Self Imposed Cages

By Nancy Jane Smith

One of my favorite books is called Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. In her book, she tells the story of Mohini, a white tiger who lived at the Washington DC National Zoo. For years, Mohini had a tiny little cell that he lived in. Because it was so small—Mohini would just pace back and forth in his cell. He would spend his days walking the same path, back and forth, back and forth, until it was a well worn path. Finally, the zoo raised enough money, and they were able to build a beautiful natural habitat for him with lots of grass and trees. There was a big opening, and they let Mohini in to the new habitat and he immediately went to a far corner and started pacing back and forth back and forth. He did not explore his new surroundings or even look around he just found a spot and began pacing.

The first time I heard this story, I was listening to Tara speak at a conference. I was just blown away by the story. Stories do the best job of just shaking our core. I realized

Change Is Coming

As summer progresses, we here at Glory and Strength are reevaluating. God calls us to be good stewards and if we are spending his resources creating a website that does not minister to the needs of his people, then we are wasting those resources. We are here for YOU. To make your life better, whether in big or little ways. 

Our goal when Glory and Strength first began was to offer hope and healing for those who have been impacted by sexual abuse. That goal has not changed, but simply expanded to reach others who seek hope and healing for life's struggles. Now, we are looking to fine tune and possibly change direction a bit. We are even considering a members-only community.  

It is our goal to implement the first phase of change by September 1. We want your input first to ensure we are on the right track and being good stewards of God's resources. To the right is a box titled "Make Your Voice Count." There you will find a link that will lead you to our survey of nine quick questions that will help us know what is and isn't important to you. Make your voice count as we seek to improve Glory and Strength. Take our survey today. 

Thank you,
Debra L. Butterfield

Personality Type - Rational - The Complex World of Problem Solving Personalities

Rationals are the problem solving temperament - the more complex the problem, the better. People with this personality are compelled to analyze complex systems, be they organic, mechanical or social. A Rational must understand how systems work, in order to make them work better.

Primarily concerned with abstract concepts and fundamental principles, he will try to find solutions with real world applications. Focused and strong willed, he will be pragmatic, efficient and tireless in pursuit of his goal; this absorbed concentration can sometimes be seen as cold and distant. Think of that pop culture icon of Logic, Mr. Spock. Self contained, focused and ingenious - he was probably not voted Vulcan class clown.

Rationals value intelligence, and will listen to

Personality Type - Idealist - A World of Possibilities and Potential

Idealists are passionate about personal growth and discovering their best possible self, but they don't stop there. Genuine and benevolent, a person with this temperament wants to help others find their way in life. They believe that friendly cooperation is the best way to achieve one's goals, and have a unique talent for inspiring people to work together for the common good. Idealists dream of creating harmonious personal relationships; these incurable romantics choose to focus on life's countless possibilities. Kind hearted Idealists have an insatiable hunger for wisdom and spiritual fulfillment, and nurturing meaningful relationships is far more important than material gain. The romantic Idealist is an intense mate; trusting and filled with love, they yearn for the emotional and spiritual bond of a soul mate. They are generous and nurturing parents.

Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and gifted at helping others to realize their potential. You will often see them in nurturing professions like teaching, counseling and the ministry. People with this temperament are upset by conflict and confrontation, and strive to overcome angry barriers between people. Idealists are relatively rare, making up no more than 15 to 20 percent of the population. But their enthusiasm and idealism make them inspirational leaders, with an influence that reaches far beyond their numbers. Mohandas Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt both personify the nurturing Idealist temperament.

There are four distinct types of Idealists. The sensitive Champion is the most vivacious and inspiring of all Idealists, always on the lookout for what is possible. Positive and exuberant, he possesses an unshakeable confidence in the goodness of human nature. The Counselor is a great listener, genuinely interested in helping others with their personal problems. Imaginative and poetic, he excels at consulting and cooperating with others, and will make every effort to help an organization run smoothly. Intensely private, the Counselor prefers to help behind the scenes. The Healer's greatest passion is to heal conflicts that trouble individuals, or divide groups, and thus to bring wholeness and health to themselves, their loved ones, and their community. Profoundly idealistic, they have a strong personal sense of right and wrong, and see the world as full of wondrous possibilities. Frequently they hear a call to go forth into the world and help others, a call they seem ready to answer, even if they must sacrifice their own comfort.

