Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank you Love89...and goodbye.

My favorite radio station is "Love89," a local Christian music station that has been playing in our area for 18 years. As of tomorrow, Love89 will be going off the air, and nation-wide Christian radio will take over. I'm so disappointed about this, as are many others. And so, this blog post is in honor... or in memory... of Love89.
I started listening to this station in my car probably about 3 or 4 years ago. At first I didn't know most of the songs that were played, but as I kept listening, I started learning a lot of the songs, as well as "getting to know" the DJ's. It's really impossible to say what a BIG and what a GREAT part of my life Love89 has been since then. I listen in the car almost everywhere I go, and often stream it from their website while at work. I have been encouraged when I was discouraged, sang and laughed joyfully when I was happy, laughed when I felt like crying, and been challenged and uplifted so many times.
I'm VERY thankful that Christian music will still be played. But I will definitely miss the local, personal touch and the fabulous DJ's -- dear friends I look forward to "hearing" each day.
"Marshall and Marisa in the Morning"..... have kept my drive to work fun and interesting. More than once I've laughed my head off while alone in my car. Other drivers probably thought I was nuts :-) Definitely my favorite portion of Love89's programming.
"Marisa in the Midday"..... has blessed me so much. She's so sweet and so real. I got the privilege of meeting her in person once, several years ago, but her love, honesty, and sense of humor over the radio has been a great blessing and encouragement.
"Kris on the Afternoon Drive"..... is always a lot of fun, too, as I listen to him on my way home from work. Always hoped he would call my town in his "community call-out" but he never did, on the days I was listening, anyway :-)

So, THANK YOU to all the staff and DJ's of Love89. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on events in the area and for sharing opportunities to serve our community. Thanks for encouraging us and keeping us focused on God and on the good in life. Thanks for playing fantastic songs. Thanks for being you and for letting God use you in ginormous ways. I will miss you so much!!!
Love, Ashley

Sunday, December 26, 2010

after-Christmas musings

This Christmas was one of the best I've had in a few years.
It was a white Christmas!! A couple inches of snow yesterday and five today :-)
I'm treasuring the holiday time with my sister, as her wedding draws closer and closer. Things will change soon, so I'm extremely thankful for the time we get to spend together now.
One of the things I love about Christmas is that it's not just one day -- in fact, the 25th is sometimes kind of anti-climactic. But it's a season, the only holiday that gets its own season :-) The whole month is full of anticipation and "Christmas spirit." I love it.
And man, I love Jesus. How totally cool to think that even though Christmas isn't always CLEARLY about Him, really, under it all, it is all because of Him. Without God Himself choosing to leave heaven and come walk on a sinful earth..... there would be no Christmas... there would be no cross and Easter.... there would be no today. But He cared enough to come. And that's awesome.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

one of THOSE days..

"Behold, I have placed within you a spring of living water. For My Spirit shall be a continual flowing forth of life from your innermost being. This I have promised to all My children, and this you may experience as you claim it by faith... It is My life I am giving to you. It is not an emotion; it is not a virtue...it is Myself. Divine grace, heavenly love, infinite mercy, fathomless peace -- all these will spring forth unbeckoned and irrepressible out of the depths within you because My Spirit has taken residence there. If there is dryness within your soul and you do not have this life flowing forth, you need not grieve or chide yourself for being empty. Fill up the empty place with praise...The King will enter and bring His glory. The Rose of Sharon shall bloom in your heart, and His fragrance will be shed abroad."

This was the devotion I read early this morning, before heading to work. Turned out to be a timely one, because today was...um... definitely not the best day I've ever had. I definitely needed some of that divine grace and heavenly love today!! to deal with the disappointment, hurt, frustration, and even anger that came at me.
But God is good. God is faithful. And it's all gonna be okay cuz He's got it all under control. I'm secure in His hand no matter where I am!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

all things Christmas

Currently: at my sister's house, making M&M cookies, and listening to Christmas music on the radio. Briana is directing her first play - the Christmas play at her church, and they are performing tonight. We are here to give her support by watching the play :-) Tomorrow, going to the bridal shop to get measured for bridesmaid dresses!
Briana is coming home with us to spend Christmas at home. Troy (her fiance) and his sister and my grandparents will also be at our house at various points during this coming week. Add last-minute shopping, baking goodies, and possibly a bit of snow, and it will definitely be a busy Christmas week! What are you guys doing for Christmas?
Thought from church this morning: Christmas is a milestone in the bigger story -- GOD'S story, the one that began before the foundation of the world and is still being written today. And we are a part of it!! It's not just the Christmas story, it's HIS story that He has made us participants in. How awesome of a thought is that?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

...to become His prisoner...

Today I read something beautiful on my friend Rebekah's blog. She talked about being "handcuffed to Jesus", and shared a quote from Dave Wilkerson:
"The true test of love for Christ is seeing the emptiness of your own greatest opportunity and dropping every selfish dream to become His prisoner.”
Rebekah added her thoughts:
"I’ve had too many greatest opportunities show up at the doorstep of my heart lately. There have been too many selfish dreams that vied for first place in my affections. And to be perfectly honest, it hurts to be handcuffed right now. I don’t mean hurt as in a tiny little sad place in the midst of my heart; I mean hurt as in big salty tears and snot... Jesus can be a hard Master and sometimes I’d like nothing better than to simply indulge myself in the things I want to do. But He says no."
I share that because, honestly, I could have written it myself. There are many times I can totally relate to what she's describing. But I love how that Wilkerson quote describes what we're called to do... "seeing the emptiness of your own greatest opportunity and dropping every selfish dream to become His prisoner." It's not always pretty or pleasant... but I choose to believe that it will be worth it.

Last Sunday at church, the message was about Mary, and how she chose to sacrifice so much in order to say yes to God. She gave up her reputation, and her own plans and dreams for her future, and surrendered to what God wanted. She became a "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1).
What will it require for me -- and for you -- to say to God, "I am the bondservant of the Lord, may it be unto me as you say"?

