What am I Called to DO?

That is a question I have wrestled with over and over and over again in my life. I have heard messages about it, I have heard people say “what is the one thing in this life that you could not live without doing?” or “What would you still be willing to do for free?” I have had many conversations with friends and read enough books on it to confuse this girl to death. Getting so wrapped up in what we are “called” to do can lead to two very dangerous places. First becoming so self centered that the only thing that matters is YOUR ministry and what YOU have been called to do or it can lead to depression, confusion and doubt because everything you try to do that you think you are called to do seems to…. fail. I think this is where we miss it, this is where I have missed it anyways, maybe you haven’t, but I have. If we could just go back to the simplicity of the Gospel, the Gospel we heard about in Sunday School as a child. The Gospel is Love. We are called to Love. First we are called to Love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind and then we are called to love our neighbor  (Matt: 22:37-39). LOVE. Out of the overflow of that love and inner filling that we have of Christ we begin to naturally do the second thing we are called to do.. make disciples (Matt: 28:19-20).So if you, like me, find yourself at a place where you are striving to figure out what it is you are called to do, if you find yourself at a place where it seems no matter what you try it fails, I give you this challenge…. love.Love God, love each other, and let the overflow of that love that is in you pour out and make disciples. Yes, we all have a purpose but until we learn to love God first with everything we have we will miss it.

Blessings, đź’śAshley

Hope.

*** This was a post that I was blessed to write for a wonderful ministries a few years ago! I am hoping to write part 2 of this very soon.


Not even sure what that feels like anymore. How did I get here? When did I become 31? Why am I the only one of my friends not married? Why don’t I have a family? Why am I not in my dream job living out the purpose that God had created me to live? I moved away, followed God, I didn’t party, I tried to be perfect, I tried to get everything right so God would see me and know I was faithful and ready to fulfill the calling that he had placed on my life!! Now I sit here, behind this same desk for the past 5 years, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook wondering “when is it going to be my turn to hide my elf on a shelf for my kids?” “When do I get to change my status to “Engaged”, when does the life that God promised happen? WHEN?? Have you been at the point in your life where you can’t breathe and lose sleep and think to yourself “I just can’t do this one more day.. not again.” I have. I am there. At that place where you just want out. At that place where you want to un-friend the next person who posts an “I LOVE MY PERFECT LIFE” status. Yes, that is me. That is where I am at. So what now. What do you do when you feel like you have held up your end of the deal but God has totally forgotten about you? You stay hopeful. You remind yourself that God has not forgotten me. You tell yourself that each and every day is a gift from the Lord. You learn to enjoy the little things in life.. You become thankful for the season that you are in. You learn to enjoy life. You spend time with God. You gain an understanding that God loves you unconditionally. You begin to understand that you are where you are because that is right where He intends for you to be at this moment. You stop living life with a rain cloud over your head and open your eyes to see the gift of each moment. I can’t help but wonder how many gifts from the Lord I have missed because I am sad, unfulfilled, hopeless, restless, wanting more… I can go on. I want to encourage you, and myself today, that God has not forgotten about you. That He loves you unconditionally. That there is nothing that you could do to make Him love you less or more. Let’s stop letting that little rain cloud of hopelessness steal the gift of today that God is giving us. Collapse that little cute umbrella of yours and if you still don’t feel the sun shinning, learn to sing and dance in the rain.. 

The Greatest Gift

I was reading a reading plan today from YouVersion  and it was on Romans 12. This is a passage I feel like I have read many times but today verses 6- 8 jumped off the page and brought a lot of freedom to my me…

6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

As I was reading this what really stood out to me was that the only thing mentioned in here as a gift that the world and even the Christian world would say is a really great and important gift is Prophesy, which don’t get me wrong that is an amazing gift and I so wish I had it!! … but what this Scripture is telling me is that yes, prophesy is a great gift and very important to the heart of God… but so is serving.. and giving.. and encouraging.. and showing kindness.. wow.I don’t know if you are anything like me but I sometimes put so much pressure on myself to be great, and do something great and I press to use the gifts that seem to be greatest in the eyes of our world… but I miss out on the chance to use the other gifts that God has given me that are just as, if not more important.. serving.. I LOVE to serve people but I never saw that as a gift..Romans 12: 2 says ” Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”I am going to challenge myself today to use the gifts that God has given me.. to stop wasting all of my time and energy trying to do that one or two things that may seem great.. I am going to focus on serving, and loving, and encouraging and being kind… If you think about it isn’t that what Jesus did? Yes, He preformed miracles, Yes, He was a great teacher but He was also Loving and Kind and Encouraging and a Great Leader.. I want to follow that example. It may not be what the world would say is the greatest gift.. but we are not supposed to copy the world…

