Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The Time that is Given to Us!

Written by: on February 23, 2023

The Time that is Given to us.

The Lord of the Rings, honestly one of most favorite movies.  Bet you thought I was going to say book didn’t you.  I’ve tried many times to read the book and only get to the end of book one and I’m done.  I get exhausted trying to figure out the complex history of this world and all the characters who have so many names for one character!  Why Tolkien, why?  Edwin Friedmans book Failure of Nerve, struck a nerve for me and a quote from this “movie” came to my mind and it’s a conversation that Frodo and Gandalf are having as Gandalf is telling Frodo the history of how the ring came to Bilbo and now Frodo.  After a treacherous tale,

Frodo states “I wish this ring had never come to me, I wish it need not have happened”.

“So do I,’ states Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide.  All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us”. [1]

Friedman’s book has hit several nerves for me, and I feel seen, and wish somethings have not come to me!


In full transparency I am in the midst a parenting crisis.  I thought my youngest was finishing up his elementary year and headed to middle school, exactly when my older 2 sons started needing me less. We have been thrown into the deep end of mental health and behaviors (that I’m thinking is undiagnosed ADHD), but he is now paying very hard consequences.  It has caused tears, extensions for my paper in other class as well as honest thoughts of leaving this program.  My child comes first, and this book drilled right to the heart of the matter for me, and I am grateful.  Divine providence.  Before the book even starts, the introduction grabbed me by what I NEEDED TO HEAR AS A MOM, “Parents cannot produce change in a troubling child, no matter how caring, saavy, or intelligent they may be, until they become completely fed up with their child’s behavior”. [2]  What an eye opener that made me think about how I maybe have allowed boundaries to be pushed too far for him.  How has my empathy, exhaustion and apathy not given him the structure he’s needed…I have had a failure of nerve!  Now I don’t say this in a self-pitying way, but with nerve to acknowledge my own mistakes. Pray for us.


I have just been through the toughest season of leadership I’ve ever experienced.  The first year I was promoted as supervisor over my peers I hired my first two Chaplains who struggled with my leadership.  My supervisor also struggled with me taking charge as she was used to being in charge and did not like having to include me within the leadership team.  She 100% sabotaged me by telling my 2 new employees that I was not really their boss, she was, that I was just a lead Chaplain and not their supervisor. (Wrong, and she thankfully retired last spring).  But it caused a wedge between me, and my newer employees and we had to start over with building trust.  One is still working on that with me and the other left burning me down in the process, but thankfully my years of service and integrity allowed others to not take her words as anything true.  “When creative, imaginative, and self-starting members of any organization are being sabotaged rather than supported, the poorly differentiated person “at the top” does not have to be in direct contact with the person being undercut.” [3]  Lack of support was brutal and connects to the ideas we have been talking about in this class with mentoring, apprenticing, and above all a failure of Nerve.  My supervisor had a failure of nerve to have the courage to share the leadership and to mentor me rather than sabotage me.


I was pleased to read an entire section dedicated to medicine.  I know it is now known that I am a Hospice Chaplain, and my NPO is on this very topic. A failure of nerve to have the honest conversations as medical professionals to those with terminal illness in a way that is culturally competent, as all cultures have different ways of talking about dying.  Friedman noted that physicians needed to become more aware of “focusing on the healing power contained within their own presence.”[4]  “How Physicians manage their own anxiety can be a vital component in a patients will and recovery, and it often influences, and is influenced by, how much they rely on or pursue the unending amount of data that modern medical technology is prepared to offer”. [5]

Medicine (and insurance companies) have a failure of nerve.

I wish such times have not come to me, but I pray for nerve with the time that is given to me.

[1] Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings, Great Britain, HarperCollinsPublishers, 1994. (50)


[2] Friedman, Edwin H. A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. New York, Seabury Books, 2007. (8)

[3] Ibid, 15

[4] Ibid, 101

[5] Ibid, 101

About the Author


Jana Dluehosh

Jana serves as a Spiritual Care Supervisor for Signature Hospice in Portland, OR. She chairs the corporate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging committee as well as presents and consults with chronically ill patients on addressing Quality of Life versus and alongside Medical treatment. She has trained as a World Religions and Enneagram Spiritual Director through an Anam Cara apprenticeship through the Sacred Art of Living center in Bend, OR. Jana utilizes a Celtic Spirituality approach toward life as a way to find common ground with diverse populations and faith traditions. She has mentored nursing students for several years at the University of Portland in a class called Theological Perspectives on Suffering and Death, and has taught in the Graduate Counseling program at Portland Seminary in the Trauma Certificate program on Grief.

16 responses to “The Time that is Given to Us!”

