750 Puzzle Pieces

puzzlepiecesRecently, and by recently I mean like a month ago, I bought a 750 piece puzzle. I could have chosen the 25 piece Disney Princess puzzle, but I decided I would challenge myself and go for the daunting 750 piece puzzle.

It did not seem so daunting at first. In fact, it was seen challenging.  Once the pieces were separated by border pieces and center connectors I was able to move forward in the building of the puzzle’s frame. The border tends to be the easiest to put together. The center connectors prove to be a little more difficult. Starting at 7 PM and going on until 12 AM one night, I pushed myself to finish the border of this puzzle. Leaving it unfinished was not an option. About 2 days went on and at last I finished the puzzle with some great family support. And the picture on the box was now displayed before my eyes in 750 connected pieces!

FullSizeRender(2)Rural Charm

Lately, puzzle pieces tend to keep popping up in my mind. Have you ever looked at a puzzle box? The picture on the box is always so impressive. Open that box and you certainly have all the pieces to create this picture, but that picture is not put together.

Four months into the internship and the new pieces designed for my puzzle life are naturally falling into place. But like any other puzzle there  are also pieces that appear to fit until you see that the connection is a little off.

FullSizeRender(3)One frustration I have is knowing  that I do not have all the pieces of the puzzle to life. Honestly, I do not know what the picture looks like either. What I do know is that I do not put this puzzle together alone. I have tried. Lest anyone think otherwise, my attempts have been valiant. My efforts, determined. But all the while futile when done alone.

The mysterious mess of the various puzzle pieces strewn everywhere intrigues me.   This whole process, I recognize, requires patience.

Patient

bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.

The handy-dandy dictionary helps me grapple with the definition of being patient. Although, this is only a definition that encompasses our human grasp on being patient.

God is patient.

Patience is a characteristic that I have always admired. It happens to be one of my favorite characteristics of God. Yet, I long to do more than merely admire patience. So, in this moment I point to the example of perfect patience. The example I want to model, the one I desperately desire to reflect.

Psalm 86:15 (KJV) But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

He is FULL of compassion, grace, long-suffering (patience), and PLENTEOUS in mercy and truth.  I am basking in the beauty and comfort found in this verse. Can you not help but be humbled in the presence of such a marvelous truth? I am. And this is only a part of God’s character.

I am thankful for the art of patience. I am thankful that God is patient. It is amazing what you can learn by working on a puzzle. My puzzle pieces of life are held in His hands. He is patient when placing those pieces where they need to go and I can be confident in that. No need for frustration. Just a need for absolute trust.

Social Life.

IMG_1872This is a new friend. His name is Jerry. At the Young Adults Retreat I was able to meet Jerry and take his picture. Isn’t he just a spectacular specimen?? 😀

I also was able to participate in a “Rough Rudder” which is a 5K with tons of obstacles. Chelsea is one of my dearest friends and I was honored that she asked me to do this race with her. Mud was involved and we were able to support kids going to Skyview Ranch camp. Follow this link (http://skyviewranch.org/)  to see more information about them.

chelsea and ashlea adventures

IMG_1946

 IMG_1948In the midst of these myriads of activities, I press on to continue my masters courses which Dara helped me work through. She is a trooper. She is a support to me as I work through this particular puzzle piece of life.
One thing I do know for sure is that the Masters Courses do not just apply to the working realm alone. It filters to everything. Planning and organization all fit into a family dynamic as well. We work on things as a family to reflect  Christ’s heart. As I journey here I see that the desire to reflect Jesus starts first in the heart. That is the vision. This is what we fight for.  Together we go farther.
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