Wednesday, December 31, 2008


so, 2009 is just about 5 hours away...crazy...

2008 has been a pretty good year. i've learned a lot about myself, the hard way, all too often. i've lived by myself for an entire year, which has had its ups and downs, and contributed to the learning about myself. i've worked at church, with youth, for a year as well, and that's also taught me a lot about myself (i see a pattern developing). i've been in seminary a full year, AND completed 24 credit hours! i've met some incredible people, and developed some great friendships.

my ten year high school reunion was this year. i've read a number of incredible books, i preached my first sermon, helped a church plant in canada, played a lot of practical jokes, became even more ridiculously addicted to coffee, went to mardi gras parades for the first time in years, learned a little bit more about the value of having hard conversations, celebrated birthdays and holidays with my family for the first time in a while, remodeled and rerented my house, drove Mac Powell around lafayette in my friend's car, dreamed big, and saw somethings soar and others flop, wrote a cheesy rap for my friend's birthday, drank way too many soft drinks (after planning to give them up!), spent a week in new orleans seeing first hand the way people are still being affected by Katrina, got to hold my friends' baby girl just a few days after she was born, got to be a co leader for Disciple Now, went to universal studios in orlando, spent WAY too many hours in class in pineville, spent an entire year not in India, went on an amazing spiritual retreat out at lake fausse, saw power and joy of prayer more than ever before in my life, drove my mom's van into a ditch, went to catalyst in atlanta with my friend andrea and had an INCREDIBLE time, made a fool out of myself singing karaoke with teenagers (and loved it!), started running the cafe at church and learned how to make lattes in the coffee shop.

i could definitely go on, but i've got to get to a new year's party now. it really has been a good year--not all that expected, and yet, also more than i expected. i'm excited about 2009, and definitely have some goals that i'm thinking through, which i'll probably work on more on the spiritual retreat this weekend.

happy new years!

overall, i've had a lot of

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Galatians 5:16-23, The Message

16-18My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

19-21It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.

22-23But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

This passage really hit me when I read it this morning. I'm definitely going to have to chew on it more, but what jumped out at me first was the description of the "kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time" in verses 19-21.

Every time I read through it, I think, this is insane. Is all that really possible from just trying to get your own way? From just being kinda sorta selfish? I've seen bits and pieces of the truth of it already, in my own selfishness and in others, and it's scary to think about what could really come from it. Very scary.

But the hope of freedom, real freedom. That's something I haven't really wrapped my mind around--can we, really? I've been reading The Shack these past few days, and one of the characters says something about freedom: "Freedom is a process that happens inside a relationship with Him."

I love and hate that. I have this desire to just be able to do whatever I want, to be free of anyone and everything else. Not to need anyone or anything.

But that's not really freedom, is it?

Sounds a lot more like selfishness, which is a scary thought.

So, freedom...a process...found in a relationship...with Him...freedom somehow implying dependence, need, relationship, love. All things that seem the opposite of freedom. Or maybe just the opposite of selfishness, which disguises itself as freedome, but is actually the ultimate slave driver...


Monday, December 29, 2008

one last christmas song

i love clever songs and song writers. i hadn't really paid much attention to sara groves, until i recently heard this song on the radio. it's hilarious, and definitely made me interested in hearing more of her stuff. check it out:

Toy Packaging
Sara Groves

Nothing makes me lose my cool like
Toy packaging
Ask the kids to leave the room for
Toy packaging
I have no choice the money's spent
I've worked for hours to make a dent
I guess it's anger management
Toy packaging

Nothing makes me lose my cool like
Toy packaging
Ask the kids please leave the room it's time for
Toy packaging
I'm drawing up a battle plan
to extricate this robot man
My self-esteem is in the can
Toy packaging

In the old days you could hold a box and shake it
And hear the pieces rattling around
My eyes tear up with these grommets, tape and twisty ties
Remembering their beautiful sound

Toy Packaging
I love Toy Packaging
(Mom! Honey!)

Nothing makes me lose my cool like toy packaging
Kids you really need to leave the room, mom's opening toy packaging
I'm sorry you have to see this sight
You must be brave, no please don't cry
I promise it will be alright
I hope to have it by tonight
Nevermind this dynamite
Toy packaging

this link has the song, though i'm not sure it's the whole thing, but you'll get the idea: toy packaging song

Sunday, December 28, 2008


started reading The Shack recently. i'd heard about it a lot, since the beginning of the fall, and when i heard the author speak at Catalyst in October, i knew i wanted to read it, but it had to be added to my "when the semester's over" reading list. i'm liking it so far, and very curious about what will come of reading it.

also saw a few other books i'd like to look into more: love and respect (don't know the author), taste and see by john piper, and just recently a friend led me to a link for amy carmichael's Things As They Are online, which i'm looking forward to reading. i've wanted to read something by her, or just more about her, for quite a while.

that's about it for today.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

there's hope...

found this in an old journal last night:

life doesn't get any easier
it doesn't always get better
there's no guarantee that someday
the pieces will all fit together

then i played around with it and added this:

but i know, i know
there's hope. there's hope.

probably sounds better with me singing it, but maybe not. i've been thinking about this a lot lately: what do you do with the junk life throws you, or that gets thrown at those around you.

i know a number of people who've been in the hospital this week--one, a kid who may have bone cancer. he's 12. i got some very sad news from a friend the other night--their house burned on Christmas eve day, and in the house next door, 3 little boys and a teenage girl died.

what do you do with that? what do you say, as a friend, a follower of Christ.

i really have no clue. all i know is that 2 things keep coming back to me: God saying, Trust Me, and this truth, sometimes very small, that there is hope. period. i have to wrestle with it sometimes to hold on to it, but i know it's worth it.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Hymn

