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Summer: Not All Fun In The Sun

 For some students…some parents of students…and some young adults in transition, summertime can actually be very stressful. The lack of routine and the element of change can be hard on some personalities. That what might be thought of as relaxing and easy – is actually the opposite.

There are a few remedies that can offer a lot of relief for this predicament:

1-Alter expectations and accept that summer is not necessarily relaxing. It’s ok to feel that way.

2-Pull that planner back out and add some structure into open-ended days. As you ponder what to create as your routine, think of your overall growth and well-being. Some examples might include:

  • Physical: Schedule set times throughout your summer for exercise, meal planning, self-care, true rest, ways to recover or get rejuvenated, time to be out in nature, expressions of creativity, etc.
  • Relational: Carve out time with people you want to invest in or get to know better
  • Social: Commit to getting out of your comfort zone at least once a week to engage with new people and/or a variety of settings
  • Biblical: Be devoted to daily study of Scripture so that you can remain in-tuned with what God says is true.
  • Spiritual: Practice taking time for formal listening, praising, and talking to the Lord, especially according to how the Spirit is using this time of your life to accomplish something for your good and for people close to you
  • Ecclesiastical: Put time in your schedule to participate in various events at your local church
  • Emotional: Consider any healing your heart may need, ways to cope with stress, or advancements you could be making in emotional intelligence (click here for an article on evaluating your EQ)
  • Vocational: Examine your gifts, aptitudes, and strengths; and explore how you could be working or volunteering where others’ needs could be met by you
  • Intellectual: Make a summer reading list and plug in time each day for reading
  • Behavioral: Assign certain weeks to work on various character traits and weaknesses according to God’s Word
  • Industrial: Block off periods of time to finally tackle a project you’ve been putting off

3-Consider using journals for ideas, dreams, travels, goals, and plans that can be realized once this summer has concluded.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts.” (Eccl. 3:1, 11a)

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post Summer: Not All Fun In The Sun appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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There are benefits to grieving, even when no one has died. In fact, one of the reasons you may struggle with feeling moody is you’re mourning losses, perhaps without realizing it. “At the end of mirth may be grief.” (Prov. 14:13b)

 Identifying Something as a Loss

You can probably think of a notable loss you’ve experienced in recent days. Some examples would be loss of:

  • a dream
  • a job
  • a tradition
  • an opportunity
  • control
  • innocence
  • time
  • something that belonged to you
  • the way things used to be
  • the way a relationship used to be
  • the way culture you used to be
  • the way you expected something to turn out
  • the way your body used to function/look
  • perfection and God’s perfect design for life
  • performance in some area

You may not think of these kinds of losses as something you’re allowed to grieve since none of them are a death or catastrophe. But, in fact, one of the most emotionally mature things you can do is to acknowledge a formal grieving process for any loss you’re feeling at a given time. “By sorrow of the heart, the spirit is broken” (Prov. 15:13b), but there is a “Lord who heals.” (Ex. 15:26)

Wouldn’t it be nice to be thought of not as moody, but rather as a person who has a grieving process for dealing well with the vast ups and downs of life?

This doesn’t mean you’re going to have casseroles delivered to your house or get time off work, but it does mean you can section off a place in your heart to attend to the “sorrow that sits in your heart daily” (Ps. 13:2b) and care for yourself as you move through moods, emotions, and stages of grief.

One Example of Going Through the Stages of Grief

So, consider what it might look like to go through a formal grieving process…over a changed relationship as one example:

Common First Stage of Grief: Shock & Denial

Initially, it’s very painful to acknowledge that she just doesn’t call or respond to you like she used to. So, you press on with your daily tasks in a state of denial because that’s just the best way for you to function for a time. However, it’s possible and good to have self-awareness that you’re in denial about something painful so you won’t “snap” at those around you simply because you’re not ready to deal with painful emotions. “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, the heart of the righteous studies how to answer.” (Prov. 10:32, 15:28)

As helpful as this stage can be in order to continue your function, you need to limit your time in this stage so you can move towards the grief work that needs to be done. This will help stabilize your overall mood state.

