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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December Journal Prompts

Before things get too crazy around here I wanted to drop by and say hi, and leave you with your December journaling prompts!

When the year started I had planned to give you a list of prompts monthly to keep you inspired as you journal. Journaling has been such an enjoyable and therapeutic part of my growth and healing process that I really want to encourage others to explore this area more! I haven't been as consistent as I had hoped with posting the prompts but hopefully some of you have found the ones I have posted useful.

In December I always get the warm and fuzzies as I think back to Christmases past. It's such a magical time isn't it? And only made better by having my little people to share it with. I pray that each of you reading this post will remember the magic of the season and will be richly blessed this Christmas!

And now, here are your prompts! Happy journaling! :)

1)What was the best Christmas gift you ever received?
2)What is your happiest Christmas memory?
3)What do you enjoy about winter?
4)Who are you spending Christmas with this year?
5)What are some of your goals for 2017?
6)What was the best Christmas gift you ever gave?
7)How does Jesus' birth impact you?
8)How do you bring Christ into your Christmas celebrations?
9)What is on your Christmas list?
10)List your goals for 2016. How many did you accomplish? How does that make you feel?
11)How is your marriage going right now? What can you do to make it even better?
12)What are your favorite Christmas traditions?
13)What do you love to do in the snow?
14)How do you keep yourself healthy during the winter?
15)Have you started any new Christmas traditions with your children?
16)What have you done for yourself lately?
17)What is your favorite Christmas movie? Song?
18)In all the hustle and bustle, what are some ways you can slow down and enjoy the season?
19)If you could go anywhere for Christmas, where would it be?
20)If you could write a letter to Mary (Jesus's mother), what would it say?
21)How is your budget? How can you stay on track through the Christmas season?
22)How can you let your friends know they are appreciated this Christmas in ways other than gift giving?
23)Making any homemade gifts? Jot your ideas:
24)As the year comes to an end, what were some favorite moments or accomplishments?
25)Have you let your parents know how much you appreciate them lately?
26)What do you wish had gone differently this year?
27)What do you look forward to in the new year?
28)List 5 ways to care for yourself this month:
29)What is a perfect date with your spouse?
30)Winter is...
31)Snow makes me feel...

(photo courtesy of insidescience.org)

Monday, November 28, 2016

read a little, grow a lot

Hi guys! I know I have been kind of absent from the blogosphere lately...well, really this entire year. WHERE has 2016 gone?! I feel like this has been the fastest year of my life! Between adjusting to being a family of 5, learning how to homeschool 2 instead of 1, and my husband constantly in and out for work...this year has been an absolute blur! I still keep writing 2015...guess I had better catch up, since 2017 is right around the corner!

A couple of you have asked what books and devotionals have helped me most in my personal walk with the Lord, so I put together a list for you! Reading and studying, praying, and talking with godly sisters who offer wisdom have been the key ingredients in helping me to grow and overcome the ugly in my past. I hope some of these suggestions will help you, too!

1) Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters- by Meg Meeker
This book highlights things that daughters need from their relationship with their fathers. It helped me to see what I should have gotten from mine, what I didn't get, and brought light to WHY I have the issues that I do. If you have daddy issues, read this book!

2) Power of a praying Wife- by Stormie Omartian
This book really helped my marriage to grow. There is something about praying for a person that changes and softens your heart. This book helped me to see my husband as a child who God loves, just like He loves me. And there is something so special about a wife's prayers for her husband.

3) Unglued- by Lysa Terkeurst
This book talks about emotions, and how not to be controlled by them. As women we are emotional creatures and that's ok...but when life gets tough what do we do? Are we held together by God's truth and promises? Or do we come unglued? A great read, Lysa has so much wisdom.

4) The Slight Edge- by Jeff Olson
This book talks a lot about success and what it takes to get there. Through reading this book I was able to see how important our little daily habits are, and why we should be mindful of them. I am going to have my kids read this book when they get older!

5) Fervent- by Priscilla Shirer
A book about prayer. Priscilla writes as though she is your best friend sitting with you sipping on a cup of coffee. Prayer is SUCH an important part of our spiritual walk. Don't shove it aside! This book highlights different areas in your life to cover in prayer in a simple yet effective & powerful way!

6) The Hole in our Gospel- by Richard Stearns
This book will challenge what you believe and value, which is good to do from time to time! Richard challenges the reader to take a good look at their walk with God and evaluate whether they are living out their faith...or just talking about it. LOVED this book!

7) Shepherding a Child's Heart- by Tedd Tripp
This book really held me accountable as a parent. Parenting is such a big and important job, I love reading what other christians have to say about things like discipline and growing children who love the Lord. I will probably read this book over and over!

Joining a women's Bible study group probably has helped me grow the most. Being able to talk it out,  to bring up things I don't understand or am struggling with...has really been an awesome thing! Also finding a pastor who gets you into the Word is vital!

Happy reading! And growing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sullivan on Strike

Well it would appear my Sully boy has given up nursing. This has hit me really hard the past couple of days, I think for a couple of different reasons.

For one, he quit with literally no warning. One day he was nursing 5-6 times a day, and the next day...nothing.

Also, it's my fault he quit. I was nursing him a couple of days ago and he kept biting me to see my reaction, so I flicked him (lightly) on the cheek. It broke his heart, I could tell, and in the process mine broke as well. I felt terrible...I still do.

