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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Be Shrewd As A Serpent, Yet As Innocent As A Dove

Sunday, March 05, 2017 @ 4:58 PM

“Be Shrewd as a Serpent, yet Innocent as a Dove”

All women absorb messages during their lifetimes, and these messages have a profound influence on a woman’s voice. Women—especially women of faith—receive numerous messages about how they are supposed to behave and these messages influence a woman’s voice.

Sometimes we give specific messages more value than others, such as…be gentle, be kind, be patient, be loving, be innocent.These are powerful and truthful messages. As women of faith, we should treasure the pursuit of these qualities in our character.

On the contrary, as women, how many times have we been given these messages:

Be hyper-vigilant, guarded, calculating, astute. Be marked by a practical and hard-headed intelligence. BE SHREWD! Do place as much value on developing these characteristics as we do on being innocent, kind and patient?

Think about the definition of the word “shrewd.” It means to show sharp powers of judgment, to be astute, sharp-witted, intelligent, clever, canny, sagacious, perceptive and savvy.Being shrewd is a great quality to have.

Let’s pause for a moment and really reflect on the message given to us from the Book of Matthew:

“Be shrewd as a serpent, yet innocent as a dove.” Matthew 10:16.

Do you hear it? This powerful instruction puts as much emphasis on being shrewd as it does on being innocent. In fact, it suggests we should put equal weight on both qualities when we make decisions. We should not be more innocent than we are shrewd; we should pursue a fifty-fifty balance.

In my blog post “Create a Meaningful Ruckus,” I wrote about the tendency of the feminine soul to associate the feeling of tension caused by rocking the boat with having done something wrong. This tendency may be rooted in the fact that women have often absorbed more messages about being loving, kind, and innocent and fewer about being calculating, savvy, and shrewd.

I would estimate that within our church walls, 90% of messages created for women emphasize patience, love, and kindness, and fewer than 10% of messages emphasize the importance of being shrewd. Yet, according to the book of Matthew, these character attributes should have equal weight.

Quite frequently I observe women in my counseling office feeling guilty when their circumstances require them to act shrewdly. They have not yet created a mindset that being shrewd is as honorable, valuable, and imperative as being innocent.

Why must we equally weigh being shrewd with being kind in all of our decisions and interactions? Because shrewdness prevents us from confusing being kind, loving and gentle with having a high tolerance for crap. There is simply no other way of saying that, my friends.

In order to find your voice and create more balance in your decision-making process, be both innocent and shrewd.

I hope these insights encourage you to find your Voice!



DIALOGUE QUESTIONS:

Do you give yourself permission to be shrewd and calculating? Or do you put more emphasis on developing a character based on being innocent and kind?

Do you find that overemphasizing being innocent and underestimating the value of being shrewd leads you into relationships or circumstances that create having a high tolerance for crap?

Is there a decision you are currently making where you need to practice being shrewder and less innocent in order to bring balance to your thought process?

How does meditating on Matthew 10:16 reduce the false guilt you may have about being more calculating, shrewd, and hyper-vigilant?

Have you been given the message that you need to be shrewd, lately? If so, did you resist or absorb that message?



Margo Tirado
www.margotirado.com
Counselor Coach Speaker Blogger

Saturday, March 04, 2017

My Brain on Grief

Saturday, March 04, 2017 @ 12:16 PM

I remember it just like it was yesterday. My mother came into my room, waking me up from a peaceful slumber to tell me that the most important person in my life had passed. Wait, this just can’t happen, I thought at the time. That person is my only “safe” person. That person is the only one that I feel truly loves me. That person is the only one willing to take care of me when I get sick. “That person” was my grandmother and I had just turned sixteen. Living with a mother battling severe depression and a disconnected, authoritarian father, losing my grandmother meant losing my only safe place.

This was when I became acquainted with grief for the first time. Now 40 years later, I realize it truly has been woven into my core and is inseparable from my very soul. Katie McGarry in Pushing the Limits describes grief this way…”Grief doesn’t get better. The pain. The wounds scab over and you don’t always feel like a knife is slashing through you. But when you least expect it, the pain flashes to remind you you’ll never be the same”.

Grief doesn’t just hit us when, as in my case, we lose the most important person in our world, but can flow into our lives in unexpected ways. As a professional counselor, I have specialty training in helping people cope with grief that comes to them in a variety of ways. One client came to me when it dawned on her that her abusive childhood had stolen away all her memories of having a childhood at all. Another came to me grieving the fact that she was in her 30’s and had never been in a close relationship with another human. So grief takes many forms.