Another Stage of Grief: Anger & Anxiety

So, then, maybe you begin to feel angry because you’re not ready to sit in a period of hurt. And you feel so frustrated and disappointed that it’s just easier to be mad. If you feel irritable and stressed-out and/or end up hurting the one who hurt you or taking it out on someone else, you may be acting like a “fool who vents all his feelings instead of a wise man who holds them back” (Prov. 29:11). But as a person who knows this is grief, you can allow yourself to “be angry while not sinning” (Ps. 4:4) and keep yourself from becoming “an angry man who stirs up strife” (Prov. 29:22), either within or inter-personally.

As with denial, sometimes being in this angry stage enables you to get out of bed in the morning (and maybe go do a hard workout or clean your house), but eventually the Lord will whisper to you that it’s time to adjust this emotion so that its negativity won’t become harmful to you and others. Monitoring grief can help you see when your anger is getting the best of you and you need to move to the next stage.

More Grief: Blaming, Bargaining, Guilt, Shame, Obsessive Thinking

Just because you’ve made it through denial and anger, doesn’t mean the hard part is over. Next, you may begin to blame her or yourself, going back and forth trying to decide who is responsible for what. But you will need an objective Reviewer to “search you, know your heart and any wicked ways in you, and then make the meditation of your heart acceptable.” (Ps. 139:23, 24; 19:14)

When you come to “sound thinking” (2 Tim. 1:7) about the matter, you may begin to taste the irreversible matter of the loss – in this case that you can’t “make her” do this relationship the way you would prefer.

If you find yourself getting stuck in this phase, tell a loved one or seek counseling, giving someone an opportunity to be one “who sharpens your countenance.” (Prov. 27:17)

Still More Grief: Depression, Hopelessness, Being Overwhelmed

Later, at some point, you may be ready to sit in the sadness and suffer your heartbreak. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12). This can be an appropriate time in your grieving process to cry, journal, say no to certain events, and do some ritualistic/tangible grieving such as writing a goodbye letter to your expectations (not meant to be sent to anyone) or having a private farewell observance at a formerly special place that was shared between you.

It may also be beneficial to let someone know you’re in a hard place so they can look for signs to make sure your time of distress doesn’t extend beyond what is healthy and appropriate. The purpose of feeling the range of emotions in grieving is to be moving towards a return to “joy in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). The consequences to not fully progressing into acceptance can include: emotional instability, victim mentality, bitterness, discontentment, physical symptoms, inability to fully grow and develop, relational turmoil, professional stall-out, academic failures, extreme loneliness, and feeling distant from God.

Ending Stage of Grief: Acceptance & Answers

Another matter that can delay your arrival to acceptance is your theology. It may be tempting to have a misconception about God and allow your heart to “fret against Him” (Prov. 19:3) over the fact that this has friendship loss has happened to you. But “there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). Take your soul to the One who weighs your heart and keeps you (Prov. 24:12). “He will instruct you in the night seasons (Ps. 16:7) based on what He knows that you don’t.” (Is. 55:9)

He is preparing to “restore your soul” (Ps. 23:3a) and help you with next steps with that person and with others. He can heal, forgive, and flow His love through you after any sorrow.

The Messy Process

If only this journey could be in a neat, predictable package! Sometimes you might grieve something very quickly; other times it may take a while.

And grieving is often a spiraling process; not a linear one. So, just when you think you may be done being so consumed by this changed relationship, it’s possible for you to return to a stage of grief you thought you’d already left behind. That’s normal, even when grieving the loss of something like a friendship, dream, possession, etc. The more you accept this grieving process as healthy and needed, the sooner you will progress forward and ultimately arrive at acceptance.

Some  Biblical Models of Going Through the Stages of Grief

  1. The Psalmists provide a very raw public journal that chronicles the spiraling grief experiences of a Believer. Also, the Psalms give you a language that teaches you how to grieve in a way that draws you closer and closer to the Lord. You may need to speak out your grief on a regular basis using the Psalms as your template.
  2. Jesus displayed how to submit to the Lord while also grieving the suffering He experienced on the cross. He perfectly models how to do this and remain reverent and worshipful.
  3. Paul lived out life as one who continuously cycled through grief, allowing his praises of God to strengthen him to endure some of the worst hardships imaginable. He shows you how to produce the good fruits of grief (godly sorrow) rather than the bad fruits of being trapped in negative emotion (worldly sorrow). (2 Cor. 7:10)

