Daith Piercing

I’ve dealt with migraines pretty much since the time I was a mid-teenager, so probably roughly 8 years. These come on anywhere from 3-5 times a week, and the other days are filled with just regular old headaches. I can usually deal with the headaches but the migraines are bad enough they make me feel like I have to puke. 

The only effective way for me to get rid of a migraine is taking migraine medication and then lying down in a completely dark and quiet room for hours at a time. There has only been one instance where I’ve had to leave work early due to a headache, but there were many times when I thought I would have to but just forced myself to work through it. (Easier said than done.) 

Anyway, I read on a few different websites and blogs about the daith piercing and how it was helping people with their migraines. As someone that suffers from them, I would appreciate any sort-of relief that this might be able to offer. So I figured I’d eventually try it, but wasn’t in any rush. 

Yesterday, I saw a girl on Facebook posting about a special she was doing specifically for daith piercings and I decided that I would FINALLY have it done. (Normally I wouldn’t just go to someone that I didn’t know for a piercing but all her reviews on Facebook were 5-Stars so I figured it wouldn’t be bad!) 

First and foremost, let me tell you what my migraines consist of and what I deal with when I have them.

  • Intense pain in my head and neck – it always feels tense and like I can’t turn my head one way or the other without pain. 
  • “lines” in front of my face. Some might call this an “aura”, but I seriously sees lines. 
  • Light sensitivity 

How I usually “cure” it 

  • If I’m home, I take 2 Excedrin migraine and go lay down in my bedroom with my door closed, all lights off, and the window blinds down 
  • If I’m at work, I take 800 mg ibuprofen and drink as much coffee as I can get access to (caffeine is supposed to help!) and turn off the lights of my office.

The Piercing Itself

  • The left ear when she pierced it BARELY hurt. It was like the easiest piercing I ever had. Steph, who did my piercing, was AMAZING and talked me through the whole thing! The right ear was a lot more painful. I don’t know why but it was also the ear that bled (the other one looked healed the minute I got it pierced and never even bled!) 
  • She used a needle to pierce the ear, not a “gun” like they do at the Piercing Pagoda. I saw the needles before she pierced me and they were not all that large. (I had my nose pierced when I was eighteen and that needle was MASSIVE). 

I went to get my piercing done last night and didn’t have any headache/migraine symptoms after that. This morning, I didn’t wake up with even the slightest headache (which I almost always do). The only symptom I have today is a little bit of light sensitivity which might have to do with the fact that I sit in an office with fluorescent lighting. 

Keep checking back – I’ll be posting a 30 day update in September!

My Brother, My Friend

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My brother, Ian, and I are 12 and 1/2 years apart in age. Which means that we are in such different places in our lives that we don’t always get along or understand each other. 

Some people might wonder why my parents had their kids so far apart in age. My sister, Gracie, is 6 and a 1/2 years younger than me, and is almost 6 years older than Ian. 

The short answer is: it wasn’t their plan.  It was never the plan. But it worked out for the best. While I don’t always get along with either of them and we fight and bicker and say things we shouldn’t to each other, they’re still my siblings and I love them dearly – and would do anything for them.

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But…Ian and I….we have a special bond. We’re more than just siblings – we’re friends. I love him more than life itself, and he makes my day a little brighter when I see him.

I think there’s a bunch of reasons for this…

  1. This kid…he always is smiling. It takes a lot to get him down. He plays soccer and smiles the whole time he’s running the field. He never stops. He’s the happiest kid I know. 
  2. He says “I love you”, all the time. And if I say, “I love you more”, he says, “No, I love YOU more.” 
  3. He makes me laugh. Ian will say the craziest things about the dumbest stuff, but it always makes me laugh. I can’t go a day without laughing about something silly he says. 
  4. He sings. All. The. Time. To be honest, it gets super, duper annoying. WAY annoying. But, we hold that bond. We both love to sing. And sometimes, at the right times, we sing together. Someday, I’m going to do special music with this kid at church! 

Ian and I, we hold a special bond. He came home from Vietnam when I was 13. I was like a second Mom to him. I changed diapers, got him dressed, held him all the time, carried him on my hip wherever I went.

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He’s not only my brother, but he’s my friend. 

I don’t know what I’d do without him. He makes my day a little bright, and my heart a little bigger. He makes me realize – just a little bit – what it will be like to be a mom someday. 

