Spring Break Is Here – Where Will It Leave You?
Spring Break - Possibly Pregnant?

Wiping away winter blues
It’s that time of year again. The sun is beginning to warm up the city, the birds and colors of green are coming in around us, and the students cooped up with the stress of midterms begin to have dreams of beaches, poolside views and parties with friends. 

Spring break is here – can we all breathe a sigh of relief for that? Who besides me is totally done with winter and with being cooped up inside a classroom on some of these gorgeous days? Who else is ready for Padre Island and Daytona Beach with your girls? Group selfie for the ‘gram! 

But let’s be honest with ourselves here. Of the literal thousands of students who frequent popular spring break locations, a lot of them come home with a lot more than they bargained for. The massive numbers of people, party atmosphere, and constant flow of alcohol make this the perfect time to pick up an STD, become a victim of sexual assault, or be faced with an unplanned pregnancy. 

The facts
In a recent poll from Family First LLC, three out of five women on spring break knew a friend who was having unprotected sex.  57% said that sexual activity was seen as a way to fit in and 74% said they saw drinking as an excuse for outrageous behavior. 59% knew of someone who had been sexually active with more than one partner, and sadly 12% reported they themselves regretted sexual activity on spring break or felt forced or coerced into having sex.  

Spring break tips
There are several strategies you can implement this spring break to help ensure a fun and relaxing time for both you and your girls. A good rule of thumb is to make important decisions while sober and before you are in pressured situations. How much are you going to drink tonight? Who are you going to take with you and how will you look out for each other? Deciding these things ahead of time can make it easier to make decisions that you are going to be comfortable with later on. 

Travel with a group and watch out for each other! Make sure if you go to a party, you are with girls who you know have your back no matter what. Help each other watch out for the signs of date rape drugs, predatory behavior, or anything that you feel is “off”. Make sure everyone is accounted for when you leave the party, and don’t be afraid to leave early if something is making you uncomfortable!

And you’ve heard it a million times, but drink responsibly. Keep an eye on your drink, pace yourself, eat beforehand, and remember that you have nothing to prove to anyone. 

Always remember that you can call us here at Advice and Aid if your spring break didn’t go quite as planned. If you’re in need of STD testing, pregnancy testing/counseling, or even just someone to talk to, call our 24 hour hotline at 913-962-0200.


The Strong Woman and the Power of NO
Strong Woman Power of No-Cropped

Social media, the entertainment industry, and even friends can lead you to believe that sex in short-term relationships are the right of a liberated female population.

Here at Advice and Aid, we are all about empowering women. We are even run by some very strong and empowered women. We are also all for speaking honesty into your life and telling you the truth about where short-term sexual relationships can leave you.

The truth is, sex without a long-term commitment (like marriage) will always leave you vulnerable. Vulnerable to STI’s, vulnerable to an unplanned pregnancy, but also vulnerable to lowered self-value.

No matter how much our culture normalizes sex, it will always be an act of intimacy. Even in casual relationships, it forces you to open yourself up to the other person and surrender yourself to them. While many women enjoy the short-term pleasures of sex, this intimacy can leave you feeling lonely when it is over and your partner doesn’t stick around.

Sex won’t make your date stay with you. Sex is not an act that means he loves you. It can only be an act of affection after the love (and commitment that demonstrates true love) has already been formed.

You have the power to say no to your date’s sexual advances.
You have the power to choose to love yourself and value yourself.
You do not need a man to tell you your value or worth.
You were made unique and special, no one will ever be the same as you.

And until a man not only tells you he believes these things about you, but commits to you with more then just words, he doesn’t deserve to be with you in an intimate way.

The harsh truth is, if your date decides he doesn’t want to stick around because you won’t have sex with him, he surely won’t be sticking around when you go through an STI diagnosis or an unplanned pregnancy.

Value yourself for the special women you are.
Wait for the right partner who will see your worth. Sex within in a committed long-term relationship has the power to make you feel loved and completed, instead of empty and abandoned.

Choose now to pursue this kind of soul-fulfilling path.