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God; this is your spiritual service of worship." Romans 12:1

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow, lovely snow

We have snow... for the 3rd time this winter!! That is really unusual for us. We usually don't get our good snows until after Christmas. This 3rd one is the best so far, though. We have about an inch or two, and it's coming down again as I write this. My sister has 7 inches where she lives, a couple hours away!!
I may or may not be able to get to work tomorrow... the snow and ice is usually worse out there than it is here at home.
Here's a video of us sledding in our front yard this afternoon:

video

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Restless till I rest in You

I spent Sunday through Thursday of this week in Asheville, NC at the - careful, this is a mouthful - Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA)'s 2010 national conference. It was, in a word, wonderful. Inspiring. Overwhelming. Well worth going. Okay, that was 6 words. Guess that just proves I can't sum it up in a word.
For someone like me, who is passionate about camp ministry and wants to work in it long-term, this week was priceless: Attending seminars to learn about different areas of camp ministry (marketing, staff training, programming, etc). Meeting other people who share the same passion for camp work, and sharing stories and ideas with them. Gleaning wisdom and inspiration from those who have more experience. Learning new things.
And worshiping God... the worship services of the week were a-maz-ing. Brian Wurzell and Audrey Assad were our worship leaders and they were such a blessing to me. There is something awesome about being part of 600+ people from different denominations all worshiping the Lord together. I love it. All over the auditorium, we sang.... some stood, some sat, some lifted their hands. A man was on his knees with his arms raised high. A woman was dancing in the aisle. I cried. It was all beautiful.
How I wish we could see that kind of free worship in my home church.
So yeah, I was definitely on a mountain for those few days -- both literally as well as emotionally and spiritually. The truth about mountains is we can't live on them. We have to come back down into life, the valley of life. But aren't you so thankful for those mountaintop days... they make everything worth it.

You know how we talk about open doors and closed doors? About "when God closes one door He always opens another one"? I was thinking about that yesterday. I read a quote on someone else's blog about facing a lot of closed doors and she said that sometimes she felt like she could literally hear the door slamming shut. I kind of feel that way right now. There's a certain area of life in which I feel like God has closed door after door after door... He shut one just since I've been home this week. It's one of those I can almost hear slamming, and I cringe, because it hurts. And I want to bang on it, kick it, try to push it open. But it's no use. "Not my will but Yours be done."

My room is such a disaster right now. I've let it get messy, and on top of that I'm sorting through stuff, getting ready to move, so that makes it even messier.

This is the song of my heart this week. "Restless" by Audrey Assad.
"You dwell in songs that we are singing
Rising to the heavens, rising to Your heart
Our praises filling up the spaces
In between our frailty and everything You are
You are the Keeper of my heart.
And I'm restless, I'm restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You
I am restless, I'm restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You, O God.
Oh speak now, for my soul is listening
Say that You have saved me, whisper in the dark
I know You're more than my salvation
Without You I am hopeless, tell me who You are
You are the Keeper of my heart
You are the Keeper of my heart
And I'm restless, I'm restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You
I am restless, I'm restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You, O God.
Still my heart, hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry
I'm restless, I'm restless
Till I rest in You, let me rest in You
I am restless, so restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You, O God.

Love, Ashley
PS: if you have a moment, check out my friend's blog airplanesinthesky99.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 4, 2010

TANGLED

Tonight, I took my 2 youngest sisters to see the newest Disney movie "Tangled" at the movie theater. We had fun and the movie was really cute!

I was happy with this Disney movie for a couple of reasons. One, it didn't have those supposed-to-be-funny-but-really-just-super-annoying animal characters in it. There were a couple of comic animal characters, but they were actually cute and made me laugh. Two, though the storyline included magic like most Disney films do, there was no overpowering magical evil being. The "bad guy" was a normal human being. And finally, the movie was just cute. I enjoyed the storyline and the characters. Sure, I'd see it again :-)

And.... it was fun to treat my sisters to a movie and spend an evening with them. Gotta love those girls.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I decided I should probably update again so y'all won't think I'm sitting around depressed, after my last entry. haha.
It's definitely starting to look a LOT like Christmas around here! We actually had our first snow of the season yesterday!! It accumulated a little on the roofs and porch rails, but melted away pretty quickly. Boy, has it been cold, though! We went and got our tree tonight, and Daddy is putting the lights on it as we speak :-) The rest of the decorations got put out a few days ago. Christmas music is playing on all the radio stations, and there's egg nog in the refrigerator. Yayyy!! :-)
Yesterday, we went shopping for bridesmaid dresses -- Briana, Mama, and Holly (another bridesmaid), and myself. It was a really fun girls day! Holly and I tried on sooo many dresses, but Briana still hasn't found "the one" yet. But it was a fun day with lots of giggles and jokes and one-liners. haha.
Today at work, I prepared the camp Christmas cards that we will send out to all our staff and supporters/donors. Six hundred and thirty nine Christmas cards. It took me all day to get that mail-out ready!!! And that's the third big mail-out I've done this month. The other two were the end-of-the-year-asking-for-donations letter and the Staff Midwinter Retreat invitation. I'm super excited about the retreat!! It's always such a great weekend :-)

Question for anyone reading this: How do you say the word caramel? Is the first syllable "care" or "car"?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

a little sad

I mentioned in a recent post that I've been really missing my childhood. Well, I've still been feeling that way a lot. Missing my sister, especially -- her living at home, our childhood together and all our memories. Seriously, we spent 19 years being together almost every single day. And now it seems like, how can it be over? It flew by!
Now she's engaged. Really?! How is that possible? She's my little sister!!
And I just miss the way things used to be. I'm happy for her. But it's sad, too. I guess it's just now hitting me that things are never ever going to be the same. She'll still be my best friend, yes... but it will be different.
In the Bible, God says that we shouldn't keep looking back at the past, but look forward to the new things He's going to do. So I know that's what I need to do, but it's hard. I don't want to forget the past. I want to hold onto those sweet memories. Yet at the same time... I don't want to waste this season of my life. Because it's going to fly by just as faster (or faster) than my childhood did. And, as John Piper says, "I don't want to come to the end of my life and say, 'I've wasted it!'" God is doing some great things right now and has promised to do some great things in the future. "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor can any mind understand the things God has prepared for those who love Him."
Or in the words of Rafiki, "it does not matter, it is in the past!" haha.
So yeah. I don't want to waste this time, longing for the past. And I don't want to miss what God does today or tomorrow because I'm thinking about yesterday.
I'm so thankful for the good memories of my childhood, and the priceless friendship Briana and I have developed. God has amazing plans for her life and Troy's, as well as for my life. I guess we just hold on tight, trust Him, and keep going!


