Over the past few days, you have been gaining a better understanding of yourself and your strengths. So far you have:
- Taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder online assessment
- Printed your personalized reports
- Highlighted the words and phrases that particularly describe you
- Written a paragraph describing how you use your strengths in your place of work
We are going to spend one more day investigating our strengths before we move on to the next step in discovering your calling. Like I said on Day 7, you are who you are no matter where you are. So it makes sense that you use your strengths no matter what environment you’re in!
Yesterday we thought about how we use our strengths in our places of work. Today we are going to investigate how we exercise our strengths at home. How do you use your strengths in your home? With your spouse? Kids? Extended family? Home management?
Note: If your workplace is primarily in your home and with your family, then you may have already written about this yesterday. If so, feel free to choose another environment today such as church, your community, or your friendships. This may also apply to you if you are single and don’t spend much time at home right now :).
Sometimes I think that it’s difficult to exercise my strengths at home. My strengths seems to be “mind oriented” and my home life is very relational and task-oriented. Here’s the rundown on my 5 strengths:
(Otherwise known as nerd, ha ha :))
It’s easy for me to see how I use these strengths in my writing and in a school setting. But at home? With 2 teenagers and 2 toddlers? Am I using my strengths at all in this place where I spend so much of my time? I have to believe that I am… and maybe there are ways I can use them more.
I am going to take my strengths one-by-one and reflect on how I use them at home as a mom and a wife and how I might use them better. (You might want to read this, because in a minute it’s going to be your turn!)
- Intellection: I spend A LOT of time thinking. I could literally lie in bed in the morning for an hour or more just… thinking. But with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, this is practically impossible. I do use my “thinking strength” in my home life, however. I think through decisions we make on a daily basis, analyzing them, praying about them, weighing pros and cons, and thinking through different options. Once I’ve made a decision, it’s usually a pretty good one. A well-thought-out one anyway!
- Learner: I love to learn and I love to share that love with others. (There’s a lot of love in that sentence.) I get excited when I help my kids discover something for themselves. Sometimes it’s talking to my college freshman about his strengths and his future, sometimes it’s helping my 4-year-old learn to write his name. But whether I’m stacking blocks or calling out test review questions, I am helping my kiddos learn. It’s fun.
- Input: I am an information-gatherer. When I’m faced with a problem (like a toddler with behavior issues), I constantly gather information about the issue as I go about my days. (How could his diet be affecting his behavior? Maybe he needs Melatonin to sleep better? What about that parent/child therapy I heard about at church the other day?) I collect lots of information on whatever I’m facing and then determine how to solve the problem, or at least take a stab at it.
- Connectedness: I love connecting good people with good things. I do this in a lot of different ways, but one simple way I do this at home is in giving gifts. I love to think about the person I’m buying for and set about finding the “perfect” gift for them. It may be something they need or something they want, or just something that will make them smile. Either way, I’m connecting someone with something good. The payoff for me is the exclamation when they open the gift as well as the ongoing benefits I see them enjoy afterward.
- Context: I really enjoy knowing the back-story. When I sit across the table from someone, I love to listen to her story. It helps me understand her better and probably give wiser counsel. With 2 (almost) adopted kiddos in my house, it is very important to me that they know their stories. From the very beginning. How God has shepherded and guided them to be exactly who they are and where they are. One way I would like to do this is to create life books for them, complete with stories and pictures. One of my ongoing frustrations in my home life is that there never seems to be enough time to do this! (If anyone has anyone practical suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them!)
Ok, so there’s me and my rambling on how I use (or want to use) my strengths in my home life. What about you?
Daily Journal Question: How do you exercise your strengths at home? Take some time to think about that and write or type your answer in your journal. You could write a paragraph like Amber did yesterday, or you could take each strength one-by-one like I did today. Have fun with it!
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