How to Detox Holistically

Because we are connected – body, mind and spirit – what affects one part of us affects the whole. During a recent Intensive workshop at GateWay, we talked about the process of detoxing the body, the mind and the spirit.

Detox the Body – presented by Lorraine Oberholtzer, RD, LD

Numerous methods are available for a chemical and physical detox of the body, but each of us has to know what is good for our own body. The idea of a healthy and effective detox is to free the body from anything that may be causing physical stress.

The best detox involves a two-pronged approach:

  1. Remove toxins
  2. Strengthen the body’s own defense mechanism

Toxin removal may include water filters, air filters, fasting from certain foods, buying organic foods, avoiding GMOs, cooking more meals at home and avoiding food additives.

Most toxin removal begins by reducing inflammatory foods such as processed sugars, dairy and gluten products.

We can begin to detox the body by simply eating less. This lightens the load on the digestive system and the all-important gut which contains immune strengthening properties.

Other important tips include:

  • Drink more water
  • Add a good probiotic
  • Increase the omega 3s with fish oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna and trout
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Choose healthy fats such as coconut oil, nuts, avocados and extra virgin olive oil
  • Increase exercise time and fiber consumption

Detox the Mind – presented by Kiersten Adkins, LPC, MA, Exec Dir of Pathway to Hope

The way we think determines our behaviors and can also affect us spiritually and physically. The mind truly regulates the flow of energy and information we receive and pass onward.

As we become more comfortable with who we are, our mental health is underscored by fulfilling relationships, well-being, healthy energy and a more impactful life.

Our basic functions such as eating, sleeping and breathing affect the feeling parts of the brain which also determine how we think about ourselves and our lives.

So our behavior is determined by how we emotionally respond to a situation. If we continue to think about something negative and feed that negativity, we will respond negatively. This can lead to self-sabotage and additional stress – which also affects the body.

Our goal, mentally, is to reduce the chaos and stress and become a more balanced, synchronized individual. The idea of balance, aka moderation, can help keep our emotions in a more steady, healthy place rather than swinging all over the place from despair to disgust to shame to fear then back to happiness and joy.

Some of the important questions to ask ourselves include:

  • Am I mindful of myself?
  • Who am I made to be?
  • What am I going to be?
  • How will I achieve this goal?
  • When will this happen?
  • Why will I invest myself in this goal?

As we determine to be proactive with our minds, we protect ourselves from emotional bankruptcy. Then, a healthy mind leads to a healthy spirit.

Detox of the Spirit – presented by Rebecca Thesman, CLC, BSE, GateWay Program Director and Life Coach

We know we need a detox of the spirit when we are out of alignment with God. For some women, that means they will feel directionless, unable to pray and/or feel as if they have no peace.

One way to return to alignment with God is to focus more on him than on ourselves and our problems. Keeping a gratitude journal is an effective way to discipline ourselves for more thankfulness.

But we also need to detox ourselves away from harmful attitudes such as:

  • Self-doubt – based on fear and focused on the “I can’t” or the “I’ll never” statements
  • Self-sabotage – when we procrastinate or feel paralyzed with no joy
  • Stress – when our energy is drained and we no longer set healthy boundaries
  • Settling – for what we don’t truly want – for what is second best

Some practical tips to help us avoid these dangerous “S” words might include:

  • Ignore the “shoulds” – when other people or even our own minds try to “should” us into doing something we don’t want to do
  • Set healthy boundaries, especially around the things that drain our energy
  • Plan for a day of play and/or a special retreat away from everything
  • Fast from anything that takes us away from God
  • Increase more of the stress-relieving activities: coloring, singing, walking
  • Remember we are made in the image of God – body, mind and spirit
  • Pay attention to the inner nudges of the Holy Spirit
  • Realize who we really are and appreciate our true value

As we work on these issues, we can move into more balance with our bodies, our minds and our spirits. Then we will be healthier and able to use our giftings to impact the world and make a difference.

©2017 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

Finding Women in the Queue

For some strange reason, my printer decided to freak out. Everything was working fine, then it wasn’t. Even after unplugging and rebooting, the printer would not print.printer

In my frustration, I attempted to print several documents which sent them into the queue. Several times, I sent those documents on to this invisible place in techie land where they disappeared. Then I completely forgot about them.

