One major mark of good leadership is knowing what to say, when to say it.
Staying with Dani and Leslie over the last couple of days was like a refreshing wave of crystal clear water surging over me! We had late-night talks and gorgeous mountain drives. And we laughed and laughed. It felt so good. A merry heart really is like a medicine.
One of those night-time conversations included Dani and I discussing what it's truly like being on the program team up at camp. This is the position that puts you in charge of activities varying from flag-raising, to games, to skits, to singing - pretty much anything that involves a day-in-the-life of camp. Even when you're frazzled (what you think is beyond repair!) you still cannot let on to just anyone who comes along.
Instead of spilling your woes to the first person to ask how you are doing, a good leader focuses on how someone else's day is, looking on the things of others rather than their own things. "What struggles are looming in front of THEM today?" "What can I do to love on them and leave them more full of hope than when we had this encounter?"
This is tough for me sometimes, because I want so much to find the balance between authenticity and courtesy, or between realism and optimism. Keeping information within the sphere of people who need to know is crucial for the team (and for the leader) to come out ahead.
I found a scrap of paper in the Pitchford household with this fitting quote scribbled on it -
"Give people the sunshine; give the rest to Jesus."
I like that the more I think about it. HE is fully capable to bear every burden. There is nothing He does not want to hear about. Nothing too small or too tough.
But it's not enough to just take it to Him.
The final step is to leave it with Him. When I let Christ cast away my burdens and doctor up my bruises then what flows out in my conversations and friendships
is sunshine. Pure sunshine.
The tough things will still show up, and they might even be appropriate to share if it will be an encouragement to another or if it's a friend who will pray over the problem.
It IS possible to be genuine and grateful at the same time.
Katie Davis is a huge example of this. (Her blog is chock-full of lives in Uganda struggling for survival, but she ends every post with hope and gratitude.)
Dani and Leslie do this.
And I left their house today filled up to the brim with hope and gratitude.
lol see don't these look like sunshine-y people to you??