Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lucy Date

"Do you think all the people out in cars are just going on a date with one of their kids?" Lucy asks.

We ease right and sigh down an off ramp. A red light at the bottom, another arterial merges full onto the road ahead. Cars flit by. Red, yellow, black, every one a car on a date. I wish it were true. 

We buy cat cookies and a chocolate bar at the local grocery. We open them up on a table set with raspberry steamer and crayons lined up in marching order. We color in cerulean, green, and violet.
She copies me. We smooth wax thick and shiny. Flecks stick to our fingers. Indigo and purple speckle the blonde table. I try to brush them off, and my hands collect more speckles.

"How many kids do you want to have when you grow up?" We cultivate conversation between smooth waxy strokes. We hardly look up, but the words form.

"A hundred." She coaxes green into each corner of a triangle undaunted by the bulbous crayon, blunt, thick, deliberate. I watch, but she doesn't notice.

"Do you think you'll have girls or boys?"

"Just boys." She rotates the crayon, presses more green into that triangle.

"Why do you think that?"

"Just do." She scratches a smudge with her fingernail then captures cerulean.

I sweep purple in stripes. "What's your favorite Bible story?"

She pauses, props an elbow on the table. "Jesus dying on the cross," she says. I rub more purple into my picture, occupy my hands while she weaves her words. "What's your favorite?" she adds.

I copy her elbow, gaze out floor-to-ceiling windows. "Probably Jesus dying on the cross," I agree. "Why is it your favorite?" I follow our liturgy and color while an answer germinates inside her head. 

"'Cause it shows how GOOD God is," she says. I glance up into her eyes. "And how sweet he is doing stuff for us," she says, "even if it hurts really bad." At the word sweet her voice waxes high, and she squints just ever so little. 

How sweet he is. Yes. Four and a half and a perfect silhouette emerges. Sacrifice is sweet. The fragrance of salvation. Sweet.


4099. "In our little family I think that Daddy is the best at not being prideful," Jane observes.

4100. Jack finds a Bible at the thrift store and chatters on all week. "With my money," he says, "I'm gonna buy gifts and Bibles."

4101. "Daddy works so hard, and he never gets a break," Jane notices.

4102. "How do people in public schools do history without including God at all?" Jane queries.

4103. We make sandals out of cardboard and rafia as we study ancient Egypt. "If Obamacare gets too bad," Jane comments, "we might be making shoes like this and actually wearing them."

4104. "I always say, YES, MOMMA," Myra tries to instill confidence.

4105. Jane knits me a scarf, all 100 rows.

4106. We work the afternoon away, side by side, knitting and sewing.

4107. She helps me make a rubbing of a favorite skirt so I can create a pattern to copy it.

4108. I brown sausage, and she chops celery and onions for lentil stew.

4109. Lucy tries to learn to knit. 

4110. Jack fashions masks out of paper and pastes together a giant scroll.

4111. Joey gobbles up the lentil stew.

4112. Constant Comment tea.

4113. Three summer skirts, whimsical, functional, and tucked away for summer.

4114. Blackberry pie. We make blackberry pie for Craig's birthday. Yup, I married into a farm family so I'm a pie-maker now.

4115. Coral sweatshirt, teal sweatshirt, don't ya love sweatshirts?

4116. Easter outfits continue to take shape: green button-down shirts for the boys.

4117. My mother surrounds me with conversation. The easy lull waxes and wanes like the ocean.

4118. Craig's mom stops by. We visit. I memorize the happy blue of her eyes.

4119. Myra sirens from the bathroom. I wipe her backside. "Don't get any on the RUG, Momma," she warns.

4120. She suits up in jammies. "Jesus made these for me," she says and tugs her sleeve.

4121. We have another party for Craig and for sis-in-law Rosie, a party of pies. A round-robin of exhortation, I feel full and happy just listening. At the end we pray for Rockie's up coming surgery. The Lord surrounds us with his presence.

4122. Myra rushes in from outside. "I don't need to go pee," she says. "I just wiggle-wiggle-wiggle if I need to go pee." 

4123. Another birthday party, this one for a sweet nephew, the season of celebration continues.

4124. "I have unders in my pants," Myra announces. "And ya don't eat poopy, Momma," she adds. "That is YUCKY." The other golden rule.


  1. Love the date conversation. You once again you beautifully captured a moment that could have been easily forgotten. Your kids are precious and you and Craig are excelling as parents!

  2. stopping by from Ann's place. Your pictures are amazing and your story, touches my heart.

  3. Sacrifice is sweet. The fragrance of salvation. Sweet.

    Yes. And hard. Hard enough to make those young little eyes squint just a smidge.

    Realization of the cost leaks out...

  4. I love the life in your posts. My life is surrounded by so much rich blessing, but it is steeped in the journey of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and old age. Sickness and death and heartache often pop up on my screen as I get prayer requests through our ministry to the elderly at church. Funerals are common when you serve 150 people over the age of 70. I'm expecting on this week. My life is rich as I lend mercy to God's saints, but it is so renewing to my spirit to see the life and hope of young life here and all that still waits for them. I pray it will be rich for your little ones, that they will harness God's purpose in every moment of their lives. That when they reach old age they will continue to realize that they are blessed to be a blessing. As always thank you for sharing.

  5. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for always encouraging me on in the journey of risking to love and to write. God most certainly gets His glory through your blessed life.

    That is what I love about you Bethany girl. You are faithful and encourage me on in faith through your simplicity and grace -- and you always have.

  6. Btw, I wish I could "like" all your Mom's comments! She always puts things just so -- how I would like to say them but can't find the words.

  7. why do i always want to cry at your words?

    the way you tell a story is such beautiful juxtaposition -- simple and profound. love how you love your dear little family.

    and i stopped over tonight to tell you that we are reading Tales of the Kingdom, as you suggested, and LOVING it! thanks, friend.

  8. I always love visiting here, always.