It can happen to anyone by Deborah Tensley-Jones

Judy considered herself to be a pretty smart lady and felt she had her stuff together.  She held a MBA and ran a successful business of her own.  She was in her late forties and a divorcee.  She hadn’t dated in over five years after her divorce and felt confident with herself that she was ready to get back in the game.  She felt it would be safer to use an accredited dating site where the candidates went through a screening and she didn’t want to feel like she was meat shopping.  Through the online site Judy had met Craig.  Craig was about the same age, well-educated and a successful businessman.  The chatted online and on the phone for weeks before she finally agreed to meet him for coffee.   Being a first meeting Judy decided to be safe and they met at the local coffee house and engaged in great conversation and shared some laughs.  She was so comfortable with Craig that she agreed to have a “real date” so they made arrangements to meet for dinner a week later.  After dinner Craig drove Judy home and she invited him in for coffee.  Long story short Craig raped Judy.  “How could I let this happen?” she asked.  In truth it was not her fault at all.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month when we can all use our voices to change the culture to prevent sexual violence.   Prevention means addressing the root causes and social norms that allow sexual violence to exist. Sexual assault is an umbrella term that includes a wide range of victimizations that can include completed or attempted attacks when a person is forced, coerced and / or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity.  Sexual assault is part of a range of behaviors that offenders use to take power from their victims.  Anyone can be a victim and everyone is affected either directly or indirectly.  Every 98 seconds an individual experiences sexual assault, which means everyday hundreds are affected. There are many organizations that can assist.

RESOURCES FOR YOU:

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence in Topeka, Kansas

http://www.nsvrc.org/organizations/197

MOCSA -Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault

website: http://mocsa.org/info-resources

MOCSA Crisis Line: (816) 531-0233 or (913) 642-0233

Both organizations provide information, training and expertise to program victims, family and friends and anyone whose lives have been affected by sexual assault.

RAINN – www.rainn.org or 800-656-HOPE – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.  RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE, www.rainn.org/ ) in partnership with over 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.

There is prevention and training on how to reduce the risk of being sexually assaulted:  www.sexualassault.army.mil/prev_reduce_victim.cfm

In most incidents the victim is somehow acquainted with their attacker and many people are afraid or don’t know how to seek help when involved in such an assault situation.  Usually the victim will not see red flags because they may know or trust the person.  Let’s be more aware and informed about sexual assault because it can happen to anyone. 

How to Stay in Hope with God

Recently I was filled with awe at the tenderness and love God has shown to us, his children.Cindy Richardson

When my husband accidentally hit our granddaughter with his car, he was devastated. The “what if’s” plagued his mind, both waking and sleeping.

After a few days he said to me, “I’m so glad it was me driving and not you. You would be a mess.”

At a time when most people would be lamenting why it had to happen to them, my husband loved me sacrifically; glad the burden was placed on him in order to protect me.

I thanked my husband, and the Lord, for His spiritual protection and covering. I was humbled.

I was surprised to apply a fresh understanding of God’s depth of love for me. Like my husband, my heavenly Father was glad it was his Son who endured the humiliation, the separation, the agony of the cross, and not me.

Why did Jesus do this?  Hebrews 12:2, “For the joy set before Him” he endured the cross.

He was glad to do it because it brought Him joy to spare us humiliation, shame and our ultimate separation from God.

John 3:16 is a familiar verse to many. Claimed by some, it’s the most overused verse from the Bible. From billboards to T-shirts, church to football games, most of us are at least aware of the verse.

Because of its familiarity we may unknowingly dismiss it, or at least its meaning.

Could I encourage you to take a fresh view of this verse? Insert your name into the parenthesis: “For God so loved (        ) that he gave his One and Only Son….”

God did that for you, and he was glad to, so that you might experience eternal life with him.

That life starts from the moment you believe. No waiting for heaven to experience his love.

Do you have that hope? Hope that nothing can separate you from the love of God no matter what accident, trial or circumstance comes your way?

Put your hope in God and you’ll find His love.

©2015 Cindy Richardson for GateWay of Hope

 

 

Do You Know Your SHAPE?

At GateWay, we help women find their authentic selves. One of the Coaching tools we use is the SHAPE acrostic.SHAPE quote

SHAPE stands for spiritual Gifts, Heart Passions, Abilities, Personality and Experiences. When you know how each of these define you, it will be easier to become an authentic woman.

Spiritual Gifts: These are given to you by God Himself, at the moment that you become a Christian. Spiritual gifts can include something as practical as administration or something as emotional as encouragement.

No one gift is more important than any other as each of us is designed to use our gifts to help the family of God and to be an influence to the rest of the world. For a list of possible gifts, check out 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and Romans 12.

