"What is the focus of your energy? When you are being a mother, is it all about nurturing? Or teaching? Or learning? Or feeling connected emotionally? All of these, perhaps, but if you look closely, you will find one thread that connects the important elements in your life. Why do you have the friends you have? Why do you nurture the relationships in your life? Why do you go or not go to a place of worship? Why do you have your particular hobbies and interests?"
Not being a mother, part of me just wants to tune out. But that's me. Here are the formal questions:
1) What motivates you?
Who knows? I tend to be driven. The conference buzzword is excellence, but I prefer integrity or authenticity. I want to be wholly me. Going back to school is part of this; I want to write (something besides this blog and newsletter articles). I have too many hobbies; I want to focus and be really good at something. And I need some external affirmation. I'm not (quite) cocky enough to believe my own press.
2) What sustains you?
Relationships, of all kinds. Snorgle time with the WonderMutt, phone calls from Jamie the Exceptional and her parents, quiet time with Ben, playing with "the girls" who are so faithful in Bible study and the evening service. IMing with Tonya. Popping in and out of Eric's office with "just one more thing." And the true quiet time, when it's just me and God and the wind and the waves and the sand.
3) What would an observer of your life say matters the most to you?
I hope my faith and my family. I love people and want to take care of them, and I'm passionate about helping people find a faith in God that is welcoming, loving, and healing, as well as challenging us to look outside ourselves for opportunites to love, serve, and grow.
4) How do you find your truest self in the concept of your relationships?
When we connect emotionally/spiritually: when I have finally managed to let the Holy Spirit say through me the thing that helps them see the love and calling of God in their lives. And when we can laugh or cry together. When we can be vulnerable together: when I am needed, or in need. There's so much of interdependence in what I do and how I live.
5) What word stands out from what you've already written? Circle it.
6) Stop and think about your word for a minute. How do you live it out? How does it show up for you?
Bringing candy to Bible study. Holding someone's hand in the hospital. Letting an older gentleman kiss me on the cheek. Being the one people vent to. Having long "philosophical" talks in the coffee shop. Saying "hi" while walking the dog on the waterfront.
7) How do other people experience this aspect of you?
This is a hard one. I don't know. I give them candy? I work hard to be the one people can call with a problem or stop by and invite to lunch. Sometimes things are so busy that I worry I can't be there for people the way I want to, but then the other work is important too. I hope people who know me know that I love them and love God and am trying my best to do both at the same time, along with caring for myself (the part that slips through the cracks sometimes).
8) Now choose a picture that conveys that word.