Scarlet Cable

Following Jesus out of the rubble of Parenting and Autism

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Migraine Triggers

I have a number of things that trigger migraines for me. One of them is bright lights, and it gives me one of those “aura” things on my eye. So I’ve got one of those, so I won’t be writing today. But I feel bad, so I will leave you with this:

What’s up with indie film makers? What makes them think it’s okay to just end their movies and leave all the story lines loose and untied up? Personally, I don’t think it’s innovative and interesting. I just think it’s lazy. Just sayin’. Have a good day. See you tomorrow. =)

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stream of consciousness 1

So there’s a l lot going on in my life right now. Well, actually, there isn’t but it feels like a lot. The big thing is that my brother in law and his kids are living with us for awhile. It is very disconcerting to me to have people who are not comfortable for me in my space. I have never really lived with anyone who is uncomfortable on this level. I mean, I hoped they would fold into our family and we could just be one big group. I’ve always dreamed of a big family. I wanted, like, tons of kids but that was not to be. So I keep trying to fill outer house with people. We tried to get foster kids. We tried to host exchange students. And now here we are with this. So we have three adults and five kids in our house. The ages on those kids are: 10, 12, 14, 15 and 18. I love this size of family. I do. I really want this to work. And it doesn’t. I feel l like they don’t want to be here. I feel like we don’t mesh well and no one likes anyone else. It just gives this negativity to the energy in the house.

It has really brings a new poignancy to every time someone says, “we are called to love the unlovable.”

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Breathing out Your Praise

I have been feeling kind of like I’m sleepwalking or in a coma. I mean, I always feel like there is a sort of screen between me and the world. It’s like an extra layer that means that even when I am touching things, I’m not really touching them. It’s like being…removed from…everything. But lately…it’s been worse. I feel insulated to the point of encapsulation. I think it’s stress. There’s just so much to think about and the Brain is done, I think. But my life is not done, so I keep pushing through. It just takes so much more effort lately. All that effort and it feels like nothing gets done. I feel like I’m no good to anyone or for anything.

But then I hear Matt Redman singing Your Grace Finds Me: “So I’m breathing in your grace and breathing out your praise, I’m breathing in your praise. Forever, I’ll be breathing in your grace and breathing out your praise.” And then I hear Mercy Me singing All Of Creation: “The reason we breathe is to sing of his glory.” The very reason we breathe is to sing of his glory. God gives us breath for his own purposes. God gives us the Spirit to live within us. So we can fulfill his purposes.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.                                                                         -Acts 2:4

The Spirit he gives us is the same Spirit that was with him at the Creation of the world:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.                                                                                                                  -Genesis 1:1-2

The word translated as Spirit in Genesis 1 is the same word translated here as breath:

I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it.                                                  -Genesis 6:17

God gives us his Spirit which is also his breath. His breath lives with our breath and compels us to glorify the Lord constantly, just like the Spirit has been doing from before the beginning of time. Even when the heart and the body are exhausted. Even when the brain wants to shut down entirely. The Spirit still works within us so that we can continue to bless his name. It is, once again, all God’s work and none of mine.

Glorifying God is our highest purpose. What satisfaction does one need beyond fulfilling their highest purpose? What greater thing can we hope to do or be than praising his name with the angels and all of Creation? And we can do that just by breathing. So we can rest knowing that we can praise God and satisfy our souls while we do nothing else. And maybe the release from the need to do anything else will allow us to rely on God to strengthen us to do everything else. Maybe that’s how we start to rely on the Lord and not on our own understanding or work.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits–
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
-Psalm 103:1-4

[Oh, and just a little PS for That Weird Kid from the Gas Station: I downloaded your software onto my tablet and used it to do a Bible word study to get this information. I guess there's a first time for everything. I love you, too. =) ]

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It’s not mine, it’s God’s.

My house is not mine, it’s God’s.

My family is not mine, it’s God’s.

My husband is not mine, he’s God’s.

My kids are not mine, they’re God’s.

My aesthetic is not mine, it’s God’s.

My talent is not mine, it’s God’s.

My brain is not mine, it’s God’s.

My intelligence is not mine, it’s God’s.

My creativity is not mine, it’s God’s.

My cleverness is not mine, it’s God’s.

My teaching is not mine, it’s God’s.

My service is not mine, it’s God’s.

My caring is not mine, it’s God’s.

My hope is not mine, it’s God’s.

My plans are not mine, they’re God’s.

My dreams are not mine, they’re God’s.

My grace is not mine, it’s God’s.

My mercy is not mine, it’s God’s.

My forgiveness is not mine, it’s God’s.

My heart is not mine, it’s God’s.

My body is not mine, it’s God’s.

My joy is not mine, it’s God’s.

My love is not mine, it’s God’s.

My faith is not mine, it’s God’s.

My life is not mine, it’s God’s.


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Love Them Like Jesus

My oldest biological kid recently came out as transgender, at least to us. I get the impression she has been out to others for awhile. I mean, she told us awhile ago, but we thought it was a teen thing. Or a hormone thing. Or an anxiety thing. I don’t know. It was a very stressful time in a number of ways and the discussions were muddled and emotional. Anyway, I am coming to terms with the fact that my daughter, Mae, is now going to be my son, Henri.

