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Mar 3

Expect the Unexpected

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

Untitled-TrueColor-23I’m in the midst of a ten-month curriculum re-write and most of my writing time and energy has been focused on that project rather than #mysilentscream. That said, when TreeHouse graciously offered to throw me an “open house” to celebrate my 25th anniversary at TreeHouse I began to think beyond the present and reflect on the past.

In the past twenty-five years I’ve learned an incredible amount about myself, my family, my friends, the staff I serve alongside and the teens and parents that we serve. As I thought about it I decided to think through ten important lessons I learned in those twenty five years. This series is called “10 in 25.”

Expect the Unexpected

On June 30, 1989 I met Wayne, Sara, Shawn, Tara, Michelle, Tom, Beth, Amy, Justin, Rachel, Ann Marie, Krissy, Lori, Roy, Jenny, Dennis, “PD,” and Jason and John (pictured) at TreeHouse. ***

That summer I fell in love with them, and I fell in love with TreeHouse.

What’s not to love?!?

Drama – Have you met a teenager?!?
Intrigue & Suspense – I love being invited into their stories.
Humor & Irony – Life is ironic. You have to learn to laugh.
Teamwork & Solo Adventures – Interdependence and personal responsibility.
Nobility & Honor – I’ve met many teens and adults I admire.
Heroes & Humility – I admire the sacrifice that people make to help others.
Risks & Rewards – How to decide if the reward is worth the risks involved?
Pursuit of Security & Freedom – It’s been the dominant theme of adolescence.

On March 12, 1990, having spent the previous eight months as a volunteer and an unpaid intern, I was hired as a TreeHouse employee.

I was nervous and enthusiastic, and didn’t know what I’d face. 

What was I learning?

It wasn’t going to happen the way I planned. Almost immediately I was catapulted into the fact that as much as I planned and prepared, I had to expect the unexpected.

My first month … was eventful. As with all new jobs the position came with some abrupt challenges. As opposed to a nice settling-in time, my first couple weeks included:
* Reconciling an abusive mother and daughter
* Three teens attempted suicide
* Two teens began a personal relationship with God
* Three kids sent to Juvenile Corrections
* Two staff conflicts
* Three kids went into drug treatment programs
* And my boss told me that he was resigning

That’s right, two weeks after I was hired my direct supervisor announced he was quitting to return to school. He was part of the reason that I came to TreeHouse. Expect the unexpected.

Despite these challenges I found my work to be not only rewarding, but also life-changing. I have been repeatedly humbled, while also tremendously honored to see the work of God in, around and through me.

Twenty-five years ago I fell in love with a community of people and a mission committed to care for them. In the midst of that I’m learning.

Expect the unexpected!” is #mysilentscream.

*** Note: Teens no longer are allowed to smoke at TreeHouse.

Bring on the comments

  1. Sounds like a rough first month, I am glad you hung in there!

  2. “rough first month” … serious!
    Wow, it wore me out typing it.
    I look back at it’s no surprise that God clarified my thinking (see tomorrow).

  3. And 25 years later, we are still blessed to have you with us. You’ve helped me through multiple hard times, and are a major reason I continue coming back to volunteer with this amazing organization. Thanks Scott!

  4. Allison, your faith and faithfulness blesses the whole TreeHouse community and the generations of families to follow.
    I’m grateful we get to share a TreeHouse!
    Thanks for your kind words!

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