Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Adjusting to a Changing Jigsaw Puzzle January 5, 2010

Filed under: Christianity,devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 4:36 pm

          We are taking Ashley, our 20year old, to school in the morning.  She is transferring to the College of Charleston in South Carolina.  We are proud of her hard work to accomplish this goal.  While we are excited for all the future holds for her, it is still a difficult season in life.  I know she is ready.  I know this is good.  But it is change, and change is never easy. 

           I joined her in her room yesterday as she finished her packing process.  For the first time I noticed how much her room is like a jigsaw puzzle.   Every item was like a piece of her life, a reflection of her personality, mementos of special moments or monuments to trying times.  Intact her room was a complete portrait of the young woman I call my daughter.

          I watched as she emptied her closet and drawers.   Suddenly the puzzle was losing its pieces.  I loved putting her in pretty pink things as a baby.  As a little girl she loved to play dress up and as a pre teen we clashed often regarding her clothing choices.  Later, as a teenager her clothing choices were a direct reflection of her mood and personality, and as a young adult her clothing was a way for her to communicate her need for respect, admiration and her strong sense of self.   The barren closet and drawers no longer hold this image of her.

         She deftly swept up bottles and brushes from atop her dresser and deposited them in a plastic tub.  Another piece of the puzzle disappeared.  It was only yesterday my baby girl entered this world with a head full of soft blonde hair framing her blue eyes.   She transitioned from bows and braids to curling irons and flatirons in no time it seems.   The top of her dresser, which once only had room for a goldfish bowl and a tube of chapstick, transformed into an artist’s pallet by the time she was a teen.  Lipsticks, eye shadow, blush, bronzers, mascara and various application brushes were a testament to her creative style and need to constantly seek beauty.  The space, which once held the tools of her quest for beauty, no longer, shows evidence of such a time. 

          Another piece of the puzzle faded away as photo frames were folded and carefully laid aside to be packed.   Every one of them images of she and her friends, always laughing, always together, always in the midst of adventure.  These photos she now packed away replaced others she has had over the years…although they were of younger years, the images were the same…all of smiling friends, laughter frozen in time, all reminders of important relationships. 

         Books which towered by her bedside table were quietly put away.  A piece of the puzzle falls to the ground.  Books in her bedroom were as necessary as walls and a roof.   She is always reading.   As a little girl she loved to be read to.   I spent countless hours over the years reading everything from Dr. Seuss to most of the Nancy Drew Mystery Series with her.   Now I can actually see the clean white surface of her bedside table, I will miss the teetering clutter of texts that once bore testimony to her love of literature.

          Boxes, bags and suitcases are piled in the hall awaiting tomorrow’s drive.   The items removed have left visual gaps in a room once full of chaos, love and life.  Like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces it stands before me now…but that is okay.  Her room is missing pieces that make it uniquely her, but our lives will never be missing the pieces that remind us of her uniqueness.   Her room may be empty, but her life is not.  Different closets to fill, dressers to cover, bedside tables to clutter and photos to collect are all awaiting her in the next few years, all of which will continue to complete the puzzle/portrait of the young woman I call my daughter.

Though we may be apart for a time, because she is my daughter I will always love her and be working for her best interest.   So is the relationship God desires for each of us,because we are His, He loves us and He will always be working in our best interest. ……. Colossians 1:19-23 reminds us all of this very love.

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9 Responses to “Adjusting to a Changing Jigsaw Puzzle”

  1. stephanie Says:

    What a precious and accurate description of watching our children grow up and becoming independent. Ashley, I love you and am so proud of this big step you are taking towards your future.

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  2. Melynie Says:

    I just came downstairs after an hour of walking around and picking up after the girls in their bedrooms…grumbling about their mess under my breath the enitre time.

    Then I read your post and fought back the tears as you described your blond haired blue eyed girl and her childhood room and I thought about my blondies and their mess I just battled and it put it all into perspective. The mess still frustrates me…but I know someday the bedside table won’t have the stack of books, and I won’t fall to the ground in pain after having my foot impailed by a barbie high heeled shoe, and my hamper won’t be filled with dress up clothes…and I’m sure I will no longer be frustrated but sad. Thank you for changing my thinking for today.

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  3. tlmiller82 Says:

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

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  4. grammie Says:

    Teri, You made me cry. I can’t imagine sitting there watching all those memories disappear. Knowing that Ashley is now ready to really take over her life should make you proud and I am sure you are as proud of her as I am.

    Ashley, I wish you much happiness in this next step in your life. Remember, we are not too far from you and hope to see you often. I love you so much, my beautiful girl.

    Scott, you and Teri have done a wonderful job with Ashley and I know she will make you proud. Steven is doing so well and you and Teri can be proud of both your children. Love you all and even Huey and of course the new addition, whatever his name is.

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  5. Mariah Says:

    Thank you, Teri, for the reminder that all that we do for our young ones now is for a purpose. All our nurturing, all our discipline, all our praying, all our direction is to get them to this day that you are sharing with Ashley. A day where they can step out on their own, confident in who they are and the knowledge that they are dearly loved.

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  6. Karen Says:

    Your pain is my attitude adjustment! Thanks, I needed that.

    Did you bawl like a baby when you left?

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  7. Aunt Lora Says:

    Teri, you, always, amaze me with ability to put your feelings into words. Every Mother has experienced this in one way or another. It is never and easy transition for a parent. However, we do know that God loans them to us. They belong to Him (God & I have often discussed this!Ha!). Sheila moved out many years ago, but that day is burned into my memory the same as you described! Now is sthe time to realize that All of those memories will be joined by many NEW ones. The Circle of Life is filled with LOVE!

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  8. Alison Says:

    Praying for you and Ashley today, as I was on Wednesday. I am so excited for all that God has instore for her, and you. Change is hard but as you know it can be a blessing in unexpected ways, that’s how I met you! Will “No Fear” Langmack and I look forward to seeing you and hugging your neck as soon as we get back.

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  9. Phyllis Says:

    The Jig saw puzzle is very good Teri. You know it seems like God only gives us a few pieces at a time, so we never will quite know the final beauty.until he gives us the final pieces. Only He really knows what He has planned for us. But the joy in the puzzle is watching it put together. Even in the confusing parts where nothing seems to fit anywhere. Love your analogy. Glad you all made it home safely.

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