Posts in College
That one time I yelled at Ryan Gosling.

It's true, I really did yell at him.

In 2008. My Freshmen year of college.

WHAT I yelled at him is probably what any young fan would yell if they'd pulled up next to him at the same Hollywood stop light they were stopped at, his car windows rolled down (his scruffy dog was in the backseat sticking it's head out the window). I giggled with my friends at how cute he was and I yelled like a free Texas-meets-California/Driving-through-Hollywood-with-your-windows-down freshmen girl would:


And that was it. He looked over at me, smiled and nodded. The light turned green and he was gone.

All I did in that moment was inform Ryan Gosling that I had a liking for his dog.


You'd think I would have said something, ANYTHING, other than "I like your dog" to the one and only Ryan Gosling, but the thing is, my friends and I didn't know it was him until a week later when a girl on my hall ran into my dorm room and showed me a picture of that same guy, in the same t-shirt, with the same scruffy dog, taking a walk through Hollywood. It was Ryan. We both fell on the floor screaming and freaking out and I immediately thought.... of all the things to say to Ryan Gosling I told him I liked his dog.

I could have at least said, "If your a bird I'm a bird!"

I wouldn't have minded going for "Marry me Ryan Gosling, I'll babysit your dog --- I mean, our dog-- while you're filming your movies!"

That was back then of course, when I was a frivolous giggling freshmen. If I saw him today I'd probably say, "Ryan, I haven't seen you in so long, I'm a bird if your a bird."

What I love about yelling at Ryan Gosling, is that I feel this slight connection with him that's incredibly insignificant and totally not reciprocated in any way at all.

I know more about him than he knows about me. I remember him, and I can guarantee you he doesn't remember me. I can look him up on google and read all about his life or watch him play different characters in movies, but he'll never have the inclination to look me up on google or read my blog, and even if he did, he wouldn't really know me.

This whole Ryan Gosling thing really alludes to (ready for the curveball?!)... Jesus. Can't you tell? What I love about Jesus, is that he lived 2,000 years before Ryan Gosling and I know him like one of my closest and most cherished friends. He's someone I really care about and need in my life every day. What I love about Jesus, is that he knows me better than I know myself. He loves me in no way Ryan Gosling, my husband, my family, or friends could love me. He knows every thought I think (the good ones and the terrible, awful, and no-one-should-hear-those-thoughts thoughts) and still tells me He'd do anything to be friends with me. He died so we could have a friendship that lasts forever, actually. I don't have many friends like that.

Jesus is a celebrity I don't even deserve to be friends with, but He really cares for me, so He is always available for me. Always ready to listen, comfort, rejoice, mourn, and dance around to techno music with me. He is patient with me when I'm a frustrated mess that can only offer rude sarcasm to my husband. He is never rude and sarcastic to me. He is only firm and loving. I am in awe of His loyalty and dedication to help me maximize on my strengths and gifts. He's like the best barista ever because He not only fills up my coffee, He makes sure I have enough all the time. My mug is always overflowing with the best of the best roasts. When I go through my days feeling as if I'm not enough, He reminds me that His friendship and love for me is enough.

Do you only know facts about Jesus, just like you know facts about Ryan Gosling? Or, have you ever taken the time to know Jesus and His love for you?

I'd love to help you find the answer to that question if you ever want to go get coffee... I know a really great barista to hit up. ;)


This picture was LITERALLY taken the day I saw Ryan Gosling. Crazy huh?

College-isms: Things I wish I would have done in college that I'm scrambling to do now.

Image-1-381. Asked for letters of recommendation.

I feel kind of super ridiculous asking my professors for recommendation letters almost two years out of college. If you're SO done with your undergrad and think you have surpassed the phrase "the struggle is real" so much so that you would never even consider going to MORE school down the road, go ahead and do your "future Spock" a favor and ask one of your favorite/best professors for a letter of recommendation. You might (as in, you definitely WILL) need it for a future job or graduate degree. And it's best to get it when your professors have you fresh in their memory (because you did super awesome in their class, impressed them, participated in class dialogue, worked with them in an academic society, and went out to lunch with them a few times to glean their unequivocal wisdom, right?), instead of two years later hoping they haven't forgotten how much they liked you (Or how much you think they liked you :) ). Getting your letter pre-applying to jobs and grad-school also just makes you look super prepared. So, go. Do now.

2. Written thank you's to my professors.

This isn't because you're wanting to bribe them. Or maybe it is. It's because you really don't realize how necessary and great they were to you in college, and you wish you would have thanked them in the thick of it all. And sometimes, they could use a little love and encouragement in the thick of the chaos too.

3. Enjoyed FREE TIME like it was a box of peppermint Oreos.

Lately a lot of people in my life have had children. One of my "new mommy" co-workers was telling me last week that she has no recollection of what she did with her free time when she wasn't a mom... and it's only been a few months since her life got Fresh-Princed "switched turned upside down" with a baby. She's already forgotten what free-time looks like? I think back now and am amazed at how much wonderful free time I had in college. Free time to learn, to laugh, to go on adventures, to be carefree, to work, to not work, to grow, to reflect, to rest. Now I work a lot and am married and don't have as much of that. And I can't imagine if Einstein and I have kids what that will look like. But gosh I miss that college free time a lot sometimes. So enjoy it. And learn to use it well.

