It is for freedom

It is for FREEDOM the Christ has set us FREE; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.     Galatians 5:1

This has been stirring in my heart for the past year and I feel like the Lord is constantly teaching me about it.

It means….

I am not in bondage from my sin anymore.

I can enjoy this time of life, learning and growing.

I can see and go out for new experiences.

I can learn to love and receive love.

I can dream for the future and not see any limits.

I can truly taste and see that the Lord is good.

I have freedom to create.

I can enjoy things.

I can bless and be blessed by people I cherish.

I can trust.

I can live in the joy that Jesus offers.

I can live, free from the fear that the enemy constantly tries to throw at me.

I am FREE. The enemy doesn’t have hold of me anymore. 

This is not always easy for me to believe and live in. My natural tendency is to worry and when my day isn’t going the way I thought it should, I’m quick to forget this truth.

My prayer is that Jesus would always remind me that I am FREE and that’s exactly the way He wants it.

 

Does my heart really believe this? How does my life reflect the fact that I am FREE?

I am learning…

I’ve had a lot of writers block the past few weeks. I don’t know why… I don’t feel like my life has been uneventful or that I am not learning new things from the Lord but I have lacked a little motivation in writing it down.

Recently, I moved from DC back to Maryland to pursue my Masters in Social Work. Honestly, I have never loved school more but I am still adjusting to living back in my hometown and nannying every day of the week.

I love so many parts of my job, living back home, and this new adventure that I am starting but I would be lying if I said it was all super easy!

I don’t know where the Lord has you or the stage of life you are in but I can tell you this about myself and hopefully it translates a little into your life.

I’m learning to…

enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning a little more.

take advantage of the rest some days offer.

learn everything I can.

get to know that lady playing with her kid on the playground. I don’t know how God can use me in her life and maybe she can even bless me in some way.

cherish the time I have living at home with my parents because chances are, it won’t happen ever again.

be content.

be understanding and outdo others in doing good.

don’t let bitterness or envy stir in my heart.

God never promised that every stage of life would be easy or understandable but He did promise His faithfulness and that He would never leave us.

Remember that. Cling to that truth. Even when it’s really hard to believe.

Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

There is something in me that hates the word.

I have never been the best at making confident decisions.

I always wonder if the decision I am making is right or wrong. I guess everyone feels this way (hopefully).

So… how do you make the “right” decision?

Should I take this  job or that job, should I attend this school or that school,  should I date this guy or that guy?

The questions go on and on and on…. I love the opportunity but hate that the final decision is left on me.

Is that thought really true though? Am I really in control as much as I think?  Probably not.

Do you think the Lord says, “Ok, it’s your decision. I’m not going to lead you and I surely won’t be with you if you make the wrong choice.”

Absolutely not.

The Lord says that He goes before us. There is no where I can go, nothing I can do, no impression I can make, or decision I come to terms with that is outside my God’s control.

I have to remember, that when making a decision, maybe both choices are right. That’s the beauty in it.  However, each choice we make will affect our lives in a different way or lead us down a different path.

God gives us the information we need and the wisdom to decide. So walk in that.

Walk with the knowledge that He walks with you through the decision, and after it.

 

Ash

 

Words

Proverbs 31: 25-26 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

Are the words I say, LIFE GIVING?

Do people know me as a woman that speaks wisdom, kindness, and truth?

The older I get, the more I realize that my words have power.

They have power to build up and tear down.

How are my words reflecting the Jesus that I serve?

Let me keep that in mind…when I walk up to the counter at my local coffee shop, when I run into an old high school

friend, or when I call my sister for a life update.

My words reflect my heart  and what I believe.

My focus and my desires.

 I pray that my words bring life to those who hear.

Ash

Legacy

It is a family tradition to spend the week of my Grandaddy and Uncle Kevin’s Birthdays at the beach with our entire family. This is the one time a year that we cram all the babies, kids, dogs, suitcases, games, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins under one roof! Whoo…. it is one crazy time but memories I will remember for the rest my life!

