May Events @ Wolfe Ranch

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We have three new events/programs scheduled for the month of May:

Encore Equestrians (60+)

This program allows our most experienced horsemen and women an opportunity to interact with horses in a fun and social environment.  Activities consist of grooming, leading, and more! The cost is $40 for the 4 weeks with a maximum of 10 students per section.   Two sections are being offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, May 4 to 26 from 2-3 PM.

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Beginner Riding Lessons

This 4 week session of lessons will cover grooming, putting on tack, mounting, leading, and basic riding skills. Topics covered will be adjusted to fit the skill level of the participants. The cost is $120 for the 4 week session with a maximum of 4 students per section.  Four sections are being offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, May 4 to 26 from 4-5 PM and from 5-6 PM.

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Strengthening the Herd

This parent (or guardian)/child program uses activities with horses and Bible truth to strengthen relationships.  The cost is $120/pair (child/parent) with a max of 4 pairs per class.  Two sections are being offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, May 4 to 26, from 6-7 PM.

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The iceberg

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iceburgOne of the challenges that we all face as parents, teachers, therapists is trying to look past a child’s behavior to understand why they are doing the things they do.  We relate this to looking at an iceberg.

What you see on top of the water are all of the observable behaviors and actions that a child is displaying.  Often times we simply try to make changes based on the top of the iceberg and think that we have everything solved, like a child having rage episodes, cutting, or lying or picking on others. But the real issue is what’s going on underneath the behaviors below the surface.

What is going on underneath – below what others can see?

Things beneath the behaviors could have to do with problems at home, fear, guilt, or low self-concept, or simply lack of self-awareness or skills to process a problem.   These are some of the examples of things underneath the behaviors. Until you deal with those, the behaviors on the surface will persist or change into other problems.  The process of parenting often helps children become more integrated personalities, where children learn to know themselves better, and therefore, become more able to find success.

Do you know someone who is stuck in a way of thinking or behaving and they can’t move on?  Here are a few examples:

  • Someone who can’t stop grieving a loss for years or feels an unsatisfied need for justice
  • Someone who lives and makes decisions based in fear of what others will think or what “might” happen
  • Someone who lives in guilt and acts as though they must always make amends for their actions – they say they are sorry a lot.
  • Someone who says one thing and does the opposite – they are conflicted in their attitudes and beliefs.

 

Children have icebergs, and adults have them too!  Luckily, most adults are more able to work through the underlying issues because their brains are more mature than children.

 

Today we want to take this idea of trying to understand the underlying parts of our children’s behaviors and think about ourselves.  Healthy family members need to do this often!

As we mature, we can take the skills our parents gave us and notice things about ourselves that need to change.  You see, we can all be compared to icebergs!  There is much more that no one sees that makes us who we are; and these things need to be integrated into our personalities.  Have you ever wondered why certain things make you really happy, angry or sad or frustrated?  Have you noticed things that push your buttons and cause your emotions to rise to above normal?  Have you ever taken the time to think about why this happens and what lies underneath?  The process of self-examination is called introspection and it is vital to our personal health and growth.

Integration is next after introspection.  Integration is the process of matching our past with our present and solving personal inner conflicts.   This isn’t for “those people,” because everyone needs to do this.  Most of us do this all the time, even though we never knew what it was called.

Why is introspection important?  Because throughout life, we all have circumstances and challenges which require us to look within (introspection) and align our thoughts, behaviors, frustrations and problems (integration) so they all line up and work together.  Life events, such as a loss of a loved one, guilt over a divorce, regret for a choice, a moral failure, an unhealthy compulsion or desire, a loved one going through crisis, a shattered dream, a change in your goals, or trying to do something new, such as a new skill or job, are times that we must look within and integrate these challenges into our personhood.  We have to match up the new with the old and move forward.  Failure to do so will cause us to be “stuck,” limiting our ability to adapt to life and integrate our person or identity.

Do you know someone who cannot move through a life event like those mentioned above?  Maybe you have an issue below the surface of your iceberg, that without introspection, you didn’t realize was there?

Introspection and integration are not only important for us personally.  Times when we are not integrated are quite apparent to those around us.  They may not use these terms, but our turmoil and conflicted behaviors can cause feelings of fear, confusion and anxiety in others.

Everyone has internal conflicts, so don’t panic!  We all have thoughts that surprise or maybe even scare us from time to time.  We all can be fragile, confused or feel out of sorts when we have challenges in life.  A person whose personality is not fully integrated tends to swing wildly back and forth between two or more life approaches.    This could be exemplified by someone addicted to sex who also is a dedicated Christian.

Biblical Christianity vs. Sexual Acting Out

These conflicting views need to be integrated and the differences cleared up.  This person might either decide to let go of their Biblical values and proceed into sexual acting out, or modify their behaviors.

All of us, at times, find ourselves conflicted; and it is not as unusual as the example just given.  Here are some examples:  A parent loves their kids and has emotional explosions on their kids from time to time; an adult acts one way when they are with their parents and different when they are with their spouse or children; a person agrees in a meeting with their boss, but they disagree in the copy room; a person who never smokes unless they are drinking; or simply, a person who says one thing and does another.  These are less extreme conflicting behaviors, but they still cause others to wonder.

People who are well integrated are comfortable in their own skin and self-confident.  They are able to respect themselves and other personalities and beliefs more easily.  Integrated personalities are more able to see reality and make the correct effort to make changes.  Integrated people can appropriately disagree if needed and accept their weaknesses.  An integrated person is consistent in their actions, thoughts and attitudes most of the time.