Till You and Grief Meet Again

“Take heart, you will have tribulations in this world. But the One who overcomes death, can overcome your grief” (Jn. 16:33). The more you experience the disconnect between your heavenly home and this foreign land, the more you may feel “poured out like water.” (Ps. 22:14). Yes, it might sound easier to just feel what you want to feel and not have to think about “all this grief stuff.” But if you “rule your spirit” (Prov. 25:28), you will be stronger and happier for it. “A sound heart is life to the body” (Prov. 14:30). Expect and embrace cycles of grief (some people experience them more than others) – and the Lord will be your support and “bring you out into a broad (recovered & thriving) place each time.” (Ps. 18:19)

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post Turn Moodiness into a Productive Grieving Process appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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Lisa-Jo Baker has written a book with the same title, but this review is for the Companion Journal: Never Unfriended, Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships. The book shares a lot of her personal stories, but this journal has her best quotes with plenty of blank spaces to let you get right to the heart of your own personal relationships.

Each 2-page spread of this journal has Scripture and thoughts to align you towards God’s intentions for relationships instead of being stuck in hurts, fears, doubts, insecurities, and comparisons. Some pages are simple reminders of what you already know but need to get back to practicing…other pages provide deeply motivating concepts such as:

  • “When I breathe in and out, there it is, right beneath my rib-cage, the promise that I’m capable of friendship because my very existence, 20 breaths per minute, is drawn from the breath of the God whose entire existence is a living, breathing fellowship of three.”
  • “We get to choose who will have the final say in our relationships: fear or love.”
  • “Inevitably, someone will hurt us. What matters is what comes next.”
  • “We have worshiped at the altar of inclusion when we were built to worship at the altar of the only living God.”
  • “Friendship will inconvenience you. More so if you’re doing it right.”
  • “Your guests will only feel as comfortable in your house (room, dorm, apartment, etc.) as you feel in your own skin.”
  • “We would do well to take Jesus at His Word and His example and trust that this is the way to bless our friends – giving them the gift of our presence.”
  • “It will take deliberate choices. It will sometimes take inviting yourself over even when it feels awkward.”
  • “The best antidote to jealousy is choosing instead to encourage.”
  • “Everyone is on the outside of something. But that is only half the story.”
  • “He will do the work – in you and through you and for you.”
  • “Christ is in the business of restoring broken relationships and redeeming misunderstandings.”
  • “Some of the best and hardest work God calls us to do is to love other people.”

As you work through this beautifully convicting journal, writing down your reflections and evaluating your friendships, each page builds upon the page that precedes it. So, before you know it, you will have written an entire book confessing your mistakes and recommitting yourself to being a much more Christ-like friend from now on.

(Click here for the publisher’s purchasing option)

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Prov. 27:17, NLT)

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post Never Unfriended – A Friendship Journal With Prompts appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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Your friends and clothes say you’re fit – but you feel like you’re fat…You’ve been dating each other a while now, but you just can’t believe you’ll ever be accepted in this family…You’ve decided God must not care about you given what you’ve been going through… It can make so much sense in your head…it can feel so right…the “evidence” can be so strong. But you can be completely wrong.

As demonstrated in the previous examples, the problem of “being wrong” goes beyond a blatant departure from Biblical standards and commands. Rather, a distortion of perspective is increasingly happening to Christians today that includes everything from private, intrusive thoughts that slowly take you away from Biblical principles, to sensing something so strongly you cannot resist it, to blindly standing by very non-scientific conclusions. It’s not just you; it’s prevalent in the culture and in the church. Thankfully, God saw it coming and already provided what you need to fight this demise:

First, you’ve been given a gift that can be increased or decreased, depending on how much you “stir it up” – and that’s the gift of sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Don’t be fooled; even the clearest thinker can lose this gift if not careful. But with a protection plan in place, your mind can be kept strong, and become renewed to discern God’s Will (Rom. 12:2).