We don’t have to view grief as an enemy. Quite the contrary, we can view grief as something to embrace, love and make peace with. The grief that I feel from the loss of my grandmother is “sweet” to me. As it nudges at my soul, it releases a smile on my face when I think about the last time she put her arms around me and told me how special I was. And I remember how she always let me win at monopoly while baking my favorite chocolate cake. Kristin O’Donnell Tubb in The 13th Sign describes grief this way, ”Whoever said that loss gets easier with time was a liar. Here’s what really happens: The spaces between the times you miss them grows longer. Then when you do remember to miss them again, it’s still with a stabbing pain to the heart.” While this writer agrees with Ms. Tubb’s quote, I would like to add that the “stabbing pain” is followed by gratefulness, in that every time I experience that pain of remembering my grandmother it is followed quickly by the joy and love that she gave me in my life.

April is a time when we are made aware that there is a type of grief that is not always followed with joy—National Infertility Awareness Month. So when grief comes to a couple as they live day by day childless, knowing that the one thing they want may never happen, how can one turn that to joy? This is an unrequited loss that can turn into complex, prolonged grief if not attended to. While there is not “pat” answer, one thing I am certain of is that in the case of all grief, acceptance brings relief. As all other options are exhausted for the couple that desires a child, trusting that God is there to comfort and accepting “what is” can bring some relief. C.S. Lewis put it this way…. “getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point and move forward.” I believe there is much wisdom in this quote. Trusting God is not always easy, but it’s always necessary—even when we have to grieve the loss of what could have been.

As I reflect on grief, I am reminded that God himself is most intimate with grief. Isaiah 53:3 reminds us with these words…He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not.” Is it not wonderful to know that our God understands our grief and one day promises to make all things right—even our grief—no matter what the cause.



Renee Trimble, LPC Intern, LCDC
Licensed Psychotherapist

3/4/2016

Sunday, February 26, 2017

When Perception is Everything

Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 2:04 PM

It’s February 2015 and 6 months since my first and last blog post. Since relocating my family, life, and business, it has been a whirlwind of change, to say the least. And although most of the change has been really good, it has still been really hard and at times, very stressful. In general, I personally am usually okay with change. In fact, I like to create change! But I also REALLY like to be in control of it! Like anything in life, however, we are often not in control of the circumstances or the details that can arise. What we are in charge of is ourselves and how we will react or respond to any given situation.

“If we could control ourselves all day long, THAT would be a really good day!” – Danny Silk, author of Loving Our Kids On Purpose

Some transitions in life can be short like the eyeglasses with transition lenses that people wear that adjust to when they are outside in the sun or indoors. And then there are the long ones… like a woman in labor:

5 Ways To Build A Better Spouse

Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

Researchers will tell you that marriages end in divorce because of issues in these top 3 areas: communication, sex, and money. Communication issues will range from not talking to one another (not opening up) to continuous conflicts or verbal abuse. Sexual issues could range from not having enough sex with someone having an affair. Money issues could include fighting over not having enough to pay bills (and the stress it produces), to battles over who will pay for what and the separation of finances as a means of control. All three of these issues have one common denominator in them: lack of trust.

We all know communication is key in relationships. There are several ways to improve your practical communication skills, money management, and sexual connection. I will offer a few of those in my next few posts. But first, I want to address the deeper issue of trust that can undermine a relationship in all of these areas.

If you value trust in your relationship, you will not only trust your spouse, but you will be trustworthy. You will be fully committed to them and loyal to them. If you trusted your spouse, you would give them the benefit of the doubt that they would never do or say anything to harm you intentionally. And you would behave the same way. Trust means you have given yourself fully to one another and will mutually care for the other’s heart as your main priority.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

5777: The Year of the Sword

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 7:50 AM

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Several years ago, the Lord highlighted the Hebraic calendar to me. I think the times and seasons of the Lord are very significant for us as His people, and we can learn a lot about what is important to God by studying His calendar and His plan as it is laid out in Scripture.

This past year, on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), I gave a message at my church about the new Hebraic calendar year, the year 5777, which had just begun on Rosh Hashanah, 10 days prior. It was beautiful timing because these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the Days of Awe, or the Days of Repentance.

These are the days when traditionally, the Jews believed that God opened up the book of life to inspect his sheep and evaluate his people. During this time, the Lord is measuring the words, deeds, and heart of his people, just as a shepherd measures his sheep as they pass beneath his rod. The Days of Awe are a time of repentance, a time of crying out to Him, just as David did, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

You’ve probably heard that the word repentance means, “to turn away,” and that is true. But what’s more important is what you are turning to. The word literally means “return.” It is a picture of returning to God, to see things the way He sees them and to confess that what He says is true.

I’d like to share a few thoughts about the current Hebraic year that we are in, the year 5777. We know from Scripture that numbers are important to God. The number seven is found everywhere in Scripture and is a symbol of perfection. There are seven days of the week, seven feasts of Israel, seven lamps on the golden lampstand, seven Spirits of God, seven churches in Revelation, etc., so I believe that this year is a very important year for God’s timing and bringing things to completion and breakthrough.