Look, we totally get it. The pressures you feel today are unreal. Sex is everywhere we look, and saying “NO” of any kind isn’t exactly valued. But we see far more value in you than just your sexuality.

Sometimes, strong women lean on other strong women to help them stay strong. And that’s where we come in. Even if you are wrestling with this issue and just need to talk it through with someone, we are here.

Let our strong women help you, Strong Woman! We are on your side and fighting for you!

Riding Out The Storms . . . The Emotional Kind
Riding Out The Storms

The news these days is absolutely full of stories of storms. They are even named . . . Harvey, Irma, Jose. The damage, destruction and disruption they bring are devastating to the people in their path. Our hearts break for those who have lost so much. We give what help we can, but otherwise sit back, feeling somewhat helpless.

Physical storms of this magnitude are somewhat rare. But emotional storms brought on by circumstances and choices can invade our lives at any moment. And while their destruction isn’t near as visible on the outside, they can be absolutely overwhelming on the inside.

Keep reading as one of our long-time friends here shares the story of a physical storm she recently went through – and the similarities that storm had with many other, internal storms. Stay with it until the end – there is hope!

The dog kept pacing back and forth. I could hear the wind howling though all the doors were shut. The reflection of lightning flashed brightly on the window blinds. Then, all of a sudden, I began to hear a tap-tap-tap. The sound grew louder and louder and I realized it was hail. The weather man on tv was talking about other areas in the city that were under a tornado warning.

The entire day had been gloomy, windy and unseasonably warm. I understand that often those are just the conditions to watch out for. And then of course, the storm eventually hit.
Physical storms can be very scary. They manifest themselves in heavy rains, wind, hail, thunder, and lighting. While we are in these storms, they can easily intimidate us, making us feel like we have lost control.

Sound familiar? Perhaps you are facing a similar storm in your own life. Not a physical storm that is characterized by wind, rain and thunder, but something that can feel even more threatening: emotional storms brought on by life.

Circumstances come our way that seem to shake us like we have never been shaken before. People say things that ring in our ears like loud thunder. Even well-meaning people in our lives can sometimes push and pull us in directions that we aren’t sure we want to go. Regret and fear can pound through our thoughts with the strength of a mighty storm, drowning out all other thoughts. The life road ahead can get completely shrouded in clouds and uncertainty, leaving us unsteady on our feet; unsure of which direction to go.

But yet . . .

The physical storm that blew through the other night? When it had passed, and the thunder had subsided, the sun came out and the sky looked like someone wiped everything clean. The storm damage was still there, but a new day came, bright and sunny.

The same is true with life. We don’t stay in the storms. Sometimes, they seem like they will never end. But they always do. The calm returns, the sky turns blue, and the sun comes out.

To those who are in the storm right now, hang on, my friend. It won’t last forever. Don’t let yourself think that you will always be in the storm. Don’t make decisions during the storm that you would never make in the sunshine.

Because invariably . . . always . . . the sun will shine in your life again someday.

Do you find yourself in a storm right now – one that seems it will never end? Could you use a listening ear, some sound advice, and a friend who can help bring some calm to your storm?

That’s why we are here. Remember, making life-changing decisions in the middle of a storm is seldom a good idea. Talk to us. You just may start to see the sun peeking out from the clouds!

A Lasting Friendship – Through Unplanned Pregnancy News & After
Lasting Friends - Through Unplanned Pregnancy

An unplanned pregnancy. The news is enough to cause anyone, in any situation, to be thrown off balance. But  no matter the news – no matter the decision – what is important is that you aren’t alone during this time. Friends play a huge part in how we can deal with the surprises of life.

Do you have that kind of friend?

(The following was written by a long-time supporter and staff member of Advice & Aid)

Friends are one of the most important things in our lives. There are different levels of friendship and even certain seasons of life that seem to move us towards a particular type of friend. I remember confiding in a friend when I started thinking I wanted to marry my now-husband. At another time, it was a different set of friends who were there when I was getting ready to have my first child. It was that set of friends who blessed me with a baby shower as I got ready for this new little person.

