37. How can I add value to the life of others? Louise tells me I do this just by being myself. I hope she is right. I try to add value by being encouraging and by directing people's vision back to God and what God is doing in their lives. I try to be a non-judgmental heart for those who need it.
38. How can I serve? The answer to this question is infinite. I can serve in any way that God leads. For me, personally, that usually involves the spiritual gifts God has given me. He gave me a large measure of faith in the big situations. I can generally stand back and see God's hand in a situation, or I can at least see possibilities for what God MIGHT be doing. I have also discovered that God tends to use me on a person-to-person level, rather than a more corporate one. In most of the jobs I take, I find at least one person that I feel God placed me in a position to serve in some way. At Cokesbury, it was Louise. And Osman too. I felt God was using me to ease a part of their lives for a while. When I waitressed at Applebee's, I know God put me there to pray with and talk with a particular girl. Did God use me in other ways and with other people? Sure. But I believe it was specific people that I was mainly there for.
39. What can I do better than anyone else? Nothing. There are things I can do better than a lot of people, but I am not the BEST at anything. I am a good writer. I am, generally, good at taking an abstract thought and putting words and feelings to it.
40. What are my top three strengths? I have a very open heart/mind when dealing with other people. I like seeing Jesus in them. That is probably my #1 strength. Next to that, I would say my desire to know God more and learn more is a strength that drives me. I have discovered that I am always learning. I don't know it all and God is always changing me. When I am at my best, I can relax into these changes. If we could all do that, all the time, what a different world this would be. I don't hold grudges. This doesn't mean I never get angry or that I forgive instantly. But I have learned to ask God to forgive through me, in most cases, instead of trying to do it on my own. So, a forgiving heart would be my third strength.
41. Am I moving in the direction of my dreams? Most days. Doing something creative each day, reading and learning each day and asking God to lead me helps me feel like I am moving in the right direction.
42. Do I tell others what I really want? Not always. OK, seldom. I fear being seen as selfish or greedy if I admit to wanting more than what is given.
43. What does my ideal day look like? Waking up on my own, showering and reading a good book while eating breakfast. Doing something creative. Taking myself out to lunch and reading for a while longer. Taking an afternoon nap. Spending the evening with my husband or a friend.
44. Where do I want to be a year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? In 5 years, I will be about to turn 32. I hope to still be here in Tupelo, be finished with my degree in Creative Writing, have an 11 year old and a 9 year old, be ready for Corey to graduate seminary and have Savannah visiting us on a regular basis. In 10 years, about to turn 37, I will have a 16 year old and a 14 year old. I hope to be watching my boys become godly men, helping Savannah settle into college life, etc... Corey and I might be part of a church plant by then, with him as senior pastor or worship pastor. Who knows. Maybe we will be in youth still, right here at FUMC. I am okay with any of these. I could also see us as part of a community like The Simple Way (somewhere warmer than Philly, please, God?). I might have my masters by then. God could move in so many ways between now and then, that I really have no idea how to visualize it. As for 20 years from now, as I am approaching 47, the kids will be 28, 26 and 24. maybe I will have grandkids. Maybe not. I have a feeling, at least one of the boys will be working in ministry in some fashion. I hope to be a librarian or have some other fulfilling career. I hope Corey is still ministering in whatever area God will have lead him to from here.
45. What does my ideal living environment look like? Open and airy. Full of light. Enough organization to keep my ADHD in check, but lived-in enough to feel homey. Soft couches and cushions, scripture on my walls and peace all around. Bright colors.