The symbols for the year 5777 literally mean “May this be the year of the sword,” and the year is represented by the Hebrew letters Hey, Tav, Shin, Ayin, and Zayin. Every letter in the Hebrew alphabet is a symbol with deep meaning, signifying a number, a picture, and a sound, which is fascinating to me as a musician.

The letter Hey has a numerical value of 5. The letter represents divine grace, breath, spirit, revelation, and the light of God. Literally, it means behold. We are in a season of grace where the Spirit is moving and bringing new revelation and insights into the knowledge of God.

The next two letters, the Tav and Shin, have the numerical values of 400 and 300, forming 700.
This is the seventh century in a season of divine grace, a beautiful time of awakening and repairing of the Kingdom.

The letter Ayin has a numerical value of 70, and the letter Zayin has a numerical value of 7, forming the last two numbers, 77.

The Ayin symbol is made up of a pair of eyes and knees bent as in prayer, signifying eyes to see and to obey. It is a picture of submitted servant leadership. In Luke 10, Jesus sends out 70 disciples, giving them the power and authority to preach, heal, and cast out demons. In Numbers 11, Moses appoints 70 elders that received the same Spirit that rested on Moses. These were leaders who served leaders in perfect submission to God.

The final number, seven, is the number of perfection and completeness. The letter in Hebrew is a picture of a sword with a crown on top, signifying a warring King, Jesus. Another interesting point is that Zayin derives its root from the word nourishment, and the word for bread is also contained in the word for war. We have these great and precious promises, that as we war from a place of rest, we will have our daily bread.

The word for this year that I am pressing into is that this is a year of the war, but not from a place of striving. We war from a place of rest and worship, in complete submission to God, under His divine grace. We war in the way God wants us to war--from the throne room of God. We are seated in heavenly places, and Jesus is our high priest and king, who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, and who has sent us out under His authority to advance the Kingdom of God.

What change will you be making this year to learn how to war from the place of rest? Can you identify what you are to let go of and what you are to step into? I believe the Lord is calling us to be intentional about pressing into times of rest like the Sabbath. Only from a place of rest will we be able to see victory! What can you begin to do even this week to cultivate more opportunity for intentional worship and intimate time with God?

Scriptures for Meditation:

"Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest...take my yoke upon you...my yoke is easy and light.." Matthew 11:28

“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest...” Hebrews 4:9-11

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20

Monday, February 20, 2017

5 Levels of Faith

Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 8:27 AM

As we wrap up this series on faith, I want to share with you the various levels of faith that are demonstrated throughout Scripture. Jesus loves every ounce of faith we have, and he responds to all levels of faith…even the smallest, most meager display of faith.

Tenacious faith: The woman with the issue of blood battled the crowd and dared to touch the edge of Jesus’ garment – Jesus’ prayer cloth. The tassels on his prayer cloth represented pomegranates, which are symbolic of the promises of God. She was unclean and would not have been allowed to touch a rabbi under the Law. But she believed that as soon she touched the hem of His garment, she would be made clean. She was persistent and tenacious in battling through the opposition of the crowds as she grabbed hold of the promises of God.

Persistent faith: Jesus told the parable of a persistent widow who persistently asked an unjust judge for a just ruling. Because of her constant pestering, the unjust judge finally ruled in her favor, just to be rid of her. The Lord said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Plan A: Believe God.

Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 7:49 AM

In my last blog, we took a brief look at supernatural faith and how faith can become a struggle if hope is lost.

So, I want you to do something for me. Just try this out and see if it works. The next time you face loss of hope, disappointment, or a testing of your faith, go straight to Plan A: Believe God.

Meditate on the Truth

First, search the scriptures and find out what God says about your situation and meditate on the truth of His word. The word meditate may sound foreign to you, but believe me, you know how to do it. In scripture, the word meditate is haga, meaning to moan, growl, mutter, muse, or imagine. This same word is used in Isaiah 31:4 as a picture of a lion roaring and growling over its prey. The lion is tenacious and stubborn. He will not let go of his prey though many enemies come against him. Have you ever worried about anything for a period of time? Have you chewed on that worry like a bone? Have you tenaciously held onto it until you felt the worry lift? That is meditating, but it’s meditating on the wrong thing. When you worry, you may even be meditating on the plans of the enemy! Jesus commands us not to worry. (Matthew 6:25) Instead, scriptures encourage us to meditate (chew on, mutter, imagine, or muse on) the promises of God.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Supernatural Faith For A Supernatural Year

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 9:07 AM

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Every time a new year comes around, I get excited. I know God has good plans for me and my family…plans to prosper us and not to harm us. (Jeremiah 29:11)

This year, as I was listening to what the Lord has in store for me, I heard, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1) This was His encouragement and assignment or theme for the year.

When I know I am hearing from the Father’s heart, a supernatural faith rises up in me. I can sense His joy and peace over me, and I know those good things are coming!

