Monday, December 12, 2011

Lessons learned


So I have learned a LOT this semester. For the first time in my college carrer i was surrounded by Jesus loving people. I found a church with tons of college students and it was perfect. I was attending a small group, but switched mid semester, because i felt it was God needed me to do. I learned tons from that experience, but bottom line God did work this semester through the two small groups I attended.

School was good, I learned hard work does really pay off. I got a 3.2 gpa, which i'm proud of, and i learned something very special about my life path........ I've always wanted to teach, but as I am going through my education classes, I've realized it's not as big as a passion as I made it out to be.....Now don't get me wrong. I love my classes, I love children, I still want to teach, but not what I thought I wanted to teach. With my degree I will be able to teach prek-6th grade, all subjects. I'm also getting a minor in English, so i will be able to teach 7th-10th English. I have realized that my call is to teach inner-city Fort Worth or Arlington. I will teach wherever they need me, but I also know I really want to teach high school English eventually. I also want to use my degree for teaching in a third world country for a little bit, and to also become a children's director for a church. (probably my daddys).

I have learned the importance of friendship. I have also learned the lesson of assumptions and how assumptions can destroy a friendship, but when two people love Jesus, friendships can be mended and restored.


So through my semester and my many lessons. God has taught me so much. He has destroyed my plans for my life. I realized that my 5 year plan is garbage. He is in control. He has told me to just be patient. (especially with the boy aspect). He has shown me what I am going to do with my degree. He has put a new love in my heart and set my heart on fire for where he is going to take me. I can't tell you where I will be in 3 weeks or even 3 months, but I know it's with Jesus. I've just got to stick with it, and press on. It'll be worth it in the end.

I hope you all had a great semester, for those of yall in school. Love you a ton and a bunch!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

81 years old


Hey guys. It's been awhile since I've posted, sorry about that. I have been super busy with school, but I finished today so hopefully I can post more. So today I want to tell you a story.

My best friend and roommate Kayla and I went to walmart tonight. It's about 30 degrees here and to us that's just bitter cold. Well we pull up to walmart, and for some reason I didn't want to drive around to find a close spot, instead we parked out a ways. Well I see this little elderly lady walking and as I continued to watch her, I realized she was lost. She was carrying her purse loosely and her basket was full. I knew that if she was really lost, that she was a prime suspect for some idiot to take advantage of her.

So we parked and jumped out of the car and followed her. I called out and said "ma'am, may we help you" and she said "I look lost don't I, I don't know where my car is" So Kayla and I started looking. The woman knew her first 3 digits of her licence plate number. Kayla left us to go look on the other side of the parking lot, so I asked her if she would mind if I pushed her basket, and she let me. We walked up and down every row looking for her car. As we walked she talked and shared some stuff with me.
"I turned 81 this year, I know I'm old, but since I turned 81 I feel I have aged by 10 years not just 1"
"I was praying for God to help me find my car"
"You are too sweet for doing this."
"You think someone stole my car?"
"I might need a keeper"
"Life just isn't the same as it was back in the old days."

Eventually we found her car, Kayla came back, and we loaded her grocery bags into her trunk. She asked us if we were in school and where we were from. Then thanked us numerous times.

So I tell you this story because it got me thinking. When I'm 81 and can't find my car, I pray that some one will help me. But beside that point the main think I thought was God is good. She was praying for help and it just so happened Kayla and I were her answered prayer. I have told people that they were an answered prayer, but never have I realized I was one. It was awesome. It's awesome to know that God is so good, and can work through anybody. I've been discouraged lately, and have felt pretty low, but God can still use me. Even the smallest of things can impact somebody's life. Just like helping a lady find her car.

I am not telling you this for Kayla and I to get kudos or brownie points. But to show that God can use you, even when you least expect it. We didn't just help a lady, but God showed himself to us tonight. He showed that he loves us and he wanted to use us tonight. God is always at work around us, and wants us to join him in his work. Tonight for Kayla and I, it was helping an 81 year old lady find her car in 30 degree weather.

God is good huh?! I'll post more soon! Love yall

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My life so far!

Sound isn't great, but it works! have a great day!! :D


Monday, October 17, 2011

It's not about me!!



It's not about me! It's not about me! It's not about me!! Surreal right?!? Can you truly grasp that thought? That this life is not about you? It's not about me!

Last night at a college worship service I attend Josh, out university pastor, had an awesome message. He said lots of great stuff but the one thing that struck my heart and wrecked my world was this life is not about me!!