Friday, November 26, 2010

song lyrics

I cherish these moments with You my Lord
When my spirit is willing to rest in Your presence
True contentment begins here with You my Lord
As I cherish these moments with You

Pour out Your love to me
Let it fill my heart to the deepest part
Pour out Your love so that You might see
A reflection of Yourself in me

-- Pour Out Your Love
by Cheri Keaggy

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Give Thanks to the Lord for He is good!"

Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for.... Jesus. salvation. a loving and supportive family. wonderful friends. a great job that gives me a lot of experience and opportunities. a great boss who treats me like a daughter. my home. my sweet puppy. sisters. chocolate. hot showers. a cell phone that lets me keep in touch with people. the Bible. how God speaks in unique ways. amazingly encouraging words from both friends and strangers. music. my guitar. pictures. memories. journals. 70 degree weather. mission trips that have changed my life. opportunities to serve God and people. prayer. my car, Charlie. the ability to love and be loved. God's faithfulness. mountains and lakes and rivers. a future and a hope.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Random Monday Posting

Currently...
..I'm listening to Francesca Battistelli.
..There is an apple pie in the oven and it smells delicious... but I can't eat any ;-) It's to deliver to some friends tomorrow.
..I'm sleepy.
Today, Daddy and I went to look at my new "house" I'm moving into. It needs a little work done on it, so he was looking to see what all needs to be done, how long it will take, etc. Good news - none of it seems to be a big deal! I'm happy about that. Can't wait to get it done, buy furniture and things, and get moved in!! Very excited :-)
It was also fun to spend the afternoon with Daddy. After looking at the house, we went to walmart to do the Thanksgiving grocery shopping.
This evening, I signed up with a site where you can get paid for doing surveys. Daddy has been using it, and got a $14 check in the mail today! So it's actually legit :-) And I kind of enjoy doing surveys, so it's perfect.
Yum... orange creme flavored Yoplait yogurt. A favorite.
Good night!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 30

Day Thirty (LAST DAY).... A Picture.

(Photo credit goes to gracebt.com - just a random website I found this picture on)
This is a picture of how I want to live my life.... in God's creation, in worship and surrender to Him. To me, this picture is beauty and freedom and love. Being loved.

"May I be an offering
In all I am and all I do
Make me pleasing to You
May I be satisfying
In all my ways and all my days
I wanna be an offering."
(Offering by Danielle Chambers)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 29

Day Twenty Nine.... Three Wishes.

"Three wishes, to be exact. And ixnay on the wishing for more wishes. That's all. Three. Uno dos tres. No substitutions, exchanges, or refunds." --Genie of the Lamp :-)
Wow, three wishes. What would I wish for?
1) I'd wish for land. Like, at least a hundred acres. With beautiful mountain views.
2) I'd wish to be really good at playing guitar. (been practicing, but it's def not there yet!!)
3) I'd wish for....man this is hard....oh here's a good one! That it would be possible to travel to other countries without having to spend miserable hours in an airplane! haha

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 28

Day Twenty Eight... Something That Stresses You Out.

I don't get stressed out too often, but I guess one main "stressor" for me would be being late, or not being able to get things done on time. I have dreams about that, so I guess it does stress me out, haha! I'll dream that I'm getting ready to go somewhere, but it's already time to be there, and for whatever reason, I can't get ready -- can't find my stuff, or someone is keeping me from getting ready. Lol anyway... also with my job, if there's a lot to be done, I get worried that I won't get it all done properly and on time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 27

Day Twenty Seven... Pets.

My family has had a lot of pets over the course of our lives -- the typical cats and dogs, as well as the random fish, frogs, and snails that last anywhere from a few days to a few years :-) Our current Pet Roll Call:
- Kacie, who is my dog, a.k.a. my baby girl. She's about 7 or 8 years old, and is a beautiful blonde mutt.
- Holly, our funny pound puppy. She's 11 years old and a beagle-terrier mix.
- Bitsy, our oversized Yorkie. He's 9 years old and dumb.
- Shadow, the my sister Marissa's cat. He's crippled, and thinks he's part-dog.. but sweet.
- Baby, my sister Daniella's cat. He is very aloof.
- Lucy, our African Grey parrot.
- a few fish, whose names I am not aware of.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 26

Day Twenty Six -- A Picture of Your Family.

This is our most recent family picture, taken this past September :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 25

Day Twenty Five.... Put Your Ipod on Shuffle, List the First Ten Songs

1. One by Rebecca St. James
2. How Can I Keep From Singing by Gary Rhodes
3. Offering by Third Day
4. Praise You in the Storm by Casting Crowns
5. Rise and Sing by Gary Rhodes
6. Harder Than the First Time by BarlowGirl
7. Wait For Me by Rebecca St. James
8. You by Rebecca St. James
9. Fifteen by Taylor Swift
10. Quiet You With My Love by Rebecca St. James

Wow.. lots of Rebecca, haha! I don't really even listen to her that much, but her songs happened to come up a lot in my shuffle just now :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 24

Day Twenty Four.... Something You've Learned.

Warning: I'm in a strange emotional state tonight, so this could be weird, deep, shallow, cynical, or random. Just a heads up.
I have learned:
- that God really likes to mess up my plans when I think I've got it all figured out.
- that 90% of guys are jerks (or at least, that's the way it seems!)
- that I really enjoy trying new things and being adventurous.
- that when God says "all things," He means "all things."
- that I'm capable of a lot more than I think I am.
- that being in an airplane for 7 hours is not at all enjoyable.
- that not everyone is going to like me, and I have to get over it.
- that sunshine is good for the soul.
- that growing up is tough.
- that I am loved. Always.

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 23

Day Twenty Three.... Favorite Vacation.

