A Valentine: Lessons From Sweet Pea Beauty, Part 2

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I remember when the twins were just about one year old.  They were playing together in the living room, and I was thinking about how shockingly beautiful they are to me.

"God, you made them perfect! They are just beautiful!"

"Yes they are, I made them exactly as I intended them to be. And that is how I see you, too."

Struck profoundly by His words to me, and the understanding that I was smack in the presence of a Holy God, I tucked those words in the "do not forget" folder of my heart and sat, processing what He said.

I did not know how God was using those words. But He was, as He crafted together His story; forever enchaining the soon-to-be past to the future.

 

About a year and a half later, we recognized Sage's autism.

God reminded me of his words, "I made them exactly as I intended them to be. They are perfect." And I was  reminded that God is Holy. He doesn't make mistakes. God knew Sage has autism all along. It was only a surprise to me.

Sage's autism is not an oversight by God; it an essential part of His master plan.

It was a hard word-pill to swallow, to let dwell in me and become flesh. To become part of me.

But when a Holy God speaks truth to a heart, that heart is bent toward it until captured.

 

God taught me to see the beauty in autism over the years.  He also has taught me to see myself and others in the the same way. He sees every part of us and says it's good.  He created us, and said it is "very good" (Genesis 1:31)

Many times he calls us the Apple of His eye. He passionately pursues us.

Sure, He knows all we do: all our faults, the cellulite in our souls. Still He looks at us and says we are beautiful...more beautiful.

In the words of the King in the story Snoodlerella (by VeggieTales):

I treasure you deeply you're lovely my child.

I think you're beautiful. There's nothing about you I don't truly love.

Of course it is true every word that I say.

Daughter, I am the king and I made you that way.

I delight in your beauty you're wonderfully made.

I knew you before Earth's foundation was laid.

 

In More Beautiful, Sweet Pea says, "What I thought were imperfections make a world God calls complete"

So often autism is seen as an "imperfection". But God does not.

So often we see ourselves as imperfect, but God does not.

God uses what the world sees as "imperfections" and blends it into his story making it a masterpiece.

 

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Happy Valentines Day everyone!

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.