Saturday, June 29, 2019

Questions for Self-Discovery

Questions for Self-Discovery

  1. How would you describe yourself to someone who doesn't know you?
  2. What are your core values?
  3. What do you feel is your life purpose? If you don't know , what will you do to find out?
  4. In what ways have you integrated your core values and life purpose into your daily experience?
  5. If you have taken any personality inventories, such as Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram, what were the results, and how have they been helpful (or not) to you?
  6. What are you pleased to have accomplished in your life so far?
  7. What three goals do you most want to accomplish with your life in the future? Why?
  8. What opportunity do you regret not taking? Why?
  9. Who are your role models and what do you admire about them?
  10. What have your in-real-life mentors taught you by example?
  11. What are your talents?
  12. What are your best character qualities?
  13. What are your weaknesses?
  14. Describe three incidences of failure, what led to them, and how you dealt with that?
  15. What are the three most important lessons you have learned in your life?
  16. If you could write a letter to your past self, how old would the recipient be, and what would you say?
  17. What do you believe about God? 
  18. What does it mean to be a real Christian?
  19. What role does the Bible play in your life?
  20. What role does prayer play in your life?
  21. What does an ideal healthy spiritual life look like to you?
  22. What doubts haunt your spiritual life? How do you deal with them?
  23. What beliefs (religious or not) hold you back from progress? How can you replace them?
  24. How have your church experiences shaped you?
  25. What do you value in a friend?
  26. What do your friends appreciate most about you?
  27. What are deal breakers when it comes to friendship?
  28. In what ways have others told you that you annoy or anger them? Do you think this is valid?
  29. How has your educational experience affected you?
  30. How do you feel like your gender, and its cultural expectations, have shaped your life?
  31. How has your race or ethnicity affected your experiences?
  32. How has your family of origin (especially your parents and siblings) shaped you?
  33. How have your intimate relationships shaped you?
  34. What qualities do you (or would you) value most in an intimate partner?
  35. What is your parenting philosophy?
  36. What have you done to improve your relationships?
  37. If a friend comes to you for help or advice with problems, how do you respond?
  38. How willing are you to ask for help or advice when you have problems?
  39. Is there someone with whom you have an unresolved conflict? What will you do about it? 
  40. What makes it difficult for you to trust someone?
  41. How do you set personal boundaries for what you allow in your relationships?
  42. Would you describe yourself as usually dependent, independent, or interdependent?
  43. Would you describe yourself as assertive, passive, or aggressive in your interpersonal relationships?
  44. Who has made you feel especially valued or loved, and how?
  45. What makes you feel rejected? How do you respond to rejection?
  46. What makes you sad? How do you respond to sadness?
  47. What makes you angry? How do you respond to angry feelings?
  48. What makes you afraid? How do you respond to fear?
  49. What makes you feel like you aren't in control of your own life? How do you respond to that?
  50. What makes you happy? 
  51. What makes you excited in positive way?
  52. What calms you?
  53. How do you motivate yourself to do difficult or boring things?
  54. Where do you fall on the needing safety vs. willing to risk continuum?
  55. How have you shown resilience in your life?
  56. What do you like about your own body?
  57. What makes you feel self-conscious about your body?
  58. How do you feel about your style of clothing, hair, makeup, etc.?
  59. How does your physical health affect your life?
  60. What are you doing to improve your physical and mental health?
  61. What has been your experience with counseling?
  62. In what ways do you self-sabotage your own well-being?
  63. What do you like to eat, and what does that say about you?
  64. What are your favorite forms of exercise?
  65. What kinds of experiences drain your energy?
  66. In what ways are you introverted and/or extroverted?
  67. In what ways are you flexible and/or structured?
  68. What do you do to cheer yourself up?
  69. What is your dream job?
  70. What do you value about your current job or career?
  71. What frustrates you about your current job or career?
  72. What are your views on morality and social justice issues?
  73. What are your political and economic views?
  74. If you could make three laws to improve society, what would they be?
  75. What organizations have you joined, and how do they add value to your life?
  76. What does your schedule look like for a typical day or week?
  77. What would you like to change about your schedule?
  78. How do you handle a challenging project when you're not quite sure what to do?
  79. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  80. How does being outside in nature affect you?
  81. What natural setting do you enjoy most? Why?
  82. What new day trip would you like to take? Why?
  83. What three places would you like to travel to in your own country? Why?
  84. What three places would you like to travel to in the world? Why?
  85. What role does creating art and/or music play in your life?
  86. What role does appreciating the arts play in your life?
  87. What are your favorite games or sports?
  88. What are your favorite books or other things to read?
  89. What are your favorite movies, TV shows, or other things to watch?
  90. What are your favorite songs, or genre of music?
  91. How do you use technology, and how does this affect your life?
  92. What are your favorite apps on your phone or other device?
  93. Where do you go for trustworthy world and national news?
  94. How do you manage your finances?
  95. What are your three most valued physical possessions?
  96. What do you like most about your current home?
  97. What would you like to change about your current home?
  98. Describe your dream home.
  99. As you anticipate the rest of your life, what do you fear most? 
  100. What is your "happily ever after" in your hopes for the rest of your life? 
  101. If you could change one major facet of your life, what would it be?
  102. If that change is impossible, what would be an acceptable, attainable substitute?
  103. What could you do now to move in that direction?
  104. If you could take any class or finish a new degree, what would it be and where would you go for it?
  105. What three charitable organizations or causes are most important to you?
  106. What legacy do you want to leave for the future generations?
  107. Which of these questions made you most uncomfortable?
  108. Which of these questions revealed the most to you about yourself?
  109. Which questions do you need to answer more completely or authentically?
I compiled this list of questions several months ago, but they've been sitting here on my blog in draft form. I'm thinking hard about who I am and what I want in life right now, so I figured I'd dust these off, go through them myself, and share them with y'all. You're welcome.

