This holiday season many of us may be feeling anxious about what celebrations will look like going forward. Will I be able to see my loved ones? Can I afford the gifts my kids have been begging me for every day? How can I find ways to celebrate in the face of so much uncertainty? During times like these, it can be hard to find any balance at all. That’s why participating in Giving Tuesday is so important this year. What is Giving Tuesday? Held on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving...

“A child is not looking for a perfect parent, but to feel loved and understood.  We are blessed to be a step along the journey in the growth of a new family” -Emily Thompson, VP of Community Programs CHRIS 180 Happy National Adoption Month! While the month of November is dedicated to bringing awareness to the need to have more foster and adoptive parents, CHRIS 180’s Adoptions and Foster Care team works each day to empower people to impact the lives of children in care. At CHRIS 180 we provide therapeutic foster...

In a typical year, the holidays mean spending time and celebrating with family and loved ones. At CHRIS 180, we love getting to celebrate the season with volunteers, staff, donors, and the clients we serve. But just like everything else in 2020, the holidays will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve had to cancel and rethink many events we usually host in order to keep our youth and staff safe. Despite changes and safety concerns, CHRIS 180 will still work to make sure each youth in our foster homes and all the clients that we serve have...

Many women can often feel like we have the world on our shoulders. We often carry not only our stress but the stress of our loved ones and those closest to us. Often, women can feel isolated, unsupported, and even depressed because of various challenges. Over time, women often become desensitized to these feelings as we accept this as the norm as opposed to true clinical depression or anxiety. Below are some common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, sadness, or suicidal thoughts or attempts Irritability, anxiousness,...

Lately, I have found myself in a place that I have not been in a very long time and I am not sure how to take it all in. In this place, I am more consistently prioritizing myself and my needs. In this place, I am not obsessing over every detail and I am resisting my perfectionistic tendencies. In this beautiful, peaceful place, I am finding myself able to say no to the things that don’t bring me joy and intentionally inviting in the things that do. Here, I find that...

If summer is your favorite time of year and you dread the upcoming winter – you may want to stop reading here -- or you might want to read on for hope.  Slowly, gradually, the sunny days of summer (despite the COVID-19 pandemic) are fading into the vicissitudes of autumn. Gradually, the shades of lime green, forest green, spring green and emerald green, fern and shamrock green in the canopy of leaves above are transforming.  The leaves look increasingly yellow and golden in the sunlight, with splotches of red and orange. ...

The cool breeze in the mornings lets us know that autumn is around the corner. I have not always been ready for this newness because I love the summer months and do not want to say goodbye to the warmth of the sun, the flowers, butterflies, lightning bugs, BBQs, late evenings and beach trips. There of course is nothing I can do to prevent the inevitable seasonal change. During the summer I embrace all I can as I know autumn is coming! I tackle projects, make the most of the...

It’s not news the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to all our lives, and teens are no exception. All at once they were ripped away from their friends, sports, church groups, school clubs, jobs and other social supports. Although school has resumed, life is massively different. With these new challenges, some teens have turned to substances to cope with the difficulties they face. Because the teenage brain is still developing those who misuse drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk of developing a substance dependence or addiction. Therefore, it...

Recognizing that healing from trauma and facing difficulties sometimes has a powerful spiritual component, at the beginning of 2020 CHRIS 180 expanded its services to form the Institute for Spiritual Health and Wellness. In addition to placing Clinical Pastoral Education residents in local hospitals the Institute can periodically assign chaplain interns to different community programs within CHRIS 180.  The job of these chaplains is not to make believers out of the people we serve, but to serve and be a companion and guide for people to help them find their...

Parenting school-aged children, circa 2020, has required parents to juggle (in new ways) their profession with their parenting responsibilities, and to strike the right balance between their kids’ happiness and their health.  Now that virtual school has started across metro Atlanta, pandemic parents are encountering additional and entirely new challenges. In many ways, parenting during virtual school may feel like being lost at sea, with no Coast Guard in sight. Here are a few try at home strategies that may help pandemic parents navigate the unchartered waters we are all in...