Posted by: emilyosburne | June 10, 2009

Be Your Own Mama

Post Based on an Interview with Beverly Cannady:

college girlHow did you choose your college major?

My Dad decided to pursue engineering while waiting in line to register for classes.  He turned to his friend and asked, “What are you majoring in?” 

The friend replied, “Engineering.” 

“Hmm. Do you have to take a foreign language for that one?” Dad asked.


And that is how my father became an engineer.

Beverly Cannady, Mom of five children had a similar story.  She took an Accounting class that she liked, so she decided to major in Accounting. A few semesters later, she really enjoyed a Psychology class, so she changed her major to Psychology.

Beverly and her husband are not leaving their children’s future to such chance.  They are extremely proactive about discovering their children’s natural talents and gifts as well as their likes and dislikes.

“Our oldest children have taken the DISC Personality Profile and the younger ones will take it, too.  Plus, we watch them very carefully to figure out what they really enjoy and where they can be fulfilled.”

Just the other day, she and Tim were discussing the idea of cancelling the home telephone line.  From the other room, their daughter, Bethany, heard them and vehemently objected. Tim and Beverly were not surprised.  Bethany is a people-person, energized by human contact and always ready to plan get-togethers with her friends.  She thrives in social settings and uses the phone more than any member of the family. 

In fact, Beverly does more than just notice her children’s natural talents and abilities. She provides opportunities for them to engage their interests in real-life scenarios.  Recently, she took her oldest daughter to a movie set to spend the day with an actress.  Her daughter is interested in becoming a stylist so this was an opportunity to see the job in action.  She loved it! 

Beverly is like a detective with each child, noticing the way they react in various settings and helping them understand their personality types.  What if we did this for ourselves?  What if we became our own Mama? 

Choices about college, career, and life might be so much easier if we had years of data to draw from like Beverly has with her children.  Become a student of what you like and why.  Take personality tests, spiritual gifts tests and career placement profiles. 

“What would I have seen in myself if I would have taken the time to LOOK CLOSELY?”  Beverly asked.  “What would I have learned about the careers that existed if I would have taken the time to volunteer, ask questions and find the answers?”

How well do you know yourself and what will truly fulfill you?  How do you make decisions about your career choices? What have you done to “know thyself”?



  1. I first knew that I was called by God to be a teacher in college. All through high school, I babysat for kids-even my high school teachers’ kids. Kids were my thing and I knew it. However, the night I was called by God, it was as clear as the nose on my face. I walked in the living room, told my parents, and my step-dad replied-“Well, I won’t pay for it. Teachers don’t make any money.” I told him that was fine. God would help me make it through because it’s what He called me to do and I was certainly going to obey Him. Long story short…….my parents did pay for it and they believed from then on that God laid teaching on my heart as a ministry. I still LOVE to teach. Creating, maintaining, and nurturing relationships with my students and their families fulfills me.
    I still think there is alot I need to do to “know thyself”. I am a changer and a mover. I like new things and love to learn each day as well. I know that this teacher loves technology and embraces new ideas and new ways of doing things.
    On a personal level, I still think I have a distance to go with knowing myself. I know my quirks, likes, dislikes, etc. I still maintain my beliefs, but recreate myself in small ways when I get bored with me. It can be a new hairstyle, a different hobby, a new group of friends-not that I don’t keep the old ones, because they’re gold. I will also recreate my house-move furniture, redo an entire area of the house, paint, or some other change that makes me feel like it matches with the ME I am right then. I think a healthy part of knowing yourself is also knowing when to make changes within yourself.

    • Dear Julie,

      Reading your story has put a smile on my face. For you to know at this age the direction God was taking you in is awesome. It underscores what I have said many times, “God desires for us to know His plan for our lives”. In my studies over the years, I have learned that about 7% of those attending college today really have the direction they so deeply long for. Truth is, this is often carried beyond college into our adult lives as well.

      Yes, God is perfect!
      Yes, He has a very specific plan for each of us! (A perfect plan)
      So what is His plan? I find this to be a question that far too few can answer.

      This reality ignites the very mission God has called and equipped me to address.

      Rick Warren wrote, “Death is not a tragedy, a tragedy is a life lived without purpose”. Let’s reduce the tragedies!

      Tim Cannady

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