Monday, December 7, 2009


I've always believed in miracles, but haven't experienced many of them myself. Until now. And I got to experience two. A mutual friend (well, more aquaintance- friend of a friend) was hospitalized a few weeks ago with early labor at 23 weeks. She had a lot of complications and definitley would not make it to full term. My friend, Lyndsey, called and told me about it, to praying for her. This friend is a new believer and her faith is still growing. We were praying to get past 28 weeks. The outcome was grim. Saturday, R had to have an emergency c-section, she was a few days shy of 28 weeks. The baby weighed 2 lbs and 4 oz and considering all the possibilities, is doing pretty good. Lyndsey told me that she was praying that God would give R some sign of hope that the baby would be okay. The baby was born crying his lungs out and flailing. Miracle! He's got a long way to go, but for him to just have made it alive, is a miracle in itself.

Then today, I got to experience another miracle. This one is a little difficult to explain because I can't go into the details, but just know that it was a miracle that things turned out the way they did. I had a situation at work, that left us with our hands tied. It was bad and there was nothing that we could do. This morning, I prayed, "Lord, I need a miracle. There is nothing else that I can do. I can't do what needs to happen. Only You can." It was a long day, from start to finish. We had so many people praying, I was on the phone with workers, you name it. We had a time crunch of when something had to be done. I was pacing, with panic. Finally, the miracle that I had been praying for, came. The verse "For nothing is impossible with God" became so real to me.

It was not a coinicidence that this happened today, to me. My faith is has been really challenged lately- do I really believe that God can do what He says He can do? I'm not doubting my faith in Him by any means. I think that sometimes we believe God can do what He says He will with our heads, but it is not always easy to believe that with our hearts. I need to believe that God is who He says that He is, that God can do what He says that He will do. I need to believe it with my heart. Even if it takes a modern day miracle for me to see it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving..the day after!

I had typed a post last night and then somehow, right before I clicked post, I hit something and it disappeared! I was too tired to type it again! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, probably the best in a long time. There wasn't really anything different about it, I think it was just my mindset- a bit more appreciative of things. I'm able to be home for 2 days longer because of work, so that's nice.

For Thanksgiving, we made our trek to my great-aunt's house. I love Thanksgiving there! We all cram into the house and the kitchen, and the house is full of laughter and good smells. Although the number of people has gotten smaller over the years, the love and laughter hasn't changed one bit.

Then there was Black Friday- we are crazy! My mom, me, and my aunt hit the mall. We've been going every year since I can remember- I've only missed one Black Friday and that was a few years ago, when I went to the LSU/Arkansas game. I'm almost completely done with my christmas shopping and I got a few things for me-on sale!

Saturday, my dad and I are going to the LSU/Arkansas game. We managed to get tickets from my cousin. I'm super excited...I love the Tigers, even though I don't know much about football. It's just something about being in Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night! And it's something that I get to share with my daddy, so even better!

There is so much that I have to be Thankful for this year. Here are just a few.

  • My house. The buying process was very stressful, but I'm so thankful that I was able to buy my own home, and be able to make it my own. I'm looking forward to having Christmas parties there, finish decorating it and really "living in it".
  • New friendships this year. The Lord really knew that I needed girlfriends who were in the same season as me. Two of my close friends both got married this year and another is getting married this summer, so it's been a struggle for times, I feel like I'm constantly being reminded that I'm single. But God knew my heart and has sent me two precious friends that I can laugh with and do life with.
  • My church- I love my church. I'm so thankful that I belong to a body of believers who are the body of Christ. I am thankful for the worship and teaching that is brought to us each week. I love my LIFE group and how God is using us.
  • My lifelong friend- my BFF Jessica and my niece, Vivienne. I got to spend some time with them earlier this week. Vivienne showed her Aunt Ash her new trick: blowing bubbles! I love that little girl- can't wait to watch her grow up and continue to steal my heart. I love how Jess and I can go for a while without seeing each other, but we can pick right back up where we left off.
  • My family- I'm so blessed beyond measure. Not only was I raised in a Christian home with godly parents, but I was blessed with godly grandparents also.
  • My job- I'm so blessed to be working in ministry doing my dream job. There are moments when I think I want to quit and ask God, "What were you thinking when you called me to do this??" but the hugs and smiles from my kids make it worthwhile.
  • My college years. Earlier this week, I got to drive through my college campus. I passed by the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). I hated that it was locked and I couldn't go in. The B played such a huge part of my life during those 4 years and helped me to become the person I am today. There, I learned how to do ministry, the importance of servant leadership and the meaning of true friendship. I grew so much in my faith and walk during those times. I met some incredible people and made friendships to last a lifetime.
  • Being able to go to Ridgecrest. I spent Labor day in Asheville, NC at Ridgecrest for Single's Adventure Weekend. There, I literally had a mountain top experience (3 miles up the mountain!) but the whole weekend was a breath of fresh air to my weary soul.
  • Contentment in being single. I know that I often write about this a lot, but it's where I am at the moment. I finally feel content being single, like I've pushed past the wall. I'm not exactly sure how it all took place, but all I can say is that it's the Lord's work. He finally healed my heart and helped me to see that what I thought I wanted wasn't really His best for me, but just a taste of what is to come.
  • The treasure of friendships. Losing my precious friend Wendi really helped me to see the treasure that I have in my friendships. Wendi was so intentional in all that she did. I miss her smile and her laugh.

