Merry Christmas SSYO Family!
We hope this message finds you all well and in good spirits. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support. All is well here at SSYO during this unique holiday season. As we bring this hectic whirlwind of a year to a close, the topics of Joy and Gratitude have been heavily on my heart and mind.
A former staff member (Matt Schill) at SSYO used to say often that “Joy is independent of circumstance.” I’ve been reminded of that reality often throughout this past year. We suffered the heartbreaking loss of one of our precious students as we began this calendar year: Rhiana Daniel. As grievous and tragic as that was, this saying kept coming to mind throughout the following weeks and months. Then as the year went on and COVID changed all of our lives, the saying served as a lifeline for me whenever my heart grew weary. So despite the countless challenges and pains of 2020, I’ve clung to that saying in order to remind myself to remain joyful.
Joy is independent of circumstance.”
Along with joy, gratitude has been a critical practice throughout this year in order to stay the course here at SSYO. As the team leader, I can often find myself constantly aware of and dealing with the hardships/trials that come with serving in a nonprofit. And when I’m not careful, I easily forget how much I have to be grateful for. When gratitude is absent it's easy for discontentment, anger, frustration and envy to set in. With all of the various financial and operational challenges that 2020 brought with it, it was the practice of being grateful (even for the littlest of things) that would help reset my heart and mind enough to keep moving forward.
In closing, I’d like to thank and encourage you all for supporting the mission here at SSYO. I am Deeply Grateful for you all and your belief in what is being built here at SSYO. Perhaps more than ever before, I’m grateful to know that we as a staff have an amazing family of supporters that care enough to help ensure SSYO made it through this crazy year. So please do me this favor as we head toward Christmas and a new year. Please remember that “Joy is independent of circumstance” and remember to “Be Grateful” for all that you have during this holiday season. I promise that if you do those two things consistently, you will indeed make it through anything life throws at you as well as having a Very Merry Christmas.
Much Love Y’all!