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Friday, June 17, 2016

Searching

IWe are all searching for something. Our souls are longing for more. We know something is off, something is amiss in this world because despite all the world has to offer somehow we always end up coming up dry. Empty handed. Still looking. Still searching. Even if we feel we have or have had the best that the world has to offer. 

In pain we are searching. Searching for comfort. For peace, even a little bit of peace. For rest. For safety. For security. 

In times of grief and loss we are looking for answers. Looking for a way out. Looking for some way to not feel so much. Looking and searching.

We're looking for so many things. Looking for beauty. Looking for true love. Looking for stability. Looking for what is true. Looking for meaning for ourselves, for our lives, for why things happen the way they do. Looking and searching. Searching and looking. 

The soul is never satisfied with what this world has to offer. Even if we are able to see the most beautiful sights in all the world. Something will still be missing. Even if we are able to accomplish all of the goals that we have laid out for ourselves. Something will still be missing. Even if all goes well and we have the life that we always dreamed of. Something will still be missing.



Our souls were made for more. So much more. 



When the pain and the longing and the endless searching begin to wear us down  we sometimes look to other things to numb the pain, numb the discomfort , somehow trying to fill that void in our souls - whether it be with alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, Facebook searching, food when we're not hungry, sweets, busyness, work and acceptance through accomplishment. 

That void is there for a reason. You are hurting for a reason. Your soul was created for so much more than this world can EVER offer you. You were made by God to KNOW Him. To be FILLED with Him. To be COMPLETE in Him. To have LIFE in Him. To have LIFE ABUNDANTLY in Him. Apart from Him there is no other way to truly live as you were created to, as our souls long to. 

If you are in pain right now. If you feel agony in your soul beyond description. If you have or have ever felt like you wanted to end it all because you felt stuck, like there was no way out of this emptiness, this pain. Please know that there is One who can fill You to overflowing! One who loves You right where You are! One who has a purpose and plan for your life beyond your wildest imagination. Please don't give up πŸ’› please don't lose hope πŸ’› please know You are NEVER ALONE and you are not the only one with this emptiness, this longing. 

If we turn to Him and call on His name, the name of Jesus we will be saved. 

"For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:12-13

We will be made new. Jesus came to make us right with our Father by dying for us on the cross. When Jesus died for us on the cross he bore our sins on His body. In exhachange for our sins He gave us His righteousness - or rightness with God. The One who created us. The One who we were made to know. Let's come to Him. Let's really know Him. And begin this new journey living the life He created us to live. One that is full and alive and bursting at the seems with hope.



You were made for so much more πŸ’› don't forget it 😊 


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Alone but Not Alone

Feeling alone 
Feeling scared
The weight at times feeling too much to bear
Who understands, who sees, who knows? 

Have I forgotten?
Do I not remember what I have seen and heard and know to be true?
Do I not remember the One I have found to be true?

I may appear to be alone standing here fighting battles unseen to the naked eye
But I am not alone

I may feel lonely 
But I am not alone

I may long for someone to stand up for what is right and good and true
But have I forgotten?
That One has already come

Do not forget daughter of the King
There is One who goes with you
A mighty warrior who saves
He takes great delight in you
And rejoices over you with singing

In the darkness you are not alone

In the daylight you are not alone

When you face an opponent that appears to be much bigger, stronger or skilled than you are
You are not alone.

With Him you can face all things

With Him you can endure all things

With Him you are victorious in ALL things

He has equipped you by His spirit with strength unfathomable 

Discernment unmatchable

Wisdom unshakeable

Adoption as a daughter of the King irrevocable 

Love unrelenting

Purpose which He is fulfilling

You cannot be lost

He will not lose sight of you

He is fighting for you

This battle has already been won by the King of Kings

So when you are in the heat of the battle daughter of the King

Do not forget...

