Wonderful Counselor

The Friday Follow-up from December 4, 2015 is at the bottom of this post!

Monday November 30, 2015

What a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my family of four and with the unique emotions of having my college freshman home for the first time since he moved to DC.  It started with giddy excitement of me on Tuesday night as his plane took off and I waited to go to the airport by eating biscoff cookies (you know the ones you get on airlines, if you are lucky). Wednesday brought some pride that he was grown up and going to my Internist by himself instead of a Pediatrician, and some relief that she gave him some meds and an I-knew-you-were-sick Mama attitude (but lips were quiet…progress!!) The day also brought contentment as he spent time with his sister and his friends. I shopped and cooked and was filled with joy to get flowers from my own Mum in celebration of our upcoming 24th Wedding Anniversary. A good reminder that as a Mother of an adult… we need to  refrain from unsolicited advice and unnecessary correction but not ignore them. Expressing love to our children is essential … whether they are 18 or 48.


What an amazing example our heavenly Father is of this… and how important it is to solicit His advice.

As I was decorating the tree this morning by myself, I hung this ornament that was a gift at a Women’s Christmas dinner in Texas in 2005. (I love that my tree is full of memories…but it takes a long time to decorate as I reminisce and take a photo and start a blog…you get the picture…)


I got excited about the Christmas dinner and concert this Thursday night. (Tickets to the concert are still available)

I was also reminded of the scripture and the preaching at Hope yesterday on our Mighty God!



What a gift …

  • Wonderful Counselor
  • Mighty God
  • Everlasting Father
  • Prince of Peace

I have to pause and take this in!

A gift to us and to our teens! (who have been asked many times this week: What gifts do you want for Christmas? And often we don’t really know what to ask for)

I have been thinking about God as our Counselor. The most amazing Counselor we could ever ask for!


We are also blessed that God has gifted some people with the ability and desire to counsel others. And we are truly fortunate to have a Christian Counselor on staff at Hope.  AND Kristy Brand is going to join us this week at Moms of Teens!!!!




Well, I got a little off track with my Thanksgiving moments and emotions… cause blogging is often stream of consciousness for me … sorry if this is annoying. So I will close with one of my favorite moments:

I set up my tripod and the camera on a timer for the 2nd annual family imageChristmas card photo shoot before Thanksgiving dinner. All four Fagans cooperated but the shenanigans that used to make me either
her threaten or bribe like a crazy woman, now make me laugh and find joy in the moment, (okay, I will admit it is easier because I know that they will eventually cooperate). Here is a photo of Jack trying to make my decorative hood functional!

Friday Follow-up:

December 4, 2015


What an awesome, authentic day we had in our group. Counselor Kristy Brand spoke on “Being intentional with your teenager”. She was so great at opening discussion and answering questions. And each one of us shared from our hearts. Community is so important. And so is being authentic and honest. With one another, with a professional when necessary (a once a year check-up is “a thing”) and always with our Wonderful Counselor.

Below is the handout from class:

Being Intentional With Your Teenager

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Common Issues

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Low Self Esteem
  4. Eating Disorders
  5. Addictions
  6. Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity
  7. Defiance
  8. Sexual promiscuity
  9. Sexual identity

Roots of Issues

  1. Family Dynamics
  2. Genetics
  3. Hormonal Changes
  4. Peer Pressure
  5. Mental Health Diagnosis


  1. Remember and Believe in God’s promises

  2. Be aware of you own behaviors, issues, struggles

  3. Communicate with your teen

  4. Expect the Best

  5. Don’t Sweat the Small

  6. Don’t Ignore Major Issues or Changes

  7. Be involved but have healthy boundaries

  8. Seek professional help: Therapy, Medical Attention, Inpatient Assistance, Support System


Crying over unspilled milk

Crying over unspilled milk

This morning has been unusual. Katie needed a ride to school so I was up early and dressed {well, sort of, if you count lounge pants a sweatshirt and flip flops} I had a to-go-cup of coffee but no breakfast. I hadn’t checked my calendar but I knew it was Friday {cause everyone always knows when it is Friday, right!) and I have been trying to get to my Moms in Prayer meeting at 8:15 am on time lately… one key to that is not going back to sleep after everyone leaves. {yes, I do that! but the time change has helped}. I was excited to see the sunrise shining brightly and burning off the morning fog as we drove to school. My mood was joyful.

After drop off, I did an unheard of thing…I went grocery shopping at 6:45am. We had just run out of half and half and we have been out of milk for a few days. A couple of shocking truths for our household! The first is that I have switched to half and half instead of Coffee-mate Fat Free French Vanilla creamer {my strange addiction for as long as I can remember}. And I believe this is the first time in 19 years that we haven’t had milk in the fridge for more than a few hours. But things have changed since our “milkman” went to college.

So there I was walking through the Kroger when my phone rang and Sean reminded me that it was our son’s birthday and he had just called and woken him up 🙂 I said I would text him and call him later after his classes. I don’t know if it was the realization that I had forgotten what day it was, the fact that I had not made pancakes to put a candle in this year {and wasn’t going to AND I was hungry by now}, or the strange realization that so many things have changed this season but when I pushed my cart to the side to text Jack a cake photo {cause that’s what I do on birthdays} I looked up to see the milk fridge staring at me. I was all alone with this large, orderly, cold, glass wall full of milk. And I really wanted to buy Jack some milk and pour him a glass to go with his “cake”. A sadness washed over me. Alone in the milk aisle. My eyes filled with tears. But my mouth curled up in a smile. The bittersweet moments of Motherhood once again.

I acknowledged my grief in that moment and I felt God’s comfort. A promise of God’s comforting grace that I learned 2 years ago. Matthew 5:4.

And then, I took a photo of the milk and texted it to Jack to go with his virtual cake photo. So much has changed for him the past fews months and I pray he will be blessed with God’s comfort in his times of need.