Tracy Joy Jones - Lessons from Lego

Lessons from Lego

Tracy Joy Jones -Lessons in LegoEver stepped on a lego? Ever vacuumed a lego piece and then had to silence that barb of guilt that wonders if your child will miss it, and if you just vacuumed up the key to his entire lego universe? Have you ever looked at your family’s pile of legos and wanted to cry at home much money is represented in those oddly assorted, multi-colored blocks that now lie in rubble?

Whatever your feelings toward lego, God has been speaking to me through my lego pile lately and I wanted to share a few randomly shaped nuggets with you.

A little background first:

I got my first lego when I was six-years-old. It was Christmas morning in my grandparent’s living room. My brother and I scampered down the hall to see what Father Christmas had brought us. We lived in South Africa at the time and the tradition was to hang pillowcases on the mantle the night before, and in the morning they were full of goodies. But this Christmas morning, there was only one large box in both my pillowcase and in my brothers. Okay, there might have been other gifts. I honestly can’t remember because inside that box was the most incredible lego set, and it filled every part of my memories for that day. I can still remember the details of the box and the beautiful pictures of an entire town made of lego. My brother got an identical town. Little people, little cars, a working pulley system for cargo, windows that opened, and details like a cash register, bus stop, flowers. I loved everything about that little world.

From that moment on, the tinkly scratching of lego was the soundtrack for my childhood. My parents had to set lego curfews for us when they couldn’t stand the noise anymore. 6 am. That’s when we could start scratching in the pile. My brother and I played and played and scratched and built. I must have built that lego set hundreds of times through the years.

And this past weekend, I built it again. Yup. Here I am in my 40’s and my mom and dad still have our original lego sets. Now to fully understand what a miracle that is, my family moved 19 times throughout my childhood including an international move to America. But my mom was fanatical about lego pieces always going back to the lego pile. She collected them. She guarded them. She taught me to do the same. My dad was the one who scratched with us and built with us, but without my mom, there would have been nothing but frustration in that pile.

Fast forward thirty-something years and I now have my own lego pile, only it’s four times bigger than the one I built from as a child. It’s become a monster. A few years ago, I even bannished lego as presents. I told the grandparents. I told my kid’s friends. But lego is the easy gift so it just keeps flowing in like a primary-colored river.

The thing is — my eleven-year-old LOVES lego. He still plays with it All the time. But he only likes the lego creations when they’re completely built. My 15-year-old was always the destroyer who wanted to build his own things. Nothing stayed built around him. It was miserable building anything for Noah because he immediately took it apart. Building for Luke is a different story. He cherishes them. Protects them. Building a lego for him is like giving him Christmas all over again.

So, this summer I decided to do my best to build as many lego sets as I could. My lego curfew is 7 am-10 pm (set by my husband and oldest son whose bedroom is right by the lego pile). And of course, I work during the day. But I’ve had coffee mornings with Lego, and late night scratching sessions where I’ve recruited all three kids to search for missing pieces. Together, we have rediscovered lego this summer, and maybe even discovered it for the first time.

Like I said, God’s been speaking to me through lego, so I’ve decided to do a blog series on it. Even if lego isn’t your thing, there’s a good chance that some little sticky somebody in your life loves it. And there is a really good chance that you might take away something from my pile of lego musings like:

1.) “You’re never going to find it” (Noah’s challenge to me with every single piece I search for / a.k.a., Lego Lessons in Confidence)

2.) “Ouch” (The nice version of what you say when you step on a lego / a.k.a., Lego Lessons in Brokenness)

3.) “I used to chew on that” (what all my kids say about touching the lego pieces / a.k.a., Lego Lessons in Forgiveness and letting go of the past)

I hope you’ll join me as I scratch a little in the lego pile of life because what God has been showing me has literally changed my faith. It’s given me new eyes to see His purpose. And every spiritual catchphrase is now going through my lego paradigm.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”
(a.k.a., a way through the lego pile)
Isaiah 43:19

With love,

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