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patience through puzzles

Patience is not one of my strongest attributes.....but I am working on it ;)

Well, I am pretty patient in day to day stuff... such as

  • allowing kids to cook/bake in the kitchen, no matter how much flour is getting under the stove's heating elements. I even exercise more patience when the spilled milk makes it seep into places I will never reach to clean.
  • getting up over a dozen times during one TV show to wiggle the cable connection back in place.
  • asking H, over the course of a week (or two), when his bedroom will finally not look like a bomb went off in it.....only to hear each time, "I'm working on it, Mom".
  • waiting for this 100 pound "puppy" to stop chewing anything and everything that isn't moving (unless he catches it)
  • waiting for the house-cleaning fairy to make her appearance at our house....along with the Publishers Clearing House people ;)
  • this list could go on forever, but I'll stop here

But one thing I really need help is in patience to know where God wants me.....It's hard to explain, but I just feel that I am supposed to be doing "more" or going in a different direction for a purpose. It's so frustrating because on top of juggling family life, homeschooling, working p/t and tending to my two small online businesses....I also have a waiting list for "the back burner".

  • I have a children's book in draft form, that has been staring at me for over three years. I did get a good portion of the illustrations done this year, but now.....those paintings are sitting on top of the dusty pages of the story.
  • I have a project that I would love to start that has to do with sending (or better yet....hand delivering) boxes of my tie dye tees to Malawi or another less fortunate nation. I just think that tie dye can brighten anyone's day. :)
  • Josh and I would love to start a venue for youth to enjoy live Christian music and preaching and incorporate it with skateboarding, bmx and other sporting events in our area.
  • another list that can go on.....and on......and it does.... in my brain.

I know that these ideas are doable and can happen in time. But it's so frustrating to have your brain and heart wanting to invest time/energy and go in a certain direction, but waiting and needing some word of advice from God. Waiting on the confirmation that it is where He wants me to go. I am not one of those people who are fortunate enough to clearly hear God talking to them. I wish I was, because it would make this so much easier for me.
But, I do know that God puts desires and dreams in our heart. So I need to rely on Him to bring them to fruition if it is His will.....I have to trust in His perfect plan and perfect timing

....but sometimes, I feel like a kid stamping my feet and whining "I just want it NOW!!"

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed." (Habakkuk 2:3 NLT)

So I did a search at Blue Letter Bible for patience and came across that passage.......and just by re-reading it, I am finding some answers right now. As I pour out these thoughts, I need to have patience like Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Joseph and the many great heroes in the Bible. Time after time their stories show us that patience is a virtue and is rewarded.

So yes, I need to work harder on patience. I decided to buy myself a puzzle. I often give N a 100 piece puzzle as part of her homeschooling downtime. It helps her with problem solving and gives her a great sense of accomplishment when she sits back and sees the completed puzzle. It also has a calming effect on her, as she sits quietly and just focuses on "finding a match".

So I thought it would be a great way for me to wind down, work on my patience and hope to find a peaceful quiet time in the day. I hoped it would even get quiet enough in my head so I could hear God's soft sweet whisper that I have been longing to hear.

So I broke out that puzzle last night.........Life has been so busy for me this week, that I decided that we were all going to hang in on a Friday night for once. Josh was working so it was just me and the kids. I opened the puzzle box and dumped the pieces on the table......At first I had to talk myself out of just walking away/giving up as I felt overwhelmed just flipping over every piece.....750 of them. Starting to feel anxious, I regrouped and started working on the "flat edges" (because that is how you are supposed to, right?). After about an hour, I finished one whole side! (I know that doesn't seem like such a feat, but for me to sit still for an hour in itself is a victory)......so completing just one side of a puzzle felt so gratifying. I was brought back to the image of N's face when she proudly finishes her puzzles.....and it felt so good!

So then, it hit me.......I didn't necessarily hear God "talk" to me, but He revealed to me something I have been searching for, while I working on the puzzle. I thought about how sometimes life seems so disorganized and overwhelming in the rush of it all, but if we just take our time, relax and go with it.....after a few different attempts....the pieces will soon fit together.

One thing I did hear during my quest in Puzzle-Land......was all four of my healthy children talking in our living room. And then, one by one......they joined in on working on it with me. For that short time, there was no background buzz of the TV, there was no screaming music coming from the computer speakers (but it's hardcore Christian, mom!) and no bickering. It was almost a Beaver Cleaver moment, HA!

And it was then that it hit me.....again ( a double dose of enlightenment).....*this* is where God wants me right now....home with my kids enjoying the moment. He reminded me that there are many women who would love to be doing puzzles with their children in their home, rather than in the hospital. Many women would love to have the luxury of doing a puzzle, rather than working 12-14 hours a day trying to pay the rent.....many women would rather be doing a puzzle rather than making funeral arrangements for a loved one.

Point being......my life is truly blessed and fulfilling just the way it is, and sometimes I just need to be reminded of with the simplicity of doing a puzzle. (I have to mention that the word simple and a 750 piece puzzle should NOT be used in the same reference)

.....so, maybe God wants me to be right where I am, right now. Maybe he is pleased with me just trying to be the best wife and mom that I can be, trying to raise up my children to be Followers of His word, and hopefully letting His Glory shine through me whenever possible. Maybe I am not ready to take on the bigger projects I have planned........yet ;)

So I pray...... There is a purpose for my life, Lord. I will trust that you will help me to discover it, embrace it, and fulfill it for Your glory....in Your perfect timing. In Jesus Name~Amen.

OH, and lastly......speaking of patience......I will leave you with this amazing story of patience. It's almost borderline ridiculous that it is real....check it out.

Art in the Eye of a Needle

I hope you are having a peaceful weekend


Kellie said...

He does have a plan for you, Michelle. You are living that plan now. You touch so many lives eavery day with you strength, wisdom and courage. I'm glad to read that the pieces are coming together and you are able to enjoy the precious moments with your family!

Lynds said...

Your message was really powerful, and has inspired me. The metaphor with life and puzzles is such an enlightening truth. And while you may have to wait to do other things down the road, your blog is a great resource to spread joy and thought.


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