Friday, October 21, 2016


The week before General Conference, I saw this Alice in Wonderland puzzle at Wal-Mart.  I fell in love.  I actually really love puzzles, but I'm so picky about them that I don't do them often.  Also, I've always had little kids around and you can't do puzzles with little kids around because

1) Destruction
2) Choking
3) Sanity.

But my youngest is almost 4, and my oldest is almost 10.  And look at that puzzle!  Look at all the details!  It wasn't a scenery puzzle with mostly sky or grass or water.  It has a river and flowers and a queen and sparkles and a tea party and cards and and and!
The kids and I put it together while we listened to conference.  I listen so much better if my hands are busy doing something.  It's a genetic thing.  Also a genetic thing?  Sleeping through conference.  We are a family of hard workers and we also sleep hard when there's noise.  So sitting down while people talk?
Let's just say I don't have a single relative that suffers from insomnia because there's such a thing as TV, and my relatives don't last through movies.

But with a puzzle in hand, I DID IT!

Since then, that puzzle has been done once by my mom and once more by us.  I noticed yesterday that the kids had started it over again.

As I looked at the 750 pieces strung together in a scrappy, rough fashion I thought about my own personal "cycle" type trials... I mean the trials that keep coming, coming, coming.
Shouldn't they get easier?
Shouldn't I have figured them out already?  Weeded them out?
Who am I kidding?  If there's anything I know about yard work, it's that weeds come back until you get down to the roots.
My Dad is pretty hard core with his tactics.  There's a type of tree that comes up rogue in our yard, and you CAN'T pull it up by the roots.
"Chop it off, drill down the center and pour the poison down the hole."

He's like a war torn sarg who never *actually* set foot on a battlefield.

Some of my trials are like 25 piece puzzles.  I mess up and stumble a bit, but getting them solved doesn't take too long.  And the next time the same trial creeps up, I'm all over it and have it wrapped up in seconds.

But then there's the 750 piece trials.
They take forever.  They consume me.
"What?  Dinner?  Oh... Isn't there cheese in the kitchen?  And tortillas?  There's three meal options right there, you lucky kid!  Go for it!"
There's so many mistakes and so much confusion and sometimes I tell the box IT IS WRONG BECAUSE LOOOOOOK and I swear the company forgot to put the right pieces in the box OR they didn't send enough.
I spend a lot of time studying the picture on the box, just as I spend a lot of time studying my trials in the scriptures and books.

When it's over and done, I'm always so glad I did it.

When the same trial comes around again, it isn't easy-peasy like it is with the 25-piece puzzle.  It might be SLIGHTLY easier, but it is still a huge time-consuming labor of love.  I still get frustrated and I might have even bribed a kid with money to find a missing piece.
Whatever works, right?  Survival mode.

Anyway, looking at the puzzle pieces strewn all over the card table this morning, I realized that there's nothing wrong with me.
Because today I'm in the middle of a 750 piece puzzle that I've put together before and guess what?
It isn't all that easier this time.

It's time to stop shaming myself for that.  It's time to stop the voice that says, "Come on, you've done this.  You know this."
Because YES, I've done this.
But that doesn't mean I KNOW IT.
It just means I'm taking longer to learn something REALLY worth learning, and God is kind enough to teach me.

Humility is the hardest won prize.
If I could bribe my way to the finish line, I'd be all over it.

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