Managing Time!!

Hello, all. I hope that everyone is doing well.

I have been trying to get better at managing my time. Well, my friend Katie told me that as far as the internet goes, I can have 3 stickers, and each of those stickers represents 15 minutes. So all I get is 45 minutes a day, and not all at the same time. It is going well so far, and I don't feel quite so guilty as I did before. I thought it was an amazing idea!

School is going ok...I have lots of things due, a midterm next week, and well...it's a blast!

I love you all, and Happy Wednesday!

Love, Ash


A Special Visit

So yesterday I got to visit Poppa at the hospital. I took the bus down and then walked over to the hospital from the coach terminal. He was all alone when I got there, and I thought I wasn't going to cry until he opened his eyes and looked at me and said, "Boy, am I ever glad to see you!" Man, then I lost it, and he said, "Come here and hold my hand-I might not say too much, but I just want to hold your hand." So I grabbed a chair and sat down, and placed my cold hand into his big warm, still strong hand, and held on tight. It was hard to look at my big strong Poppa, lying there on the too-short hosptal bed with tubes in and out of him. I sat with him for an hour before my family came, and there were times when I just felt like crying my eyes out, and then others where his dry humour kept me laughing just like everything was normal. He kept asking me questions about school, my life, my job, and I could only give him short answers. I know he probably wanted me to say more, but how could I? Given the circumstances, it didn't seem right to go on and on about myself. Yet maybe I should have talked more, because that's what he wanted...someday I will get all this right.

I'm just so grateful that he is alive. It gives me joy to say that I will never take him or my other grandparents for granted again. Their lives are too precious to think that I have all time in the world with them. Life is too short to waste time with regrets, and I don't want any regrets.

Nana looked amazing though. I admire her strength through all of this, and I definitely know that God has got her back, literally! She looked so energized, and I was amazed at how well she is doing-now she is the strong one! I'm praying for you Nan!

In an attempt to return to normalcy, I will tell you what I did before I visited Poppa. Yesterday morning I went to the Brasilian church again. It was awesome, and I even had company! I laugh at the randomness of it all, but on Saturday night Nathaniel asked me where I was going to church. When I mentioned it, he said he might see me there. So I was sitting in a pew by myself waiting for the service to start when all of a sudden he sat himself down beside me. I was so shocked, but it was good to have company, and I even got to translate for him (albeit very poorly). Before anyone starts to get any ideas(which the ladies at the church already did), I just want to say that Nathaniel is one of the best guy friends I have ever had. I appreciate his humour and how he is always willing to listen. I doubt he will read this, but thank you Nathaniel!

Katie and I played frisbee in the gym last night...obviously we are THE best at the game, but too soon we decided to stop and rest up our arms for ...SOCCER??? lol

So that was my day yesterday, full of fun, relief, and ...GOOD TIMES!

Hope everyone had a great week-end...
Love, Ash


SO many questions

Some days I wonder...

How you can take three steps forward and then two back?

I had all this good plan of doing my homework and balancing everything, and it's like, just like that, I get off the track again. ok, so maybe one off day is ok, but this is like THREE off days now...make that FOUR. When does an off day turn into procrastination? When does the customary college tiredness turn into laziness? Am I being too hard on myself? Am I allowed to have such high expectations that I can't even enjoy even an hour of not doing homework because my mind knows that I have SO much to do???


I've decided...I'm going to visit Poppa on Saturday, homework or not. I can't take this, just getting the updates. I need to see him for myself.

Love, Ash


Back from the Retreat

I had such a good time this week-end at the retrat. I got to get to know many new people, and it was such a good bonding time.

But now as I look ahead at this week, I feel like going a little bit to crazy town because of all the work I have to do. Yes, I am just a loittle bit stressed out, and that is ok, but please pray for me and that I will find a good outlet for my stress.

I miss all of my family-I love you guys.

Poppa, I know that Nana will read this to you sometime, and I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you. I'm praying for you and I love you ever so much. Nana, you ared doing such a great job, and I praise God for the strength that he's given to you both!

To everyone else, please continue to pray for them in this time of their lives.

I have two classes this afternoon and evening, so I should probably get to doing something more productive.

Love, Ash


College Dayz

Oh man, trying to get back into the groove of balancing homework and social time is quite the challenge. I did almost 7 hours of homework in the past two days, and feel that it has been quite the accomplishment. Now I feel guilt-free going on the retreat tomorrow, knowing that all my homework is done!!

My computer is driving me crazy right now, so this is all I'm going to write...

I hope everyone has a great week-end!

Love, Ash


I love my Job

So I started working at the library today. It was awesome. I have to work tomorrow too.

Today, during the thunderstorm, a bunch of us went outside and ran in it for about 10 minutes! It was FREEZING, but so much fun.

I wrote a short poem, as I was inspired.

Cold rain beats down
On my skin, my face, my hair.

The thunder booms, the lightning cracks,
And my clothes cling tightly to my freezing body.

