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Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service Paperback – December 17, 2015
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Want to help your kids in their transition? "22 Activities for Families in Transition" will equip your family. You can also purchase a companion guide to the book called "Looming Transitions Workbook" for you to personally interact with the material. Each are only $5 on gumroad.com/amyyoung.
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Young goes on to explain steps to take to keep one’s soul fertile while going through a major life transition:
1. Stay Grounded in Christ
2. Laughter Revives the Soul
3. Accept that It’s Going to Be Messy
4. Know Yourself
5. Start Early
6. It’s Not Just About You
7. Work Out Your Grief
Things I like about this book:
• This book is more than a book about transitions. It’s a how-to manual for starting and finishing well. It is insightful and has very practical suggestions on how to make the way forward smoother. I anticipate acquainting myself with it more and more as I go through our next transition coming in just 9 months.
• Young does a good job providing analogies and examples to illustrate her main points. You’ll have to read the book yourself to learn how she wove finding three potatoes in a bed, Kermit the Frog, and decorating pillowcases for her nieces into her tips for starting and finishing well.
• She’s transparent and real as she shared her grief during some of her transition experiences, and admitted her mistakes, encouraging others to learn from them.
• Young believes that transitions affect more than just the person/people who are transitioning. So, she spends time explaining 1) how to be mindful of others and their feelings and reactions during our transitions and 2) how to help others in their transitions.
• Questions. The book is filled with questions to ask oneself all along the pathway of one’s transition whether it be about being aware of one’s expectations, helping your child go off to college, or determining where God is in the midst of chaos.
• Young paints a realistic picture of the messiness of transitions AND the hope we have in Jesus who never changes.
"...often we don't realize the cumulative stress assault we'll face when we prepare to relocate to another culture."
It's easy to gloss over this statement and relegate this 'cross-cultural transition' focus to those "big changes" such as moving internationally to serve (the overt focus of the book), but Looming Transitions touches upon those less explicit cultural shifts through life's more 'expected' phases (career moves, getting married, becoming parents, children moving away, retirement, etc) just as it does those more poignant, unexpected shifts (moving, changing jobs/careers, etc).
Looming transitions is a kind of reflexive travel guide that hits at the heart of change and all the 'baggage' that comes along with it. It delves into the reality of being overwhelmed and somewhat lost in the gap between a current reality and a 'looming' (pending) one and the undercurrents that magnify every task and emotional reaction along with it.
I'd recommend Looming Transitions for those on either side of a transition (pending or just finished, those facing the transition and critically, those who are affected by others' transitions). It's accessible, authentic and blissfully challenging to the soul.
The main reason this book did not receive 5 stars is that the organization in the first few chapters was not the best... At least to me. However, that still not take away from the insights she had to offer.
In short, whether this book is for yourself or a resource for preparing for transition training, don't pass it up.