6.23.2011

The Great Decommission

On Tuesday I will drive my oldest son to the airport, kiss him goodbye, and pray like crazy as he flies away to Louisville, Kentucky (which I'm told is pronounced "Lew-uh-vull"), where he'll spend his summer break with my adorable heathen sister.

I'm kinda bummed, and I'm kinda worried, and I'm kinda nervous, but mostly I'm really excited for him, and I'm totally grateful to my lil'sis and happy that we were able to make this happen, because if any kid has ever earned a summer trip to his cool Aunt's house in Lewuhvull, it is this kid.

My kid.

The one who was yanked out of his suburban NorCal life at 13 to be transplanted to another country, learn another language, and take on countless new, unexpected, and not always good experiences, and who has never, not once, everrrrr complained about it. In 4 years, not one complaint about being here -- This is not an exaggeration.

This rockstar.

The 17 year old who can't have a part-time job because he's a foreigner without a work visa.

The guy who still doesn't have a driver's license because in this country he can't get one until he turns 18.

The 6foot3 hipster/wannabe fashion-hound who can only get new clothes once a year, when he's in the states, because Costa Rican clothes are A) too freaking expensive, and B) just don't fit him.

My missionary kid.

And I'm really gonna miss him. But, like I said, I'm super stoked that he gets to go.

It's only 2 months, but it's 2 "normal" months of speaking his own language and always knowing what's going on around him and going places without everybody staring at him. And that's a pretty big deal for a 17 year old. Actually, that would be a pretty big deal for anybody. So my prayer for him, as he gets on the plane that will take him to Normalville for the summer is that he dive into not being a missionary kid with both feet.

This is The Great Decommission.

Go, my Son, and eat corn on the cob. Burn stuff on the 4th of July. Swim in a lake without worrying that a crocodile is about to snap you in half. Go without a whacky agenda for yourself or for anyone else. Nobody has to know that your parents are missionaries, so you can be free to make friends without anybody worrying that you're trying to "save" them. Go flirt with the ladies, get some numbers. Seriously, go for it. But be nice. And respectful. And you don't have to touch the ladies... anyway. My point is that you've been a brilliant MK, but this summer I hope you'll enjoy just being a K. Sleep late, eat gummy bears, watch Hulu, go to Target. Oh, and seek God. For real. Just look around and see what He's up to. Let yourself be amazed by how God shows up in the normal. Then when you get home, tell me absolutely everything because I'll be dying to know where you've seen Him.

.... .... ....

You know how much I just love asking for money - but such is the life of the missionary. Blech! So I'm gonna throw this out there, and let you decide if...whatever:
Would you consider giving to our "Give a Missionary Kid a Break" fund?

Stephen needs shoes, clothes, books, a messenger bag, guitar strings, and some other junk. If you'd like to throw a few bucks his way, I know he would be incredibly, unbelievably appreciative!

You can use the PayPal button, right over there ------>
Or, if you'd maybe like to send him a gift card? You can email me @ theveryworstmissionary@gmail.com and I'll happily give you an address to send it to. :)
.... .... ....

The other day I tweeted: My oldest is spending the summer with my sister. I told her: No pot. No hookers. Only 1 tattoo. ...Still, I'm worried. :\

You think I should add anything to that list?

6.21.2011

Human, like Jesus.

I was watching Jersey Shore the other day… What. I was… So?

Anyway. I was watching all these kids with their uber-tans and goopy hair and lack of functional undergarments, and I was utterly fascinated. The whole entire show is about who is cheating on who, and who is stealing from who, who is sabotaging who, who is lying to who, and who is giving who an STD - and then all of that excitement is punctuated by snippets of all these greasy Meatballs talking into a camera to tell us about said cheating, stealing, sabotaging, lying and STDing. It’s… weird. And it’s dirty. Not gonna lie, it draws me in, in some messed up way.

So the other day, this guy – you know, on Jersey Shore – this guy had done something stupid and it pissed off his girlfriend, so he looked at the camera and said, “What?! So now I’m frickin’ Jesus? I’m Jesus and I’m so perfect I’m not gonna look at another girl’s rack when it’s right in front of me?! Cuz I’m not perfect, and I am going to look!...I’m only human, ya know.”

Ugh! I really hate that.

