Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I admit it, I am an ENFP and I need love. Don't know what an ENFP is? Its the way that a couple of really smart women, long before I was even a chubby cheeked baby, came up with describing people like me. They have come up with an amazing system that profiles different personality types and helps them understand why they behave and think and feel the way they do, and what this means to the world around them.

We ENFP types are THE personification of "people people". ENFP stands for Extroverted INtuitive Feeling Perceptive. Sounds complicated, I know, but it basically boils down to a few simple characteristics...we love people, we find joy easily in life, we feel deeply, and we love to feel loved. There are a few other characteristics thrown in there that can be bothersome such as the fact that we're almost always really messy (cause we do people better than stuff) and time can be a relative issue for us.

But since I'm an optomistic ENFP, let's forget about those nasty trivialities and concentrate on happy things...'cause that's one of the things we often do best.

And today I'm feeling the love. My husband is crazy for me. We had a great weekend together and really made some amazing break throughs when I was willing to be honest and talk about hard stuff, something that doesn't come easily for me.

I've also had some wonderful times with my children. Little Miss M said that she loves me more than chocolate, Dora the Explorer, The Jonas Brothers (sorry Kevin, Nick, and Joe), and even Hannah Montana though she did hesitate a bit on that one.

My teenage daughters have me on their friends facebook list and even say nice things about me there...and you know people ONLY put people on their friends list that they truly care about and love.

My boys are turning into such gentlemen, my sweet princess loves the books I read her, my 4 year old T loves more than anyone else in the world "except for God", and on and on and on.

And then my friends Rhonda and Jeff mentioned me in their blogs today and it just tickled me pink. I know...its sounds really silly. In fact, I feel really silly even posting this. But friends are my treasures. I really and truly mean it when I say they are one of my most precious gifts from God. Its more than just a Hallmark cliche for me. One of the hardest things I'd ever have to deal with would be if God sent me to live somewhere with an unfriendly culture that didn't want to be my friend. One of the hardest seasons I ever went thru was when we left a church and I lost almost all of my friends as a result and then we moved out into the middle of the country where everyone was friendly but no one needed me as a friend. That was a truly difficult and lonely year of life.

But God has gotten me through it and he's blessing me with new friends. Friends like Rhonda that I get to see on a regular basis as we hang out at the park, make bead jewelry, and swap crazy parenting stories over coffee or tea . And people like the Bowmans, Lisa Samson, Claudia Mair Burney, Erin Wilson, and Jeff Goins...that though we don't get to see each other nearly enough in real life, they are pilgrims going thru the same journey I am...trying to figure out what living radically openhanded and in crazy love with Jesus and His "least of these" look like in our modern day, "looking out for number 1" culture.

Sometimes it's really, really hard. The issues I struggle with are not ones that this normally content, Pollyanna gal struggles with. As my husband says, I've always been the most content person he's ever met. But since the Swaziland trip in January, I've not been able to return to that happy-go-lucky state of contentment. I love my life. Its an incredibly good one. I'm more satisfied with ever with so many things. I no longer want new carpet, a couch without stains, and all dark chocolate M&M's I can eat. That's not the kind of discontentment I struggle with. I am discontent now because I'm just no longer satisfied with the same-ole-same-ole status quo. And its really hard sometimes. And it really hurts some days. And I cry...a lot. Waterproof mascara has become a frequent companion.

And often those around me don't understand. They miss the old "girls just wanna have fun" Elysa. I miss her, too, sometimes. But I can't go back. I just can't. I'm too in love with Jesus and what He's done for me and I'm too in love with those least of these that He has broken my heart over.

And so for those other pilgrims that He has brought into my life on this journey, I am so very thankful. I'm grateful for my husband who takes our family regularly to minister in inner-city Jackson and is willing to go wherever God leads us. I'm blessed by my friend Rhonda and her help with the GraceWorks jewelry we make and sell to benefit the orphans and ministries caring for them. I'm motivated by The Lancaster's and their life of radical sacrifice as they left the "good life" in suburbia and moved into the place that others have fled because the Lancasters wanted the "best" life God had for them. I'm inspired by Lisa Samson and the books she writes, especially QUAKER SUMMER. I'm moved by Claudia Mair Burney and her crazy and sometimes painful authenticity as she struggles with the same issues and writes about it so poignantly. I'm inspired (and a wee bit jealous) as I watch Christi and Kevin Bowman prepare to take their family to live and love among the orphans in Swaziland. I'm encouraged by the moms at Five in a Row and my Bracelet Babe e-loop mommy pals who are seeking to raise children who are not comfortable with an "it's all about me" brand of Christianity. I'm seeing a kindred spirit in my friend Drewe Llyn that though she lives in a teeny tiny community refuses to have a teeny tiny outlook on the world and ministry. And I read the other blogs, like ones written by Tom Davis and Seth Barnes and Deidra, and see thru their postings that I'm not alone on this journey. God is moving His people. He's turning our hearts in the direction He is passionate about.

And I'm humbled while at the same time honored to be counted by those pilgrims as a friend and sister. Because someone like me needs this very important provision of companions who allow me to be and become what God is calling me to be.

To read Jeff's blog and find out about some other "pilgrims" go to his website aptly named, Pilgrimage of the Heart.

To read the blog post he excerpts there, go to this Musings from Graceland post: http://elysasmusingsfromgraceland.blogspot.com/2008/07/attic.html

And to have fun with a down-to-earth and adorably funny mom and one of my best IRL friends, check out Rhonda's blog, JUST A THOUGHT.

And on that happy note, a place that we ENFPs crave to be, I will close and go love on some babies and primp before my true love hubby gets home. Life is good.

Even when God is breaking my heart.



Andrew said...

I am an ISTJ. If I'm not mistaken that means we are complete opposites? Who knows :)

Rhonda Jeanne said...

Awwwwwwe!!! You're so sweet! I'm not quite awake yet.....so, I'll check back tomorrow when I wake up!

Drewe Llyn said...

Thanks for the "Love". I love you too!