Though you may appear alone

You are never alone

Eyes on Him

Armor on

Swords up

Let's Go









Sunday, April 10, 2016

It All Matters

It all matters dear one
Don't be deceived
The days may roll into weeks that roll into months and then years upon years
Wiping tiny hands and tiny mouths


Scrubbing dishes after babies are in bed
Wiping a new set of crumbs off the counter and making it sparkly clean. 
Putting on one more back pack
One more kiss goodbye and have a good day
One more nighttime book and see you in the morning
One more smile to another Mom that is juggling three kiddos at school pick up
One more breakfast lunch and dinner
One more trip around the clock


And it is miraculous
All of it
And don't be deceived sweet mama
It all matters 
Because these are the things
Because these are the moments that make up a life
A life is a sum of all of our moments added up together and how they were invested
Where we invest our hearts, our time, our attention - it all matters


Every little thing
Every little crumb 
Every little kiss 
Or tiny hug with arms wrapped around tight 
It. All. Matters.
As your in the kitchen or lay your head down tonight remember to whisper it out loud to yourself
It. All. Matters.
Because it does - everything you did today mattered.


You matter.
And you're making a huge difference.
Right. Where. You. Are.
Rest well tonight sweet mama.
You're doing a great job!


Friday, April 8, 2016

The Dark Side of the Canyon

The Dark Side of the Canyon



Spring is a comin' 
When you feel like you are on the dark side of the canyon
And the sun has been hidden from your face
Like you have been drug underneath the water for a long long time
And the currents are raging around you
Don't stop
Keep moving forward
Cause spring is coming 
The light is about to break through in an open valley wide and great


You can't reach the light without going through the darkness
In many ways the journey through the dark side of the canyon is your friend
Like the rocks around you in the midst of the dark side you are being shaped
Smoothed
Crafted


And as you follow the river out of the canyon out of the dark
You too have been shaped
What once held you back is no more
The fears that once gripped you are memories of old
So just embrace every part of this journey through the canyon
The dark
The light
Because it is all a part of you, a part of your story and how a good good God is shaping you. 


Can you hear The Call O' the Canyon now?
The journey is waiting 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Mother's Worth

This has been heavy on my heart lately. I have been thinking about what is the weight of a woman's worth? And then that lead to the thought, what is the weight of a mother's worth and how is it measured? I feel like the world today places so much pressure on us as women and on us as moms to look, act, do things a certain way in order to be a "good mom".

Then there is the idea of what it is to be a "super Mom".

That term "supermom"... something about it just doesn't sit right. I have heard it used a lot between fellow mamas, usually as a way of showing support, encouragement and is used kind of like a mom fist bump to say "you're doing a good job"! Which mom fist bumps are AWESOME and encouragement is so huge as moms isn't it? 

But I feel like something is off with the "superMom" label. I feel like this concept of "supermom" is in some ways not an encouragement but more like a measuring stick. {This reminds me of what Ann Voskamp taught about measuring sticks about a year ago at IF:Gathering}

A few questions usually pop into my mind when I hear this label used, here's a peek into what goes through my head...

1.) Who decided what makes a Mom "super"?

2.) Who gave them authority to decide what is "super"?

3.) Is this ideal of "supermom" something we should be striving for or be excited about attaining?

Does anyone else feel this way? 

Here is a little back story into how my thoughts towards being a mom and motherhood have developed over the last three or so years. A few years ago we found out that Caleb our middle child who is now 4 years old was on the Autism Spectrum. It was hard to find out because of the daily struggles that we most likely could expect to be ahead of us but at the same time it helped to be able to place a finger on it to say that had been what was going on there. For a year or more I had been struggling with feeling like a complete failure as a mom when Caleb would just take off running with no regard to my voice when we were with friends, in public, at the park or at church. I would look around me and see other kiddos younger than Caleb listening to their parents. I was wondering, what is going on here? Am I doing that bad of a job? He also had little regard at times for peoples personal belongings and at would sometime grab people's things including food and drinks without asking. It's hard when you don't know what is going on, why this might be happening and neither do the people involved.  Needless to say I felt very alone during this time as a Mama and like I was doing a terrible job. It was hard but at the same time I am thankful because it has taken down many of my ideas of what it is to be a "great" Mom.