And he's at such a busy age (11 months). He's not really wanting me to hold him as much, so feeding times were some of the only times we had just for us two. I'm sad it's over. I just wasn't ready yet, I didn't have time to prepare myself (can you tell I don't like change?).

The past few days I pumped a couple of times and fed it to him in a sippy cup. I also offered the breast to him often, only for him to turn away from me crying each time. I kept hoping he would get over it and come back to nursing, but I officially give up. It's become too stressful on us both so I guess we are moving on.

Still, the amount of rejection I feel has been surprising. But I do, I feel like my son is rejecting me (I guess all those issues are still lurking there somewhere). And the fact that he quit because of me and now won't nurse anymore makes me feel like he's holding a grudge against me...I know that's ridiculous and not true, but it's how I feel. I wanted him to forgive me and move on, and I felt like us regaining our nursing relationship would be proof to me that he had.

Ahhh, so many emotions! Who knew being a mother could cause you to feel so much, so deeply, about so many things. But as with all things, I'm trying to learn from this experience. What good do life experiences do us if we don't take a lesson from each of them? One thing I learned about Sullivan: he's tender hearted and very sensitive (like his mom, apparently). Knowing this so early on is a blessing because it will alter how I pray for, parent, and discipline him. He is a precious soul, he's healthy and happy, and he does still love me after all, so that's all that matters right?

Until next time,
Anna

Monday, September 19, 2016

overcoming disappointments

What do you do when life throws disappointments your way? When plans change, your husband has to leave for an unexpected work trip, your kids get a cold that seems never-ending, something breaks and costs you a lot of money? What do you do then? When you're crying hot tears of rage and you just feel like yelling at God and asking him why? Why can't you just make my life go my way?

How do you react?
What is your first thought upon hearing disappointing news?
What do you say?

My feelings towards the Navy and my husband's job are...complicated. On one hand, it's his job that brought us to beautiful southern California...that pays our bills...that has grown me so much as a person and wife...that has brought the most amazing friendships into my life. On the other hand, it's his job that is constantly taking my husband away from his family...that causes  me to live so much of life without my best friend...that is always, always changing my plans. I would say my feelings towards the Navy range from hate-fueled rage to awe-filled appreciation.

It's complicated.

One thing I do know...the Navy is always throwing disappointments my way. I mean, at least once a week something seems to come up that I was not planning on. I still react, because I'm human and I have emotions, but my reaction time has shortened over the years. I'm able now to move on faster and bring myself back to a place of peace. Usually I initially get really angry, thoughts of my hate for the military filling my mind. I have to go off by myself and cry and process. Then I can move into a place of prayer, telling God openly and honestly how I feel and what I think-- even though he already knows, voicing it helps me. After that I always have to remind myself of this verse:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

 This is a verse I cling to. I constantly revisit it, reminding myself of its truth. Though my circumstances may really, really stink, I can rest in the promise that is contained in that verse. God is using the Navy to work good for me, for my husband, for our family. Knowing that makes it possible to move on with joyful expectation and renews my strength.

If you are facing disappointments in your life, I encourage you to keep this verse in front of you. Seek the Lord, be honest with him about your feelings-- he can handle all of your anger, frustration, and despair. He wants you to come to him with all of it. Then practice moving forward. Do whatever you need to in order to move on-- go for a walk, crank up some happy tunes, read some scripture, get crafty, take a hot bath. Remember that this too will pass and see disappointments as opportunities to grow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Bloom & Grow

Since March, my husband has not been home longer than two weeks at a time. He's been gone, a lot, and we're all tired of it. Just exhausted, in every way. I feel myself slipping, losing the patience & stamina that I had when we first began this routine.

We're almost finished, praise Jesus, at least for a little while.

One of the things no one ever tells you when your husband decides to join the military is just how sick of it all you will get. No one tells you that you will cry because you're sick to death of doing all the chores. No one tells you that you'll get sick of sleeping by yourself or disciplining your kids or changing diapers or cooking or grocery shopping or paying bills or being the sole parent. No one tells you that you would rather gouge out your eyeballs than wash another dish or fold another piece of laundry. No one tells you that you will get sick of missing your best friend, or of seeing families together and feeling a pang of envy. No one told me.

For 6.5 years this has been our lives. Constant training trips, deployments, 12+ hour workdays for my husband. I would be lying if I told you that it's easy and fun and I love it. I would also be lying if I told you that I am always happy and joyful and patient and sweet with my kids.

I'm not.

One of the hardest things for me has been to accept graciously that this is where God has placed me, to serve with a thankful heart. I tend to look ahead to a life that is "better," "easier," "calmer." I like to plan and to know what's coming next. In my mind, I've already checked us out of the Navy. We're living somewhere green and spacious, in a home that we will never have to leave, with my husband who will also never have to leave. But only in my mind...

I'm trying. I'm trying to submit to this part of God's plan for my life and our family. I'd be lying if I said I'm not ready for something else.

Lord, help me to rest where you have  me. Help me to bloom & grow, here.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

life is a gift

I miss Justin. He left today for another trip. Only 5-6 days this time.

The house is hot & the baby is fussy. I am feeling just...blah. Also my 4-year-old spent most of the afternoon covering herself and the patio in paint.

I didn't get the house cleaned.
I didn't get my workout done.
I didn't spend a lot of quality time with the girls.
The kids may have had cereal for dinner.

