Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm back.

A year and a half and many many unposted blogs later....I am back! Changed the blog around a bit, and I am so excited to get my writing juices flowing again. I thought about a starting a whole new blog but realized it'd be a shame to let such beautiful journeys of my life be left here. So I think I'll keep it all together. It's part of my story, why leave it behind. Enjoy!

2013 was one of my all time favorite years. Here it is in a nutshell.

Got a new puppy, Milo boy. 

Got engaged to my main squeeze 12//22//2012

Went to Indonesia and fell in love with Asia...again :)

We got married! BEST DAY EVER 6//4//2013

Goodbye Tennessee, Hello North Carolina

We got ANOTHER puppy, Maybelle. 
{Don't be fooled, she didn't stay this sassy for long.}

 Off season meant HONEYMOON time. 
{we love hawaii}

The Lord was oh so good this year {as if He isn't always, ha!}  I love doing life with Jesus. I am beyond excited for this new year, new places, faces, and adventures. Thanks for tagging along!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Family Vaca, thanks Lord

I seriously think it's impossible to go to the beach and not be overwhelmed by the Lord's creativity. I love watching the waves and understanding that God is the one who controls the tides and knows every grain of sand on that shore. Breath taking. He is good, oh so good. And SO BIG. Reflecting on His power tonight. <3

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So it's true, I express myself in writing. I can't seem to process things unless I see them written. Visual learner as I like to call it, sounds better that way. Tonight I told Trev I felt a new blog in the making...His response "haha oh gahhh ;) jk" I think that was because sometimes he never knows what's going on inside until he sees my blog. whoops! So here's a big fat thank you to my better half. You are so patient with me and for that I thank you.

Here is "the blog in the making". Enjoy.

I walked out to the backyard swing to relax, read, pray, and sit after what was yet another LONG, exhausting day with nearly 20 eight year olds. How I survive days like today...only by the grace of Jesus. Anyways, so I was walking to the swing, barefooted I might add, and I noticed how dry the grass is. It doesn't feel comfortable on bare feet AT ALL, and it certainly is not very pretty. Then I thought of the lack of rain lately and how awful of shape that grass will be in after this weekend (99-106 degrees coming). DRY DRY DRY.

Then I felt the Lord saying to me, "That is what happens when you, Ashton, aren't connected to THE water supply. The hot, scorching, desert sun comes and dries you out. You aren't "comfortable" to be around, and you certainly aren't very "pretty" (spiritually speaking). There will ALWAYS be droughts and desert seasons but you must remember to stay deeply rooted to THE water source so that you will survive the heat of those times."

And then I saw that the grass under the shade tree didn't appear so 'dead' or look so 'weary and worn' and to that He spoke, "That's why you must rest in the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1; which just so happened to also be a significant verse in my quiet time last night)

So after all of this, I sat back and thanked the Lord for speaking to the depths of my soul. But then I realized He wasn't quite finished. I was reading some scripture and he led me to this verse: All men are like grass and all their glory is like flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flower falls...(Isaiah 40:6)

At first I was a bit confused, why did He say to be rooted in the living water source so I don't wither, when now He is showing me scripture that says people ARE withering grass? But after reading it again I caught it...

The key words here are: THEIR GLORY. My glory dries out, is scorched, withers, and falls. And rightly so. For when my own glory is standing in the way people can't see The REAL GLORY,  Christ's glory.

As contradicting as this may sound, my prayer tonight for both you and I is that we (grass) do not wither in the dry, desert heat. That we find ourself always connected to THE water source- the Living Water. And that we will dwell in the shadow of the Almighty One, not only when it's hot but in all times- Desert seasons and Spring times. Yet I also beg the Lord to make my own glory wither and fall. That Ashton's glory dies in order that people might see "The Heavens declaring the glory of God and the skies proclaiming the work of His hands." (Psalm 19:1)- For believe me that is WAY better a show than wilting grass. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Holy Moley it's been way too long since I've done this. But seeing how I've got an exam tomorrow, and a million workbook pages to get done- I've figured no better time than now to write a little ;) I'm the queen of procrastination.

