THE SINGLE GIRL’S STICK FIGURE FAMILY BUMPER STICKERS

There are a lot of things I’ve seen people stick on their cars. Antlers. Pink handlebar moustaches. Menorahs.

But the stick figure family bumper sticker has infected more cars than the Toyota recall of yesteryear.

stick figure

So what do you do if you are a single girl sans stick companions to slap on your car’s rear window?

 

For the single girl who has everything she will ever need:

girl and nutella 2

me myself i 2

me and jesus 2

girl netflix 2 copy

 

 

For the single and searching girl:

single and searching 2

 

 

For the single girl who has given up all hope:

cat lady 2

You’re welcome, ladies. You’re welcome.

-m

4 skills social media kills

social skills

Life as a resident assistant at a Christian college would have been a lot easier if I could have texted my female resident, “I know there’s a guy in your room after visitation hours.” It would have saved me a lot of hassle from knocking on her door, coaxing a confession out of her, and then weaseling my way into her room to find him hiding in the closet behind her laundry basket. Then again, I would have never learned how to confront situations and resolve conflict well. In a culture where we have more screen time than face time, we’re more worried about cultivating the art of showcasing our dinner than the art of our interpersonal skills. As a result, our social media outlets are killing four major social skills.

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Is it time to break up with a friend?

friend

Sometimes I wish BuzzFeed quizzes told me more than what font I am (Futura) or how many Justin Biebers I could take in a fight (14).

While taking on 14 teen pop sensations in skinny jeans during a fight seems overly ambitious (I would probably be more comfortable with 12), sometimes I wish making relevant-to-life decisions was as simple as answering a few questions online in a few clicks. Especially when it comes to ending relationships.

And I’m not just talking about roses are red, violets are blue kind of relationships. I’m talking about the platonic kind: friendships.

Before you do another Facebook purge or delete another contact in your smart phone, take this quiz:

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4 Social Skills Social Media Has Killed

sent from my iphone

Life as a resident assistant in college would have been a lot easier if I could have texted my female resident, “I know there’s a guy in your room after visitation hours.” It would have saved me a lot of hassle from knocking on her door, coaxing a confession out of her, and then weaseling my way into her room to find him hiding in the closet behind her laundry basket.

Then again, I would have never learned how to confront situations and resolve conflict well.

In a culture where we have more screen time than face time, we’re more worried about cultivating the art of our dinner than the art of our interpersonal skills. As a result, our social media outlets are killing four major social skills:

1. Confrontation

Let’s face it—nobody enjoys confrontation. It’s uncomfortable, unnerving, and sometimes unpleasant. But Jesus didn’t call us to run away from conflict—he called us to speak the truth in love. And instead of speaking the truth in love in person, we pull up his/her Facebook page, type a message, and hit send. We hide behind the comfort of a social media wall to protect us from the awkwardness of uncomfortable face-to-face conversations. So we miss out on an opportunity for a dialogue that allows us to approach, discuss, and resolve an interpersonal issue and grow in the skill of speaking the truth in love to our neighbor.

2. Quality time

Think back to your last dinner date with a friend. Was your phone out on the table the whole time? Was your Facebook status updated to: “Grabbing some grub with Katie at Chipotle”? Did your burrito with a side of chips and guacamole become the objects of an Instagram collage? How many times did you refresh your inbox for notifications on all the likes and comments from your Facebook status? We have become so accustomed to a world of constant stimulation, we can’t seem to stop and focus on one sole activity at a time—quality time with a friend. Instead of being content with a friend’s company, we are consumed with the need to know what’s happening with all our other friends on our News Feed. If we aren’t distracted by what’s happening outside the moment, we’re too busy distracting ourselves from the moment by trying to capture it on social media.

3. Conversation

Today our thumbs get more exercise than our vocal chords. Like a premise for a dystopian novel, our generation has almost forgotten how to speak because we’re too busy typing. We’re guilty of texting instead of talking over coffee and Facebook chatting instead of conversing on the phone. It’s as if we’ve sacrificed the art of conversation for the art of convenience. We’d much rather have three-hour text conversations than face-to-face ones. Texting and Facebook chatting allow us to step away and take time to think and respond, while talking in person allows us to cultivate our skill of asking, listening, and responding in the moment.

