Monday, September 28, 2009

Awkward... is having an awkward couples photo contest. I submitted this one. You didn't know I was a circus freak on the side, did you?

Thursday, September 24, 2009


One reason I'm glad I never became a movie star:

Because when you become a movie star, sooner or later, your likeness is going to get molded into a hunk of plastic and sold somewhere. Oh sure, you'll get a nice cut of the profits. But is it really worth it?

Oh, well. I'm still going to see the human versions of these hunks of plastic in New Moon on opening night.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Looking for a job?

Having been either a minister's kid or minister's wife all but a few years of my life, I've heard of some pretty ridiculous expectations churches have of their ministers. This one may take the cake. All I can say to this church is... GOOD LUCK.

I deleted any contact/location info.

8/10/2009—Position: Pulpit/Youth Minister (Part-time)

Date Open: 8/10/2009
Dead Line: September 9, 2009
Qualifications: see below
Marital Status: Preferred Married
Position Expectations: see below
Salary Range: $25,000
Notes: Evangelist/Youth Minister
Job Description
• The (name of church)is hiring a part-time evangelist/youth minister to serve the congregation in (name of town). He and his family will be required to attend and worship with the congregation. The position will consist of 20 hours per week with preaching and teaching responsibilities required.
Minimum Qualifications
• Preference will be given to the successful candidate who is a graduate of or attended a Church of Christ educational institution.
• Preference will be given to the applicant married with child(ren).
• The successful applicant must be a Christian for 10 years or more.
• The successful applicant’s immediate family must place membership with the church.
• This position is a part-time position consisting of 20 hours a week.
• The position will require 10 hours per week as youth minister and 10 hours per week as the evangelist.
• You are required to preach every Sunday morning.
• You are required to teach the teens on Sunday morning and Wednesday night.
• The position requires activities with the youth group, aside from worship times.
• The position requires a daily journal of all activities. This is for review at the business meetings and/or by elders.
• The position has no benefits such as sick leave, insurance, vacation or holiday pay.
• He must make available office hours for counseling, individual/group bible studies, etc.
• Here is a list of some activities that are required but not limited to:
o Visitation with church family & community
o Teen Devotionals
o Preaching
o Teaching
o Vacation Bible School
o Monthly teen activities
o Individual Bible Studies
• If you can not full-fill a monthly obligation, you will be required to make up the time the following week. This is to be approved by treasurer of the church.
• $25,000 per year paid bi-weekly.
• All applicable taxes will be deducted.
Application Information
• You must have 3 letters of reference. Two of those letters need to be from congregations in which you have attended or worked.
• The successful candidate is required to have a background check (BCII) if he has lived in (state) his whole life. If out of (state) for less than 5 years ago, an FBI check is also required. Both of which can be completed at any sheriff’s department or school district office.
mit a resume.
• Deadline is September 9, 2009.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Here is the Church

Over at Mike Cope’s blog a few days ago, I read about Kevin Roose and his book “The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University.” To write this book, 21-year-old Roose left Brown University to go undercover as a born-again Christian at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. I want to read the book -- as soon as Jenna is safely tucked away at preschool so I can have a few uninterrupted moments. For now, I’m chewing on a quote from the book in which Roose describes how this experience changed his view of church:

“I used to define church as a series of events — the sermon, the worship music, the collection, the altar call. Now, when I think of church, I think of George, the elderly man in the choir who greets me with a ‘hello there, Mister Kevin’ every week. I think of Mac, the sixty-five-year-old tenor who always updates me on his son and daughter — an engineer in Gary, Indiana, and a sales representative in Charlottesville. On Wednesday nights, I think of Campus Church as the guys I sit with — Jersey Joey, Paul, Eric, Zipper — instead of the laser light shows or the fog machines.”