As I have gotten older, new friendships continue to emerge to the point that at times, they become family. They are the first call you make when you receive difficult news. They are the shoulder you lean on when you get laid off from a job. Those “friends-become-family” are the ones you call when your child is struggling and you need parenting advice or even just sanity words.

Friends are there to laugh with you, to listen to you, to cry with you,
and to do life with you

no matter what.

Sometimes, those special friends aren’t simply a person, but a place made up of special people. One of those places that has become a friend to women in our community is right here: Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers. They are there for families facing an unplanned pregnancy. They are there when a woman gets that positive line on a pregnancy test and feels like her life has just ended. They are there when she comes in to the center wanting another pregnancy test to double check the test really does show a positive result. Advice & Aid is there to listen as she wrestles with what choice to make about this unexpected news that she has yet to share with anyone else.

Like a friend, Advice & Aid doesn’t expect anything back from this friend. If she decides she wants to continue with the pregnancy, they are there along every step of the way to encourage during that journey. If she chooses to abort, they are there to love on her and wipe away any tears she may have after she goes through that decision. And if that baby comes and she needs help with the things necessary to take care of a newborn, they are there too, showering her with practical help so she can succeed in this new role.

Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers is much more than a place . . . it really is a friend; a long-lasting friend in our community. For the past 30+ years, Advice & Aid has been there helping women and men during a season of life that could be considered a very rough time. They do it every day, without judgment and with lots of love.

Just like a close friend.

Additional articles on how Advice & Aid can help during an unplanned pregnancy:
You Are Not Alone
When Pregnancy Wasn’t Part of Your Story
Where Do You Go For Answers When You Are Pregnant?

If you, or someone you know, is in a situation where an unplanned pregnancy is throwing them a curve-ball in life, then perhaps a visit with a good friend is exactly what is needed.

Simply make an appointment online, and when you come, you will meet with your very own Client Advocate – a friend who will walk with you, cry with you, laugh with you, and be there to answer any question you have. For the long haul!

There is true and lasting friendship here. We’ll be waiting!

Shacking. Small Word . . . Big Consequences
Shacking Up

Shacking. What an innocent-sounding term for something that can turn out to be anything but innocent.

If you aren’t familiar with the term “shacking,” the best way to describe it would be when two people “hook up” for a night, but one slips out, unnoticed, early the next morning. We see it portrayed in movies all the time, usually in a college atmosphere. The characters shack up for a night while drunk, and then don’t remember what happened by the next morning. Often, it’s supposed to be funny. Sounds pretty harmless, right? But what if there are long-term consequences that come from this? Suddenly, it’s not so funny OR harmless.

Obviously, pregnancy and STDs are the first of the consequences that come to mind. And while these are very real possibilities that should never be taken lightly, there is something else that needs to be considered. There is a very real – very serious – emotional aspect to shacking that someone needs to be talking about.

The honest fact is, bouncing from person to person for just a few minutes
of pleasure will eventually leave you feeling empty and meaningless.

Of course, we’re told today that women can do anything they want with their bodies. And they are right . . . we can. But just because we CAN do it doesn’t mean that it is good or that we SHOULD do it.

The point of this is not to sound judgmental, but rather to be a motivation for you. We are here to motivate you to love. No, not finding someone else to love. But rather, learning to love yourself.

Loving yourself means that you see yourself for the amazing, incredible person that God created. Having love – and respect – for yourself is something that no one else has power over. It is yours.

One college student summed up her transformation – and advice – this way:

After hitting rock bottom my freshman year of college from being involved with the partying lifestyle, I was absolutely disgusted with the person I became.

After transferring to (a different college), I decided to change my lifestyle and really fall in love with the beautiful life God had before me. Channel your energy toward your goals, education and people who want to build you up and I can guarantee you will feel so much better.

Travel the world, audition for a role in the play, join an organization or set a new goal to become the best version of you possible. Then when you are genuinely happy with who you are, someone special will come along. When you find another soul who is equally as goofy, spontaneous and challenges you to be a better version of yourself, then that is when you have got it right.

