Big News!

Eden has officially taken over Christmas decor this year.  Thank you, sweet, baby Jesus!! 💕 All I care is that I get my nativity up and have a safe place to put all of these presents I have stocked up in my closet...

 So... I've been sitting on this for a little bit.

I haven't wanted to get my hopes up, because it has been a long and arduous road, with...Grand-Canyon-type obstacles in the road, at times.  You know me, right?  I just put on my wing-suit and jumped right in.

Not, actually, me.  Totally stolen from the internet.

Some of you know, about 7 years ago...before the MU job placed itself in my path and I started working again...I signed up with Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to begin my quest for a Master's Degree in Counseling.  

I was staying home at the time.  I can't remember if Evan was born yet when I started.  But I do remember only taking one or two classes here and there, so I did not get overwhelmed.  Ha!  If only I could have peeked into my future to find out exactly how much I could actually handle.

We had a little bit of trouble with the topper.  Evan asked me why we never had an angel on top.  It would definitely be more Christian of me.  However, I have never found an angel topper that I didn't find cheesy or ugly...I have used some adorable home-made varieties here and there...but they aren't, officially, toppers.  So...💁. Guiding star it is!

Over the next 5 years, I worked full-time for the first time.  We had a lot of challenges and bumps along the way, but I managed to ramp up the course load while maintaining my job and sharing the heavy load around here.  In (2018-2019???  Dates are NOT my thing!) I completed a full school year of internship at a crisis shelter for teens (in addition to work, home and a small class load).  I'm still not sure how I got through that year.  (Only by the grace of God!)

Then, we had the CoVid shutdowns, and everything was total chaos.  I put any ideas of anything other than immediate survival, on hold.

Well...last year, I had an inclination to sign up for the National Counselors Exam.  I found an app to help me study, set my expectations rather low...and was, happily, awarded a passing score.

Don't fall for it, girl.  Do NOT let him make you think it's just you.  Klaus is a lover...all OVER the place.  And I thought we had something special.  Sigh.  #dogparkdrama

I let it sit for awhile.  I wasn't sure if and when I wanted to take the bigger leap.  I didn't want to leave one employer for another, and I didn't really know all of my options.  I had no extra time to pursue answers.  And, then, one day, I decided to try.

Within about a week, I had a potential location for a private practice and a potential supervisor who could guide me through the process.  I submitted an application for a (provisional) license to counsel with the State of Missouri.

I have waited (rather unsuccessfully some days...) a LONG time for this, and there was never a point at which I was certain it would work out.  I'm still not really certain.  But, then, sometimes we have to act beyond our current feelings and press on for what we believe.

We each have our gifts.  Decorating, seasonal/calendar things...not mine.

I found out this week that I have been awarded my PLPC!!  (In Missouri, beginner counselors have to be provisionally licensed and supervised for the first couple of years before being awarded the official LPC...licensed professional counselor.)  

My office location is secured, and it is about 5 minutes from my house.  I have even have furniture, which was surprisingly, aptly donated and has been sitting in my garage, hopeful for a home.

You.  Guys.

I have LOVED my job with MU.  I have had some of the greatest experiences and met some amazing teachers and students that I will truly miss.  But...I have worn myself out gallivanting all over the state, engaging in mass amounts of communications, serving in multiple capacities with an immensely broad and diverse population.

Spending lots of time with youth has opened my eyes to the vast need for the skills I have developed over the last 7 years, and it is finally time to focus and apply those skills.

I am a counselor.

And, for now, a dog mom.  Finally starting to own it.

I would be lying if I said I weren't still afraid.  It is a heavy burden.

I can't, officially, work for my self while provisional, so I had to find a new boss to take charge and get me started.  After a long and painstaking process, I have selected a boss I think I will be able to survive.  As of last week, I  officially signed over the business, Kristen O'Hara Counseling, LLC to...

Matt O'Hara.  Businessman.

Could it get anymore beautiful or hilarious than that?!!

Earlier this week, we were discussing a few business decisions via text:

Matt: Please direct any questions/complications to me.  I will keep me updated.  Thanks.

Me: Of course.  Top priority.

Matt: Talk soon.

Me: Wow.   You even sound like a businessman now.

Matt: I know.  I'm gonna need a new wardrobe to fit my new role as "antrey manure."

Me: (COMPLETELY confused.  Is that a Latin term???) Oh. I'm sorry.  I don't know the term.  I will have to look it up.  But...the latter half doesn't appear too flattering.

Matt: Entrepreneur.  😂

Wait, what?!!  I don't think even WE could have messed this up this badly.  Manufacturer default????🙏 

How could this go wrong?!! 💁

I have 100% confidence.  

When I handed over my official LLC paperwork to the bank, they asked me if I had an official "attorney reviewed" copy.

Nah.  I don't foresee any disagreements between myself and the "registered agent/acting manager."  

He will just keep telling me to take the day off.  😂

Oh, my friends...this ought to be interesting.  I am so hopeful and happy and RELIEVED!  It has, definitely, been a high time around here.  The waiting was agonizing.  We are getting answers, and I am liking them!


And speaking of...I made it to church week 2.  Just me and the boys, because Matt worked the whole weekend (BLAHHHHHHHHHHH!).  It isn't Saturday nights, but it is definitely sweet to be back there, together with my boys.  And, while I was disappointed that we only got 2 songs of worship, someone, somewhere pulled out "Oceans" today...and the tears over my sister were as fresh as the day she died, but I had Evan there, holding my hand...squeezing to let me know he was there.  And we made it through, together.

My precious boys.  💕

And despite all the hardship...even in the hardship...even when I don't FEEL it...I KNOW I am blessed.

Let me leave you with a prayer:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you His favor and give you peace.

(Numbers 6:24-26...a compilation of my favorite phrases from multiple versions.  NIV, NASB, NLT)