Heart Passions: These are the special interests you have, the ambitions and dreams that give you hope and energize you. Heart passions are motivators because when we feel passionate about something, then we want to move forward and make sure that special something actually happens.

Your heart passion may be helping a child learn to read or it might be crafting a novel. Basically, heart passions are those things you love to do.

Abilities: Sometimes we have abilities because we’ve worked hard to develop them. For example, learning how to slam dunk a basketball or play the piano or organize a conference. Abilities are things we do well, things we are able to do without stress. They can also be lost, if we don’t use them.

Personality: In applying for jobs, many of us go through personality assessments. God made us introverts or extroverts or a blending of the two. Our personalities feed into how we work best, what kinds of groups we like to be with and what kind of temperaments we carry. Your personality is what gives you a specific flavor and makes you unique from someone else.

Experiences: Many of our experiences in life come about through circumstances we cannot control, but some are the result of choices we have made. Combined, these experiences color our reactions to new circumstances and sometimes help us make better choices in the future.

A good exercise is to spend time journaling through your own SHAPE acrostic. Once you discover your spiritual gifts, you’ll know better how to fit into a community of believers.

When you underscore your heart passions, you’ll have a better idea of how to play and how to enjoy your life.

As you think about your abilities, you may be grateful that God has given you extra possibilities for work and pleasure. You’re able to do many things because of how God has made you.

When you know your personality type, you can make better choices with regard to relationships and you can accept who you really are.

Most of us think about our experiences during special anniversary dates, especially when we reach some of those milestone birthdays. It’s important to use our experiences as teaching tools for others and for our own futures.

So what about you? Do you know your SHAPE?

©2015 GateWay of Hope – The Helping Place for Hurting Women

Watch Out for Stress

Most of us know when we are stressed-out. We feel overwhelmed and tense or we have a great desire to just run away – anywhere!screaming woman

Sometimes stress manifests in our bodies with tense shoulder muscles, headaches or digestive ailments.

Did you know that insomnia or the desire to sleep too much are also signs of stress?

Teeth grinding, skin rashes, heart palpitations and reduced productivity are all indications that our bodies need a rest or a change of scenery.

Our bodies cannot tell the difference between real or imagined threats. So if we are stressed-out with anxieties, our bodies will react just as if we are faced with unemployment or a life-threatening illness.

The minor annoyances of life contribute just as much to stress disease as major life traumas. We tend to face major traumas with more endurance, ask for prayer and believe God will help us. But then a glass full of milk spills during supper and we scream.

Sometimes all it takes is a little spilled milk, a flat tire or a broken fingernail to send us over the edge.

So how should we deal with stress?

First, realize that life on this earth is going to involve some stress. Nobody’s life is completely perfect. Even the richest, most beautiful people sometimes get zits.

Second, pay attention to the signs of stress and don’t ignore how serious they are.

Third, be proactive in dealing with stress.

• Rest. Find a way to relax. Schedule a massage.

• Go somewhere for a brief getaway. Even a one day trip or a two-hour shopping excursion might help.

• Take care of yourself. Eat well. Sleep at least eight hours each night. Eat dark chocolate.

• Use your journal. Whether you do a webbing or write long paragraphs, let your stress escape onto the page.

• Read Scripture. Start with the Psalms in The Living Bible paraphrase.

When we remind ourselves of the dangers of stress, we take better care of our bodies and ultimately our souls.

What are some ways you deal with stress?

©2014 GateWay of Hope – The Helping Place for Hurting Women

And finally…# 1

How can you help us celebrate GateWay’s 5th Birthday ?

Come to our Open House on May 25th, 4-8 p.m. and bring 5 friends.

One of the best ways to find out more about an organization is to visit its home. During our Birthday Celebration, many of our volunteers will be stationed throughout the various rooms. They can answer your questions about GateWay and let you know what types of things they are doing to help us provide hope and encouragement to women.

The staff and board members will be available to visit with you and introduce you to some of the features of our work. We’ll have door prizes, some luscious food and drinks, displays and materials for you to look at. We’ll also take you on a tour of our expanded facility so that you can see where women come for counseling, for groups and for retreats.
You’ll see some rooms that are decorated in a classic, more traditional theme. Our waiting room is one example of a comfortable yet stylish motif. Our Gathering Place is cozy and welcoming while our entry way pops with deep purples and blues. Another room has a garden theme with ivy flowing out of a bird cage while a counseling office has two of the most beautiful wing-tip chairs you’ll ever see.

Why do we go to so much trouble to make GateWay a beautiful and comfortable environment? Because we want each woman who enters to know how valuable she is to us and to the kingdom of God. Because we want to provide an environment of peace. Because all of us associated with GateWay care about the restoration and empowerment of these precious women.

Come help us celebrate!