Have you ever experienced this type of supernatural faith? Or is having faith sometimes a struggle for you? What if you possessed the gift of faith from God? Not a faith where you simply believe in God, but a faith where you believe what God says is actually TRUE for you!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

A Word Imagined

Thursday, February 02, 2017 @ 4:55 PM

by Jennifer Christian, LPC and Dr. Jeff M. Christian

Words of hate tear at the fabric of our society; words of kindness mend.

Imagine.

Imagine life without unkind words. Imagine comments sections on your favorite website that only allow constructive criticism, words meant to further the conversation rather than out-shout those who disagree.

Today, online words of hate, abuse, fear, and violence are rampant. The intensity of negativity overwhelms us, a tsunami of words altering our lives without us realizing their enormous power. This new world often feels devoid of kindness. Few of us would choose to pass on this world to the next generations, so we begin this project in the hopes that we can change the future by changing the present.

We have power to create a better world.

Imagine.

Imagine a world that offers encouragement. Imagine a world where people matter. Too often, though, we feel helpless in even thinking about making a change. Where should we begin?

Well, we have some ideas... http://www.jenniferchristiancounseling.com/counseling/a-word-imagined/

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

HOW TO LOVE SOMEONE WHO IS BITTER!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017 @ 7:34 PM

How to love someone who is bitter….

We all know someone who is bitter, whether a coworker, a family member, a friend, or a spouse, you cannot deny the invisible stench of their bitterness. Often, you can hear it in their tone of voice, their responses and most often their direct communication.
People who hold onto bitterness can be oblivious that this root is deeply seeded in their hearts. If we were to approach them directly on their bitterness, the response can turn ugly fast. So often we are left not knowing how to respond.
Know this, the truth is at one point of their lives they have decided that they are sick of the hurt and pain that others caused them or maybe the injustice done in their life. They have unconsciously made the decision that they will no longer in their mind “allow anyone to take advantage of them anymore” So they hold on to the anger, thinking it’s their defense and their friend. This causes them to mull over conversations and wrong doings in their mind over and over again. The bitterness seeps in deeper and deeper and they weed grows sometimes so big that they can barely see through it anymore. It steals their joy, it steals their peace and it steals from them daily. And all they must do is give that over to Jesus, who is the one who can cut the root out.
In the meantime, until they give that up to Jesus… we all feel the stinky effects it leaves on us!
So how do we love and approach someone with bitterness?
First let’s define bitterness. the dictionary defines bitterness as “having a harsh disagreeably bitter taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood or aloe. Boy that is bitter! And let’s just think of when we have a bitter in our mouth, noting tastes or seems right after that.
In the same way, they have a hard time hearing god’s truths, or perceive information in healthy ways regarding themselves, others, and God, leaving it very difficult for their loved ones around them to be in a healthy communication.
The bible often talks about bitterness and to get rid of it fast! (Ephesians 4:31:32).

As a Clinical pastoral counselor, I have learned that behind bitterness, is usually a person who has a hard time believing that they are worth being loved themselves.
Somewhere along the line they came into agreement with the lies of not being good enough and/or that God does not love them enough. Unfortunately, the devil loves this type of self-talk because it doubts God’s goodness and loving truth!
True healing for them, is too have them come out of agreement with the lies and into the truth of Gods promises.
You can help them, and protect your own heart as well.
Here are some easy steps to remember when dealing with someone with bitterness,
1. Choose to forgive that person. (Luke 23;24) If we look beyond the layers of bitterness you will truly find a person so hurt and often broken. Before the next phone call, day or meeting up with this person, try saying this “God I choose to forgive_________ I know only you can change their hearts, so therefore I choose to forgive_____________.

2. DON’T Own It! Yes, bitter words can come out like arrows to our own heart. Don’t own it, it was never meant to be ours to wear in the first place. Remember …It is their stuff, not yours! When you start to sense the bitterness coming, you can choose to lovingly cut the conversation short or change the subject.

3. Pray for this person! My goodness, this person needs our prayers in the worst ways! Can you imagine living with bitterness? It steals their joy, it steals from them living in the moment and it steals from them hearing the truth from God. Pray, Pray and more prayer.

4. Fight back with love, the bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. With every arrow shot to our own hearts, fight back with kindness and love.

5. Serve Them, consider doing something out of the ordinary, Jesus washed the feet of those who did not deserve it.. However, by washing their feet, he was showing them the loving kindness and authentic love that God has for them. It breaks down barriers!

6. Lastly, Respond and DO NOT REACT, bitterness is that ugly, it would love to take you down too! It would love for you to exemplify the same behaviors of mulling over the conversation repeatedly. NO! Don’t do it … it’s a trick from the enemy. Keep your joy! And Give it over to GOD

Finally, you will be shocked if they do break away from bitterness that underneath that mess, is a loving, caring and sensitive spirit that can be a blessing in your life!

I hope this article helped you and please share if it can help someone else..