  1. Cathy Glei says:

    Praying for you, my friend. What an amazing revelation to you at the time you needed it from our reading. Love how that works! I believe that one of the ways in which God crafts us, is through the journey of parenting. Have you ever read the book Sacred Parenting (How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls) by Gary Thomas?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      I have not read that book, thanks for recommendations…I keep meaning to start a list, I’ll have to go back through all these blogs:). We are all ok, just really difficult situation that tugs at my mama heart. I think the greatest way to get through this is with Friedman’s words. It’s going to take some nerve!

  2. mm Jonita Fair-Payton says:

    Jana I am praying for you and for your family. I felt similarly reading this book. It tugged on some many things that I have been struggling with. It brought to the front of my awareness some personal and professional behaviors that I had not named or attempted to address. I appreciate your honesty and I am thankful to be on this journey with you. One day at a time, Sis…one day at a time.

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      Each day brings a little more ease, and therefore a little more foreboding of what’s to come. I think conviction and a good self awareness, the good, the bad and the ugly of ourselves is part of having nerve and being present to others.

  3. Jennifer Vernam says:

    What a great post filled with real wisdom for real life circumstances. As a mom, I feel your conundrum of walking the fine lines you drew above. I echo Jonita in saying “one day at a time”. I will pray for you and yours in this situation.

    As a healthcare employee myself, I also hear and give a loud “yes!” to your NPO’s themes of physician anxiety and the lack of crucial end of life conversations. Important work, and I am glad you are tackling it.

    I am curious: what is one tangible thing you think you can implement from Friedman to either work, life or home that will help you reduce the anxiety in these situations?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      First of all thank you for your affirmation. I know when we came in with our NPO’s we needed to be open minded, but I was so confident in this need that I have a really good idea of what I want my outcome to be. I’m thankful that all of my stakeholders were saying as you were…Yes! We need to have more nerve as healthcare workers. I find myself laughing a little at myself that I’ve ended up being pretty good at having open, compassionate and honest conversations with patients and families as they encounter difficult news. Thank you for your affirmation too, it means a lot from someone within healthcare. To answer your question on implementing Friedman, pg. 102 has great questions for patients, but could be applied to parenting in someways, for example, the question of “how have you tended to deal with crises in the past”. I think we all have short term memories of past hurts and grief. We lean towards joy, so reminding ourselves, our children and patients of difficult situations can do so. Though these difficult conversations are anxiety inducing they also get to what they already know deep in their hearts and souls but perhaps needed permission by our nerve, to ask.

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      As I have now hit what I hope is smack dab the middle of my life, I know your word’s to be true, I also know I wish it wasn’t me or us. I guess the age old question I get a lot is Why bad things happen to good people. the greatest answer I’ve heard to that question is “why not me?” No one wants struggles, or to see your own children in pain, but experiencing hope while also knowing we have to walk in darkness too, and sometimes we can’t do anything but hold on and go through it.

  4. Oh, Jana! Thank you soooo much for your post. That phrase about being fed up with your child’s behavior hit me too. My lenenicy with my second child caused issues with my other children. I remember apologizing to my other 3 children for allowing the 2nd one to do what she wanted without lovingly confronting her. It was a hard lesson for all of us to learn. 🥺
    With this in mind, you can count on me and I’m sure others in our cohort to be praying for you. In the words of the wise John Fehlen, “You got this.” WE GOT YOU!

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      Todd, your words mean so much to me. Especially knowing what you do for a living! Thank you for the ways you show up with families, and for showing up for me as a peer! Thank you.

      • Hey Pastor Jana. Yes, I said, Pastor Jana (It’s your calling, not a title). It is an honor to life with you and that means struggling together at times because that is part of life. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS!😊

  5. mm Tim Clark says:

    Jana let me echo what others have said: I’m praying for you and your family. And I want you to know you being in this program is such a blessing for us. I know you have expressed feeling out of place because you are not a pastor, but we are so much better, richer, more complete with your perspective and presence.

  6. Adam Harris says:

    Thank you for sharing Jana, my wife and I will both be in prayer for you and your family. We get it! We are dealing with seizures (which are getting better! and diagnosed ADHD) with our youngest. It’s a puzzle sometimes of what he needs: medicine, better approaches, more boundaries, occupational therapy, time.

    It can certainly be exhausting, nothing brings more worry and anxiety than your child, because you CARE so much. We are learning a lot and allowing God to guide us through this just like you right now. I pray you stay, but we all support you. It seems this program is great about working with you when you need some grace when life gets hard. I have no doubt you will see this thing through. Joining the prayers.

  7. mm Dinka Utomo says:

    Hi Jana!

    My pleasure to pray for you and your family.

    I also like the professional part of your post. Thank you!
    I think it’s your time right now to build an embracing and encouraging leadership cooperation with your team. They need your guidance and support to achieve the goals of your ministry/service. God grant you the ability and courage for it!

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