Just don’t Die: An Update, A Theme Song and a Shout Out to Survival Mode

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This is a scene from our Sunday morning breakfast counter. In case you need me to break it down for you: That’s french toast, next to a bottle of wallpaper remover and a hand held paint cup we use for cutting in.

Shall we go over a list of things that were driving me nuts at the moment I snapped this picture?

1) Those chemicals are far too close to our food, we’re all going to get cancer from this breakfast. Why ARE THEY SHARING THE SAME SPACE?
2) We try to eat grain free, in theory, lately with all the stress we just eat all the grainy gluten we can get our hands on…. topped with sugar, because I’m pregnant and the rest of my family has a child’s palate.
3) That french toast and the time to I took to take this picture made us horribly late for church, not even our church, but a church visit in which Kel was speaking.

This is life right now, it’s just normal next to chaos, both fighting to share the spotlight.

Moving has been extra hard on me, I’m very sensitive to lack of routine and chaos. When you pair this with the end of the preschool school year it means that all my organization is in a box somewhere and all of my “me time” to catch up on writing time is gone.

For years I’ve beaten myself up and told myself to go with the flow a bit more, always wondering why I couldn’t be one of those laid back people who could roll with whatever and be really and truly cool with it.

I give up, I am not one of those laid back people who can thrive in chaos, so I may as well work with what I have, with who I am.

There is no use in trying to live your own life wishing you had someone else’s skill set. It’s far more helpful to navigate your life in light of who you actually are.

And right now I am a Highly Sensitive, ENFJ in survival mode: pregnant, in the midst moving into a new house that we’re tweaking, helping plant a church in the midst of summer (meaning the kids and I are spending most every day together, leaving me precious little time and energy to tackle projects.)

This is not my optimal setup, this is not my wheelhouse. And that’s okay.

Survival Mode, I make peace with you, this is not life forever but it is life for now, things are going to be mixed up and chaotic.

I have adopted this new theme song, that has always made me smile in the midst of chaos and survival living.

Watch this video, because Seinfeld always says it better

“Just don’t die, don’t die, don’t die, don’t die
There’s a fish, there’s a rock, who cares, don’t die. 
I don’t wanna die, don’t let me die
Let’s swim and breathe and live,
cause living is good and dying, not as good.”

It’s sort of the grown up version of Finding Nemo’s “Just keep swimming.”

Things are crazy right now.
Yes I am blessed, but these circumstances are overwhelming.
And that’s okay, I am who God created me to be, navigating it as best I can.

And right now my best life looks like this:

1) We have everything we need to function, No, the house doesn’t look like I’d love it to, but freaking out will only make us all miserable so I’m going to try to avoid that.
2) Kel is already overloaded at work and overloading him at home will also only make him… and then all of us… miserable. So we go at a pace that includes rest and breaks, even though this takes longer we all come out feeling alive and far less burned out on it all. None of us are machines.
3) I prayed for this house, these children and the ability to be home with them, yes it’s hard, but these answered prayers oughtn’t be thrown away.
4) I’m pregnant and even though I am in my second trimester, my energy level isn’t where it usually would be, a perfect playroom and living room isn’t worth an unhealthy pregnancy. ‘Nuff said.

There’s more, I’m sure, but this is the gist of it.

And if all this fails (and sometimes it does) I think of my dear friend’s new daughter, a beautiful little five year in Ethiopia, who they are in the process of adopting.

She is in an orphanage with developmental delays, most of which are a result of an rough childhood.

These is truly hard, truly tough, truly overwhelming circumstances and her story never fails to bring tears to my eyes and to remind me that the color of my cabinets is meaningless in the light of what is truly important to the human heart.

Unconditional Love, acceptance and safety.

Selah and Amen.

Oh and if you would like to donate anything at all to help the O’Neal family bring their daughter home, please click here to donate.

You will likely be hearing more about this little girl in the weeks to come, please continue to pray for her and this sweet family as they prepare to welcome her home. 

Does transition overwhelm you? What have you learned about yourself in seasons such as these? 

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7 Great Quotes and 6 Thoughts on Festival of Faith and Writing

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Last week, along with a few thousand other writers, I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing and Calvin College.

Can I tell you a secret? As I much as I wanted to go when I registered when the actual Festival arrived? I was terrified. I didn’t want to go.

