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“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!”- 1 Chronicles 16:8

Fun Valentine’s Day Crafts to Remind Your Kids of God’s Love

With Valentine’s Day this week, love is in the air. While many people are focusing on romantic love or even friendship love, Valentine’s Day is a great way to talk to your children about the most important love, agape love; God’s love for His children.

Below we have listed a few fun Valentine’s Day crafts to help you talk to your children about the ultimate love- God’s love.

Before you begin, make sure to have your Bible handy. Its great for your kids to not only hear the Word of God, but also see his promises of love to them! Below we have listed out a few of our favorite love themed Bible verses!

“We love because he first loved us. ” -1 John 4:19

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” -Romans 8:37

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” -1 John 4:7-8  


52606406First Craft: Heart Wreath

This classic Valentine’s craft has been done for years in classrooms and Sunday school rooms alike! What is great about this particular craft is that is completely customizable! You child can add his or her own special spin on this fun activity.




What you will need- 

  • Cardstock or construction paper
    • Any color will do! You don’t have to keep it the traditional red, pink and white.
  • Markers
    • This step is optional. You can use the markers to write Bible verses on the hearts! This will help children commit the verses to memory and to heart.
  • Glue and Scissors
    • Glue sticks will work fine for this project. You will need scissors to cut out your paper hearts. Have the kids join in on the fun by using safety scissors!
  • Embellishments and Ribbon
    • Add to the wreath with heart paper doilies, stick on jewels, and stickers! Use a ribbon to hang the wreath wherever you want!

valentine_make_your_ownTo start, you will need to cut out the hearts. Have your child choose his or her favorite colors of construction paper, or get a little more fancy with patterned cardstock! Cut out at least eight hearts to form your wreath. Your child can layer hearts on top of each other is he or she wants to.

Use the markers to write Bible verses on each heart! This way each time they see it, they are reminded of God’s promises to them.

8b4b188bca2ddb791fd4958038e669a1Once your hearts are all decorated, plan out your wreath. Lay each heart down, pointed sides facing in towards each other and shape into a circle. Then let your child glue a portion of the underside of the heart and lay it on top of the connecting heart. Continue this trend until your circle is complete!

Add a little more embellishments and once your wreath is complete, glue the ribbon onto the back and let dry. Then hang with great reminder of God’s love anywhere in your home! Just let the shape of the wreath, God’s love has no end.



Second Craft: Valentine’s Cards

Our second craft encourages kids to show love by giving. Most schools have Valentine’s themed parties each February. This year, let your children hand out valentine’s they created!

What you will need-

  • Cardstock, construction paper, or printer paper
    • Create your own valentine’s or print out some of ours!
  • Candy
    • What kid doesn’t love a sweet treat?
  • Party Toys
    • Toys are optional. Depending on the verse, you may wish to add small toys to go along with the verses
  • Tape
    • To secure the toys or candy to the cards

Start by deciding how you want to make your valentine’s. Create your own, or print out a few of ours! We have posted a few Valentine’s printables for you to choose from.

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Attach candy or toys to coincide with the theme of the verse! Tape a glow stick to light up the darkness, just like Jesus lights up this dark world. Fasten a heart shaped candy to remember to trust God with all your heart.

e70cbb9f56a778736fdcceefa691e805We hope we gave you some ideas and inspiration for turning Valentine’s Day into not only a time of love between peoples but also a remembrance of God’s everlasting love for his children.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at MCC!

God Bless,



Cold Weather INDOOR Activities

As we march on towards spring, winter still holds fast, breaking up warm days with bitter cold ones. With the sprinkle of warm days Springfield has been getting, kids are excited to enjoy days out in the sun; however, the warm days aren’t ready to stay quite yet.

Below we have listed a few of our favorite INDOOR activities to keep the kids entertained while they wait for the warm days of spring to arrive!

Mission Impossible Obstacle Maze

Put that spring-time energy to good use by creating a home-grown obstacle course! Use just your hallway, or create a home labyrinth for the kids to navigate! Click the link above for full instructions and some other great ideas! maze1

What you will need-

  • Crepe Paper Streamers
  • Painters Tape
  • Various Obstacles

Using painters tape and streamers, create a “laser beams” for the kids to hop over, crawl under and twist around. Use red streamers for a more “Mission Impossible” effect!

In between streamer beam sections, sprinkle additional obstacles for the kids to tackle. Lay pillows on the floor for them to hop on and avoid the lava floor! Stick painters tape to the floor for a tight rope they have to balance across! Stand hula hoops for them to hop thrown and throw blankets over chairs for them to crawl under.