Family vacations have always been a big deal in my family. For most of my life, we went to the beach every year, but there have been a few years that we've done something different. Some of my favorites have been:
- Niagara Falls.
- Disney World.
- North Captiva Island (an island in south Florida where we rented a beach house with a private beach, and the only transportation was golf carts - so cool!)
Another favorite, that wasn't actually a family vacation -- it was kind of a mini vacation within a mission trip -- was when I went on a safari in Kenya. Talk about amazing. LOVED it! I'd love to do that again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"You light up the sky to show me You are with me"

I thought I'd write something besides the 30 day challenge... just felt the urge to write something from the heart :-) So we'll see where it goes.
I'm listening to "Light up the Sky" by The Afters right now. For a while I got really hooked on Taylor Swift and other similar country/pop singers, and was listening to that a lot. And don't get me wrong, I still really like them. Alisha and I were jamming to Taylor Swift in the car last night, and I had a Rascal Flatts song stuck in my head for most of today. But I feel like when I replaced Christian music with country for a couple of weeks, that really contributed to my focus getting kind of wonky, if you know what I mean. It definitely affected me. I found out that I need my Christian music to help keep me focused on God and on what's important. When I'm listening to love songs all the time, that contributes to me getting a lot more focused on guys than I should be. I do enjoy a sweet "love" song, be it Taylor, Rascal, Colbie, or whoever. But listening to Christian music daily definitely helps keep my focus where it needs to be.

I spent the night with my friend Alisha last night -- fun stuff! Today we had a fabulously fun photo shoot :-) We used her guitar and mandolin as props and inspiration. It was a blast and we ended up with some great shots! And now I am inspired to learn how to play my guitar. I took about a year of lessons when I was 12 or 13, but I only remember 4 chords. I absolutely love acoustic guitar though and would love to know how to play.
And just for the record... when a guy can play guitar... oh my goodness. Let's just say that definitely adds to his attractiveness :-)

Types are funny. You know how we say about a certain guy (or girl, if you're a guy), "He/she is/isn't my type." It's interesting how we all prefer different "types." Awhile back, I was interested in a guy, but told my sister that he was really not my type at all. She, being madly in love with her boyfriend-at-the-time-but-now-fiance, gave me her little piece of advice: "Throw your type out the window." hahaha. Apparently, Troy isn't the type she would have seen herself with, but there they are :-) So that was her advice to me. But anyway, nothing ended up happening with that guy - though it came pretty close.
But yeah - I think my type is the "manly" type, haha. Strong, hard-working, pickup truck type. And like I said, playing guitar is always a plus ;-) But who knows. I might end up "throwing that out the window," in Briana's words.

So today was To Write Love On Her Arms Day. I've never participated before, but decided to this year. It was pretty fun. If you're unfamiliar with it -- it's exactly what it sounds like, you write "love" on your arms :-) But the purpose of it is awareness for people suffering with depression and self-injury. Everyone needs to know that they are LOVED... no matter where they are in life. Pretty neat little gesture to remember those around us who are suffering in that way, and a reminder to reach out and show LOVE.

Andddd... now I am going to say goodnight, and maybe go look up a few guitar chords to practice :-)


30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 22

Day Twenty-Two -- Favorite City.

Hmm. I don't think I really have a favorite city. I don't really like cities very much - definitely prefer the country :-) Sometimes visiting cities can be fun. Like the other day, I went to Nashville with my mom, sisters, and future bro-in-law. We drove through downtown and saw all the big buildings, and that was cool. And I'd love to see NYC someday. It's interesting to see that side of life :-) I find it crazy how everyone rushes around and there's so much traffic and activity. But I'd never want to live in a big city. Give me a small-town any day :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 20

Day Twenty (is this a milestone?)... Nicknames.

In case you didn't know, my name is Ashley. Therefore, I have had the nickname "Ash" all of my life, from both my immediate and extended family. My friend Lindsey calls me Ash exclusively, and I have a handful of other friends now who will occasionally call me Ash.
Every once in a while I am called by my last name, or by first and last together, just for fun.
My friend Zach calls me "Ash Cakes."
An older pastor I know calls me "Bobbi Jo" because he can't remember my name.
And my dad has a unique nickname for me that I don't often share :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 19

Day Nineteen... Something You Miss.

Okay, writing this post could make me cry. I've been feeling very sentimental for the past few days about my childhood, my family, growing up, etc. Maybe it's because my sister is getting married soon. Maybe it's because I'm getting ready to move out on my own soon. Maybe a combination. But lately I've just been missing the childhood days -- the days when Briana and I spent hours and hours playing with our Barbies or American Girl dolls, or playing outside imagining up elaborate stories that we would act out. In our teen years, those games turned into creating movies with the family video camera. I miss those times. I miss my best friend being with me every day. It's just crazy to think that all of that is over now, and not coming back. Seems now like it was too short.
But life keeps moving on. (isn't that a line from a song or something?) We're all growing up, and moving on, too. Following God, following our dreams. I'm about to move out and be working in a full-time ministry position... Briana is planning a wedding... Marissa is now a teenager with dreams of her own... Daniella will be a double-digit before we know it. I'm excited to see where the Lord leads each of us! And just pray that we will always stay close as sisters and friends, even if we're living far apart.

Right now I'm wanting to hold on to my childhood and wanting to be an adult at the same time. I guess I *am* an adult... but it sure is weird sometimes! :-)

PS: I didn't cry :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 18

Day Eighteen -- Something You Regret

I don't have a lot of regrets, because in Christ I know I am forgiven and free.

I think one big thing I often regret, though, is wasted time. When you think about it, every day, every hour, every minute, every breath we have on this earth is a precious and fragile gift. Some people didn't get to wake up this morning. None of us have the promise that we'll live through tomorrow. I want every day I live on this earth to be for the glory of God -- loving Him, rejoicing in Him, pointing others to Him, making a difference for His Kingdom. Of course we all need rest times. But I certainly don't want to waste time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 17

Day Seventeen - Something You're Looking Forward To

I'm looking forward to several upcoming events! In chronological order...
1) Tuesday when I hopefully get to talk with my boss about my job situation
2) Next month when I attend the Christian Camping Association National Conference
3) Christmas
4) Staff Retreat in March

These are a few things I'm really anticipating right now! :-) I really can't believe it's only a month and a half till Christmas! I'm *starting* to get into the mood for it...

