ShoeShe

It’s political…It’s spiritual…It’s laughable…It’s lovable…It’s ShoeShe!

They Grow Up So Fast April 26, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Uncategorized — shoeshe @ 1:28 pm

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t have children. There, I feel better already.

I’m currently in a community theatre production, and there is quite a mix of ages in the cast. We start with the funniest 6-year-old Beatles/Warhol fan, move up to the brilliant 10-year-old who knows EVERYONE’S lines in the whole play, then we meander through the teenage years with several in the 13-18 crowd. Once we hit the twenties, the ages get a bit more spread out – there’s the college girl (21), then a handful in the 24-30 range (myself included) and then a few folks in their 40s and 50s.

The age spectrum is really NOT what this post is about. The 13-year-old girl in the cast is the subject.

Bless her little heart. Okay, now can I talk about her?

I want to punch her mother in the face. Seriously. A 13-year-old CHILD could never come up with the stuff this girl has come up with on her own. Someone is behind the madness.

I’ll chronicle her time with me (and from thence she will be referred to as Flower):

  1. Flower gets cast in a play (though she lied about her age to get the part she got).
  2. Cast becomes annoyed with Flower and her awkwardness (though we all thought she was 16 – and it turned out she was only 13…which explains the awkwardness – at least partially).
  3. Flower begins acting rather boy-crazy. This is typical of most girls her age. What is NOT typical is for her to be hitting on guys twice her age (which she readily does).
  4. Flower sits in a stairwell in a dress with her legs together. A male in his mid-twenties walks by, and Flower immediately opens her legs. WTH?
  5. Flower plays a nurse at one point in the play, so she offers her costuming advice to the director. “I was thinking I could maybe be a sexy nurse…you know, nurse by day, stripper by night.” Yes, she really said those words aloud.
  6. Hellbent on being the sexy nurse, she leaves her modest nurse costume (like from the 60s) unbuttoned past her boobs. The costumer comes in and tells her she needs to be covered up – then adds a jacket to the costume (just to make sure).
  7. Flower comes in wearing one of her costumes (a 60s era dress) with too-high-heels (that she can’t walk in) and asks the female adults in the dressing room if she “looks like a ho.”
  8. Flower tells her mother she’s going to lunch with the cast after one of our daytime performances. What she should have told her mother is that the youngest person going to lunch was 21. Apparently either her mother didn’t care…or she lied. She shows up at lunch, plops herself down next to the guy she opened her legs for (reference #4). That would have been fine (I guess), except we didn’t really know she was coming and several of the adults had ordered “adult beverages” (I did not). Flower proceeded to whisper into the guy’s ear repeatedly. It turns out she was asking him for his beer. He declined. It got worse…when the guy needed to get up to go to the bathroom, Flower looked at his glass. He chugged what was left. Then she said, “Don’t leave those drops unguarded.” He handed his glass to one of the other adults at the table.
  9. Flower, stuffed one of her character dresses with an apron and a bag to make herself look pregnant (obviously unscripted). I said, “Um, no. Take that out! What are you thinking?” To which she replied, “I just wanted to get kissed in that scene” (also obviously unscripted).
  10. Flower has other cast members zip up her go-go boots (which were not part of her original costume) – which leads to awkward cast moments…she’s 13!!! 13!!!

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I’m worried about and for this girl. Who are her parents? What are her parents teaching her? How can we help this poor girl? She is only in 7th grade, and yet I can foresee her as pregnant before high school. What is my responsibility to this girl? Do we say something to her…to her mother…to the director?

I’m praying for her right now, because quite frankly that’s all I know to do.

 

How Not to Talk to a Baptist… February 21, 2010

Filed under: Laughable,Personal,Spiritual — shoeshe @ 6:22 pm

I had an interesting conversation with my mom today. She was talking about Lent, ashes and Baptists. She had my attention. Mom, though a career Methodist, is not quite as schooled on all things religious. Bless her heart. She wanted me to explain Lent to her.

Here’s what I said…

Lent is the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter (not counting Sundays) where we practice self-denial in preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. We fast for 40 days because we are preparing for what is to come…just as Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert in preparation for his public ministry.

