Monday, July 30, 2012


This week, we received the stunning news that our dear friends had lost their son/grandson to suicide.

He was 12.

My brain shut off; it was too much to comprehend. Even now, a few days out, I keep remembering this sweet boy and thinking, "Surely not, Lord. Surely not."

Chris went up to be with our friends for a bit. I stayed home with the girls and struggled to come up with words to put in a card.

We Christians are full our our trite little tidbits, aren't we?

"He's in a better place now. He's not hurting anymore."

"He's an angel now..."

"We'll all be reunited one day."

"God works in mysterious ways."

Etc. Etc. Ad nauseum.

I am not begrudging Christians their religious trifles. Because really... what do you say? "Sorry about your kid. Here's some ziti; it freezes well"??

This situation 150% sucks. There is nothing that I can do or say, no amount of sympathy or ziti that will change the fact that this 150% sucks.

I was not close to this small man, but I still find my faith shaken, my mind whirring with thoughts about the sovereignty of God. About the kindness of God. About heaven. About the fall of man and the curse of death.

And here's what I have come up with:


I don't know why God allows tragedies like this to happen. I don't know how He will redeem this to glorify Himself. I don't know how a family can begin to move ahead after something like this. I don't know about free will and predestination and lights at the end of tunnels.

Here's what I do know to be true:

We are not forsaken. (Deut. 31v6)
We are not forgotten. (Isa. 49v15)
We are helped. (Isa. 41v10)
We are heard. (Psalms 86v7)
God is near. (Deut. 4v7)

For right now, I cling to this... as I cry out for mercy for this family.
For right now, I trust the one who stores our tears in a bottle.
For right now, it's enough. It's gonna have to be.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rosey's Ice Cream

So for those of you who have been to to our house, you know that it has had many incarnations over the years. From repair shop, to screen printing business, and most recently, to crack house. But before all those various tenants had paraded their way through my little home, it was Rosey's Ice Cream, a small factory owned by the Rosenberg family. Originally, it was a home delivery service started in the 1920's, satisfying Lititz homeowners with their delicious concoctions conveniently dropped at their front doors (add home delivery diet coke, and this is my idea of heaven). Later, it became the Scoop Shop, and kids would run over after school and choose their favorite selection from the wooden sign on the wall.

Chris and I are both enchanted by this story. Mostly because we are obsessed with ice cream. Little Girl #3 was almost named Rosey, and I think Chris still regrets that she wasn't. Next time, babe. (Ha.) I love homes with history; it's fun to imagine what life was like for the various people who lived and worked and scooped cherry vanilla in our home. Since we bought the place two years ago, we have casually been searching for "Rosey's" memorabilia. We have even met some of the Rosenberg family, who kindly shared copies of some of their collection with us.

I found this ad from 1951 online:

We didn't want to go overboard or anything and install 5 gallon buckets into our kitchen counters (or maybe we did), but a healthy dose of kitsch never hurt anybody. So since the Rosenbergs didn't want to part with their original Rosey's signs, I felt like I had to make a little cheater until I could sweet talk them into changing their minds.

It was always on the back burner, and I even added it to my "Summer Projects" memo board in my cloffice (closet+office).

See that-- "train for 1/2"? I start officially training for the OBX 1/2 marathon next week. The thought both nauseates and exhilarates me. Mostly nauseates, if I am gonna be honest.

So I killed a couple of projects with one proverbial stone, and made my wee little Rosey's sign, and a few yarn ball book page thingamabobs. My house is where old books come to die. For reals.

It'll do until I pry the real one out of the Rosenberg's cold, dead hands I get the real one.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

And then I had kids...

Pre-kid Sundays live in a place of charmed, idyllic memories for me. Chris and I would wake up on our own, snuggle in bed, maybe fall back asleep for awhile. I would make breakfast and then shower-- actually shower!-- and dress in moderately stylish clothes that (gasp!) actually fit me! Though our church at the time was 45 minutes away, we often still had time (and money) to swing through Starbucks and pick up a tall nonfat vanilla latte. We would casually stroll into church with 15 minutes to spare. We'd chat with friends, scope out the best seat, and settle in for the service. Afterwards, we'd often go out to lunch and then home to--ah! Nap!! I am getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.

And then I had kids.

This morning, Chris had to work. I was up around 7:30 or so... still plenty of time to get our little girls ready for the 10:30 service. I defrosted some strawberries that I had frozen from our garden earlier in the summer, threw them on top of some waffles, and prepared for a casual, relaxing beginning to our Sunday.

