Special Thanks to:

Special Thanks: Betty Holder. Betty continues to amaze us with her compassion and her drive. She is a master at procuring donations from companies and delivering them to the non-profits who need them the most. She is currently working on setting up resources for our Random People who Care service project. Thank you!

Friday, May 22, 2015


Sometimes I just have to step back.

I need to step back from the reports and the grants and the collection calls and the e-mails and the repairs and the requests.  I need to step back from the big feelings and the big drama that teenagers carry with them.  I need to step back from the Joel's Place 10 year plan.  I need to step back from all of the noise and the chaos and the frenzy that is the youth center.  It is easy to simply jump from one hat to another, one crisis to another, putting out fires (both figurative and literal) along the way while the hours and days and years fly by.

Every once in a while I need to step back and just be still.  No browsing the web.  No answering calls & texts.  I simply need some time and space to remember who I am and why I am here.

When I stop, I find that my mind keeps racing and problems and appointments and to do lists continue to roar through my brain.  It takes a little while to calm that raging river down into a gentle stream.  When I do...when I am still...I find a few things that I forgot that I needed.
  • My primary goal is to serve my God and my family.  If my job is getting in the way of either of those, it is time to reconsider my vocation.
  • I really enjoy being Executive Director of Joel's Place and I am becoming pretty good at it.  Out of every position that I have held, this one fits me the most.  That being said...
  • This is not a task that can be completed by myself.  As many hats as I wear over the course of a week, Joel's Place is demonstrably healthier and happier when I am working with the staff and the Board and volunteers to meet all the needs that arise.
  • My two favorite parts of this job are writing these blogs and staff development.
  • The part of this job that I dislike the most is policing bad behavior by the kids.
  • Speaking of the kids.  They love this place.  It really feels like a home to many of them. I like that a lot.
  • We have done some really good work over the past three years.  It is a source of pride to say that I work at Joel's Place.
These thoughts are encouraging and energizing.  Joel's Place is not perfect, but we are making a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of young people every year.  We change lives every single day.  That is a good reason to get out of bed and come to the cacophony that is this warehouse.  Joel's Place is not quiet often...my house is not quiet often.  But when I find those silent moments and remember not to fill them with fluff, I am in awe of the life that I have been given and eager to see what comes next.

May you find moments of silent encouragement some time this week.