Expressing Your Uniqueness

I’m a crafty sort of girl. I love to create.


006c-001I love to design new websites, put together quilts, knit, crochet, make clothes for my daughter. Create new recipes and put new twists on old ones. Create new ways to help customers get better in touch with local, clean food. Anything that has to do with something new and inventive, I’m in. I love to learn new things.

It’s rare that I don’t have some new project cooking up in my head. Sometimes it’s hard to turn off and I lose sleep at night. It’s part of my personality. It’s who I am.

Somehow, someway, I will always find the time to create or learn something new. πŸ™‚ If I don’t I’m not fully happy.

Joel always talks about our animals expressing themselves to their fullest ecological potential. i.e. The Pigness of the Pig. Β In the same way, my being creative is expressing my Sheri-ness. πŸ™‚

My hubby, on the other hand, finds creativity all the time exhausting. He doesn’t understand how I can wake up first thing in the morning and say, “I have this idea…”

He finds joy and pleasure in routine and keeping things in order and stable. It’s not that he hates new ideas or never has them, it’s just not the normal for him. Daniel expresses his Daniel-ness best by managing a team. He is the most capable person I know. He can manage teams of 20 people without breaking a sweat. Daniel loves to take a list and put things in sequential order. He is able to assign tasks based on each person’s gifts and talents. A true leader.

Time and people management is Daniel’s forte.

Daniel SalatinNobody is able to get as much done as quickly as Daniel. Yesterday, the crew and I were processing chickens while Daniel and Ben Ward (Apprentice) were sorting cows. We were moving along great, but it just didn’t feel like we were managing quite as well as we could be. Daniel came in, moved folks around to utilize their fullest potential and suddenly we were flying!

Fortunately, much of his time management skills have rubbed off on me in the last ten years that we have been married. It’s been good. I’ve learned to put my daily tasks in order, doing them in such a way as to save the most time. Learning from Daniel, I can now manage teams of people effectively.

I currently manage our church nursery which consists of about 175 volunteers. I find joy in helping each of these folks best express themselves and find joy in their work. In our Awana program, I currently direct our Sparks (kindergarten through 2nd grade) which consists of 60 kids and 21 adults. It’s been a blessing to be part of this program for all of my life (since I was 3 years old). But what I love the most is quietly leading in the background, letting the leaders take charge in what they like the best and stepping in for the “dirty” jobs. Taking the stress off of them and watching them shine.

Much the same way IMG_20110913_113518-001as being a mom. I want my kids to shine. To express their fullest potential.

Now, I’m going to share a scripture verse here – “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Do you know what this actually means?

It’s means to raise your child “according to their bent”. According to their fullest potential. They won’t depart from expressing their uniqueness. As a parent, it’s my job to help them realize their greatest gifts and talents and gently guide them toward those things that give them the most joy. At the same, this is building confidence and responsibility, a sense of ownership over self. My child will not be happy if I raise them according to my desire for them. My desires may not be the same as their desire, even deeper, the same as God’s desire for their life. This means, that if they don’t want to farm, they don’t have to. We use the farm to teach responsibility and ownership. Business sense and community. But as they grow older and develop interests, where will their fullest potential be?

That is what I’m supposed to be helping them figure out. I didn’t say it was easy, and I certainly didn’t say and don’t have all the answers. But it is the goal Daniel and I purposely strive toward with our kids.

I’m curious. Where do you fall?

What makes you, YOU?

Are you hyper-creative? Or super-dependable? Or perfect in details?

What things do you love to do? Without them, you wouldn’t be happy.

Now, I’m talking broader terms here. I know that many of you will say, “I’m happiest when I’m outside.” That’s a great thing, me too, but it’s not what I’m asking here. Think deeper than that. What is at the core of your “you-ness”?

Let’s talk and dig deep today. Remember there are no wrong answers. You are YOU and I am ME.

Wendy always says, “If I’m not me, who else is going to do it?”

Happy Friday!


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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.

13 Responses to Expressing Your Uniqueness

  1. Cyndi Lewis says:

    I am a strange mix of creative and order. I love to dream and come up with ideas and create but I also love to put things in their place too! I’m kinda a mix of you an Daniel.

  2. deborah says:

    I also am a mix of the two. I am a long time artist, but I also must have a certain amount of order in my life. At 64 with some health issues that keep me reined in now, I cannot create as I used to, but I still dream. My husband at 69 is much like me and together we have always worked well together (almost thirty years now) We love to think of creative ideas to use on our homestead and in our home. We love our life and look forward to every days new adventure.

