When I introduce myself to a group, I usually say something along these lines, “I’m Tyler. I’m married. Mom to five kids. (Then I pause for a moment to allow anyone gasping to catch their breath.) I spent the past eight years as a stay-at-home mom, while also serving as leader of our church’s women’s ministry. I’m a (developing) writer and speaker for women’s groups. And recently I went back to work, where I found the job of a lifetime working for Break Forth Ministries as their Speaker/Artist Coordinator.”
It’s a nice, easy introduction. But it says a lot more about what I do than who I am.
Sure, I want to know the basic facts about you. But what I really want to know is who you are…what makes you tick…your story. (These are the details that build relationship.)
It’s been a while since I’ve actually shared who I am. I’m rusty. So I figure I’ll start here. You don’t mind, do you? But promise me something – promise me you’ll share a bit about who you are in the comments today.
I’m Tyler. That’s not my first name, but I’ve gone by my middle name since junior high. When I think of myself, I think “Tyler.” When I hear God speak to my heart, He usually calls me Tyler (or daughter).
I’m an emotional girl. Some people might call me too emotional. I cry easily. I hurt easily. I’m sensitive. But I’ve learned that my emotional side is a gift. I also love easily and deeply. I forgive quickly (some might say too quickly). Within minutes of meeting someone, I can probably tell you if he or she is hurting.
I’m bossy. It comes from being an only child for most of my growing-up years. I was the boss of all that I did. I like to be in charge, take control. This probably rubs a few people the wrong way. But my take-charge attitude really comes in handy in leadership situations.. I can lead a group toward consensus with relative ease, and if consensus isn’t reached, I feel comfortable and confident making a decision anyway. Things get done.
I love structure. Spontaneity scares me. No, it stresses me. I like to have a schedule, a list, and a plan. I’ve been referred to as anal and OCD numerous times. But all my planning means that I’m fully invested. If I’ve scheduled an appointment three months in advance, you can trust me to keep it. If I’ve laid out every kilometre of a vacation, you can count on me to have thought of everyone’s needs in planning. The last thing in the world I want to do is let someone down, so I lay out a plan.
It’s funny how each personality trait has both positive and negative qualities. I used to focus on the negative, and see these traits as character flaws. I’m too emotional, too bossy, too structured. But is there a such thing as being too loving, too decisive, too organized? And I learned that I can’t have one without the other. You can’t have a Loonie (that’s our Canadian dollar coin) without both the picture of the loon and the picture of the Queen. All I can do is work to emphasize the positive and minimize the negative.
So, there’s a little picture of who I am (not just what I do).
Tell me, who are you?
* Pictures courtesy of cmfsx.com.