Additionally, you have very powerful advocates. First, you have God. He desires truth in every corner of your heart and mind, and He will input His wisdom into every space you open to Him (Ps. 51: 6).  Second, you have certain members of the Body of Christ (not all) and certain churches (not all) who will uphold soundness of mind in you (Prov. 13:20). Seek out relationships that are pro-sound-mind and cherish them. In addition, listen to certain professionals (not all) who will make trustworthy recommendations for your mental health, such as exercise, supplements, medications (in some cases), etc. (Prov. 11:14).

Finally, you have practical abilities and tools. You can expect that the more you get to know God’s Word (checked against timeless, trustworthy interpretations), the more you’ll experience it’s promised benefits, including clearer perspective (Psalm 1:1).  And when you let Christ-centered thoughts replace and deal with false thinking, you’re left with being mindful of God (Mk. 8:33)…the fulfillment of obedience (2 Cor. 10:4-6) and a superior peace (Is. 26:3) – which leads to more good thoughts and a repeating good cycle. Finally, when you pray, specifically ask the Lord to make precious to you His thoughts, remove opposing thoughts, lead you in the way everlasting, and help you hourly to stand against temptation to leave your mind unguarded (Ps. 139:17, 23-24; Mk. 14:37-38). This is a prayer He longs to answer because He cares deeply for the well-being of your mind (Phil. 4:7). And this is an act of surrender that requires your commitment and daily return to these good habits fueled by His strength.

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post God help us not lose perspective appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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Any female reader is familiar with the term “Body Image Issues,” but even self-aware women can use a refresher or stand to go deeper. There’s a newly available collection of videos that would be especially great for mothers and daughters to view together, while also hitting pause to discuss the very relevant topics throughout. If that’s not an option, listening alone, or with a friend, is still most worthwhile. Another idea is for your small group to watch and discuss.

The speaker, Julie Lowe, is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in women’s issues, body image, youth, and parenting; and is also a faculty member of the CCEF School of Biblical Counseling. These videos were recently filmed as she spoke at the 2019 Women’s Retreat at the Westminster Theological Seminary located just outside of Philadelphia. Though these recordings were not intended to be produced at the highest level, stick around for the profound content and you won’t be disappointed.

Video One, What Image are We Striving For? In this 40 minute video, Julie uses research and media clips to discuss:

  • Body Image issues you might not have realized were body image issues
  • The real source of these struggles
  • Why the placement of your value and worth matters so much
  • How body image influences your relationship style
  • The ways these issues breed discontentment, anxiety, and obsession
  • The impact body image has on others in your life
  • Why even the counter-culture messages about body image do not work

Click Here for Video One

Video Two, Scripture Reshapes Our Image: For another 45 minutes, Julie continues her message by focusing on:

  • The dead ends of taking in the perspective of others, good or bad
  • The freedom and joy in being broken and “not measuring up”
  • The corruption and correction of food in your diet
  • How being free-of-self, works better than working-on-self
  • The redemption of your identity and relationships as it relates to body image
  • Image-bearing as your most significant beautifying effort
  • The practical application of your relationship with God and your body image

Click Here for Video Two 

Video Three, Is it Wrong to Care About Appearance? This final segment (including a Q & A) is 1.5 hours long, but worth sitting through to hear complex, encouraging ideas that will leave you thinking about:

  • What it means to see yourself as God’s creation
  • When it’s ok to be attentive to your appearance
  • Dealing with preferences and expectations from others
  • Examining concepts of liberty vs rigidity in your habits
  • There is only One who is trustworthy to have a right view about you
  • The way you love others helps combat body image issues
  • The significance of the way females interact and dialogue with one another

Click Here for Video Three

Summer-time, whether on vacation or staycation, is a great time to view these videos…discuss them with your sisters, daughters, mothers, and girlfriends…and rediscover with the Creator all that He had in mind when He made your body.

“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God, will shine forth.” (Ps. 50:2)

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post 3 Powerful Videos for Older Teen Girls, Moms, and Women of all Ages appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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Parents often ask for recommendations for devotionals, Christian books, and Bible studies for kids of various ages, and teens. While this list is not all-inclusive, it might spark some ideas just in time for summer break.

Bob Schultz series for boys:  With titles such as Boyhood and Beyond and Created for Work, this former carpenter combined experience, wisdom, and effective story-telling to encourage young men to rise to the standards God desires for manhood. These four books should be suitable for upper elementary/middle school/early high school ages. Girls can enjoy these books just as much. A few questions are provided at the end of each chapter making them great read-aloud books for the whole family too.