I hate it when people use the fact that they're human as an excuse to be a douche.

It doesn’t even make sense. I mean, I could understand it if you were, like, ripping my arm off, for example, and I was crying and begging you to stop but you wouldn’t stop because you were, say, a tiger. Then you might say to me, “I’m sorry, but I’m only a tiger”, and I would totally have to be understanding because a tiger lives by instinct and not reason. So it would be pretty stupid of me to beg a tiger to stop hurting me, because a tiger lacks that little seen human-trait we call ‘compassion’.

But to claim that your humanity is the thing that’s keeping you from doing the right thing? That seems backwards to me. Isn’t it our humanity that compels us to treat others with kindness and respect? Isn’t it our humanness that kind of pushes us toward decency?

One of the things that I love about the Bible is that as we look into the life of Jesus we get such a clear picture of his humanity. We see Jesus celebrate and mourn, and we see him challenge injustice and cross social barriers. He is protective of the prostitute, gentle with the elderly, and compassionate toward the infirm. I like to think that during Jesus time on Earth, he was showing us a thing or two about how treat one another in this life....like, the life we’re living... right now

But somewhere along the line, following Jesus became a quest for perfection - of course, we’re not perfect – we’re only human. So we pray for the divine strength to stop looking at porn, or whatever, and when that doesn’t work we say, “Well, what do you expect? Jesus was perfect because he was God, and I’m only human.” And then we pray for forgiveness for drinking two-thirds of a bottle of scotch and, again, we say, “Please God, give me the divine strength to quit boozing it up and slapping the 'ol wife around.” Or whatever. And when that doesn’t work we cry, “I want to stop, but I’m only human!” And then we pray to God to give us the power to stop ignoring the baby while we eff around on the internet, or to please, God, please, help us stop flirting with the hot clerk at Whole Foods because we know it’s wrong, and then when we fail, or worse, when someone catches us, we grab on to that familiar line, and fling it out there as a catch-all for our crappy behavior, “I’m sorry…but I’m only human.”

Yeesh. What have we done?

Maybe we need to be praying less for some kind of divine intervention and more for the simple compassion to stop injuring, using, abusing, or neglecting the people that cross our paths in a given day. Maybe we ought to pray for a deeper sense of our fellow man so that we might see how the things we’re doing are affecting our spouse (current, or future), our children, and the world in general. Perhaps if we pray for the kind of humanity Jesus showed us through his own, we would have to stop shrugging our shoulders about this fallen world and actually change our behavior. What?!

I dunno, I’m just thinking out loud here.

The truth is, if we were all human like Jesus, Jersey Shore would be super boring, and nobody would watch it....

....and then it would get canceled. ← Whoa. Case in point!

.... .... ....

"I'm only human" is definitely my go to pardon-my-douchiness catch-phrase. Can you think of any others?

6.17.2011

Telling El Chupacabra to Ask Me Later

Today I'm guest posting for El Chupacabra, who, between working full-time, coaching football for his team, playing football for the All-Star team, meeting with a bunch of guys to talk about Jesus, taking college classes, Oh, and being a parent, claims he's too busy to keep up with his blog. Pshhh. What-ever!

So ~because I love him~ I offered to help by writing a guest post, to which he reluctantly said ok. But the best part is that he doesn't even read my blog, so when I gave him the post he read it, and then he looked at me like "For real?" but he knew he couldn't say anything because that would hurt my feelings and that would be bad for us... more specifically, bad for him.

Here's part of my post, called "Ask me later", on El Chupacabra Writes a Blog:

Since the internet is obviously a “safe place” where one can truly bare their soul without fear of scrutiny or judgment, I’m just gonna go ahead and throw this out there…

El Chupacabra and I are at an impasse. There’s a glitch in our marital matrix.

We keep having the same conversation over and over, making the same remarks and coming to the same conclusions. It’s getting kinda weird.

....

I dunno. I hope you'll go read it, but don't crucify me in the comments section when you read what a primo jerk I am. And then follow El Chupacabra, who promises that he's going to write more.

Ok?... go on.

6.10.2011

Trying too hard.

I have about 6 really good ideas for blog posts right now. Plus, maybe 10 or so really stupid, bad ones.