Nap time will be a welcome visitor after a few run through’s of this entertaining network!

Painters Tape Projects

Now that you have painters tape in your arsenal, why not use it? These fun activities use nothing but the tape you already have and your kids imaginations!

  • Race Car Track- Using any room in your house, create a track or even a town (!) by laying down tape to represent roads, buildings, and parking spaces. You can get as creative as you want! Let the kids help design the track for even more fun!

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  • Hop Scotch- This tried and true activity has stood the test of time. Using your tape, create a hop scotch board on the floor. Use soft items from around your home to toss into the board.


Felt Frosty the Snowman

While spring has been giving us sneak peaks lately, it is still winter; and as snow has only visited a couple times, its time to take matters into your own hands! This cute snowman activity can be enjoyed, not just in the winter- but in summer, as well! 2122_FrostyTheSnowman_50__71881.1497284074

What you will need-

  • Felt
    • white- for our snowman
    • black- black for eyes and buttons
    • orange- for his carrot nose
    • red- for his scarf
  • Elmer’s Crafty Bond or other adjustable adhesive

Just like when making an actual snowman, start off by making the snowman body. Using about a yard of fabric, cut three circles three different sizes- one small, one medium, and one large.

After, cut out the shapes you need for the snowman. Black buttons, eyes, and top hat; orange carrot; and red scarf. You can also be as creative as you like and make brown stick arms, as well as other little accessories your snowman might enjoy!

Finally, following the “Temporary” instructions on the back of the can, use Elmer’s Crafty Bond to make your snowman accessories adherent. You can also use double stick tape or, as we did as children, packing tape looped with the sticky side facing out.

Pin or use command strips to stick your snowman to the wall and let the kids decorate and redecorate for hours!

For bonus fun, play stick the carrot nose on the snowman! Blind fold the children, spin them around, and see who can stick Frosty’s nose in the correct place!


We hope these ideas help you make it throughout the remainder of this winter and keep the kids active and occupied while they wait eagerly for spring!

God bless,





Make 2018 Joyful

Two Thousand Eighteen is now officially in full swing.  The beginning of the year for so many people means a new start. The old has gone away and it is time to start afresh. New years resolutions flood people’s minds- “This year I will be…”, “This year I will accomplish…”, “This year…”

While setting goals for oneself is great, we also need to remember to be kind to ourselves. Do not become discouraged if you are not able to attain your goals right away- many time time to accomplish! Do not become disheartened, but rather, be joyful! Enjoy the present and what God has currently blessed you with.

Be joyful in the fact you want to better your life!

Be joyful in the fact you are trying to help yourself!

Be joyful you have already accomplished things and be joyful in the fact God will lead you were you need to be!

It is not always so easy to be joyful you say? Yes, this world is a sad and sinful place and joy does not always come easily, but in those hard times, God has left you with resources to help you regain your joyfulness. Below we have compiled a list of some of our favorite joyful verses.




Along with mediating on God’s promises of joy, it is good to partake in activities you enJOY.

For example, take time for you. Read that book you purchased but have not gotten around to cracking open.


Throw in an extra bath bomb.


Enjoy that Andy’s Frozen Custard banana split.


The Lord filled this world with many wonderful things He wants His children to enjoy. So work towards your 2018 goals, but remember to enjoy the life the Lord has currently blessed you with.

From all of us at McGuire Christian Counseling, may you have a blessed 2018.

God Bless,


How to Enjoy Hosting a Holiday Party Without Havoc

The holiday’s are here! And with the arrival of the Christmas season comes a variety of emotions- joy and excitement, but also, anxiety and stress. Today, our friend, Jennifer is here to share some advice about how to throw a Christmas party even the Who’s down in Whoville would be jealous of- without having a Grinch level meltdown! We hope these tips help start your Christmas season off right! God Bless- MCC


“It looks so easy in those glossy magazines. The blue spruce stands tall laden with a collection of heirloom ornaments. The food, all made from scratch, covers a slightly distressed antique buffet.  The hostess looks like she just came from the salon, and her velvet dress is spotless even after a day in the kitchen.  You think with a bit of whimsy, “I’ll have a holiday dinner party this year.  Even though I’ve never done it before, how hard could it really be?”

It all seemed wonderful as you lived in your holly-covered daydream, but now reality has set in.  Your “intimate gathering” has turned into a 30-person event in your very modest 1,200-square foot home, and it’s in two weeks.  You have no idea what to serve or what to wear, your house is a wreck, and you’re not sure if you have two plates that match.  Relax, take a deep breath and count to 10.  You can do this.

