University of Struggles

Imagine the panic I felt as I pulled into the University parking lot at 9:10 am. My class was going to start at 9:30, and I still needed the library printer for the paper I was to turn in this morning. I felt overjoyed as I ran to the bus stop just as the bus I needed pulled up. I hopped on board, and off we went towards the library.

At 9:18 I was briskly walking through the library doors, luckily, I had sent my paper from my laptop to the printer over the WiFi network. I swiped my ID, printed my paper, and ran back out of the library. I crossed the street, ran into the building my class was in, up the stairs, and into my class room at 9:29.

I know what you are thinking, “Why didn’t you leave sooner?” Well let me tell you.

I am a procrastinator.

Procrastination has always been a problem for me. Countless hours of staring at a blank screen suffering major writer’s block until 2 hours before the deadline has ruined my ability to complete work early. I have tried different methods of meditation, writing the wrong deadline in my planner (for two days early), and even tried to convince myself that I was going to fail my class if I didn’t finish it early.

It seems that the only time I ever get housework done is when I have homework. I get laundry and dishes going, papers organized, and the vacuum ran. It was to the point where I stayed late on campus to avoid going home. I knew I would find ways to distract myself there. I have been “kicked out” of the library at 3 am because that’s when they close and they start towing cars at 3:30.

I decided it was time to seek advice from other people and see how they deal with the Procrastination Beast. A friend introduced me to Lifehack.org and their blog post 11 Practical Ways To Stop Procrastination.

While “get a grip and just do it,” may not seem like the best advice out of context, it really was something I needed to hear. All of the tips are easy to do if you find a way to make yourself do them.

Starting now, I am going to do my best to avoid procrastinating. Especially when it comes to things like my education, health, safety, and writing!

How do you slay the Procrastination Beast? Leave your advice in the comments!!!

On again, Off again, On again…

As many readers wonder, yes I am hoping to start writing regular posts. I know my status as a blogger is as the title suggests. I want to write, I want to be a good writer. I want to travel, and I want to put all these years of being in college to good use. I’m also terrified that my wants and my dreams are taking me in another direction all together.

Those that know me personally won’t find this shift in dreams as much of a surprise, but, to the average Joe looking from the outside-in, it is a big change. As I continue on my Navy Reserve journey I am falling more and more in love with what I do. That being said, I want to stay in my home state for as long as possible. It’s funny how I have gone from wanting nothing more than to leave, to wanting only to stay… I feel that there has been a calling placed on my life. I don’t know what it is, but I feel as if God is leading me a certain direction. Our youth group at church is slowly growing! It makes my heart so happy to see kids who truly want to learn more about God and His wonderful love!!!

So stay tuned, this adventure blog may stay in my own little corner of the world, but it’s going to be great!

Ashley

The Suprise of my Life!

October 10, 2015 started as a normal Fall day. My mom, boyfriend, and one of my best friends, and I had spent the night before decorating the garage to my mom’s house for my little sister’s birthday. I had gone to the kitchen to finish icing cupcakes. Little did I know that the three of them were making final preparations for an event that would have me smiling months later. 12063440_1037005029689192_775391367206751028_n

Starting in late July, my boyfriend had asked me if we could throw a Halloween party. I loved the idea and jumped in full speed ahead! I made it medieval themed, created scroll invitations, purchased some awesome stone wolves, planned out dishes and even helped my friend pick out a costume dress.

I was so focused on having an awesome Halloween party, that I had no idea there was another party being planned behind my back. The one time that being kept “out of the loop” was actually a good thing.

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If there was anything that could go wrong leading up to the final minutes before the party, it did. The shelter house we wanted had already been reserved so we selected a different one, not realizing there were no outlets for crock pots. We made the food at my mom’s house and then had to transport it to the park. On the way back to the shelter, my friend was holding a crock pot of green beans. We hit a bump in the road, and the scalding water landed right on her stomach.

I could see the tears in her eyes that I thought were just because she had been hurt, but later she told me it was because she thought it was going to ruin the surprise to come. She’s such a trooper and I love her so much for toughing it out and getting a battle scar for me!