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 16

Day Sixteen.. Your Dream House

Hmmm. As a girl, of course I've given this thought :-) I have to say that currently, my "dream house" is just an apartment or some place I can decorate and call my own! I'm at that point in life that I want "my own place," and hopefully, if all goes according to plan, I may be getting one soon.

But in the future, my real dream house is a white farmhouse on lots of acreage. Maybe something like this:
or this:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 15

Day Fifteen -- A Bible Verse

Obviously, there are thousands to choose from, and they're all good :-) But the one I'm choosing to share today is Ephesians 5:15-18,

"Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine...but be filled with the Spirit."

I came across this verse on Facebook this morning, as I was reading through my friends' status updates, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. To me, it says, be wise... don't waste your life... don't fall under the influence of the ways of the world... seek God, find His will, and follow it.
It was a good reminder to me this morning.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 14


Day Fourteen... A Picture You Love.

There are soooo many pictures I love, it's hard to choose just one. But since I'm not at home and only have access to a few pictures right now, it was a little easier to choose one tonight :-)
I took this one at the end of the summer -- August 2010. I like this picture because #1, it was taken at camp, one of my favorite places in the world. #2, it's at the lake, one of my favorite places in camp -- I love sitting on the dock with my feet in the water. #3, my toenails are painted blue. #4, I have pretty amazing tan lines from wearing Tevas all summer. They have almost completely faded now, but during the summer, sandal tan lines become almost a competition :-) I guess this picture just makes me happy.

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 13

Day Thirteen -- Goals.

This is a very broad topic. I'm not sure where to begin :-)
I guess I have several pretty big goals for my life. One would be to get married and have a family. Another big one is to purchase some acreage, build a house, and have a farm/ranch/camp. I want to be in ministry.
My biggest goal, though, is to be more like Jesus and to glorify Him in everything. This life is not about me and I want His will to be done, not mine.

"Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the GOAL for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (philippians 3:13-14) I realized recently that the GOAL he's talking about is "that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (verse 12). Jesus took hold of us for the purpose of salvation, for becoming holy and Christlike... right? That's His goal and it should be ours.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 12

Day 12... What You Believe

Believe: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something

I believe that God exists, that He is the Creator of the universe, and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all who call upon Him.
I believe that God has put some of the most wonderful people in my life.
I believe that Camp is one of the best places in the world, and some of the best friends come from Camp, too.
I believe that God loves me more than I can understand.
I believe that laughter is good medicine.
I believe in dancing.
I believe that Christians should be Jesus on this earth.
I believe in unconditional love.
I believe in giving back rubs and long, tight hugs.
I believe that mountains are better than the beach.
I believe that music speaks when words fail.
I believe that chocolate really does make you feel better sometimes.
I believe that the man God has for me is out there somewhere and God will bring us together soon.
I believe in the power of prayer and God's faithfulness.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 11

Day Eleven... Favorite TV Shows

I've never watched a *lot* of television, but in the past year or two, I've gotten hooked on 2 shows -- Criminal Minds and NCIS. Never thought I'd like crime shows!! But I do really like those two, and just as much for the character development as the actual crime solving part.

The NCIS cast... Ziva and Abby are my favorite characters :-) And Tony too, I guess.

Criminal Minds cast.. It's hard to pick a favorite character here, but I think I'd choose Derek, JJ, and Penelope. And yes, as immature as it is, I must admit I have a bit of a celebrity crush on Derek :-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 10

Day 10 -- Something You're Afraid Of.

Rejection.
What people think.
Staying single for years to come.
Spiders.
Losing people I love.
Murderers/rapists/etc.
Bridges.
Whales.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 9

Day Nine... A Picture of Your Friends

I'm excited about this entry :-) I have some pretty amazing friends. Besides my bff (my sister Briana), here are some of them.

My friend Dulce. I met her on a mission trip to Guatemala, where she is a missionary. She lived here in the States for 3 years -- during which time we got to be really good friends -- but moved back to Guatemala a few years ago. This past summer, I went there to be the maid of honor in her wedding!

My friend Alisha. We met at camp, on a staff/counselor retreat. We are really not much alike, and she is 4 years younger than me, but we hit it off really well. We are crazy together :-)

My friend Amanda, who I also met at camp! (the best friends come from camp) Amanda encourages me sooo much! She sends me little messages and texts all the time to just brighten my day.. I'm so thankful for her.

Some of my guy friends from camp. It's great to have "camp brothers"!

Irene, who I met in Guatemala this past summer, actually lives in Spain! She is precious.

Lindsey and I have been friends since I was 10 years old! I got to be in her wedding too :-) We don't keep in touch now as much as we should, but I still love her!

The small group I'm part of.

God has blessed me with some GREAT friends, especially in the past year or so. I love them all :-) and am thankful that they're part of my life. I hope I can be as much of a blessing and encouragement to them as they are to me!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So, usually here at work/camp, we just have sandwiches or hot dogs for lunch. But this week I have been cooking actual meals for our maintenance guys/volunteers, and it's been really enjoyable. Yesterday I made spaghetti and today, baked chicken and mac&cheese. It was fun to see the surprise on their faces as they exclaimed, "Wow! This is a real meal!" :-) Today after I cooked and served lunch and began washing the dishes, my friend Alisha called me a "housewife." :-) But I've really enjoyed serving the guys in this way.

All right, a few lines from a song that's on my mind tonight... then I'm headed to bed.
"I never got anywhere by running away
I never learned anything without a mistake
I never loved anyone by playing it safe....
Here goes nothing, here goes everything
Gotta reach for something or you'll fall for anything
Take a breath, take a step
What comes next, God only knows
But here goes."

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 8

Day Eight -- A Place You've Traveled.

Here in the United States, I've traveled to 14 states (I think!). Never been out west, but I'd love to! My family and I have also been to Canada -- to Niagara Falls and Toronto.

