Strengths & Skills (ours + yours)

What's the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase "give to others"?

The most common response is to have an image of a soup kitchen come to mind...or perhaps the picture of a homeless man on the street corner, holding up a cardboard sign.

Strengths & Skills (ours + yours) 1

While preparing soup, painting walls, and handing out lunches can be important and significant contributions to society (and we certainly plan on doing those things as part of our trip), we also don't want to negate the power of using our skill set for the greater good.

As we travel, we will try our best to intentionally put our talents to work to help people. Quite a few of you have asked what kind of things we'll be doing. We'll be sharing some specific ideas and examples soon (along with our tour schedule).

In the meantime, here's a short list of our skills after a quick brainstorm.

Tim's Skills/Strengths include:

  • Leadership (when he goes places, people want to follow)
  • Website/blog design (he's the mastermind behind Give Every Day and Metropolitan Mama)
  • IT/Computer repairs (particularly working with Apple computers)
  • Physically Fit (his lungs should be in the athletic hall of fame)
  • Good with his hands (he's one of those fix-it types that can pick up anything and make it work)
  • Ability to connect w/ people across all generations (he's equally apt at holding babies or having coffee with a 100-year-old...because he values both of their contributions to society).

Stephanie's Skills/Strengths include:

  • Writing (I write daily, out of necessity. If I don't have a pen or a computer pad handy, I write vignettes and essays in my head.)
  • PR/Communications (writing press releases, drafting news articles and speeches, representing brands in-person and in writing, etc.)
  • Ideas/Innovation (Stuck in your business? Need a title for your new blog? Want to revitalize your organization? Tim is constantly saying to me, "How do you come up with this stuff?" because...I have IDEAS)
  • Encouragement (It may be a "soft" skill, but it's there and it matters...I like giving people hope, adding sunshine to rainy days)
  • Getting along with people.

We also both share a love for photography and expertise in the use of social media for business and social justice. In addition, we enjoy speaking to audiences - large & small - about topics that are close to our hearts (family, giving, people versus things, etc.).

Our Girls Strengths include:

  • Willingness to try new things
  • Ability to make people smile
  • Limitless energy

We share these w/ you not to boast, but to inspire you to consider what traits you have that you might be able to contribute to a local non-profit, church, or your next door the single parent at your workplace.

You DO have something to give. Whether you're 1 or 100, a nurse or an engineer, a guitar player or a seamstress, a billionaire or a person with only a few dollars to your name. You do. You can. You should.

You won't regret it.

What are YOUR strengths & skills? Would you like to use your talents alongside us? Tell us (we're making a list).

17 comments on “Strengths & Skills (ours + yours)”

  1. Those are great lists! So true, we ALL have something to give.
    My "strengths and skills" are hospitality, encouragement, and knowledge (I research the heck out of everything).
    My husband, Nic, is extremely servant-hearted. He will do ANYTHING anyone needs or wants him to do! He finds joy in serving others and going wherever God sends him. His life Scripture should be Isaiah 6:8 ("Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!). He also has a worshiper's heart... he loves to worship with his bass, and he is so fun to watch. Anyone who sees him worship is touched by it!
    Our daughters are funny (they love to make people laugh), sweet, and encouraging.
    And we all get along with everyone!

    I can't wait to see what you guys do. And I hope we can help up here in Washington!

  2. Something I've always noticed about you is your confidence in who you are as a mom and wife and a knowledge of the skills you have been given. I am curious, have you always been so confident or has it been a journey for you? I suspect it's been a journey because true strength comes after "training". If it has been a journey, what has helped you the most along the way? What advice would you give to those who want to grow in the knowledge of themselves and their gifts so that they can use those gifts to "give everyday"?

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Joy! I'll have to think some more on that topic, but - as we discussed on Sunday - I would attribute some of that confidence to my parents and to several key adults (teachers, youth pastors, etc.) who spoke into my life at a young age.

      I also think it helped that I explored many different interests and passions as a child and young adult - drama, softball, soccer, ballet, writing, art, travel, woodworking, golf, volunteering, etc. These activities helped me to understand more clearly what I was good at, what I was not so good at, and what I wanted to pursue despite my weaknesses.

  3. My strength lies in Leadership, Speaking Abilities, Technical, Confident, Outspoken, Thinker, Good Judgement. I will like to get involved with Give Everyday, if there is ever anything you guys need. I am also looking to start a new blog that reaches women trying to juggle work, career and family. I am not sure what to name it, and now that I know this is one of your strengths, would you give a friend a helping hand? Thanks

  4. I think enthusiasm is one of my strengths-I do everything with gusto and without much embarassment (at places like library storytime I find myself singing/dancing way more energetically than anyone else over the age of 3...but I get carried away enjoying myself! Lol)

    I also have a talent for making people feel safe. I've had people share stories with me of rape, abuse, alcoholism, eating disorders, perfectionism. And not in some kind of official capacity-just as a friend, sorority sister, and in my job as a retail manager. I don't know why, but I guess people feel that I'm someone they can open up to. It just breaks my heart when I can't help though!