But I have a new day waiting for me tomorrow, a chance to try again, and for that I am so, so thankful. Three beautiful reasons to wake up each morning and three things to keep me going while my husband is away. I'm not going to knock it out of the park every single day, but I can be excited on the days when I do. And I can try again tomorrow.

This life is such a gift.

Monday, August 8, 2016

be patient with me, I'm still learning...

Military life...it is always throwing me curve balls! As soon as I think I am settled into a comfort zone, something changes and I'm thrown for a loop!

Right now, I am having trouble adjusting to Justin being home, which sounds bad to say. Let me explain...

When Justin is gone, I get into my routine and groove because I have to in order to survive it all. I plan out my days the way that I think best for myself and the kids. We stay busy with friends and outings. We focus in on our home schooling and field trips. I am completely in control and in charge of everything here. I have gotten pretty good at just picking up and carrying on when he leaves, because I have had a lot of practice.

But lately for whatever reason I have been having trouble adjusting to my husband coming home. I used to hear wives talk about this and would think "Well that's crazy, that will never be me." And here I am. I think it's partially because I've gotten so good at being on my own that now being a part of a couple again can be somewhat of a tricky thing. Suddenly I have to give up some of the control and hand it back to whom it rightfully belongs: my partner. I have to plan more around his needs and his schedule, and that just can get a little tedious and complicated if I'm being honest...because his schedule is never the same two days in a row.

Don't get me wrong-- I love when my husband is home. I really do, no matter how difficult it may be for me. Just having his presence here is so comforting to me.

And Justin & I are both feeling pretty burnt out. We are coming up on our third deployment in four years which means there have been back to back to back 6 month sections of training followed by 6 month deployments. In short, he's been gone a lot. His schedule has been hectic and busy and insane, and the kids and I have been left here to deal with it. It has been a lot and we all are just ready for a break and some stability I think.

Hopefully coming soon, at least for a while...until that next curve ball arrives!

Friday, July 1, 2016

July writing prompts!

Hi guys! I apologize for neglecting my blog lately. Life has been chaotic and my writing always seems to be the first thing to take the back seat. Maybe I should change that.

In other news, how is this year already more than half way over?! I can't believe it is July already! Summer is in full force around here and with my husband home for a couple of weeks, the kids and I are in celebration mode. We're ready for some family fun before Daddy heads off on another training trip! One thing the Navy has taught me, is how to truly cherish the time that we have together.

And now for your July writing prompts! These are just some journal starters to get you thinking! Take them and run with them!

*What is a favorite fourth of July memory or tradition?
*How did your childhood shape you?
*What do you need to let go of?
*I just can't __________
*Who did you call or text today?
* What recently happened that made you proud of yourself?
*Who is inspiring you right now?
*What are you most afraid of?
*What is the biggest thing you have going on?
*What do you love about where you live?
*List 5 things you love about America
*What do you wish there was less of in the world?
*What risks did you take this week?
*Did you play today?
*What was the last thing/person to make you laugh out loud?
*Right now I'm struggling with __________
*Who did you eat dinner with last night?
*How did you make a difference in your world today?
*How much money did you spend this week?
*What does freedom mean to you?
*The last gift I gave was ________
*What motivated you today?
*What has being a military spouse/having a friend in the military taught you?
*How did you serve someone today, beyond your spouse & kids?
*Did you do something nice for yourself this week?
*What are your first thoughts when you wake?
*What are you praying about right now?
*Make a bucket list for yourself
*Describe a perfect day
*What are you looking forward to?

Happy journaling!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

I have been quieter than usual on social media lately, I don't know if you've noticed. I've been going through some stuff...

Once I stopped Beachbody coaching a few months ago, I wasn't sure what to post any more. Honestly I'm a stay-at-home mom...my life is not that exciting. I sort of lost myself for a bit and wasn't sure who I wanted to be or what I was supposed to be doing. And maybe I'm still not certain about those two things, but I am on the road to figuring it out.

I've been a mom since I was 19 years old. My entire adult life has been spent changing diapers, washing dishes, and wiping bottoms. It's not what I had pictured for myself and if I'm being honest, it's not always the most fulfilling thing. I know that I am capable of so much more, I have a deep-rooted desire to help people and to make a difference in the world. I want to start a ripple that continues to spread and touch so many lives.

In my quest to figure out what great things I was supposed to be doing and accomplishing, I forgot. I forgot that I'm already doing them.

I'm raising the next generation. I have started a ripple, 3 in fact, that go by the names of Avery, Brooklynn, and Sullivan. Avery, 7, who is so smart and empathetic. Brooklynn, 4, who is spunky and full of life. Sullivan, 5 months, who is the sweetest baby I have ever met. This is my most important job.

It's hard to see it, in the midst of dirty diapers and picky eaters, but there is a purpose that reaches beyond the cleaning of dishes and the prepping of meals. It's 3 little hearts, 3 lives that I am helping to shape. That is HUGE.

Moms, know that what you are doing does matter! It matters so much! YOU matter, and though it may be hard to see right now, your life is FILLED to the brim with purpose. May we mother well. May we raise children who are fearless and compassionate and caring. May we always, always remember that this is the work that is most important.

Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

GEMS personality test!

