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How We Love



I want to talk about love.


The Greeks had four words for our English word love. Each of the Greek words described a different type of love. This gave us a deeper way of understanding this powerful word. Philia is a type of brotherly love that happens with our close friends. It relates to when you think of how thankful you are for a friend that has always been there for you. Eros is the type of love associated with passion. When a person talks about “being in love” Eros is what they are referring to. Storge is the type of love that occurs in a family. It can withstand trials and tribulations and is seen as a protective type of love. Then there is the love that I am writing about today –


Agape.


Agape is a type of love that is seen as unconditional and sacrificial. It is a selfless love, a choice, one that is considered the highest form. This is the love that God has for us.


In February of 2021, I got a phone call that nobody wishes to receive. It was a cold snowy, winter night, and I knew something was wrong the moment I saw my brother’s name flash across the screen. He told me he was driving from Colorado to Wyoming because our dad had died. He did not know any of the details other than he had been told it was related to Covid. My dad had been totally healthy up to this point and this was a complete shock. By the time my brother arrived in Wyoming, my father’s body was being sent to Nebraska to be cremated the next day – without any family member's knowledge or consent.


It seemed like everything was happening at light speed.


Over the next couple months, my brother spent every weekend driving up to Wyoming trying to help our dad’s wife prepare for an estate sale. As the sale grew closer, the emotions became higher. She was worried that as my dad’s survivors, my siblings and I would grow greedy and want a part of his estate.


Since my dad’s marriage to his wife, we had all grown very distant. There were a lot of moments of hurt and unfinished business in all of our relationships, including my mother's. However, seeking a piece of what he left behind was not anything that my siblings and I wanted. This did not stop my dad’s wife from taking out her grief and anger on my brother and his family, severing the relationship. My brother’s last interaction involved a great deal of hurt and anger and he had vowed to let that part of his life go despite all the pain.


Fast forward two years later.


I was sitting in church and my phone began to buzz, indicating a string of text messages. It was from her. She was telling me that she was having some medical problems, but wanted to reach out to see if I could come and get some of my father’s belongings, as well as his ashes. She told me that because of her medical condition and financial strain that she was never able to carry out his dying wishes.


Despite my own hesitations, I decided to go. Every piece of me did not want to, but I wanted to show love to my dad. This one last thing I could do for him. As I pulled into the driveway of this beautiful brand-new home in Lenexa, Kansas, I fought back the tears and practiced some appropriate responses to ensure this would be a quick interaction. I was met at the door by a man who introduced himself as her new husband and told me he wanted me to get my father’s things out of his house. I loaded box after box in the back of my SUV and fought the lump in my throat. Lastly, he tossed a box in the air and I caught it. I looked down, it had a mailing label on the front which indicated that inside this cardboard box was a plastic baggy that contained the last earthly remains of my father.


I put him in the front seat and buckled him in. As I drove away, I felt this sinking feeling inside of me. You see, my father sacrificed everything for this woman and his love for her. He gave up knowing his adult children and grandchildren. Within their relationship, he gave her a selfless form of love. She could not even regard him with a form of respect to have his body put in an urn or to fulfill his wishes of where he wanted his ashes spread and returned to the earth. Instead, she left him in cardboard and plastic while she sold off his belongings to marry someone else and live off of his life’s work. Try as I might, I was filled with anger and resentment, doubting the decency of mankind.


I was not able to tell my mom where I was going on the day I went to retrieve his things. I knew that this would only worry and upset her. So, I waited until I could tell her it was done. That night as I explained what I had done, she was quiet and let me express my feelings. Once I was done, she simply asked me where the ashes were now. I told her I had brought them in and placed them on my kitchen counter. It had been over two decades since my parents had last spoken.


My mother was so hurt by my father’s decisions and actions that she could rarely speak of him. She cleared her throat and told me she was so sorry that I did that all alone. Then she told me she was going to go to the local funeral home and order an urn. That his body needed to have an honorable place to rest. She then proceeded to help me see how this would be a chance for my younger brother and I to travel this summer. To go to the places that my dad loved most. To honor his life that he led here.


To lay him to rest.


We are given opportunities all the time to witness examples of God’s love in one another. My mom had a choice that day on how to respond. She chose to offer love to a person in a selfless way. Someone who did not always honor her in the same way. Do you think God ever feels that way?


And yet He gives us His love, no matter what. Do you honor and love the people in your life in this way? I don’t do this all the time. I have not been the most perfect human being. However, what would the world be like if we did? What if we learned to show each other Agape love? Is there a relationship that you could make a move in this direction? I view life as a chance to make changes that are for the better.


Are you willing to make a change in yours?

