Thursday, September 6, 2018

Singles Day 2018

My sister sent me info about this "Single's Day" thing, so I thought I'd give it a shot.The guy/girl ratio is slim but you never know haha.

Without further ado....(had to google that spelling) 

1. First things first, my name is Ashley, I'm 28 (#90's) and I live in Tennessee. (Originally from Kansas)

2. Im a born again Christian and actively serving in my church. Love it! 

3. I love to sing and I sing all the time, can't stop-won't stop. (I don't suck though don't worry.)

4. I'm a teacher and I mostly love my job. HA. 

5. I'm pretty laid back, not super adventurous. Short hikes/bike rides are my limit. Or roller coasters! 

6. I like to cook, I'm not too shabby. ;)

7. I want to be an Esthetician when I grow up :) {That's a skin care specialist- now youdon't have to google it }

8. I used to be a missionary. Lived in Peru for two years. I LOVED IT! And yes, I speak some Spanish. 

9. I am looking for a marriage that lasts a lifetime that's built on laughs, love, and ultimately Christ. He is my first and last love. 

10. I don't drink/smoke/cuss/party etc, and plan to be with someone who shares the same preferences. (Don't worry though, we will always have fun!) 

11. I have never been married, but I've dated quite a bit. When it's right I know God's peace will be there. That's what's always been missing! 

12. I don't have kids but I love them and hope to have some someday!

13. I should probably end with this honest truth..... I have a mild shopping problem. More of a medium shopping problem...but we can save that discussion for another day.  

                                                                    Happy Singles Day! 

P.S....this is my old blog from when I lived in Peru. I have a more updated one --- The link just wouldn't work! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Leaving It All Behind...Where I am, where I've been and where I'm going!

     I thought I'd write a quick blog today to explain a little about how this year home has impacted my life and where I'll be going in about a week- a girls home! (Not for me...although I'm sure I could use the extra discipline haha). 

     This year was unexpected to say the least. I never would have imagined living with my mom and dad, brother AND sister again, in the same house, in my 20's. BUT I have both enjoyed and needed the time home to recover. (Also so thankful I have a place to come home to). 

     Going to Peru was an amazing adventure, and as much as missions is all about what God's doing overseas, it can also easily feel sometimes like its all about you. { Even more so being a young single missionary. (Yes I said young...I am still young regardless of what my siblings say lol)}.

      Everyone seemed so interested in my life and I loved sharing my experience through blogs and pictures, but it also made me too concerned about other peoples attention and opinionsAnd then the attention wasn't so exciting.....when you have a dramatic relationship saga that everyone is following on Facebook and it crashes and burns...I think it kinda makes people a little weirded out, and also makes you want to hide

Life went from booming and blooming to dark and difficult. 

I have learned a lot this year. More than anything I've learned that God's opinion and attention is so much more important in my life than anyone else's. That truth changed my heart.

-If not for this year, I'd never have met the Lord at my worst
and felt His love the most. 

I've learned that sometimes God allows things to happen 
and it will never really all make sense to you.

-I'd never have known that in order to heal you need to get angry, 
 He'll change that anger when you're ready. 

-I've learned that having an honest mind changes everything
Whatever you think about is who you will be.

 -I'd never have learned that real faith is played out 
when your security is stripped away. 

For everything there is a season, and I am ready to move on to this season of blessing. I can feel it in my bones, Shenandoah is going to be a great adventure!

I'm ready to laugh, and make memories again with the Herrells! (For those who don't know, they are the missionaries I worked with in Peru and they recently moved back to the states to take over this girls home, and then asked me to come work with them...thats how I got the job!) 

I'm looking forward and not looking back. 

Philippians 3:13 

"13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Heart Wants What it Wants

     Here I am, sitting in Mokas on this cold Monday afternoon. Yesterday we took the kids to the park after jr. church, and now its cloudy cold and no fun! That is Kansas for you, unpredictable. But I have enjoyed the many cozy days like these as they give me time to drink a lot of coffee and think. To learn to think well. Ever had a day with too much time on your hands, and all the sudden your thinking turns to worry which turns to anxiety which leads to....eating cake. Hah. So been there, so many times.

     Life is NEW though, this is one thing I am so thankful for. No matter how many hard days come, we really can pick back up the next day and try again...sooner or later days aren't so hard and life starts to be sweet again in a whole new way. I was so thankful this morning for a lot of things as I was reading my Bible and working on a Bible study called "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter.  (Its a GREAT study and I'd highly recommend it btw!). There were sections which asked me to talk about the current things that rule my day, my thoughts and my heart, and how they have power over me. There have been many, many MANY days where I could have written paragraphs about how crippled my heart felt under their power, and how helpless I felt as to how to combat them. Just read my last blogpost from Nov. Feeling paralyzed in the "tomb" of regret, fear, and pain with Jesus.


