Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Time of My Life

I'm a month away from turning 30! For some reason, I'm really excited about this. I'm really looking forward to turning 30 and what this season has to bring. I may do a few posts about what I've learned in my 20's and things I look forward to in the season of 30. I've already done a few things to celebrate turning 30.

  • Got a tattoo. Picture below. This is something I've always wanted to do. It hurt like heck but I love it. It represents the thread of hope that runs through my life because of Christ.

  • Going to New Orleans with my BFF to celebrate the big 30. We're 20 days apart and we've always talked about doing something for our big day for a while. She's got two wee little ones so a big trip isn't possible. So we're going to New Orleans and have high tea at the Ritz, cafe Du Monde, ride the streetcar, and go vintage shopping.

  • Had professional pictures made. I haven't had them done since I was a senior in high school. I go to church with the lovely ladies of Focus Photography and a had blast taking pictures at the "farm" except for when the lamb decided to poop while taking our pictures.
I love how they turned out

There's a song by Green Day that really sums up how I feel about turning 30. It's called the "Time of Your Life." I tried to post the lyrics but I couldn't get it to work. Here's the first few lines:

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist and directs you where to go. So make the best of this test and don't ask why. It's not a question but a lesson learned in time. It's something unpredictable but it in the end it's right I hope you had the time of your life."

I mentioned earlier about going to Rwanda in May. Well God blew me away with the opportunity to go to Brazil later in July to work in orphanage!!!! He has provided the way for me to go. What' really neat about this is I will go in and meet with the orphanage staff and evaulate their needs and see how other ministry partners can help. I'll also get to do VBS with the children. I have no idea on running an orphanage but I can love on babies! I will also get to speak at a Baptist church in Brazil (with a translator- that's a first!) about how they can partner with the orphanage. I feel a bit indadequate but I know that God doesn't call the equipped but equips the called.

I also have another opportunity to speak to another ministry organization about the roles the church can play in foster care, adoption, and orphan care. Love that I get to share about what I'm passionate about and get to do it hands on.

I'm thankful for this season of life. I'm thankful that I'm single (yes, I said it!) because it gives me the freedom and flexibility to do what God has for me in the moment. Now, not to say I don't want to be married, but where I am is a good place.

I'm ready to have the time of my life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

From My Heart- A life changing Experience

I posted this on my Fb page and wanted to share it here. This gives you a glimpse of what God has been doing in my life lately-yes, there's more to come! This is so unlike me to do this and way out of my comfort zone, but when God calls, okay. I pray that as you read this, you will see my heart and what God has been doing in my life. I've worked with abused and neglected children for almost six years now and have recently began to work with adoptive families both domestically and internationally. I love my job and am so thankful that God has allowed me to work in a ministry setting where I can be His hands and feet to His children. I've dreamed of one day going overseas to volunteer with an oprhanage, not knowing how one day it would be a reality. I've recently become a part of a great community of believers at Portico Church. I have been challenged in my faith and have seen the church be the body of Christ. On May 28, a team from Portico church will leave for Rwanda to spend 2 weeks doing an art camp for the residents of Peace House, a home for boys who were on the street. They will also be spending some time in an orphanage. I am a part of that team!!! I am so excited and it's been a dream come true. It's been a huge step of faith for me on so many different levels and also for us as a team. We stepped out in faith, believing God has called us to go, and purchased airline tickets. We got an amazing deal on tickets and have almost all of the money to pay for the tickets. Another neat thing for me about this trip is that I turn 30 2 days before we leave for Rwanda. Talk about a birthday present! I like to think it's God's birthday present to me- telling me to the have the adventure of my life with Him! Okay, here's the part I'm not so crazy about doing this: Would you pray and ask God how you can support "Voice For Rwanda?" You can visit our website and read about what God is doing. We are needing sponsors for the art camp, but I know that times are tough financially for everyone right now. Even $1 or $5 will help. You can can donate safely through Pay Pal and it's tax deductible. I believe that "God funds what He favors." If you can't give, then I ask you to committ to pray for our team. We leave in 7 weeks! We will be gone from May 28 to June 12. Pray for our safety in traveling, health and for God will do while we are there. Thanks for letting me share my heart with all of you! His Ashley

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wedding day-

It's been a busy past few weeks and months. I have a lot to post about, but my head is tired and can't think too deep tonight. LOL I've been running all day long doing wedding stuff. Today was the wedding of my dear friends Andi and Jonathan. Andi and I met in a such God way nearly two years ago and I call her my "answered prayer." God knew I needed a friend and when I prayed for one very specifically, He sent me her. We have laughed together, cried together, prayed together and encouraged one another. Last September, we went with our church to Ridgecrest NC for Single's Labor Day weekend. She and I became friends with another group from NC and we all hung out that weekend, hiking, shopping. There she met Jonathan. But it was so funny- they hardly paid attention to each other all weekend! Then we get home and they start facebooking, talking...December they are engaged and here we are: Wedding day today! Andi is moving to NC with her new family, which includes a beautiful 13 year old daughter. The wedding was absolutley perfect and beautiful- a few tears but tears of joy. It was so neat to see how God perfectly orchestrated every detail of their day and how He brought their path together. It is a beautiful picture of redemption and grace. Proverbs 3 is the passage they've chosen for their marriage and I love verses 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. I love this verse right now because life is looking incredibly different than I had planned (even at this point in life being single) but it is exciting. I love that I don't have to understand (and can't understand) what God is doing but I have to acknowledge Him in all that I do: give glory to Him, seek Him, look to Him, be aware of Him in all things. So thankful He makes the crooked paths straight.