31 December 2009

Happy New Year's Eve! :)

happy new year's eve, everybody! :]

i love this hour. like Christmas eve, it just seems so very magical for me.

i just finished watching the proposal with my parents and my sisters. my grandmother's asleep, and the rest of my family is downstairs, watching the new year's eve coverage.

i don't do that, though.

i don't know why everyone parties on new year's eve.

i stay home.

in a dark room.

and i listen to music and pray. sometimes write. like tonight. :]

i love this picture. i think these two little girl's are just so adorable. i don't know much about the future, but, baring any major interruptions, i will adopt two little girls. most likely from romania. or possibly the czech republic, if i'm allowed. right now, their names are bella and liliana. it helps keep the dream alive, to be able to give them names.

have you ever had dreams for living for Jesus?

i mean, sometimes i feel so alone in my dreams. i don't know if it's true or not, but a lot of times, nobody really shares my dreams around me, anyway. my mom's too practical. my dad's too scarred by life. my siblings... i don't know how to define it, but they just haven't really caught the vision yet. all the kids in my church don't seem to care. the adults in my church are too occupied with "looking good" and keeping up appearances, rather than moving mountains for Jesus. my coworkers, for the most part, loathe Jesus. as do most of my fellow students at my college. have you ever felt alone in your dreams?

i have.

but tonight, i have to voice my dreams. i have to make them real. i need them to be a pact between Jesus and me and a witness to know it's true.

i want to adopt (at least) two little girls from europe. probably romania. i WANT to do that now, but apparently dreams have to be grounded somewhat. i wish i could fly to europe and take in every orphan and give them love and home and a sweet future.

i want to become a beloved author. i want to write novels that make people think, that make people love, that make people laugh and cry and snort in their laughter, that make people change, that make people revolutionize.

i want to be a missionary. i never really thought this would be something i want to do. but i do. i want to go to europe (or if God calls me elsewhere, there too) and do whatever job i am hired for--teach english, love orphans, preach the Gospel, pray with lonely hearts, hold Bible studies, make friends... whatever! i don't care anymore. i just want to go. i don't know how i'm going to get there, but if i knew the language, i would leave right now, pack my bags, buy a ticket, go, and love.

i. want. to. change. the. world.

how hard it is for me to write this with the passion that i feel. i want to go and i want to love and i want to completely reveal the truth and the revolutionizing love of Jesus. i want to be a teenager's best friend, and give them hope and light their world on fire. i want to help an old lady with her groceries. i want to help a single momma babysit her little kiddies. i want to pray with the ragged. i want to hug the weary.

sometimes i cry. sometimes i cry for orphans and soldiers' families and people ragged by the effects of depression and weary single mommas and lonely and abused children and struggling heroes who fight for the helpless and soldiers who are underpaid and underappreciated. sometimes i cry because of the state of this world, the way half of the world doesn't have anyone to hug them and hold them when they're lonely. sometimes i cry because i forget to love these people. sometimes i cry because sometimes i forget to be the hands and feet of Jesus. sometimes i cry because i want to be the hands and feet of Jesus but sometimes i don't know how.

sometimes i cry because i am me and Jesus feels so far away, and we need Jesus right here. and right NOW.

and sometimes, i get chills because i feel Jesus here, with me and you and your friends and my friends as we dance and laugh and cry and curse and sleep and work and love and lose. and that's what matters the most of all.

sometimes i finally get it right, and i am for Jesus and i am for the lost.

this year, i want to get it right.

this year, i want to be Jesus to the world.

and this year, i want to live my dreams.

God help me, i will.

i will not just be a dreamer--i WILL change the world, and people will see me in heaven and cry because my tears didn't paralyze me from loving them.

oh, God, help me to be that girl.


till next time (and next year!),
ash the (determined) dreamer

24 December 2009

My Most Amazing Christmas Thought for 2009... :]]]]]

I love this very moment.

You know, I've had a lot of bad moments, depressed moments, horrible moments this year. But I can completely, truly say that at this very moment, as I write to you, fellow bloggers, that this is my very best moment of the entire year of 2009.

It's true.

It's just something about the way the Christmas lights my little sister hung around our room, and the sweet feel of the new pajamas my mommy freshly finished making for me, and the satisfaction that even though I'll probably only get five hours of sleep tonight, that all is still right in the world, at least for me. It's good to know that after waiting for 364 days to receive my portion of "Christmas spirit", it's finally here, and Jesus and joy and home culminate in this wonderful pleasure.