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And if my future sons (or daughters) are anything like him…that’ll be okay. πŸ™‚ 

Keep on keepin’ on, little bro. I love you.

Don’t Put Them on a Pedestal…

…they’ll only fall.

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It’s been one of those days. Weeks. Months. Where everything you read about in the news or on social media is depressing. You can’t get away from it, no matter how hard you try. One of my friends even went so far as to delete the Facebook app from her phone because all she was seeing were sad news updates. 

And along with sad news update you may see in the headlines:

Nick Jonas talks about his sex fetishes.

I’m not one to talk a lot about sex, so this is a new kind-of post for me. BUT. I was obsessed with this man. There was a time I thought I was going to marry him. 

When I was 13 years old, this guy was in a good, Christian home. His dad was a pastor at an Assemblies of God church, he wore a purity ring, the Jonas Brothers never swore or used innuendos in their songs.

I mean, Nick Jonas had it all together. 

And then…Fame. And maybe it wasn’t just that girls put him and his brothers up on a pedestal. Maybe it’s not just that. It could be that he wasn’t grounded in his faith, or that he just didn’t care anymore – that he was looking for something to run to while running away from the best thing he had. 

But the truth is…I’m sad. I’m sad that this guy I once idolized is at this point in his life. I’m not one to judge his “walk with Christ”, but I am here to tell you that as Christians, we are to prove that we are. Our actions tell others that we are different. Not what comes out of our mouths (although, obviously, what has been coming out of his mouth isn’t all that great, either). 

Nick’s new CD came out about a week ago. More than half the songs are explicit, meaning that they have the “F” word in them. I can’t imagine going from this young kid that was recording Christian songs (Check out the Nick Jonas: self-titled CD, it’s AWESOME), to recording songs like this.

It makes me sad. It makes me hurt. It makes me wonder if there’s something that could have been done to stop this. 

People walk away from their faith, but this guy? This one that I was SURE wouldn’t? 

We need to stop putting PEOPLE up on pedestals. They’re going to fall. They’re going to crash and burn because we put them in a place they’re not meant to be. There are people grounded in there faith that ARE in Hollywood. (ie: Candace & Kirk Cameron), but it’s rare. And I’m so proud of them. 

I pray someday that Nick will turn his eyes back to the one thing in his life that was a constant – to the only One who can save him from this world. 

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. ~John 15:19

Just a Quick Update

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I don’t post a lot. I know. I’m sorry. I have really good intentions most of the time. But then, other things take priority over posting on my blog. Like…work, family, reading, writing…etc. Everything, it seems. 

But I thought I’d take the time to offer a quick update – let you know what’s going on in my life, since a lot has changed in the last 6 months.

  1. I started school in early January. 
  2. I quit school in the end of January. I still get asked, “how’s school going?”, even when I quit almost 6 months ago. It was a lot of work. It’s not that I didn’t like it. I did. But with working practically full time (38 hours a week), trying to do school full time, and other random things that would pop up, I had no time for anything. I’m not saying I’ll never go back, but I’d find a different college. (Central Penn was not for me!) 
  3. I’m still working as a receptionist/aide at CPRS Physical Therapy. I love my job. If I can’t spend my life being a PTA, at least I get to work at a PT clinic and help in my own way. 
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  4. I have joined the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. I was placed with a little sister that lives about 10 minutes away from me. So far, we’ve gone to the library a few times (my kinda girl – loves to read), out for ice cream, and this week, we’re planning to go see TMNT at the movie theater! I’m really enjoying it so far! 
  5. If you haven’t noticed, my friend Sky, and I have restarted up A Novel Idea. It’s a weekly blog linkup for writers. Each Tuesday, we’ll post a new writing prompt, character question, or novel question, and you will post a blog post with your answer. If you’re a writer, be sure to check it out! It’s going to be lots of fun. Promise!!
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  6. I’m going to try to start posting more, but there’s absolutely NO guarantee. I haven’t had a lot of blogging inspiration lately…I feel kind-of dry. 

So. There ya have it. A quick update. If I have any faithful readers – I thank you. I appreciate you stopping in every now and then and seeing what I’m up to.

Take care, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with another A Novel Idea!

Why I Won’t See Me Before You

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A few months ago, I had posted a review on my blog of Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. If you read that post, and I lead you to read the book, I am truly sorry. I am sorry I subjected you to the story and the ending. I’m sorry that I told you to read a book that I would never suggest anyone read anymore. 

