Monday, August 13, 2012

it's my personality.

last night, while i was sleeping, i turned 31.

i remember throwing my mother a 30th birthday and thinking that she was ancient. and now that i find myself in a similar position, i am like, wait, that's young. 31 is the new 21. grey hairs are the new black. muffin tops and soft, pliable arm fat are all the rage somewhere in the world where they don't read magazines about "summer arms" and "how i look boney and unhealthy because i don't eat cookies for breakfast".

i eat cookies for breakfast.

anyway, i was telling nato the other day that i've never felt more like me.
i've never felt so alive in my brain and walk with Jesus. in my creativity and in our marriage. as a mother. wait. hold on... as a mother, i've never felt so tired in my life. and actually everywhere in life...i've never felt to exhausted. how is it that i feel vibrant in my heart and mind and exhausted physically? i attribute it to not drinking coffee. (i hate the taste)

so at 31, there are a couple of things i'm still trying to understand about me.  it was just this year i discovered that i'm kind of an introvert.  if you met me at a party, you would be like, that girl is an extrovert to the max. she should stop doing her weird dance moves that consist of things she learned from  1)jazzercise or 2)80's workout videos (which are the same thing if you're wondering). and she should stop telling embarrassing stories about her B.O. being so terrible at her doctor's appointment that she had to use hand sanitizer from the desk, under her armpits while waiting to see the doctor.
it burns a little. just FYI. but totally did the trick.

so what's strange is that i really do like people. and i have fun when i hang out with them. and i need people in my life... but people make me tired. i feel like it's a shameful admission.

if i'm at a party, i'm generally always wanting to go home and put on my yoga pants and do some hot yoga for an hour...just kidding...i wear yoga pants and watch shows. sometimes people are doing yoga in the shows, most of the time they aren't. this is neither here nor there.

when my husband gets home, i ask if i can go to the attic for a while. or rest for 20 minutes. i love to be completely by myself. like a strong need for hermitude daily.

when we get snowed in, i'm thrilled. when things get cancelled, i feel like i just won the lottery. when i'm alone, i feel like i can finally get things sorted out that are running around in my brain. i never noticed this about myself until lately.
(yes, i almost bought this)

i also don't constantly want to be around people. my husband(and layne and lila) would seriously live in a commune situation and love it. he loves being busy and hates being bored. i thrive in boredom. boredom is the mother of all invention. wait, that's not the famous quote.

anyway, i am working through getting to know myself more and not being someone who i thought i was supposed to be. i don't need to feel bad for being a slight introvert. half introvert. ok, maybe 3/4ths introvert. see? still coming to terms with it.

at the same time, i need to embrace that in motherhood, i can not hermit. i have humans to take care of and to discuss the inter-workings of a worm.  those humans like hugs and books and holding hands and conversations. and they do not stop needing you until they go night-night.

and right now in life, we are not in a position in life where i can waller in hermitudinal living (this is a made up word). it's like i'm learning that i'm introverted, but then concurrently, God has placed us in a sort of lay counseling time of life where our home is a revolving door for hurting people. phone calls and visits, meetings and intense conversations.

all that to say, God has me working outside of what i feel most comfortable in. i love control and then don't get to control when someone has an emergency. when their marriage is falling apart or when they're having a hard time and need to talk.
i love alone time and rarely get it. even when i plan it, often it doesn't work. remember that post about balance? i truly believe there's no such thing. i don't need tips and tricks on how to serve myself better and feed my personality label. i need to look at God and ask him to help me be obedient when it feels very uncomfortable. even if it means functioning outside my natural bend.

(in the same way, you busy extroverts out there shouldn't avoid good old quietness because it makes you uncomfortable. we all need to stop using our personalities as a crutch. )

i am trying to find in the bible where it says, find your personality label and then only operate in what the label says you can do. but it's not there. 

so...pity party for me, right? (huh! huh!...hearty sarcastic laugh....)

no. God is working on me.
sanctification station. in that i must lean on Him and into Him for times when i think situations are beyond my personality capabilities and my energy level. i am learning to stop saying, it's just my personality! in order to avoid a challenge that leads to greater intimacy with God.