Princess Diana was an Idealist Champion. The Idealist Teacher has a natural talent for leading students to recognize and realize their potential. Warmly outgoing and expressive, a Teacher is remarkably good with language, and does not hesitate to speak out and let his feelings be known. Extraordinarily tolerant, the Teacher is popular and easy to get along with. He can be a charismatic public speaker; this verbal ability gives the Teacher a good deal of influence in groups, where he is often asked to take a leadership role. Oprah Winfrey is an example of an Idealist Teacher.

This article is fourth in a series designed as a guide on your path to self awareness. Based on extensive research, the keys to our nature and unique personalities are found in understanding four basic temperaments: Guardian, Artisan, Idealist and Rational. Coming up next: The Rational personality.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David M. Keirsey, PhD is an Educational Psychologist specializing in human behavior; his lifelong work focuses on four distinct patterns of behavior woven throughout history. The subject of two international bestsellers, The Keirsey Temperament Theory has been used to train educators, psychologists, a number of Fortune 500 companies and even the U.S. military.

Get your FREE Personality Report at

Personality Type, Artisan - Improve Personal and Professional Relationships Through Self Awareness

An Artisan temperament is easy to spot in any crowd, just focus on the bright light at its center. Whether inspiring the board of directors with enthusiasm for their latest project, or holding court at a cocktail party, these spontaneous, fun loving optimists enjoy life and don't shy away from the spotlight. Artisans are most at ease in the real world of solid objects that are made and manipulated, and of real life events, experienced here and now. Artisans have exceptionally keen senses, and love working with their hands. They are creative with tools, instruments, and vehicles, excelling in visual, athletic and political arts. Living in the present, Artisans' actions are usually aimed at getting them where they want to go, and as quickly as possible.

Someone with an Artisan temperament is realistic and focused on here and now, yet he is not boring or predictable. His playful nature thrives on action and excitement - he prides himself on being unconventional, bold and spontaneous. The creative Artisan doesn't merely think 'outside the box' - he disregards it altogether. Confident and creative, he trusts his instincts and constantly seeks stimulation. Don't ever try to fence him in, or stifle his creativity; the Artisan prizes freedom above all else. Are you an Artisan?

At work, the Artisan will strike off boldly down roads that another might consider risky or impossible, doing whatever it takes to accomplish his goals. An Artisan is impulsive, adaptable and competitive. Undeterred by setbacks, he will boldly embrace Plan B, confident that the next throw of the dice will be the lucky one. Such bold confidence paired with unconventional thinking makes the Artisan an effective troubleshooter. Focused on results, he is unafraid to bend the rules in pursuit of success, and his charm and enthusiasm inspire others. Artisan Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal exemplifies his bold, troubleshooting leadership style and inspiring personality.

When it comes to family, friends, and loved ones, a devil-may-care attitude adds to the irresistible Artisan charm. They believe that variety is the spice of life, and that it is a waste of time to do things that aren't exciting and fun. They can be generous to a fault, and are always up for a new adventure. Above all, fun loving Artisans enjoy life, prize freedom and resist being tied down or confined to obligations. Live for today is their credo; they would rather not wait, or save, or store, or focus on tomorrow. To the Artisan temperament, today must be enjoyed, for tomorrow never comes. Amelia Earhart and Ernest Hemingway were daring, unconventional Artisans.

