Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ch. 5: Personality (S.H.A.P.E.)

It's funny how I brain-know so many things but I heart-know not so many things.  Or maybe it's that  I'm constantly re-heart-knowing things.

Today I am re-heart-knowing that I don't "have to conform to the expectations of others in order to feel [I] have accomplished something worthwhile in life."  Wow, that kind of sums up my life and all the expectations I have wrapped up for myself and others.  Jon talks to me constantly about my expectations I have for people and the high standards I have for myself.

A few days ago I couldn't even finish eating dinner with my family because I had failed miserably according to the standard of thinking I should have had towards Ciena.  I became trapped in jealousy, followed by guilt, then hatred, then shame.  The only way out was to realize that I am human incapable of perfection.  It's okay for me to have my emotions, but it's not okay to be controlled with them like I have allowed to happen for most of my life.  My standards should be set according to God's standards.  Description of a Worthy Woman

Okay so, let's see where I fall when it comes to my personality,  I'm going to discuss:

  • How I relate to others
  • My response to opportunities   

How do I relate to others?

 Am I outgoing or reserved?  Off the top of my head I am definitely outgoing.  I definitely enjoy starting conversations with new people.  This is actually how I met my newest friend (you know who you are Costco Buddy).  I love being part of the hubbub of activity and very often I find myself right in the middle of it.  One would think that someone like that would have many friends.  I can't decide if I'm one who has many relationships with many friends or deep relationships with few friends. While I do have a lot of friends particularly through my church community, there are very few I would call my go-to friends.  The go-to friends are the ones I can call and vent about that day's frustrations or invite out to the beach at a moment's notice and who do the same with me.  Over the past year that circle of go-to friends has dwindled.

Am I self-expressive or self-controlled? I tend to be  very open with my feelings and about what is happening in my life even with people I barely know.  I believe that God puts people in our paths in order for us to share with each other, encourage each other, motivate each other, even if its for a few fleeting moments while in line at the grocery store.  On the other hand, I will not share my deepest hurts and struggles if I am uncomfortable or sense uneasiness from the other person.  I believe this would be called: discernment. Generally speaking, though, I seek others out in an effort to connect and share my life.  I think I am a pretty easy person to get to know.  But I could be wrong...thoughts???

Am I cooperative or competitive? This is an easy one.  Well, wait a minute.  Now that I am thinking this through for the second time I am seeing it a little differently.  People are my focus.  Unless I'm having one of my self-involved days I generally see people and desire to connect with them.  When I see someone who appears to be hurting I want to help them.  If I am having a bad day, or a good day for that matter, and I have a random conversation with the woman standing in line behind me, then that was a good day.  That was a good grocery shopping experience.  I love those days.

 On the flip side, some might say I enjoy conflict and have a huge desire to WIN WIN WIN.  In a game, sure.  In an argument where I know I am right, most definitely.

I am reminded of the long late night conversations I had with my best friend in high school revolving around  Bible versus science.  I so badly wanted her to see Truth but I couldn't argue my point well enough for her.  Those conversations were never satisfying and I remember feeling like I failed.  Then one day after youth group she whispered in my ear, "I did it."  She became a Christian.   Our friendship continued to have conversations with arguable points.  I didn't care for those conversations as much.  I much prefer to be on the  same page with my best friends and not argue but instead think about and discuss what God is doing in their lives.

 Hmmm I am thinking I am Cooperative, not Competitive.  Could it be?!

Recap:  I am thinking I am: 

  • Outgoing (with a few reserved tendencies)
  • Self-expressive (with discernment)
  • Cooperative (surprising)

My Response to Others

An ideal situation for me to make the greatest impact for God would be something along the lines of the secret dream I have for my ministry discussed in a previous blog.  Another ideal ministry avenue would be writing a book of memoirs or essays and having  them turned into a movie.  I think this past year alone is grounds for a very good movie.  Don't laugh at me!  I know  these are big, silly dreams.  Whether or not they actually come true, God gave me these desires for a reason.

Am I High Risk or Low Risk?  Hmmm This is a hard one.  On one hand I welcome change, on the other  I try to sidestep it.  I think that adapting to change is an important part of growth.  A lot has been changing since getting married.  But let's face it, I don't like many of the changes that have happened.

 This is Ciena's last week of school and I am going to have to adapt my day to the changes that will come with her being with me all day.  I have a good schedule going with Evan's pick up every week but that will probably be pushed back farther in the day because that is what his dad wants and I have no real argument except I like the routine we have.

I think my low self esteem and "I can't" attitude hurts what should be my natural ability to thrive in a chaotic environment.  A simple example is my recent trip to Silverwood with Evan and some of our friends.  It was just us two moms and 4 little kids, 5 and under, who wanted to do everything at once.  Total chaos and total fun!  Then we slowed down on the train ride around the park and I became tired - even ready to go home.  But not the kids!  Go go go!

