Friday, April 24, 2009

Every time I've taken the Myers Briggs, I've come out an INFJ. It always takes me by surprise. Oh, it takes every one by surprise. No one would have thought being as verbose as I always have been that I might be an introvert. Being the deep thinker that I am, how could I possibly test a feeler? I'm an adventurous free spirit, but an on time, over organized, scheduled J and apparently so intuitive that even though I'm extremely grounded and serious, I'm more head in the clouds. From the time I was in my early twenties, I've tested very close to straight down the middle with one question throwing me a point in one direction or the other.

Of all of the combinations Myer Briggs offers, INFJ is truly the best description of me: complex, (really?) having a great importance in having things orderly and systematic, highly intuitive with uncanny insight into people, making INFJ's protective parents with high expectations of their children (you should ask Riley what he thinks about this! He'll tell you.)

INFJ's are creative and independent with a natural infinity for art and excel in sciences. They are usually found in service oriented professions. NOT DETAILED.

Only 1% of the population has an INFJ personality making it the most rare of all types. If you can imagine that being saddled with such intricate interests is both a blessing and a curse, it is. Sometimes I see directly through people and their motives and I'm rarely wrong. I am sometimes wrong, but rarely. This to a fault leads to being extremely cynical. I don't strive for perfectionism, but have a very strong sense or foundation for understanding situational ethics.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my lack of accomplishments with such great interests I could be excelling at and at the same time wondering what will the future bring? I've hoped that having a public blog would be successful for me in terms of feeling I could write about anything, but in truth there are some things I prefer not to so transparent about. To be quite straightforward, I would call myself a NON-evangelical Christian in terms of the fact that I care so deeply about other people and what they believe that I can not be directly evangelical as I find this to be UN-evangelical if not done with much care. That's a very difficult thing to explain when Christianity is somehow based on our ability to spread what we believe through word of mouth, rather than quietly living out our day to day faith in a way that people might consider us different to the point of taking notice.

I've been searching for my masterpiece in hopes of becoming world renowned, I mean - don't we all want to be famous? I'm perhaps realizing, I might be a
Van Gough, who never sold a painting in his life time. His art was about impressionism with an emphasis on light, not detail and it took time for people to see what he was about. In fact, it took time for everyone to understand the message conveyed by impressionism. The original introduction of impressionism was a counter to photography which was a precise mirror image of the world in that day with complete detail. Impressionist artists were inspired to find something different, to look at the world from a different perspective. "The impressionist were the first to offer a subjective alternative to photography."

True to an INFJ which is described as so intricate in interests and personalities that it can take 3-5 years to get past the surface and begin to see all of the intricate values held by these rare people. I think it would be impossible for me to ever be simple rather than complex.

I've always been inclined to love Oswald Chambers' beloved and timeless devotional My Utmost for His Highest with the entry for April 24th being The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success.

"Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others’ lives until they are totally yielded to God. One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit."

Oh Oswald. You say it so well! Would you believe this has been in print since 1935 - printed 18 years after Chambers' death.

The entry I was looking for is the one I've referred back to most repetitively in my life which is
July 28th God's Purpose or Mine?

I've had this copy of My Utmost since my 16th birthday when my dearest friend Ellen gave this to me as a gift and it's falling apart in the binding. The words that are on the pages have long been etched on my heart giving me the strength to move forward one step at a time in even the most uncertain of times, ensuring me that Christianity is not a fad, but a faith. It's not a club, it's way of life.

Living by God's purpose may not mean marble hallways or crowd filled stadiums, in fact it may not mean moving towards a foreseeable goal at all. This is why I so deeply love Chambers' July 28th entry above any other. It's about the process. As we condition ourselves by running one race and reaching the end, we start over and the race gets longer. The valley gets wider, the mountain higher, the nights get longer. That's a bitter cup to drink, but the disciples considered it a joy to be crucified with Christ.

"What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" (
Mark 6:49 ). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God."

