Life is a lot like a jigsaw puzzle, or a patchwork quilt. Our family enjoys working on jigsaw puzzles, especially on the long, cold winter evenings we have here in northern Indiana. I've been a quilter for many years; there is just something that feels so positive and productive about taking all those little pieces of fabric and putting them back together to create a beautiful design. Of course, to anyone who doesn't understand the heart and soul of a quilter looks at it a bit differently: "You are going to take all that fabric, cut it up into a bunch of little pieces, and then sew it all back together again. Really?" They just don't understand!
I especially love crazy patch quilting with all of the creative and random ways you can create an artistic masterpiece with scraps of fabric, mismatched buttons, lace, ribbon, and beads from some long-forgotten blouse in Grandma's closet, and a little bit of imagination. I'm convinced that creativity is one of God's greatest gifts to us. We all have a creative spirit, and we all use our creativity in unique and personal ways, but some of us don't realize that being creative is just who we are meant to be. Whether it be an expression of beauty in growing a garden, or building a website, constructing a birdhouse or a mansion, stitching a bridal gown, baking bread and cinnamon rolls, teaching children or other adults, writing a novel or a poem, painting a picture, or singing a song . . . . and the list could go on and on and on . . . . we are all creators in one way or another.
That is because we have all been created in the image of the Great Creator, God Himself. If we can take little scraps of abandoned fabric, ribbons, lace, and a few lonely buttons and make something beautiful out of it, how much more can our Father God take the scraps and shattered dreams of our lives and weave them into a beautiful tapestry? If I can mix up a few ingredients in a bowl, plop in a couple of eggs and a little bit of vanilla, and come up with yummy cupcakes, what makes me doubt that He can take a little bit of sadness, a heap of disappointment, a few sunny days mixed with a few more days of clouds and some thunderstorms, and make a beautiful life?
A few days ago we had several "events" that kind of came together all at the same time for our family. We had an opportunity to visit our Grandma and Grandpa, and it was there that I was graciously blessed with words of inspiration and encouragement to take a bit of time to work on a quilting project - something that I have been neglecting since we moved from Colorado to Indiana. So, with Grandma's nudging, I got together a few pieces of fabric, pulled out my cutting board and blade, and studied the quilt pattern in Grandma's quilt book. That really felt like progress, because I've been spending so much time the past few months wondering if I would ever have time to get back to some of my "creative" projects ;o) Then, on that very same day, we had the gift of reconnecting with someone in our lives that we had lost contact with over the past few years. Another missing "piece" of life had been found!
Then, that same night I received the news that my sister-in-law had a stroke . . . . and my brother had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. A few more "pieces" of life that I felt like I might be losing. So, today, as I think about all of the blessings God gives us, I am reminded of the jigsaw puzzle that we worked on a couple of weeks ago. The picture on the outside of the box is so beautiful! But when you open up the box, it is filled with pieces. Pieces that have to be put together, and it can never be complete if any of the pieces are missing. But just like the ol' Skin Horse in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, after a while, when all of the fur is gone, and one eye is missing, and most of the tail is in tatters, you know you are loved, truly loved, even when some of your "pieces" have been bent and broken through years of all that fun!
Today I'm thinking about picking up the pieces, the new ones, the old ones, the ones that I'm still waiting to find, perhaps hiding behind the couch or under the bed, but they are there. Some of the pieces are almost bent and broken so that they will eventually no longer participate in the puzzle that is my life, but I will always remember them, and love them, and celebrate the new "pieces" of this puzzle as God brings them home. Don't make the mistake of missing the "pieces," reach out and pick up those pieces, because every one of them is a gift . . . . and the whole picture will never be complete without them.
If you want to participate in this week's blog hop, "Do You Realize Your Blessings?" please visit MusingMom6 for the details and links to the other participants. Then, if you post a blog about this topic, be sure to leave your link so we can come by and visit you!
Have a blessed weekend, Nina