Monday, June 10, 2013

Priority #6 - My Ministry: Why, in spite of all the Controversies, I am still a Girl Scout Leader

In June, I went on a Girl Scout leader's retreat.  We have had a lot of leadership turnover in our area, and it gave us a chance to get to know our new service unit directors and other troop leaders.  During the retreat, my co-leader paid me a great complement.  She told the group of leaders that in our troop, that I was better at dealing with conflict resolution between the girls.  That blessed me.

That is one reason why I enjoy being a Girl Scout leader.  So I can help this generation of girls learn not to run from conflict, but how to deal with it with dignity.  My daughter and I read a great book for a mother-daughter book club called Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.  Because a princess, among other things, is a diplomat, these were the Rules of Diplomacy covered in the book.

  • -State the problem
  • -Admit your own error
  • -State the error of the other party
  • -Invite mutual acceptance
  • -Illustrate the negative outcome of refusal and positive of acceptance
  • -Assert a deadline for acceptance

Love that!

Recently I have been in the process of developing an older girl planning board.  It has been challenging, but exhilarating because my I get adrenaline rushes in developing it, but my co-leader for this group is more thoughtful and laid back.  I think it is a good balance.  By working with someone who's outlook is very different from mine, I can hone my skills to pass down to the girls.

I left the retreat with a greater sense of purpose of why I am (still) a Girl Scout leader.  In spite of whatever controversial issue or resolution may be passed at the national level (this includes Boy Scouts as well), we as the leaders are the ones meeting on a weekly basis helping to mold and shape the next generation of women.

I once had a chat conversation on Facebook with a woman who was lying on the floor in pain because of a back problem.  She had a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler, all daughters.  I asked her if she needed me to call emergency services, but she said she could hold out until her husband arrived.  She was worried about the children because she was afraid they would try to get the newborn out of the bed and hurt her. During the course of our conversation, she told me that she always prayed that her children would never be in difficult situations.  I told her that I prayed the same, but I also prayed that if a difficult situation would come, that my children would be leaders and not have to be led by someone who might be puffing out their chest without any real knowledge.  That would put them in greater harm's way.  I can't teach my daughters EVERYTHING I want them to know by myself.  Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls (my younger daughter is a member of both) provide opportunities to gain valuable skills that they may or may not use, but the confidence that they can try new things or the confidence to teach themselves, if necessary.  

I also came across this poem while surfing the net that illustrates how I feel about being a Girl Scout leader.

Why I'm a Leader

I'm not a Girl Scout leader for the easy hours, high pay,

parents' gratitude, power or prestige.

I'm a Leader because I want the world for your daughter and mine

A world she can share and help shape:

a world of love and laughter where she can show compassion.

I want to help her learn to finish anything she starts and do it well 
and to guide her to know her worth with a deeper understanding of herself.

I want to help shape women who have strength of character and are 
sensitive to the needs of others.

I want them to be the best they can be - whether as career women 
or as homemakers, wives and mothers who are the hearts of the family.

In giving of my time and myself, I reap rewards far beyond what I give.

I receive a better world for my children and future generations.

I'm a Girl Scout Leader because I care.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Priority #5 - Myself: Productivity

Back when I did the Bible study Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George, I remember her saying that she was always reading books on time management.  I guess I have updated that to this time period by watching YouTube videos on personal productivity.  

Here are some things that stood out to me personally.     

# Take care of yourself:  I have a gym membership.  It's not doing my body or my wallet any good if I don't use it.   "She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm."  Proverbs 31:17 AMP

# Time management is really attention management.  "Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil."  Proverbs 4:27 AMP  I really do "turn aside" too often. 

# There is no such thing as multitasking:  Ugh!  This is SUCH a challenging issue for me because there is so much that I want to accomplish.  If I could manage my attention to do one thing well and get it done, then I would have time to move on to the next thing.  "She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard."  Proverbs 31:16 AMP

# Model excellence.  "Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men."  Proverbs 22:29 AMP

# Have a clean and orderly environment:  My desk at the moment is SAD.  For that matter, so is my daughter's.  My son's, however, is not.  I can learn a thing or two from him about orderliness.  "The way of the sluggard is overgrown with thorns [it pricks, lacerates, and entangles him], but the way of the righteous is plain and raised like a highway."  Proverbs 15:19 AMP

# Don't use your memory.  I tell my daughter all the time, "Your memory is not your friend."  Given the conversations I keep repeating, as if for the first time, it is not my friend either.  "And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by."  Habakkuk 2:2 AMP

# Clear boundaries on electronics.  Honestly, our electronics have become our idols.  We eat with them, sleep with them, and get up with them.  What does that say?  We say we created them so that we could get more done, but are they really helping us or hurting us?  "Behold, this is the only [reason for it that] I have found: God made man upright, but they [men and women] have sought out many devices [for evil]."  Ecc. 7:29 AMP  I am not saying that the devices are evil, but we certainly tend to put an abundance of reliance on them.  What would it be like to have an "electronic sabbath" where we rested from the use of our devices?  Hmmm.  

# Though he says to ask every email and phone call, "What do you want?" We could say the same for school assignments. What does the syllabus or textbook want?  "In a multitude of words transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent."  Proverbs 10:19 AMP.  Sometimes we just need to politely say, "Get to the point."  We waste too much time in a sea of words just trying to find out what needs to be done.  
I am praying to apply much of what I have learned from this video.  My goal is to work "smarter, not harder" as a transcriptionist so I can have more time for my family.  

BTW, love his accent.  Don't you?  London East End, I think.