Sung VERY loudly.
And very off-key. Hey...my husband is very enthusiastic, but he is not a singer.
He also likes to improvise.
Next selection from the Newsboys.
What am I talking about? The soundtrack for the Hall-family-Christmas-puzzle-building-EXTRAVAGANZA, of course. (Yes, I know it is only September.)
Add Leah insisting she can do it all by herself, Benjamin sticking pieces into lime-green play-doh, and Lori de-constructing the last puzzle we made, and you pretty much get the picture.
You have to be quick with the saran wrap to get the job done. See, the puzzles, once completed, are going to our sponsored kids. We build them, break them in half, lay them on cardboard, and immobilize them in saran wrap...when we can beat Lori. She is very industrious (and quite sneaky) at snapping puzzles apart. We will be working on another puzzle, and she will be quietly sitting in the next chair, destroying, one piece at a time, the last hour's work.
Lori thinks she is a lot bigger than she is. A lot of times, I forget that she is only two. It is easy to do. After all, she can sing her alphabet, knows her colors, and can count to twenty. She has a vocabulary to match her 5-year old sister and hangs high with the K-3 class at school. She's a pretty smart little gal. Still, in many ways, her baby-ness shows through, and puzzle building is one thing that she just isn't ready for yet...at least not the kind of puzzles we've been building.
So for now, she practices by taking them apart.
One of our puzzles has clearly been Lori-tized.
Finished last night. Three pieces shy this morning.
They are nowhere to be found.
I guess it's okay. I certainly can't send it that way, though. True, with only 3 pieces missing, you get the main idea. I saw the picture on the box and nothing important is missing...just snow and some tree limbs.
But I started thinking...what if I HADN'T seen the box??
What if, for some reason, there was something on one one of those pieces that changed the whole meaning of the puzzle??
Which led to brainstorming. What could be on those pieces?
A bomb would certainly change things.
Or a rabid fox.
Or a secret code printed by the puzzle company that says "Congratulations! You found the winning piece!! You just won a million dollars!"
All highly unlikely, I admit. And ultimately impossible, because I did see the picture on the box.
Have you ever considered that our lives are like a puzzle that we've never seen the box for? We're just kind of going through and all we can see is one piece at a time.
Someone gave Jonathan the "World's Most Difficult Puzzle" one time. (Whenever I see the words "World's Most" on something, my mind jumps to the movie Elf and the scene with the "World's Best Cup of Coffee.") But anyway, the puzzle...it has a complicated pattern and it is printed on both sides and it has about 2,000 pieces. I'm guessing it is not THE most difficult puzzle ever...but a lot more difficult than I would ever have the patience to attempt.
The puzzle of our lives is impossible to figure out. The picture changes. The pattern is unpredictable. We can only see what we've done already and even that doesn't always help us know what to do next.
But God has the box.
He can see the whole picture already. He is holding the next piece, and He knows what's on it. I don't know if the next piece will change everything...but He does. And He knows about each piece thereafter.
I feel pretty good being in the hands of the one who created my "puzzle," the One who is working it, bringing it all together...the One who will ultimately complete it. The puzzle of my life will be yet another masterpiece in His gallery.
Are you worried about how all the pieces of your life will come together? Check out one of my favorite verses.
"Unite my heart to fear thy name." --Psalm 86:11
Life comes together when we fear God, when we understand that, whether we allow it or not, He is Lord of our lives. It goes easier for us, though, when we submit to His Lordship, trusting that He has it all under control. Life goes crazy when we, in our scattered, haphazard way, try to pull all the random pieces of our lives together ourselves. When we submit to Christ, He begins to show us how everything has a place, how it all fits together in His plan. I'm praying for a united heart. There is not a "mom" puzzle, an "advocate" puzzle, a "teacher" puzzle, a "wife" puzzle, a "church puzzle. There is ONE puzzle, and it is a "GOD" puzzle, and in His hands, not one piece is missing or out of place.