The one where I confess a lack of mercy

I’ve taken a hundred personality tests in my life. If that’s an exaggeration, it’s only just barely one.

Okay FINE! I’ve only taken ten or twelve personality tests in my life, but it might as well be a hundred because they always say the same daggum thing.

The first time I really remember being subjected to the personality test was as a junior in high school. The test was administered and the results dissected and given to me in bullets.

– You like to take charge.

– You are skilled at leading and teaching.

– You like to be center of attention. (DUH!)

– You are a go getter. (Holla!)

– You lack grace. (Hmph.)

– You scored very low on mercy.

Awesome. So basically I’m a scary fame whore who will conquer the world at the expense of anyone in my path.

Wanna be my friend?

In college I took the test that determines your personality based on four different animals. There is the Lion, the Golden Retriever, the Otter and the Beaver. Guess which category I undeniably fit into. Go ahead…just take a stab at it.

LION! You were right. You guys are paying attention. A Lion personality possesses the following strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths– Visionary, practical, productive, strong-willed, independent, decisive, leader.

Weaknesses– Cold, domineering, unemotional self-sufficient, unforgiving, sarcastic, cruel.

I am a Lioness. Sleek. Shiney. Cold and Cruel? Can I buy a new personality somewhere?

Incidentally, I married a Golden Retreiver; calm, easy going, dependable, humorous, prone to fearfulness and worry and slightly indecisive. Everybody loves a Golden Retriever. And everyone loves my husband.

Apparently I just want to attack him.

So mercy is not high on my list of giftedness. My natural tendency is walk on by. Just ask my husband.

Wait…you know what. Forget that. Don’t ask him. No need to bring him into this, right? *nervous laughter*

I know that Mercy isn’t my first reaction and dangit if I don’t fight the battle. I am extremely empathetic and am prone to fits of blubbery tearfulness when presented someone else’s pain. I cry hard, I cry ugly and I feel deep.

But that’s more compassion and empathy. Mercy? Well, that’s a different story. Lion’s don’t operate under the umbrella of mercy. It’s not in our primal nature. And I am a Lion…ness. I work on my Lion-y tendencies every single day and I’ve made great strides. However…

Just read the following under that context.

Sloan has been laid up on the couch for the last couple of days with a fever and nasty chest cold. He shakes and quivers from the high temps and he has alternated between achy and nauseous. I want to feel sorry for him. I do. Because he’s my son and lioness or not, I’m still a Mama.

But I’m also a Lion.


So today, despite the fact that his fever broke,Β he was still tired enough that he spent most of the day lying on my bed watching a movie. Actually watching Game 5 of the NLCS when the Cards beat the Phillies – because nothing makes an eight year old boy feel better quicker than baseball.

It’s scientific.

Sloan and I had a conversation that went something like this today.

Sloan: “Mom. Could you get me some water?”

Me: “Okay. Just wait a minute, okay?”

Sloan: “Mom, I’m super thirsty and my throat hurts. Can you get me water now?”

Me: “Just a minute, Babe. I will. Just give me a minute.”

Sloan: “Mom. I might be dying. If I don’t get water, I just might die right here.”

Me: “Sheesh. Drama much?” I get up and go to the kitchen to get him water. I come back and hand him the cup and he drinks, then looks up at me.

Sloan: “Mom. Can you get me some medicine?”

Me: *feeling his forehead* “You don’t have a fever anymore. I think you’re good.”

Sloan: “No, Mom. I’m so stuffed up I can’t breathe. Please get me some medicine.”

With a small sigh I go back to the kitchen, get the medicine and bring it to him. He hands me his empty cup.

Sloan: “Mom. Could you get me some more water?”

The Lion roars.

Me: “Not your slave, kiddo. You’re gonna have to get this drink on your own.”

Sloan: “But Mom, I’m soooooo tired. Please?”

I set the cup down and walk to another room. Just as I leave I hear Sloan mutter, “I thought Moms were supposed to always take care of their kids when they’re sick.”


A Golden Retriver would have had Mercy. A Golden Retriver would have gotten him more water and probably licked the side of his face and curled up next to him in bed.

I wouldn’t know. I’m a Lion. Apparently we just eat our young…

The rockin’ Lion photo was taken by my equally rockin’ sister-in-law, Becke‘, who is not a Lion herself. I would classify her as more of a Beaver/Otter combination. Am I right, Becke’?

So what about you? Do you know your personality type? Do you eat your young?


  1. I loved this. A lot.
    Which is saying something because I don’t usually like anything to do with personality tests!
    As a young girl (a young HOMESCHOOLED girl) I took more tests than should be legally allowed. And came up with one glaring conclusion: I’m a freak.
    I don’t match anything. The closest was a Lion but I have so many strong traits from the others that even that didn’t fit well.
    At college they did this great big scientific something or other test and I was the only one that my teacher ever had come back with a “unconfirmed” score.
    Enjoy fitting a mold. Even if it means you eat your young. I, on the other hand, apparently give them mercy and THEN eat them.

    • HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA! Well, at least maybe you hydrated them before devouring. πŸ™‚ I suppose a mold is good. At least we always know where we stand, huh?

