Category Archives: News and Updates

Here you will find the latest news and updates from CCM including our most recent newsletters.

Sharin’ the Journey — A note from the Director

      heavenly heartThe decision to have a third child was a difficult one for me.  A self-professed work-a-holic, I was content with our two daughters, ages 7 and 4, and the family life we enjoyed.  My husband, however, had a vision of a larger family.  Like with most challenges, I decided to give it to God.  If He wanted us to have another child, so be it.

        Much to my surprise, God not only wanted us to have one child, He decided to gift us with TWO.  As I sat in the parking lot after my first doctor appointment overwhelmed with the concept of twins, tears flowed freely in awe and fear of the road He had placed before me.  I wondered if in some small way I was feeling what a young Mary experienced in the wake of the visit by the Archangel Gabriel.  How would I get through the next seven months of worry for not just one, but two little beings dependent on me for existence?

        The answer was prayer.  One of the first gifts we received from a good friend and her mother was a promise of continuous prayer.  The pregnancy that followed was by no means routine, with unexplained rashes, bleeding, umbilical issues, the death of our beloved pet, early contractions, and eventual bed rest.  Through it all I was sustained by the presence of God we experience through prayer.  Every time the anxiety threated to be too much, I would hastily recite three Hail Marys one for each baby and the last for myself.  This practice reminded me that I was never alone in my worry, there were others pulling for me and with me every step of my journey.  Prayer gave me the faith to realize that, “This too shall pass.”

        Through the gift of prayer; my own, that of others, and the experience of Reiki I was able to carry my twins to 38 weeks.  This is a rare occurrence with a multiple pregnancy. In a very real way, the experience of my past year has demonstrated the incredible role prayer can play in our lives and in our world.  As I gaze at the two little faces of my healthy twin gifts, I invite you to pause and raise a few words heavenward the next time you or a friend are in an unexpected or unwanted situation.  It can make all the difference.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will  be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Luke 11: 9-10


“I” Openers Inspirations, Insights, and Illuminations

is a gift to the heart
of both the giver and receiver

Ways to say THANK YOU!

This small but mighty phrase,
which dates from the 15th century,
goes a long way in  acknowledging
kindness big and small.  The less
formal thanks appeared in Shakespeare’s
writings.  Before then, he
word thank was often used to mean “thought” or “good will.”

This Spanish word for “thank you” shares roots with the
English word grace in the form of the Latin gratus, which
means “pleasing” or agreeable.”

This is gratitude with a tropical flavor.  This Hawaiian word for
“thank you” is sometimes expressed as mahalo nui loa, the
Hawaiian equivalent of “thank you very much.”

This Japanese term for “thank you” was famously
set to music in the 1983 Styx song “Mr. Roboto.”
Domo arigato  — thank you very much.

A cousin to the English word mercy this French word for
“thank you” is often paired with beaucoup for emphasis.

Las Vegas star Wayne Newton put this German word for “thank you” on the tips of tongues with his hit “Danke Schoen. This German expression is often translated as “thank you kindly.”

  No matter how you say it, the message is: 
 “You made a difference and I appreciate it.”











Sharin’ the Journey

Recently I visited my daughter.  She lives in a corner apartment on the second floor.  Her apartment has a balcony, which because of its location is an adult version of a magic tree house.  Being on the second floor her balcony is surrounded by the branches of a flowering dogwood tree.

On this day the sun was shining and there was a warm but strong breeze.  Having never had a tree house as a kid or been one to climb trees beyond the very low branches, I was amazed at what I was watching.  I have always enjoyed the sounds of tree leaves dancing in the breeze, but from this nestled perspective I could see just how much the branches and even the larger limbs move, sway, and bend with the wind.  From the ground looking at a tree it is evident how sturdy a tree trunk is but from my view from her balcony tree house I had a new appreciation for the strength of a tree’s trunk and in turn how vital solid roots are to a tree’s wellbeing. At this time of year the first signs of the changing season were starting to appear as a few leaves had started changing color.

