Almost Heaven

puzzle, introvert, quiet, calm

introvert, introversion, puzzle

When we were at Goodwill just before New Year’s Day, I went looking for a nice puzzle for our New Year’s Eve tradition.  I came across a 1000  piece Thomas Kinkade puzzle with the picture of a man fishing alone in the middle of a beautiful mountain scene.  Immediately the image stuck me as perfect.

It took 3 days to complete the puzzle.  It nearly consumed me.  Every piece that clicked into place was a personal victory.  As the image started to take shape, I couldn’t help contemplating the man in the picture and how he related to me.

Strange.  I know.

To be honest, I don’t think the painting is one of Kinkade’s best works.  The colors are very muted.  Almost boring.  The pink sunset blended with the heather mountains that blended with the clay rocks that blended into the stream that reflected the sunset.

Thomas Kinkade, puzzle, introvert

So why did this image strike a chord with me?

It was the fisherman.  Wearing his red plaid shirt, he was the only spot of color.  He was alone in the vast expanse of beauty.  He was there because he chose to be.  Because he enjoyed taking a few minutes to be alone with his thoughts.  To be inside his own head for a while without any interruptions.  Maybe fishing wasn’t his passion.  Maybe it was his excuse to get away from the noise.  Maybe this is how he recharged so he could face another day. He’s an introvert like me.  This man in the painting.  Who has never lived a day.  I know him.

I did a quick Google search and found the name of this painting is Almost Heaven.  Fitting, I think.  A quiet place where I can relax without any demands on my time or energy is almost heaven for me.  However, I have a few extroverted friends that, though they would enjoy the beauty of a place like this, would be bored to death in about 2 minutes.  They suffocate in quiet.  I suffocate in noise.

puzzle, introvert, Thomas Kinkade

I left the puzzle up for a day after it was finished.  More because I wanted to celebrate my perseverance and introversion than because I liked the picture.  I don’t really.  It’s not my style.  But I did enjoy the time of introspection.

The puzzle is in pieces again and will likely go back to Goodwill.

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Giving Time

Most of us suffer something called “time poverty.”  When it seems there aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish all that we need to do, or think we need to do. We’re always looking for time management techniques just so we can “make” more time.  I’m one of them.

Give time
On my way to clean my friend’s house!

And sometimes I’m not.

I enjoy a lot of flexibility in my life.  I manage a home and school my children.  Both things could easily be a full time job on its own.  But our schedule isn’t etched in stone.   I can usually squeeze time out of most any day.

Recently, I was asked by some close friends, who are going through a tough time, for some help.  They both work full time and are in the process of selling their house.  The house is empty but needed to be cleaned before it could be shown.  Neither of them had the time.

I’m very happy that on the first day of 2015 I was able to share some of my time with someone else.

Though it is true that each one of us only gets 24 hours each day, we can add time to someone’s day by giving of ours.  I did the cleaning and they got to check it off their to-do list.

There are days when I don’t have time to spare.  There are days when others share their time with me.  Time is one of the most precious gifts.  Often, it’s the most valuable asset we have. Use it wisely.  Give it generously.

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Welcome 2015

Happy New Year to you all!

Books to read in 2015

We rang in the new year about like we always do.  My husband went to bed by 11pm, my daughter fell asleep on the couch and my son and I stayed up putting together a puzzle.  When the clock turned over to midnight, we wished one another a Happy New Year, brushed our teeth and went to bed.  I suppose it’s not the most exciting way to celebrate, but at least I can say that I saw 2015 tiptoe into our lives.

To kick things off today, I’m putting together lists of things to do this year.

First is my book list.  You’ll find it to the right of the page.  I’m a firm believer that if you want to make the best of life, you must obtain knowledge.  Books are key.

Read the Bible in One YearI’ve also found a 52 Weeks To An Organized Home list on Pinterest. It’s not 100% fitting for my home, but close enough to be a good start. I’ll start with my kitchen counters and sink today.  One organizational project a week should be doable.

I started a daily Bible reading program this morning.  I found a copy of The One Year Bible (New Living Translation) at Goodwill a few weeks ago.  It’s set up with a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs daily.  And the Living translation will keep the reading light.  Generally I use the King James Version for my studies but I know myself, and “easier” will keep me engaged longer.  Preferably, for the whole year.

As far as typical resolutions, I guess I don’t have any.

I really just want to continue doing the best I can every day.  Looking for better ways.  Implementing new ideas.  Being open to people.  Being frugal.  Reading.  Helping.

Our pastor recently spoke on considering what we can contribute to the church and the work of God and not just on what we get from it.

 

When Mary poured expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet, she was taking the best she had, probably what would have been passed on when she died, and gave it to the Lord.  (John 12:3)

The message was to offer the best of our talents to God now and not have them still setting on a shelf when we die.

So this year, 2015, I’m giving the hashtag of #DoLifeBig and using Jamie Grace’s song, Do Life Big, as my theme song.  I want to make sure I’m not holding back my best just for the sake of holding back.

So here’s to a new beginning.  To doing my best.  To doing life big.  To new changes…  Of course, today is the first of the month and some things don’t change.  Rent is due.  Oh, well. #DoLifeBig

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