Blogging is hard right now, but I have been writing. I have been scribbling notes here and there; in notebooks with a pen.
I wrote pages and pages on the way back from the OneThing conference in Kansas City. I was thinking about what Mike Bickle said about self-hatred and how abiding in the love of God can drive it away. I was remembering some of the things that God has told me to tell clients struggling with self-hatred. I was reflecting on things that God has told me in my own struggle with self-hatred. I was writing down everything that I could remember that I have ever learned about self-esteem and how we can change the way we view ourselves and our bodies.
I have been penciling notes into the margins of my Bible again. I was wonderfully challenged by a message that Francis Chan gave during the conference. (Revelation 3:1-2: "you have a reputation for being alive, but in fact you are dead! Wake up, and strengthen what remains, before it dies too!) I have become so very lazy about reading my Bible on a daily basis and starting my day in quality conversation with God. So, I started following a one-year Bible reading plan and I'm seeking to savor the words that I'm reading. I go slow, think long and make notes of what I'm hearing.
I made a list of dreams earlier this week. I was at home in front of a dancing fire and I just let my imagination go wild. I recorded everything that I could think of in the little Eiffel Tower notebook that my mom got me when I got engaged. She bought it for me jot down notes in the midst of wedding planning. It seemed like the perfect place to record my current hopes and dreams and I filled several of the small pages before I slowed. I don't know which of these dreams will come to pass, but it was exhilarating to make a written record of them.
I think that I have struggled to write my first post of 2014 because there are so many different things that I want to write about and I am not sure which one to pick. Some of them seem professional and more geared toward teaching or creating hand-outs. Others are more personal and connected to things that I'm learning and experiencing.
To be honest, I have been struggling with this tension for a few months now and am wondering if I need two blogs: one personal and one professional. Or, if I am courageous enough to do just one blog and share personal things professionally.
One of my professional goals for 2014 is to create a website. I want my clients to be able to find me online. I want to make certain resources available to them there. (My 6 pages of intake materials are top priority so that I can kill fewer trees each year.) More than that, I want to offer information and encouragement about things that many of us wrestle with like overcoming stormy feelings, changing the way I talk to myself, defeating self-hatred, how to find joy that transcends difficult life circumstances and encountering the love of God. A professional blog would fit right in to this site. But, these are things that I think about writing here too. I have personal experiences with these challenges and I want to share what I'm learning from God in life.
In counseling programs, they teach you about ethics and protecting your clients. For counseling to create enough space for someone to grow, change and heal, it needs to be exclusively focused on them. There is not enough room for both the counselor and the client to share all of their thoughts and feelings, as in a typical human relationship. The counselor insists that the focus of conversation and care stay focused on the client and they get their needs for support and relationship met elsewhere.
However, authenticity is still required for meaningful counseling to occur. This requires select and intentional disclosure on the part of the counselor. They share parts of themselves with the client in order to remain human and to build trust and confidence within their clients.
I think that God is challenging me to become more of my authentic self in this season. I am a counselor, a writer, a woman, an intercessor and a human being. One integrated blog would challenge me, personally and professionally, to be who God has made me uniquely to be.
I won't have to make this decision for a few more weeks. If you think about it, then please pray for me to have wisdom in making this decision.
Still Counting Gifts:
You have to go back two years to figure out why I do this, if you don't already know. Ann Voskamp and her inspiring book One Thousand Gifts helped get me going in my pursuit of joy. I'm so, so close to reaching 1000 gifts that I have to keep going until I get there.
- #939: Today marks my two-year anniversary in private practice counseling
- #940: I am having so much fun playing the piano again
- #941: Sudafed is great for congestion
- #942: The reminder to savor each day and the moments that it contains
- #943: Soup and half a sandwich is one of my favorite meals
- #944: Word-burning stoves
- #945: My 17 year-old car has started every day this week
- #946: The fear of finances help me trust God, over and over
- #947: Grace to learn new things