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NURTURING YOUR CHILD'S SOUL
June 7, 2015
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The soul is the deepest part of our selves. It is the soul that cries out to love and be loved. As adults, we are cognizant of this within ourselves, but what about our children, our teenagers? Somehow as parents we can get caught up in making sure they do well at school, have extra-curricular activities to develop their talents, and do their chores. We can take them for granted and just accept their existence. But how much time and effort do we put into blessing and strengthening their souls?
I have two daughters and from the day they were in the womb they were different. But their soul, their deepest self, both longed for the same thing: to be known, loved and valued by their mom. Learning this valuable lesson changed my parenting.
I made the mistake of overestimating my parenting skills. My oldest daughter was so dependable, helpful and smart that I relied on her obedience and self-discipline as a sign that I was a great parent. In high school she attended an elite performing arts school that
kept her busy from 8am to 7pm. As a freshman she’d go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 3am to do her homework.
I had so much confidence in this daughter of mine that I assumed she was doing fine and let her be. Then in her junior year everything changed. She hated school and her teachers were concerned. At home she was angry and distant. I got a reality check on my parenting.
As I took the time to talk with her I learned how challenging her life was for her. She had been so used to handling things on her own that the thought of coming to me for help was not an option. She was angry that she was so alone in her pain. She did not feel known, loved or valued by her mom. I had neglected her soul.
From that point on I learned to see my daughter as a unique individual and made her soul a priority. Have you neglected your child or teenager’s soul and don’t know how to start the healing?
Let us help you. Schedule an appointment today at 714-869-1633.
WHERE DID ALL THE
WISE MEN GO?
JULY 29, 2015
All human beings are hungry. We are hungry for love, acceptance, purpose, value, relationship, joy, laughter, excitement, romance, comfort, security, courage and freedom. We hunger to feel noticed and important. We are driven to search and consume anything that might satisfy this seemingly unending and insatiable hunger. This hunger stems from the sense that something is not complete. No matter what stage we are in our lives there seems to be at least one more thing that must be fixed, accomplished, or obtained in order to feel complete and content. There is always just one more thing we could fix about ourselves, our job, our spouse, or our desire for a spouse, our finances, etc. We search for the answer in self-help books and in articles on 10 secrets to living a happy life. We try out fitness regimens, diets, cosmetics, and maybe even surgeries. We seek after the perfect soul mate who promises a life of happiness. Yet, inevitably, overtime these fade away and the hunger returns. Don’t get me wrong these are good things to incorporate into our life; however, they only bring temporary feelings of contentment and completeness. What if we sought after something much more eternal and weighty? Something we used to seek after decades ago, before pop culture and politics steered us astray.
It used to be that seeking wisdom and truth from God and His creation was the route to discerning how to live the flourishing life. Theology and philosophy flourished as proponents such as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Pascal, Newton and Tolstoy sought to gain more knowledge and wisdom from God regarding how we are to live our lives here on earth. This wisdom was for the sake of living in obedience to God as well as for our own good and enjoyment. Considering the fact that God created the earth and all that is within it, He knows very well what brings us joy, satisfaction, fulfillment, and purpose. Therefore, it would be wise to trust Him to guide our everyday lives.
From my own personal experience of gaining wisdom through Christian therapy, I have seen vast amounts of ways in which my life has been transformed for the better. I have gained more wisdom about myself and about my relationships and consequently have seen positive growth in my own life and in my relationships. Wisdom is powerful because it brings truth into our lives; truth that permeates our mind, body, and soul and has the power to set us free (John 8:32; NIV).
Maybe the answer is not found in something tangible, but found in gaining a new perspective. Maybe the answer is found along the journey of searching for wisdom and truth in our lives in the midst of a world that throws us lies left and right. Maybe the answer is to start feeding ourselves less with temporary and fleeting substances and more with enduring and more profound wisdom.
Call 714-869-1633 and schedule a counseling appointment today!
