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Do We Really Care About Women -- originally posted on August 12, 2019

Do We Really Care About Women -- originally posted on August 12, 2019

This blog was originally posted on August 12, 2019 on another blog platform.

Often, centers and clinics such as ours get accused of caring only for the pre-born child and not caring for the woman. Let me just say here and now that this is NOT TRUE. We care very much about the woman who comes to us. That is why we do everything we can to get to know her, to find out what is happening in her life…to show her love, compassion, grace. We DO care, and each person who walks through our doors knows that immediately. Let me share how we do that by relating three real life stories that have walked through our door. Of course, I never use the real name of any individual.

“Precious” comes into our clinic. She has called looking for an abortion. We do tell her that we do not perform or refer for abortion, but we would love to talk with her and give her all the information she is going to need to make an INFORMED decision. “Precious” comes in and it becomes very apparent that she does NOT want to have an abortion … but the people with her are trying to coerce her into making a decision to end the life of her child. So, how did we talk with “Precious?” We gave her the truth, in love. We explained to her through pictures and videos the development of a baby. We informed her of the choices she has before her: 1. To choose life and parent her child; 2. To choose life and make a parenting plan of adoption; or 3. To choose abortion. We do all we can to guide her toward the option of “choosing life.” As we explain each of these options, we let her know she is not alone … we are here to help her if she chooses to parent her child through all of the FREE education and resources we offer here at Life Options Clinic. We can also help her in making a parenting plan of adoption by referring her to adoption agencies that we partner with. We then EDUCATE her on the different types of abortions … what is involved, what the risks are, what the long-term effects can be. Do we hope and pray that she will choose option 1 or 2. You bet we do. But, we also know the choice IS hers. So, we pray. And, we love. And, we are present for her. Let me tell you that we didn’t want to let “Precious” leave with these people. Now, there’s no way we can keep someone from leaving, but as we saw their treatment of her and read her statement about how she “felt safe” with us, we truly did not want to let her go. But, we had to. However, she knew we cared. She knew we were here for her anytime she needed us. And, we did follow up. “Precious” came back in with people who DID care for her and wanted to help her parent her child. She had an ultrasound. She saw her baby … not a blob of tissue, but a living, moving, growing human being. “Precious” said she is going to choose life and come to our Clinic to take our pre-natal, parenting, and life-skill classes. We pray she will. She is still abortion-vulnerable because of the other negative influences in her life, BUT, she knows we care about her and her baby. She knows we are a safe place.

And then there is “Beloved.” “Beloved” came in very abortion-determined. We spoke the same truth to her as we spoke to “Precious.” She had an ultrasound, and her baby did somersaults and moved all over the place. At one time, it even looked like the baby was waving. But, at the end of our time with her, “Beloved” was still unsure as to what her decision would be. Again, did we want to see her walk out? NO, we did not. But, we had to let her go, knowing we had spoken truth to her…knowing we had loved her and let her know that she would not be alone on this journey. And, she knows that we are here for her … We are here for her to help her if she does choose abortion. She will still need us. Now, we just pray.

And then, there is “Hope.” “Hope” is not abortion-minded; she’s just scared. She’s not sure how she can walk through this journey. She doesn’t have a lot of help and support. She does not want to end the life of her baby. She just needs help. And when she finds out all that we offer here at Life Options Clinic … she knows she can face this journey. We don’t sugar-coat it. It won’t be easy. She may have to delay some of her dreams and goals. But the key word is, DELAY, not cancel. So, “Hope” comes to our classes … pre-natal, parenting, child-safety, relationships, life-skills, etc. And, “Hope” earns “Baby Bucks” as she comes to the classes. This is “monopoly-type” money that “Hope” can use in our “Baby Boutique” to purchase diapers, clothes, a new bed, a new car seat, and many other items she is going to need on her parenting journey. We give her the tools she is going to need on this journey. We are a support system, a safe place, a refuge for “Hope” and her pre-born child. And, she knows that we care about HER. We don’t give “Hope” a hand-out; we give her a “hand-up.” We empower and enable her to parent. Our staff and volunteers become “Hope’s” other family. We are the new aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends she knows she can count on to love her and encourage her.

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My Journey to Investing in Life -- originally posted on July 29, 2019

My Journey to Investing in Life -- originally posted on July 29, 2019

This blog was originally posted on July 29, 2019 on another blog platform.

My journey to investing in life began when a dear friend of mine got pregnant. We were young, and honestly, I didn’t really have much knowledge about what to do. As a matter of fact, if I’m going to be perfectly honest … I was a pretty selfish young adult. When she came to me, one of her best friends, and told me she was going to get an abortion, I didn’t try to stop her, or talk to her, or even sympathize with her. It was pretty much just a “shrug of the shoulders” kind of response. However, over the years as I watched this beautiful young lady withdraw more and more and turn to drugs and alcohol, I felt helpless. How could I help? I really wasn’t even there for her when she needed me. And, neither were Pregnancy Resource Centers. She really had nowhere else to turn, so she turned to the abortion clinic. The lie told to her was that an abortion would “take care of her problem.” No one ever told her the lasting effects emotionally, spiritually, and physically … and there were effects. I saw them. And I could do nothing. I did nothing. Since that time Pregnancy Resource Centers have become a beacon of hope, truth, and life to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. We offer the truth to those who choose to walk through our doors. We do share all their options … focusing on the options of parenting and adoption. We give them hope through the programs and resources we offer to help them on their journey. We offer abundant life through the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. And, although we will never perform or refer for abortion, we do offer them education about the procedures of abortion … about the long-term effects so many women suffer from after having an abortion … We want them to know that abortion is NOT their only option. We can’t make that choice for them, but we can educate them and give them the information they need as they alone make their choice. And then, we can be there for them … no matter what choice they make … we love them, support them, encourage them, and help them through their life choices. So, when the opportunity to become the Executive Director of Life Options Clinic (formerly Pregnancy Resource Center) came up, you better believe I knew this was my moment … my moment to help women, my moment to say, “never again” will I have an attitude of a “shrugged shoulder.”