Many songs have been sung
Of what happened that night
In a stable in Bethlehem town

A star led to the Savior,
A babe in a manger,
What a curious place for a King to be found

It was a gift that came
Wrapped in hay and tears
After silence that lasted
For 400 years

He seemed a package too small
For a future so grand
An innocent child
With the world in His hands

So how can it be—
The King of Kings sleeps on a bed of hay
Surrounded by shepherds, all singing His praise.
Seems a birth far too common and lowly For a babe so precious and holy,
So small, so precious, so holy

Now that baby grew
To be more than a man—
The Hope of the world,
Our lives in His hands

A promise fulfilled
From the dawn of time
Perfectly human
Completely divine

But in our foolishness,
Like sheep gone astray
We ignored this Good Shepherd
And each went our own way

Yet it was in love He came
To rescue the lost,
So He paid with His life
To spare us sin’s cost

But how can it be—
That our Savior’s wounds could heal our sins,
Or His punishment bring us new life in Him?
Seems too brutal, too cruel and too lowly
For One so precious and holy
Our Savior, so precious, so holy

Now Bethlehem’s star
Points the way to the cross
And history forever changed
As God dwelt among us

It’s a story we know,
But a truth we forget—
From the smallest of things
Came the greatest of Gifts

So in our darkest days,
There’s hope to be found
Because of what started that night
In Bethlehem town

Still, how can it be—
That the greatest story ever told
Began so simple and lowly?
Our Savior was born in a stable—
Messiah, a babe in a manger—
So small, so precious, so holy
So small, so precious, so holy

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

totally supposed to be doing about a dozen other things right now, such as: helping mom with the food for tonight and tomorrow, finishing Christmas presents, wrapping those presents, writing the rest of the Christmas song, etc.

but, i'm drinking a grande skinny iced raspberry latte from CCs and posting a quick blog. merry christmas!

yesterday mom and andrea and i went last minute shopping. it was actually a lot more fun than i could have imagined. the traffic and whatnot was fairly crazy, but it didn't bother me because the 3 of us had such a good time hanging out. we didn't get on each others nerves, even while running around the mall and walmart! it was truly a blessing and a great Christmas present in itself.

tonight, we have a Christmas eve service at church (actually, in about an hour and a half...). should be pretty cool.

oh, one last thing: i've been thinking about this for a while, and might as well go ahead and post it before christmas, even though it's a bit late for anyone that might be interested in Christmas shopping tips (yes, that's why you're here reading this blog, i know!). so, here are my tips/philosophy on christmas shopping:

1. surprise! this is my number one rule of gift giving--i do NOT like to be told what i'm getting, and i don't do this to other people, because being surprised is my favorite part of getting a gift. big or small, i just love the surprise.

2. personal gifts: i love giving people something that i know they want, but are not necessarily expecting. something i've heard them mention in a conversation or something connected to something they like a lot.

3. making creative gifts: part of this just may be because i'm typically too broke to buy lots of big gifts, but i love if i can make something cool for someone else, esp with pictures or something meaningful.

4. quality time gifts: closely tied to number 3. last year i had no idea what to get for my pre teen cousins, so i made them little gift certificates to go to the movies with me. not as exciting as all the other toys and games they were ripping open, but pretty cool to spend the afternoon with them a few days later watching the Chipmunks movie. these quality time gifts (lunch, coffee) aren't fool proof because i've found it pretty hard to schedule time with people this year for some of their gifts, but i still like the idea of planning to do something fun TOGETHER.

5. when all else fails... CC's gift card. i love coffee, and i love to get CC's gift cards, and give coffee to other people as a present. so, if you get coffee from me this year, it's a gift straight from the heart :)

well, that's pretty much it. i definitely need to get back on track now. night is coming quickly and santa's on his way!


Monday, December 22, 2008

rebuilding, restoring, and starting over...

lots of different thoughts earlier today, but i seem to be drawing somewhat of a blank right i'll start with a story/picture.

don't worry, this isn't me actually throwing up, but it definitely looked that way. i was at jason's deli yesterday after church and somehow, while telling a story and waving my hands all around, managed to spill my whole bowl of tomato basil soup on me and jason. it was all over my shirt, jeans, shoes, the floor, the table, jason's pants and jacket--EVERYTHING! so gross too, because it totally looked like, well, you know what...but, as i like to think, most anything can become a funny story--somethings it takes a while, but there's still usually something funny to be found. this is funny now, and if i get the stains out of my new shirt, it'll be even funnier.

on another note, something i was thinking about this morning:

"They'll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They'll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new."

This is from the Message, somewhere in the first 7 verses of Isaiah 61. i've always liked this passage, especially the part about the "oaks of righteousness" becaue i LOVE oak trees. but today, this part about building and restoring struck me. we went out the the Habitat for Humanity site in Kaplan today to check out what they're doing and what we'll get to be a part of in January for our Disciple Now youth retreat. there was a lady there who was working on her house and hoping to be in by Christmas. i just thought, wow, this is beyond what i can really imagine or comprehend. similar to being in New Orleans last may during all the disaster relief work--i can't imagine what it'd be like to have a city, your city and home, ruined. and then to rebuild.

i was in india when Katrina hit, and watching it from several thousand miles away was very surreal. to be here now and think about rebuilding, honestly, part of me just thinks, wouldn't be easier to just leave? go somewhere new? start over? and i know many people have. but what boggles my mind is those who have worked so hard to come back, who have that strong feeling of home, even if home will never be the same again. i don't understand that, not really. it was amazing to come back to lafayette after being gone 2 years, but that's not exactly the same. i find that sense of home very interesting and something i think i want more of, to feel settled, invested, willing to work and fight for a place--and not just the land or buildings, but the community, the people, the home-ness, if that makes sense.

i've wrestled a lot with different thoughts about this lately, just thinking how much easier it is to reset, to start over, to move and leave and begin again. not to rebuild or restore, because that's so messy. but i think that God is opening up my heart and mind to that more and more, and i am very interested in seeing what He has in store in 2009...