Planning for a Great Evening

You know from attending great parties that people talk about the food, drinks and decorations.  While they may look effortless, such a gathering starts with careful planning and plenty of work.

Your first big dinner party is not the time to try to be a celebrity chef.  Plan on serving something you already know how to cook, and keep it simple.  If you want to try a new recipe, stick to side dishes or a creative appetizer.  Try to avoid cooked-to-order foods, like steaks, for a large crowd, or dishes that require constant stirring and attention.  Be sure to ask in advance if guests have special dietary concerns; while you can’t plan for everything, have a few dishes that will meet the gluten-free, vegan and food-allergic party goers.

Along with making your grocery list, be sure you have all of the cookware and kitchen equipment you’ll need.  Bon Appetit recommends preparing as much as possible ahead of time, and on the day of your party, start cooking earlier than you think is necessary.  If you finish early, you can keep warm things up later.

Creating a Beautiful Table Setting

If you’re using multiple small tables scattered across your entertaining area, you can carry your theme throughout your space.  Even if your taste in decorations is more sophisticated than centerpieces made from pipe cleaners and tissue box holders, Pinterest offers hundreds of economical ideas to make your place sparkle.

If you don’t have enough place settings or dishes for all of your guests, consider a trip to your local thrift store or flea market.  Mismatched vintage china can work nicely and add a bit of nostalgia to your event.

Relax and Enjoy

Let your careful planning and attention to detail carry the evening.  Enjoy drinks and that appetizer you made from mini pizza crusts.  Remember, it is a party, and you and your guests should be having fun.”

-Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott knows how difficult it can be to live with anxiety and depression. She has experienced both since she was in her teens. Today, she writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences.

Counselor Highlight: Lisa Butler


At McGuire Christian Counseling we are privileged to work with counselors who specialize in a wide variety of topics and are always looking to explore new possibilities. One counselor who is leading the charge into new territories is Lisa.

Specialties: Parenting, Marriage and Family Counseling

Lisa is one of the newest additions to the McGuire Christian Counseling family. Before joining MCC, Lisa worked with students and parents as a school psychologist for 17 years before moving to Missouri.  She recently obtained her provisional license in counseling and hopes to be fully licensed by fall of 2018.

Along with counseling, Lisa is spearheading McGuire Christian Counseling’s new nine week parenting series. Using Positive and Powerful Christian Parenting, a curriculum she developed, Lisa is excited to help parents gain the skills and strong foundation they need to help them create happy and healthy homes.

“God has given me a passion for working with parents and families.  My inspiration has come from watching family members thrive individually and collectively as they witness the power of healthy relationships and boundaries.”

Lisa’s favorite part of being a counselor is participating in the nature of the counseling process and seeing the face of contentment when a client feels success in his/her pursuit of wellbeing.

In her spare of time, she loves to spend time with her husband and two sons, playing basketball, whiffle ball, football and golf, camping, and watching movies.  One of Lisa’s favorite ways to relax is to curl up on our couch and watch Hallmark movies.  “I find it priceless when I can get my nine-year-old son to watch one with me.”

We are blessed to have Leslie as part of the MCC family and we are excited to see how God will use her to help families within the Springfield community.

God Bless,


5 Must Do Fall Family Activities

Visit a corn maze

  • This activity is a give in. While many people enjoy the spookier version of corn mazes, families can partake in this fun fall activity without fear during the day and simply enjoy the twists and turns the corn maze boasts on a crisp autumn day.


Roast Marshmallows

  • The best way to eat a marshmallow? Slightly toasted in between two graham crackers with a layer of melted chocolate, of course! This sweet treat is a fall staple for a reason. Very few things are better than biting into a warm marshmallow on a chilly fall evening.


Paint/Carve Pumpkins

  • We all like to make family memories, and a great way to do that right at home is by creating pumpkin art! While pumpkin carving is still a popular tradition, many families are switching from real pumpkins to artificial ones- enabling them to enjoy the pumpkins for many more seasons to come! You can purchase these faux pumpkins at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and other craft stores. They come in all shapes and sizes!


Make a “Thankful For..” List

  • With the holidays coming up and wish lists being thought about, it’s important that we remember that we are already incredibly blessed. Before filling out that order form to Santa, take a moment and meditate on your current blessings- name them one by one!


Make DIY Fleece Blankets

  • This is a fun new idea! Before family movie night, why not let everyone create their own blanket to snuggle up with on those chilly nights? This easy project requires NO SEWING! All you will need is two different patterns of fleece (let the kids pick out their own pattern for a little extra personalization!)- two yards for each, sewing scissor, and a four inch square template. Simply lay the pieces on top of one another. At each corner, using your 4 inch template cut out a square. Then cut strips along the fleece about 1 inch long. Fold the strips and cut a small slit in each then pull the strip through the slit and tug gently. Continue this the whole way around. Need more detailed instructions? Click the photo below!

