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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Personal v. Personnel

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Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. ~Erica Jong

I have a brother that is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. I think I’ve blogged about him before at least a little bit. He works at the military air base with getting the troops in and out of the country. The end of each of his emails contains his military rank, name, job description and location:

CW3 Mel’s Big Brother - Personnel Accountability - Al Asad Airbase

Personnel Accountability?

That struck me as kind of a funny title for a job – especially in the army. When I first saw it I read it as "Personal Accountability" - would that be just accountable for himself or everyone else too?

I’ve been thinking about it though and I think that Personal Accountability and Personnel Accountability really aren’t that far apart. Whenever you’re in charge of Personnel you come to quickly realize that the only things you can control are personal because the personnel are hardly ever going to what you want them to do.

For example…

In just a couple of weeks I get to go to the very same Camp that Gerb blogged about a few weeks back. It is indeed a beautiful place with pine trees and aspen trees and a lake and a really nice feeling and spirit about the place. I know I should say that I am excited about Girl's Camp. But on the personnel side of things, I’ve got quite a few of what seem to be kind of flake-a-potomus girls and leaders that are stressing me out a little. Problem is, they don’t know they’re stressing me out, so I need to take some personal accountability and admit that I’m ultimately doing it to myself.

So I've just recently decided to change my approach and not worry about getting everyone together for pre-camp activities (since the turn-out has been lacking) and just worry about doing stuff at camp – ‘cause once we’re there the personnel is much easier to account for.

I had blessing about this same time last year (just before last year’s camp). I was going through a challenging time and a blessing is special prayer that gives counsel and comfort. Anyway, that blessing, among other things, advised me to be less "Martha-ish" in my camp preparation. You know Martha, as in Martha and Mary the disciples of Christ from the Bible? I almost laughed right out loud during the prayer because I have to admit, yes indeed I do, that I tend towards the Martha side of things when it comes to planning stuff. It’s a little bit comforting, yet also kind of humbling and embarrassing to realize that my Heavenly Father knows me well enough to mention that in a blessing.

To be honest though I always kind of came down on Martha's side in the whole Martha/Mary sitting at the feet of Christ vs. getting the meal ready to feed the house full of hungry apostles story. I mean stuff has to get done. Who wouldn’t want to sit around and listen at the feet of Christ? Maybe if everyone pitched in a little everyone could enjoy a good parable.

But I digress.

In support of personal accountability I am...I really am trying to squelsh my inner Martha, scale down the offerings and stamp down the stress because if I'm the only one that is stressing then it's probably not worth it. The projects are planned and packed and once we’re actually at camp the girl’s will have to exercise their own personal accountability and either take it or leave it. Hopefully they'll take it and enjoy it and learn from it and it'll be good. But if not, the only thing I can do is personally is be happy with the work I did.

In the meantime though I do still need to buy the food for camp (the personnel probably will care very much about that) so more-Martha, here I come.


Teachinfourth said...

I can totally see your point on Martha's perspective…stuff still has to get done. I guess it's about deciding when and where it all happens.

Glad your camping experience had at least a beautiful background...

Gerb said...

Will you do me a favor and take lots of pictures? Enjoy your journey to one of my favorite pieces of heaven on earth! Oh - and good luck with the flakes.

Sue said...


Having said that, every girls camp needs a Martha. Which is probably why you get to go...

(But I have to admit, it doesn't seem quite fair when you are, apparently, the ONLY Martha!)


Anonymous said...

Yes, keep those good boundaries, and you'll be ok. If they like it and learn from it, great! If not, you've done your best, and a great job it was!

Anaise said...

I've always sympathized with Martha, too.

May your camp adventure be a joy.

Stela James said...

Amazing post.

home business

angelique said...

You BETTER be "happy with the work" you did!!!!!

Signed, Mel Wanna-Be, NOT Martha Wanna-Be :)

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