My magic tree house experience got me thinking about CCM, our staff, our community supporters, and our clients.  All of us need solid roots and we are aware of and grateful that God’s  love, light, and promises are what we are rooted in. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

I also recognized that the leaves on the trees have lots of company; they are not alone in their dance in the breeze.  As an agency, professionals, and people who face life just like our clients we know the value of “company” of a support system to help get through life’s strong breezes. “They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.” (Numbers 11:17) 

Maybe you too have noticed the changing of the season marked by the trees changing color.  Have you also noticed that not all the trees change at the same time or change to the same color?  I don’t think it is by accident that creation reflects our experience as people.  I think it attests to our oneness with all of creation.  We too do not grow and change at the same time or in the same way.

Speaking of changes we have changed our WELLBEING newsletter format.  Starting this month we will be featuring our Wellness practitioners.  In order to make this change we have renamed our inspiration section to “I” Openers.  In the spirit of changing seasons we have included a beautiful poem in “I” Openers.  The focus is relationships: A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime.

                                                             “Autumn” the year’s last loveliest smile.






Sharin the Journey

Back to School time!  For some of us this time brings back memories of our school days.  For others “back to school” is experienced through the eyes of children or grandchildren.  For all those who support education, the teachers, administrators, aides, bus drivers, cooks, maintenance workers, crossing guards, etc. “back to school” is a new beginning much like the rest of us experience New Years.  It seems fair to say that pretty much everyone has some connection to or memory of “Back to School.”  Marcia and I were both teachers at one time so it is very natural for us to see this as the start of another year for CCM as well.   Around the offices of CCM we have spent the last few months thinking about and focusing on THE MORE.  THE MORE means exploring an experience, scripture, or relationships at a deeper level.  So what might be THE MORE to “Back to School”?

Truth is there are many answers to that question.  Let’s consider a couple of possibilities…          There is no argument that learning takes place all the time in every part of a person’s life.  “Back to School” is an annual reminder of the value of learning.  It’s easy though, to think of “back to school” as a call to those youngsters and people entering a school program BUT what if THE MORE is that “back to school” can be a call to each of us to make an intention to learn something new, renew an old relationship, step out into a new group, or deepen and enrich our already personal relationship with God.  In the spirit of deepening your learning we are inviting you to stop by CCM Counseling & Wellness and check out our library.  We have so many good books that can inspire, teach, or are just meant to be enjoyed.   The borrowing process is easy and the book can be yours for a month.

Another way to explore THE MORE of “back to school” is to consider one of the most important accessories to the “back to school” experience….THE BACKPACK.   Take some time to reflect on what you carry around in your – backpack – of life.  Have you been carrying ideas or habits that no longer serve your highest good?  Are there hurts and pains lingering and cluttering up your backpack?  What new supplies would you like to add to your backpack?  We have all heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”  That’s why everyone’s backpack needs to include HUMOR tucked into one of its many pockets.  A client shared with us what was in her backpack pocket……

“My backpack is too heavy…it’s on the bus & I’m walking to school!”

“I’ve got more baggage than a “Mama’s boy” on his first day of school!”  

It’s your turn what does “back to school” mean for you?

Sharin the Journey: A Note from the Director

Sometimes, as a person shares an insight or gives an explanation they will reassure those listening…”Hey this isn’t brain science.”  This comment is meant to reassure the listeners that they are capable of grasping what is being shared.  Today, as I write this I can guarantee you will “get it.”  In fact, you were wonderfully created to be able to fully enjoy what I’m about to share and guess what it is brain science.

This past weekend was the Outagamie County Fair.  My husband and I went to enjoy the sights and sounds plus take in the concert.  Before the concert, a young girl was introduced who only a month ago had lost her mom to cancer.  The young girl was a 4H member who was hoping to raise a $1000.00 from the sale of her pig in order to donate the money to cancer research in her mother’s memory.  Her efforts started out with disappointment when her pig did not win a prize, after all she was hoping that a “blue ribbon” pig would help her reach her goal.  Still determined to give it her best shot, she took her turn at the livestock auction.  The story of her mom’s passing and her goal to raise money for cancer research got out to those who had gathered for the bidding.  The bidding started and before too long thanks to a local business the pig sold for not $1000.00 but over $5000.00.  The young girl was so excited….but she did not expect what happened next.  The gentleman representing the business told her to keep the money for cancer research and he gave her back the pig so she could auction it again.  She was given the go ahead, so she let her pig be auctioned again.  This time the pig sold for over $3000.00.  Again the purchaser told the young girl…go ahead…take the money…keep the pig and auction it again.  The young girl explained to the crowd that by this time she was crying and very confused.  “I wasn’t sure what was happening.”  The pig was again put up for auction.  When the wonderful show of support for this young girl and the dream she had was over — just under $20,000.00 — had been raised for her to give to cancer research in memory of her mother.   The cheers erupted from the crowd gathered in the grandstands…

