Getting to Know You…

Over the past few years, I have really taken the time to get to know myself.  By nature, I am regularly reassessing and evaluating myself, my circumstances, and my current position.  For me, it is important that I am moving forward, growing, and being productive.  If at any time I find this is not the case, I want to know why and what adjustments need to be made.  Now this is not to say the adjustments are always easy, some of them take time and consistent effort.
So in my quest to get to know myself better, I completed the StrengthFinder assessment, and the Myers Briggs personality test.  I am pleased to say that I am an INFJ, with the Strengths of Responsibility, Connectedness, Relator, Restorative, and Belief.  I was amazed at how on point each description was as it pertained to me.  While reading the book StrengthFinders, there was one point that still sticks with me today; and that is how we spend so much time trying to make ourselves better in the areas that we are weak in, rather than concentrating on and operating in the areas that we are strong.  It was something so simple, yet so “deep.”  I know a lot of people, including myself, who have spent a lot of time trying to make themselves better at the things they stink at, rather than focusing on the things they are good at and excelling in those areas.  I believe if we did so, we would be a lot more fulfilled and happy. 
When I got to the personality test results, I had to laugh at myself.  The very job it said was not a good job for me was the very job that I had.  However, I understood why it wasn’t a good fit for me.  When I look back over my resume, the jobs I seemed to be most passionate about and fulfilled in doing, were the same types listed in my personality results.  Although I am good at my 9-5, I’m not passionate about it or fulfilled.  I’m good at what I do, because I find ways to operate in my strengths.  No, I’m not contradicting myself, I’m just adding an addendum, “Operating in your strengths matched up with areas you are passionate about, will lead you to be more fulfilled and happy.”  The interesting thing is most people don’t even know what their strengths are, nor have they taken the time to really assess what they’re good at.
So today, I am challenging you to go on a journey and find out who you are.  Don’t spend the rest of your life randomly selecting what you think might be a good fit for you, or being miserable trying to make yourself good at what you obviously wasn’t created to be good at.  Our weaknesses help us to rightly connect with others who are strong in our weak areas.  It’s like a jig saw puzzle.  When we match our strengths with another person’s weaknesses and vice versa, in the end we all work and come together to make the whole picture.    It’s not your job to be strong in your weak areas, but it is your job to find out your strengths. 

As always, I thank you for taking the time to stop by.  If you’d like more information on the StrengthFinders assessment, you can go to www.gallupstrengthscenter.com; and for more information on Myers Briggs personality test, go to www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test. Remember today is a great day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.

Home

For as far back as I can remember, writing has been something that I loved to do.  Even as a child, as long as I had a pencil and some paper, I was good.  I would make up stuff to write, from fake math equations, to words that didn’t even exist.  I just needed to write.  Unfortunately, during my elementary school years, I switched states and schools; and while I was thriving in my departing school, in my new school I struggled heavily.  I think the biggest setback for me was being put in remedial math and reading.  It messed with my confidence a lot.  I have to admit though, it was my own doing that got me put there.  How so?  Well my mom had moved to a different state, and I remained behind with my grandparents until she got on her feet.  A year or more had passed, and I was still living between my grandparents and my dad, and to my surprise a holiday visit with my mom turned out to be a permanent stay.  Naturally, I loved my mom and missed her very much, but I wasn’t ready for that type of move.  So when it became clear that I was going to be staying with her for good, she went to enroll me in school.  I was required to take a placement test since I was coming from a different state.  My creative mind decided if I purposely failed this test, then they will have no choice but to return me to my grandparents.  Not so.  I failed the test, and it landed my smart behind in remedial classes.  I didn’t recover from this dreaded mistake until middle school.
When I got to middle school, a whole new world opened up to me.  Whatever I put my hands to excelled.  I joined the news team as a camera girl, and then moved my way up to anchor.  Yes, my school had a live broadcasted news show that was shown in every classroom every morning.  I got to write my own news stories and deliver them on air.  I think it was called the “A.M. Eagles”.  From there I joined the drama club, and I got to write and act in skits that I and my teammates wrote.  The biggest moment for me though, was when I wrote an essay about a tragic killing that happened in our area.  It wasn’t an assignment for class or anything.  I was just angry about the way things were going in our neighborhoods at the time.  So, I took to writing to get my anger out.  Somehow one of my teachers got their hands on what I had written, and the next thing I know I was standing before an auditorium of my peers and teachers reading what I had written.  Wow! 
Of course there is much more that I can share, but the point that I’m chasing right now is that since my early years, I have had a love for writing.  Without understanding the drawing that I had to it, I continuously worked at, and it has taken me to some amazing places.  For me writing is home, and now that I know this, it’s a matter of finding my way back.  The void that I have without it gives me an insatiable thirst that nothing else can quench.  I can’t just visit from time to time anymore.  I have to find a way to consistently “be” at home.

