It Is What You Make It…

Frustration is a part of life. If your a House Parent- it’s a major part of life. There are many many things about our choice of lifestyle that brings us angst. Bills, kids, behaviors, Social Workers, dysfunctional members of the community, scheduling conflicts and meetings are just a few of the things that makes me want scream everyday.

Lately I’ve been in discussion with a few people about being frustrated over several aspects of this ministry. Like everything else, being a HP has it’s ups and downs and it usually happens minute to minute. We “Surf” the emotional roller coaster of a Bi-Polar environment. Calm and laid back one minute, chaos and drama the next.

It’s really no different in any other job or ministry. I remember sitting in the cab of a truck somewhere in Nebraska praying that God would deliver me from being a Long Haul trucker. I also had that same conversation with God a few years earlier sitting on a beach in Hawaii praying he would deliver me from a tiny, sunny island in the South Pacific (I know- I’m an idiot).

Bottom line- It is what you make it. The place your at now may be your “Hawaii” your asking to be delivered from. Maybe it’s time to move on or maybe you just need a breather. No matter what you do in this life, we all get to a point where we ask ourselves if this is really what we should be doing.

God calls us all to different areas. Some find their niche in a steel mill in Pennsylvania, some it’s eating sand and blowing stuff up in the Mid-East, for others it’s cleaning pee off the bathroom floor and taking care of kids that have a love-hate relationship (at best) with you. At some point if your following Gods will, peace can be found. Maybe not consistently, but there will be a sense of peace at times.

As much as I absolutely love what I do, there are still days that I would LOVE to slap a staff member that I think is out of their mind. I sometimes have to walk outside or get a cup of coffee at the gas station just to keep from saying or doing something to a kid that is trying to get me riled up. I probably make others feel the same at times. We are all only human after all. The best we can hope for is to learn to control our responses better and to embrace the concept of forgiveness.

It is what you make it. But your only going to make it if you reach out and connect to others that will help build you up and empower you to do what you’ve been called to do, serve others. -Launch


I got a very surprising phone call from one of the kids I use to work with. It’s hard to believe the 16 year old kid that use to hide his cigarettes in the sock drawer is now a nineteen year old Corporal in the Army. I am still in shock of how much he has changed since he was in our house.

My last conversation with Cory was about how he needed to finish high school so he could achieve his dream of going into the Army. He would follow me around and ask a thousand questions about my service time, it seemed like the only thing he was passionate about was going into the service and getting out of a little mountain town to see the world. And see the world he has.

As I talked with him I heard the voice of young man that has seen and experienced more life and death over the last year than any person should have to. He has seen the worst side of humanity, but at the same time has witnessed heroic deeds and shown immense compassion for others.

I am proud of him on many different levels. Cory ended up being stationed with my old unit at FT. Campbell, KY with the 101st Airborne Division. He decided to be an Infantryman and seems to have excelled at his new profession. Most importantly he has a faith in Christ that is genuine and real. Most of our conversation focused on his walk with Christ.

I have mixed emotions about our talk. On one hand I am so grateful he took the opportunity to better his life by choosing to serve our country and take advantage of all the benefits they have to offer. The Cory I knew was on the verge of dropping out of high school, the Cory I talked to this evening is taking college courses and wants to start his own business someday.

On the other hand I worry. When he was sixteen I worried about him smoking and getting a passing grade in school. It was my job as a HP to protect him from a course of self destruction and repeating his family history. Now I find myself wishing I could be there to look after him and make sure he stays safe- and it has nothing to do with the “Job”. Truth is he would be the one keeping my old, fat butt safe if I was over there.

I never had to deal with the thought of one of my kids living in a combat zone. I have had to deal with friends and fellow soldiers making that ultimate sacrifice for God and Country. But it’s a whole different level when it’s a kid you took part in raising.

A conversation I had with someone not long ago about the war was over CNN’s coverage of the casualties. They list the names and circumstance surrounding the death of the service member. The person I was talking with felt that it was turning public opinion against the war by listing the names of all the soldiers who have died. My feeling is everyone needs to read that casualty list on a regular basis. After looking at all of those pictures if you still believe the war is just than it should motivate you to do as much as you can to support the President and the war. If you are on the other side of the fence than it is your responsibility to end this thing and bring the best and brightest this country has produced back home.

I know many of you out there have kids in the same scenario as Cory right now. They are all truly in Gods hand now, and no matter what your opinion on the war is, we have much to be proud of that there are men and women like Cory doing what we don’t want to do. -Launch