Home » Counseling the Incompetent Counselor » Day 2 Counseling the Incompetent Counselor

Day 2 Counseling the Incompetent Counselor

Once again I sit in front of my computer and my eyes glaze over.  Once again I try to focus on the numerous tasks screaming at me from my Franklin Planner and instead surf the Internet.  Once again I have no clue what I am doing, or even why I should do anything at all.

Hence it is the beginning of another day.

This time of life is filled with great relief and great emptiness.  Oh, how I longed for the day when our kids would at last demand less attention.  Painstaking hours of bottles and diapers grew ever so slowly (or so it seemed) into endless boxes of macaroni and cheese and life lived from a mini van.  “Mom look at what I made!” coupled together with daily bedtime stories and the most wonderful, sweet kisses.  Agonizing arguments made my head spin with frustration while Band Competitions, Homecoming festivities, and graduation infused pride and excitement.

And now they’re gone.

And I don’t know what to do with my time.

Don’t get me wrong!  I have PLENTY to do, as my planner so adequately reminds me.  I spent our first years after moving here volunteering for everything I was capable of; I apparently am now on “the list.”  It succeeded in getting me out of the house and I was fortunate to have established some wonderful, blessed relationships while experiencing the joy of doing what I love.  My to-do compass that flips the pages of my days overflowith.

What I don’t have is the motivation to do it.

When our family was growing and life moved at a hectic velocity I had clear goals, an accountable pace.  Without that discipline I, Ms. Discipline (they-used-to-call-me “Ann al”), have become sloth.

One of my new dear friends and I have compared notes on this dilemma and regularly encouraged each other to daily pull that incentive from thin air; to do as Elizabeth Elliot proclaims, “the next thing.”  (Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Nemo says it too… “swimmin! swimmin!  Just keep swimmin!”  Somehow hearing it from Elliot feels a whole lot more holy)

And it works.  Some days.

But quite honestly, most days look more like this….

  1. Wake up at a ridiculously early hour for having no place to go
  2. Walk (this has incentive because it follows directly behind Scale)
  3. Demotions (no need to rush….no place I have to be)
  4. Shower (see above)
  5. Check computer
    1. News
    2. Stocks
    3. Weather
    4. Friends
    5. Email
    6. Did anybody read my blog?
  6. Finish getting ready
  7. Check computer
    1. News
    2. Stocks
    3. Weather
    4. Friends
    5. Email
    6. Did anybody read my blog?
  8. Eat
  9. Put on music

10.  Check computer

  1. News
  2. Stocks
  3. Weather
  4. Friends
  5. Email
  6. Did anybody read my blog?

11.  Change music

12.  Eat

13.   Check computer

  1. News
  2. Stocks
  3. Weather
  4. Friends
  5. Email
  6. Did anybody read my blog?

14.  Lunchtime!

15.  Read favorite blogs

16.   One more, before-I-really-should-do-something Check computer

  1. News
  2. Stocks
  3. Weather
  4. Friends
  5. Email
  6. Did anybody read my blog?

17.  Gotta get outta this house – run around town and do some errands

18.  Return home and put items away

19.  Check computer

  1. News
  2. Stocks
  3. Weather
  4. Friends
  5. Email
  6. Did anybody read my blog?

20.  Answer emails/phone calls

21.  Start Dinner

Sloth

So as I sat in prayer before God yesterday I realized that this might be a problem (DUH!)  The next step in my effort to Counsel the Incompetent Counselor is designed to get at the “heart” of that problem.  In order to do this, Wayne Mack suggests we must first collect data.  Many a “counselor” has rushed into judgement (and solutions!) of a root problem they assume existed only to discourage their counselee.  Mack uses a really great example from the Bible to illustrate this problem; “When Eli saw Hannah’s lips moving but heard no sound, he assumed she was drunk and condemned her without so much as smelling her breath.”

Don’t be sniffen my breath.

Over the next day or so, my goal will be to honestly evaluate these 6 data;*

  1. Physical data – “In 2 Cor. 4:16, Paul implied that when ‘our outer man is decaying,’ our inner man tends to lose heart.”  A full evaluation includes sleep patterns, diet, exercise, illness, and medications.
  2. Resources at my disposal – ie God? (am I a Christian), spiritual maturity (what is the extent of growth in my life)
  3. Emotions – Emotions are the symptoms- “the warnings of the primary problem…God has given them to us as outward indicators of what is happening in our hearts, and they are often inextricably linked to the problems we face.”
  4. Actions – are they in line with the Word of God?
  5. Concepts – “This includes personal convictions, attitudes, expectations, desires, and values….their thoughts and desires.”
  6. Historical Data – “life –context information which refers to information about peoples present and past life context: the external circumstances in their lives, the influences or pressures they have experienced or are experiencing how they have been sinned against, their frustrations and hardships, their failures, temptations,” their hopes their fears their failures… you get it…just keep talkin, talkin, talkin…

Stay tuned…

*Disclaimer: this lil experiment is REALLY just for fun (are we having fun yet?) and will follow closely along the information found in the book Counseling as well as other counseling resources.  It is not recommended that the reader should try this on their own at home without the book! :)

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