Chris Carter, my guest today, blogs at The Momcafe. She didn’t know that by writing these thoughts she would also be helping me sort out some serious issues.

Over this past weekend I had a moment, a few hours actually, where I was letting the past trigger extreme anxiety. The anxiety was fueling anger and feelings of betrayal while also destroying my natural happy-go-lucky spirit. Eventually, I found myself sitting in a miserable puddle of feelings that I despised – and the truth of the matter is – I created them!

It wasn’t my friend’s fault I felt pain and anxiety over my past decisions and it wasn’t my other friend’s fault for not understanding the extreme nature of my emotions. I sat at a table among friends, watching them laugh, enjoying each others company and it dawned on me… the only reason I couldn’t join in was because I was shining a light on all the wrong emotions.

I pictured myself a mess of jumbled up puzzle pieces which if taken piece by piece has some undesirable, embarrassing, and truly unflattering bits; but as Chris beautifully describes below they are important to the overall picture of me. I realized I could create a better masterpiece by visualizing what I wanted these pieces to look like to the future me.

We are actively creating the pieces of us… create good.

Thank you Chris!


You Are Your Own MasterpieceYou Are Your Own Miraculous Masterpiece… by Chris Carter


I can define myself in so many ways. So can you. I like to think of our identity as a miraculous puzzle, as we add piece by piece of who we are as time goes on and life is lived. Much like a puzzle, we slowly form a picture of who we are through the various ways we experience life, and the countless turns that add new descriptive pieces to claim as our own. So many significant pieces fit into our presentation… So many parts we possess. As we grow older, these pieces shift to different places, leaving more room to add another piece we discover about ourselves. We continue to create more sections to add to this masterpiece that is entirely ours to own. Our workmanship is made through each circumstance we encounter and how we allow it to penetrate our lives, our hearts, our perspective.

I have the power to shine my spotlight on any piece of my puzzle I so desire. There are pieces of my life, my heart, and my history that are dark and weak and scary. There are pieces that rise in light, in victory, in love. This magnificent puzzle is the compilation of years gone by, experiences lived, and circumstances beyond my control. There are pieces I formed through shame and anger, pieces created by others who forced their way through- either to hammer down painful lows or gently lift healing highs. Traces of past mistakes or purposeful plans weave pieces that fit into each other, threading the timeline of my life into this masterpiece of me.

I step back to view the entirety of who I am, and I realize that each of these pieces define my unique existence. Some small fragile pieces keep quietly in their corners, rounding out some jagged pieces that are frayed with raw and ragged edges. Some have lighter hues illuminating beauty and substance and depth that is full of life and living victoriously, while other pieces fit harshly empty of color and hope. Some pieces display a haunting past, full of poisonous toxicity and suffocating moments of despair. They exist, and I have the power to shine my spotlight on them at any given time… or not.

The beauty of our masterpiece is having the will to maneuver and manipulate these pieces as we please. Although there are times when we feel vulnerable and victim to those cruel and corroded pieces that sometimes stick out like sharp knives severing the very essence of our work… we can ultimately rise to see the entire masterpiece of who we are and cling to the pieces that give us strength. We can choose to define ourselves with any piece of our puzzle. We can illuminate those pieces that are of value, of worth, of purpose.

Our masterpiece is flawed, but full. Broken, but whole. And when we sit back and marvel at all the pieces we have sewn together over the course of our lives…

We can celebrate each piece that gave birth to the next. Each part that battled it’s way into our existence, or appeared as a gift. It is an ongoing work of our art, like no other. Put the spotlight on any piece you choose, it’s yours to display. It’s yours to build as you go forward in this life, adding piece by piece. You can’t take any away, for each part is precious and purposeful, even the painful pieces are worthy of your art. Sometimes, those are the most powerful ones that inspire more vibrant colors and unique shapes to add.

If you step back long enough to take in the full spectrum of it all…

You just might find that in it’s entirety – the picture you are making is a true treasure, worthy of living.

Worthy of giving.

