Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Jon and I are going through the New Members Class at Wedgwood. It's a four-week Sunday afternoon class that helps us get to know the staff, the ministry opportunities in the church, the grounds, the budget, plans for the future, etc. It's been a very informative class. There are four young married couples in there, all from our Sunday School, as well as several other people.

Part of the class involves taking several tests: Personality, Spiritual Gifts and some others. My spiritual gifts were not a big surprise to me: mercy, exhortation and hospitality were my top three. But my personality! I had no idea!

I'm an otter! Who knew?! Well, apparently everyone else. Even the minister going through the test results with us said he wasn't surprised! Here are the "otter" words that I feel describe me: compassionate, disorganized, easily distracted, exaggerates, eye for nature and art, impulsive, insecure, people-centered. But I don't feel like I'm: extroverted, influencing, inspiring, natural magnetic grace (grace? me??), undisciplined.

I understand that people don't fit into any one category perfectly, but I never would have labelled myself as an otter. I have always thought I was a labrador. Labradors are loyal, have a few deep friendships, keep a fairly even-keeled life, etc.

A fear I have had is that I'm moody with a tendency toward depression. It's the artist in me that realizes that most artistic people aren't normal. But fearing depression and moodiness can actually bring about the very thing I don't want, even if I hadn't actually tended toward it in the first place. However, I'm an otter! I am bubbly and carefee! :) I don't need to worry about "no steenking depression!"

It's funny how having a new label has made me so happy. Few people who read this will know how I was when I was little. I was the gregarious, outgoing one who was always on the phone and always doing something with many friends. Then we moved, and then we moved again, and I increasingly became quieter and more introverted. I realized the change, and thought that's just the way I am now. My experience has made me this way. But it wasn't true. What I hadn't realized through my college years (and now after) is that I have been coming out of that, and once again becoming outgoing and making lots of friends. Those quiet years were actually just a healing process, and I hadn't realized it. In college--still thinking of myself as fairly introverted--I considered any outgoing personality to be a cover for my insecurity. I always thought to myself, "I know I don't make friends this easily. It's just my need to cover up my timidity." When, actually, I do make friends easily. I can carry on conversations and get people involved.

When I found out I was an otter, I looked at Jon in disbelief, and yet he had never had any doubt! I told my friend Margie at church (who is also an otter) and she said, "Of course! You couldn't be anything else." So what has been to me a discovery is to everyone else a fact of life. I'm an otter.

Jon, on the other hand, is a beaver, which is a good thing, because we balance each other. As the minister put it, the otter is going to have a great party, but there may not be any food. So the beaver has to be around to remember plates and cups and the logistics of things.

Here is a visual of what a beaver and an otter are like, and their dynamics together:

See? We're a perfect match. :)


  1. This article gave me peace that you have come full circle back to the bubbly little girl you once were. :) Yes, we always knew you were an otter, but you couldn't see it. And, I'm glad Jon is the perfect match...because you need plates and food at the party!

  2. Who knew? I'm an otter too! With some lion tendencies. And Jan, well she's a golden retriever, of course with some beaver thrown in to balance us out. We are also a perfect match!!!

    Cliff is clearly a squirrel.

  3. I love that picture. It captures you completely :) And yes, I knew you were an otter too :) I am golden retriever/beaver.

  4. Awww...I want to be an animal. I don't know what I AMMMMM!!!! Oh well, nothing new there!

    Yes, I knew you were an otter, hello, Marshmellow Matey friend, how many random things do we need to do before you figured that one out! I am glad that you have your beaver/sulley there to be sure we have party favors!

    p.s. cliff, love the pic.

  5. So, I took a modified "free" online version of this test. It said I was a lion (37 points) but I got 35 points on Beaver and Otter. I'm NOT a retriever it seems. Anyway, this whole thing is causing an identity crisis! Lydia may have rediscovered her personality, but I'm having doubts about mine!

  6. Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!
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