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January Chaplain's Reflections

Maj. Christina Pittman portrait

U.S. Air Force Maj. Christina Pittman, the wing chaplain assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C, October 31, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

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

Carpe Diem

“Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

This New Year offers the hope for a positive change from 2020. The type of change each person can control as well as what one cannot control.  Hope keeps a person growing and moving forward despite the past. There is hope for a chance to reunite socially with no fear of contracting COVID-19 and a society where people do not just tolerate each other but rather respect one another in affirmation and love. A person may also seek hope in the New Year to make change personally through taking time to listen to one’s inner voice, acknowledge personal needs and take steps to fulfill those needs.

Take time to act on the inclinations and signs present internally and externally.  Delaying or ignoring one’s self can lead to greater issues in the future. Self care can only happen if one acts to supply care. Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase, “Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”  This phrase is applicable to many areas of life. One might consider this phrase if he/she wishes to encourage him or herself from procrastination. Personally, it is a mirror enactment of Carpe Diem, or translated from Latin to English, “Seize the Day.”  Time does not stop nor does it slow down. When a person heeds the passing of time, he or she may find that time can work for him/her rather than he/she working for time. 

There is an old Proverb which speaks to a Carpe Diem perspective, “Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.” (Proverbs 6:4, NLT). In this exclamation there is an urgency to not let time pass. Use the time now to do what one must and there will be more time to care for the needs which arise in the following days. Life happens and unless a person seizes the opportunities each day, one’s life may become overwhelming and more than a person can handle. 

This New Year is a great time to Carpe Diem by starting each day as a better person than the day before. How can this happen?  Take time to reflect on what needs lie deep within one’s heart and emotions. What is missing from one’s life maybe an indicator of person’s need. There is a chance a new setting or another person can fill one’s needs.  Personal relationships and professional helpers are a great starting point, even if a person never utilized the relationship in the past. Seize the day and take hold of an opportunity to do something for one’s self.

Below is a list of some events and people who stand ready to support Airmen and their families through the changes approaching everyone this 2021. Take hold of the time today to reach out for a listening ear or sign up for a life impacting opportunity.  Don’t delay…seize the day!

SCANG CARE TEAM

-Chaplain Corps, Fulltime Support Chaplain, Maj. Christina Pittman, christina.pittman@us.af.mil

-Director of Psychological Health, Mr. Rico Brown, rico.brown.1@us.af.mil

-MFLAC, Counselor Mrs. Evita Woods, woodse@magellanhealth.com 

-Behavioral Health Care Line 1-800-681-2558

COMPASS (Care Of Military Personnel And Spouse/Significant other Support) 26-28 February at Clarks Hill, SC.  Register through the SCANG Chaplain Corps at 803-647-8265

This is a three-day interactive retreat-like program to help Service Members, Families and Employees of the South Carolina Military Department to help re-claim direction and purpose in a safe environment through processing significant life challenges you've experienced such as: death of a loved one or friend, prolonged grief, unresolved guilt, family challenges, traumatic events, moral/spiritual injury, broken relationships, near death experiences, deployment related issues etc...

What can I expect from this weekend?

-Confidentiality. This is a safe place; attendees, topics discussed, and reasons for attending will NEVER be released to anyone (including command/leadership). No uniforms will be worn, just civilian clothes.

-Retreat like accommodations: fully catered meals, snacks, housing in rustic cabins, surrounded by trees and a quiet lake.

-A sense of belonging and connectedness in knowing you aren't alone in your life challenges.

-Self-discovery as you are introduced to new ways to help you grow through the challenges.

-An opportunity for you to take a break from the stressors of life and focus on you.

THE BIG RED BARN 

Service members rarely forget what they have seen and done. For those serving or having served, getting out of their own heads - isolated with their memories and thoughts; instead of being present and living their best life in the present moment can be a huge challenge. We understand that challenge and that is why the Big Red Barn Retreat (BRBR) offers integrated tools for survival at home so they can thrive. These integrated tools are alternatives to traditional treatments; and are provided to veterans, active duty service members, and first responders at little to no cost to them. So, we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and join your brothers and sisters in arms at the BRBR as you begin to heal and live the life you deserve.

SIGN UP ON LINE FOR: EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY, YOGA & TAI CHI, PEER TO PEER MENTORING, HEALING LENS, ART THERAPY.

https://www.thebigredbarnretreat.org/

STRONG BONDS Relationship Resiliency 2021

COUPLES…At this February RSD the SCANG Chaplain Corps will hold our 7th Strong Bonds Couple’s Valentine’s Course. The evening will provide a break from the duty day to reflect on tools to strengthen couple relationships over a delicious meal catered by Blue Marlin. The curricula consisted of Laugh Your Way (Military edition) by Mark Gungor, Fearless Marriage by PREP, and the Five Love Languages (Military edition) by Gary Chapman. The overall course rating was a 100 percent at the highest level of “Excellent” making a strong argument to hold the event annually since February 2015. 

Feedback from the attendees said they would, “recommend this course because there were valuable tools given to help couples manage their marriage.”  Other comments include remarks like, “it was refreshing and encouraging; a great way to spend time with my spouse. It was good to laugh and very informative; great addition to February UTA.” This event gave them time to talk about ways to improve their marriage and glean wisdom from other couples.  For one couple—who had only been married for three weeks—this event was especially timely for them to take time away and focus on their relationship. They said, “it was an awesome start for their new marriage.” 

The SCANG Chaplain Corps looks forward to this year’s Strong Bonds Valentine’s Marriage Refresher Course for an opportunity to hit the pause button on life so couples can show their partner he/she is treasured and where their heart is this Valentine’s Day.

INDIVIDUALS…This April, back by popular demand we will offer the second camping trip for all Airmen, no matter what their relationship status. For nature enthusiast or novice camper, this trip is just for you! Take time to get back to the basics and recharge.  Bring your gear or let us know what you need and we can assist with the details to make this trip as comfortable as possible. Campfires, s’mores, sunrises and so much more are waiting for you in the great outdoors.

FAMILIES…In July trade your RSD weekend for some quality time with your family on a budget of FREE!  All you need is to get your family to the venue and enjoy the setting.  There will be time for recreation, relaxation, relationship development and regrouping by putting family first. There is no planning hassle just togetherness and great rewards in strengthening your family bond. Stand by for the exciting venue announcement and dates.

Your SCANG Chaplain Corps looks forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Contact us at 803-647-8265 or command post 803-647-8238 to reach your unit chaplain.