There are lots of other forties in the Bible that are significant…Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai. Elijah spent forty days and nights walking to Mount Horeb. God made it rain for forty days and nights on Noah. The Hebrew people wandered for forty years looking for the Promised Land. Jonah gave Ninevah forty days to repent.

That’s pretty much Lent in a nutshell.

Then mom was like, “well, what are the ashes for?”

So I said…

Well, they burn the palm branches from last year’s Palm Sunday service to make the ashes.

Ashes are symbolic for us, because of the ancient tradition of throwing ashes over your head as a sign of repentance before God. Then, there’s the Scripture out of Genesis that says we are dust and to dust we shall return.

Mom says, “But Baptists don’t do all that…do they?”

I said…

Well, not usually, though this year the First Baptist Church here did have an Ash Wednesday service, complete with black, ashy crosses on the foreheads…and they’re even celebrating Lent this year.

Mom said, “Oh.”

I asked why she was suddenly so interested in all this stuff, and she said that she had a conversation with a die-hard Baptist about all of it, and came out of it quite confused.

This particular guy told her that Baptists don’t do Ash Wednesday and Lent, because it is Catholic. He said that Baptists were around before Catholics, because they derived straight from John the Baptist. Since the Catholics added all of that stuff, the Baptists don’t do it, because that’s not what John the Baptist did.

I said…

Hmm…interesting. You probably don’t want to get into an argument over religion, but he’s wrong. I’m not a Baptist scholar, so I can’t quite comment with 100% accuracy, however I’m pretty sure the Baptist church came out of the same Reformation process that all the other Protestant churches came from. I’d put their development as a church in the 1500s to 1600s. See, it got a kick-start when Martin Luther put his 95 Theses on that church door, though from all I’ve read and observed about the Baptist church, I’d assume they derived more from a breed of Puritans and Calvinists…both also church reform groups stemming from the Catholic Church/Church of England. And yes…we later grew out of that same movement…

Mom said, “Oh…well, isn’t it cute that he thinks his church stems from John the Baptist? Though, it’s sort of judgmental of him to think that First Baptist Church shouldn’t be able to call itself a Baptist church since they celebrated Ash Wednesday.”

Okay…so after this stimulating discussion, I did a bit of research that puts a date of 1608/1609 on the establishment of the first Baptist church…and it was in Holland…and it was established by John Smyth and Thomas Helwys.

Here’s my take on the whole thing…

Thank God I belong to a connectional and methodical church that traces its history and “believes” in the “holy catholic church.” And before people get all in a tizzy about what I mean by “holy catholic church,” I’ll give you the explanation I was given in my church’s Confirmation classes when I was in 6th grade. I still remember, partly because I thought learning a cool-sounding Greek word was fun – yes, I’ve always been a nerd.

Here goes…

The word catholic is a form of the Greek word “katholikos,” which means “of the whole.” Therefore, catholic is referring to the universal church…i.e. all Christians everywhere…not the Roman Catholic Church.

So see, I’m open-minded enough to believe that all Christians (whether Methodist, Baptist or otherwise) are pretty much on the same page. The differences aren’t biblical (for the most part – and I still don’t understand the no musical instruments thing in the Church of Christ or the no dancing in the Baptist Church, since both were in the Bible), but are instead practical in nature.

Gah…I quit.

 

I Might Draw Criticism, But… February 19, 2010

Filed under: Laughable,Personal,Political — shoeshe @ 2:41 pm

Has anyone read this? It’s about an actress, Andrea Fay Friedman, who has Down Syndrome. She played a small role in an episode of “Family Guy,” in which her character also had Down Syndrome.

One of her lines was, “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska.”

The actress says her parents raised her to be funny and “normal,” and that it was just sarcasm. The Palin clan, on the other hand, has called the “Family Guy” camp “heartless jerks” and “cruel, cold-hearted people.”

The thing is…when you put yourself out there for all the world to see, you open yourself to all that comes along with that. I think there’s a thin line between mockery, truth and flattery. While the “Family Guy” episode wasn’t the least bit flattering to the Palins, it did hold a bit of truth within its mockery.

