Day 7: fears

 The thing(s) you’re most afraid of

I’m not a very fearful person, but there are some things that worry me:

1. When I’m driving on the highway, and it’s raining, and big trucks drive next to my tiny car. I always feel like they are going to run me off the road.

2. Locking my keys in my car.

3. My car breaking down on the highway. (This happened to me twice)

4. Eating bugs in my sleep. (This may have happened to me, but I don’t know)

5. Walking in my sleep & locking myself out of the house, and someone I don’t know abducting me. (This also happened to me, minus the abduction part)

All of these are completely rational.

Right?

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Day 6: job

 If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question, ‘what do you do’?

As of today, I’m still a student. However, Friday, at 3 p.m., I’ll walk across the stage, and can finally declare that I am a college graduate. It’s all very exciting.

In July, I’ll start working full time at a local daycare/preschool, and will stay there until we find teaching jobs & move overseas. Caleb and I plan to teach English for two – three years, or however long it takes for us to pay off enough of our student loans to become full-time missionaries.

But if I couldn’t answer with the title of “Preschool/Elementary/English teacher,” and had to answer the question “what do you do?” I would have to say:

1. Globe Trekker Host: I have always struggled with a strong case of wanderlust. I want to see the world, and I would love to get paid to do so. Caleb and I watch a few Youtubers that stir up the worst kind of jealousy in us. Mark Wiens gets to travel and eat Thai food every day. Simon and Martina get to talk about Korean culture and have traveled all over Asia. I once thought about auditioning for Globe Trekker, but went to college instead.

2. Photographer: When Caleb surprised me with my first DSLR this past December, my life changed. I can spend hours looking at wedding/engagement/infant photography, and am constantly inspired by Ioana Bentum, Nessa KSam Hurd, Allison Roche, Kate Serbin, Courtney Kurtz, and countless others that create the most beautiful images. Tumblr is my biggest time waster, but also my greatest source of inspiration and discovery of new artists. I’m proud of how far I’ve come in the past five months, and only dream of getting on the level of the creatives I listed above.

How would you answer?

Day 5: Sister

Today’s post is supposed to be a profession of my love and devotion to another blogger, but instead, I decided to write a little note to my sister. My family is coming to Pennsylvania on Thursday night for my graduation, and I cannot wait to give them all tight squeeze hugs.

Also, if you’re interested in joining in (even though this challenge is from two years ago), here’s the button!

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Sophie.

Your beauty runs deep.

But its depth is unseen by your eyes that have been blinded by words spoken out of insecurity and jealousy of the strong and self-confident you that you are.

Words that made you feel small, and caused you to shrink back into the shadows.

But you belong in the light.

Sharing with the world your thoughts, and a personality that shines brighter than moonbeams.

Creativity flows from your fingers onto the walls of your room, and while you say you’re not gifted, my darling, you are.

Gifted with the ability to love people as they are.

Breaking bread with the outcasts, and defending the weak.

For the ability to write prose cannot compare with the ability to love without condition.

Even when teenage feelings rage in your soul, and you cry for reasons unknown, my love, you are a gem.

A diamond in the rough that is waiting to be found by the one who is patient enough to dig for you.

Loved by the One who created you and knows the deepest cries of your heart.

Loved by me when I act like a momma bear, instead of the confidant you desire.

Cherished.

Set apart.

My friend.

My sister.

Sophie.

Day 4: Quote

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I’m always looking for new things to write about. I’ve read plenty of blogging advice from fellow bloggers that include “writing posts ahead of time,” and “write every day!” Well, let me tell you – both of those can be incredibly difficult. The goal of becoming a full-time blogger was quickly thrown out the window when I realized how much work it takes. And the whole idea of monetizing my blog? No thanks. I’m happy with my small (and free) little internet space. I suppose I’m just a little lazy.

