Many of our moms have gone through their life looking for the void in their hearts to be filled. They have sought relationships that have failed, they have been abandoned by family and friends and they don’t know where else to turn. I heard a man on TV say today that he was a Californian, he didn’t know the state flower, he didn’t know how many square miles California was, he didn’t know what its counties were, etc., but he was a Californian because he was born there. He went on to say that sometimes that is the same way we are Christians. We can’t tell you very much about what it means to be a Christian, what God thinks of us, what Jesus says about this and that, or maybe, we have heard what is required of us, but we don’t necessarily follow it in our lives, however, just like the “Californian” we consider ourself a Christian. Maybe, we think we are a Christian because we belong to a church, or because we are American, or because our parents were Christians, and that makes us one too. However, only a personal, authentic relationship with God can fill our emptiness.
So how do we get that kind of relationship? First, know that God loves YOU, He cares about you, and if you call out to Him, if you seek Him, He will make Himself known to you. Second, you must understand that we all fall short of who God is. You must own it, not just intellectually, you have to personally realize that you have offended a holy God. God is perfect, and there’s no way you can be enough compared to Him. We have all sinned (to “miss the mark” of God’s holy standard), and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That sin, unless attended to, will keep you separated from God for all eternity! Scripture says that by grace (unmerited favor) you’re saved, through faith. It’s not of yourself, it’s a gift of God, not a result of something you did. God sent His son Jesus Christ, Jesus was 100% God, and 100% man, fully human, fully God. He died on the cross to pay the cost of your sin. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But you need to receive Him by faith. When you walk into a room and sit down on a chair, you are doing so by faith. You believe that the chair will hold you up. You didn’t walk around it first, check its legs for sturdiness, rock it back and forth to check its balance, no, you put all your weight on it and just sit down. That’s the kind of faith you have to have in who Jesus Christ is, and what He did for you. John 14:6 says “Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me’.” You know you have an authentic relationship with God when every time you miss the mark, you run to God because you are sorry!
So to all the moms who haven’t had everything in their life go perfectly, if you feel it’s too hard, or if you are tired and looking for help, know that in Christ you are stronger then you thought. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you - Philippians 4:13
Karen O'Leary is the the Program 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.
The Bible: The Best Book
What do the books I mentioned above have in common? They have all been made into movies. However, there’s another very popular book that has been made into dozens, if not hundreds of movies, including a miniseries. Yes, the book I’m talking about is the Bible. Like most bestsellers, each of its readers probably has his or her favorite character or story. More importantly, the Bible offers us the story of our Savior and the good news He brings, in pure, unadulterated form. We also get a behind-the-scenes look at the events leading up to His birth in the narrative of the Old Testament-a premier event that is not exclusive, but inclusive to all of humankind. As cool as franchises like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games are, you’re not going to have J.K. Rowling speak at your graduation or get a tour of the set for the Hunger Games movies without paying a hefty sum. The Word of God, in contrast, is completely free (especially if you’re at a hotel), and has been on the bestseller list for over two thousand years (waaay before the New York Times Bestseller List made its debut in 1931). So, why not find a cozy place to sit, grab your beverage of choice, and spend the day-or even just an hour-with some colorful characters in the greatest story ever told?
Elizabeth Scheibl is a former intern and current Resident Supervisor at New Beginnings. She is still an English major and History minor at Wisconsin Lutheran College. In her spare time, she likes reading, writing, and standing on chairs and singing.
Depression and New Beginnings
What do you do? Some will take a walk while others will sit and have a glass of wine. What about that small bit of ice cream in the freezer? No matter what your coping mechanism might be, you were given the skills to take that break and pull yourself back up. You might have family or friends who you can talk to and help you work through the pain and sadness. You pray, hope, and look for a better tomorrow.
