What is Writing Out Loud?

Growing up, there was one feeling I remember feeling the most out of all the others. Alone. I felt alone. I felt like I was a burden to others around me because I always had something going on. There was always something. I don’t know how I learned it—but I learned it was a negative thing. I was the only one I knew with a mentally disabled brother. I was the only one with a terminally ill mother. I was the only one in my neighborhood who was going through, well, everything. Everybody else around me was all smiles and happiness and easy. Oh my gosh, how I just wished for easy. 

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A Christmas Poem

Merry Christmas Eve! Christmas is almost here! Are you excited? Do you have all your shopping done? Are the presents wrapped? Gah! I’m a little sad this season is almost over but I’m also excited for what’s coming next. It’s a weird feeling. Mostly, I’m excited for everybody to open their presents!

In the spirit of Christmas and to stretch out my writing muscle, I’ve decided to write a Christmas poem (also I’m extremely competitive but I’ll explain that later). Well, hubby and I wrote this together. It was really fun actually. Minus the staying up late part. (ahahah)

And now I present, for your reading pleasure, The Unnamed Christmas Poem!

Twas the night before Christmas

As all stories start.

Let’s peek on our friend,

Who is making some art.

“I’m going to stay up so I can  meet Santa.”

He says as he colors at the table with mom

Making his plans as fast as he can

He must act quick, he heard that Santa was over Guam

His biggest dream, is to meet the fat man who brings all the presents,

Who drives a sleigh and lives with elves. 

On Christmas morning, he thanks his parents

But he wants to thank Santa as well.

Tonight’s the night, he’ll  sneak downstairs

to meet the white bearded man.

The room is bright with colored lights

The tree is empty, there is still time

Across the floor he crawls staying as quiet as can be

Finding the perfect spot beneath the tree

Soon Santa will come

And leave tons presents

He closes his eyes, for just a moment. 

It’s late and he’s tired but he is determined 

He isn’t sure how much time has passed but when his eyes open next-

 It’s him! He’s here! The big man himself!

“Santa!” He yelled, his excitement growing

The man turned, smiling wide, finishing his task

“You should be in bed,” he said. His voice a whisper. 

Our friend just nodded, “I wanted to thank you.”

The man looked surprised. This was a first. 

“You’re welcome, little one.” 

Our friend gave a very quick hug and ran upstairs, his goal accomplished. 

“Goodnight.”

He was at that last step when he was struck by a thought. 

Santa- who wore a suit of red- was missing the red!

He thought for a moment, and the knowledge came rushing.

It was his daddy who he saw, not the king of the North Pole. 

Currently December

General- It’s December so obviously we are (still) in Christmas mode! We still have a few presents to finish up and I have one final shopping trip that I get to do solo to to pick out Hubby’s gift. Technically, we have two shopping trips because we are taking my brother out shopping sometime this weekend but that is for him to pick out stuff, not us for other people so I don’t really count it. We are getting ready for our Christmas party! (whoo hooo!) And all the other things we will be doing that are Christmas-y. This weekend is going to be pretty epic, and I’m excited. Does anybody say epic anymore? Is that still a thing? Oh well. 

Reading– I finished Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. This book you guys, THIS BOOK. I’m going to have to do a full review on this book because if I start talking about it now, I’m just going to ramble on for days. I’m currently reading Where’d You Go Bernadette? By Maria Sample, it’s for book club. YOU GUYS I HAVE A BOOK CLUB. This is the best thing to come out of 2019. Okay, top five. I’m also technically still reading Bookish Boyfriends but I’ll probably put it on hold until I finish the book for book club. My goal is to finish it by the end of the year. I am so close to my goal of 40 books this year. 

Listening– Still Christmas music. All the time, everywhere. Seriously, I haven’t stopped. When I write I am listening to worship music. However, I’m discovering that it is easier for me to focus when I have music on instead of the TV in the background. Send me your favorite songs! 

*the next section might contain spoilers

Watching– OH MY GOSH THE MASKED SINGER! I wanted Fox to win and I’m so glad he did! I figured out it was Wayne Brady when he sang “Blame It”. I heard the Wayne Brady I grew up hearing sing on Whose Line is it Anyway? Hubby figured out the Rottweiler was Chris Daughtry when he finally sat down and watched an episode. While he was singing his song for the finale, I could literally hear Daughtry songs playing through my head. I wonder if the panel has ever heard Darren Criss sing because his voice sounds NOTHING like Daughtry’s and therefore sounded nothing like the Rottweiler’s. It is still a good show. I’m excited for season three! I’ve also been watching a lot of Danny Phantom and Gray’s Anatomy and Friends. Just re-watching the good stuff. 

Writing– After I stopped doing NaNo because I knew I wouldn’t catch up and I didn’t want to stress myself out and hate writing, I set a goal for myself to get to 15,000 words by the end of December. Well, I met that goal yesterday! WHOO HOO! I am also about to start writing a Christmas poem and I’m kinda excited to try out this new type of writing. Me + poetry doesn’t always mix but Christmas poems are different so maybe this will be awesome. I have a solid and cute idea! 

This month is basically about enjoying Christmas and time with my family. I’ve been posting a lot more about what we are doing this season already so I feel like you guys already know what is going on. I’ll also be posting about the rest of the things we do this month and how we did presents this year sometime in January!

Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is blessed and merry! 