Saturday, December 20, 2008


“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” -St Augustine

i've been feeling very restless lately, that sense of knowing something in my mind to be true, but not believeing (or KNOWING) it in my heart.

i know i can trust You, but i don't KNOW it, and so i keep going back to the same old junk, expecting new results (isn't that the definition of insanity?).

"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and lust and ambition when infinate joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to keep on making mud-pie in the slums because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the beach." If I really wanted to be happy, I would seek God. Oh, but God is abstract! It takes effort to reach God. So I settle. I settle for weak amusements that require no effort. What a lazy fool I am!!" - CS Lewis


Friday, December 19, 2008

Your love is strong

i first heard this live at Catalyst in October, and hadn't really thought about it much until a friend pulled it up on youtube for me yesterday. i've had it one repeat ever since. check it out:

Your Love is Strong
Jon Foreman

Heavenly Father
You always amaze me
Let your kingdom come
In my world and in my life
You give me the food I need
To live through the day
And forgive me as I forgive
The people that wronged me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place
I look at the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

So why do I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Chorus (3x):
Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Will you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

(Chorus 3x)

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be
Thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us wicked sinners
Lead us far away from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

Thursday, December 18, 2008

where's the reset button?

grades back on 4 of my 5 classes: 3 A's and a P (pass). sweet! i am 1/4 of the way done with seminary and SO excited!

this morning i went for a run, somewhat unexpectedly. i wanted to work out, but wasn't in the mood for the gym and it was too early to do one of my videos (didn't want to hop around and wake up my neighbor downstairs!), so i just ran/walked around downtown and some of the nearby neighborhoods.

it was a good time to continue the prayer time i'd started earlier, and just ask God to speak to me, wake me up to things that i'm blind about and what not. i was going on and on, praying for people and telling Him different things i was concerned about when i walked past a new house that was being built. right then He started speaking to me about this idea i've had about starting over. i've had the question running through my mind lately, what if we just started over? i think about that a lot in ministry--there are so many things that drive me crazy, and i just want to, well, start over. it seems like it'd be so much easier than cleaning up stuff and working with the messiness.

i thought about it a lot when we were fixing up my house over the past few months. so annoying and time consuming (and really, i hardly did any of the work myself!). i just wanted it to be done, and with all the fixing of old things, i thought, wouldn't it be easier to just start from scratch, just have a new house?

and i've thought that way with ministry, and life in general. where's the reset button? how do we wipe the slate clean and begin again? all these things that aren't working, or that i just don't like--let's scrap them and do something NEW. won't that be better and easier and simpler?

no. not really.

building a new house, with all new stuff, is not problem free. just a different set of problems from the old house that's being fixed up. new church plants aren't problem free, just different problems from older, established churches. new believers aren't without problems either--none of it works that way, but it sure is easy to see the grass as greener on the otherside.


but this was a good realization this morning. i don't think i'd realized how much i was hanging everything on change and new and whatnot. there are things that need to change, but the big reality is, I am not the one who knows it all or how it will all work. i HAVE TO trust Him and let Him guide me, or i just end up sounding like a whiny, broken record.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

random thoughts for Wednesday

-today is my brother's 18th birthday. hello. that makes me feel old, since i vividly remember the day he was born, so i can only imagine how it makes my parents feel! happy birthday little/big brother :)

-why are somethings so much more complicated once you agree to them and get into and are already too committed to get out? is it just me, not being discerning, or what?

-hope: i had a moment earlier while i was cleaning out the popcorn maker upstairs in the youth room and i was really moved by the thought of the hope this season provides. i have not been especially excited about Christmas this year, but that moment, just thinking about hope entering the world in the form of a tiny baby--such a strange thing, and so yet so amazing.

-Christmas songs: i have one i started writing about 3 years ago, during Christmas of 2005, and my goal is to finish it this year. i've been saying that every year, but i'm feeling it this year, especially after that hope revelation earlier.

-don't do a google image search for "corndog." i really just wanted a picture of a real corn dog, but geez...

-i love learning from and in small, insignificant moments. this morning, i ended up helping answering the phones in the front office (and i actually didn't mess it up too bad!). but randomly, i had a great conversation with someone that's left me thinkign all day about respect, something i've already been wrestling with lately. also, cleaning out the popcorn machine and talking to God--something about those big revelations in the little moments.

-1 Tim 4:1-5 in the Message: "These liars have lied so well and for so long that they've lost their capacity for truth." This is a truly scary thought, one i need to chew on some more...

-leftover Thai ribs from Zea's = AMAZING lunch :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

just another tuesday?

so it snowed last Thursday, then on Sunday I wore a short sleeve shirt to our Christmas festival at church, and now today, it's drizzling and cold again.

ah, Louisiana...

i was telling some of the ladies that i had lunch with today that even in India, it was colder than it is here in the winter. or maybe more consitently cold. or maybe i'm just making that up.

someone I was talking to last night, who's from New Orleans, said that Katrina always seems to come up in conversations, even 3 years later. i think India has been that way for me, but it seems to come up less and less. it seems more like a dream, which i would have NEVER imagined possible when i got home 16 months ago. i was telling another couple that, some friends who are home from Asia for Christmas, and I was like, yeah, i know you can't wrap your mind around that now, but it starts to seem less and less real as the time goes by.

the funny thing is, as i've been thinking about posting this blog for the past few days, India wasn't even on my mind, but, here it is again. maybe this is just a good (or easy?) place to process that part of my life/heart/etc.

