Survived my first 2 weeks

So I started my job on June 06, and it is now June 18 and I have survived the first two weeks. I love my co-workers and my clients for the most part. the paperwork and learning how to do it so we get paid is daunting at times but I feel that I am getting the hang of it. It will be easier now that I know that everything has to have some sort of evidenced based wording. I completed my CPR/First Aid training, my  NonViolent Crisis Intervention training, giving me certification in both of them. The only thing left is the orientation on Monday morning. 

We did see the teacher last week to have the kids evaluated, The Ark had to work that day, but since he is graduating we just talked about what he accomplished this year and she signed his paperwork. The Peanut was sick and so miserable. Ace was amazing during his time with the teacher! He looked her in the eye and talked to her about his year. Such an incredible growth of his maturity in the last year. the Princess did fine as usual. This year’s evaluation was bittersweet as this is the last year we will have such a fantastic teacher to evaluate the kids. She has been our life support through the years giving us support and guidance when needed! We pray that her life is new and exciting in the future. 

Swim team has started for the younger children, the boys are not swimming rec league this year. I will  miss most of the meets except for those held on Saturday’s but it is the cost of having a job that I will pay. I’m grateful that they can continue swimming this summer. 

I fell yesterday and badly hurt my upper shin/knee so I’m on bedrest for a couple of days until it heals a bit. Which is horrible as I had plans to take the kids to the pool but walking is out of the question currently. I did get xrays taken no broken bones but the readiologist will review next week just as a precaution. lots of tissue damage and it is painful and it will be very hot this weekend and not the best time to be bedridden.

Off to watch a marathon of Law and Order…….

 

 

What We’ve been doing since January

So here you have Swim Team awards ceremony photo, Easter 2016, Counseling Advocacy Day in the State Capital, photos of The Ark, who is graduating HighSchool this year and my graduation photos from my MA in Counseling.This year has flown by and I do not know how I feel about that right now. The Ark had an awesome senior year with swim team and it has been hard to let that go. We had him tested for his learning disorders and he has learning issues with both reading and writing which is going to make college challenging. We have decided to send him to the community college for one year starting this fall to give him the extra support he needs to succeed in college, then nextx year transfer him to Malone University, his top pick. He got a part time job and that is good for him.  He will go on his last mission trip this summer with Ace to Chicago. We are making Ace get more involved in the church by having him take The Ark’s spot on the Youth Board. Now to make sure he goes to the monthly meetings when I am working. We see the teacher for our evals this Tuesday and that is a bit soon for me but better to get them done early this year. My gaduation from JCU was bittersweet, I have grown and changed so much in my time there. I have been challenged to be my best and do things that have taken me out of my comfort zone. Which is always difficult for me since I am such an Introvert. I spent weeks studying for the licensing exam and thought for sure I would fail it, but then got my score and passed it easily. I am waiting for my license to come! I had an interview with a crisis stabilization unit the week before graduation and thought I had bombed it as she asked me questions that I had no idea to expect and felt totally unrepared. So I dealt with that disappointment and used it as a learning experience. I put in more applications and lined up two more phone interviews for this week, but last last Friday I got a call from the crisis unit offering me the job!!!! I asked ot think about it over the long weekend and then called Tuesday morning to accept the position. Yesterday found me signing my life away in paperwork to start my new position. Today I got the call asking me when I wanted to start? I am starting Monday June 06, and have a ton of trainings to go to: CPR/First Aid, Non-violent interventions and orientation, plus something called the “birthday bash” (I have no idea what that is but have to go). I will be working from 4-12:30am M-F. which means I get to continue to homeschool the two teens and the adolescent. The pay is decent and the benefits are great so I am calling this a win. Especially, since one of my supervisors is so excited to have me coming on board. My job will consist of intake referrals, admissions, diagnostic assessmens and discharge planning ot individuals. I know I will also runa group and do individual counseling as well. The documentation might kill me as I think there is going to be quite a bit of it. But to have a job so close to graduation and only having done a total of two interviews? Priceless! Life has been busy, challenging and exciting! I can’t wait to see what the Lord brings us this next year. I am so excited to be taking a year off of academia before starting my doctorate next August. I need a year of just working and homeschooling to feel like I have a handle on life. Plus that next step means packing up my family and moving to Toledo…….more on that later.

