Wednesday, March 14, 2012


"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option."


I love this quote.  There are so many applications where it can be used.  In a marriage, a relationship, offices, organizations and more.  This morning it applies to what I do from 4:30 am to whenever I fall asleep at the computer at night.  I direct a non profit.  It is exhausting, it is debilitating, it is exhilarating, it is hostile, it is full time work and it is the right thing to do for all the right reasons.  There are people whose lives are ultimately, and sometimes dramatically, changed because we exist!  Because we care!  Because we commit to something larger than ourselves and work to improve the world and show that just sometimes God really is inside our hearts, if we only listen closely and work to let our light shine.

I recently read this somewhere, and apologize for not crediting, but for to me it is unknown. "If men would consider not so much wherein they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feelings in the world."

Being Executive Director of a non profit organization, Penny's From Heaven Foundation, is not a new journey to me.  I have been director of multiple non profits in my past. People come and go within the foundation, personalities conflict, more important things get in the way of obligations to the organization, and then sometimes chaos reigns. And, not surprising, the Executive Director  most times gets the brunt of the burden.  But it is the obligation of the director to approach his/her job as just that...a job.  A job that must be done with all the professionalism and talent and experience at hand.  Non profits have a mission and a purpose that must be strictly adhered to.  Decisions that are made with the backing of the board of directors are made for the good of the foundation, for the good of those they serve.  It must be run with great respect for the goals and direction required and it must be run with great patience and integrity.

But here's the deal ~ it isn't a walk in the park.  It isn't easy.  It isn't a popularity contest and it often times is horrific in its pain and accusations and back stabbing and words cast behind your back.  But for me even though this is not always fun, and 15 hours at the computer some days is certainly not fun, and even though there are many things I would much rather be doing...visiting the seashore, sitting in the mountains of my home state of Colorado, waiting for the pink, purple and yellow wildflowers of spring to peak through the snow, I am doing what I am doing because it is my mission and my purpose, and it is my calling.

I know no other way to do anything than to give it my best effort.  Sometimes the well dries up and you come to a grinding halt. And sometimes you set aside your life to an extent that simply is not healthy. You lose the passion, the patience and the ability to take another step.  Then sometimes someone steps in and holds your hand and holds you up, when others let you down and leave you alone in the dark.

I need a grinding halt.  I need time to once again become creative and write, and visit the warriors with my dogs, that I so desperately fight for,  and I need time to clean my closet.  But perhaps a short stopover of one or two hours or a couple of days will allow me to once again find that what I am doing with this foundation is ultimately worth the pain, the aggravation, the grief, the heartache and unending hours of work.

For it is the faces of those we serve that haunt me, if I give up.  If I allow others to deplete me and break me because I or the organization is only an option to them, I find this is not an answer.  It is what I do, what I give back. 

So exhausted this morning, I remember the words of a warrior who writes me two times a day from Georgia...'I don't know what I would do without you Mom."   I only know I don't know what I would do without him and all the others like him.  Strangely we need each other and what others think or feel about me is of no consequence.

I ask today, that you let your light shine, despite exhaustion.  Ultimately this is the greatest gift you can give to others and to yourself.  Work hard, give all you have, and you will find life.  Just remember every once in a while to pause and muse on all that you have in you to give to others...others who need you far more than you will ever realize.  It is the stuff life is made is the stuff love is consumed is the stuff that makes us real. 

- Joseph Addison

Wow is this hitting home this morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment