You wake up one morning and you know something isn’t right. You feel different but don’t know what this new sensation is. It isn’t a bad feeling but you do feel a difference. What could it be? Then you start to think. “Oh no! It couldn’t be! There is no way it can be! We used protection! God wouldn’t do this to me. He knows I’m not ready.”
The tests confirm it. You are pregnant. Now what? You start to evaluate the situation. You can’t tell your parents. They will be so upset and disappointed. You tell your baby’s father but he says it isn’t his problem and he wants you to have an abortion. He will even take you just to be done with it. It would be the easiest way. You won’t have to tell your parents. You wouldn’t have to change your plans. Your life will continue as you have planned. It would be so easy.
The initial shock wears off and you decide to tell your best friend. You can trust her to keep your secret and help guide you in your decision. She has always supported you and you know she will do so now, no matter what you decide. You were right. She heard you without judging. She helped you through your tears. She talks you through your options and offers help. She takes you for an ultra sound.
What a turning point!! That is no little blob of tissue! That is a baby. That is your baby. Your baby is so small and helpless. How could you think of an abortion? What can you do? Now the really hard decisions come.
This is where the mothers at New Beginnings have been. Not exactly, and every situation is different, but they experienced an unexpected pregnancy and they decided to give their child a chance. What a wonderful chance to start a new life for these women and their babies! At New Beginnings these young women can find God’s Word, structure, support, encouragement, and knowledge. They can grow and mature as they await the arrival of their baby and get the help and support they need during those first few years of their child’s life.
A big THANK YOU to all of you who have given of their time, talents, and abilities to help and support us here at New Beginnings.
Christina Pritzlaff is married with two children. She has completed Early Childhood 1 & 2 classes, Infant Toddler classes, and completed the coursework for her Associates degree in Child Development. Christina splits her time between spending time with her family and working at New Beginnings. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her children, camping, fishing, reading, and doing counted cross-stitch.
In life, there will be times that are not ideal. Not necessarily rough times, not happy times, just times that might be described as blah. You might be ready to move into a bigger house, working an entry level job just to get a promotion, or waiting until you’re done with school so that you can jump into a career you’re passionate about. You’re ready to take the next step, but the next step isn’t quite within your reach. These times can often lead to feelings of stress, discontentment, or lack of trust in God.
There is this mentality that says something like, “Lord, I just want the promotion. Then I will be happy.” What people don’t understand is that being content is something that is practiced; it doesn’t come with achievement. For some, the more you achieve, the more things you will want. Being content is something that all Christians should strive for because God gives us more than we could ever deserve. There will be in-between times during many parts of our lives, with something in them that we’re not content with. What’s important is realizing how important it is to thank God for everything that we do have, and work to God’s glory to achieve our goals.
The residents at New Beginnings are working through a time in their life that might seem never ending. Continuing education, meeting with professionals, and setting goals can get to be frustrating, but these mothers realize that this is the best way that they can be a loving Christian parent to their children. I look up to the mothers at New Beginnings, because they know that in order to achieve their goals they need to work hard, trust in God, and be thankful for the opportunities that they have.
Leah Whitson is a junior Human Social Services major at Wisconsin Lutheran College, and the Resident Support Intern here at New Beginnings. After college she plans to pursue a Master's in Social Work, and one day she hopes to use her experience at New Beginnings as a good foundation . During her free time Leah likes to travel, play with her dogs, and spend time with her fiancé.
The Phenomenon of Empathy
The next time you feel like putting someone in their place, put yourself in their place instead. (Anonymous)
As I interact with the residents here at New Beginnings, listening to their problems, concerns, and resentments, along with their needs for right now and hopes for the future, I am reminded that I need empathy. I need to understand their responses to circumstances they are facing. I know (but knowing is not empathy) that past hurts influence reactions to present situations. I know that if we are believers, we are not all growing in the same way at the same time, but we are all growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I know that the bottom line is that I need to feel for the other person and listen.
Though the word empathy does not appear in the Bible, the Scriptures do refer indirectly to the quality of empathy:
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the laws of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
We need to give each other space to grow, using empathy, bearing with one another. Thankfully as Christians we don’t have to do this on our own, in our own ability, because we have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding.
Karen O'Leary is an Assistant Home Manager at New Beginnings. She has her BA in Bible Theology and her Masters of Divinity. She has 8-years of experience as a Social Director at a non-profit organization helping those in crisis with financial assistance, brief supportive counseling, and being a spiritual presence in their time of need. In her free time Karen enjoys reading, cooking and traveling.
I was scrolling through my social media news feed one day when I came across an article that caught my attention. I clicked on it and was mesmerized by what it had to say.
I have always known that I was "sinful from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me"(Psalm 51:5). From that moment of conception, I was a sinful human being. Not a blob of flesh to be discarded and forgotten, but a soul that is capable and accountable for my sins.
My faith has always told me that it was wrong to kill a child still in the womb and I am very blessed to have grown up in a house that was Christ-centered. What about those who don't have such a blessing?What stops them from aborting the child that isn't wanted or what they see as a mistake?
This is where this article comes in and I urge you to read through it.
I pray for the mothers here at New Beginnings. They saw their child as a life. A life and a blessing given to them by God. A blessing that they are doing everything they can to protect and nurture.
May God bless and guide us all as we continue to do His work.
Christina Pritzlaff is married with two children. She has completed Early Childhood 1 & 2 classes, Infant Toddler classes, and completed the coursework for her Associates degree in Child Development. Christina splits her time between spending time with her family and working at NewBeginnings. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her children, camping, fishing, reading, and doing counted cross-stitch.
A Fierce Kind of Love
My little girl celebrated her second birthday last week. As many mothers do, I spent times throughout the day reminiscing about the actual day of her birth. Born as our third daughter, Hadley had a massive amount of dark hair that stood straight on its ends, no matter how hard we tried to brush it down. She had a small mouth and a cute, scrunched up nose. Although those are the things that I remember most about her newborn looks, that is not what I recall most about her first days of life.
I see this same intense love with the moms at New Beginnings. Their babies are the reason why they are working as hard as they do in order to insure a better life for their little ones. They are fiercely loyal and caring toward their children, defending them at every turn.
Beth Shiels is an Assistant Home Manager at New Beginnings. She graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College with a degree in Psychology in 2008, where she also met her husband, Zach. Along with working at New Beginnings, Beth enjoys staying home part-time with her four children and assisting in Zach's chiropractic clinic. She loves this crazy busy life God has blessed her with and is thankful to have the opportunity to share His love with the moms and babies at New Beginnings!