About Me

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Judy Lair is a licensed counselor and owner of Counselorplace Christian Counseling. She is the author of “From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living.” Judy’s personal struggles with fear led her through the valley of hurt and sorrow. She now embraces a joy-filled life grounded in God’s truth and freedom in Christ. Judy uses her professional counseling expertise to tell stories that help people find healing and freedom. Her vulnerable, godly approach helps people find courage to move from Fear to Freedom. For more information or speaking requests, email JudyLair@counselorplace.com or sign up for blog posts at http://judylair.blogspot.com

 “Freedom is attainable. Trust me, I’ve been on the anxiety side, gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and now I’m praising God, eating at the banqueting table, and helping others make the same journey. Whether you find yourself stuck in anxiety, disappointment, grief, or confusion, your heart can be set free.” Judy Lair, “From the Other Side of the Couch.”

Monday, August 31, 2015

Soundtrack to our Transformation Journey

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Mohandes Gandhi

Music moves hearts and brings people together. I hummed and babbled before I could form words. Heaven’s music has always resided in my soul. Thanksgiving and praises rise to God for the food I eat, pillow to sleep on, and the unshakeable knowledge of being loved as an amazing creation. 

God gifted me with an ear for harmony. The intricacies of maneuvering around the melody in a beautiful dance captures hearts, bringing all who hear to the author of love. God has created a unique song for each one of us—the soundtrack to our transformation journey from disconnection to congruency.

Sanctification is the process of allowing God to show us the areas of our life that need to be confessed, grieved, changed, and healed. The goal of sanctification is to divest ourselves of anything which keeps us from living out who God created us to be. Only then will we be able to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, strength and to truly love our neighbor.

Focusing on the wrong goal results in a larger gap between our talk and our walk. The harder I tried on my own to match my head, heart, tongue, feet, and hands, the more I failed. I was trying to change my behavior when God wanted to change my heart.

A transformative heart change comes about when we see ourselves through God’s eyes. He sees us as beautiful, valuable, desirable—his masterpiece. Seeing myself through this lens ignited my passion to live such qualities out in the flesh. Instead of struggling to do, think, and say everything I thought God expected, I was now excited to share me as God’s beautiful creation with the world. That vision gave strength and courage to press into the sanctification process. For me, that process has been learning how to listen and live out the tune in my heart which fits in perfect harmony with God’s loving melody.

The Masterpiece of Life

Stumbling fingers, like tumbling words.
Searching for just the right note.
Eyes on the music, hands on the keys.
Playing melodies that someone else wrote.
Hesitant steps, like tentative rhythms.
Unsure of the path I should tread.
Defeated by doubt and shackled by shame,
Simply following the footsteps ahead.
Yet today as I played, a tune did emerge.
It’s melodious strain fresh and new.
Although it was simple in comparison to most,
My heart soared for each note rang out true.
If able I am to pen a new song,
Is it possible to blaze a new trail?
To shed habits of old, what a difficult chore!
But God’s intended creation would be unveiled.
A musical masterpiece in a day is not written,
So I guess neither is a new life so made.
Playing one note at a time,
Living each day on its own.
The framework for my new symphony is laid.

Photo used by permission from Creative Commons (Informationaction.com)

Monday, August 24, 2015

No Thanks

I’ve been struggling for several weeks to pinpoint my dissatisfaction at church. Driving home from Sunday service, I finally put my finger on the issue.

I don’t want to be thanked for my ministry efforts; I want to be ENJOYED!

Our lead pastor loves the Lord and is genuine and caring about his congregation. The church is passionate about showing love to the surrounding community and international missions. Sunday mornings you’ll find kind folks who are happy to help those in need. I love to walk past our children's ministry rooms and hear the kids singing about Jesus.

I grew up in church. Giving of my time, finances, talents, skills, and abilities is something I’ve always done. But lately I’ve become restless with being seen through the lens of what I do at church rather than who I am as God’s daughter. In no way am I being critical of my church and the wonderful folks who worship there. I’ve just realized I need more than being thanked for my service.

As a counselor, I believe God created each one of us with core longings designed to direct us to his heart. The desire to be enjoyed is one of those core longings. Infants are completely helpless. They can’t actively meet the needs of others. Yet most of us smile and enjoy listening to a newborn coo and chuckle as a toddler learns how to walk. We enjoy the miracle of life. Growing older, we cherish spending time with those we love listening to their stories or consoling them in disappointment. Mourning with them. Laughing with them. Enjoying them.

As much as I appreciate the heartfelt thanks of my church leaders for the volunteer services I offer each week, I’m really missing out on being seen, being enjoyed. My creator is passionately excited about this daughter whom he created. I’m a reflection of his creativity and glory. Yes, I do tasks such as run the sound board, sing and play keyboard on worship team, rock babies, finance summer camp attendees, etc. But on a week when I’m away, those tasks still get done. I find it hard to feel enjoyed if I’m merely thanked for doing a task that can be accomplished by interchangeable people. Rather than receiving thanks, I’m hoping someone shares how my singing blesses their heart or hearing from a parent how they feel watching me tenderly care for their child. Ask me to share my heart, then show genuine enjoyment at hearing my testimony.

Sunday mornings are a time to corporately come together to worship God and celebrate the amazing people he created in his image. Get excited to find out how God’s image is manifested in each individual person. Offer thanks to those who minister, but also spend time getting to know them as a special, unique, enjoyable child of God.