Gardening at Hartland College – A Spiritual Application

Hello Readers,

The following was an event that occurred while I was at Hartland College. I had written it in a small notebook and entitled this section “Be Thou My Vision.” I realized that now I have two booklets with the same title. :/ So this is not to be confused with the previous one that I have already shared on this blog earlier. This event was written on June 16, 2001:

This I know for sure.

Yesterday evening, I was so upset with myself. I saw so many things in my character that needs to be removed. While walking fast to my garden, I heard thunder coming in front of me. The sky looked so clear. The thunder caused me to freeze in mid walking. God is truly powerful and I am nothing. The thunder sank into my heart and turned my anger to sadness. For I just want self to be completely dead so that God’s will for my life can be accomplish. I’m so tired of self getting in the way.

With this sadness (but knowing that God can change me — if I let Him), I continued. With a slower pace than before, I made it to my garden. I notice someone else (who has had more experience in gardening and this Virginia environment than I) was watering their plants. Surely, I can water mine.

I turned on the water system and began. Once again, the noise of thunder came. I looked around. Still clear skies. A little bit more clouds. No other change. The other individual was watering the crop. I went back to work. I began to water the plot to my left (when looking towards the front gate of Hartland). The clouds began to get a little gray. Soon afterwards, there was a sound of relief coming from behind me. The person was done. Leaving the field, the individual got in a vehicle and left. I was all alone. Looking around, I heard the voice of God say, “Melanie, get ready for something. Watch carefully and learn from this.”

“Go,” He said.

I held the hose in my hand.

“But I’m not done!” I thought. I continued watering the neighbor’s broccoli. And mine own. Also, the tomatoes.

“Go,” He said.

“But I’m not done here!” I said out loud. I looked at the corn that hasn’t grown yet. They show no sign of fruit.

“I will water them. You did your part. Now go before it’s too late,” He spoke with words of authority. Alone with His command, the wind came. I became dumbfounded and paralyzed. And yet, I didn’t feel my weight at all.

I began to sprinkle my corn bed. For I knew that when a quick storm comes, the water doesn’t run that deep. The wind carried the water away from the bed.

“Go!”

Finally, I took the hose back to the other side and turned off the water. Seeing someone’s water bottle (in which I saw when I went to the plot that early morning) with some water in it, I took it and ran. Actually, I walked quickly.

“Hurry, the storm is coming,” something said. It must have been my guardian angel. As I cross the road and began to pass the manure pile, I notice some flowers.

“They’re beautiful!” I thought. “I have never seen anything like it. Oh, Father! Can I pick one!”

A distraction.

“Hurry, the storm is coming!” More voices encouraged me.

“You can just pick one,” said the fallen angels. “It won’t take long to pick. Then, you can run with it in your hand.”

Turning back, I went aside to it. The bunch of flowers moved with the wind. The surroundings were getting darker. The noise of the wind in the trees were louder. I think thunder roared — I don’t remember. Once again, paralyzed.

“Oh, no!” I thought. “I transgressed. I’m sorry.”

“Run!”

I began to moved more faster. My legs seem so weak. I passed the shed.

“Run!”

Going through the weeds were a bit difficult. My skirt seem to slow me down.

“Run!”

The wind pushed me forward at the same time.

When I got back into the clearing, drops began to fall. Large ones. While panicking, I ran.

“Why don’t I ever listen to You?!” I yelled. The drops became more thicker. I saw the people at the Wellness Center watch me. There were two guest there and one student.

I ran!

Passing the Wellness Center, the storm became stronger. Walking on the green, I noticed the thickness of rain around the green.

Was God showing mercy on me and not letting me get soaking wet?

I felt some wetness.

“I deserve it! I deserve it! I deserve it!” I said while running. Then, I felt the rain even more. Halfway to the mansion. I could barely see it. I didn’t feel the weight of my body. Only the coldness of the rain. And a bruised heart.

Why didn’t I listen to Him?

