Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Palm Sunday Plus!

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. I love Palm Sunday (as long as you keep your face away from kids with palms...that can get dangerous). Unlike Christmas or Easter, its less somber and more celebratory. Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas and Easter, too, but Palm Sunday is like a party. We celebrate that Jesus came to town, just like they did in Jerusalem all those centuries ago. So I was a little disappointed when service started with slow worship songs, and none of them traditional. I was actually getting a little steamed (nothing against the chosen songs, I really like some of them, they just weren't Palm Sunday material). But then, it shifted. And Pastor exhorted us to dance and become like little children. He called the kids up and prayed over them (and myself and Jen as directors of the children's ministry). Then it became a real party! Singing Undignified and Dance as David Danced we did just that. And I of course did it with some of my kiddies :) My beautiful girls.
Although I was originally going to be in service for only the second time in as many months, I ended up sitting with a four-year-old girl in her Sunday School. She's incredibly shy but has really started to cling to me since I met her a month ago. When I noticed she was staying in service with her mom (she cried when her mom tried to drop her off), I volunteered to take her down. I even left her twice for a few minutes each time, and she did great. A little crying right before I came back the second time, but overall, very good. I'm making it my goal to get her into Sunday School with no problem.

After church, I finally was able to see my friends for the first time in at least two weeks. We hung out at the mall for a bit, went for a drive, played Life and watched our favorite, Tool Academy. I lost a bet with my brother on this mall trip, so now I owe him a soft cover book from the used book store. I also got a check from my cousin for our trip to Europe. After I book the flights tomorrow we're almost halfway paid!

On a not-so-happy note, all weekend and into the week I was having gallbladder pain....which is odd since I no longer have a gallbladder. Monday was the worst, but even then, not very bad. Just enough to kinda concern me since the only thing there is my liver. Not something I wanna mess around with. So on Tuesday morning I called my surgeon who sent me for labs. Since they came back perfectly normal, she said its probably just leftover blood or something from her poking around in there. She didn't seem concerned, and since its starting to get better, I'm going to trust her on this.

Yesterday I got an email saying that I'll be getting another free book from LT! A Christian Fiction/Romance. Exactly my style :) Its called Finding Jeena by Miralee Ferrell .
I haven't read anything by this author, but it sounds like an interesting story. Can't wait til it comes! Of course, I should finish my other Early Reviewers book and review it first. Lastly, there's a new Twilight book coming out! Not sure how I feel about such a minor character getting a book, but since it'll be online for free, we'll read it and find out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What a Week!

This has been a jam-packed week of awesomeness! (And by "This week", I mean last week...I'm a little behind on the the blogging aspect of it). After a marathon work week, I skipped church on Sunday in favor of sleep. I woke up to a missed call from a friend and a text from my brother saying that friend was officially engaged! I'm going to be a bridesmaid and make the cake...two firsts! We went dress shopping the following Sunday. She's going to be a beautiful bride! Here's a peek into our day
(this isn't the dress she chose).
Most of the week was spent working and friendless since some were on a missions trip, but on Friday I spent the day with one of my girls Erin. We had AMAZING weather, so we decided to drive up to the mountains. It was a gorgeous day for driving, even if the water in the river was too cold for even our toes. We enjoyed lunch at our favorite restaurant up there and even got to sit on the patio.
A lovely, long-overdue day!
Also over the weekend, our youth leader announced they were adopting a baby, a family friend announced she's pregnant, another friend from church got engaged, and yet another friend had a really sweet pseudo-almost-date with someone she's crushing on. Aaahhh!! Its almost too much! I'm so happy for each of these people, although I can't help but feel I missed some special after-church lunch or something that's making everyone get married or have babies! I was talking with a friend at church the other day and we figured out there's only five of us single people left!

Other fun, not quite so huge things that occurred this week: I got my copy of New Moon! Haven't watched it yet, though. And I booked my trip to Europe!! I think I got a little too excited, though, because I booked it and then realized I don't know what my work schedule is going to be like next month. So now I'm praying super hard that I'll have enough hours to pay for this trip!! Well, thats all for now. Keep my work situation in prayer so I can take this trip!
**Ashley**

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Friday

It was indeed a happy Friday :) I chaperoned a field trip to see Alice in Wonderland in IMAX. We stopped at the mall for lunch where I got this yummy ShotCake.

