To receive and share God’s accepting Grace, challenging Wisdom and transforming Love

STEDY, March 20, 2019

I caught my head in my hands as my sister pounded a puzzle piece with her fist trying to make it fit where it obviously didn’t. We were kids and I had let her try a puzzle I had been given for my birthday; Miss Piggy sitting on a sliver of moon while Kermit gazed at her from below. I would build it over and over again, sometimes starting with the inside and working my way out, other times building it around one piece. One evening my mother suggested letting my older sister have a go which I did. After watching her force a purple piece from Miss Piggy’s dress into the silver moon, I decided it was best if I left the room. That evening has haunted me when I too have tried to force a puzzle piece that didn’t fit. Despite studying the shape, the colors and picture and being so certain, I have the hardest time admitting that it simply isn’t right.
As a man was recently telling me about his love of puzzles, he referenced the shapes of a piece by name. I didn’t know they had names and was fascinated when he flippantly tossed around terms like “sockets”, “knobs”, “holes” and my favorite “outie”. He said that too many people rely on the picture on the box, something he never looks at until the puzzle is complete. His theory was it provides false assistance, you think it will help you when really it only adds to the frustration because the pictures are misleading. According to him the best way to put together a puzzle was to let the puzzle form in front of you.
As I listened to him I kept finding parallels between building a puzzle and raising kids. I think we are so tempted to guide kids based on some image of what we think they should look like when “complete”. We force pieces to go where we think they should, at times even pounding our fists into a table, fully believing that will fix something we think we know is supposed to be correct. Instead, we need to focus on the shapes of our kids – what they are, what they offer and how they can support those around them. We need to let them show us who they are rather than us telling them who they should be.
Jesus once told a story of a fig tree in a vineyard. The man who planted it had an image of a tree teaming with fruit and when nothing grew, he was quite frustrated. Thinking the tree was wasting good resources, he decided to shop the tree down. The gardener intervenes and asks for a little more time. Instead of treating it like the grapes in the vineyard, the gardener gives the fig tree what it needs. He gives it space, water and the fertilizer it enjoys. He lets the tree be what it is supposed to be and the tree flourishes.
If something isn’t the way we think it should be, chances are the change, the uprooting and tossing into the trash needs to be something that happens in our minds rather than something we do to another person. God doesn’t make mistakes, but God makes a lot of surprises. Let us allow ourselves to let go, to learn from the people and creatures around us and let us be surprised by their beauty and the ways they reflect God.

~ Upcoming Events ~

SPRING BREAK EVENTS
If you’re not in school this week, join us for tons of fun!
Please RSVP to Heather as soon as possible.

Wednesday, March 20
Wonder Park
2:15 pm | Santa Anita AMC

Thursday, March 21
Dogs! A Science Tail Exhibit and Imax
12 pm for the exhibit
1:30 pm for the Imax
Superpower Dogs 3D

Friday, March 22
Hike to Eaton Canyon Falls
We will meet at Eaton Canyon Nature Center at 11 am
1750 North Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107

Saturday, March 23
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland
6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Rothenberg Hall Huntington Gardens
$15 per person
Celebrate your “very merry un-birthday” at a special screening of the 1951 Disney animated classic, Alice in Wonderland. Come dressed in your Mad Hatter best; learn about Mary Blair, the Disney concept artist who designed Alice’s colorful world; and make your own Alice-inspired art before the movie. Suitable for all ages. Children 5 and under are free. Movie screening begins at 7:30 p.m.

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Sunday, March 24
Team 4 Acolyting

Family Worship
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Sunday, March 31

Family Worship
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

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Sunday, April 7
Team 1 Acolyting

Family Worship
10 am | Chapel

Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms

Youth Group
Noon | Settebello Pizza

Please feel free to contact Heather if you have questions.