Friday, March 30, 2007

Corporate Catastrof*%k

Ok - pardon my French, but this situation warrants the strength of such language. I realize the level of inappropriateness - bear with me.

In the interest of keeping my job with the giant corporate behemoth, I will speak in broad generalities, but suffice it to say, the transition to the new job has not been completely smooth. It's been great as far as the actual folks I work for and the job responsibilities. There have just been tons of issues with IT and payroll, the payroll one being the worst of it. Suffice it to say there have been all kinds of company and bank-related headaches, which has left me without access to my own money until next Tuesday. I want to scream.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Things That Make Me Die Inside, Vol. 1

One of my favorite blogs to read is the PopWatch blog on There is a regular segment that their writers have called "Things That Make Me Die Inside," and I read something today that made me want to make that one of my regular features.

In my job, I deal with the property management, documentation, leases, etc. of all of our stores and corporate facilities. I'm going through and documenting some changes in landlord information and have come across a mall in upstate New York called "Walt Whitman Mall." Now, I've read Walden, and I'm going to guess that based upon my interpretation of that, this is not what he would have wanted. We all know that I'm not opposed to the occasional shopping trip, but seriously - a mall named after Walt Whitman? Really?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Baby is growing up!

My baby neice Chloe turned 3 yesterday. Three. Years. Old. I can't believe she's 3. I remember the night she was born. My mom kept me posted from the hospital, but the part that meant the most to me was that my brother specifically asked that he be the one to call me when she was born. I love that because those are the moments when I realize that my brother and I are close. We are different in a lot of ways and we don't always agree, but we have great conversations, we value each other and get along well. He is a great dad - Lisa is a great mom. Together, they are great parents.

Chloe is a kid who comes honestly by the need for a lot of structure and doesn't love changes to her schedule. Not that there's anything wrong with that. That's just who she is. So, Todd and Lisa, again being good parents, get that about her and work within that, and have been preparing her for months that when she turns three, she gets the crib parts off her bed and will now have a "big girl" bed. So, here's a picture of her on her big girl bed, showing us that she's three. While cute, I find the way that Ian is splayed out in a turtle-turned-over sort of way to be freaking hilarious! Love my babies.

Monday, March 12, 2007


The Rev. Dr. Paul G. Hiebert, missiologist and missionary to India, has died of cancer on March 11, 2007 at the age of 74. After six years of service as a missionary under the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions, Hiebert earned a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology, and taught for some years in secular universities. Subsequently, he taught missions and anthropology at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California (1977-1990) and at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Highland Park, Illinois (1990-2007).
A prolific writer, Hiebert has published more than 150 articles and 10 books. His colleagues will remember him for his efforts to bring the insights and skills of anthropology to the theory and practice of Christian mission, and for his contribution to the critical realist approach to epistemology. His students will remember him for his generosity, and for his care and concern for them as people.
Hiebert was a loving husband, father and grandfather. His wife, Frances Flaming Hiebert, died in 1999. His parents, also missionaries to India, were John Nicholas Christian Hiebert and Anna Jungas Hiebert. He is survived by his sisters, Phyllis Martens, Elizabeth Dahl, Gwendolyn Schroth, JoAnne Sorensen, Margaret Hiebert, and Loey Knapp; his three children and their spouses, Eloise and Michael Meneses, Barbara and Bryan Rowe, and John and Jane Hiebert-White; and by his grandchildren, Bria Hiebert-Crape and Dan Aulisio, Holly and David Metzler, Andrew Meneses, Mary and Nicholas Hiebert-White.
His family will remember him for the following things among many others: playing rough and tumble with kids, enjoying family camping, celebrating all events at Chinese restaurants, happily eating hot curry till dripping with sweat, traveling so much he could hardly be found (‘Where’s Dad?’), doodling on styrofoam cups, being an honorary member of his sisters’ Red Hat Society, and faithfully having family devotions.

In Loving Memory
Paul G. Hiebert

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Working for The Man

My parents slay me. I got a message from them today saying good luck on my first day of "school" tomorrow and not to forget my lunch box and play nice with the other kids.

Rather appropriately, I listened to Nancy Ortberg's Sermon on Jesus and Work tonight and it is brilliant - stop what you're doing and listen to it now! She speaks on the idea that work is about creating value and about reflecting God's values to those around us. Loved it. One of my favorite moments is when she makes a reference to putting cover sheets on TPS reports and no one in the audience gets it. Classic!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I've been thinking about the idea of legacies lately for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have a dear uncle who is in the process of transitioning from death into life as he deals with mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Second, I have had some really great moments with my own family over the last couple of months as they have supported me through my time of job searching and subsequent employment.

My uncle is an anthropologist and he was having a conversation with my father a week or so ago and was talking about the importance of the bond between grandparents and grandchildren. He believes that children are half persons because they are not yet fully formed. Young adults and those adults who have not yet reached retirement age are whole people because of their identities, lives, schedules, careers, relationships, etc. As adults become older they become half persons again as they move back into a place of dependence. Therefore, according to his theory, the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is very strong because they are completing one another (not in the Jerry Maguire sense). I'm sure he said it in a much more eloquent and inspiring way, but I still think it's a beautiful thought.

When he was diagnosed with this illness, he sat down with each of his grandchildren individually and slowly went through all the family albums and Paul, my uncle, spoke with each of them about their family heritage, what their grandparents had done for the sake of Christ, what their parents had done, etc. Then, he passed the mantle to each of them, telling them that now it was their turn. Anyone familiar with my uncle's work knows that he's big into ritual and this I think is a beautiful one.

Regarding my immediate family, our relationship just continues to improve over time. We are learning to honor one another as the years pass and we're all learning how much better it is to be happy than to be right. While I was looking for a job, they were so great, always encouraging, praying, helping out if necessary. When I was at a particularly discouraged place, my mom called to ask how I was and in a genuine attempt to encourage me, she spoke to me of God having a plan, etc. I have no doubt of her motives, but I was not in a place to receive it, and I kind of went off at her. It wasn't directed toward her, per se, and I think she knows that. I told her that I knew God was acting, but I needed to see it because I was very discouraged. She did a good job of talking me down off the ledge.

My dad called me later to talk about how he had decided that he was going to start memorizing scripture. He never thought he was capable of that because he is dyslexic, but he said he was going to do it. He started with Psalm 40:1 - 3, which reads:

1 I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the LORD.

He recited them to me and said he believed he'd been led to them for a reason. Over the following weeks, those verses have been very handy for him as he's ministered to people in his circle.

Later that evening, my phone rang and I saw that it was my dad. I picked it up, said, "Hi, Dad." And he said, "Let's pray." And he prayed a beautiful, strong prayer, truly as a father on behalf of his daughter, asking for God to act on my behalf. It was truly one of the most meaningful interactions we've ever had.

In addition to my father and my uncle, my family is full of legacies of ministry going back generations. My great-grandfather went to Washington to fight for the rights of Conscientious Objectors in times of war. My aunt is an Episcopalian priest (or is is Episcopal - I never get that right) serving in a hospital in Chicago. Cousins are church musicians, pastors, and many have served in overseas missions. Both my physical and spiritual DNA wire me for ministry and I am so proud and honored to have such a rich history serving Christ and I hope in my own life that I can do it justice.