So even though life looks very different from what I had pictured it to be at this point, I have so much to be truly thankful for this year.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dwelling in the Land

I love Psalm 37...I have all sorts of notes written on the page in my Bible. I was reading this passage the other day and I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before. Don't you just love when God speaks a new Word?

Psalm 37:3-4: Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I heard Dave Edwards talk on this passage a few weeks ago and he said that the word land can literally be translated to mean "the will of God." It made me think about the Israelites and how God wanted to take them into the promised land- the will of God.

So in this passage, to "dwell in the land" means to live in the will of God. Dwell means to make at home, to put roots down, to live. I thought about where God has me right now and how I'm not really enjoying it as much as I should be.

Then I read "dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture". To enjoy being where God has me, to realize that the safest place for me to be is in the center of His will. To find comfort in that safety.

To delight myself in the Lord- to take joy in, to find pleasure in Him. To realize that He is my greatest joy, my treasure.

I'm so thankful that He knows the desires of my heart, even the ones that I don't know how to express to Him or that I don't even know myself. I'm so thankful that as much as He wants me to delight in Him, He delights in me even more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This time last year....

This time last year, I was in beautiful Brela, Croatia with 50 other women who were missionaries, soaking up the sun and the love of the Father. Well, this time now, many of those same women are in Brela again. As i was traveling on the road today (for what felt like the billionth time in the pouring rain), I reflected on that trip.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime, something that I had only dreamed about doing. I still remember when I got the phone call telling me about the trip and finding out that I only had three days to give an answer. I remember having three specific factors for me to know if I was meant to go: 1. my parent's favor, 2. being able to get off of work,3. finances. I remember standing in amazement as all three of those factors were met in ways that I never expected. I remember our commissioning service at church and the beautiful prayers that were prayed over us as we were at the altar.

I remember when I first landed in Split. It was such an exciting feeling. I loved seeing the city. I remember when we arrived in Brela and I saw the Adriatic sea for the first time and it took my breath away. I remember when the US team met the Brela team for the first time and how I immediately felt like I had known all of them my entire life. I remember the time of worship that we had before beginning the last minute preparations. For the first time, I really felt like I was standing on Holy Ground.

I remember not being sure exactly why God brought me there. I remember feeling useless because i wasn't counseling anyone. I remember the peace and joy that I felt when the lightbulb went off and I realized that I was brought there to be His hands and feet.

I remember the quiet time I had on the sea: sitting on the rocks in the sea, mountains in the background, church bells in the background. I remember being amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit. I had always known about God the Father and God the Son, but had never really understood or known the God the Spirit. I learned to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to His prompting, to His guidance.

Even when I returned back to the states, this has stayed with me. I've learned to be more aware of the Holy Spirit, learning to listen to Him, being obedient to the Spirit's movement. I'm so thankful that God is always at work. I'm glad that He had to take me across the ocean to show me that in a way that changed me forever.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Heaven is putting out the good dishes tonight

You may be wondering about the title. Tonight, my precious friend Wendi went to meet Jesus. Her mom wrote in her fb status that she was sure that Wendi was going to make sure that heaven had the "good dishes" out when she arrived. Wendi was a true Southern Belle and always talked about serving food on the good dishes. I smiled when I read that statement, because it is so true.