so, i'm going to work on blogging again. i think seminary is teaching me that i may not have as much to say as i'd like to think, but i do have a whole lot of questions, so i'm hoping to wrestle with some of those this coming year. we'll see what happens :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


lately, i've been thinking about personality a lot. what makes us who we are? what factors in to the way we think, we act, we relate to others, the things we like and those we don't, the way we see the world, the way we take in information, etc...

this stuff fascinates me, and also confuses me. sometimes i think i know myself, and then sometimes, at the end of the day, i look at some of the choices i made (or didn't make) and all i can think is, what the heck?

reading the myers-briggs stuff, i'm pretty sure the ENFP label fits me well. i think i'm almost intuitive to a fault. i can't help but see the way things/ideas connect, or how they don't and yet should. i get lost in the bigger picture, and i just want others to get it as well. i love dreaming and talking out ideas with others, brainstorming, creating, etc. getting my feet wet in just about everything that comes across my path and seems remotely interesting.

this is all good, and does give a lot of insight into why i am the way i am. but then i think about other things that don't add up as well. i love to influence and encourage and BUILD. i love that word. i love the thought of seeing people reach their full potential--it's awesome. but at the same time, i find myself being so negative sometimes, so nasty and destructive.

what the heck?

yesterday, i was hanging out with 3 of my good girl friends, and some how the conversation turned to talking about someone else who we hadn't really seen in a while. i was so judgmental and negative about this person. and i knew i was doing it even as the words came out of my mouth. i didn't care. it was true, at least mostly, and i was irritated with this individual for stuff that had happened in the past and other stuff that probably wasn't really my business but still irritated me.

so i gossiped. i complained. i was just ugly and mean. and i the moment, i didn't care. yeah, exactly: what the heck?

how am i both this person who loves to build up others and encourage and launch them into bigger and better things, and yet also this mean, selfish girl who seems to take any chance to make herself look better while pushing someone else down? can something like myers briggs explain that?

i don't know. i haven't looked into it enough, but i do know this: i'm a messed up person living in a messed up world, who makes pretty bad choices at times. sometimes by accident or ignorance, but all too often, on purpose. as much as i like to puff myself up and pat myself on the back, i'm ugly, and it comes out in my actions and words and what not.

but i also know some good news: grace. i mean, wow. it's become a word that i think we take for granted way too much, but grace really is amazing. i had a friend once say that we tend to think of our sin and junk like we're these cute puppies that got dirty from playing in the mud, and we think that God just needs to come along and clean us up. but really, we're more like the orcs from Lord of the Rings (or maybe this ugly dog who's pic i put at the beginning of this blog). we're ugly. scary, nasty, not even remotely something that anyone would want to be near.

but God is full of grace. in fact, in John 1:14, it says that Jesus came to earth, to live among us, "full of grace and truth." that's pretty amazing, when you think about all the ugly people like me that he had to put up with while he was here. not just a little grace, or even enough, but FULL. and truth too, which i think of sometimes as a contrast to grace. but He was full of both grace AND truth, so they must work together somehow. there must be a way to be both grace and truth filled, to live out both of these things...

i know, more and more each day, that i can't do it on my own. i try really hard--i always have--and it's just not enough. i'm ugly, on my own at least. but because God is full of grace, and willing to pour it out to ugly people like me, i've found hope and life. i still make bad choices, but who i really am, my core, has been changed, made new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that's pretty amazing to think about.

so if you feel ugly too, don't be discouraged. there is hope for ugly people like us. it can't be found by trying harder or cleaning up on our own--we can wash off and dress up, but we'll still be ugly. we need someone who can literally change who we are, from the inside out, and Jesus is the only one i know who can do that. feel free to disagree, but i know what i've experienced first hand, and it's been amazing.

full of grace and willing to share. to forgive. to transform. to make new.

all we have to do is believe and ask. wow.

i think that's all i have for now. maybe more on this later...

Thursday, May 8, 2008


so, i didn't write this, but it probably describes me better than i could do myself!
to take the test yourself, go to:

Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
The Inspirer


ENFPs are initiators of change who are keenly perceptive of possibilities, and who energize and stimulate through their contagious enthusiasm. They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in the pursuit of new-found interests. ENFPs are able to anticipate the needs of others and to offer them needed help and appreciation. They bring zest, joy, liveliness, and fun to all aspects of their lives. They are at their best in situations that are fluid and changing, and that allow them to express their creativity and use their charisma.


ENFP children are 'into everything.' Their natural curiosity results in children for whom questions were invented. They often spend long periods of time devising new and original --- but not necessarily practical --- languages, plays, and scenarios. Many ENFPs enjoy drawing, writing, playacting, and dreaming. They are often chosen as leaders because of their persuasive enthusiasm and their energy for new and different ways of developing things.

ENFP teenagers are agreeable, sociable, outgoing people who like to imagine themselves in the future. They spend many hours wondering and discussing with friends whom they will marry, where they will live, what their children will be like, and what work they will do. They leave no option or possibility unexplored and find it difficult to see themselves in any single job or career.

Because they see endless possibilities, to select one possibility appears to the ENFP to be too narrow a focus. They hate to be boxed into a career for life and therefore hesitate and resist making decisions. It is unwise for ENFPs to settle down too early, and they make the soundest choices when they delay career and marriage decisions until their middle to late twenties. Often when a decision is made, ENFPs will still leave a number of options open or change their minds as they encounter new information.

Even in their everyday activities, ENFPs often search for the new and the novel. If there is a logical route to work and ENFP has been driving that way continually, he or she will likely tire of it and look for other routes.

ENFPs are more likely than other types to change from one career to another, demonstrating their versatility in doing so. It is not uncommon to hear stories of ENFPs who have established themselves in a career and who, when faced with the daily routine of maintaining it, leave it to start another.

