Recently, I was putting together a 24 piece puzzle with my 6 and 2 year old granddaughters. I was excited to share time with my granddaughters because they live in a different state and we don’t get to see each other often. I was also excited because this was the day we were celebrating my 2 year olds birthday. And did I mention that this was the day that our state released all COVID-19 restrictions? Needless to say, there was an indescribable sense of freedom…one that the word excitement barely captures.
While putting together the puzzle, there were three glaring lessons that I believe apply to intimacy. .
Don’t get upset, you know where the pieces go—While the six year old and I were making good progress in completing the puzzle, the two year old kept taking apart what we were doing. We found the four corners of the puzzle and put them aside, when we looked up, the 2 year old had picked them up and put them back into the box. We found all of the edges and had begun to put them together, before we knew it—they were back in the box, mixed in with the other pieces. We found some of the center pieces and could identify the faces of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck…and guess what…. We blinked and they were back in the box. I initially thought that this would be frustrating for my oldest granddaughter—but she taught me a lesson. She said—“Don’t worry, it's ok, at least we know where all the pieces go.”
This can be like intimacy—you finally figured out that physical touch is important for intimacy in your relationship and COVID19 comes along and you can’t even get a hug. Don’t worry, hugging and other forms of physical touch will have their place again in your intimate relationships—at least you know where the piece goes.. You found out just how much quality time you and your spouse need to grow in your intimate life and then one of you changes jobs and what worked before, is no longer possible in the same way—No worries at least you know where the piece goes. Things can sometimes get jumbled up in our intimate lives, but at least we are closer to knowing where the piece goes— we know that it belongs in this puzzle!
Boring is relative—After we had completed two 24 piece puzzles in a relatively short time, I overheard my granddaughter say “mommy, puzzles are not boring like I thought they were.” Her mom went on to explain that she had some wooden puzzles made for children younger than her with 5-10 pieces and she had not yet been challenged to complete puzzles with a larger number of pieces, more complex images, or ones that required more dexterity. Turns out she was up for the challenge and it increased her excitement to be able to solve something she thought was boring.
Can you guess what sometimes happens in our intimate relationships? Our relationships with God, our self, and others can sometimes become boring. When this happens, perhaps it is time for us to increase the number of pieces, move on to more complex images of intimacy, or increase our intimate dexterity. Are you expecting another child and your intimate life seems to be boring? Are you tired of studying your Bible the way you’ve always done as you seek to increase your intimacy with God? Do you sing the same song during your devotion and it has become ‘boring’? When this happens maybe there is a different challenge waiting for you—Be open to the challenge, boring is relative.
Celebrate every step along the way. As we completed the puzzle, my granddaughter would pause after she connected one piece to another. While I was waiting to celebrate the completed puzzle, she stopped to celebrate after each connection. Many of us don’t take the time to celebrate along the way. We are waiting for a certain age to celebrate, waiting for a particular accomplishment—when I get this amount of money saved I will celebrate….etc. There is so much to celebrate, God wants us to celebrate each step of the way.
My granddaughter stopped each time and clapped as she said, “Yay, I got another one.” It became contagious. At first, I clapped with her, then her mom clapped and said “yay” too, then my husband clapped and said “yay”—before we knew it, we were all celebrating every step until this 24 piece puzzle was completed!
Can you imagine what would happen if we all celebrated each step? You got your first sale on your new job, stop and celebrate! You wrote the first paragraph of the book you are writing…stop and celebrate! You are learning to drive, and you drove around the block for the first time—stop and celebrate! It’s your first day of reading the Bible in a Year—stop and celebrate! You and your husband made it through your first year of marriage—stop and celebrate! You wrote your first post for your new blog!
Stop and celebrate!