Ain’t No Party Like a Baptist Party

PrintThere’s a reason why I haven’t written a post in two months. Well, technically I wrote a few posts in my head during that time. And trust me, they were SO GOOD (kidding). It’s a shame those words never made their way onto my keyboard. But here’s why:

Back in February, my pastor, who happened to be the President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastor’s Conference, called me into his office to ask me if I would do all the social media for the national conference. You know, in my spare time. (laughs uncontrollably)

But here’s the deal – Mr. Right and I are in the midst of saving for something big. BIG. I can’t go into details, but the same week we decided to save for that thing, I was offered this freelance job. And, actually, several others. All in the same week.


Some of our team from the SBC Pastors’ Conference

God was providing.

And so, for four months, I have been working my regular job, and then putting the kiddo to bed, jumping back on the computer, and working until bedtime. Several nights a week. And weekends. And some early mornings. And on three out-of-town trips. Basically working ALL THE TIME. It was exhausting, but I kept telling myself, if God has brought me this work, then he will bless it.

And bless it, he did.


Passion, taking a selfie with my phone

The social media gig ended with a trip to St. Louis this past weekend to live tweet/instagram/facebook the SBC Pastors’ Conference, an event that featured more than 5,000 pastors, plus their guests and church members (I’ve heard estimates of 10,000-12,000 attendees). I got to hang out backstage with the speakers. And Passion Band (they were SO nice… like, SO nice). And I got to sit in a state-of-the-art mobile production trailer and work with some of my favorite friends from our church. It was kind of like sitting in a space ship TV studio. I still have no idea what everybody else was doing in there, but they sounded REALLY smart.


Top: A view from backstage; Bottom left: Me, after working 33 hours in 2 days; Bottom right: Our state-of-the-art media truck

The whole time I kept thinking to myself… here I am, the girl who didn’t grow up Baptist… the girl who hasn’t gone to seminary… the girl who wanted to be a stay-at-home mama…  here I am, the mouthpiece for the entire Southern Baptist Convention.


Left: A selfie with Pastor John Meador and one of our main speakers Derwin Gray, former NFL Player and now Senior Pastor at Transformation Church; Right: Me, totally exhausted and happy at the end of the conference

God uses the least of these to complete his mission. His plans are so much more interesting than our plans. And he cares about the details – like providing for us financially… getting me out of my comfort zone… using my gifts to further his kingdom.

Now I’m back. I’m so excited to have my free time again. Time to write. Time to sew. Time to rest my brain. Oh, how this mind of mine needs to rest.

But man, it was such a fun adventure while it lasted.

New job & a strange obsession with denim

I start my new job Monday morning. It’s kind of like the first day of school, except that back when I was in school I didn’t have to pack a giant breast pump, a mini ice chest and a million small plastic parts. But, I also packed a few pens and a notebook, which is a lot like the first day of school. And I set out my clothes – you know, of the jean variety, since I CAN WEAR JEANS TO WORK. Did I mention the casual dress code? No? I’m just a little bit excited. (I’M A LOT EXCITED.)

Wrenn and I had a long talk about how she was going to sleep through the night tonight so mama could be rested and fresh for her new job. I sure hope she plays along. (LORD PLEASE LET HER PLAY ALONG.)

You won’t waste a prayer on me tomorrow – that God will bless this new gig and have his hand all over it. And pray for my little family as we settle into our new, more permanent routine.

Also – don’t forget that I’ll be hosting another The Paisley Heart giveaway on my Texas Lovely Facebook page this week (last week’s give-away was the talk of the nursing room at church this morning). Go “like” me so you don’t miss the announcement. (does that sound weird? whatever.) And, stay tuned later this week for a blog post where I tell you how I ate so much fried food at the State Fair of Texas that I made the My Fitness Pal app on my phone explode. Or something like that. It was bad, people. Like, break out the maternity jeans bad. (for the record… I finally put the maternity jeans away… it was a big step.)

Look at me rambling. I must be excited. Here’s to new beginnings and getting back on my diet. And jeans that don’t have elastic panels around the belly. And getting to wear my denim jacket whenever I want. And yoga pants on work-from-home days. And jeans. Man, I love denim.