I wanted to scalp my ticket, craft a lame excuse stay home in my bleach stained tyoga pants. I could hide from my online friends who’d be soon arriving in my town and ignore the internet with all it’s hashtag glory. Clearly everyone would be tweeting things like…  #FFWGRisawesomesauce #gettingallthebookdealsatFFWGR #myfriendsareawesomesoamI (as I suspected…)

I was exhausted, I had a chest cold and I was awkwardly pregnant. The sort where nothing fits you so instead you just look fat. This was no state in which to present my real live self to the internet world. “I always thought @LeannePenny was slim, Boy was I wrong…#layoffthebagelslady”

The issue with my stay home and hide plan was that my friend Abby was coming to stay with us and I couldn’t very well bail on my houseguest. I was that sure she would spill into my house full of excitement, ready to learn, be challenged meet all the people and rock all the networking.

However, after her arrival, over a plate of my friend Anne’s chocolate cake, I realized that she was (almost) as angsty about the Festival as I was. We sat around my battered kitchen table and confessed fears, talked about mean tweets, meeting people who’ve blown us off, publishers, proposals and fear that no one would want to sit with us at lunch… or anywhere else for that matter.

I don’t know about other industries but I’m finding that the writing feels a more than a little Teen Spirity.

On the day of the actual festival I pieced myself together in my most gracious clothing and we made our way downtown.

The best thing I did before going was make peace that I wasn’t nearly as prepared to meet with publishers as other, non-pregnant people were and that this was okay. I had cute business cards, my mostly whole self and an aqua Moleskine, this was all I needed to receive what festival had to give me.

And in the end? I am so glad I was able to mostly leave nervous, teenage Leanne in the van. I really did find refreshment in my experiences at Festival. Here are 6 thoughts and 7 quotes that I’m taking away, gems I collected to put above my desk.

1) Poetry that resonates deeply within you can fix your perspective with the world, with God and with writing, and shalom requires that these things be aligned.
“The Poem is opaque, you see yourself in it. Poetry contains no single, obscured, meaning to be gleaned and beat people over the head with.” ~Scott Cairns.
(Poetry is for everyone, it is what you glean from it!)

2) Living in fear of who you’re not in light of everyone else will destroy you and steal your perspective, your joy and your life. Live with eyes open, notice the world, listen upward at all God is whispering.
“I am a seeker, but not always a finder.” ~ Luci Shaw.

3) Lament and grief are something God never asked us to hide from or pretend away. More and more people, churches and writers are getting on board here. This brings me unspeakable joy as my experience 4 years ago was very different, I found little space for lament in Christian culture. I am happy to be a small part of this movement.
“You have to have Good Friday to have Easter.” ~Shannon Huffman Polson

4) Not all of the fruit and yogurt parfaits at Calvin College contain actual fruit. In fact. in the blueberry ones the fruit is just a chopped up blueberry muffin. Also they are top heavy, watch out or you might awkwardly spill them in front of a table of peers you were hoping to impress, at least a little.
“Dammit! Sorry for saying dammit…. I just spilled my yogurt on the carpet, do you guys have any napkins?” ~Leanne Penny

5) Writing is difficult for everyone, and it brings out your worst neurosis.
“You sit to write & all your unresolved psychiatric issues come to help you. They sit on your desk & they have some worries” ~ Anne Lammott

6) I don’t have to rely on my strength figure it all out, to find the right words. I do have to show up, but beyond that God can do things with my words that are beyond my ability alone. The Holy Spirit is a powerful agent between readers and writers.
“My insufficiency is the point, It’s about my getting out of the way for Jesus.”  
~Rachel Held Evans
“God didn’t say “take and figure it all out” he said “take and eat.” ~Anne Lammott

So this is what I brought home from the Festival of Faith and Writing.

Were you there? What did you love, take home? 

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Ordinary is Extraordinary (children’s book review and giveaway!)

So yesterday a dream came true, did you know? Could you feel it?

Yesterday one of my best friend’s new Children’s book, Extraordinary Jane by Hannah Harrison, hit the shelves (both digital and in real life) and it’s so beautiful.

extraordinary-jane-cover

I saw it take shape in her dining room, I heard about the story as we drove to the children’s museum and went out for trivia at the wine bar.

And now it’s here and we’re reading it on the couch before bed and after lunch and I find myself in tears every read through… because books are miracles guys.

They’re whispers of dreams fanned into reality by hard work and a thousand bootstrap moments.

I still remember the first time I met Hannah, six years ago at our initial lifegroup meeting in Oklahoma. I was sitting on a folding chair, eating tacos, terrified to engage anyone and exhausted by our move into town two days earlier.