The Dani Johnson “GEMS” Personality Test
 Introduction
Have you ever taken a personality test that absolutely bored you? I have too! After all those dull and dreary word associations, and endless questions, what do you get? Results that often require a Ph.D. to interpret, with clinical analysis that has no bearing on your day-to-day life. These clinical test results also only focus on you, and not on how you need to relate to and interact with others. After all, who do we work with? Other people. Who do we live with? Other people. Who do we interact with each day? Other people.
The fact is, it’s not about you, it’s about how you communicate with others.
From years of research, trial and error, and observation of practical human behavior, I learned there are four basic types of personalities, and everyone needs to speak the language of each personality type to excel in all areas of life. As a first step, you must identify your own personality type, or “GEM,” and get comfortable with your own language.
Once you understand your GEM type, you can learn to spot other GEMS™ quickly.
Walk through these various scenarios and answer the questions honestly. Remember, the only right answer is an honest answer! Not all of these scenarios will apply to you perfectly, because we are all different. So just place a check mark next to the answer that is most appropriate or you feel best describes you. You may notice letters at the end of each option, ignore them while you are reading through, they are to score your test after you have completed it.
Be sure to write down your answers as you go through the questions! 
 Scenario 1: You have received an item that needs to be assembled:
1.____
You read ALL the instructions first and take an inventory of all the parts. “D”
2.____
You throw the instructions off to the side and only look at the pictures. “A”
3.____
You don’t want to be a burden to anybody else so you assemble it alone, but
it may take you longer than others to do so. “C”
4.____
You first grumble that it hasn’t already been assembled and you put it together really fast. You think the manufacturer made a mistake because now
you have left over parts! You toss the parts; they were not needed. “B”

Scenario 2: When giving a gift:
1.____
You find something really nice, in fact so nice you decide to keep it for your
self. You then go buy them something different. “B”
2.____
You purchase a fun gift that tells the story of an inside joke, or is just a complete gag gift. “A”
3.____
You make the gift yourself or purchase something and add your own personal touch. “C”
4.____
You may buy them a card or if you knew what they wanted, it was economical, and fit into your budget, you would make the purchase. “D”

Scenario 3: Hotel chains now place a card inside the hotel room that reads “Please
save our water supply. If you would like your towels to be washed please place them
on the floor.” Your response is:
1.____
You definitely follow the instructions and hang your towels after use. You
want to do your part to save the environment. “C”
2.____
You read the card and analyze how sincere the hotel actually is. You hang up
your towels, because you would never leave them on the floor. “D”
3.____
You will just throw the towel on the floor by default. You probably didn’t
even realize there was a card in your room and you’re in a hurry anyway, so
you’re out the door. “A”
4.____
You will say to yourself, “No, I paid a high price for this hotel room and I
want the full service, including fresh clean towels.” “B”

Scenario 4: You are out with other people. When ordering from a menu at a restaurant:
1.____
You wait to order to see what everyone else orders first to ensure you order
something different. That way, you can taste multiple unique things from the
menu! “A”
2.____
You look at cost to value and ask yourself, “How much do I get for what
price? What makes the most sense to buy?” “D”
3.____
You usually gravitate to the most expensive item on the menu because you
want the best. You typically ask the server, “What is the best thing on your
menu?” “B”
4.____
If someone else might be picking up the bill, you will choose the least expensive item. You tend to order the healthier option. “C”

Scenario 5: You are at dinner with your friends, the server seems stressed out because
the restaurant is packed. When he/she delivers your food, you realize quickly he/she
brought you the wrong dish:
1.____
Say nothing, it was an honest mistake, and you don’t want to further stress
the poor server. “C”
2.____
As it is being delivered you say something immediately like, “Ah, I didn’t
order this,” and in the back of your mind you think the server is obviously
incompetent. “B”
3.____
Catch the server’s attention and send it back, and say that you would appreciate a discount on your check. “D”
4.____
Eat the meal, who knows, it might be better than what you ordered. You may make a comment to the server with no expectations and say something like, “It’s no problem, I’ll eat it anyway.” “A”

 Scenario 6: When it comes to rules:
1.____
You think that everyone else’s rules are stupid. When it comes to the rules
you invented, you believe everyone should follow them.  “Its my way or the highway” “B”
2.____
You will naturally follow the rules because you don’t want to hurt anybody’s
feelings or displease anyone. “C”
3.____
You believe that rules are meant to be broken. “A”
4.____
You believe that rules were meant to be followed. “D”

 Scenario 7: Pick an occupation that most appeals to you:
1.____
You prefer to work directly with people, build relationships, and travel. “A”
2.____
You prefer to work with methods, systems, numbers, processes, and routines. “D”
3.____
You like what is challenging and makes the most money. “B”
4.____
You enjoy helping and serving people and working toward a great cause. “C”

 Scenario 8: When it comes to sports:
1.____
If you can’t win then you won’t play, because winning is everything! “B”
2.____
You love to play team sports! If you don’t win it’s OK because you enjoyed
playing the game with each other. “A”
3.____
You don’t exactly see the point in sports, you have a long task list and some research you would rather be doing. “D”
4.____
If you make me play, I’ll play, but please don’t hurt me and don’t scream at me and I really don’t care if we win. “C”

Scenario 9: When it comes to clothing:
1.____You wear clothes that are comfortable, breathable, non-binding. You also own
a lot of old things that have been passed down from generation to generation
because you are the family heirloom recipient. And you generally like earth
tones. “C”
2.____
You are the person who wears something bright, trendy, fun, colorful, what’s
hip, what’s hot now. You like funny clothes even with jokes on them. It doesn’t
matter if anybody likes it; you like it. “A”
3.____
You wear the BEST, the most popular labels, the hottest-looking clothes. You
put on the most expensive clothing and you dress to impress. You also wear
a lot of black! “B”
4.____
You may have items in your closet that are more than 10 years old, still in
good working order. And there is no point in replacing them, fashion repeats
itself just like history. “D”