Be Thankful

“Rejoice always! Pray Constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow….(YUMMY!) I am finding myself thinking a lot about being Thankful. This is the first Holiday I am going to be by myself for the majority of the day… I was really letting myself get down about this at first but then I began thinking that.. I am so not even close to being alone. I can choose to have a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving and spend it with God, who is the one person that I am most Thankful for. How cool is that??


Even though the circumstance is not exactly what I would have chosen for Thanksgiving, God is still good and He is still here with me…. no matter what.


This is really the point that hit me and really ministered to me personally. No matter what our current situation or circumstance is God is the same. The circumstance that we are in may make us sad or unhappy, BUT if we choose to not let it, it doesn’t have to take away our Joy. Our happiness comes from the world and things in it but our Joy comes from the Lord! Our circumstance can change every day, hour or even minute and that can definitely affect our mood if we are not focusing on God and our emotions will be all over the place…(trust me I lived like this for many years and I was a HOT MESS!) . BUT our Joy comes from God and Hebrews 13:8 tells us that God is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER.!  So because God never changes our Joy will always remain if we are keeping our eyes fixed on God. That to me is really great news.
So no matter what your current situation is I want to encourage you to focus on God, lean on Him for strength, and don’t let the world or temporary circumstances steal Your Joy! You can be Joyful and Thankful in the midst of anything!So this year I am most thankful that I have a God that never changes…
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Blessings ❤ Ashley

Trusting through the Dry Season

I saw this verse today and it encouraged me and was honestly just what I needed during this season..

Psalm 37:3-6  (NLT) 3 Trust in the Lord and do good.    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. 6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

It’s fall, normally the cool weather and knowing the holidays are coming easily puts a smile on my face! But for some reason my Pumpkin Spice Creamer is one of the only reasons I enjoy waking up right now. I find myself in this dry season of life. Nothing really changing.. nothing happening.. nothing good or bad.. just life… get up go to work … go to bed … do it again. I see people on Social media posting about loving their job and traveling and doing so many things that I want to do… and yet here I am again… wake up.. go to work… go to bed.. do it all over again…  Since I normally through all my dirt out on my blogs I might as well tell you that I even get so aggravated when I see those post that I think to myself  “Ugh of course you are HAPPY! You are doing what you love! I would love to be home drinking coffee, writing, singing, traveling too!!!” Ok I am done… I am sure you guys NEVER feel like that! Ok well I hope you do actually so I am not completely alone and crazy


Some days I just want to know that God hasn’t forgotten me


So this verse today reassured me of that.  And I hope it somehow does you too. God knows us. He made us. He knows my dreams. His timing is perfect… my job is to trust Him. Whether I happen to be in a “dry season” or Harvest. I have to trust that He is God and I am not. The funny thing is that if I could just get this truth in my head… I don’t really think there are any “Dry Seasons” with God. He orders my steps… a better word for this might be a “learning season” or an “In Training Season”Maybe that is what we need to do. Trust God. And look closer at what we feel are our dry seasons. Try to find the things God is trying to teach us through them.


“Commit EVERYTHING you do to the Lord. Trust Him and HE WILL HELP YOU.”


I know that is so much easier said than done.. but when you come to the point that you are waking up for holiday creamer… do you really have another option!!! Happy Fall!
Blessings<3 Ashley

Oh The Blood

Regret..Shame…I wish I didn’t… why did I do that… what was I thinking… 
These are all things that have been so familiar to me over the past couple of months. I don’t know about you but there are times when I have gotten so caught up trying to be perfect, trying to live this Christian life out, trying to be encouraging, trying to figure out what I am supposed to do for God… instead of trying to simply “know” God. Have you ever been in that place before? The place where God just snatches you up out of yourself and puts a mirror in front of your face and shows you what He sees… what others may see… what your hiding.. what your running from? I can honestly say for the first time in my life I have.. and God did just that…. and it was so ugly. The first thoughts I had were filled with shame, and regret, and fear…. but then God broke me when this song played on my CD…