Across the room everyone was oohing and ahhing over something, later in the evening they called me over to fill me in. This girl had painted these amazing Alice in Wonderland portraits of one of the group member’s daughters. They were tiny… and beyond amazing.  You can see them here

Christmas crafting after Thanksgiving dinner

Christmas crafting after Thanksgiving dinner

Over time we became good friends, sharing holidays together as families and swapping woes about being writers and moms and OH MY GOD the HEAT in Oklahoma, surely we will die (she’s from New Hampshire.)

She’s one of the most encouraging, hilarious, creative and lovely people I’ve ever met on the planet and I miss our walks and in-person chats deeply.

And now holding her book is like holding a piece of her heart, straight from her home in Oklahoma via Amazon.com.

Let’s talk about the book a bit more, shall we?

Jane is an ordinary dog in an extraordinary circus. She isn’t strong, graceful, or brave like her family. When she tries to be those things, Jane just doesn’t feel like herself, but she also doesn’t feel special. Is she really meant for this kind of life? Her Ringmaster thinks so, but not for the reasons Jane believes.

This is a lesson I want to impart to my children on a regular basis, and certainly one I’m still working through myself. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is accomplishing and then turn those observations into very real feelings of inadequacy.

extraordianry-jane-art

The theme is something every child in our accomplishment-driven society needs to have read to them. Through the experiences of a circus dog, maybe we can take one more step toward helping them believe that it’s not your accomplishments that make you loved or acceptable. Your parent’s love, God’s love, the love of true friends isn’t conditional, doesn’t depend on your achievement.

I think my favorite parts of the book are the tender and thoughtful expressions on the Ringmaster’s face and he helps Jane figure out where she belongs. To me they mirror the acceptance and love that I know God has for me I don’t have to perform or fit in a niche to be extraordinary in his eyes.

“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does” ~Kathleen Kelly of the Little Book Store

This is a lesson I want my children to internalize.

I hope that long into the future, when Noelle and Caedmon are selecting books for their children’s libraries that this book book floats back into their memories, that it has become a classic by that time.

And lucky for you I am giving away a copy of this gorgeous book today!

And all you need to do is leave a comment below that answers this question: What book did you read as a child that wove it’s way into your heart and made an impact?

For me it was Perfect the Pig by Susan Jeschke, I loved the way Perfect was enough for her, beautiful even though he was very different… how she fought for him, loved him.  

But don’t rely on the giveaway, go buy a copy right now. Buy a few and do what I am doing, give them away at every kid’s birthday party for the foreseeable future.

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Buying products through the links on this page helps support this blog, so if you’re going to buy them anyway…

When mutuality turns to selfishness turns to a chance at true love

I’m going to try to write through something that is so very much still in progress so bear with my until the end, agreed?

I’m in the midst of becoming better at marriage, the hard way. Or at least the pinching, uncomfortable way… which describes most life lessons that I’ve gone through.

Kel and I believe in mutuality (definition here) when it comes to marriage, which means that we both submit to each other equally, to each other’s hopes and dreams and work and passion and time.

All of it.

holding-hands

Over the last few years with this concept, I’ve experienced a shift when it comes to what I believe about gender equality and marriage. And it’s set me free, it’s made sense of the gospel in a way that the old teaching never did.

But here’s the sucky part… there is a chance that I took it a step too far. There’s a chance that I’ve tipped the scales of mutual submission in my favor and straight on into selfishness.

Because mutual submission only works when you’re both submitting mutually and I’m beginning to suspect that in my marriage it’s been more Kel than I. I say that with a lump in my throat and fourteen tons of shame.

Yet, there it is.
Some people might use this as ammo for why mutuality doesn’t work, to them I say, read on…

When I look back on my thoughts, words and actions I’m coming to realize that there’s been a lot of blame shifting, finger pointing and “I’m not getting mine-ing.”

And this isn’t love, and it’s not mutual submission. In fact it’s become a power struggle in a way that marriage was never meant to be. It’s hell to be involved in a relationship where you both feel like you’re playing a game of tug of war for time and importance.

It’s exhausting and unsustainable.

A few weeks back I very seriously considered giving up writing, quitting my job with Young Life and no longer pursuing speaking stuff. Simply put it seemed easier to shrink, to give up the ghost that keeps me at this keyboard, to move into other things, simpler things.

It just seemed easier than figuring out what both AND looked like for our marriage in this season.

