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Bartering With Yourself

At one point or another, every individual I counsel will reflect on a bad choice they keep making in their life. Throughout the therapy process they will break down the logic on why they made that decision and reflect on the emotions the bad choice caused them to feel. However, week after week, they often continue to make the bad choice. The first few times I witnessed this behavior, it did not make sense to me. On one hand, my clients were completely aware both logically and emotionally that they were making the wrong choice, but on the other they continued to make it. As a counselor, I was frustrated. Clients were reflecting here and understanding there, which is a major goal in therapy, but nothing was changing. That was until a young man, barely a teenager, said something to me I'm sure every parent has heard, “it's just homework”. This young man had the goal of joining the military but there was one problem: he was flunking classes and not doing assignments. Together we discussed and explored what it took to get into the military and it turned out it was a pretty high score on their aptitude test. In that moment, he realized that the decisions he was currently making, that felt so insignificant, had a major impact on his hopes and dreams. Thus, he began to experience the inevitable….change. His grades increased significantly and so did his attitude. That young man taught me something powerful about what was initially causing me so much frustration. If we do not understand the value, outcome, and consequences of our decisions, even if they feel small, it is much easier to barter with ourselves and make the wrong choice. “It's just homework” means more than that. It means you are contradicting your own goals and your own expectations you set for yourself.

Life really is just a series of choices. We decide when we wake up, if we eat breakfast, what we eat for breakfast, which car we should buy, and even which roads we take to work in that car. In fact, I could spend an eternity breaking down every micro decision that makes up a person’s daily life. However, the real question is, why do we make the choices we make? I have narrowed the scope of this article down to three types of choices we make on a regular basis.

  • Zero risk decisions

  • Responsibility decisions

  • Self interest decisions

Zero risk decisions are simple. We make dozens of them every day. It does not matter which choice you make, it will make zero difference in your life. For example, picking out a toothpaste brand at the local grocery store. We give these decisions little to no thought and go about our lives. Responsibility decisions are just as they sound. These are the responsible choices we make because we understand that choosing wrongly would have major consequences in our lives. These choices are things like paying bills, showing up to work, and saving money. Have you noticed the pattern yet? Our decisions are, more often than not, made by their outcome or consequence. Ask yourself, what happens when we are negligent or ignorant to the outcomes of our choices? This leads me to self interest decisions. An example being the decision my client was making about his homework. These are the types of decisions that exist within the bubble of our worldly desires. He had initially convinced himself into believing that homework was not worth it and against his better interests.

Picture this, you have decided to prioritize your health and fitness goals. You sign up for the gym, you stock your fridge with protein and vegetables and you even commit for a few days. Then, someone leaves a box of donuts on your kitchen counter. Be honest, did you grab a donut? What goes through your mind in this moment? It's only one donut. I’ve been doing well this week; I should reward myself or maybe you decided at that moment to go back on your fitness decision all together. We have all been there. Whether it's a donut on the counter or just one more episode before bed. We barter with ourselves. We make promises to ourselves we know we cannot keep and we justify making wrong choices through faulty logic. Don’t get me wrong, wrong choices are bound to be made, but enough drops of water will fill a bucket.

So what do we do about it? Best-selling author and accomplished pastor, Craig Groeschel, tells his readers in his book, The Power to Change, that we have to pick a finish line or else how do we know where we are headed. The choices we make are the foot steps and strides we take to get to our finish line. Aristotle said it well, "The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival". We have to contemplate our choices. What does this decision mean for me? It may be just a donut or “just homework”, but will it make you experience guilt, abandon your goal, or cost you extra time making up for lost progress? If we assign value to our choices, the better outcome, when bartering with ourselves, becomes much easier to see. Deciding which toothpaste we use – low value, paying our bills – high value, doing your homework or eating the donut – I guess that is for you to decide.


Spring is a time of growth and renewal – the birds and all of nature begin waking up, the brown dead winter starts to turn green and bring hope for new life. Springtime is a beautiful time of refreshing and a reminder of the blessings we receive every day. We are grateful for each of you, our partners, who are such a blessing to us and our clients. Because of your support, individuals, children, and families in our neighborhoods and communities are able to make sense of the complexities of their lives. We couldn’t do this important work without you. Thank you for being a blessing to us so that we can pass those blessings on to others. THANK YOU!

  • Thank you to Children’s Services Fund of Jackson County for investing in the lives of the students in our In-School Program in Independence and Blue Springs School Districts. You are changing the trajectory of these children’s lives.

