Week 38: Surrounded by Love and Spoon Dealer

Last weeks post sparked a pretty good conversation between Ginger and I.  She knows how much I do not like censorship or even having my creativity dampened, so she has a gentle way of expressing herself without trying to force upon me a change.  And that gentle way works for me and has gotten me to change things that needed to be changed.   It centered around music, so I decided to try an experiment this week.  I listened to more inspirational music, specifically I really got into listening to Plumb and Lauren Diagle, two artists I adore.  I also mixed Skillet and DC talk into the mix.  What I found, interestingly enough, is that the type of artist did not change my creativity, but it did change the tone to what that creativity pictured.  The artists above sing truthfully and about things that I have struggled with but there is a different tone, there is hope offered.  And I did find myself more uplifted, though people did try to test my patience this week.  As an artist, I have said, I can go into the light and sometimes I go into the dark.  If I go into the dark too far, Ginger has a way of pulling me out back into the light.  She is the light that God uses to guide my heart back.

So this week's main picture.  It was going to be me praying, to begin with.  But with a rainy morning and a quiet house with Ginger and Sophie sleeping, as I setup and began my photoshoot, things began to change.  I took a few test shots and then saw Sophie sleeping on her pillow.  An idea sparked and I scooped her up into my arms and the rest, as they say, is history:

Surrounded by Love

So this is entitled "Surrounded by Love".  So in our living room we have a corner that has all these pictures of our family, Ginger's wedding picture and my favorite plaque "You are My Greatest Adventure".  It is a great little nook to reflect and meditate.  And Sophie, well, she enjoys sleeping on her Daddy.  And with the different contrasts, this made an excellent black and white photo.

Here is another one, but this one is the Find Paulio photo of the week:

Find Paulio
So one more picture.  In community group we got into a wonderful discussion about Extroverts, Introverts and Ambivert (a person who has both Extrovert and Introvert qualities).  Laura gave a wonderful explanation on them both using spoons.  So you start the day off, if I remember correctly with a certain amount of spoons.  For an introvert, each social interaction costs a certain amount of spoons and being alone gives back a certain amount of spoons.  For an extrovert, each social interaction gives them a certain amount of spoons and being alone takes away a certain amount of spoons.  For an introvert, like me, once my spoons are extinguished, I retreat, isolate, get alone so I can reenergize.  I am not shy, but, for example, meeting someone for the first time alone (which happens on my job a lot and is my least favorite part of my job) takes quite a bit of spoons.  Ginger, on the other hand who is an extrovert, thrives meeting new people and that gives her lots of spoons.  It was a great reminder of how different personalities work.  As I have moved up in leadership at work I have paid more attention to the personalities of our workers and, keeping these things above in mind, how I can help them be better workers.  Getting an introvert to do an extroverts job (and vice versa) can be counter productive.   When an extrovert tries to exert their will on me, as an introvert, I push back.  In fact I am not fond of pushy people.   Some introverts isolate when that happens or avoids the person.  Both types of personalities are needed in life, each have their strengths and weaknesses.  But if you learn about each and respect that part of the person a relationship can thrive.  Ginger is an extrovert, I am an introvert and our marriage thrives!  Why?  Communication.  I know she needs social interaction.  She knows I need down time.  And we can both communicate our needs to each other.  An interesting dynamic to this, however, is if we are in a social situation and Ginger gets sick.  Unknowingly, I turn into an extrovert.  It is like a switch.  I shield her from social interaction until we can get her alone and decompressed.  Am I an extrovert?  Absolutely not.  But my love for Ginger overrides any uncomfortableness I may feel.

So this next picture is entitled Spoon Dealer.  I told our community group I had to do a picture of me dealing spoons out.  Of course Ginger gets most of my spoons......

Spoon Dealer

And last on the agenda for this blog.  So most of you who are going to read this have already responded on Facebook to the news of my East Texas State Fair pictures.  For those that have not, I submitted 4 pictures to the Photography Contest of the East Texas State Fair.  Funny thing is, it was going through Facebook looking for Photography Groups that I ran across the contest and that I had a few weeks to submit my work.  Anyway, all 4 won their categories, and one made best of show for my age group.  Ginger can tell you, I was stunned.  I was hoping for one winner, and got 4.  Not bad for a self taught photographer.  One of the customers we had last week saw some of my work, turned to me and said, "Why are you removing wallpaper when you can put out work like this?"  Indeed.  I am, as she said, removing wallpaper, because that is where God has me right now.  But if National Geographic calls....

So thank you to all my supporters out there.  It is your love, prayers, and support that have gotten me this far.  It is your encouragement that helps me continue when it gets hard.  And Ginger deserves credit too, she is my creative director, always willing to gently guide me in the way I need to go.  She is my inspiration and my heartsong and she always surrounds me with her love.



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