4. Written Communication

I receive a lot of e-mails for my day job that always end in “Sent from my iPhone.” I’ve had people leave off the “o” in “Hello” along with all forms of punctuation and capitalization. We could make Auto Correct the scapegoat for a multitude of grammatical sins, but we really have ourselves to blame. In a world of 140 characters or less and abbreviations for “laughing out loud,” we’ve forgotten how to write an e-mail, spell, and clearly articulate ourselves well and professionally. We become dependent on spell check to fix our errors. We think e-mails are acceptable without any capitalization or punctuation or signing our names at the bottom. Our written skills have become like our texting skills—short, sweet, and prone to auto corrected error.

I wonder what would have happened if Jesus would have just mass texted all his teachings, Facebook posted all his parables, and started a blog with pictures of all his miracles, before and after. “Follow me by putting in your e-mail address!”

I’m thinking it wouldn’t have had the same impact as his face-to-face ministry.

AN OPEN LETTER TO PEETA MELLARK

(Because Catching Fire just came out on DVD)

Like food poisoning, my love for you came on suddenly and without forewarning.

There I was sitting in a crowded theatre of tween girls and I found myself squealing in decibels I’ve only believed to be in a gerbil’s register.

My mind quickly replayed Catching Fire staring me, in a side braid and cargo pants:

(I’m practicing my archery skills in the backyard on some soda cans I’ve lined up on a fence. I  shoot. Miss. Hit a stray cat that happens to be walking by. It shrieks, dies. My depth perception and prescription are clearly far worse than Katniss’. YOU appear.)

 YOU: It’s almost time to go. The lady with the hair the color of cotton candy is here. Her dress is made out of butterflies.

(You stare out into the woods to avoid eye contact. I notice you are carrying a bag of freshly baked cookies.)

ME AS KATNISS: I love a man that brings me baked goods.

(You continue to avoid eye contact. I clear my throat, put down my bow, walk over to you.)

ME AS KATNISS: We’re going to have to continue to act like we’re in love.

(You turn, look at me. I can see in your eyes that you weren’t pretending the first time and are hurt that you thought I was.)

ME AS KATNISS: But I won’t be acting anymore.

PEETA: But what about that other guy who is actually significantly taller than me and used to date Miley Cyrus?

ME AT KATNISS: I want to be the hummus to your Peeta.

(You give me a cookie. I eat it. You look at me. I look at you. My insides melt like a popsicle in the Sahara. Then we run away and start an underground bakery in another district.)

You should know—surely you must know—I would never, ever, date anyone shorter than me.

But yet here you are, 5’6 and I’m 5’10 and we’ll make it work.

As long as you keep bringing me baked goods WE’LL MAKE IT WORK.

cookies me volunteer

Until the next movie comes out and/or I finally read the third book to figure out what finally happens to you,

m

PS. I may or may not have a torrid relationship history with fictional characters.

Why Shaun White’s new haircut broke my heart

This year’s Olympics have left me more depressed than a vegetarian at a Brazilian steakhouse.

And I’m not talking about the fifth snowflake-ring debacle, or the times my countrymen haven’t nailed their triple sow-cow twist and shout ice skate thingy. I’m talking about follicles.

Actually, the lack thereof.

You see, Shaun White and I were meant to be.

Exhibit A:

shaun white and i

We have the same exact hair.

Well, we used to.

Exhibit B:

shaun white no hair

I’m not lamenting the fact that he was the Samson of the skateboarding world, and with the loss of his locks came the loss of a medal. No, I’m lamenting the loss of what our Christmas card would have looked like with us and our six children:

shaun white christmas card 1

(It was inevitable at least one would pop out with recessive genes.)

For the sake of our future spawn and holiday greetings, consider this a passionate plea, Shaun White, to grow out your locks like Rapunzel once more.

I’ll be waiting.

An overdue heartfelt apology to Jim Halpert just in time for Valentine’s Day

jim halpert im in love with you

James:

I know our relationship lasted half the length of Kim Kardashian’s last marriage. And I know I it ended without any explanation.

You see, our love was like the Loch Ness monster — everyone knew it was a hoax, but I truly wanted it to be real.

But here’s the thing:

You’re not real.

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8 reasons it’s important to have a core group of girlfriends

girlfriends

I used to dread being in a room with all girls. It would mean the inevitable opening of the tear duct floodgates and there never seemed to be enough tissues in the room.

