Friday, May 15, 2009

Friends are friends forever if the Lord is the Lord of them and a friend will not say never....

Here's #4 on the Top 5 Strengths Finder...

4. Relator:
Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people—in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends—but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk—you might be taken advantage of—but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly. By nature, you are quite comfortable being honest about yourself with others. You harbor very few illusions about who you really are. Furthermore, you can openly acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings. This is apt to distinguish you from most people. Driven by your talents, you are comfortable offering suggestions to people who regularly seek your counsel — that is, recommendations about a decision or course of action they are considering. These individuals usually feel deep affection for you. You are likely to spend time together socializing as well as working or studying. Instinctively, you are comfortable being open and honest about who you are. Often you intentionally avoid people who are less than truthful. You prefer to spend time with individuals who speak as candidly as you do about their strengths, shortcomings, hopes, disappointments, failures, or successes. Chances are good that you are regularly sought out by others for your expert counsel. A variety of people ask for your opinions and suggestions. Once individuals realize you possess the precise knowledge and skills they need, they come to you for guidance. Because of your strengths, you occasionally tell yourself that you are an effective mentor or trainer. Perhaps individuals benefit from the investment you make in them.

Hmmm.....is this me or what??? Scary! I love getting to know people...but I have a hard time being friends with people who are untrustworthy or simply shallow. I do try to choose carefully because the company I keep says a lot about me. I also feel that friends should put in as much effort as I do. I get hurt often because of this...I've been the "convenient" friend at times and its just not fun! No bueno, I say! If I've put effort in and don't feel like the same amount of effort (or really any effort) is being put in, I'm not afriad to talk about it, but soon I will lose interest and move on. We all know life is busy, but

A pet peve of mine is when someone tries too hard to cover their weaknesses and overexaggerate their strengths. Let's find a healthy balance people. Afterall, we are all human...and contrary to my mother's belief about one of her children who will remain nameless, we all have faults and weaknesses. It's okay and most people are willing to accept you for you as long as you don't try too hard. And if someone can't accept you for you, keep walkin in the opposite direction from them! Just be YOU! Life is easier when you aren't pretending to be something/someone you're not...it just hurts Jesus' feelings when you can't be you.

Today's side note:
I honor all the people that work in the Slow Burn nursery! I think each one of you should receive special treatment and spa days and gifts and well, you get the point...AMAZING! Slow Burn has a lot of young familes in our church and continues to grow. The nursery was packed with lots of beautiful babies and each were so precious! I'm not gonna lie though...phew...I was exhausted afterwards! So...to all the nursery workers at Slow Burn...I salute you!

Happy 1st Birthday Charlotte! Hope you enjoy your day with mommy and daddy all over town! Oh and all those gifts!

Happy Birthday cousin Elisa! Hope you are enjoying your day with your family! Come visit us in the States soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who me? Couldn't be. You stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

I wish I was better at this blogging thing. For most of you that know me, you know that I usually have plenty to say. I could most likely talk to anyone and I love to learn more about people. Maybe it’s because of the feeling of the “one-sidedness” of a conversation and not open “two-way” communication. Or maybe it’s because I don’t like to see a computer very much outside of my work hours. Either way...i really should try to keep this up.

At the ministry that I work at we have Required Reading and Teaching material that we complete throughout our first year of employment. One of the very first things we have to complete is Strengths Finder by Tom Rath. It’s been just over a year and a half that I’ve taken it, but this week I was reminded by a co-worker of it and it caused me to look over mine again. My results are fascinating to me. I thought I would give you more information about each one in the next few days…as not to overload you with too much information about me all at once. I'll be starting from the bottom and work my way up the list. Some of them seem to overlap in areas. Let’s see if you agree on any of these!

My top 5 strengths are (in this order according to Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder 2.0):
1. Activator
2. Connectedness
3. Individualization
4. Relator
5. Communication

5. Communication:
By nature, you very much enjoy the animated give-and-take of a lively discussion. Because of your strengths, you might keep the dialogue going when talking with visionaries about what will be possible in the distant future. Maybe you share some of your own experiences, examples, or stories to make a point. Maybe you ask questions to help forward-looking thinkers refine their imaginative propositions. It’s very likely that you might have a knack for starting dialogue with people, especially outsiders or newcomers. Perhaps your engaging style explains why individuals desire to spend time with you. Chances are good that you enjoy explaining your ideas and listening to what your teammates have to say about them. Animated give-and-take sessions make your work or studies much more interesting. When someone struggles to grasp one of your concepts, you probably enlighten the person by telling a story, outlining the steps, or giving examples. Instinctively, you gravitate to activities that permit you to join teams. Why? You probably enjoy spending time with their members. You often figure out ways you can work or study with them. You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information—whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson—to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them to act.

Maybe, just maybe, this is why I would rather have “two-way” conversations than just posting on my blog, eh? I feel like I need to go read the Thesaurus a bit more though…and yes, many times I refer to the Thesaurus to find a better word to describe what I want to say…and no, that’s not weird that I do that.


And some side notes that really don't have anything to do with the above:
Charlotte and Adie came to visit me yesterday at work. I can pretty much say they made my day! Charlotte is the most beautiful angel that is turning 1 on Friday (the 15th of May). I can’t believe she’s already turning 1! She is so precious and I love her personality! I can't wait to see how God chooses to use her! Adie is a wonderful and dear friend of mine. Adie and her husband mean so much to me. They will always be part of my family. They are godly examples and true friends. What an honor to call them friends! I am praying that God blesses their family in every way possible…especially and even right now!

I was reading through some of the twitter posts this morning and I saw some that were expressing how thankful they are for certain people in their lives. I almost cried! Okay, okay...my eyes did well up a little, but no actual tears came out. It was so sweet! I love when people express their gratefulness. I need to do that more often. The people I have in my life are flat out the most amazing people in the world. I pray fervently for my loved ones and am excited to see God moving in their lives.

Okay...I'm outta here for now...
much love...