For those of you who are interested, we would love for you to join us next Sunday from 2 til 4pm as we celebrate and pray for the work we will be doing at Seeds of Hope this year. Plus you get to see our new digs! We are excited to share with you how God has led us into a new direction, one that I didn't see coming. My original plan was to open a center for families with a couple of therapists and eventually buy a farm. (I still want the farm! but I have to be patient and wait for the horses!) Over the course of the last couple of years of counseling families, I have realized the connection of the spirit, mind and body is so powerful. In order to be truly well, we need to grow and strengthen all three of these parts of us. Our therapists counsel from this philosophy each session, but still sometimes our clients have difficulty putting it into practice. We may help them come up with a plan to work on the body and they are motivated in our sessions to do it, but then they don't follow through on their own. Likewise, we may encourage them toward studying scripture, or writing in a prayer journal and they have great intentions, but they fall short of doing this on their own. This feels defeating for them, and us. Ultimately, it led me to the idea of giving our clients additional support through services where we can do these things along side of them. A new concept really for a counseling agency! I am so excited to tell you about the new staff who will be helping us towards this goal of complete wellness. Jen Mattheu, a biblical counselor, will be offering spiritual guidance for teens & women. She will be doing Bible studies, Moms groups, parenting classes and individual sessions for clients needing to grow the spiritual part of them. Anyone who talks with Jen knows she is gifted in this area. The same goes for our other new addition, Erika McKee. She will be heading up our new BE EMPOWERED fitness ministry, This will not be like any other fitness program as she is excellent at incorporating all three elements of spirit, mind, body into her workout programs. If you have ever trained under her, you know what I am talking about. I have done my share of workout routines under various people, but what she does is different. Not only does she kick my butt and make me sweat buckets, I feel emotionally and spiritually energized as well. I call what she does "therapy in motion." She will be doing group and individual wellness training at our facility! With these 2 new initiatives, I believe we are on our way to providing holistic care for families. I couldn't be more excited to see what the Lord is planning to do with all of this! I hope you will come check things out this Sunday March 3!
So exactly at this time last year, Chris was painting my new office. He did such a great job on my cute, little space. I have enjoyed every minute of being there. It is such a quaint, and perfect place really. But........Chris (and his dear friend Dave Smith) are on the ladder again, painting a new space. I jokingly said to my landlord last year that I would be moving into her bigger space in one year. Well, it's not a joke and I am. I feel so blessed and am really in awe of what has happened in the time of a year at Seeds of Hope. It's our 3rd year of offering families hope, and in that time we have seen more than 200+ families, averaging now 60 families a week. We are so busy with this work, we have outgrown our space. As much as I hate to leave my little abode with all of its memories, all of its successes---it's just a place and places mean nothing. In the bigger picture I realize God is leading me onward, to reach higher places, helping more families towards healing and freedom. Again I am stepping out in faith, calling on the Lord to guide the work I have begun. He has been whispering in my ear lots of things, lately in the middle of the night. He says, "trust me" "stop worrying" "my plan is better" "believe" and so I am. Many things are in the works for this 3rd year of Seeds. I am excited to share them with you, but not just yet. Stay tuned and see ya a door down on Main St.
Even though it isn't spring yet, flowers are blooming here at Seeds of Hope! We need help to keep the planting going. The kind of seeds we are planting are of the ever-lasting, life-changing kind. I love the quote that says, "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." This means we should not wait til we think we are ready to do something God is calling us to do. He is already preparing us or you! He knows exactly where you need to be and who you need to be with in order to equip you for your assignment--and He is working to get you exactly where you need to be! God will use every aspect of who you are and where you came from to bring about His will in your life. He will use your background, your level of education, your past occupations, and everything else you've accumulated from your life experiences. One thing is certain, if God wants you somewhere, He will get you there. So.... maybe that means you are reading this for a reason? Perhaps you or someone you know is supposed to be working here at Seeds of Hope? We have a waiting list right now we can't fill. Give a shout out if God is calling!