I continue to live by this. Not knowing what I'm supposed to do with my life except be me. Perhaps that's enough since it statistically seems to be rare enough that it takes a lot of energy for me to be me and for others to even know me. I continue to live out the faith I believe in with uncertainty in this world, but believing in the certainty of God and his faithfulness. Maybe I'm accepting that I might never be a mirror image of the world, but an impression of my own perspective of what I believe living that out in how I relate to others and how I spend my time, thus always being in a service oriented industry which I currently am.

In the words of Chambers', embracing the process, not the goal or even the success or the outcome, is what makes living life moment by moment precious.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

I joined the gym and lost five pounds this morning!

Yes! I joined the gym. This has been a huge decision for us. This one was too little. That's one doesn't have a pool. This one is too dirty. That one is hard to cancel. Blah. Blah. Blah. So we've lived in this neighborhood for over a year and done nothing except gain weight. Ugh. In our old neighborhood, we lived so close to a luxury spa gym that we could justify the price by what we saved on gas. It had vallet parking, a kid's club to die for, it was across the street from our grocery store, ahhh.

Alas, we're not driving to downtown Redmond to work out anymore. In joining a gym we wanted something that is family friendly. So we joined the Y. Their pool is warm. They aren't too far away. They have a great kid's club. It wasn't too expensive and if we hate it or end up moving it will be easy to cancel. It being easy to cancel was a winning point since we couldn't make a decision and it was better to do something than nothing at all. If only I had decided to do this 6 months ago and not in the spring. (?)

As soon as I got all of my paperwork out of the way, I went to swim laps. I went through the locker room looking for the covered changing rooms and the little old ladies seemed amused by my modesty. Ahem. And my black skirted swimsuit with pink polka dots that almost covers my knees. I decided to commerate my joining by weighing myself. I was pleasantly suprised that the official scale was five points off from my home scale in my favor! YAY! I already lost five pounds!!

Then I was a little stressed about swimming laps and getting my swim cap on straight.

Does anyone know whether the creases go to the side or to the front on your swim cap? Why doesn't it come with directions? I'm probably wearing it sideways and look pretty silly.

I reorganized the garage this afternoon. Sean has class on Tuesday * Thursday evenings this quarter. The kids and I made butterfly shaped shortcake for breakfast tomorrow morning with strawberries. I meant to make it alone while they played. First Reagan caught on and grabbed the apron hanging from a magnet on the side of the fridge. She has got her acessories DOWN. She came flailing at me with her "uh-uh-uh!!" and insisted on sitting next to the mixer on the counter. Riley didn't want to be left out, so he ended up cutting the butterflies.

Well, all in all a good evening. If I can figure out the direction of my swim cap I'll be set.


So as you can see, this is not the gym. I'm very good at procrastination. From what I've figured in life so far, life is as much knowing what you aren't as knowing what you are. Ah...oh well.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

First Pigtails!
Decorating Cupcakes for Angie's Birthday! By the time the evening was over, she had happily swiped every gummi worm.

Not to small for Great Play, the indoor gym! She jumped right into the action to celebrate our friend's birthday!
The kids are ready to go in their bike trailer. They were ready to get out by the time we got done!
At the farm...

At Robinswood Park this morning

I was putting together a picture today. Not to be outdone, my daughter came flying at me from across the room with my son's green Crayola Art Smock screaming. Screaming is her favorite form of communicating. I used to think she was special needs, but I think she actually is just a mini me. She throws herself at life with her own sense of eagerness and determination and the words will catch up later. My current favorite is that "uh-uh-uh" can mean 15 things by how she says it.

I digress.

She flies at me as if to say, "Really, you weren't planning to do that with out me? Right?" So apparently we have a craft lover on our hands.

I also went to three parks today. That's got to be a record for me. We hit Robinswood, Kelsey Creek, and Big Fin Hill between 9am this morning and 6pm tonight. The sun has made it's appearance and will not be out tomorrow. From what I understand, it's not forecast to come back again for awhile. After the summer of 08 when we were wearing our winter woolies in late June, I suppose I have deep seated fear of missing any opportunities.

