Puzzling over Puzzles

Blue-Puzzle-Piece-Free-HD

Sometimes, life is like a puzzle. This analogy may not make sense if you are not familiar with doing the big 500 or 1000 piece puzzles, but my grandma, mom and many other family members love big puzzles. We have our systems down and share the box to see the big picture, celebrating with each other when we find the right fit.

Most of the time, we start on the boarder, this is the easiest part because all of the edges are straight, there is not much of a need to even look at the box, because the process is in place and we know the routine. It is the rest of the puzzle where the guide of the bigger picture is a necessity.

Similarly, early on in life, you just live it, without many decisions to make because the steps are all laid out for you. You eat, cry, learn to crawl, then walk, potty train, and feed yourself. As we get older, there are more decisions to make and often we can start to think about the bigger picture of our lives.

Recently, I feel that God has shown me the box, the big picture. However, I only get a glimpse before I’m right back at it, looking at this little puzzle piece, trying to figure out where it fits. Once I get that piece, I can move on to the next. Sometimes, I will examine a piece for a time and put it down, because it is in a section of the puzzle not even started yet.

I am thankful that God shows me a glimpse of the big picture sometimes because it gives me a hope for my future and direction for where the next piece of the puzzle goes. Puzzles, like life, take patience. Sometimes we are surprised with how easy a piece fits or we know exactly where it goes. Other times, we search and search and try all of the different options, only to give up and try again another time.

I am also thankful for a God who is patient with me. He knows the whole picture with each and every minute detail that I have yet to discover. He celebrates with me when that piece that I have struggled with over and over finally goes into the right spot!

Life is a process and God is a patient God. In the meantime, we are called to “Pray continually, rejoice always, and give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thes. 5:18-19) This is one of my favorite verses because it is such a great reminder of what I can always do even if I am not sure what else to do.

Slowly, piece by piece, the bigger picture is coming together. I keep pressing on because I know my Puzzle maker, and he lovingly created me for a purpose, and the result will be a beautiful picture of a life complete. It is in the struggle where we begin to become complete and mature (James 1). What is your piece of the puzzle that you are examining currently?

Coffee is like sin?

coffee-eh

Coffee is like sin…

for me at least

I am a tea drinker. I love tea and have so many different kinds as well as methods to drink it, loose leaf, tagless tea bags, silk tea bags, French press, different steepers, etc. The list goes on and on and my collection is somewhat extensive, as I like trying new kinds. However, in the midst of my deep sea of tea, every once in a while I have a craving for coffee. I usually can put it off and continue in my tea drinking ways, but sometimes, I just have to give in to those wonderful memories of how warm and cozy coffee tastes and the smell and energy it gives. By now, I should know that my memory so often fails me and I deceive myself into thinking I actually like coffee, when in reality, it causes me nothing but trouble. Today, for example, I decided that I had enough of this longing to drink a cup and so I made some this morning. I doctored it up with milk and honey and cinnamon to make it taste better (obviously), and took my first sip. Disappointment. It was not as good as I remembered it being and left my mouth feeling weird. Now maybe I just don’t know how to make a good cup of coffee or maybe this is real, I’m not sure, but I know what happened later on was real. I went about my usual day with my roommate but soon started to feel uneasy and queasy and had to go to the bathroom a couple times! What was wrong with me?! I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so nervous and jittery all of the sudden and then it hit me…. Well it already had hit me, but this time mentally. THE COFFEE. In just a short conversation with a friend about the negative effects of coffee, I realized how it seems to always promise energy and goodness but never delivers, leaving me with dehydrated jittery energy and an upset stomach. I guess it does deliver, just not in the way I wish it did.

This seems to be a lot like sin. We build something up in our mind, forgetting the negative impacts from previous times and only remember the bright and glittery promises. However, when we actually cave and experience it, the memories of the regret and negative effects come back, and we realize why we weren’t doing it in the first place. So often we get caught up in the empty promises of this world that just leave us feeling uneasy and ill. We forget the good that we already have and try to go back to the empty promises of yesterday.

This time, I found someone to keep me accountable. I told my roommate, do NOT let me drink coffee. It is horrible for me and I hate the way I feel. Now I need to do the same about my sinful habits. Do not let me do _______; I will regret it and it will only leave me feeling empty and wanting.

Grief

A poem I recently wrote for a friend who lost his wife.

For every moment remembered,
every heartfelt “I love you,”
all the days serving the Lord
and the times when you never got bored.
Your kingdom-sized dreams
of mansions side by side,
worshipping the king,
walking streets gold and wide.
You were truly best friends,
a dynamic duo.
And as your heart mends,
I pray God gives you hope.

There is more awaiting you,
all those tears will be gone.
Those dreams that you grew
are so very close,
Longer than you may like
but closer than you know,
just a little while longer,
and you will see that kingdom glow.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Tuesday Morning Tea

This lovely Tuesday morning has been off to a beautiful start. First there was the sunrise. Then the love that I received from my Heavenly Father, and now the tea that combines all of my favorite flavors into one. Trader Joe’s coconut green tea with lemongrass and ginger. Could there be a better combination? Today I am thankful for the little things. Today I pray that there can be less of me and more of You, God. Today I am, my Father is the Great I AM. He needs no other name but has countless others. His majesty and glory are on display for the world to see, we simply need to awake and arise out of our slumber. That is all for this morning. Renewing my mind and my spirit, resting in God alone.

IMG_3175-3.JPG

Roots of truth

IMG_2281

The whisperings of the wind

Flutter and surround my being.

I often get caught up in this whirlwind

And sometimes stop thinking.

I stop knowing,

Knowing the truth.

The constant, steady tree with roots.

Roots that go down deep

And spread out wide.

That will always keep

Me still inside.

Peace

That flows like a river.

Sometimes the breeze makes me shiver.

I want the truth with deep down roots instead of the wind

making the air increasingly thinned,

all of its noise fills up my ears, with little room left to think or to speak,

I hopelessly feel like I’ll slip because I’m weak.

Those roots, and that river, that steady slow growth,

remind me I’m loved and give oh so much hope.

Father, Please help me!

To remember your truth,

Not forgetting the words that I memorized as a youth.

I pray that I will forget the words of this world,

That strangle and poke at this weak little girl.

May your truth reign in my life and over this earth,

So people may see and know of YOUR worth!

 

Poem by Ella Stewart