The next day, after I unplugged and rebooted again, the printer decided to resuscitate itself and come back to life. But then, all those documents in the queue spilled forth – in fresh black ink – several copies of the symbols of my frustration.

While I was grateful the printer had decided to join me in the tasks of the day, I now added several pieces of paper to my scrap pile.

Then I decided this experience was not wasted. I could learn something valuable and share it with you.

When women first come to GateWay of Hope, they may be stuck behind a wall of depression, past abuse or a relationship struggle. They may be in crisis and need a counselor or they may need an accountability coach to help them over an obstacle. They may need to find relationship in groups so they know they are not alone.

Many of the GateWay women struggle with their identity. Who am I, really? I am searching for healing, but where do I go from here? What does God have for me? How can I find my purpose in life?

They may feel as if they are in the queue, just waiting for some power source to help them move forward.

Then one glorious day, everything begins to make sense. They realize who they really are – the incredible daughters of God.

They are women who have been gifted to help others, to serve in their communities, to raise a family or to live a contented single life.

They are unique and can accept their authenticity while setting boundaries around their hearts.

They represent the future for our country and they influence others through volunteering, facilitating a group or mentoring a younger woman.

The transformation becomes apparent for those of us on staff who have watched them morph into who God created them to be in the first place.

The junk of the past is gone. The emotional baggage has packed up and left.

What remains is the pure, sweet presence of God in their lives, redesigning their purpose and restoring what was stolen from them.

Suddenly, the power source is obvious. The Holy Spirit is alive and well in their souls and they are no longer stuck in the chaos or struggling to find their direction.

They are transformed and released.

They begin to pour forth love and fulfillment into their communities, their workplaces, their churches and their families.

And their influence creates a ripple effect throughout society.

These are the women of GateWay, empowered to move forward with hope and wholeness, because they have experienced an inner healing that can never be taken away from them.

In the Bible, the prophet Joel wrote, “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons AND daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men AND women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29 TNIV).

This is what happens at GateWay of Hope. Women who once were stuck in the queue are now going forward to make a difference.

Won’t you join us in this incredible ministry? Check out our website or give us a call at 913.393.GATE (4283).

©2016 GateWay of Hope

 

Live From Your Power

Sometimes, it is easy to habitually repeat negative phrases such as, “I can’t do this,” or “I’ll never be able to ….”power in rejoicing

And the “What If” phrases we use often originate from a place of fear. “What if this happens?” “What if I can’t …?”

But as Christian women, we are not called to live from a place of fear or negativity. In fact, we have within us the same power that raised Jesus from the grave.

The Apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 8:11, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

Think about what that power was able to do:

  • Take a bruised and bloodied physical body and make it whole again
  • Breathe life into stone-cold lungs
  • Make a heart start beating with strong and steady thumps
  • Infuse every cell with the life-giving features needed to pump oxygen, eat food and walk again
  • Allow that physical body to have spiritual qualities so that it could walk through walls and disappear at will
  • Reproduce the voice, behaviors and characteristics of Jesus so that his disciples would recognize him
  • Remove that human body from behind a heavy stone and transport it into the open air

Nowhere in scripture or in history do we find that Jesus stayed dead or that his new resurrected body lived in fear, dread or negativity.

On the contrary, he knew who he was – the resurrected Christ who had conquered death and was literally and completely filled with the Holy Spirit.

We need to also realize who we are:

  • Women infused with the same exact Holy Spirit who lived in Jesus
  • Gifted, talented, able women who can help to change the world
  • Chosen women whom God has pointed to and said, “You are my beloved.”
  • Mothers, grandmothers, single women – all able to mentor the next generation
  • Ezer Warriors (the word “Helpmate” [Ezer in Hebrew] used in Genesis to describe Eve means “Warrior.”) We were created and designed to fight the good fight and thrive.

So instead of wimping into a new year with fear or negative attitudes, let’s live from our power and march forward with strength.

Listen to this song, “The Same Power” by Jeremy Camp and live from your power.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InsifiZxVXU

©2016 GateWay of Hope

Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

Unique Women of Christmas

In Hebrew, her name “Elisheva” means God’s oath or God’s promise. In the Greek, “Elizabeth” is further described as God’s abundance.Mary and Jesus

Cousin to Mary and wife to Zacharias, she played a pivotal role in the pre-Christmas story.

