Search This Blog

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" book

While I was in my senior year at Multnomah Bible College, my sister Judy introduced me to this gal that worked as a project manager at Masterworks, a Christian advertising agency.

At school, I triple majored in Bible, Theology and Speech Communications.

(If you go to Multnomah, you already major in each Bible and Theology. Most students tack on a third major, so don't think that I'm anything special.)

So, here I am. I almost have my degree, I'm ready to change the world, and now I've got the hook-up to job that involves mass loads of stress, computer programs that are way beyond me, skill sets that have NOTHING to do with any of my majors, ridiculous expectations, and a high-turnover rate.

Sweet. Sign me up!

But first, of course, there's the whole application process.

So this gal tells me that this designer (Mr. Herod -- you know who you are) created a toy figurine of himself as his resume. Well, instead of having cute little sayings like "Pow -- watch him punch!" he listed all his credentials on the outside packaging. Apparently, his resume was epic and reserved him a little spot of Masterworks history.

So. I'm competitive. I'm a perfectionist. I'm an over-achiever. And I'm about to apply for my PERFECT position that I just HAVE to get for a CREATIVE AGENCY.

No normal resume would do. It had to show that I was not only perfect for the job (ummm. . . I wasn't) . . . but it had to show that I was creative too.

And so it was born. My "Choose Your Own Adventure" resume.

Without much ado, may I introduce you to my resume.

(I've written the text below each picture because the pictures are hard to read.)


Oh, one more thing! This was written before I was trained either as a proofer or as a copywriter. And before I believed in the power of a short sentence or a short paragraph. So I've done my best to break it up for you in more reasonable "bite-size" pieces.

OK, so now really . . . Enjoy!!

I never had a real job interview.
I actually had a person beg me to work for them at Regal Cinemas when I was 17.
I told her no.
"I don't have a car, so I wouldn't have a ride . . . it is just too far away . . . I would only be able to work weekends during school time because of the late night hours . . . and I'm going to be travelling all summer to different countries and states!"
She told me, "So?"
(For Rachel's new job, go to page 2 . . .
To travel with Rachel, go to page 3 . . .)


I believe in miracles. Over five years working for Regal Cinemas . . . and I still love popcorn!
I began clad in a butter-stained men's vest and bow tie, asking the life-changing question, "Would you like butter on that?"

 (I admit it is awfully similar to the dreaded question, "Would you like fries with that?" -- but in my pride, I must contend that it is not quite THAT low!)
A year and a half later, I had finally graduated into what I referred to as "real people clothes":
I became an assistant manager.
It was intimidating -- I'll give it that! All the sudden, I went from concerning myself with the proper application of butter-flavored topping, to things (slightly) bigger.
I became responsible for thousands of dollars in cash and in equipment; for the hiring of employees; for payroll; for inventory; for opening and closing business day; and for the (dreaded) projection booth.
While training, I was encouraged to find out that there was nothing I could do up there that hadn't already been done. I think I must have subconsciously taken it as a challenge.
Being the creative person I am, I found ways. Soon all twelve of the projectors I worked on hovered over me and screamed out to me each time I went to touch them:
"Hey! I just want you to know that I am worth ten times what you'll make this year! That's right! I'm big, I'm bad, and I'm dang expensive!"
It takes a while to get used to such intimidation from inanimate objects.
It takes a LONG while to get used to such intimidation from the animate ones!
(To encounter those animate "objects," go to page 6 . . .
For a more pleasant experience with people, go to page 7 . . .)

One thousand people. Two thousand eyes. And they were all staring at me.
There I was, in Brazil . . . on the streets, in local schools, at a drug rehabilitation conference . . . always surrounded by eyes.
Would I perform under the pressure?  As I hesitated, I realized that these were not just thousands of eyes. They were reflections of lost souls, looking for perhaps the first time at the presentation of the gospel.
Yes . . . I will go on.
Even if I totally screw up, fall off the stage, and send a surprised boy to meet the savior he just heard about, I am compelled to do whatever I can for God's glory and man's salvation. After all, here are two thousand eyes looking at me . . . and seeing Christ.
(To go on other missions trips with Rachel, go to page 4 . . .
To experience more drama, go to page 5 . . .)

