When the Eyes of the Heart are Opened

When the Eyes of the Heart are opened Featured Image

Deanna Danielle HeadshotDeanna Danielle
Teacher | Catechist
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Being a visual learner, I always feel the need to produce a mental image for my students. Building up students to be out-of-the-box thinkers, while watching them gather together some basic life-long tools for their shed, is a wonderful privilege. Whether we’re engaged in creative activities, discussion with thought-provoking questions, or silent in prayer, the ingenuity of my grammar school students always drives our class to experience more.

There are several ways of teaching, but the most efficient way to pass on information is when it’s from the heart. When we speak through experience and connect through understanding, our vision tends to rapidly expand while stimulating the brain.

Several years ago, my sister had asked me to take care of my niece and nephew for the night. After working all day, I stopped in a Hallmark store to find a fun game to play with them. They were both under the age of eight, yet all the games they had seemed to be for older kids. As my eyes scanned the shelves, I noticed a beautiful Coca-Cola home town winter village puzzle. I thought to myself, “This is great!” I didn’t notice where it said, ‘1,000′ pieces. That evening, my Aunt joined us (puzzles were her past time hobby) and she noticed! As I excitedly presented the box to them, her eyes opened widely, as she laughed at my humorous error. Giving it our best shot, we worked on it for all of about 5 minutes before they walked away.

As I put the pieces back in the box, a desire to continue and not give up lingered. Feeling as-though this puzzle was a gift to me, I saved the few pieces we put together and placed them on the top. While working on it over the course of time, early mornings, late nights, and sometimes in-between things, I couldn’t help but see that the process of putting this puzzle together was a great reflection of life itself, a lesson to be learned.

This is what I learned in connecting puzzles to life:

It’s best to first spread out every single piece, making sure the picture side is facing upward.

We all have been given time in this world. In living a healthy, well-balanced life, it’s so important to Recognize the Blessings given to us daily. I remember reading a commentary page in one of my Bibles that said, “Take notice today of ten things God has created.” Leaving our home that day, I saw buildings, houses, the highway – way more concrete than nature. Praying about it, “Lord, it’s so hard to find you in all this cement,” was like being flipped over to the picture side of my life. I started to see more blessings than I had before. I looked up and saw the most beautiful sky, I noticed God’s presence more than ever.

Next, sort the pieces.

The corner and edge pieces should be set aside into piles, the interior pieces into smaller sections. Getting Organized is one of the toughest challenges for many of us today. The good news is, if we are not born with this great skill, we can learn it! Being organized gives us more free time for God, family, friends, and ourselves. It also reduces stress. The organization gives us more space and can simplify our life by allowing us to work smarter and not harder.

Third, when putting together the puzzle, it’s best to start with the border, that defines the space when working through the other piles.

When our Priorities are kept in order, it plays an important roll in becoming all that God has called us to be on this road to success in managing our time. In setting small goals, it helps to lead us to larger ones. Identifying our responsibilities helps to set-up our daily list of priorities, family, commitments, personal time.

Homestretch, when a piece doesn’t fit, and it seemed like it was the perfect one…This can happen often, but don’t worry.

It’s easy to get frustrated or even give up too soon, but here is where Patience is needed. Remember, every piece has a part in it, even when it seems like it doesn’t meet the required purpose. When we envision how the puzzle needs to look or what piece needs to be found and placed, then the connection between the brain, eyes, and hands start to work together to find the perfect fit. Paying attention to detail will help to find that certain piece in the pile and to place it where it belongs. Nonetheless, we can often find ourselves rotating the piece and trying to force it where it doesn’t belong or trying it in a different spot, maybe even placing it aside and getting another piece, only to once again achieve the opposite of success. – That’s okay, challenges help us grow.

Last but not least, practice helps build up skill levels before taking on even bigger puzzles.

Our memory will recall how to do a puzzle once completed; knowing where to start, paying attention to detail, shape recognition, problem-solving, planning, etc… By keeping it close at hand so that we can work on it whenever we get a chance, is the fact for attaining and achieving any goal towards which we desire.

