December 27, 2011

Christmas Puzzling-Denise M. Ford

Each Christmas our family sets up the card table in our family room, eager to begin building the traditional Christmas puzzle. Usually I’ve found one that matches something in our family life at the present time. This year as our family has begun to interact with the families of our future daughter-in-laws, it seemed appropriate to select a puzzle featuring an attic filled with treasured items from varied people’s past. The picture on top of the puzzle box shows discarded dolls laying sleepily in one corner, a flying pirate’s flag draped from the rafters in another, a stuffed bear braced against the handle of a baby carriage, team photos leaning against the trophy of a favored team. Now a couple days after Christmas the puzzle sits undisturbed, with a few bare spots left to complete, the pieces waiting to be found, to be fitted, and to be formed into the perfect picture.

Over the years it became apparent to me that different people put puzzles together differently!! Puzzling over how to find pieces that will interlock quickly and slide into place never seemed so technical in my childhood! However, I marvel at the puzzle personalities that pop up during the process: the box cover hoverer who determines to match each piece to its exact location according to the prescribed illustration, the color coordinator who confiscates every piece that should fit together because it looks like they would, the frustrated fitter who tries eagerly at first but quickly fumes when the shapes refuse to finely form together, the sight selector who scans the selections for certain unique angles and rounded points, the swoop-and-seize who scans the puzzle board from afar and on a passing rendezvous snags a prize to push into place.

Ah Christmas fun… I always like the days after Christmas when I can reflect on the moments shared. This morning as I look across the family room to our puzzle table, I pause for a bit of prayer puzzling over my own life. I too have a few bare spots left to complete, I know there are pieces waiting to be found, to be fitted and to be formed into the perfect picture that God has painted on my cover box. I look forward to letting Him guide me through the many ways that I can help to put my puzzle together. Oh there may be a few pieces tumbling to the floor, but I trust that sooner or later they will be restored.

Ephesians 4:16

He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.


  1. Wonderful analogy and a great way to spend Christmas with your family. I'm tempted to do the same for next Christmas with my family.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. Great observation of 'puzzle personalities'! Your little application at the end is so true. Well said, Denise!

  3. Very well said! Encouraging lesson and interesting observations on "puzzle personalities". Now I want to start my Christmas puzzle :)

  4. May the Lord complete the puzzle that is everyone of us! Something in me rises like prayer as I read your post!

  5. Puzzles and Christmas have gone together for decades in our family. As missionaries in Brazil we invited the entire community to help us do giant puzzles (25 square feet)My part in the puzzling was to set up the table, the lights, the chairs, the extra boards for sorting etc. and finally mounting them. Great devotional take!


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