It was what I like to affectionately refer to as "The Mission Trip From HELL."
(I understand that this could challenge a conservative theology of evangelism, but if anything could change my theology, this would do it.)
Perhaps the main difference is that this time, I'm a leader on the team. And as such, I experienced the horror of omniscience. No longer was I in my own little world, believing that everything was going according to schedule. Oh no!
I now knew every problem, every conflict that ensued on the trip.
Perhaps it would be best to explain the demographics of our construction team:
One non-Christian girl with an eating disorder that rebelled against all authority and was our own little boy-crazy and spoiled Paris Hilton.
A Christian girl, trying to recover from an eating disorder, yet struggling with a mix of depression, bipolar tendencies, and plain bad luck.
A boy just out juvenile detention for stealing, just starting to want to live more like Christ.
Another boy with a history of an eating disorder, and sexual issues.
And then, (Relief!) two "normal" kids.
There were 3 leaders: my brother-in-law, my pregnant sister in her eighth month (who towed along her two toddlers) and myself.
We were together for two weeks . . . and what an exciting two weeks those were!
My slogan for the trip?

"Trauma and Drama Every Day."
We had may adventures: Two 24-hour school bus rides with 20 teenagers, a pregnant woman suffering from a squashed bladder, and two toddlers whom we were always trying to pull for the windows lest they decide to jump.

An ambulance ride and a hospital visit for the "bad-luck" girl having a panic attack (cleverly disguised as demonic oppression needing and exorcism).

 A thief on our team who took about $200 total.

Sickness that threatened to send my sister into pre-mature labor (which attacked at the same time as the "demon" in the other room).

And perhaps most catastrophic of all, lice.
It was near the end of our trip and while doing 20 loads of infected laundry in a sweltering basement wishing I could take my own revenge on Montezuma, I finally got a bad attitude. (Ha!)
"God . . . I did not sign up for laundry service in a stinky basement while everyone else is going out and have fun . . . especially when I'm this sick, hot and DANG IRRITABLE!!!"

"Funny," he replied. "I signed up to serve people. And I'm God . . Remember?"
Sometimes I wish God would come up with more pleasant philosophy of experiential learning.
(For another leadership experience, go to page 7 . . .
To skip ahead to Rachel's next adventure, go to page 8 . . . )


Lately, when people ask me how I'm doing, I have to admit that I'm stressed out . . . as usual.
"Just drama," I reply.
Immediately they want to know the inside scoop: Ooooh! Who does she like? Who likes her? I wonder what love triangle is going on now??
"It's actually a love hexagon," I answer dryly, "but that's not the drama I'm referring to."
 The disappointment can be felt.
Apparently, being the college drama coordinator and co-director of the school play isn't as interesting as my soap-opera love life. I don't understand why. I find my responsibilities to be pretty fascinating.  Who else at school gets ministry credit for trying to figure out how to realistically have some sort of a body fall off a high balcony, just feet from the audience, without actually hurting or killing anyone?
I must admit, however, that when I realize all the things that I need to do before the first performance, I'm ready to volunteer for the job.

I found that when you're the director, a play is anything but that. It is instead a crash course in financial planning, scheduling, networking resources, time management, talent searching, people skills, recruiting, marketing . . . not to mention lighting, sound, costume design, interior decorating, special effects, makeup artistry, hair design and stage visualization.
Whew. I think I'm going to crash. . .
(If by now you wish you had experienced my first job, go back to page 2 . . .
For drama on the job, go to page 6 . . . )

The hostility I encountered in the projection booth only rivaled that of middle-aged male movie-goers -- they came complete with a spare tire around their middle that surely was gained from the "butter" they requested on their popcorn.
"The popcorn needs to be drowning in that oily goodness!" they drawled.
"That's right . . . just ten more squirts!"
For some reason, such men seemed to have a hard time believing that this scrawny 18-year-old girl really was in charge.
"Hey! The film is all messed up! you need to get a    m  a  n    up there to fix it! We just missed the best part of the show!"
(Note: Any time a person misses any part of a movie, it is by default the "best" part of the show. How they know this, I am unsure, because the fact remains that they never actually saw it.)
"Sir, I will go fix it . . . Yes, I know I'm a girl . . . Yes, I know . . . I look like I'm still in high school . . . Yes, sir, again, I understand that I'm a girl . . . Sir, can I just go fix the film now so you don't miss any more of the best part of the movie?!"
I hold firmly to the conviction that working customer service is God's primary answer to the prayer for patience.
(For another answer to the prayer for patience, go to page 4 . . .
If by now you wished you had gone travelling with Rachel, go back to page 3 . . . )

