Friday, May 22, 2009

Unos, Dos, Tres, Catorce

Did U2 mean to jump to 14 from 3? Just wondering?

Okay...today...it's time to honor 2 fine people that share a birthday! All of these birthdays really makes me so aware of how many awesome people I have in my life! I am blessed beyond measure and never want to overlook the goodness of my God!
Happy Birthday to the following Mexicans:
::Michelle Castro::
I love her heart. She is always finding the good in people. She is definitely a keeper in my book! She loves Jesus and she loves His people.
::Steve Cherrico::
Uhm, what to say about Steve??? This man loves God, loves His family and loves others. He is passionate...but not in that crazy way that makes you go...you're a weirdo. He is truly a man after God's own heart and it shows in all that he does!
I've got plenty of side notes to share...but those will have to wait...for now...wish Michelle and Steve a very Happy Birthday with me!
xo much love xo

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Drum roll...please....

My top strength according to Strenths Finder is....wait for it....

Oh by the way...my co-worker and I have decided that we are going to retake the Strengths Finder test in the next week and see if any of our Strengths have changed...I will keep you updated (because I know you want to know!) in regards to the results. I definitely would recommend for people to take the Strengths Finder test...it's always good to know your Strengths...and from previous posts...you know that I know that you have them...Okay, now back to my top Strength...

1. Activator:
Because of your strengths, you are naturally open and honest about who you are, what you have done, what you can do, and what you cannot do. Your straightforward explanations and stories help listeners see you as you see yourself. You reveal your strengths and limitations. You are forthright and plainspoken. People generally seek your company and want to work with you. Many are impelled to move into action by your words and examples. Instinctively, you strive to energize people. Simply put: You have a way of taking charge and moving others to action. Chances are good that you rely on your upbeat attitude to help people feel enthusiastic about life. You regularly direct their attention to what is good, beautiful, delightful, right, or possible. Others usually notice it is difficult to feel downcast — that is, in low spirits or dejected — when in your presence. Only action can make things happen and leads to performance. Others may worry that “there are still some things we don’t know,” but this doesn’t seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your next. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can’t. You must put yourself out there. You must take the next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.

Okay…so, uhm, yeah, this is definitely part of who I am…and I know many of you are like…“specially that plainspoken part!” Over the past couple months I have really struggled with that part. I don’t really sugarcoat or beat around the bush. I’m not a Southern Belle who can lie to your face and say ‘bless their heart’. It’s tough being called mean especially when my intentions are to be an honest person. My heart is usually in the right place...I make mistakes...i'm only human, but I really, really try to be lovingly honest.


I am definitely someone who has little patience. I love to run with ideas and get things going! And I’m very passionate about what I believe in and my convictions…and most of the time I think you should be too! There are plenty of foundations and organizations out there making a positive difference in the world. Some of them that I will completely back up and support to name a few: KEZA (formerly Sisters of Rwanda), Barefoot Republic, TOMS Shoes (yep, i'm even wearing mine right now...and they are VERY cute, i might add), YWAM, Jimmy and Meilyn Earle (in Ireland and she's preggo! yay!), Mercy Ministries, NarrowGate Foundation, Beyond Words (Papa Nick and Mama Maria have hearts of gold!), and Sophia's Heart Foundation. All ones you should check out and see how you can get involved. Do it, you know you want to!

Now on to nothing important, but none-the-less updates...
I got a chance to hang with 2 very sweet girls last night. Bailey and Devyn Penrose are pretty much wonderful and fun to spend time with. Bailey is a testimony of God's healing power and love and faithfulness and on and on. I will have to share her testimony with you soon, but let's just say she is a miracle! She is one of the coolest pre-teen girls I have ever had the privilege of calling friend! Devyn is the youngest girl in the Penrose posse...and i think she has the more personality than the whole family put together. I love it! It was really great seeing Peter and Nikki and then Madison (even if but for a few minutes). They are such a lovely family...inside and out...good hearts that love God. They may not be blood related but they are family fo'sho!

