Monday, April 16, 2012

GraceLaced Monday: When I Need a Counselor

And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

For GraceLaced Monday, I wanted to tell of God's grace to me. He takes care of my heart.

My days are full (as are yours, no doubt) with lots of opportunities to counsel and train your children. There are times when this area of mothering picks up in intensity. It has for me lately, partly due to BB's travel and my solo parenting. The other reason is just the natural cycle of needs that comes and goes for the children.

Skip with me for a moment to the subject of alone time with Jesus in the morning. I'll be revealing a bit of my perfectionism here. Lately, though I've been rising pretty early, I still can't seem to fit it all in, meaning this lovely quartered pie chart that includes equal and meaningful amounts of Bible study/reading, focused prayer, quiet listening, and some writing/journaling perhaps.

Recently, what I've noticed is that I'm ending up spending time in Bible reading and study, then a good bit more time writing my heart in a journal or praying to the Lord about my heart.

I was having some guilt (which I see now was not from God) over not fitting in more of this or that element, when it occurred to me during a tearful talk with BB that God was counseling me.

The Lord helped me recognize His very tender care for me. Those extra long thinking and writing sessions after my Bible study some mornings are helping me be whole right now.

Thanks be to God! At such an intense season of parenting, I can't adequately express what a blessing it is to know that God loves me like that.

I guess my Pie Chart of Perfect Devotions isn't really His priority for me of late. My heart is.



Just. So. Sweet.

But I'll further my demonstration of God's kindness, if you'll bear with me. As I mentioned in my last list of Mercies, two friends from church allowed me to escape for a few hours one night last week while they babysat for free, their offer.

When I went away, almost all I did was read. Well, I ate, too, but I'm always doing that these days...

I plowed through parts of two books. My lighter fare: In the Company of Others, by Jan Karon. The heavy-duty, and so-very-helpful read: Wounded Children, Healing Homes, by Jayne E. Schooler, et al.

It wasn't until the next morning that I realized His counsel had come to me through those books - He spoke to me through each! He gave me the same message from two seemingly unrelated works!

I'm going to include below the two excerpts that were such a blessing to me.

Know today that your God is a Wonderful Counselor for you, that He loves your heart!

Grace Laced Mondays

The first excerpt is long, and is from Karon's book. If you've read any of the Mitford series, you know that the main character, Priest Tim Kavanagh meets, cares for, and later adopts a troubled little boy, Dooley Barlow. This is part of a conversation with a friend ten years after Tim came to know Dooley:

It's not the sort of thing romantics wish to hear, but I found that in the end, love must be a kind of discipline. If we love only with our feelings, we're sunk - we may feel love one day and something quite other the next. Soon after he came to live with me - he was eleven years old at the time - I realized I must learn to love with my will, not my feelings. I had to love him when he threw his shoe at the wall and cussed my dog, love him when he called me names I won't repeat, love him with he refused to eat what I'd cooked...

I learned over a long period of trial and error to see in him what God made him to be. Wounded people use a lot of smoke and mirrors, they thrust the bitterness and rage out there like a shield. Then it becomes their banner, and finally, their weapon. But I stopped falling for the bitterness and rage. I didn't stop knowing it was there - and there for a very good reason - but I stopped taking the bullet for it. With God's help, I was able to start seeing through the smoke. I saw how bright he talented, and how possible it was for him to triumph over so much that hounded him.

I stopped praying for God to change Dooley; asked God to change me - to give me His eyes to see into the spirit of this exceptional broken boy.

I started talking to Dooley as if he were bright and industrious and savvy and trustworthy. I believed it was already real, that he was already whole and able to love. And all I can say is - it began to work...for both of us.

...Healing came as little drops of water, and never the mighty ocean when you need it...

There's just no way to deal with their suffering, except through love. And there ws no way I could gouge that kind of love of of my own selfish hide without the help of God.

I know time is what you have very little of...I remember when God spoke to my heart about this - about how He shows His love by being as near to us as our very breath...I feel your time would be the greatest gift you could give...

And this little quote is from the Traumatized Child book (such a Godsend, that book has been!):

The key appears to be a willingness to spend lots of time with the child, interacting, playing, and guiding. The more time spent with the child, the more opportunities there are to reorganize and reactivate the child's brain.
Amen and amen.


  1. Thank you for sharing this encouragement! What a beautiful thing it is when we recognize his attentiveness to our immediate needs. He is a wonderful Counselor, indeed.

  2. beautiful encouragement! He graciously is meeting our needs even when we don't realize it.

  3. Truly beautiful. I love that He speaks to us in a way that meets us where we are.

  4. This is a great reminder, friend. I can so identify.

  5. Thank you, so much, so much for this post. I've often felt the need for counsel. I didn't realize that counsel could come so easily in many forms and not only through an official "counselor." To me, it's come through sisters-in-Christ, through the Lord's word, prayer, and books - as you've mentioned. Beth Moore's *Praying God's Word* about spiritual bondage fell right in my life when I needed it most; God knew that, of course. I've heard from other sisters that found the same to be true from the Breaking Free series. Thank you for this post!