Today....I realized something. I have so furiously been studying, thinking about, praying about and listening to everything I can get my hands about these things, that my heart is FULL of the truth today, and not.... sad!!!There I said it....I am not hurting today!! I don't mean the initial shock type of hurts, those are so painful and only heal with time, and thankfully I've fully recovered :D The hurt I'm referring to though are the hurts that linger... ones deeply rooted in your heart. Habits, regrets, memories, questions and things you NEED to understand but just can't yet. Things you cannot change.

The difference I see today is that God has taken HIS rightful place in my heart again, and even more than ever before. It feels good too ;)

    After so many days of questions and broken-heartedness, I finally see what God was trying to show me all along. It was worth it all. 

That truth being that for the first time, my heart wants Jesus MORE

More than what I thought it wanted and needed before. More than I ever wanted or needed HIM before. You fill in the blanks for yourself.
I want Him more than all I thought I ever needed. I really do!
When life crushes you, you truly look up, and realize that He is STILL there and isn't leaving.
And this time with your eyes open and not shut. 

I heard this song on the radio while at Mokas and the lyrics are sad.
(Selena Gomez)

The bed's getting cold and you're not here
The future that we hold is so unclear
But I'm not alive until you call
And I'll bet the odds against it all
Save your advice 'cause I won't hear
You might be right but I don't care
There's a million reasons why I should give you up
But the heart wants what it wants

All of that mess she's singing about...all that is what she's treasuring because thats obviously where her heart is. And she seems a bit...torn, if you ask me. LOL. But honestly, find your treasure and find your heart. No wonder we don't know how to guard our heart, we go ALL out for anything we treasure and wonder why we've ended up broken. I look forward to sharing more about this soon.

I hope today you thank God for where you're at, let Him break you so He can use you, and I hope you trust Him, and me, that it really will be okay. Its worth letting go to have a full heart in Him.

xoxo- Ash

Monday, November 10, 2014

Today I Lay...My Time in the Tomb

I know that this blog was created for my time in Peru, but I would like to share my heart, which is still a very missionary heart, for a few moments tonight.

I have never experienced something like this in my life, I will say that. Nobody dreams of tragedy or pain, but the Bible promises in one way or another, it will come. And apparently, it's my time. Day by day, I am learning to be grateful for all the trials permits because I know they are for a good reason.

The title of the small book I'm reading is called "Today I Lay". It's about being crucified with Christ. All along I assumed the "lay" part was where we lay our wills, desires, sins- anything that God requires of us- good or bad- at His feet. Tonight as I was reading the chapter on the tomb though, my heart melted as I understood why the title was truly written in the first place.

The book goes through our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection with Christ as we endure pain and sacrifice in life. This crucifixion comes for the sin and sake of others and self. That is what I learned first. Secondly, crucifixion is excruciatingly difficult. Laying down our desires and dying daily always hurts so much. And some days...God must pull our hands away or we'll never lay it down. In my case, that was it.

But tonight, as I read about the tomb, my heart melted. The crucifixion is actually quite short,-we give up and we hurt and grieve. The resurrection is too- we walk out in God's power and are ready to work. But its the tomb that brings us the relief.

                                                            Today. I. Lay.

Tonight I'm laying with Jesus in the tomb. I am laying here, and I am resting, for God cannot use my soul today. I have been overworking, overthinking, overly emotional, over-stressed! Over everything. And honestly, I am not at my best for Him. It's not time to dust off my boots and go back to work. It's time to enjoy this. To learn. To be with Him. When I sink low into the past, or the fear the future, I know now that I am in the tomb and those things are not important at the moment. The tomb is for protection. Its where God's indignation is overpassed and His forgiveness is given. We learn from our experience in the tomb that Christ intends to do ALL the work for us. I don't know how long I'll be here, but I know that for today I'd like to stay, for Today I Lay.

~ Ashley

Come, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye will find rest for your souls. - Matt 11:29

Come and let us return unto the Lord, for He hath torn, and He will heal us. He hath smitten {crucifixion}, and He will bind us up {tomb}. After two days He will revive us {resurrection} and we shall live in His sight. - Hosea 6:1-2

Come thy people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee, hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpassed. ~Isaiah 26:20

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Don't Hunt the Lion

I wanted to quickly share something I learned from a devotional I read this morning. God has used it so much to help me today! Here is the devotion:

"What we are taught to seek or shun in prayer, we should equally pursue or avoid in action. Very earnestly, therefore, should we avoid temptation, seeking to walk guardedly in the path of obedience. 

