FAMILY LAW • CRIMINAL DEFENSE • PERSONAL INJURY
FAMILY LAW • CRIMINAL DEFENSE • PERSONAL INJURY
Do We Really
"Around here, we say 'you matter' a lot because we believe it’s true.”
Believe That ALL Things Work Together
FOR OUR GOOD?
D o we really believe that all things work together for good to those who love God? It comes from a well-known and often-quoted Bible verse: “ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ” It’s Romans 8:28. Churchgoers are taught this as children in Sunday school. Maybe you don’t believe this stuff, and if so, that’s fine. Completely up to you. You have the power to choose your own belief system — and if you have problems believing there’s a God or that He is a good God, this verse would not make sense to you — yet! It’s all good; we’re all on a journey. But there are a lot of people who believe in a God who orchestrates this type of love and mastery of the details in our lives. For many who are going through very hard times, like many of you , this concept can be a source of tremendous comfort and hope. In fact, I know myself that it might be all you have to hold onto during very difficult times . Otherwise, life’s all random, and we as individuals just aren’t that important in the grand scheme. Yuck. On the inside, we have to know (or at least hope) that’s not the case. We teach our kids that all individuals have intrinsic value! Around here, we say “you matter” a lot because we believe it’s true. So, let’s say we do believe Romans 8:28, or that we’re at least trying to believe it — even if just for the sake of my article today!
So then, everything we meet in life, every person and every circumstance,
without exception, works together for our best in the long term?! It couldn’t be written more clearly, but our superficiality causes us not to see it (or truly believe it), even if we are looking. Or maybe we’re not interested enough, and we don’t take the time to really think such things through. But wait a second— there’s more. If we believe all things work for our best over time, then another Bible verse comes into play: “ In everything give thanks. ” In everything that is good give thanks? Nope, that’s not what it says. It says, “In everything give thanks” — in both “bad” (is it really bad?) and good. That’s how thankful you’d actually be if you believed all things work for your good! The Bible also says, “ Rejoice in the Lord always! ” Here’s where the rubber meets the road: If we believe that all things are working for our good, then why would we get angry, get offended, feel insulted, become jealous or envious, lose courage, become bitter, or hold a grudge? Why would we complain about anything, avenge ourselves, become restless, return evil for evil, dislike anybody, get upset, or be annoyed?
Aside from your pastor or priest, every therapist you’ll ever meet will likely tell you the psychological and physical benefits of focusing on the good and fostering a lifestyle of thanksgiving, forgiveness, and grace.
Especially in hard times, perhaps there’s something “good” about Romans 8:28. Hang in there. We believe the odds of recuperation and renewal are in your favor. You matter!
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Artful Parenting HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR TEEN’S ARTISTIC PASSIONS When a teenager is involved in sports, it’s easy to show support for their passion. You take them to practice, go to their games, celebrate their victories, and help them learn from their losses. But what if your teen is more into arts than athletics? Without a literal sideline to cheer from, helping your child grow and develop in fields like writing, painting, and photography can feel — well, abstract. But make no mistake, parents can show concrete support in a few ways to help their budding artist grow and excel in the arts. Just as many young athletes have star players they look up to and try to emulate on the field, aspiring artists can look to those making waves in their artistic fields today. Often, school courses focus on “the classics,” which can just feel like homework to an aspiring artist. This is where you can help. Introduce the work of contemporary artists to your teen, or better yet, give your teen opportunities to discover them on their own. Trips to museums and libraries can be just as impactful on growing artists as going to a ball game. You may not have to drive your high schooler to writing practice, but you can still give them the tools and support they need to hone their passion. The most obvious way is by asking to see their writing or art, but keep in mind many teens may not be willing to share something that personal. Still, reminding them you’re genuinely interested in their work can help them stick with their passion. Indirect gestures like buying them quality art supplies can also show them you value their craft. Stars to Strive For No. 1 Fan
I n any type of shared custody arrangement, whether it’s physical custody or legal custody, both parents have an obligation to honor the other party’s parental rights. This means that if you have physical custody of your child, but you share legal custody with your ex-spouse, you must honor the other party’s right to contribute to the decision- making related to the child’s life. Along this same line, you need to honor the other party’s parent time with the child or other shared custody/visitation arrangements. If you do not honor the other party’s custodial rights, they may be in a position to take you to court in order to hold you accountable for your actions (or inaction) and to enforce the formal custody agreement. If this happens, you will be required to show clear cause that your failure to honor the custody agreement was done in the child’s best interest. For example, if you refuse to honor the other party’s right to make a decision related to your child’s medical care, you must be able to clearly show that your refusal was in the child’s best interest. Child Custody and Honoring Parental Rights If you cannot demonstrate that your failure to honor the other party’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest, the court often enforces the custody agreement as written. If this happens, you may be responsible for the legal fees of the other parent. If your withholding is significant, the other parent may seek to change the custodial arrangement, and you may lose what arrangements you currently have. Keep in mind, this can go both ways. If the other party is not honoring your rights as a parent, you may be able to take action. In Virginia, the court must consider a number of factors before it awards custody to a parent. One major factor is a parent’s commitment to encouraging the child’s involvement with the other parent.