My heart is breaking for her family: her parents and brother, her husband and her precious 3 yr old Zoe, who is Wendi's mini-me. But despite the heartbreak and tears, there is a peace. She is in better hands now. A friend of ours said tonight, "She isn't suffering anymore." She's in the place where she longed to be more than anything else. Her lungs are working perfectly so she's able to sing praises to the Most High. She's praising her heavenly Father for eternity. I'm a bit jealous of her....she is finally home.

I was talking with a friend of mine about what I loved about Wendi.
  • Her Southern drawl
  • Her ridiculously expensive boots that she bought in New York- Wendi was proud of her stylish boots. "Girl, I just had to have them!"
  • Her love for kitchen gadgets even though she rarely cooked
  • Her encouragment to me- "You're the total package- you'll meet him one day" LOL
  • her stories about her "crazy Aunt mary"
  • the way that she made everyone feel like a close friend
  • the love that she had for her little girl
  • the time that she gave some of Zoe's baby clothes and blankets to me to help a client who needed them
  • her heart

So tonight, my heart is a little heavy, but filled with joy knowing that Wendi is finally home. Tommorrow, I'm going shopping for some kitchen gadget that I'm sure that I won't ever use...just for Wendi.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Praying for my friend

This is a picture of me and my friend, Wendi Janway-Jones, that was taken at our circle of friends Christmas party last year. Wendi has been very sick for the past few weeks and will likely be meeting Jesus very soon.

Wendi and I met at church. We didn't really know each other that well until we were a part of the same circle of friends in our women's ministry. Those times were filled with lots and lots of laughter and of course, food!!!

Wendi is amazing! She is one of those people that captures your heart as soon as you meet her. Her smile and her laughter are contagious. She has this Southern drawl that I just love. I can hear her now.."How are you doing, girl?" Or better yet, "That ain't right." Wendi has had a lot of health problems over the years, but you would never know it by looking at her or hearing her talk. She is always so positive, so joyful. I can't think of a time when I haven't seen her smiling or laughing.

Her health has taken a drastic turn over the past few weeks. I was able to go to the hospital about 2 weeks ago to see her and her family. At the time, she was heavily sedated. I've been in many hospital rooms and waiting rooms over the years. Never have I ever felt such a peace in a hospital room as I did when i was in Wendi's room. It was so peaceful. I know that it is because God's hand is on her life and that of her family. So so many people have been praying for her and her family. In a way, the situation didn't seem so tragic as it should have been. Her family knows that the outcome is likely not good, but they know that God is in control and Wendi's life is in His hands.

My heart breaks for her family: for her parents and brother, her husband and her precious little girl. But however, I know that God is sovereign and the God of all comfort and peace. I wish that I had gotten to know Wendi better. However, she inspires me. Inspires me to trust God no matter what, to love deeply, to be a better friend, to have a better attitude, to live life to the fullest.

Wendi's mom has been updating on facebook about Wendi. It's been so encouraging to see the comments that Wendi's friends have posted. Wendi is loved by so many people, she has touched so many lives and didn't know it. What has amazed me the most is to see the body of Christ come together to lift up Wendi and her family. Her family has experienced the body of Christ being His hands and feet: from the cards, visits, goodie bags, food, but most of all: prayers.

So, if anyone reads this (all 3 of you!) please lift up my dear friend and her family.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The day my life forever changed

I know I've been a little slacking in my posting, but today, I finally got internet at my house, so hopefully I'll be a little better at keeping it up. Now if I can just find my camera cord, then maybe I'll put up pics of my house! It's coming along nicely...i just love it. Right now, my favorite room in the house is the kitchen. It's pale yellow with red, black and white accents.

What I'm writing next is purely for my blog is therapeutic for me. If you want to read on, please do. I don't mind. I just have to get it out.