I have since deleted that post on my blog, and it will remain in my deleted bin for the rest of eternity. 

You see, the longer I’m away from reading the book, the more ashamed I am that I ever liked it in the first place. Let’s start at the beginning. I bought the book because everyone was ranting and raving about it. It was getting GREAT reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and I thought, “heck, I need a good book to read”. I downloaded it on my Kindle and I was sucked in from the very first page. 

JoJo Moyes can write the crap out of a book. There’s no denying that. She knew how to make characters that captivated me in a way that I couldn’t have put the book down even if I had wanted to – or knew what was going to happen at the end. She’s just that good. 

I saw the trailer for the movie, too, and it looks SO good. I’m not going to lie. I mean, Hollywood is good at making a trailer that draws you in from the very first second and makes you say, “yes, I gotta see that!”. 

 

I’m going to give spoilers below. If you haven’t read the book and still wish to – or if you really, really want to see the movie and haven’t yet, and are going to, don’t read further.

 Me Before You is about Will Traynor – a quadriplegic. He was hurt in an accident years before and lost the use of his entire body from his neck down. He feels like he’s not able to do what he wants, so he wants to commit the death with dignity act. Will promises his parents six months longer. They hire Louisa Clarke as his caregiver.

She and Will begin a long, treacherous road. She is his caregiver for six months. They fall in love. You think, maybe, just maybe, he won’t go through with it. But he feels, because he’s disabled, that his life is not worth living.

They, his family and Louisa, although not thrilled with the idea of him doing this, drive him to the clinic to do this horrible thing. This “death with dignity”. I, personally, hate calling it that. Is it really dignified when you’re committing suicide because you feel like it’s easier than living your life?

I’m a firm believer in us not knowing the end of our days. I’m a firm believer in that miracles happen and we never know when someone will be miraculously healed. I’ve watched my mom’s best friend, Sue, battle cancer until it took her life back in 2010. She fought the fight until the end and never once would have even CONSIDERED killing herself instead of fighting. 

Being disabled – being sick – does not constitute this so called death with dignity. It doesn’t make it right. When I was younger, I read Joni by Joni Eareckson Tada. It didn’t hit me until recently how truly remarkable she really is.

She, too, is a quadriplegic. She, too, can’t feel anything below her neck. But she chose joy. She chose to LIVE BOLDLY. She chose to LIVE. 

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So today, just like the book – and movie – Me Before You says, Live Boldly. Live each day to it’s fullest, because we DON’T know when it’s going to be our last. Will Traynor chose to die instead of seeing what his future could have held. He chose to leave the people he loved to mourn his loss. 

So, to all you out there who are thinking about going to see the movie – please don’t. Please warn your friends that this movie is about suicide. Please warn those who are thinking they’re going to see a really sweet chick flick, and don’t know what they’re getting themselves in for. Please. 

And today: Live Boldly. Just Live. 

Dear Teen Girl: College is Not Required

Dear Teen Girl,

If you’re even semi close to graduating (like, within the next three years), you’ve probably gotten the question.

They mean well – most of the time – but it’s a question that you get sick of hearing, and are unsure of how to answer.  At sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, you’re not sure. You don’t know. You just don’t. 

College is a big step.  

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In fact, it’s a huge step, and one that you don’t want to take lightly. It’s expensive, it’s hard, and it’s going to take up most of your time and energy.  But the questions and other concerns still come. 

  • Are you going to college?
  • Which college are you planning to attend? 
  • What is your major going to be when you go to college? 
  • Oh, you don’t think you’re going to go to college? What are you going to do with your life? 
  • Are you sure you can get a job without a college degree? That’s hard. 
  • *nods, and then looks at you like you’re stupid* Oh. No college? 

Wow, okay. 

I had heard all of these (AND MORE) when I was in my junior and senior year of high school. I always answered it the same way: “I don’t want to go to college now, but maybe someday when I decide what I want to do I will.” People look at you like you’ve got two heads when you say that.

And it’s because our culture is so dead-set on sending every kid that it’s in high school, to college, and let’s be frank: 

COLLEGE IS NOT ALWAYS THE ANSWER.

If you know what you want to do, by all means GO. Go earn that degree and work your butt off to do so. I’m proud of you if you know. 

But please, please, PLEASE do not feel pressured by your teachers, peers, or even your parents to go to college.

