Friday, February 28, 2014

Sprouting all over the place

British accountants, having fun for charity
Even accountants like to have fun! Our CPA d-i-love is one of the most creative people I've met. Rebekah's clothes and hats are bright and beautiful; her taste in music and movies is far-ranging. (Not to mention her fabulous cooking. Lucky Jer!) You could hit me over the head with her spreadsheets and they'd make as much sense as when I look at them. And Rebekah's personality is as different than mine as are our interests and education.

That's a good thing! By design, each of us has a unique personality. Even among those who share similar gifts and education, our personality makes us stand out or step back.

Here's Wiki's definition: Personality is the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral response patterns of an individual. In other words, the way you react to life IS your personality.

If you've been encouraged and cheered, you probably have a fairly stable look at life and expect good things. If someone constantly berated or put you down, chances are you withdraw until you feel safe. That's one part of personality.

Einstein got it right. (From ZsaZsa Bellagio)
Our attitudes toward faith, work, and play determine how we define ourselves and how people see us. Born into us is the desire to be big. To do things. Some people love to puzzle and craft. Others like physical labor. Still others prefer to grab a book and study. None is better than another.

Sometimes curiosity makes us sprout out all over the place. Our interests, shaped by where we are and who we are, draw us into new things. We may feel exhilarated by what we find. Peaceful. Fearful. Happy. Terrified. Breathless.

But our exploration of God's world surely pleases the One who made us all adventurers.

In several situations, I felt squeezed into a "smaller-please!" mode. The "accepted" box felt constraining. Limiting. Uncomfortable. I couldn't keep the lid down. Couldn't conform, no matter how hard I tried to please others. Finding myself losing my soul, I ran away. Escaped. Whew. Still me. Bursting out all over.

A happy art accident in 10-minutes of play during
worship at the NWMN Women's Conference 2013:
print, paint and collage (10"X12")
Today I have a few questions for you dear readers: feel free to answer one or more.
  • Do you see yourself as a creative personality (whatever that means to you)? Why/ why not?
  • What parts of you are creative and curious?
  • Where has your curiosity led you? Has that been positive or not?
  • What boundaries do you put on your curiosity?
  • Who's the most creative person in your life now - and what do you like about them? What irritates you? (Someone told me once that my "very grateful" remark on a card irritated them. I asked why. "Well, can't you just write that you're grateful? Why do you have to be very all the time?" HAHA)
  • What parts of your relationships, job, ministry, or play would you like to expand?
Personality develops through our responses to people and life. Having choices (God's gift of free will) means we won't always have positive experiences. We hurt and we get hurt. Step out and withdraw. Test the waters. Swim the seas. 

Why not start today, to be the best, most creative personality - the most "you" and the most "me" - as God intended us to be?

Read more:
*The Lord says, "You have seen how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself." Exodus 19:4 ESV

*The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 ESV

*Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness. Psalm 145:4–7 NLT

*Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21 ESV

*But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

*[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 ESV

*Paul writes: I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Lord God, Comforter, Protector, and Savior, our hearts are filled with joy as you hold us close to you. Never let us go. We thank you for your precious son Jesus, whose blood was shed to cleanse us of our sins. Keep us close to you Lord God, always. Amen.

C. S. Lewis, on conversion (from The Weight of Glory): Before I became a Christian I do not think I fully realized that one’s life, after conversion, would inevitably consist in doing most of the same things one had been doing before, one hopes, in a new spirit, but still the same things.

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