Dec 29, 2011

Coping With Change

It wasn't bad enough that I had wrapped myself in a blanket of self pity because Christmas was over and all the grandchildren had returned home --  and I had no one else to blame for the five pounds I gained from indulging in all that fudge and truffles and other delectable chocolate delights. No. I just had to open an email from Marsha Ward. Because I love Marsha Ward!

 It began with the usual holiday salutations:
"Hello Kari
I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your family. My daughter was
able to come up and spend Christmas with me in my new home. It was lovely!"

But Marsha gets to the point in the very next sentence:
"The ANWA Board of Directors has asked me to pass along to you the
authorization to split Wasatch Writers into two chapters at your next

NO! (dramatic fist shaking)
You can't do this to me! (heavy sigh, slumped shoulders, and hanging of my head) Yes, you can. But I don't have to like it.

Can you tell I have a difficult time with change?

Of course, I am thrilled that ANWA continues to change. (Have you read the new by-laws yet?) Because with change comes growth. Growth is a good thing! It's just that I get so attached to all of you  phenomenal women. I learn from each and every one of you and I feel like I am just now getting to know you.

I laughed out loud when I opened my textbook (Families and Change: Coping With Stressful Events and Transitions) the very next day and read this:
"A stressor event is an occurrence that provokes a variable amount of change in the family system [ANWA]. Anything that changes some aspect of the system [ANWA], such as boundaries, structures, goals, processes, roles, or values, can produce stress. ...stress becomes problematic only when family members [me]experience dissatisfaction (or distress) as they [I] perceive change as being disruptive to the family system[ANWA]...Stress or crisis is not simply the direct result of the event itself but also a product of how a family defines demanding circumstances and the extent to which the family has resources available for coping."

"Various life transitions and events provide essential ingredients for normal psychosocial evoking disturbances and pressures for change."

In other words, change is what you make of it. I can either curl up in a fetal position and pout and get left behind, or I can rejoice in the opportunity for growth, and jump in and enjoy the ride. The women of ANWA are like sisters to me. We share more than just how and what we are writing. We rejoice, whine, commiserate, console, eat chocolate, and work together.

I thought about how the world looks at the start of a new year as an opportunity for introspection and change. I'm grateful to know that I can do that every minute of the day -- thanks to the Savior and his redeeming sacrifice. I am grateful to know that God never changes. He is constant and perfect. I live in a world of change. The knowledge of men changes every day, shifting back and forth between what is popular and accepted at the time. By building my foundation on the unchanging truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I can weather the changing world.

A stressful event brings about change -- for the good or for the bad, depending on how I look at the situation, and what my resources are and how I use those resources. A testimony of who I am, why I am here, and where I am going -- based on a testimony of Jesus Christ and His redeeming love -- is the greatest resource I know of. It brings me hope, clarity of thought and peace of mind. I can view challenges for the opportunity for growth that they are. I can find hidden resources -- strengths I never knew I had -- and come to know that, through Christ, I can do hard things.

Splitting Wasatch Writers is going to be a tough change for me. It may be a little stressful, but it won't be a crisis. I love being a part of a growing group of women who believe in seeking out anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy and writing about it! We will always be connected by our love of Christ and our desire to make the world a better place -- one change at a time.

If you want more information on this exciting change, you'll have to attend our chapter meeting January 12th , 7:30 pm at my house in Highland, UT. I promise chocolate, tissues, and loads of fun!
May you have a happy and blessed New Year!!


  1. Okay, blogger is giving me fits again.
    Kari, I don't envy this huge responsibility, but I'm glad to call you friend.
    Tina Scott

  2. You do such a great job with our group. It's quite a responsibility and we all appreciate your work and dedication.

  3. *gasp*

    Nice way to announce it, Kari. Do you know what the new boundaries will be? Or will we decide that at the meeting? Do we have enough active attendees to host two different groups?


  4. Donna,I sent an email out to the Wasatch Writers with more details...and yes, there are enough members who would attend if the meeting place was more convenient.

  5. Let us all press on ... take courage ... have steadfast faith.

    This chapter division will be a good thing for ANWA members in central Utah, even though it's extremely hard to make a change. 6-8 members is the optimum size for ANWA chapters. Even though you may give up a certain amount of intimate contact with current chapter members, there are many ways to keep in touch with writer friends in ANWA.

    ANWA leadership has known for two years that Wasatch Writers needed to split. We knew there was too much travel time involved to get to meetings, and that members were discouraged and lost due to that. It took us a long time to concentrate on the details. We have been too few for so many administrative tasks. Now that we've changed the structure of ANWA leadership, we will have other hands involved in managing those duties, and we will be able to handle chapter sizes and needs better in the future.

    The split will be along the county line dividing Salt Lake and Utah counties. ANWA membership is exploding! We hope to have four chapters in the two counties by the end of Year 2012. With every member's help, that can come about.

    This split will not be the only one in 2012. The Executive Committee and the Board of Directors are anxious to provide chapters for all ANWA members, wherever they live. Current chapters with more than 12 members are being examined, including online chapters.

    Examine your hearts, take courage, and be prepared to step into new roles and circumstances as opportunities are presented to you.

  6. Great to seeing your group growing.

    I wish I had a local group here in the South Sound

  7. I will miss all my monthly associations with the members from Utah County. In the short time I've come to your house for meetings, Kari, I am in awe of all the women who have so much to write about. How clever and how creative you all are! I appreciate the critiques I've received and the knowledge from those who have given presentations and shared their vast knowledge with me.
    I know the new ANWA chapter will be a boost to all of us in the SL Valley, but I will sure miss those times in the Pike household. Thank you, Kari, for hosting us all every month and being diligent about getting (enticing) us there every month. I still am excited to be a member of ANWA--wherever a chapter meets.
    ~hugs back to you,
    ~Susan Knight

  8. Wow what was your secret? We cyberpals could use it.


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