I had place-marked several items in the Living Your Strengths - Catholic Edition but missed one:
The last chapter in the book is Discovering a Calling. The authors reflected on the call of Samuel from the Old Testament (1 Samuel 3:15). Samuel didn't recognize the voice of God at first. He thought it was Eli. Finally after the third call, Samuel heard, responded and went on to become one of Israel's greatest prophets.
We often don't hear God's call because we think it's someone else. And remember, those calls are not just for the devout and holy. God has called each one of us. We just need to discover what He wants from us. The voice usually isn't thundering from above, but in whispers deep from within ourselves. God wants nothing more from us than to live the life for which we were created. He wants us to be ourselves.
So, as we learn more about ourselves, and yes, Strengthfinders and other personality tests are helpful in doing that, we begin to discover our calling. When we build and apply our strengths by making the most of the talents He gave us, we fulfill our calling.
And, remember, there is a 1 in 33 million chance that someone has the same strengths in the same order as you. That's why people may misunderstand you (and you them.)
I just had a conversation with a good friend-of-the-heart about my social absence lately. Actually, I've probably been socially absent for about five years. Because "Achiever" is my top Signature Theme, I have been busy (when am I not?) Busy doing things I feel my vocation is calling me to do. However, that means that sometimes, I put everything else on the back burner, like doing things with friends. I don't view my friendships as being at risk when I do this, because in my world, friendships, like God, are faithful even in absence. I see my vocation having a higher priority. If Connectedness or Relatedness were in my top five Signature Themes, I probably would make relationships a much higher priority.
It took me several years to figure out why I felt guilty about leaving my vocation of being a wife, mom and home educator to go out and have "fun." My drive to do my vocation is so strong (because of that Achiever theme), when I finally listened to the little voice whispering to me and did what I was called to do, I was blessed by many opportunities and was allowed to bless others in ways I had not planned. About five years ago, I listened to that little voice and decided to make opportunities for my kids to have "social" education activities (like book clubs, in home classes, etc.) at my home. I made that my priority. This fits my needs because I get the opportunity to plan activities, write curriculum and share it with many kids. This means my five Signature Themes, Achiever, Communicator, Ideator, Input and Strategic themes are ALL at work here. I opted to put aside many play dates and outside activities so I could do that and homeschool my kids well.
I've gotten a lot of ribbing and some serious sideways glances for my choices. One mom, who was also a mentor of mine from way, way back were talking at a mutual practice where her child and my kids were. She told me I was making a serious mistake, and the reason we should be homeschooling is so we can do MORE outside activities. I smiled and said, "Yes, but someone has to plan and execute them. That's what I feel I'm called to do." This friend, and many of my other friends are Sanguine (Read The Temperament God Gave You) and I am as about as Choleric as they get. Get it done then have fun. And, can I tell you, the amount of joy I derive out of the book clubs and classes I do is so great. I feel so incredibly blessed.
Lastly, in this call, we need to recognize that we are all not called alike. If themes like Arranger, Discipline, Consistency and Harmony were my strengths, this blog (and I) would be a lot different. If Relateness, Connectedness or Woo were in my top five, this would be a very social blog. If I had other signature themes, then my house would probably be cleaner and I would probably be more interested in organizing my homeschool supplies. But those are not the gifts God gave me. I also shouldn't feel badly He chose not to give those gifts to me. I think it important for us to embrace the strengths we have been given and use them to give Glory to God while not coveting the strengths of others. My dear friend Margaret gave a very good talk about keeping your eyes on your own work a couple of years ago at a homeschool conference and it applies here. Many of us take a lifetime to figure that out (or at least 40 years or so). Others figure it out later. I hope you have already figured out your gifts.