Speaking of winter woolies, we visited Kelsey Creek this morning to see the sheep that would be shorn of their abundant wool on Saturday. We saw a few friends too. My son had a field trip there with 14 other preschoolers.

In every picture, my son is with other children and I haven't taken the time to crop him out and I won't post pictures of other kids. Suffice it to say, he had a great day. Anything that involves running around, other children, and learning is right up his alley.

Tomorrow I think I might maybe join the gym. We've made a decision about one we think we like. Why does that decision have to be so tough? Leaving our first child was so easy, leaving our second in childcare has been so, so hard. I'm not exactly sure I understand the evolution of our reasoning there. I thought it was supposed to get easier with the second? Alas, I also hate running with the kids. And let me tell you swimming laps with them is even harder. It's been a long winter.
Tomorrow it's back to 55, so I guess I should probably get back to work. We don't have snow days in Seattle, we have sun days. On days like this, it seems everyone vacates the office and everyone understands why.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Mile Post 14

It was 72 degrees here today and the first time we've seen the sun in a few years I think. We decided to take the kids to a new trail. First we took the wrong highway. Well, er. I suggested it and then apparently muttered that we shouldn't go that way and Sean didn't hear me. We ended up going my least favorite way through Lake City. We spent most of the drive with some circular arguement that was something about why don't you trust me over why he didn't take I-5. Hmm. I always wonder how we get from one place to another.

Then we got to the trail which looked intriguing and was capitulated by the fact that I could only see about two yards down the trail before it curved. No sooner had I grabbed my bike and aimed in the right direction than Sean mentioned we didn't have the bike trailer arm. Oh. So we loaded back up and headed home where I insisted that I had to check email, took a phone call from someone I've been playing tag with for two weeks, and the kids were still patiently waiting in the car.

Two hours from when we started, we were finally on our way. Our kiddos are happily at the height of teasing each other. They both sat in the trailer and wore their helmets, but apparently one wanted to touch the other's head and the other wanted to reciprocate, but she didn't like it. Ah. Nice. So eventually we had to pull over and split the kids up. That's not terribly easy on bikes. We made it work.

We north on one of our well trodden trails to Seattle and back which goes around the lake. It simply sparkles on days like today which reminds me why I live here...for the three days the sun shines!

By the time we turned around, I was thankful I had tossed frosted miniwheats into the bag for the kiddos since all in all we rode for more than 20 miles! Tomorrow's weather - 71! Wednesday - 55 and rainy!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Find Buddy...

We had a fantastic day today. This morning we went to Eastlake which was the first time in months. We had gone through the new membership class in the fall, but weren't ready to sign our name in blood. We continued looking which turned into a huge disappointment and culminated in a lot of searching. Overall, we feel really great about what's going on at Eastlake and how it impacts and serves the community.

We celebrated a friend's 3rd birthday at Great Play which I had never been to before. It's a new indoor tumbling gym in Redmond. My son is a little old for the class, but my daughter was a kick. At first we thought she was too young. Then she got in line and followed all the preschoolers through the obstacle course. She went through the tunnel, over the logs, up the stairs, down the slide. She was in "busy bee" heaven.

Great Play used interactive media, placing frames all around the gym and the character "buddy" pops up. All the kids should run to Buddy. The first time he popped up, my 20 month old was the first one to point and run which was hilarious. She danced to music, shaking her shoulders. (I don't know where she gets her moves!) And she spun in a circle for so long she couldn't walk straight. The only surprising thing was that she didn't eat her cupcake. She was very proud of the crown she got to wear though. She was so precious, I couldn't get over her. She even went around to other parents and "talked" to them which is kinda funny for her since she's hot and cold with people and will usually let them know it.

Afterwards a groupd of us met at Zeke's Pizza for dinner and the kids ran around like wild. At first I was sitting mostly with the kids, but then I moved to the guys table and then settled for the end of the two tables and Mac and Jack. Then things were much better. I pulled my girlie's highchair over next to me and she sat through all of dinner with me and was as good as gold. I was so impressed with her. I love, love, love my daughter. I mean, I love my son too - but I'm so glad I have a girl. She's such a good girl.


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