# 2: Door Prizes

How will we celebrate GateWay’s 5th Birthday? With Great Door Prizes.
We’ve connected with several businesses in the Olathe and Kansas City area to provide 5 incredible door prizes for our birthday celebration. Maybe you will be the lucky winner of one of the following:

 A beautiful picture from Noah’s Ark Gift Shoppe in Olathe. This 19×19 framed picture of a pink cosmos is matted with a textured sage green and framed in gilded gold. A tag under the picture reads, “He makes all things beautiful,” from Ecclesiastes 3:11.

 Another special door prize is a gift card for our GateWay GetAway. For you and three of your friends – a 2 hour mini-retreat that focuses on body, mind and spirit – one of our signature ministries here at GateWay of Hope.

 A Basket of Books has been provided by Kansas City area authors and members of the Heart of America Christian Writer’s Network. Books about prayer, faith, hearing loss and other interesting topics are featured in this basket of books – a delight for one special reader who registers for a door prize.

 A Health and Beauty Basket includes shower gels, jewelry, dark chocolate, filtered water and many other items to please the woman who wins this fun and useful door prize.

 At GateWay of Hope, we love flowers so our final door prize is a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the lucky winner.

How do you register to win one of our door prizes?
1. Come to our Birthday Celebration on May 25th from 4-8 pm and register at the sign-in table.
2. Send us a “Happy Birthday” message at our company email: gwhope@att.net

We look forward to seeing you in 2 weeks and presenting you with one of our incredible door prizes !

Updates for # 3

3. Fill our punch bowl with denominations of $5 / $50 / $500.

At our Open House, you will see our display table with pictures and information about GateWay of Hope Ministries. Beside the display, we will have a large bowl for donations. As you think and pray about ways you might give to GateWay, consider these needs:

$10 pays for one woman to attend one group meeting. Beyond the initial cost of registration and the cost of materials, we request a $10 per meeting donation. Some of our women are struggling with unemployment, trauma and financial difficulties. As a nonprofit, we already provide discounted services. Your $10 will help us provide another meeting for one of our group members.

$50 provides two registrations for this summer’s book study. We’ll be going through the book “Choosing Rest” by Sally Breedlove, which teaches how to “Cultivate a Sunday heart in a Monday World.” We have the books ordered and registration is now open.

$500 buys a new computer with the operating system we need. As a nonprofit, we are willing to use what we have, to repurpose furniture and decorations, to be as creative as possible while remaining good stewards. But in order to do business in today’s world, we must have the tools. We are hoping for a new desktop with all the software we need to do the best job possible.

As you think about the donation you would like to make during our Birthday Open House, we thank you for considering our needs at GateWay of Hope Ministries. We’ve included a few ideas in denominations of “5”. We’d love to talk to you in person about other ideas we have.

See you on May 25th from 4-8 !

On to # 4 …

How can you help us celebrate GateWay’s 5th Birthday ?

1. Come to our celebration on May 25th, 4-8 p.m. and bring 5 friends
2. Register for Door Prizes: Send us “Happy Birthday” at gwhope@att.net
3. Fill our punch bowl with denominations of 5: $5 / $50 / $500
4. Check out our wish list at Bed, Bath and Beyond
5. Follow us on Facebook for more Birthday Details

Facts for # 4:

Check out our wish list at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

At GateWay of Hope, we offer hope and encouragement to women. One important facet of that encouragement is in making our space beautiful, safe and comfortable. We want the women we serve to feel valued and loved. We want them to know that we respect them and that God wants them to be whole.

At Bed, Bath and Beyond we have chosen some of the items we can use to make our space beautiful, functional and safe. We hope you will check out our Birthday registry there. Use “GateWay” as the 1st name and “Hope” as the last name.
We thank you, in advance, for helping us to be the best we can be.

Next Wednesday – we’ll look at # 3.

Celebrate # 5

How can you help us celebrate GateWay’s 5th Birthday ? Let’s start with # 5.
1.Come to our celebration on May 25th, 4-8 p.m. and bring 5 friends
2.Send us “Happy Birthday” at gwhope@att.net to register for door prizes
3.Fill our bowl with $5, $50 and $500 checks and bills
4.Check out our wish list at Bed, Bath and Beyond
5.Follow us on Facebook for more Birthday Details

Starting with # 5:
Check out GateWay of Hope Ministries on Facebook to see what’s going on. PAC Moms and the WWE group are meeting regularly. In May, we begin another group for Wives of Husbands with Sexual Addictions. This summer, we’ll have a book study and a writing class – both are signing up now.

Share our Facebook posts with your personal Facebook network. We can reach more women and serve them as the news about GateWay spreads through social media.

Respond to us on Facebook with your thoughts. We love to read your posts.
Next Wednesday – more info about # 4.