Senior Night for The Ark

By the way~ Can I just say that I hate the fact that I look so heavy in these photos when I’ve been losing weight and going to the gym to firm up? I”m done to a loose size 12 but the camera adds so much weight! UGH! Well, I guess it will be motivation for me to loose the last 14# that I want……. One another note, the boys have the best coaches! We love them dearly and  my sons grow in personality and in skills under their guidance and that is so special to me. 

Goals for 2016

 

IMGP0175

I desire to make some changes in my life this year and therefore need to blog about them *of course. The best way to reflect upon the changes is to organize them into categories: spiritual, physical,  mental/emotional, family, household, education/employment. I think I’ve covered them all for the moment.

Spiritual~ I am feeling a bit dry currently, so I am going to start bible journaling so I can combine my love of art with diving into God’s word.

Physical~ as soon as I find a way to sleep better or get some motivation to get up before the kids, I want to go to the gym. I love using the red light booth, it really helps boost my lymphatic system. I have got to stop drinking coca-cola! I stop periodically but then the minute my stress level climbs, I drink it again. Funny, I’m not so much a stress eater, as a stress drinker. I also need to eat healthier and for me that means fruits/vegetables for two meals, and one normal meal for eating with my family. I love intermittent fasting, as I feel better doing so most days, it is only difficult when I don’t eat enough protein at dinner, as then I do not sleep well. I might try the “golden milk” recipe and see if that helps. I really want to lose the last 15# I have. I lost 14# in 2015 and many inches (no, i do not know how many, I did not realize that I would) 

Mental/Emotional~ lately, I find myself so stressed that I am not dealing well with my anger, which I then, stifle deep inside me and that is getting me absolutely no where. So finding a healthier outlet when I’m angry is on my list of necessary things to work on this year. Otherwise, I am doing well considering all the stress I am under.

Family~ Need to get the kids on track with their schooling, help the Ark study for the ACT, get us all more connected. The Ark is disconnecting somewhat as he starts to take on adult decisions which is what he should be doing but it would be nice to have a bit more cohesiveness with the other children. I am also finding that i have disconnected somewhat during this last year, The Princess claims that at times I am a robot and show very little emotion. Probably a self-preservation thing I have going on.

Household~ there is so much that needs to be done around this house but I am going to just work on getting organized and then pick 1 project, complete it and then go to the next one.

Education/Employment~ This one is more difficult as I have no idea of what will happen with my doctoral application. If I get in, I may look for a job for a few months this summer so we have extra cash to pay off bills, have a bit of fun, etc. If I don’t get into that program I will work for a year or so, getting rid of some of my supervision hours and then will be applying to Univ. of Toledo’s Counseling Education/Supervision doctoral program. Which means moving to Toledo in 2017 for 2.5-3 years. I wish I could move this year and start but I am doubtful that I will have the money to do so until next year. Surprisingly, I am not stressed anymore about which program I will get into, I am holding onto the Lord and his plan for my future,  Jeremiah 29:11. I have made too many decisions without waiting upon the Lord and will not do that anymore. 

I understand that these goals are not detailed like I usually do but am happy with how they are, as I want to leave room for change in my goals without feeling as if I failed if things change.

 

 

Day 4~

31 Days of Writing

Today I am finding it hard to think about writing, probably because, I feel as if I have not really stopped to think all day! Got up and took 2 kids to church, *side note, I really dislike it when the one Sunday School teacher for my daughter calls her Miss Cam! without the Miss, it sounds like she is a boy and I have plenty of sons, so I really do not want my daughter called by a boy nick name!!! She is adjusting well to the demands of confirmation classes though, so that is reassuring for this mom! I really do not want to have to argue with the Pastor any time soon.

After church, the Ark and I went to the gym, we do 15 minutes of cardio, as that is all my joints can handle on the Arc Trainer and he does not need to lose weight. Then today was chest and back day. I did all of the machines for chest and back and then caught up with him to do some of his exercises, he is tough both in his routine and as a volunteer trainer! I love this bonding time with him, he pushes me to be stronger and continue working on getting into shape and I hang out with him validating him and his strength. Pretty much a win-win for us. *edit: I  love the fact that I am getting stronger, even if I am not losing weight. 

Then it was home to plan a menu and grocery shop! Ugh we spent way too much money on groceries and that is rough but I do feel some relief that we have food in the house and that we will not need to run to the store this week and I am hopeful that will safe us some $$ in the long run. It is difficult now that the Princess cannot eat gluten and we limit her dairy as well. The Ark is desperately trying to gain muscle mass and therefore eats a great deal, Ace is playing soccer and is always hungry and then there is the Peanut who eats quite a bit himself.