What if you didn’t have the skills it takes to cope with your bad day? What if you didn’t have a strong enough faith to go to God for help? What if you didn’t have a fridge or freezer to keep that little bit of ice cream or you don’t have the family or friend support to help you work through your problems? What happens then? Many people fall into depression. The hurt and abuse of their past along with the struggle of their today does not bring much hope for tomorrow.
Did you know that many of the young women who apply and are accepted into New Beginnings admit to be suffering from depression? They have seen no hope for a brighter future for themselves or their babies. A kindness from some one only brings a temporary relief from the sadness and struggle. Did you notice that after a bad day, you are not as productive as you usually would be? Maybe you don’t sleep as much or you hurt a bit. For those who suffer from depression, this is an everyday bad day. Every day it is a struggle to do the simplest of tasks. When it is really bad, even getting showered and dressed is a task that proves to be too complicated so to ask them to go out and work, would be asking the impossible. The feelings of worthlessness and sadness just increase after not being productive. Its an endless cycle.
In this blog I talk mainly about depression due to circumstance and situation. Of course, there are other reasons for depression and by no means am I trying to overlook or ignore them. Sometimes it is really a chemical imbalance and your mind is wired different and therefore experience depression. In this case, seeking out a professional who will be able to treat you effectively would be the way to go. Another form of depression that we might see a lot at New Beginnings would be postpartum depression. This is very common in new mothers as there are so many changes happening not only in a woman's environment but also in her body. For more information, resources, and tips and tricks to help combat these baby blues, check out the website below by clicking on the button called "Baby Blues". This article was written by Jackie Edwards who had gone through her own baby blues and found ways to help through research and learning. Take a peek and learn some strategies to help yourself and others you love who may be going through it.
Thank you to all who continue to support New Beginnings and give these women hope and a promising future.
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.
My New Beginnings Experience
Hi! My name is Letisha Norman and I am a resident at New Beginnings. I have to say that New Beginnings has really helped me to change my life. Although I’m not a first-time mother, my children are 15 years apart which left me in a position of really starting over. And let me tell you: A LOT has changed since I raised my daughter, like laying babies on their backs instead of their stomaches, not giving babies water, and because I had a boy instead of a girl this time, I have to be very mindful of the way I wipe him since he was circumcised. Obviously he was sore so it took a little longer to change him than it did with my daughter. Laughing out loud, it’s not fun to get urinated on at 5 a.m. but thats the type of thing you go through when raising kids.
New Beginnings helped me to develop those skills that I am taking with me through this journey of raising my beautiful little person. One way they help is by allowing me to live in a wonderful, safe, Christian-based environment in a home setting with enough room to allow me to be the mother I was 15 years ago, but better, because I’m learning to put God first. Second, New Beginnings teaches me to brush up on some of my domestic skills. Every month, we have a themed pot-luck that we all bring a homemade dish to. We also have an assigned monthly chore and every Saturday, our apartments are checked by staff. Every week, we have one-on-one Bible Studies and Goal Meetings. I thank God for New Beginnings for giving me the room to grow as a mother, a person, and someday, by God’s grace, an educated woman since we do have the option of going to school or working on a career path. That will allow me to live depending on myself and being accountable for the choices I make which works out better when I put God first.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
God loved us first. I couldn’t imagine giving my son up as a sacrifice but God did and with New Beginnings’ help, I will keep seeking Him.
Letisha joined the New Beginnings Family in January of 2017 and had her son in May 2017. She is pursuing her education while making God and her children the center of her world.
Still feeling doubtful? Take a moment to pray. God tells us over and over again in His Word that He will grant us anything we ask for in Jesus' name according to His Will.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24
"'Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.'" (John 16:23b-24)
Some people spend their whole lives searching and feeling lost. Our God doesn't want you to be one of them.
Taleya Williamson is the Operations Manager at New Beginnings. She was born and raised in Puyallup, Washington and attended Evergreen Lutheran High School. Taleya recently graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College with a Bachelors of Science in psychology with a minor in anthropology. In her free time, Taleya enjoys spending time with her husband, David.