Pride Filled Oreos…

I have posted a couple times on the Gays/Lesbians and Christians topic, if you are interested on where I stand on the topic as a whole visit here, if you want to know where I stand on gay marriage laws, visit here. This blog post is not about either of those topics, and really is not about gays or lesbians at all, this post is from an entirely different perspective, so please let me explain…

I am beyond annoyed with Oreo’s “Pride” cookie. If you have not seen it, you can find out a bit more about it here.

Some of my biggest annoyances with it all are:

A. The cookie doesn’t actually exist (shocker right?), so essentially they are lying… Brilliantly lying from a marketing perspective, but lying none the less. I mean think about it, Oreo is showing a cookie rainbow that does not actually exist to do what? Sell. More. Cookies. They are a company that survives by making a profit, so that is exactly what they are doing, they are creating a buzz about something that does not exist and that will cause lots of people to go looking for this fake cookie, and settle for buying a peanut butter one, a mint on or a double stuffed one instead. It is brilliant from a marketing standpoint, but obnoxious from a relational standpoint. Which brings me to my second point.

B. I loathe ads like these for a few reasons, all of which are from a relational standpoint, but since I have spent the majority of the last 9 years of my life understanding marketing, communications, advertising etc.. I “get” what they were trying to do, they were trying to “reach out and show the love” to the gay and lesbian community. What I absolutely positively hate is that instead it actually divides us and drives wounds even deeper.

If for instance they released a “White Pride cookie” people would FREAK OUT (with good reason). They would claim they were not being tolerant of other groups of people, and they would be right. Can you imagine a white pride cookie? It would be insulting to other ethnicity’s such as the Black or Hispanic communities. And, let’s be honest, can a cookie really have pride anyway?

So, then the real question is why does this hit a sore spot with everyone?

Because, it does absolutely nothing but dig into a wound with a hot knife. The reality is the gay and lesbian community are a wounded group of people, they have been attacked, jeered at, bullied, and made fun of, so the natural human response is to band together and cling to that one thing that holds them together; their sexual orientation. So, by releasing a fake rainbow cookie, Oreo is ACTUALLY highlighting that pain, and creating a platform to divide us all once more and remind us of the wounds again, and then it causes insults to fly from both sides. We end up in each others faces once more yelling about how insulting and intolerant the other one is (did you catch that, both sides say the same thing).

For a moment, stop, put aside your pain, frustration, anger and think about why the “pride cookie” is insulting to those of us not gay or lesbian… Oreo is insulting those of us that are not “a part” of that community and rubbing it in our faces, and it is seen as ok because they are the minority after all, but in reality, it is just as insulting as if they released a white pride cookie. It is revolting and it does nothing but drive the wedge between us further.

Please understand, these types of things are NOT AT ALL the same as Black History Month or a Martin Luther King Jr. Day.. Literally, they are not even on the same playing field because those two things are celebrating, remembering or educating others about things that we can all learn from. They are meant to help us treasure, not force us further apart.

So, my annoyance with Oreo actually has little to nothing to do with gays or lesbians or anything of the sort, my annoyance is with the lies, the division, and the fact that it actually does the opposite of facilitate love between us.

Meeting Rainbow…

While I would like to say that I take appropriate measures to ensure that I get enough food, sleep, exercise, it really is only true if I have no one who needs me to go out of my way and/or lose sleep for. This weekend was no different. I had planned on catching a red-eye flight home from California in order to be able to attend a leadership summit at my church, then I had planned to drive to Ohio incredibly late to meet up with my family and a bunch of old friends, one of which was visiting from France! But, apparently God had other plans. My flight was delayed for almost three hours, and then once I finally arrived in DC more than three hours late, the cargo door of the plane would not open for about 45 minutes.. which promptly means I was going to be 3 hours late to a 4 hours summit… Meaning by the time I made it there it would be pointless. So, instead I slept in my car for 45 minutes, then proceeded to alter my plans and drive directly to Ohio.

Still not entirely sure why it worked out for me to not go to the leadership summit, but head to Ohio earlier.. But, regardless it meant more hugs and loves.

I pulled into the hotel behind my parents and sister by about a minute in a half, which was fun, but it also meant none of us had a moment to relax as we checked in, unloaded, changed clothes, and got ready to leave again to make the half hour drive to our friends house to meet up with everyone for dinner.

The drive time that my family and I had throughout the course of the couple days we were in Ohio was perfect to say the least, we talked, laughed, picked on each other, drank coffee, offered to share with my dad, and told stories the entire time.