Scenario 10: When it comes to shoes:
1.____
You purchase quality shoes at a discounted price. Among your shoes, you’ve
had many of them for a long time because you wear them until they wear
out. “D”
2.____
You have a lot of comfortable slip-on shoes, something that is easy to get into
and out of and great to wear all day. You probably love Birkenstocks and during the winter you may even wear them with socks. “C”
3.____
You have tons of shoes and none of them are boring. They are colorful, be dazzled, extreme, or something that always makes them a topic of conversation. Comfort is not the goal. “A”
4.____
You have a selection of top-of-the-line, brand-name shoes. (Several pairs in
black) “B”

Scenario 11: When it comes to accessories:
1.____
You always have tons of accessories, mixing and matching different bracelets, rings, watches, and earrings (usually inexpensive, or fake). You may even have lots of visible tattoos and piercings. “A”
2.____
Your accessories are simple and you only wear maybe a watch and/or wedding band. It is tasteful. “D”
3.____
You are attracted to the best jewelry, the highest quality stones and metals.  Basically you want your jewelry to say I have more money than you (even if I don’t). “B”
4.____
You typically don’t wear a lot of jewelry, if you do it is handmade, or heirlooms that have been passed down and hold sentimental value. “C”

Scenario 12: Through your formal educational years:
1.____
You never got in trouble. You probably scored high in either math or science. You were neat and organized, everything was in its proper place. Your locker
was also neat, organized, and even color coded! “D”
2.____
You heard ‘sit down and shut up’ often. You often got in trouble for being loud and tardy. “A”
3.____
You were the best at everything – well everything you chose to be the best at, because it’s silly to be the best at something that is not important. “B”
4.____
You were a compliant and quiet student who listened to most everything
your teachers had to say. You worked diligently so that you wouldn’t disappoint your teachers and/or parents. “C”

Scenario 13: When it comes to your car:
1.____
You like a fun car that has really cool colors and the sound system is more expensive than the car itself. And you have a lot of stuff in my trunk that you
have no idea what’s in there. You have candy wrappers and fast food wrappers underneath all the seats. If there is license and registration it is crumbled
up in a ball somewhere. “A”
2.____
You like the best cars! Clean, sparkling, and capable of getting a lot of attention. It has to be a popular high-end brand name and it has to be expensive.
It is the best of its class. “B”
3.____
You like a car with research behind it; it must be cost effective, get good gas mileage, and have longevity. A car must be clean and organized inside and
out. The scheduled maintenance and tune-ups ensure the longevity of the vehicle. Everything must be in good working order. “D”
4.____
A car should be safe and good for the environment. Your cars in the past have had bumper stickers on the back and pictures of the kids inside. You always
have tissues and wipes just in case. You know all the safety features. “C”

Scenario 14: When driving:
1.____
You drive slow, and will let everyone into your lane. You stop for pedestrians
and will brake for animals in the road. “C”
2.____
You drive fast, honk the horn at cars and pedestrians. You tailgate, and you don’t heed the bike lane. “B”
3.____
You drive fast, talk/text, run yellow lights. Music is very loud. You didn’t even know there were pedestrians waiting to cross. “A”
4.____
You tend to obey the traffic signs and law. On the highway you may set your cruise control to the exact speed limit. It is illogical and insensible to pay for
a traffic citation. “D”

Scenario 15: When packing to go out of town:
1.____
All of your clothes are thrown in unfolded with shoes on top of the clothes or in with the clothes. Your shampoos and toiletries are also thrown in with
everything. “A”
2.____
You have one complete outfit for each day picked out in advance. All of your toiletries are in separate compartments. Everything is perfectly folded. “D”
3.____
You bring more clothes than what you need, and you pack at the last minute because you are so busy. However, you do keep your toiletries separate and
shoes separate. Your bag is not so organized but you know what will look good and better than everybody else when you arrive. “B”
4.____
You bring very few cosmetics. You don’t have a bag that’s too heavy because “somebody else may have to lift this.” You always have a first-aid kit just in
case somebody else needs a bandage. You also pack snacks! “C”

Scenario 16: When it comes to dating:
1.____
You are on time. You dressed appropriately for whatever the activity may be. “D”
2.____
You most likely go to a concert or out dancing, something that is active and fun! And you WILL be late because you changed your clothes 10 times because you didn’t know what you wanted to wear. “A”
3.____
You would go to an expensive restaurant. “B”
4.____
You enjoy a nice quiet restaurant that is not too expensive and has an organic flare to it. “C”

Scenario 17: When you are surrounded by children:
1.____
You are multi-tasking, holding a conversation as well as texting and emailing
others at the same time. “B”
2____
Find most kids to be noisy and rambunctious and difficult to control. “D”
3.____
Will get out and play with the kids for hours! “A”
4.____
Suggest a nice quiet activity (like reading) and just enjoy spending time with them. “C”

Scenario 18: When it comes to money:
1.____
Impulse buyer, you don’t know where half of your money ends up. “A”
2.____
Splurges on expensive items, you tend to purchase items that are the best. “B”
3.____Not a huge spender, but you lend or give friends and family money and you may go with out because of it. “C”
4.____You know where every dime of your money ends up. You never impulse buy; every purchase is thought out thoroughly. “D”

