Did you ever get...or send...one of those emails that asks anywhere from 25 to 150 random questions about you? Over the years, I've seen lots of them go around, and I will freely admit that I really enjoy them. I enjoy reading them and finding out all kinds of fun and silly fact about my friends, and (I'll admit it...) I like filling them out and passing them on too! You know the kind...they ask questions like "what was your most embarrassing experience" and "what's your favorite drink" and "what would your dream vacation be"...that type of thing. But, did you ever give a moment's thought to why they are so popular?
Here's my theory. People want to be known. Plain and simple. You might think these things are silly and pointless, but maybe you shouldn't be so quick to blow them off. Not in the way that some emails promise good luck for passing it on, or predict doom if you don't...but in the sense of thinking about the person that is sending it. They probably either enjoy the relationship they have with you, or desire a relationship if they don't already have one...and they want you to know them. And they want to know you. Now, don't think I'm just getting overly philosophical over some junk email. I have a deeper point to this post...I promise.
My point does lie in the fact that each of us, on some level, has a desire to be known, and when we truly know one another...as in, understand the way our loved ones are wired...we can have a much deeper, healthier relationship. This is true not only of our spouses, but also our children and friends...heck, even our co-workers and neighbors!
One of the really fun things that was part of our teaching last weekend had to do with understanding your loved ones' personality. Who they are and how they're wired. What makes them thrill with excitement, and what makes them feel as if they are being suffocated. It was a really fun session, and I think most everyone went home excited to take this 'personality test' for themselves. There are lots of similar type tests, but this one we did measures not what you're 'good at' but what makes you 'feel good'. The test can be done online, and/or you can also order a book explaining all the details of how the test works - which I would recommend ordering if you haven't seen the actual teaching on it. The book is called "Discovering Your Heart with the Flag Page".
It's called the 'flag page' because it basically described people as being from one of four 'countries', and each person creates their own personal 'flag' showing details such as their 'country', description words that motivate them (words that I chose were things like "competent" and "creative"...not that I think I am those things, so much as the 'idea' of those things makes me feel very happy), and also the types of 'talent areas' you probably have (like, mine is evenly divided between 'task talents' and 'leading talents' with some 'creation talents' and 'people talents' and ZERO 'showman talents'). It is helpful to not only understand yourself better, but when we all began hearing about what made each other thrive, it was like a 'lightbulb' moment for some of us. We suddenly had a new insight as to why some of us are always looking for a laugh, or why some of us are constantly in search of a new project to tackle. It has helped me to loosen up and smile when Todd corrects how I do things, because it's helped me to understand that's one way he expresses that he cares. He's become much more understanding of my drive to always want to 'create' something. Here's an example of one (of the 5!) page print outs that will generate when you're finished with the test: (I tried to scan mine and load it, but couldn't get it to work, so I'll just use this random person's...)
Taking this particular test costs $15 per person to do it online (which if you are cheap like us seems like a lot!), but if you look at it as part of a really fun and unique date night (order some pizza, settle in and do your online test, and spend the rest of the evening talking together about how you can better relate based on what you've learned) it is, in my opinion, a worthwhile investment!
I'll give you the link below to visit the Flag Page. You'll also see there that you can order a kit to create flag pages for your children. The stuff we are learning about this is not only fun and helpful for Todd and I, but Kate has already taken the test and it's got me thinking lots about how we relate with her and what we could do to communicate better. I can't wait to get the set and use it for the younger boys (though I already have a pretty good idea what their results will look like, I think.) I'm thinking we will all do the tests, and then have a family night to look at the results and talk about how we can treat each other better in ways that will be meaningful to one another.
We're also enjoying discussing all this with our friends who've now been turned on to the testing info as well. It's been great info to have as we think about our church leaders' passions as well!
Click the image below to visit the Flag Page. If you have questions or want to know more (I figured this post was wordy enough!) I'll be happy to give you more details, just shoot me a comment or an email and we'll talk! :)