It seems I've got so much bundled up in my heart and mind lately, and I might just explode if I can't get it all, or some of it out soon. My poor boyfriend has to put up with that way too often, so I'll spare him this once.

It's been 2 months and 4 days since I last saw my Gram breathing, and it's been 2 months and 8 days since I last spoke and heard her reply. I miss her, most days I make it just fine. But boy oh boy it's crazy how little it takes for the tears to start rolling again. We've been cleaning out her house a little, which means bringing over LOTS of that stuff to our house and getting rid of what we have. Our family is one of those, REALLY REALLY sentimental fams that loves things with meaning. Things passed down with memories and love, so of course Dad has completely turned our house upside down. Including my bedroom. As silly as this is going to sound...I am NOT looking forward to that. As of right now, my room is completely empty except for my tv and school work scattered across the floor. Tomorrow I get a new bed, a big bed, but it's grams bed. Tomorrow will be when it becomes a little more real that she isn't coming back. Her bed will be mine, and that means she isn't here anymore. I know to most it seems silly, or stupid even but to me it hurts a little..or maybe a lot. I open my hope chest up and I'm taken back by her smell leaking from inside. I walk through my living room and see her smiling face in pictures on end tables. I walk into the kitchen and see her beautiful white cabinet in the corner. I see her everywhere, in everything, yet I miss her so much. But then...I walk through the house and see my mess of things piled high waiting outside my room and amidst the chaos I see the willow tree prayer angel that once sat in her living room. I remember her telling me in that last week how every time she looks at that angel she is reminded of all the prayers going out for her. I won't forget her telling me that, not today, not ever. That's why I HAD to make that angel mine. So although it seems my heart will never quite heal, and I'll always be fighting back tears when I smell her smell or see her memory throughout my house- I will cling to the promises that someone, somewhere is praying for me. I will cling to the fact that I've got a Jesus who LOVES to listen to my own prayers, and loves to comfort me in these times. I remember and pray a prayer that Gram used to pray over me, that God would "open my eyes to spiritual realities and open my ears to hear His voice."

Today I began praying that prayer, like I do so often, on my way to work. I realized how selfishly I live my life. How often I choose everything, and everyone but Him. MY JESUS. my protector, healer, friend, lover, Father, provider, comfort, joy, strength, peace. How can I be so foolish to go days without truly being in his presence, without stopping to hear Him speak to the depths of my soul. Why do I CHOOSE to put Him off while I live for myself? How foolish. How sinful. How heart breaking. For me, for Him, for all those I see. For when I choose me, I choose a really nasty person. I choose the gross things, and when I say no to Him- I let go of the ONLY GOOD in me. I don't want to be the Ashton I am without Him, so why do I choose that girl daily.

As I became aware of the sin that so easily entangles me, selfishness, I recognized that when we live in sin in one area, how easy it is for other sins to attach themselves to it. It becomes like a big ball of sticky mess. The good new is, my Jesus, is big enough and willing enough to take care of that sticky mess. He simply wants me to just choose Him.

Dearest Jesus, 
I love everything about you. I love the way you are always faithful though I walk away regularly. I love how your love never changes, it is stable and good, even when mine doesn't even look like love at all. I love everything about you. I love that you constantly remind me who I am to you, even when I don't deserve to be reminded. I love you show your promises in the little things to be able to cope with the big. I love that you never quit or run away from me though I fail you time and time again. I love everything about you. Jesus, I love everything about you. 

May the words on my lips, the thoughts in my head, the expressions of my heart please you. May my every action put a smile on your face, may my hands serve, and may my feet go to the places you send me. May my heart be ready and my body be willing at all times. Jesus I want to please you, for I love everything about you. 

Your weary one, lost without you

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A week I just don't want to face.