  2. I must be a lion – ess.

  3. Me too. And I married one. Do you know what a group of lions is called?? A PRIDE! That’s because we’re undeniably the best kind of animal, hands down. Er, paws down.

    • Is humility on the lion list? No?? Hmmm.

      • Interesting, indeed. Because we lions are awesome. Humbly awesome, OBVIOUSLY.

        I’m surprised you and I haven’t eaten each other given that we’re both lions. Further proof that being a lion (lioness) is da bomb, ya? We just eat other people in protection of one another. πŸ˜‰

        Everybody needs a lion friend.

  4. Candy Martin says

    You are denying my sick grandson a glass of water? Don’t make me come over there!

    • In my defense, thirty minutes later he was up in the back yard pretneding to be Jason Mott throwing the game winning pitch.


  5. Beaver with a touch of golden retriever. Really, I see a lot of otter in your man. I feel like I am speaking in riddles. The lion photo still rocks my world because it was taken through GLASS. God was good that day! Well, I reckon He is good everyday, but His glory was on display that day through the lens as I was trying to capture Aslan.

    • Ah…I knew you were a beaver, but I couldn’t tell if you were mixed with Golden or Otter. Good to know. And I do believe Lee’s secondary personality influence is that of the Otter. πŸ™‚

      That pictures rocks. Seriously. It’s amazing.

  6. I’ve taken hundreds (ahem) of personality tests too, but this animal one has escaped me. I’m terrible at categorizing myself (and I’m sure that means something) but I’m clearly married to a golden retriever. Calm, easygoing….slightly indecisive. And everybody loves him, even my mom. (Maybe especially my mom!)

    Hope Sloan feels better soon. I soooo get the water/medicine/Mom I’m dying! cycle (and the healing powers of baseball).

  7. I too have eaten my young….more times than I care to count. I always peg out the personality tests with whatever the dominant category is and it used to kinda hurt my feelings! πŸ™‚ .

    I wept many a tear over 1 Peter 3:3-4 until God showed me what it really meant. So for numerous years now I have claimed Philippians 1:6 as my life line!!!!!

    On a totally different note, my middle son got engaged yesterday to a PRECIOUS girl he has been dating for the past 6 years….since they were 15! We are beside ourselves!!!

    • CONGRATULATIONS! That is so exciting. Wedding planning! That is always a fun time. So happy for you, Karen. πŸ™‚

  8. Suzanne Tucker says

    Parallel lives much? says this Lion (born a Leo—roar) married to a retriever… with still sick cubs at home rotating their need for wound licking now on day 14. I know because I have fourteen lines scrapped into a wall… πŸ˜‰

  9. mel cable says

    ahh, kelli, of course this is why we are friends, lioness here, married to a golden retriever who even looks like a golden retriever!

  10. We need to figure out how to get Becke to CA in June because I really, really need to meet her. I’m a Golden Beaver Retriever too. AND I lack mercy in any form and Kelli, trust me when I say when my kids are sick it looks JUST LIKE THAT at my house. Seriously, I can often be heard saying, “Don’t bother me unless you are bleeding.” I look on the bright side: all three of my kids are tough as nails (most of the time) when they get hurt. And they learned very early on that if you are sick in the middle of the night the person you should wake up is Daddy.

    And you know what else? Golden Retrievers shed.

    • Yes. Daddy is much better at doling out middle of the the night medicine than I am. πŸ˜€ However, they still insist on curling up to me in bed if they’re scared because my husband may be a retriever, but he’s also a selfish sleeper and isn’t much for snuggling. So take that Reyrievers! Mama Lion can show mercy when needed! Boom!

      Plus I apparently have a lusterous mane…

  11. Elizabeth Ward says

    Wow. I am a lion married to a golden retriever as well. While mercy is not my gift either- I like to surround myself with those gifted in mercy. πŸ™‚ I truly enjoy coordinating/herding/corralling others and giving them jobs to do so THEY can show the mercy. I get to boss them around- just kidding (kinda).

    • This is why we’re friends. I can glean from your brilliance. Incidentally, hoe did you, me and Bethany survive in an accountability group without eating one another slice? Lauren’s demure sweetnessust have really balanced us out. πŸ˜‰

  12. Was an otter in my younger years–now a lion…married to a golden retriever. I think they are the only ones who can handle the roaring!

    Love. Your. Writing.

  13. Hey Kelli,
    From one lion to another, I feel your pain. Oh wait, do lions do that?
    Love the picture from Becke! BTW I am married to a golden retriver as well.
    Grace on days like this. πŸ™‚

  14. It’s the lioness who hunts and feeds the fam. And your uncle also is one with no mercy, never, at all, for any reason, anywhere. I feel all whiners need to put their big-boy britches on and man up. Just sayin’ genetics are the proverbial b**ch.

  15. You know what’s hilarious? Jeremy and I are both Otters. Big surprise, right? That’s why our motto in our house is “We Do Fun Here”. My poor children will grow up to be irresponsible, late for everything and probably messy, but they will be a BLAST and everyone will want to know them, gaze upon them….he he he he he he he yeah….right….

    ahem…humility, yeah.