Hope Grows 2023 Recap

Tuesday, April 18th marked an amazing night of fellowship, encouragement, and hope which opened up
with an exciting musical performance by The Katinas!

We are grateful that because of YOUR generosity, $265,000 of our $300,000 fundraising goal has
already been raised to advance these life-saving services! Thank you for this outpouring of compassion
and generosity that allows mental and emotional health services to be affordable and accessible to our

As Amy mentioned on Tuesday, these gifts give someone the courage to keep going, the strength to
reach for help and the hope that they are not alone and that their life matters.

The Katina’s performed a few of their upbeat, lively songs to start Hope Grows 2023. Mayor Ken Moore
welcomed our guests and Pastors Daren Whitehead and Jeff Simmons presented the 2023 Hope Award
to Carlos Whittaker, a prominent author and social media “Hope Dealer”. Carlos embodies the mission
and values of Refuge to empower, educate and support those in need.

Mayor Ken Cooper

Carlos Whittaker accepting The Hope Award

If you would like to help us reach goal of $300,000 please click below:

Ways to Practice Self-Kindness

Ways to Practice Self-Kindness

We oftentimes forget to show ourselves a little extra love and intentionally practice kindness on ourselves.

We oftentimes forget to show ourselves a little extra love and intentionally practice kindness on ourselves. Self-kindness means not giving yourself a hard time when things may not go the way you want or expected. Here are a few ways that we can practice self-kindness, especially in the midst of your busy schedule:

  • Set boundaries and limits in your external environment, which may look different for people such as reducing ties to negative people or saying no to tasks that may cause you to feel a lot of pressure or unnecessary stress.
  • Recite self-kindness mantras ritually. Some mantras may include: “I am strong,” “I am confident in my decisions,” “I love myself,” “I am worthy of love,” and “I surround myself with loving and supportive people.”
  • Ask others to tell you your strengths. So often we only look at our weaknesses and oftentimes, it is easier to see positive traits in others than it is within ourselves. So ask people around you what they think your strengths are. Compliments are extremely powerful in helping us promote self-kindness.

Disconnect yourself from technology every once in a while. Scrolling through social media platforms can move us away from practicing self-kindness very quickly, leading us to compare ourselves’ to others and distracting ourselves from being in the present moment. Set a certain amount of time each day where you can turn off your phone, laptop, tv, etc, and take that time to do something nice for yourself! Take a warm bath or read a book you have been wanting to start for a while. Self-care looks different for everyone so do what makes you feel good and rejuvenated.

Take some time in your schedule to practice self-kindness, be gentle with yourself, and give yourself some extra love and care.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or want to dig-in a little deeper on what self-care might look like for you, counseling is an excellent tool for some self-compassion. Gives us a call at 615-591-5262. We are happy to talk through your options for starting the counseling process at The Refuge Center. Our sliding scale might be a great option for you if finances are a concern. 

Blog written by Refuge Center Masters Level Counseling Intern Skye Clark.

Share this post

The Most Beautiful

The Most Beautiful

You are the most beautiful you’ve ever been. It’s time to start believing that.

You are the most beautiful you’ve ever been. It’s time to start believing that. It’s time to put all the masks away. It’s time to stop hiding behind the smile, and the false labels you have created to try to define you. It is time to stop running away. It’s time to stop trying to tame the curls and quit trying to scrub away the shame. Just be you in all your natural, God-fashioned beauty. He sees you and loves you and comes with heaps of grace and mercy.  It’s time to pick up your brokenness, even carry it around with you and maybe, just this once, be ok with not fixing it. Because sometimes we just have to live in our pain as we sort it. 

It’s time to assert yourself and find your voice. I know it feels easier to be a victim; to kowtow to the lie or believe what the narcissist said. But he cannot define you. It’s time to start living out loud and shouting, “I like it this way!” to the voices of opposition you have let drown out your speech. Because there will always be those voices but you are enthroned with passion. YOU have great ideasYou have desires and it’s vital to make them known. Don’t cower. You were not meant for cages and cobweb corners and darkness and lonely, solitary bedrooms and silence. 

It’s time to reveal your beauty because the world suffers in its absence. Let your beauty be your gift to this messy, chaotic, broken world. Even if just a smile. 

It’s time to say yes. It might be just a coffee date or an invitation to connect. But just what if it turns out to be a nice surprise? He might raise the standard of all that preceded him. That coffee date? That reply? It might lead to wonder. Wouldn’t that be a dream come true?

Trapped you may feel today but there is a song inside of you. Belt it out. Live unhindered. Go, be beauty-full because you, my lovely, are the most beautiful you’ve ever been.

Written by Refuge Center Masters Level Counseling Intern Kimberly Kooy.

Share this post

Night Blooms

Despite my many struggles, strivings and efforts, some things have failed. I have experienced some sadness and grief over those broken dreams and occasionally wonder, will my life have made a big enough difference?

Recently, I was watching a Planet Earth documentary that showed this place in a dessert that had a flower that bloomed at night in the freezing temperatures (the details escape me!).  Humans cannot go there to see the flowers bloom because it’s too cold at night, so a drone caught the gorgeous blooms on film. I was so struck by the remoteness of the location and the fact that humans can never physically witness this miraculous bloom in sub-zero temperatures.

It made me wonder, “Who are they blooming for?”

The answer immediately came to me, that they were blooming for their Creator. In our culture fame is very much tied to worth. Doing great things, making a name for oneself, and being well-known are all things that pull on us as we make decisions in life.

These little flowers made me pause and wonder, would it be enough if I only bloomed for my Creator? 

Despite my many struggles, strivings and efforts, some things have failed. I have experienced some sadness and grief over those broken dreams and occasionally wonder, will my life have made a big enough difference? In the quiet times, I know that God’s witness of my life is enough. He has been there for every victory, fear, failure or tear; and because He is my witness, it all matters. There are other types of witnesses too, my family, close friends and even my therapist.

The same is true for you. He has been there for every win and loss and will continue to share in your joy and suffering. If you feel that you lack those relationships in daily life, know that you still have a witness to your successes and deepest pains. If you want to start developing relationships in daily life but are not sure where to start, remember to start small and begin to recognize that you’re already seen.

Written by Refuge Center Masters Level Counseling Intern Tiffany Miller.

Share this post