We had the good fortune of connecting with Judy Owens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Judy, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
The value that matters most to me is generosity. I believe generosity creates a culture of physical, emotional, and spiritual health. If I am focused on how I can contribute to the world around me and what I can give back, then I am not worried about what I am not getting and how to take from the world around me which leads to a great deal of fear and stress. I don’t just want a full cup. I want an overflowing cup that can actually feed and water the world around me. That results in growth and abundance for all. How do I steward what I have been given for increase to bless others? How do I increase the generosity of my words, my thoughts, my time, my actions, my money, my wisdom, etc.? This is one of my guiding principles.
What should our readers know about your business?
I began my career as a high school English teacher and quickly realized that I was not suited to classroom instruction. I pursued a master’s in counseling for more individualized interaction. I opened a counseling office in 2000 and met many wonderful clients for 10 years. I hope I helped a few. In 2011 my husband was asked to do pastoral visits with an inmate in TDCJ. From that mentoring relationship, our ministry and school within the prisons of Texas developed. We quickly learned that in order for these men to find redemption for their lives, they needed someone to believe in them. They actually needed friends and family just like we all do to empower them to fulfill their purposes and destinies no matter how big the detour their bad choices had led them on. We weren’t there to rehash their mistakes or to reenforce their identities as felons. We were there to help them gain a vision for a redeemed future no matter if they ever left the walls of prison or not. I am most proud of the men who now love themselves, their families, and their prison community well. They reflect that love to create a culture of positive influence in a hostile environment. They make a difference in the lives of others without judgment because there are few people who have been where they haven’t. They shift atmospheres to create a greenhouse to nurture the wounded souls of others. Our greatest challenge is convincing men whom the world has deemed irredeemable, worthless, and expendable that they are full of worth and important to our world. To convince them that they are glasses that are full and running over, that they have a lot to offer to the world. That is what I would want the world to know from our story. People are the riches of the world. There is treasure hidden in people. Sometime you have to be an excavator.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In my city, I would, of course, take them to my deli, Five Loaves. I hang out there frequently with friends. We also have some good food parks and a nice downtown area with lots of antique stores and some more good food. Sam’s Table just opened fairly recently, and I’ve heard it has great food and atmosphere. Our strip center, Midway Plaza, has some great shopping with Able’s Mercantile and McAdam’s Dry Goods. And, of course, I have always loved walking around the Sam Houston Campus with the surrounding area of the Sam Houston Museum and park. Then there is the Sam Houston Statue and Visitor’s Center, Heart’s Veteran Museum, and the Prison Museum.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many I would want to recognize who have loved me through the good and the bad times.. My book shelves are full, but, more importantly, my heart is full with the generosity of love I have received from family and friends. At this time, I’m going to give a shout out to my oldest daughter, Melanie Schwank, who owns Southern Sister Boutique in Rosenberg. She has always believed in the best of me. Her love has always been unfailing, and she has always supported me in all my endeavors, some of which didn’t have the best outcome. I believe having people who believe in you is an underestimated superpower.
Facebook: The Joseph Company Prison Ministry
Mike Barber Ministries