If you truly life your life with that mindset it really makes you stand in awe of the one true God. I have lived my life half way, if that, with that mindset.... I live to serve others, but at the end of the day it was still about me. So I stated to think where I struggle most about it, and I prayed about it...when I woke up this morning, I couldn't help but smile because it's not about me! I wanted to share some of my realizations.

1. Relationships:: I have had a few boyfriends but through the relationships it was always about me and him. Not us together. I realize now that I need a man of God who wants to be with me to pursue Lord together.... I want to go overseas and serve the lord with my man. And live in a godly relationship with him. Purity. I want our relationship to be focused not about us but about God and through rejoicing in who God is, we will benefit in an awesome relationship.

2. Teaching:: it has been about me. I love kids and yes I wanted to help my kids and teach them lot, but in all reality I want to show my kids Jesus through my teaching. I want to be a light for them. When I step into my classroom it's not about me. It's about serving those little hearts and loving them.

3. Friendships:: I love my friends, and I owe them an apology because so many times I make it about me. When in all reality i need to shut up and listen to them, be there, and love them.

4. School:: it's not about me but it's about every child that will walk into my classroom. Whether it be here in the state or a third world country. I need to work my hiney off in school so I can better help my children reach their full potential.

5. My future family:: it won't be about me. When I bring children into the world, I want to raise them to love Jesus. Not by pounding it in their heads but showing jesus' love to them through me and my husband. I want to make sure that as their mother and wife that it doesn't become about me!


So those are some of the major ones I thought about.... I don't know what you're going through, but is your life reflecting yourself or God?!? Because in all reality this life we live is NOT about us!!! It's not about me! Have a great day yall!!! :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Be this woman!

The wife i want to be.



So I was reading Proverbs 31:10-31 and I was thinking I want to be that wife.... Granted I'm quite far from becoming a wife (shoot I need a boyfriend first lol) but I know I want to be that woman. For my future husband and children.

But I like the passage for more than what then wife acted but who she was. Here's some examples:
 
-
"She is energetic and strong,

a hard worker. She extends a helping hand to the poor

and opens her arms to the needy. She is clothed with strength and dignity,

and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise,

and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household

and suffers nothing from laziness. Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;

but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised." (Proverbs 31:17, 20, 25-27, 30 NLT)

Here's what I saw... She was strong. She was independent in the fact that she took care of the household. She did business on the farm. She took care of her family. She enjoyed life, she laughed. She was smart. She was educated. She wasn't a submissive wife or someone who gets walked on all the time, instead she had two feet under her. She served Jesus, her husband, children, and neighbors. So I have a promise I'd like to make to my future husband.... I want to be like the wife in Proverbs 31. 



Here's the whole passage

"Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?

She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her,

and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax

and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship,

bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household

and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes to inspect a field and buys it;

with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong,

a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable;

her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread,

her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor

and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household,

for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads.

She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates,

where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments

and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity,

and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise,

and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household

and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.

Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,

but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;

but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done.

Let her deeds publicly declare her praise." (Proverbs 31:10-31 NLT)

Good right!??!! I'm gonna be that woman! How bout you?? You don't have to be the stereotype of a "Christian wife" making babies and cooking food. You can be so much more in your life as a Christian woman a Christian wife. So be everything you can be as a woman. Just because you are a woman doesn't mean you are worth less than a man. Embrace who you are and know you are so amazing!!! :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You can't do it on your own!!


You cant do it on your own....

So I'm twenty coming up on twenty-one in a few months. Every paycheck I take half my check and put it in my savings account and with the other half I use it on tithe, gas, food, taco Tuesday, and maybe a little shopping. My goal was to save enough money to pay for my apartment next semester. Do it on my own. Without my parents. To be independent. 

But here's what I know.... I can do it alone. My parents will have to rescue me, send me money, loan me money, eventually because things happen. But here's another thing I know, they don't do it because they have to but because they want to take care of their baby. Even if it's not giving money it's helping me learn to mansgr it. To take care of it. Yes they want me to be independent, learn how to manage money, become my own person...but I am their child and they will always be there for me.....why? Because they love me.


So you're probably saying what's this about Ashlee?!? Well just like my money situation with my parents always being there to help me.... Thats how God is. He's always there. I cannot live my life by myself. Even if God isn't giving me everything, he is giving me the tools. Just like my parents. 

I have known many people who become very prideful with their want to make it on their own....the thing is....we can't do it on our own....ever. So how do you overcome pride?!? Well first off let people help you. Let God help you. 

