Finding Myself at 33

A few days ago a friend posted this personality quiz on his Facebook page. I thought it looked interesting so I participated in the 16 Personalities quiz. I was quite astonished when I got my results and how accurate the conclusions were.

See I am an INFJ. Which is a very interesting personality. Apparently, a rare one, less than 1% of the population. But see, I have felt so out of place and weird for most of my life, that I have become quite a chameleon. Adapting and changing who I am to fit in with whoever I am around. After reading the personality traits, it makes sense. I take on the emotions of those around me. I am a natural introvert, but can pretend to be an incredible extrovert. I FEEL EVERYTHING!!!! I am so empathic that at times it drives me crazy. And every single joke or insult that is thrown my way, takes a chunk out of my heart. I read people like books and can almost immediately tell when someone is genuine or has alternative motives. This has prevented me from having deep close relationships with nearly every person I have met.

But after reading my profile, I felt relieved. I felt embraced. I felt understood. Like it was the first time in my life I realized it was okay for me to be ME! Today was so different for me! It was amazing actually. My skin felt familiar. My thoughts felt normal. My emotions felt renewed and in control. I didn’t feel weird.

So, yesterday I suggested my husband take the personality quiz. I was more curious about his personality. Because I am not like him. In fact, we are mostly different on nearly everything. That’s not a bad or good thing. In our relationship, our differences have just been .. differences. And at times, extremely frustrating differences. Most would say that’s marriage. While I would normally agree with that sentiment, I have to say at times I have been super hurt and distressed by the things he does or doesn’t do. He took the quiz.

That was an eye opener for me!

His results of ENTJ were spot on. It told me why he is the way he is. This personality type is a leader. One who finds emotional reactions as weakness. And will always choose logistics over moral. None of this is bad, IF you understand it. I have viewed him and his quirks so differently over the past 24 hours. It has been so awesome!

I took our results one step further and did an INFJ-ENTJ compatibility. According to the website ENTJ Personality Info:

“In romantic relationships…

The ENTJ will usually end up leading and they will both like it at first but the ENTJ might soon get bored with getting no challenge back and the INFJ might start to quietly resent the fact that he/she isn’t involved or listened to in making decisions. This problem arises because the INFJs decision making function, extroverted feeling, is the last function on the ENTJs priority list. The ENTJ has to make a big effort to listen to this function and the INFJ must become more direct and speak up because sometimes ENTJs will not understand little unsaid cues that INFJs expect to be understood. This advice applies to any relationship; the more direct and truthful you can be with your partner the better relationship you will have.

Possible stumbling blocks:

– ENTJ being too critical and blunt
– INFJ being vague/unclear about what they want
– ENTJ not listening to extroverted feeling because it’s their blindspot
– INFJ being too sensitive to criticism, or holding back part of themselves
– ENTJ forgetting to show acts of thoughtfulness and appreciation every once in a while, because of being too caught up in their work (INFJs need to know they’re loved)
– INFJ having expectations that are too high or too idealistic

As you see there are many gaps and things to work on in this relationship but the hard work is worth it. Both individuals can become more balanced and complete persons if they decide to go for this ride.”

I agree 100% with this sentiment! In fact, my jaw dropped when I read these statements. It is an extremely accurate account of our relationship. I don’t show you this because it’s negative or positive. I am showing it because it opened my eyes to our personalities in our marriage and it makes total sense.

I am an extremely sensitive person. I just internalize nearly all of it. DH and I balance each other out. I am so glad I took that quiz!

To take the 16 personalities quiz click HERE

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What does your Christian look like?

I have some problems lately. And many would say that “I should be grateful; life is great; God is providing; He is working in your life.” Yada yada yada. But this is simply not where I am at. I am not grateful, thankful, happy or joyful. I’m not at peace, kind, or helpful. I’m a mess.

Does God work in people’s lives? Yes! I 100% believe that. Does God work in my life? Yes! But my struggle has nothing to do with whether I believe he is or isn’t working in my life. My issues are coming from what my Christian looks like.