Scenario 19: When setting goals:
1.____
Set dozens of lofty goals, you are a goal-setter and a go-getter. You tend to overfill your plate and will avoid failure at all cost. “B”
2.____
Assess first and establish practical goals. “D”
3.____
Volunteer to help other people fulfill their goals, you naturally find a need and fill it! “C”
4.____
Don’t set big goals, unless it is to have a good time. You love to start things, but rarely finish them. “A”

Scenario 20: When it comes to solving problems:
1.____
You are a verbal processor, you have to talk out your problems with someone. “A”
2.____
You come up with several scenarios, map each solution out and decide what the most efficient course of action would be. “D”
3.____
Fix it fast; you don’t have time to deal with problems. But you know your solution is the best possible answer. “B”
4.____
Become overwhelmed, seek out others for help. You don’t want to disappoint anybody. “C”

Scenario 21: An argument breaks out, you are the one who:
1.____
Probably started it (but you would never admit that).“B”
2.____
Will quiet down and stay out of it. “C”
3.____
Try to make light of it and attempt to change the subject. “A”
4.____
Have a valid argument and lay it out, even if it’s harsh. “D”

Scenario 22: If it’s a big decision:
1.____
Make quick decisions and often change them just as quickly. “A”
2.____
Never like making a decision, and quickly become stressed out. Especially if the decision could hurt people’s feelings. “C”
3.____
Consider all of the options and make the most logical choice. “D”
4.____
Make quick decisions. You aren’t afraid to make a tough decision and you disregard any obstacles in the way. “B”

Scenario 23: If there was a threat of a natural disaster in your area:
1.____
You are too busy to even think about the disaster. Why waste time concerning yourself with something that may never happen? If it actually did come to your area, you would quickly run out and grab supplies at the last minute. “B”
2.____
You already have your emergency kit ready, and have had it ready to go for years with enough food and fresh water to last your family several months. “D”
3.____
You have an emergency kit with a lot of excess food in case other people didn’t prepare; you also have extra flashlights and lots of bandages for everybody else. “C”
4.____
When you hear about the possibility, you run to the store and stock up on overly processed foods such as chips, donuts, beer, soda, and crackers. And make sure to grab a deck of cards. “A”

Scenario 24: Spring cleaning! You open your garage door:
1.____
There are boxes full of old knickknacks that have been there for years. You can’t bring yourself to throw them out. You know that others are in need so
you find some older clothes and furniture to donate. “C”
2.____
Everything is already organized, pushed to one side, and stacked perfectly.  However, you take the time to implement a new color-coded labeling system
on all the boxes. Red is for Christmas decorations, etc. “D”
3.____
Everything is everywhere, you can barely open the garage door; it is a disaster. Why clean it? You still always find what you need. “A”
4.____
Your garage is packed full of “stuff” and you are too busy to clean and organize it. You do a quick clean and shove boxes to one side so you can fit your new car in the garage. You may have thrown away some important family items, but who hangs on to stuff anyway? “B”

Scenario 25: You open your closet doors:
1.____
There is a place for everything. Your closet is organized with the hangers in the same direction and your clothes hang neatly from light to dark. “D”
2.____
A majority of the hangers are empty, most of your clothes are on the floor in your room. You are lucky if you find two socks that match. “A”
3.____
Not overly organized or sloppy, you are just too busy to organize it. But your clothes are hanging. “B”
4.____
Your closet is packed with hand me downs, a lot of neutral tones, and comfortable organic materials because you can’t throw anything out! “C”

Scenario 26: You are loading the dishwasher:
1.____
Load it full with food still encrusted on all the dishes, you don’t get to unloading it until the sink is full again of dirty dishes. You often ruin hand-wash only dishes and melt plastic ware by placing them in the high heat rack. “A”
2.____
Load it with crusty dishes, you don’t want to wait for it to be full to run it so you start the dishwasher when it is half-full most of the time. “B”
3.____
Load the dishwasher with pre-rinsed and scraped dishes, in an orderly manner with all of the silverware matched up in separate, designated areas. “D”
4____
Because conserving water and energy is important to you, you don’t run the dishwasher until it is totally full so you don’t have to run it that often. “C”

Scenario 27: Shopping at the grocery store:
1.____
Grab and go, the idea is to get out of the store as quickly as possible. “B”
2.____
Spend entirely too long in the grocery store, buy more than you intended and totally forget to buy the key items you originally went in for. “A”
3.____
Go straight for the organic section. “C”
4.____
Have a list, don’t buy anything that is not on the list, and shop the sales and look for discounts. “D”

 Scenario 28: Friendships:
1.____
Have lots of friends; people love being around you! And you are constantly making new friends! You value relationships and keep in touch with people you have known for a very long time. “A”
2.____
You have a huge heart for your friends, and also maintain many long-term relationships. You are everyone’s best friend, but often your kindness gets
taken advantage of. “C”
3.____
You attempt to change people, because they tend to let you down. You have a few close friends but it is hard to earn your trust. “D”
4.____
Everybody knows who you are, you make sure of that. Your closest friends are probably driven and ambitious like yourself (but not more than you). “B”

Scenario 29: When you are in a room full of people:
1.____
You will talk to every single person in the room, and comfortably. “A”
2.____
You size up everyone in the room, and immediately identify any competition. “B”
3.____
You find one person and connect really well, spending the whole night in a thoughtful conversation with them. “C”
4.____
You gravitate away from the main mass of people, sit back, and observe. “D”