New job

We are happy to announce that Mr. Right has taken a new job – in a few weeks he will start working as a real estate agent in Fort Worth.

It does not mean that we are quitting ministry. 
There are some crazy statistics out there about how many people who graduate from seminary are out of ministry within five years. I think it’s an unfair statistic. Because a lot of churches can’t afford to support their ministers full time. There are church plants that routinely use bivocational ministers – they work to support their family but their main mission is ministry. In fact, some people say that this is the future of church ministry.

This will be us for now. Mr. Right will have a “regular job” albeit a very flexible one so that he can support our family and still do ministry. We now consider ourselves bivocational.

The kind of ministry we like to do isn’t very clean. Mr. Right likes to work with internationals. The down and out. The poorest of the poor. The people that society tends to write off. You know, the kind who don’t have any money to support a minister. And there aren’t a ton of jobs out there for that.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We’re already voluntarily running an ESL ministry at our church, working with refugees from around the world. And Mr. Right volunteers with our Spanish-speaking ministry. And he is uniquely gifted at sharing Jesus with random people he meets in lines at grocery stores. The funny thing is, he’s never pushy, rarely brings it up – but people just see him and immediately open up and tell him their life stories. At the pharmacy. And the gym. Just about anywhere he goes.

So he will continue to do ministry. And he will continue to finish school. He’s scheduled to graduate with a Masters of Divinity (a 98-hour degree) in 2013.

It does not mean we will never again work at a church. 

It does not mean that we won’t someday end up living on the mission field, finding ourselves as the outsiders who need someone to teach us the language and the culture. 
But for right now, we’re going to do that for others, in the name of Jesus. We’ll just being doing it for free.

It does not mean we’re leaving our church.
In fact, we plan on staying for a very long time. Our church is our home, we love the people there, and we feel like we have great opportunities to minister there. It just means that instead of working through every service, Mr. Right will get to sit next to me, worship with me, maybe even ride together to church (something we have never done since we’ve gotten married). It means that we’re in a good position to find some new ministries to do together. As volunteers.

We need your prayers.
Change is exciting but also scary, especially for two people who are planners to a fault. We need prayers as Mr. Right changes careers and builds a new business. We really feel like this is what God wants, and we assure you that this is something that we have prayed over for quite some time. But navigating through change and finding new roles to serve in can be challenging. And I need your prayers because as always I battle against fear of the unknown – pray that God will continue to give me big faith and the wisdom to know how best to support Mr. Right through this transition.

We need your friendship.
We are thankful for friends who love us no matter what our jobs are, who trust us to follow the Lord’s leading for our family. Mr. Right will need your encouragement (and your referrals… wink, wink) as he starts a business from scratch.

We need rest.
If you go to church with us, you may not see us for a few weeks. Mr. Right hasn’t gotten to attend a single worship service in ten months. He needs to hide in the back of a sea of unknown faces and just worship. And so we have plans to visit the church where our brother-in-law leads worship. The church that Mr. Right’s parents helped plant. We may take an out of town trip that doesn’t involve us driving back at midnight Saturday night so Mr. Right can make it to work the next morning.

But we will be back, with batteries recharged and hearts excited for a new chapter.

The longest day EVER

Yesterday I worked a full, action-packed day, then had a full extra day to go shopping and hang out and sew. How?

Well, that’s what happens when your day starts at 2:00 a.m. and goes until 10:00 p.m. And that’s why I don’t have a job in morning radio.

Okay, full disclosure – there’s several other reasons why I don’t have a job in morning radio. Like, nobody has asked me. And my voice isn’t that great. But I think the number one reason will always be that I don’t want to set my alarm for 1:55 a.m. ever again.

We hosted the area’s most popular news/talk morning show at the hospital on Friday, and it was one of the most fun experiences of my PR career. I work with a lot of reporters and producers, and this team was probably the greatest I’ve ever worked with. Everybody was professional, but laid-back, ON TIME, no drama, and delivered much more than they promised. It was a really fantastic experience.