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

My Art and My Heart

"Icon:Incarnate" ~ watercolor cream ~ 2019

"Sanctuary" ~ acrylic paint ~ 2016

"I Arise" ~ chalk ~ 2019

"Focus" ~ tie dye ~ 2017

"Full Plate" ~ ceramic ~ 2016

"Faith" ~ hand lettering ~ 2019

"Mesmerized" ~ calligraphy quote ~ 2017

"What is Good?" ~ wood burning ~ 2017

"Sainte-Chapelle, Nouvel Esprit"
Paris ~ architectural photography ~ 2016
nature photography ~ 2016

"Bloom Anyway" ~ found object photography ~ 2018

I uploaded these photos of my artwork as part of a "getting to know you" assignment for my Vocation of Ministry class that I'm taking online at Asbury Seminary this summer. I thought you all might enjoy them as well. You can also click on most of the titles to see related blog posts.

This is my art.
This is my heart.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ January 2019

Hello friends!

I'm back with another Simple Woman's Daybook! (Check out my posts from AprilJuneJuly, and August 2018.)

I'm linking this up to the TSW Daybook blog hop. Maybe you'd like to give it a try too? It's SIMPLE! I'm just following the prompts! I must confess, though, that I have rearranged the sections due to what I'm writing about and how each part connects with the others this time around.

For Today...

Outside my window...

I am thinking...

...there is always so much to do, and not enough time to do it, and I need to guard my moments. On the one hand, I need to savor the small things and not feel like I have to be in full grind mode all the time, but on the other hand, I need to also evaluate whether each activity is adding value to me or draining my life away.

I like to play Freecell, but it's a big time hog, so I often take it off my phone for days at a time. I put my Kindle app on my main phone screen so I can be motivated to read instead. This semester I bought nearly all of my seminary text books on Kindle using Amazon gift cards from several of my children. (They asked what I wanted for Christmas!) With Kindle I can change the font size for my old eyes, and I can read it anywhere, whether it's on my phone while waiting somewhere else or on my computer at home. And they don't take up space on my bookshelves. Yay. School doesn't start for another few weeks since I didn't take any January term classes, but I'm already getting a jump start.

I only work at United Way every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I try to get most of my housework and school assignments done on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It's always a juggle.

One of my favorite things... my fuzzy soft blanket. I don't usually make my bed. 

I am wearing...

Available here at Lifeway.

I am thankful...

...for lovely holidays with my family. My oldest daughter offered to host Christmas at her house so I was spared a last minute cleaning frenzy here. Here's the clan: mom (that's me), dad, 10 kids, 3 sons-in-law, and 6 grandchildren.

Today I put away many of our remaining Christmas decorations. I still have to do the tree and two nativities later this week, but that should do it.  The Christmas village came down from the cabinet in our front hallway...

...and the spring decorations went up in the same spot. We don't really have too much winter in Florida!

The plaque is from Cracker Barrel, where I ate lunch with my 15 year old son this weekend. I love the gift shop there, which is probably why I agreed to take him when he asked. Oh, and great food.

I am creating...

...this chalk art for my front hallway. I actually did this last week.

This goes with my "one word" for 2019: ARISE. Check it out! I'm also busy blogging today. Sometimes I go weeks between posting on any of my blogs, but today I'm cranking out three posts: the Arise one, this one, and one from a seminary assignment: Inductive Bible Study on Discipleship in Matthew 8-9

I am listening...

Francesca Battistelli's "The Breakup Song" about overcoming fear. So GOOD!

Also just started listening to podcasts, asking for recommendations from friends on Facebook. I'll recommend some when I decide which ones I really like.

I am reading...


One of my seminary texts on Kindle for my Vocation of Ministry class.
We're supposed to have it done during the first week of class but it's a long book so I'm already reading it.

I am hoping...

...that my shoulder stops hurting. It's an old injury that has flared up. I have an appointment with an orthopedist next week. Some days it's excruciating but it's been a bit more tolerable lately. It's still hard to get dressed, drive, do housework, and sleep. 

Speaking of hope, I often do Scripture lettering projects in the evening, taking my verses from The Beautiful Word book that my daughter gave me a while back. Even if my shoulder doesn't stop hurting, I have hope in the Lord that he will take care of me and empower me to do whatever he has called me to do.

