Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Picture of my Life



Today was not the puzzle piece I was looking for. The colors were wrong. It didn't fit with yesterday. And it didn't seem to fit with the picture I have in my head of the future. Maybe I got the wrong piece? Maybe I am making the wrong puzzle? Or maybe, just maybe it is the right piece, but I don't yet see enough of the picture...

For the last two weeks our family has poured over 1000 puzzle pieces in various stages of fitting together and with various success. When one of us gets frustrated the other comes along and picks up another piece. Sometimes we do it together. Isaiah, my seven-year-old is proving himself a very competent puzzler. My husband, Matt, very determined. My three-year-old, very random. And me? Well, let's just say that I spend a lot of time glaring at stubborn pieces that will not fit where I want them too.

Isaiah was watching me the other afternoon and said, "Mom, that doesn't go there."
"Well, " I said, still trying to smoosh two pieces into some sort of happy union, "Well, they should!"
Isaiah laughed at me and went on his merry way. Later that night Matt found heaps more pieces that fitted together. By the time I went back to the puzzle it was easy to see where my piece belonged. I clicked it into place and thought nothing more about it.

Until today. My day that didn't fit. My day that seemed random and completely out of step with the picture I am desperately trying to create. And then I got it. It's not the puzzle piece. It's me. When handed a day that doesn't fit I  am all determine to stomp through until it submits to my will. Inevitably I end up in some sort of knotted mess saying things like, "Why, Lord, why? When, Lord when?" You know the kind of day. I'm not the only one who gets these, right?

But today I thought, what if 'why' and 'when' and all the other questions I throw up to the heavens are not even the right questions? What if I I simply need to wait another day, or month, or year, or three, to understand how this very day fits into the grand picture of my life? Maybe sometimes what I need is a few more puzzle pieces that click together before this piece makes sense to me, before I can see how this day is apart of my living and how everything is as it should be. Maybe then I can ask the right questions and find the answers that fit. Maybe. Maybe not.

But his I know. Everyday, even a stubborn day, even a puzzle piece that I was not looking for, is apart of something. It is apart of the picture of my life.

Maybe it is only when the picture is complete that we see how beautiful this messy thing we call life is.


What about you? Do you puzzle?
 If you write, do you puzzle your way through a book, or does it have to fit from the start?

Puzzle on people, puzzle on

34 comments:

  1. I don't puzzle, but I like to, if that makes senses. It's on of those things I'll do if it's near me but I don't go out of my way to do.

    I LOVE this post! What a great way of looking at things. LOL Wonderful post. :-)

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  2. Yes I am big jigsaw puzzle fan. I have many, many boxes, and normally take one on holiday with me. I find them relaxing but also there is something special to me about having a pile of pieces slowly transform themselves into one picture, but what I like the most is that even one piece missing will spoil that picture. It's incomplete. Just like in real life too.

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  3. Extremely thought provoking TB. Many times in my Spirit I sense something is not right. Then I am uncomfortable. I present the uneasiness to the Lord and eventually, may take hours or days, it is revealed to me what was troubling me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here dear!

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  4. Oh yes I puzzle. This is how I learned the true meaning of, "This too shall pass." Usually when it does that is when the pieces seem to fit. :)

    If you get time read my post from Tuesday, it may calm your spirit a bit :D (Tuesday is a link)

    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  5. Oh wow. Wonderful piece. It's all about perspective. What is hard and clunky and stubborn now is only a piece of something much bigger. You have it Tab. Just wait a few years and you will see.

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  6. :) I can do puzzles if I put my mind to it but it frustrates me...Big puzzles, I dont even attempt

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  7. This is such a beautiful post. And so very very true. Life is a little like a puzzle too, and the messages you can take back from a puzzle apply as much to life.
    I had blogged about something similar a year back - http://coffeeringseverywhere.blogspot.com/2009/08/step-back-for-moment.html

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  9. Love your analogy.

    I do puzzle my way through manuscripts. I have a vague sense of where I'm going, but I get to spots where I have to stop and evaluate. My most recent manuscript has been in stops and starts.

    My family likes doing puzzles too. Though the last couple have been too frustrating, so only my husband keeps at it. Here's a post I wrote about families doing puzzles:
    http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com/2010/02/come-together.html

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  10. Great post. I am one too who wants to know how this unfitting piece of my puzzle is going to fit and hate to wait. Trying though.

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  11. I haven't truly done a puzzle since I was a child. I stopped trying to figure out the puzzle of my life this past Summer. I just let go and let God.

    Alex
    Breakfast Every Hour

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  12. Okay, I am cracking up. Guess what I've been doing to help me with the "wait" time. Yes, writing a new book, but also working on a 1000 piece Pooh puzzle with my girls.

