Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Relevant Relationships: Once in a While Friends

On to those I was to shallow to realize how well I did not know.

One example should do it. This is where many of us often fall in this business of traveling, working events and occasionally seeing the same people year after year for a day or two at a time. We chat for a minute, hug, and are grateful they made it one more year. They are our “event friends and family” for a week at a time. We start up where we left off, catch up a little and then move on until next year.

Hello next year!

Before this conference I was informed that I would have a roommate this year. Very odd as I am normally the only female on an all male crew but we have combined forces with the host of the event so there are more ladies in the mix.

So, I arrived at the hotel around 10:30 last night local time. My roommate is a woman that I knew and was excited to find out I rooming with. She had tried to stay up to greet me but had fallen asleep with the TV on long before I arrived. Still, some how, she woke herself up enough to say hi and sort of chat for a few minutes. Few minutes turned into 1 ½ hours and I knew her better, loved her more and hated myself for having not known what her last few years had been like.

We saw each other for a few minutes at half a dozen conferences over the years and I would always be happy to see her. I thought I knew a few things and that is exactly what I knew. A few insignificant nuggets. In that short time as we both lay, jet lagged, in hotel beds, I learned about her recent struggles and the truth behind her brave face and constant smile. My admiration for her talent has evolved into utter respect for her strength and a deep desire to grow our friendship. This is a woman who has turned pain into knowledge, adversity into opportunity and has found windows to climb through when doors have slammed shut. What a blessing and an almost missed opportunity. She is a role model for strength and character.

Who around you do you “think” you know. What can you learn from them? How can you turn those “once in a while friends” into the relationships that God will bless you through?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Relevant Relationships: The Old Employer

This week has been a huge eye opening experience into my own lack of depth in relationships. Mind you, I have always been a bit of a “fall off the face of the earth” person. You spend your life with those around you and since I moved a lot in my college, post college, starting my career, early marriage section of life (about ages 19 to, well, last Thanksgiving), it was a survival technique. I needed to spend time with those around me and the long distance relationships kind of took a back seat. It didn’t mean that I loved those individuals any less but we would just not talk for months. With some people we would pick up where we left off and others couldn’t take it and the relationship suffered.

This week has included spending time with an old employer, people I considered friends, but now realize I never knew, new relationships, realizing what a gem my husband is, and the finishing of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young.

The Employer:

My old boss asked me almost a year ago to help with a worship conference in California. I love this stuff. It is one of the few times I feel like I am using the interest and knowledge God has given me for His purpose. The boss is pretty great too. This is the man that gave me a job on nothing more than my persistence and willingness to learn. This was around end of 2004, I think. I ended up being with that company for almost three years, only leaving because I got married to my best friend who happened to be taking a position 6 hours away. Don’t get me wrong, job was awesome but this was my husband. My ministry is to support his. More on this later

I have realized how lucky I am to still be a part of this company and in this persons circle. Since “leaving” I have taken day jobs for Paul’s company, worked conferences, spent 3 months working from Tampa when the office manager in Atlanta suddenly quit, learned how to do video shoots, and done emergency service calls with 10 minutes notice. Why? Because I see in this man 4 qualities that inspire me to walk through fire with a water pistol with him if he asked. And they are:

1. He is ever evolving, always learning, always reading and constantly looking for the next way to improve his skills, his company and his person.

2. He forgets the bad. Why waste time remembering it.

3. Is encouraging and supportive to his employees. Why tear down those whose job is to make you look better?

4. Loyal to his own detriment. Will bend over backwards to take care of clients, friends and whoever else needs it.

Is your boss like this? Would you travel across the country because they said they needed you? Would they say they needed you? What does that relationship look like on your end?

What are other ways you know you have a great boss?