One piece does not define you. Don’t let it. One piece cannot conquer and dominate the other pieces, unless you give it power. You can share each piece as you wish, and allow them to shine as you please. This is your gift. Celebrate and rejoice in your proclamation, for it is yours and only yours to offer to the world.

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Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at for four years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through humor, inspiration and faith.

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    • Oh gosh Beth… I am just so so glad this spoke to you!!! I’ve been wanting to write this piece for a while… so grateful Hasty invited me to share this here.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Now I’m grumpy because you keep telling such bloody INCONVENIENT TRUTHS. Grrrrr
    I’ve already written ONE this week. You flippin’ well got into my 1000Speak post, and now you’re doing it AGAIN.

    This makes me snarly and I’m sure it’s only because I’m shining my light on the wrong piece of my puzzle. Guess I’m too good with apathy and not taking charge. Which makes me feel like a dick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you silly silly girl… Look at YOU all snarled up with your undies in a bunch! 😉

      Here’s the thing- sometimes we NEED to shine our lights on those broken pieces of our puzzle… in so doing, the power slowly diminishes in the full masterpiece of our creation, allowing the beautiful pieces to shine brighter, once those dark pieces are dealt with well and good.

      Also? Sometimes there is purpose in sharing those jagged edges and misfitted pieces of pain… sometimes it’s critical to address them, if they still have control over the entire work of art we are forming. And as we dive further and deeper into those parts that dominate our entire existence, we release new revelations and new pieces that may be born from those shaded parts that lurk and shadow the beauty waiting to come forth into the spotlight.

      And also part 2? Think more on it all, my lovely Lizzi. Because when things speak to our hearts- there is growth, and transformation. Allow it to happen… see what transpires, shift those pieces and perhaps your masterpiece looks very different as you control that spotlight. Remember though, each part matters. Each piece can speak when you choose. You have the will and the freedom to direct your light ANYWHERE you want.

      I love you, Faves.

      Liked by 3 people

      • *huffs* That sounds like EFFORT!

        *sigh* You’re right. You’re right. I just have to buck my ideas up and recognise the truth that *I* am responsible and in charge, not the crap and the crud and the mess. But the light feels awfully heavy sometimes. And frankly I’d rather shine on other people, anyway.

        Adunno. This piece leaves me all tangledy.

        Liked by 2 people

        • “Tangledy” is GOOD. 😉 And of course it’s much easier to shine the spotlight on ‘others’… looking away is quite lovely, isn’t it?

          You have more power over your crap and crud and mess than you think… it’s growing more and more every day. Muscles have to work at strengthening, my love. Your muscles are getting stronger every day!

          Ain’t nothin’ comes easy around these parts… but oh, the wonders of ourselves!!! Defining our worth? Best best BEST part of living, ever.

          It’s a beautiful thing, our art. All of it.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Janine… I just adore you. Thank you for always ‘showing up’. You are a TRUE friend. I’m so glad you liked this and I agree, it IS hard to not let ONE part of ourselves define the entirety of who we are. I’m just so grateful that is the case… I’d much rather see my ‘better parts’ shine… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful post, Chris!! There are so many times that I (and I know I’m not alone) don’t feel like a masterpiece or even the start of a masterpiece but…..
    You are truly gifted with your words!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh but you ARE, my friend. You ARE… 🙂 Take a closer look… step back in wonder at your work. Your art is beautiful. I see it, all the way from HERE. I’m betting many others do too. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Chris, you are a ray of sunshine in a sometimes very dark world. No matter what you are going through you manage to not only find the words to bring positivity to your own life but someone, or many someones, as well. I love this so much, every word. You are such a beautiful soul and I am so grateful to know you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh gosh, Sandy… what beautiful words of encouragement you just poured on me!! Wow. I’m so so so grateful. I know you get this, my friend. Keep shining your spotlight on your masterpiece and allow every piece to radiate purpose. XO

      Liked by 2 people

    • Now see THAT is my dream come true, to read those words Michelle! Holy hell, thank YOU for taking the time to read it, and soak it in and make it MEAN something to you!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • YES YES YES!!! Back atcha, girl! Every piece matters, and is unique to who we are. My favorite part about our masterpiece, is that we are the creators- we have the power to embrace it, celebrate it, overcome it, survive it, and ultimately rise in victory with it!