DISCLAIMER: If you like Sarah Palin, you might want to stop reading.

Sarah Palin carts Trig around like he is some sort of special case…like she can win votes/admiration from people because she is raising a son with Down Syndrome. It is certainly something to deal with, but it is a something that thousands of other families deal with too…and you don’t see them using their child or their circumstances to win votes/admiration. It borders on exploitation, really.

And the Palin clan can argue all they want about how cold and heartless the “Family Guy” camp was, but the fact is an actress WITH Down Syndrome played the character and thought it was funny. I think it takes a strong person to face adversity with humor, and that is exactly what Friedman (and her family) have chosen to do. I’d say humor worked for this particular family, as Friedman works at a law firm when she’s not acting.

Such is life. We all have to make choices, and we all make choices that other people wouldn’t. There are things I do that you wouldn’t…just as there are things you do that I wouldn’t. It was Friedman’s choice to play the role of a girl with Down Syndrome on an episode of “Family Guy,” just as it is Palin’s choice to cart Trig around like the token Down Syndrome child talking about unfairness and hate. To be honest, I’m surprised Palin knew anything about the “Family Guy” episode since she has such a hard time coming up with any newspapers and magazines she reads on a daily basis. It seems like she’s a media snob. Perhaps if Palin watched anything but Fox (Ooh…jab at the righties), she wouldn’t have known about it at all.

Does anyone else find it somewhat humorous that Fox is the only mainstream media outlet that is so obviously right-wing…and yet “Family Guy,” which pokes fun at all sorts of right-wingers (and their ideas) is broadcast by Fox?

One more thing…I applaud Friedman for her courage and perseverance. She is a champion for folks with Down Syndrome. She has taken adversity and laughed in its face!

 

Randummie February 3, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Political,Spiritual,Uncategorized — shoeshe @ 12:42 pm

Yeah, that’s a smash-up of two words…”random” and “dummie…” just in case you wondered.

Here’s the thing. I haven’t had anything happen in the last couple of weeks that would make incredibly good blog fodder, so I’m just going to list a few random things that cause all the gray matter in this dummie’s brain to go into over-drive.

  • I do not like it when fellow motorists pull out in front of me only to go slower than I was going…thereby forcing me to use my brakes when I wouldn’t have needed them. This feeling is multiplied many times over when I look in my rearview mirror and realize that there is nothing behind me…meaning the fellow motorist could pull out after me and all would be well.
  • I love making pizza. I’ve really gotten good at a yummy pesto sauce that I put on a thin crust with tomatoes and a few favorite cheeses.
  • I do not like it when people don’t cooperate. Really, I consider myself to be quite flexible when dealing with other people, so it just irks me when others don’t act accordingly.
  • I rarely arrive anywhere on time. I am habitually late to work. I am nearly always late for church (and I teach Sunday School, so it is probably not so appropriate). I never arrive on time for doctors’ appointments (but I don’t feel so bad about that since I nearly always have to wait anyway). I was multiple hours late for my best friend’s wedding (not the actual wedding, it was preparations and rehearsal, but still…it was bad). I have yet to celebrate Christmas with another friend. I can’t really think of anything I’ve been on time for lately…except Black Friday shopping. That’s sad. I will try to do better.
  • I am seeing a chiropractor for the first time in my life, because I am determined to kick this pesky pain in my neck/shoulders that has been bothering me for over a year.
  • Lately I’ve been tired and cranky until about noon each day. I’m wondering if it’s the new dosage of meds, because I’m not generally a tired and cranky kind of girl.
  • I have found some great friends lately, and for that I’m thankful. We even discuss things that are out-of-bounds in most other relationships. It’s an eclectic group: the middle-aged married father from England (oh, yeah…his accent is great); the doctor/actress wannabe who is 25 and has never been kissed; the legal assistant who used to be on all sorts of crazy drugs, found redemption and is using her “story” to help others; the stereotypical gay musician (who is totally kick-ass with advice); the 21-year old poster-girl for purity (she doesn’t use foul language, hasn’t ever kissed, and well…she’s obviously still a virgin) who still likes to have a good time; then there’s me. Where do I fit into this mix?
  • I don’t usually talk about religion and/or politics with certain crowds of people, but I’ve found myself more expressive in the last week or so. For the record, I don’t have a problem with people helping other people in times of disaster. In fact, I applaud their efforts. I give to their efforts. Let me be clear, there’s a difference in people trying to help and people trying to take over. Groups like UMCOR, UNICEF and the Red Cross are great. They help those who need help with sustainable water, food, shelter, clothing and general infrastructure. I’m sure there are other groups out there who do great things (maybe World Vision, Compassion International, etc. are examples of those). But then there are renegade churches who go and do stupid things. I am so glad I belong to a connectional church with a systematic and methodical approach to helping the least and lost. [pure opinion ahead…beware] I find it bizarre that a church would feel the need to send solar Bibles to Haiti when Haitians need food, clean water, shelter, etc. I would think that you meet their human needs before you begin evangelizing. Also, the Baptists from America, who are in a Haitian jail for child trafficking, should be in jail. I have no doubts that they were trying to “help.” But taking children who are not yours is wrong. You can’t just bring all the poor kids in the world to America for us to “fix.” I have to stop here. I feel a rage coming.

