The picture started to unfold.
Years ago as new brides, we each had our own mental picture painted in our heads on how life would progress. The finished picture of the future stood prominently on display as we gently and carefully placed each puzzle piece into its place. Yes, there were adjustments along the way, but for the most part, the puzzle pieces went into place with ease.
Jump forward 30 plus years later. The table still displays the unfinished puzzle of both of our lives...our faith still holds each piece together. However, the storms of life have blown the original picture, which guided our selection for the next puzzle piece, away. As we visit, we acknowledge that some of the original pieces had fallen to the floor as the storms took the picture away. Some of the pieces had been lost!
We turn to each other with the realistic awareness that we no longer know what the end picture is to look like. We now stand trying to put pieces into place without a visual guide.
One would pick up a piece and say, "You think this will fit? Maybe you need to turn that piece. Does this one fit in at another angle from what you envisioned? How about following a new picture so the pieces you have now been given will continue to fit the puzzle? It is fine, it is just different than you had thought."
I believe we both left with new pieces of our life's puzzles added to our developing puzzle of life. Some of the pieces that looked dark in color before we visited have now changed to brighter colors, reflecting hope.
We began some practical placing of inspirational pieces into our puzzle. Ethel was in need of some inspirational pieces that would bring out her creative side again, after her puzzle had gone through extreme changes. So off to the bookstore we drove.
Lucy suggested, "Walk around until your eye catches something. Look at the magazine until you are inspired, even if it is something you have never thought of."
Within a few minutes, Ethel's eyes were sparkling as she flipped through a magazine showing vintage, embellished clothing. She began to design ideas in her head and out through her mouth.
So what did we do? We hopped back into the car and headed for thrift stores. By the end of our shopping day, we had gathered together enough material to make four outfits. Now don't be surprised if Ethel comes out with her own vintage-shabby-chic clothing line.
I grabbed my own inspiration. Yes, I found this....now I am on the hunt and pinning anything that has to do with Vintage Campers. Mary Jane's Farm will be coming out with a book called Glamping with Mary Jane.- a must-have guide for adding glamour to outdoor pursuits for the backyard and beyond.
Now this has been a summer for releasing the puzzle picture of the past that I had put into my head and grasping the picture God has created instead. As I look to the Master Puzzle builder, I rejoice that He allows us to be His hands and feet...and sometimes that means picking up a puzzle piece for a friend and putting it into place. I came home and picked up some pieces I had allowed to fall to the floor...it is my choice to place them back in the puzzle. Neglect or discouragement can fog our eyesight and make the pieces seem to not fit into the puzzle. The truth still rings in my ear, "He isn't finished yet!"
May you be a puzzle builder....and may you rejoice as others come along side you to help when your pieces have been scattered on the floor. I know I sure am. So Lucy and Ethel made their individual drives home, with new puzzles being arranged on their table. Only He knows what the puzzle looks like when finished.