Hope Sets Healthy Boundaries

Isn’t it interesting how we can tell others what to do but not apply that same wisdom to ourselves?

In my life coaching ministry at GateWay, I often ask women, “What are you doing for fun?” We track their progress and talk about the importance of setting healthy boundaries.

Sometimes we refer to an emotional boundary as setting a fence around the heart. fence-autumn

Likewise with my writing clients. I may ask, “What are you doing for an artist date?”

They tell me about roaming through bookstores, writing morning pages at a quirky and fun coffee shop or choosing a new journal.

Terrific success for my coaching clients. Not such a good job by their coach.

I find it increasingly difficult to schedule artist dates and/or find some time for fun in my busy schedule. Am I too busy? Yes. How can I remedy that? Hmm.

One of my friends recently asked me, “What are you doing for Rebecca?”

I had to stop and think about that question, because we often define fun as something we do that costs money.

But I need to consider other things that are just as relaxing and important for me – activities that cost little or nothing. Fun might include playing the piano, banging out chords that help release some of the pressures of a stressful day.

Walking through crunchy leaves or strolling through colorful chrysanthemums at a garden store. These joys remind me of the creator and how he blesses us with an autumn Kansas.

Other possibilities for fun:

  • An occasional movie
  • Watching the baseball playoffs with my son
  • Jayhawk basketball and OU football
  • Pulling out my coloring book and finding a quiet moment on the deck
  • Singing
  • A new color of fingernail polish
  • The turquoise and corals of a Kansas sunset
  • A haircut
  • One of the autumn craft shows
  • A new journal or reading through the old one with an attitude of praise

These are some of the things that bring me joy, however I need to work harder at getting away and forcing myself to relax. Is that an oxymoron? Forced relaxation?

Even now, I feel the need for some time away to reboot my soul and refresh that creative spirit in me.

I write better after a break when I feel more energized to connect sentences that form paragraphs, outline chapters and introduce new characters to the world.

So I need to be more proactive about using my time off. I need to actually schedule a writing retreat and a personal sabbatical – wherever and whenever I can – soon.

As 2017 approaches, I need to discipline myself to do the same thing I ask of my clients – to find that special place of inner rest, to plan an artist date, to find my own creative boundaries.

Hope asks accountability of others but also demands spiritual nourishment of the self. Even as I help others, I need to do a better job finding myself and define that fence around my heart.

Anyone else want to join me in the search?

©2016 GateWay of Hope – repost of RJThesman.net.

What is the Secret Sauce at GateWay?

GateWay Logo Original with OutlinesPeople with the Secret Sauce are vital commodities in today’s workplace. These are the experts, the advice-givers, those people we seek out who can help us successfully move forward.

For example: Bill Gates has the Secret Sauce for Microsoft – this business he designed and put his life into.

Another example is Julia Child who had the Secret Sauce and determination to share the joy of French cooking, to persevere until her first cookbook was published and then walk into her celebrity with humility and grace.

Jesus has the Secret Sauce for helping us move past our strongholds, our bondage, lies of the past and any number of other struggles. He also has the cure for society and the future of our hearts.

At GateWay of Hope, we have the Secret Sauce to help women transform their lives and create new legacies.

Our Counselors are licensed, professional therapists who deal with any number of issues and crises women struggle with. They help women process through past abuses, depression, relationship struggles, grief and/or emotional angst.

Our Coaches are certified professionals with a wealth of experience. They help women design plans to move over obstacles in life and progress toward their authentic selves. Our Coaches partner with their clients to advance their personal development, effectively start over single after divorce, set healthy boundaries in relationships, move forward in spiritual formation and recover from betrayal.

Within the group relationships at GateWay, women discover more of the Secret Sauce available in such a comfortable and beautiful atmosphere. Women who have been betrayed, abandoned and emotionally abused find connections with a group that Restores Hope After Betrayal. These women learn they are not alone in their struggle and that even if their husbands choose pornographic images or other sexual deviations – these women can be strong enough to take care of their hearts. The tools these women learn in this group provide hope and healing as well as the gumption to move forward stronger and more content than ever before.

