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Well, I think I have a case of “greener-grass-itis”.  It’s inevitable, isn’t it?  I just got back from a 2 week business trip to Kenya for meetings, and I actually had the nerve to think my life is uncool?  Geez, what is wrong with me??

My life rocks.  I love my husband more than I ever thought it was possible to love another human being (Jesus excluded, of course).  I love my job, and consider myself to be the luckiest (or “most blessed” for those of you who only speak christianese) person for this time in my life.  I have an amazing and cozy townhouse to live in, enough food to eat and then some, and hopes and dreams to keep me motivated.

Sure, the weather may be freezing (especially compared to Kenya), and life has a way of throwing curve balls at you sometimes (my sister), and there is so much garbage that goes on in the world.  Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure everyone else’s grass is no greener than mine.  I deliberately choose to be JOYFUL in ALL circumstances, placing my trust in God ALONE, and building PERSEVERANCE!

Merry Christmas everyone.  Yeah, that’s right, I said it… MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Not “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings”.  Summer and spring and fall are seasons too, and Victoria day is also a holiday.  IT’S NOT LOGICAL to celebrate the CHRISTMAS season without calling it CHRISTMAS.  If you’re Jewish and celebrate Hannukah, then fine.  Say “Happy Hannukah”.  But don’t deny me the right to say “Merry Christmas” if you’re just some burnt-out, cynical, secular atheist who can’t face the facts and admit that there’s a God, and it’s HIS son’s birthday!

And that’s what’s in my head right now.  Got more than you paid for, didn’t ya?

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Mt. Longonot, Rift Valley, Kenya

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I’ve discovered a bit about myself lately by doing the Myers-Briggs Personality Type-Indicator.  It says I am an INTP.  This is one description I found on the web, and I certainly would agree that it is describing me to a “t” (whatever that means).  It is eerily accurate (I’ve underlined the parts that especially resonated with me).

Another extremely good (perhaps even better, although longer) article/essay on the INTP personality type is found at this link: http://www.intp.org/intprofile.html

This link says that only 1% of the population are INTP’s. 

If that’s the case, it’s no wonder I feel so strange and misunderstood so often.
***
The Thinker

As an INTP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
INTPs live in the world of theoretical possibilities. They see everything in terms of how it could be improved, or what it could be turned into. They live primarily inside their own minds, having the ability to analyze difficult problems, identify patterns, and come up with logical explanations. They seek clarity in everything, and are therefore driven to build knowledge. They are the “absent-minded professors”, who highly value intelligence and the ability to apply logic to theories to find solutions. They typically are so strongly driven to turn problems into logical explanations, that they live much of their lives within their own heads, and may not place as much importance or value on the external world. Their natural drive to turn theories into concrete understanding may turn into a feeling of personal responsibility to solve theoretical problems, and help society move towards a higher understanding.

INTPs value knowledge above all else. Their minds are constantly working to generate new theories, or to prove or disprove existing theories. They approach problems and theories with enthusiasm and skepticism, ignoring existing rules and opinions and defining their own approach to the resolution. They seek patterns and logical explanations for anything that interests them. They’re usually extremely bright, and able to be objectively critical in their analysis. They love new ideas, and become very excited over abstractions and theories. They love to discuss these concepts with others. They may seem “dreamy” and distant to others, because they spend a lot of time inside their minds musing over theories. They hate to work on routine things – they would much prefer to build complex theoretical solutions, and leave the implementation of the system to others. They are intensely interested in theory, and will put forth tremendous amounts of time and energy into finding a solution to a problem with has piqued their interest.

INTPs do not like to lead or control people. They’re very tolerant and flexible in most situations, unless one of their firmly held beliefs has been violated or challenged, in which case they may take a very rigid stance. The INTP is likely to be very shy when it comes to meeting new people. On the other hand, the INTP is very self-confident and gregarious around people they know well, or when discussing theories which they fully understand.

The INTP has no understanding or value for decisions made on the basis of personal subjectivity or feelings. They strive constantly to achieve logical conclusions to problems, and don’t understand the importance or relevance of applying subjective emotional considerations to decisions. For this reason, INTPs are usually not in-tune with how people are feeling, and are not naturally well-equiped to meet the emotional needs of others.

