Discovering my S.H.A.P.E.

Happy Monday everybody! I felt like this weekend just flew by and now it’s back to work already, boo. My weekend was fairly low-key; I baked, worked out, watched the (disappointing) Michigan game, hung out with our out of town company, got burgers and fro-yo (yay!), went to church, finally tried out a new brunch spot in Boulder, took an awesome Sunday drive into the mountains with my hubby, found a great new Thai restaurant, and remembered my love/hate relationsip with daylight savings time. (I love gaining an hour but the fact that it now gets dark so early stinks)
And yes, I realize about half of my weekend revolved around food in some way…I’m fine with it.
But probably my favorite thing I did this weekend was attend a great seminar at our new church. We have been recently attending a church in Boulder called Cornerstone Church, and so far I absolutely love it. The church is fairly unique; they are a contemporary non-denominational Christian church, but they are also very focused around putting the Bible in context of both the Old and New Testaments, as well as incorporating the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. It is not a Messianic Jewish synagogue (like the one we tried out in South Carolina), but rather a church that seems to be made up of genuine people who are trying to grow in their relationship with Christ and so far all of the sermons have been extremely interesting and educational. They are also very concious of making good use of natural resources and not being wasteful, so entire church is covered in solar panels and they don’t pass out programs in order to conserve paper. They also seem to be very active in reaching out to people in need, both on a local and global scale.

Saturday morning, Cornerstone had a great self-discovery type seminar called S.H.A.P.E. I thought it sounded really interesting but I wasn’t going to go, however at the last minute on Friday afternoon, I decided that I wanted to attend and registered online. The goal of the seminar was to discover your individual S.H.A.P.E., which stood for spiritual gifts, heart (or passions), abilities, personality, and experiences. The point of the seminar was to really focus on the fact that God uniquely designed each person for a purpose, and when you discover and put to use your “SHAPE”, that’s when you feel most fulfilled.
I was intrigued by the seminar because I’ll admit, as much as I’m enjoying moving around for Cam’s career, sometimes I feel a little directionless and wonder what exactly I’m supposed to be doing with my life. What I found interesting is that there was such a wide-range of ages at this seminar, and so I think that this idea of “what’s my purpose” is really just a constant question that people of all ages wrestle with.  In the Bible, part of Mark 12:31 says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (NIV) However, it’s tough to effectively do that and serve God and others if you don’t know and love yourself, so that’s really what S.H.A.P.E. was all about.

Here’s a brief overview of what we talked about:
Spiritual Gifts: We talked about a lot of different places in the Bible where spiritual gifts are discussed, and while many churches differ in their teaching on this topic, the basic idea is that a spiritual gift is like a supernatural manefestation of God’s personality in you. We took this assessment to help determine some of our individual spiritual gifts, and my top three ended up being hospitality, faith, and encouragement.

Heart: This part of the seminar talked about your passions when it comes to serving others, and what particular groups of people or projects really get your fired up. For some people that might be working with kids, for other people it might be helping the homeless, for others it might be that they have a heart of going an serving in foreign countries. This was a harder area for me because I feel like there are lots of different areas that interest me, so it’s really something that I’m just very open to whatever opportunities I might come across.

Abilities: These were more like your natural talents or interests that you can use to connect with and serve others. Some people are skilled at athletics, some people are good with computers, others are good at art, but we all have things that we are good at. Obviously, there are lots of different areas but some that I thought of based on some of the examples shared in the seminar were food/cooking (obviously), writing, and planning/managing events.

Personality: This was probably the most interesting area of the seminar to me because I find personality tests fascinating. Before the seminar, everyone was supposed to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment which breaks your personality down into four letters. While they definitely stressed at the seminar that one assessment obviously does not entirely encompass the complexity of an individual’s personality, it can be a helpful tool in self-discovery and understanding how you interact with others. My assessment classified me as an ENFP, which I felt was pretty right on according to this description:

Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make
connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed
based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and
readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on
their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency.

If you’ve never taken this assessment before, you can take it for free here and then the sixteen different personality types are summarized here. I think it would actually be a fun thing to do with your significant other, I definitely need to have Cam take this!

Experiences: The last thing we discussed in the seminar was the role that our personal life experiences play in forming who we are as people. Everything from your family of origin and the emotional climate in your home growing up to your educational experiences to any traumas or tragedies you may have gone through impacts who you are. Understanding these things and sharing them with others can often be really beneficial in helping you empathize with others and connecting with them in a deeper way.

Overall, it was a great seminar that I’m glad I attended, and I’m happy that I could share what I learned with all of you!

Also, I know this post is a little wordy and lacking in pictures…but let me just tell you that tomorrow’s post will be full of photos and will include one of the best recipes I’ve ever made that I discovered this weekend. You don’t want to miss it, I’m telling you.

See ya then! Xoxo