Friday, June 29, 2012

if you're happy and you know it...

I'm happy.
This has turned out to be an amazing's been a fabulous week...and a wonderful day today! My heart is so full of joy and smiles. God is so faithful and good to me.

I'm thankful for opportunities to be involved in His kingdom work.
I'm thankful for some special people in my life.
I'm thankful that He's been speaking to me through His word a lot lately.
I'm thankful for hope and a future (Jer 29:11)

Life truly is good, y'all, because God is good. And joy is a wonderful thing, too :-)

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I've been reading "Shadow of the Almighty," the biography of Jim Elliot, the missionary martyr - excellent and challenging book! The following is an excerpt from a letter Jim Elliot wrote to his wife Elisabeth....BEFORE they were married, when they were just beginning a relationship:

"...And what [am I] trembling about? Three things: you, me, and God. I tremble to think that forwardness in declaring my feeling to you is actually affecting your entire life. I have an idea that it will be almost impossible for you to discern the Lord's mind for you without struggling through a maze of thought and feeling about me. What if, in the real test, your feeling should overcome your faith? Whose then the responsibility? Not entirely yours. For this I fear - that I, stepping out of the path of the Lord for just a moment, should draw you with me...
There is within a hunger after God, given of God, filled by God...What makes me tremble is that I might allow something else (you, for example) to take the place my God should have. I tremble lest in any way I offend my Eternal Lover."

I love two things about this...okay, maybe three :-) First, I'm a romantic and just love a good love story!! Even though I know Jim and Elisabeth ended up getting married, following the story of their relationship is still pretty great.
But on a more serious note, one thing that grabs me about this excerpt is how Jim's love and hunger for God came first, even before his love for Elisabeth. He had committed his entire life to the Lord, and was concerned that absolutely nothing should get in the way of that. I want to love God that way!!
Finally, it's awesome that both his love for God and his love for Elisabeth combined in his concern that he not be a distraction from her own walk with the Lord. Just this morning at church, the verse was brought up, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her." Sacrificial love...wanting GOD's best for the other person...and it goes both ways.

I think this is applicable to ALL Christian relationships and friendships, not just marriage!! What a always keep God first in our own lives and to seek His best for those we love. However, it also reminds me, personally, of the verse in Proverbs 31 that says "she does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life." This attitude of seeking God's best for the other person should be part of my attitude toward my future husband even now, while I'm still single.

Any thoughts or feedback on any of the above?

Monday, June 18, 2012

an update that's brief and concise...ish

So... I've been intending to write something here for a while now, but whenever I started to do so, couldn't think of what to write.  Not that there's nothing to talk about.  The question is HOW to briefly and concisely describe everything that has been happening in my life and heart!
A lot of changes have taken place lately.  I'm no longer working at Camp.  God said it was time to move on to something new... I have known that for a year, but just recently has it actually been the exact time that needed to happen.  May 25 was my last day of working - and living - at Camp.  That was a very difficult decision to make, even though I knew it was the right one.  Camp and the people I lived and worked with there became very, very dear to me.  Let's just say that the goodbyes were not pretty!!  But on the other hand, in spite of all the heartache and tears and "oh-my-goodness-what-am-I-doing-I-can't-do-this," those last few days were precious days, in a way.  I felt so loved and embraced by my Camp family, through the words they spoke, prayers they prayed, and gifts they gave.  Those people, that ministry, and the season of life I spent serving at Camp, will always have a special place in my heart!
One day last week, I went back up to Camp to visit and hang out for the afternoon.  I wasn't sure how it would feel to be back (considering how hard it was to leave!), and it was a strange feeling, but not necessarily a bad one.  When I left, one of the camp pastors told me, "It's like sticking your finger in the ocean" -- everything keeps right on moving, like you were never there.  It was good to see everything still moving right along at Camp, and to have the feeling that, even though I miss it, that's not my place anymore.  And that's okay.
So, on to what's next, right?  Whatever that is!  :-)  For now, I have moved back in with my family, and am spending the summer doing ministry work (Vacation Bible School, inner-city outreach camp, etc) and mission trips.  In less than a month, I'll be traveling to Kenya and then on to Romania, to be out of the country for almost four weeks.  I'm very excited and nervous about that!
As I pursue these opportunities this summer, I'm seeking and praying that the Lord gives me direction on what's next.  I've applied for a few ministry jobs, and "waiting and seeing" now.  It's a kinda scary place to be... not just financially because I don't have an income anymore, but also in wondering, what am I going to do with life from this point on?  I don't want to be stuck in a place of feeling like I'm wasting the days.  I absolutely want this season of life, and the next, to count for something good for God's kingdom and glory.  I think He will honor that... I just have to be patient while waiting on Him to reveal His plan.  AND I have to be diligent to seek Him every day, right now, while I'm waiting, and allow Him to be doing His work in my heart and life.

So there's the sort-of-brief, sort-of-concise life update from Ashley!  ;-)  I hope to start writing regularly again now...