Welcome Back! I am grateful you chose to revisit the Counseling Blog.

On February 4, 2018, Pastor Britton Fields, our Director of Youth Ministry provided a thoughtful message on the “Fear of Isolation.” In his sermon he mentioned how God ministers to us through a “ministry of presence.” When we are feeling isolated, burdened or overwhelmed, we can trust that God is with us. What a powerful message! If you missed his sermon you can watch it here

Britton mentioned our Care Ministry Team and introduced myself and Pastor Nancy Liston, Pastor of Care Ministry. So much of what we do in Care Ministry is exactly as Britton described. We provide a safe space for those who are hurting to tell their story. Most of the time we are simply there to listen.

So, you may be wondering why the counselor who listens to other’s traumatic stories all week long has titled her blog “Chocolate Soup Time.” It’s related to a life lesson I learned just a few years ago. Spending time with God is not always a chore and it does not always have to be focused on the pain in our lives. Here’s how it happened.

When my grandson was barely two, his favorite activity with me was playing in a water table. He enjoyed filling and dumping and splashing and getting wet. One spring morning we were dumping and filling as usual and one of us started calling the water in our cups, “Chocolate Soup.” We filled our cups with Chocolate Soup. We stirred it carefully. Then we pretended we were drinking it. As the water trickled down our chins instead of going in our mouths, he started giggling. His pure delight was contagious. Before long I was giggling and laughing with him. Nothing else in the world mattered at that moment but the pure joy of spending time with him in laughter.

The next morning, I sat down to write in my prayer journal. As I took time to shut out the rest of the world and focus on God, it occurred to me that God was just as delighted to spend time with me as I had been to spend time with my grandson. That thought changed everything for me. It took more than 50 years and a grandchild for me to understand the depth of God’s joy when we take the time to focus on Him.

Perhaps you’ve heard the story about how the disciples tried to keep the little children from getting close to Jesus. Jesus scolded the disciples and said, “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” Matthew 19:14 (The Message)

Take a moment right now to soak this in. Take a deep breath. And picture this: God enjoys your presence. You can make God smile just by spending time with Him. Breathe that in. Breathe out your stress. Breathe in God’s smile. Breathe out isolation. That’s the message Jesus came to bring us. God is with us always. We just need to take time to notice Him.

During Lent, Pastor Jake has provided some special prayer times so we can notice God’s presence in our lives. Tuesday mornings, 9-10 a.m., and Thursday evenings, 6:30-8 p.m. You can pray on your own or with others. You can say a quiet prayer or choose to do a prayer station he has set up. Whatever way you choose just remember, you can make God smile!

Meet me here next week for more Chocolate Soup Time!

Blessings Always,