I did not win in my American Idol pool this year...but it was fun regardless! I did pick the correct winner in the end...i'll pretend that counts for something.

Today is another beautiful day outside. I thoroughly enjoy the sunshine! I'm wearing yellow today which makes me even more happy...but not as happy as sunshine, wearing yellow and wearing TOMS combined...which means today is fabulous! Yet, I'm antsy...need to get away from the desk! Help me, Lord!

Good things are happening today! I can feel it! God is up to something and it makes me smile!

xo much love xo

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1 little, 2 little, 3 little...

...birthday friends!
Happy, Happy Birthday to these wonderful people...
::Jenn Maciuk::

She's pretty awesome and a perfect addition to the family! I love her more than peanut m&ms!

::Phil Baquie::

Phil is the most awesome Aussie i know. Love his genuineness and kind heart! Truly a good man! ...not to mention his rockin' skills...

::Leah Hayes::

Leah has made the top most liked co-workers list! She is a fun lovin' godly woman who just has it going on!

the continuum and more

And on towards the top...

2. Connectedness:
It’s very likely that you may convince certain people that a particular project or cause improves humankind’s quality of life. Perhaps you help people realize they can accomplish more good as a group than they can as individuals. Instinctively, you sometimes like to help people overcome obstacles that prevent them from linking up with one another. This partially explains why you engage certain newcomers or outsiders in small talk as well as serious discussions. Chances are good that you frequently engage in laborious tasks. You yearn to dedicate yourself to worthy causes or noble purposes. Fortifying the bonds between yourself, the people you know, or even those you will never meet gives your life special meaning. By nature, you hold tightly to your core values. They form the foundation of your day-to-day existence. Your internal moral compass always points in the direction of what is right, proper, and true. You trust your strong convictions to direct you to the right path, regardless of the obstacles you face. Driven by your talents, you sense every event is somehow the consequence of a series of actions, reactions, or lack of actions. You can accept that which cannot be fully explained using logic. You say there are no accidents. You are confident that things are linked together for a purpose that may or may not be revealed to you. Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries.

Yeah…definitely me…in fact, I know that there is a purpose I am typing this and you are reading this. HA! Love it! You know...maybe it's because I've got a few more years under my belt now...but I believe that everything is connected even more so now then ever. I know that each situation, circumstance and event has a reason and purpose. I've seen it at work in many areas of my life and those around me. It amazes me when I see connections because it reminds me of the greater work at hand. I don't always see why certain things happened and I might not ever see the reason, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. That's why it's so important to sow life into each person and situation...you never know what difference it can make in the outcome. I want my actions to always bring life and not just to the here and now, but for the eternal.


Side notes of today:
It is absolutely beautiful out today. The sun is shinin' and it's gorgeous. It's been hard sitting behind a desk on a day like today. I've been really thinking about Uganda and Argentina lately. I miss those places dearly. I miss being face to face with people having conversations and getting to know them and their lives. I want to be out and about loving on people and showing them Jesus through any way I can. I want to be doing crafts and painting faces with the kids. I want to be talking to young girls and encouraging them in whatever they are interested in (unless its boys - then i would like to be encouraging them to put God first!). I want to be talking to the older folks and listening to them tell stories. I want to be walking through "cardboard land" and handing out food. I want to hold those babies that call the orphanage their home. I want to be out there. I am praying that God opens those doors to let me be out there. There's not enough air in here...know what I mean? It's hard to breathe here...I need to be out there! It doesn't help that I was wearing my TOMS shoes yesterday and it just kept reminding me of all the kids that don't have shoes! I want to go hand out shoes to those kids! I want to be out there! I don't want to sound ungrateful for my job because I truly am. This ministry is just as important, but the desk is making me a little claustrophobic right now. I need the face to face interaction. That's what's been on my mind and heart lately...wondering if there's a reason for that and if God is up to something... :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a continuation of a continuation


Here is number 3 of the top strengths for me...