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Fall is a wonderful time of the year. God’s handiwork is proclaimed in the changing colors and ombre tones. We hope we gave you some idea or inspiration to make make some wonderful memories with your family this fall.

God bless,


Reducing the Stigma: How You Can Help Encourage Counseling Clients

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MCC Counselor, Leslie, talks about how the stigma of receiving counseling may hinder your loved one from seeking the help they need, as well as, what you can do to help them overcome this worry.



“Needing Help, but not Wanting it.

The old phrase “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” may remind you of a specific stubborn person or may trigger anger inside from countless times of trying to get someone to stop or change. Family members and friends often find themselves angry or sad from repeatedly trying to help those close to them with emotional, mental, or behavioral problems. If you’re that family member wanting the other person to get help or to stop the destructive habit it may leave you asking why won’t they change, when it clearly hurts our relationship and their life?

Here’s Why

Researchers, Bromley et al. (2013), asked the same questions about why certain people do not want help regardless of needing it. They discovered people struggling with mental illness, who do not receive help, may worry about social stigma, or being labelled “crazy”. When asked how they felt about the stigma, participants explained that family members and friends were insensitive or misunderstood their problem. Participants clarified that people start treating them as though any behavior or problem was because of mental illness and began seeing them as inadequate. Although denial may be a reason someone refuses to change, this study showed feeling rejected by community was a major concern. This begs the question—how can community help reduce social stigma and stop treating those with mental illness as different?

Reducing Stigma

1Motivational Interviewing (MI) is one approach counselors use with clients that may feel labeled or stigmatized. Miller and Rollnick (2013) explain the purpose of MI is to “understand the life before you, to see the world through this person’s eyes rather than superimposing your own vision” (pp. 16). The helper strives to understand the person instead of focus on how he or she may be hurting others. The counselor or helper shows the hurting person they are worthy by trying to understand the person’s world—not judge or alter. A suggestion to adjust their life can be made only after the helper understands the hurt, builds trust, and identifies the person’s motivation for change. It is important to remember that helping people change means engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning with the hurting person. Miller and Rollnick (2013) suggest asking yourself these questions before trying to help someone change (pp.32):

1) Engaging: Am I being supportive and helpful? Do I understand their perspective?

2) Focusing: Do I understand their goals for change? Am I working towards their motivation for change?

3) Evoking: Am I pushing for change too fast? Could my loved-one be hesitant because they need more confidence or to see why change is important To THEM?

4) Planning: Do I have their trust and permission to offer information or advice? Am I staying open-minded to their solutions with a calm, listening nature?

Finding Support

9432-holding hand comforting_edited.630w.tnIt may feel as though I am not acknowledging the hurt you have experienced from repeatedly being let-down by that stubborn person. I would like to briefly address the turmoil families or friends may be experiencing; counseling or support may also help them after living with people unwilling to change. There are some support groups that may be available to hurting families such as Adult Children of Alcoholics, Alanon and Alateen, Celebrate Recovery, or National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Family Support Groups. NAMI researchers found that education workshops for families helped reduce personal stress and improve their ability to help relatives suffering from mental illness (Dixon et al., 2011). Although there may not be a workshop near your location—taking the initiative to research and educate yourself on the life-controlling issue is a step in the right direction. I recommend checking your local community’s hospital, library, or church for information about support groups because some provide meetings focusing on healing hurts or responding to anger.

Importance of Listening

ComfortingWords.600x600I hope this blog can help reduce the stigma of mental illness and enable family and friends to properly respond to others. In closing, I would like to highlight an important part of responding to resistant individuals—listening. Miller and Rollnick (2013) argue that listening is “fundamental to good communication” and “an invaluable gift” to bringing healing and change. The problem comes when someone superimposes their plans for change. This is not hearing the other person and trying to understand them—it is self-centered instead of other-centered.  Its helpful to keep in mind common barriers to good listening, such as:

  • Ordering or commanding
  • Warning or cautioning
  • Advice giving or providing solutions
  • Logically persuading or lecturing
  • Shaming or Labeling
  • Consoling
  • Changing the subject

(“Thomas Gordon’s 12 Roadblocks” as cited in Miller & Rollnick, 2013, pp. 49)

Sometimes our anger, sadness, or unforgiveness can make it hard to communicate with those who’ve wronged us. I suggest finding clarity by referring back to the true definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I hope this encourages you in how to respond to those needing help, but not wanting it. Please, find a local counselor for personal support or check-out these links on possible community support: ”

– Leslie

Leslie is a Provisional Licensed Profession Counselor for McGuire Christian Counseling in the Clinton, Missouri area. To find out more about Leslie or to schedule an appointment, call 417-866-7773 or write to us on our Contact Us Page.