In the Grief Recovery Program at GateWay, the Secret Sauce is included in the truth that all women suffer a loss of some kind and it’s okay to grieve about it. So many women hide behind the mask of “I’m fine” or “I have to be strong” and they deny the power of grieving in healthy ways. Women’s lives have been changed by simply learning ways to grieve and being given permission to do that at GateWay.

The Secret Sauce is prayer for the PAC Moms group. These women come to GateWay twice a month to pray for their adult children. Their hearts are breaking for their babies who are now adults and have chosen to ignore God’s love or are engaged in harmful behaviors. So these mamas come to pray, and their fervent pleas to God are heard. We see miracles happening at GateWay as a direct result of these intense and genuine prayers.

The women who populate the Treasures group have become a band of “she-roes” at GateWay of Hope. These incredibly strong women find treasure within chronic pain and the illnesses they bear every day. Yet they do not come to GateWay to morbidly complain. Instead, they encourage each other in ways to live out their lives – albeit in pain – with a sense of joy and contentment. Their Secret Sauce include perseverance, gratitude for simple joys and the certainty that pain may last as a temporary affliction, but someday – healing will be complete.All women need hope

Although we often encourage women to journal and process through their thoughts, our Journaling Class occurs twice a year at GateWay. The Secret Sauce is conveyed through the teaching gift and life experiences of our facilitator who shares fascinating new ways to journal and gain benefits from this important discipline. Women come away from the Journaling Class with a renewed vision for how they can share their learnings and apply journaling tips to their own decision-making processes.

Our cornerstone group at GateWay of Hope is our Boundaries track. Three times a year, we present some sort of boundaries class, because we know how important it is for women to learn how to say, “No” and when to say, “Yes.” We have seen the consequences when women do not know the difference and allow life to take away their precious selves. So we want every woman to learn about these life-changing guidelines and begin to implement them into their worlds.

Where is the Secret Sauce at GateWay? It’s interwoven into everything we do and every woman we serve. Why is it so important to find the Secret Sauce at GateWay? Because we are the premier place that presents such restorative and transformative change in the lives of women.

Come join us on this journey. We’d love to serve you.

©2016 GateWay of Hope

How To Experience Guilt-Free Living

It’s always exciting to find a new book – that special topic I’ve been looking for – at a bargain price.God is not mad at you - book

Last week, I discovered the book by Joyce Meyer, “God is Not Mad at You.” In her usual fashion, Joyce speaks the truth about perfectionism, legalism, shame and learning how to live guilt-free.

These are topics we deal with regularly at GateWay of Hope. And the root to many of these struggles is the pain of rejection.

We can feel rejected because of various circumstances:

  • Losing our parents at an early age
  • The comments of children and/or teachers at school
  • Struggling through adolescence and the volatile teen years
  • Failing classes or failing at a job
  • Betrayal by a spouse
  • Comparisons to other women or even to our siblings
  • Abuse of any kind

When we feel rejected, we may try to be perfect – to reach that high bar others have set for us. And we may think we need to be perfect for God as well, which can trap us within the lies of legalism.

Then all sorts of damaging emotions can plague us, causing even more mental and spiritual problems which may lead to more rejection. And the cycle continues.

Some of these emotions may include:

  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • A critical and judgmental spirit
  • Constant comparisons to others
  • Feeling defensive at any type of criticism
  • Distrusting anyone in authority
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • A stronghold of fear
  • Feeling hopeless
  • A poor self-image
  • Jealousy
  • Plus many more negative emotions

So how can we get past these issues, dig out the root and prevent the bitterness that leads to false guilt? How can we find freedom to move on?

In our Boundaries classes at GateWay, we teach women this truth, “I am not responsible for how someone else thinks.”

So if another person compares us to someone else or says something ugly to us – we don’t have to believe that or receive it into our spirits.

We can fight against it with the truth. “I’m not responsible for what you think about me.”

We can also learn to love ourselves and appreciate who we really are – separate from all the things we do.

As Joyce writes, “No matter how many other people love you, if you don’t love yourself, you will still feel lonely.”