Once everything settled down and everyone had their fill, my boyfriend called our guests over to the main table that had T-shirt banners representing each of my friends’ houses, my boyfriend and his brother, and me and my brother’s houses.

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He started out thanking everyone for coming, telling all our friends how much they mean to us, and thanking me for always being by him.

“Ashley, so many men spend their entire lives searching for treasures, but I’m blessed because God brought my greatest treasure to me.” Then he picked up a small treasure chest from the table, and got on one knee as he opened it. “Will you marry me?”

My hand shot to my mouth and tears instantly filled my eyes, the happiest tears I’ve ever cried. A very squeaky “YES!” More tears, hugs, kisses, and the cheers of our friends as he threw his fist in the air.

“SHE SAID YES!”

If ever there has been a greater adventure, I can’t wait to go on it with my future husband by my side!

 

Engagement Collage

Normally I don’t reblog, but this really made me think!

From: chrismartinwrites.com

Are we more concerned about the Constitution, or our role in advancing the Kingdom?

Just for a moment, pretend you aren’t, well, human. Close your eyes. Sit back in your chair. Do whatever it is you need to do in order to accomplish this task. It’s important.

Picture yourself standing at the throne of God. In spirit form. You can even imagine the soft glow of a halo above your head if that will give you a clearer perspective.

You’re standing there, surrounded by an untold number of angels and saints who have gone before. You stare down at the little ball in the galaxy we call Earth. You see masses of green dotted with splotches of blue. Your gaze deepens, and you see people. Millions, no billions of people spread out across the planet.

You see injustice. Pain. Horrific cruelty. Racism. Abortion. Fraud. Despicable acts of violence.

Something catches your attention, and you focus in on the United States of America.

There is a loud cry ringing out from every corner of the fifty states. Christians shaking their fists at the TV as President Obama delivers a speech. They are angry. They are defiant. They are almost militant.

They petition for more guns. They shout their displeasure at gays and lesbians. They scream judgment and condemnation at the young girl walking out of an abortion clinic. The pull out their Bible’s and start hitting people. Beating them down until they are lying prone on the ground, trembling in fright.

You watch as they fight over flags and Supreme Court rulings. Disagree over political affiliations. Debate their denominations.

A soft noise causes you to turn around. God is sitting on the throne, tears streaming down His face.

You step closer and bow to one knee. “Look at them taking back the country for You. We’re winning, right?”

He slowly shakes His head. “I already won. They just don’t realize it.”

I read this on Facebook yesterday:

If you’re more concerned with the U.S. Constitution than you are the Sermon on the Mount, you might be more American than you are Christian.

This is something I’ve been thinking about so much lately. It’s a very delicate issue if you truly dig into it. We’re so invested in this world, we forget that once we are born again, our lineage is the Kingdom. And that Kingdom is not of this world.

Jesus said it on more than one occasion.

I have never been interested in politics. I’m almost forty three years old, and I have never stepped foot inside a voting booth. People will say there are men and women fighting in other countries so I can have the right to voice my opinion when it counts the most.

They are also fighting to give people the right to produce pornographic movies and kill babies.

But, I’m not participating in those either.

We aren’t going to stand before our King one day and be questioned about our political affiliation, church denomination, or how many times we joined a picket line to boycott something offensive to our Christian beliefs.

It’s going to be more about our relationship with Him and not how many scriptures we memorized. Not if we voted for the best candidate. It will have nothing to do with how many petitions we signed.

I see people stomping on the American flag, and it breaks my heart. Not because of their actions, but because of their heart’s condition. They need Jesus. They need a true encounter with love, not “Leave this country!” or “You’re a disgrace to America!”

As Christians, we need to be about our Father’s business. Advancing the Kingdom. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done. On earth as it is in Heaven.

The Kingdom of God supersedes citizenship, voting preferences, and what church we go to. We need to set our eyes on the things above. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.