But I have to say probably the most exciting and interesting places I've traveled have been my international trips. I've been to Guatemala six times and to Kenya once. I love seeing other parts of the world! Those two places and the people there have definitely changed my life, and pieces of my heart live there now :-)

The next place on my list to visit (besides the western US) is Europe! I actually have a friend in Spain, so maybe I'll start there...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 7

Day Seven - Favorite Movies

Considering it's late and I'm not feeling so great and about to go to bed... and this is a very simple topic... I'm not going to do any explaining, just going to offer you a list of my favorites :-)

In no particular order:
- Fiddler on the Roof
- Little Women
- The Sound of Music
- Facing the Giants
- A Walk to Remember
- Ever After
- The Lake House

I really haven't seen many recent movies. My friends are often teasing me about that -- good-naturedly, of course! When someone asks me "have you seen ____?" my response is usually "no." Oh well! :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 6

Day 6... A Picture of Something That Makes You Smile

I thought about this one for a little bit, because truly, a lot of things make me smile. But I decided to go with kids... because kids really make me smile and laugh a lot.

my little sisters...

kids at camp... I'm so blessed that my job and calling involves working with kids.


and my friends' kids at church... esp this little one :-)

Kids are just precious... and they can teach us so much. After all, God tells us to have childlike hearts!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 5

Day 5... Your Siblings

Yay, this is a fun topic! I love my sisters to death! :-) I'm the oldest of 4 girls, and we have a lot of fun together. For the first 11 years of my life, it was just Briana and me. We have always been best friends! Oh goodness.... there's no describing all the memories, inside jokes, crazy stories, and all the things we did together as kids. One of our favorite things to do was/is making movies :-) Now we are both adults, and she is getting married next year!

^Bri and me^

When I was 11 and Briana was 7, we traveled to Guatemala to adopt my 2nd sister, Marissa, who was 7 months old at the time. It was so fun to have a baby in the house! She's growing up super fast and is a teenager now -- can't believe it. She is beautiful, and we like to talk and joke together. She's a photographer (like me) and an artist, and looooves Nancy Drew :-)

^Marissa and me^

Then, when I was 15, we brought little Daniella home from Guatemala. She was a year old. Oh, what a ball of energy she is! She moves -- and talks -- pretty much continuously. She loves animals and is passionate about many things. She also likes hugs and cuddling, and so do I, so we do a lot of that ;-)

^Dani and me^

Like I said.... I love my sisters like crazy. They are the best! I've never had a brother, but always wanted one. In the past year, God has blessed me with a few guy friends who are kind of like brothers to me, and treat me like a sister. I'm glad to have them in my life, too!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 4

I was at camp all day yesterday, first working then hanging out with friends, so needless to say, I missed yesterday's update. So, here it is!

Day 4 -- Your Parents

My parents are great! First, my dad...


People tell me I look just like my dad -- I've heard that all my life! :-) I enjoy talking with him, watching crime shows together, and arm-wrestling with him. He's super smart, and can answer almost any question I have for him. He has been my hero many times :-) and makes me laugh. We have been on 3 mission trips to Guatemala together -- priceless experiences!

My mom and I are good friends, and have become more so in the past couple of years. We talk about everything!! She is my secret keeper :-) and gives me a lot of good advice. We laugh together a lot, and she prays aloud for me every night that I'm home :-) She has talked me through many a conflict and decision.


My parents have been married for 25 years.... I love that they are committed to each other, and support each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I'm also thankful that they chose to homeschool us.. they have taught me so much! Love you Daddy and Mama!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 3

Day Three: Your First Love

I assume this is referring to boys, as in who was the first boy I fell in love with. Well... I could tell you about my first crush, Cory... but that only lasted for a week, and I was nine. I don't think that counts as my first love :-)

The first time I actually considered myself as possibly being "in love" was at age -- hmm, I don't remember for sure -- 15 or 16, I believe. I liked this guy for a loooong time. Years. And he was the first one for whom I'd ever felt more than just a simple crush that lasted a week or two. I liked him a LOT. I thought I probably loved him.

He was a big flirt, and I loved being flirted with. I would get jealous when he talked to other girls. I wanted to marry him. The whole nine yards.

But obviously - not surprisingly -- nothing was meant to be with it. And of course I'm perfectly fine with that and thankful for it now. But that's the story of my first love.
I've loved, or at least thought I loved, a few guys since then, but here I am still a single lady :-) God is keeping me for the right one, and for that I'm grateful. Because really, He is my first and greatest love, and I'm trusting Him to write a beautiful love story for me.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 2

Day 2: The Meaning Behind Your Blog Name

"Dreams that move the mountains" is a line from a great song called "What Faith Can Do" by the Christian band Kutless. I really like the song, and this line is one of my favorites in it. I have my dreams, like we all do, but I feel like some of them are pretty impossible. But I know all things are possible with God, and He can take hold of those dreams and do something AMAZING with them for HIS glory. That's what I want! So I want my dreams to be "dreams that move the mountains."

Here's the song... enjoy! You can do ALL things through CHRIST! :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge... Day 1

Day 1 -- Introduction, Recent Picture, and 15 Random Facts


Well, here's my introduction, although most of you reading this probably already know me :-) My name is Ashley and I'm a 24-year-old child of God. I'm also a homeschool graduate and the oldest of 4 sisters. I work at a Christian camp and retreat center and I love it! Jesus is my life!!
Now for my 15 Random Facts:
1) I love chocolate, pretty much in any form.
2) I've had one magazine article published so far, and hope to publish a book one day.
3) Parasailing is fun.
4) I got a machete for my birthday -- big knives excite me.
5) Giraffes and zebras are my favorite zoo animals.
6) But llamas are very cool, too.
7) I listen to music ALL the time.
8) I accomplished a lot of "firsts" this summer -- swimming in a lake, watching Star Wars, and shooting a gun, to name a few.
9) Coconut is gross.
10) I really want a baby.
11) I absolutely love the mountains.
12) Swinging is amazing.
13) I stink at sports, but I'm kind of learning to play soccer. Sort of. Unofficially.
14) I do not watch Glee, though everyone else in the world seems to.
15) My car's name is Charlie.

Monday, October 11, 2010

ugh

Why is it that the only guys who ever tell me I'm beautiful are ones that I'm not interested in or can't be with? I mean, it's flattering to be told that by anyone... but it would certainly be nice if it came from someone who was actually a possibility. Know what I mean?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"you know, this could be something..."

