Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great quote by Julian Smith's brother...

" falling flat on my face -- multiple times -- in order to understand the truth that God doesn't call us to things that we can do, but instead to things that we cannot do. For if He had called us to something that we could do we wouldn't need Him. The Truth is He calls us to things that are beyond our strength so that we'll be forced to rely on Him to do it through us. "

Friday, February 18, 2011

Personality - Please Understand Me :)

About five months ago while visiting a friend, she made me sit down and take the personality test presented in Please Understand Me II (and just for the record, I think that's a pretty lame title). I'm not a huge fan of personality tests and I've never taken one on Facebook, like "Take this quiz to find out what Jane Austen character you are", but my friend had been raving about the books for weeks so I was curious to find out more.

So of course I didn't have time to read the long book while visiting my friend but I did skim through several of the personality types and I may or may not have read most of the dating section at 11:00pm with a flashlight. The lights were out and we were at a church family camp. :)

Once I got home I rented it from the library and started talking about it non-stop to my family and then eventually my friends. I think it ranks right up with Crucial Conversations and How to Win Friends and Influence People for learning how to get along with others!

The author bases his personality test off the famed Meyers-Brigg test, so you don't have to take his test if you've taken that test. He then takes the test results a whole step further than Meyers-Briggs did when describing groups and types. He divides everyone into four personality groups, with four personality types making a group. So far, I've had friends from every group take the test and I've been amazed about how uncannily the author can "label" people.

Of course, one of the dangers with these sort of things is you certainly don't want to go around putting everyone in a box! Sure, some people you meet will agree with every single thing in their personality profile, but obviously, most people just tend to lean one way stronger than the other. Or some people may be evenly split between several personalities and understand both sides. And just because you are strong on the "feeling" side, doesn't mean you can't think. :)

Another danger is using it as an excuse for your sinful tendencies, you know, the "I'm just made that way" excuse. Or using it as an excuse for pride! As a cousin pointed out, it can be like the self-fulfilling prophecies that horoscopes make: "Why.... of course... I'm a kind and generous person!"

Now moving on to the fun stuff. First off, I think the title Please Understand Me, should be the complete opposite point of the book. I know that what I find most helpful from reading the book is being able to understand OTHERS better. Just like knowing what someone's religious beliefs are when getting along with someone is helpful, it also really helps (me, at least) to know what their personality emphasizes. I know I've had times where I've had no clue where someone was coming from and how to respond and now I do.

Another thing I like about the book is that it helps you appreciate people different from yourself. God makes us all wonderful. :)

And it does help you understand yourself better. I've been convicted from reading this book and it has helped me understand where some of my "sin tendencies" come from. Not that I can magically get rid of them, but I think it's been helping me nip them in the bud quicker. In fact I told Scott about a month ago that I was working on not being scornful (a tendency of the Rationals apparently), and he promptly (and honestly) commented "Yeah, you've been a lot better about that." Oh my. So yeah, I'm working on not being so scornful.

Oh and just a note, this is not from a Christian viewpoint at all. I should probably read some Christian personality books after I get over this concussion. :) I also wonder if there's biblical precedent of four personality groups relating to the four sides
of the cherubim, etc, as talked about by James Jordan... And there's probably a whole bunch of points that I've forgotten that I will remember tomorrow morning....

So anyways, here's a summary from the website (which also features the test that's in the book). The test online only sorts you into a group, whereas the book sorts you into the specific type, but it's a lot of fun to poke around and read more about each type on the website.

Keirsey Temperament Website - Overview of the Four Temperaments: "

The Four Temperaments

  • As Concrete Cooperators, Guardians speak mostly of their duties and responsibilities, of what they can keep an eye on and take good care of, and they're careful to obey the laws, follow the rules, and respect the rights of others.

  • As Abstract Cooperators, Idealists speak mostly of what they hope for and imagine might be possible for people, and they want to act in good conscience, always trying to reach their goals without compromising their personal code of ethics.

  • As Concrete Utilitarians, Artisans speak mostly
    about what they see right in front of them, about what they can get their hands on, and they will do whatever works, whatever gives them a quick, effective payoff, even if they have to bend the rules.

  • As Abstract Utilitarians, Rationals speak mostly
    of what new problems intrigue them and what new solutions they envision, and always pragmatic, they act as efficiently as possible to achieve their objectives, ignoring arbitrary rules and conventions if need be.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Portland Outing

Yesterday Mums and I had a girls afternoon out with some gals from church. The special occasion was to see Karmaleigh (the mom) and Aisha (the daughter) who are visiting from far off Pennsylvania. We started with a little tour of the Portland Library.

I love wandering around this library. It kind of reminds me of New York City.
It's a pared down version of some of their fantastic buildings.

Pink library walls! They match the pink florals in the carpet.

Next we walked over to the Button Emporium.
This place is a haven for any sort of sewer/crafter. It's simply tantalizing.