My worth as a mom and as a woman are not tied up in how my child is behaving - good or bad. My worth as a mom and as a woman is not tied up in how much of what I am doing compares to what other moms are doing. My worth as a mom and a woman is not tied up in how much I am doing! It's just not. Period. And I feel like as a Mom this is one of our hugest temptations. To believe that were not doing enough, to believe that our kids aren't doing well enough and ultimately to believe that we are not enough. Like there is an imaginary measuring stick and on said measuring stick other moms would surely be wayyyy up at the far end of this measuring stick and we would be way down at the bottom. Anyone here with me on this?

What if we knew, DEEP DOWN in our bones that there is NO measuring stick. 

The measuring stick we've made is a LIE.

And what it says about our worth is a LIAR.

Granted there is room for growing and learning from other moms but the comparison that can come up in our hearts is were we can be lead down the wrong track. 

I am thankful for our journey with Caleb and each of the kiddos because God has really taught me that the worlds standards are not always the same as His standards - in any area, including what it is to "measure up" or to be a "supermom". I love how God's Kingdom is an upside down Kingdom. What the world says is often the very opposite of what God says.

The world may tell you that to measure up on the "supermom" yard stick that you need to have it together - for each person this may look differently. For me in the past and still some days measuring up has been looking like I have it together like other moms, having a clean house {like the kind which I have a picture of in my mind - most likely from something I saw on Facebook 😜}, feeding the kids healthy foods, always being having a gentle voice with the kids, having a clean car without all the crumbs, wearing cute clothes, having nice blow dryed hair that has just the right amount of poof {yes, I am being honest here, I have thought thisπŸ˜‚}, saying the "right" Christian things, having a husband that is happy and the list goes on and on and on. On their own there is nothing wrong with these things but when they are being used by someone as a measuring stick to determine their worth of value something is wrong and I this has so been me!

As women and sometimes as Christian women I really believe that we sometimes can get to a place where we feel the weight of this. The weight of this yard stick that we feel like someone is carrying around measuring how we're doing. The measurement in return can often times make us feel something about our worth, something about whether we measure up, something about whether we are enough, something about whether we are "supermom" quality or not.

Let me tell you right now. You are mom enough. 

I heard Beth Moore speak on her TV show this morning and she said this. 

"You are woman enough"

And I felt like God had this for us. For you as a mom.

You are mom enough.

You are woman enough.

So let's put down these imaginary measuring yard sticks and instead of encouraging one another with the "supermom" ideal let's wrap each other above all in love, in truth of where our value comes from and on those hard days lets just look each other in the eyes and without needing to say a word - fist bump it up because we are in this together and we are all super in our own way!

You go Mama, do your thang!

Because God looks at you and He is not looking with a critical eye. He is looking at you and He says... It is good! It is very good! When I believe, really believe that this is how God sees me, this is what God thinks of me, then I am able to put down that ridiculously heavy measuring stick... And breathe.

And enjoy. 

And begin to taste what it is like to live free from the weight.

And just be me.

And it is good! 

Let's do this together! Let's remind each other and encourage each other with the unchanging truth of who we are and Who we belong to despite what we ever might accomplish. 

We are His πŸ’› You are His! 

This video is so great! A Woman's Worth:


Praying for us!

Ashley

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Mother's Worth

This has been heavy on my heart lately. I have been thinking about what is the weight of a woman's worth? And then that lead to the thought, what is the weight of a mother's worth and how is it measured? I feel like the world today places so much pressure on us as women and on us as moms to look, act, do things a certain way in order to be a "good mom".

Then there is the idea of what it is to be a "super Mom".

That term "supermom"... something about it just doesn't sit right. I have heard it used a lot between fellow mamas, usually as a way of showing support, encouragement and is used kind of like a mom fist bump to say "you're doing a good job"! Which mom fist bumps are AWESOME and encouragement is so huge as moms isn't it? 

But I feel like something is off with the "superMom" label. I feel like this concept of "supermom" is in some ways not an encouragement but more like a measuring stick. {This reminds me of what Ann Voskamp taught about measuring sticks about a year ago at IF:Gathering}

A few questions usually pop into my mind when I hear this label used, here's a peek into what goes through my head...

1.) Who decided what makes a Mom "super"?

2.) Who gave them authority to decide what is "super"?

3.) Is this ideal of "supermom" something we should be striving for or be excited about attaining?

Does anyone else feel this way? 