Years later, I can’t wait for a girls’ night watching our favorite television show or praying and encouraging one another. While I appreciate and love my male friendships, there are significant benefits to having girlfriends in spite of the inevitable snot-sleeve occurrences:

1. Intentionality

Every friendship starts with initial effort and flourishes with continual effort. While any relationship takes work, having intentional girlfriends is both a give and a take. Your girlfriends are the ones that you’ll want to check up on and the ones you’ll want to take the time to be with. And in turn, they’ll do the same for you.

2. Accountability

As much as I would like to think I do everything right every hour of every day—I don’t. That’s where my girlfriends come in. Whether it’s suddenly fashioning index and middle fingers into a pound sign and yelling “hashtag inapprop!” when I say something inappropriate or sending a text to see how my writing goal is coming along, I need some checkups. Often. Allowing girlfriends to become an intimate part of your life helps you from straying off the path towards a host of temptations and problems. Whether it’s trying to eat healthier, maintaining boundaries in a dating relationship, or refraining from gossip, it’s better with a girlfriend walking alongside you.

3. Vulnerability

There’s a reason I buy bulk tissues now. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m an emotional being. Girls don’t bond by playing video games and drinking beer; we bond by drinking hot coco, watching a romantic comedy, and sharing our thoughts and feelings. Sure, it’s every kind of cheese in the dairy aisle, but that’s who we are. And we need a safe space with steadfast friends in which to share our thoughts, goals, dreams, and desires without judgment.

4. Encouragement

Think of your girlfriends like those posters in elementary school that had a fluffy puppy on it and read: “You can do it!” Only don’t tell them they look like a dog or that could be taken the wrong way. Sometimes you just need a boost of encouragement from a girlfriend to keep on plugging. Whether you’re frustrated at work, struggling in a relationship, or not sleeping because the baby won’t stop crying, you need a friend who will send you flowers, give you a call late at night, and show up unexpected with the sole intention of giving you a hug.

5. Support

After my parents, my girlfriends are my 911. If I need some wise counsel, a shoulder to cry on, or simply a ride to the airport, I can turn to my girlfriends to be there for me. Having a core group of girlfriends is like having a huge family of sisters from another mother and father—you know you’re never alone.

6. Growth

While my growth spurt ended when I was twelve, my character growth continues to develop. Having girlfriends affords a great opportunity to learn from one another as each girl has her own host of life lessons learned. As a single girl, you learn about marriage from married friends. As a newlywed, you learn about children from married friends with kids. I’ve learned more about life, love, contentment, travel, and careers from my girlfriends than any textbook.

7. Joy-giving moments

Hanging out with the girls doesn’t have to mean all seriousness and prayer time. Hanging out with the girls should also mean creating joy-giving moments. Laughter, silliness, happiness—these are all things to pursue daily and girlfriends can help you create moments where these things will occur. Girlfriends that know who you are and how you tick will help create these moments for you, especially when you are in need of them.

8. An excuse to have baked goods

Food and girlfriends go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Enough said.

God has blessed me with a core group of amazing girlfriends and sisters in Christ. Without them, I wouldn’t be spurred on to growth or enjoyed half the fun-loving moments I’ve experienced these past few years. I also wouldn’t have gained a few extra pounds from all the cookies, but I digress.

If you don’t have a core group of girlfriends, pray for opportunities to meet some and be intentional on developing those friendships once you do. Your spiritual and emotional well-being and stomach won’t regret it.

Dear interwebs: Instagram

There seems to be a sweeping epidemic running rampant through our generation: an incurable condition in which one needs to document every piece of food one eats throughout the day.

In a collage.

Perhaps it’s the allure of a year in which we weren’t even born yet that makes the 1977 filter of the sushi rolls worthy of capturing on film. Maybe it’s the black and white Willow filter that turns our apple into art. Or, quite possibly, it’s the filter named after a great lake we just couldn’t remember the name of in geography class that makes our breakfast burrito bona fide photography.

Now that I’ve finally obtained a smart phone of my own and joined the ranks of the 21st century, I’ve noticed there have been some unloved objects that haven’t been documented via the Instagrams.

This is the Instagram for the unsung, undocumented heroes of inanimate objects:

An Ode to the Paperclip

Paper clip

More than Functionality

Toilet paper

Always Underneath, Never on Top

Floor

Don’t Push My Buttons

Phone

My Trash, Your Treasure

Trash

The Anatomy of a Q-Tip

Qtip

These exquisite art collages are available for purchase.*

* I’m kidding. Unless you’re not– in which case we’ll start the base price at $1000.