I enjoy seeing obstacles, overcoming them and throwing back a beer to celebrate my success.  For my church my husband and I are in charge of getting the sermon videos online.  I enjoy this a lot.  I am always looking for ways to improve the quality of my work and make it enjoyable to watch/listen to.  However when I am editing it does not feel like a high pressure commitment.  I do it in my own time, with no one watching me make mistakes and attempt to learn ways of doing things.  Whereas if the video feed goes live to other churches on Sunday morning everyone will see my shaky camera movements and when I mess up everyone knows.  There is no time to fix it in post when it's real life happening NOW.

I'm thinking that God designed me to be high risk because that's when my heart gets pumping in excitement.  But I often settle for low-risk because low-risk equals low chance of failure.  That's how I see it at least.

Do I prefer people or projects? Easy peasy.  I love people opportunities.

 This past weekend my family went to Bear Paw Camp for a work day.  I was not excited about getting up with the sun and wearing a bright yellow suit for two hours while I power washed an endless line of picnic tables.  I was excited for the people I might get to talk to and the for the men my husband would be able to connect with even if all they did was grunt to each other while mixing cement.  The project?  Who cares!  I got a chance to get to know my pastor's wife a little better AND I got to hang out with two cute kids (three if you include Ciena lol) one of which was a baby!  Wooo!  That day was a total success.

Am I a follow or a lead?  In the context of dancing I am supposed to follow but instead I often try to lead (much to the annoyance and frustration of my husband).  If you were to ask me: follow or lead? a year ago I would have said "lead" without batting an eyelash.  But is that really part of my personality?

I can easily find myself in leadership.  It's been that way for a very long time.  This year I was asked to be Prayer Leader of my small group in women's bible study.  I saw this as an accomplishment, a gift, a privilege and as a stepping stone into leading small discussion which would lead me to leadership in WBS overall.  Well, I ultimately stepped down as prayer leader due to personal issues.  I was confused and didn't know where I was supposed to be.  In retrospect I should have spent more time praying about the issue and  talking to my leaders before making my decision to give up and thus, in my mind, failing.

This year has been hard and I have enjoyed being a follow - yet with an itch for something more.  Could it be.... leadership???  But where?  No idea.  I have a strong desire to impact people around me whether it's during a play date, coffee, a blog or maybe a funny status update.  I do receive fulfillment in helping others....but helping them find success?  Being behind the scenes?  Working behind a camera instead of in front of it?  There is enjoyment and fulfillment there, but I struggle with which I prefer in accordance to my personality.

I'm in the middle of the road with this one folks.  Thoughts???

Am I a Team Player or Solo?  I am definitely a fan of team work.  Women's Bible study wouldn't work if it was just one person.  In reality it's many women working together as a team to make a difference in our community.  Sometimes I like being solo - such as when I am editing.  But even then I like to have others critique my work so I can be better.   People do energize me.  On days when the sun is shining but I'm home all alone I will be singing and dancing and talking to myself by the afternoon.

All smiley face,
My definition of
good morning. 
Do I prefer Routine or Variety?  This is another big question mark for me.  I tend to get overwhelmed with multiple projects on my plate and not having one to focus on.  Months ago when I had a huge such list Jon made me write them down in importance.  It was my job to focus only on the first one - then after it's checked off I could move to the second one.  I enjoyed the check list.  I enjoy check lists so much I have made check lists for my kids to help them get ready for their day and get ready for bed.  I love it!  Nothing gets forgotten EVER!

I used to be huge into variety for sure.  Every day was new and different.  I had no idea what would be coming at me.  But maybe that was just a small time in my life.  Now that I'm a wife and mother of two - one who has special needs, I need routine to hang on in the midst of all the chaos.

Recap: I am: 

  • Low-risk (with the desire to attain high-risk)
  • People (duh)
  • Follow? Lead? (I'm undecided here folks)
  • Teamwork 
  • Routine (it brings clarity to the variety in my life I describe as chaos)

Now it's time to take what I have learned and perfect it.  It's time to find the answers to my questions.  Knowing if I'm a Leader or Follower will be an important aspect in my ministry.  I don't want to be the right person doing the wrong thing.  

One huge lesson I have picked up from this chapter is this: "... God always wants to do something 'in us' before he wants to do something 'through us.'  So he may want you to stay until you learn to accept with humility his plans and purposes for you."  I am becoming fairly certain that Jon is correct when he says I have not accepted Ciena as she is, down syndrome and all.  I constantly fight the disability and what it means for her life and mine.  I am often boxed in out of my own doing.  Getting naked and running around isn't the answer.  Letting the flimsy siding fall down and opening myself to the unknown is what will propel me forward.  

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