10 years ago today, my life was forever changed. I wrote it about the anniversary last year here. Here's a little backstory: Shane and I were in the same youth group in high school. We dated very briefly, but we remained really good friends. It was the typical high school relationship, i call it the "ping pong" effect.."I like you, you like me, let's date, but not right now...etc" I saw him as someone who I could see myself with for the rest of my life, i loved him, but I knew that no matter what, I would never mean as much to him as he would mean to me. Our relationship was very turbulent at times...we would go months without speaking to each other. Shortly, before I left for college, we had heartfelt talk about us and decided that we would start over as friends and if God wanted us to be together, then we would be together in His timing, not ours. I'm so thankful that we had that conversation. I had no idea what would be ahead for us.

I can remember exactly where I was that day I got the dreaded news. I was coming back from an evening class when I saw a note on my door that my suitemate had my phone and that my parents had called. THere was a message on my machine from a friend of Shane and I telling me that there had been an accident and that I needed to call her or Shane's mom right away. Immediately, I knew it was bad. My suitemate, kristi, came in and told me that there had been an accident, that my parents were on their way, and that Shane had been killed. Time stood still. I can remember hitting my knees, pinching myself, thinking any minute I was going to wake up. I screamed so loud that it was heard on the other side of the building. I just saying, "I never told him I loved him, I never told him. " Shane had been killed in a forklift accident at his job.

My mom and my paw-paw arrived to bring me home..that was the longest hour and half ride of my life. The next day was a blur. I sang at his funeral...something that was so hard, but I'm so thankful that i was able to do that. I remember thinking, "I should be singing at our wedding, not his funeral...our funeral." It was not only his funeral, but a funeral for my dreams. I thought my life was over with...I was so sure that I'd never love again, that my life was over.

The grief was unimaginable. At times, it felt like the air had been sucked out of the room. I could barely hold my head up, barely hold a conversation without bursting into tears. Slowly, God began to heal my would take several long posts to tell you about that...but it was amazing.

I'd often thought about what life would be like a year later, two years later, ten. Wow, here I am. This has been an amazing journey. I remember a turning point in my journey: on my knees, yelling at God, why in the world did this happen, if we weren't meant to be together, fine, but did he have to die? I didn't understand. In that moment, God met me there. In the stillness, I heard Him gently say, "It's the only way that you would ever know." I know now that Shane was not God's best for me. But love is blind...i think that i wouldn't have seen it any other way.

Today hit me harder than I had expected. It isn't so much of the fact of the loss...I still miss him, but I came to terms with that a long time ago. I think it's just that now life looks different than I had thought it would look now. When Shane died, I knew that my life was going to be forever changed. Iknew that there would be someone new in my life, someone who truly loved me for me, who wouldn't try to change me, who wouldn't love me only when it was convenient.

Last night and today, I've been thankful. Thankful that I'm alive. Thankful that I've learned so much about myself, about God, about the plans that He has for me, thankful that for some reason, He chose me to walk this road. So even though life doesn't look like how I thought it would be, it doesn't mean that God doesn't have a plan. I'm walking along the road with Him leading and guiding my every step.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Long time, no post...not really much to say

Tess, this is for you!I know it's been a while since I've posted. Things have been busy, busy. Here are a few things that have happened in my world since I last posted.
  • Celebrated my 28th birthday. 30 is inching closer!
  • Went to Hot Springs, AR and had the bath house experience. I also experienced falling into a koi pond, ate some of the best salsa in the world and then the next day, slipped and wore the salsa!
  • I became an aunt! Vivienne Rose made her grand entrance on July 3. Auntie A got to meet her a few weeks ago and she is beautiful. I told her that she was going to be my flower girl and she just grinned.
  • My friends Lyndsey and Alex got married on July 4 and the wedding and reception were fabulous!
  • Had a blind date....another one bites the dust.
  • Had my first get together at my house.
  • Started a little flower garden on my back patio and are growing mint- haven't killed it yet!
  • Getting further and further along the road to contentment of being single. God is so good!!

Okay, not much going on. I'll try to update more often!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time Flies

I know it's been a little while, as Tess reminded me the other day. (I told her that I'll just have to keep running into her to remind me to update!) A lot has happened the past few weeks, but the biggest is: I NOW OWN A HOUSE!!!-okay, so i'm just a tad excited. Yesterday, after the blinds people left from measuring the blinds, I nearly did a cartwheel in my living living room! I refrained myself because I didn't want to hurt myself, so I did the happy dance and squealed instead. Don't worry....i'll post pictures soon. I love my house! As I was signing my life away yesterday, I kept thinking, "I don't believe this...this is crazy!" But I love it- I can't wait to get it fixed up and have people over and just love the space-no more cramped apartment living.