Kel didn’t want that, he recognized that this is who I am, that it’s one of this biggest ways in which God is redeeming my story, but I did. It seemed easier to stop trying to make it work to stop seeking out the balance and just give up.

But that’s not God’s plan for me, for our family.

It takes me back to the days in which Kel and I were falling in love over the phone, I had every intention of going to seminary alongside him and we’d regularly joke and dream about tag team preaching and doing ministry together.

Wherever God leads us, together side by side. That was the dream.

And you know what? It still is. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you quit. That flies in the face of every inspirational poster ever sold at Staples so it can’t be true.

No, it’s not about my giving up writing, but it is about me giving more. Putting others before myself and getting out of the rhythm where I’m constantly griping about not having enough time for myself.

It’s about getting back to gratitude, because gratitude is everything

It is about prayer, I need God to lead me to a better place of love and encouragement.

It is about asking for a heaping portion of gentleness and bravery.

It is about putting Kel before me and trusting that he’ll do the same.

It is about scheduling, because when time is on your side… you win.

It is about an inner paradigm shift.

But it’s not about my becoming smaller
It’s not about giving up
It’s not about throwing away the dream
It’s not about putting my marriage farther down the list

It’s about being a part of something in which you both say: “I want you to go through this life free, called and fully alive in a way that only Christ can invite you to.”

Some people say faith is a childish game
Play on, children, like it’s Christmas day
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Live Forever (go, listen, love)

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How to stop worrying about who isn’t listening or reading or watching and start loving the people who are

photo courtesy of flickr creative commons jennifah007

photo courtesy of flickr creative commons jennifah007

I have a confession to make:  Sometimes when I’m talking to my children about something particularly amusing or ridiculous, I project a little louder for other people to hear.

“You learned about how Jesus will heal as long as we cut a holes in the roof? Wow that’s crazy!”  
(big look around to see if anyone else heard that and wants to exchange a grown up eye with me as I ignore the child trying to talk to me about God… <facesmack>)

And sometimes I do this with my husband, especially at parties or social gatherings. If we say something funny together I’ll dump him to go tell other, new-shiny people about it.

And sometimes I do this with my friends

And very often I do this online.

And when I do this, you know what I’m saying? Dear person I’m actually talking to:  You’re not enough, I need a larger, more important audience.  Others matter more than what’s going on between us.  

My need to be noticed trumps what we are sharing in this moment.

It took a season of therapy and a good hard look to realize that the heart of this problem is this:  So often I worry about who isn’t listening and miss out on who is, because I’m valuing the wrong things.

We all do this in life, don’t we? Come on, please normalize this with me so I don’t feel like such a jerk…

We’re chatting with our friends, our people and across the room or the twittersphere when we spot someone we wish we were friends with, chatting with a crowd we wish we ran with and we feel… jealous and small and less than… maybe even crummy and insignificant.

Why? Because we want to be noticed and successful. It’s perfectly normal… but if we’re not careful it can become utterly consuming.  And we should be careful.

We should be careful with the people we’ve been entrusted with, the audience we’ve been given. 

Because odds are that if you look around, you’re already as noticed and significant as you need to be.

Let me give you an example that will potentially make you hate me and burn my blog in anger (I don’t know how that would work, just go with it):

Sometimes when a new person responds to me on twitter I go to check their profile.

Not a big confession, Normal right?
What am I looking for you ask?
Am I trying to see if we have common interests and beliefs?
Nope.  I’m checking to see how many followers they have to figure out how much time and attention I should give them.
I know, I know.  Awful. But I swear It’s getting better…

Why? I’ve stopped worrying about who’s not listening and started loving everyone who is.

I actually remember the exact day that this switch flipped. I got put off by an acquaintance online, someone who didn’t do anything wrong but who, through inaction left me with a wound.

I literally looked at myself in the toothpaste covered bathroom mirror and yelled. “What (name of person) thinks doesn’t even matter! I have people, good people and what (he/she) does or doesn’t think of me doesn’t get anymore airtime in my brain or my time.”

Then I talked about it at therapy. A lot. I talked about how I want to intentionally cultivate depth with the people I’ve been given (gifts each one!) and how badly I needed to stop worrying about who wasn’t paying attention to me.

Then over dishes about a week later I received some news from God.  The kind that just pops into your mind and feels at home, like sweet mind-truth, life giving and free.

“I’ve given you exactly the influence needed, the people you were meant to tend and grow. Love them well and forget the rest.”

