Bird Poop

I like the rain because it washes the bird poop off my car.

It’s summer. It’s inevitable. I drive frequently from my job, to our house, to my parent’s house and back. Birds are bound to poop on my car, and quite frankly, I don’t have the time (or the desire) to scrub the bird poop off my car. And so, I wait until it rains.

But rain is more to me than that. As I sit here, listening to the rain pouring of the sides roof of my parent’s house, putting off my never-ending list of wedding to-do’s, it has dawned on me that perhaps I love the rain because it washes the bird poop off my soul.

I function best when I’m busy, and so I try to keep myself that way. While it’s a generally good thing, I tend to leave myself little time for appreciating the quiet and reflecting. Throughout my week I find sometimes myself involved in gossip, overcome by anger, pained by the words of others. The rain? it makes me stop, slow down, and think. It makes me mull over my actions, my words, my choices.

I love the rain because it washes the bird poop off my car– and my heart.

Married at 20

In 24 hours, I’ll be a house owner; in 54 days, I’ll be married.

That bothers some people.

For some reason, they find it disturbing that I won’t be able to drink at my own wedding. They think that I’m, “too young to be tied down,” or that I’m “submitting to the patriarchy.” Those are just a few of the concerns I get on a weekly basis.

I’ve been told that I’ll never be able to participate in a single’s cruise. Nor will I be able to go backpacking across Europe with my college friends. I won’t be able to flirt with cute men at the bar, and I’ll no longer make decisions for just myself. There will always be another person in my life. Always. “Do you really thought about what marriage means? I mean, you’re still in college…”

No, I’m here to tell you I don’t. I don’t know what marriage really means. Does anyone really? Do people go into marriage understanding what fighting and then having to sleep in the same bed together feels like? Do people enter marriage knowing what it feels like when he wants a new grill, but she wants to spend the money on a new kitchen appliance? Do people understand how frustrating it is that sports broadcast at the same time as other TV shows? No, I don’t expect I do understand those things. But does anyone enter marriage truly ready?

Sure, I won’t go to a single’s cruise, or experience any of those aforementioned things. But honestly, I don’t think I’m missing out. Every year– no — every day more that I get to spend with Zac is precious. I’ve found the man that will go to diners with me at 2am, the man who willingly stops every two hours on a road trip so that I can relieve my small bladder. I’ve found the man that listens to my silly stories, helps me find my keys, and soothes my ever anxious mind.

And because I’ve found him, I don’t want to spend another day without him.

A little bit like the Grinch…

I must confess that I don’t really like Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the story of Christ’s birth (even if he wasn’t really born in December), and I love the joyful hymns that blare from nearly every radio, but… well, I still don’t like Christmas.

Maybe I’m most bothered by the way Christ has become the backdrop with gifts in the forefront, piled up so high you can’t even see beyond them.

Or perhaps it’s how customers offer to pay for Clyde’s meal only in December, but January through November he sits with both his crutches in that back booth, all alone, ignored by everyone who enters the restaurant.

Still, it could be the way we enter nursing homes, signing of love and joy and hope and peace and comfort- apparently, things we only have to offer around the time of Christ’s birth.

I know, I’m being extremely pessimistic. But personally, I find it so frustrating that all these feelings of happiness and joy only seemed to be expressed from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I watch as customers leave me $10’s and $20’s in the month of December, only for them to be halved, or even quartered, as soon as the Christmas bills come flooding in. If Christ’s life is really what we’re celebrating in December, shouldn’t it penetrate deeper, stay longer than just a month?

May the love of Christ and the joy of His birth fill you each and every day,


11 Things I’d Tell to Middle School Me

If I could look have told myself 10 things when I was a middle-schooler, these are what they would be:

1. Read more. Mom is right. Books contain world’s of their own, a place to escape. Take advantage of your spare time and lose yourself in a novel. Not only will you find new perspectives, but the knowledge gained will be so useful to you once you finally settle on a major.

2. SATs do not help or hinder your college process; don’t stress about them. 

3. I’m proud of you. Yes, you messed up some things, but looking back now, I’m proud of what you will accomplish. As a high school senior, you’re going to work two jobs and take 12 college credits, achieving a 4.0. That’s pretty impressive. Know that you can do it, just lean on God.

4. You still don’t like tomatoes. Seriously, stop trying them. You’ll only regret it every time you do. That being said….

5. Try more food. Honestly, you’ll be surprised at what you like. Mushrooms, jalapeños, tuna, buffalo sauce- they are all so delicious!

6. Stop dissing your area. I know you say you loathe Tioga County now, but just you wait.  You’ve really got some surprises in store for you. In fact, you’re going to have to eat your “I can’t wait to get out of this area” phrase. You’re going to miss the fall colors, running into friends at Walmart, and even the dirt roads. Appreciate where you’re from.