Carrie Price -Knospe, M.A
Redeemed and Renewed Counseling
Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor


www.redeemedandrenewedcounseling.com

Friday, January 27, 2017

Surprised by God: A Journey of Divine Discovery

Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 1:37 PM

Most of us say we know God, but do we really? Have we allowed our traditions, our fears, even our wounds to cast an image of God that is lifeless or irrelevant? Get ready to discover a God who is more wonderful, more affectionate and intimate than you could possibly imagine -- a God who has interest, care and compassion for you and your situation.
Surprised by God is about a journey of discovery - If you have a longing for more than just religious routine and ceremony, this book is for you. If you have a voice inside that tells you that your life can be so much more, then dare to come on your own journey of "divine discovery". Dare to be surprised by God!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Live, Love, & Laugh Couples Retreat

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 @ 10:05 PM

This 3-day weekend retreat is a great weekend get-away for any couple wanting to revitalize their relationship! The Live, Love, & Laugh Couples Retreat has the potential to strengthen relationships or repair ruptured relationships by helping couples identify behaviors that are damaging to the relationship and replacing them with intimacy producing behaviors. The couples will leave with a better understanding and appreciation of each other. Come and experience your partner in a different way that will improve connectedness and increase intimacy. The retreat will take place at Murphin Ridge Inn, a bed & breakfast, on April 21-23.
Visit http://www.waybridgecounseling.com/couples-retreat for more information.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mindfulness Potpourri Workshop

Monday, January 23, 2017 @ 3:52 PM

For many Christians, the thought of Meditation, using Prayer Beads or Essential Oils or participating in Yoga are for 'other spiritual orientations,' not for Christians. But guess what??? God wants us to enter into a quiet place in order to hear from Him. We can do that many ways and the four I mentioned are just a handful of opportunities to get closer to God.
The Mindfulness Potpourri Workshop offers participants the opportunity to be part of a group of Christians attempting to get quiet and still in our loud and fast world and to explore ideas and practices that you may never have considered using before.

February 18 from 8:30am-1pm, The Center for Contemplative Living will be teaching us how to meditate.
March 4 from 10am-12pm we will learn how to use essential oils to calm our nervous system.
April 1 from 10am-12pm we will be taught how to use Prayer Beads as a way to be mindful but to worship God as well.
May 6 from 10am-12pm a certified Holy Yoga teacher will be teaching us how to worship God through yoga.

All sessions will be held at Sloan's Lake Community Church, 2796 Utica St., Denver, 80212
You may attend all sessions for $60 or select which ones you'd like to attend for $20 per session.

Please contact Ellen Perricone MSW, LSW for more information or to register: htjourney@gmail.com or 720-810-4740

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

8 Minute Inteview with Empire Broadcasting Group - Studio 2

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 @ 4:05 PM

I will be interviewed on a online Radio Talk Program on January 23, 2017, Monday at 11:15 am. to answer questions about my services and tell about my inspirational story as founder of Faith and Healing Ministries.

Hope you can tune in!

The website: http://empirebroadcastinggroup.com/listen-live/studio-2/

Writing Your Own Self-Care List

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 @ 10:18 AM

By Jennifer Christian, M.A., LPC 69112

Today during my routine morning walk I began to ponder the many self-care skills that I use regularly. Over the years, I have learned that I feel better when I make time to:

Walk
Eat right
Nap
Practice gratitude
Practice prayerful meditation
Practice yoga
Have fun
Plan enjoyable activities
Spend time with friends

This may seem like a no brainer to some people, but personally it has been an evolution of self-acceptance and self-compassion. Healthy habits that are so natural for me today were nonexistent several years ago.

I remember the first time I received a self-care list. It was about 10 years ago. I was fatigued, stressed out, and pushing myself harder and harder to be perfect. I could not go on this way much longer. I was at a breaking point. I found Nancy, a therapist who began to help me process how I found myself at this point and how to move forward. During one session, she gave me a self-care handout that addressed physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I had never seen anything like it. What a radical concept!

As a child, I received a version of a "Christian" message that I should always sacrifice my own needs on behalf of others. Somewhere along the way I learned that my needs were not only unimportant, but that it was selfish for me to express my needs. I was told that whenever I felt empty and exhausted I should pray harder and God would provide. But years and years of emptying myself for others wore away at my physical and emotional health. Moreover, there was not enough of me to go around, and my children and husband sometimes got the short end of the stick. This approach was not sustainable.

When Nancy handed me the self-care list, I began a journey of learning self-care and boundaries. In the beginning, I carried the list with me wherever I went, especially when I found myself around difficult people who suck the life out of me, treat me like I do not matter, or that they should always come first. I needed a reminder that it is okay to respond to myself with care. At one point I even carried my self-care list to a challenging family gathering in another state. I referred to the list several times as a support to say “no” when needed, or to allow myself rest when I was tired. I began to experience a positive difference.