Growing up in the Church of Christ, church never meant laser light shows or fog machines to me. But church has always meant people. My whole life, I was willing to put up with overly conservative elders, silly rules, stomach-churning potlucks and questionable auditorium décor. Because I loved the people. Church was always my extension of home. I remember Sam Jones, an elder at the church we went to when I was in preschool. He was an old rancher who looked as though he had been squinting into the southeast New Mexico sun his entire life. I remember the change he fished out of his pocket for me every time he saw me. And I remember him crying in our front yard the day we moved away. I remember Sister Willoughby, who taught my 3rd-grade Bible class and got me so interested in the life of Paul that I forgot to be upset that I was the “new kid” that year. I saw her years later and told her that every time I think of Paul, I think of her and how she made those stories come alive for me. I remember elders at our church in Abilene – Bible professors whose names are known the world over in Church of Christ circles and who could have gotten away with carrying an air of prestige around with them. But these most humble of men came to our tiny house when Chad and I were newlyweds to pray with us over his parents’ divorce. And later to pray us through my devastating illness in 1998. I remember two beautiful women who, after I miscarried while on a church trip in Colorado, intercepted me from Chad after he brought me back to our condo from the ER. I was groggy from the anesthesia and could barely stand up. They got me out of my bloody clothes, cleaned me up and got me to bed. I remember people who loved our children as their own. I remember hoping I had ministered to others the way these people had ministered to me. These people were my church. A few were my close friends, but a lot of them weren’t. They were just people who saw me and others through the eyes of God. They still do. They are scattered across the nation – some into other countries – and they are my faith community. This is what church means to me. And it’s what I think it should mean to everyone.

Building community in Christ doesn’t have to mean going to extreme measures to make room for tons of new people in our lives. It doesn’t have to mean spending all of our spare time with others or being everyone’s best friend. If you asked the two women who ministered to me the day of my miscarriage who their closest friends are, I’m sure I wouldn’t make the top ten or even twenty. We didn’t have to have that kind of relationship to be united in Christ. Being a faith community – a family of God – simply means being Jesus to each other. I’m glad Roose saw this. I wish we all could.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Mom Crack

I’m playing Fantasy Football this year. Wait! Don’t click away! You’re still at Deanaland. I still know utter Jack about football. I fully intend to keep knowing utter Jack about football. If football (and most other organized sports, for that matter) disappeared off the face of the earth, I wouldn’t even notice. I’m just going to draft some players at random and see what happens. My team is called the “Desperate Housewives.”

Since moving here in 2006, I’ve noticed (because it’s impossible not to) the consignment-sale trance most women around here are under. I know all these moms at my church who act like their normal, typical selves most of the year. Until one of these sales comes around. Then they begin pulling out clothes. And pricing them. And volunteering at the sale. And shopping. And blocking off the same week on next year’s calendar so they can do it all over again. I’ve managed to bypass all of this so far. I don’t like getting caught up in any kind of hysteria unless it was my idea. Plus I have trouble picturing these consignment sales without conjuring up images of bargain-crazed women smacking each other with their giraffe-print bags to snag a couple of Gymboree outfits. Not unlike the Cabbage Patch Kid insanity of 1984.

Then I went to house church Tuesday night, where my friend Regina handed me a pass to the workers’ half-price sale for the consignment sale that’s currently underway here. So I went to the sale last night. Now, I’m not planning on letting these things take over my life on a regular basis. But last night, I sort of started to get it. These consignment sales are like Mom Crack. I walked into the old CompUSA building in West Little Rock with a handful of other women. The sales are heavy on baby stuff, and that’s where the other moms headed. Leaving me free to check out the size 6 and size 14 girls’ stuff on my own. I got Julia some cool shirts and even a pair of Abercrombie corduroy pants for just a few bucks. (Yes, we boycott Abercrombie like all other decent Christian parents. But these pants were four bucks. I had to make an exception here. It’s easy to boycott something when you can’t afford it anyway.) And I got Jenna a cute Kelly’s Kids Christmas outfit and the FREAKING CUTEST hot pink and black tweed suit. If you see a cute blond kid at my church looking like mini-CoCo Chanel in a few months, that’s my kid.

But then. THEN. I found the mommy clothes. They had clothes for me, too! With all the baby-obsessed mommies a safe distance away in the infant section, I had the mommy clothes all to myself. Including a stunning Mica dress with the tags still on. Tags that said “$160.00.” This dress is now mine. For nine bucks. And for another nine bucks, I scored an Ann Kenar little black dress. I’m getting dizzy again just thinking about it. For a total of $51 bucks (including tax) I got two outfits for Jenna, pants, sweater and two shirts for Julia (three of her things are Abercrombie – which I promise to resume boycotting soon – and Aeropostale) and two FABULOUS dresses for me. I can see why the whole consignment sale thing could get addictive.

So that’s my fun lately. Hey, if I'm going to dabble in Mom Crack, at least I'm going to look good doing it.