Be Curious, Not Judgmental

“Be curious, not judgmental.”


This quote is attributed to Walt Whitman. It seems to mis-attributed from the research I’ve done, but it is none the less a powerful reminder.


When I heard this quote it slapped me in the face. I struggle with being quick to judge something. As an Enneagram 1, I sometimes am too quick to allow my gut instinct about something to judge and make an assumption without allowing my head and heart to weigh in before drawing a conclusion.


That’s the rub of it. My ego doesn’t get out of the way and trips me up. Our egos are never curious. They major in assumptions. And we all know what they say about assumptions.


What if we were truly curious about a person, about why they make the choices they do, about why they think the way they do? What if we took a few moments instead of reacting to something we think is wrong or bad and dig a little deeper into why? Why they make a certain decision, why they chose differently than you.

When did we become so fearful of another’s views that we react with such anger and assumption? If we are confident in our own beliefs and views, we would not need to argue or react in such anger.


The world is in hyper judgment mode these days. The propaganda of fear from the media has lulled us into a perpetual state of stress thinking if someone does not agree or believe the way we do then they are our enemy and a danger to us.

We have to rise above this.

Where did our sense of curiosity go? When did someone automatically become an enemy when they don’t think like us or agree with our views?


We have to guard against allowing the pride of our ego to diminish the humanity of another. Because when we diminish someone else, we diminish God and his creation.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Hello Blank Page

Oh hello blank page.


Where did two years go? I’m sitting here looking at my blog and wondering where the last two years went since I sat down to share what I’ve been writing. It’s funny how time can slip past us without us even realizing it.


It’s not like I haven’t written anything. But between major life changing seasons, a broken website (gotta love technology,) and job changes, my writing  took a leave of absence. There are times when leaving the blank page for another time is simply necessary.


Why is it blank pages, blank canvases, are so daunting? Why are they so terrifying? So paralyzing?


I’ve thought about giving up on my blog. Life gets busy when your kids become teens and then you go through seasons and wonder how much you should or even can share.


And are blogs even a thing anymore?


I’ve struggled over the past couple of years to make time for my creativity. I’ve always loved to write. Then came scrapbooking & card making. Then came art. God gave me the gift of craftsmanship. I come from makers. My daddy loves to build and do woodworking. My mother used to crochet, paint, and make cards until her health declined. We also seem to have passed it down. My son loves to build. My niece loves to paint and draw.


I’m a maker. It’s not only in my blood, it’s how God created me. I love creating things. Yet it’s the thing that gets put off.


And when do you call yourself a writer or an artist or a maker? Is there some line you have to cross to be considered these things? Why is it when it comes to creativity we don’t think we can call ourselves by those titles? I don’t have a problem calling myself what my job title says I am. Why is it when it comes to the creative fields we can feel like such imposters?


Over the past couple of years, I don’t get near enough creative time. I look at the blank page and words don’t come. I prep the canvas or pull out the art paper and I find myself frozen in front of the blank canvas. I still find time to make cards but don’t scrapbook or paint near as much I want to.  Really, when it comes down to it, I’m overthinking it.


But I remembered something while talking to my sister-in-law not too long ago. She’s also an artist but has felt stuck like me. Our conversation brought to my mind the age old truth about creativity. Creativity breeds creativity.
You have to be intentional. You have to sit your rear end down and show up at the blank page or at the blank canvas and just start. It can be gibberish or random strokes that may mean nothing. Just be intentional. Show up. Do the work. Don’t worry about the outcome.


Fall is in the air which is helping my mindset tremendously. Even though the world is still upside down, and not in the upside down Jesus kind of way, I’m sensing a shift in my spirit. I need to put my fingers to the keyboard and canvas and paper. I’m not whole if I don’t. So here’s to showing up at the page and canvas at least for a few minutes on the daily. A few words or a few strokes or a few pieces of paper cut. Not caring if it’s not perfect. Not caring what others think of it. Being at peace with everything being a work in progress. Here’s to making and writing and remembering I was created to be a maker.

Perspective

Over the past few years God has given me a passion and joy in learning about personalities and the different personality frameworks. I’ve personally experienced how learning more about your own personality and the spiritual gifts God created you with can make a huge difference in our lives. 


Over 8 years ago, I attended a personality and spiritual gifts assessment class at our church. I began serving on a team, and while I liked the team, it just didn’t feel like the best fit for me, but I wasn’t really sure which team would be. 


My small group leader was on staff and knew what my results from that class were. Several months after that class she asked me if I wanted to join a new team they were forming. She knew it would fit one of my top giftings perfectly. 


She called out that gift and it changed my life. If she had not called that gift out, I would not have had my previous job or the job I have now. I served on that team until just recently. Now it’s eight years later. 


“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your work; my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:13-14


Maybe you were told this scripture truth growing up? Or maybe you have only ever heard what a screw up you were? Do our “souls know it very well” how God created us? I remember hearing this in church growing up, but then I always felt like the next question should be “okay, now what?” And that’s where I think personality, gifts, and purpose come in?  It has truly shifted my perspective in so many ways.