We live in a dark time. A time when life is no longer valued. At Life Options Clinic we value ALL life. We believe life begins at conception and should only end when our Creator deems it time. We do understand the challenges women and families face. We meet those challenges with love and grace. We know that no challenge is insurmountable. We walk through those challenges with our families.

Learn more about what we do by visiting our website: http://www.lifeoptionsclinic.org. Or, come visit us at 5775 Berryhill Road, Milton, FL, and we’ll show you more about how we walk through those challenges. Over the weeks to come, I’ll be sharing more specific ways we do just that. Join me.

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What is the Value of Life? -- This blog was originally posted on August 5, 2019

What is the Value of Life? -- This blog was originally posted on August 5, 2019

This was originally posted on another blog platform on August 5, 2019

What is the value of life?

It depends on where you get the definition of value. The world will tell us it is in our external circumstances … where I was born, what my socio-economic status is, what I do for a living, etc. If you look at value in that sense, your value can appreciate or depreciate, depending on your circumstances. However, our circumstances should not define the value of life. I look to the God of the Bible, the God of creation to define my value. In Romans 3:10-12, Paul writes: “as it is written: ‘none is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'” So, no matter who I am or what I do, I cannot “build up” my value. No, my life’s value is found in this, Romans 5:6-8 “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ didn’t die for me because I had inherent value. He died for me because I could in no way ever live a life of true value. When I came to the realization that I was a sinner and I could do no good thing, no thing of real value, to be accepted by God, that was my first step to understanding where my life’s value came from. Jesus, came to lift me up out of trying to find value according to the world.

Ephesians 1 has some wonderful words, also written by Paul, which help me to understand that I find my true value IN CHRIST. Here are just a few of the things I can learn about my value IN CHRIST:

  • I am not rejected; I am chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am not an orphan; I am adopted (Ephesians 1:5)
  • I am not held captive by my past; I am redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
  • I no longer say that I do not belong; I am God’s own possession (Ephesians 1:14)

You might ask what all this has to do with Life Options Clinic. EVERYTHING!!!! The reason so many people do not value the life of the pre-born is that they do not see that precious baby as a living human being, created by God, created FOR God. They often look at the CIRCUMSTANCES of conception … unplanned …. I’m too young, I’m still in school, I have no support, I do not have the finances necessary to raise a child, I do not have the knowledge of how to raise a child. They look at the CIRCUMSTANCES. We want to help them look beyond the circumstances to the value of every human life. We believe that life begins at conception. Here are some beautiful facts about life in the womb: (These facts are from the CareNet Before You Decide publication.)

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What Our Services Provide Our Families

What Our Services Provide Our Families

Here's where we show our families how much we care ... by providing them with education to help them on their parenting journey.  When a woman comes in who is pregnant, the first thing we are going to do is make sure she has established with a OB/GYN.  We have a full list of doctors in our area who she can call.  They are listed according to the hospital they are associated with.  We want her to have a healthy pregnancy, so establishing with a physician is of utmost importance.  However, we are also going to give her prenatal education to help her with a healthy pregnancy.  Here are just some of the things we cover: 

  • Prenatal Care
  • Eating for Two
  • Emotions of Pregnancy
  • What is Safe in Pregnancy
  • What to Avoid in Pregnancy
  • Bonding With Your Unborn Baby
  • Your First Trimester
  • Your Second Trimester
  • Your Third Trimester
  • Getting Ready -- Nesting

Did you know that many of our women come in and they are not pregnant?  They, along with many men, are just seeking help on their parenting journey.  And, we have a lot of education for parents.  Why are parenting classes important?

They prepare you.  Our classes give vital information on caring for a new baby ... they learn about the physical development, their needs at the different stages of life.  We even teach them how to change a diaper!  The wonderful thing about taking classes at Life Options Clinic is that they get to learn with other people who are on the same journey.  We provide them with the tools they need to parent with confidence by letting them ask questions and get advice from seasoned parents, and even medical professionals who come in from time to time to teach classes.  We know they can read a lot of books out there on parenting ... and we do recommend some to them ... but there is nothing like "hands-on," "face-to-face" experience to learn and grow as a parent.

We provide moms and dads a great place to make new friends.  They also know we are a safe place where they can share their struggles, triumphs, concerns, and fears.  We're here to help.  Here are just a few of the parenting classes we offer to our moms and dads ... but ... did you know we also offer these classes to grandmothers, aunts, foster parents, any family member who is a main caregiver to the child(ren).  

  • Bonding
  • Toddler Safety
  • Toddler Accidents
  • Toddler Illness
  • Toddler Nutrition
  • How to Deal With Whining
  • How to Deal With Siblings

And we offer classes all the way through the teenage years.  Please help us spread the word about all our services here a Life Options Clinic.  And please, let people know that ANYONE can come take our classes ... all you have to do is want to learn more about how to parent.

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