I wish you could experience it with me.

This is why I love Christmas oh-so-much. :]

Anyway, that's not really the reason I chose to blog tonight, on this night that has become sacred and holy for me.

I've blogged a lot this month about these lessons Jesus is teaching me about Christmas and this season for Him, but for almost a week now, I have been waiting to bring you this message that means the world to me.

I've cried a LOT this month. Not because I feel depressed or lonely or sick or lost--which I've felt a lot this year. But because of all these people who are not at home at this moment.

I've cried when I heard this Steven Curtis Chapman song. Please listen... the music didn't really hit me, but the words did. Please listen. :*(

And then this song always hits me, and makes me cry every single time. I think I promise. At least, I'm pretty sure there's never a time when I hear it that I don't cry. :*(

And then... then there's the "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Josh Groban:

This month, I've cried for orphans, and I've cried for soldiers stuck halfway across the world, and I've cried for people who are lonely and weary and alone, and I wish I could turn their worlds upside down.

All I could do was whisper, "Baby girl, I'm coming for you... one day I'll find you... I promise. I PROMISE..." to the orphan girl who is lonely tonight and without a home that Jesus has called me to rescue, and all I could do for those military families at odds and separated from each other--all I could say was JESUS IS WITH YOU.

Because He is.

This feels like the wrong way to say it, but I don't know how to say it any other way. Jesus has been there--lost and torn from all ties to His home and confused and weary and teary-eyed. But He is with you NOW. And He won't leave you.

This is Christmas.

You could be alone, even in the middle of a million people. But you are not alone.

You have Jesus, the One who was truly alone and who blazed through the fires for you.

No matter where you are tonight, Jesus will be your Home, and you can count on Him.

Jesus is my Home this Christmas, the center of this love and happiness and security I feel--I am so blessed, but I wouldn't feel so much at home were it not for Jesus. :]

Maybe one day I'll be able to rescue 100 orphans like Gladys Aylward did, and someday I may baptize hundreds of people, like some preachers. Every day, oh world, I yearn to hold you in my arms and give you home and hope and love and liberty and safety and security, but for today, oh world, trust me and hear what I am saying.


On this day, when you are lonely and weary and lost in the middle of the masses, know this. Know that Jesus is the One who holds you, the One who rescues you, the One who satisfies, strengthens, and supports you, the One who cradles you in His arms and protects you from all harms. Know that the once-homeless Jesus Christ will now be your home and provide for you every good thing that you don't have. Jesus is the One who loves you, the One who saves you, and the One who is like the Daddy who cradles His little girl in His arms when you fall and scrape your knee, or when you lost your one true love, or when life is too big for you. Jesus is your Daddy. And He is HOME.

Someday, I might know you, oh world, and someday, I might be able to rock your world so you can see, but until then... please see. Please know that Jesus can hold you when I can't. Jesus can love you when I can't reach you--when no one can reach you. Jesus can be your Healer. Jesus can be your Home.

Until next time,
Ash the (Hoping) Dreamer

18 December 2009




i'm exhausted tonight.

i don't think i like grocery shopping very much.

haha, let me explain. my family is hosting this annual Christmas party we have every year, and we were so busy all week we really didn't get to prepare until last night, and the party is tomorrow night... and we're gonna be at church pretty much all day tomorrow, until about suppertime (aka party time...). so it had to happen today. so after i took my last final (eek!) i did ALL the grocery shopping for the party for my mom (took me like, five hours, maybe?), and i am so tired! staying up till midnight studying and waking up at 6:30-ish every morning does that to me. :/ but i'm super excited, because i think our Christmas party is probably my FAVORITE part of the year, besides Christmas morning itself, and some years, my birthday... :]

i'm excited to start working on this Christmas story, about this special little lady named Willow, and her to-be amazing guy, Ben. And Ben's two adorable little girls, Bella and Liliana. :] it's going to be spectacularly amazing! :]

anyway, it seems like EVERY day i learn something new about Christmas and what it's supposed to be about... so today i was reading Matthew 1 (well, the part that includes the story of Jesus' birth, anyway), and it just hit me how much what Joseph accepted really meant to him. he would endure the mocking of him taking a wife that was having a baby that was not his own. that was BIG back then. it meant that he said YES to being the father of the Father of the Universe. (can you REALLY comprehend that? i can't!) it meant that he said yes to God, even when he was so scared he didn't know what to do. so i guess, today i learned that even if God's plan doesn't make sense at all, and God's plan scares me more than it comforts me, it's still God's plan. and after all is said and done, it's always best to say yes to Jesus. :]

11 December 2009

Awesome Christmas-ey Stuff...