Viking Quest series for girls: These five historical-fiction books would be a wonderful series for your middle school daughters to plunge into this summer. These stories are set in 900’s Ireland, but the themes are timeless: trusting God, forgiveness, freedom, courage, honor, faith, spiritual warfare, and Christian witness.

Bibles for families: No modern home is complete without The Jesus Storybook Bible (also loved by many adults); and in addition, check out the vast inventory of Journaling Bibles and Coloring Bibles for even more interactive study of Scripture.

Devotionals for all ages:  You’ve probably already figured out there are so many devotional books to choose from that it can be hard to know where to start. You’re doing all the right things by considering not only age, but personality and themes. And, if you’re reading the bios of authors/editors to make sure you’re in agreement with the lessons that will be presented, that’s very wise as well. Finally, once you narrow some choices down, you can give your children ownership by asking them to choose from your finalists or do their own research plus receiving your final approval.

Janet & Geoff Benge Christian Heroes books:  These inspiring adventures are available not only as paper books but as audio books that could be enjoyed during vacation road trips this summer. Suitable for ages 10-100, your family will be greatly impacted after being introduced to the lives of men and women who followed hard after God and were used by Him to serve and save so many. Maybe even consider investing in the entire collection – it makes a very special home library shelf!

Sally Michael’s youth resources: Books such as God’s Battle, God’s Promise, and God’s Providence, all written by the co-founder of the Children Desiring God ministry, are intended to bring robust Biblical teaching to your elementary-aged children, but are deep enough to hold the attention of older ones as well. Teens and adults can also use these books to fill in gaps in their knowledge and to become more in awe of the Lord. In this fast-paced world that leaves parents with very little time to deeply expound Scripture with their families, or to sit at the foot of Jesus, these books could not be more needed. Highly recommended!

Good Websites for more options: Westminster BooksChildren Desiring God and Focus on the Family.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7)

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post Faith-Based Book Ideas for Families appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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One of many good reasons God created both male and female is so that women would get to enjoy a special type of sisterhood and community. Though predominate on social media, in schools, and organizations today, He did not have gossip and a critical spirit in mind when He dreamed about His Daughters of the King. Rather, it’s clear what He intended for women to give one another was encouragement through a special language and way of living that only women share. (Gen. 1:27; Mt. 7:1; Eph. 2:6; 4:2, 15, 29-32, 5:19; 1 Tim. 5:13-14; Titus 2:3, 4)

Contrary to culture’s view of female extreme independence and competition, there are modern-day women who really “get it” in terms of what it means to effectively build up sisterhood within the Body of Christ. Examples such as:

Amanda – who advocates for women to be well-taught and versed in biblical knowledge. She does this by holding them accountable to study God’s Word, to participate in Bible studies/small groups, and to attend churches with excellent teaching.

Lynne – who writes dates and times on her hand as reminders to pray for her girlfriends when they have important events or needs. She does this as a way to make them feel cared about and supported, and to keep her word when she says “I’ll pray.”

Jennifer – who studies her sisters’ interests so she can bestow on them just the right gifts, and delicacies from her kitchen. She does this to celebrate women using gifts of the Holy Spirit and not tearing one another down through comparisons and envy.

Michele & Sarah – who make beauty and fashion recommendations to the girls in their community in uplifting, customized ways. They do this so that the women in their lives will dress and present themselves for their confidence and His glory.

Mary – who cries daily on behalf of the suffering women in her circle. She does this because she loves deeply, and sees this world from an eternal viewpoint with the victorious Christ at the center of it all.

Juli – who believes in the power of affection for the young women the Lord sends into her ministry. She does this because she believes it provides the need for pure, physical touch and the comfort of Christ in a tangible way.

Melanie – who humbles herself to forgive great things in her female friendships. She does this because she knows that she too has been forgiven much.

Alexa – who chooses to assign large doses of her time to be with “her girls.” She does this for her own enjoyment, but also because she wants to promote and participate in the female desire for shared conversation face-to-face.

Jan – who thinks it’s important to make one-on-one lunch or dinner dates with old friends. She does this because she cherishes friendship as a gift to be maintained long term.