Going to church on Sunday and complaining about everything else all week isn’t going to cut it. We need to eat, sleep, and breathe Kingdom.

Obama isn’t the enemy. ISIS isn’t the enemy. The LGBT community isn’t the enemy. Our war isn’t against any of that. It isn’t against flesh and blood.

There is a spiritual battle swirling all around us. We’re smack dab in the middle of it all. The true enemy wants us to chase after everything but a deep relationship with God. We live in the natural. We see things with our eyes. It’s hard not to believe that’s all there is.

The Gospel is supernatural. It takes faith to walk it out. Faith in the unseen.

The lack of knowing is the presence of faith.

We are in the world, but not of it. I’m not sure why some think that just means we aren’t to participate in bad things. As Christians, we have a much higher calling. More than politics. More than denominations. Jesus said we are the light of the world.

Are we more concerned with the Constitution or advancing the Kingdom?

Life is short. We need to redeem the time. Not for our own wants and desires. But for His.

An Everyday, Ordinary, Adventure

Family Vacations

Ever wanted to go somewhere and get away for a while? Well why not do it!?

Recently my family and I went to Tennessee. My mom and step-dad saved up all year so we could take a week and just let go. It was an adventure I am happy to share with my followers here.

Getting Started

In the week leading to our trip, I had to figure out what to take. The weather in Indiana has been absolutely crazy this year so I thought it would be similar there. I packed for warm weather but also brought a few sweat-shirts. My family and I talked about what we were wanting to do. We got a cabin up in the mountains, very expensive but well worth it!

We decided on a dinner show, exploring some caves, horseback riding, and other activities.

The Trip

Being in a cabin that only has three bedrooms may not sound all that great when there’s 10 people trying to sleep there, but on the contrary! The cabin had a Foosball Table, a Pool Table, a hot tub, and an incredible view of the mountain side!  On the first day, we all hung out at the cabin. The next day, we drove around Tennessee for a little while. We went to Laurel Falls and hiked the 1.3 miles there and back. The Falls were gorgeous! I climbed down off of the trail and was able to take a photo of a SNAKE! Not sure what type it was (any snake lovers here, there’s a picture in the gallery).

Our third day was nice, we went through one side of the Smoky Mountains National Park. I took so many pictures! I didn’t want to bore you all with every little thing, though, so I only shared a few of them. Our fourth day was spent walking through downtown Gatlinburg. There are so many sights and attractions there! After a day of shopping, we went to the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show. I was greatly impressed with the talent of the performers. There were even a couple of kids and they were FANTASTIC! The young girl couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6, and the boy maybe 10. The food was great too!

On day 5, we went to Tuckaleechee Caverns. They were so beautiful! I could spend hours in those caves! After our tour, we sat in the picnic area for lunch where we were joined by a Black Bear! Tennessee is famous for their bear population, but I wasn’t sure if we would actually get to see one or not. It was a scary, but unforgettable experience! Side note: if you go to Tennessee, I suggest reading up on the bears and what to do if you come across one.

The same day, I got to meet Bubba. A big, beautiful, black horse who took me on an hour long trail ride. We went through a tunnel, across a river, and up the side of a small mountain. I’d never been on an un-lead horse ride before, and I cannot wait to do it again (if anyone near me has horses I can ride, I will love you forever)!

Day 6 we went to the NASCAR Speed Park Go-Cart track. A little more than twenty dollars a day for many tracks and rides. For lunch we walked down the road to CiCi’s Pizza Buffet (I don’t suggest walking, it was pretty hot out).

Finally the day came where we had to head home, I was sad to leave the amazing mountains and return to flat lands of Indiana. I missed my boyfriend though, so getting to see him again in person and not just a video chat was great! 🙂

I love my family trips, and not working for a week (though it hurts a little financially) was just the break I needed to tackle the rest of this year. School starts again in late August, and in the first two weeks of August I will be continuing my Navy Journey by doing my Annual Training in Virginia. Stay tuned my lovelies, the adventure is only beginning!

❤ Ashley