The other night, I passed by the local college where a high school graduation was being held. Oh, the memories it brought back. Ten years ago, I was graduating high school. I was thinking about this the other day. I remember how scared I was, yet excited. The thought of college scared the mess out of me. I was an adult, but I longed to stay like Peter Pan forever. The thought of being in the real world scared me so much. I remember crying to my mom the first two weeks of school, "I don't look like I should be in college, I don't feel like I should be in why am I here????" My whole life was ahead of me....all the dreams that I had for myself. But all how life changes in the blink of an eye.

My college years were some of the best and the toughest years of my life. I grew so much in relationship with God. I began to experience Him for myself in ways that were unique to me. I made friendships that would last a lifetime. I also experienced grief in a way that I thought would kill me. I had countless experiences. I fell in love with missions and servanthood. I began to discover who I was in Christ and the plans that He had for me. I remember how scared I was when I graduated college. (Are we seeing a pattern here? I'm not a huge fan of change! but who is?) It was three weeks before graduation and I had no idea where I was going to grad school, i was leaving all of my friends and everything familiar behind me. I had no clue what God was doing.

I moved home for grad school and went to LSU-the hardest year of my academic life. It was horrible! But I graduated- I had never been so glad to get a piece of paper in my life! There was still that fear of the unkown, but mixed with excitement too. I had no idea where I was going to live, but somehow knew that it would be okay. God answered my prayers so specifically and it was a new lesson in faith for me.

I moved nearly 200 miles away from home and knew three people in the city that I moved to. Iremember thinking, "What am I doing here? God, where are you?" I knew that God had called me here, but it felt like I was wandering in the desert. The first year was pretty rough. But God is forever faithful.

Nearly 28 years on earth, 10 years out of high school, 6 years out of college, 5 years out of grad school, here I am: living the life that He has called me to do. Now it hasn't been easy and there are some days when I don't understand anything at all, but God has just blessed me tremendously, in ways more than I can ever ask or imagine. He is so faithful when I'm not. Praising Him that He uses broken lights and cracked pots. Thanking Him for the beauty in the ashes, the blessing from the heartache, seeing His goodness and mercies are new every day (even when they are hard to see.) I can only imagine what the next 10 years hold!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

He's in the details

Today, I've been blown away at how God is involved in the seemingly insignificant details of our lives. My house stuff has been a major long drawn out process. But God allowed me to close two weeks later, kept my apartment available, so that I would have plenty of time to move in, paint and all that other fun stuff, without having to be in such a time crunch. With MY original plan, it was going to be a tight, tight deadline. But today, He showed me that He's taking care of me.

Right now, I'm in Dallas for the Christian Orphan Alliance conference. I'm the only one going from my job and I was a little worried how I was going to navigate the logistics of travel from the hotel to the conference, etc. Last night, I prayed, "Lord, take care of this." Well, I get to the hotel and find out that the hotel is offering a shuttle to the conference (which they were not originally). And then at dinner, I end up eating at a table with three girls from Minnesota who are going to the conference too...and we're staying next door to each other! So, not only do I have a way to the conference, but I don't have to ride by myself either. I love it how God works, even when we forget that He is always around us. Are you looking for Him in the details?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

He doesn't forget

Today is one of those days, or rather should I say one of those weeks. Work has been a little more hectic than usual. I was supposed to be in my house as of Wednesday, but now it looks like it may not be until the 1st of next week. It's not that big of a deal, but I've got a narrow time frame and this just makes it narrower. Throw in a lack of communication with the bank and it just makes it a little more hectic.

This morning, a dear friend of mine told me something that she read in her devotion, "I can't change things. But God can." How I needed to hear that. I know that this situation (and so is everything in life for that matter) is completely out of my control but God is fully in control. He's so capable. He is so God and I'm not.

