Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I have been loving this song by For King and Country and hope you enjoy it too! Please forgive me for my blogging absence lately, I promise to do better this week. Have a blessed Sunday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Marriage Tip Tuesday


     I just finished reading this article by Dave Ramsey and wanted to share it with you all as well. (Just click here.) Finances in marriage are very often the thing that will break your marriage down and suck the joy right out of it. However, it doesn't have to be that way. If you and your spouse are struggling in this area, I would suggest that you both sit down and take an honest look at your finances and develop a working budget. I'm not saying that the road to financial freedom is going to be easy, but if you are both on the same page and have the same ultimate goal in mind, I promise the peace of mind and intimacy that it will bring to your marriage will be worth it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Miscellany Monday

     Hey Everyone! I really don't have much to share tonight and I'm going to make it quick because Jeff is waiting on me to watch a movie. So here it goes....

1.) Easter was a lot of fun and we had a great time with our family. There were lots of laughs, food, and easter eggs! Izzy and Jake were the only two participants in the egg hunt because they are the only young children in the family at this point. I laughed and told Jeff that we need to start having some babies so that there can more kid's to get in on the fun ;)

Izzy and Jake gearing up for the big hunt!

Me and My Hubby

All of us girls! My cousins (from left to right) Brandi, Hannah and Emily.

My Great Aunts Rosie and Norma.

Me and my Awesome Big Bro.

2.) I. am. tired. today. It was my first day back from Spring Break and at around 2:00 pm, I was just exhausted. I really spoiled myslef last week by going to bed and waking up whenever I wanted to. It was so nice!

3.) I've been trying to wake myself up by listening to this fun song by Britt Nicole. Hope you enjoy it too. Have a great night!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     Hope you all enjoy this beautiful song by Laura Story. Happy Sunday!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party

     Hello "Ultimate Blog Party" participants!!! If you are visiting my blog for the first time, thanks for coming!

     My name is Ashley and I am a 24 year old girl who has been saved by the redeeming grace of God. I am married to my amazing and loving husband Jeff, a mom to our sweet boxer named Starbuck, and a toddler teacher at an Early Head Start center. I started this blog in September of 2011 as a way to share my testimony, my love for God, my love for writing, marriage tips, recipes, craft ideas, and many other things as well. God has done immeasurably more for me than I could have ever imagined and I am forever grateful to Him for all of the many blessings that He has given me. Here are a few things about me, my blog, and my crazy beautiful life...

My amazing, sweet husband Jeff. I love this man more than words could ever express. I met him at the young age of 17, became engaged to him at 18, and married him at 19. We will be celebrating 5 years of marriage this year. Jeff is not only my husband, but is also my best friend. I could not have asked for a better husband than him, and I thank God for him everyday. Sometimes I sit back and am just amazed at this undeserved gift the Lord has given me through him. I am also very passionate about marriage and will do all I can to stand for the sacred institution. 

My frugal side: Jeff and I live a very frugal life and are completely content with that. We believe that everything we have comes from God, therefore, we strive to be good stewards of what He has given us. 

My love for Music: I love music and find that I experience God the most through praise and worship. I feel like for me personally, music allows my soul to say to God what my brain doesn't know how to. Here are a few of my favorite songs by my favorite artists... 

The Reason Behind it All: I was raised in a Christian home, but never experienced a personal relationship with Jesus until 2005. I was living a life of sin and was in the deepest, darkest pit that I have ever been in. I am so thankful that God reached down and lifted me up out of the miry clay and shed new light upon my life. I was so undeserving and am forever humbled by the way He chose to save me. I strive to live for Him daily and want more than anything to do His will. I was once only a fan of Jesus, but because of His great love and mercy, I am now a completely committed follower.

Thanks again for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my blog and were encouraged. Please feel free to follow along on this beautiful journey called life with me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Marriage Tip Tuesday

     Whew! I barely made it for this post considering it is 10:37 pm. Today was my first day on Spring Break so my whole day was dedicated to deep cleaning our house. Anyways, as for today's marriage post, I was inspired by Crystal from Women Living Well to come up with a list of things that I admire about my husband. I would encourage you to do the same as I think it serves as a good reminder of just how much our spouses mean to us. So here it goes....

1.) My husband loves Jesus and is a great witness for Him. Jeff is the type of guy to stand up for what he believes in, even if it means standing alone. I know that he has been saved by the redeeming grace of God and that gives me so much peace as his wife.

2.) I admire my husbands strength; physically and mentally. He is so resilient and quickly bounces back when dealing with negative circumstances. He is also physically strong. For years Jeff has done physical labor and his endurance is nothing short of amazing. (My brother jokes that he is the Man of Men because he once had dental work done with no numbing. HaHa!)

3.) I love to hear my husband sing. He really has a great voice (although he wouldn't admit it), and I just love to hear him sing during worship at church. There is no sweeter sound to me than the sound of my husband praising the Lord.

4.) Jeff is funny. He makes me laugh all the time and we have so much fun together. Do you remember that friend you had in high school who you had a blast with and would laugh so hard you would cry? Well, Jeff is that friend to me.

5.) I admire Jeff's patience. He is so much more patient with me than I deserve and I am so thankful for that. He knows me better than I know myself and can read me like a book. I definitely cannot hide anything from him, because he always knows when something is bothering me. If I need to sit down and talk, he will sit with me. If I need to cry, he will listen to my heart and let me cry. If I am having a great day and want to talk about it, he will listen to that too.