Elizabeth is listed in Luke chapter 1 as a righteous and blameless woman yet she suffered with infertility. In those days, barrenness was considered a curse from God.

But what Elizabeth did not know for many years was that God had not denied her request for a child; he just delayed the answer.

Until the perfect time…until Yahweh was ready to send an angel to Zacharias and plant His seed within a virgin.

We aren’t told how old Elizabeth was when she suddenly conceived a boy child who would become John the Baptist. But she and Zacharias were both old enough to consider their answered prayer a miracle.

During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, her young cousin Mary became pregnant through another miracle – a conception through the Holy Spirit, prophesied for centuries and containing the Divine.

Mary traveled to Elizabeth’s house to spend time with her. What conversations they must have had – both of them pregnant, one with a messenger and the other with the Messiah.

Elizabeth no doubt mentored Mary even while she protected her from the wagging tongues of gossips. Mary no doubt blessed Elizabeth who felt her child leap in the womb when Mary entered the house.

After Elizabeth gave birth, she supported her husband in the choice of their son’s name. “John,” she said. “His name shall be John.”

From the beginning of the Christmas story, God included women and their giftings to pave the way for His Son’s ministry.  He designated Elizabeth as a main character and a parallel element in the greatest story ever told.

Perhaps Mary and Elizabeth spent countless hours together watching their sons grow, teaching them proper manners and showing them how to appreciate godly women.

And in the candlelight at day’s end, Elizabeth and Mary probably prayed for their boys who they knew would have a major role in the salvation of mankind.

Each woman bore a son, then gave that son back to God, trusting in Yahweh’s divine purpose.

©2015 GateWay of Hope

How to Find Our Lost Creativity

What happens to women when they lose their creativity? How can they find it again?colored pencils

A recent sermon by my pastor focused on the fact that we were created to create. The Bible reminds us that we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

Since God is the Creator – to operate in his image – we create.

But when trauma or the circumstances of life or just plain busy-ness overwhelm us, we lose the energy to create.

And sometimes, we don’t even realize this is happening to us. We may feel a nudge to paint a landscape, to sew a pillow, to write a story, to bake a pie – but we talk ourselves out of it.

“I’m too busy. I really should do that other project or clean the house or something. I don’t have time to play.”

We squelch the Holy Spirit by refusing to create.

Being creative matters to God and in many ways, mankind has accepted the challenge.

We figured out how to add milk and flour to yeast and formed a loaf of bread.

We learned how to use physics, geometry and speed to invent cars, trains and planes.

We captured light and put it into a bulb.

We wove the same 26 letters of the alphabet into stories that became articles, newspapers and books.

We opened our mouths and found our voices, then learned how to work our diaphragm and sing.

But then – we women – sometimes closed down all that creativity and the opportunity to make something better of what we were given.

We believed lies told to us. We “shoulded” ourselves or “what-iffed” ourselves so that guilt and fear overrode the desire to create.

It’s time to take that gift back. It’s our calling to create, to make something beautiful out of what we’ve been given.

Creation matters to God, and we matter to God. Joining ourselves to his work results in eternal blessings and gives us joy in our todays.

So … the next time you feel that nudge – do it. Create something. Play.

And then let us know about it at GateWay of Hope. We are praying for your healing.

©2015 GateWay of Hope

Writing Through the Grief

The inaudible voice in my heart was unmistakable and the message clear: I want you to write your daughter’s story and I will give you the strength to do it.Bethanys Calendar Cover

It was not an assignment I relished; in fact, it was a directive I dreaded.

Write about my daughter, Lord? Seriously?

The thought of re-living my daughter, Bethany’s battle with a terminal brain tumor seemed a daunting and emotionally painful task.

How could I bear that step-by-step recollection of the worst days of my life?

Yet, after decades of knowing Christ as my Savior, I knew it was pointless to argue with the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

Since the unspoken message came during the Spirit-filled praise and worship time at a 2011 writer’s conference, I decided I had not imagined this mission.

In the midst of my angst, the Comforter continued to reassure me He would be there as I wrote each and every word.

Yet I knew every phrase would be wrought through an onslaught of tears.