That’s all.

 

Be The Tree…Please Respond January 19, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Spiritual,Uncategorized — shoeshe @ 3:58 pm

Yesterday I told you all that I’d like your help in coming up with some questions for a devo for the summer camp I work with. Below you’ll find my devo…so far. But I still need some questions.

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!!!

Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1-10

If you’re like me, you’ve heard this story so many times that you know the ending before you finish reading it. But if you’re like me, you may have also sang the little song so many times that the lessons to be learned from the story have gotten lost along the way.

Four characters give us unique insight on what happened that day…

  1. Jesus

    You might think the story is about Zaccheus looking for (and finding) Jesus. That’s certainly one way to look at it, but notice that it says, “when Jesus came to the place…” So it is safe to assume that Jesus was looking for Zaccheus, and that he knew exactly where to find him. Why Zaccheus? We all know he was a tax collector, but he wasn’t just any old tax collector. He was the chief tax collector. So, if Zaccheus’ life could be changed, then all the other tax collectors working under him could also be affected. The transformation in Zaccheus’ life would impact everyone, especially those who knew him before the transition. Every day Jesus sets out to change the hearts of those around us, and God often uses us as His agents of that change.
  2. The Crowd

    You’d think the crowd would want the man who takes their money to change…or for Jesus to lecture him. Instead, the crowd did then what it continues to do today. You know, there are lots of people who fight change or who don’t think people (including themselves) can change. As a result, they keep others away. Think about it. Do you point people to Jesus, or do you push them away by how you live your life? Do you know all the church answers in your head, but fail to live them out in your daily life? Look at who you have chosen as your friends. They help mold you into the person you are. Friends either draw you to or push you away from Jesus. Think about what your friends do for you, but more importantly, think about what kind of friend you are.
  3. Zaccheus

    Do you think Zaccheus got up early that day and had any idea what was going to happen? Do you think he told his servants to get the house ready and cook a big meal because Jesus was coming home with him for dinner? No way!!! Zaccheus was just hoping to get a glimpse of this man called Jesus. What about you? When you get up each day, do you prepare as if Jesus is spending the day with you, or are you satisfied with just a glimpse? Once you’ve been really touched by Jesus, you can’t help but DO something…sing, pray, laugh, cry, serve, and yes…even change.

    So here’s this guy Zaccheus. And on that day when Jesus came, Zaccheus saw himself for the first time in the light of Jesus, and he changed. Did you catch how much his heart was changed? He gave half of what he had to the poor. And out of the half he had left, he gave back four times what he had cheated/stolen from others. Then Jesus laid out his mission “to seek and save those who are lost,” which is exactly what He did that day for Zaccheus. What is your mission where God has planted you?

  4. The Tree

    I bet you were wondering where I’d get the 4th character, right?

