The Real Me

In our study of Renee Swope’s A Confident Heart, we took a look at personality traits, natural gifts and spiritual gifts. Renee shares a Spiritual Gifts Assessment which she has found helpful. A month ago, my husband and I also took the Gifts Test which Vince & Cindy D’Acchiolli of On Target Ministries use. There are also other assessment tools available. None of them are perfect, but I’ve found it helpful to spend some time thinking about who I am and what makes me “come alive”.

In chapter eight, Renee challenges us to ask ourselves a question, “Am I doing what God may be calling others to do while leaving undone what He has called me to do?” If we don’t know what our strengths and weaknesses are, how will we be able to determine where we fit in or what God is calling us to do?

Here is what I’ve discovered about myself:

  • I am naturally an introvert. I enjoy spending time alone, reading, thinking, and meditating. In order to have my alone time, I get up at 5:30 on weekday mornings. I also go for walks by myself with my camera in hand to capture the beauty God created.
A picture I took after a recent snowfall.

A picture I took after a recent snowfall.


  • Teaching young children makes me feel alive. I love the enthusiasm of preschoolers and their thirst for knowledge. It’s wonderful to see their creativity and spontaneity. That’s why I decided to teach Music for Young Children.
  • I thrive on order. Nothing frustrates me more than working with a group that is in chaos.
  • People often look to me for leadership. Sometimes this frustrates me. Sometimes I wish I could just go somewhere and enjoy being part of the crowd. However, I have come to accept that God has placed abilities in me that other people don’t have and I want to be faithful to His calling on my life.
  • People tell me I’m a good peacemaker. I tend to be a listener rather than a talker. However, when I’m asked for my opinion, I’ll give it to you.
  • My hobbies are reading, writing, photography, and crafts (especially card making). In the past, I also enjoyed embroidery, sewing (I made my own wedding dress), cross-stitch, knitting, quilting, and latch hook. My youngest child is now 5, so I may be able to dig out some of my treasures I hid away when my children were young. (I found it too frustrating to get started with a project and then have to put it away so that no one would play with it.)
  • My personality type is Phlegmatic/Choleric. In other words, I desire peace and control. I tend to be a calm, balanced, witty, low-key, considerate, peacemaking person who is a problem solver, decisive, organized, task oriented, energetic, and confident. My downfalls are that I’m also stubborn, hard to motivate, sometimes careless and unenthusiastic, as well as opinionated, insensitive, arrogant, and manipulative. (Ouch!) I have a workaholic tendency and may try to take on authority God has not given me.
  • From the assessments I’ve participated in and the feedback I’ve received from trusted friends, my spiritual gifts are exhortation and administration. In other words, God has called me to “deliver challenging and encouraging words” as well as “to organize, administrate and promote the various affairs of the local church’s ministry to direct them effectively.”

“Exhorters are oftentimes referred to as encouragers. People with this gift will tend to look for and find the best in others. They tend to be patient and love long conversations where they can get to know others. They also love to share personal experiences as a form of encouragement and counsel . . . They make wonderful coaches and counselors and enjoy helping bring out the best in people. . . A great combination for leadership is exhorting combined with administration.”  (From the gifts test by Vince & Cindy D’Acchiolli)

One thing I really appreciated about the presentation by Vince D’Acchiolli was his focus on how people with different gifts can either work well together or experience incredible conflicts. When we understand how God has created us, it’s easier to celebrate our differences and use them to honor God. Renee Swope sums it up this way:

“When we fall into the comparison trap, it’s easy to feel like we don’t have as much to offer as others do . . . God never intended for us to compete with each other; He wants us to complete one another, celebrating and encouraging each other’s strengths while discovering who He created us to be.”

So there you go. Now you know more about the “real me”. Have you discovered your unique abilities? How will you allow God to use them?




  1. daisygal618 on November 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Ruth, Thank you for sharing and posting your blog today. I am also Phlegmatic/Choleric which seems crazy bc I like my alone time, but also enjoy the participation with others! Love your picture too! Where do you live? Snowfall already?!?!? Jodi 🙂 P31 Group 54 leader

    • Ruth L. Snyder on November 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Jodi,
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂 It’s interesting that we’re both Phlegmatic/Choleric. I do enjoy time with people – used to crave it when I was home all day with my kids. However, I definitely need my space too 🙂 I live in northeastern Alberta, Canada. We usually have snow on the ground by the beginning of November and it usually doesn’t disappear until at least April. I enjoy many things about living here, but the winters are NOT my favorite!!!

  2. Sandi Brewer~~OBS Small Group Leader on November 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Hey Ruth,
    You did a beautiful job of taking what you have learned about yourself and then exploring how God could use you for His purposes. I also appreciate that you didn’t neglect to note that what God intends for good,Satan would like to distort for evil–if we let him. Thank you for sharing what you have learned with us 🙂

    • Ruth L. Snyder on November 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment. We have choices to make, daily, whether we will allow God to use us, or whether we will follow our own way. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!

  3. adailydoseofhisgrace on November 23, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Enjoyed reading your blog and learning about the real you!!

  4. raisethegaze on November 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Ruth, I too, appreciate this post and your sharing these elements of your personality and ministry orientation.

    I share several characteristics with you. Your mention of the complementary aspects of our relationship with others — especially with fellow Christian believers — is an important point that all do well to understand.

    Thank you.

    • Ruth L. Snyder on November 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Peter, thanks for stopping by and encouraging me with your comments 🙂 Understanding our personality and ministry orientation as well as those of the people we work with definitely helps. It amazes me how unique each person is, although I really shouldn’t be surprised at God’s display of creativity. Isn’t it fun watching Him at work?

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