 



4TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS RAFFLE LIVE FACEBOOK DRAWING ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19TH

🎅 The Peace Partnership 4th Annual Christmas Raffle is underway. 🥳 🎟️ Raffle tickets are selling fast – only 155 tickets left! Check out the amazing list of prizes including 💵 $1,000 CASH, ✈️ AIRLINE GIFT CARD, 🎮 PS5 GAMING BUNDLE, $500 QT GIFT CARD, AND SO MUCH MORE!!! 🏆 The LIVE drawing will be held on Tuesday, December 19th! 🎉 Help us spread the word at your work, with your friends & family, and on social media! Ticket sales support our free in-school counseling and affordable low-cost counseling fees. Check out each prize in our Facebook album here. 🎊 Don’t miss out on these prizes. 🎁🎄



Thank you to Andrew Weiss, Jay Cherry, Lyndy Daugherty, Betty Jean Manes, John & Kimberly Shrader, David Glasgow, EPR Properties, Mitch Rappard, Emily Hoagland, Mark & Cindy Hillenburg, Rex Worboys, Susan Nunn, Randy Huber, Mary Keitel, Scott Bayless, Phil Thomas, GenPower Electric, Jason & Val Schram, Reformation Painting, Dayla Fullerton, Don & Linda Pearce, Paths Law Firm, Kimberly Davis, Brad & Mandy Tucker, Alan Michelson, August Huber, Don Collins, Stephen Stricklin, Candace Berry, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Lisa Wilson, Ron & Lynda Rogacki, Allison Reimer, Mike & Amber Balbier, Jill Getman, ZoAnn Peace, Bruce & Carol Meador, Devyn Horsley, Natalie Goe, Tracy & Michelle Sloan, Roger & Laura Neir, Rene Fracassa, Micah Hefner, Kelby Schroeder, Dennis & Beth Savidge, Ken Yunker, Matthew Mills, Jacob Schweizer, Libby Morrow, Ron Bond, Ken & Michele Bramble, Edie Stark, Matt Newton, Keshia Otradovec, Atlas Security Service, Rachel Tovey, Angi Rigot, Brodys Dry Professional Carpet Cleaning, Leslie Kline, Anne Rauth, Michelle Davis, Phil Rydman, Lauri Phillips, and Andrew Davis for your recent Christmas Raffle ticket purchases. Good luck on the 19th!

 


As 2023 comes to a close, we take a moment to count our blessings for everyone who has made our work possible throughout the year. We are honored to have your continued support. Thank you for partnering with us to provide high-quality, affordable counseling services for individuals, children, and families in our community. A heartfelt thanks to this month’s amazing partners:

  • Thank you, Charles & Arletta McCrary, for your generous annual gift. We are so blessed to have your support, prayers, and willingness to serve others.

  • What a huge end-of-year blessing to receive a 25% grant match from Children’s Services Fund of Jackson County! Thank you for continuing to partner with us to provide free in-school counseling to Independence & Blue Springs students.

  • To the Vivian & Hymie J. Sosland Charitable Trust, we express our deepest gratitude for your grant. Thank you for your generous annual gift.

  • A special thank you to the amazing women of the Eastland Giving Circle for choosing to partner with us to help adopted & foster children and families. We are so blessed to know you and take part in this important work in our community.

  • Thank you, Ken & Michele Bramble and Greg & Teri Roy, for your recent gifts. We are so grateful to know you and for your support over the years.

  • A huge shout-out to Especially Jewelry and Trek Bicycle for donating a significant portion of the necklace & bike for our Christmas Raffle. Thanks to QuikTrip for donating the $500 gift card prize. We are overjoyed at the support of these local businesses. Please express your thanks the next time you are in their stores.


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, Midwest Accident Reconstruction Services, Stan & Deb Oglesby, Willie & Adia Valdes, Linda Hartman, Dave & Rosie Bourland, Clean Heart Maids, Rudy & Stacy Blahnik, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Sandra King, Diane Smith, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Kevin Quinn, Genesis Counseling, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Jon & Naomi Thompson, John Otradovec, Tamara Stroud, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Church at Coffee Creek, John & Vicki Hefner, Jenny Glasgow, Teddy Koehler, Summit Springs Church, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, and Rick & Jan Britton.


We appreciate each and every one of you!


Interested in hearing more about our mission? Contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, at: 816.272.0653 or naomi@peacecounseling.org to find out how you can join our team of Partners. To make a donation through our website, please click on the link below.



 

YOUR 2023 FALL REPORT!



Did you receive the 2023 Peace Partnership Fall 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 the impact your dollars have accomplished so far this year in the lives of our clients. THANK YOU for partnering with us!


 



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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