I will be honest. I didn’t really want to believe it. Not because I hate transgender people or because I think it’s a sin or anything like that. The thing that made me want to believe it’s not so is that I know the statistics. I know how often transgender people are attacked and victimized. Not just by violence but also bigotry and discrimination. And life is already hard, this seems like it would just make it so much harder. But he is investigating medical procedures and seeing doctors and as soon as we get the money, we are going to get his name legally changed, so I guess this is what it is.

Continuing with the honesty, I’m not really looking forward to telling people. Not because I’m embarrassed, just because I know it will be awkward. How do you say to people, “Remember Mae? She’s Henri, now. Also, she’s a he. Try to remember and not be awkward, m’kay?” I know that lots of people will be confused, I know I am. But I also know that some people will be sad for us and want to console us. Because they will think that we are heartbroken. We are pretty conservative, fundamentalist Christians and we are supposed to be heartbroken by news like this, this kind of parenting outcome.

But, and this may surprise you, I’m not. Honestly. Like I said, I’m a bit confused and every time I talk about it, I kind of feel like a backwards pig or some slack-jawed yokel. You know, like I’m always saying the wrong thing and every sentence out of my mouth just gets worse and worse. Ignorant. Suburban. Positively primeval. But, I am not heartbroken about this. If he is happy, I am happy. And we will get through this period of transition. This time next year, we will be through and good on the other side of it, I’m sure.

When Mae first started talking about not wanting to be a girl anymore, I tried to talk her out of it, I guess. But, at the time, I felt that was the right way to go, because at the time, she was confessing Christ. We believed she was saved. When dealing with believers, we are obligated to try to convict them and help them get out of sin. But, then she told us, later, that she is not saved. Well, that changed everything. I’m reading 1 Corinthians because my pastor is teaching through it. And this morning, I read this:

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy or the swindlers, or idolaters. In that case, you would have to leave the world.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?
-1 Corinthians 5:9-10, 12

So we love him like Jesus would and does. We accept him as he is and show him the gospel every chance we get. We let him know that we love him because he is our kid, nothing he does can change that.

My heart is broken; though, it doesn’t have anything to do with her saying she wants to be a man. The day she said she knows the Bible is true, she knows God is real and she just doesn’t believe it, well, that’s the day my heart broke. If he believed, we could discuss the Bible and interpretation and pray and I would have a hard time understanding how someone could read the Bible and still want to live this way. But if he loved Jesus above all else and was doing his best to obey and walk with Him, I would have no reason not to believe that he wouldn’t be with Jesus in heaven. And nothing else would matter.

But he’s not saved and that’s the heartbreaking part. It wouldn’t matter if he came to me and said he changed his mind, he loves the name Mae and she’s found a lovely man and they are going to get married and settle down and have a dozen babies. If she doesn’t love Jesus, my heart is broken. And nothing else matters.

And I think that’s what it means to love them like Jesus.

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Timely Messages: We Are No Big Deal

I lead a children’s class in a certain Bible Study organization. I teach 3rd and 4th graders. Tonight was quite a night, I must say. Let’s just say that sometimes nine-year-olds are…nine years old. I mean, for reals. I am not sure they learned anything tonight. I am not sure they ever stopped talking and actually listened tonight. But I can honestly say that I put every effort into it. I tried to follow the leading of the Spirit, but I may have misheard. A few times.

I don’t feel bad, though. I am grateful that I get to teach them and I am grateful that they get to learn and read their Bibles and that they are all eager and enthusiastic about their lessons, even when that means they are more boisterous than I would like them to be. And I am confident that no matter how pathetic my work is, no matter how lame I am, no matter how rowdy they are, God will do a good work in, through and for all of us.

Yesterday, my pastor gave a sermon on 1 Corinthians 3:5-9. One of the points he pulled out of there was this: We are no big deal. Here’s the verse:

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.  -1 Corinthians 3:5-9

We plant or we water, but God does all the work. That’s how salvation works, right? God does all the work. God made the sacrifice, God was the sacrifice, God called the debt redeemed. And any truth that those kids learned wasn’t because of my awesome teaching skills, it was because God’s word is powerful and God’s plans are perfect. And it confirms what we already know. We prepare and we obey, but, at the end of the day, it’s all in God’s hands. And in that we can find freedom and comfort. Freedom to try, freedom to mess it up, comfort when we do the latter or do not the former.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord.
-Proverbs 21:31

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Possibly the Lamest Post Ever

Okay, I give up. It’s too late for me to really write anything. I am really just phoning it in. But here is a very cute picture of the litter of bunnies that our red velveteen doe came from. Thank you for showing up even when I’m lame. =)

2014-02-09 06.46.06

I promise I’ll write a real post tomorrow. I think I need a routine for weekends to actually get real posts written. Maybe next month, I’ll just post every day, rather than writing every day. Anyway…


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