Adult ENFPs maintain characteristics that might be considered youthful, such as enthusiasm, curiosity, and a zestful outlook on life. As a result, people often enjoy being with them. Many times they are young-in-spirit as they age, perhaps because of their temperament.

ENFPs look forward to retirement as a time that can bring freedom from the restrictions of the work world and ample opportunity to pursue their varied interests. However, if ENFPs become disabled or experience a lack of resources, such as money, they may become despondent because this restricts their ability to quest after new experiences.


ENFPs often learn best through a variety of means, such as observing, reading, and listening to and interacting with others. They enjoy the search for new ideas and possibilities, and will put in the time necessary to master subjects they find interesting. One strength is their enthusiasm for the process of discovery. They enjoy survey courses, comparative studies, and disciplines in which there is much to research and explore. They do not like classes that are too structured, that consist only of lectures, and that allow no room for their imagination. They may get caught up in the learning process and consequently need strict deadlines to bring a project to completion.

ENFPs prefer a learning environment in which the teacher takes personal interest in them, in which there is an opportunity to talk about ideas with their peers, and in which there is a chance to ask questions and develop new ideas.

A motto that might describe the ENFP as a learner is "There's always another way or another answer."


ENFPs often follow a nonlinear career track and nontraditional routes to obtaining knowledge, qualifications, and skills. When they are committed to what they do, they are enthusiastic to the point of preaching to the entire world about it. For an ENFP, work must be fun and must contribute to something larger than merely collecting a paycheck.

The preferred work setting for ENFPs contains imaginative people focused on human possibilities. ENFPs want a work environment that is both physically and mentally colorful. They prefer a participative and collegial atmosphere in which employees are included in the decision making. ENFPs are less productive where there is disharmony because they pay more attention to the relationships between people at work than they do to the tasks. Their ideal job would offer variety, novelty, challenge, and freedom from tight supervision; it would be idea oriented and imaginative, and would have lively, energetic people enjoying themselves and their tasks.

Most ENFPs will say they are organized, but others might not see them that way. Their desire to be open to the moment tends to outweigh their need to be organized. Usually ENFP work space is arranged haphazardly, with work materials and personal momentos scattered about. In terms of the management of time, ENFPs find it particularly difficult to estimate accurately how long an activity will take. Because people\'s needs are more important than schedules, ENFPs are often late and characteristically full of apologies for their tardiness.

ENFPs prefer occupations that reflect their ideals and that promote harmonious relationships with others. They tend to be attracted to occupations with a service orientation. ENFPs usually find a place in their work life for creativity. They particularly enjoy people-oriented work in which they are able to combine things in new and different ways to benefit humanity. Flexibility and autonomy are important to ENFPs, who may bolt from organizations in which this is not attainable.

Common occupations picked by ENFPs include artist, clergy, consultant, counselor, entertainer, journalist, public relations worker, social scientist, social worker, teacher, and other occupations that allow ENFPs to use their creativity and insight.


ENFPs are energetic and enthusiastic leaders who are likely to take charge when a new endeavor needs a visionary spokesperson. ENFPs are values-oriented people who become champions of causes and services relating to human needs and dreams. Their leadership style is one of soliciting and recognizing others\' contributions 4and of evaluating the personal needs of their followers. ENFPs are often charismatic leaders who are able to help people see the possibilities beyond themselves and their current realities. They function as catalysts.


ENFPs often have a difficult time separating their work from their leisure. Because they like to have fun while they work and usually arrange their work lives to meet this need, the boundaries between their work and their leisure may not be as clear as they might be for some other types.

Because of their continual search for new things to experience, it is rare for ENFPs to become heavily involved in a single activity; their appetite for involvement is too great. Generally, ENFPs are on the lookout for new things and may come across what is "trendy" before others. They tend to participate early on in those new activities.

ENFPs like travel and reading because these activities open experiences of other times and places. Their reading often brings quiet and reflection time, as well as new material for their dreams. Their travels afford them opportunities to experience different people and cultures.


For ENFPs, loving is an almost constant state. They are generally involved or in love with someone or something new. ENFPs may have originated the quotation "All the world loves a lover." When falling in love, they explore all the new possibilities in the relationship, and the new person is studied in every way. The ENFP tends to idealize his or her current relationship and will often say that their current one is "the best ever."

It might be argued that each type, when first in love, resembles a garden-variety ENFP, because ENFPs normally behave like people in love. Some of the cultural cliches about falling in love - such as "Falling in love with love," "Head over heels in love," "Love is blind," "All the world loves a lover," and "Throw caution to the wind" - seem to apply to the ENFP. This same boundless affection can be showered upon friends, co-workers, and others. People often feel unconditionally loved by ENFPs, but over time many of these relationships dissipate, as in "When I'm not near the ones I love, I love the ones I'm near."

ENFPs are delightful, enthusiastic partners who are young in spirit; there is rarely a dull moment with them. They readily note their partner's best aspects. They may overlook obvious details and facts about their partners that might cause other types to be more cautious. As relationships progress, ENFPs romanticise their partners and make strong efforts to rationalize any discrepancy between the reality and their "ideal."

When they are in love, they may either overcommit and ignore any unpleasant yet true facts; or they may undercommit, believing that there may be a better love "just around the corner." Therefore, ENFPs may be seen as fickle in their relationships as they search for the "right one."

When and if the flaws in the relationship become too obvious to ENFPs, they may admit defeat, feeling great pain because they have put so much energy into perfecting a particular relationship. When ENFPs are scorned, they overgeneralize about their partners' worst faults. Because ENFPs thrive on new possibilities, when they fall out of love, they rebound quickly.