I had an interesting thing that happened this week and it again made me marvel at how God works. A little backstory first: When i was college, one of my BCM friends was in the National Guard and deployed to Cuba. Before he left, he gave several of us names of people in his unit to pray for while they were deployed. My name was a guy named Matt. Well, I prayed for Matt. I never knew anything about him, never heard from him, didn't know anything. That was in 2002. Fast fwd to 2009. I "became friends" on FB with a girl that I went to high school with. Rebecca was a few classes ahead of me. We haven't been in touch since high school (almost 12 years for her!)I saw on her info that she was married to a guy named Matt who had the same last name as my prayer buddy Matt. It's not a very common last name and I was curious to see if it was the same one. So i emailed her to see if her husband was in the guard and deployed at that time. Turns out, it was the same Matt!!!!! I just thought that was the coolest thing....that I was praying for him while they were dating and he was deployed. I love how God works and how He doesn't forget important things. I know that He forgets our sins and I'm so thankful for that...but you know what I mean when i say that He doesn't forget.

This morning, I was thinking about that story and about everything going on right now. I'm so thankful that God doesn't forget. That He doesn't forget about me. That He doesn't forget the secret desires of my heart, the dreams that I have for myself, the secret dreams that no one else knows (going to Croatia was one of those.....i had always dreamed of going overseas and knew that I would one day, but no one else knew that.)

He doesn't forget that I desire to be a wife and a mom above being a social worker. He hasn't forgotten about what He showed me about being in ministry while I was in GA. He hasn't forgotten all the things that He whispers to my heart, even when I'm not still long enough or quiet enough to hear them. He hasn't forgotten about the the hard times of the past few months. He hasn't forgotten about the time I spent in the wildnerness of grief, wondering if I was ever going to find my way out of it. He hasn't forgotten about the times that I question Him, wondering if dissapointment is around the corner again. He hasn't forgotten about the calling that He has placed on my life, even before I was born.

At times, it is so easy to get discouraged and get bogged down with what we don't see or what is going around in our lives. But God doesn't forget about us....for that I'm thankful.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blind date Blog

Since everyone on Facebook seemed to be so curious about my blind date, here it goes. :) It was actually a lot of fun, even though I don't see it really going anywhere. He's friends with one of my really good friends, so we double dated with her and her fiance. We ate at Brandy House and had Bananas foster for dessert (so good!) and then went to starbucks. It was very relaxing, not awkward at all and it beat staying home on Friday night cleaning toilets. He lives 2 hours away and I think that we're in 2 very different places in our lives, but all in all, it was one of the more enjoyable blind dates.

House stuff is moving right along...hoping to close on the 15th, maybe sooner. Yikes! Sorry this is so short and boring, but I don't really have much to say! More later.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm a big girl now??

It's been a few weeks since I've posted (as it was pointed out to me last night by my friend Tess) but it has been a wild few weeks, to say the least. Here a few of the highlights:
  • I bought a house!!!!! I close on Tax day. It all happened so fast, but God has opened every door and the process has gone smoother than I had anticipated. If you're in my area, I know great realtor! I had looked at the house about 2 weeks ago, then last weekend, I went to look at it with my realtor, Sunday made an offer and by Monday after lunch- I was on my way to owning a home. Yikes!!! The only thing I have to do is paint- I don't really like the neutral color that is in the entire house. I have to be out of my apt. on the 30th, so needless to say I've started packing already, because the 8 weeks or so in between now and the 30th are crazy. I love my house--it's in a great location and my close friend lives one street over.
  • I'm going to have a niece this summer! My BFF Jessica and her hubby Corey are having a little girl! Vivenne Rose should arrive mid July. Auntie A has already started buying girly clothes. I got the cutest little LSU cheerleader outfit...she should be able to wear it for football season. Jess, if you're reading this...don't worry--I've been scouting the sale and clearance racks! :)
  • I got to enjoy one of the "perks" of my job last week- scabies. OMG!!!! It was absolutley horrible. It was like having poision ivy on steroids...I itched so bad. But I'm cured now and have to be treated again in 7 days. this meant that we had to treat eveyrone in the times.
  • I passed my LCSW!!! ( I think I already mentioned that--but I'm really excited-its' over with!)
  • I got to see 4Him in concert last night. It was the first time they've performed together in 3 years-it was so good. Very refreshing. I needed that time to just unwind and worship in the worst possible way.
  • I could really use some prayer right now. I'm not going to get into specifics, but if you want to know-just ask me.