And so it was that I learned to love my people, my place in this world.  Not in a passive way, but in an active, daily choosing that leaves me feeling full of life and peace.

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I like your costume

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I love Halloween, I always have.  There’s something inside all of us that loves to play dress up, to pretend to be something entirely other than ourselves, if just for a night.  To let our inner avatars come to life.

I’ve dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow, a Geisha Girl, Little Red Riding Hood, Flo the Progressive Girl… and this is just as an adult.

Every year of my kid’s lives I’ve made their costumes by hand. Not to show off, but because it was a commitment I’d made before they were ever born.  I wanted to use my hands to help their creativity come to life and not just by swiping my card.

I’ve always known I’d be a homemade costume mama, it’s the reason I took sewing classes in my early twenties. It’s important for me to sew, crochet and hot glue their imaginations into reality.  

I think it’s just because I love the whimsy of Halloween, the one night where we all play dress up and pretend, where imagination wins all.

I get giddy over opening my door for Trick or Treaters, to see their visions come alive and to smile at the parents standing proudly behind their little lions, ghosts and minions.

We all roll our eyes at the “too old” trick or treaters. The high school kids who shoulder their way through the little ones to get their hands on our bowls full of Snickers and Reeses.

Because, I think at some point we’re supposed to be done with trick or treating, and rightfully so.  It’s a place for the littles to play.

Yet, I don’t think any of us should ever give up the whimsy of Halloween, the belief that we can put on a hat and fulfill our wildest dreams.

We should dream big, fulfill our inner passions, finally become the firefighters and veterinarians we always thought we would be.

But the dreaming of dress up has to live side by side with a love of the sweet right here, the seemingly ordinary right now.

If little “trick or treat” you rang your doorbell this Thursday, do you think they’d be disappointed in who you’ve become?

Do you think they’d be sad that you’re not a professional wrester or stunt rider?

I bet they wouldn’t.

I don’t think we’re letting ourselves down as much as we think we are.

I know you feel like you haven’t arrived yet, like you’ll be better when you achieve this or that. 

But please don’t buy into that lie, because you’re beautiful today.  In the costume you have on right now.

For me, my dream costume is that of “published author” as it is with so many writers, I’ll finally be okay when I publish a book, that’s the magic moment when I’ll feel like my writer costume isn’t a joke.

But you know what?  I think if 6 year old me came to our door on Thursday night she’d see our comfy home complete with a cat, two kids and an awesome playroom and be thrilled.

If teenage me peeked in our window and saw the romance in our marriage to a good, good man she’d breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that it all works out in the end even if she IS 16 and never been kissed.

In the end, when you look down at the costume you wear in daily life, even if it’s not the end all be all fulfillment of your deepest passions, it’s still a pretty good gig.

I’m not saying don’t dream big, I’m saying that you’re already somewhere worth celebrating, so grab a snickers (or if you have supremely good taste, an Almond Joy) and celebrate the costume you get to wear every day.

Because it’s lovely in it’s here-ness.  So is mine, go us.

What did little you want to be “when you grow up?” OR What is your Halloween Candy Kryptonite (what can’t you leave alone?)

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The After Miracle

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I went to 4 colleges and at one point or another I claimed 6 different majors

At one point I planned on going to Bible school in New Zealand. I even got my passport, but it was never stamped until our honeymoon and even then it was for Mexico.

I went to grad school for a bit, but I left after 2 semesters.

We’ve already discussed how many different jobs I’ve held (it’s 17.)

I own more books that I haven’t read than those I have.

Our basement is home to more than one unfinished craft project… some of them furniture.

I’ve started training for at LEAST 6 different 5ks that I never ran.

I have gone public with a lot of dreams that never went anywhere at all because I abandoned them for the next big idea.

But writing?  I can’t walk away.  This is my thing. Continue reading

That Thing You Do.

“Oh Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth. “

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For my entire life I read this verse and figured it was about mountains, sunsets and jungle flowers so exotically that it’s difficult to believe that they’re real.

But these days I think that mountains paint a weak picture of God’s majesty, compared to the wonders of his children.  And this is a bold statement coming from me because I seriously love the mountains.

Lately I wonder if God’s name is worshipped the fullest and most powerfully when his children discover their passions and are brave enough to go through with them, to pursue them, to embody his creative-splendor with their hours of their lives.

Maybe in this way, worship isn’t so much about a song on Sunday but about faithful hands but about being fully ourselves for our Father throughout the week.