I'm going to be completely honest when I say I've been dreading this week for basically the last 4 weeks. Mother's day week, birthday week, and graduation week...the first week I've had where special days/holidays are taking place and Grammy isn't here. Everyone keeps saying "the first year is the hardest" and I do believe that's going to be true. The first round of birthdays and holidays with new traditions, and fewer participants. I've joked all week about how I don't even know how to plan a mother's day for my own momma because for all my life Mother's day was centered around Grammy and of course my own mom was included in that celebration. But this is the first year, I'm the planner. Honestly I'm not even sure what to do. I think tomorrow is going to be difficult in many ways, for us- the grandchildren, but even moreso for dad and Titi (my aunt), hard to celebrate a day for mother's when your own mother isn't here anymore. But this is just the start of a week I don't want to face quite yet. I turn 21 this Thursday. The first birthday in I can't even remember how long that I won't have Gram's fried chicken and mashed potatoes. She ALWAYS cooked each of us a special birthday dinner with ALL our favorites. It's those little things in life that are the hardest to cope with for me, the sentimental things. We moved beside of Gram when I was 6, so I suppose since my 7 birthday she's been cooking bday meals, maybe even before that but I can't recall back that far. So, the first birthday in 14 years without going to Gram's house for the yummiest food in town. And then on Friday, we have my youngest cousin's, Allie, graduation. This was the day that Gram was fighting so hard to make it to. Even from the beginning she was asking her doctor..."Do I have two years? I need to make it until Allie's graduation." Well, she decided heaven was a better place for her to be, and now we must face this day, of more traditions, without her.

From fearing, dreading, wishing this week wouldn't come just yet, I've realized a couple of things. One being how grateful I truly am for the blessing of having this woman in my life for so long, She truly is the most inspiring woman I've even had to privilege of knowing. I am so thankful we got to start, share, and carry on traditions with her for so many years. I've also realized that this will be the year of new traditions, a little bit of change, but still a lot of love. Our family is still a family, even when I feared we'd fall apart without our "rock". We didn't. Jesus has molded us together, with a special bonding and even though I thought Grammy was that special bonding, I've learned it's Him. Only Him. He is the one that makes the traditions go round, He is the one who pours out His love on us, so we can pour it out on each other. It's Him. And the best news about facing this week and the many more to come without our sweet Gram, is that Jesus didn't leave us. He is still here when the traditions change, when things look different, when the ways of our childhood because new ways into adulthood. Jesus never left when Grammy did. And He is certainly still eager to be here for us on Mother's day, to remind me how special my own momma is. And He will wear His party hat on Thursday as I celebrate another year of life on earth. And you better believe He's gonna be with us at Allie's graduation when we shout and clap our hands for how proud we are of her.

I love Him for His faithfulness, and especially during the times I'm not so faithful. I praise Him for these hard days this week because I know He's going to be there holding our hands and hearts and reminding us, He didn't leave us and He is the special bonding holding us together. PRAISE HIM! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Because He lives, She is alive!

Tonight I try to fight back my tears, but my heart is hurting in a way it's never quite hurt before. It's strange to be overwhelmed with sadness but be so filled with excitement at the same time. The selfish Ashton, wishes Gram was here with me tonight. I wish she'd have been at her house tonight having dinner with us, and going through old pictures, laughing hysterically. I wish I could hear her talk and watch her smile. I wish I could hold her hand one more time, and let her kiss me goodnight. But then just when I start to feel overwhelmed by how much I feel I need her here, I can't help but smile. Tonight, Gram is with Jesus. Tonight, she is seeing the most beautiful things she has ever laid her eyes on. She's singing her heart out in worship this Easter Sunday, and I know for certain she is dancing. She is reuniting with my Gramps, 17 years without her love. What a reunion that must've been! She is meeting Mary, Paul, James, John, Peter. She's kissing Jesus' feet, and holding His hand. She is seeing her momma and daddy, and her sister and brother. The sounds she is hearing are majestic, indescribable. Her body is whole, healthy, cancer free. She isn't weak anymore, she isn't sick, she isn't tired, or frail. She is ALIVE.

