Have more date nights or try out new recipes.  Eat at local restaurants to learn more about the people and community to which have been called to minister to and alongside.

3)     Pray over church members by going through a church directory.  (This may also help you learn names and faces!)

4)      Cultivate a new spiritual discipline that has been lacking in  your life.

5)     Talk to your husband!  This is an important one (and not one to really go “last” in the list…).  He needs to know what’s going on inside of you to help give you more grace and to help you in objectively looking at your emotions and responses while you go through this time.  As most of us marrieds already know, communication is always vital to a peaceful marriage and home.

Also, Just Moved! is a ministry I came to know about a few years back through a Focus on the Family radio broadcast.  Susan Miller, a woman who has moved over 14 times in her life {she might know a thing or two about it!} founded this ministry to minister directly to the heart of the woman who has just relocated (for whatever reason).  Check out their website if you feel you may need a little more help sorting things out in this area or to aid in understanding those you are serving.

Let me know any tips YOU may have from your life experience on this: I sure could use all the help I can get! =)


Michelle August 9, 2011 at 9:16 AM  

We've moved over 20 times, most of those while we had kids, so we're definitely experienced in this one! Something we did this last move was to have the kids draw a map of their new town. They put on their house, their street, and the main streets in town. Then we added where their school was, the grocery store, post office, park, and any other landmarks they've already noticed. They had a lot of fun making these, and I think it helped them appreciate and "own" their new home! :)

emily August 9, 2011 at 2:58 PM  

I really like all of these ideas, but I especially like the fact that you put in there a couple of ideas that sound like just plain fun - trying out new things sounds like a wonderful idea! And I thought praying through the directory very practical - learning names and learning to love through prayer. Excellent:)

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