Thursday, July 29, 2010

strengths-finder results

I just took the strengths-finder test and this is what it came up with! if you know me, then you might say that this kind of describes me pretty well:



You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.


You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. You do not necessarily agree with each person’s perspective. You do not necessarily feel pity for each person’s predicament—this would be sympathy, not Empathy. You do not necessarily condone the choices each person makes, but you do understand. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear the unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. Where others grapple for words, you seem to find the right words and the right tone. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings—to themselves as well as to others. You help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons other people are drawn to you.


Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day—workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.


Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people—in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends—but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk—you might be taken advantage of—but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.


Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people come to you for help—and they soon will—you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

jane's hair salon

last night, I was on my way home from work when my cell phone rang. the called ID said it was “HOME.” I thought it was Deanna. I answered and said, “hello?” a little voice on the other line said, “jane’s hair salon, can I help you” I said, “oh hi- I need my haircut. can you help with that?” jane said, “oh this hair salon is just for dolls, sorry. but when you come home you can see the hair salon in my room.”

when I got home, jane showed me the line of dolls in the hallway waiting to get their hair brushed.she had a sign for the door. and inside her room was a little place for a doll to sit and look in the mirror while jane brushed her hair. she was very proud of it.

later on, we went out to run an errand. jane insisted on stopping by our neighbor victoria’s place to tell her about the salon. I didn’t want to bug Victoria, but I thought I would at least see if she was home. we walked by her condo, and she had the door open with the screen closed. she was sitting in her front room with her husband.

jane said, “hi Victoria! did you know I have a hair salon? its open on mondays.” Victoria said, “really? well it is monday, and I think I need my hair done!” jane said, “well its only for dolls.” Victoria said, “well I think I have a doll that needs her hair done.” and she went back into her condo for a few minutes. “where is this going?” I wondered. she returned with a very old box that looked as if it had been saved and preserved for decades. “uh-oh.” I thought. “this is not the kind of doll for a five year old kid…

she opened the box and revealed a vintage doll with all of its original clothes in mint condition. she said, “this was my favorite doll when I was a little girl.” “don’t give it to jane!” I thought in my head. she went on to say, “I lost my favorite doll when I was a little girl, and I searched for it at doll shows for years until I finally found it.” “don’t hand it to jane!” I thought. jane just stood there stunned. Victoria said, “I got this for my grandkids to play with, but they weren’t interested; and its just been sitting on the shelf in a box for years, and it needs some love. I’m looking for a little girl who likes dolls who can show this doll some love.” in a heartbeat jane said, “I like dolls!” “you do?!” said Victoria, “would you take care of my favorite doll?” “SURE!” jane said. “then you can have her.” said Victoria. I was floored. I said, “wow! are you sure Victoria?” “I’m sure.” she replied. we forgot about the errand and ran upstairs to show Deanna. jane got to work on a detailed and thoughtful thank you card that she delivered later on that night. victoria put the card on her refrigerator with the other cards that jane has given her. (she and jane have a very cute friendship going).

I looked the doll up on e-bay and they don’t even have one on there. all they have in the accessories for it. from what I could tell, the doll was made in the early 60’s. it was probably worth a ton, especially in its mint box, and she gave it to jane! maybe she just watched toy story 2. either way, I was blown away by her kindness and generosity.

speaking of toy story, the whole conversation was like the last scene from toy story 3- an older person grew out of their toy and gave it to a child who could appreciate it. this was a gift that lit up jane’s eyes and heart, and I think it lit up victoria’s as well. I think it gave her more joy to see it in jane’s hands than on her shelf.

giving is a cool thing.
so is being a dad.

God is love.

5-year-old-theologian pt. 1

a couple of weeks ago, jane and I were having a daddy-daughter-day at Gilroy gardens when we received a phone call from Deanna- she was having abdominal pains, and she was driving herself to the emergency room. we met her there. it turned out to be kidney stones, and she was much better by the end of the night. while Deanna was at the hospital, and laer that night, jane and I prayed for her to get better. a couple of days later, jane and Deanna were talking and jane said, “mom- I don’t think it was the hospital that made you better.” Deanna asked what made her better. jane just pointed to the sky and said, “God.”

sometime later, jane and I were at burger king. we got our food and sat down and jane said, “dad, I heard you thank the people for the food, but I don’t think they were the ones that made it.” “who made it I asked?” again, she just pointed up and said, “God. He made everything.”

kids don’t need a debate or an apologetics course to believe in God. their hearts know that He is real and that He heals and provides. maybe that’s why jesus tells us that we need to receive His kingdom like a child. I heard a speaker recently say that children are vulnerable, gullible, and weak. eventually we grow out of that; but when it comes to our relationship with God, those are good things.

God is love.

Friday, July 2, 2010

mary poppins outside

its friday, my day off, and this morning I was thinking of how I might spend my day with jane. I looked on a website that has all kinds of ideas of things to do with kids, and i saw this picture:

my daughter's love for mary poppins has been documented here, here, here, and here.
for those reasons, I felt like this is something that we HAD to do. so we got out jane's mary poppins costume, and deanna updated my bert hat, and we headed out to the outdoor theater in fremont. the movie didn't stat until 8:15, and jane goes to bed at 7, and she was pretty mellow when we arrived. we participated in the pre-show chalk-drawing-contest:


we posed for a few pictures,

and we had a little post-dinner snack: M&M's. to say that the M&M's gave jane a sugar-rush is an understatement. my daughter hopped, sang, talked, pointed, and laughed through the first half of the movie:

she was way too hyper to sit down:

we kind of bugged the people around us with all of this energy. one lady got up and moved, another gave us a scowl. we eventually got up and moved to the back of the ampitheater to be nice to the other movie-goers. we won a big box of chalk for jane's chalk drawing! we left at about 10pm even though there was a lot of movie left. everyone in the ampitheater had a great time singing along with those timeless songs, but no one had as much fun as jane and deanna and I.

being a dad is fun.