That's when the sh@# hit the fan. Well, not actually the fan. But there was actual sh@# involved, as Little Girl #2 announced that she had just crapped in her panties. (Feel free to judge me for the fact that my three year old still craps her pants.) Have you ever changed panties full of preschooler crap? Exponentially worse than the garden variety of baby crap in a diaper, its disgustingness compounded by the fact that there is no velcro or snaps to undo, and preschooler must step out of said crap-panties. I've probably said enough about this, but you can go ahead and assume the worst and, suffice it to say, there was a bath involved. A bath that wasn't planned for and wasn't a part of my casual, relaxing Sunday.

Out of the bath and we are doing hair. Little Girl #3 is still in her high chair and is now throwing bits of defrosted, smashed up strawberries into the rug and laughing. I corral a kid closer and admonish LG#3 to stop throwing her berries. LG#2 has something in her hair. Toothpaste? I can't venture a guess, but it's going to have to stay there for now.

I get the girls dressed with little mishap, except that I can't find any of LG#2's dresses. I put one of LG#1's dresses on her, but it's three sizes too big and drags on the floor. I briefly contemplate letting her wear it anyway, but eventually change her into a pair of sparkly capris and decide that it's gonna have to be godly enough.

Meanwhile, LG#1 is corralling shoes. Let me stop here for a moment to mention that-- among the girls, they probably own 344 pairs of shoes. Literally, 344 pairs. And.I.cannot.find.a.single.matching.pair. Zero. I frantically dig through piles. Nothing. I look through bins in closets. Where are the other shoes? Do my children eat them? Are they using them for nesting boxes for our chickens? I may never know. Eventually, I come up with 2 pairs for LGs#1&2, and decide that LG#3 is still sort of a baby, so she doesn't really need shoes. (I pause now to thank God that it isn't winter.)

I send LG#1&2 out to the playhouse where they amuse themselves by going down the slide on top of a boogie board. I have seven minutes until I have to be out the door, and I am not dressed. I dig through my closet and the pile of clean laundry that has been sitting in a basket on the floor of my bedroom for three weeks. Where are all my clothes? And when did I lose the ability to put together some sort of stylish-ish outfit? I find a skirt with an elastic waist (cause goodness knows I am not fitting into my pre-kid denim), throw on some flip flops, douse mist myself with Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea that I bought in 2002 (cause of course I haven't SHOWERED) and pronounce myself Good Enough. Out the door and I realize that both LGs #1&2 have removed their shoes. LG#2 can't find hers. We should have left 6 minutes ago. I locate the shoes, put them back on their wayward feet, and strap my LGs into their respective carseats, but not before I pick up a pile of change off of the pavement that was earmarked for children's church donations.

I crank up the air conditioning in the car because I am sweating at this point. I can't remember if I wore deodorant on or not. We are about 1/4 of a mile away from the house when I hear a rattle and a bang. And of course, it is the boogie board falling off the roof racks of my minivan. Because somehow my kids managed to get a boogie board on top of my van without me noticing. I would curse under my breath at this point, but it's Sunday and I don't do that on Sundays. "Sorry, girls. We are just going to have to look for it later." Many loud shrieks, crying, and gnashing of teeth ensues. I decide I'd rather be late to church than listen to this nonsense for the 10 more minutes it will take to get to church. I turn the van around, and the boogie board is nowhere to be seen. I have a terrifying vision of it flying off the car and impaling some poor bicyclist, but push it from my mind, try to console my kids, and head back toward church. It is 10:23.

I pull into a spot at church, and gather our bags. A bag for LG#3, a just-in-case bag for LG#2, and my purse. I can't get out of the car because I am minivan-parking-disabled and I have parked too close to the car beside me. I finally corral all my kids, and head inside. The greeters have abandoned their posts; they can't be bothered with tardy riffraff the likes of me. LG#3 Screams Bloody Murder and claws at my chest as I try to drop her off at nursery. The nursery worker frowns disapprovingly and hands me a child pager. I drop off LG #1, and am almost to LG #2's class when she announces that she has to go potty. I turn around and head back down the hall to the bathroom and wait patiently while she pees, (byherselfthankyouverymuch) washes her hands and wrangles her slightly ungodly sparkly capris on. I look in the mirror and notice that I have toothpaste all over my shirt.

I finally drop off LG #2, and sprint to the service (I most definitely am NOT wearing deodorant), just in time for the last 1/2 of the last worship song. I drop in my offering check (just so the Powers that Be know that I actually was here) and sit down to open to Daniel 2 just as my child pager starts to vibrate and light up like a Christmas tree.

Sigh. At least there's (usually) still naps on Sundays.