As always, I thank you for stopping by.  I hope this tid bit will help you remember what home is for you.  Remember, today is a great day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love!

What Did You Do With Your Talent?



I was recently reminded of the biblical parable of the Talents. Yes, I’ve heard the story many times before; but this time it really stood out to me. It made me ask myself what did and am I doing with my talent?
So in the parable, three servants were given an unequal portion of money.  The two with the most money went out and “traded”, and doubled their money.  The one that had the least money went and literally buried his money, because he was “afraid”.  When their master came back he was very pleased with the two that had doubled their money, but angry with the one that had buried his (Matthew 25:14-30). 
Wow!  Now the interesting thing is the parable is about money, but when I heard this story instantly I saw how it not only applied to the way that I looked at money; but also the way that I handle my gifts and talents.  So my short meditative thought for you today is are you burying your money, gifts, talents, or strengths; or are you utilizing them to multiply your return?  Just a question.
As always, I thank you for stopping by, and I wish you a safe and wonderful day!

Do Over

I know it’s been a while. So much has happened in these past few months. I’m telling you, it is so easy to lose track of time. My internet went down and before I knew it days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months since I had written anything. 

Needless to say the clock totally resets on my #365 project. I’m going way back to double-dutch on the playground days, and crying, “Do Over!” I need another chance to get this thing right.

In the spirit of getting things right, I am so excited and thankful today to be celebrating not just another day of life, but another YEAR of life!   It certainly could have been another way, but today I get to try and be better than I was yesterday;  and I get a chance to make this upcoming new year of life better than my last.  Learning from mistakes, and applying the lessons I’ve learned.  DO OVER!

Well, that’s all for today.  As always, thank you for stopping by, and I wish you and yours a safe and wonderful day!

Inspirational Thursday

It’s that time again!  Time for me to share something that has inspired me.  I found this while browsing Pintrest this morning.  I certainly believe it rings true.  

What about you?  What has inspired you this week?  Well, as always, I thank you for stopping by, and wish you a safe and wonderful day!

Making A Difference

Today is a great day to make a difference and a positive impact in the lives of those around you!
I used to say that all the time.  I had it on my answering machine greeting, and even had it posted all over my desk.  I didn’t just say it.  I lived it as well.  I was a mentor for young women and teens.  I did outreach ministry at the men and women’s shelters.  I partnered with a teen parenting program, and did empowerment speaking in the county schools for teen parents.  I actually practiced what I preached, or at least I tried to. 
My family dynamics have changed since then, in a good way of course, and unfortunately I don’t have the opportunity to do as much as I used to.  But, I still maintain the desire to positively impact the lives of others around me, and make difference.  I have just found other ways to do it.  Sometimes it may be through a donation, monetary or clothing.  Other times I may volunteer to serve with a non-profit organization in some type of capacity. Either way, I still manage to find some way to help out.  So often people talk about the problems, but do very little to contribute to the solution. 
Although everyday is a great day to give back in some way, the month of October highlights a lot of non-profits as the Combined Federal Campaign, which includes the United Way, begins their annual donation drive.  Yes, this is primarily for Federal employees and federal contractors to donate.  However, the website is accessible to the public.  So if you are having a hard time finding non-profits in your area that fit your interests to volunteer or personally donate to, this would be a good resource.   
In this day and time, there are so many people that could use the loving, helping hand of others who are passionate about leaving a positive impression on the lives that they come in contact with.  So in the words of my Pastor, Dr. Chad Carlton, what will you be most known for, the problems you caused, or the problems you solved?

As always, I thank you so much for stopping by.  Remember… Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love, because today is a Great Day to make a difference and a positive impact in the lives of those around you.

Thankful

I know this is going to be a little different, but sometimes less is more.  So today, I simply want to say, I am thankful for another chance to get it right!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a safe and wonderful day!