There are four types of Artisan temperaments, accounting for as much as 35 percent of our population; these spontaneous adventurers create a world of beauty and excitement for the rest of us. The daring Promoter is an entrepreneur who likes to live on the edge. Social and theatrical, he enjoys the finer things in life - no surprise that Donald Trump has the Artisan Promoter temperament. The Crafter's fearless nature is seen in his masterful operation of tools, equipment, machines, and instruments of all kinds. A consummate risk taker with a need for speed, the adventurous Crafter often lacks language skills, preferring to communicate via his actions. Talkative and witty, the playful Performer seeks the company of others; he does not like to be alone. Without a mean or stingy bone in his body, he gives freely, without expectation of reward. Creative and fun loving, the Performer inspires those around him to lighten up and enjoy life. The sensitive Artisan Composer possesses an exceptional natural ability to work with subtle differences in color, tone, texture, aroma, and flavor. He feels compelled to create, and communicates primarily through his art. Sometimes seen as shy and withdrawn, a Composer is not adept at verbal communication with other adults, but will frequently share a special bond with children and animals.
This article is third in a series designed as a guide on your path to self awareness. Based on extensive research, the keys to our nature and unique personalities are found in understanding four basic temperaments: Guardian, Artisan, Idealist and Rational. Coming up next: The Idealist personality.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David M. Keirsey, PhD is an Educational Psychologist specializing in human behavior; his lifelong work focuses on four distinct patterns of behavior woven throughout history. The subject of two international bestsellers, The Keirsey Temperament Theory has been used to train educators, psychologists, a number of Fortune 500 companies and even the U.S. military.

Get your FREE Personality Report at []

Personality Type - Guardian - Improve Personal and Professional Relationships Through Self Awareness

In nature, there exists a hierarchy, where everyone has a job to do. Sure, it's great to be the queen bee, but her leadership role would be meaningless without her team of worker bees. Humans are no different, of course. How boring would it be if we were all alike? Unique interests and abilities couple with individual strengths to help society work as a whole. Not everyone is destined to rule, to change the world. Some of us are. They are the Guardians.

Guardians are the cornerstone of society. Practical, disciplined and trustworthy, these personality types keep things running smoothly. School superintendents, hospital administrators—people whom we entrust with our lives and the lives of people we love. Managers by nature, Guardians will confidently take charge, and make stable, deliberate leaders; mavericks they are not. Possessing a strict sense of right and wrong (Mother Teresa and Harry S. Truman were Guardian temperaments) they respect authority, value teamwork and appreciate time-honored customs and traditions. Are you a Guardian?

In personal relationships, the cooperative, dependable Guardian makes a great mentor and a loyal friend. He might not be up for skydiving lessons, but will plan your college reunion with military precision. A Guardian will take the lead in romantic relationships. Social by nature, the meticulous Guardian will plan your dates to the last detail. As leader of his family, a Guardian temperament provides stability for his loved ones. He can be counted on to respect and nurture family customs and traditions.

In their careers, Guardians work within the system, relying on discipline, loyalty and teamwork to achieve long term success. They know that change is inevitable and healthy for society, so that we can evolve and grow. They make organized, confident team leaders, and loyal employees. But change doesn't always come easily on the Guardian's straight and narrow path to self awareness; a cautious nature compels them to look before they leap.

Making up as much as 45 percent of the population, there are four types of Guardian temperaments. The dependable Inspector, who upholds laws and standards, and has little patience for slackers. In personal relationships, Inspectors are highly sociable, preferring community and family-oriented activities. Practical and down-to-earth, a conservative style is reflected in orderly homes and classic wardrobes. An Inspector personality will eschew the latest trend, preferring the familiarity of customs and traditions. England's Queen Elizabeth II and Warren Buffet are quintessential Guardian Inspectors. The Supervisor is community-minded, often holding a position of responsibility within civic clubs and service associations. They keep their feet firmly planted and set high expectations for coworkers, friends and loved ones. Traditional roles, such as marriage and parenthood, are sacred to them. No surprise, then, that George Washington, the father of our country, was a Guardian Supervisor. The Provider is super organized; a social secretary, whose tireless generosity and gregarious nature are always in demand for fund-raising charity functions. Someone with this temperament will be adept at inspiring loyalty and teamwork and putting their guests at ease. Former First Lady Dolly Madison and journalist Barbara Walters are Guardian Providers. The Protectors, as their name suggests, consider the well-being of family their primary concern. They believe in the sanctity of titles and social ranking, respecting established traditions and mores. Mother Teresa and former President George H.W. Bush are examples of Guardian Providers.

This article is second in a series designed as a guide on the path to self awareness. Based on extensive research, the keys to our nature and unique personalities are found in understanding four basic temperaments: Guardian, Artisan, Idealist and Rational. Coming up next: The Artisan personality.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David M. Keirsey, PhD is an Educational Psychologist specializing in human behavior; his lifelong work focuses on four distinct patterns of behavior woven throughout history. The subject of two international bestsellers, The Keirsey Temperament Theory has been used to train educators, psychologists, a number of Fortune 500 companies and even the U.S. military.