It doesn’t look like this:

It doesn’t look like this:

It looks A LOT like this:

I am always in tears. Always wondering if I am even good enough. Will I look better, different, skinnier, happier, prettier, more put together if I just have more faith? Why doesn’t my Christian look like that girl, or that family, or that believer? Why can’t I be more faithful, happier, friendlier, patient, kinder? When will I be Christian enough to feel that God loves me?

This is a constant struggle for me? There are many people I could blame. I could point the finger at the church (insert name here) for making it seem that appearance is how people know you are a believer. I could place the blame at the media for saying that those who have true faith have gone through some sort of rock bottom experience like gangs, sexual abuse, or violence.

Truth is, I can’t place the blame on anyone or anything except for myself. I have allowed all these things to cloud my faith. I have allowed all of this to deter me from the true love of God. That he supposedly loves me for who and what I am where I am at for reasons I cannot seem to answer.

Every single believer will go through valleys and peaks. This is likely one of my valleys.

I feel like I hold myself to a different standard. I teach at a Christian school, teaching students how to insert Jesus and the Word into their lives in all aspects from Bible study to science to math to art to literacy. Feeling like I do feels like a betrayal to my profession.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am in no way disregarding my believe in the One and Only. I am just working through my issues as a believer, in a very public manner.

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Jesus Christ the Superstar

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I have a pet peeve. And it’s not one that is going to be liked by many.

I do not like Jesus Christ the Superstar.

Now before you jump my guns and call me a heathen, let me clarify. In our culture there are many types of doctrine being spoken and taught. Most popular is that of the “Prosperity Doctrine.” But that is not what this post is about.

I’m talking about mega-churches with lights, camera and action. Church that is a production. Church that is loud. Church that makes Jesus Christ a celebrity instead of a savior and sovereign Lord. Church that elevates a club-like atmosphere. I feel like I’m attending a rock concert when I go. I do not like it. It’s my choice to not like it. But I can’t help but feel like this type of worship is leading more away from the narrow gate than to it. We have to be careful in worship that we aren’t worshiping the idea of Jesus, and that we are worshiping Jesus and praising him. In large crowds it is easy to get sucked into the lights, the emotion that sweeping through. It happens at rock concerts as well.

ImageJesus proclaims the path is wide but the gate is narrow in Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”

And these loud, bright, churches that elevate personal success to heaven versus Jesus’ way, frighten me.

Our culture has swallowed up and embraced Jesus Christ the Superstar. They have elevated him like we would elevate a celebrity or sports star. They have given humanistic success and a stage.

Jesus does not need a stage. He doesn’t require the lights. And if I were to be so bold, he most definitely does not use lights and cameras and big giant TVs to share a message.

Jesus wants us in a quiet corner. He wants us in relationship with him in prayer. In our personal studies. In our reverent come before him behavior. For goodness sake, HE IS GOD! Act like it!

Jesus came, lived, healed, was beaten, killed, and then rose from the freaking dead. HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD! He is not Kevin Costner or Jack Nicholson. He is bigger than the stages we “worship” him on. He is bigger than the TVs. He is more in focus than a cameraman could do.

Jesus is God. He is authority above all. He is sovereign. He is in everything. When we come before him, we shouldn’t come with bright lights and stages. We should come humbled, sinful creatures that deserve NOTHING from him, but he has GIVEN us EVERYTHING! He has blessed us full of grace. He has loved us in our most unlovable state.

What rock star has done this? Why do we treat Jesus like he’s a rock star? He is NOT a rock star.

I want to rid our culture of Jesus Christ the Superstar and bring back Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior!

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Happy Birthday, Mason!

Mason Robert

Happy Birthday!
You are strong.
Defiant
Loving and snuggling.
Wonderful in all ways even when you drive me crazy.
You love to laugh and have an incredible smile.
You are talented and smart.
And ALWAYS hungry!!!!
You are the son I’ve always wanted and the alien that took him over at times. 🙂
You eat like someone hasn’t eaten in years.

Every. 25. Minutes!

You learn quickly.
You are too smart for your own good.
You were such a fat chunky monkey when you were little. I knew where you put the food.
Now I am amazed at how much you eat and how skinny your legs are.
You run NONSTOP.
Probably the reason you are so skinny.
Maybe I should run around like you.
Then I could eat EVERY 25 MINUTES!