  • We appreciate the generous donation from Chris & Kim Thiele to provide the opportunity for those in need to seek counseling. Thank you for your heart to help others.

  • Lee & Debbie Miller, we off our thanks for your continued support of our mission. Thank you for your gifts and for supporting us through your Facebook birthday fundraiser too. What a joy to have you partner with us!

  • We are so honored that Clayton & Pam Wooldridge increased their monthly donation. Your partnership over the years means so much to all of us. Thank you!

  • A heartfelt thank you to Jeff Cherry for raising funds through your birthday fundraiser on Facebook. We are grateful for the many ways you have partnered with us to see lives changed.

  • We are excited to have Mark Arreguin’s EPR Team join us for our 7th Annual Golf Classic. Thank you for your golf team registration.

To all of our faithful monthly and recurring supporters — THANK YOU from our Peace Partnership team! – Stone AMP SEO, Jeff & Lacey Cherry, Zane & Melissa Morerod, Mark McDonald, Jondy & Heather Britton, Matt & Kristy Newton, Clayton & Pam Wooldridge, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Greg & Jennifer Spears, Roger & Jennifer Madsen, Brent & Amanda Miller, Mike & Jan McGraw, Willie & Adia Valdes, Linda Hartman, Dave & Rosie Bourland, Rudy & Stacy Blahnik, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Sandra King, Diane Smith, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Kevin Quinn, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Jon & Naomi Thompson, John & Keshia Otradovec, Tamara Stroud, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Church at Coffee Creek, John & Vicki Hefner, Cory & Leslie Young, Jenny Glasgow, Teddy Koehler, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, and Rick & Jan Britton. We appreciate each and every one of you!

Are there ways that you see yourself getting involved? Contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, at: 816.272.0653 or to find out how you can join our team of Partners. To make a donation through our website, please click on the link below.



Did you receive the 2023 Peace Partnership Spring Report in your mailbox? If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, check it out here! Just click the image to the right to see what your dollars have accomplished in the lives of our clients. THANK YOU for partnering with us!


Peace Partnership 10th Anniversary Open House

Saturday, May 20, 2023 from 11am-2pm

Bring your family and join us for an afternoon of fun, friends, and free food - including Zarda Bar-B-Q! You'll get to tour our office space, chat with our staff, enter our raffle, and so much more. RSVP to Naomi at 816.272.0653, or through your Evite invitation.


Presented by Con Carpet Tile + Design Thursday, September 21, 2023 @ 7:30 AM Adams Pointe Golf Club, 1601 RD Mize Rd, Blue Springs, MO

Sponsorships and registrations are now open! Get your teams together, sign your company up for a sponsorship, and block the date on your calendar. All golf proceeds help provide affordable counseling to the families in our community. As a bonus, you know you’ll get an amazing lunch from Zarda and a killer swag bag!


  • Team Registration – 4 Person ($700)

  • Individual Team Registration ($175): Playing on a team but paying fees individually.

  • Individual Player Registration ($200): Individual golfer, not yet on a team. Will be placed on a team prior to event.


  • Presenting Sponsor ($15,000): Prominent logo placement on all event materials, welcome banner, and stand-alone sponsor banner; name included as presenter on all written materials; logo placed on gift bag; private speaking engagement with Dr. Jon Thompson; 2 foursomes included

  • Platinum Sponsor ($10,000): Prominent logo placement on all event materials & signage; exclusive logoed golfer gift item; 2 foursomes included

  • Gold Sponsor ($5,000): Exclusive logoed golfer gift item; prominent signage at event & logo on website; 1 foursome included

  • Silver Sponsor ($3,000): Logo placed on souvenir gift bag; logo on sponsor banner & website; 1 foursome included

  • Cart Sponsor ($1,000): Logo included on both beverage carts (2), cart corral area, and on sponsor banner

  • Premium Hole Sponsor ($250): Sign with logo at designated hole; option to handout giveaways at hole; ability to include promotional item in gift bag

To contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, call: 816.272.0653 or email:


Have you or someone you know been helped by Peace Partnership or Genesis Counseling? If so, would you please consider paying it forward to help another find healing along their journey? We are asking anyone who is not currently partnering with us financially to consider donating $100/year for the next 3 years to help make a difference in someone else’s life. Collectively, we can help SO MANY PEOPLE! Please consider a gift today. Call the office for help getting your gift set up or choose a recurring donation on our website here. We are so grateful for your help changing lives!

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