When we finally arrived, there were more people there than I expected, but the welcoming greeting is always one of my favorite things when visiting other people or having them visit me. There is just something special and exciting about the first few moments of hugs, laughter, hellos, and how are you’s. This time proved to be just as wonderful and lovely as I was hoping. My dear friend from France has gone by Rainbow on anything that requires a screen name for years, including IMs, message boards, etc.. So to finally get to hug her for the first time and say our long overdue hellos and how are you’s in person was awesome, and almost surreal because of the fact that we have known each other for 8-9 years now, and this was the first time we were able to hug and talk in person. And, while pictures always help keep people in the loop as to new hair styles and various things of that sort, it is always entirely different to see and talk to people in person… Her voice is a beautiful mix of a British accent with a French cadence.

What was and has always been so meaningful to me is the ever present love, prayers, encouragement, and care that has been projected from her the entire time I have known her, and this weekend was no different.

One of the things I always find interesting is to get glimpses into who I am to, and through other people’s eyes. Their view of me is always so humbling, and to see the good they see in me, and to know the love they have for me… It makes me so acutely aware of what I do not deserve, but have somehow managed to come upon in more than my fair share of friendships in my life. At points throughout the weekend I was so overwhelmed by her love for me that I simply did not have words, so I would just sit smiling and listening to the conversations of the group eb and flow across different topics.

I would be completely remiss if I did not mention the several other people I got to spend time with and hug, it was such a lovely weekend full of stories, laughter, hugs, and food… lots of food. At a couple different points throughout the weekend I was amazed at how long these people have known me, which basically was my entire college career, and definitely my actual career, including moving to and from camps in Ohio, living at home for a year after college, moving to central VA, and then up to DC.. I am so blessed that they stuck with me through break ups, moves, struggles, business, chaos, and everything in between.

The overwhelming sense I left the weekend with was just how lucky I am that so many people love and care for me praying for big and little things in my life. I am just so blessed.

Red Eyes…

I have a red eye flight back to DC tonight, and somehow it manages to be delayed by a couple hours… Which is fairly aggravating since the whole purpose of my red eye flight back is so I can attend a leadership summit at my church, and as it stands right now I am likely to miss it.

One of the things I am fairly amused by though is people watching as everyone deals with the delay… There is the cutest little boy with his siblings and dad waiting ever so patiently as it is likely hours past his bedtime. He has been looking at me and averting his eyes every few minutes which has been an amusing game for me to make faces at him. haha While it is annoying to wait so long for a delayed airplane, people watching is definitely one of my favorite things to do.

Here is hoping the delay does not mess up too much of my schedule this weekend.

Uncle Time…

There are always moments in my life where I am reminded that no matter how much planning I do, I simply cannot account for everything or everyone around me… Today was one of those days. I completely and entirely forgot that my uncle and cousin live in San Jose.. (whoops!) Thankfully my uncle saw on Facebook (woot!) that I was in town, and he was able to, and gracious enough to clear his schedule to spend some time with me. Unfortunately my cousin was not able to change her schedule, which really is my fault for forgetting she lives here. Either way, I am so blessed to have family spread out across the entire country (literally) who love me and make time for me whenever they can.

The cool thing about the time I had with my uncle is that it was the first time we have really gotten to talk for any great amount of time with me as an adult. Last time I saw him I am fairly certain I was still in college, and it was at a family get together (which means dozens of people around), and beyond a few basic pleasantries I do not have any recollection of having a genuine conversation with him… ever. So, heading into the evening I was excited to get to know him for myself, not through stories from the rest of the family.

He picked me up in a ’72 Jaguar, which is an awesome car, and one I have never had the chance to ride in before, so that alone was pretty neat. We ended up heading to Santa Cruz to walk on the pier, chatting the entire time about random things. He told me about various places he used to live, showed and explained things, such as the fact that in California you have to pay for the rights to use water on your own land! We talked about jobs, places we have traveled, and random funny stories that came to mind as we chatted.

The pier was awesome even after dark, and I swear there is just something about the smell of salt water that touches my soul and puts it at rest.

We walked and talked about God, our views on loving and judging others, we got ice cream and talked about how fascinating people are to us and how people deal with death differently and how they view it (he is a funeral director).

A couple hours later as we drove back I told him about my blog, and different stories related to the people who read my blog (and basically how crazy their stories are and how awesome God is at using my thoughts to reach others).

I had no idea what to expect from an evening with my uncle, but regardless, it was awesome, we had so much fun, and I felt entirely and completely blessed to have him go so much out of his way to spend time getting to know me. My family near and far are all such blessings in my life, and I do not deserve it. Love them so much!

