Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Last weekend I had the glorious opportunity to spend a few days in the mountains on the Springs of Life Church women's retreat.

Now I'm sure you all have lots of questions, like "Springs of Life Church, who?" So let me fill in a few background details.

I have been going to SLC since July. Brett, one of the ministers, came into B&N to order books. I helped him, we chatted for a minute, he invited me to church. I've been going there ever since.

SLC is a small and intimate community. Sunday's average around 70 people, and it's a good blend of people. There are several in my age range, then it goes way up from there and way down. It's fun to worship with instruments again, but I do miss a capella on occasion, however. It's definitely a different experience from worshipping at PUMP, but the people are absolutely wonderful. I'm slowly getting to know everybody, and am continually inspired by men and women who have a true desire to be in relationship with the Lord and with each other.

It was good to spend a full weekend among Christian women. It has been a while since I have been in such a setting. God showed up in some pretty amazing ways--ways that I'm still processing and will later blog on. For now I will simply leave you with beautiful pictures from the weekend.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I've been tagged.

A book that changed my life besides the Bible:
The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard

A book I'’ve read more than once:
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island:
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook

A book that made me laugh:
The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger

A book that I wish had been written:
A Human's guide to Life: Life of Amanda Peterson Edition

A book that I wish had never been written:
I work at a bookstore. There are many.

A book I'’ve been meaning to read:
Again, I work at a bookstore. There are many.

I'’m currently reading:
The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard
7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey
The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila
Sacred Companions, David Benner

So here we go:
Amber Lehmann
Jessica Bolt
Christense Anderson
Rob Annesse
Ben Hines

Tag Your It!

Friday, September 08, 2006

I woke this morning to find my spirit grieving. My heart crying out with pain to the Lord. Today was a day when I wanted nothing more than for Jesus to come and call us out of this mire we call life, or rather the mire that we have turned this life into.

Why did my spirit grieve today? Maybe it was the "lostness" that I see in so many of my friends, my coworkers, my acquaintances. Maybe the hurt I see in the lives of many other friends and some of the same friends. Maybe it was my own heartache. Maybe poverty. Maybe depravity. Maybe starvation. Maybe the spread of AIDS. Maybe war. Maybe many things that are the result of a fallen world.

My spirit mourns today "Because we do in fact live in a world of ruins. We do not now exist in the element for which we were designed" (Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines). Rather we exist in a half-condition. A condition in which only God--the gift of life in the Son--can bring wholeness.

I am mournful for an world, for a humanity, that is only in part what it was created to be. I grieve for the loss of God's original design, and my grief makes me tired and long for the wholeness that will be found only with the coming of Christ.

Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. We need the wholeness that you bring!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Some of you might be curious as to what a day in the life looks like for a Barnes & Noble Community Relations Manager. Some of you may be asking, "what exactly does Amanda do all day at this new job of her?" And those of you who are not asking...well you get to find out the answer anyway.

The truth is that every day is a little bit different. Here's the overview:
  • Working with teachers, librarians, government staff, and nonprofit staff to make book orders for their schools and organizations. B&N has an institutional purchasing programs that gives schools and nonprofits a 20% discount on all their book purchases. It's a really good deal.
  • Setting up bookfairs with schools and other organizations to help raise money for libraries, school programs, and literacy/arts programs. Our in-store bookfairs can raise a lot of money for organizations. They are simple to put together for the organizations we help, and fun for us too.
  • Planning author signings. Mostly local authors, but still a cool aspect of the job.
  • Planning in-store events such as American Girls Club, weekly storytimes, book release parties, etc.
  • Being a bookseller, cashiering, helping at info, recovering the store, etc.
  • And then my favorite part: loving on my fellow booksellers. Definitely the best part of my job is that I get to have interaction with pretty much every single bookseller everyday. I'm developing some good friendships with a few, and just getting to love on a whole lot.

Everyday brings new things. I can never tell for sure what projects are headed my way. I love the spontaneity of the job. I love that my job is just pure fun even on the longer, busy days. I am very, very blessed to have such a wonderful position.

(The guy in the Clifford suit is my store manager Dave. Great guy who is really passionate about what he does. So passionate that he wagered with the booksellers and lost, thus the dog suit.)