I Don't Want A Life Of Mini Vans And White Picket Fences

I Don't Want A Life Of Mini Vans And White Picket Fences

I want my kids to jump off waterfalls in the Grand Canyon, not spin around in teacups at Disney World.
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You know how there’s that stigma about what you “should” do? Like, go to high school, get good grades, get into a good college, do stuff with numbers (cause people who know about numbers are smart, right?), meet a nice guy with a decent job, get engaged by about senior year, move to the suburbs and make sure your landscaping always looks nice.

Then there's the commute to the city, the two kids who excel at every sport, and the above-average income so you can afford that Mercedes when it comes to mid-life crisis time.

It all sounds pretty nice, right? Well, not really. You see, I believe that if most of us worked hard enough and really wanted this type of life, we would be able to attain it. But I also don’t believe that’s what we are "supposed" to do, really.

I want to talk about moving from what we are able to do to what we are meant to do. Like I said, most of us would be able to get that house with the white picket fence and pop out some kids who are good enough at soccer to justify our mini-van carpools to the field every Saturday morning, but I truly don’t believe that’s a life most of us are supposed to live. What kind of impact are we making on the world when the most exciting thing that happens to us every week is the Book Club meeting with the other moms in town, and the worst thing that happens is the argument we get into with our husbands about who took the trash out last?

This isn’t a life I aspire to have, and I really don’t think anyone else should either.

I believe God puts a longing for certain things in our hearts. For me, that's to see the world, to taste foods from different cultures and sleep in tents in the mountains of New Zealand. I want to swim in the great Coral Reef and run the Great Wall Marathon. I want my kids to jump off waterfalls in the Grand Canyon, not spin around in teacups at Disney World.

I think God put those desires in my heart for a reason because through the things I actually like doing, He will use me for his good will. Sure, I could major in math and probably find a job, but I don’t WANT to, and why would God push me in the direction of something I will be absolutely miserable doing, where I will, at best, make friends with my co-workers, and spread a little love in the office.

I think if we follow our desires, that’s where God is hiding his great plans for us, that's where we will see the most fruit, and that’s where we will do the best for His people.

After all, we truly are just vessels for Him to do good with, so why not go where he is calling us?

Following God isn’t about being a cookie-cutter Christian, it’s about taking risks. Every day God asks us to come on an adventure with Him. Christianity isn’t supposed to be mundane, it’s not supposed to be the same thing day after day after day. Instead of thinking of things as interruptions to your life, think of them as additions to your life. Take that first step into the unknown.

So with this, I encourage you to embrace what you love and what you feel a calling towards. Parents, support your kids’ not-so-high-paying major choices. God will provide. No one wants to wake up every day and dread what is ahead. You will do the best when you are happy, and doing what you are called to do.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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