I'm lying here on my bed this Sunday afternoon listening to my Taylor Swift station on Pandora.com. I really love Pandora. I type in Taylor Swift and it gives me not only her songs, but also Rascal Flatts, Colbie Caillat, Carrie Underwood, etc. I also have a Britt Nicole station and a Broadway station. Good stuff.

Anyway. Church was good this morning. The people who work in our international student ministry gave a report/testimony from the past year's ministry. Always good to hear what God is doing in people's lives.

You know what's frustrating? When you decide you're kinda interested in somebody, that maybe there could be something... and then you realize they're not interested back. It's not terrible like you were in love with them and they broke your heart... just an interest and then the realization that nothing's gonna happen. Just really frustrating. Maybe knowing there are no other potentials makes it more frustrating.
I'll keep waiting. God has something good in store. I just have to keep reminding myself of that again and again.

That's all for now....
Ashley

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Birthday :-)

So I turned 24 yesterday. That seems so old, doesn't it? You wouldn't believe how many people this week have asked me my age and been shocked when I told them, responding, "you can't possibly be that old!!" haha.
Anyway, yesterday was a great day. But let me begin with the weekend. Two of my really good girlfriends and I were planning to do something special on my birthday weekend. We tried and tried to plan something, but with all of our schedules, it just didn't work out for this wknd. Has to be postponed. So I was kind of disappointed about that, not getting to hang out with friends for my birthday. Well, on Saturday morning we had a group of kids at camp, so several of the summer staff came out to help us run activities for them. It's always great to see summer staff :-) We were done with work by 11 in the morning, but ended up hanging out at camp alllll day, playing games, talking, and just goofing off. It was really fun. So I ended up getting to have a day with friends on my birthday weekend anyway -- just different friends. It was good, and now I'm still looking forward to a day with those special girls later :-)
So yesterday, I spent the day with my family. My sister even came in :-) As one of my gifts, I got the game "Just Dance" for the Wii, so we spent quite a bit of time dancing. Everyone got in on the fun, so it was great. Last night we went out for dinner at a neat little restaurant owned and run by a local lady. Great place.

Like I said, 24 seems old. I don't know why it's that much different from 23, but somehow it is. It's like now I'm officially in my mid-20's. I asked myself the other day, "I'm an adult, but why do I still so often feel so much like a child? Weak, afraid, inadequate?" I want to do big things with God and for God, and have these big dreams... I want to get out, take the next step, get started on the adventurous life God has called me to... but I feel like a small child, unprepared for any of it.
But the truth is He has been preparing me. He's been preparing me for 24 years, and that's all been part of the journey. I'm sooo thankful for this past year and all He has done, how He has changed me. But I still need His help. The summary is, "Who is adequate for these things?...Not that we are adequate in ourselves, but our adequacy comes from God." 2 Corinthians 2:17, 3:5.

Who knows what this next year holds? Only God.... but I'm anticipating it!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall

Wow, it's been a long time. Spring's gone, summer's gone, and it's the first day of fall. Hard to believe it.
MUCH has happened that I could write about in the past 5 months, but for now I'll just give a really brief update. First off -- life is good and God is good. Here we go:
1) It was an amazing summer. My first year working all 12 weeks of summer camp, and also first year on staff (rather than counselor). It was definitely the hardest and most exhausting summer of my life, but very very good, too. More detail on that later, perhaps.
2) I'm taking an online college class right now, after a year off of college.
3) My 20-year-old sister got engaged last week! So now wedding plans are the hot topic of conversation :-) I get to be her maid of honor. I'm soooo excited for her and her fiance!
4) I'm doing a lot of thinking about the future right now. Things like work and money and moving out... all that good stuff. I don't know what God has in store. I know right now I feel restless and ready to get going. But I'll wait on Him. Some opportunities have been put before me and I've got some decisions to make. Lord show me the way!!

That's about it for now. I'll try to update again soon.
~Ashley

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who knew?

So this week at camp has been pretty crazy for me, working on the "summer staff" project. Who knew hiring summer staff was so complicated?!
See what paperwork everyone has or is missing. Schedule interviews. Mail paperwork. Call to verify references. Notify everyone of the training dates. Copy W4 forms. Sort through forms and references that come in the mail and add them to the correct file. Rearrange file cabinets to make room for the 2010 paperwork. Create personnel files for new staff. WOW! It can be mind-boggling and tiring... but I do enjoy it! It's a good challenge! :-)

The counselor count is rising, but we are still in need of a few more, especially guys. Please keep praying about that!

In other news... it's a beautiful spring here in East Tennessee! My youngest sister turned 9 last week, and another sister turns 13 soon. Man, they are growing up fast!! I'm getting old. haha. God is good and His lovingkindness endures forever!!! :-)

God bless,
Ashley

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hello again!
My family and I have been visiting my sister Briana at her apartment for the past couple of days. She lives a couple of hours from us and is an actress at a theater. On Sunday, we went to see her closing performance of "Annie." They did a 50-show run of that musical. Today we are going to see her perform in a play called "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel." I have no idea what it's about, but I've heard some pretty interesting things about it, so we'll see! This one is her first big speaking part, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Things have been running smoothly -- and very busy! -- at Camp for the past few weeks. It's only 5 weeks until the summer camp season starts, so we are down to the nitty-gritty of hiring summer staff and all that fun stuff! Actually, recruiting counselors has been something I've really enjoyed working on. :-) We're in need of quite a few more, though. We need about 32 counselors per week, and currently we only have about 12 per week. This morning in my quiet time I read Matthew 9:37-38, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." Definitely a prayer we can pray for camp right now!

Have a wonderful week and God bless!
~Ashley


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Camp Happenings

Hello out there! So it's been a little while since my last entry -- oops! But I'm here now! :-)

The last weeks of winter and first week of spring have been a busy, busy time for us at the Christian camp I work for. My boss moved me to working 3 days a week rather than 2, because things will be pretty busy from now until summer camp starts. (and then they'll be insane and I'll be living there! haha)

The first weekend of March was our annual staff retreat. A bunch of young people who work as camp counselors during the summer came up to camp for the retreat. It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise, and we had an amazing time playing games, attending the worship sessions, and just hanging out, reconnecting, and getting pumped up for summer camp. Here are a few pictures from the weekend...


