2019 Resolutions

Posted by Barbara Comito Jan 8, 2019 2:27:47 PM

Words to Direct Our Paths

There's something about a new notebook, a blank calendar, a freshly tilled plot of soil that beckons us. It's a fresh start, an opportunity to create, to fill in the blanks and forget past mistakes. A new year is like that for many of us. We see it as an opportunity to plunge forward with new resolve. We asked staff and residents to share words or verses they had chosen to guide their paths in the year ahead, and several of them obliged. Below you will find their name and UGM association, followed by their answer. We'd love for you to add to this post by sharing your own words and verses in the comment section below.

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A Firm Resolution to Be Softened

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Jan 1, 2019 8:30:00 AM

I’ve never been big on making new year’s resolutions.

It’s partly because of a general fear of failure with which I’ve struggled most of my life – I don’t usually start things I’m not already confident I can finish.

Somehow, a “resolution” in my mind had come to mean, “Something I’m going to do every single day to work toward improving myself and/or my environment, because a little effort repeated 365 times ends up being a big accomplishment.”

The reasoning wasn’t bad. Breaking down large goals into little pieces is a good strategy. The problem was that I am unable to keep a commitment to do even one tiny little thing every day. The few times I’ve tried it, even with “realistic” goals in mind, I failed, whether in the second week of January or just a random day in August when something unexpected came up.

If I’m going to make a resolution for this year, I need a better idea of what a resolution is.

 

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Death and Christmas

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Dec 28, 2018 2:56:53 PM

My dad died on December 12 of this year. His death was by no means a tragedy. He was 89 years old, had lived a full, meaningful life and died surrounded by people who loved him. It was, as deaths go, a good one. He knew Jesus as his personal Savior and must now be either sitting at his feet surrounded by the best version of easy listening or playing endless innings of heavenly baseball. 

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The Five C's of Children's Recovery

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Dec 19, 2018 2:28:21 PM

 “Stay consistent in their lives, even when they’re the hardest to love.”

That, in a nutshell, is the key to caring for the children living with their moms in recovery at Anna Ogden Hall. Children’s Program coordinator Shannon Behrens recognizes that while their moms are the ones who choose to come into the Women’s Recovery Program to deal with their own problems, the children have also suffered and need particular care.

Addressing their needs takes intentional efforts from Shannon and the rest of the staff and volunteers in the Children’s Program. And while the program is highly individualized to match the needs of each child, there are a few common values that apply to healing children who already have been through enough trauma and hardship for a lifetime.

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Homeless and Nowhere to Be

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Dec 11, 2018 2:36:47 PM

 Kari had been walking for four days. Literally.

She wasn’t going anywhere. She didn’t need the exercise.

She was walking because her life had come to a standstill. She didn’t know what else to do. She had nowhere to be. 

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A Long, Uphill Path for Moms in Recovery

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Dec 5, 2018 12:24:56 PM

By Kamee Bissell, Counselor in Women’s Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall

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Many of the women who apply for our LIFE Recovery Program at Anna Ogden Hall have lost custody of their children. The addictive lifestyle they have been living has brought destruction to the family on so many levels.

For most, it is a single-parent home without a great deal of support. Because of their choices, most of their family and friends have given up hope for change, leaving the parent feeling abandoned and overwhelmed with responsibilities. The women generally have no one to rely on but themselves. They enter our program driven by the fear of losing their children or of not regaining custody, desperately wanting change.

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Restoring Children to a Healthy Home

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Nov 28, 2018 8:39:00 AM

By JoAnn Zajicek, Director, Center for Women and Children

Not yet two years old, the girl consistently wakes up with night terrors. She’s been in three foster homes since birth. 

An 11-year-old boy stomps down the corridors with clenched fists, barely looking up. When he does, his young eyes are defiant and angry, clearly indicating a distrust of adults. Much of his early life was spent living under a dilapidated bridge and begging money for his mother.

A petite three-year-old, desperately craving attention and security from a father figure, continually runs up to male staff, clutching their trousers in hopes of being swooped into their arms.

These are just a few examples of the children we see at the Union Gospel Mission’s Center for Women and Children. They come from hurting homes. They’re too young to understand, but not too young to be hurt and impacted by the choices of others.

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Trauma, Time, Trust: Helping Homeless Women

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Nov 21, 2018 11:30:05 AM

By Diane Hutton, Director, Crisis Shelter for Women and Children

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Women often come into the shelter for the first time very fearful, broken and anxious. No one wants to come here: It’s the last resort.

That’s what it was when Penny* checked in. She and her children had fled an abusive partner. Her face was still black and blue from their last fight. When they arrived they were cold, scared and her daughter clung to her.

Staff got them warm blankets and some hot tea. They reassured Penny she was safe and she would be OK.

Penny’s response was, “I feel broken. I don’t think I’ll ever be right again.”

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Family Breakdown: Restoring a Damaged Masterpiece

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Nov 14, 2018 4:43:09 PM

By Sonny Westbrook, Director of Ministries

All of God’s ways are perfect.  One of His ways for life on planet Earth was to create the family unit. 

As we see in the Scriptures, the original family by His design consisted of a man named Adam with his wife named Eve. Prior to creating Eve, He declared that it is not good for man to be alone. And then He undertook to create the  first woman and, as it were, He performed the first marriage ceremony.  We see all this revealed in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2

Further, God planned that the man and the woman would be given a role in releasing God’s reproductive powers and would be enabled by Him to “be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth.”  So by Genesis 4, we see the beginnings of this as we are introduced to the  first of Adam and Eve’s offspring, two sons named Cain and Abel. This was all by God’s design and made possible by His coactive involvement in creating the human family.

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House Mom to the Homeless and Broken

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Nov 8, 2018 3:22:37 PM

Teria Kelley is Resident Services Coordinator at the UGM Center for Women and Children in Coeur d'Alene. But in her own words, her job title is, "House Mom with 70 Kids." We asked her some questions about her life and her job, and her voice exudes tenderness as she talks about working with women and children dealing with homelessness, addiction and abuse. 

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