Through Counseling, the support of relationships in groups and Coaching, we teach women how to be authentic, how to be honest and not afraid to be vulnerable, how to truly love themselves.

When we feel secure in the knowledge and truth of who we really are, when we accept ourselves as we are – then we don’t have to be perfect or meet the standards of someone else.

The most important path to guilt-free living is to realize we don’t have to earn God’s love. He accepts us and loves us. Period.

He won’t love us any more if we do great things. He won’t love us any less if we do nothing.

He has a special place in his heart for his daughters, and he will never abandon us, reject us or leave us alone to struggle through life.

When we truly know how much God loves us, then we can begin to love ourselves even more and stop living in the land of rejection.

And if you struggle with these issues, give us a call at GateWay of Hope. 913.393.GATE (4283). We’d love to help.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

Celebrating Incredible Women

women holding handsAs we celebrate National Women’s History Month, we remember all the Christian women who made a difference. These were women of courage and foresight who marched against the traditions of their culture in order to follow their Lord. But who were some of these women?

We have, of course, the biblical histories of Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus who provided a place where he could rest. Legend tells us Martha was a wealthy widow and the homeowner who provided for her brother, Lazarus, and her sister, Mary.

Martha organized the work, supervised her servants and – as scripture implies – used her type A personality to get things done. We need the Martha’s of our world just as much as we need the Mary’s.

Other biblical women who exercised leadership and earned their way to biblical commendation include Lydia, Priscilla, Deborah, Abigail, Rahab, Jael, Mary Magdalene, Suzanna, Junia, Ruth, Joanna and of course, Mary – the mother of Jesus.

But what of the women beyond these biblical characters?

Many Christian women of history are listed as martyrs, those ladies who gave their all for the love of their Lord. Some of these noble warriors included Blandina (177 AD) from France, Perpetua and Felicitas (203AD), Faltonia (4th century AD) and Anne Askew (1546) an English Protestant martyr. Many others may not be recorded here, but they are definitely written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Tim Lambert has compiled a history of Christian women. Many historical women were noted missionaries who brought other people groups to Christ. To become a missionary in those days meant extreme hardship. These women truly left father, mother and homeland for the sake of the Gospel (Mark 10:29).

Some of these brave women include:

  • Ann Lee (1736-1784: a Quaker missionary)
  • Ann Judson (1789-1826: missionary to Burma)
  • Lottie Moon (1840-1912: missionary to China)
  • Mary Slessor (1848-1915: missionary to Africa)
  • Ida Scudder (1870-1960: missionary to India)
  • Evelyn Brand (1879-1974: missionary to India)
  • Gladys Aylward (1903-1970: missionary to China)
  • Elisabeth Elliott and Rachel Saint who helped reach the hearts of the Auca Indians in the 1950’s-60’s.

Other women have served in public service and government. Read about their accomplishments.

At GateWay of Hope, we see the courage and commitment of women every day. These are women who aren’t afraid to tackle some of the issues of their pasts and work with our counselors to find hope, healing and wholeness. They dig deep into their souls to find the places of first hurts. It takes a tremendous amount of personal courage to share how they have been shamed and to reach for the hand of hope that is offered them.

We applaud these courageous women.

Other women commit to coaching sessions and initiate plans for moving forward in life. They meet with our life coach to organize their lives, learn more about their core values and jump over the obstacles that once held them back. In spite of emotional upheavals, they stay in character – strong, living within their core values and moving forward. We admire these women of character.

Women in our groups dare to become vulnerable as they learn about authenticity and share their struggles. They find safety at GateWay whether they’re praying for their adult children, finding their place of significance within the pain of chronic illness or dealing with a spouse who is a sex addict.

These women of GateWay protect their hearts and fight against bitterness. They set healthy boundaries and learn better ways to deal with relationship conflicts. They use the giftings God has given them and refuse to be shamed just because they are women or because they have suffered the struggles of life’s circumstances.

During National Women’s History Month, we salute these brave women of the past who left a legacy of faithfulness. As their sisters, we step forward to serve God in whatever field He leads us to – for the glory of the One who created us to be His courageous women.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women