The INTP may have a problem with self-aggrandizement and social rebellion, which will interfere with their creative potential. Since their Feeling side is their least developed trait, the INTP may have difficulty giving the warmth and support that is sometimes necessary in intimate relationships. If the INTP doesn’t realize the value of attending to other people’s feelings, he or she may become overly critical and sarcastic with others. If the INTP is not able to find a place for themself which supports the use of their strongest abilities, they may become generally negative and cynical. If the INTP has not developed their Sensing side sufficiently, they may become unaware of their environment, and exhibit weakness in performing maintenance-type tasks, such as bill-paying and dressing appropriately.

For the INTP, it is extremely important that ideas and facts are expressed correctly and succinctly. They are likely to express themselves in what they believe to be absolute truths. Sometimes, their well thought-out understanding of an idea is not easily understandable by others, but the INTP is not naturally likely to tailor the truth so as to explain it in an understandable way to others. The INTP may be prone to abandoning a project once they have figured it out, moving on to the next thing. It’s important that the INTP place importance on expressing their developed theories in understandable ways. In the end, an amazing discovery means nothing if you are the only person who understands it.

The INTP is usually very independent, unconventional, and original. They are not likely to place much value on traditional goals such as popularity and security. They usually have complex characters, and may tend to be restless and temperamental. They are strongly ingenious, and have unconventional thought patterns which allows them to analyze ideas in new ways. Consequently, a lot of scientific breakthroughs in the world have been made by the INTP.

The INTP is at his best when he can work on his theories independently. When given an environment which supports his creative genius and possible eccentricity, the INTP can accomplish truly remarkable things. These are the pioneers of new thoughts in our society.

http://www.personalitypage.com/INTP.html

So sometimes I get a little anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I’m not entirely sure why.  I need to do a little introspection, and pay more attention to my “feelings” – those strange and illogical things.  Oh- wait- I’ve learned that they aren’t actually illogical… but I do maintain that they are a bit scary.

Why oh why?  I’ve been told that if you think you’re crazy, you’re probably not.  Whew!  Good thing for me.  Anyway- there’s no reason that I know of to feel anxious.  Yet I feel it.  I usually try to ignore it, and it goes away, but eventually it comes back.  I think the enemy gets in my head sometimes, and I need to be more vigilant in paying attention to my emotions… I think that’s where he gets me.  Sometimes I really feel the weight of the world on my shoulders (or is that the ache from the bumpiest ride of my life yesterday for 4 hours in rural Kenya?  I can’t say for sure 🙂

Well, now that I’ve intensified that angst by being vulnerable to God-knows-who reading this…

Brilliant, really. 

PS- I really like myself. Really. Now aren’t I just full of paradoxical feelings and confusion? Lovely.

My experience thus far in Kenya (Nairobi, Kijabe, and Mukaa) has been sort of overwhelming. 

This is my fourth time to Africa, but I’m finding that it is the toughest to process so far in terms of “culture shock”.  Not because it’s so different, but rather because of the ways in which it is so similar to Western culture.  Of course there are contrasts- the poor and rural life & the slums… which contrast starkly with the 24-hour shopping malls and coffeehouses which would cause one to think that they had been transported back to North America while they were sleeping.  I am staying at an AIM guesthouse, which is all quite Western (yesterday it was pizza for supper and ice cream for dessert – made all from scratch by Kenyans to suit the multitude of Wazungu).  Today when we were in Mukaa, it was the first time on this trip that I got to have a “real” East African meal! It was really good- I found that I missed it! I came to Africa but had not yet really felt like I was in Africa! Nyama, wali, viazi, ndizi, na chapati… mmm!