He is the source of energy that never runs out. He does not sleep and He does not get tired. He has endless patience and endless love. endless courage and wisdom. when i find myself getting lost in my limitations, i look at the limitless power of our God. and that is good for me: to be weak and in my weakness find strength in Him.

Matthew 11:28-30 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


  1. happy birthday!!!!!!!!! and i am a total introvert. i thrive in boredom and my owl pajama pants. l-o-v-e it, no matter what my extroverted type-A friends think.

  2. Oh gosh. God sure does know how to make us reliant on him, huh?

  3. Happy Birthday!

    I think that maybe becoming a mother can contribute to introverted-ness. I would have considered myself much more extroverted in my younger years, but now I really enjoy some alone quiet time. I actually long for going home after a party and just relaxing, chilling, reading in the quiet, crocheting, etc... I think for me some of that has to do with the constant neediness from my children and the way that I give out so much that I feel like I need to get away. I think that will shift again as our kids stop needing so much and we have a lot more quiet on our hands.

  4. bravo. a post not feeding on our emotions and feel-goodness makes me feel good somehow, still. because He works in us, despite our introverted personalities. i am the queen of embarrassing story-telling. like how i peed my pants on my honeymoon or how i pooped in my car. no shame. i like you a lot, because somehow, i could picture you pooping in your car. is that weird??

    but this is the best part... "i truly believe there's no such thing[as balance]. i don't need tips and tricks on how to serve myself better and feed my personality label. i need to look at God and ask him to help me be obedient when it feels very uncomfortable. even if it means functioning outside my natural bend." yes, i just pasted your words in my comment because they are THAT good.

    you prod me on girl.


    I love alone time.. like, to a fault. Sometimes I have to make myself go and sit by my husband on the couch, rather than do whatever I want to do, alone, in the other room. Also? I get worn out around some of my family members... you know the ones- they have to get out like 348,902 words per day, minimum. I need quiet a lot. No talking. But I've never really thought of it as introverted. Huh.

    Maybe Penelope will turn out more like you and the two of you can hang out on opposite sides of the attic :) Seriously, though- happy birthday to you!

  6. I love this! I still haven't figured myself out, but am thinking my sweet girl is an introvert and am praying about how to nurture this peaceful nature!

  7. I totally feel like a lottery winner whenever something gets cancelled. #cosign

  8. Love this, "i don't need tips and tricks on how to serve myself better and feed my personality label. i need to look at God and ask him to help me be obedient when it feels very uncomfortable. even if it means functioning outside my natural bend." Just last night my introverted self was having an emotional mini panic attack because Sundays are long and crazy busy for us as a fulltime ministry fam. My (extroverted)hubby was like, "well what are you going to do about it?!" And I know the answer is to get over myself. Even though that's hard. We like to wiggle out of what is hard. Thanks so much for writing this. I appreciate you and your thoughts.

  9. Happy Birthday! Loved your post - praise the Lord for the sanctification process even though it's usually uncomfortable and sometimes down right painful. I constantly have to remind myself that my purpose here on earth isn't to be comfortable - it's for so much more!

  10. Jami, there is totally a real term for what you are: it's called ambiversion. Look it up! I am the same. I need people and love connecting but the difference between us and true extroverts is that people take away our energy (even though we like and enjoy them) while extroverts get energy FROM being around others. It's a thing and I've been this way my whole life...even in highschool I loved friday nights of holing up in my house "getting away from it all" haha. Don't be ashamed! I need lots of alone time. In sweat pants. Watching netflix. :)Happy birthday!

  11. also I love the term "wallering". I do a lot of wallering. My husband says my favorite activity is "snuggling the house". HAH!

