Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Sunday

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23

I don't know about you all but I fail at ALL of these on a daily basis!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I'm not sure if it was conviction, a weak moment of health consciousness, my nagging boyfriend's challenge that I couldn't do it, or sheer stupidity but I gave up coffee for lent. For those of you who know me you know I'm ADDICTED to coffee. I could make a full pot in the morning and enjoy it all day. It got to an almost sinful level last summer where I was spending nearly $100 month on Starbucks. Gasp....I know.... no worries though I've moved past that. After about 2 months of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression I finally came to the point of accepting that I had a problem. I've since scaled WAY back to where I only spend about $20 a month in Starbucks.

I've gotten off point....what I'm trying to say is "Hi, I'm Ashley and I'm currently a coffee addict who decided to give up coffee for lent." Cold-turkey, drank it one day and quit the next, gave it up! After much debate (with myself mostly) I decided there was no better reason. Lent is supposed to be a season of sacrifice right? I kept telling myself that if Jesus could be beaten with a whip, carry that heavy cross, have a crown of thorns pressed into His head, be NAILED to a cross, and die for sinful and unworthy ME...then I could give up coffee for 40 days and spend that time truly reflecting on the meaning of sacrifice.

Let me tell you hasn't been easy. There are mornings when I wake up craving a big ol' cup of coffee so badly that I can almost taste it. There are days when I have an unmistakeable "caffeine headache." And there have been many moments when the every day crankiness, that coffee usually suppresses, rears its ugly head and attacks anyone within reach. So for those of you who have had to suffer for my sacrifice I am deeply sorry. I'd like to say its all been a positive experience and that I've used every craving filled moment to remind me of the sacrifice Jesus made for me....but that would be a lie. BUT I can say that I've spent some time in reflection, prayer, and praise. The sacrifice Jesus made is WAY worse than giving up coffee for 40 days so who am I to complain about cravings or headaches? So I beg that you don't view this blog as complaint but instead as a challenge. Even if you didn't give up anything for Lent I would challenge you to spend this Lent season thinking about the sacrifice that was made for each of us. Jesus went to the cross for EACH of amazing is that.
My coffee substitute has become Green Tea or Chai tea. Today I'm sitting outside, enjoying green tea, while reading a book. Refills happen to be free and I've taken advantage of it.....4 times. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

being a mom

You know you've been around kids too much when you aren't a mom and you.....

1. know the theme song to most shows on Nick Jr.
2. can name and give your opinion on most baby things
3. hear phantom baby cries when there isn't even a baby in the house
4. lost your ability to truly sleep deeply
5. find yourself calling lunch with friends a "playdate"
6. etc. etc. etc.

I have no kids of my own but I often find myself responding, thinking, or basically feeling like I'm a mom. I can't help but have those "mom moments." My favorite moment like this is by far when I was home this past week. Mr. Winter must have known I was in town and that I love snow because he dumped nearly an inch and a half of snow on the ground over the middle of MARCH! I woke up to this beautiful white wonderland. It was hanging off trees, covering the grounds, and falling softly out of the sky. I was in heaven! :) But as I looked out my window at the wonderfully white morning I in my "mom like mindset" thought of an episode of my favorite Nick Jr cartoon: Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends. The show gives its audience (usually children but in my case a 25 year old kid at heart) a peek into the whimsical, woodsy wonderland of a bugs life.

In the episode that came to mind the little hibernationally challenged bugs knew that it was officially spring and they were ready to play with their friends who had slept through the winter. Yet on the first morning of spring they woke up to see a winter wonderland outside their tree. The kid bugs were bummed at first but their mother (Miss Spider) reminds them that although we might be ready for something to happen it may not always be the right timing.

Lately I've been impatiently trying to figure out "what's next in my life" and where exactly it is I'm headed. I'm restless and ready for the next "big thing." Thank you Miss Spider for reminding me to be patient and let God's timing work itself out in my life. I tend to want things on my timing. I suck at being patient and I'm sure God spends a lot of time laughing at my silly time table demands.

You are probably thinking "gee she got all that from a cartoon about a spider?" To which I'm going to say "yep God really does work in crazy ways." :)
I took this picture in the afternoon so some of the snow had melted away and it wasn't nearly as pretty as that first untainted moment of the morning.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.

--Mother Teresa

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

--Mother Teresa

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy One Month

Happy One Month baby boy. Jordan was born a month ago yesterday and its hard to believe he's changed so much already. He is such a good baby and I happen to adore him.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I recently found this truly amazing blog called The blog is written by a women named Jamie who is a missionary in Costa Rica. In her blog Jamie is so real and open it is almost scary. There are moments when I stop and think "did she just write that" and I'm reading her blog that I'm almost embarrassed for her that she is exposing so much of herself on the world wide web for just God or anyone to read! However, I'm not scared of her opneness because I think it is wrong or unjustified. Instead, I'm scared because its so foreign and new to me. How many of us shield the world from what we really are like. We avoid sharing thoughts that might "rock the boat" in order to be sure that others will like us or support us. And I'm definitely scared of her openness because it challenges me. I've had a blog for 4 years now and I've written hundreds of blog entries. Yet, I'm not sure I"ve ever spoken so honestly with my readership.
It's easy to sit in front of my computer and type a blog. I never have to see the faces of the people who read my entries. I never have to answer questions my readers might have for me. I never have to go any deeper than I choose to share and my blog allows me to carefully consider each word that I type, each photo I put up, each story I choose to tell, etc. I'm able to display to you all of my best qualities...none of the quirky, honest, and less than appealing parts of myself.

So today I'm going to share some of my quirks, my faults, and my failures.
I talk to much
I listen to little
I like to watch movies with subtitles
I hate terrified of them actually
I'm a people pleaser to a fault
I'm terrible about letting others serve me
I pick at the skin around my the point that they bleed
I talk during movies
I'm impatient
I shut down when I'm mad
I love coffee but only when it is lukewarm
I don't call my parents often enough or tell them how much I appreciate them
I have a love/hate relationship with working out
I fill glasses of water and then leave them laying around the house still full
I hate to be wrong

Isn't it strange that most of you would consider me a confident, strong, independent, and well rounded person and yet there are days when I feel like the biggest failure out there....I feel like I'm not doing enough, or I feel like I'm not a good enough daughter, friend, Christian, sister, or person.

Yet the problem for me has always been whose eyes I'm seeing myself in. If I'm viewing myself in the eyes of the person I just honked at on the interstate because they cut me off, or the friend I just cancelled plans with at the last minute because I was overbooked, or my family whom I tend to neglect in my pursuit to meet everyone else's needs first, or the boyfriend who I was short tempered with because living 9 hours apart gets daunting at times, or just about anyone else I interact with on a daily basis...... If I view myself in their eyes then I'm never truly be... ENOUGH. So why is it I can't just learn to see myself through God's eyes...He's the only one that truly matters anyways...right? And HE looks past my imperfections and loves me anyways.

"....The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." --1 Samuel 16: 1-13

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Sunday

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perserverance; and to perserverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual-affection; and to mutual-affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measures, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Chirst. --2 Peter 1: 5-8

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve.
You don't have to have a college degree to serve.
You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve....
You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics
in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace.
A soul generated by love.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method
which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

‎"And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed!
Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed."~Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! :)