So whether you struggle with earthly pride like money or spiritual pride we have to accept help. I'll be real honest, I've strived my whole life to be independent but as the years go by i realize it's stupid. I cant do it alone. First off I need Jesus. He has to be the center of my life and everything I do. Second is I need my parents. They spent eighteen years supporting me and raising me, and just because I'm out of the house I still need their support and guidance and sometimes physical help.

So my challenge for myself and you is go accept help. Help doesn't make you weak but it humbles you. It trashes your pride. Because in reality we can't do anything in this world alone. Ever! I'm not saying be dependent on your parents or earthly things but you do need to be dependent on God. And one way is letting others help you. Most likely God has put them in your life to help you, guide you, and love you. So let them...... They just want what's best for you. Let God work and stop bring so prideful with what earthly things you have yet grateful for what you have and when others want to help.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Here I am Send Me! -Isaiah 6:8






So I, as well as many of my friends, have a heart to go off for a semester, summer, years ad be a missionary over seas. If I could go now....I would. I want to be in Peru so bad, but I know God isn't ready for me to head out yet. He needs me here at ASU, in Texas, and in the States.
To be honest, knowing that he will send me on his time makes me realize that my degree and time here in the states are a tool to help prepare me to go. The problem I am facing now is not to get so caught up with getting to Peru/ Instead I need to be focus on letting God use me here, as much as he wants and needs.

Story Time:: Last fall semester I was trying to get a trip together for Kim and I to go to Kenya on a mission trip. I have always wanted to do work in Africa...I had got the whole trip together and yet I wasn't feeling that's where God wanted/needed me. I kept pushing on because I really wanted to go to Kenya and work. By the time spring rolled around our parents were not at ease with our trip to Kenya, but all of a sudden a ten day trip to Peru opened up. Once we heard of it, a total peace came to our families and we knew that was God's plan for us. We got to go to Peru with some amazing friends and do some amazing work for God. I also got my calling while in Peru.


So why do I share that story? Because I know how easy it is to want to go off, and even though we have intentions of going for God if it's not what God wants, it's not right. For my friends and I we are here because God is using us here, but when God calls us we'll be ready.

I know I am suppose to be in Peru, but not quite yet. I am suppose to get my degree and stay here at least two more years and serve my God here before I move to Peru for awhile. So my prayer for those who are dealing with wanting to go off and serve.... make sure it's God's plan. My plan was to serve in Africa, and although I still want to go there eventually, I know God needs me in Peru. So be patient and wait on the Lord. He'll call you and then it'll be your time! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Disease.....Racism


Racism. The cold hard truth


Before I start this blog I would like to express my feelings on racism… I was raised not to see color, I was taught that whether a person was white, black, brown, red, purple, or hot pink; skin color does NOT make one person better than another. I see racism as a very SICK disease.

So let’s begin with a story, shall we? This is a true story. I’m not gonna give names or the name of places to protect people…

This past Friday night I am sitting in a high school gym watching my sister play volleyball, but let me explain to you exactly where I am. I am in Fort Worth in a school that isn’t inner-city but close. We walk through the doors to the school and are greeted by three fully armed police officers. You walk in a tiny gym, it was very crowded, we are mixed in with their fans and let me just say their fans had spirit. You see the only white people in the gym, with the exception of maybe five, were all from Mineral Wells.
((here are the results I found when looking at the cultural diversity between the school we were at and MWHS… The other school:: is 60% black 20% white 20% brown….Mineral Wells High School:: 60%white 35% brown 5% black okay so you see the difference? Now the reason I say colors and not African American, Mexican American, and Caucasian is to make a point…))
Now back to the story. The team we were playing took us to town and back. We played 4 games and they beat us badly. In the final game there were some very bad calls made, and the fans were getting into it, yelling at the refs. Especially a well known man from MW, he started yelling at the refs but then moved to the kids of the other team. This particular man is very active in his local church and claims to follow Jesus. Here’s where the night went sour. He started yelling at the girls from the other team, calling them trash, idiots, and my worst nightmare the “n word”. I couldn’t take it, I broke down in tears. How could anybody have the guts to do that? The kid didn’t do anything wrong but do what was she was told.


How can anybody claim to be a follower of Jesus, yet bash somebody because their skin color isn’t “right”? The saddest part of it, is this man is one of thousands maybe millions who believe like this. They see a color and not a person. They see a reputation of skin color and not the person. It baffles me. They serve Jesus Christ, and worship him, but I wonder if they ever really think about what Christ looks like. Jesus was born and lived in the Middle East, so in my personal opinion, Jesus didn’t have blonde hair, pale white skin, blue eyes, and was considered white. I bet he looked like all the other middle easterners. If the God they serve wasn’t their “right” skin color, how do they worship him?

