Sunday, July 29, 2007

True story

So last Thursday night we were all in this field and there was sin and filth and hatred and lies so we nailed it to the cross. We walked back down the hill and turned around to look and there in the vast West Texas sky, where nothing had been a moment before, was a gigantic, vibrant, both-ends-touching-the-earth rainbow curving high into the sky.

As my friend Bill Ehlig says, God showed up.

It was, after the births of our girls, the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back to ACU

Tomorrow we are leaving for a week of ACU Leadership Camps. Chad and I will be group leaders at Kadesh and Julia will be attending her last year of KidQuest. We love doing Kadesh and it's always great to be back on ACU's campus. After we get back, we're all done traveling for the summer. Which is great especially for Chad, who was only home six days in July!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

All that jazz

Go check out the profile song on my Myspace. It was written by my brother Brian and recorded by his band Neo Trio.


On the line

What's the point of traveling out of state if you're not going to stop at the state line and act like a bunch of dorks? Here are the girls, my mom and me on our way back from Texas a couple of weeks ago. We are in front of the Texarkana post office, which is the only post office building in the nation to be in two states.

The cutest 2-year-old ever. Well, at least since Julia was two.

I took Julia to see "Ratatouille" the other day. My favorite quote: "Let us toast to your non-idiocy." I think I'm going to start living by it.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Paul is (not) dead

I had no idea that there are still people out there who believe Paul McCartney has been dead for decades. I guess it's like rock 'n' roll's very own Flat Earth Society.

And now, a personal note.

Dear Cialis guy,

I'm so sorry you suffer from erectile dysfunction. Really, I am. But did you really have to show up during the commercial break on National Geographic last night and talk about it ad nauseum in front of my daughter and her friend? I had to keep pretending to be very concerned about the weather and flipping over to the Weather Channel. I would let a reasonable amount of time pass and then check back, and there you were -- still talking about your extremely personal problem. The 8-year-old girls in my living room last night were interested in a documentary about ancient Egypt and were not really needing an education in erectile dysfunction.

Best of luck to you, but in the future, please keep this problem to yourself.


Deana Nall
Bryant, AR

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Even more fast food fun!

Today my mom, the girls and I stopped at Sonic on the way home from Jenna's school. I ordered what everyone wanted: cheese sticks for Julia, tots for Jenna and me and an ice cream cone for my mom.

When the Sonic girl showed up with our order, she had a bag with the cheese sticks and tots, and an ice cream cone WITH NO ICE CREAM IN IT. She said, "You wanted just a cone, right?" I said no, that I had ordered an ice cream cone -- meaning with the ice cream in the cone. She looked kind of embarrassed and I was trying really hard not to laugh because I didn't want her to think I was laughing at her. Then I looked over at my mom, who was trying to laugh silently and, as a result, was convulsing and turning blue. The Sonic girl brought the cone back with ice cream in it and all was well. We've been laughing about it ever since, though.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Oprah has her favorite things, and here are a few of mine:

Is it possible for just your lips to have an out-of-body experience? Because mine do every time I put this stuff on. I've used my last tube of Chapstick!

I couldn't get a pic, but I'm loving TAZO organic green tea right now. You can get it in a bottle at Starbucks. Ignore the weird Zen philosophies printed all over the label (although they are kinda funny). This is way better than anything Lipton has put out.

I've been a fan of Wishbone Salad Spritzers since they came out, and "Raspberry Bliss" is my new favorite. Julia even likes it, and she's been vehemently anti-salad dressing for all of her 8.5 years.

Chad is more hooked on this than me, but I thought I'd add it anyway. "Man Vs. Wild" details the adventures of Bear Grylls as he is dropped off in the wilderness and finds his way to civilization. I was on the verge of developing a crush on the guy until I watched him drink his own urine last night. I wonder if his wife kissed him when he got back from THAT trip!

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Faith, Interrupted

My name is Deana, and I am a new Christian.

Well, there was that time I got baptized at age nine. And the time before and after that during which I was raised in a group of believers known as the Church of Christ.

The Church of Christ is a small group, really. Only two million strong and in a steady decline for a number of years now, the Church of Christ is a speck in the vast arena of world religions.

But it was my heritage, my culture, my life, my world.

