Saturday, January 31, 2015

Reading for Growth

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

When I read for recreation, I pick up a book and find a spot and read it.  Unless it's really long...I'll usually finish it all in one go.

Case in point:  I decided to re-read The Hobbit last Friday night, so I did.  Pulled it off the book shelf sometime around 7 and finished at 10:30.  Granted, I'm VERY familiar with the story, but I did pay attention as I read and actually verified one point that was mentioned in the 3rd movie that I had not noticed on my previous readings.  So I didn't just skim through.

Anyway.  If I'm reading a book slowly over time, it's because I'm trying to learn something.

Right now, I'm involved in two classes that each have required reading.  One is deliberately taking one chapter at a time, but the other just requires the book to be read before we hit the lesson with the pertinent discussion.  The books are Choosing Forgiveness, by John and Paula Sandford (and Lee Bowman), and Administrative Excellence, by Erin O'Hara Meyer.
Interesting side note on my copy of Administrative Excellence -- I bought it at a discount from one of Amazon's affiliates, and it was brand spanking new...except that it had been autographed by the author, inscribed to  someone named 'Sarah'.  Wondering if the name was misspelled or some such thing, so it had to be relegated to a reseller....

I'm reading that one-chapter-a-month for a professional development group I'm in through work; a group facilitated by the company that provides our data base software.  It's a once-a-month online discussion meeting for church administrative assistants/ data base admins at large churches around the country. It's interesting; I'm the only one in the group that is solely the DBA.  Others are typically admin assistants as well as DBAs...but then, I'm part-time, so it's probably about the same commitment to the DBA position.  It's a challenging group; we are inspecting what we do and how we relate to others in our offices, looking for ways to better interface with others to do what we do.  I am not really comfortable there at all... I am being stretched and having to evaluate my time and the way I relate to others in ways that, well, are showing me that I have LOTS of room to grow and mature.

It's an ouchie sometimes.  A good ouchie, but still an  ouchie.

The book is written for administrative admins in a secular office, so the emphasis is somewhat different than admins working in a church environment.  For instance, Erin lists two different ways to view one's position...either as a job that I do or as a career in which I am investing.   But I believe there is a third ministry in which I am participating.  And that has a WHOLE 'nuther aspect to it.  So I'm rather struggling at times to apply the book to my particular position, although I will say that this month's chapter, 'Progess', has a discussion of fear that has been really good and translates to my life very well.

 Choosing Forgiveness is the required outside reading for my Elijah House class.  If you've been around Beer Lahai Roi very long, you'll know that I really believe forgiveness is the key to Christian living...because I think unforgiveness, in addition to being pretty much the root of most of our relational problems, in some fashion and to some degree, also keeps us from receiving the forgiveness God has for us. So I am mostly nodding and agreeing with what I'm reading.    Nonetheless, I'm being challenged to move beyond forgiveness to blessing...that is a step I had already determined I needed to make in regard to recent hurts, specifically, but it is another level to apply it to old wounds.  Can I really bless those folks whom I believed I have forgiven?  And if I can't bless them....did I really forgive them?

More ouchie.

One way or another, I am coming out of this season different than I went in. ;-)

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