Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Black Hole of Watercolors

Several years ago I did a Bible Study by Lisa Whelchel.  (Yes you know her--Blair from "The Facts of Life")  Anyway, Lisa is a mother of three children and a wonderful Christian lady who wrote a great study called "Creative Corrections".  It's all about disciplining your children in a Godly way that will teach morals and character.  In the introduction of this study, Lisa describes the vast and wonderful differences in her children.  She used different Crayola crayon color sets to distinguish their different personalities.  So one child is the classic 8 set while another was the neon special edition.  Well, for years I have tried to figure out what colors my children are.  Every time I would pass through the school supply aisle, I would stare at the newly release colors and try to "see" my children's personal style.

Maybe I should do a bit of background.  I have four amazing, wonderful, beautiful children.  All very different and perfect in their own way.  God formed each of their spirited souls to His finite wisdom.  And in this wisdom which I trust completely, I have two children who were born with the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and two children that are "typical".  My oldest two children have ASD and it's these two that I have always tried to fit into the perfect Crayola box. 

See with my younger children it was easy.  Easton is the set of "My First Crayons".  Bold, thick, strong, dependable,  a little variety...but not too much.  Noel is the special set of Pastels.  Tiny, limited, soft, fun.  But where do my older boys fit?  Like most mom's who have kiddos that learn differently, I longed to find their place in this world.  That's how my mind works.  A place for everything and every thing in its place.  So, you can imagine how God had used ASD to teach me about difference, tolerance, rainbows, and promises.  Where do Carter and Aiden fit?  Crayola hasn't made a box for Aiden yet.  But if I went to their factory and could custom make him a set, it would be full of neutrals and grays with splashes of Autumn colors.  Nothing to make him stand out, or too different, but all the colors that blend and make the world beautiful and natural and organic.  The colors of comfort and welcome.  But Carter was never a "Crayola Set".

Then God gave me a very clear revelation about Carter a few weeks ago.  Carter is 9 years old and very smart with a beautiful mind.  He was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and fits into a box that is perfectly Carter-shaped.  He doesn't conform, doesn't see the need, and neither do I (which is a blog for another day).  Asperger's is tricky little blessing.  It provides genius and creativity, but often drags along oddities and misunderstanding.  So as I was thinking about my sweet boy, God gave me a visual of a Black Hole.  You see, a black hole is where the gravitational pull is so great, that nothing can escape, including light.  From the outside the Black Hole seems to be lacking and void.  However, my vision was from the inside.  The inside was a Crayola set that only the True Creator could customize.  There was every hue of bright, imaginative colors you could think of.  Mostly tye-dyed to form new combinations that have never been seen.  Swirls and waves of vivid promise.  This is my Carter...a Black Hole of Watercolors. 

I cried realizing that my dreams for him are limited by my human mind, but God's plan for him is Divinely Perfect and just.  While I was searching for a place to put him, God humbled me and showed me this vision.  No Crayola box was fitting.  Only the magnificent enigma of a Black Hole was fitting.  A Black Hole void of nothing, but full of blessing and discovery and wonder.  Whole.

I disappoint myself often when it comes to being his mom.  There's a delicate balance of fostering his uniqueness while trying to teach the social norms.  I often feel that I fall very short.  But I pray that God will daily fill in my gaps and meet my short-comings.  And I pray everyday that when the world looks at Carter, they see the watercolors.  He is amazing.  I am blessed.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD..."  Jeremiah 29:11-14


  1. I love this post! :) Beautiful...just like you. Carter is such a blessing and you are his perfect mom. God knew what he was doing when he blessed you with Carter :)

  2. Julie,

    That was perfectly said! I wish I would have had your exact words when I worked with some of my kids in my class in Houston. I always described it as a beautiful box waiting to be opened, but I needed to work to find the key to see what treasures were inside. I like the Black hole analogy so much better because you get to see the beauty and wonder right from the start!! It's so incredible that our sweet Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need!

    You are such a Great Mommy!

    Michelle Cook

  3. Wow. I'm speechless with tears in my eyes. You write so beautifully and I'm so glad you wrote this. Such a great reminder for all of us to remember that not everyone fits in the box and that's what makes us who we are and wonderful in God's eyes.

  4. I was wondering where you had gone in the world of blogging! I love the post!

  5. Thank you for sharing this posting with everyone. It is beautifully written and very moving. Your family is blessed beyond words to have you. Thank you for giving the world a glimpse of Carter's world which is very similar to my own son's experience.

  6. carter really is one of the coolest kids i know.
    it's funny, i was just thinking of that lisa whelchel crayon thing the other day and trying to place my kids.

  7. Oh my goodness, how I love you. You're truly gifted and truly blessed. Other than that, I'm speechless. :)