Monday, June 13, 2011

Until we meet again Thomas

My youth pastor committed suicide.

Let it sink in.


He was my youth pastor in junior high, then an intern came in and took over and they Young's left shortly after.  At least this is how I remember it, but I could have some dates/times a bit cloudy.  We were all so happy for Thomas Young and his family.  They were the nicest, sweetest, people I'd ever met at a church and I remember Erin had really long hair and was soft spoken.  I also remember thinking that 'church people' at this church were really nice and I wanted to come back.  The Young's were the first Christian couple I'd ever witnessed as putting the words "Christian" and "couple" to.  So this is what Christian marriages look like.  Hmmm... 

Thomas (and I still refer to him as Thomas because that's what I knew him by) was so loud and outspoken.  He would get loud and excited on Wednesday night's youth group and was totally on fire for God.  This guy, was, like, super duper Godly.  Those are technical junior high words for you.

I contribute a majority of my 'baby Christian' days to the initial 'church people' I knew.  I only knew VBS people, then I knew the Young's, then I started coming on Sunday mornings.  From there, I grew in my walk with Christ exponentially and I sought the wisdom of my teachers.  Basically, forget the kids, I want to hang out with these grown ups because they seem to have it together. (Ps: my high school Sunday school teacher reads my blog) :).

I remember when the Young's left I totally had a wall built up to 'the new guy'.  He was a total dude and was single.  Bor-ing. 

About three years ago I tried to look up the Young family and sent his ministry an email saying thank you for being such an amazing role model and I look forward to seeing them again if our lives should ever cross paths.  I never did receive a reply or acknowledgement that it was forwarded onto Thomas.

Recently, when Kendall and I moved our family to Texas last winter I met up with people from way back and asked about the Young's.  It was a somber moment and I later read an article about it on Thomas' website.

But, I thought Christian's don't take their own lives.  Isn't that a huge sin (a sin is a sin, is a sin, no worse than stealing a ballpoint pen)?  I've heard suicide means you go straight to hell (not true).

I think my dear friend, after losing her brother, says it so well:
The devil is such a thief.

I think about his wife and children from time to time, such at moments like these.  All things work for the glory of God, right?  Man oh man it's a hard one to swallow sometimes.  My heart breaks for them. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Where the sky turns green

I am still trying to understand Minnesota's weather.  And not in the "Haha, so am I!  And I'm from Minnesota!" kind of way.  In Texas, I knew it would be storming when it was extra smoldering hot the day before.  Then a release-type feeling would come in the air and the next day it'd be cooler and raining.  The nights were cool and humid every night without fail.  The Easter lilies would bloom right at Easter every year, it wasn't hit or miss.  The pecan trees will grow baby pecans at the same time every year and you could tell if we had a good rain or not by the amount of fruit the tree put on.

Things were the same.  Dependable.  Unusual weather wasn't common, the weather was steady.

In Minnesota, the sky turns green when it's hot.  I cannot make this up folks.

I was coming home from an evening MOPS meeting and when I steped out of church, the sky was warm in the lower 80's (wow, I can't believe I said the 80's were warm) and the wind had died down to a slight breeze.  Up in the skys, the clouds were rolling in and there was thunder and lightening in every direction.

The sky was greenish, like this picture.  Where I come from, the sky doesn't turn no stinkin' green.

To the north, the sky was three shades lighter than black.  To the south, a light gray cloud waltzed on by, oblivious it's cousin's Vinny and Micheal were making heads roll in the next town over.

I floored all six cylinders of my bad boy Town and Country and headed over to Kim's house.  We were planning on having a garage sale bright and early the next morning, several piles of our beloved junk was sitting outside.  I rang her bell and said "The sky is scary looking, what does that mean (pointing to the north)?  Come on, you're from Iowa.  That's, like, south Minnesota right?"  Anyway, we brought our junk in for fear it would litter the streets and get completely ruined thus taking away it's fifty-cent value. 

Driving the four blocks home from her house I saw many men standing outside looking up at the sky, several were pointing.  Geez, that can't be good.

"Kendall!  It's hot outside, but the wind has died down, but the clouds are moving super fast, but I think they're kinda low, but some of the clouds are gray, but those over there are black, but look the sky is blue over there, have you looked at the radar?  Is there are red line near us?  Or is it white?  Wait, what color means snow and which means rain?  Or does red mean snow in winter and rain in summer?  BUT IT SNOWS IN THE SUMMER HERE!"

"Near panic" is an understatment.

My sweet heroic husband stared blankly back at me and replied, "Whoa.  You are talking way too fast."  He was being way too mellow.  The clouds look like they have the flu and he's calmly watching Breakfast at Tiffany's downstairs. 

He meanders outside and says "Oh yeah, looks pretty bad.  Hmm, well, if a tornado's coming I want to be able to see where it's coming from." Just then the tornado alarms go off and I about pass out. 

"All the men I drove by were pointing to the sky in the north.  The north.  So, I say we listen to them and go in the bathroom and make sure the kids have shoes on."

Ok folks.  Here we go.  This is what Crystal crams into our 6x4 bathroom when there's a storm brewing:

two mega flashlights
size 5 diapers
size 2 diapers
two sippy cups (Ethan and Ernest sized)
a box of cheerios
one pair of close toes shoes for each kid
our safe
my purse
a gallon of water
a juice container (whatever's in the fridge)
every comforter not currently being used (I invision falling debris)
socks for everyone
car keys
extra clothes (usually just the diaper bag will do for the diapers, wipes, clothes, baby stuff)

Kendall could barely go in the bathroom to see what I had crammed in there.

Here's my thought- if our house gets blown away, I have three small children who are going to have specific needs immediately.  Having your house blown away doesn't keep Eleanor from filling her diaper or Ernest from being thirsty.  I bring socks and shoes in there because I have noticed the ickiest (is that word?) weather happens in the evening when my kids are in bed.  Footie pajamas won't work on glass, so everyone gets proper footwear.  My most important information is in my purse/diaper bag along wiht my car keys. 

Oh, and when I just had Ethan and Kendall was at work, I'll admit I put the toddler mattress in our old apartments bathroom.  We were on the second floor!  It seemed reasonable at the time.

The storm did eventually pass over us.  And the apple juice did make it back into the fridge.  Kendall chuckled at me and said he'd never think of any of those supplies.  Three small children.  Three!  I need to be prepared.  And after seeing what tornadoes have done in the south, I'm not taking any chances. 

Our family is still praying for the Lee family after losing their husband/dad in the Alabama tornado.  And our Generation Cedar family. 

I pray the sky doesn't turn green again for a long long time.