By Mary Peterson, Housing Consultant
Ever tossed a coin into the air, caught it, and cupped it on the back of your hand to see if it's "heads" or "tails?"
It's a classic way of making simple decisions. The two sides of the coin are unique, each with distinguishing marks, but together, they make one coin.
In the context of our maternity homes, we face a wide variety of challenging situations. We know we must always respond in love, that's a given. But just as there are two sides to a coin, there are two sides to the love we live out in our homes: tough and unconditional.
Rather than the random response of a coin toss, though, we get to choose which side of the “love coin” to apply in any given situation.
Tough love is the love of coaches, teachers, and mentors. It’s the love that says, "I know there’s more in you, and I want you to challenge you to make the most of it." It’s the love of accountability and direct feedback.
Tough love involves rules, structures, and consequences. It’s the type of love God expresses when He prunes and judges, when He commands us how to live, and when He allows consequences to unfold.
Unconditional love is the love of friends and family. It’s the love that says, "No matter what, I am going to love you." It’s the love of second chances, leniency, and forgiveness. Unconditional love involves overlooking things said in anger, or giving the benefit of the doubt when another isn't at their best.
Unconditional love is expressed in those special moments when a mother gazes at her child. Mercy and forgiveness are expressions of the unconditional nature of God’s love.
As a people defined by love, we are not called to become merely hard-nosed rule-enforcers nor feeble doormats. Love is not an either-or proposition. Love requires the both-and virtue of fierce tenderness, unconditional-yet-expectant.
We are called to live out both dimensions of love— tough and unconditional—in the context of relationship as we face daily life in our maternity homes. But we need the Holy Spirit’s help to know when and how to rightly apply love in each situation, and so we pray:
Come Holy Spirit! Make us more capable of perfect love!
As the phone center manager for Pregnancy Resource Center of Gwinnett, Georgia, Lana Duffell has very little time to call her own.
Without the persistent effort put forth by Lana and her co-laborers, the call from a local woman or girl facing the desperate circumstance of an unexpected pregnancy might fall through the cracks, and cause her to choose abortion as the only option she can see at the moment.
So most days, Lana keeps her nose to the grindstone and her ear to the phone.
But when Lana and her staff decided to take time off during this Christmas season, she had no concerns about the calls and contacts that were sure to come in. Lana and her staff had full confidence that, even if they wouldn’t be there to answer the phone, Heartbeat International’s Option Line® would.
While Lana and her staff rested and reenergized for the coming year, the staff at Option Line routed a total of 39 calls and contacts to Pregnancy Resource Center, ensuring that not one woman seeking help fell through the cracks.
“Option Line has been there for us on a 24/7 basis, when we are in meetings and also when our phone lines are overwhelming,” Lana says. “With Option Line, we are at peace, knowing that our callers will get a live person who can offer them information about abortion alternatives or set an appointment so that we can do further counseling.
“Option Line answers our calls when we are not available, making the difference between losing a life and saving it.”
Since it opened shop in 2003, Option Line has answered the call more than 1.5 million times, in addition to 2.5 million unique visitors to its website, www.OptionLine.org.
That translates to a staggering amount of birthdays, which otherwise would never have been. For now, we’ll celebrate just one: Happy 10th Birthday, Option Line!
Based on biblical principles found in the book of Genesis, The Sexual Integrity Program (SIP) also draws inspiration from on The Theology of the Body and Pope John Paul II's Encyclical, Humanae Vitae.
SIP, designed for use inside the pregnancy help center, teaches women how to walk in sexual wholeness in all areas of their life – physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual.
Four Biblical Pillars form the foundation of the program.
Centers that offer SIP have more effective client outcomes. The ability to continue building the relationship with clients week after week by offering them a new way of living leads to a reduction in the number of return pregnancy tests visits per client.
Women who learn about sexual wholeness feel empowered. They have the new knowledge that helps them make healthier choices with their bodies, reducing sexual activity outside of marriage.
Other outcomes that centers see when the use SIP include Evangelization opportunities that increase as centers spend more time with clients sharing God’s blueprint for sexual integrity. The center’s reputation is enhanced as a provider of more complete reproductive health education. Volunteers become more knowledgeable on the major topics related to sexual activity, and, therefore, more confident in their interaction with all clients.
Learn more about what The Sexual Integrity Program can offer your center.
About 19 of every 20 18-29 year olds own a cell phone. For those who have yet to finish high school, it’s seven of every 10. An April 2011 Pew Research Study, “Trends in Mobile Phone Usage,” finds that cell-phone ownership is high among all ethnic groups and even among income levels.
We are truly living in a digital age where information is readily available at the tip of our fingers, as well as the fingers of those who might need our services. A follow-up study by Pew* shows that among 18-29 year-olds, half who have cell-phones have smart-phones and regularly access the internet with them. This means potential clients have the opportunity to access and receive information wherever they are. They have the ability to receive a large range of information in a very short time. With the use of QR codes, social media, mass transit booths, billboards, and digital posters, the value of having a mobile-ready website is becoming more and more evident.
Clearly mobile devices are rapidly becoming the dominant digital format versus desk bound machines. Your website is often your primary marketing tool to reach prospective clients in your community. With technology at the ready for them to search for you, will you be ready to connect with them? Conventional wisdom says that if the person searching for you on the internet can’t find you (quickly), to them, you don’t exist.
In the digital marketing world, effectiveness is measured in seconds, or even fractions of seconds. If your website, in standard form, takes more than a few seconds to download, it may be discarded for a quicker source. Once downloaded, is the information easily navigated? Again, the culture of information at the ready leaves little time to impact the seeker with positive information to make a good connection.
***Smart device owners are taking full advantage of the technology at their fingertips and are spending their time out of home accessing the internet. It would appear that all smart device users, especially younger groups (18-34), have a hunger for information and a need to be entertained. Accessing the internet (80%) and using social networks (67%) are among the top functions used on smart devices.
Younger audiences are more open to interaction. They instinctively understand the relationship between branding and themselves, thus, making them willing participants in the brand/consumer relationship.
Be sure your website is mobile-friendly. This takes some effort by your web design friends, but clearly the trend suggests it is well worth it. The research suggests this will very soon be the number one way your website is accessed. Option Line is mobile friendly for the very purpose of being available to our target demographic. Your website should be also.
*Pew Research Center, 7/11/2011, http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/PIP_Smartphones.pdf.**CBS.CBS Outdoor Media on the Move. Web 2012. http://www.interactiveeurope.com.***Bosomworth, Danyl. “Statistics on Mobile Usage and Adoption to Inform your Mobile Marketing Strategy.” Smart Insights. Web 2012. http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/.
Product code: SIP2-0Price: $75.00
Staff and volunteers should understand clients’ true reproductive health concerns. This SIP manual includes brochures, sample “Charting Your Cycle,” books on contraception, and CD on reproductive disorders.
Save $20 when you purchase this with the Focus on Fertility Set!
For more information about the Sexual Integrity™ Program,please e-mail:
For more information about the Sexual Integrity™ Program,please e-mail:
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