It’s expensive and if you’re unsure of what you want to do with your life, it’s a waste of your money. And student loans? You’ll have those for a really long time! (I was working at a small business when I was younger and my coworker who was in her forties and went to college straight out of high school told me she still had over two thousand dollars in student loans….twenty years later!)

I have friends who went to college right out of high school and changed their major three times before deciding what they wanted to do. Took them three years to get a two-year degree, or five years to get a four year degree. 

Don’t let the questions, rude glances, or eye-rolling (Yes, you’ll get that!) make you feel like you have to. Take some time to figure it out. Get a job, save some money – decide if college is right for you.

So. Are you going to college?

When You Learn to Never Say Never

Hello, my name is Ashley, and I said that I’d never go to college. When I graduated high school almost four years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to spend my life doing. I had so many people ask me what college I was going to go to, what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, and I had absolutely no idea. 

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I’d had friends decide to go to college, and they had changed their majors a few times before the end of their first year, and were spending more money than they knew what to do with. 

I decided right then and there that I didn’t want to go into my future marriage – whenever that was – in debt, so college seemed like it was pretty much out of the picture.

Then in May of this year, I started working at CPRS Physical Therapy as a receptionist/therapist aid. I work with some pretty awesome people that made me feel very at home in the new environment. 

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It was in the middle of June when I decided that I wanted to pursue a career to become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). I didn’t say anything to anyone, and simply let it fester inside for a long time. I thought and prayed about it for months until mid-August when I decided to talk to one of my co-workers about what she thought of it.

She was so encouraging and told me that she thought it was a great idea, and that got the ball rolling for me. I decided to contact Central Penn College in Summerdale, PA to learn more about their program. They got me in to meet with their admissions counselors, and I felt very good about the prospect of going to their school.

In the last 7 days, I’ve spent about 57 hours in different physical therapy clinics. 40 in the one I work at, 10 at Drayer Physical Therapy in Lewistown, and 7 at Locust Grove Retirement Village in Mifflin. Observing under some great people, it made me realize even more that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to help people. I want to be able to know that I’m doing something to make a difference – even in the smallest ways. 

Never say never. Because this almost 22-year old thought she’d NEVER go to college. And I’m overwhelmed. And scared and nervous. And I wonder if I can even do it. And I overthink it all. But I also know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing, so I’m going to pursue it in every way that I can. 

If all goes well, I should be starting in January of 2016. I’ll be going 2 evenings a week to the Lancaster campus. I’m excited to see what my future holds. 

What’s something YOU said you’d never do, but did? 

The Older I Get, the Harder it Gets

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I’m going to come right out and tell you something about myself that people who really know me should already know: 

I’m 21, and I’ve been single my entire life.

Just typing it out, I feel kinda silly, and embarrassed. Like, that makes me weird, or like I’m stupid. And I don’t know why that is. Why is our culture a place where it’s NOT okay to be single until you find the right person?

Why does our culture lead us to believe that you have to get a significant other when you’re so young that you don’t even know how to drive yet?

Why does our culture pressure us into doing things that we don’t even really want to do, yet it seems good because everyone else is doing it? 

Being single is NOT a bad thing. It’s a time to settle yourself in a job, and figure out who you’re going to be.

The time I’ve spend as a single person has taught me SO much. It’s taught me that, despite the fact that I’m not a feminist in every sense of the word, I don’t need a man to define me. 

It’s taught me that I can be strong and independent.

It’s taught me that God can be the main person in my life – and HOW to put him there so when I do get a boyfriend/fiance/husband, I know how to put God first.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, I spend a lot of my time wondering when God is finally going to bring me the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with. I wonder if I’ll find him before I’m 22. 

Or before I’m 23.

Or 24.

Or 25.

I wonder if I’ll be married before I’m 30, because that’s a big thing for me. 

When I was 18 and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, my decision hinged on the fact that I wanted to spend my future as a wife and mother. 

And so when things weren’t going my way in the man department, I thought I was failing in some way at being what I truly thought my life was meant to be. 

God knows I’m impatient. He does that better than I do. So when I asked for patience when it came to waiting for my future spouse, I think He took it very literally.

And so now, I wait. I wait until God decides to open up doors to things I can’t even imagine.

I wait.

I wait. 

Philippians 4:6 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Just a Small Voice in a Big World

If you know me at all, you know that I love kids. In fact, I have spent the good majority of my life watching other people’s kids, holding babies at church, holding babies at family get-togethers. And someday, I cannot wait to be a mother. But until that day, I find great joy in hanging out with kids that I know. 