It breaks my heart to see people act differently towards someone because of their skin color or ethnicity. God made EVERYBODY, ALL, TODOS! He made everybody so why in the world would we claim a “right” skin color. I have had friends who were Indian, Mexican, African, Asian, and White. I have dated White guys, Brown guys, and Black guys. I was raised not to see color, because God loves us all and he made us all in HIS image. We are all people who are no different from each other, except God just gave some people a better tan than others. That’s all.

In my opinion racism is a very serious disease that needs to be put to an end. It is a sickness that takes control of the mindset and is there because of years of brainwashing sent down by generations. We have to STOP! God made us ALL. So why don’t we start acting like God and love everybody regardless of what they look like!

Here are some verses.
- So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

- But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. James 2:9

-For God does not show favoritism. Romans 2:11

-Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sistertis still in the darkness. 1 John 2:9

-Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly." John 7:24

-There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28





Saturday, August 6, 2011

Trials/Tribulation/Adversity/Adoption?


Yesterday at around noon my life changed quite a bit for the weekend. My grandparents came to visit and watch my sister play volleyball, and they brought my seven year old cousin. I love that little girl with all my heart, but you see, I've only known her for two years.

Brief story on Emmalynn:
I don't know all the details on her story but here is what I do know. Two years ago my uncle and aunt adopted that sweet little girl. She was living in very poor conditions, sometimes in a car. She didn't go to school like she was suppose too, and the love she needed wasn't there. My aunt and uncle had been trying to have kids, but couldn't so in return they took in Emmalynn. She was behind in her education and learning abilities and was very apprehensive. She had learned to be very self efficient.


Now with that said, remember that was the first 5 years of her life. In my opinion the first 5 years are crucial to being loved and cared for. My aunt and uncle are two of the most loving people I have ever met. They are totally self-less. When they took in Emmalynn, their lives changed dramatically. That can't be easy. They were thrown into parenthood in just a couple weeks. CRAZY! She has amazing manners, she is brilliant, and knows Jesus. Can you say awesome parenting in two years? A total gift from God right there.

Now let me tell you another story. You see Emmalynn's new daddy is my dad's brother but he looks nothing like my family. My grandparents have eight kids. Five biological children and three adopted children. Here's a story my grandpa tells about the adopted uncles and aunt.


Excerpt from John Burgeson's blog. Some story about Samuel!
He heard the very voice of God!

I've many times wanted to have that experience.
Never have though. But yet --

I'm going to tell you a story.

Think about January. Remember what it's like?

Picture with me a downtown street in Seoul, Korea
Friday, January 25, 1974. A few years ago.

Snow -- ice -- slush -- maybe freezing rain --
Dark. Gloomy. Unlike Durango!

An unpleasant time of year.

Two children walking along that street.
the boy is four, his sister is just two.
Her birthday was four days ago;
it was not a happy time.

The boy's right hand
(his left one is hurt)
is holding on tightly to little sister..
And her hand to his.

It's a miserable day
to be out in the cold.
It's a terrible day to be homeless.

It's a ghastly day to be orphans,
in a culture where orphans are "nobodies."

Last year was a disaster.
The little girl had been badly burned.
Mother died of "the sickness" last spring.
The boy's left hand mutilated in a farm accident.

The worse time of all came, however,
at Christmas time,
in the car crash,
when dad died.

The boy had seen it happen.
He remembered the flames.

Their home was a rental,
their possessions few.
No relatives.

A neighbor took them in for awhile.
But she couldn't keep them.

Now they are walking along this dismal city street
-- to an orphanage.

They'll be looked after there, more or less,
raised to adulthood, if they live;
the mortality rate is said to be 50%.

No family to love and nurture them;
adoption is not part of the Korean culture.

Their future is an institution;

the only love they will experience
is that which they have for each other.

It's cold in the city.

Two small children trudge up the dirty steps
of an impersonal, poorly-funded, overcrowded
government institution, their lives shattered.

Hand in hand they go.
Holding ever so tight to each other.

It's a dreadful day. Nobody cares.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I misspoke.

God cared. He had already been at work --
months earlier.

Sunday, August 12, 1973. The previous year.
Delray Beach, Florida.

With a growing family,
Carol and I had bought an unfinished house.
We were spending every available hour working on it,
keeping just ahead of the city building inspector!

It was a bigger job than we had imagined.

That Sunday we decided to skip our own church
for one down the block
where we could "sneak in/out" easily
and get back to the job early.

The kids settled in Sunday School,
we walked into the only adult class.

Oh no!
A retired missionary is going to lecture on a Psalm!
What have we done? Will we be able to stay awake?