  12. also look up the term "restorative niche"

  13. Jami, I've been reading your blog the past few months and think you rock. So that's that. Also, this post hit very close to home...people and social gatherings completely exhaust me. I just wanted to let you know that you should read the book "Quiet" by Susan Cain. It's about introverts...and how we're awesome.

  14. happy birthday sweet girl!

    God is sure using you for His glory, and i'm SO thankful that He allowed us to cross paths.


  15. I love this! You are so wise, loving your words! I can totally relate-- am the same exact way and started to fall into slight depression over it but (yay!) love being an introvert!!! Best way to make Jesus your best friend for sure.

  16. I SO get this. and ya know what?! I can not for the life of me figure out what "label" I am, and my husband, he totally hates all that stuff. we are who we are, and every couple of days that's something totally different, (maybe label us nutters).
    and yes totally agree with your balance thing. People are always telling me to get more "me time" when I'm stressed out, lack of me time is definitely not stressing me out. lack of obedience. absolutely is.

  17. and this video I posted a year or so ago
    love it

  18. I've always known I'm an introvert. I'm not the one at parties showing off my dance moves, I'm the one near the wall with only people I know....I've learned to branch out and can even talk in front of people now (though it does make me sweat and my heart race). I've learned that it's not all bad, the whole talking to people thing. It's just a matter of constant practice. The more consistently I'm around people the more comfortable I become with it. If I'm consistently alone for a while it's like starting over. It's interesting to reflect on how your personality affects you. Thanks for the post!

  19. I could repeat almost all of this for myself.

    Even the "coming to terms with your introvertedness." Jared and I had a conversation the other night where he was like, "you are an introvert," and I was like, "NO i am an extrovert. I love people." Jared says, "that is not what defines introvert," me, "oh."

    I have always thought of myself as an extrovert...and I don't know why it is hard to let go of that. But God is working.

    I would recommend reading "Introverts in the Church" By Adam McHugh. Jared highly recommended it to me, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Thanks for your post!

  20. good word, jami.
    and happy birthday!
    p.s. you need to write a book already.

  21. Omg...we're we separated at birth? Kina possible...I'll turn a year older while I sleep tonight...I like to call it 29h, however

  22. I just turned 31 too!! And I feel much the same way, like I am just now coming into my own, discovering all of the gifts that God has given me and learning to use them. Happy Birthday

  23. i don't mean to alarm you, but we might be the same person.
    my husband constantly tells me that regardless of what people think, he's the extrovert and i'm the introvert. because i love people. but they exhaust me. after they leave, although i love having them around, i feel like i can rest. i love to sit. and do nothing. so so much.
    and yet God keeps challenging us to grow, right?
    fun fun.
    good to hear it spoken so wisely ;)

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  25. Oh. My. Gaw. Jami!! You have no idea how stinking much this post was meant for me!! I'm reading a book right now called "The Introvert Adavantage" and it's amazing! It's all I've been talking about with my family and friends telling them that they have to read it because "it explains EXACTLY how I am." Then, I had one friend call me out and be like, "You can't use being an introvert as a crutch." And it's not like I do all the time, but yeah, sometimes I do. So this post was SO for me. It was like God saying, "I see you Hannah and yeah, I made you to be an introvert and that's good and all but sometimes I'm going to ask you to do something outside of your comfort zone. So listen to your friend." So thanks for writing this. Word.

  26. i could have written this about myself...
    hugs to you as you "work" it all out.
    whatever that means! LOL
    just thought it sounded good.
    honestly though...
    this hits close to home... so thank you!

    oh... and happy birthday gorgeous girl!

  27. first, happiest birthday, beautiful hermit.
    second, you drove right up my street with this. i've been trying for weeks to decide: have i become an introvert? or am i just now seeing that i'm in my (totes young) thirties?
    whatever it is, i have been fighting it. and seeing the words "sanctification station", well, i feel like this is what the deal is.
    i am so grateful for you and your sharing, you open my eyes AND encourage me. also, i am grateful for snow days. and we live in north dakota, so, it's almost like heaven. not at all really.
    all the same, you are a champion! happy you were born, girl!
    i love you.