We stomp through puddles,
Relishing the feeling of childlike exhilaration.


Have a good night!
Love, Ash


Love it!

So today I went to the Brazilian Church. It was amazing. I tried to translate for Jess, and someone else translated for Ben. I think he got the better deal (sorry, Jess). The music was awesome. They sang songs in Portuguese as well as in Spanish. I loved it! I would like to go back again.

Poppa is doing better. I'm so glad! I hope and pray that things will continue to improve over the next week.

I wrote a poem on Friday-I was sitting outside, trying to study for psychology, but the beautiful day distracted me. I found my niche in where I worship God best. It's when I'm revelling in the beauty of nature, whether it be a warm breeze that I can feel, or perhaps a picture of a land I have never seen that totally captures my attention. God is so alive to me in those moments, and so I share this poem with all of you.

"All For You"

The trees-
They clap for You;
Their branches sway back and forth.

The wind-
It blows for You;
Softly and gently it caresses the earth.

The clouds-
They move for You;
Slowly they part to let the sun come out.

The sun-
It shines for You;
Giving but a glimpse of how radiant Your glory is and will be.

Love, Ash



Ah, Vida....la vie...

What a crazy little thing called life. Sometimes I wonder what the heck I'm doing with my life. Other times it seems like things are going ok, and why do I worry so much?

But all I know is that there are so many things I need to learn. I wish I could flip a switch and have my imperfections and flaws taken care of just like that. Sometimes I get so embarrassed at the way I am. But I know that God wants us to learn how to deal with the flaws, and to lean on him to make the change in our lives. It's "Character Building".

Well, you know what? Sometimes I get so tired of "character building". It's so cliche. I wish that I could run away with myself and my mouth.

I want to apologize to anyone who I have hurt with the things I say. I always speak before I have time to think about what I'm going to say and how I must say it. I always admired the people who, when you tell them something, furrow their brows and look away, and THEN respond. Why can't I be like that too? Why do I have to be so impatient all the time and just blurt something out?

That's another one...PATIENCE. You think I've had enough time to practice that one. But NO, I'm still as impatient as ever. Sometimes I wonder if God uses his sense of humour on me in this area of my life, like making me the magnet for people that need a little EXTRA patience.

And Selfishness...Another BIG huge...ENTITY in my life. I hate it. I hate how most of the time I don't even THINK about others; like, it doesn't even cross my mind. It's always me first me first me first.

Well, Not if I can help it. I don't want to be this way anymore. I'm tired of living with myself. Of course I'm not expecting myself to be perfect, but I can definitely step it up a LOT. God knows where I need to change. I just need to be into him more than I have been, and to keep him close so that I CAN change.

Please pray. PRAY PRAY PRAY. I am telling myself this as well, because I don't pray like I should. Pray for my Poppa. He's in the hospital and not doing as well as he should be. Nana needs him. I don't know what she would do without him. And my family needs him. and I need him. But God knows what will happen, and He has a purpose and a plan for everything that happens.

Love, Ash


Second Year Student=Sophmore?

Ok, so I haven't written in a while, and I apologize about that. I don't have internet in my room yet, and the internet was down on all of campus for about 2 days, so that made everyone go crazy as you can well imagine.

School has been going great so far. I had registration on Tuesday, and my first class, General Psychology, was yesterday at 8:15 in the morning. My other classes don't start until next Monday.

I got a job working in the school library. It's not a lot of hours, only 8 hrs a week, but it's enough to keep me going this year. I'm excited to start(this Tuesday morning) and we shall see how it turns out.

I love my roommate...she's really cool, AND she's 100% Dutch; her name is Tena. She's very proud of her Dutch heritage, but unfortunately she only understands it, so I can't learn any. However, we are getting along awesomely, as well as with the other girls in my room. It's been nice getting to know the freshmen this week.

I have been unbelieveably hyper this week, so I have been feeling quite tired as I go from bouncing off the walls to quiet spells. It's crazy, but I'm so happy to be here again.

I'm really excited about what God has in store for this year. The plan is to pay attention more in class than I did last year, and to actually LEARN something at college.

It's so awesome to hang out with all my friends and to make more friends. Yesterday was a packed day, complete with playing soccer AND volleyball, first day of classes, and going to a Thai restaurant-it was pretty amazing. I chose to begin exercising again after my...ahem...MONTH sabbatical...and I'm SOOOO sore today. However, it was good.

I can't wait for Sunday becuase I'm going to a Brazilian church!!! I met a Spanish lady named Carla at school on Registration day, and she said she and her husband go there. I asked her if she could take me and my friend Jess this Sunday. I'm so excited! She said the service is all in Portuguese, so I'm really pumped! I'll tell you all how it went.

Ok...so I hope that everyone is doing well. Please pray for my Poppa, as his surgery went well but now he is in ICU again with complications. Pray for Nana too, as I can imagine that she is quite worried...
Love to all!
Ash xoxoxox