Nora St. Laurent runs three book clubs outside of Atlanta and has established a successful model that has made her a resource for others who would like to establish clubs. To Nora, Book Clubs are a Ministry that revolve around relationships and through this, the Lord would love the women that He put in her life extravagantly. She facilitates a safe environment where women can enter into relationships. She says it best: "This is not about what church you belong to or how well you know the Bible. It also is not a matter of whether or not you go to church. God has called you into relationship with Him and with me and the other ladies in this group to love, to be loved and to encourage each other." She has a vision to duplicate the model to reach as many people as possible and is writing a book about how to do just this. Visit her blog at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com/
A Day In My Life
“Brittany, I’m going to get the tables and chairs ready for the meeting tonight. I’ve got to change out of this uniform and into street clothes. Call me if you need help.” I’m in a hurry, hoping no one will recognize me out of uniform—that’s the plan anyway. It works for Clark Kent.
Now dressed in jeans and sneakers, I’ve found the table I need standing up. Where is the cart I use to push these heavy tables to the book club location? OHMYGOSH!! I’ve just spotted a wheel missing on the cart. I won’t be using that tonight. This is going to take forever.
I drag the long table to the book club spot. It’s a good-sized area, big enough to hold forty chairs in front of a big screen TV. I need help. Who am I kidding? I’m not Wonder Woman. I get to the intercom. “Attention, staff. David to music.” Why didn’t I think of his helping me in the first place?
“Miss, excuse me. Do you work here?”
I stop and put down the chairs I’m carrying so I can help the customer. “Yes, I do.” (Guess my disguise didn’t work as good as it does for Superman).
“I’m trying to find a book I heard about on the radio the other day. Did you hear the program? I can’t remember who the author is—I think the name starts with M, or was it an S? It has to do with something I could really use. Oh, I forgot what they said it was about. I’m sorry, this is all I remember but I’d like to buy that book.”
“Is the book Beauty Secrets of the Bible? We’ve had several people ask for that in the last couple of days. It’s by Ginger Garrett.”
“Yes, that’s the book. Do you have any in the store? Where can I find it?”
I’m thankful I guessed the correct book. I drop my chairs and quickly make my way to the shelf. I grab a copy and hand it to the customer.”
“Thanks so much. You’ve made my day.”
I run into David, who has set up the table and got my book club containers. “Hey, Nora, want me to help you set up chairs?”
The phone in the store rings. One of us has to answer it. “Hey, David, if you help me with the chairs, I’ll catch the phone!”
Barreling to the phone, which we’re to answer on the third ring, I help the customer with his music question. My cover is blown, so now a customer asks me to look up a title to see if the CD he wants is in the store. The computer says several CDs are available, so I take him to the CD shelf. He smiles big. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” I hurry to get the rest of the chairs to my book club spot. To my great surprise, David has gotten all of the chairs set up; he’s been busy. Wonderful, I head to the break room to make the tea and coffee. On my way to the book club spot, I grab my goodies out of the refrigerator, along with two table cloths.
I open my containers to get plates, spoons, forks, plastic coffee cups, napkins, and assorted teas for the meeting. I put on the table cloth, and then arrange the items, along with a package of cookies and a few other goodies.
I push a T-shirt rack and another small display to block off people’s path across the store so they won’t interrupt our book club meeting. I look over the area to see what’s missing, when I notice a customer reaching for a cookie I just put on the table. I panic, and then I see David explain to the woman that these cookies are for a book club meeting only. David to the rescue again!
I’m all set up. I just have to get the stool for the author to sit on. I’m making my way to the back room when I hear, “Miss. Miss! Do you work here?”
Once again my disguise fails me. “Yes, I do. How can I help you?”
“I’ve just heard this amazing song on the radio. It’s so powerful. It would be perfect for my friend. They play it all the time on the radio. I’m not sure of the title. The words go something like “I’m there for you . . . something, something. You are not alone . . . something, something. Give your pain to me . . . something.” She then breaks out in song, belting out the melody to me.
Now I’m trying my best to hold it together here. I’m afraid I’m not going to be as successful as I was with the book earlier. I have NO idea what she’s talking . . . er, singing about.
“You know you can e-mail or call the radio station. There’re really good about giving out the titles of songs. I’m sure that they’ll help you find it.”
“But I need the song today. Is there anyone else who can help me right now?
“Yes, there is.” I go over to the phone and hit the intercom “Attention, staff. Jean to music. Customer needs help.”
I see the lady head to the music department to wait for Jean. Oh my, Jean is in for a treat. Funny thing is Jean will probably be able to figure out the song. She’s phenomenal.
I’ve totally forgotten; what was I doing? I look at my watch. My ladies will be here any minute. Now I remember. I was on my way to get a stool for the author. I’m worn out and book club hasn’t even started. Working at the bookstore where the meetings are held can be a challenge, but I love it. All things considered, I enjoy it better than the noisy café alternative.
Until next time.