In my kitchen...

I decorate many of my rooms by theme. The kitchen is butterflies.

Several of last year's calendar pages grace the inside of my cabinet doors with butterflies and Bible verses.

Today I was trying to get the kitchen under control again. It's always a challenge. 

From this... this today.

I also threw away several rusty old baking sheets and bought some new ones on sale.

A moment from my day...

The hum of the delivery truck outside. The ding of the Amazon notification.

Yay! It's here!

Shared quote...

Celtic Daily Prayer: 
Prayers and Readings from 
the Northumbria Community

Closing notes...

I pray all of God's abundant blessings on all who read this. Sweet dreams, my friends.

Post script...

If you enjoyed reading my daybook and would like to create one of your own, HERE is the link to the format, guidelines and complete list of prompts. 

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

Sunday, December 23, 2018

We Can Rise (Advent Poem 2018)

We Can Rise
by Virginia Knowles, Advent 2018

We can rise because he descended
Glory upon Glory dwelling in a tiny child
Meek and mild in a manger.
This is the exquisite mystery of
The Son of God and Son of Man
Redeeming the ashes of death through his birth
And so we rise to new life

We can rise because he descended
The Shepherd Savior rescuing his lambs
From the dark and rocky crevices
Where evil lurks and thorns entangle
He longs to lead us home to safe haven
Gentle yet strong arms free us, lift us up
And so we rise in new liberty

We can rise because he descended
As the Great Physician tending the sick
He heals the wounded heart and yet much more
He brings a fullness and wellness
By sacrificing himself, his very life, body and blood
Then rising victorious over sin and death
And so we rise in new strength

We can rise because he descended
As the sovereign Head of his new body
Gathered together from saints made new
Living temple, royal priests rising to serve
Rising to descend as he did
To lift others to his life and liberty and strength
And so we rise in new love.

And though we too descend again and again
Still we rise and rise and rise and rise.

My other Advent poems:

Friday, October 5, 2018

My Birthday Weekend in Maryland in September

Dear friends,

I'm a little late posting this, since it's been almost a month! I just didn't get finished editing. Not that you were holding your breath or anything...

So anyway, in my Simple Woman's Day Book post for August, I mentioned that I planned to go to Sarasota and St. Petersburg, Florida for my birthday weekend in September to see art museums and botanical gardens. I booked my hotel room and planned my itinerary - and then I changed my mind. 

Instead, I found a cheap flight on Frontier and decided to go "up home" to Maryland to see my sister Barb and my dad and their families. Dad and I share a birthday, so we were able to celebrate together! I got there on a Thursday evening and left there around Sunday noon. 

En route, in Orlando airport -
with only my backpack for luggage.

On Friday, my birthday, I spent the day with my sister. She had an appointment in historic Sykesville, so I wandered the boutiques and the indie bookstore A Likely Story until she was done. Then we enjoyed crepes at the French Twist cafe.

A Likely Story

My sister Barb at the French Twist

St. Paul's United Methodist Church

Next we went to Barnes & Noble to get some presents for my dad. She and her kids and I all bought him magazines, because she remembered he once told her the birthday cards were a waste of money when you could buy a magazine instead. She bought him an ancestry one, and I bought one on military heritage - both of them are interests of his. I splurged on copies of Bella Grace and Southern Cottage. 

We all met up at Bob Evans for our birthday dinner!

my Maryland family

On Saturday, my nephew Doug (a high school English teacher) kindly drove me down to the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC. He loves it as much as I do. 

The cathedral is full of creative beauty - so I still got my art fix. I accomplished my goals and got to see my family!

The Behind the Scenes tour was full, which is just as well since we could instead go to the very first ever African-American tour there. One thing that made a profound impression on me is that Ms. Williams would simply say, "Walk with me," when it was time to go to the next part of the cathedral. It was like she was saying, "Come along on this journey and learn with me..."

Doug and I with tour guide Jackie Williams -
note that I am wearing my rose window T-shirt from
Notre Dame, since I am a cathedral & stained glass lover.

Mosaics portraying Biblical characters
as people of color (which they were)

Needlepoint kneeler pillow honoring the legacy of
African-American educator Mary McLeod Bethune

Francis Asbury
Early Methodist circuit riding preacher
Namesake of my seminary and my church.

After our visit at the National Cathedral, Doug surprised me with a trip to the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America. The buildings and gardens are beautiful and inspiring!

We picked up Chipotle on the way back to my sister's house, where I hung out for the evening with her family.

The next morning, I attended New Hope Lutheran with my dad and Anny. I love to see what they have created with their hands recently: blankets, quilts, baby kits, school kits, homeless outreach bags, and much more. They will be donated to both global and local community relief organizations. Anny personally knitted up a bunch of baby hats and I think she worked on the blankets, too.

And then, shortly after that, it was time to go back to the airport to fly home to my Florida family!

I hope you enjoyed the pretty pictures!


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