[End of writing]

There is a spiritual lesson I had learned that day. Back then, God had placed me several places to learn about myself (as in where my character needed to change) and to encourage others. At this point in time, God was teaching me what Paul had taught others in 1 Corinthians 3. According to Paul, he was the one, at the time, that had planted the spiritual seeds, Apollos watered, but it was God that gave the increase (see 1 Corinthians 3:6). This is regarding the spiritual work Paul was doing. According to Ellen G. White, it was Paul who had first started the Christian work in Corinth (Acts of the Apostle, p. 274). Apollos came later.

I had planted that section of the garden at Hartland College but was impressed that I would not be around to see the entire garden grow (God would move me to another missionary project). But God promised that He would take care of this garden. I wasn’t only leaving this physical garden but also a spiritual garden; the people there at Hartland College. Many of the young ladies there had become precious to me. I was watering seeds that someone else had planted (shared encouragement) and desired to see them grow spiritually. But God was moving me to another place to either plant or water in His garden — the world.

Many months, or, maybe, even years later, one of those who were a fellow classmate for that Gardening class, had testified that my section of the garden was the most abundant section of the garden. This left a deep impression on me spiritually. This classmate told me that other classmates had watered it. And, yes, I understood that God was the one that did the increase.

Winter III Semester – Day One and Two

Hello Readers,

Today completes the second day of Winter III semester in the clinical mental health counseling program at Southern Adventist University. However, I only have one class this semester: Clinical Internship: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (or, it is also written as this: CMHC Internship). Since classes at Southern started yesterday, Monday, and my class is on Mondays, I actually started my class on the same day that was the official first day of this semester. During class, my professor stated that, although she hasn’t had the meeting with my onsite supervisor (my supervisor that is at the internship site), I could start getting my direct and indirect hours from the internship site. So, I had called the site this morning to ask if I could come in today. I had to ask because I had not scheduled a time to come in (besides the intern meetings that are held every Wednesday afternoon).

When I had arrived on site, a clinician asked me if I wanted to observe him while he administered two different assessments on a client. I said “Sure!” and was so excited to finally see the WAIS-IV “at work.” I have read about this assessment during my undergraduate (associates and bachelor degree in Psychology) and during my graduate program. It’s an assessment to measure cognitive ability. The clinician also used another type of ability assessment in which confirmed the results of the WAIS-IV. After I was done observing, the clinician and I did a collaborative diagnosis; sharing what each other had concluded (as in diagnosing the client). The clinician gave me tips and I thanked him for that. It was very educational.

After the observation was done, it was time for lunch (I went to the facility at 11:00am). After lunch, I made copies of certain forms so my site supervisor would have a file for me in his office. Then I took the time to review a binder that included training to facilitate a psychoeducation counseling group. Once my site supervisor and the agency director was free (they were in a meeting during the time I was copying forms and reviewing the binder), I was going to help with some refiling but someone had cleaned the basement and the agency director wasn’t notified on where they had moved some of the boxes. So, instead of doing this (might be able to do this task tomorrow), I reviewed the internship site procedures, policies, and description for interns. While reading this over, I found out what I could have done (forgot that I had read this). I could have did some office work in the receptionist area. When I realized it, the facility was about to close in 20 minutes. Plus, I had already called my husband to come pick me up.

Tomorrow, I will have to officially introduced myself to the receptionist (instead of saying hi in passing or ask them a question, such as “where is the shredder?”). Ugh! I cannot believe I did that tunnel vision thing to them! I had one mission on my mind and forgot to treat them like people who have feelings. I thought I grew out of that. :( Oh, well. At least I noticed my mistake and I can fix my error. I just didn’t like it when patients at Dr. Workneh’s dental office forgot to say “hi” to me and just “got down to business.”

So my first day at the internship site was not bad. I am just a bit concerned that since my professor hasn’t met with my site supervisor that it might not be my permanent internship site. :'( But another classmate from Southern is already there (and another classmate was once there) so I’m guessing that this internship site is still abiding by whatever standard Southern is upholding.

Fall III Semester Over

Hello Readers,

Fall III semester was one of those semesters that had a lot of class work, reading, presentations, and research (by Internet or on site). I am glad it is over but I’m a bit mixed (maybe even the word “confused” is appropriate) with the outcome of one of the classes. It’s always a challenge when I have a new professor (or “teacher” in my elementary to high school years) that hasn’t had me as a student just yet. All three of my professors were new (as in I have never had them as a professor before) but they all perceived me differently. And the one that perceived me as a shy person was the only one who left a remark on my electronic portfolio. Ugh! What a mess! Well, as the lady who had taught us students how to use our electronic portfolio had mentioned, one can always turn things off and on (as in allowing potential job sites to only see certain parts of one’s portfolio).