Don't you just want to buy something?

As you can see, we're having fun (Aisha, Bethany and Juli).
Actually, the girls were starving and we walked down to Pioneer Place to get some munchies.

Love those brick sidewalks!

At Pioneer Place with Juli.
Some people were taking their sweet time in a perfume store. Ahem.

And that brings us to today. Being gone for five hours straight yesterday (longest stretch without lying down in a month) means that I ain't doin' nuttin' today. In fact, all the menfolk are gone sledding and I didn't realized how relaxed I was feeling until I looked in the mirror and beheld my lack of pattern coordination. Gingham vest, calico print shirt and floral pajama pants.
I think this is about as wild as my outfits get!

*All the pictures were taken with my little camera phone, hence the blurriness.*

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


So I really haven't been sure about how much to update this blog about my concussions. I personally don't care to read too much about other peoples health, so I've tried to mostly keep it out of here. Which means I haven't been blogging a lot, 'cause not a lot else has been going on.

But then again, this is a record of life (mine), and I don't like it when people just pretend that life is fine and dandy when life isn't fine and dandy. So I do want to write a little about it.

One of the hardest things about this whole concussion thing (it's been almost a month!) is that I can't read. Well, not literally. I'm not typing this blindfolded. But I can't read for long periods of time. It's like getting sick while all your friends are gone a month long retreat without you and you just feel a little lost and forlorn. I don't think I've ever gone a month without reading a book. Even during college crunching there would always be something to escape too, not to mention all the text book reading that happened.

One of the strangest feelings is coming across a book that I want to read and my first instinct is to look it up in the library and put it on hold. And then I realize there's no point to that. BECAUSE I CAN"T READ. And I haven't been to the library in over a month. Ouch.

I once heard (or maybe it's a famous quote) that you can tell the character of a person by his/her bookshelf and I think that's really quite true. One of the first things I do when I visit someones house for the first time is to notice their books. It's really quite a subconscious thing. And I often don't realize I'm standing there reading all of their book titles until I'm halfway down the bookshelf.

For a while, in one of my many "let's see how many different ways I can re-arrange my bedroom" phases I took out my bookcase and put most of my books in dresser drawers (the reason escapes me at the moment). I don't think that lasted more than a couple of weeks as every time I entered my room I felt for a moment lost. Part of me was hidden, in the dresser, and I didn't like it.

Often all I need for motivation or a perk-me-up during the day is a glance at my bookcase. Some title will catch my eye and immediately I'll feel refocused.

Now, since I can't read I'm watching Netflix and documentaries, but there's something just not as satisfying as reading. Something feels like it's missing. The small sense of accomplishment as you finish a page or a chapter. Or maybe I'm just impatient as stories and facts just unfold slower then when you are reading a book.

So hopefully this isn't going to last much longer. My tolerance is slowly going up (thank God). It has been a good for me to learn to relax and find joy in not doing anything. And being joyful, no matter what, is what life in Christ is all about.

*And yes I am posting this at 1:40am. Just had a "midnight" snack with Mums and Scott. Good thing I'm not planning on doing anything tomorrow. :D

Monday, February 7, 2011


A dear friend took these pictures on a recent trip to Napa. I've wanted a truck from this era since I was 10. I've always envisioned having a red truck but I'm rethinking that now!

Isn't it to die for? I wouldn't mind the 80 degree weather that accompanied the trip either...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blessings in times of trial

Since I've had a lot of time for reflections the last 3 weeks, I've been trying to compile a blessing or thankfulness list. Especially for when I'm downright sad. Some of these at times are easier to thank God than others, but I know that they are for my own good. Hopefully I'll be adding to this list as time goes on.

1. That my concussion was not any worse.
2. Hopefully I should be better in 4 more weeks. Sigh.
3. That the doctor didn't say it would be months until I feel better.
4. For a loving family (especially Andy, Daniel and Jacob since they are home the most) who've pitched in.
5. Getting out of having to do the dishes. Not going to lie here. :)
6. That I got the concussion in winter when there is nothing exciting that needs to be done outside anyways.
7. Still being able to go to Spokane a couple of weekends ago.
8. Not being able to read for more than 10 minutes at a time
9. Netflix instant watch. I love you.
10. Documentaries. And Pushing Daisies.
11. My laptop dying.
12. Having a spare laptop that I can use.
13. Having a smaller appetite.
14. Already knowing a good Physical Therapist (PT) (Thanks to Mom having her last year)
15. That my neck doesn't normally hurt like it does today, thanks to the PT.
16. Crossword puzzles.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Raisin Cinnamon Bread about to go into the oven

Thanks to my concussion, I haven't been able to do much lately. The one thing I've been able to do a little with is baking since it require short spurts of activity. The last couple of Mondays have been bread baking day and it is a lovely way to start the week already feeling accomplished!