Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Q and A: Favorite things in DC, Heroes, Coming to Christ and the Today Show

I would like to do Q and A posts on a regular basis. So, please, send us some questions, so we can blog some answers!  You can e-mail me at: danabrownritter@gmail.com, or post questions on our Facebook page.

Faithful blog reader Kristen asks:

"What are your favorite things to do together in DC?"

Well, unfortunately, because of my hectic work travel schedule, and the bum wheelchairs, we really haven't done much outside of our happily little apartment over the last year.  That sounds pitiful, and it has been frustrating at times, but the slower pace is nice sometimes, too.  When I am in town, and Michael has some reliable wheels, we love going into DC.  We love going to Nationals Baseball games, to museums/art galleries, and of course, the White House.

Recently, we had the privilege of going on a Christmas tour of the White House.

And we stumbled upon a great little place to have a cheap Happy Hour after that.
It turned into quite the lovely little date night!

2nd question from Kristen:
"Who are some of your heroes?"

I can't answer for Michael, but I can tell you about my heroes!  As cliche' as it sounds, my heroes are made up of my family members.  My mom is my biggest hero.  She is super smart, she's cute, she's funny, and she gets things done.  She started her own business when she was only like 22 years old, with no college education.  She has incredible gut instinct, a super quick wit, and she has never, ever let me down in a million years.  I never doubted that she would catch me every single time I was on the verge of falling.  I want to be so much like her.  Which is a good thing, because that seems to be happening, naturally, haha!  She is also very compassionate and caring.  There have been so many people she has helped over the years. She has raised kids that were not technically her own, she has taken in mothers in law, she routinely helps families in need who come to her baby store, the list goes on and on.  And, to top it all off, she has rock solid biceps. So, yeah. I wouldn't mind being like her when I grow up.

3rd question:
"How did you come to know Christ?"

I came to know Christ the Summer before my senior year in high school.  I did not grow up in a religious household.  My household was not anti-religious, but church just was not a part of our lives.  This may sound crazy, but out of nowhere, I just had this urge to go to church.  So, since I could drive that Summer, I started going.  I chose Atlantic Shores Baptist Church, because I had been there a few times with a friend, when I stayed the night with her.  After my 3rd week there, I realized that these people had something that I didn't. I didn't know exactly what that something was, and I didn't want anyone to know that I was missing anything.  When it came time to turn to a book in the Bible, I would flip through the pages, acting like I knew where to look, but I totally didn't!  Then, one Sunday, at the end of the message, the Pastor invited people to "be saved." I did not understand what that meant, but knew I needed to do that.  So, that Sunday, I came back for church in the evening. That night, they had communion.  And the pastor explained that if you had not given your life to Christ, you shouldn't take communion. I seriously faked communion, because I did not even want to know what would happen to me if I drank that grape juice, haha! As I was leaving church that night, I saw a little pamphlet on the wall that said "What must I do to be saved?" I took it.  It had verses from the book of Romans.  When I read this, I realized I had heard of this before! I was like, "Oh, this is that."  I was reluctant at first, because I was scared of becoming an overly religious crazy person! But, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I memorized those verses, and the little prayer on the back.  I decided the next Sunday, I was going to go forward at the end of the church service.  So, naturally, my 16 year old self bought a new green dress, and I curled my hair.  Then, I had a flat tire! I was so bummed.  I kept reading my little pamphlet for another week.  That Sunday, I made it. I couldn't wait until the end when the Pastor would tell people to come to the front to be saved, and the praise team would sing "Come Just As You Are." He asked people who wanted to give their life to Christ to look up at him. I did. He said, "God bless you." I thought to myself, was that it? Am I saved now? Hmm.  Then, he invited people to come forward. I popped out of my seat, got on my knees at the altar, and started praying the little prayer I had memorized. Then, a lady came and put her hand on my back, and I followed her into a locker room. (This was the "contemporary" service in 1996, so the service was in a gym! Haha. She started telling me the verses from Romans, and I was like, "I know, I know! I just need to pray!" So, we did. And she told me to always remember the date. June 21, 1996.  I will never forget it. Life certainly has not always been easy since that day, but I have always known that I am not alone.  God has always had my back.  Best decision I ever made.

Last question:
"You've mentioned you can't stand the weekday Today Show, but didn't you also say that for years it was your dream job?"

This has the potential to also get really long, but I feel like I have already written a book sharing my testimony, so I will try to make this short! Yes, I did use to dream of working at the Today Show.  When I was growing up, watching the Today Show was a big part of what made me want to be in TV News.  And when I was a young journalist, I was so inspired by the Today Show.  I loved the way they told stories, how they were always first to get the big interviews, and the writing and creative standups were just great.  Then, the show just went downhill. Way downhill.  They started covering all this celebrity crap.  9/11 happened, and it was great again, for a while, but now it's back to being about Michael Jackson.  I miss Katie Couric.  The show hasn't been the same since she left. Matt Lauer is the only thing the show has going for it, and they don't use him enough.  I like to watch NEWS, so, I like Morning Joe.  We don't have cable, so I can't watch that.  Honestly, want to know a secret? I get 99% of my news these days from... wait for it.... Twitter. #imsorrytvnews


cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cindy said...

Once again...I am proud to be your Mother :)

LaDonna Ritter said...

And I am so proud to be your mother-in-law!

Kristen Maddux said...

Your salvation story = LOVE!! Love that you memorized the prayer and waited and waited. Love that you got all dressed up. Love that you wondered if "God bless you" was it. :) Love that you didn't let a flat tire and waiting a whole week change your mind.
Seriously one of the sweetest I've ever heard.

And the Today Show?.....Oh, Anne Curry.
Thanks for sharing, girl!

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Kristen, thank YOU for the questions and for your support for us and our blog. You are awesome.

gentrier said...

Freaking me out! I used to want Karie Courics job! I agree that show is in the gutter now. I didn't grow up in a religious house. I love to write too-I write for magazines, newspapers, etc. no pay but I truly love doing it! I wish we lived closer.

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Yay for a new friend!!! :) I wish we lived closer too, but hey - maybe we can see eachother when one or both of us is traveling! I would love to check out your writing, send me some links!

gentrier said...

It's all health insurance industry stuff but if you are. Ores enough google 'Gentrie Pool or Gentrie Reisinger Pool' :)