Scenario 30: When talking on the phone:
1.____
You are aware of how much time you are dedicating to the call, being sure to ask all questions up front and end the conversation after all important information has been relayed. No reason to linger. “D”
2.____
Even if it is the cable guy, you talk for at least twenty minutes discussing your favorite TV shows and what you had for lunch. “A”
3.____
You don’t talk a lot, you mostly listen to the other person. You never end the conversation, you are available to them for as long as they need and answer
all questions fully. “C”
4.____
You have a purpose for the conversation, and will stay on the phone long enough to make sure that purpose was accomplished. You will keep talking until the other person fully understands. The conversation ends with an action item. “B”

Scenario 31: Public Speaking:
1.____
You have everything written down, and explain or present the information in a step-by-step fashion, and tend to use a larger vocabulary. “D”
2.____
You avoid public speaking as much as possible. When forced you keep it short (if not slightly rushed sounding) and tend to be more soft-spoken. “C”
3.____
You probably should have made note cards but forgot. You are a very animated speaker, using your hands and swaying or walking around while you talk. It may not be the most organized and maybe you unintentionally leave out a few things but in general, you are always enthusiastic about the topic. “A”
4.____
You are a very confident public speaker, and aren’t afraid to be the first to present an idea. “B”

Scenario 32: In conversation with someone one-on-one:
1.____
You don’t talk loud and are more reserved. You tend to be the first to listen and the last to speak. “C”
2.____
You are pretty loud or animated (or both) when you get to talking to someone. “A”
3.____
You tend to talk in a rhythm, more monotone. You are not overly loud or soft-spoken. You like to ask questions in order to clarify. “D”
4.____
You tend to dominate the conversation. You are a direct communicator, and you emphasize what you think is BEST a lot. You’re opinionated and don’t like it if people disagree. “B”

Scenario 33: When visiting the zoo:
1.____
You make a beeline for the birds of prey and wildcat exhibits. In general, see what you want and then leave. “B”
2.____
You stop by every exhibit and feel a sadness for all the caged animals. And typically donate at every opportunity. “C”
3.____
You, as always, have the day planned out, and stop by each exhibit and catch every animal show in order of the map. You also pack snacks and water and don’t buy anything from inside the park; it is all overpriced. “D”
4.____
You don’t even look at the map, you bounce around the park to each exhibit sign as you see them. You make sure to buy the elephant swirly straw and some cotton candy. “A”
 Scenario 34: Handshake:
1.____
You tend to offer a loose relaxed handshake and often use both hands to shake. “C”
2.____
You offer a firm quick handshake. “D”
3.____
You love an enthusiastic shake and tend to not let go, or you bypass the hand and offer a hug. “A”
4.____
You have a strong solid grip when you shake hands; you control when it ends. “B”
Scenario 35: Keeping track of time:
1.____
Every clock in your house is set to the same time, down to the second. You are always on time. You are never late. “D”
2.____
You are so busy it is hard to keep track of time. You usually sacrifice eating and sleeping times to get things done. “B”
3.____
You try to be everywhere early; you don’t want to inconvenience anyone. However, it doesn’t always work out. “C”
4.____
If you do care about being on time, you set your watch 10-30 minutes ahead to help give you extra time, and still often find yourself late. You lose track of it quickly. “A”

Scenario 36: When home alone:
1.____
Pull out your home task list and begin completing things that need to get done, one by one. “D”
2.____
Pull out your laptop and continue working. “B”
3.____
Put on the TV, music, and call someone, all at the same time. “A”
4.____
Put on some relaxing music and sit down to rest for a bit, and maybe enjoy a cup of tea outside. “C”

Scenario 37: How you view people:
1.____
You find most people incompetent. “D”
2.____
You see the good in people. “A”
3____
You try to show them up, whoever it is. “B”
4.____
You do see the good in people, and will give them multiple chances – even if they have hurt you. “C”

 Scenario 38: When at the doctor’s office:
1.____
You got there on time and you are frustrated if you are made to wait longer than a few minutes past your appointment time. “D”
2.____
You got there early and will wait patiently to see the doctor if he is running late. You understand some emergency may have come up that requires the doctor’s time. “C”
3.____
You showed up late and just hope they didn’t cancel your appointment. You get out your phone and start texting or make a call. You may even play a
game on your phone. “A”
4.____
Chances are you were a couple minutes late, but act as if you were on time. If made to wait more than a reasonable amount of time, you confront the receptionist. If the doctor can’t make time for you, you are not going to sit around all day – she/he should just let you in or reschedule the appointment for a day when the doctor is less busy. “B”
Scenario 39: Hair:
1.____
Your hair is always trendy, professional, and you paid a lot of money to maintain it (even if you are a guy). “B”
2.____
You love experimenting with funky colors, dreadlocks, a perm! Anything! “A”
3.____
You don’t want to damage your hair with harmful chemicals or processing.  Whatever is easy. You don’t pay attention much to styling. “C”
4.____
You tend to pick a hairstyle that does not require a lot of time to maintain it.
You may have been going to the same barber/hair stylist for 20 years, and you rarely change your hair style. “D”

Scenario 40: Of these four choices, which option motivates you the most:
1.____
Serving others. “C”
2.____
Challenge and/or Money. “B”
3.____
Fun! “A”
4.____
Facts and figures. “D”

Congratulations on completing the assessment!

