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Strength & Shield

Memorial weekend is very meaningful to me. My father was a navy sailor and at age 17 he was newly enlisted and assigned to Pearl Harbor. The dawn of December 7, 1941, was "A day that will remain in infamy," the morning the Japanese attacked and America was at war. My fathers retelling of the story varies from sibling to sibling, but he had the scars to prove he was there. Scrap-metal from an explosion entered his stomach and everything but the size of an walnut had to be removed. My father had 7 surgeries as a result of war and cigarettes, but I think it was the latter that finally took his life at 63. I still remember as a small child having to low-crawl to my father's bedside to wake him f

The Small Things

Yesterday was another day of horror for our children and parents of those affected by another school shooting. News reports indicate that ten people are reported dead and 10 wounded at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those directly and indirectly affected by this senseless act committed by a wounded soul. Let's stop making this an opportunity to further cause harm by turning it into a political statement for or against gun control, and instead honor the lives of the dead. One small and seemingly insignificant way law enforcement honors the fallen is by wearing a small black band over their badges. It's kind of like flying the flag at

Emotional Lockdown

Have you ever felt like you were just "done?" Done with the worry, the fighting, the confusion, the anger, and the frustration. Have you ever just wanted to turn off how you feel or run and hide from your emotions? Do you want to shut-down, lay down, and pull the covers over your head? When we reach the point of "no return" it's often because we've not taken care of ourselves. We've been so "other" focused that we get lost in the shuffle of things. It's like when our "In tray" is full of problems and we never can get to the bottom of it. It's usually everyone else putting their problems on our emotional desktop that creates these feelings of overload. There is a term called “The Jericho Synd

Floral Affirmations

I was listening to an interview of a female author who is married to a mega-church pastor and they were talking about the majority of Millennial's wanting "affirmations over flowers" for Mother's Day. They say that to know their children and their significant others recognize their hard work and will give them words of encouragement is a better gift than flowers, gift cards, or chocolates. I think this goes without saying, and you don't have to be a Gen-X, Gen-Y, Gen-Z, Baby-Boomer, or Millennial to know the truth of this statement. EVERY MOM wants to hear they are doing a good job from the people who mean the most to them. When my daughter was dating her husband, I believe the day she fell

Second Act

Many people in America are looking for a "do over" in their lives. They don't like how their life has turned out so far, and hope that by making drastic changes, the results will be better. They look at their spouse and think they could "catch" a better version; one younger, more sexy, vibrant, and less argumentative. They look at their home and believe moving into a newer model, a new city, or even a new state will improve their circumstances. They believe they are not the cause of their unhappiness, and believe a change of spouse or scenery will make them happy. Unfortunately, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, and the appearance of a better life is often smoke and mi

He Loved Mom

Jesus loved his mom. I have no doubt of his love and admiration and desire to care for his mother. She was his first thought and his last. If you look closely, his mother's care was on his mind even as he was hanging on the cross: "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, "Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." John 19:26-27 After the third day he was resurrected from the dead. He sent an angel to give peace and assurance to his mother who had gone to his grave site, 5 "But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are loo

Voyeurs and Performers

In every relationship we find balance by the way we interact with each other. It's like a dance we develop in the beginning, when things are fresh and exciting. He is attentive, encouraging, and your biggest fan. He lets you make decisions on where you want to go because he wants to "make you happy." You enjoy being able to show him all your favorite places, your favorite foods, and your favorite hobbies. He smiles and is a willing participant to everything about you, but offers very little of himself saying he doesn't like to talk about himself, he really, "doesn't care what we do," and doesn't have a favorite- anything. You consider the dance where you are always leading, and feel comforta

Hypocrite's Oath

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/hypocrite-meaning-origin): "The word hypocrite ultimately came into English from the Greek word hypokrites, which means “an actor” or “a stage player.” This is totally opposite from the medical term for "Hippocratic Oath," which is defined as: "One of the oldest binding documents in history, the Oath written by Hippocrates is still held sacred by physicians: to treat the ill to the best of one's ability, to preserve a patient's privacy, to teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation, and so on." (Read more at https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20909). A Hippocratic Oath

Unfading Beauty

I love this photo. The tearful joy of her groom, and her holding back tears as well, speaks volumes about the feelings they share. Their eyes are only for each other. But that's not the reason I picked this photo as the topic of today's discussion; I picked it because of the simplicity of the moment. She is not adorned in expensive attire, and he doesn't even have a coat. This wedding photo is about the couple making a commitment to each other. There is no "pomp and circumstance" only elegant simplicity. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfadi

Happy Places

Where is your happy place? Do you have one? Do you know know how to find it, or how to get there? Your happy place can be a physical destination (your favorite hotel overlooking the ocean) or it can be your favorite food, your favorite smell, or the feel of your favorite blanket. It can happen when your cat jumps up onto your lap and immediately starts purring, or your dog rests her head on your leg. It can be the sound of your children's laughter, or the smile of your spouse. It can be anyplace, anytime. It can even happen in your mind in the form of a beautiful memory. Do you know how important it is to have a happy place? It is vitally important. Why do you think we seek to find happine

Blessings Abound

Elenor Roosevelt was America's first lady married to the 32nd President of the United States: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In the retelling of her life, Elenor did not have a college degree, and in fact, only attended school for a total of 3 years (age 15-18) before marring FDR at age 18. According to "The Elenor Roosevelt Papers Project, "She often told interviewers that her major regret was her lack of a college education." Today, Jennifer Allossery, Encouragers' Office Administrator, is "taking the long walk" as she graduates with her BA in Business Administration. Congratulations Jennifer! You were brave enough to go after your dream for higher education, and you did it. It was not easy,

Fear or No Fear?

Have you ever seen the bumper sticker, "Fear not" on the back of a car and wondered what it means? It's actually a clothing line logo, but the saying is from the Bible; "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 The Bible says we are to not be afraid of our circumstances that can cause us discomfort and worry. Because we have a faith in God, who is always with us, we do not have to be afraid. But what if you don't know God or the promises he makes? You are STILL going to have to go through difficulties, but you won't have the assurance of God's presence with you

Divine Synergy

I love when the planets align and I am blessed to meet amazing people with a like minded purpose to help others. This past weekend I met Lauren Campfield of The Seraphim Project (www.theseraphimproject.org). The Seraphim Project website says it is,"A Branch of Women Organizing Women – A ministry that supports the healing of survivors of sexual abuse." I also met April Jones LMFT, who is the developer of the"I AM Project." April's "I AM" Project is an online course that offers healing to to those same survivors. By divine synergy, Encouragers Counseling & Training is partnering with these amazing women in the hopes of reaching even more survivors of sexual trauma to provide hope and healing.

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