However, the lovely Milan who blogs over at M.D.W. recently started a “blog every day in May”series. The prompts are from the Story of My Life blog, and are really great (and interesting) compared to some of the other “blog every day” prompts I’ve seen floating around. It’s been great to read Milan’s posts, and to get to know her on a deeper level. You should also check out her posts about her film projects because she’s pretty talented. 🙂

Because I don’t have school to complain about, and I have been posting too many pictures of birds, I decided to join in on the “every day in May” posts. I’m starting a little late, and might go back to write the first three posts, but we’ll start here and pretend May only has 28 days.

May 5th: Favorite Quote

 Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.

-John Sinclair

Failure is scary. It’s uncomfortable. I recently discovered how competitive I really am – actually, I just finally admitted to myself that I’m competitive. I’m usually a very passive person, willing to follow along, and work behind the scenes. I’m the person who does all the work for group projects, but only complains about it on tumblr.

 However, when I know I’m good at something, and there are others involved, I begin to care way too much. Because of this, failure is not an option. It can’t be, right? Why would I allow myself to fail, when I can try my best and be Number One?

If I fail, and believe me, I have more than once, I feel as if I have been branded, and it is on display for all the world to see.

But our failures are temporary – and a chance to learn from mistakes, and to improve upon our current state of existence.

They are merely bruises that seem to get worse before they get better, but eventually fade over time.

My very first VoxBox & the time I made a YouTube video

Last August I joined the site called Influenster.

Influenster rewards people for using social media, and calculates their social impact score based on how many followers they have on twitter, instagram, facebook, and other social media sites. When you join, you’re able to answer “snaps” which are questions about random things like what beauty products you use, how much coffee you consume daily, and what brands of frozen dinners you’ve tried. There is also the option of writing reviews about different products, which give you extra points, and help you to unlock different badges.

You also have the chance to complete surveys, which make you eligible to receive VoxBoxes. A VoxBox is a box filled with free things that you can try out and eventually review. I have been wanting to receive a VoxBox for a reallyyyy long time, so when Influenster emailed me and told me that I was picked for their next product campaign, I was SO excited.

For my first VoxBox, I was given a free sample of a shampoo and conditioner from SoapBox, which is a company that strives to promote health and wellness around the globe. For every SoapBox product that is sold, the company gives free bars of soap, vitamin supplements, and clean water to children in need all over the world.

After you receive your VoxBox, Influenster asks you to complete different tasks (like tweeting about your box, and sharing the product with your friends on Facebook). One of my tasks was to make a video of myself opening the VoxBox. I have never had a desire to be on YouTube, but I thought I’d give it a shot….I can’t tell you how many times Caleb snuck in the room and laughed at me as I attempted to start the video. Vlogging is really hard, guys.

If you notice, I was out of breath because I ran across the room to get a hair clip. Obviously, I need to do more exercise. I also really don’t have a hair care regimen – as you can see from my super wavy locks because I’m too lazy to dry them in the morning (sleep > everything).

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box & checked out the products, was that the shampoo and conditioner smelled fantastic. I have never heard of the Bataua Fruit (nor do I know how to pronounce it), but if it tastes as good as it smells … I really need to try it ASAP.

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I was so excited to try these out that I sacrificed a few extra minutes of sleep and took a shower. Overall, I was really happy with the product – it smelled amazing, and made my hair smell amazing too (which is a huge plus). I didn’t notice anything significant in how my hair felt afterwards (neither did Caleb), but I was happy knowing I wasn’t using something that would affect my hair with too many chemicals.

I’ll definitely buy SoapBox products in the future, and think you should too. 🙂

(I received this free sample of SoapBox products in exchange for an honest review.)

29 days & an incurable case of senioritis

senioritis.

 a made up word that should be an entry on WebMD.

my mind unable to sit still, like a child in time out.

i wish i could diagnose myself

but i don’t have the credentials to do that.

i’m just tired, tired, tired…

but only when i have to lesson plan.

give me a weekend away, sleepy mornings in a cabin, and i’ll move mountains.

productivity soaring all the way to the moon.

but force me to sit on the couch and dare to tell me i have another paper to write, and i’ll crumple up like a dried flower.

two short pages will take 36 hours to compose.

my words sticky and sweet like the coffee i drink to stay awake.

in 29 days i’ll be free and i’ll bake myself a cake.

a cake that tastes like tassels, and diplomas, and new beginnings.