I am so happy, I just have to share the news! Seeds of Hope Counseling just got bigger! It was part of the plan all along to reach as many families as possible, but now I can do more, I mean --we can do more. I love the sound of that, the we part. It's no longer just me in the office, with the vision and the desire. We has become 3! In a blink, God decided to expand our influence and I am so excited for what this means! It means- more healthy families, more kids finding freedom, more teens knowing their purpose, more seeds being planted! I share my happiness in no boasting way for this has nothing to do with me or what I have done. God deserves the praise and so I am giving it to Him. It's not a coincidence how all this went down either. I know for sure He directed me here. I have clients ask me all the time how I know when things are God's plan or my own. This is very hard at times to discern. Let me just explain the story, so you will also know. Less than a year ago I was still seeing clients out of my home. I was seeing so many clients my neighbors (and boys) were complaining. I held on as long as I could to working at home, but eventually it was obvious I needed to move. God was nudging me forward. In faith, I opened this location in Shrewsbury. Within 2 months, I was full---overfull, maxed to the max with clients to the point of seeing them everyday and night. Thoughts of expansion began, but again I pushed them off. God kept speaking to me. He wanted me to move forward. So I began my search but with reservations. I was unsure if I really wanted this. Things were fine just as they were I thought. Even so, I interviewed many therapists over the next couple of months. None of them felt right. I decided to stop, take a break from interviewing, even took my ad off of Indeed. I prayed for God to show me direction and decided to just let it be. A month later, I received 2 calls in the same week. One from a therapist who heard about me from someone and looked up my website. She asked me if I was still hiring. The second call was from another therapist who learned about Seeds of Hope from someone who interviewed with me earlier that summer. Neither of these inquiries came from the "normal" job finding process. They seemed to be random, just out of the blue. I agreed to meet with them, but still thought I wasn't going to hire anyone just yet. God had other plans. He knew what I was looking for and He dropped it right out of the sky for me. It was so obvious, so easy I didn't even think twice. Without hesitation I hired them both. Amazingly enough (or not so really, why do we always doubt God), both therapists met all of my requirements, or the things I was really wanting (both Moms, both experienced, both older but younger, both Christians with servant hearts, both wanting to work with children, both family oriented, both playful, both wanting to learn more but independent and fully equipped on their own). God gave me everything I prayed for times 2! I still am humbled by this. This wasn't random, I know it was a gift from Him. Happy doesn't really explain the feeling I feel. In awe of His mercy and at peace is more like it. Sometimes you just know its right, because you feel this. Please help me welcome the therapists God has given.....checkout the new, updated website with their info!
Seeds of Hope in Shrewsbury is finally open! What a great first week it's been in this new place! It already feels like home, as if I was destined to be here. I know that sounds cliché, but truly it couldn't be more perfect. Thanks to everyone who came out in support last weekend for the open house. I feel so blessed to be given this gift. It is my prayer that this little, cute space on Main St. becomes a place families find peace, forgiveness, healing and Hope! I am bursting with excitement and eager to see all the Lord will do here.
It's officially play therapy week! Time to celebrate and recognize all the great benefits of play therapy! Perfect timing really for Seeds of Hope as play therapy has been the basis of the work I have been doing this year. I have witnessed the benefits and effectiveness of play therapy firsthand while counseling more than 50 kids & teens this year! I praise God for giving me this opportunity! When starting this career way back when, I had no idea even what play therapy was. I feel assured I was led down this path because of its great impact on younger people. Play therapy just works! It helps kids find their confidence, it helps them learn to problem solve on their own, it gives their feelings a voice, they feel comfortable, they get it! I am so honored to be a part of the process. I get to plant seeds of the best kind, the lasting ones, the ones that matter and change lives. I began this practice almost exactly a year ago out of my home! I had no idea what to expect. I have been humbled by the response, the way God is working. I can't keep up! I don't have enough time to give! My neighbors are screaming at all the cars coming back our little stone lane (about 35 per week!) My kids & husband especially want their home back. More than this, God has prompted me to step out in faith again. It is with great excitement that I am announcing today the hanging of my sign in a new place March 1st! Seeds of Hope will be opening in downtown Shrewsbury amongst all the cute, little antique shops and across from Village Coffee & Cream! Thank you Lord for this gift! In addition, I am searching for an additional therapist to help fill the space and meet the counseling needs of our community! Play therapy is the foundation, but it certainly isn't all that is happening here. Plan to stop by our open house in March !!!
Seeds of Hope Counseling has been open for almost 8 months now! I praise God for this blessing! Since March, my practice has grown significantly to the point in which my days are booked almost completely. I say almost because I still have a few openings to fill. If you are reading this, perhaps He is leading you here. I encourage you to follow His nudge. I began offering free consultations because I know how difficult it is to put yourself out there and enter into this kind of relationship. Counseling has gotten a bad rep. I get it. It's hard to admit when we need help. The truth is each one of us could use some. We are all in need of fixing. Even so, nothing is worse than taking that step and showing up to your first appointment, only to discover the counselor is someone you have no desire to talk to. Before you commit to this, I want to make sure this is something you want to commit to. For this reason, I offer everyone remotely interested a free hour of consult. It's important for you to see my place, feel out the room, hear all that I do and determine if it's a fit for you. As of now, I have a few day and evening spots available. No pressure, no obligation, no worries. Call me. I am here.