Great job. So…now what?
Simply go back through the assessment and add up the number of items that
corresponds to the letters A, B, C and D and enter those totals on the lines be
low. As you’ve probably figured out, each letter corresponds to a specific GEM:

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 10.34.28 AMA = Sapphire
B = Ruby
C = Pearl
D = Emerald
But hold on; you don’t get just one score; you get two. Everyone has a primary and a secondary GEM! So, if the highest total number of answers corresponds to the letter D, and the second highest number of answers corresponds to the letter B, you are an Emerald (Primary) and Ruby (Secondary).

Keep in mind that there are NO RIGHT ANSWERS or ‘GOOD’ GEMS™. Each GEM is excellent in its own right, with strengths and advantages that need to be recognized and honored to maximize communication!
Scoring:
A:__
B:__
C:__
D:__
WRAP-UP
Now that you have completed the exercise, please let me introduce you to the four basic personality types, or GEMS™. Once you identify your own personality type, or “GEM,” and get comfortable with your own language, you will also spot other GEMS™ quickly. Being able to identify yourself and others will allow you to communicate more effectively and speak to others in their language. You will notice that both your personal and working relationships will become less stressful, more productive, and more fulfilling in every way.
SAPPHIRES are motivated by fun! 
PEARLS are motivated by a cause.
EMERALDS are motivated by facts and figures.
RUBIES are motivated by a challenge and/or money.

Sapphire

A Sapphire loves socializing, they’re the life of the party, and they are motivated by fun. They like to be around a lot of people. They love variety interacting with others. They never see the negative side of a situation. They love recognition. In fact, they will work harder for recognition than they ever will for money.
From Sapphires, we can learn to not be so serious and that life can be fun if we let it.
However, Sapphires can improve by understanding not everyone is as positive as them. Sapphires often hurt other people’s feeling by seeming to not care, when really they’re just looking at the positive side of things.
For a Sapphire to enjoy the ultimate writer’s life, they should focus on working with companies that offer recognition and praise. Fundraising or speech writing might be a good niche for a Sapphire.
If your potential client is a Sapphire, make a point to praise their previous successes and always have something positive to say.

Pearl

All the Gems want to help people. But helping is the prime motivator for a Pearl. They are not motivated by money. They usually have strong convictions and are called to action by a cause.
They are thoughtful and patient. They love to serve others and do not like to argue.
A Pearl loves to talk about their family. They are okay with sharing personal information while they are getting to know someone. If a Pearl senses that someone is a fake, they will lose trust in them.
Pearls, like Sapphires, love people and being around them, but not in large noisy groups.
Pearls prefer long-term relationships. They’ll be your best friends for life. They are good listeners and prefer talking to someone one on one. They are trustworthy, loyal, and true to their word.
From Pearls, we can learn the importance of helping others and keeping our word.
However, Pearls often get walked on and taken advantage of because they are so helpful. They can improve their own lives by being a bit more selective in how often they help others. It’s okay to say no if it’s not in their best interest to be helpful in a certain situation.
If you’re a Pearl, try to avoid doing too much “free” work. It might make you feel good, but it will delay your progress on your real goals.
To appeal to a prospective client that is a Pearl, use real stories (remember, they can detect if you’re fake) about your previous clients and how you’ve helped them.

Emerald

Emeralds are motivated by facts and figures. Everything is black and white.
They are often weak in communication and they are judged as insensitive and cold-hearted – but they’re not. They are articulate. They are very clear with their speech so they won’t be misunderstood, and they always ask, “Why?”
Emeralds are problem solvers who come up with multiple solutions to each problem. They spend a lot of time on research to evaluate each possible solution to make sure they pick the right one. They also tend to be perfectionists and want to figure it all out before starting.
Emeralds can teach us to be more true to our word and to become more organized. They know it’s important to follow through, follow up, and do the tasks to the best of their abilities. That is something we should all strive to do.
If you’re an Emerald, you might be stuck in the learning phase. You can move past it by choosing one niche and getting started in just that area.
Also, to avoid missed opportunities, you should focus on making decisions faster.
If you have a potential client who is an Emerald, be sure to give them a lot of proof of your abilities. Include specific facts and figures about the results you’ve been able to get for other clients. Don’t leave them with lingering questions. Emeralds will do their own research, but if you give them what they need, you’ll impress them and win a sale.

Ruby

Rubies like to win. They are motivated by challenges, but if they can’t win, they won’t play. They like to have the best of everything. They like to be unique and stand out. Rubies constantly have to be striving for a goal, a next step, or another challenge. Rubies are often business owners and entrepreneurs because they like to lead.
Rubies are often missing sleep and skipping breakfast because they are incredibly productive and get more done in one day than anybody else.
Rubies are proud of their accomplishments and want to tell you about them. They are also blessed with extra confidence and they’re not afraid to take a risk. They are direct and to the point, even if it hurts someone’s feelings.
If you’re a Ruby, you’re probably applying for every job that comes along, but by narrowing your focus and putting more effort into a few proposals, you’ll get better results. Also, Rubies typically need to work on their communication skills with the other Gems and learn to be more sensitive to others’ feelings.
If you have a potential client who is a Ruby, you can impress them by being an idea generator, making yourself available so they can be more productive, and by not getting offended if they hurt your feelings.

GEMS™ Personality Test
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