For those of you who have been around a while – you may have noticed a melancholy tone in some of my morning ramblings. I’m generally a smiley upbeat person, but for the past couple of years I’ve felt like Triangle Peg in a Round hole. The only way I can fit inside is to shrink. So I shrank.
This was mostly felt in my church family, where the denomination, or Movement as they call it was going a different direction than where I could follow. It became right and wrong issues. At one point I was told I had the ‘wrong theology’ because I didn’t agree.
This past spring I made a shift. A pulling out. With that I sought out a place where I might belong and instantly found it. This post isn’t all about the switch – just the part of what made me knew it was right – because there – my strengths were celebrated. They were encouraging to me. They gave me opportunities to grow. 6? months later – I feel healed and whole again.
This has also come up with employment. Our personal situation requires that I find full time family wage work. I have found many places to perform a task for money. I’m thankful. I made the most of it. But they were not great fits for long term personal growth or joy.
I will be boring you to death with the many posts I have in my head written out about how much my new school, Neskowin Valley School (NVS), fits me to a T. I couldn’t have dreamed up and written down, asked for or received a more perfect fit for employment.
But this post isn’t about that either – It IS about a test that NVS had me take. A Strength Finder Test.
After a long process of answering questions, you are given your top 5 strengths out of the several on this list: Strengths Finder Themes
I found out I was a Learner, Input, Individualization, Achiever and Includer.
We’ve since taken an in service class on how all of the staff relates to other, what our strengths mean, and how we can work in our own strengths.
I look at the list and it is really crazy, how out of so many themes, this is pretty much a top 5 spot on.
I love to learn. I’m reading Charlotte Mason right now to re-focus my teaching and classroom style. I went on Amazon to pick out a few books to read for pleasure and walked away with 8 books on teaching- The Happy Teacher Habits was my favorite, 2 books on prayer and peace, and two historical fiction types, my favorite being The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof. I’m now back to the Charlotte Mason books.
I love to learn, gather information, think about the individuals around me, teach, make it happen, and make sure everyone is involved. They could put these five words on my tombstone.
I looked it up on their website and found it interesting that Learner says:
Because you are not threatened by unfamiliar information, you might excel in a consulting role (either internal or external), in which you are paid to go into new situations and pick up new competencies or languages very quickly.
Which is exactly what has happened the last few years as a product reviewer.
Refine how you learn. For example, you might learn best by teaching; if so, seek out opportunities to present to others. You might learn best through quiet reflection; if so, carve out this quiet time.
Honor your desire to learn. If you can’t fulfill this need at work, take advantage of the adult educational opportunities in your community.
Honor my desire to learn. Honor it. I’ve felt shamed for it. A pastor even made a remark on Facebook this week that folks hold Knowledge as if it were Life. Well. Knowledge is my life. I can’t explain this crazy passion I have for looking everything up. For marking every bird found, for gathering notebooks of lists, I have lists to keep track of them all. Not kidding.
You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered — this is the process that entices you
The Process, more than the result is especially exciting for me. Yes.
Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day — workdays, weekends, vacations.
This is where my adventurous spirit comes from. Not just a drive to achieve, but that each day is fresh. It starts at Zero. Grace, Mercy. Failures or Success. Each morning is new and ready.
I know this is getting long, but I really enjoyed the Includer theme:
“Stretch the circle wider.” This is the philosophy around which you orient your life. You want to include people and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person. Regardless of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person’s feelings. Why do that if you don’t have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily rest on a belief that each of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should be included. It is the least we all deserve.
Quotes from: http://www.strengthstest.com/strengths-finder-themes
Overall their advice to me is to:
Look for jobs in which you are charged with acquiring new information each day, such as teaching, research, or journalism. Enjoy reading the dictionary and the encyclopedia — this might seem strange to some people, but for someone like you it is a good way to strengthen your self-concept. Accept that you will never feel that you know enough.
Teaching, Research, Journalism. They could put that on my tombstone too. And . . . She had too many dictionaries.
I am thankful to be in a spot where I am valued for my quirky ways. In the room, during in service, there was no one like me, no one with my five strengths. That was seen as a good thing. In our congregation no one thinks that I am weird for downloading Alister Begg each morning for my drive to work. Or that my favorite app is Blue Letter Bible so I can look up all of the individual words read that day . . . . not kidding. I could show you my list . . . .