Unguarded Passion

“The Key to writing is writing.  The first draft comes from the heart, and the second draft comes from my head.”  Yes, I am noticing that every day I find myself in some way reciting that quote.  I honestly need it rooted in my spirit.  When you are passionate about something. You eat, sleep, and breathe it.  That’s where am I right now.  My passion is being restored for the one thing that I loved to do, and was very good at doing. 
I remember a time when I did eat, sleep, and breathe writing.  I would work the swing shift, get off at 11:30 at night, come home, and write until 3 or 4 in the morning.  I could sit down and just write like it was nothing.  I would write at work, write at the park, I have even sat in a bowling alley during rock and bowl with the loud music and black lights writing in between my turn to bowl.  I was a writer, and writing is what I did.  Thinking back on those times gives me that feeling some people get when they walk through a house and smell the savory flavors of their favorite childhood dish; and at that moment they feel like they are literally right back at the place when their senses first came in contact with that smell.  Yeap, its like that.
The other day I was sitting at home watching TV, and I came across one of my favorite movies, Finding Forrester.  I chuckled at myself a little, because I found myself taking notes on the advice Forrester was giving Jamaal, hence the above quote that I have been stuck on.  I had forgotten how the movie ended, and I found myself crying at the end.  The problem was I couldn’t stop crying, and I didn’t understand why.  It wasn’t until my catch up chat with my Resident Psychologist that the light bulb came on, and I got the revelation on why I was crying.
I cried, because the very thing that Forrester warned Jamaal about happened to me.   In my quest to hone my skills and become a better writer, I came across some people that didn’t understand nor believe that writing was so natural and easy for me.  I didn’t fit in the box and the formulas that they had come to consistently train other writers.  In the end they took me, and my raw natural talent, and shattered me.  Slowly, but surely I shutdown, until eventually I stopped writing altogether. 
The funny thing is, I had experienced and successful writers encouraging me to directly pursue employment as a full time writer.  They told me, “Don’t do the programs.  Don’t take the classes.  Just write.  You can do this.”  The problem was I saw other writers “on my level” that were applying to the programs, and taking the classes.  So since I was scared, and slightly insecure; I did the opposite of what I was advised.   Watching that movie reminded me of my love for writing, and how I have been separated from it for the last 6-7 years.  What a price to pay!
I don’t know what it is you’re passionate about, or what natural gifts and talents you have; but what I do know is that you should always keep them guarded.  There is a difference between constructive criticism and “I’m trying to hurt you” criticism. You want those things that are going to correct while still helping you build, not things that rip away your very unique foundation.  The last thing you want is to be forced into a box that you weren’t even designed to fit in.
Well, that’s my note for today, and yes there will be more to come.  But until then… I thank you for stopping by, and I wish you a safe and wonderful day! #365

Path vs. Destination

“Don’t confuse your path with your destination.  Just because its stormy now doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine.” – Unknown
I ran across this quote on Pinterest.  Unfortunately, I don’t know whom exactly gets the credit for it; but I do know this is definitely a mistake that I have made at various times in my life. 
Today I want to encourage you to take a moment and refresh your perspective.  Sometimes life’s circumstances can become so overwhelming that we take our eyes off of the ultimate goal, and begin to magnify the molehills until we convince ourselves that they are mountains standing before us.  Before you know it, you’ve settled within yourself that your life is never going to be more than struggles and hard climbs.
But today, remember the quote.  Your path is meant to take you through to your destination.  It is not the place for you to stop, settle, and make your home.  The path may take you to high places and low places along the way, but the stops are only temporary.  Seasons do change.  And after you have suffered a while, he (God) will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation (1 Peter 5:10). Your destiny still awaits you!  So again I say be encouraged!  Don’t give up, and please don’t give in.  Press, because the prize of the victory is well worth it at the end!

As always, I thank you so much for stopping by, and wish you a safe and wonderful day!

Day 3

I love it!  I got a text message this evening that said, “Blog???” That’s what I’m talking about, check on me and hold me to my 365 days.  I appreciate it!
Do you know it took me three hours to get home today?  Traffic jams and detours everywhere!  Every alternate route I took to avoid the traffic turned out to be just as bad.    I was tired, hungry, and at times just wanted to cry from the frustration.  It wasn’t until I finally got home that I realized what was really going on.
See earlier today, I had the pleasure of talking with my friend the “Resident Psychologist,” and we had one of our many “Are you the patient or am I the patient” sessions.  It was good shooting the breeze and catching up with her.  We talked about some good stuff.  No worries, I am going to fill you in a little later on another day.  Anyway, one of the things that we talked about was my 365-day blogging; and how challenges to stick with it would surely arise.  And no soon as I get off from work, I run into my first challenge. 
I was so drained when I first got home, all I wanted to do was put my feet up and close my eyes for a few moments to rest.  I knew I needed to blog, but the more I thought about it the more comfortable I got (my second challenge).  Then that text message came through.  All I could do was laugh.  So, I pressed my way to get up and WRITE. 
Now that I have overcome the odds for today, I’m going to go rest up and prepare for tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by, and you all have a safe and wonderful night! #365