I Want To Be Like Her: Lessons From Sweet Pea Beauty, Part 1

ourapproach2I took Sage for his first eye exam.  Visions of Magenta's trip to the eye doctor (from Blue's Clues) dazzled his imagination as he looked at all the exam equipment... all those levers and knobs and lenses! Oh My!

As he sits in the chair after the exam, the doctor explains, "Glasses will help Sage not have to work so hard to see.  Throughout the day the stress of straining to see can make his eye muscles cramp. Even though the cramping doesn't cause pain like a muscle cramp would, it does cause a pervasive blurriness; his vision fluctuates. The glasses will make it easier for him to see, so that won't happen."

To tell you the truth, I didn't know he needed them.

He seemed to be seeing exceptionally well. Like the time we drove by the oil change place:

     "The car is going potty!"  he said in disbelief as he pushed me back in my seat so he could see better.

      He looked intently at the car on a lift, getting an oil change.  

He must have seen the old oil leak out-- from the lane on the far side of the street!

But then on March 7, 2012 (of course, he remembers the date) he came home and told me he was "blind" at school and needs to go to the eye doctors to get glasses.  At his physical the same month, he tested with 20/20 vision and no concerns, so we didn't go.  

We should have gone anyway.

This year he has been having more and more headaches, and I thought it must be eye-strain related.

Then I heard about convergence insufficiency (CI) and it described him perfectly.

So we went to a pediatric eye doctor who specialized in behavioral optometry.  Sure enough, he has CI, and he also needs glasses.

Who knew?

Sometimes we struggle to see as well. The more we look at our surroundings the more tired our hearts become. We don't know what is going on, and we can't see what God is up to.

The more we struggle, the blurrier our vision.

We go down that whirlwind-like suctioning pit and are left with nothing but tunnel vision. We can't see to the left or right, just straight ahead at our problem as it engulfs us.

There are glasses for that too.

A prescription written out by God which helps us with our distance vision, so we can see past the problems:  "Set your minds on things above, not on earthy things." (Col 3:2)

He even tells us the things He wants us to focus on:  Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Phil 4:8)

And when we do those things; put on our spiritual glasses, we can see what God is up to.

Ultimately, that simmers down to one thing: loving us.

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jer 29:11)

"And we know that all things work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom 8:28)

When we learn to keep our glasses on, we learn to see things differently.

This is what one of my favorite VeggieTales Characters has mastered. Sweet Pea Beauty is determined to see through her spiritual glasses, tinted with the perfect amount of rose.

Here are the lyrics from her song, "More Beautiful".  As you read it, imagine how different our days would be, if we could see like she does.  

MORE BEAUTIFUL

Can you hear the bees so pleasing with this buzzing in my ears.
And though the skunk's scent is repelling, We've been loyal friends for years
And if I'd never peeled an onion I wouldn't value all my tears.
There's so much more here to explore here

"It's God who sees the beauty in everything, I just choose to agree with him." My father taught me that God gave everything a purpose, but we can only see it if we look deeper than the way something, or someone looks on the outside." 

Underneath the soil, worms crawling, make the flowers smell so sweet.
And the muddy rivers flowing, is a way to cool my feet.
What I thought were imperfections make a world God calls complete
There's so much more here to adore here.
It's more beautiful
It's more wonderful
Like each discovery seems much better than the last.
It's so captivating to see what my Creator sees
His love for me makes This whole world more beautiful
And I listen as God whispers, You're beautiful to me.

She has learned what I want to master: To see all the beauty, all the gifts, that God has pour out around me and to live there, with spiritual glasses on helping me focus past my problems and directly on God, with an abundantly grateful heart.

 

A Precious Find

One of two things would happen if you were to come to my house.

1. You freeze at the door, eyes stretched wide at the sight before you.  The "flight" response powers your feet to march politely back out the door to the safety of your clutter & germ-free car.

2. You dare to step in overlooking the topsy-turvey terrain, to find the beauty buried beneath. You'd look at the creations of art by the children, at props laid out for scenes rehearsed and have a good 'ole belly laugh.

Our house is undoubtably messy. Given that we have 4 kids (10, 10, 7, 1) and two with autism & ADHD living in this small house-gone haywire, I don't know how we can have it any other way.

Chaotic as it is...  The last few months have uncovered various precious finds.  Amidst the overwhelming clutter, discovering something loaded with character, filled with beauty, amazingly brilliant or just plain funny is even more striking.

It is like a gift.

A gift laid in place by God, with it's purpose to bring a smile to my face.

Here are a few examples:

♥ I open the pantry door, peer between the cans and bags of various foods in search for the pasta I know is in there somewhere.

I get this odd sense that someone, or something is staring back at me.

I dare look in it's direction, and I see a butternut squash looking back at me.

Someone drew life in him with big eyes, a nose and mouth.  The squash is no more. Now it is the famous gourd "Jimmy" from VeggieTales!

No doubt, my Stevie gave him life that day.


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♥ I sit down at my computer to check for email amidst the spam.  I open a message from my 10 year old, Sage but the "From" line says it is from "The National Weather Service". Here are few excerpts:

At 5:30 PM at 12/31/12, An Emberrising Situation For The Last Day Of 2012. Fireworks Air Up At Different Times Instead Of 2011.

The New Year Signillifant Is A Situation For The Dates. When You Are Sleeping If You Hear Loud Noises, That will cause BIG Problems.
Fireworks Can Travel 46 to 61 MPH. This Is Dangerous But Away From The Windows AT HOME!

I love the way he processes things in his day.  His emails make my heart glow with cheer.

 

♥ I try to organize the tower of dvd's thrown hither and yon, and find amongst them this homemade dvd that Stevie had wanted for months:

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♥♥♥ Blessings in secret places; unexpected, like God was having fun planting them for me to find.

I can imagine the anticipation He must have as he waits for the discovery; to see me laugh, smile big.

 

All gifts are showered down on us by God.  He lavishes us with love (it rains down) .  

"Every good and perfect gift is from above" James 1:17

 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us." Eph 1:7

 To lavish is like a torrential downpour of good.

His gifts and love are pouring down on us, we should be sopping from the wet!

Yet we so often miss "it" and grumble about needing to change our clothes, or complain that we forgot our umbrella.

With a shift of perspective, we see with new eyes.  Eyes gifted to see all the rain holds. We can soak it in, we can romp.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Phil 4:8

Let us not miss what is all around us because of what is right before us.

Let us not miss the beauty of the forest because of all those trees in the way.

The disaster may be right before our eyes, trying to snatch our attention away from the big picture which is above; beyond.

But we don't have to look at all the stuff; we can open our eyes to truly see.

To see the gifts and graces showered down on us right smack in the middle of the mess.

 

And don't you think if we are standing out in the rain of His love, riches and grace, that maybe some of that rain will seep in?

Perhaps, reign in?

Reign over our thoughts?  And this is my aim.... That He would reign in me over everything.

Lord, Reign In Me  (click the link for the you-tube video of the song)

Over all the earth You reign on high
Every mountain stream, every sunset sky
But my one request, Lord my only aim
Is that You reign in me again

Lord reign in me, reign in Your power
Over all my dreams, in my darkest hour
You are the Lord of all I am
So won't You reign in me again

Over every thought, over every word
May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord
Cause You mean more to me than any earthly thing
So won't You reign in me again

 

♥ One last Funny Find:  Stevie propped up Animal oh-so appropriately!

 

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This post is dedicated in memory of my Aunt Amy. I wish she could have seen past the many trees blocking her view. And to her 4 siblings left behind. May you all know the magnificent love contained in every drop of rain.