I've probably sat myself down to plunk out a post 20 times in the last week. And nothing.

Nothing comes out. None of these thoughts seem to be able to make it the short distance from my heart to my fingertips, intact. Somewhere along the way, words that seem simple and worthy are being exchanged for a frenetic jumble of self-concious rambling. The words that came together easily in my mind while I was in the shower, or on the bus, or standing in line at the bank behind a very tiny man with an intriguing mole on top of his head - those words were beautiful and meaningful. They were such perfect words that I suspect that they may have been whispered directly to my soul by Walt Whitman or Oscar Wilde, or somebody cool... like a slam poet or something. Point being, these ideas arrive with vigor and beauty and life, and they exit feeling all...lame and trying-too-hard. And anyone who knows me knows that I'm not about trying-too-hard. (Actually, I'm not about trying, like, at all. But that's a different story.)

So an idea comes to me, and it's a really good idea, and then it slips away while I'm staring into the creepy little face I swear I can see in that guy's mole. And then, later, when I sit down in a moment of quiet to recapture the goodness, I call on the spirit of those great writers who've come before me, real writers, writers who used words to change the world. And my words fail me. They disappear. Or worse, they turn into Tweets.

And I'm left sitting there with a great idea and a blank page because Whitman abandoned me in my time of need. Asshole.

The thing is.

...God likes to whisper to my soul, too...

And, when I pay attention (which, admittedly, is not very often), I can hear Him saying things like, "I don't want you to be a gay 19th century poet". I know that maybe seems a little weird, but when you start trying too hard to be something you're not, God will be straight with you. He's cool like that. And so He breathes things into my spirit to remind me that I am exactly what He meant when He created me. Exactly.

Like, even though it seems obvious that my ankles were a mistake, they're not. These tree trunks are exactly the gams God wants me to use to propel my butt around the planet. Likewise, God gave me a way to use words. My own way. My own odd, white-trash meets valley girl way. This is how I'm supposed to write, because that's how I sound when I'm being who I was meant to be. And when I get my head around that, when I feel confident that God adores it when I respect His creation... I can write.

It's not always good. But it's mine. And there's something kinda cool about that. I mean, not like slam poet cool, but still.

Your voice, your words, your ideas, your art, your music, your whatever - even the dumb whatevers - are the ones He's hoping for. So let it flow. He's waiting, actually, we're all waiting... to hear from YOU.

.... .... ....

God is telling me I'm not a gay 19th century poet. Who is He telling you you're not, so that you can be who you are?... Do share.

6.02.2011

Support a Missionary....

....Like her Face Book page.

Ok. So in the comments on my last post someone was all, "Hey, do you have a fan page on FaceBook?", and I said "No", because I didn't.

But now I do.

I know. I think it's kind of douchey, too.

Never the less...

I made a FaceBook fan page because I'm a blogger, but I'm seriously considering becoming a booker. And one of the things you have to do these days, if you want to sell a book, is show the guys who care about these things some kind of evidence that says bunches of people "like" you. (Which, when you think about it, is pretty lame since it means that popularity, once again, wins over merit. Just like in high school. But, whatever.)

Hence, the
Face Book fan page.

And now there are approximately 8 thousand different ways for you to keep up with the Very Worst Missionary. You lucky duck.

But I don't want this to completely suck for the fan page likers, so I'm gonna use it to post random crap that's too short for a blog post or too long for Twitter.

....And pics of my pets being cute or funny or stupid.

...And pics of crazy Costa Rican stuff, like food that looks like turds and/or wieners, or insanely giant pot holes, or a family of 5 on a motorcycle, or a sloth in a bucket. You know, stuff like that.

...And maybe some pics of my kids, and El Chupacabra (if he'll let me).
Maybe.

...And probably pics of boozie drinks.

Anyway.

Also? If
this fan page thing starts to feel like a huge pain in the ass, I'll delete it. But until then, would you mind going and hitting that cute little "like" button? I'd be super-duper appreciative of your support. <--- See that? that's where you, supporting a missionary happens. Nice, huh.

Thanks. You're awesome. We should totally hang out some time.

Do you have a fan page? Oh hey, if you have a fan page, feel free to link it in the comments. Then I won't feel so bad cuz it'll be like our own little VWM douche/fan party! WooHoo!!