My grandfather started preaching for churches of Christ in southeast Texas in the 1930s. If you've visited a Church of Christ in Beaumont, Port Arthur or Nederland, he probably had a hand in starting it. (The white congregations, at least.) Then my dad was a youth minister for a long time -- one of the very first paid youth ministers in churches of Christ. I was raised in close-knit congregations in which my parents were always involved in what we called "church work" -- a term that included, but wasn't limited to, teaching Bible classes, cooking in the church kitchen, picking up neighborhood kids for VBS, visiting the sick, helping the poor, comforting the broken-hearted, sweeping the fellowship hall floor.

My faith was very cut and dried. The Church of Christ, as I understood it, was New Testament Christianity restored. We were the only ones doing it right, and if everyone in the world would just join us, we could all go to heaven together.

But as fate would have it, I started growing up. And with growth came questions, doubts, struggles. We only did the things that were outlined in the Bible, but for me, it wasn't lining up so neatly anymore. Why didn't we fast? Why the emphasis on church buildings? Why the big deal over instrumental music, when the New Testament didn't even mention the issue?

I began the excruciating task of dismantling my faith.

I started to peel away the layers -- the things I thought made up my faith but wasn't so sure about anymore. Worship must be done exactly the right way or we are all going to hell. Strip. Godly teenagers do not go to prom. Peel. The Methodists down the street are no better than the heathens who gather in the biker bar at the edge of town. Rip.

This process took years. And it wasn't fun. The easy, comfortable faith I had always taken refuge in was replaced by fears, doubts -- even anger. But the layers kept coming off until, about a year ago -- when we began to attend a church without "Church of Christ" in the name for the first time ever -- I arrived at a clear, warm place. Like the first day at the beach after a grueling year enclosed in a school building. And suddenly I am brand new -- like a neighborhood kid who just got invited to VBS and is discovering God and church for the first time.

The problem is I've spent so many years deciding what my faith is NOT that I'm not sure what my faith IS.

But I do know this. After all that time shredding, ripping and tearing away, I am left with this: Jesus is Jesus and God is God. I guess I can just rebuild from there.

Or maybe I won't.

Maybe that's all there is.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Rainy Reunion

Aside from the deluge of rain we've had since we got down here, we've been having fun seeing old friends and visiting our old hang-outs. Oh -- and playing with new toys from Granny and PaPa. Here's Jenna in her new tent.

We've been fans of The Children's Museum of Houston since we first took Julia there in 1999 when she was barely walking. Tuesday we went back and the girls had a great time. True to tradition, we hit the face-painting table as soon as we got there.

I think the pretend grocery store is the coolest thing in the museum. Julia has as much fun in there as she did in her toddler days.

Milking a fake cow is always fun, too.

The veins in the cow's udder have always kind of creeped me out.

On Wednesday, we drove over to Baytown and met my best Baytown girlfriend Lois and her husband Bill at El Toro for lunch. We were glad to finally get some good Tex-Mex (which, like Dairy Queen, is hard to come by in Arkansas.)

Then we took Julia to her BFF Meagan's house, where the two had a fun-filled sleepover. That afternoon, Lois and I had a Target date, and we ran into more friends from our old church there. Then we went to church and saw more friends and met even more friends for breakfast on Thursday. After visiting with yet more friends, we came back to my parents' house. Today we are meeting Chad's dad in Houston for a short visit and my brother Brian is coming in tonight. Tomorrow is back to the Natural State!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Deep in the heart of...

Here we are in Houston. We only stopped three times between Little Rock and here on Sunday, which isn't too bad considering we had a 2-year-old in the car.

We're staying at my parents' house, which is really in Richmond. Yesterday we had a big time at First Colony Mall. Today we are doing the Children's Museum in Houston, tomorrow we are going to Baytown to hang out with my best Baytown girlfriend Lois and other dear friends from our old church there, Thursday we are driving from Baytown to Galveston -- where we hope to meet up with Chad's dad somewhere along the way -- and Friday my brother Brian is coming and we are all going to Buca di Beppo.

It will be good to get home Saturday night. We have plans to abduct my mom and bring her back with us.

One note from the road: Once we got into Texas, we stopped at the first Dairy Queen we saw and got Kit Kat blizzards. Yum. DQ is a little hard to come by in Arkansas.

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