Feeling lonely

I’m writing a blog from my phone for the first time, so I hope I don’t have too many typos. Darn auto-correct, you come in handy when I’m lazy, but boy do you know how to butcher a serious sentence, haha.

I’ve been trying to think of ways to get involved with a community of believers because at our current church me and my husband are the 20 some year olds there. The majority is either under 10 years old or 50+. Sure, we can visit a church for their young adult ministry, but I’m not looking to get lost in the crowd. It seems like that’s the case for most churches today and how we’ve got in the habit of keeping to ourselves.

I can guarantee this is just a season God is trying to walk me through, but I go back to getting frustrated and tired of waiting this out. I get I should learn contentment and I have for the most part… it’s still a struggle though.

Jefferson Bethke tweeted Timothy Keller the other day and asked him what one piece of advice he could give our generation:

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So maybe I’m not crazy? I’ve debated asking if the young ladies I tried to meet up with before would like to give our study another try… but with a different attempt. Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan and you have to work your way around that. I’ve got to learn that it’s okay if something doesn’t go by the book. I’ve had to learn that through teaching the children and youth at our church.

If anyone can comment below on how they got their church groups to get together and how they worked through schedules, please let me know. I need all the advice I can get.

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Procrastination. Unicorns. Sparkly. Blankets. Tooth Pain. Birthdays.

Sponge

This is not meant to be a serious blog, I know… I’m shocked too lol. I’m supposed to be looking at the VBS papers for this weekend since I’m helping lead at my church. And where are those papers you might ask? In my closet. Has the package even been opened? Nope, haha. Shame on me. I’ll at least glance at it tonight then study it tomorrow.

I feel like Spongebob when he had to write that paper for boating school about “What not to do at a stop light.” LOL is it sad I remembered this? An almost 24-year-old girl who can quote a Nickelodeon show. But yes, I keep bouncing back from Facebook, YouTube, the TV, and hey here I am now! In the midst of avoiding the unavoidable, I’ve been holding whiskey on my pooing ol’ tooth that needs to be pulled next week. Trust me, I’m not drinking the stuff… it’s disgusting.

Oh, oh, oh! My birthday is next Saturday, July 27th. And you guessed it, I’ll be 24. My husband has to work so I’ll be spending it with my parents. And…. and… I don’t know. I guess I need to get off.

Stress and trusting in God.

Pray More

I talked to my sister not long ago about this and how we say we have faith, but our attitudes express otherwise. You can pray every day, read your Bible, and say “Yes Jesus, I trust Your will for my life!” but then when you come back to reality you start snapping at people. Whenever I start being mean and having an ‘attitude’ it’s because I’m stressed out and worried about a million things. It’s like being in a constant state of being ‘unnerved’. At this point of my mindset, my faith is circumstantial because if something rubs me the wrong way I’m going to fly off my wagon (whatever that means LOL! – I was born in a country household).

I will admit I can be a bit OCD about things, if even one or two things are out-of-place in the house, I need to clean them, right then, right now. The same thing applies when I have a to-do list. In the next few weeks I have so much stuff going on and all I can think of “Is everything going to be okay?” I get anxious about it. I think where I’m trying to get healthy, now adding a bunch of dental work on top of that, and now doing a million things at my church, I feel overwhelmed. If I’m being honest, my stress, although it’s a sin in and of itself, turns into an even bigger sin. I start nitpicking at things and I’m not content. I have to constantly apologize for things, just ask my husband and he will tell you. I don’t like being like that and I don’t know about you, but I feel alone when things start piling up. That I need to ‘carry this burden’. I can’t expect anyone else to help. I’m so quick to do my freak out dance that I forget I have God who helps me carry those burdens. I’m not meant to do it on my own. I also need to realize that I need to go to my husband more often because when I told him the things laying on my heart yesterday I just wept on his shoulder. He reassured me everything was going to be okay and I believed him. God’s Word reassures us that everything is going to be okay too and we need to believe that as well. We need to take God’s Word for face value.

No wonder some of us have anxiety, we try handling things that are out of our control. I caught myself yesterday just needing to take a break and breathe. I could feel my chest getting tightened up it was that bad. I wonder how many times I’m going to have to learn this lesson from God. Trust me girlfriend or you guys out there, when you think you’ve got your walk with God under control and you have it down to a T, you don’t. Our faith can be shaken, but let’s not be moved. At the end of the day, all we have is the Savior. When everything falls apart, when everyone fails you, God will still be on His throne in His perfect righteousness. We have to stop looking down and at our situations and look up – our hope should be in heaven. If you feel like you’re playing ‘catch up’ in life, you’re not the only one. I’m there too and I feel like I’m always behind in this world that is always moving forward.

It just dawned on me now that when I had told my sister I had been stressing, she reminded me my worth was in Christ. I thought to myself at the time… “Okay, well what does that have to do with stress?” It has everything to do with it, because the things we stress out about is the things we usually find our worth or value in. We find success in these things going well, whether it’s a relationship or job, we worry about the status – where is it going? We go back to being circumstantial. If you lose your job, if they cut your hours back, if your relationship is failing, if you have no friends, if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, it’s okay. You know why? Because our worth isn’t in those things. Those things change. I’m preaching to myself here and I’m crying as I type this because I always need to be reminded of these truths.