If you know me well, you would know that my family is incredibly important to me. They have played a huge role in molding my life and have impacted me in huge ways. As we celebrated my Grandaddy’s birthday, it made me think a lot of my grandparents and the legacy they have left. Not only for me their grandchild, but for everyone they have ever known!

They are givers to the core and show so much love to everyone that walks into their home. I am thankful for their lives and that the Lord has placed me in a family with two people that have continually shown me grace, support, forgiveness, and love.

In honor of them, here are some important truths I have learned-

  •  You can’t take anything with you so be gracious in giving.
  • It doesn’t matter what you do, you can ALWAYS come home.
  • Family is a safe place.
  • We are blessed to live in the US. Famous words of my Grandaddy, “what a country”.
  • Think ahead and prepare for your future.
  • Memories are really the only things that matter.
  • Don’t take any moment for granted. Push through the hard times and live life!

I hope they know how grateful I am for the lives they live, the path they have laid out for me, and for the many blessings they have given me.

In looking ahead to my future, I want to live a life like my grandparents. I want to love unconditionally, pray hard for my kids and grandkids, be someone they can be proud of, lay out a path of faith for them, and an avenue for them to succeed.

THANK YOU Nana and Grandaddy for loving me and for supporting me all these years. You mean the world to me!!     

-Ash

Instagram Adventures

Looking back at these last few weeks, I have been overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness!

I have taken a few random and short trips but they have all been full of adventure and shared memories. I am learning that it doesn’t matter how much time you have but what you do with it.

When you go on vacation with your family or friends this Summer, I pray that you ENGAGE every moment.

One thing on my bucket list has been stand up paddle boarding. I don’t know why but I desperately wanted to try it!  A few weeks ago, I had that chance and it was amazing. It’s so awesome to enjoy something I have been craving and dreaming to do and see it fulfilled in my life. Even something as small as stand up paddle boarding.

When you have a dream written down, it changes your perspective and increases your thankfulness for the opportunity.


So, here is the challenge… create a bucket list today.

What memories do you want to fill your life??

Write them down and then get the chance to check them off! What a fun moment:)

-Ash

Significance

To be honest, I am not the best at sharing my thoughts with confidence. But my heart is to be transparent with you all.

I believe that the Lord has given us each a voice, a story, and a place to say it. I am still trying to figure out where that is but for right now, it’s here.

I am 22. I am living in DC. I am single. I am passionate about church ministry and orphan care. I am crazy about my family. I am jobless, come August.  I am looking to get my Masters. I am sometimes fearful. I am sometimes insecure. I am a reader. I am crafter and creator. I am a coffee drinker. I am a traveler.

These are all the things I think, “I am”. And to be honest, there are some things on this list that overwhelm me (a lot). Some of these things make me doubt my significance-but that thought right there, is a total lie.

I was so blessed the other day talking to one of my best friends. She has walked with me a short time but a very important time in my life. The Lord spoke so clearly through her, reminding that my SIGNIFICANCE, in no way comes from the things I do or don’t do.

It comes from someone else.

ALL of it, goes back to how I view God. Did I do anything to earn the grace He gave me? The answer to that question is… no, not at all. He gave it to me out of His great and unexplainable love!

I sometimes live as if I have to earn my salvation. Yes, I should be living as if I have been given forgiveness and salvation but I should not have the view that I need to earn it or earn God’s love in any way. It’s a gift, already given!

How I view God and His grace, trickles into every area of my being. It causes me to look at my value in a completely different way. It causes me to rethink the idea that I can even begin to do something to earn significance in this life.

Do we think that we need to be changing the world, have the perfect family, a diamond ring on our left finger, the perfect body, or be a woman that can “do it all”? This is the challenge we fight against every day. We fight against this need to earn our significance and our meaning when in reality, we ALREADY HAVE IT.

It was given to us when God graciously gave us His son, JESUS.

My prayer is that we would walk with the attitude and knowledge that we are chosen and wanted by our Father and that any significance and meaning we have in this life, has already been given to us, not by our doing.