After this song played I was a Hot Mess (for lack of a better term). But in that moment I realized that God showed me this because He loves me and He cares about me and He created me for so much more than the way I was living. I have never before this had such and amazing knowing of what The Blood, Jesus’ Blood truly did for me.  I just want to encourage you today that if you are finding yourself in a place where nothing makes you happy, where you are frustrated all of the time, where you are jumping from one thing to another to another… stop… I believe we do this because our spirits are craving God but if we are not being led by our spirit then we are being led by our flesh, which is the thing that causes us to try and find happiness in anything and everything that looks promising.
If you are finding yourself in this place I am begging you to sit and pray and ask God to show you what the root is… what is causing this cycle.. He will show you I promise you that. When He does it may be something you do not want to see, but know that


HE IS SHOWING YOU BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU AND CREATED YOU FOR SO MUCH MORE.


Once He reveals this to you and you repent of the way you have been living, you are taking your first new steps.. in Him and with Him. When the devil tries to bring that guilt and shame back upon you, which He absolutely will, memorize and remember “There is now no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

When we truly fill ourselves with the Lord, find our everything in Him, live by our spirit instead of our flesh, we allow God to mold us into who He created us to be. Not who we think we are supposed to be, or who others want us to be. When we understand what His Blood did for us we can live in a state of thankfulness and complete dependency on the Lord.  When we let go of chasing and doing and doing and doing and just cling to God, we find more fulfillment there in that place than anywhere that this world or things or other people can offer. 
❤ Ashley

The Gift of Today

Since the holidays are around the corner I thought talking about  Presents would be SO fun! I mean maybe you want a pony, or a new car, or an iPad  or …… whatever it is! Presents are so fun to get!!! Ok well that is not really the “present” I am meaning to blog about today as you may have guessed.. haha. I watched a teaching from Pete Wilson last night and he made a statement that said this..

“Anxiety is simply living out the future before it gets here.” Pete Wilson.

I don’t know about you but I can make myself absolutely crazy and miserable and lose sleep and be grumpy and just have absolutely HORRIBLE days because I am constantly worrying or even thinking about the future.

Planning and setting goals for your future is a GREAT thing.. living in your future can make you a very unhappy person.

It’s so crazy to think about, but the very same passions and goals and dreams that we are so excited and passionate about and we think we just can’t wait for them to all happen…. can make us miserable, burnt out and exhausted. I have lived like that for a really long time…  When we constantly live in the future and think that once we have that dream job or get married or our ministry is taking off… then we will be happy.. we miss the Present that God is trying to give us every single day. When we live only focused on the future it can make us feel “less than” or not good enough or like we have not accomplished anything.. or we feel like a failure.I think a lot of us miss the John 10:10 abundant life because we chose to live in the future and we miss out on every single “Present” of Today that God is trying to give us.So I encourage you as well as myself to have that childlike, excited, expectant faith and tear open your Present of TODAY that God is giving you.. He has called us to Go and Love… if we could focus on doing that Today instead of what tomorrow or the next 5 years is going to hold for us, I think we would be more fulfilled and see more lives changed than ever before.<3 Ashley

A Ship without an Anchor

As I was driving into work this morning I heard a song that said“Ships without an anchor” I couldn’t even understand what the guy said after that but God immediately started putting thoughts and a new revelation in my spirit… So I finished the line for the guy..

“Ships without an anchor, rely on the wind and the sea”  That is how our life is if we are not anchored in Christ.

We go through life relying on the sea or our emotions and the wind or our current circumstances to lead us and shape our life. I know that I am totally guilty of this and have been on many occasions.  God is the anchor that we need to drop down in the middle of our storms or hurts, or disappoints, or less than what we have dreamed of circumstances. He is the only anchor that can hold.  Look at what the Bible says in Hebrews…

Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”  Hebrews 6:18-19  NLT

God, and the hope that we have in Him is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls… I love that. This is a concept and discipline that is much easier said than done…. I know in my own life I can think of many occasions where I thought to myself “ok, no matter what I am not going to move and give in or change my mind!” But then as soon as the situation gets a little challenging and my emotions start to waiver, it is like I pull up my anchor and just let the “wind and sea” take me wherever they are headed. 