  28. I just want to hug you. This truth spoke (more like screamed and shook) directly to my heart.

  29. my mom often reminds me that when I was young, I told her you should't have sex after 35. I said it was gross to have sex when you were that old. haha..ha.ha.

    I am an extreme introvert but I've known this my entire life. It's a wonder I ever I got married and had a child. I have friends who get bored by themselves and feel lonely when their spouse is gone for the weekend or hate being home alone at night. to me, this sounds like paradise. an evening alone to read or drink coffee (I do like the taste) or watch a movie? sign me up. but I also know that christ calls us to live in community. we are not to walk this life alone whether it's in our struggles or in our joys. don't get me wrong; at times solitude and quiet is needed and necessary and you should not be afraid to be alone nor should you be defined by others and activities. but some days I have to make a consious decision to be around and share life with others and remind myself that the heart of christ and the gospel is relationships.

  30. your posts are always sensational, friend.
    i love that you wrote we don't have to figure out our "label" then adhere to it every day all day.
    most of the time i'm extroverted.
    but i have NO PROBLEM with reading a book for several hours straight and just hearing silence.
    i like my quiet.
    also, i will keep you guys in my prayers as you allow the Lord to use you as encouragement for other couples.

  31. Hi Jami! Happy Birthday firstly. I said this to you on IG and I'll say it again - you're a baby! I just turned 36 in July. It's the first time I feel really old. Which is kinda funny because I'm one of those people who everyone thinks is heaps younger than they are. People think I'm like 26 and are in genuine shock when I tell them I'm 36. But for me I feel really old, and really tired too. So I totally sympathise with you there.
    Secondly, I just want to say I so hear you on the introvert thing. I'm not quite as outgoing as you but I absolutely feel that need to go home and put on my yoga pants to watch TV. Even when I'm excited about going somewhere social to see people and get dressed up and finally get out of the house. Within half an hour - sometimes in the car on the way there - I'm ready to go home.
    Anyhoo, as I've told you before I love your posts and always have a giggle.
    Have a great year!
    xx (from Australia)

  32. Long time stalker, first time commentor.
    I believe one other person mentioned this, but so many people are taught that an extrovert is outgoing and an introvert is shy. This is simply wrong. An extrovert is a person who feels run down and chooses to call a friend, meet for coffee, or go to a party to re-fuel. If an introvert is feeling depleted, they will turn off the phone, cuddle in their amazing attic window seat and just be quiet. It doesn't really have anything to do with how you act while you are in a social setting. Interesting that we all grow up not really understanding that. I am currently obsessed with everything printed by Ray Lincoln. He discusses personality types and how to use your strengths given by God. Even better, how to help cultivate your children's personalities and see your differences as strengths. Very hard for us to do sometimes. Christian based, spoken at many MOPS groups, and a great tool for learning about yourself and how to reach out of your comfort zone!
    Love the post...and happy birthday!

  33. I understand all that you are saying. I am quite the introvert myself and I also get kinda excited when people cancel plans BUT to go along with that, I always need that time with people. it's so good for my spirit and sometimes I forget that.

  34. Oh my gosh you're so good at putting vague feelings into words! That revolving door? I'm so appreciative of it.

    I'm sitting home alone in beautiful hermitude as I type, but I think I need to quote you on my chalkboard this week:
    "I need to look at God and ask him to help me be obedient when it feels very uncomfortable. Even if it means functioning outside my natural bend... we all need to stop using our personalities as a crutch."

    Wise words. Happy birthday!

  35. yep this is exactly me. loved this. the point is that we're all growing!