If you need prayer for anything, please comment below. I will leave this blog with a prayer that whoever reads this will find hope again if that’s what you needed today. May God bless you for His glory and remember to trust in Him.

My thoughts as of lately.

God's grace

I’m sure everyone is getting tired of hearing about the Paula Deen situation, but it quite frankly stirs an anger in me because this world doesn’t know how to give grace. Despite where you lean on the situation, if you screwed up would you want people to forgive you? At the end of the day, people can kiss my b-u-t-t if they don’t like what I have to say. I don’t live my life to please anyone, nor do I need to explain myself, lime light or not. We’re accountable before God, not man. A big difference between man and God is that God can look at our deepest darkest more horrible sins and still forgive us. Man  on the other hand will knit-pick the heck out of the tiniest things and magnify them and hold them over our heads. Big difference. God>Man. Just saying.

Moving on… :).

On the bright side of things, I’ve been in my Bible again reading the book of John. I had to watch myself the other day because I tried to speed through my readings to make up for lost times. That’s a big no-no because after I read it I was like… “What did I just read…? O_o” If you’re just trying to read to cross it off your list, then your heart is in the wrong place. Soak it all in, even if that means only reading a little bit a day.

Well, I’m going to go relive my childhood through watching The Little Rascals on ABC Family :]. Have a blessed night everyone and don’t forget to tell people you love them.

– Ashley

Drowning out God’s voice.

I just came home from church and decided I would look at Facebook like I normally do and dun dun dunnn… the deep thinking starts. I look at people’s statuses and the way they conduct themselves and it makes me think a lot about life, mainly God. So without explaining myself too much… this is my updated status that I just posted.

“Who you surround yourself with is a large part of who you’ll become. People influence us more than we realize. Being by yourself is okay believe it or not. I get that people don’t like being ‘troubled by their thoughts’, so they are constantly with friends… but you can’t keep running from your problems. You can drown out your thoughts yes, but you may also be drowning out God’s voice. How can He ever speak to you if you’re never alone? Or if you’re never sitting in silence and not distracted by your phone.

Give God time to speak to you, He can heal any pain that your heart may feel. It won’t be easy, but you never grow unless you learn to humble yourself and accept the weakness in your life for what it is.”

God bless you guys and I hope you have an awesome Sunday!

Poem for God.

Do you love me right where I am?

Am I doing enough? Lord I know you already have…

My soul is thirsty, yet I’m reaching for something more.

How long can I drink this until I’m empty and poor?

Pour me out O Lord and fill me with you,

help me desire your love like you’ve told me to.

Testing your grace with my careless sin leaves me with grief…

yet I do it again.

If I depended on my works to save me I wouldn’t know what to do,

but Ephesians 2:8 says there’s nothing I can do.

When you came into my life everything was new,

growing complacent is the last thing I thought I would do…

Your love still amazes me till this very day,

but when temptation comes my faith begins to sway.

I try to buy my way back to you with the guilt of my sin,

and when I think I’ve finally had enough… I do it again.

My sin is ever before me and it’s sometimes too hard to bear,

but Lord your grace is sufficient and I know you won’t leave me there.

The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

As I was reading my marriage devotion tonight with my fiance I couldn’t help but find this particular passage profound. This is not only for engaged couples or for those who are already married, but also for those who are single as well. It gives you the knowledge you need before entering marriage and seeing the seriousness and selflessness that is involved when you take the vows ’till death do us part’. Timothy Keller is an amazing author by the way and he has a high-vocabulary… some of the words can go over your head a little but you’ll get the gist of it (hopefully). Happy reading! If you need prayers for your relationship, marriage, or any prayers in general please comment below! 

The problem of Self-Centeredness

Self-centeredness is a havoc-wreaking problem in many marriages, and it is the ever-present enemy of every marriage. It is the cancer in the center of a marriage when it begins, and it has to be dealt with. In Paul’s classic description of love, 1 Corinthians 13, he says, “Love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (verses 4-5).

Repeatedly Paul shows that love is the very opposite of “self-seeking,” which is literally pursuing one’s own welfare before those of others. Self-centeredness is easily seen in the signs Paul lists: impatience, irritability, a lack of graciousness and kindness in speech, envious brooding on the better situations of others, and holding past injuries and hurts against others. In Dana Adam Shapiro’s interviews of divorced couples, it is clear that this was the heart of what led to marital disintegration. Each spouse’s self-centeredness asserted itself (as it always will), but in response, the other spouse got more impatient, resentful, harsh, and cold. In other words, they responded to the self-centeredness of their partner with their own self-centeredness. Why? Self-centeredness by its very character makes you blind to your own while being hypersensitive, offended, and angered by that of others. The result is always a downward spiral into self-pity, anger, and despair, as the relationship gets eaten away to nothing.

But the Gospel, brought home to your heart by the Spirit, can make you happy enough to be humble, giving you an internal fullness that frees you to be generous with the other even when you are not getting the satisfaction you want out of the relationship. Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul’s tank with the glory and the love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful. I call this the ‘love economics’. You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm. If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love “in the bank” to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment.

To have a marriage that sings requires a Spirit-created ability to serve, to take yourself out of the center, to put the needs of others ahead of your own. The Spirit’s work of making the Gospel real to the heart weakens the self-centeredness in the soul. It is impossible for us to make major headway against self-centeredness and move into a stance of service without some kind of super-natural help.