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Leading With Love February 3, 2009

Posted by amberpeace in 1.
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I work in a level II group home for girls. The reasons the girls come are many, but in this conversation, not important. What is not varied is their needs – discipline, structure, and love. My coworkers have the first one down. Sometimes they have the second, too. What I rarely see is the last one.

When you have a family that has no structure, has no discipline, has never taught you what equals good and what equals bad, then you have no foundation to fall back on. My goal going into work is to do the job understanding that love is the foundation of all the choices I make towards the girls. Why do I have them do their chores. Why do I refuse to bend the rules? I think that as I’ve settled into my positions, the girls have to come realise I’m the one who won’t bend – but it’s for no one. There’s not a special or a favorite who gets around me. They also know they can ask me why a rule is in place, and I won’t say “because.” If I don’t know why, I tell them. If I think I know why, I guess and tell them I’m guessing. They know I don’t take disrespect to anyone. When they tell me the only disrespect those who disrespect them, I ask them, “Is that what I do? I hold you to the same standard I hold myself.”

So, I become irritated when staff give the girls marks because the staff is having a bad day, when it seems the grading is based off emotion. I am irritated when they scream or tell the girls a rule exists when it’s not in the handbook. I once pointed out to a staff that they had just told a girl something that wasn’t in their handbook, and so she wouldn’t have know. The staff replied to me that it doesn’t matter, not all the rules are in there. So where is the structure and stability we’re suppose to be providing them?

So I have this job, and it’s basically to show the Gospel, day after day after day.



1. TroyJMorris - February 3, 2009

Wow. You have a great point. If the foundation you rely upon to give you stability keeps moving, wtf does that illustrate?

You’re living on a fault line.

2. Ned - February 12, 2009

Thanks for your comments, hope you are well! I am off to set the alarm clock…

3. Courtney - March 4, 2009

Amber, this is amazing insight. You are quite possibly the only Jesus and the only love that these girls will see. What you are doing takes a lot of strength, determination, and faith. Keep up the good work!

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