Talents, a Train, and Trauma Survivors

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. We have made it more than halfway through December already. Time is flying by, and 2022 will be here before we know it. I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy things like Christmas movies, time with friends and family, and a little quiet time for yourself.

Quote of the week: “Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making. It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things. The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving.” –J.C. Penney

Book of the week: This week you get a twofer…a bonus. What I mean is that the book I would like to recommend to you is also a movie. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a wonderfully illustrated children’s book telling the story of a boy who hears the Polar Express in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and must make the choice whether or not to board the train. The movie did a tremendous job of transferring the pictures from the book into the train in the movie. This story, in book and movie form, is my very favorite Christmas thing of the season. I watch the movie any time of year, especially if I am pressed with a burden or just feel junky. I hope you’ll find yourself believing in the magic of Christmas—not because of Santa Claus, but because the best things in the world ARE the ones you can’t see: friendship, hope, and love.

Joke of the week: What do you call a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus? A rebel without a Claus.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: This week I want to continue our theme from earlier in the month about advocating for yourself, finding your dreams, and this week…knowing your purpose. We all have tendencies within us that beg to get free. Are you a good listener whose friends come to you for advice? Do you tell people who seem sad that you hope they feel better and have a good day? Do you like to buy little things for people and leave gifts for them secretly? No matter how you express it, you were created with a special something that makes you truly unique. When you figure out what that talent is and use it to make yourself and others happy, you are fulfilling your purpose. The cool thing is that while you will always be you, your special quality can change at different times in your life. So don’t feel like you can never do anything or be anyone other than who you are right now. My purpose has changed several times over my lifetime, to meet the needs I had at the time and to be of use to people I had no idea I needed to help.

Podcast of the week:  It is a huge honor for me to share with you a link to a podcast by my friend Rhonda Sciortino, who has generously agreed to share one of her podcasts with RiseUP on the third Friday of every month. A foster child who became a millionaire, she has many social media platforms that provide inspiration for trauma survivors, parents, and caregivers. In her Find Your Purpose podcast, Rhonda teams up with life coach and youth advocate Jenny Christiansen to help you uncover and embrace your authentic identity. Click here to listen as they talk about what it really means to live one’s purpose—and why it’s so important.

Have a great week. Remember, you are most awesome and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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