ENFP Relationships
Content below copyright of BSM

ENFPs take their relationships very seriously, but also approach them with a childlike enthusiasm and energy. They seek and demand authenticity and depth in their personal relationships, and will put forth a lot of effort into making things work out. They are warm, considerate, affirming, nurturing, and highly invested in the health of the relationship. They have excellent interpersonal skills, and are able to inspire and motivate others to be the best that they can be. Energetic and effervescent, the ENFP is sometimes smothering in their enthusiasm, but are generally highly valued for their genuine warmth and high ideals.

ENFP Strengths
• Most ENFPs will exhibit the following strengths with regards to relationships issues:

• Good communication skills

• Very perceptive about people's thought and motives

• Motivational, inspirational; bring out the best in others

• Warmly affectionate and affirming

• Fun to be with - lively sense of humor, dramatic, energetic, optimistic

• Strive for "win-win" situations

• Driven to meet other's needs

• Usually loyal and dedicated

ENFP Weaknesses
• Most ENFPs will exhibit the following weaknesses with regards to relationship issues:

• Tendency to be smothering

• Their enthusiasm may lead them to be unrealistic

• Uninterested in dealing with "mundane" matters such as cleaning, paying bills, etc.

• Hold onto bad relationships long after they've turned bad

• Extreme dislike of conflict

• Extreme dislike of criticism

• Don't pay attention to their own needs

• Constant quest for the perfect relationship may make them change relationships frequently

• May become bored easily

• Have difficulty scolding or punishing others

ENFPs as Lovers
ENFPs make warm, considerate, passionate partners who are generally willing, eager, and able to do whatever it takes to make The Relationship a positive place to be. They are enthusiastic, idealistic, focused on other people's feelings, and very flexible. These attributes combine to make them especially interested in positive personal relationships, and also makes them very able to promote strong relationships in fun and creative ways. ENFPs take their commitments very seriously, and are generally deeply loyal and faithful to their partners.

There are a couple of difficult relationship areas for the ENFP. The first problem is that many ENFPs have a problem leaving bad relationships. They tend to internalize any problems and take them on their own shoulders, believing that the success or failure of the relationship is their own responsibility. As perfectionists, they don't like to admit defeat, and will stick with bad situations long after they should have left. When they do leave the relationship, they will believe that the failure was their fault, and that there was surely something they could have done to save the relationship.

On the entirely other end of the spectrum, many ENFPs have a difficult time staying focused and following things through to completion. If they have not focused on their ability to follow through, they may have problems staying in dedicated, monogamous relationships. They are so in tune with all of the exciting possibilities of what could be that they will always fantasize about a greener pasture out there somewhere. If they are not paired with a partner who enjoys new experiences, or who shares their idealistic enthusiasm, the ENFP may become bored. The ENFP who is bored and who is not focused will be very unhappy, and will eventually "leave" the relationship if the problem is not addressed.

Since relationships are central to the ENFP's life, they will be very "hands on" and involved with their intimate relationships. They may be in the habit of constantly asking their partner how they're doing, what they're feeling, etc. This behavior may be a bit smothering, but it also supports a strong awareness of the health (or illness) of the relationship.

Sexually, the ENFP is creative, perfectionistic, playful and affectionate. Their rich fantasy world makes them fun and creative lovers, who usually have new ideas up their sleeves. They whole-heartedly embrace the opportunity for closeness with their mates, believing sexual intimacy to be a positive, fun way to express how much you love each other.

The ENFP needs to be given positive assurance and affirmation. More than one ENFP has been known to "go fishing" for complements. They like to hear from their significant others that they are loved and valued, and are willing and eager to return the favor. They enjoy lavishing love and affection on their mates, and are creative and energetic in their efforts to please. The ENFP gets a lot of their personal satisfaction from observing the happiness of others, and so is generally determined to please and serve their partners.

A problem area for ENFPs in relationships is their dislike of conflict and sensitivity to criticism. They are perfectionists who believe that any form of criticism is a stab at their character, which is very difficult for them to take. Conflict situations are sources of extreme stress to the ENFP. They have a tendency to brush issues under the rug rather than confront them head-on, if there is likely to be a conflict. They are also prone to "give in" easily in conflict situations, just to end the conflict. They might agree to something which goes against their values just to end the uncomfortable situation. In such cases, the problem is extended and will return at a later time. The ENFP needs to realize that conflict situations are not the end of the world. They are entirely normal, and can be quite helpful for the growth of a relationship. They also need to work on taking criticism for what it is, rather than blowing up any negative comment into an indictment against their entire character.

Generally, the ENFP is a warm and affirming creature who is very interested and able to have an intense, meaningful, close relationship with their mate.

Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ENFP's natural partner is the INTJ, or the INFJ. ENFP's dominant function of Extraverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Introverted Intuition.

ENFPs as Parents
ENFPs take their parenting role very seriously, but are also very playful. There's a bit of grown-up kid in every ENFP, so they get a lot of fun and enjoyment from playing with their children. However, they consider it essential to pass their strongly-held values and beliefs down to their children, and will strive consistently to create a positive, ideal environment for their children's growth.

The ENFP may exhibit an inconsistency in their roles with their children. At one moment, they might be their child's best friend, laughing and whooping it up, and in the next moment they may appear the stern authoritarian. This inconsistency seems to be a result of a conflict between the ENFP's genuine desire to relate to their children on the children's level, and their compulsion to follow their deeply-felt value system. In other words, the ENFP wants to be their child's friend, but if a value is violated, they will revert to the parental role to make sure their children understand the violation. This inconsistency may be confusing and frustrating for the children.

The children of ENFPs generally feel loved, because the ENFP gives their children plenty of genuine warmth and support. They usually value their children as individuals, allowing them room for growth. The ENFP's enthusiasm and affection may at times seem smothering to their children. This will be especially true for children with strong Thinking or Sensing preferences, who will have a difficult time understanding the effervescence of the ENFP, and will feel at times embarrassed by the ENFP's enthusiasm and tendency to display their affection publicly.