Maybe we should go have a cup of coffee?

We stayed.

I don't remember the guy's name --
Don't remember his message!
But, oh my! I do remember the Scripture!
God's word. It burned! Deep.

Psalm 127: (Paraphrased)

Unless the Lord builds the house,
their labor is futile who build it.

It is useless for you to be early in rising
while being late in sitting up,
eating the bread of toil;
for he gives to His loved ones sleep.

Behold, children are a legacy from the Lord;
the fruit of the womb is His reward.
As arrows in the hand of a mighty man,
so are the children of one's youth.

Blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them.

Back home, Carol left on an errand,
the kids to whatever activities kids do,
on a warm Sunday afternoon
when dad's orders for house-building chores have mysteriously stopped.

I sat at the kitchen table
and pondered the message I had so clearly heard.
We had six children already, one adopted.
Resources were at the limit.

All the practical reasons in the world to ignore this word from the Lord.

That wasn't possible.

I drafted a letter to the adoption agency,
asking them for -- specifically -- a brother/sister pair;
I could "see" them as I wrote. Then I stopped.

"How am I going to explain this letter to Carol?" I asked myself.

Carol came in -- "I've just written a letter..." I began -- she stopped me.

(Here I'm reading from her notes, written shortly afterwards).

"Please let it wait.
I need to tell you of the most fascinating thought I had.
I think God is trying to tell us to have two more babies from Korea, a boy and a girl.
That lesson we heard this morning seemed to really speak to me!"

I showed her the letter.

Family council.

Unanimous consent.

The letter, signed by all the family,
down to the very youngest,
Daniel,
not quite four,
was mailed the next day.

The Lord had a test -- and a confirmation -- for us.

Now it's five months later. Monday, January 21, 1974.
A letter from the agency;
we were approved! Praise the Lord!
(Bureaucracies don't generally move that fast!).

Then, turn to page 2.
Devastation!

They had no brother/sister pair to fit our family!
They were suggesting a single adoption.

But this was wrong!

The Lord had told us differently!

Had He, really?

On Wednesday, January 23rd, 1974,
after considerable prayer,
we wrote back.

In essence, we said:

We're right

You're wrong.

We'll wait.

The Lord had promised us.
He enabled.

Two days later,
on January 25, 1974,
our beloved son
and our beloved daughter,
Byung Tae Jung, and Byung Tae Soon,
(David and Mary Lee),
entered the orphanage;

shortly after, they arrived into our home,
and lives,
and hearts.

God's plan.
Not ours.
We just did the physical stuff.

Oh God! What if we had left that class that day!

When I was a boy in Sunday School,
there was a hymn we sang.

I did not appreciate it then.
I believe it --
really believe it now:

When you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His word,
What a GLORY he shines on your way...

I have seen that glory...

Will you sing that hymn with me now?


You see adoption has run through my family. My grandma says that people ask her why she adopted Korean babies, and her answer was "i know what white ones looked like" I think we take our hardships, our trials, our bad days, and we act like the world is going to end. ((Now please know this I am not talking about serious trials and hardships) but what I am talking about is, when the day isn't going OUR way. When we get mad because life isn't how we want it. There are children all over the world who might not ever get a day that is even happy. They might not ever experience love and peace of a home, or even a place that they feel unafraid. ((are we all that lucky to have that, no, so I'm talking to those people too))

This is a long blog and I'm sorry, but last night as I was laying by my sweet little cousin... I realized that I serve a God that is beyond all my crappy/bad days. And that I have it GOOD! She said the sweetest prayer before bed, so I know she now has a peace, and she knows she is home. So my question is, are you home? Adoption isn't just getting a child and bringing them into your family. It's making a place a home, and God is our home when you take the gift of salvation, so have you ever had that feeling of being HOME?

So my challenge is not to go out and adopt (although if you want to GO FOR IT), but rather take all those crappy days and make them into good ones because we have it SO good. And if for some reason you can't make those happy days good, ask yourself are you really HOME?


Monday, July 4, 2011

PERU MISSION TRIP!!






Hey guys! So we got home from Peru a couple days ago. I don’t even know if I can begin to explain the excitement and awesomeness of the trip! God did work, and he did a lot of it. So I really don’t know where to start, so here’s how we’re gonna do this blog… I wrote a note on facebook, so I’m gonna put that on here, and at the end I’ll put what God did through my life! K?


A day by day report!