3. Individualization:

Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one-of-a-kind stories in each person’s life. This theme explains why you pick your friends just the right birthday gift, why you know that one person prefers praise in public and another detests it, and why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one person’s need to be shown and another’s desire to “figure it out as I go.” Because you are such a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw out the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around for the perfect team “structure” or “process,” you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual strengths so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well. Instinctively, you selflessly come to the aid of others. You naturally blend into the group. You enjoy working alongside everyone else to reach a common goal. You prefer to be part of a team rather than work by yourself. By nature, you now and then pause to recognize how people are alike and how they are different. Maybe you know a lot about each person’s talents, interests, background, dreams, or limitations. Chances are good that you sense that every person is one of a kind. You can quickly discover what makes someone distinct from everyone else. It’s very likely that you consistently observe members of your group to identify what makes each one unique and special. You study a person’s talents, quirks, motivations, or idiosyncrasies. You can pinpoint someone’s preferred way of thinking, working, or relating to people. Because of your strengths, you can stand in a teammate’s emotional space to gain insights into what that person feels and/or thinks. You probably have a gift for looking at the world through someone else’s experiences. You frequently set aside your opinions, ideas, and/or past history to attune yourself to another human being’s condition.

Ah hah! This explains why I strongly dislike giving gift cards (although I do enjoy receiving them)! :)

I do love the fact that no one person is the same as another. I could spend hours observing people...the airport is a great place for this...you see all kinds of people! For as much as I like to talk, I think I like to watch and listen to others just as much. You can gain great insight into people by just observing them and how they interact with other people. Because everything has a purpose and a reason, every person has a purpose and reason. Now, obviously, we have free will and the ability to form our character, so not everyone reaches their potential or their true purpose in life, but God has a specific purpose and plan for each person. God gave each person talents and gifts that were to be used for His glory and to further His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. It's hard to see your own giftings and talents in a critical world that says 'you're not good enough' and we spend a lifetime comparing ourselves to others. People need to hear their strengths, gifts, talents...they need to know they are unique with a purpose and they are wonderful because of that. They are a masterpiece created by the Creator of All. We all have weaknesses, but if that's true then we all have strengths. When we learn to acknowledge that we have strengths, we learn to value ourselves. When we learn that others have strengths, we learn to value others. It's time for us (yep, i'm preaching to myself) to see the best in others instinctively and not the worst. Seeing their flaws does not make yours disappear. It's hard to change that mindset, but what would the world around you look like if you did?




Side notes for today:


I love, Love, LOVE the Zoo! Why? I don't know. I just do. Sunday was the picture perfect day outside. I slept in and had a relaxing start to the day. I knew that I would be babysitting that afternoon and taking two of my favorite boys out for a bit that afternoon, but I didn't know that we were going to go to the zoo. Jackson has been talking about wanting to go for some time, but lately I've been babysitting them in the evenings and the zoo closes at 6pm. The last time we went to the zoo was during Halloween season and it was a blast. Well, I had no objection when the first question Jack asked me was "can we go to the zoo? it's open!" What Fun! It was a gorgeous day! We were there for 3 hours walking around and enjoying the day. Justin and Jackson are the best dates ever!


Sunday night after SundayPM service a group of us went to Five Guys. We had a lot of fun. I'm convinced that I am surrounded by some pretty awesome people in my life. I enjoy their friendships and the fact that they all have a passion to serve God. I thank God for each one of them!




I had a splendid lunch with my friend Jeanie yesterday at Peter's (uhm, yum!). She is an incredible woman of God filled with integrity and wisdom! I could have sat there for hours and just listened to her. God has done and is doing some pretty incredible things in her life. I can't wait to see all that He has in store for her and her family! It's going to be awesome! I left encouraged and blessed. It is my prayer that she continues to meet God on a deeper level each day and encounter Him in new ways.


xo much love xo