What are you feeling right now?  Maybe you have a few goosebumps, a lump in your throat, a smile on your face, or a sense of awe at the courage of one young girl and the beautiful response by her community to demonstrate support.  Whatever you are feeling…it is brain science.  We were created with this specific neuron that allows us to feel connected to others just by seeing or hearing their story.  In some cases we experience horror at someone’s pain such as in response to tornado destruction or random shootings.  In this case, thanks to our brain science we can celebrate the joy of a dream fulfilled.

What in our brain/body makes this possible?  It’s our mirror neurons and our Vagus nerve.  The vagus nerve has several jobs including being our compassion nerve.  Truth is we were not hardwired to operate under “survival of the fittest” but rather as “cooperation of the community.”  So today you are invited to activate a little brain science and share this story with someone in order to bring a spark to their day and celebrate the incredible oneness we share with each other.

While I’m thinking about it…”Lord here’s to one mom who — although in too short a time — raised a daughter who is magnificent.  May this mom be blessed in Your presence.”  

Sharin the Journey

     Here at CCM we have seen the incredible impact that attending to all aspects of a person, mind spirit and body, can have on mental health and wellbeing.  We have partnered with gifted practitioners in an effort to make it easier for our clients and the general public to access supportive healing services like Christian Reiki, Reflexology, and Massage.

Recently, I have become a big HGTV fan.  I really enjoy learning and gathering ideas from the creative and talented designers, craftsmen, and homeowners.  An expression I have heard frequently is …you want “CUSTOM not just COOKIE CUTTER.”  I am thrilled to say that CUSTOM service and treatment is exactly what you will receive from our new massage therapist, Heidi Norman.

Heidi’s career as massage therapist began back in 1986 as she was trained and licensed in Illinois.  In 2003 she returned to school at Fox Valley School of Massage.  At the completion of this program she became certified and licensed in the state of Wisconsin.  Heidi’s next step was to set up an office near her home in Oconto.  Heidi has been a treasure to CCM for years as she has served as one of our massage therapists at our annual women’s retreats.   We were so excited when she accepted our invitation to partner together.  Her passion for holistic healing is a perfect fit for us at CCM Counseling & Wellness.

Heidi is trained in Swedish, Hot Stone, Prenatal, Deep Tissue, Lymphatic, and Sports (treatment work) massage techniques.  She also offers ear candling, kineseo-taping and reflexology.  As a client of Heidi’s you can expect that she will engage you in an initial conversation that will allow her to custom fit her massage expertise to your specific needs. Her ability to provide Custom not just cookie cutter treatment helps clients experience a stronger body awareness, a decrease in stress, physical relief from injury and or inflammation, physical and emotional detoxing and mental clarity. Heidi not only talks the talk when it comes to the value and benefits of massage…she walks the walk.  Besides providing for her own balanced health, Heidi credits her receiving massages from various other local practitioners for being able to add new techniques to her already impressive range of techniques.

Heidi is married and the mother of three teens.  She enjoys being active by hiking, gardening, and being outdoors. Her favorite times of her day both on personally and professionally are when she sits quietly and connects with God or during a session when she receives a revelation from God that enriches the service that she is offering a client.  “…that relationship is my favorite thing.”  The staff at CCM along with Heidi invite you to call the office and set up an appointment for a CUSTOM not just COOKIE CUTTER massage and while you are there you can share your favorite thing with Heidi…

(Mention this newsletter to take advantage of Heidi’s introductory first visit offer.)

Newsletter Link

1. False – Firecrackers are the rockets that make more noise and not so much sparkle, whereas, fireworks are the rockets that are created for their beautiful visual display.

2. C – Sparklers were invented in 1880.

3. B – The first parade was held in Washington D.C. but it was not through the streets of our capital.  It was a parade of boats on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.  President John Quincy Adams (1825 to 1829) and a group of Americans and foreign dignitaries boarded a steamboat and led a procession of barges and other boats             up the river.

4. A – It was in 1941 that Congress finally named the long standing celebration of our nation’s independence a legal holiday.

