In a world where the news and social media constantly bombard us with bad news and tragedy it seems counter-cultural to center our focus on joy. However, shifting our focus toward joy teaches us important lessons. My understanding of this began during a particularly rough season at the end of college.
Finding Joy in Emotional Support
In college, as a member of student government at King’s College, I was required to meet with two advisors on a regular basis. First, I met with Jacinda, the advisor of my house (think Harry Potter). Jacinda, a counselor, dug deep into life with me. I cried in her apartment or a random Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan weekly as she met me where I was at, challenged my thinking, and pushed me toward a greater understanding of myself. Of course, she also allowed me to confide and commiserate about boy troubles too. Jacinda never gave me answers. Never. Not one time. This irritated me to no end and I remember telling her so on many occasions. Jacinda taught me—more than any classes I could take—how to love people where they are and join them on their journey, rather than taking their journey hostage.
Finding Joy in Being Known and Meeting the Physical Needs of Others
The second individual I met with regularly was the Dean of Students, Eric. Eric taught me many valuable lessons during my time at King’s but the most important was that of purposefully seeking joy. My senior year was full of questions and a wave of uncertainty about my future. I was leading a group of women and working to craft unique and engaging community-it was difficult. Not knowing what the future held for me, while trying to inspire other women to invest in a community I was preparing to leave, was physically and emotionally draining. Eric easily saw that I was going through the motions as an individual and as a leader. He challenged me to flee from mediocrity. Each week that I entered his office—another location that I cried in frequently—I was met with the questions: Where did you seek joy this week? How can you choose joy? And finally, who are you loving well and modeling joy to in your house? That year, Eric and I memorized the following verse, James 1:2-4.
We recited this at the beginning of our meetings. Eric gently challenged me to find joy in my daily life and inspired me to create opportunities to provide joy to others through my investment in their story.
Finding Joy in the How, not the What
These people, their character, and the lessons they challenged me with many years ago are intricately woven into my personal and professional life. I wanted them to give me answers. However, what they gave me was far more valuable—the ability to find my own answers while being supported in that discovery. If Jacinda or Eric had only spoken to me of the end goal, or what I needed to be or do in 6 months, a year, or 5 years I would have missed the beautiful (and messy) opportunity to understand who I was created to be. I would have lost out on the discovery of what I needed to thrive, rather than merely survive a difficult season. Often, we want to push others through their journey or expect them to be where we are on ours. Jesus met the woman at the well where she was on her journey. Because of this, she came to faith. Pushing people to be where I want them to be is not effective in the office or at home. Alternatively, growth is encouraged when we desire to challenge ourselves and challenge often includes growing pains. How do you seek growth and joy in your life and who do you surround yourself with to encourage that?
Stock up on back-to-school clothes while taking advantage of the tax-free weekend and supporting Peace Partnership!
Peace Partnership is so excited to be teaming up with Wild Child Upscale Children’s Resale in Lee’s Summit and Liberty this weekend on August 4th-6th. Thank you to Sarah and the Wild Child team for partnering with us.
Come out and support a local business and a great cause. You will have the opportunity to sign up for special giveaways and raffles throughout the weekend, including Royals & Chiefs tickets! Click here for more info about special guest appearances at both locations.
We hope to see you there!
As summer is coming to a close, we are reflecting on the events of last month and want to say a huge thank you to Craig & Samantha Compton for hosting a Peace Partnership BBQ and to all of their friends who attended. We were honored to be introduced to each of you and look forward to working alongside you to reach more children and families in our community. We owe a big thanks to some of our Peace Partners in this month’s “Thank You Notes”:
- Thank you, Con Carpet, for your generosity. Your gift makes a difference for so many.
- Thank you, Gloria Helmer, for supporting our organization. We appreciate your heart for others.
- Thank you, Brad & Mandy Tucker, for your generous support! You have been an encouragement in so many ways.
- Thank you, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, for your eagerness in partnering with us! We are blessed to know you.
- Thank you, Jason & Val Schram, for your continued partnership and passion to help others.
- Thank you, Stephen & Natalia Ray, for continuing to cheer us on! Your gift is so appreciated.
- Thank you, Scott & Linda Burgess, for your belief in our mission! It is our pleasure partnering with you to see families heal.
- Thank you, Jon & Kayla Dold, for your partnership! We value your support!
- Thank you, Donnie & Kristy LeCoque, for blessing us with your gift! We are so grateful.
- Thank you, Vox Dei Community, for your ongoing support! We look forward to working together for a healthy community.
A special thanks to our golf tournament sponsors:
- Kansas City Mavericks
- Loretto Foundation
- Zarda Bar-B-Q and Terry Hyer & Dave Schwirtz
- AvidAir International
- Wise Wealth
Don’t forget to register here for our Golf Classic. You definitely don’t want to miss out!
If you are interested in becoming a Peace Partner don’t miss the chance to get involved. Please click on the link below. To host an event or take part in any of our upcoming activities, contact our Director of Development, Amy Henderson at 816-399-0530 or: firstname.lastname@example.org.