H is for Shari Harris

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    Do you struggle at work? I sure do.

    Increasing demands. Limited resources. Out of sorts co-workers feeling the pinch. Negativity that abounds. It feels like stress is at an all time high. And it’s not as if demands on the home-front, or any other front have eased up to make room for the added stress of the workplace.

    Work is the place God continues to use to transform me into the woman of God He’s calling me to be.

    My name is Shari Harris. I’m the author of Walking in Faith Stories of Hope and Encouragement for the Workplace (2011). My book is a collection of faith at work stories chronicling my faith journey. God has called me to share my faith at work and to share my stories with you in hopes of encouraging you.

    It’s not easy for any one of us. We need to encourage each other, and one way we can do this is to have real conversations about work and how challenging it can be. In the call to share God has asked me to be real and share my heart with you.

    Hopefully my book will not only encourage you in your faith and in bringing it work, but it will shed light into the creepy corners of bringing our feelings and our whole-self to work with us when we go. My hope is that in being vulnerable with my life, that you will have the courage then in turn to be the same, giving others freedom to be themselves at work. I’d like to think we can inspire each other to have the hard conversations about work and in doing so help each other. Above all, I want you to know that you are not alone. We all struggle. We all struggle in our workplaces.

    We can tend to rush through our days, one task after another with an end never in sight, forgetting what is really important.

    My mother passed way last December after a four and one half year courageous battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (perhaps better known as ALS). This disease robs the body of every function, from eating to walking, until it finally reaches the lungs. My family and I learned a lot as we journeyed the path with her.

    Work doesn’t even hit the top ten priorities in life when I line it up with things like faith, family, friends, good health, etc. Yet, we need to be there to make a living to support ourselves and our families, right? Indeed, we do. We just need not fall into the trap of putting work first and getting out-of-balance by spending an extreme amount of time at work.

    In my book, Walking in Faith Stories of Hope and Encouragement for the Workplace, I talk about “the busiest girl in the office.” We all know the woman or man who is so self-absorbed in his or her work that they have no time to connect with work neighbors, the person who wears their “busyness” like a lapel pin, boosting of how important their work makes them. It seems as though we’ve come to accept “too busy” as an excuse for innumerable transgressions. Have you ever heard a person with a last breath lament they didn’t spend enough time at work? Probably not.

    I’m probably most excited about having been able to dedicate my book to my mother. She always encouraged me. My mom always believed in me. My plan is to donate a portion of the proceeds to ALS research.

    I’d encourage you to take a look at your work life through another lens today – through the lens of what the Word of God teaches, and ask yourself if you are walking in love in the workplace or if you need to think again about bringing Christ to work with you. It will make a big difference in our day. It will make a big difference in you. It may not be an easy walk, but nothing really worthwhile is. You can be confident that God is faithful and He is your constant companion.

    Bringing God to work with you is the antidote to struggling at work.

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    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.

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    Shari writes, speaks, and teaches passionately on faith in the workplace. Shari’s life was changed when a coworker shared her faith at work. In the years since, God has used the workplace to bless, inspire, encourage, and mold Shari into the woman of strong faith she is today. God has given Shari passion and compassion to help and encourage others in the workplace.

    People are hungry for authenticity and God is calling us to be honest—with Him, with ourselves and with each other. We all struggle. We are all challenged.

    God has encouraged Shari to share her personal stories of struggle and perseverance in Walking in Faith: Stories of Hope and Encouragement for the Workplace, Shari’s first book, to bring hope to people struggling in the workplace. Shari’s prayer is that you will find encouragement in these stories. Her website is www.sharijharris.com