4. Gotten a scary internship(s).

My mom told me I needed to get an internship while I was in college, so in defiance, I tried my best not to get one. But what you should know, is that most colleges require internships. And if they don't, you really should pursue one anyway. IN college AND out. If you're like me, you tend to make life decisions that lead to easy escalator steps instead of rigorous climbs. I was SO afraid of what a real internship might require that I interned for the middle school youth ministry at the church I grew up at because it was easy to secure. And trust me, I probably learned more about myself that summer than any other summer. MIDDLE SCHOOLERS ARE ENERGY SUCKERS AND NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. BEWARE. I wish I had thrown myself into corporate fire or taken the difficult steps toward intimidating businesses or organizations. Pursue internships that makes you feel uncomfortable. Step into your vocational fears instead of away from them. Pursue opportunities you don't think you're qualified for. Pursue internships you really would want. Pursue internships that have nothing to do with your major but you still find fascinating. Pursue more than one.

5. Studied Abroad.

Traveling changes lives. As do the Harry Potter books, the Olsen twins, and campfires. Traveling during college is a must. Even if it means not eating out three or four semesters before or after. It's worth every cent. If I tell my students to do anything while they're in college, I tell them to study abroad. And I'm the number one hypocrite preaching this stuff, because I never did. But I've traveled. And changed the most from immersing myself in other cultures. So go sign up or start planning a trip right now.

6. Communicated to my closest friends how much I'll suck at talking to them after college.

Really, I think this happens with a lot of people who move away from their college town. Their friendships get tested. And I mean  the deep "I went to the beach with you illegally when it was closed at midnight and we bonded" kind of friendships. It's not that I don't care about them. I actually stalk their lives a lot and am cheering them on from a distance, even if that's just by liking their pictures on instagram (the obvious equivalent to saying "YAY you! I love what you're doing in life!). But if you are like a Stacie Stine in this area of your life, you might want to let your friends know ahead of time so they can prepare themselves or come up with ways to help keep you better accountable to calling them. My friends are sweet and keep bombarding me with reminders that we need to talk. And I love that. Need that. And will take grace in that area because I need grace in that area.

7. It would have been nice to take the GRE fresh out of that one college math class I had to take. Because studying for that ridiculous GRE (that usually has nothing to do with what you majored in) four years after that math class is like trying to lick peanut butter off your entire face in less than 30 seconds.... impossible and frrrrruuustrating.

The truth about the freshmen fifteen...

Image-1-27...They just aren't as scary or real as the Sophomore 20, Junior 25, or Senior 30.

#watchoutdonutman #dontjustworkoutfreshmenyear #runforestrun

And apparently there's a Hall Director 10 I didn't know about until watch out for that too.

She is loved.

Four words: Long Distance Relationships. Eeesh.

I've rocked an LDR before. For two years. It ended pretty well. We're married now, so....

Here's what it looked like....

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 8.00.36 PM


Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 8.00.52 PM

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what an LDR feels like, read EVERY WORD in this paragraph:

Long Distance Relationships are the best.  Anyone can do them. They aren't draining or frustrating at all. Hard work? Nah. Everyone who gets into a long distance relationship either gets married or engaged, and LDR participants practically never cry ugly face when they long for and miss their significant other. Making out too much never happens. Ever. LDR's are just as romantic as Rachel McAdam-y movies.

Now forget that paragraph, it lies.

Thanks to Brett and I's LDR, I'd like to think I have an amazing perspective on what it is to choose patience and trust, to work through deep frustration, and to choose present over future. But what I so intimately have learned from Long Distance, is that my desire and yearning to see Brett at the end of every four to five months, was, and is, nothing compared to the Fierce Love God has for me every second of every day. To me, everything comes back to the love of God.

During those two years of LDR-ing I wrote something that contrasts the love I had for Brett with the love God has for me, and it gives me peace and gratitude tonight as I re-read it again:

Patience is one of the most difficult virtues in light of passion and love. Miles away turns into light years. Heart beats move beyond pitter-patter to soul-deepening Cello strokes. Eyes close not wanting to open until one's love is standing before them. Motivation for all else is a flickering light, threatening to leave me in darkness. 

But there is a Light that is Greater, a Motivation that is Stronger, a set of Eyes that see beyond me, a deeper Soul Melody, and a Friend that is so close I feel them inside me. The Someone who created passion, who holds more passion for me and the rest of the world than I could ever have for just one person on this earth. 

Jesus. He saved me and gave himself for me. He has more patience with me than I know. 

These are words from a woman in love...

...because she IS, SO loved. 

Do you believe God is fierce for you? That He screams love at you and for you? Do you get what that means? The intensity of it? Do you long for some sort of love like that?

I do.

"God’s love is meteoric,     his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic,     his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness     nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse,     slips through the cracks.

How exquisite your love, O God!     How eager we are to run under your wings, To eat our fill at the banquet you spread     as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water. You’re a fountain of cascading light,     and you open our eyes to light."