21 August 2012

Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network



As you went about setting up your book clubs and The Book Club Network what challenges did you encounter and what did you learn that particularly touched your heart?
When my boss called me into the office and asked me to sit down because he wanted to talk to me about a few changes being made in the office, I didn’t have warm fuzzy feelings inside! He then told me,” We want to start a book club at our store, and we want you to run it!”

This was the second person within six months to ask me to start a book club. Was this a conspiracy? Didn’t these people know I didn’t read unless I had to? Reading wasn’t fun for me; isn’t that a requirement for being a book club leader – having fun reading?

I was terrified at the prospect of getting up in front of people and discussing a book. Just the thought of reading out loud to the group brought up bad memories of when I was in school and got made fun of every time I tried to do this because I never read the words that were on the page correctly. I’m dyslexic and didn’t get diagnosed until I was 26 years old.

I had my heart to heart talk with God. I felt like Moses going before God and telling him he couldn’t do what he asked because he didn’t talk so well. I pleaded with God: “You know I’m dyslexic. You made me this way. Reading and I don’t get along…remember? This is not funny, God.”

I heard Him say to me gently, “Nora, don’t be afraid. Let me ask you this: Can you love the people I put in your life the way I have loved you?”

What did I just hear? Love people He puts in my life the way He’s loved me? Is that what this is all about? It’s not about how many books I can or didn’t read? What a relief!

“Yes, I can do that. If this whole book club thing is about relationships, then I’m all about it whole heartedly.”

I felt a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders. I told my boss what was on my heart and what I experienced. He wanted the book club to be a way of giving back to the community. I started on a book club journey what would later lead to me becoming the ACFW On-Line Book Club Coordinator and creating The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org with my husband, Fred. I’m not sure what the future holds but I do know who holds my future. All things are possible with Christ who strengthens me!


Great giveaways all month long at TBCN!  Leave a comment here, too, for a special surprise OTT-WGN giveaway this week in honor of Nora and Fred!

23 comments:

  1. NORA, thank you for sharing how God called you to start the bookclubs! It's so beautiful to see how God has a plan for all of us individually.

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  2. It's interesting to me, NORA, that God simply asked you to love the people that He put in your life as He loves you, and when you said "yes" HE enabled you to do what you thought was the impossible! That's what He wants all of us to do is say "yes" and He will do the rest. That way He gets the credit and not us!

    I NEVER thought I could do book reviews and contribute to a blog (I'm no writer, simply a lover of good books!), and my flesh wanted to tell CARRIE I can't, but instead I found myself saying, "OK, I'll try" and thinking I can do this. I have made so many great friends, had such a good time, and God has helped me beyond my wildest dreams to be able to minister here along with my fabulous cohorts! Always easy?...no...but always rewarding. :)

    And today I feel God has placed it on my heart to write a commentary to women for the blog that is very important and I covet your prayers. I mean I want to say again, I can't do this, I'm not a writer, but I will say "yes" b/c I can love the women he puts in my life, too, NORA. Thank you for sharing that!

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  3. THANKS again for having me DIANA and MARIAN - I'm reminded every day that God can do far more than I can even imagine. I haven't arrived and still struggle. I know how to work around my issues with reading (sometimes Grin!) but I take one day at a time. God says Don't worry about tomorrow for today has enough troubles of it's own. How true is that. Grin!

    I still have times when I say the wrong thing and people make fun of me. or I might read something out loud and say the wrong thing or know I just can read out loud that night at book club and ask someone else to read a passage for me. It's humbling. Early on when people made fun of me i wanted to run and never come back because it reminded me too much of the bad experiences in school. But I'm happy to say that the Lord has replace the bad hurtful memories with amazing ones. Ones that make me smile and say Go God. Because I know I couldn't have done it without His love, support and encouragement.


    Paul had asked Jesus to remove the thorn from his side and as far as we know he never did!!

    I know that in my weakness God is strong. I'm daily reminded it's not about me it's about what God wants to accomplish in my life. I'm a work in progress and always will be. I'm not a writer and never really learned grammar so writing reviews is a challenge. I do my best with it all and that's all God asks me to do. It be the best ME I can be.

    THANKS for your prayers and support!! It means so much. I'm off to work. Catch up with you tonight.

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network
    www.bookfun.org

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  4. Oh, DON REID and his book The MULLIGAN'S of MT. JEFFERSON is our Giveaway Feature today. I hope you all can stop by and check it out.

    www.bookfun.org

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  5. Nora thank you for your beautiful words you have shared with us. Don't ever feel like you are not good enough when you write your reviews, I think they are great! I'll let you in on a secret; I never really liked English when I was in school! :) So when I'm writing my reviews for the blog I Thank GOD for Microsoft Word that will correct most grammatical and spelling errors. I even have been known to yell "woohoo" when I only have one or two things that need correcting! LOL!