The Start of Convention Week…

This week I am out in San Jose California for our annual convention at work. While I am less than enthusiastic about the hours I have to work this week, the lack of sleep I will receive, and the inevitable few people that are somewhat crazy… I am excited for a change of pace to my work schedule, the laughter with my co-workers, and the fact that I will be in California all week (even if I will not get to spend much time here).

As I traveled to CA, I had a few interesting encounters, and interestingly enough, a couple of them have kept me praying for the person I met. My flight from DC to Denver was fine, nothing super exciting, I listened to Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis on my ipod while I played Angry Birds Space (hello new addiction). Other than the gentleman who snored ridiculously loud behind me and kept farting wretched farts, it was a fairly uneventful or even noteworthy flight, except for the tall guy in front of me in line waiting to board who I found curious because he seemed intent on where he was going, yet did so with an air of being relaxed about it as well. He also wore work-boots and a bright orange backpack that initially is what caught my eye.

Let me just say, I had no idea that Denver was not actually IN the mountains… I thought it was because of all the people that go there to go skiing… Huh, weird.

The second flight barely left me enough time to hunt and scarf down some food before having to board the second plane. What almost made me laugh though is the guy from the first flight was standing in front of me for this flight as well.. As we were boarding and as I was about to get to my row and scoot in to my glorious window seat, the guy with an orange backpack was asked if he would be willing to switch seats with this other man’s wife, he agreed, and as only God can be ironic and slide into the middle seat next to mine before I could stop him. I couldn’t help but laugh as I tucked my things under my seat that of course God would put him next to me… We did not talk hardly at all for the first hour of the flight, that is until the man sitting in the isle seat coughing up a lung finally decided to head to the bathroom, then we decided to chat about how we really hoped we wouldn’t get sick, and that’s what he gets for being nice and changing seats with people. We quickly stopped talking when the man returned to fidget and cough some more. The rest of the flight we shared occasional knowing glances and and smiles as the guy continued to infect the entire airplane with whatever he was carrying. As the flight ended we chatted about the books we were reading, the reasons we were in San Jose, and about the essential need for airborne and a shower. The thing I find the most interesting about the entire conversation is how easily God changes situations, brings things to our attention, and uses the small things to set a good week in motion. Nothing happened, we did not even exchange names, but I could not help but laugh at how the entire thing added to another one of my ridiculous yet funny stories I have on a fairly regular basis.

I am curious to see how the rest of the week plays out…


Tonight is my last “free” night for the next two weeks, and by free, I mean last night that I do not have somewhere to be, but definitely have a lot of things to accomplish. Due to my crazy schedule for the rest of June, a friend and I are getting dinner and hanging out tomorrow night after I get my hair done.. Which, I am super excited about because it has been almost four months since I have made time to get my hair done, and I love having my hair newly done!

Friday I head to central VA for nails, rehearsals, and loads of laughter with a bunch of my closest friends. Saturday is wedding day, and it is sure to be a whole lot of fun! Sunday, ironically is another wedding where I used to live of a roomie from college.

All next week will be full of work travel to San Jose for our annual convention, which will be a nice change of pace, but exhausting hours with a three hour time difference! I catch a red-eye home in time to attend a leadership summit, just in time to then load into my car and drive to Ohio to see my family and friends of my family… Which will be a lot of fun catching up with them (and hopefully some sleep!). With any luck I will be able to swing by an old place I used to work, and then see one of my best friends from college and his wife before returning home in time for the small group I am co-leading.

All in all I would say this is a fairly typical June for me, and while I will be doing an almost ridiculous amount of traveling, I am really excited for the chance I am going to get to read and catch up on homework, but mostly I just enjoy the change of pace that the summer provides without fail every year. I have no doubt come July I will need to sleep for a few days, but until then, life should be fairly exciting 😉

Imagination and Writing…

I perpetually have new ideas of things I think my dad should do… Stuff like record his teachings, writing a blog, etc.. It might have something to do with the fact that he’s my hero, some of it is because he is a serious Renaissance man, and some of it is because he is one of the most creative and engaging people I know. So, usually I come up with all sorts of random things that I babble on to him about that I think he should do.

However recently, I had this idea that I explain to him would be fun for us to do, it consisted of us writing a book (or more like an entire series) together. Much like my other ideas I expected it to be a good and fun conversation, and then sort of end there, but much to my surprise he loved this idea (woot!), and we have spent the better part of a couple weeks know e-mailing ideas, plots, descriptions, characters and various details about our story. Needless to say, we are having a ball talking about our story.. And, while I might be a bit biased, I think we are brilliant haha

At this point we are still planning the details of our story, getting all the facts correct, and ensuring we have covered all the holes in our plot and each character in the story, but, I am really excited about it…

As if either of us need one more thing to do… But hey, there is always more room for fun things…