“When you doubt your own importance, you’re allowing the manipulations of difficult people to gain a foothold. However, when you understand that your time, money, dignity and needs are vital to your well-being, it’s easier to tune out people who want to break your boundaries.” Margarita Tartakovsky

Now I practice responding to myself in the same way that I want to respond to others: with love, compassion, kindness, gratitude, acceptance, and gentleness. I continue to learn what it is to be a compassionate and loving person every time I practice compassion and love with myself. I am a recovering perfectionist, so I often have to start my compassionate practice over again daily...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Walk With Me Grief Support Group

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 @ 2:27 PM

The Walk With Me ® Grief Support Group is facilitated by Tonya Ratliff, the Owner and Director of Trinity Family Counseling Center. Offered at no cost to the community, this group is designed to provide the attendee with an overview of the entire grief journey.

Tonya’s approach to the group is one fueled by unconditional compassion, as she assists those in attendance in coping with the anguishing adjustment to a life that has changed without their permission.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

8 minute Interview by Empire Radio on Motivating Hearts of Inspiration, Inc.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 6:22 PM

I will be answering questions about Motivating Hearts of Inspiration, Inc. and describing the various services we offer. I will also be singing a little sample of a song that I wrote to motivate those inspired hearts. Feel free to tune in!

You can also follow my newly launched blog for regular words of encouragement:

www.motivatingheartsofinspiration.wordpress.com/

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Beautifully Broken: My Journey to a Mended Heart

Sunday, January 08, 2017 @ 11:13 PM

Beautifully Broken: My Journey to a Mended Heart is a shocking memoir of Rhonda Marie Stalb’s rocky road to peace and joy. It is a journey of adversity and healing. This poignant story shows vividly how God is very aware of our hurts. We see how God is with us every step of the way through the pain, trials and losses. In her story, Rhonda makes it very evident that our pain can lead us to people who can be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to help us along the road to healing. God doesn’t waste our pain because He transforms the shattered pieces of life into a beautiful masterpiece. It is only by being Beautifully Broken that Rhonda has learned to minister to those who have the same hurts, fears, and dreams. Her goal is to help people who are on a similar road to find their way to being Beautifully Broken.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Self-Identified Christian Women and Divorce: The Recovery and Discovery of Self

Sunday, January 01, 2017 @ 12:38 PM

Published in The Journal of Psychology and Christianity
Authors: Gwen White, PsyD and Deborah Berghuis, PhD

For the authors of this study, a concern emerged in our interactions with female clients who placed a high value on their religious beliefs. They came to us with stories of deep distress related to separation/divorce and many accounts of increased stress due to their interactions with Christian friends and with clergy. This study grew out of a desire to understand more fully the process self-identified Christian women experienced in separation/divorce. The objective nature of the changes with separation/divorce (decreased financial and social resources, increased responsibilities for children, relationship conflicts, etc.) did not fully account for the emotional turmoil these individuals recognized in themselves, particularly the change in self-representations they reported. The influence of their belief systems and religious practices filled their stories.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Is EFT Couple Counseling right for you?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 @ 2:39 PM

By Jen Page Hubal, M.A., LMFT 95978
I receive many calls from people in our community requesting couple counseling. Sometimes they ask, “What kind of therapy do you do?” This is a very good question because different therapists use different methods for counseling depending on their background and training. I work with couples using Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT). EFT is a very effective way to help couples who are having challenges with their relationship.
I chose to work with couples using EFT for two main reasons. First, I wanted a treatment for my clients that could create positive change in their relationship. And second, I wanted the effects of counseling to last over time. Research on the effectiveness of EFT therapy showed that couples receiving EFT had 70-73% recovery rate from marital distress and 90% demonstrated significant improvement (Johnson, 2004). Therapy results can never be guaranteed, but EFT has been researched for over 20 years and has been shown to help couples create and maintain a healthy relationship with lasting results.
When I work with you using EFT I will be focusing on the relationship between you and your partner in terms of your emotional bond. A healthy bond is created when each partner becomes a source of security and comfort for the other. Couples in marital distress are trapped in negative patterns of interacting that weaken or damage their emotional bond. In many cases couples have been trapped in negative patterns that create resentment, defensiveness, hurt, and conflict. These patterns can be very difficult to recognize when you are “in them”. You may not even know they are there! Perhaps there has been disconnection, resentment and/or conflict for a long time that has worn away at the positive connection you once had. Or maybe there was a negative experience that caused broken trust such as an affair, reoccurring lying or secret addictions.
It is possible to learn a new ways of relating to your partner. With EFT, couples learn new ways of interacting that create connection and build a healthy emotional bond. In a healthy bond we feel understood, appreciated, cared for, and secure. EFT couples therapy can be described as a journey from defensiveness, frustration and isolation to emotional engagement, security and a sense of connectedness.
I hope that you decide to give EFT and couples therapy a try. My hope for your marriage is that you get connected and stay connected. Read more at www.healthhopecounseling.com
Jen Page Hubal, M.A., MFT
(530) 488-0585
jen@healthhopecounseling.com
Reference:
Johnson, S.M. (2004). Creating connection: The practice of emotionally focused couple therapy. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Life of Faith