In my Fall III at Southern blog entry, I had mentioned the idea of gaining my last two elective credits by doing independent study. I don’t have to do this because Records at Southern Adventist University realized that many students, who usually get good grades in class, received a C or even an F in Crisis Counseling (a class offered in the summer). After certain individuals (who work in the main office of the Education and Psychology department) explained what led to a specific teacher over the class, it all made sense to us students. Therefore, Records gave us another chance to improve our final grade for this course by taking an exam at the end of this semester. I received a passing grade. This allowed my three credits of Crisis Counseling course to cover the last two elective credits that I had needed.

Other successful achievements within this semester:

  1. Took NCE (National Counseling Examination) in October and passed. Will have the official NCC certification after mailing the office my transcripts (after I graduate). Please note that it is only a certification and not licensure. For more information about NCE and NCC, click here.
  2. Was able to successfully see a client from session one (initial session) to termination session (last session) with allowing the client to “tell her story” and using basic counseling responses at the appropriate time.
  3. Obtained additional training that was needed to pass me on from clinical practicum to internship capability.
  4. Did interviews at two potential internship sites. One site was ready to have me aboard starting next semester but needed me to do a background check to confirm this.

The bitterness is that my two professors that had been my foundation to obtain the knowledge and skills of counseling is unable to know about my growth and success. As mentioned in Fall III at Southern blog, both of them are no longer professors at Southern (they both decided to work somewhere else). However, both Dr. Nivischi and Dr. Wampler were proud of me (Nivischi for growing as a competent counselor and Wampler for passing the NCE on the first try). But it doesn’t take away the sadness that Dr. French and Dr. Dickinson will never (well, maybe not “never”) know how much I have grown nor the success that I have achieved. :( If only they would be at my graduation so I can say “thank you.” Can someone who is reading this work that out for me? I plan to graduate in December 2016. That would so lovely; to shake their hands and say “thank you.”

Positive Psychology Exercise – Day 7

Hello Readers,

Today is the final day for me to express three things that went well:

  1. Wrapped one gift for Christmas
  2. Started hemming up dress pants for husband
  3. Found time to review the final crisis incident stress management (CISM) model I learned during the summer in crisis counseling class (the entire class will be given the opportunity to exchange our grades to whatever we get on our exam tomorrow)

Reference: Flourish (audiobook: disc 2, track 2) by Dr. Martin Seligman

Website: http://www.authentichappiness.org

Positive Psychology Exercise – Day 6

Hello Readers,

Here are three things that went well today:

  1. The day was so nice that it went by fast.
  2. I was so busy helping with Adventurer’s Club that I didn’t need to bring things to keep myself occupied during “down time.”
  3. I was able to pick out an outfit to wear that didn’t caused me to be cold (was concerned about it being warmer than usual and not knowing what to wear to accommodate this milder weather condition).

Reference: Flourish (audiobook: disc two, track two) by Dr. Martin Seligman

Website: http://www.authentichappiness.org

Positive Psychology Exercise – Day 5

Hello Readers,

Here are three things that went well today:

  1. Was able to contact a potential internship site and scheduled interview for next week.
  2. Remembered to get the post mail (yea, it happens…)
  3. Remembered to start buying some shocking stuffers while I was in the store (instead of remembering while I am at home). :P

Reference: Flourish (audiobook: disc 2, track 2) by Dr. Martin Seligman

Website: http://www.authentichappiness.org

Positive Psychology Exercise – Day 4

Hello Readers,

I had to take a double look because I cannot believe I am already on day four! :P

Here are the three things that went well today:

  1. My husband’s Christmas gift arrived safely.
  2. Found out that the board approved me of moving on to my internship (starting next semester).
  3. The final that I had dreaded was not that bad.

Reference: Flourish (audiobook: disc 2, track 2) by Dr. Martin Seligman

Website: http://www.authentichappiness.org