I still can't believe that I bought a house. Its one of those things that I kind of thought that I would be married when I did, but honestly, there hasn't been a lot of sadness with this.

God is so good. Someone told me last week that God has been so good and gracious to me. I needed to hear that and be reminded of that. He has---I just tend to forget that sometimes. He has opened doors for me that blow me away, put people in my life that love me just when I need it the most, continues to meet my every need, constantly reminding me of His faithfulness. One of my favorite 4 Him songs is "where there is faith." I was really hoping that they would sing it last night and they did. One of my favorite lines of that song is "Hope everlasting in He who is able to Bear every Burden, to heal every hurt in my heart It is a wonderful, powerful place Where there is faith." I was convicted a bit when i heard that line, because sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I feel like I don't trust God enough. I woke up this morning feeling so peaceful- knowing that He is forever faithful.

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's been a while

I've been a horrible blogger! I passed my LCSW test! I'm so excited and relieved that this is over with and it only took me twice! I couldn't believe my eyes when the screen said "pass"...i kept blinking, expecting it to change to fail. I was telling a friend of mine that this has been a goal of mine for several years. The speaker at my high school baccalauarate service talked about the importance of setting goals and writing them down. I remember doing this and I came across the list a while back when I was at home. I remember some of them being: working in ministry, graduating with my social work degrees, achieving my LCSW, going to seminary. All have been achieved except for the seminary one and God has very clearly shut the door on that one for the time being. I remember something that the Lord spoke to my heart shortly before I graduated college: "Ashley, 50 years from now, it's not going to matter who you marry or how many kids you have or how many letters you have behind your name. What's going to matter the most is how you lived your life for Me." I think about this as I deal with young lives every day. I don't ever want to forget this.

I really feel like I'm in a season of sifting right now. So not fun! But I really feel like the Lord is sifting the clutter out of my life, out of my head, mind, and heart. I'm fasting from tv and facebook for an undetermined amount of time. I was kind of shocked by this revelation, but I really feel like it is what is needed to declutter and get rid of the noise so that I can clearly hear from God. I know that the sifting process involves grieving a situation in which in all honesty, has just been really hard to face. Kind of like its staring you in the face and you refuse to acknowledge it, thinking that its just an illusion. But what I do know, probably better than I wish I did, is that grief takes time. I took a grief class in grad school and found it fascinating to learn that grief is not necessarily related to a physical death, but its more often related to a loss--anything of value or importance, dreams included. I'm so thankful that hope does not disappoint. My God is a God of hope.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Believe....

I was reading in my devotion about God's faithfulness in times of trouble. It talked about how sometimes we get so overwhelmed with what is going on that we forget that God has promised to be with us. The verse was Psalm 50:15: "and call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will honor me." I so needed that last night because lately, I feel like I'm in a tidal wave. Just a lot going on in a lot of different areas. My grandmother is in the hospital again and we're not sure exactly what is going on, but whatever it is, it is wreaking havoc on her Parkinson's. I hate it that I can't be there....I've always had this dreaded fear that something would happen to her before I got home to say good bye. Work is me a time when it isn't! I feel like my friendships are changing all around me and I'm being left behind. Trying to figure out how to enjoy this season of singleness with contentment and joy. Desperately praying to God about something that I just wish He would release me from praying for, but I haven't gotten it yet.

Last night, as I read Psalm 50:15 and the devotion, the phrase "I believe" kept rolling around in my head. So I prayed Psalm 50:15 and then I prayed what I believed:
I believe that Jesus is my Savior
I believe that God is faithful and true
I believe that God has a plan for my life and that He's fulfilling it right now
I believe that going to Croatia was a huge step of obedience and it changed my life forever
I believe that God has me in my job for a reason
I believe that He is enough for me, and more than enoughwhen need be.
I believe that He is working even when I can't see it or don't feel it
I believe that He is my Rock and refuge
I believe that He is my redeemer and sustainer
I believe that because of Him, I have grace and mercy
I believe that His mercies are new every day
I believe that one day I will be a wife and a mom
I believe that God knows exactly what He is doing, if I don't.
I believe that He has placed incredible people in my life, who love me depsite me being well, me. :)
I believe that He knows my heart's desires, even the ones that I'm not sure of myself.
I believe that He will allow me to pass my LCSW test!!! (coming up in a month or so!-uggh!)
I believe that He is faithful even when I'm not.
I believe that He is with my family, even when I can't be there.
I believe that He brought a certain person into my life, even though right now, for the life of me, I can't figure out why.
So what do you believe??