Tuesday, June 21st: We started at 2:50 in the morning and headed to the airport. We had a stressful morning trying to get everyone on the plane, but it all worked out. We left and got to Florida where we went on a boat tour and hung out for a little while. The college kids got in a taxi where the taxi driver was watching a YouTube video on his iphone, texting on another, making a call, going 80mph, and making a drug deal all at the same time! lol. WOW!!! We finally got to Lima around 10:30 and made it to the hotel. We crashed and got an okay nights sleep in.

Wednesday, June 22nd: Woke up early and had a yummy breakfast, then loaded on a bus and stayed on that for 9 hours!!! We got to Trujillo that night and we visited with Noelia's family for a bit then headed to the camp and spent the night.

Thursday, June 23rd: WORK WORK WORK! Let the work begin, we started by painting the inside of la mana building and then after lunch the college kids went to the other side of camp and sanded the whole building. Holy moly we were sore after that day. We had dinner, went to the bodega, and then had a bible study that night.

Friday, June 24th: STAIN STAIN STAIN! We stained and stained and others painted and painted. We only worked in the morning, but we accomplished a lot that day. That afternoon we headed to the orphanage that is about 15 minutes from the camp! Those kids were amazing. There was one little girl from last year I really wanted to see again, and as soon as i got to the orphanage I searched and searched, when I finally found her, she remembered me. Blanca and I hung out the remainder of the time we got to be there with them. After the orphanage we hiked up to a look out and got to see God's beauty around the area. There is just something amazing about walking around a small village in Peru, that just makes you smile from ear to ear!!! We had dinner, went to the bodega, and had bible study

Saturday, June 25th: Work work till the sun goes down. We worked really hard that day. We were determined to finish almost everything, so we could leave touch up stuff for Sunday. We got the inside and outside stained and painted on the convention center. We got a lot done! We ate dinner, went to the bodega (it was a every day event) and then had bible study.

Sunday, June 26th: BEST DAY EVER!! we went to church and it was an amazing service! Dad preached and Noelia translated. To see people worship in another country really rocks your world. Then we finished up and cleaned up the job site. We showered afterwards and then headed to Shiran to hang out with the people. We started with just playing with a few little kids, and before we knew it we had about 20 kids in the center of town and a crowd watching us from around. We played duck duck goose and a Peruvian game with them. When we left they all gave us lil kisses and it was so much fun just to love on the local kiddos. After we played we had dinner, and on our way to the bodega we heard the church having another service so we snuck in and worshiped with them again. Then we had bible study and packed everything up.

Monday, June 27th: We loaded up and told Noelia's family good-bye (or CHOW) then we got on the bus for another 9 hours on our way back to Lima. That ride was rough and we were not feeling too hot by the time the bus stopped. We got back to the hotel and slept for a few hours.

Tuesday, June 28th: wake up at the crack of dawn and head to the airport. We got there ate a quick breakfast and boarded our flight to Cusco. When we arrived in Cusco we did a little shopping and walked around the main plaza. We got our first experience with haggling, and boy was that fun.......NOT! We got a lot of awesome stuff though. We went to bed pretty early because we knew that the next couple days were going to be very chaotic.

Wednesday, June 29th: Machu Picchu. We bussed to a train then to a bus and hiked Machu Picchu! All i can say is God is an amazing amazing God. It was so beautiful. Pictures don't do it justice. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I am so glad I got to do it with some amazing friends and family. After we went through Machu Picchu we bussed to the train and then to the bus back to the hotel.

Thursday, June 30th: ONE SAD SAD SAD DAY!!! We left Cusco and flew back to Lima. Noelia's parents picked us up and we went and toured Lima. We got to see the traditional ceremony of the guard changes at the Presidents house. That was pretty sweet! Then we had lunch where I had a beef heart, a little bit of guinea pig, and octopus. YUMMY! (well except for the octopus) After lunch we did some last minute shopping and then headed to the airport to head back to the U.S. of A! We stayed on a plane forever and a day, and got back this morning (July 1st) around 10.





What God Did!


1.So what did God do? Well to start he broke my heart in a million pieces. As soon as I walked out of the airport into Peruvian air, my heart began to break; not that it wasn’t already broken, but you forget what it’s like (especially living in America). He made me realize how blessed and lucky I have it. He taught me how to love in a whole new way.

2.He gave me a mission field. I know that when I’m here in the U.S my mission field is the classroom and preschool ministry. I know that, but I knew there was more, but couldn’t figure it out. Well I got my wake up call. Children of Peru! I am still not sure what I am gonna do or to what extent my involvement will be, but I know I am called to work with the children in Peru. The days we got to play with kids were the happiest days of my life. We played and laughed together, only understanding a little bit of what the other was saying, but it was perfect. When we left I got so many little kisses and hugs, and I was fighting back tears. Those children deserve to see love, a love from God.