How do we learn more about how God created our personalities? How do we discover the spiritual gifts He has graced us with? How do those work together? And how do they point us toward our purpose? In learning these things I believe we come to know as one version says “full well” that we were fearfully and wonderfully made. 


I think it’s the enemy’s mission to keep our souls from knowing it very well. It’s never easy, but it’s worth it. I believe when we learn deep in our soul how God created us, with what gifts He’s given us, and how He wants us to use those for our purpose, that God dances over us with joy. 


That’s what I hope to explore more of here on the blog. With maybe a few other things I’m interested in scattered about. (I’ve never really had a niche for my blog. I’m interested in too many things, have too many hobbies. Plus I love to learn.) At least this is what I’m hoping to do. 


And I know it’s become the trendy thing. Especially the Enneagram. Which is one of the two personality frameworks I have studied about the most. You can’t scroll through Facebook without seeing another “What (fill in the blank) are you?” We all want to learn more about ourselves, but do we really want to do the work? 


I’ve never been one to follow the trends, though. I truly have found so much value and purpose in not only learning more about how God created me, but also helping others learn about their personalities and gifts. 


It’s the trendiness that gives me pause. My biggest pet peeve & frustration with the trendiness of it all?   We can read about personalities and learn about personalities, but unless we become intentional about noticing our patterns and allow the Holy Spirit to use what we’ve learned, all the knowledge won’t help us. Learning about our personality makes our excuses null and void. Our personality is not a crutch for our character.

Our personality is not a crutch for our character.


I’ve discovered I have more compassion and grace for others when I stop and set my mind with the perspective they see things from. Studying about the different ways God has created people’s personalities is teaching me the ability to step outside of the frustrations their behavior can cause me which in turn lowers my stress level (at least most days.) It helps me to understand they aren’t behaving the way they behave just to make my life more difficult. 


Keeping my thoughts in this mindset isn’t always easy, but stopping my thoughts from veering off into frustration. Instead, if I think in terms of personality I’m able to keep an eternal perspective.


And we cannot do it on our own in our own power. Only through Christ, God’s grace, and the Holy Spirit can it make a difference. We have to get out of the Holy Spirit’s way and it’s a constant work in progress. But if we allow it, we will see glimpses of how God sees us through Christ and how we will be when we are fully redeemed. 


Being in a healthy place spiritually with your personality plus discovering your spiritual giftings and combining that with your passions can lead you to your purpose. 


Your passions may change as you go through different seasons of life. Your giftings may grow stronger or some may not be used as much. But in every season I believe the purpose to which you are called for that season will always fit your gifts and personality. 


So here’s to learning more about ourselves and how God created us and using that to discover our purpose and in the process bring our ultimate purpose to light which is to glorify Him. 

Celebrate their Wins

Earlier this week I found out a friend had something really good happen for them. I can’t share what exactly it was because it’s not my story to share, but trust me, it was a seriously good thing. 


And I am so incredibly happy for this friend. I love that this good thing happened to them, but when another friend found out they were extremely negative about it. Jealousy tinged this other friend’s words. 


I get it. It’s easy to look at the good things happening in another person’s life and compare it to our own life, to let it bog us down. 


We MUST fight the temptation to let that jealous and envious spirit set up in our own spirit. That’s exactly what the enemy wants. If we are so focused on the good things happening to others, and on how those good things aren’t happening to us, then we can never fulfill the purpose God has for us. 


A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:30) 


I’m convinced the more we choose to celebrate the good things happening for others the easier it becomes to choose it over and over as that choice creates healthy pathways in our brain. 


In the end all that being negative or jealous about another’s good fortune does is rob us of our joy. We get to choose joy. We get to choose to find joy in the good things happening to others. We get to choose to live a life full of joy. 


Psalm 16:11 tells us “You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is  fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever more.” 


Doesn’t finding fullness of joy sound better that dried up bones? 

The Myth of Balance

Balance is a myth. These baskets of laundry sat on this bench in our bedroom waiting to be folded for a few days. The dishwasher needed to be emptied and a pile of dirty dishes sat in the sink for a couple of day and our floors need to be vacuumed. I chose to rest and nap one afternoon this past weekend instead of taking care of these chores.

The times when I have things all caught up at home AND caught up at work doesn’t always happen. Does my personality want things to be in place and everything at home taken care of and also have all my tasks on track at work and find time to do the things I love like my Young Living business and reading and crafting that feed my soul? Sure.

But I’ve also learned that there is grace. Grace for when I’m behind at work. (I’m so thankful for the great leaders I have at work.) Grace for when the baskets of clothes sit there for a few days before being folded. Grace for feeding my soul with the things I’m passionate about and love doing instead of chores. I have learned to give myself grace & let go of perfection when unexpected seasons of life require a bit of un-balance. 

What are you learning to find grace for when you can’t quite stay caught up?