The ENFP is able to take care of day-to-day necessities, such as picking children up at the correct times, getting them to softball practice, getting them fed, etc. However, it is a chore for the ENFP and is not a natural strength. The ENFP also has a difficult time disciplining their children, unless a very strongly-held value has been violated.

The rich imagination and creativity of the ENFP parent creates a fun, dynamic and exciting environment for kids. The ENFP's strong value system turns experiences into meaningful lessons for their children. The ENFP parent is valued by their children for their warm, affirming natures, and their fun-loving approach to living.

ENFPs as Friends
ENFPs are warm and sociable people who are keenly in tune with other people's feelings and perspectives. They are energetic and fun to be with. They are very affirming, and get great satisfaction from supporting and lifting up others. They are idealists who seek authenticity in their personal relationships. ENFPs are valued by their peers and confidantes as warm, supportive, giving people.

In the workplace or other casual relationship environments, the ENFP is likely to get along well with almost all other types of people. ENFPs are genuinely interested in people, and are highly perceptive about them, to the point where they're able to understand and relate to all of the personality types with relative ease. They like to see the best in others, and are likely to bring out the best in others. While they are generally accepting of most all people, ENFPs with strong Feeling preferences may have a difficult time understanding people with very strong Thinking preferences who do not respond to the ENFP's enthusiastic warmth. ENFPs will stay open-minded about what they consider a "rejection" by the Thinker, until the situation has repeated itself a few times, in which case ENFPs may shut themselves entirely against the Thinker.

ENFPs may also feel threatened by individuals with strong Judging preferences. With a tendency to take any criticism personally, ENFPs may find themselves irritated or emotional when the Judger expresses a negative opinion, believing somehow that the Judger is expressing disapproval or disappointment in the ENFP.

For close friendships, ENFPs are especially drawn to other iNtuitive Feeling types, and to other Extraverts who are also enthusiastic about life. Like the other iNtuitive Feeling types, the ENFP needs authenticity and depth in their close relationships. They're likely to have friends from all walks of life who they feel close to and care about, but will have only a few very close friends with similar ideals to their own. The ENFP also tends to value the company of iNtuitive Thinkers.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

india: dumpsters and memories

so the past two days, as i've walked to the gym, i've passed this dumpster that stinks pretty bad. actually, i pass this dumpster all the time, but only the past two days has it really smelled bad.

the funny thing is that this immediately brought about memories of india. and good ones at that.

almost every day when i lived in india, i'd walk past the nastiest dumpsters you can imagine. i mean, stinky, gross, with trash overflowing EVERYWHERE. and quite often, animals or people digging in them. so gross, but so normal.

we had to pretty much walk everywhere that we wanted to go. i was lazy and tried to take rickshaws as often as possible, but even then, we often had to walk to catch a rickshaw, and walking in india is not like walking in the US. really, i've noticed that hardly anybody walks here, but that's another story.

i live pretty close to the gym here, so i try to walk there, and it's really a nice walk. shady, beautiful neighborhood, little traffic, nice trees blooming, etc. nothing like walking to the gym (or anywhere else) in india. even just a five minute stroll down the street involved dodging cars, buses, bicycles, people, animals, animal droppings, trash, beggars, carts full of vegetables, and all sorts of other random things. not to mention being stared at and even whistled or yelled at most days.

but i got used to it. i won't say that i liked it, but eventually all that becomes pretty normal. and yet, in the past 9 months, normal has changed and i'd forgotten the adventure that walking/living in india is.

until i walked past that stinky dumpster.

the smell was a shock to the senses, and something i wanted to get away from as quickly as possible, but it was also a little wake up call to how nice it usually is to walk down the street here. to enjoy nice weather and shade and quietness and being able to walk casually without really having to worry about getting run over.

i thought to myself, at first, yeah, you really appreciate all this nice stuff once you've lived in a place that's nasty...or that you hate...

but really, neither of those is a fair way to describe india. i don't hate it. not all of it, for sure, though there are things that make my blood boil. but there are things like that in the US too. and it's not totally nasty--actually, some things are delicious and beautiful and down right amazing.

i think it's seeing the different things, both good and bad, that makes me really appreciate what i have in both places. nothing's perfect, but appreciating the little things, like dumpsters that don't usually stink, can sure make me a lot thankful for how good i really have it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

to the brim

i love to drink stuff.

now, let me clarify that--what i mean is, i'm almost always thirsty and almost never without water or a coke or something. my 2 nalgene bottles are my constant companions. i literally drink around 4 liters of water a day on average, plus cokes and coffee and what not. and when i go out to eat, i pretty much cannot order something if it isn't going to have free refills--it's just not worth it because i'll drink it within 2 minutes and then be thirsty the rest of the meal. there's really only one person i know that drinks more than i do, and that's my friend jared, who has been known to carry around a 2 liter coke the same way most people carry around a 20 ounce.

anyway, when i pour myself something to drink, especially coffee, i ALWAYS fill the cup up as much as possible. most people would probably say it's too full actually, because i like to get the liquid right up to the brim. get every drop possible, i guess. actually, i never really thought it was weird until other people started pointing it out, usually when i'd serve them something and they'd be shocked by how full the glass was.

but i say all this because i think i'm learning that this is how i really love to live. get everything possible. down to the last drop. to the brim. i love moments that are full and alive and exciting--i think i could just live in those moments forever, and last night was a great example.

it's not that i did anything exciting yesterday. really, i don't know how to describe it, because i'm still processing it myself, but i'll try.