God Bless,


New Counselor: Jennifer Skavhaug

McGuire Christian Counseling is happy to introduce the newest member of the MCC family-

Jennifer Skavhaug

Jennifer received her Masters degree from The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Counseling. She also received a Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Bible College.

Jennifer has worked with her husband, a licensed minister, with the AG as a lead pastor, while working as a counselor. She has over 12 years experience working with children and their families.

Her passion is to work with individuals of all ages to empower and enable personal and interpersonal healing.

For more information about Jennifer, or to schedule a session, call (417)-866-7773.

J Skavhaug Photo2

God Bless,


Counselor Highlight: Leslie

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At McGuire Christian Counseling we are privileged to work with counselors who specialize in a wide variety of topics and are always looking to further and polish their abilities. One counselor that continues to persevere in her counseling career is Leslie.

Specialties: Adjustment Disorders, Anger Management, Substance Abuse, and PTSD.



Leslie has worked for McGuire Christian Counseling for almost a year. Before joining MCC, Leslie worked as a substance abuse counselor for two and a half years at the St. Louis Teen Challenge . Leslie now works as Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor with McGuire Christian Counseling in Clinton, Missouri.

Prior to becoming a counselor, Leslie worked as a residential director at Women’s Teen Challenge, a drug rehabilitation home. Here she recognized a need to have psychology and counseling training as many of the women struggled with comorbid diagnosis, a drug abuse and mental illness. This led Leslie to return to school and obtain her Masters of Science in Psychologic-Counseling.

Since obtaining her PLPC license, Leslie has worked with a variety of different clients from children to adults and families. Although her specialty is addictions, Leslie has assisted individuals with other life-altering issues such as depression, anger, unemployment, suicidal thoughts, separation from children, and grief from a loved one’s passing. Leslie also mans the Clinton division of McGuire Christian Counseling, helping those in Clinton, Missouri and surrounding areas.

Leslie’s favorite part of being a counselor is helping people realize their potential.

“I love to see the eyes of clients when they make connections between their thinking and behavior then it leading to life’s improvements. Seeing a “ah-ha moment” may be a small achievement like learning self-control in ONE anger situation or a big achievement like reunification with children after years of separation.  Regardless of the achievement, I believe its steps towards change and personal growth for clients.”

Outside of being a counselor, Leslie is an aunt- 11-times! Leslie’s nieces and nephews keep her busy on her off hours with T-ball games, playing Barbies, and any game that involves running, jumping, or spinning. She is an avid reader of many genres from Historical drama to modern novels, but she also loves being outdoors fishing or going on walks. Leslie grows spiritually by spending time with church friends at home Bible-studies. She often unwinds by journaling, reading her Bible, or listening to music.

We are blessed to have Leslie as part of the MCC family and we have enjoyed watching her grow over the past year. We know God will continue to use her to help heal those suffering in the Clinton area and we look forward to watching her continue to flourish where the Lord has called her.

God Bless,


McGuire Christian Counseling Open House

McGuire Christian Counseling is proud to announce our first OPEN HOUSE.


 MCC 2016 Saturday, August 12th, we invite you to join us here at McGuire Christian Counseling to tour our offices, meet our wonderful counselors, and find out more about how we are working to share the love of God with those hurting in Springfield, MO and surrounding areas.

Find out how McGuire Christian Counseling works, what services we provide, and ask questions. Also enjoy some snacks and the inviting atmosphere of our office.

Before you stop by, let us give you a brief history of McGuire Christian Counseling. IMG_0240

20170519_190614MCC started in 2008 with just one counselor, President, Aaron McGuire. As MCC did not yet have an office, Aaron worked with clients in the afternoon and evenings by going in home. As a one-man operation, Aaron would do all the billing, calling and scheduling. As time progressed God began to bless and, in 2009, he took a step of faith quit his full time job and went out on his own.  Aaron was able to grow and hire on counselors. McGuire Christian Counseling was then able to rent out an office in downtown Springfield. Over the years, MCC outgrew that location and moved over to our current office location where we have expanded to two different suites. We now have 10 to 15 counselors, 4 administrative staff and are helping anywhere from 200 to 250 clients a week.IMG_9823

We hope you join us Saturday, August 12th and let us show you the mission God has placed on each of our hearts.



  Public Open House flyer

God Bless,


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