The Bad Samaritan.

I was running late to church today. That sentence shouldn’t surprise anyone though, because if you know me then you know I’m pretty much late to everything. Anyway, there I was getting on the highway and of course, there is someone going like 20 mph on the acceleration ramp. Like the bad Samaritan I was, I was obviously riding his bumper…then I noticed something.

He had a big ole bumper sticker about Jesus saving him.

I immediately felt guilty. Why is that? If there would’ve been no bumper sticker, I would’ve ridden his tail until he either got a move on or until I got enough satisfaction; however, the big red and white sticker made me feel like a horrible person. Then I got angry at him for making me feel guilty…screwed up, right?

I came to these conclusions. One of them is most likely true, if not all…

a) he’s probably old and just trying to be cautious

b) he’s probably on his way to church and just enjoying a leisurely Sunday drive

c) he’s probably a GENIUS who realized that no one can ride an old man’s tail especially if there’s a bumper sticker about the savior of the world.

d) or he was just slow…not on his way to church..and a hypocrite who just likes to tick people off!

(I was just kidding about that last one…..)

So, then it reminded me of the man I saw standing on the side of the road the other day. He was holding a cardboard sign that said “IN NEED OF A RICH WIFE.” Obviously, I laughed out loud both times I drove by him..and he loved that I was amused. I saw many people give him money…which I thought was really interesting. People are super skeptical about giving  money to the people who say “HOMELESS, HELP ME..” but let someone hold up a humorous sign and the Samaritans pull their camels over and decide to help out.  Seriously, if I would have had any cash, I have no doubt I would’ve given it to him.. I appreciated his humor and semi-appalling honesty.

Now… let me relate my thoughts between those. I doubt this is the first time this old man driving has encountered someone who felt the strong desire to ride his tail. I just think he would be better off to put a bumper sticker that says “I’M SLOW, BUT I LOVE JESUS…” I would’ve been much more likely to back off and laugh and think to myself “What a gem he is!”  Of course not though, it had to be some super spiritual bumper sticker…….then, I was just ill about the whole thing and then felt guilty.  So rather than only  being wrong and riding his tail, I did all of the above and  got angry and thought about how much I hate bumper stickers. It was an entirely unproductive cycle that was just pointless.  I guess that today I will just have to accept that I was the bad Samaritan and hope that I do better tomorrow…

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West Virginia Mountain Mama…

Today at Loflin’s…I began longing for adventure. It’s not hard to imagine considering that Loflin’s is the prime spot for the elderly of our little town. I was with my amazing friend Beth and I knew that she would be up for it. After debating for quite a while about what to do (it’s a good thing I wasn’t being too adventurous or we might have ended up in the ghetto with a fog horn…) we ended up driving to hanging rock.

We hiked down to one of the falls, almost froze under the water, I got to hear Beth scream several times, and then she got me lost in the woods where I said things that would probably not make Mama proud.

I should mention that the majority of our trip consisted of listening to John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. Oh and I can’t forget Beth BELTING “Goodbye Earl” when I was on the verge of death from exhaustion.

Enjoy this picture of us. We decided we look much better from 40 feet away…behind a waterfall. 😉

Memorable quotes from the day:
Me: “Why did you name your GPS Martha?”
Beth: “People named Martha just pull that kind of crap!”

“Did I just run over a human lobster whale?”

Beth: “I’m afraid to turn right on red in front of cops?”
Me: “Why?”
Beth: “Haven’t you read any Nancy Drew Novels?”
Me: “What does that have to do with anything!?”
Beth: “It’s late.. oh, well..it’s 9:30!”

“You just gotta keep on walkin’ Sweetheart”

Me: “I used to hate it that my parents didn’t make us do outdoor stuff like hiking…now I realize…they’re good people!”

Allergic reactions and current reads…

I am alive, I promise.

I know it’s been a while and I truly apologize. I’ve just run out of things to talk about. Life is moving and yes, there is a lot going on, but nothing that seems blog worthy. I hope that changes in the near future.

In other news, I almost updated the other night, but I discovered something.

I have pollen-food allergy syndrome

Who knew there was a such thing? I did not. I knew my allergies were bad . I knew pollen had been high, but I had no idea what was in store.

I went grocery shopping the other day and chose to buy fruit. I bought pre-sliced watermelon/honey-dew/cantaloupe combo. That night, I got home and decided to dig in. I had no idea that apparently if you’re allergic to ragweed pollen (and apparently I am) that there can be some kind of cross-reaction that has to do with …bananas, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. It explains why I break out sometimes when eating bananas and it produces an explanation for why the other night I broke out in a horrible rash, since I ate 3 out of 4 of those…..NOT pretty.