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
JULY 29, 2015
One of my favorite children's books when I was a little girl was "Are You my Mother?" do you remember this book? A little bird is hatched while his mother is away getting food and preparing for his arrival. While she is gone, he falls out of his nest searching for his mother. In the very beginning of the story he walks right by his mother because he didn't know what she looked like and proceeds to ask a kitten, hen, dog, cow...Are you my mother? Frustrated he says to himself "I WILL find my mother, I WILL!" he even goes up to a big machine he calls a "Snort" and asks the same question, "Are you my Mother?" eventually he gets back to the nest and when his mother says, "Do you know who I am?" The baby bird says, "YES, you are not a kitten, a cow...and so on. And then he proclaims with confidence "You are a bird and you are my mother!"
This simple children's story reminds me of how we as human beings have an innate desire to find our identity and purpose. On our search to find ourselves we go to others, self help books, sometimes we will go to a "Snort" machine, as the bird did in the story, but our purpose is to obtain the perfect outward image and we call the "Snort" liposuction. All of our effort, all of our wandering around in all the wrong places, can leave us lost. Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to find ourselves, we overlook our Creator just like the little bird passing his mother.
That is where we begin the search for our identity, back to our Creator who made us in His image. Knowing who God is and why He created you is the foundation to your identity. If this foundation is not solid then your soul will find no contentment and it will continue to thirst. That’s what happened to me. I went down every path I could go just to find that I still had no answers and felt empty. In trying to find myself I even attempted to change just to fit in to the image the world projected. I looked and listened to the friends around me trying to find my perfect self. It wasn’t until I sought God, the one that formed me in my mother’s womb, that I began to find my identity and my purpose.
Our souls need to stand on this simple foundational truth - we were created to receive God's love and to love God in return! That is our basic purpose and where my feet are now firmly planted. Everything else I tried to stand upon in the past crumbled. Until I knew this simple truth my soul found no rest, no peace. I was constantly dissatisfied and true joy seemed like a fairytale. It wasn't until I understood my soul wasn't created to satisfy itself that I could find the true me. All my previous efforts were senseless and it was like walking in a circle and coming to the same fork in the road over and over again.
After my eyes were opened and my feet firmly planted in my basic purpose I began to see there was so much more to my identity than just the exchange of love between my Heavenly Father and myself. There was a road leading me to bigger truths and greater understanding of who I am. This narrow path is called Jesus. Most definitely a less traveled path but it's exactly where I find my being. My identity in Christ is more than just what I see in the mirror, in fact it's not me I see...it's Him. As I continue down this path I am able to see more and more of Him.
We find our true identity "In Christ." The identity God intended all along at the beginning of time when Uncle Adam and Aunt Eve were in the garden. Our identity in the Garden was distorted by a lie and it's that same lie that keeps us wandering around looking to others and within ourselves for answers. But through Jesus, in Him we are reconciled to God and reconciled to His original plan for us from the beginning was distorted because of the deception in the garden. All has now been restored "In Christ."
Now I an look at His Word with fresh eyes and truly understand that "in Him" I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and I am no longer defined by my mistakes or my past. In Christ I am justified and redeemed (Rom 3:24) and completely forgiven (Romans 8:1) I don't have to be weighed down by my failures. I have confidence knowing I have an eternal hope. (John 3:16) even death has no power over me (1 Cor 15:55) and this hope of eternal life anchors my soul (Heb 6:19) to know where I truly belong. I have direction and wise counsel (Psalm 32:8) and through Jesus I have obtained knowledge as the creator of the universe teaches e daily. It's in His strength that I have ability (Phil. 4:13). In Jesus I have peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7), overcoming and conquering anything that comes my way (Rom. 8:37).
I am confident of who I am now but not due to my own ability, nor what I look like, it's only when I look at myself through Jesus' eyes that I can see myself dearly. I am no longer wandering or lost but found in Him. I know who I am and how to live...for in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28a).