So to Recap:
*Recognizing the blessings
*Get organized
*Put your priorities in order
*Have patience
*Practice

These are all stepping stones in putting together a deeper, brighter, and more dynamic version and vision for our lives.

As my friend and I were driving home from a beautiful day at the beach, I asked her what she thought about the Parable of the ‘Workers in the Vineyard’ ~ Matthew 20:1-16. As the story goes, those who started work later in the day earned equal pay as those who started early in the morning. Her response was that she was ok with that. Referring and relating it to God being equally generous to all (Many debates how they feel about this parable.) Truth is, we need to step out of the box, so we can grasp a broader point of view. We are all like the workers in the Vineyard, and the day is a representation of the fact that we all can receive equal treatment in heaven no matter what age we turn our life around. However, when the eyes of the heart are opened, our vision expands and our brain is stimulated by the fact that the workers who started early had the privilege and responsibility to be a worker and gather up a treasure that would go beyond, what the eye can see. This treasure is lives touched through sacrifices made, little things that go unnoticed and generosity. In other words, it’s not just about what we will receive at the end of the day ~ yet, what will we bring?… When we stand at the gates of heaven will we stand-alone or will we stand in awe as we hear those beautiful words, “My child, look around you for great is your reward.”

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ [Matthew 25:21]

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [Matthew 28:19-20]

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds, we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be our protection, direct our minds, watch over our paths, help us to listen, understand, and believe. Guide us with Your gracious love… Amen…

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com

This article was originally published on 201boulevard.


Deanna Danielle HeadshotAbout Deanna Danielle

As a self-published author of two books, I am a recipient of a Mom’s Choice Award for ‘An Ordinary Person, An Extraordinary Gift’ and ‘Christmas Morn’, which launched a year prior. I am well versed in Christian teaching, having been a catechist for 18 years, and I am passionate about sharing the love of God with children and adults alike. I am extremely involved in several fundraising efforts, blogs, and stage and video productions. I have served as a Consultant for Sadlier’s Catechist Guide and am currently seated on the Parish Council at The IHM Church in Scarsdale. I am also a co-founder and board member of the non-profit Lovenevergivesup.com. I have several hundred followers on social media and have received many awards and recognitions for my work and writings. Married to my high-school sweetheart, I am a mom to four wonderful children, excited to share that I just entered the grandparents club :) and I am Master Stylist at the Ritz-Carlton Salon, Westchester.

You can view all posts by Deanna Danielle here.

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37 Comments on “When the Eyes of the Heart are Opened”

  1. Deanna – Your words help me keep turning my focus back on Jesus. Especially at this time in history when the pieces just don’t seem to fit ‘When The Eyes Are Opened’ was really something that helped me refocus and turn my eyes to Jesus and persevere through it all. Eventually the pieces will all come together and the full picture will be seen if I keep taking them to my God.

  2. Congratulations Deanna! We are all so proud of you on receiving the Mom’s Choice Award. You are truly a gifted writer. Loved your analog using a crossword puzzle to use in life’s many challenges. A blessing for all of us to have you in our lives.
    Much love,
    Louise and Joe

  3. Congratulations Deanna on receiving the Mom’s Choice Award! That is awesome and truly deserving. God bless your many talents and may He continue to use you to touch lives. You are very special. Much love and continued success!
    Maria
    Xo💕

  4. Danielle,

    What a wonderful analogy…puzzles and life. I definitely need to read this often so that I can remind myself that life is a puzzle full of many pieces and that patience is a skill we all need to practice in order to navigate through all that is thrown at us. What a great lesson to learn and practice.
    Thank you for constantly reminding us that we are not alone.