It’s also very strange to have a conversation with someone who has an iconic voice that you’ve heard on the radio for years – it’s kind of like their lips are moving but the sound doesn’t match up.
After putting in a full 8-hour day, I went home and crashed for two glorious hours, then woke up and it was only 1:00, which left me feeling like I’d somehow snagged an extra 3-day weekend for myself. What a treat.
And what did I do with my spare time? Sew pillows of course – you can check out the new additions in my shop. I also picked up the rest of the fabric so I can finally start my nephew Jack Henry’s baby quilt. I’m down to just two months until his arrival so it’s time to get scootin’. His mama (my sister-in-law) picked out a couple fabrics she loved and I’m supplementing – can’t wait to share it with you. I’ve changed my mind a dozen times on the pattern, but in the end went with a slight variation of what I had wanted to do all along. I can’t wait to start cutting.

How I make that money, honey

Today I’m doing a link up party with Lindsay, which I discovered by way of Lia Joy, who happens to be my in my Sunday School class at church.  And since I’ve never really told you what I do, here’s my chance.

I am the marketing and public relations director for a local hospital. This means I figured out a way to get paid for doing things that I think are crazy fun. Don’t tell my boss. 🙂 Here’s what I do:

1. Advertising, including billboards, print ads, tv and radio commercials, direct mail, brochures/collateral, t-shirts, people on street corners holding cardboard signs. Okay, not really the last one – that’s a pet peeve of mine. But there is no better feeling than driving down the street and seeing your billboard on the side of the highway and knowing that nobody else will ever realize how much work went into it. Or the smell of a freshly printed mail piece that I’ve slaved over for a month.

2. Web stuff – I’ve created several websites from scratch, and I also do all of the Facebooking/blogging/Pinteresting/tweeting/YouTubeing on behalf of the hospital. Who would have ever thought I’d figure out a way to get paid to play on Pinterest? Then again, who ever thought when I was hired 8+ years ago that there would BE a Pinterest? Or, for that matter, Facebook?

3. Special events – everything from an employee party in an operating room to a community party of 500+ off campus. I’ve done grand openings and anniversary parties and surprise parties and more health seminars that I could ever count.

4. Media relations – I’m the girl that reporters call when they want to do a story about the hospital, which means I’ve worked Christmas Eve, New Year’s morning, nights, weekends, you name it. I’ve worked on stories about West Nile and heart attacks and hair cuts for charity and baby making during ice storms. The baby making one made me blush, but you better believe it was such a good story it got picked up nationally.

5. Community relations – I get to serve on boards for non-profits, work on committees, participate in chamber life, go to events, and do service projects in the community. I’ve played Mrs. Santa Claus for kids and worked the finish line at a marathon and painted a house, all on behalf of my hospital. It’s one of the very best parts of my job (besides Pinterest), and I consider myself so blessed to get to help others as part of my job.

Don’t for a minute think that my job is glamorous. For every black tie gala I’ve planned, there have been five events where I had to schlep boxes of chocolate truffles to my hot car in 105 degree heat (true story) or set up events in the pouring down rain looking like a drowned rat while everyone else looks dignified. The last TV commercial I shot had me leaving my house at 4:30 a.m. – next week I’m doing a live radio broadcast that means I have to be at work at 3:00 a.m. And there have been days when I spent three hours standing over an old, squeaky paper cutter, or addressing and stamping postcards while watching Dancing with the Stars. Glamorous, not so much. But fun? Absolutely.

I love my job, I really do. Sometimes it exhausts me, especially when I have to work several weekends in a row. One year I went to 80 community events OUTSIDE of work (that was before I met Mr. Right). Not to mention the amount of stress I carry around as I struggle to leave work at the office but end up mentally taking it home with me and mulling over problems when I should be sleeping.

But when I get really worn out, I remember the times my husband, or dad, or mother-in-law, or I have been a patient in my hospital, and the fantastic care we received, and how the staff there provided me with comfort and reassurance when I was so very scared, and I remember why I chose to work in a hospital in the first place. Because I don’t sell something that’s meaningless or frivolous. I get to work on a team that saves lives, and my little contribution may provide comfort or peace during the scariest moment in someone’s year.