3.He also did something I wasn’t expecting. He laid on my heart some stuff about my future man. I have always wanted and known I am called into the ministry, but then it hit me on the trip… I want a man who is going to serve with me. Who will be right by my side and us serving together, I think I’ve always had that in mind, but it wasn’t my mindset. I want it to be a team effort. He also is preparing my heart for the guy to show up and wow me. I’m stubborn, a hot head, and very independent. He showed me on the trip that I can’t do it all, I am going to have to be a bit dependent because I can’t do life alone. Let me clarify I am dependent on God, but when it comes to others, especially guys, I am a very independent girl!



So those are a few things God did through me and I know he worked through our team. He created new relationships, new experiences, new conversations, and he made us all extremely close. The college kids and I became very close, and we got to have some awesome relationships with the high school girls that went! I know that God is still working on us, for me I know for sure. I still try to speak Spanish when I go out, or pay in sols. Being home is breaking my heart, because half (if not more) Americans don’t realize how good we have it. Even the poorest American has it better than most Peruvians. So if you wouldn’t mind, saying a prayer for my friends in Peru, God is surely at work there and there is so much to be done! Thanks for all your prayers and support! Love yall!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Isaiah 52:7 - one week from Peru




This time next week I will be double checking my bags and getting ready to head to Peru the following morning. I have been waiting to go back to that country since I left it in January of 2010. The country is so beautiful and so welcoming to others. The area we go to work, is by no means the richest or well off place, in fact you will walk to local bodega (store) with trash on the side of the road in excess amounts. The children run around the small town barefoot with the biggest smiles on their faces. When driving around Peru you see colorful buildings, graffiti, trash, smiles, laughter, and a whole side of a culture we as Americans can't even begin to imagine. I miss the sounds of the horns as the taxis speed around each other, ignoring any traffic sign. The smell of sweet ahi de gallina and inca cola. I miss the sound of a different language as you walk through the town. I miss the peace that comes from no electricity we can use besides lights (because our wattage and theirs is different) I miss no technology and you have so much time to just reflect on what God is doing in the country, your circle you live in, and yourself!

So i just described my paradise on earth. I for sure do not need a fancy house/car/money. I love how the Peruvians live. I love the fact that being (hopefully eventually living) in a 3rd world country can be so rewarding. The thing is I don't go there for just kicks, I go there to work for my Lord, Jesus Christ. We work at a Baptist camp fixing it up to use for the hundreds of people it has coming through its door each year. The camp was fully funded, but 10 years ago all funding was cut completely and because of that the camp fell apart. A new camp coordinator stepped in and slowly the camp is being repaired. We also raise enough money so the orphanage children, that live about 15 minutes from the camp, can go and hear about Jesus. For most it's the first time they hear about him because it is a state run orphanage. We got to spend a little bit of time with the kids last time, and my heart opened wide open and broke because these kids never know what it is like to be loved by parents. They have a "house mom" but it's not the person who raises you to love the Lord. I so take my parents for granted. The smiles they had on their faces are smile I will NEVER forget. I'm praying we get to go again! (i've learned father abraham and jesus loves me in spanish to sing with them!!)


So i know you're probably going, Ashlee! Really? Enough already get to the point. Our theme this year is Isaiah 52:7, it's on our t-shirts so we don't forget. It reads “How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel[b] reigns!"
It's also in Romans 10:15 "And who will go without being sent, that is why the scripture says, how beautiful are the feet of the messengers who bring the good news". When we are in Peru we don't get a whole lot of one on one time with the locals, but what we do get to do is plant seeds for somebody (the camp staff) to spread the word of Jesus. If we couldn't help rebuild the camp, they wouldn't be in a situation to be able to tell others. Our job in one week is to plant a seed. We are going to plant a seed in the conference center, so they can have Baptist pastors come and meet about what they can do to help spread the word. We get to be the feet to help more feet come and light the way. It's awesome how it works. It's so worth it.

So in one week, 7 days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds a team of 15 people will venture to Peru and get to do some work! It's the best thing I could imagine doing with my summer. So please pray for us as we go. We are excited and ready! (Plus it's like 100 plus here and there is a whole whopping 70 degrees! haha sucka!!)

Please pray for

Sam, Josh, Farley, Jill, Vicki, Noelia, Evan, Kimberly, Kayla, Maycie, Macy, Lexis, Reagen, Noah, and myself as we head out on the 21st! Thank you! :)






this one is one that the camp made for my church the last time we went



i found this one on youtube and cried the whole time. it's a good one


another great one! this is close to the area we are working, about 40 minutes from the camp.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who Guards Your Heart???


