Over the holidays I discovered something else that I am NOT an expert at!
You ask, “What can that possibly be?”
“Jigsaw puzzles,” I quickly reply!
My oldest son suggested we get some puzzles for my daughter to do because she really enjoys doing them; it has become a holiday tradition.
I usually don’t take time to work on a jigsaw puzzle but this time I thought I would give it a try figuring it would be worth some good mother/daughter bonding time. Unfortunately, I quickly found out that I was not in the same league as my daughter with the puzzle making skills but the bonding time part worked and was enjoyable! 🙂
Yes, her puzzling skills put me to shame. I do believe she is a jigsaw puzzle master while my skills leave a lot to be desired.
At one point, I pulled up a chair next to her. Thankfully, it was only a 500 piece puzzle but the pieces are fairly small in my opinion. What else was a little puzzling to me was that the picture on the box wrapped around the sides of the box making it even more challenging in my opinion.
On this particular puzzle she had the outside all done by the time I pulled up my chair. The puzzle was one of several “sweet” treats with similar colors in different areas of the puzzle making it appear more complicated to me.
I told my daughter it seemed very overwhelming to me with so many similarities and pieces all over the place. She was very patient with me explaining some of the tricks of the trade that help her solve the puzzle quickly. I tried to follow her advice but still did not reach too much success.
There were a few nights when I had trouble falling asleep so I thought I’d go work on the puzzle all alone! Well, I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that first day I probably found three pieces in a one hour span of time! In the morning, my daughter comes along and starts filling in piece after piece putting my feeble attempt to shame!
Once that first puzzle was completed, I was determined to prove that I COULD indeed master puzzle making a little better. So I picked the next one, choosing a nature, picturesque scene rather than food! I wanted to feel a sense of accomplishment and victory.
Naturally, I started with the outside of the puzzle and then started filling in some of the inside. As I was doing it there are some things that I noticed and thought about…..
….often times with these small puzzle pieces, the colors I was expecting on a particular piece weren’t what it actually ended up being.
Isn’t that sometimes like life when we think we want something only to find out it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?
….trying to use the size of a piece to help clue me where it went was often deceiving. A piece I thought was just the right size ended up being too big or small!
Sometimes the little things in life end up being the greatest!
….sometimes it was difficult to know if a piece interlocked just right.
It made me think about the people we meet. Sometimes the person we least expect to be like us blesses us with the perfect friendship.
….sometimes a puzzle piece will be missing for awhile! (Did you notice in the picture above of that first puzzle that a piece was missing?) It was quite strange that three of us, despite looking on the floor multiple times over two days, did not discover it until finishing the second puzzle! It was God’s perfect timing when we were scanning the floor once more for a piece in the newer puzzle and finally found the first puzzle piece!
The missing piece reminded me how we never know when we might be a missing puzzle piece in someone’s life. We never know who or how we might influence another’s life but we need to be open to others and God’s perfect timing.
….if we are persistent and keep at it, we can be successful.
Working hard and being faithful at something we want to achieve can reap great rewards.
I am happy to report that it took awhile and I did have a little help from my daughter and husband, but I did do MOST of the puzzle myself where I did gain a bit of that sense of accomplishment!
Isn’t it always great to be able to look at something creative that we have succeeded at or something we thought we couldn’t really do?
Sometimes though maybe our accomplishment can’t really be observed or distinctly measured…
….parenting our children to the best of our ability
…giving advice to someone seeking spiritual direction
…knowing how our prayers have helped others
…how a simple smile can change another’s attitude.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. –Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)