Plus, let’s face it. My cafeteria sells the most amazing peach cobbler known to man. That’s reason enough to stay another eight years.

What about you? Join the link up party and leave me a comment with a link to your post – I’d love to see what the rest of you do!


There’s a simple explanation for the dire lack of blogging activity over the past week… I am so consumed by work and school at the moment that I don’t have a single brain cell left to think of something interesting (or uninteresting, for that matter) to write about. 

Now don’t go feeling too sorry for me. Yes, I just pulled a 14-hour day today, and a 12-hour day yesterday, and several 12-hour days last week. In fact, if you add up the hours I will be either working or in school over the next six days, it adds up to around 75. Including Friday night and 14 hours on Saturday. Gulp. 
But in between school district advisory board meetings, organizing galas and putting on marathons, I’ve managed to fit in a few hot tub nights, a drive-in movie, neighborhood dinner parties, a little Bachelor watching with girlfriends, and a huge blow-out party at my sister’s new house. I may feel like I’ve been run over by a freight train (that’s what a full week without a decent night’s sleep will do for you), but as I drove home tonight at 9:00 after a long day of work, singing at the top of my lungs to Taylor Swift’s Love Story, I was quite happy.

Front page news

Today I had a story on the front page of the newspaper. Actually, it was on the front page of both Section A and Section B, complete with several pictures. That story represents hours of work behind the scenes, coordinating interviews for the reporter, prepping my folks being interviewed, finding background research… I even had to re-design our Web site so they could link to a certain video (which didn’t exist until I did a quickie online tutorial on how to upload videos… now that’s customer service!).  My name may not be on the story, but seeing it there in black and white (with color photos!) makes me a really happy girl. Plus, it makes my boss really happy, which is even better. I do these all the time, but this one I’m framing and hanging in my office… it was that good.

Other than that… I forgot to mention that I ran 5 miles yesterday with an average of 8:30 per mile. I’ve got to hit it hard again tomorrow, and then we’ll run 12 on Friday. Three more weeks and I start my lazy girl workout!

Grant Teaff & Pecan Pie

I had yet another fundraising dinner for work tonight (this one for a very worthy Christian non-profit). If you’re taking notes, that’s my 5 millionth fundraiser this month. No kidding.

I must admit that I wasn’t super excited about having to work until 10 p.m. on a Monday night (since Tuesday I have class until 9 p.m.–two late nights in a row), but I was pleasantly surprised because (1) Grant Teaff, the best football coach in Baylor’s history, gave a fabulous speech, (2) I got to get my photo made with him (and my eyes were open!), and (3) they served some really fantastic pecan pie, which happens to be my favorite.

So my night turned out to be pretty darn good. Sic ’em, Bears!


I’m in charge of a big event for work tomorrow. We’re expecting around 500 people for a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a lunch. It will take place in a giant tent… 60 feet x 90 feet. There’s no sides to this tent, just a top.

Which leads to the irony…

The fire marshal required us to post “emergency exit” signs in this tent! In a tent with NO SIDES. So if by some crazy fluke a fire breaks out during my party, hopefully my guests will see my strategically placed signs and evacuate my tent via the labeled exits. Not necessarily by simply WALKING OUT of this tent with no sides. Apparently that’s expecting too much of people.

It’s obvious that strict government oversight is always the best answer.

I never thought I’d say this, but…

Today at work I went to a fundraising luncheon sponsored by one of my favorite non-profits and watched a Las Vegas Oprah impersonator do a “favorite things” spoof with all of our local mayors. I came home with silly string, a water gun, and an eye patch. They even served molten chocolate cake… my favorite. For Oprah’s big finale, she sang a Tina Turner song (apparently the Oprah impersonator moonlights as a Tina Turner impersonator). I kept waiting for her to rip off her Oprah-ish satin shirt to reveal her Tina Turner sparkly mini-dress hidden underneath as she did the “rollin’ down the river” dance, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.