6.) I admire Jeff's ability to lead. I am not going to say that there have not been times when I have been a little unsure about his plans, but I can say there is freedom in simply trusting his leadership and knowing that while he is leading me, God is the one leading him.

7.) I admire Jeff's love. He loves me in a way that I know I don't deserve and I am truly humbled. It is an unconditional love that is not based on my actions, (thank goodness:) but rather the same kind of agape love that God has for us. I have often said that I can see God's loving and tender heart through the way Jeff loves me.

     I could go on, but honestly it would take me an eternity to try to come up with the words to express my love and gratitude for Jeff...and it's almost midnight. As I said before, I highly encourage you to come up with a list of your own and share it with your husband. I know he would really appreciate it, and I fully intend to share my list with Jeff tomorrow...when he's awake ;)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!

     As I awake on this beautiful Easter morning, I cannot help but be overcome with joy and gratefulness. Besides the birth of our Savior, this is the most important day in history. Jesus has defeated hell and death, and because of that great miracle we have the hope and promise of eternal life. Is that not something to get excited about?! I can only imagine the scene on that first day of the week when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to find that it was empty. At first, there was a sense of panic because she thought someone had taken Him. Then Jesus reveled Himself to her and she fell face down in worship at His nail pierced feet. What an incredible life changing moment. Jesus has risen and we no longer have to fear death. So with that being said, I will say together with all the saints, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Cor. 15:55)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

He's Already There

     Here lately I have been very anxious about how some things in my life are going to play out. I don't know why I dwell so much on things that have yet to happen, but, I do. Come to think of it, I have always kind of done this. I can remember being in high school thinking, "If I could just see myself 10 years from now, and know how things are going to turn out, I'll be fine." However I look at my life 10 years later and realize that what I was going through then, does not relate to where I am now, so really would it have helped me? Probably not.
     The Lord has really been convicting me to just enjoy the life He has given me, here and now. Why am I so eager to rush things? I have a great husband, (the best in the world to me) a wonderful family, a nice home, a good job,... the list goes on and on. As we have been going through The Story at church the last few months, I am reminded of a point that our pastor made about God's story and ours. He said that every story contains an upper story and a lower story. We can only see our lives from our short 6 ft. perspective, but God sees the upper part of our story from His perspective.
     Take Moses for an example. When God asked him to lead the people into the promised land he told the Lord, "I am slow of speech and tongue."  To Moses, he was not the man for the job. He felt inadequate. However, God could see in His upper story, that Moses had quality leadership skills and had the capacity to lead the people into freedom. I was thinking about how this related to my life as I am always questioning when or how this or that will happen, when I know full well that God and God alone is in control. He already knows the ending, because He's already there. I could do everything in the world to make things happen the way I think they should, but ultimately, it is up to Him. If I am going to daily surrender my life to Him, I can't say, "Well, I surrender to you, but I am going to do X and Y so things will go my way." When we choose to give our lives to the Lord, He doesn't get some of us, He gets ALL.
     A few weeks ago Jeff and I were talking about how the Lord had worked out some things for us, that we put absolutely no effort towards. We talked about just how neat it is to think that God is constantly writing our story and is going to make every piece fall into place. We only see one piece at a time, but God is stitching our lives together into what will one day become a beautiful tapestry. I always think about how neat it will be to one day look back and see how everything fit perfectly together. I have already seen this in my life countless times. If my Mom would have let me go out on that cold winter night, would I even be writing this post right now? If I hadn't gone to that Christian concert with my friend, would I have met Jeff? If I hadn't gone to a friends wedding shower, would I have the job I have now? I could go on and on.
     I have seen God's hand on my life over and over again, and know that He is sustaining me daily. Why should I worry and fret when I know full well that the God of the universe is holding me tight in His grip? I know that He is for me, and He promises me in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me hope and a future. I think it's time that I passed the pen to Him and let Him continue to write the story of my life. I know it's going to be a great adventure!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I have loved this song by Third Day for many years now. The story of the thief on the cross is one of my favorite parts of the Easter story, because it goes to prove that Jesus can redeem anything, and anyone, at anytime. Hope you enjoy it too. (Since this is a live version, I've posted the lyrics below.)

I am a thief, I am a murderer,
Walking up this lonely hill.
What have I done? I don't remember.
No one knows just how I feel;
And I know that my time is coming soon.

It's been so long, oh, such a long time,
Since I've lived with peace and rest.
Now I am here, in my destination,
I guess things work for the best;
And I know that my time is coming soon.

Who is this man? This man beside me,
That they call the King of the Jews.
No, they don't believe, that He's the Messiah,
But, somehow I know that it's true.

They laugh at Him in mockery,
They beat Him till he bleeds,
They nail Him to the rugged cross,
And they raise Him, yeah, they raise Him up next to me.

My time has come, and I'm slowly fading,
But I deserve what I receive.
Jesus, when You are in Your kingdom,
Could You please, please remember me.
Well He looks at me still holding on,
And the tears fall from His eyes,
And He says I tell the truth,
Today, yeah, you will live with Me in paradise, woah yeah.

And I know that my time, yes my time, is coming soon, woah yeah.
And I know that my time, yes my time, is coming soon, woah yeah, yeah
And I know that paradise, paradise is coming soon.