Rita – who cherishes the hearts and soul condition of women by selflessly searching the Scriptures for just the right passage to speak over them and pray for them. She does this because she knows the difference it’s made in her life when others have done it for her.

When Jesus walked on this earth, women surrounded Him and ministered to Him. Women continue to minister to Him – because inasmuch as they do it to one another – they do it to Him. (Mt. 25:40, 27:55)

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post The Sisterhood of the Body appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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If you start reading the book, “Doing Life with Your Adult Children,” those of you who work with me may think I co-authored it. Like author Jim Burns, I’ve learned from personal experience what works well in this modern age while doing life with my adult children and by counseling others with adult children. In addition to living it out, Burns has spent the last few years extensively researching this topic and I believe he presents helpful information and some quite useful tools. Best of all, his writing style is to-the-point, yet backed by good examples. You’ll be able to read it quickly and get to work right away interacting productively and positively with your adult children.

 

However, at the same time, I do not agree with everything he believes, did with his children or recommended that others do. Further, I would have liked to have read more accounts of how he was prayerfully being led by the Holy Spirit according to the Word of God in his decisions, interactions, and responses to his children and counselees. Nevertheless, this book is so full of practical suggestions, love and respect for adult children, a heart for relational influence, and belief in the redemptive power of Jesus that I believe it’s worth a filtered read.

From this book, you will learn:

  • The job description of your new role in this season of life, and tips for making the changeover from your old one
  • Benefits to not giving unsolicited advice
  • Reasons to treat your adult children like adults even when they’re not acting like it
  • Ways to tell the difference between a lecture and a conversation (it’s a very handy checklist!)
  • Simple but impactful principles for healthy communication (you’ll be impressed by how he wastes no time in providing you with practical ideas)
  • Creative, realistic ways to respond to the devastating effects of the culture on the morals and values you spent their entire childhood instilling in them
  • The process of and advantages to stepping into their lives
  • An answer to the million-dollar question: How do I know if I’m enabling?
  • Suggestions for setting boundaries and how to do it well (while there’s been a lot of controversy on this topic lately, you can read his thoughts with a balanced perspective and go from there)
  • Ideas for dealing with the “cringe-factors” and not becoming “one-topic” parents (his phrasing is so memorable, helpful, and relatable, isn’t it?)
  • Strategies to use if your adult child makes regrettable decisions
  • Plans for moving successfully to the next stage of life together
  • Tips for navigating challenging in-law and blended family relationships
  • Thoughts for finishing your life strong as a faithful grandparent while maintaining the relationships you’ve worked so hard for with your adult children

If you decide to get this book, I recommend you pray Scripture such as 1 Samuel 1:11 for each of your adult children – “I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life.” And then read this book alongside the Bible allowing the Lord to show you which tools He is leading you to use (or not use) in your adult-to-adult relationships with your sons and daughters.

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post Doing Life with your Adult Children – Good Resource With Some Cautions appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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Whether it’s you personally, your child, your grandchild, or your peers, chances are you’re connected to video games in some way. You’re aware of how they’re set up, and the good and the bad that comes with them.

Meanwhile, it’s Holy Week and Easter is just days away. Yet, in this modern world, a holiday equals more time for video games to be played, distractions to occur, and the Easter message to seem like a swanky church event.

As you well know, the answer is not to return to the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder and require your children to sit in silence to observe holiness. Instead, gather your people around a device this weekend and watch this 15-minute remarkable, stirring video (click here) about a most unusual video game. This will absolutely provoke your thoughts and be a most fresh conversation starter about video games…about life (and death)…and about Easter. Now that’s a creative, winning combination!

“You shall talk of (His Words) when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:7)

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About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post A Video Game and Easter appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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The idea of becoming emotionally mature or having high emotional intelligence seems to be universally motivating. But it can be hard to remember what the signs are for low emotional intelligence and the markers for high emotional intelligence. The better you know the traits of emotional maturity, the more likely you will be able to put them into practice when experiencing various emotions and responding to life and others.