Who guards my heart?
  

I have had so many Christian brothers and sisters try to tell me they are guarding my heart. It is probably the one thing that makes my skin crawl. I don't understand how they think they have the power to do that. It is defiantly not biblical. I mean how does one obtain the power to guard the most fragile, vulnerable, scared part of who a person is. I'm not talking about the beating blood pumping organ in your body. But your spiritual emotional heart. The one that describes you. The one that defines a person and where work is always being done. How can any human being possibly guard that? The maker of the universe made that so precious, that only he can really see it fully. 

You see I have been a Christian since I was eight years old and that June summer night i gave my heart to God. My heart belongs to him. He is constantly working in my heart. I have had plenty of mess ups and trials, yet he is right with me and has been my healer. God is the only person in my life who can guard my heart. He truly has my best interests at heart. He knows me completely. He knows every little detail. He knows the things I struggle with and the things I find most joy. He sees the me, nobody else can see. God and God alone guards my heart. 

Yes, people can protect you, pray, want the best for you, try to have your best interests at heart. A few examples. First My parents. They raised me to fear the Lord, to love people, they protected me, cared for me, pray for me, they want to see me shine, and try to have my best interests at heart. Second Men. The last few guys I've had interest in, have protected me, for instance, we were walking on a bridge and a drunk homeless man was there, and the guy grabbed me and put himself in the line of danger instead of mr (the drunk man didn't do anything btw). Third Friends. They see me go though life and are there to love me and support me through it all. Granted all these people had/have my best interests at heart but the bottom line is they have or will all hurt me. Maybe not intentionally but they will because they are human. God however will never hurt me. Never abandon me. Humans can't do that so in that case they cannot guard another persons heart. Only God can do that. 

Now understand this. I get the fact that a person would want to have your best interest at heart, to protect you, to pray for you, and to live for you. That is an amazing quality to have in family, friends, your main squeeze, but please know that someday they will hurt you, disappoint you, leave you. Not on purpose but because we are human and we are going to mess up. The person who will never leave, hurt, or abandon you is God, and he is the only one who can protect your heart. 


Verses for reference::

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:15

This is what the lord says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the lord.  Jeremiah 17:5

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:21-24

for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.  Proverbs 2:8

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Can a 2 year old renew your faith?


Hey guys, so it's been entirely way to long, and i apologize for that. There hasn't been happening much over the last few months, but over the past few weeks is a different story. I have had a heart for just writing, and this is the first time i have been given the opportunity to just sit and write. So here we go.

I have been going to a college led worship service on Monday nights, and they are doing a series on healing. Just what the doctor called for. You see it doesn't matter what I do, whether it be teaching my preschoolers, school, my job, a relationship, or just daily tasks. I am the type of person who does it and does it with all my heart. I live life with my heart wide open, meaning, if I have a passion for it, you better believe that I am gonna do it BIG! Now the question is what happens when the thing i have put my heart into fails or falls to pieces or crashes around me? Well I end up heart broken and in so much pain.

I keep asking God why he keeps putting me through pain, and then it hit me last night in Chi Alpha, that's how he made me. Whether the situation on whatever I'm in i do it with all my heart, because that's who i am. That's how he made me. I teach my preschool kids every week that they are special to God, and I am having to listen to my own teachings because I am special to God. I am a very passionate person, and many times when i put my soul into it I get hurt, but it's not a terrible thing, because every time i get hurt, or my heart breaks I get so much stronger. I become a better teacher, i become a better student, a better daughter, a better friend, a better girlfriend. Granted I am nowhere near close or amazing at what I do, but I try my best at everything, and I do it for the glory of God.

So the next question is, how long do you hurt how long do you let something that failed bother you? Well in my life, the things never go away. I will always have every situation that I went all in on, in my heart because it is a learning experience, but I learn that since they didn't work, God has something else in store for me, and it's gonna rock my world.

So I'm sure you are thinking why is her title "can a 2 year old renew your faith?" well let me tell you. I teach preschoolers every Sunday night. We learn so much every week, and the best part about it is, that I get to watch them grow each week, and tell me their Bible story and their memory verse. This past Sunday, i taught about the prodigal son returning and we threw him a party because his father loved him no matter what, and that God loves us no matter what. One of my little kids was singing their songs, and had so much joy, and looked at me and said "ms. Ashlee, i am special to God and so are you" and it hit me, that God does care about my pain, and although the pain might not be just taken away at an instant he is always right beside me, and in a process of healing my broken heart. So a little two year old can renew my faith and give me hope for a happier day!

:)