Get your FREE Personality Report!

Personality Traits & Personal Growth - Understand Your Temperament to Accomplish Life Goals

No two people are exactly alike. Even identical twins can have very different personalities, and different definitions of happiness and success. Each of us has a unique temperament; a set of personality traits that reflect our attitudes, values and talents. Temperament is the interaction of communication and action - what we say and what we do. Tapping into these traits, and the traits of others, can help to improve personal relationships, find a dream job, and accomplish life goals. Whether striving for financial success or looking for a soul mate, recognizing unique qualities, shortcomings and strengths is a valuable tool. This self awareness inspires personal growth and improves relationships with others.

Through extensive research of human behavior, we identified mankind's four basic temperaments as the Artisan, the Guardian, the Rational, and the Idealist. Which one fits your personality? Are you a loyal, cautious Guardian, on whom everyone relies to keep things running smoothly? A free-spirited Artisan, living in the moment and believing anything is possible? Or a warm-hearted Idealist, who prizes meaningful relationships and seeks self awareness? You may even be that rarest of temperaments, a Rational. Making up as little as 5 percent of the population, a Rational personality thrives on analyzing how systems work, then striving to make them work better. Influential thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Walt Disney may be rare, but they are fearless innovators.

Communication style is determined by temperament, influencing both professional and personal relationships. A Concrete Communicator is most comfortable discussing tangible reality; family, home, facts and figures. An Abstract Communicator is always asking, "Why?" or "What if?" If this describes your personality traits, you are more concerned with theories, philosophies and possibilities. In short, Concrete people talk about reality, Abstract people talk about ideas.

Temperament also dictates actions; how we overcome challenges and accomplish goals. Again, there are two distinct types of actions. The efficient Utilitarian personality doesn't get bogged down by rules and paperwork; he makes a pragmatic beeline for those actions that get results. The Cooperative personality is more concerned with right and just behavior; an action's effectiveness is secondary.
These two behaviors can overlap, certainly, but as they lead their lives, Utilitarian people instinctively do what works; Cooperative people do what's right. Recognizing the difference is key to self awareness.

As Concrete Cooperators, Guardians speak of duties and responsibilities. They obey laws and follow the rules. Concrete Cooperators prize experience; they know what worked in the past, and see no reason to fix that which is not broken.

As Abstract Cooperators, Idealists speak mostly of possibilities, always trying to reach their goals without compromising a personal code of ethics.

As Concrete Utilitarians, Artisans speak of things that are in front of them, doing whatever works, even if it means bending the rules.

As Abstract Utilitarians, Rationals are problem solvers who might ignore arbitrary rules and conventions in order to achieve a goal.

This is the first in a series of articles to help accomplish goals and gain self awareness through understanding of personal temperament. Next time: Guardian personalities

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David M. Keirsey, PhD is an Educational Psychologist specializing in human behavior; his lifelong work focuses on four distinct patterns of behavior woven throughout history. The subject of two international bestsellers, The Keirsey Temperament Theory has been used to train educators, psychologists, a number of Fortune 500 companies and even the U.S. military.

Get your FREE Personality Report!

July Is Reader's Book Month

Glory and Strength is all about community, sharing our struggles and strategies to live a victorious life. God created us relational beings. He doesn't expect or want us to face life alone. Our relationship with him is No. 1, and empowers us to develop and sustain healthy relationships with all others. 

Because we are a community helping one another, I would like to hear from you. What book or books have you read that have helped you through a tough time in your life? What have you read that has brought greater understanding of who God is? What book would you recommend to a friend who is hurting?

Email the title(s) and why you found it helpful or a short book review. Email me at admin[at]gloryandstrength[dot]com.

Love + Marriage = Happiness?