Thursday, December 08, 2016 @ 6:44 PM

This book is an informative book about a life that is filled with faith and the love of Christ.
This book has been in print for over 80 years. It is written by Cornelia Nuzum. Cornelia encourages others to live humbly and witness boldly.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Mondays Get Me Down

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 @ 2:56 PM

Kari Froelicher, MA, LPC
Why is it that most people just don't seem to like Mondays? Mondays represent the beginnings of a new day of the work week and for many of us we dread another week of work. We wish the week ends would go on and on and we could continue to play or do whatever we were doing during the weekends. Maybe we have to get up early on Mondays and we hate getting up early. We look forward to sleeping in on the weekends when we don't have to work. How horrible to be in a job that you dread going to. I've been there. It saps all the life out of you. It drains the energy out if you. And you begin to look like poor Garfield in the picture. Who wants to live life like that? That is no way to live.

So what do you do? I think you have to make a decision first of all that you don't want to live that way no matter how great that paycheck might be, how great those benefits are or whatever the reasons are that are keeping you in that job that feels more like a prison than a blessing. You have to look for what your passion(s) is (or are) and go for that. That will make you feel energized and alive. You will feel like you have a purpose to be doing what you have a passion for, even if you don't make a lot of money at it. And strangely enough if you have passion for it you probably will make money at it. And more than likely you will be good at it too because if you have a passion for it you will put the time and energy into it and that means you will be learning and doing and excelling. Wow how can you lose!

Now you'll never hate Mondays again. I am self employed. I look at my job completely different than maybe a lot of people. I went on a horse camping trip recently, and don't get me wrong I LOVE horse camping trips and would love to be out there all the time but I also LOVE my job too, so when we got back my friend called me after I got back to work and said "So how does it feel to be back to work after the trip?". I immediately thought "Oh it is wonderful I am sooo glad to have clients to see", but then I hesitated and thought "oh no I think he wants to hear that I am sad to be back away from the trip" and so I wasn't sure what to say for a minute. I can't really remember what I ended up saying. But I don't hate Mondays. Of course I take Mondays off. But I don't hate Tuesdays either, because I enjoy the opportunity that I am given to work and be around the clients I have. I have a passion and I am doing it. Find your passion and do it!

Free Seminar: Holiday Stress Busters

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 @ 12:55 PM

With Christmas coming up, Thanksgiving just behind you, and family issues this can be a time of lots of stress for most of us. Come learn some simple things you can do to beat the Holiday stress in this very overstressed world.

This will be a one hour seminar in the Wickenburg library conference room. It will be interactive and fun.

December 5, 2016 Monday at 10am Wickenburg library conference room.

For more information call Kari at 928-232-9280

Just come as you are.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Real Help for Real People

Tuesday, November 08, 2016 @ 5:25 PM

Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing to do, even though we know it is needed. At Regal Oak Counseling we are concerned with what you need, how you feel, and what you hope to accomplish. We can help you with practical ways to apply Scripture to your every day life, and work together to help you reach your therapeutic goals. Whether you are experiencing difficulty adjusting to change, dealing with loss, having relationship difficulties, or find yourself challenged in numerous areas, let Regal Oak Counseling walk with you through the difficulty.

We provide counseling for individuals, couples, families, and groups. We also accept most major insurance and various employee assistance programs. Contact us today at 682-651-7621 for more information.

Carrie M, Allen, MA, LPC
Owner, Regal Oak Counseling, LLC
Mansfield, Texas

Monday, November 07, 2016

3 Things You'll Notice if Your Husband is Rebuilding Trust

Monday, November 07, 2016 @ 8:40 PM

It’s amazing how things change once your husband starts to talk with a counselor or marriage coach after you’ve discovered he has sexually betrayed you. Finding out that your husband has been unfaithful to you, or that he has been dabbling with pornography was incredibly hurtful. Perhaps this is the situation you’re in right now, and you need a little bit of encouragement about whether or not this is going to work for your marriage.
Here are three things you and your husband will notice fairly quickly when he decides to seek help by honestly sharing his feelings and struggles with a professional. Remember, the goal for both of you is freedom from those habits that are doing damage to your relationship and your marriage.

HE BEGINS TO COOPERATE WITH GOD
Amazing things start to happen when we cooperate with God. This is true even if we’re hesitant or if we doubt that it will make a difference in our lives. God understands our reluctance to change as human beings, but when your husband reaches out to Him, there’s an incredible transformation that takes place in him from the inside out. You’ll notice that he’ll become authentic, he’ll take ownership for the mistakes he made, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to create safety and security in your relationship. One surefire sign that you husband is serious about changing is his desire to lead spiritually in the marriage. He is eager to read a daily devotional with you, is happy to help the children dress for church and takes time to pray with you. He’ll begin to see that freedom from the chains of infidelity and dishonesty is possible because he is getting honest with God and you.