A new adventure begins for me and I am so excited! I am branching out, following my path, listening to His direction. I had no idea I would be headed this way. I thought I knew the plan, my gifting, the road I was to travel. Sometimes we get so comfortable in our minds, but the Lord gives us clues. I haven't missed what He has been whispering to me. He is stretching me, asking me to reach farther. While I am loving the work I am doing with kids & teens and this will remain my passion, I am ready to plant some seeds of hope elsewhere. I already am really. Over the past couple of months, God has brought me some young adult, college age & Mom clients! At the beginning of this journey back in March, I decided whoever God sent me I would see if at all possible. I felt that if they made it to my door way back in the redneck woods of Glen Rock, then they were supposed to for a reason. I believe strongly God directs our paths and no meeting is just coincidental. I am so thankful I was open to this because in it I found a new passion, a new gifting, a new way to reach more hurting people. I am with open arms saying once again "here I am Lord, send them to me." If you are reading this maybe my message is for you or someone you know. We all need some extra support sometimes no doubt. Trust me when I say I could have used it back in my college years and I still need it while I am figuring out how to be the best Mom I can be. If you are looking for direction, in need of help finding yourself again, struggling with feeling good about life, or feeling overstressed (lol) don't hesitate in finding your way to my back porch. I'll be ready with some tea!
I am so excited about the girls teen groups beginning this summer that I could almost run around the parking lot naked! Well, not really. I am no longer a teenager myself or courageous enough to do that anymore, but I feel like it! My heart is tickled pink with excitement for the opportunity this presents. I must share this info with you!
Plans are in the works for 2 groups for girls ages 13-15 and 16-18 who are struggling with low self-esteem, anxiety or depression. Spaces are limited to 4 per group and this is purposeful. A smaller group feels more comfortable, intimate and well just better. The group will focus on the idea of "looking for lovely." In every situation, in every success and failure, in every person there is "lovely." I wish this was my idea, but it wasn't. Annie Downs created a bible study for women based on the notion that we too often focus on the negatives and never find the lovely. I thought this was such a great way to put it, I couldn't say it any better. I have taken some of her ideas, along with some of my ideas and of course empirical studies on cognitive-behavioral therapy, mixed with creative arts therapies and turned all of it into one big, awesome plan. Of course I realize things don't always go as planned especially with teenagers, but it's usually best to start with one and so here it is. Thursday nights from 6 til 7:30 for 8 weeks -cost is $100. Beginning sometime in June! Reserve your spot today and pay later. It's going to be just lovely!
I often get the question --teens & play therapy, how does that work? Parents look around my office and sometimes think it looks too elementary and their teen won't play in the sand tray. I was surprised too when my first 15 year old client started digging in the sand. I no longer am. There is something about that sand feeling on our fingers we all love. For those who don't go there, I put on my creative hat and figure out what it is they like. Just this morning I was hiking on a trail, picking up sticks and looking for birds with a teen client. My husband asks, "and that's therapy?" I answer with a big YES! Meeting the child where he is, exploring the things he likes to do-that is where I find the "true" self. In order for growth to occur, we must go through the process of "peeling the onion" to find the authentic self. Creative therapies help do this. For those of you who have peeled a real onion, you know there are many layers on top of the core. We are like that too. All of our experiences, our hurts and joys build on each other. When I work with a teen who is struggling with anxiety or depression, even lack of self confidence- I am looking for the layer that began those feelings. I want it exposed and dealt with so it can be peeled off and thrown into the compost. See, we oftentimes hold onto our hurts. This reminds me of an onion that has a bad , mushy spot in it. If the spot isn't cut off, eventually the whole onion becomes rotten and unusable. I look at my clients this way and it helps me better understand the problem and solution. My goal is to help that onion become a part of some sort of fabulous dish by peeling off the rotten parts. Kinda sounds gross, but hey you get the point. Play therapy helps this process because kids don't even know it is happening, even teens aren't clued in. Playing dominos with a teen isn't just about playing dominos. Remember this when you play games with your kids. Think of the onion! Your goal is to get down to the core, the "true" self. Once there-- work can begin, hearts can be changed, tasty dishes can be made. Oh the feeling I get when I witness the onion being peeled in therapy! I will never look at one the same again.