How can we live out our destiny and life God has for us if we pull up our anchor and let our emotions and circumstances lead us?


When I think about my life like this, it makes it so much easier to understand why sometimes I can feel like I am getting no where or like I am going in circles… It is because I am letting my life be lead by emotion. Do you ever do this? I seriously  hope I am not the only one! The wind and its direction, speed and strength are constantly changing…(just like our circumstances) which affects how high and strong the waves of the sea are (our emotions). We must let our anchors down and keep them down. God promises to be a “Strong and Trustworthy Anchor for our Souls” That is a promise from Him.. and He ALWAYS keeps His promises. So next time you find yourself ready to pull up your anchor just remember that God is strong enough to get you through this storm if  we will just stay put and let Him take us and walk with us through it… on the other side of the storm is smooth sailing ahead..
❤ Ashley

Fix Your Thoughts

Most of us wake up everyday and kinda go through the same routine throughout the week… I know that there have been points in my life where I LIVED for the weekends, when I punched the clock Friday at 4 I just wanted to shout for joy!! That was a horrible way to live for me personally. Only looking forward to 2 out of the 7 days each week surely did not seem like the “abundant life” that God promised me. So what was wrong? Where was my abundant life? I believe that God showed me the answer in this verse..

Philippians 4:8 Says
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” 

My abundant life required a change in my thoughts, and what I was dwelling on. When you begin to fix your thoughts on God and how good He is and what He has done for you… you begin to experience that abundant life that He has promised. Did my circumstances change? Nope… Did I get a huge raise or a different job that I thought I would make me happier? Nope.. Did my financial situation change? Nope.. Am I living the big dreams that I have always dreamed about!!? No. BUT can I tell you this one thing…

God can and wants to give you that abundant life right in the middle of where you are.. right now.

And it is amazing. Just by changing my thoughts and fixing them on God and what He was speaking to me, I am in the same place doing the same things that I was when I was waiting to punch that clock Friday at 4, but now I run up the stairs at work and I am just filled with thankfulness and so grateful  because of who He is and what He has done for me.
I can’t encourage you enough to take control of your thoughts and fix them on God. Listen to God and what He is speaking to your heart. It is the absolute most life changing thing I have ever done. God promised you and me this abundant life, not just an abundant weekend. Fix your thoughts on Him and listen for His voice, live a life of thankfulness and watch how God can change your life, heart and mind right in the middle of where you are right now.
Blessings!<3 Ashley

Temporary

Are you content? Are you happy? These are questions that I seem to be asking myself a lot lately and if you listen long enough to other people a large majority of them say they are not happy, they are not fulfilled with their life. As I am asking myself these questions and praying for some kind of answer I have been reminded that

You cannot find your happiness and fulfillment in life in things of this world. In your job, your spouse, your children, your credit card, in anything that is TEMPORARY.  Temporary things have no guarantee.  

As hard as it may be to think about, everything and everyone we know in this world is temporary. So we wonder why our emotions are on such a roller coaster sometimes, well this could be one of the answers. Where are you finding your happiness and fulfillment in life from? If we are finding it in a person or thing, our feelings of contentment and happiness will never last.
The only thing in this life that is a guarantee…. is Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:5 NLT says “I will never fail you, I will never abandoned you.”

Until we find our complete happiness and contentment in Jesus, we will never be fulfilled in the way that we are longing to be.

I am speaking to myself and wanting to encourage you at the same time… whatever you are trying to find happiness or fulfillment in outside of Jesus Christ… let it go. The hard truth that I have learned and am still learning  is that everything I have ever tried to find fulfillment in outside of Jesus, even if it was a great thing, always ended up giving me the greatest hurt and pain and unhappiness. Why? Because I was trying to extract things from that person or thing that only Jesus can give me .We can’t put that kind of pressure on any person or thing… they will never live up to that, because they were not created to do so.
So I encourage you today to let God be your everything. Find your fulfillment in being His son or daughter. Find your happiness in knowing He loves you, He will never leave you, He will be your strength in your weakness, He will provide your every need, He will be your healer and He will be your everything… if you let Him.

God is not temporary, He is the only thing in this world that is 100% guaranteed. 
Blessings,<3 Ashley