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December Chaplain's Reflections

U.S. Air Force Capt. Christina Pittman, 169th Fighter Wing Chaplain at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, poses for her portrait, Jan. 13, 2014.   (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Christina Pittman, 169th Fighter Wing Chaplain at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, poses for her portrait, Jan. 13, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

As we approach the holiday season when family gatherings and parties bring memories of good times, we may recall a loved one who will be missing from our midst. Coping with separation from loved ones is a process.  His process is evident in the stages of grief like shock, denial, anger and acceptance. One way to cope is by honoring those no longer with us by taking time to reflect and remember them. Taking time to remember those who have passed on provides some closure to life's endings and helps ease the pain of separation.

 

If anyone has ever gone through the death of someone close, you can identify with the flood of emotions that can occur. Sometimes our emotions can be more than we can handle which complicates the grief process as we “stuff” our feelings. However, making space to grieve and remembering is essential to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health which results in a balanced Airman that is focused on their mission.

 

Your Chaplain Corps staff seeks to serve the total well-being of the Swamp Fox family. You are invited to join us for a special Remembrance Service at 1030 Worship Services on Sunday, 3 December in the hangar classroom upstairs. Everyone able to attend is encouraged to participate in this time of meaningful remembrance--even if you do not typically attend our regular UTA worship services.

 

This interfaith service will include visual slides, music, lighting of candles, words of inspiration, prayer and personal reflection as the Swamp Fox family remembers friends and family who are no longer with us. For more information or to submit a name of a friend or loved one to be read at the service, please send an email to: christina.p.pittman.mil@mail.mil

 

“Helpful Tips to Cope with Holiday Stress from Loss, Relationships or the Hustle and Bustle of the Season.”

 

 

Here are some helpful tips presented in the lecture from a pamphlet called “Care Notes” to guide you through coping with stress this holiday season:

 

• Find the major stressors in your life and record them. After the list is made, share it with God [or align the list with what you value in your spiritual strength]. Then with hope you can tackle it one day at a time.

• Accept that a certain amount of change and crisis is an essential part of life. Honestly look at the list for stress from delayed decision due to fear of change. Some stresses motivate you to move forward and accomplish tasks.

 

• Identify how you can draw on your faith to deal with stress. Prayer, meditation or spiritual reading can lower stress much like a coping skill to slow your breathing and center your mind. 

 

• Take time to see how the hand of God [or your spiritual strength] has been evident in your life.  With a friend, count your blessings or hunt the good stuff in your life. 

 

• Help manage your stress by reaching out to others. Giving help to others helps lighten your load as purpose and hope flood in offering a sense of gratitude and heightened energy to cope with your own stress. [Care Note “Letting Faith Help You Handle Stress” by Judy Ball, Meinrad, IN One Caring Place, Abbey Press, 2004.]

 

Will you try this list to get a handle on your stress before the long term effects get a handle on you? You may be surprised you have nothing to lose and peace to gain. If you need more tips on how to deal with coping with loss and stressors this holiday season, the Chaplain Corps staff is here to help you. Please contact us by stopping by our office on drill weekends, call us at 647-8265 or at our email: usaf.sc.169-fw.list.fal-hc-ang-chaplains@mail.mil. We are praying for our Swamp Fox family!

 

Please keep a lookout for our upcoming Strong Bonds events this February, Spring/Summer and September as well as our Resiliency and Relationship Training in 2018.

 

We look forward to serving you! Have a blessed New Year!