This week, I asked the Lord if he could pay for my flight to Thailand.


I asked him for $900.


I asked him because I wanted to go.

Because I didn’t have the money.

Because I like Thailand.

And because I love some people who are there.


When I ask the Lord for something, I try to only ask for things I need.

You know.

Money to pay bills.

Wisdom for situations I’m lost in.

Hope when I see death.


I rarely ask for things I want.


Because, need is different.

It’s banking that if God doesn’t show up, I’m screwed in some tangible ways.

And, then my big God will have to do big things.

And, nothing’s impossible for him.


Want is different.


Want is based in the knowledge if I don’t receive what I’m asking for,

I’ll still be okay.


I’ll simply be left with the sadness I really l could have done without what I wanted.


And, that seems to hurt me more.

Because disappointment is, simply, painful.


Frankly, I’ve always considered disappointment an activity for people who were too weak to get what they wanted.


I learned at a young age to not get my hopes up.

To ask Santa for only mid-range gifts.


Because, let’s face it, something would happen.

And, big gifts are the most unreasonable kinds of gifts.

The easiest to not make space for.


If I really wanted something, I learned to keep it quiet.

And hope someone would miraculously read my mind and get it for me.




But, we must be reasonable to our circumstances.


For me, to dream is to be disappointed.

To be disappointed is to be in pain.


Yet, to not dream is disappointing.

And, it just feels wrong.

Anti-human, almost.


In the movie, He’s Just Not That Into You, the main character gets caught up in a disappointing situation. She puts her heart (and lips) on the line and gets rejected from the guy she thinks is in love with her.

As she stumbles away from the situation, she makes this remark to the man who rejects her:

“You may not get hurt…but you have not won. You’re alone. I may do a lot of stupid things, but I’m still a lot closer to love than you are.”


That’s the trouble with avoiding disappointment.

We live as fully as our dreams are authentic.


And, when I dream halfway, I experience life halfway.


This week, I realized I wanted to go to Thailand.

And, this week, I also realized, I can’t go.


Now, I’m disappointed.


I feel foolish for dreaming.

And for asking the Lord for $900.


I also feel pain.


Want is excessive.

It’s inefficient.

And, not necessary.


Wanting will get my hopes up.


But, I’m learning I want my hopes to get as big as my dreams.

Otherwise, I’m living a mid-range life.


And, let’s face it, no one really wants that.



Love and Money



I’m a hopeless romantic.

Have I ever told you that?


My favorite tale is where the guy and the girl are best friends.

And they tumble into romance. Accidentally.


As if I’m surprised.



They end up together.


Since the month of July took its cue from June, I’ve been wrestling with the fear that there’s not enough for me. Ever.


When it comes to good men to date.

And all the good ones are taken.


When it comes to food on the table.

And all the best is already eaten.


As long as I’ve remembered, I’ve always feared there will never be enough of anything for me.


And, if it’s a necessity, I trust it’ll run out just in time for me to be in need.


Funny, isn’t it?


I live in America.


Homeland of the too-much.


Come on, Ash.

Wake up and smell the expensive hipster coffee.

There’s enough for you, doll.


This wrestling of mine has included the purge of the soul.

You know, that part where I evaluate my life and wonder where this notion of not-enough got planted along the way.


Honestly, I feel like an orphan—scrappin’ and scrapin’ for mine.

Mind you.

Both of my biological parents are alive and well.

We’re in relationship.

Heck, they still send me money to help out.

–I’m no Oliver Twist.


But, I sure am acting like one.

All. Day.


Working the system to make sure I have enough.


Work harder.

Make enough to find enough.


Strange thing.

I’m currently in a season of fundraising.

You know, the kind where I have to raise thousands of dollars for my organization in order to keep my job come October.

And, I’m coming up short.


And, in the midst of being in a deep place of need, I’m feelin’ generous.

I kind of want to blow my bank account.


Not on shoes.

Or on a better car.


But, on the people around me.


I want to give.


I want to bless til people get tired of blessings.

And, then I want to give more.



Getting generous in a season of need.

When I should be scrappin’ and scrapin’ like a pro.


And, yet.

I want to be foolish. And generous.


I’m confident some people would call me stupid.

Heck, I don’t budget well anyways.

I probably am pretty terrible with money.


But, why not?

Why not be generous when I am in need?

Why not help out when I need to be helped out?


It sounds backwards.

But, that good gospel is every sorts of backwards.

And, I’m not any good at being forwards, as is.


So, that’s what I’m choosing.


To be in need.

And to give.

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I feel like I missed the bus to girl-hood.

You know, the field trip where every girl learned how to match clothes, apply blush and flirt for drinks.


I was ripping the lace off my socks at 4.


I am not good at being a girl.


And, so often, I feel like less of a girl for it.



That’s for the girls who get asked out on lots of dates.

It’s for Belle. And all the other Disney princesses.

It’s not for Ashley.


And, so, for the longest time, I hated anything beautiful.

Because, I believed, I was the furthest thing from it.


Here’s the trouble.

Lately, I’ve started to fall in love with beauty.



Poetic lyrics.


The way the sun dances on my sheets.


It’s like my soul slides into rhythm when I see something beautiful.

And my heart catches like sails on a sailboat on a windy day.

And, then I tear up—all because I have encountered beauty.


Moments after such occurrences, I usually scoff at my own wanderings.


Who am I?


The trouble I’m finding, as I map out beauty, is it’s often most poignant when it plays to its natural character.


An apple, as it falls off a tree, is small and precious.

The mountains are rough and cascading.

The green of spring is pushy and young.


It’s like the things in nature know all they have is who they are.

They can’t be bigger or smaller if they wished.

They can’t be less terrifying or more palatable.


They simply are.


And, for it, I’m overcome.

Every time.


That’s the trouble with beauty.

It exists in its own form.

Not dolled up.

Covered up.

Or make-uped.


It simply is.


This is my intersection.

To grasp beauty as I find it in myself.


You know, I’ve always loved wearing my hat backwards.

I’ve loved dancing and painting because it makes my soul swim fast.

And, I’ve loved mountains because they’re strong.


So, I’m going to keep wearing my backward baseball caps.

I’ll dance and paint and find mountains to melt over.


For beauty is.

And, so must I be.

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