(in reality, it will taste like chocolate with buttercream frosting)

but for now, i struggle.

trudging five days a week to teach students that don’t listen, and like to talk over math problems and Bible lessons.

students that roll their eyes, and mock me as i pour my heart out about respect.

students that write stories where i portray the villain because i wouldn’t let them get a drink during instructional time, and forced them to put away the toys they decided to bring from home.

(i’m really the worst)

 transforming their desks into bunkers: protecting them from words like “eyes up here,” “listen,” and “work in groups.”

snow days have preserved my sanity.

i attempt to treat myself with Netflix, but the deadlines still loom overhead like vultures.

taunting me, and reminding me that i am still a procrastinator.

making me sick and anxious for the 8th of May.

in 29 days, i’ll be free.

in 29 days, i’ll be cured.

29 days…

graduation

I sit here awaiting tomorrow.

The day that has been six years in the making.

Six years filled with the taste of too much Nutella, energy drinks overflowing, and my eyes heavy due to lack of sleep. I have pushed through too many all nighters, struggling to focus, forever attempting to balance perfectionism with the worst kind of procrastination.

Six years of high expectations. Six years of subtle laziness. Six years of writing 10 page papers the night before they’re due.

Social media has become my arch nemesis, and my body has formed an aversion to coffee. Sweet, sweet coffee… I’ll still drink you with the hope that I’ll be able to fall asleep before 2 a.m. & my stomach won’t implode.

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This day has taken its time to arrive. Slowly making the journey towards me, and then approaching all at once like a rushing wind.

I have been a student in three different institutions, changed my major twice, failed a music theory class, found my niche in the education field, witnessed dreams die and become resurrected, and visited two different continents. I experienced the repercussions of my dad’s deployment, and rejoiced in his return one year later. I fell in love, became a wife, learned to cook, and we adopted a cat. My testimony has been tested time and time again, but never have I been more confident in the sovereignty of God, and the faithfulness of His promise over my life.

I will never leave you nor forsake you. 

I will not abandon you to the grave. 

I will…

I will…

I WILL…

Old friendships have deteriorated due to distance, but new ones have been born out of missions trips and spontaneous coffee dates. I’ve learned the importance of having a supportive church family, and realized that fitting in is actually a really hard thing to do.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that people will always talk over me, but I still need to try my hardest to make my voice heard.

I’ve learned so many things, but still have so far to go.

I wonder when the learning process finally ends…

(p.s.: the answer is: *never*)


These years have been a crude mixture of both the beautiful and the horrid. Excruciatingly long, yet not long enough. Confusing, but filled with purpose. I’d like to say these years were the best years of my life, but then again, how can I even begin to imagine what the next six years will hold?

Life will not look the same in 5 years, and I try my hardest to see a glimpse in the life of future me. I hear the possibility of pitter-pattering little feet, and blurry visions of little hands reaching out to be held flood my mind. My heart skips a beat. I think I’m finally ready…but then again, I’m really not ready at all. I see us moving overseas, working as missionaries, and living lives of intentionality and simplicity. I have the strongest inkling that I won’t find contentment doing anything else, and only hope this sentiment holds true.

While each season will not be void of struggle, I hope that I can read these words again and be encouraged. Encouraged when those same little feet and grubby hands make constant messes, and I feel more exhausted than I ever have before. Encouraged when we leave the mission field to itinerate, and are forced to say goodbye to friends that have unintentionally morphed into family. Encouraged when the newness of everything wears off, and I begin to miss my own family back in the United States. Encouraged when I begin to doubt everything because life is just too hard.

Encouraged to know that everything happens in God’s timing.

Everything: that all encompassing word that not only includes powerful, flourishing mountaintop experiences, but those dry, weary hikes through the valley that creep up on you and render you helpless.

Encouraged to enjoy every season as it ebbs and flows.

So I sit here awaiting tomorrow.

Awaiting the unknown, and welcoming it with open arms.