  5. My strengths are teaching, public speaking, writing training materials, sales, gathering data, photography and cooking. I'll also through out there that I'm pretty good at juggling faith, career and most importantly family. :)

    I'd love to be involved any way you need :) I'm really excited to follow you on your country journey.

  6. These are awesome lists - I have to say that encouragement is far from a "soft" skill - it's vital and it's not something that everyone can do!

    My skills - creativity, encouragement, leadership, enthusiasm, understanding, research... it's hard to nail down all your strengths & skills - thanks for challenging me to think about it!

    My husband is good with his hands, intelligent, and relates to people - everyone trusts him!

  7. Okay... after YOUR list, I feel a wee bit like I have no skills. But here goes...
    I make a KILLER apple pie. :) Would be happy to make one for your family if you're passing through Hartford, CT ):
    I love to write as well...and I love to edit writing.
    I am SUPER organized (on paper, not necessarily in reality ... reality is the PAPER gets a little askew at times!)... but I can "manage" projects, figure out what needs to get done and create charts and timelines for the project, and meet deadlines and coordinate team efforts...
    I am REALLY good with Excel spreadsheets, Word docs, PowerPoints and making a document look clean and organized (good for presentations).
    I type SUPER fast. With pretty good accuracy. I like to call it my super power.
    I like to be involved. Is that a skill? I just like to be asked to help and be a support and fill in the gaps where needed... if it's an errand, a meal, a letter...
    I can sew. straight lines mostly. Quilts, blankets...
    I can made hand-stamped cards. So fun. :)

    Okay I think those are my top skills... I'm not sure if ANY of them will really help you in your journeys. But if you have a need for them, please let me know! :)

    1. You sound SUPER talented to me. And, yes, we'd love to try your apple pie if we stop by. ;)

      P.S. I admire people who can sew. It's one of those skills that I would like to cultivate, but can never find the time.

  8. I like limitless energy as your daughters' skills! Mine too- and I am envious of that skill on a daily basis. Now that I think of it, their limitless energy might be the reason for my lack of said skill . . .

    But I do have other talents, I think some of them might be useful! I'm pretty good at making history interesting (if my students' teacher evaluations are to be believed, anyway), adept at working fun or unexpected stuff into my lectures and challenging students to expand their worldview (one of my students asked me last week if I was liberal or conservative, since all the liberal students thought I was conservative and all the conservative ones said I had to be liberal. I'd say that takes talent! Not sure if its a useful talent though . . . )

    I'm pretty good at photography. In my spare time (ha!), I have a side business as a family/children/event/anything people want me to capture photographer, and donate portions of the proceeds from each session to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and Sufficient Grace Ministries, two organizations that support grieving parents and were hugely supportive of my husband and I during one of our darkest times.

    I also love dance (did ballet/jazz from age 2-18, have taught at different points in my life), can speak & teach Spanish (at a fairly rudimentary level), can play piano & bassoon (though I don't own either one), am pretty good at handling large crowds of kids (I've been a co-director of our church's VBS for several summers), & can sing and act (and can cry on cue- discovered that skill when I played Elisabeth Elliott in "Bridge of Blood," a play about martyred missionaries.)

    My husband has mad cooking skills, can make biology & chemistry understandable and fun to high school kids, and can make anyone laugh. If you guys need any of these skills anywhere in AZ or NM, we can be there!

    1. P.S. Now I'm curious: Did you provide a straight answer to your student about your "political leanings" or did you avert the question with some brilliant puzzle?

      1. No, I wish, no brilliant puzzle- brilliance is not one my skills :) I said I was glad I was an enigma to so many, I like to maintain an aura of mystery.

  9. Kara! I just learned so much about you...and you ARE talented. Wow. You are clearly an artistic/musical/theatrical person - and I am in awe of your many skills. Thanks for sharing them with so much confidence.

  10. Photography is definitely a skill, although I'm not nearly as good as some.

    I can be a good leader. I'm pretty into social media.

    Hope to see you guys on your travels!

Our family spent 2011 traveling the USA in an RV, striving to intentionally "give every day" for the glory of God. We interviewed CEOs of nonprofits and served alongside over 40 organizations and churches.

Our Pledge

We hereby pledge:

- To spend intimate, quantity time with our family.
- To actively help the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the helpless.
- To value, protect, and advocate for children.
- To de-emphasize the importance of “stuff” in our lives.
- To bring publicity to good causes and good people.
- To live with intentionality, as if this year was our very last.
- To observe the needs in our country/community – and then do something about them.
- To give – every day.

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