So, what about your iceberg?  Do you know what is down there below the surface?  Do you notice inconsistent beliefs or behaviors?  This video uses an approach that links your brain and language called neuro-linguistics.

See what you think!  The idea of identifying and holding the conflicting views or behaviors closely together and bringing them together is a powerful skill and message.  If there are things below your surface that need attention, you can try to do your introspection alone.  If that doesn’t work, you can always talk with a friend, your pastor or a skilled therapist.  Your happiness could depend on it… and your family will be blessed!

In closing, introspection and integration are lifelong duties.  You never get done, but you do get better!

Please leave a comment or feel free to ask for help at info@quakerdale.org

The Quakerdale team

 

The Importance of Being Genuine

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by Ryan Keller, Administrator, Hope4Healing

The goal of Hope4Healing is to help individuals “build a better life”.  The reality is that making changes toward a better life do not come in a vacuum.  Hope4Healing has seen many blessings since its launch in August of 2014, and to date has worked on close to 450 requests for more than 200 individuals all across Iowa looking to “…have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV).

I get the joy of speaking to many different groups across the state of Iowa, sharing with them the opportunities that Hope4Healing brings; allowing all of us to work together utilizing our individual talents or gifts.  Often times after I speak, someone will come up to me and want to discuss some of the finer points of how Hope4Healing might work; and usually when I am speaking to a church about their role as a Friendship Ministry toward those individuals needing help, I get a version of this type of question.  “What type of training do you offer to help us (the individuals in the church) to work with people who are looking for help through Hope4Healing?”  I was just asked this question last Sunday after a presentation.  Normally, I would diverge into a discussion about facilitating training in areas of knowing our role within the network, how to set boundaries, etc…; but I remembered something that changed my perspective when talking to the man who presented the question this past week.  We need to be genuine!  We might feel the need to be trained, and training is certainly a good thing; but there is such a thing as being overly trained to the point that our interactions become stale and insincere.

Let me share a shortened version of a story given by Dr. Chuck Swindoll that helps to make this point. (Pillow, 2001) 1

Teddy was disinterested in school. Musty, wrinkled clothes, hair never combed, he spoke in monosyllables. Unattractive, unmotivated and distant, he was just plain hard to like.

Even though Miss Thompson said she loved all her class the same, she wasn’t being completely truthful. She always marked the errors on Teddy’s paper with flair. She should have known better. She had Teddy’s records.

1st grade: Teddy shows promise, but poor home situation.

2nd grade: Teddy could improve. Mother seriously ill.

3rd grade: Teddy is good boy, but slow learner. Mother died.

4th grade: Teddy is very slow. Father shows no interest.

Christmas came and the boys and girls in Miss Thompson’s class brought her presents. Among the presents was one from Teddy Stallard. Teddy’s gift was wrapped in brown paper with a simple message on it, “For Miss Thompson from Teddy.”

When she opened Teddy’s present, out fell a gaudy rhinestone bracelet, with half the stones missing and a bottle of cheap perfume. Miss Thompson put the bracelet on and dabbed perfume on her wrist with feigned delight.

At the end of the day, when the other kids had left, Teddy lingered behind. He slowly came over to her desk and said softly, “Miss Thompson, you smell just like my Mother, and her bracelet looks real pretty on you. I’m glad you liked my presents.”

When Teddy left, Miss Thompson got down on her knees and asked God to forgive her. The next day when the children came to school, a new teacher welcomed them. She was no longer just a teacher; she was an agent of God. She was now committed to loving her children and doing things for them that would live on after her.

She helped all the children, but especially the slow ones, and especially Teddy Stallard. By the end of the school year, Teddy showed dramatic improvement. She didn’t hear from Teddy for a long time. Then one day she received a note that read:

Dear Miss Thompson: I wanted you to be the first to know. I will be graduating second in my class. Love, Teddy Stallard.

Four years later, another note came: Dear Miss Thompson: They just told me I will be graduating first in my class. I wanted you to be the first to know. The university has not been easy, but I liked it. Love, Teddy Stallard.

And four years later: Dear Miss Thompson: As of today, I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. How about that? I wanted you to be the first to know. I am getting married next month. I want you to come and sit where Mother would sit if she were here. You are the only family I have now. Dad died last year. Love, Teddy Stallard.

She went to the wedding. She sat where Teddy’s Mother would have sat. She deserved it.

Look around. Give yourself to a Teddy Stallard. Help somebody get a Fresh Start Now.

Miss Thompson was genuine throughout the whole story.  She had the training of a teacher to help her deal with what would be called today a problem child.  Many times today, we would see a school counselor, the department of human services, or foster care get involved in the life of Teddy; and those things are all benefits.  However, what Teddy WhatTeddyneeded most was the genuine concern and care expressed by another.  When Miss Thompson took a step back and realized that she had the opportunity to be a genuine friend in the lives of her students, she was (through God’s help) able to make a difference in the life of her students.  In the life of Teddy, she helped him “…build a better life…”

It is easy for all of us to want to hesitate to act out of a fear that we are not prepared for the task we are about to undertake.  Many times what is needed is our genuineness to befriend someone else; it is no different when intentionally befriending someone through your church’s Friendship Ministry team.  Were you trained to be a friend to your current friends?  We need to practice discernment as people of God, but don’t let fear keep you from genuinely touching the life of another.


1 Pillow, L. (2001, 12 21). Fresh Start: Give yourself to a ‘Teddy’. Retrieved 02 26, 2016, from The Cabin.net: http://thecabin.net/stories/122101/rel_1221010019.shtml#.VtBinPkrLIW.

To learn more about Hope4Healing, visit our website at: Hope4HealingQuakerdale.net