    So could relate to this post!!!
    ~ Wendy

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  13. We do a puzzle every Christmas.

    I think I'm more of a puzzle my way through a book kind of person.

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  14. It's like the underside of needle point...absolute chaos that seems like haphazard lines going nowhere laced with stubborn knots. But the upside...clear as day, and beautiful, as you are!

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  15. Thnank you for this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I had a day just like this yesterday. Where it didn't fit. Where I was looking at that one day and wondering what in the heck was going on. I didn't like the day. I felt very deflated. This is such a great reminder Tabitha. :)

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  16. It doesn't seem to fit from the start! I like the way my characters are capable of untangeling their own knots. It's my favorite aspect of writing!

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  17. I used to puzzle more than I do now--I'm too busy writing.

    Does brooding count as puzzling in real life? I do a lot of that...

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  18. At the moment I am putting pieces to my family jig saw, my dad passed away when I was three, I knew slightly my paternal grandparents but not very well, then 2 weeks ago I recieved a message from 2 cousins I have never heard of with all names and dates of my fathers family, They are staying in a hotel next door to me and have exchanged photo's and expereiences of our lives, it's fun but I missed out on knowing so many people.

    Yvonne,

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  19. This post makes me think of the song, "I Don't Know About Tomorrow." It says, I just live from day to day, I don't borrow from it's sunshine because its clouds may turn to gray. Many things about tomorrow- I don't seem to understand. I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.

    I'm so glad that God in His infinite wisdom has everyone of our puzzles memorized, organized, and waiting for us to gaze upon.

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  20. I totally puzzle my way through my writing. I think it makes it more fun.

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  21. I don't puzzle but I do write and that's enough puzzle for me!

    And you're not alone. My days seem to have had this re-occurring theme in them for the past 6 years. Not fitting. Me, stomping about, trying to make them.

    Thank you for another beautiful, thought provoking post :)

    Jen

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  22. Puzzles make my head hurt!!! I'm amazed and impressed that your whole family participates in the constructing of them.

    Now, if I look at life as a mystery, then I can deal. And I quite often stomp and try to bend. And I fail a lot, but it's fun sometimes. Afterward. When I've had time to gain some perspective....

    This was a very good analogy, btw.

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  23. Believe me, you're not alone.

    I puzzle my way through everything in LIFE... :), writing included. It always seems that things never fit quite the way they are supposed to, yet sometimes I think maybe that rough piecing together is how we manage to make life flow, see things for what they are, and get through the hard patches.

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  24. It is on such days that I lean heavily upon the "F" word. No, not that one. I meant "faith."

    ;-)

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  25. Ah people say that i am too analytical, a puzzler LOL! They say you notice something when it changes. Interesting post. My friend calles them our 'waiting time', time to reflect I guess.:O)

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  26. Hi Tabitha...at times I puzzle my way through my book. Though I would have plotted in detail, certain characters and situations have me puzzling over them. But that's what life is all about, isn't it?

    Hey... on friday I gave you an award on my blog.

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  27. It's all about acceptance, isn't it, and not resisting. Trust. I love how you've expressed all of that here.

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  28. Thank you for all the comments. Sorry, I have not been on blogger much this week and thus haven't been around to other blogs. I am off to visit now.

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  29. Tabitha, I'm with you girl. Feeling it too, and trying to surrender as well. Actually, surrender is very freeing! :)

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  30. I try to make things fit like you; I struggle, but then realize, as you said,"It is my life".
    Be in the moment and not try to obsess over what I should of done. Things that fit all the time are dull. Who lives like that anyway? Perfect puzzled perception, No thanks, I'll take my messy life, because it's mine~

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  31. I haven't done puzzles in years, though I love them. Hmm, maybe I'll buy one and set it up on the table. Maybe that'll help me out of the hidey hole.

    I, too, slam and smush my days. Lately they've all looked the same, an endless procession of emotional and mental pain. My mind berates me till I'm bloody.

    I'm ready for a new puzzle.

    Thank you, oh eloquent one, ~that rebel, Olivia

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  32. Puzzles and me get along so well that i've a hard time dealing with myself, So i pretend that there's no puzzle at all.

    My friends say that i'm good at resolving....Your post is amusing, yet i can see the serious things you bring into perceptions.

    And,for sure i like the way you see things.

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  33. I'm guaranteed to get frustrated and confused if I try to put a piece of my life into a meaningful place before I have enough other pieces to get the connection.

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  34. I LOVE this post. It speaks so loudly to me.
    You are awesome
    Lyn

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