Currently-November

General- This month started out great with my annual women’s retreat that I attend. I even got some solid writing time while enjoying beautiful mountain views. I got home and was promptly sick for two days. I got back to normal and then got blasted with the flu. Seriously guys, I’ve never been that sick in my life. At least, from what I can remember. I’ve never had no energy. I’m usually the one powering through illness to get to work and do what I need to do. There was no overpowering this bug. Seriously, this would have knocked the Hulk out. However, I’m recovering, feeling better, and we decorated for Christmas a week early! Whoo hooo!

Since my husband and I have been married, we have spent black Friday decorating the house instead of going out into the chaos of the world. About 4 years ago we started a new tradition. We spend all morning decorating the house and then in the afternoon, we’ll get lunch (sometimes) and then go to a store and pick out a new ornament for our tree. Each year someone gets a turn. Since Thanksgiving fell so late in November this year, I made the argument that we had to decorate a little early so I get the same amount of time to be holly jolly. My husband being a logical man, agreed and we decorated over the weekend and this year was my turn to pick our ornament. I picked a cute little red truck. It looks great on my tree. 

Reading– I’m still hooked on the Luminaries by Susan Dennard on Twitter. This is a choose your own adventure style story that Susan started about 5 months ago. Seriously, I’m conditioned to check my twitter at the same time every day for the update. We’ve managed to keep our last life hanging on for a bit now. We’re in the climax and things are making me stressed. But the story is so good! You have to check it out. I’ve also started and finished One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. This is a YA murder mystery that makes you think everybody is a suspect. This was my second time reading it but it was even better the second time. SO GOOD. Plus they just finished filming the pilot for the TV show. (And I’m desperately hoping it gets picked up) This book is perfect for TV. Think Harper’s Island with fully formed characters. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved Harper’s Island. But you didn’t get all the info on all the characters because, well it was a mini-series and someone had to die at the end of every episode.) I’m currently reading Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus. While reading One of Us is Lying, I developed theories and whatnot the moment I started reading that book. Two Can Keep A Secret however, I know nothing. I’m halfway through the book and I only have the small inkling of a theory but cannot explain why I think that and well, I know nothing. It is such a good book though. I love how McManus puts a lot of characters in her book and each character is distinct and has their own voice. It’s wonderful. 

Listening– Christmas music! I’ve been jamming out to my Christmas playlist for a good minute. I also discovered a podcast called Relatable by Allie Beth Stuckey and I’m hooked on it! She is speaking wisdom in every single episode I’ve listened to. So good. With being sick, I haven’t been listening to much though. Hopefully next month will have some more things for you to check out. 

Watching– The Masked Singer! Can someone explain to me how Kelly Osborne got everybody convinced she was from the south? That was my favorite reveal so far. For some reason I think the Fox is Robert Downey Jr. No idea why, when I see the Fox on TV I end up thinking about RDJ. It probably isn’t but who knows. Also, I feel like the Leopard is gonna end up winning. I know there are stronger singers but that animal has been in the bottom two twice now and survived both smack downs. Those judges want him to stay in. I’m also back on the Resident. I love the characters on this show. However, it is very Man VS The Man and the little man never wins and there is like NO forward progress on that storyline so it is hard to watch sometimes. Grey’s Anatomy is a staple in my house. With being down with the flu, we watched A LOT of Disney+. Hello all my favorite childhood shows. I started off with 10 Things I Hate About You and then when it was over I had my husband restart it. 

Writing– My WIP is currently at 6K words, almost 7K. Thanks flu for killing my writing streak. I don’t know if I’ll finish in time for NaNo but I’m definitely going to try. 55,000-ish words in like 5 days? I’m sure someone has done it. 

Devotional Thursdays- Remembering Who Christ Is

Remembering Who Christ Is

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

A lot of the time, I forget who Christ is. I get caught up in myself, my day, my to-do list, the world, the negativity, whatever is it, I usually find myself caught up in it. I get panicked and scared and worried and all these emotions. I worry about things I have zero control over. I worry about what I’m doing- am I doing the right thing? Is what I’m doing enough? 

Truthfully, no. What I am doing is not enough to save me from my sin. The things I do will never get me into heaven. You don’t get to heaven because you’re a super, duper good person. Morals are great but morals don’t get you into heaven.

Christ does. Christ, who came down to earth, became one of us humans, and took on all our sin to cover the cost we could not pay. Christ bridged the gap we put between us and God. 

In my crazy need to be perfect, I think that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough. There has to be more. It couldn’t be that simple. Christ died for me and just like that I’m covered? Really?

I am not trying to negate the significance of what Christ has done for us, but for me, believing in Christ and taking him on as my savior is simple. It’s a simple choice. It’s a choice I need to remind myself of daily. I need to remind myself that Jesus was enough to cover my sins and he willingly died for me. When Jesus was on the cross, he said “it is finished.” 

Not “it is finished as long as Ashleigh is perfect and does all the right things.” Jesus did not say “it is finished, just as long as Ashleigh keeps her cool.” 

My salvation is in Jesus, not in my works. I have to remind myself of that though because sin runs deep and habits tag along. It isn’t about me or what I do. It is about what Jesus has already done. 

Remember that. God sees you. Jesus choose to die for you. That is how deep his love goes.

Write it Out

  1. Where do you get caught up? Where do you start to lose focus on what Jesus did for you?
  2. How can you remind yourself of what Jesus did? Maybe try memorizing a specific verse.