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Blog Post #31 - Ponderings Whilst Puzzle-ing

By Kristen (Kurivial) Hug, May 18, 2020

To-Do Lists| Puzzle | Thoughts | Holiness | Authenticity

I love lists! To-do lists…top 10 lists…brainstorming lists…all the lists.

So when the quarantine first started, I created a quarantine list! This list included all those activities that I am perpetually too busy to do on the daily, or even the weekly…let’s be honest, maybe not even monthly or yearly.

Things like: read THAT book (you know, the one that’s been on your nightstand for the last 10 months), paint THAT piece (the one you look at everyday and wish would just paint itself), color in THAT coloring book (the one I gave my husband for Christmas half jokingly/half seriously as coloring is a proven stress reliever), and put together THAT puzzle (the one my sister gave me the instant I told her I was interested in puzzle-ing).

A common theme with all of these tasks was the amount of alone time I had with my thoughts, particularly when it came to the puzzle, which I have affectionately referred to as “the puzzle from hell.” This popsicle puzzle earned its name because of the sheer level of difficulty. Although it was only a 750 piece puzzle, it felt like it was a million! And the struggle to put it together was so real, I could not listen to any music, TV, podcasts…nothing. I had to be fully present to the puzzle. So that left me with me, my puzzle, and my thoughts. And boy did that make for some interesting ponderings!

After completing the frame of the puzzle, the first thought that popped into my mind was, “I don’t want to do this!” I decided to explore that notion with a spiritual filter. I didn’t want to put together a puzzle, but how often do we say, “I don’t want to be holy.”

I thought to myself, why is that? And I actually came up with an answer. I think so many people shy away from this “H” word, holy, because, sadly, there are a lot of negative connotations associated with holiness. Maybe for you holiness brings to mind the stories of Saints that self-mutilated. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus too, but if that’s holiness, count me out. Or maybe, holiness makes you picture the “holy rollers,” those very quiet, subdued prayer warriors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of holiness, but if that’s not your personality, the thought of trying to conform to this standard of holiness is not appealing.

And that’s where I found myself. I loved God and wanted to live the life He desired for me, but I also looked at the “holy rollers” with their soft spoken, beautiful souls, and had a hard time reconciling those personality traits with my big mouth. As my family always tells me I’m “soOoOo loud!” My famous/infamous (depending on who you talk to) retort is, “I’m not loud, I am joyful AND triumphant!” Thankfully, this joyful and triumphant soul stumbled upon a definition of holiness that changed everything.

One day while I was doing some spiritual reading, I saw the words, “Holiness is wholesomeness.” This three word definition resulted in an entire paradigm shift. Gone were the stereotypes of “what-it-means-to-be-holy” and in its place was the necessary clarity I needed to be holy. If I asked myself, “Is this a wholesome behavior?” I was very easily able to answer “Yes or no.” “Is this a wholesome outfit?” “Yes, it is. No, it isn’t.” This one word, “wholesomeness” clarified my decision making for Christ and actually made me want to be holy!

And all this from putting together a puzzle! When is the last time you put a puzzle together? Go for it, pour out the pieces and see where your ponderings whilst puzzle-ing take you!

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