I’m in a very reflective mood today. I just finished a book last night and it took me into deep contemplation mode. The book was “Beneath the Night Tree” by Nicole Baart. Her books are incredible…this series was incredible. I started it in 2007 and it has become a permanent part of my heart and had a huge affect on some crucial years of my life. The book I just finished was the final installment and for me it felt like the end of an era. Those books are some of my favorites because they are realistic, they are laced with truth and honesty that is a rare find in fiction these days. Although the first book, “After the Leaves Fall” left me weeping, it planted something in me that I would draw from in many days to come. I am sad to see the story end, but I am happy with the way it ended.

Now that I’m done rambling about that I will say good night. When something entertaining occurs in my life then I will return to share.

Until then, hope you are well!

-Ashlin

This weekend.

Webster himself could not find words to describe this weekend & all that happened.

My sister graduated…

I learned a lot…

I heard a ton of truth that was probably long overdue…

I was given the opportunity to make some choices…

I still haven’t made some of them…

Awkward times were had…

Funny times soon followed…

We walked in a torrential downpour in Asheville and got SOAKED…

Jordan and I did a small hike and got pretty muddy…

Life was lived and in a short weekend I was given more than I know to say…

Congrats Jords! I love you!

He cannot deny who He is.

I had a melt down this week. I’m talking an all out, water works included, melt down. I was having one of those, “i’m just not spiritual today” days and just let it all fall out.

Then, as always, events inevitably followed that made me realize what a complete idiot I am. God began to not only speak and tell me the coolest thing, ever… he confirmed what I needed to hear most and he started providing in ways beyond my wildest dreams. Needless to say, I felt really ridiculous for breaking down earlier in the week.

I think there’s something to that though. I think God is teaching me so much about grace during this season. It’s okay to not always have together, to not always have a huge amount of faith.. he’s teaching me truth behind 2 Timothy 2:13.

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”

I’ve quoted it a million times, but over the past two days I have seen it come to life. Last night held so much breakthrough for me. While I’d considered not even attending a certain event, somehow, God got me there and in spite of my own issues and fleshly problems, he spoke. It wasn’t a huge fire, or a huge wind… but, of course, it was that gentle and quiet whisper, the one I have grown to love so much over these past few months.

I always wait and want the earthquake or the fire, but sometimes when those things occur, I forget them quickly, but there’s something about the whisper that buries itself down inside of me and even if I try, I cannot lose the grip it has on me.

After encountering a huge amount of INTERNAL breakthrough, I came home to a gift of external breakthrough. It meant so much more to me after what I’d just experienced. It was the cherry atop the sundae. It was God in his goodness and I was able to feel and perceive his love and provision in a way I never had before.

I write this to encourage you that breakthrough will come. It is often not in the manner in which you expect, but one that is far better. It is often times that the internal breakthrough occurs before the outer. Trust him. Although you’ve heard it a million times, take this as a million and one… He is good.

Bazaar First Impressions.

The past week has held the most bazaar first impressions for me. I think it’s important to consider the first words you say to someone, they could make or break how that person views you.

The first is the least bazaar. A guy, walking across campus proceeds to yell at me “why aren’t you waving at me?” Apparently it’s completely unheard of not to wave to someone you’ve never met. Can’t imagine what my facial expression was.

Then, there was the sweet, precious lady who stood in front of me for five minutes saying. “oh my goodness, you are just the cutest thing. Oh, is she not the most adorable thing? She is! She is!” Obviously, this one was my favorite… I wanted to go home with her and live with such encouragement forever.

Ah, then there was the hilarious one. Imagine this: I’m at school, speaking to a friend from a class, when a guy  whom I have never met chose his first words to me to be: “would you like to ride my unicycle?” as he pulled out a full blown unicycle from behind his back. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted and wanted to die laughing. I nicely declined and said I didn’t think I possessed such talent.

Then there was today, the most bazaar of all. I’m in a quaint diner in my small town with my precious grandmother and I met a man whose first words to me were, “I was in love with your mother.” It goes without saying that…He wins. Way to make an impression, sir…truly.

All Dressed Up…and Nowhere to go.

Let me just say, I’m sitting here in my bed, with my hair fixed and looking good and I’m staying in tonight.

I had every intention to go to church while I was getting ready…but then, when almost leaving, I looked at the time and realized that I was already late and realized that I had so much to do and that I really needed to stay home and get it done. I’m not in the least bit upset that I got dressed and ready though. The truth is, I’ve looked like POOP all week long and have barely been presentable and it was just nice to be able to look in the mirror and say “okay! I haven’t completely lost all appeal in life!”

So, I just wanted to say…sometimes it’s totally acceptable and necessary to be all dressed up & going nowhere.