  3. Charles says:

    I absolutely loved this post Sheri. What makes me; me? I think it is my passion to teach and inform. It just might be the fact I’m simply a blow hard..:) But I’ve always felt a need to tell the truth as I view the world. And pointing out what to me seems blatantly obvious after all the evidence had been reviewed. This is exactly why I feel in love with all of Joel’s books and Polyface. Keep up the amazing work all of you do everyday.


  4. Tasha says:

    I also LOVE this post. Good stuff. I am very much like you. I can’t seem to function without some sort of project going on. Crafts, gardening, painting, home improvements, new recipes, get togethers, blogging, etc. When I do not have something to plan for my life seems off, out of sorts. Crazy? Maybe, but that is me πŸ™‚
    Happy Friday!

  5. Shannon says:

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrreat post! This is very positive and encouraging. Thanks πŸ™‚ To answer your question….I would say I am both creative and ordered, but what comes natural to me is coming up with new ideas. Perhaps this is why I got my education in science. I love research and discovery. I love to learn and read. As for the ordered side of me, I haven’t always been organized. I am only ordered now because it was something I desired and didn’t have, so I worked at it. I have always been a list maker, but that doesn’t mean I knew how to list things in the correct order and priority! Haha. My parents, close family, teachers and friends have helped me to hone my time management skills. My time in the classroom as a high school science teacher really developed my sense of order. I had 180 students every year that I had to set an example for. If I expected them to have their folders and papers in order, then I had to have my files, grades, lessons and curriculum prepared and ready too! Now I am a curriculum developer, a job which challenges both sides of me on a daily basis.

  6. Tina Good says:

    I’m the creative type. I’ve always got more than one project going at a time, and my mind is always thinking of the next project. However, my organization skills are lacking because I am always rushing into the next great idea before always completing the last one. So I have been working on slowing down and making myself finish one thing before starting another.

  7. Tammy K says:

    Tammy-ness : I am conscientious, loyal, an encourager. I am a helper to my husband and an available mom. I like quiet. I read my Bible. I like healthy but I’ll eat a good hot dog. I can sew, a little, paint,a little, garden, a little. I enjoy cooking for my family and others. I am a dreamer and I would like to be a better planner. I am small town/ farm girl. I love to be at home but I’m always ready to go….see something new. I’d like to visit Polyface Farm. πŸ™‚

  8. Tammy says:

    Wonderful post today Sherri. Such true words. In raising our children we believe its so important to know who they are and what drives them so we can raise them according to their own natural bent. Isn’t it tough when it’s so different from your own?

  9. Corin Gillis says:

    I am passionate. I have been called over-dramatic, but I disagree with that assessment – I think most of the world is under-dramatic.

    I read a lot, and when I get interested in something, I read more of it. And if I become convinced that what I’m reading is true, I feel an irresistible urge to: first, (particularly if it’s about some injustice, misinformation, or systemic stupidity) yell at the book (and possibly throw it across the room); and second, TELL EVERYONE I know IMMEDIATELY. And people I don’t know. And then I want to change the world. Because of course I know exactly what needs to be done, and I can’t understand why no one’s done it before, or why God didn’t just make me Queen of the World – because everything would be so much easier.

  10. Pingback: The girl next door | The Good Life List

  11. What a delightfully introspective posting. Sitting and pondering, I just discovered how seasonal of a person I am. I love to chase the excitement of the coming season, whether it is time to can, sow or plan I am really finding that I love the tune that the earth is humming so I can hum along. Wow, thanks for the mental tour!

  12. I agree with everyone – what a great post. I especially love the picture of you and your kiddos! Hilarious and it really gives a good taste of having fun as a family.

    I love order and rules and diagramming sentences. I like lists and organizing and trying to get people to be their most productive. On the other hand, I love to paint, crochet, write, garden, compete in athletic races (triathlons, 5k’s, half marathons, distance swims, etc.) and hang out with friends. I guess after I wrote this all out, I’m basically a pretty generic Type-A. I dislike watching TV (because I think it is so unproductive), sittiing at the table after food has been all eaten up (unproductive! Get to those dishes!), and having a day that I don’t get everything checked off of my list.

    Yeah, pretty Type-A. Oh well. πŸ™‚

  13. kzettler63 says:

    I am very creative. But I am also very dependable and grounded. I keep my hubby grounded so he won’t fly off the planet with his dreaming. I’ve got hold of one of his legs so he won’t fly off. He knows I will always have his back. He can depend on me. I’m the Steady Eddie.