That's why I am okay tonight, even though I will miss her every second that is to come for the rest of my life- I am comforted knowing that because Jesus died and rose again, today my grammy lives again too. I thank Jesus for such a special blessing and reminder of what He came and did so that we might live. Easter is the day that represents LIFE, and that is exactly what my Grammy got today.

She is alive again, because HE LIVES.

"Precious in the sight of God are the death of His saints." : Psalm 116:17

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My hero. My angel. My grammy.

Tonight I'm thankful for a lot of things. Thankful for salvation. grace. a home that's always welcoming. a cozy bed. food anytime i want. clean water. clothes and more clothes. shoes so my feet don't hurt. a church family that's so special to me. a big brother that never fails to make me laugh. parents that so often teach me what love really is. And literally I could go on for hours and still not have said it all...

But tonight this is what I'm most thankful for: My best friend, Madison, who always knows the right things to say when I'm trying so hard to stay strong. My precious boyfriend who lets me cry and cry and cry and keep crying on the phone. The moments I can be alone to gather myself. But mostly for the memories. The sweet, sweet memories that I have of my Grammy being healthy. That's what I try so hard to cling to lately, the good times. Like the times when she'd walk over to our house and take us on in a game of basketball and kick our tails (she was a baller in her day.) Or when she'd make us fetch a switch to get spanked with from the back yard...okay those weren't such good ones! ha! Or when she'd bring us out some cokes when we were playing wiffle ball in her back yard. And can't forget all the summer nights with homemade icecream. Or the times when she would sit and tell us about our Gramps who we have too little memories of. Or the times she'd be out on the back porch and say hello across the yard. Or the mornings I'd be leaving and she'd raise her window to greet me. And there was this one time a snake was her house, brother and I climbed the sink and she was so angry at us....until she saw the snake too! haha and The time her and gramps bought us a puppy and we were absolutely terrified. Then there's the time my dog died, and she cradled little heart broken me cause mom and dad were gone. Oh but the best memories are all the Sunday lunches, yummy! how I'm gonna miss her fried chicken and mashed potatoes. And never can we forget the holidays, sitting around for hours upon hours together as a family reminiscing. Birthdays ahh,  she never failed to cook each of us our very favorite dishes and desserts. She is such a giver. Always, serving. She is always the last one to sit down to eat, and the first up to clean up our messes. Even after we found out she was sick she still worries about us, and everyone else for that matter. "Are you all to hot in here?, Would you like something to drink?, Are you Hungry?" and so on.

Grammy is my hero. This week especially I've began recognizing the impact she has made on not just my life, but lots of peoples lives. Some that I know, some that are strangers. Yet this week God has given me such a special gift of running into people who ask about her, and never fail to tell me what a special place she has in their hearts because of who she is as a person, as a servant of Jesus, and as a fighter. Even in these last few days that she has here she is still teaching me more and more of who Jesus is. I try to remember her for who she has always been, and still is- even behind that sick body- She is a lover of the Most High. She is a fighter. She is faithful to Him even amongst the most difficult trials she has been given. She takes each with such dignity, never complaining- always praising. She is my hero. I hope I grow into half of the woman she has been and continues to be. She is my angel, and tonight I am so thankful for the (almost) 21 years God allowed me to have her. I don't want to remember the sick Grammy, or the weak Gram, or the tired Gram. I choose to remember the Gram she's been up until the past month, but I look so forward to the Grammy I will see again in heaven. My Gram with a perfect, healthy, cancer-free body, that's been face to face with Jesus and radiates His presence.

My heart is so sad tonight, but when I think of her FINALLY standing before Jesus...which she has been waiting so patiently for, I get chills. That's all she wants now is to see her sweet Savior, and I'd be so selfish to try to hold her here any longer. So tonight, I'll kiss her sweet face, hope for a few more kisses to come. I'll cling to the precious memories she has given me and smile knowing soon she will finally be HOME.