  4. I think the “weak” pieces, the “dark” pieces need to be exposed but (as you stated) in the manner you wish to open up to people. That you shouldn’t indulge in the dark but learn from it. That knowing we are all weak some times, without it we wouldn’t know how to be strong. We are not perfect (though we wish we were) but through our imperfection is how we grow.

    Thank you for this, it was lovely and needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love how you said that Kerri! YES. Those pieces are delicate and quite dangerous, if we let them take on too much power. We can feel quite power-less over them at times… But they always serve a greater purpose to bring new strength and deeper gratitude for our victories. 🙂


  5. Hi Chris! I love this positive and in-charge post. We all have those ‘sharp pieces’ that we don’t want to have dominate our lives. I have a few, and being reminded that it’s me that’s in control helps me to understand that they don’t have to take over my life!
    May my light shine over the beautiful, hard-won pieces. They are the treasures of grace and effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “May my light shine over the beautiful, hard-won pieces. They are the treasures of grace and effort.” THIS!!! Oh Ceil- how I just love the way you said that… That is exactly my hope and prayer always.

      Thank you my friend. Your added ‘touch’ blessed me!!


  6. So inspirational. We get so caught up in certain little things and let just one part define us. I like the idea of stepping back and looking at the pieces and how they are put together and why they mean what they mean and how they make us who and how we are. I’ll be thinking about this long after I end the comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! I love that you get this… and I’m so glad it will continue to resonate with you. I constantly think about this perspective- because it helps me navigate through all my pieces and embrace the entire masterpiece that I am. Keep thinking on it, and I hope your ‘view’ of who you are is raised and your intricate parts are illuminated as you WISH. It’s your unique design, your masterpiece!


  7. Ahh, you know how much I love this, Chris! Every word of it. Every puzzle piece, in fact.
    Words will do me no justice right now, but you know how much I love YOUR words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love you T… and YOUR words always always catch my heart! I hope this post ‘extends’ that comment further into understanding this perspective about us all. YOU are an incredible work of ART, my dear friend. 🙂


    • Thank you so much Lisa! It is sometimes SO hard to not allow those darker more jagged edged pieces to define us… but they don’t! They are only parts of who we are… and those other pieces can provide enough light and goodness to shine on our art, that those dark corners are only in our dimly fainted background.


    • Oh Dani,

      I’m just so glad they meant something to YOU, my sweet friend!!

      I absolutely love love love that…

      “May the hollow become hallow.”

      Oh my heart.

      Thank you for that. It’s poetic and perfect all in one.

      OH, thank you from the deepest part of my heart. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You often use such compelling analogies, Chris. I love the idea of looking at myself as a puzzle – you need every piece to be complete, but one piece on its own does not define who you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EXACTLY Dana!! We have SO many pieces to who we are… there is not one piece that defines us, not one. It’s an incredible fabric, weaving many threads together that create ALL of who we are. (One more analogy! LOL I feel like I should be smokin’ a doobie. I could probably spit out a few more analogies for ya! )


      Liked by 1 person

  9. One piece does not define us, true. It’s so easy to focus on those one or two pieces, though, isn’t it? When you put together a puzzle, there are always those pieces that you want to place, but can’t make them fit anywhere – so annoying! But ultimately, usually later in the process, it becomes clear where they fit and you wonder how you missed that from the start. It’s exactly like that – sometimes you have to wait to figure it out. I have always said that I live my life with no regrets. Do I have moments that I’m not that proud of? Sure. But every moment of our lives leads to the person and place we are today and so to discard any part of our past essentially changes who we are. Acknowledge who you are – every part of you – and be patient with yourself until you find where every little piece fits.
    Great stuff, Chris. Sorry it took me so long to get here.


  10. FANTASTIC piece Christine! A million different pieces go into the tapestry that makes us who we are, and we should appreciate EVERY ONE, and not be defined by a single piece. Thanks for writing this!


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