A Piece of the Puzzle

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It was a three-puzzle Christmas.

One didn’t get completed. We’ll have to break it out when we get home.

Puzzles have been a theme in my world since the middle of November. It started at the Belong Summit. Puzzle pieces were the theme of the decorations, reminding the participants that we each have a part to play in the care and keeping of children at risk. We are all connected and we are each part of a bigger picture.

When I decided to say yes to taking on a volunteer position at my church one of the ladies praying for me said she saw a puzzle piece coming into place, becoming part of the bigger picture.

My girls and I worked on and completed a puzzle before we left on a family holiday. The three of us were riveted to that thing, not being able to quit until the last piece was in.

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My husband’s family vacated to the mountains for the week from Christmas to New Year’s. For the first time, Grandma broke out a puzzle, 1000 pieces. It was a vintage Christmas scene that looked like a painting, no clear edges on that baby, everything was brushstrokes.

Most of the family took part in the completing of that picture. It taught me a few lessons (along with the other puzzles) that I thought I’d share with you.

Lesson #1 – It Takes a Village (or a Family)

There is no way that just one of us could have completed that puzzle in such short order. It really took all of us. Some of us spent hours working on that puzzle, others, like my niece, stood over the puzzle for a few minutes and dropped in a piece that we’d been looking for and not finding.

Some worked a few minutes, some worked hours, some from the opening of the box and some just in the finishing stages, but we needed everyone to get it done.

We need all of the parts working together to accomplish the work of the kingdom. All of us. Working together.

Lesson #2 – There are Many Gifts 

Just like the scriptures says, there are many gifts but one spirit. Some of us working on the puzzle had excellent spacial recognition like my nephew who could pick out the right piece in a jiffy when we said, “Jacob, we’re looking for this piece, find it.” and he could.

Others had the persistence and longevity to stick in and get it done. Then there were those who came in and went hard for a short burst but didn’t have the patience to stick with it for long periods.

Not all of us are called to be foster or adoptive parents, some of us can be pray-ers, some of us can give financially. We are all connected. We all have a piece of the puzzle.

Lesson #3 – Celebrate the Victories

One of the hardest parts was leaving a section undone knowing that someone else would probably come and finish it. We all had to let go of our ownership to a section at some point or other and allow others to finish what we began. (You have to sleep sometime!)

Grandma and I worked hard one afternoon to bring the puzzle to the finishing stage. The younger boys came in and were so excited with our progress that they swooped in and finished it off in a few minutes while we sat back and watched.

They were so excited to ‘finish’ it. We all celebrated the completion with pictures and back-slaps. We all needed to recognize that the celebration belonged to ALL of us, not one more than other. We had to celebrate when someone ELSE found the piece you were looking for all day!

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When we were foster parents we had to make the hard decision to shut down that ministry and move on to other things. The Lord gave me a picture, not of me ‘dropping the ball’, which is how I felt, but rather, passing the ball, so someone else could bring further what we had begun. It was a real treat to see one of our foster sons graduating with our biological son a couple of years ago. It was an unexpected surprise gift that God gave us.

Victory belongs to all of us!——CLICK TO TWEET!

Happy New Year everyone! You are part of a bigger picture. You hold a piece of the puzzle that is the kingdom of God. What part will you play this year?

About Lani

With six kids, a farm, a ministry and dreams poking out in every direction I need plenty of grace to keep all the balls in the air. The sweet thing is that when I drop them, that crazy grace of God is there telling me I'm still okay...and you are, too...welcome to this place of grace.

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