I was going to write a wonderful blog about the Christmas program I just got home from, but that was rather un-eventful, and COMPLETELY under par for the school that puts it on. Maybe that has to do with the stupid principal and vice principal who run the school. My sister, though, was a glowing, wonderful alto. Yep, she was the best there. No doubt. :]

I got to go up and sing the Hallelujah Chorus, which is pretty much the HIGHLIGHT of my year (silly, I know, but I just love it so much!), with all the other choir alumni from my high school, and it was splendid! :)

But that's not why I'm writing this blog...

Yesterday, I believe it was, I was doing my Bible study, and it completely took my breath away. I was soooo very shocked and awakened to the purpose of Christmas, and since this is such a monumental idea, I figured you deserved to hear it, lovely bloggers. :]

So I was first reading in Luke 2 (as I love to read the story of Jesus' birth a lot in the month of December), and I stopped myself a couple verses into it, when Luke got to the part about there not being any room in the inn for Jesus.

First of all, that makes me sick. What sort of twisted minds have the gall to deny their Lord and CREATOR a warm bed and a semi-sanitary room to come into the world? What sort of people force the Healer and the Comforter and the Lord to be born next to a pig? I mean, piglets are cute, I suppose, but come on. Do you really want your kid to be born inches from that piglet's pooh (hahaha, no pun intended, lol!)? If that doesn't appeal to you, then why in the world would someone let the King of the WORLD be born there?

Sometimes I'm self-righteous enough to think that I would NEVER have done that, but it makes me more sick to think that I probably would have resigned holy baby Jesus to be born among poop and disease and unsanitary animals to be able to keep my bed and the semblance of warmth, rather than the fact that they let this happen to the Creator of the world...

I remembered thinking, "Couldn't ONE PERSON find just one small area for a scared mom to give birth to the most precious Cargo in the whole entire universe? Couldn't one person see that Jesus was coming and prepare the way for His birthplace?"

Then, since it hit me so hard, I decided to read a psalm (thinking it might calm me down a bit), but it only emphasized the idea.

I read Psalm 23, and it made me even sicker, thinking that Jesus provides all these marvelous things we don't deserve, like peace and food and sleep and hope and protection in the midst of danger and all these things that after Jesus provides them for us, we take them for granted.

And then, it hit me, like a rock.

We STILL don't make room for the King of the world.

Gah, that hit me right where it counts, and it made me sick and I was shivering and about to cry and all this on too little sleep and almost too half-asleep to really catch it, but I saw it. I saw it, and now it won't let me go.

I've been having issues with this lately.

So it's especially meaningful for me.

I've shared on here that I have to deal with struggles surrounding depression and OCD, and right now I'm battling it more than usual. And my coping mechanism for these two diseases usually involves watching a lot of TV and going on this baby name website to give advice to help mommas choose names for their precious babies. And then I kinda lose track of my life and where I want it to be going. So I've been sick about how I put all these shows that, at the end of the day, don't matter in the long run. Chuck, Glee, Bones, Leverage, Lie to Me, Castle, NCIS, White Collar, etc... All these shows didn't save my life. All these shows didn't call me to a greater place. And yet, I find myself worrying that after promising Jesus when I was barely more than a baby that I would never have any idols before Him, what if these have become my idols? And I miss Jesus, on these days when I find time for empty pleasures instead of true purpose.

I can't speak for everyone, obviously, but I know that none of us but Jesus is perfect... But I'm getting sick of seeing Jesus being put last... This Christmas, I want to put CHRIST right where He belongs--the center of EVERYTHING.


Merry Christmas everybody!

Till next time,
Ash the (Ashamed) Dreamer

09 December 2009



That's all.


till next time,
Ash the (soaked) Dreamer

04 December 2009

My 10

Apparently, I'm a better blogger than I thought, because a week or two ago, I was awarded! Whoda thunk it? :]

Anyway, now I'm supposed to post 10 things about me and then award my own favorite blogs. :)

Anyways, so here we go! :)

1. Something I enjoy: the show Chuck. Seriously. It's so funny and sweet and loveable! :) I mean, who wouldn't love a story about a computer-geek turned CIA spy?! :))))