I delayed starting this “assignment,” knowing how difficult it would be. But that inner voice kept nagging my spirit, even while I continued to write my preferred genre of historical fiction.

In 2014, I finally gave in and began my daughter’s story.

On New Year’s Day that year, I sat in my home office and read through Bethany’s journals, which she had started when she was barely old enough to put sentences together.

Reading through her lifetime of thoughts was an indescribable gift and a legacy of her faith in Christ. It was a day of reading that I will always treasure.

I gathered excerpts from her diaries and used them to open each chapter. Amazingly, nearly every quote fit beautifully with the topics. Even more amazing, the writing of the book flowed unhindered.

Of course, I kept my box of tissues nearby and used them frequently. But my daughter’s story bloomed like a perennial garden after a long, cold winter.

It was time to push through the dirt of disease and show the beauty of a life lived well for the Lord.

The response to Bethany’s Calendar has been more than I could have hoped for. So many readers share how they have been touched by the things our family learned during Bethany’s illness and ultimate passing to eternity.

From caregivers to patients to those who just want to help others going through illness, I pray Bethany’s Calendar is a blessing to all. Just as Bethany was a blessing to us.

©2015 Elaine Marie Cooper Elaine Cooper
This post first appeared in “Southern Writers Suite T” blog.

Bio: Elaine Marie Cooper has released her first non-fiction book, Bethany’s Calendar. It is a personal memoir of her daughter who died of a brain tumor and how the Lord was their strength during the darkest journey of their lives.
As a novelist, Elaine Marie Cooper has written “Fields of the Fatherless” and the “Deer Run Saga.” Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ and the history of the American Revolution, a frequent subject of her historical fiction. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her novels. Visit her website at: http://www.elainemariecooper.com

Depression is Not the Boss of Me

Kathy NickersonAt my lowest point, I walked into the break room, collapsed on the couch, and never got up. Co-workers finally called my husband. He carried me to the car, drove me home, and tucked me into bed. I stayed there until I lost my job, and I didn’t even care.

Depression haunted me for more than a decade. For weeks, I functioned like a normal human. Then, wham! The Great Nothingness would descend. A deep lethargy ruled my days.

Fortunately, by the time our fourth child was born, someone pointed me to the hope of the Holy Spirit. I whispered a half-hearted prayer to The Helper, and He answered with Power.

Not the kind of power that shook the room. But the kind that helped me get out of bed the next morning, take a walk around the block, and appreciate things like sunshine and snowflakes.

If depression is trying to be the boss of you or someone you love, consider these helps:

1.Prayer – The Bible shows us several places where prayer healed the sick and broke the power of bad stuff. It still works the same way today.

2.Medication – Not every person in the world was healed in Jesus’ day. Fortunately, He also gave us the miracle of modern medicine. The chemical balances in the brain are delicate and mysterious, so be patient with your doctor as she tries to find the right combinations.

3.Friends & Family – I call them “God with skin on.” These are the people who understand that you are struggling. They don’t coddle you, but they don’t tell you to snap out of it, either. They understand you would – if you could.

4.Counselors – The great Counselor is our best hope, of course. But He tends to use people like you and me to help one another. Sometimes the mere act of saying something out loud breaks the darkness and brings the light. That is the role of a good counselor – to help us find the Light.

It has been more than thirty years since I whispered that prayer for help, and depression has never kept me down since. Sometimes it threatens and taunts. But, it never wins. I still get up and walk with gratitude every day. Because Jesus is the Boss of me.

©2015 Kathy Nickerson
Kathy Nickerson writes stories of hope in her novels, articles, newsletters, and blog. She and her husband are the parents of four children who have grown up to become their best friends and who have given them fourteen grandchildren, so far. You can learn more at http://kathynick.com/
Thirty Days to Glory – http://amzn.to/1ufpINR
Once Upon a Childhood – http://amzn.to/14Pp4zN

Think About It

Our behaviors are affected – and even jump-started – by our thoughts. What we think about, we do. thinking

So that’s why the Apostle Paul, through the mentoring of the Holy Spirit, felt it was important to include verse eight in Philippians chapter four.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Whatever is true: Think about what is factual and accurate in a situation. Don’t get caught up in half-truths. Watch out for the deception of Satan. His best trap is to make us believe something that isn’t really true.

