What’s New & What’s Next?

What’s New & What’s Next?

“Mrs. Littlejohn, in 3 minutes or less, can you tell our admissions board why you would like to pursue your Master’s in the Art of Counseling?”

I blinked, took a deep breath and reminded myself of what all my amazing public speaking teachers and professors had taught me, “speak slowly, speak clearly, embrace the silent pause and make eye contact.”

I began, “35 years ago, in the privacy and warmth of my mother’s womb, I believe that God knit me together with a counselor’s heart. Even as a little girl, I remember watching people hurt and suffer, and everything in my body was drawn to be close to their pain. I could never distance myself or convince myself to not feel on behalf of others. My husband often says of me, ‘I’ve never met someone who feels as wide and as deep as you!’ I was raised by two parents who constantly spoke over me, ‘People and relationships are our eternal inheritance. People are ALWAYS more important than things! People always win!’ Not only did they speak this over me, they lived it out in front of me. Early on in my adult life, I realized that we are ALL counselors. Naturally, if anyone is in relationship with another human, we are called to walk, talk and sit with each other in community. Community; real, life-giving, God-honoring, deeply-honest, self-sacrificing–truly knowing and truly being-known– community. Community always births compassionate counseling. I am already a counselor by choice, my heart’s desire is to become a counselor by trade. I feel like this program is a culmination of what God started 35 years ago. Our world (my world, my community) is broken, hurting and desperate. Satan has no new tricks. He has used the same tactics for thousands of years. He convinces people they are the only ones who have ever struggled with their particular thorn/thorns. He convinces them they are the only ones with wrecked stories. He convinces them there is no hope for them, no redemption, no way out. He shames and lures them into a dark pit of isolation and cyclical despair. And in that isolation, he has a front row sit to speak lies and damnation all over the hearts of the vulnerable and hurting.  People need real help, with real words from real people who are wise, knowledgeable and trained. Sunday school answers and bible verse band-aids are inadequate, thoughtless and damaging. My desire as a biblical counselor will be to come along side my counselees, sit with them in the uncomfortable places until I am stained by their pain, and whisper over them, ‘You do not walk alone!’ I would be so humbled if you let me come and be apart of your program! Thank you!”

3 VERY long months later, I sat at a junior high basketball game when the notification finally arrived in my inbox.

Dear Mrs. Littlejohn,

Welcome to the Master’s in the Art of Counseling Program! 

I lunged down the creaky bleachers in my boots and sprinted out into the dark of night. There was one call I HAD to make.

“Hello?!” He said quickly. He too, had been waiting all the days to get the news.

“I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN!” I jumped up and down like a fool outside the gym as tears pooled in the corner of my eyes. “Can you believe this?!” “Can you believe how kind and good God has been?!” “Can you believe He made a way! He did this!”

“Congratulations, my love!” Mark smiled through the phone line.

I shouldn’t have been so surprised. God has always been faithful to us. After all, He was the one who knit me together with precision. He wrote desires on my heart, and He gave me specific gifts to use to illumine His face to others. We’ve been waiting for the puzzle to come together. At times, we tried to force the puzzle pieces to no avail. As a mama in the trenches, with babies pulling on me 24/7,  there were days I felt like a caged lion. But He met us there, He reminded us to BE ALL THERE. He told us over and over, “Write your kid’s story first! This is the story for right now.” And then the right now, became right.

All this to say, I’m going back to school (I’ve actually been in school since August :)) And we are thrilled, terrified and out of our brains pumped!

This sweet blog will be sorely neglected in the up coming months, as all my brain power pushes out papers for school. But oh friends, it will be so worth it!

Many of you have written asking where I have been, and that makes my heart so happy, you are so kind to me! So, I felt it was only fair to catch you up! While I will not be posting much over here on the blog, I post almost daily on all my other social media outlets. Typically it is just a short snipet of our lives, but it keeps me connected and writing. Feel free to link up with me over there!

As always, thank you for reading!

Here’s to the next journey!

~S

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What Our Kids Learn The Last Month of School

What Our Kids Learn The Last Month of School

I asked Mark to stop and get me some coffee on his way home from work yesterday, because my stash was running low. Me – coffee =’s a national security crisis. Coffee is one of my love languages. I’m not afraid to admit I’d give up food before I’d give up coffee. This is what he delivered.

There is a reason he didn’t pick up JUST one or two, but THREE packages of coffee. We are in the final stretch of school. The ninth hour, the ninth month, the ninth inning. However you want to label it, we are nearing the end. Four weeks, and the 6:15 AM alarm goes from green to gray, and the whole house shouts HALLELUJAH! If Lucy’s eyes were a downloading ticker, it would indicate she is 99% complete. When Lucy gets tired, she gets crazy delusional. Last week, she walked in the door from school, laid down on the ground with her back pack STILL on, and stared at the ceiling for an hour. God love her. I believe she is ready for the third grade train 🙂

We’ve been going to bed earlier and earlier, and waking up later and later, because our bodies are all, “I love this bed! I love this bed! I love this bed! I can’t get up! I can’t get up! I can’t get up! One more snooze! One more snooze! One more snooze!”

Based on rough estimations, I have made and packed 360 lunches and 480 water bottles. At the conclusion of this school year, I hope to pass Kindergarten for the 5th time, 2nd grade for the 4th time, 3rd grade for 3rd time and 6th grade for the 2nd time. I have relearned so much this year; I am a complete wizard with my multiplication math facts. ‘Go Dog Go’ is STILL a really long book for a new reader. I have totally enjoyed reading Harry Potter through the eyes of my daughter. I increased my historical knowledge of Chinese Emperors. And seriously, I can do a mean Brachiosaurus impression (yes, I had to Google the correct spelling!) I’ve learned A LOT, and so have my cherubs. But like Lucy, my brain is full, my body is tired and we’re all ready for a small fast from school.

But all the the teachers, who feel the exact same way, respond in unison, ” DON’T QUIT YET, THERE ARE STILL FOUR WEEKS LEFT!”

Yes.there.are.

While our brains have broken the standard rule, “all things in moderation”, and we are teetering on obesity of knowledge; we press on. In between dodging the “can you check us out early?” requests, and “do we have to go?” pleas, I’ve decided these final weeks of school are SO MAJOR in the lives of our kids.

Major, not because the bulk of their educational foundation is being laid in these final days, or the climax of passing their current grade is at hand, but because their character will be solidified in pushing through the uncomfortable.

Littlejohns don’t quit!

So much of life is bearing down and holding on in the uncomfortable. Leaning hard and heavy until the work is done. Be it physical work, spiritual work, martial work, parental work, or just work-work. We don’t have the luxury or the permission to walk away when life gets complicated and messy. In real life, you don’t get a summer vacation.

My kids are incredibly blessed to watch their dad live out a life of faithful, hard work. Every morning, rain or shine, spring or summer, cold or hot, tired or awake, encouraged or discouraged, excited or bored, bank holiday or not; Mark shows his love to our family by consistently showing up to work. This writes perseverance on the story of our children’s hearts.

“Finish well” I’ve whispered to sleepy, after school eyes.

Or some days, when you turn an olive oil bottle into a weed vase, it’s just “Finish, my love! Finish.”

Y’all we can do this!
Cheers! *and all the olive oil bottles clank*

~Sara