2. Something that changed my life: Pastor Sergio Manente. He is seriously THE coolest pastor/teacher in the whole world. He taught leadership classes in my high school, and from his ministry, I just gained so much confidence in myself, learned the path I wanted for my life, saw the path of Christianity as a passion, and learned how to be a leader for Jesus. He's seriously amazing, y'all. :)

3. Something I find funny: my brother Buddy. Seriously, I can't spend five minutes around him without laughing! He's so funny--and usually his jokes are at my expense, but after nearly 20 years of this, I'm learning to see past it. :)

4. Something I want: Can I say two things? Pretty please? Because it's like two dreams that are so infused into who I am that it just feels like one big ache for it to come true. :) Firstly, I want to be a missionary to Europe. Probably at an orphanage. :) Secondly, I would LOVE to have at LEAST two girls, maybe more, with at least two of them adopted, and the perfect hubby to match. :) I'm afraid it's too much to ask for, but gah, I want it so bad! :(

(Switzerland--the one country I want to see more than just about ANYWHERE in the whole wide world!)

(just an adorable little girl!)

5. Something I confess: everyday I have to deal with clinical depression and OCD. And those horrible diseases bring me down every single day. And they sicken me. I HATE depression and OCD. I would love nothing more than if they were MURDERED for FOREVER. They destroy my joy and keep me from the path Jesus destined for me, and I can't imagine anything uglier than depression and OCD. I won't post a picture, because it's just so ugly. :|

6. Something that rocks my socks: these two little girls in my church. Their names are Delaney and Kylee, and they melt my heart every day I see them. They melt and heal my heart every single weekend, and I LOVE children because I met them one September day in the year of 2008. :) Laney's almost 4, and I think Kylee's around three. :)

(This is Laney! Since I just got my new laptop this Thursday, I don't have a picture for Kylee to show you, but this is Laney!)

7. Something about me that might confuse you: I guess the biggest confusion to people is my dreams. I guess they just don't see that many dreamers like me, so they don't see how my life can be aimed toward things that are so impossible to achieve, but I'm okay with that. :) Some people don't understand why I want to be a missionary to Europe and take care of orphans when I could be a prestigious professor at an ivy league college with my brain. Some people don't understand why I want to open an orphanage and why I want to be a writer and a mom and a bookstore owner and a speaker and travel the world and bring hope and work for nothing so that I can bring just a wee bit of hope to the world. But then again, if you don't have big, change-the-world, Jesus dreams inside of you, then there's no way in the whole world that you'll understand me! :)

8. Something that makes me soooo happy: My sweet baby sister, Lea. She's so adorable, and she's graduating from 8th grade this year, and I'm just so proud of her, and I'm just so very glad I've had the treasure of this year to spend with just her and my parents this year, just to get to know her a little bit better (since I've been in boarding school most of her life). She's so sweet and smart and adorable, and she's gonna make the most kick-butt, awesome, heady, LOVELY combination of a lady of God that you won't have a CLUE what hit you when you meet this sweet little thing! :) Anyway, I just had to brag about her. :) Cuz she's AMAZING. :)

9. Something that I currently find amazing: that Jesus, in His vast greatness and mercy, chooses to use me and bless me and LOVE me in the middle of those moments that I feel completely UNLOVEABLE. Jesus takes my breath away EVERYDAY, but on those days when depression ruins and crushes my life and I feel like compressed, contorted, ugly, rejected, grotesque trash after Satan pushes me down so much that I can barely see hope shining, on those days when Jesus comes shining into my life and holds me in His arms and whispers promises of joy and hope and grace and dreams and I see a glimpse of what I can be for Him, THAT is what rocks my world. :)

10. Something I'm thankful for: for LIFE. Through the ups and downs, through the rights and wrongs, Jesus still gave me this opportunity, and I plan to make the very most of it! :)


Thanks so much for stinkin' through the mess that is me right now. :) And thanks to those of you that actually do read my blog. :) I feel so incredibly honored that you do. :)

And to award my favorite blogs... um, well, I would honor Jen from here, but she was the one who awarded me, so I guess that doesn't work. :*(

I don't really follow that many other blogs--just another Jen--Jenny Simmons from Addison Road, but I doubt she'll ever see this. :) Anywho, even if she doesn't see it, you should check out her blog. :) Just go to www.jennysimmons.com. :)

Happy weekend, everybody!

(Oh, and soon I'll post pictures of my new computer! She's so lovely. *grin* I'm currently looking to name her, and all I've got is Evey or Sylvie as ideas, so if you have an ingenious one, leave me a message!)

Till next time,
Ash the (Grateful) Dreamer