Allowing the right person to enter your own weird little world is one of the most breathtaking things anyone can have.

So girls, you want to truly be in control of your body? Realize that your body is a temple and should be treated with care and respect.

Suddenly, “shacking” doesn’t seem so glamorous after all!

Sometimes, making that decision to respect your body can be a difficult one; especially if you are making a lifestyle change. What you need is a friend to listen to your heart and help you figure out the steps you need to take to change. We can be that friend.

No judgment.
No agenda.
Just compassion and honesty.

Election – When You Need to Choose More Than A President

Every four years in the United States, we have the opportunity through our election process to exercise our right to vote. It’s a privilege that we sometimes take for granted. And while it is, indeed, a great privilege, it also comes with great responsibilities. We must educate ourselves about all the candidates, the issues, the potential long term effects of those that may end up in office, both for us and our future family.  It is so important that our vote is based on truth, on facts, and not on promises that may or may not be kept. Truly, the quality of our lives and our futures may depend on it.

At first glance, it may seem that the election process has nothing in common with unplanned pregnancy, although it certainly can have great impact on it. The presidential elections come around every four years, and we know exactly when to expect them. An unplanned pregnancy, on the other hand, often shows up when we are least thinking about it.

However, like voting, the decision we make in regards to a pregnancy is something that must be carefully considered. With a pregnancy – planned or unplanned – there are multiple options from which to choose.  Each option can have a great affect on us, our family, and our future family in multiple ways. Deciding which option to choose is not easy. Our decision must be based on truth, on facts, and not on promises that might not ever be fulfilled.

Needing to make a choice – other than the election – right now? Make your first decision the one to check out Advice & Aid. Here you’ll find no rhetoric, no tricks. No promises that can’t be fulfilled. This is simply a place you can trust to receive the help you need. If we had a party platform, it would be this . . . Here for you. Here for your good.

Book An Appointment Now Button - Home Page

Stories of women who found hope and help at Advice & Aid:
Molly’s Story
Bethany’s Story

What Do The Olympics Have To Do With You?
Learning from the Olympics

Once every four years, America sits united and glued to our television or device, totally enthralled with every jump, race, routine and event of the Summer Olympics. We get to know the athletes as if they were our personal friends. We cheer them on, gasping at every stumble and tearing up every time our national anthem is played at the medal ceremony. For two weeks, we allow this guilty pleasure to consume us and unite us in a spirit of patriotism.

For the athletes, their memories, excitement and legacy is long-term. These two weeks are the culmination of a lifetime of dreaming, hard work and intense training. They have endured more than the average American can imagine – rigorous competition, extreme sacrifice and even injury at times. All in the hopes that they would someday stand on the podium, draped in an American flag, medal dangling from their neck, listening to our national anthem being played.

Settle for LessLike Olympic athletes, most of us have a dream that we are working towards. It may not be on the world-wide stage like theirs, but it is our dream and we are working to fulfill it. However, sometimes, “life” has a way of getting in the way of our dreams. Sometimes, something unexpected and unplanned shows up, and interferes with the pursuit of our dreams. We may even make choices that we normally wouldn’t have considered making, all because our life was turning out different than we had planned.

Every Olympian that we have watched these past two weeks has had some kind of obstacle thrown into their path. If they allowed themselves to take their eyes off of the prize of competing in the Olympics, none of them would be in Rio today. Some of these athletes had interrupted dreams because of their own poor choosing (just ask Michael Phelps about that). But rather than giving in, giving up, or continuing to make wrong choices, they have persevered and stayed on course to fulfilling their dream.

So maybe your dream is not quite as grand as setting a world record or gaining national attention. But your dream is just as important as those of anyone else. Don’t allow unexpected events in your life to deter you from pursuing your dream with all the passion you have. Don’t allow hard things to stand in your way. Your very own “gold medal” is waiting!

Have you have an unexpected speed bump in your life that seems to jeopardize your goals and dreams? Talk to someone who can help you make the choices that align with your values, and help get you back on track.

It’s as easy as a phone call or a click of the button to schedule an appointment!

Appointment Button