HE STARTS TO VALUE YOUR MARRIAGE
As God begins to work in your husband, he will start to remember how he felt about your marriage when you first got married. The passion will start to rekindle in his heart, only it will be renewed with God’s power behind it. He’ll have a deep desire to heal because it will mean healing himself as well as the pain he has caused for you. He does what it takes to take care of you and expresses his love though various caring behaviors that are meaningful to you. In a way, it’s as if God opens his eyes to the plans He has for your marriage, and that is such a great revelation.

HE IS FOCUSED ON INTEGRITY
As God transforms your husband and gains understanding of how important your marriage is, a deeper level of integrity will be born within his heart. He will desire accountability from you, his coach or counselor and support group. He gives you username and passwords to access his phone, social media accounts, checking and savings accounts. There is radical honesty in every aspect of his personal life. He maintains his commitment to you and your marriage for the long haul, but most of all, he will desire it to maintain his commitment to God. Honesty will become important to him, and he’ll be thrilled with the changes in himself because of his honesty. That’s because when he’s finally doing the right thing and making good decisions, he’ll be able to sleep at night again and he’ll feel good about himself. It will take time for you to begin to trust your husband again. But if he is consistent with his actions that trust will slowly begin to rebuild.
It’s really amazing what happens when we get answers for addictions that have plagued us for years. God is the answer, and as Christian marriage coaches and counselors in Beaufort, SC, we would love to help you discover that answer for your marriage.

If you would like to make an appointment to talk with a professional Christian Marriage Coach and Counselor who can help you save your marriage, please contact us at 843-379-0288. You can also use our convenient  to make your appointment.
Whether you’re a woman who is praying fervently that her husband wants to save your marriage or you’re a husband who is searching for help, turning to God can change everything for your marriage.

Friday, November 04, 2016

T. Charles Brantley Ph. d Radio - Hot 937FM

Friday, November 04, 2016 @ 9:23 PM

Sample on Radio - Relationships Love Mommy Boy and other issues

National Taped Show - Bill Cunningham

Friday, November 04, 2016 @ 9:19 PM

Bill Cunningham show invited Dr Brantley in 2013. Title of show was "how to catch a cheater" - aired national November 5 2013 and re-aired on January 21 2014

T. Charles Brantley Ph.d Style

Friday, November 04, 2016 @ 9:15 PM

Unique in the fashion that more men enjoy his counseling because issues are not covered up. He uses real world analogies to draw out real world solutions. If you are looking for a counselor to just take notes you have the wrong guy. if you are looking for a counselor to sugar coat issues you have the wrong guy.

However, if you are looking for a real world counselor who will let you be you than come under false pretense than you have come to the right place. Whether the issue is communication, sex, blended families, and finance or past issues, Pastor TC will guild you through the abyss of marriage.

Pastor TC proficiency lies in dealing with past issues and providing couples the tools to
survive an affair.

T C will not solve every problem but will help you deal and find solutions to those problems. His blend of emotional and marriage counseling can not be described. It can only be experienced.

*The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists, the National Board of Certified Counselors (#5627) to offer continuing education for National Certified Counselors, and by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences in counseling to offer continuing education for marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, social workers, and psychologists.

21 Books Written by T. Charles Brantley Ph.d

Friday, November 04, 2016 @ 9:13 PM

T. Charles Brantley Ph.d is one of Connecticut's prolific author on the subject of Intimacy, Relationship and Theology with 21 books // 3,354 page // 785,669 words. 2016 he was ranked the number one published author with titles at Outskirtpress.com.

On July 2013 he was the featured relationship expert for the National Syndicated Bill Cunningham Show. He is a heard on Hot 93.7FM Hartford, Connecticut (Connecticut Number 1 Hip Hop Station) with DJ Buck, Nancy Barrow and Joey F every other Thursday as their relationship expert. In addition he is a relationship expert for ABC Channel 8 (CT Style). Dr. T. Charles Brantley is a frequent guest of WIHS 104.9 FM Middletown, Connecticut "Bread of Life".

Dr. T. Charles Brantley is a marriage counselor who founded Strong Marriages (the new S&M). With the goal of restoring and saving marriages in all aspects and assisting couples from living together to walking down the aisle in Holy Matrimony.

Dr. T. Charles Brantley is fully accredited by the International Board of Christian Counselors as a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor by the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has a Diploma in Biblical Counseling from American Association of Christian Counselors. Dr. Brantley received a certificate for Emotionally Focused CouplesTherapy. In addition he is a certified Professional Marriage Coach and Professional Marriage Mentor with the American Association of Christian Counselors.