Me and some of my coworkers decorating the lodge before everyone arrived

Thanks to my friend Alisha, I finally learned how to shoot a bow-and-arrow!

The wonderful band that played for our worship sessions

Playing a game

me with two of my good friends from camp

A few days after the staff retreat, I went with a couple of coworkers to give a presentation about camp at a church. I was really nervous, because I don't enjoy public speaking! I'm determined, though, that one day I'm going to be a better speaker, with God's help!

The next big event was last night, the first Camp Job Fair. I was expecting to just be helping with paperwork, and maybe sit in on a couple of interviews as a learning experience... but more people showed up than we expected, so I actually ended up interviewing 5 people! My boss let me sit in with him on one, then started handing people off to me! haha. I was nervous at first, but it got a little easier with each one.

And finally, coming up at the end of this week is our HUGE annual fundraising banquet to raise money for camp scholarships (so underpriviledged kids can come to camp). We are expecting between 600 and 700 guests. Wow!! Once the banquet is over, we can really focus on getting ready for summer. Can't wait!

I've learned SO much already in the almost 6 months I've been working at camp. But lesson #1 is definitely that there is way more work and detail involved in running a camp ministry than I ever dreamed!

~Ashley

NOTE: My pictures are a little messed up for some reason; I'm trying to correct this! They are too big to fit on the page!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bugs in the Floor

I wanted to transfer some of my favorite posts from my old blog over to this new one. Here is a funny post from back in 2006, titled "Bugs in the Floor."

The floor at the dance studio where I take ballet gets re-waxed every so often, and apparently, last time they waxed it, they forgot to sweep first. If one looks, one can find sequins, little pieces of thread or fuzz, etc. forever trapped under the glossy floor.

Wednesday night at ballet practice, my teacher was working with some of the girls while the rest of us were sitting around waiting for our turn. My friend and I were sitting on the floor in the back corner of the studio, with two other girls standing next to us, and somehow my friend and I started talking about the stuff under the floor.

All of a sudden, I looked to my left and saw, under the top layer of the floor, a bug. It was one of those that flies, with the long legs and little wings, and he was all squooshed out flat. I showed it to my friend and we started cracking up. Then we showed the other two girls who were standing there. They thought it was hilarious, too.

Then - no joke - we found another squooshed bug just a few inches away from that one!! So we all started looking for other things trapped in the floor. I can't imagine what the teacher or the other students might have thought if any of them saw us over there in the corner -- all 4 of us down on our hands and knees, inspecting the floor. It was really great. Hey, you gotta just be a kid sometimes, right?


I hope everyone has a great weekend!
~Ashley

Friday, February 19, 2010

God Made Me Smile Yesterday

Yesterday I went to work for the first time in over a week -- I only work 2-3 days a week and have not been able to go because of snow/icy roads twice lately. Anyway, it was the day after my friend Jenny's funeral (see prev. post) and those waves of sadness were still coming at random times. The other two people I normally work in the office with were gone for meetings all day -- the maintenance guys and cleaning lady were there but were out and about working on the property, so I was in the office by myself for much of the day. That can get a little lonely sometimes. So to summarize, I wasn't feeling very joyful yesterday morning.

But yesterday was also the first day of blue sky and sunshine we've had here in days. It was sooo good to see the sun! Sometime after lunch, I impulsively got up from my desk, walked out on the front porch of the office and just stood in the sunshine, breathing deeply of the 45-degree air (much warmer than it has been). It was beautiful... the sun finally coming out was just a reminder of God's love and of hope.

Later that afternoon, one of the maintenance guys -- someone I've known for a couple of years and is a good guy -- came in the office to do some work. I was sitting at my desk working on the computer, and three new rugs that had been purchased were on the floor next to me. He pulled the stickers off all three rugs and stuck them on the back of my shirt. It was so random, we both laughed.

And what started out as kind of a "downer" day ended up a pretty good one. So I wrote on my Facebook when I got home:

Thank You Lord for the sunshine to warm my face and my heart...thanks for a good song on the radio to lift my spirits...thanks for co-workers who make me laugh. Thank You for making me smile today when I didn't really feel like it. You're the best :-)

God is good, on good days and bad. Look for the evidence in the little things! He loves us so much.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sad News

Well, I hate to post sad news on my blog on only the 2nd post. But I wanted to update, and I don't feel that I can write about anything else right now until I share what's on my heart.
My friend Jenny was killed in a car accident yesterday. She had just turned 19. We weren't super-close, but I've known her for a long time. We used to hang out a lot, and have been keeping in touch through email recently. I loved her as a friend and as a Christian sister. It was a huge shock to hear about her death.

Please keep Jenny's family and friends in your prayers -- her mom and dad, 2 sisters, and one brother. I can't imagine what they're going through.
Jenny was a sweet, funny, fun-loving, hard-working girl who loved the Lord. Over the past two days, I've been remembering all the silly jokes and fun times we shared when we used to hang out together more often. It's crazy how you can go for awhile not thinking about someone very often... and then suddenly you can't get them out of your mind.

This Scripture has been an encouragement to me: "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life...nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39) Jenny belongs to Jesus, and I know she is safe in His arms. I'm thankful to have that assurance, even though the loss hurts those of us left behind.

Jenny 1991-2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blogging Again

Hello and welcome to my new blog! I have been blogging for several years over at homeschoolblogger.com, but have really neglected it for the past year. Most of my blog friends there have either quit blogging or moved to different sites... so I've decided to try to "start fresh" with my blogging! Over the next few weeks, I'll probably be moving some of my favorite posts from my old blog over to this new one, in addition to new posts.

In the meantime, a little about me. As my sidebar says, I'm a 2005 homeschool graduate. I live at home with my parents and two of my younger sisters -- the other sister moved to her own place over a year ago. I have a part-time job with a Christian camp/retreat center, mainly doing promotion, mail-outs, that sort of thing. I really like it a lot!

I'm hoping to get back into the habit of weekly blogging, and hopefully this will be a place where I will share various and random thoughts about life, work, and my relationship with God. I hope you'll join me!
God bless,
Ashley