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Praying for Kelly and Harper

Please pray for Kelly and Harper. I love reading Kelly's blog. She and her husband have tried for several years to have a baby and were told that it would be impossible without extensive infertility treatment. They didn't feel like God was leading them in this direction, but also didn't feel like they were to give up on having a family. Well, surprise, surprise!!! Kelly conceived without any medical help! She gave birth to a big ( 9 lbs, 12 oz) baby girl, Harper Brown, last night. Almost immediately, Harper began having breathing problems and it just went downhill from there. She was airlifted to Children's Hospital in Tulsa with a grim prognosis. But thousands of prayers have been prayed and Harper is improving..nothing short of a miracle.

A friend of mine and I both read Kelly's blog. We feel like we know her and Scott. I'm so thankful for the body of Christ and the way that the Holy Spirit unites our hearts. Last night, she and I had a worshipful, sweet, powerful time of prayer for Kelly, Scott and Harper. As we were praying, Psalm 117:18 came to mind: "I will not die but live and will tell of what the Lord has done." This has been a verse that I have clung to in times of heartache and fear. I know that the Lord is in this situation and will be with Harper. Harper will have a story to tell....that she is a miracle. Continue to pray for them as Kelly travels to be with Harper and Harper improves.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A few of my favorite things...courtesy of the Letter M

I've been tagged by Laura. So here are ten of my favorite things that start with the letter M. These are in no order...this was not as easy as I thought it would be!

1. This is one of my favorite Aunt Mabel. She's well into her 80's, but she is a hoot!!! She always keeps me never what's going to come out of her mouth!
2. M&M's, especially the dark chocolate ones or peanuts...need I say more.
3. Music- any and all kinds
4. magazines- especially People
5. Maw-maw's chicken and dumplings
6. Made of Honor- one of my favorite movies
7. Mystic Pizza- another favorite movie- one of Julia Robert's first movies
8. Missions
9. ThinMint girl scout cookies!
10. Mylos Coffee House- this is me and Sara's favorite place to hang out.

So there it is!

Monday, January 5, 2009


I know it's been a little while since I've posted...let's just say that I've been enjoying my vacation! I was able to spend a week at home and it was wonderful...but I was ready to get back to my own little apt and my life here. But I got to catch up with lots of friends and family and spend some QT with my parents, which was nice. I had a good Christmas....but I can definitley tell that I'm getting older-less presents under the tree! LOL But I get my big Christmas present this weekend---I'm going to see Celine Dion in New Orleans! I'm soooooo excited and can't wait.

I came back home with the itch to clean and get organized. It had been a while since I really "purged" my apt. so I spent a few days doing that. Now, I just have to tackle my bedroom. Baby steps, baby steps! It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate and I'm only one person! But it did feel good to see progress.

I think I had the best New Year's this year that I've had in a while. I didn't really do that much, but it was definitley the company. I hung out with my friend Brandi and watched Bucket List. Such a great movie-- I laughed until I cried. Then we talked, watched the ball drop, toasted the New Year with our sparkling cranapple juice, and ended the year on our knees in prayer. I couldn't think of a better way to end 2008 and start 2009. I think that this may be a tradition for was so good to be thankful and reflect on the lessons learned in 2008 and focus on the year ahead.

I'm not one to get big into resolutions, but of course I want to exercise more. A friend and I were talking about the new year and what we wanted out of it, our resolutions if you want to call it that. The one thing that kept coming back to me was that I want to be better. A better daughter, a better friend, a better worker, a better supervisor, for my life to be better. Better than it has been before. Then Pastor Bill's sermon was right along with the same thing: to have a new purpose for the new year. Now I'm not quite sure what better looks like, but at least I know that I have direction...I know that He will show me. There's always room for improvement.