7. Make your bed. It only takes you 30 seconds, and it would make Mom a whole lot happier. Just do it.

8. Cut Dad some slack. I know you two are different, oh so very different! But, I’m telling you this: things will change. As much as you don’t want to hear this, you’re more alike him than you know. Once you reach college, you’ll realize just how much you cherish his support and companionship. Try and show him some appreciation now too. Everyone is facing a their own minefield of troubles; we all blow up sometimes.

9. Friendships will fade. It’s okay. Try your best to maintain connection with those who really matter, but know that it’s okay when you lose touch with someone who had a big impact on your life. This a part of growing up. However…

10. Don’t be so afraid of getting hurt. It’s going to happen; you really can’t stop it. BUT! That should not stop you from trying to form relationships with other people. Invest your time in others because it’s worth it. Loneliness is one of the worst things you can combat.

11. Finally, be yourself. I know you want to be a good singer, but let’s face it, that will never happen. You’re still going to find a man, and he’s actually going to love singing with you, despite the fact that you can’t carry a tune in the bucket. Stop trying to be someone else because it’s a waste of time. Own who God created you to be.

The Unexpected Things

I have been putting off writing another post due to the news I got only three days after my last one. I’m not going to Iceland. After a week filled with deciding whether or not to take the leap of faith, I decided to go for it. As soon as I signed the paperwork, I felt a sense of relief. Studying abroad has been something I’ve always dreamed of, and I was finally going to do it. Or so I thought. It turns out wasn’t God’s plan for me. You see, Iceland has crazy hoops one has to jump through in order to obtain a residence permit. One of these is getting an FBI clearance, which takes approximately 12 weeks. Unfortunately, nobody told me that. So, 5 days before it was due, I found out that no, I would not be traveling to Iceland. At first I tried to brush it off as something that just wasn’t meant to be, but honestly, it’s been getting tough for me to accept. Deep down, I really, really wanted to go.

In order to not obsess over what could’ve been, I continually try and reroute my thoughts to happier things- namely, Zac and my quickly approaching marriage. As the numbers on my count down continually decrease, my anticipation seems to multiply tenfold. A lot of people say I’m young; I am. A lot of people say we’re going to just be another divorce statistic; they’re wrong. When I was a kid, I remember everyone saying, “When you’ve found the one you’ll know- like, really- you will know it. I have dated a few guys, but never, never have I felt something like this. He complements all my weaknesses, and I truly believe that this is God’s will for me, for us. All my life I’ve been indecisive, uncertain of what to do, but being with Zac is one thing in this world that I find to be certain. There is simply no one else for me.

Well, that’s all for today. I’ll update you all later on my advances in schooling and possibilities for future work.



The first steps…

I signed the paper. Checking that little box that determined where I would spend four months of my life was single-handedly the most difficult decision of my life. But I did it.

Studying abroad has been a dream of mine for a long time. In fact, it was a huge factor in my decision to transfer back to Mansfield University. Somewhere in the process of coming back, getting engaged, and planning my graduation, my dream got filed away.

I’m scared. Leaving everyone I love, everything I know, behind and journeying to a distant land is a terrifying concept. It is an adventure, a journey, and in a sense, a pilgrimage. Originally, I dreamed of studying abroad to see the world, then it was about learning the culture, but as I have gone farther into the process, the words pilgrimage seem etched into my mind.

A planner by nature, the unknown sends me into panic attacks (quite literally sometimes). Boarding a plane and flying off to Iceland is going to be a pilgrimage for me because I will have nothing to cling to but God. I have no family, no friends waiting for me on the gigantic island. There will be no driving home on breaks. It’s me and God. I have no doubt that I will make friends who will supplement for the family not available to me, but not immediately. It will be an adjustment and one I have to make.

After all, I am on a pilgrimage to the holy land of reliance and trust; the journey starts now.


Can I have 5 minutes of your time?

Seriously, can I have five minutes of your time?

No? Well, go ahead and X out of this tab.

You’re still here? Good, I was hoping so.

Step away from the family. Take your laptop to a quiet place. Or maybe, if you’re using a desktop computer, pull out those giant headphones you’ve stashed in the desk draw and put them on. Go ahead and block out all the surrounding noise. Put down you’re phone; don’t text for the next few minutes.

Whew, tense isn’t it? This world is so crazy, so hectic and stopping and just sitting, it feels weird, right? Not thinking about switching to the next tab, are we?

All I want is four more minutes of your time. Except, I don’t really want the rest of these minutes to be about me. So, make this video full-size on your screen, sit back and listen.

It gave me tears, goosebumps, and a whole lot of awe. What about you?