The cake part could've been better, but love the idea and presentation! Being a chaperone, my ticket was paid for, so free movie! Then I came home to find a small package waiting for me. My free book came today!!

As part of my LibraryThing, I joined the Early Reviewers club. Every month, I request from their list and occasionally get chosen to review a book before its available in stores (so far, this has only happened twice, but still!) Now, I shall go get started on this book before youth group.
Happy Friday!
**Ashley**

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cure for Shock(ing)

Does anyone have a cure for shockiness?? Not in the medical sense of shock. The kind of shock where everything I touch emits a vibrant and painful blue spark. It happens most when I get out of the car and close the door, but it also happens when I'm out and about....even at work! Last night I shocked an old man on his chin when I went to give him his pills. I felt so bad!

It must be the weather. Its getting to the point that I freeze and cringe before I close the car door or anything metal. Anyone have an idea of how to stop this??? Or do I have to wait til its warm again, cuz that would be a huge bummer.

On the bright side, the weather was beautiful today! I think in the 60s! Such a nice spring-preview for March in New England. Sadly, it goes back to coldness tomorrow, but still.
Happy March everyone!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Here I Sit. Thinking.

Here I sit. Thinking.
A week and half since I came home from Peru. I've delayed this post because I couldn't decide what to write. I said I'd share all the stories here, but that's impossible! I could just copy all my journals to here, but that would bore you, and you'd miss so much. I'm also sharing about this trip in the elementary school chapel tomorrow, and have no idea what to say. So here I sit. Thinking.

How do I neatly sum up all my experiences in a way that you'll want to read and in a way that will challenge how you think, the way this trip has done for me? How do I boil a week of adventure and growth into a quick message? I don't have any answers, so here I sit. Thinking.

A part of my heart is forever lost to Peru and the people in it. Their faces are etched into my brain. Eduardo. Rosie. Junior. Milena. And the dozens of others I loved but didn't catch their names.

You know what I want to say? What's really really bugging me? The way people here at home judge. The prejudices so many form based on absolutely nothing! And it starts young. I work with teens and kids through the church and school. I've heard some of the teens talk about different countries and people groups and totally look down on them. I mention a country and I get "eeww, _(insert country name here) ". They don't even know why they feel this way, they have no good explanation. They just have a great dislike for everything from this country. Last week I was subbing in the first grade and we were learning a little bit about China. A little girl said, "I don't like China". When I asked why, the best she could do was "I just don't". Its been nagging me all week.

Where do they get this?! Parents? TV? Internet? My heart breaks to think that even children in our country are prejudiced against other people. Like we're somehow better than people in China or India or Peru, simply because we live in the United States.

They may look different, or speak different, but we all have the same needs. We all need clean air and water. We need food. We need friends and a purpose. Most importantly, we all need love. I've been there. I've hugged and loved on more children than I can count. And when I hugged them, they thrived on it. It was all they wanted. To know someone cared about them. Most of them don't get hugs, even from their parents. They're starving for love.

I don't even think I have the words to get this all out. How do I possibly make this change? How do I make people see that these are people. People with lives and dreams and needs. People just like us. Just like you. Just like me.

I have no more words for this. I wish I could just load people on a plane to meet these people. To talk to them, get to know them. Then maybe ...but would it really help? or are people so set in their narrow-minded ways that they wouldn't care.


I feel like Moses or Jeremiah, saying to God "Lord I don't know what to say. My tongue is slow. I'm just one person. What do I tell them?" The only answer, the only word that keeps running through my head as I sit here thinking, heart breaking, is Love. Love. Love the people around you. Love the people thousands of miles away. Love.

"Love is here. Love is now. Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow. Love is near, it satisfies. Streams of mercy flowing from His side. 'Cuz Love is here." (Tenth Avenue North)

I brought Love to the Amazon. I brought Love home. I want to give Love and change the world with Love.

God is Love. "The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both." (1 John 4)

"Why do we go with the flow? Or take an easier road? Why are we playin' it safe? Love came to show us the way. Love is a chance we should take. I'm movin' out of the way." (Britt Nicole)
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