Monday, July 17, 2006

Getting personal

Another week begins. I am enjoying an early morning watching the sunrise. This week begins a “vacation” period for us. Tammye will be here with Hunter & Camdyn from Tuesday evening until next Sunday. We will take the kids “camping” in the “BBB” this weekend. Next week we will be at Clear Lake Campground (near Iron Bridge which is about 80 miles east of the Soo). My sister Ruby will be there for the week and we look forward to visiting with them. We will then travel to Kingston, Ontario to visit our daughter Melissa and her friend Alexander. We are also hoping tobe able to see Linda’s sister Stephanie on our way back. So we are basically ”off” until around August 6th.

I have previously mentioned my friend John Dobbs in Pascagoula, Mississippi. On Friday He posted a comprehensive review of the ongoing relief efforts on the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans -primarily focused on the efforts of the Churches of Christ and Christian churches in the area. It brought back the bitter sweet memories of our time there in March. Tears as I visualized the pain of Marlene & Bill Kelly trying to come to grips with having lost almost all of their household belongings after 50 years together. Tears from seeing people without homes and food because they had lost everything and then had been lost in the system that was supposed to be helping them recover. But joy of making new friends, of getting to know Robbie and John, and John and David (x5) and Elaine and Ann and Harry and …. The joy of giving and making new friends is such a rich blessing. It is a paradox that to experience real joy we have to feel the pain of compassion. His previous post about “never being homeless” is a powerful example of how “God works in mysterious ways”.

Last week I had a good email “conversation" with my cousin Wilma. (I mentioned her in my July 2 posting). She had been going over some of the recent entries and concluded that I was a certain personality type. Her assessment was based on a book for Christians written by Florence Littauer. Being a person that needs to dig a little deeper before accepting someone else’s analysis (which probably says something about my personality) I did a search and cameup with a “self-assessment” for the “four temperaments” which are close to but not identical to the four personality types referred to in the Personality Plus concept provided by the Littauer’s.

There are of course a “gadzillion” approaches to personality assessment (Meyers-Briggs) is one of the more popular ones that I am familiar with) This is not my field so anyone who really wants to use personality assessment as a tool to improve their lives and relationships should do their own research or consult with a professional. My sister Ruby and my son Kevin both have backgrouns in psychological testing so this will make a good topic of discussion with them.

Anyhow, I found an on-line Personality test that uses the four temperments approach. I am familiar with a variation on this called the Five temperments (FIRO-B by William Shultz) since it was used at one time where I worked to “screen” potential managers.

Linda and I had some fun Friday night doing this test for ourselves and for each other. It was also an opportunity to continue some “tutorial” work on building Linda’s comfort with using the computer. As often seems to happen when showing someone how "easy” it is to do things, we were frustrated by the fact that the results for her tests (done on different computers by both of us failed to arrive by email so we don’t have a record of her results) (My results ,done the same way on the same computers, both arrived by email – go figure!!) . The thing I found most satisfying was that our assessments of ourselves matched our assessments of each other. (Although with different % ages). So I guess after (almost) 40 years of being a “couple”(45 if we count our “courtship”) we do know each other quite well.

Anyhow – bottom line –best I could figure with allowances for the differences in the “classifications” Wilma was probably pretty accurate in her evaluation. Her point in all this was that one of the characteristics exhibited by “my” personality type was a strong desire to please other people and her encouragement to me was to “just be myself” -

All this reminds me of 2 “favorite sayings – “God accepts and loves me as I am but he loves me to much to leave me this way”- and “ I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Phil 4:12) - These are favorites of mine because I realize that so often they are not true in my life -- so a part of my “new found” passion for “just do it”— is
- to accept “I am who I am” ,
- to know that “I don’t have to give up being me to be accepted by you”
(from the book "Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You? by Jordan & Margaret Paul) "and
- to realize that any change in me will only come through the transforming work of God’s spirit in my life.

Just doing it includes "letting go (of being in control) and letting God (take care of my life)

Thank you Wilma for this conversation.

There were some other things in that conversation about living out our faith in Jesus that are ongoing and I will cover in another post. I also need to cover the “gate at the end of the path to nowhere” and “partying with the neighbors” and “Friday night at the movies” so if circumstances allow I hope to post everyday this week.

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

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JD said...

Thanks for your comments, Charlie. In my slideshow I present at churches is a picture of you and Linda and Jeff. I always have a joyful moment of reflection a we remember you and your work here. God bless you!

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

I was going to thank you for mentioning JD but it looks like he beat me to it.

Keep up the good bloggin'

Bobby Valentine