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In your 5 brief years of life you have blessed our family beyond imaginable stars.
You bring so much laughter to our lives.
You make me sooooooooo mad.
You make me SOOOOOOOOOO happy!
You love your sister.
Most brothers don’t admit it.
You aren’t any different.
You have two extra teeth.
Kinda weird.

You love to play the Wii Mariocart.
And you have mad driving skills. Also wreckless driving skills.
Which scares me for 11 years down the road from today.
We’ll have to make sure you haven’t spent much time on Mariocart when you start driving real life cars.
Your bike will do for now.

You have an unhealthy addiction to sugar.
I’m thinking your blood and major tissue is sugar based.
But when you act like you are filled with vinegar, I doubt my sugar conclusion.
But donuts and candy are your favorite.
You didn’t eat the birthday cake I made you, I’m kinda offended.
It did contain sugar.

You love to hit and get a rise out of Kara.
Stop hitting her.

Mason,
I love you so much.
You are quite a boy!
And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Except for one thing,
Could you eat less, please.
I’m going broke!

Thanks for the most exciting 5 years a mom could ask for.
Could we make the next 5 a little less exciting?
Just sayin!

Love,
“But Mom”

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Hollywood’s Bible

ImageThe Bible movement in movies has become quite an impacting tool .. for Christians and Satan alike.

The direction in which we portray the Bible can turn people away from God. The hard part is that Hollywood is a different culture. The ideas that typically surround a Bible story on the big screen come from motivations of money and grandeur. Not usually (in my opinion) to spread the Gospel.

When Christians and Believers put Biblical standards on a portrayal of a Bible story produced and written by those who may not believe or understand the Gospel, who are we disappointing? Definitely not those who are going to the movie for entertainment.

The Bible wasn’t written as a movie script. It wasn’t written as a #1 TV Series. It was written as a guideline of how to live a Christlike life to bring glory to God. It was written to teach us how to love. How to care for the poor. How to love the sinner. How to forgive. How to ask for forgiveness.

When I see Bible stories coming out on the big screen .. i.e. “Noah” .. my heart is already sunk. Not because of the entertainment factor, but because there will be thousands of non-believers that will go see this movie and leave with the impression of it being the Biblical truth.

Can I tell Hollywood not to make Biblical-based movies? No. Can I tell the non-believer to NOT go see Biblical based movies? No.

Can I prepare my spirit to answer the questions that these types of movies will spur? Yes.

Can I call on God to intervene when someone is unsure? Absolutely. Can I pray for agents from God to be placed in a non-believers path so that he or she can get the truth? Yes.

We are in a time where movies are incredibly influential. Story lines are more real than ever. People relate to characters. Cinematography is impressive. Production dollars are high.

When the Bible starts becoming something they are writing scripts about, it doesn’t spur anger or confusion for me. Hollywood will do what Hollywood does.

What it does do to me is make me incredibly concerned for those who are led even further off the path to the narrow gate. A tool of distraction. That is what concerns me about Hollywood’s Bible.

Hollywood’s Bible is one of lights and cameras. It’s one of notoriety. The Hollywood Bible is not spiritual. It’s not loving. It’s not one of victory over death. It’s a distorted perverted perspective on the Christian God.

God will have the final say in this industry. I just pray that those who get sucked into this “produced” Bible that an agent is placed right in front of them to correct their path!

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An Introverted Social Butterfly

Lately, I have been trying to figure out why or why not I do or don’t belong in certain social groups. Why do I have an variety of friends, but only one or two deep friendships, yet still I keep them at a healthy comfortable distance.

I use to be so outgoing, extroverted, comfortable in crowds, several close friends, and excited about group events that involved many MANY people at times. This personality trait of mine, has changed. And MANY people from my former crowd would be incredibly surprised to hear (or read) me describe myself as an “introvert.”

Have you ever taken one of those personality quizzes? Have you taken one recently? You might be surprised (or not) to find out what your personality traits are. And after much consideration, I am proud to claim myself as an….

Introverted Social Butterfly…

How does that even make sense?