The Big Leagues
Sure, there’s no varsity watercolor portrait team, but student artists can strive for important milestones. School clubs like student newspapers
can provide a semiprofessional outlet for young artists, and there are myriad creative outlets outside the classroom as well. Community galleries, youth anthologies, coffee shop open mics — these are all amazing opportunities for your teen to take their work to the next level.
Just as most teen athletes won’t be professional players, you don’t have to expect your artist to be the next Ursula K. Le Guin or Banksy. Whatever their interests are, helping your child explore their passions and enjoy a discipline will leave them with skills and memories they’ll draw upon the rest of their life.
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Encouraging Positive Communication Kids are more connected now than ever. Mobile devices are a normal part of life, and parents can use these great tools to keep tabs, stay in touch, and monitor their kids’ activity when they are out of the house. But the devices don’t come without downsides — and that doesn’t just mean the hours kids lose playing games or watching videos. Our phones do everything, and for the upwards of 84% of teenagers who have or use a cellphone daily, this can be overwhelming. Kids can receive calls, texts, emails, and photos from anyone who has their contact information. Many parents and educators also believe that this widespread access to devices is making cyberbullying easier than ever, which may have more severe consequences than in-person bullying. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported that 90% of students age 12–17 who were bullied online had rumors spread about them, whereas only 62% of those bullied in person were subject to rumors. Social media apps, such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, are often the primary setting for cyberbullying, but bullying through text messaging is common as well. One of the best ways to combat cyberbullying is through communication and education. When you give your child a mobile device, it’s important to set ground rules for its usage. Parents can utilize the tools developed by Verizon, AT&T,
KIDS, CELLPHONES, AND YOU
T-Mobile, and other companies to monitor their kids’ usage, but nothing matches open and honest communication.
Discuss online safety and include topics like social media and image sharing. Remind kids that once photos and personal information
appear on the internet, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove them. This is especially true of photos and videos that can be seen and copied by other people. It’s also important to communicate that the person who initially shared the photos may have little to no recourse, depending on what’s been shared. Also, discuss both etiquette and boundaries. Let kids know where and where not to use phones (e.g., in class, at the theater, and one of the biggest: while driving). Explain why they should avoid unknown calls, texts, or other messages — and that if they do receive unknown, questionable, or troubling messages, they should report them to a trusted adult as soon as possible. Encourage a safe communication environment based on trust, not judgment.
EASY IRISH SODA BREAD
THE DOGWHOHELPED TAKE DOWN AL-BAGHDADI
Inspired by AllRecipes.com Ingredients
With four years in special operations forces and roughly 50 missions under his collar, Conan was selected to be part
• • • •
1/2 cup margarine
• • • • •
4 cups all-purpose flour 4 tbsp white sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, divided
of the team that pursued al-Baghdadi through a network of underground tunnels in northwest Syria, where the terrorist ultimately died. It’s unclear whether Conan was there to track al-Baghdadi or to spot improvised explosive devices that may have been planted on the route, but either way, he performed well. According to NBC News, Conan was injured by some live electrical cables during the mission, but he recovered quickly and was back on duty within the week. Meanwhile, President Trump invited the brave pup to the White House and tweeted out a doctored photo that showed him awarding Conan a Medal of Honor.
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1. Heat oven to 375 F, and lightly grease a large baking sheet. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and margarine. 3. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk and egg, and mix until dough comes together. 4. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Form dough into a round before placing it on baking sheet. 5. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. 6. Brush the raw loaf with this mixture and cut an “X” into the top. 7. Bake loaf for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into center of loaf. You may need to continue brushing the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.
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FAMILY LAW • CRIMINAL DEFENSE • PERSONAL INJURY 501 VILLAGE AVE., SUITE 104 • YORKTOWN/NEWPORT NEWS, VA 23693 Inside Do We Really Believe That ALL Things 1 Work Together for Our Good?
Supporting Your Teen’s Art
It Can Be Hard, but Honoring Parental
Rights Is the Right Thing to Do
Encouraging Positive Communication
Meet the Dog Who Helped Take
Easy Irish Soda Bread
Our 2nd Annual Team Summit!
Our 2nd Annual
At the beginning of the year, the Holcomb Law team went to the Outer Banks for a few days for our 2nd Annual Team Summit. We spent this time together planning for the new year and coming up with ways to better serve you, our clients … and also having fun with games and movies. This was an excellent way to strengthen our team, and we are really excited for what’s in store for the upcoming year!
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