Being brave enough to listen to that whispering voice inside.  The one that says:

“You know that thing you love to do?  Do that.  Do it for Me, with Me. Do it as your life’s work, even when you’re feeling scared and too small.  Those feelings are the enemy, he wants no part of this beauty.  He wants you in hiding, to keep my beauty and love contained.”

Now that I’ve opened my eyes to this concept, I see people’s passionate hearts as beautiful worship, I tear up at all the gifts and wonder God poured into his people.  Slam poetry? Glass blowing? Perfect violin solos?  It’s all too much, it makes me wonder why I bother with Mascara anymore,  life’s too beautiful to stay dry-eyed. Continue reading

Cognitive Dissonance (Rugs, Writing and Fear)

Do you know what Cognitive Dissonance is? This is clearly a reference back to my short-lived grad school days when I was studying counseling… but all that to say, I’ve been experience a sickening amount of cognitive dissonance lately.

Here’s a little definition of CD: Cognitive Dissonance is a psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously 

And may I add: it’s one of the most uncomfortable, pinching, squeezing nauseating feelings in the world.

dissonace

In music it’s described as a clashing of chords… nails on the chalkboard of the finely tuned ear.

I first heard about this concept not in a psychology class but in doctrine class.  I sat there, probably with crazy hair and an expensive planner when I hear him say something like this:

“There are few things more uncomfortable than believing one thing and behaving the opposite.”

(This is not a direct Dr Felch quote BUT it’s close!  And it stuck!…  I bet my friend Jill still has those notes still perfectly kept somewhere)

When played out in life, it makes you feel like an unevenly distributed washing machine, always thumping and shaking, still spinning but all out of balance.

And when you repetitively do something you don’t believe is right, self loathing soon follows… and it messes. you. up.  Continue reading

Creativity without Perspective

I’ve been digging deeper into my Meyers Briggs personality type lately and loving every minute of it.  I took the test back in college which is rounding on about 9 years ago for me and I wondered if it would still be the same given the fact that I’ve been craving more alone time these past few years than I ever have before.

Yet, after reading more deeply into my MBTI I realized that it’s likely still right on and the need for more introverted time can be chalked up to have kids around me 16 hours a day.

unleash_your_writing_creativity I’m an ENTP which means I’m creative, outgoing and I’m always imagining ways to improve my surroundings. This expresses itself in a variety of ways but it usually plays itself out here on my blog, around our home and in the systems and pieces of our life.  Although details aren’t my thing I’ve taught myself to keep things somewhat orderly and I typically manage to keep it up.

ENTPs love to innovate and make improvements, it’s in our DNA.

This drive for improvement is wonderful when it comes out in writing, remodel scheming and craft projects.  But, it can be all too harmful when I apply it to the people I love.

Imagine living with a mother who is always reminding you of ways you could be doing better.  Or being married to a woman who mixes every dose of encouragement with a heavy hint of “room for improvement.”

Sadly, somedays this is what it’s like to be a member of the Penny family.  You get to enjoy a lot of thoughtfully prepared dinners in a cozy, well-decorated space while you listen to all the ways in which I see “room for improvement” in your life.

Geez… how great does that NOT sound?

To be fair to myself I’ve gotten ever so much better over the past five years.  I’ve managed to keep my tongue in check and I’ve learned to sweeten my words. Still, I often wish that I was one of the warm, fuzzy mamas whose personality type includes a honey-tongue and bushels of tender acceptance.

I wish that I was quieter, cuddlier and more stable.

Since creativity is so deeply woven into my genes, some days it’s all I really want to be doing.  I want to write, sew, paint, cook and up-cycle until I’ve had my fix and I’m positively high on creating.

Until I achieve something that gives me that… high.  You know what I mean, right?  We all have them.

But life doesn’t work like that.  I don’t get to put the writing and creating before my family, I can weave it into the way we do life together, but I can’t abandon them for it.  

Because sacrifice is doing what you love second because you love your people more.  

It’s saying the second thing, the more gracious thing that comes to mind rather than the first thing, even if it’s true.  It’s filtering yourself for the good of your family but not so much that you lose yourself.

Mostly it’s blending everyone’s needs and coming out with some sort of smoothie that works for you.

I’m sort of excited to get to know my children’s personality types, see how they tick and how I can best meet their needs.

Do you enjoy these sort of personality tests?

How does your personality clash with your lifestyle?