Well when I look at the characteristics of an introvert they are; “an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people. Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to “recharge.”

SOOOO true for me nowadays! Not so true to myself 10+ years ago. And that is so weird to me. But makes total sense. I use to THRIVE on social functions. It filled my bucket, per say. It energized me. Now, it exhausts me. Tires me out. Depletes my energy. Which is weird because I’m very active in my church; I lead the children and family ministries; I sing on the praise team. I pretty front and center there.

But that’s where my social butterfly status comes in. According to Urban Dictionary (I know not a truly reliable source), a social butterfly is: “Someone who is VERY social and easygoing; can be either a male or a female. Usually these people don’t belong to a particular group, but rather jump from one group to another. They are somewhat accepted in all of them, but don’t really have any deep friendship connections in any of them.”

Again, that is me! To the “T.”

I jump from groups to groups .. I have been involved in numerous moms groups at one time, like 3 or 4, several separate groups of friends, many different church groups. And in most of them, I have failed to form those deep connections that we all need at one point or another. But why? Is it because social butterflies tend to have friendship ADD or is it that my introvertness denies me the ability to socialize. I am totally unsure. But I can tell you one thing; I am more than happy I have figured out my personality (at this point in my life).

Are you an introvert? Extrovert? Social Butterfly? Loner?

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Why a Season of Lent?

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Today is the beginning of the Lenten Season. Something I think that is quite misunderstood outside the Catholic church and a few other denominations that celebrate it. Even I, attending a Presbyterian church while growing up, was under the assumption that simply giving up something .. fasting from something I enjoyed was all it was about.

I attended St. Micheal’s Parish Ash Wednesday Mass this morning and during the sermon I came to realize that Lent isn’t about cutting chocolate or food or technology or “fill in the blank” out of your life until Easter. But it is about the realization of the sacrifice and atonement that Jesus made for us. Fasting is only one part of the celebration of Lent.

Coming to God with whole heart, all spirit, complete mind. Realizing in the next 40ish days (Sundays do not count during Lent) that offering yourself to God as a whole living sacrifice for his will in your life, that is what Lent is about.

Lent is about forgiveness. It’s about how Jesus, in one death and resurrection, removed our sins, gave us eternal life and sacrificed all he was/is for us. Lent is about forgiving those who have done wrong to us. It’s about extending that love that only God can provide to those we have a hard time loving and forgiving. It’s a struggle for us as humans to understand and comprehend slow anger and rich love. But that is exactly the purpose of Jesus.

Lent is about removing distraction from our lives that blocks a relationship with God. Lent is about diving head first into the word and understanding that God doesn’t want part of us, he wants ALL of us. Every part of our being

Lent is about becoming the follower of Jesus that we were meant to be. By participating in sacrifice, fasting, love, reading, teaching, praying and discipling.

This season of Lent, I am convicted that I am to let go of my human weaknesses. Not be convicted to giving up something, but be convicted to take on the cloak of Jesus. Live my life so that others can see him. Witness that his loving sacrifice was not in vain. And show that through his word, any and all can come to the foot of Christ and be saved.

In some prayer and meditation materials that I received at Mass this morning, it talks about repentance and forgiveness. One highlighted quote is “When we repent, we learn how to forgive.” I hope this Lenten season is one of repentance and forgiveness. One of peace learning, and one of love.

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Dear Mom with that list

Dear Mom with the mile-long to-do list,

Your kids will wait for you to get it done, impatiently at times. But they won’t be little the entire time. Don’t miss this opportunity. It will get done.

Your house might be a bit messy, and it will wait for you. But your kids won’t be this little tomorrow.

The junk piled corners will still be there later in the day when your littles are napping, quietly (if ever) entertaining themselves, or tomorrow. But the important thing he needs to say will leave his mind and won’t be back. So listen to their concerns, thoughts and words even if it interrupts.

Parenting is hard. You go into it with ideas of grandeur. Thoughts of ribbons and bows. That everything in life becomes this pastel shaded world. Children are perfectly pressed, with manners.

But life isn’t that way at all. My house is usually messy (unless a new friend is coming over .. must impress). My kids dress themselves .. thank goodness for school uniforms. And while admitting this might be a bit of a TMI statement, showers and baths are not on a regular schedule.