A slight change in subject… I’ve been thinking alot lately about the (sometimes) seemingly elusive “will of God for my life”.  How does one KNOW God’s will for them? How do you know you are correct in what you THINK is God’s will for you? What if you are deceived? What if you don’t choose the right path, what if.. what if.. etc.  Well much to my angst these questions have been rolling about in my mind for quite a few years now, and it was only just last night that I was really able to fully realize them and vocalize them.  I was talking with Sam and Bonnie, and they offered alot of wisdom (I absolutely love them.. they are amazing).  Anyway- the good news is that I’ve come to a place of contentment in these things, after many years of vague confusion.  The 2 verses that really stand out in my mind that Bonnie reminded me of are these…

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.  That is not to say that you will get whatever desire (fleshly/worldly or otherwise) you want, but rather it seems to be more of a reciprocity in which your desires are already aligned with God’s will for you because when you are delighting yourself in Him, you are becoming more like Christ, and less like the world.  He gives you the desires of your heart not BECAUSE you are delighting yourself in Him, but THROUGH your very act of delighting yourself in Him.  Delighting one’s self in the Lord is the desire of a righteous (through Christ) heart.  That is all to say that if I am *honestly* delighting myself in Him, and I seek to use wisdom in my decisions, then I can ask myself what the desires of my heart really are, which will guide me to discover God’s will for me.  What am I passionate about? What am I uniquely gifted for?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways ackowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”.  Another good one.. I learned this one by heart in Pioneer Clubs as a kid.  Always a good verse to remember, always easy to forget.  Read it again, and again, and again, until it sinks in!

Anway- it’s late here (we’re 8 hours ahead of Toronto time) and it’s time for bed. Good night!

So, here I am at Mayfield Guest House (the AIM guesthouse in Nairobi, Kenya).  It’s been only 2 (full) days.  I’ve experienced so much, met so many people, and loved it all.  I have so many stories to tell.  I saw Mt. Longonot and the Rift Valley, which was BEAUTIFUL! (Google it).  I’ve toured Kijabe Hospital, Moffat Bible College, and RVA… tomorrow we’re going to the Eastern Region Office and International Services, and AIM AIR (to take pictures for Chris!).

Having Sam and Bonnie show me around has been so much fun- they are so great (Bonnie gives me “Chris substitute” hugs”, and we been falling off of our chairs (literally) in laughter, on a regular basis!

Bonnie got stung in the night by the Nairobi fly, which leaves acidic burns on your skin.  Hopefully it will clear up soon without too much discomfort.

Today as I sat gazing out at Mt. Longonot, I praised God for his amazing creation, talking to Him, and thanking Him for everything.  I am so blessed… even in the hardships, He is faithful.  When I am weak, He is strong… and He is exalted!

I love this song. It really captures how I’ve often felt lately.  There’s alot of negative stuff in the world, and the media doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture of life.  This song helps me to remember why I have that contented feeling in the pit of my stomach… because God is in control.  To quote a great VeggieTales movie… “God is bigger than the bogeyman, he’s bigger than Godzilla, and the monsters on TV…”

“One Of Those Days” (Song Lyrics by Shaun Groves)

At the risk of sounding shallow
Maybe trivial or trite
Emotional or mellowed
Well, how can I say this right?
Guess, I’m not the kind that figures
Life’s all rainbows and blues skies
Still I just can’t help but notice
I’ve got no good cause to cry

Chorus
It’s just been one of those days, one of those days
Every glass half full, every drop lemonade
Just one of those days, one of those days
All my worries to bed
And my faith wide awake
Hey, hey, hey
Just one of those days
Just one of those days

There’s a smile I can’t turn down
For a dance across my face
And the way I see things now
A frown would just be out of place
Cause I know you’re in your heaven
Yeah, with both hands on the wheel
And somehow this simple knowing
Has infected how I feel

I’m not blind to imperfections
Still a realist by trade
A pragmatic, pessimistic, over-thinker
On a break

On my way home from work every day, I see a billboard with the quotation: “If Hollywood ever had an original idea, it would die of loneliness”.

I chuckled to myself the first time I saw it, making myself feel good by thinking about how dumb Hollywood is. But then I thought about it a bit more, and it occurred to me that it is actually a very Biblical idea. According to the writer of Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. I am just grateful that I serve a God who is omniscient and all-loving. He knows everything, and wants only the best for me!

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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