    The tree is definitely a character in this story! Think about it. For years, that tree was used to climb in, to meet under, to rest by and to serve as a point of direction. But that tree was planted long ago for one great reason. That tree put Zaccheus in the position to see Jesus. He was able to climb above all his limitations (size) and distractions (crowd) and finally see Jesus.

    I can’t help but read this story in a new light as I start off my week at OMP. The tree jumps out at me as a shining example of how we should deal with others. God is asking us to see the tree as an opportunity to positively affect others’ lives. We’re here to put others in the position to see Jesus. We are limited by our inability to live perfectly, yet we’re given the chance to see Christ by the way we live, by helping others when they need us, and by showing that we care. The question is, are we using the tree to help ourselves and others see Jesus? How do we impact others’ lives for Jesus? When we are blocked in one area (crowds), we find another way (the tree).  Climbing the tree is what OMP is all about…the opportunity for us to change and be changed from the inside out.

    Open our eyes, God, to see the opportunity You have already provided!

 

If I Did It, Would You Help Me? January 18, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Uncategorized — shoeshe @ 6:09 pm

If I posted a devo I’m working on for the summer camp I help out with, would you help me come up with questions to go along with it that are suitable for youth in grades 6-12…as well as adult helpers?

Just let me know if you’d help…I don’t want to waste a post if nobody is really willing to help! Thanks.

 

Unlucky Seven January 13, 2010

Filed under: Laughable,Personal,Uncategorized — shoeshe @ 12:21 pm

The following list includes seven things that agitated me yesterday.

  1. An old lady at Target cut in line ahead of me. I should mention that she had a cart full of stuff and I had two items. I should also mention that I was not amused by her antics.
  2. The same old lady at Target bitched at the cashier because she needed a bag for a box that a) had handles and b) didn’t really fit in the Target bags in the first place. I should mention that the cashier had already begun scanning my items when the old lady began bitching about the bag. I was again not amused by her antics.
  3. That damn old lady at Target bitched out the cashier over the size of the bag she was given for the box that didn’t need a bag. I should mention that at this point the cashier was no longer amused by her antics and I was to the point of almost telling the old lady to STHU (ask if you don’t know). The old lady asked if there were any larger bags, to which the cashier explained that she was currently out of them. I (quite grumpily) walked to the next register and grabbed a large bag for the old bag.
  4. A young couple (in their early twenties) blocked my blilndside in the Target parking lot. Apparently the guy was trying to be sweet and went to get their oversized SUV so that the girl wouldn’t have to walk all the way out to their parking spot with the cart (it was pretty cold). Nevertheless, I was trying to exit the parking lot, and the guy pulled his vehicle up just enough that I couldn’t see around him to see the two lanes of traffic passing by the front of the store. He then put it in park and helped the girl load their Target purchases. I was not amused by their antics.
  5. A woman on her cell phone was waiting patiently at a stop sign at a street perpendicular to the one on which I was driving. She then pulled out in front of me only to go slower than I was already going. Please note: If you are going to dart out into traffic, at least speed the hell up so the person you pulled out in front of doesn’t have to slam on her brakes. Thank you, that is all. I am still not amused!
  6. I am currently driving a boat-sized rental car, because my car is in the shop. My car is in the shop, because a couple of people decided to hit and run in a parking lot. The only reason I am ever so slightly amused is that the aforementioned boat-sized rental car won’t fit in my garage. And that’s really only funny if you’re not the person who has to get out in the morning and defrost the damn windows before leaving (a bit late) for work.
  7. To top off my amazing day, as I was leaving work yesterday (an hour and a half later than I was supposed to get off), I noticed that an idiot had parked over my line in the parking lot. I’m sorry, but if I can fit my aforementioned boat-sized rental car in a parking space properly, then surely someone who drives an SUV every day should be able to do the same. I had great difficulty getting into my aforementioned boat-sized rental car. Further, I think that there should be special parking spaces for people who drive larger than average vehicles (trucks, SUVs, vans, grandma cars, etc.).

I am now finished ranting. Thank you.