Let your kids get hurt. Let them play so hard that when it comes time for bedtime they are so tired they just want to climb into bed and have only one story instead of two. Give them those last 14 kisses and hugs at night they are requesting. Tuck them in just one more time after they go potty (for the 9th time) .. even after you’ve just sat down on the couch got your blanket over your legs and have proceeded to watch your favorite EVENING TV programming .. bc if the TV is on during the day .. the little pirates take over.

Pray.. Pray with and for your kids.

For in just 8 sweet hours of sleep, they will wake up older. They will wake up with new questions. Probably some that baffle you. New vocabulary will escape their rested and encouraged mouths. Danger will either elude them or prevent them. New activities will become favorite pasttimes. And toys they once loved to play with will be dubbed “baby toys.” Even though yesterday they played with them until their hearts were content.

Mom, try not to stress the errands, the messy kitchen, the toys scattered on the floors, the laundry that’s piling up (my nemesis). For tomorrow your baby might not be a baby anymore.

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Saying “Goodbye”

Have you ever moved away?

Have you ever had a friend move away?

Have you ever experienced that heartache as an 8-year-old second grader saying “goodbye” to her “best friend?”

Today is that day. And my daughter is that 8 year old. I know that her friend is having just as much, if not more, sadness because she is moving. Not just away from my dear daughter, but from all her friends she has made through her elementary experience.

When putting Kara to bed tonight, she pulled out her matching shirt she had made. A couple weeks ago she made matching shirts for her and her dear friend, to ensure that her friend wouldn’t forget her. Well tonight, Kara pulled out this shirt to sleep in and broke down in tears.

How does a mom comfort the loss of a friend like this? How does a mom instill the confidence in her child that she can still be friends with her friend even though they are separated by thousands of miles? How do I keep from crying for my daughters heartbreak?

I know this little girl that is moving away. She has slept over at our house many times. Since joining the same second grade class this year, they were inseparable at school and attempted to be inseparable on the weekends. Her family attended our church the past few months, which in Kara and Friend’s eyes meant they could see each other “six days a week” they once said.

How do I alleviate this sadness that wells up in Kara’s eyes?

I try to explain they can write letters, send pictures, call each other on the phone. But for Kara, that doesn’t seem like it’s enough. I know she will miss her friend. I know her friend will miss Kara and all her friends she has gained the past few years. I am sure that Friend’s mom is dealing with the same emotions for her daughter.

It is so much easier to experience the heartbreak as an adult. This is rough watching my Kara experience this.

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Making a House a Home

Making a house a home is a difficult task. I’m in constant amazement that military families can walk into a house, knowing they are going to be there only a few years, and in no time have it turned immediately into a warm and welcoming home. Perhaps it’s that they are trained to respond to change in a short period of time. Or maybe they are longing for that solid foundation of a home like everyone else.

But for me, living in Alaska for almost 6 years, I still have NOT turned my house into a home. And I am confident that it is because we have talked about moving since moving. I haven’t felt grounded, rooted in this community because I’ve been waiting to move to our home (wherever that might be).

Recently, Aaron and I decided to stay put in Alaska and table the discussion of moving until we were debt free (cue the Dave Ramsey program). This could take many years. If we are diligent it will take less time. But anyways, now that the topic of moving is out of our vocabulary, we will be turning our house .. our cold, undecorated, unwelcoming, stark house .. into a warm, inviting home.

Decor changes everything for a family. Organization influences the family. Having a functioning system gives the family some direction. I want that for our family.

I want my kids are on the walls (not in the permanent marker fashion). I want pictures of our family all over the place. I want ALL pictures .. not just professionally taken pictures .. pictures from our adventures. I want COLOR on the walls. No more of this bland cream. And I am excited to go room by room and make it OUR OWN!!!

So next time you are in our home, I hope that it’s welcoming, comfortable and warm. And that you can tell that a family lives here and that it’s not a rental house! HAHAHA

 

Sometimes it's the little things here and there that makes a home feel like a home. Don't get to caught up with what's stylish or what's in this season. ;)

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