5. B – Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.  Amazingly enough he died on July 4, 1826 which was the 50th anniversary of the original signing.

6. C—  It is Betsy Ross who is given credit for having sewn the flag together.

7. B – There were 56 men who signed the Declaration.

8. A – Believe it or not the estimate is 150 million hotdogs!

9. False – The federal holiday’s official name is Independence Day.

10. C – Apple

May this coming 4th of July be a blessing for you and your family.

Sharin’ the Journey: A Note from the Director

In the April newsletter I wrote that CCM would be introducing our new massage therapist, Heidi Norman in our May edition of Wellbeing.  Only a week later Heidi let us know that she was wrapping up some additional classes she was enrolled in.  For Heidi this meant studying for finals.  We agreed that her introduction would need to wait until June.  I laughed and told Heidi, “This is a perfect chance to write about Going with the flow.

We have all faced times in life when our best efforts and plans meet with unexpected twists and turns.  Author and coach, Dawn Gluskin, describes it like this…

“Life doesn’t always give us what we want, but it sure gives us what we need.  It’s funny how that happens.  Sometimes, we’re so sure about how things are supposed to play out that we fight, kicking and screaming, any deviation of the plan that comes our way.  Oddly enough, the more we resist, the more it persists and the harder we make it on ourselves.  It’s like trying to swim upstream against a strong current.  Our arms and legs move furiously, but we get nowhere.  We end up completely exhausted and out of breath.”

So if life zigs when you are zagging instead of ending up out of breath and frustrated why not consider these options….

Push your “Flexible” button rather than your “Panic” button.  It’s not easy but, try moving out of your head and into your heart.  It is easier for God to support you from the flexible place in your heart.  It is quieter there and you have a better chance of hearing your guidance.

Keep smiling and dig for the silver.  This is another way of saying keep your eyes open for the silver lining, for the opportunity for good to come out of the broken plan or the tough turn of events.  Take joy in the sunrise or sunset, in the breeze on your face, or the birds that are singing.

Carry a reminder.  For me this is often a short reading, a scripture verse, an inspiring quote, or on occasion maybe a physical reminder like a penny or cross in my pocket…something that will signal your brain to remind you…This too shall pass.  Here’s one of my favorites from Sarah Young’s   “Dear Jesus”.

When you are weary and everything seems to be going wrong, you can still utter these four words: “I trust you Jesus.”  By doing so you release matters into God’s control and you can fall back into the security of God’s arms.

We’d love to hear your ideas on how you……GO WITH THE FLOW…..

Sharin’ the Journey

A Note From the Director

           “How do you spell RELIEF?” was a famous line from a Rolaids commercial some years ago.  For those of us who have braved the last few months while living in Wisconsin, I believe the answer to this question is, “We spell relief, S*U*N*S*H*I*N*E — sunshine!”  A close runner up would be “No More Snow.”

All of us at CCM believe that our clients deserve the highest quality of mind, spirit, and body care we can provide.  We also believe that as we support our clients on their journey it is important we don’t ask them to do anything that we would not be willing to do.  As a result, we try to continue to challenge ourselves to grow and be aware of the ongoing process we are each experiencing.  This month our staff participated in a day long workshop called “Developing Positive Emotional Habits.”  Simply stated it was a Happiness workshop.

We learned that happiness has many influences.  For instance, 50% of our happiness is related to our genetic makeup and only 10% is related to objective life circumstances such as job, house, car, etc.  The good news is that leaves 40% of our happiness up to our own intentional activities.  Dr. Brian King explained the brain science connection to happiness.  Did you know that your brain is always receiving and processing signals?  In most cases without you even being conscious of it?  It is this automatic pilot response that makes up our habits which is an incredible 95% of our daily activities.  By being more aware of our habits and interjecting some intentional activities, we can increase our happiness level.  Dr. Brian shared ideas that can send a positive signal to your brain and in turn give you a little lift.

Here’s a fun quick exercise that sends a positive signal to your brain.

*Find a clean pen or pencil (or at least one only you  use)   *Hold the pen/pencil horizontally and then put it in your mouth holding it there between your lips with your teeth.   *The muscle configuration while you are holding the pen is the same configuration as when you smile.   *Your brain gets the message from your mouth muscles that you are smiling.   * This triggers your brain to do its job of sending endorphins your system, which results in the feeling of being happier.