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Actually, a whole bunch of the pictures I post on Facebook include these 2 cuties ^^, Gavin & Alyssa. Their families both go to my church, and I have watched both kids – at the same time – while their parents worked.

But that’s not the point of this post – no matter HOW MUCH I miss those wonderful children now that I’m working full-time. 

This post is about the millions and millions of babies that aren’t getting their chances at life.

This post is about the millions and millions of babies that don’t get a chance to be loved.

This post is about the millions and millions of babies that aren’t getting a chance to have a babysitter, or friends, or family.

This post is about the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of babies that are being killed by places like Planned Parenthood.

This post is about the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of babies who are dying, and their body parts are being sold for profit. 

This post is about CHILDREN.

CHILDREN.

CHILDREN.

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People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, β€œLet the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~ Mark 10:13-16

My heart hurts every time I see a post about Planned Parenthood come up on my Facebook news feed. And yet, I want it to keep coming up.

I don’t want us to get complacent about it.

I want to keep seeing it.

I want to keep sharing it.

I don’t want people to forget that these poor innocent children who didn’t do anything wrong. Who didn’t deserve to be murdered. 

I think this quote I read on the Humans of New York Facebook page is so worth the read: 

β€œI was 16 when my girlfriend got pregnant. We went to the abortion clinic on 59th Street. We filled out the papers and everything. Then right before we were called back, we looked at each other, and said: β€˜Let’s get out of here.’”

 
THAT is bravery. Leaving behind – having your child who turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to you – or the best thing that ever happened to someone else, if you decide to give the child up for adoption. 
 
I have a sister and brother because two women in Vietnam who got pregnant decided that abortion wasn’t the answer – ADOPTION was. And how different the Strawser family would be if those women chose the other option. 
 
So join me in praying for the women out there who are pregnant and trying to make a decision. Pray that they decide to make the decision of life. 
 
Because LIFE is important. 

Why I Stand With God

As I get older and older, I begin to realize just how corrupt our world is getting. Not only are we allowing same-sex marriage and abortions numbering into millions a year, we as Christians aren’t taking our stand against any of it, and therefore making ourselves fools in the eyes of God.

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If you are a Christian, that means you follow the Bible. Plain and simple. That doesn’t mean you can pick and choose the parts of the Bible you like, and leave out the rest. You follow THE WHOLE Bible. That means the verses against homosexuality, and murdering people. That means the verses that get right to the heart of the problem in your life. The verses about us being corrupt from the moment of conception. We are not so-called “good people” we are sinners. And in order for any of that to change, we must hand over our lives – and our sins – to God and ask him to forgive us.

With all the transgender and homosexuality problems going on in the world today, I am brought to think about things in a different way.

I am going to say things in the next few sentences that might make you angry. They might make you hate me. If that’s the case, unfollow me and unfriend me. I don’t care – I am standing with God, and that’s all that matters.

Being gay is wrong. 

 

God doesn’t agree with homosexuality. Jesus doesn’t agree with homosexuality either. 

People like to bring up the statement that Jesus never says anything in the Bible about being homosexual. Well, this is a misconception.

If you have ever read your Bible, you read in John 1:1-2:” In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” 

If the Word WAS God, and there is a Holy trinity of Three in One being, then everything that God says Jesus also says. Everything that is said in the Bible is God-breathed, and and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16). 

Homosexuality, being transgender or anything of the sort is WRONG in the eyes of God. It’s a sin. 

We are taught tolerance and acceptance in today’s day and age. We must like everyone and agree with what they do. But this is not how we should be. We should not just accept someone because the world’s standards tell us to. 

As Christians we must STAND WITH GOD. If we cannot do this, we have one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. And this does NOT work. 

I am sick and tired of seeing Christians “bowing” to the ways of the world. We must be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9) and not let what other people say and do stand in the way of what we KNOW to be true. 

God never promises that the road to being a follower of him will be easy: “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Jesus Christ will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). But he does promise us pretty good benefits if we stick to it, and that’s our mansion in Heaven.

So Christians, be strong. Don’t let the weight of what the world is telling you cause you to turn away from what you know to be true. 

Stand with God. And get great rewards. 

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Matthew 25:23

***thanks to Pastor Mike for preaching on things so difficult, and teaching us to stand with God and not with the world.***