Never Alone

Danielle's Spa: Wisdom + Compassion = Love

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

My granddaughter and I were spending the summer together… I couldn't wait to share with her all my favorite childhood haunts… canoeing on the lake, the local swimming hole called "The Pit," trips to the library, and so much more.

Caring for Danielle became my focus off of the pain. But still there were times of the day when a little bit leaked out here and there. A slow drip out of a tear duct or two. God made tears for a reason… they cleanse the soul. But laughter heals, too.

Nothing was so healing as spending time with my granddaughter! Free to be a kid again, smiles came naturally and laughter was the norm!

One of Danielle's favorite games is to play "Spa". Of course, she's the hair stylist, massage therapist, and counselor all rolled into one!

She had me lay down, putting Chattanooga Teddy Bear into my hands. Covering me with a soft blanket, she began to "mother" me. It was her kind touch and soft words that unleashed a great sadness in my spirit. Loosened from my heart's grip, the sadness escaped through liquid tears cascading silently down my cheeks.

Although I hoped Danielle didn't notice, she began to softly croon, cradling Chattanooga Teddy Bear in her hands…

With firm conviction, I sensed born out of personal experience, Danielle coached me:

"Gramma, stroke Chattanooga's Teddy Bear's fur.

As you stroke his fur, remember all the good things that happened when you were a child."

Picking up her pink headphones and placing them on my ears, Danielle continued to coach me:

Okay, now focus on all the good things happening right now. Listen to the music and ONLY think about good things.

Gently but yet with firm fingers, she began massaging my neck and shoulders. Once I was fully relaxed she covered me with a blanket, and then left me to quietly sleep by saying, "Now, sleep. Think only about good things…."

It was her kindness that made me feel lovingly cared for by God, himself. And so I prayed,

"Father, I trust You. I trust that you're making something good out of me, even in my weak state. I trust you, that my messes are not too big for you. I trust you, that you're making me into your image."

In my spirit, I heard him reply, "I will not leave you as an orphan."

Summer is gone and Fall has begun. A new season in the cycles of life. It's simply a time to embrace what is real and let go of all that turned out to be false, like leaves falling dead from the tree… adding fertilizer to the soil.

To make believe, to imagine, to ponder, to meditate, to envision the future.

To remember… to remember all the good things, even if it's just one thing. To create. To create a new world.

Whether we are adults or children, we can all create our world. As children we called it "Make Believe" and everyone thought it was a game. But what if "Make Believe" is how the world really works? After all, we must become like children to even enter the Kingdom of God!

As I think back to my own childhood, I realize I have created my present day circumstances. We create our own hell and/or heaven. As I intentionally "make believe" today I put my focus on my dreams instead of my fears. I focus on what is beautiful and true and lovely. What we focus on increases.

The more involved I get in "make believe" the more I believe. I'm not talking about living in a fantasy world. I'm talking about loving the truth enough to really believe in it. Faith is being able to see into heaven (location of truth) and to bring that piece of heaven to the real world. Whatever we focus on is empowered, for good or for evil.

Thank you, Danielle, for being my little angel, my granddaughter, for possessing such a great gift of wisdom and discernment… for extending your hands and heart of compassion. For being YOU!

Related stories you  may enjoy:

Fore more of Danielle Bednarcik's wisdom: Live the 13th

Listening with Your Heart to Hear Your Baby's Name

Making Your Dreams Real

My Magical Life

My Full Story     What I Believe    Contact Me

With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  

Today Susan helps abuse survivors write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into the future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2016 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron October 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Wow, Susan what an amazing story.  Danielle was being used of God. 


Olga Hermans October 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm

What a beautiful story about your relationship with Danielle; children are truly a gift and a blessing from God. They have a way about them that can make us smile for the most innocent things of life. Such a sweet time with sweet memories Susan!


Penny October 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm

beautiful… my kids have taught me so much about God and his love…thank you for once again sharing from you heart!


matthew reed October 1, 2012 at 9:55 am

Such great encouragement! I am always amazed at all I learn about God and life from my kids. 


Sang-dae Suh September 30, 2012 at 7:57 am

Danielle, I love you so much!!!


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