yesterday was a day of good conversations. i drove/rode in the car about 9 hours. first from dallas to west monroe, with friends, and then west monroe to lafayette by myself. i had some great conversations in the car, pretty much the whole way--both with my friends i was riding with, and then on the phone and with God later. good, meaningful, real conversations. answered prayers. realizations of deeper things--kind of like waking up spiritually.

then when i got back to lafayette, it was just about 7 pm, right after church and just in time for dinner at the college house. one house, full of all these people i love and am getting to know and so so SO many good conversations. my good friends from my small group. old friends. new people--even 2 girls from thailand. older adults who've cooked for us and have great stories to share and are so loving and gracious. funny stories. awkward moments. meeting new staff members and getting excited about the future, the potential, what the Lord is going to do.

it was so simple, and yet so amazing. that's the kind of stuff that i just want to fill life up to the brim with. i was talking to my friends after and trying to explain to them the joy i felt, but it was just about impossible to put to words. they could see it in my face, but how to describe that kind of joy...i don't know!

i mean, honestly, the past 9 months of my life have been probably the best so far. not the easiest, but the best, the fullest. God has taught me so much and grown me and is so amazingly working in and around me and sometimes all i can think is, are you kidding me? really? seriously?

He is good, folks. really. and my heart is just bursting these days with it all. joy beyond words, to be able to look at life, the good and the bad, the fun and the messy, and see the bigger picture. to choose to rejoice and love it. it's not just a moment or an experience, it's a totally freeing way of viewing life, and i'm loving it.

don't know how much sense that all makes, but i think that's about as good as i can get it into words. amazing.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


so i guess i haven't really done so well on my original plan to make this a year of writing. i'm online enough, just not blogging much anymore. ah, well, as they say in india, what to do?
write more, i guess.
and i have tons i could write about, if i could make myself sit still long enough and think things through in a logical way, but for now i'll just say this: i am thankful for family. not just blood relatives, but people that become family.
right now, i'm in arrlington (sp?) texas with people who have become my family. people i know and love from india, and who i'm connected to because of our love for God and His kingdom. and LOTS of shared experiences, both good and hard. so, while we're not technically related, we are family. really, i'm a lot closer to them than some of my real relatives, which i find rather bittersweet, but that's another topic.
basically, i am feeling thankful right now, enjoying this brief but sweet weekend with family/friends, and living out one of the sweetest, deepest seasons of my life thus far. more on that later, i hope :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008


i think this writing day 4 of 300...i've been working on some songs and just writing them in my journal, but here's a blog for fun.

i've been moving these past few days--well, moving, cleaning, etc. i have a new job and now a new apartment, and overall, i'd say things are looking pretty up for the start of 2008.

but moving...ah, so aggravating. i mean, there's a little bit of excitement in the idea of new place and all, but i hate moving. it just makes me realize once again just how much junk i have, and how junky most of it really is. i mean, a lot of it has meaning, or at least it did at sometime (pictures, letters, notes, awards, decorations, old school stuff, etc), but really, what do you do with all that? carry it around in boxes for the rest of my life? i don't know, because it's hard to throw away, but the more i move, the easier it gets to at least want to do something about it.

it also makes me think about all the other baggage i carry around--emotionally, spiritually, etc. it's not always as obvious as my boxes in the attic, and it's a lot more mobile, but the problem is it tends to bog me down the most when i least expect it, when it hits the hardest--bad days, stressful times, etc. and it doesn't really stay boxed up very well either--it just comes spilling out, making this huge mess and making whatever situation i'm in way worse.


baggage. we all have it--some of just have prettier suitcases than others. i think mine are pretty much being held together by duct tape these days.

but the awesome thing is that it doesn't have to stay that way. in fact, jesus gives a pretty simple answer to our baggage issues: give it to Him. in matthew 11:28-30, He says that we can basically trade our baggage for His, and His is light. even easy.

knowing myself and all the other humans i do, that seems hard to imagine. i mean, i know Jesus was God, but He also lived in this crazy messed up baggage filled world for 30+ years, and yet, He traveled light. and for some reason, He offers to not only show us how to do the same, but to help us out by taking our baggage on Himself.

not just another formula to self help and a new cool life, but an offer of relationship, help, journey together, as He carries our load, and we take on His.

light. no U haul needed, spiritually or literally. amen!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


so, i guess it's technically already jan 2nd, but since i'm still awake, this will count as day one of the at least 300 this year that i'm going to write, if that makes sense...

earlier today i was thinking about comparing people. i was thinking about someone i know, and i caught myself thinking, well, at least i don't do ________, like she does. it kind of caught me off guard, and i thought, who cares? why does that make me better and her worse? but i realized that this was the way i'd been looking at not just her, but pretty much everyone else in my life: better or worse than me--sometimes in a general way, and sometimes based on certain categories or criteria, but basically boiling down to being put somewhere on a scale of what i deem best, worst, and all in between.

for some reason, as i thought about writing about this, i decided to find a picture on google that might add to or help express this idea of comparing and how messed up i'm realizing it is. but when i googled "comparing people," i didn't really get a lot of great pictures, so i thought i'd try "judging people."

those are just a couple that came up, but overall they were the same: negative, uncomfortable, mean even.

judging, comparing--i think judging probably sounds worse, but really, they're pretty much the same thing, at least in our social interactions. in the dictionary, they don't really have that similar of definitions--comparing sounds more positive--so maybe it's really judging that i mean more when i think of this negative behavior.

i don't know, because what i see myself doing is looking at what i like and dislike about myself, and then trying to measure that up against other peoples' behaviors and choices and whatnot. i don't know. i haven't really processed it all, but when i thought about this earlier, i thought, this is probably one of the roots of all the mess of society and human nature. categorizing, judging, comparing--whatever you want to call it--this is where we draw lines and pick sides and hurt each other in incredibly stupid and yet deep ways.

i imagine i will have more to come on this as i continue to chew on it...