I am quickly finishing up on a presentation that is due tomorrow (Monday) so I can take a little bit of time to read to the littles some fun history books. Mondays are rough for us, I leave at about 10:15am and get home at 9:15pm. As much as I love working with client’s I am looking forward to when I can be done with my internship and have my Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays back.

I have a drawing in my head based on a Matthew West song, hopefully I can sketch out a very rough draft tonight and then work on it as I have time. I miss having the time to draw and scrapbook or even journal. I asked for a journaling Bible for Christmas this year, and then had to show the husband what it was and why I wanted one. Artists do not function well when they have no time to create! Speaking of artists, the Princess has struck again, borrowing my wash tape and my q-tips. 

As much as I would like to hang out and chat, I need to finish this presentation and get myself geared up to see client’s tomorrow and they are never easy!

Day 3~

Every other Saturday, I have my internship class. I like this class it is helpful in learning about other sites, how others handle problems and the time of bonding with other students is always good, this way we never feel like we are disconnected from others as we pursue our goal of being a counselor.

Today after class, I hung around with two of the other students chatting and talking about our struggles both professional and personal. One of them called this, ‘our therapy’, that casual statement is right on target, even counselor’s need therapy. Once in a while, I will get a client who is defensive or even belligerent wanting to know if I see a counselor. I always reply with a resounding “Yes!!!!”. One cannot do the work we are called to do every day without having a source to go to for our own therapy. Some of the words felt as if they came straight from God’s mouth, validation of my goals, words of wisdom to keep me safe and thoughts to ponder for my future.

I am doubly blessed, I have a few counselors at my site who will also gather around me and give me hope when I am struggling, validate my feelings and offer resources to use for my clients or for me to pass exams.

I find that the Lord is working in my life at times in ways that I never anticipated. It is scary how much He hears, listens to and then responds. Once I told a young Christian woman that “life is messy” which is something I have learned as a counselor, and the Lord used that phrase to show her just how messy life can be. I have always thought I knew how the Lord can use us, but that experience was like the brick upside the head for me. I have to say that one must be very careful what they ask the Lord for, as the last few weeks I have found out just how difficult having the response from God can be both humbling and painful. 

“Be Still and Know that I am God” is my current go to verse, many times I see it and it causes a physical reaction within my chest, almost like God tapping on it~ “hey you, listen up”. I know that the Lord has a plan for my future and I must be patient as it is not time yet, but until then at least He sends me the support that I need to get through the tough times I am going through right here and now. 

Never did I think that the first 3 days of my writing would revolve around my life as a counselor or how my faith is growing and changing yet again. Lately, the Lord is using others to show me things in my life and allowing me to see how I am impacting others lives as a counselor. I knew that I wanted to get back into blogging but had no idea of what I wanted to write about, I guess that is one more area of my life that God has taken care of for me.

~Day 2,

I am currently a counseling intern and work late on Thursdays, I got home last night after being gone for over 12 hours, hoping to grab a bite to eat and then go to sleep but my teenage sons had a different plan. By 9:30pm they were in my room talking about their day working the church rummage sale, they are active in our church youth group and want to go to Chicago next summer. One of the requirements is that they work as many of the fundraisers that they can. My sons love working the rummage sale twice a year. As homeschooler’s they love the chance to do a few days of real life learning instead of book learning. They get tips, eat a fantastic lunch prepared by a lady in our church and hang out practicing their social skills on the buyers and the others who are working. I was not anticipating a hour and half conversation with them last night! It was a great time of bonding as we talked about a myriad of things that they had seen and did. Then the conversation drifted to many other areas of their lives and before I knew it, I was hoarse and in desperate need of sleep. The boys went to their room, but then the Princess who is 12 was not quite ready to go to bed, she ended up finishing watching Mulan 2, while I dosed off. As much as I loved the bonding time, I was ready to call it a night by then. It was after 11pm and 6:30am comes way too early for this not lover of mornings person.

It is always difficult to balance my family life with homeschooling and pursuing my Master’s in Counseling but I truly am embracing the challenge that is my life. I love the person I am becoming, I love the knowledge I have to offer my children and I enjoy the independence I have to be able to pursue my dreams. Yes, I miss things here and there with my children and yes I am overtired and stressed many days but I would not change it. The Lord has taught me much during the last few years and I pray he continues to as I work to finish this degree and then hopefully pursue my Doctorate.