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A few weeks ago my husband and I tried to trade in our old car to buy a nice new Civic when the “cash for clunkers” program was going on. Now, I can’t say I fully support this program, but like most people, when something helps me out, I don’t really care about the greater good. So, we decided to buy a car.1997_Eagle_Vision

I have to say, it was a lot of fun to be driving a brand new car. I felt cool. I was cool. The idea of getting rid of my old “clunker” seemed real good to me-I was trading up and it made me cooler. Unfortunately, it fell through, and I’m still driving my clunker. So I guess I am still as uncool as ever.

I was thinking about it though…is it my things that make me who I am? Sometimes I get into this pattern where I will get really stuck on buying myself new clothes or makeup or things for my home. When I do this, it makes me temporarily feel better about myself. Hey, anyone will look better in a new pair of jeans and expensive shoes. But does this really make me better?

Regardless of whether I wear a sweatshirt or a dress, I am still the same person inside. I have all the same faults and all the same gifts. The only difference is in the way I view myself-in a false way or a true way. I believe the true way is that I have been created by God and have been blessed enormously by Him. I am His servant, and not a servant to myself.

This is a challenging way to view one’s live, especially living in American culture. It’s something I struggle with, so tonight I wanted to remind myself (and perhaps you) that we are not what we wear, or own, or drive. We are who God made us to be-He loves us-and that is better than any shiny new car.

Below is a video of the Sticky Light.

I found this video on this website. Technology is amazing.

A few weeks ago, I attended a leadership training for my school. Beforehand, we were asked to read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni. Inwardly, I groaned, thinking that it would be a struggle to get through a self-help book which was not of my choosing. I started reading right away, thinking it would take me awhile.

4fdc53a09da051e606316110.L._AA240_Based on the premise that successful organizations begin with teamwork, Patrick Lencioni sets up the five pitfalls that unsuccessful teams succumb to. They are (in order of importance), absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. In simpler terms, they are invulnerability, artificial harmony, ambiguity, low standards, and status/ego.

Most of the book is written as a story-a fictional company has major problems despite the incredible wealth of talent among its leaders. In swoops a new CEO, with little experience but a lot of knowledge about team building. She begins the process of team building by helping each member understand the truth to why their company is failing.

In creating a fictional story, Lencioni does a good job of setting up each pitfall that can plague a team. The story itself is interesting, and it sure beats reading a list of do’s or don’ts. By showing each of the five pitfalls through character flaws, the reader more deeply understands the importance of each way a team should function.

After the story ends, Lencioni includes a brief section where readers can take a mini-assessment of their team, as well as a section for help in overcoming each dysfunction. Though never really specifically pinpointed, you can see the importance and value of effective leadership, including tools that a leader must possess.

I truly enjoyed reading this book (I couldn’t put it down!), and I found it extremely helpful in thinking about working with others. I feel that Lencioni revealed an extremely important value which we all need: humility. I found myself evaluating my own attitudes about being on different teams in my life, and quite honestly, I was a little ashamed. It gave me good perspective when thinking about how I should be interacting with my teammates, and I really considered the lack of commitment that has been plaguing my life. I highly recommend this book for leaders or team members on any sort of team: sports, business, family, work, accountability, etc. If you decide to read it, don’t forget to read the acknowledgments, and let me know what you think!

Well, I’ve officially fallen off the blogging track; I think it’s been nearly a year since my last blog post.  Yikes!  I guess life got really busy for awhile…Anyhow, I’m hoping to start posting again, especially since my husband has been inspiring me to get back on the bandwagon.   I’ve read a few books this summer, so be looking for a review or two coming up!