Here is a little back story into how my thoughts towards being a mom and motherhood have developed over the last three or so years. A few years ago we found out that Caleb our middle child who is now 4 years old was on the Autism Spectrum. It was hard to find out because of the daily struggles that we most likely could expect to be ahead of us but at the same time it helped to be able to place a finger on it to say that had been what was going on there. For a year or more I had been struggling with feeling like a complete failure as a mom when Caleb would just take off running with no regard to my voice when we were with friends, in public, at the park or at church. I would look around me and see other kiddos younger than Caleb listening to their parents. I was wondering, what is going on here? Am I doing that bad of a job? He also had little regard at times for peoples personal belongings and at would sometime grab people's things including food and drinks without asking. It's hard when you don't know what is going on, why this might be happening and neither do the people involved.  Needless to say I felt very alone during this time as a Mama and like I was doing a terrible job. It was hard but at the same time I am thankful because it has taken down many of my ideas of what it is to be a "great" Mom.

How I am doing as a mom and as a woman are not tied up in how my child is behaving - good or bad. How I am doing as a mom and as a woman is not tied up in how much of what I am doing compares to what other moms are doing. How I am doing as a mom and a woman is not tied up in how much I am doing! It's just not. Period. And I feel like as a Mom this is one of our hugest temptations. To believe that were not doing enough, to believe that our kids aren't doing well enough and ultimately to believe that we are not enough. Like there is an imaginary measuring stick and on said measuring stick other moms would surely be wayyyy up at the far end of this measuring stick and we would be way down at the bottom. Anyone here with me on this?

What if we knew, DEEP DOWN in our bones that there is NO measuring stick. 

The measuring stick is a LIE.

And what it says about us is a LIAR.

Granted there is room for growing and learning from other moms but the comparison that can come up in our hearts is were it can head down the wrong track. 

I am thankful for our journey with Caleb and each of the kiddos because God has really taught me that the worlds standards are not always the same as His standards - in any area, including what it is to "measure up" or to be a "supermom". I love how God's Kingdom is an upside down Kingdom. What the world says is often the very opposite of what God says.

The world may tell you that to measure up on the "supermom" yard stick that you need to have it together - for each person this may look differently. For me in the past and still some days measuring up has been looking like I have it together like other moms, having a clean house {like the kind which I have a picture of in my mind - most likely from something I saw on Facebook 😜}, feeding the kids healthy foods, always being having a gentle voice with the kids, having a clean car without all the crumbs, wearing cute clothes, having nice blow dryed hair that has just the right amount of poof {yes, I am being honest here, I have thought thisπŸ˜‚}, saying the "right" Christian things, having a husband that is happy and the list goes on and on and on. On their own there is nothing wrong with these things but when they are being used by someone as a measuring stick to determine their worth of value something is wrong. 

As women and sometimes as Christian women I really believe that we sometimes can get to a place where we feel the weight of this. The weight of this yard stick that we feel like someone is carrying around measuring how we're doing. The measurement in return can often times make us feel something about our worth, something about whether we measure up, something about whether we are enough, something about whether we are "supermom" quality or not.

Let me tell you right now. You are mom enough. 

I heard Beth Moore speak on her TV show this morning and she said this. 

"You are woman enough"

And I felt like God had this for us. For you as a mom.

You are mom enough.

You are woman enough.

So let's put down these imaginary measuring yard sticks and instead of encouraging one another with the "supermom" ideal let's wrap each other above all in love, in truth and on those hard days lets just look each other in the eyes and without needing to say a word - fist bump it up because we are in this together and we are all super in our own way!

You go Mama, do your thang!

Because God looks at you and He is not looking with a critical eye. He is looking at you and He says... It is good! It is very good! When I believe, really believe that this is how God sees me, this is what God thinks of me, then I am able to put down that ridiculously heavy measuring stick... And breathe.

And enjoy. 

And begin to taste what it is like to live free from the weight.

And just be me.

And it is good! 

Let's do this together! Let's remind each other and encourage each other with the unchanging truth of who we are and Who we belong to despite what we ever might accomplish. 

We are His πŸ’› You are His! 

This video is so great! A Woman's Worth:


Praying for us!

Ashley


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