  36. It's funny to me that you are discovering your inner hermit because I I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't known you in my formative years I would have become a cave person. You pushed me out of my comfort zone in a safe way while I was young and I've actually become that person that no one believes is an introvert.
    But lately I have definitely been feeling the longing to be away from people forever. Our house is literally the church right now. Even midnight isn't safe when people know the pastor lives in the church building. urgh. But yeah, I've been going through a similar struggle. So all I really have to say is ditto

  37. I have sooo used the hand sanitizer under the armpit trick. more than once. it's great!

  38. Happy birthday! And I loved the post.

  39. I know just what you mean!
    I love my friends, but I NEED alone time, to read, be crafty, journal, take pictures, write, watch tv and then I can come back to being there for others, but I NEED time alone. I crave it.....tara

  40. I am a victim of the "hermatism". Get over your first horrid trip out here and give it another try!

  41. Ambivert (I believe this is the hybrid of the intro and extro) raises membership card and shakes it like a Polaroid picture. Welcome to the club, 31 y.o. beauty! People are needy and the more I am involved in personal ministry, the more I need to retreat like Jesus did to the time of quiet and the time of regrouping.

    Sanctification station is most excellent verbiage, by the way.

  42. Dang you are wise for someone who is only 31! (I just turned 40...hee hee). You are figuring things out ten years earlier than I did. What a blessing, and welcome to the I'm an extrovert but also introvert club. It is weird in here :)

  43. Happy Belated Birthday Sweet Jami!

  44. beautiful post & happy birthday! Isn't it so nice be known, mostly by yourself? to like it and to embrace it. what a wise soul you are at the baby age of 31. mazel tov! loved it.

  45. I love how you write that when your husband comes home, you ask if you can go up to the attic for a while. As if that's a completely normal thing to do. If I didn't know that you had such a pimpin attic, I would've been super confused. And kinda concerned for you.

  46. Thank you for putting into words what my heart has been screaming for months.

    'in motherhood I cannot hermit.'

  47. I just turned 32. And I feel the EXACT SAME WAY. I was once an extrovert...but I'm becoming an introvert. The things you were saying, I was all, YES. YES. YES. ;} So true! And I am so glad to know that about the sanitizer. Would it work in other smelly areas as well? ;}

  48. First of all, i just had cookies for breakfast and lunch. Call the diabetes police.

    Second, thank for serving it up to the ladyfolk once again, the challenging stuff we need to hear. My hermitude is full blown these days and I am with you on EVERYthing, except for the part where you are pouring yourself out and denying your introvert nature in service to others. I'm not doing that. And I guess it's because I'm in a season where I don't feel like I have a lot to give.

    That's another thing we do, isn't it? Not serving well because of "this season of life" or whatever. I'm convicted, and I thankya.

  49. i am an extrovert to the max and get my energy from people...james is opposite. he is in ministry and loves working with people all day, but literally falls into bed after using too many words or hibernates with his guitar when we have too much company. i have one introvert child. the other 3 are like me. Lord help them, me, all of us. ; ) love this post.

  50. This post is so great. I am a total introvert, working on pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I need to rely on God more on this. My husband is a total extrovert too. We both tend to use our personalities as a crutch but in different ways. loved that line. Thanks for an inspiring post!

    PS happy Birthday (late)!

  51. oh man jami, i am the same freakin way its DUMB. you + me = very similar

  52. Happy late birthday!! I love that you refer to your children as "humans you have to take care of"-it was hilarious whether you meant it that way or not!

  53. Wow ! An other post about what I live right now. This verse is my leitmotiv right now !

  54. Wow ! An other post about what I live right now. This verse is my leitmotiv right now !

  55. I'm only reading this about 7 months late, but God just brought me to your blog. It's like you reached into my brain and said it perfectly! I need to stop saying "its my personality." In the past 24 hours that I have found you and haha yes we had a snow day! So I have been reading and reading and cannot stop. God has just blessed me so much with your words. Im in such aw and so humbled. Thank you Jesus.


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