Whatever is noble: We need to think about the morals that are important to us. Focus on developing our most polite and gallant selves. Be decent persons as we think about honorable principles.

Whatever is right: Come on – we all know the difference between right and wrong. Don’t blur the lines. Think about what is right and then do it.

Whatever is pure: “Would Jesus enjoy this TV show? Would He go to this movie with us? Would He click onto this internet site?” If we are Jesus-followers, then He lives within us. When we think about and do impure things, we force Him to participate with us. And that hurts His Spirit.

Whatever is lovely: Focus on the beauty of creation; the red cardinal standing on a mound of snow, the tiny fingernails of a newborn, the purples and terra cottas of sunsets. In a world of ugly behaviors, think about what is lovely.

Whatever is admirable: What do we want people to remember about us? What are the qualities we admire in others? Those are the things to think about and strive for.

Think about excellence and what is worthy of praise. Strive for the thoughts that are admirable and outstanding. Then merge those thoughts into action and watch what happens.

Excellent thoughts become excellent behaviors.

©2013 GateWay of Hope Ministries – The Helping Place for Hurting Women

How to Find Personal Boundaries in Quilts

Debby Mosher guest posts for us today. Debby lives in Lawrence, Kansas, and served as a co-leader in one of our Boundaries groups. She works at Allen Press as an assistant managing editor and she exhibits her creative flair as a flautist, a sign language interpreter, a mother and a grandmother. Debby is also an avid quilter.quilt

As I passed around patterns, materials, batting, and then quilts – I wanted to illustrate the Boundaries lesson “How to Measure Success in Boundaries.”

Our success is the walking through of our boundaries to see that they are good and fruitful.

We are all made of wonderful materials with which God created us. These materials are illustrated through colors and accents, blending and contrast, shapes, sizes, sewing, cutting, tearing, piecing and quilting.

Throughout our lives we ALL have troubles; we are often cut and torn, then pieced back together; sometimes poorly and other times well.

Yet throughout our lives, we may purposefully allow ourselves through our choices and boundaries (or lack thereof) to be torn apart again and again.

But we will eventually be pieced back together through our good choices and godly and healthy boundaries. Then we become fully well and full of grace.

Batting is added for softness and backing for strength (as in the Trinity or the biblical three cords – top, batting, backing).

We then allow the divine Quilt Maker to strike through all three layers again and again and again. He quilts all three layers into our own special and loved, beautiful and strong, selves.

Our choices and boundaries, good and bad, have then become a real part of our true beauty.

Finally, our layers are bound together all the way around (with the essence of God’s love – His seal and the Holy Spirit of God). Nothing else can get in. We are then His creation and our true selves at the same time.

Life will help you become the real you through all your choices and boundaries – thanks to the original Quilt Maker.

2013 GateWay of Hope – The Helping Place for Hurting Women

Think About It

Our behaviors are affected – and even jump-started – by our thoughts. What we think about, we do. thinking

So that’s why the Apostle Paul, through the mentoring of the Holy Spirit, felt it was important to include verse eight in Philippians chapter four.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Whatever is true: Think about what is factual and accurate in a situation. Don’t get caught up in half-truths. Watch out for the deception of Satan. His best trap is to make us believe something that isn’t really true.

Whatever is noble: We need to think about the morals that are important to us. Focus on developing our most polite and gallant selves. Be decent persons as we think about honorable principles.

Whatever is right: Come on – we all know the difference between right and wrong. Don’t blur the lines. Think about what is right and then do it.

Whatever is pure: “Would Jesus enjoy this TV show? Would He go to this movie with us? Would He click onto this internet site?” If we are Jesus-followers, then He lives within us. When we think about and do impure things, we force Him to participate with us. And that hurts His Spirit.

Whatever is lovely: Focus on the beauty of creation; the red cardinal standing on a mound of snow, the tiny fingernails of a newborn, the purples and terra cottas of sunsets. In a world of ugly behaviors, think about what is lovely.

Whatever is admirable: What do we want people to remember about us? What are the qualities we admire in others? Those are the things to think about and strive for.

Think about excellence and what is worthy of praise. Strive for the thoughts that are admirable and outstanding. Then merge those thoughts into action and watch what happens.

Excellent thoughts become excellent behaviors.

©2013 GateWay of Hope Ministries