    Wanda

  5. Deanna,
    What a lovely story with inspiring life lessons. You always amaze me with how many ways you share your love and allow us to see how blessed we all are! You are truly a special person and friend and talented writer :) love you! xoxo

  6. Deanna, thank you for your insightful, refreshing and thought-provoking article. We are all in need of reflection and reassessment of our lives as we move through it. Sorting it out as a puzzle is a wonderful way of achieving these goals.
    Not only are you a truly talented writer, well deserving of the recognition you are receiving, but also one who inspires others.
    Thank you and may your future be filled with much success and blessings.
    J. P. Martel

  7. Deanna,
    Your writing always brings a smile to my face and peace in my HEART. Please never stop sharing your thoughts with all of us.

  8. Deanna, Thank you for your continued devotion to teaching and sharing goodness. Your books and articles are well-received because of they are created with only the most genuine love. Continued success!
    Gianna

  9. Deanna,

    What an excellent learning tool and great analogy! May the Lord grant you continued insight and vision in this compasdionate effort. Thanks for sharing!

    Dave Layne

  10. Deanna, what an inspiring article. Lovely! I really enjoyed the read. Happy to know you. Peace

  11. What a unique way of bringing out God’s love and blessings in our lives.
    We should be thankful everyday and search for Him especially during these difficult times..
    Congratulations Dee! Your words bring beauty and love to all

  12. Dear Deanna, Congratulations on receiving this wonderful award and recognition; you have earned it and definitely well deserved! You have been blessed with a tremendous talent; your excellent writing ability is truly something to be admired. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights so clearly in this article. I wish you continued success in all your future writings.

  13. Deanna- You are such an amazing writer. So clever to compare working on a puzzle with the day to day challenges that life brings us. I just completed a 1000 piece puzzle which I was reluctant to start. Your words really spoke to me and had such a calming influence on me. I also loved your comment that “a teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds, we plant to help them grow.” So inspirational!

    1. Deanna,

      I really enjoyed reading this. Very inspirational. I love the puzzle reference. I am so happy for you. What a wonderful piece to your puzzle.

  14. Loved reading this, as I love reading all your publications. You have inspired me for over 30 years.

  15. Congratulation Deanna! I came into the coordinator position at Immaculate Heart of Mary’s religious education program under a year ago. You helped me throughout the year more than you know by sharing your ideas and beliefs. You are a treasure to me both as a teacher as well as friend. I look forward to another successful year teaching our children the necessary tools need to grow in their faith. We are so lucky to have you! God bless you and your beautiful family always!

  16. Thank you Deanna for sharing yourself with others! You are truly a special person and all recognition is well deserved! You are amazing! xoxo

  17. An award well deserved! Your writing is so inspiring and insightful.
    I look forward to reading your future works :)
    Congratulations on all your accomplishments,
    xoRoe

  18. Deana is such an amazing writer. As a mom I can totally relate to her books, blogs and articles. . The imagery within her writing is so vivid. She effortlessly connects everyday life situations with events in the Bible. I’m so blessed to have Deanna as my friend as well
    as my talented coworker ❤️

  19. Deana is such an amazing writer. As a mom I can totally relate to her books, blogs and articles. . The imagery within her writing is so vivid. She effortlessly connects everyday life situations with events in the Bible. I’m so blessed to have Deanna as my friend as well
    as my talented coworker ❤️

  20. Deanna you are amazing, your love translates into words and the world is reading your voice!

  21. I often become overwhelmed with even the simplest things in life. Reading this article truly put things in perspective for me and gave me a sense of calm in the process. What a great way to look at the bigger picture. By remembering the analogy of a puzzle I can take this information with me wherever I go.

      1. Deanna,

        Your writing touches my heart and soul. It has truly helped and inspired me during the most difficult times in my life. The way you make connections to people, their situations and the Bible is truly a gift from God. Your writing and messages are easy to connect and apply to my own life. I look froward to reading more of your writing. Congratulations to you!

        Stephanie DiMarzo

  22. Thanks Mom’s Choice Awards for allowing me to be part of a program that is globally recognized for establishing a benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.. Your dedication is truly a blessing! Deanna Danielle

      1. Congratulations Deanna on receiving this award!
        I really enjoyed this article! You have a wonderful way of explaining bible passages and how relevant they are in today’s times.
        I look forward to sharing this article with my family and friends!
        Joe Cermele

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