Low Emotional Intelligence (Low EQ)

  • I’m not comfortable acknowledging emotions.
  • I don’t consider feelings before acting.
  • I hold a number of self-destructive beliefs and think on them often.
  • I frequently feel inadequate, disappointed, resentful, or victimized.
  • I lack vocabulary to describe my feelings.
  • I’m stressed-out all the time.
  • I experience noticeable physical symptoms with no physical cause.
  • I’ve not prioritized soul-care in my schedule.
  • I’ll abandon efforts when things get hard or uncomfortable.
  • It’s common for me to be rigid and inflexible.
  • I can’t break some bad habits.
  • I react more often than I respond.
  • I don’t want too much responsibility.
  • I don’t have time for spiritual work.
  • I lack desire to work through negative past events even though I feel shame.
  • I’m not confident and don’t understand my worth.
  • I tend to threaten rather than comfort.
  • I usually want to fix instead of being present.
  • I have a number of troubled relationships.
  • I’m not consistently emotionally available for others.
  • I’m a poor listener.
  • I engage in gossip.
  • I tell lies regularly and easily.
  • I’m prone to invalidating others’ joy.
  • I’m more concerned with being offended/not offending than developing personal character.
  • I find myself thinking at times that I don’t really like people.
  • I worry incessantly about what others think of me.
  • I’m too wrapped up in my own many feelings to have energy to pursue caring for more people.

 High Emotional Intelligence (High EQ)

  • I’m aware both of my mood and my thoughts about my mood.
  • I’ve learned which emotions mask more difficult feelings that need addressing.
  • I appropriately and verbally express my feelings, rather than turning them all inward or expelling them all outward.
  • I consult the Truth of God’s Word to make sense of how I feel.
  • I can clearly articulate my weekly plan for stress management.
  • I can harness my emotions on a path towards a godly goal.
  • I regularly apply self-control to my emotions.
  • In my troubles I consider how I can be a problem-solver.
  • I can feel joy in the midst of difficult circumstances.
  • I work to replace all-or-nothing tendencies with a balanced perspective.
  • I’m practiced at tolerating uncomfortable situations with grace.
  • I consider what is mine to control and what is not.
  • I understand the realities of my self-worth.
  • I’m always actively working with the Lord in at least one growth area.
  • My spiritual life is a priority in my daily schedule.
  • I’m willing to do the work to experience healing from past hurts.
  • I value interpersonal competency and being empathetic.
  • I’m emotionally nourishing towards others.
  • I leave others in a good mood.
  • I’m willing to fight hard to be healthy in my relationships.
  • I can handle conflict and gentle confrontation in order to repair relationships.
  • I’ll participate in necessary, hard conversations for the sake of myself and of others.
  • I’m a team player.
  • I’m productive with with my emotions so that I have capacity to care more deeply for the people in my sphere of influence.
  • I encourage others to soothe their souls in the Savior.

If you read through these lists and recognize that your EQ needs improvement, be encouraged. Just having that new self-awareness means you’ve already raised your emotional intelligence! Next, pick an item off one of the lists that needs work and ask the Lord to give you strength to get to work on it and to persevere.

He who speaks and thinks truth in his heart shall never be moved. (Ps. 15:2b, 5b)

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CategoriesCategories Select Category Affection & Touch Anger Anxiety & Depression Book Reviews Boredom Change Character of the Lord Christianity Circumstances College Reviews College Students Communication Community/The Body of Christ Cutting Dating Dreams Emotions Management Faith Fasting Fear Forgiveness Freedom Glorifying God God 501 Series Grief Health Hope Identity Inspirational Teenagers Keeping You Informed Male-Female Design Modern Culture Modesty & Beauty Money Obedience Parenting Pornography Prayer Pride Pure Weddings Purity Rejection & Hurt Relationship with the Lord Relationships Relationships with Family Rest Self-Worth & Shame Sin & Weaknesses Sleep Social Media Spiritual Health Stewardship Stress Suffering Suicide Technology Temptation The Bible The Character of the Lord Thought-Life Time Management Trichotillomania Worship Young Women
About Me

I am a Board Certified Christian Counselor by the Georgia Board of Examiners for Christian Counselors & Therapists.

I am also a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and receive continuing education from the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF).
The Keeping Room
A Creative Christ-Filled Counseling Experience for Youth & Parents

The post Emotional Intelligence: Checklists to Determine Your EQ appeared first on The Keeping Room.

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