By Teresa Tierney © 2012

                Did you get married believing it would be easy? Growing up with the Beatles’ mantra “all you need is love,” the formula worked for us during our dating life: Dan + Teresa = Happiness. Somehow, what seemed like a surefire equation for happiness became a little more complicated once we got married.
                There was the more factor. We married young and didn’t have a lot of money. So we bickered a bit about that. My wants didn’t seem out of line. A few nice things and I would be happy. At one point I went through the Penney’s catalog and tallied up all of my wish list. What a reality check. It was tens of thousands of dollars. More money than I could even imagine possessing let alone spending.
                Even in heaven, where all needs are met, a third of the angels wanted more and lost their spot in that perfect place. That is strong evidence there is not enough of any thing to keep a person happy.
                Then there was the trouble factor – or life as we know it. Blame it on fairy tales or an idyllic childhood or a strong fantasy life, but somehow I reached adulthood thinking there are people on planet earth without troubles.  
                I spent too much time thinking my life was unfair when things did not go as expected. Like when the first house we bought turned out to be next door to a rat trap. Like when our second child was born with brain damage. Like when my husband was unable to work for a year because of a panic disorder. I was unprepared for what I saw as out-of-the-ordinary life events.
                Perhaps as parents, or as a society, we still believe it's possible for someone to have a trouble-free life, so we don’t warn each other.  Or perhaps they warned me and my immaturity kept me from hearing it.
                God tells us in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.” I have lived long enough to be convinced. There is not a single person I know who has not had trouble to deal with. If their life looks trouble-free, I just haven’t known them long enough.
                But the biggest challenge to any relationship has to be the self factor.
                We’d only been married a few months when I had a lightning bolt moment. I remember asking myself, “Why do I think I am Queen Elizabeth?”  I don’t remember it being a significant argument, but it hit me that I always wanted my own way–whether it was reasonable or even fair.
                For the first two decades of my marriage, I insisted on having my own way at every turn, no matter the cost to my husband or my marriage. If I wanted to spend the weekend at my parent’s farm–by golly that's where we went. If I wanted to take a job working weekends, leaving my husband to function as a single parent, by golly that's what I did.
                What a price we paid. We fought and bickered and made up and learned not to talk about the issues so we wouldn’t fight. I spent most of those years determined not become another divorce statistic. But there were days I was tempted to believe in a world view that said divorce was the solution to my happiness problem.
                The truth was, I needed to change, not my partner. But I was so focused on what I thought Dan needed to do, I couldn’t see how I needed to change. Then at the age of 40, a job loss interrupted my life. I finally acknowledged how lousy I was at running the world and surrendered to God’s plan for me.
And Jesus took on all the tough jobs I’d been giving Dan.
                Dan no longer had to be my Prince Charming (perfect). Jesus is the only one capable of that. Now I know I need Dan to be my friend and partner—which thankfully, he is.
                Dan no longer had to be my everything. God did not design him for that job. Now I realize God is the only one who can meet all of my needs. (And I am a needy girl!)
                And God changed my heart.
                He helped me stop thinking my way was the only way. Not that I’m perfect by any means – there are still times I want what I want when I want it! While I am still a work in progress, at least now it is my desire is to consider Dan’s needs and wishes ahead of my own.
                He shifted my focus from the pursuit of happiness to a life of purpose. My focus is less about me and more about others. These days I know if my happiness meter is low, chances are my focus has shifted back toward self.
                By God’s grace, Dan managed to hang in there during the 23 years it took me to understand what love is all about. Love without sacrifice is only love of self – you make me happy so I love you. True love puts the other person ahead of self – and I can’t do that without the power of God in my life.
                We now have the perfect equation for marriage: (Dan + Teresa) + God = All The Best Things: Love, Joy, Peace and yes, Happiness.

Rx’d Reading: The Sacred Romance, John Eldredge

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Teresa Tierney is a freelance writer, wife, mother of two, grandmother of three.  She blogs at You may contact her at

I'm Being Squeezed

by Kristi Bothur © 2012

"For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Matthew 12:34

It was a clear, sunny day, and our neighborhood spring fling was going strong. Everyone was in a festive mood, including my 15-month-old daughter who was excited to play on the inflatable slide and bounce house. I was in no mood to celebrate, however. Less than two months before, we had lost a baby girl in a second trimester miscarriage. I resented the sun for shining and my neighbors for smiling when my world had ended. My mood was dark, and my emotions