We are not to enter the thicket in search of the lion. This lion may cross our path, or leap upon us from the thicket; but we have nothing to do with hunting him.

He that meeteth with him, even though he winneth the day, will find it a stern struggle. Let the Christian pray that he may be spared the encounter.

Our Saviour, who had experience of what temptation meant, thus earnestly admonished his disciples: "Pray that ye enter not into temptation."

-- Charles Spurgeon

I read this devotion first when I woke up today, but I didn't catch the whole concept until I read it again this afternoon. The quickest way to avoid temptation is to not seek it. The devil being the roaring lion seeking whom he may devour creates a scary scenario! How panicked out of my mind I would be if a real lion caught my gaze and came after me to devour just seems absolutely ridiculous to think of hunting him. How dangerous and stupid! 

I was kind of tuning out what was going on around me this afternoon, and began to tune into my inner thoughts instead. (How easy that is to do when surrounded by another language, even if you do understand it) It is times like this that become truly the most dangerous. What you think about people- in honesty, questions that don't need to be asked, criticism that doesn't need to be given--- it can all come pouring in and yet no one but us and God would know. It was at that time today that the phrase "don't hunt the lion" so graciously came to mind. I was able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to channel my thoughts away from sin and back onto what I was supposed to be paying attention to. This has been a go to phrase all day and worked every time! 

Thank you Lord for being such a strong tower that we can safely run to, right when we need it most!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

This is not a Game

I just got back from church tonight and we're having a prayer revival with Brother Chuck Herrell. It's been an extra special blessing to me to see he and Mrs. Linda too- they almost feel like family since we've been around each other so much this year. (They are the parents of Matt Herrell- the missionary family I work with in Peru- and they visit a lot! )

I didn't think much of this revival as pertaining to me when I first heard about it, but now I can really see God's hand in it. I'm extra thankful for it right now in this season of my life. I'm anxious to write down some of the things God is speaking to my heart about, even now. Number one, the phrase that keeps rolling around my mind is "this is not a game". This morning Pastor Chuck said, "many times we don't hear God because we really aren't listening or taking Him seriously. Often times He is saying NOOO. Nobody likes that word- from age 2 to 102, who wants to hear no?!"

There are times that God gently whispers "yes", as well. He also mentioned that when we hear yes, sometimes we're afraid and say "Lord, really?" I don't know if I trust this. That is kind of where I've felt myself these past few weeks. God has begun to answer some prayers that I highly doubted would truly be answered- and if so, not at all at this time of my life. I'm not ready, I have not prepared for this, I can't trust myself, how can I be sure? There is no faith in a love like that, especially toward the Father Who I speak to, and speaks to me. This is not a game. God doesn't toy with me.

Is there something in your life that you aren't taking God seriously about? Pray intently and with purpose and He will make things clear. That's what I'm claiming right now!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Blessings of... People

As I sat down a day or two ago to do my devotions, I began with a list of thankfulness for 2013. It was an easy list to rattle off. Here is how it began:

I am thankful for....

*Getting to know the students at Fetzer, and Huaycan kids, more personally
*Miss Sarah Chang <3 I have fallen in love with that little girl!
*Mina, Tirah, Shirley, Naomi, Ivette, and Tamara... love these girls from Huaycan
*Patty and Juan (Pastor and his wife from Peru)
*Matt and Crystal
*Lessons learned from "________" this year....what not to do haha
*Amy Brundage! the best roommate I have ever had. The godliest example and friend! I have learned so much from her without her saying a word...she lives the Word and knows Jesus. What a testimony.
*My friendship with Lura this was so much needed, I depended on her with everything!
"For such a time as this"
*Amy Pointers love and care for me when I was sick this year...a real picture of Christ
*Pastor Day's support, love and prayers. What a man of God.

And right there, I stopped. I realized something. My WHOLE list is not full of good or bad experiences necessarily, not full of things or wants or is full of, people??

Wow. People. I am thankful for people. It amazes me to sit and think about this year in "big picture" form if you will. Missions is wonderful, teaching is exciting, music is thrilling, food is good...haha. But people are wonderful. This year I have learned that above all else, and have been blessed above all else, with the love of, and for, people.

Sometimes it's hard, and scary, to trust people. Especially when you've been hurt before. Our hearts, at least I know my heart, has a tendency to lose trust, get hard, and go into hiding. God has been my refuge and my all in all through times like these, but I can't hide with Him forever. He knows we need love, we need relationships, and at just the right time He brings just who we need into our lives. I am utterly thankful for every person on this list, and so many more, for you've shown me the love of Christ this year. SO blessed!

Romans 12:9

Let LOVE be without dissimulation, {hypocrisy}
Abhor that which is evil,
cleave to that which is good.

We cling to those we love.