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  6. TERESA, English was the only thing I liked in school!! :)

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  7. NORA, I am SO GLAD you heeded the will of God and started TBCN! I was so desperate for "book" interaction, living out in the boonies like I do, that when I came across your group I signed right up. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the book talk and getting to know so many fellow book enthusiasts :)

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  8. Nora, I loved how God has and is using you. I loved how you said yes God! TBCN is a wonderful place to connect with authors and other readers. A safe place! I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a beautiful person on the inside and out! Blessings!

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  9. MARIAN, we are all so glad. Look at how God has used you here in America! Pretty awesome, huh?

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  10. Yep. I think more 'book people' across the ocean know me then book people in the Netherlands.
    It's awesome to see what God does.

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  11. What an inspiring story, Nora! You are great at what you do! Keep it up!

    Amy C
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  12. TERESA - English Funny!! Thanks for your encouragement and support. That means so much. On top of everything else in N.J. where I was raised we learned to read by sight. For a Dyslexic person that's not so much fun!! I do thank the Lord for SPELL CHECK Every day. There are some days I can't spell the word close enough for SPELL CHECK to know what I'm talking about. In those cases I CHANGE THE WORD!! Grin! It doesn't happen often but when it does I move on to the next word!! Grin!

    MARIAN - Book People - I never was a book person BEFORE I started a book club. It's been FASCINATING to me to listen to what everyone finds in a book. We all find different TREASURES!! I'm also surprised at how passionate some of my book club members are about the characters in the book. To them they are very real Grin! I've learned so much.

    DIANA - THANKS for your encouragement and help in navigating things.

    ANNE - THANK YOU for your support, kind words and PARTICIPATING in the Book Club giveaways. I really enjoy reading the Author/reader discussions every month. I learn a bunch and smile a lot. THANKS for letting others know about the giveaways too.

    JUDI - THANKS for your encouragement, support and prayers. You have been kind to me when I messed up things. I also enjoy reading the interaction you have with the authors in their discussions. It's been fun.


    AMY C. Thanks for your kind words Amy. I'm THRILLED you've joined TBCN. We have so many exciting book to still giveaway this month. I'm SO EXCITED to share these books and authors with you!!

    TOMORROW at TBCN we will be featuring TO SEE THE SUN by PEG PHIEFER. She is giving away GIFT CARDS!! OHMYGOSH!! Stop by. I'll be posting her book before I head off to work!!

    You All are SUCH A BLESSING TO ME!!

    Thanks for having me!!

    Sincerely,

    Nora St.Laurent
    TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!!
    www.bookfun.org

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  13. Nora and Fred are such a blessing. In fact, I found about about OTT-WGH through TBCN.
    Sharon

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  14. Thank you for that NORA and FRED! And SHARON thank you for stopping by!

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  15. Nora and Fred, you are a blessing and I am glad that we knew you from way back when. It's interesting how people move away and G-d brings them back together even in a different way. I had heard about the book clubs before but the story always seems to bless me.

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  16. JO, Nora's story is such a blessing, I agree. It's so wonderful to read these encouraging testimonies, and to see how far God has brought each one, in spite of themselves! We read all about people in the Bible who had to overcome great obstacles, and in their weakness God was their strength, and the same holds true for today. He is the same, yesterday, today, forever!

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  17. Your story is very inspiring. God provides when we answer His call.

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  18. Thank you, MARIAN!

    CARLA, He surely does! Thanks for coming by and reading Nora's heartwarming testimony.

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  19. I have started writing reviews just for my own use and for my friends but I know they aren't good but I am trying and that is all I can do,

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  20. DEBBIE, we all have to start somewhere, and as you continue to write and speak from your heart, God will increase your ability to write them. Especially if you ask Him to. Oh, you should read my first ones. Ouch!

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  21. That is a touching story, thank you for sharing from your heart. I guess I've got a lot of thoughts, I can't help thinking of people who have no obstacles can sometimes be so negative. This kind of story LIFTS me up. :)

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  22. Oh, Nora, do I have something to share that I discovered! If you type the word you aren't sure of up at the top in the www space, it will say did you mean ... and give you the spelling, and can click for dictionary definition too. So neat. Also, I found that if you enter part of the Scripture you are looking for, the reference will pop up. Then usually the first choice has a cc in the location; click on it and you have all of the choices of the version you want. Wow oh Wow. I "happened" on to both of these. Kathleen

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