As with most things in life, when I became a Resident Assistant in the girl's dorm at Multnomah Bible College, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
From the start of my education there, I respected RAs. They sacrificed a lot in the position: they were always the last to leave school for breaks and the first to come back; they were constantly under the scrutiny of the public eye; their time was consumed with meetings, events they had to plan . . . and did I mention meetings?; and they had to enforce school rules on their friends. They had to flexible with their time because other people's emotional breakdowns were hard to schedule. They had to be spiritually "with it" all the time. And perhaps most challenging of all, they were unable to compartmentalize any part of their life.
(School was now home -- home was work -- work was ministry -- ministry was relationships -- and relationships were a school all on their own!)
Naturally, I wanted to sign up.
While I knew about the sacrifices that had to be made, I was totally clueless on what t felt like to have my life up on that altar. During my year as an RA, I definitely found out. I also realized that "assisting residents" was only part of our ministry. Perhaps a more accurate title might be:
(Counselor Advisor Law Enforcer Spiritual Mentor Activities Coordinator Peer Mediator Whatever else is needed at 2 am in the girl's dorm.)
Perhaps they just settled for RA because it fit on the name tag.
(For another ministry experience, go to page 5 . . .
To skip ahead to Rachel's next adventure, turn to page 8 . . . )

P.S. I got the job.
P.P.S. Ok, ok. I SORT of got the job. I was completely rejected as a project manager.
They told me my Excel scores were the worst they had ever seen. Later a girl who WAS hired as a project manager told me they were so desperate, they would have hired ANYONE for that position. Well, apparently not anyone.
However, they did have a position open for a proof reader, and they asked me to take a test on that. Turns out I was pretty good! Thankfully, I got the job there, and moved on to be a copy-writer.
P.P.S. I got the job without ANY help whatsoever from this resume. In fact, no one saw it. My dad convinced me to include a traditional resume tucked in with this one. Everyone saw the professional paper, and my much-loved poured-over adventure book was tucked away in a file somewhere for the duration of my career there.
A few times I asked my boss, the creative director, if he ever read it.
Nope. Not ever. Not once.

And so, finally, my resume has officially been read by someone!
What would I do without a blog??

My new space

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to my new(est) blog!

I still love the lewis note. It's one of my favorite spaces ever, and when I need a comfy, cozy place to pour out my heart . . . it's the first place I go to.

I started consistently writing the lewis note after our baby Olivia was lost due to ectopic pregnancy. Following that loss, we had two subsequent miscarriages and a diagnosis of secondary infertility. We had a failed foster placement. But God has blessed our family with a cute, sparky, spunky little girl I affectionately refer to as Little Miss. We're also blessed with our oldest daughter, Maddy.

I began blogging because there were some days it was the only way I could make it through the ups and downs of grief. Writing was my lifeline.

As time has gone on, less and less of my life revolves around our losses. It's always with me. I'm always aware of it, just like I'm always aware of the fact that I'm a girl. That God is real. That I'm married and I'm a mom. Loss is a part of who I am.

But it's not ALL of who I am. There is so much more.

I feel that I need to keep the lewis note about loss and grief and moving forward. It is a sacred place for me to share my heart and stories, and to create a safe place for others to find support and share their stories surrounding baby loss.

But I needed another space.

One that can let me talk about other things in life I'm passionate about. I want to share life lessons from building an awesome, but challenging business. I want to talk about being a mom without worrying if I'm upsetting a reader who is still waiting for their first live baby to bring home. I want to share the ups and downs of adoption. I want to share random stories of my life -- because I have a lot of stories all packed inside me. I want to talk about becoming a better, stronger person. I want to talk about God. I want to talk about RANDOM.

I named it "the lewis letters" because that's what I want it to be like reading my blog. A personal letter. It's also an expansion of the lewis note. No longer is it just a snippet, or a note, on my life. It's the whole thing.

Also, when I was a kid, my sister Judy got me this book Griffin & Sabine. You may remember it. Every page had a card or letter you pull out. I LOVED that book. I loved the art, the story . . . but most of all, the letters you pull out.

If I could turn this this little space on the webby world into a tangible book, it would be like Griffin & Sabine.

So welcome to my new little space. I hope you like it here.