Sweet Nothings

9:20 PM

 {These are a few pics from our weekend at the park. My husband, son and I as well as my brother who is staying with us for a month while he starts work before his family moves out.}

 I  am on a writing role these days, I am aware at the frequency with which I am writing, but I do think I am finding it helpful to think through and in many ways give myself permission to feel what I feel and be who I am during this time.

With all the Steve Jobs quotes flying around on the news and on Facebook one has stuck in my brain tonight and I have found it quite freeing in many senses.

"Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." 
-Steve Jobs

My head seems to be filled with noise, not so much what other people have said, but what I perceive them to be saying. I fill my head with a noise I create myself. Self doubt, self criticism, self hatred. I like to imagine the words coming out of others mouth so it makes the blow easier on my self esteem to accept these are the things I am actually thinking about myself.

Remembering my "inner voice", now this is where I believe I have to begin again. Not in some weird mystical inner voice, maybe in fact it is the Holy Spirit that reminds me of who I really am. But that knowing deep within myself that I was made for a reason. That I have thoughts, personality, dreams, passions that are unlike anyone elses...for a reason. If we were all just the same, writing the same blogs, going through the same type of lives, never encountering any kind of struggles...what a boring world that would be. 

My friend Holly has reminded me on several occasions that I would tell her on occasion 

"Holly, we missed the NORMAL train a long time ago".

 My life is marked by difference. Some I have chosen, some that God has allowed me to have or experience. I love my life because it is different. 

What is the quote by Robert Frost? 

"I have taken the road less traveled, 
and that has made all the difference."

A sweet friend of mine that I had lost touch with for several years has now reconnected with me through facebook. She has been watching me struggle and yesterday she sent me an excerpt from her journal from when I was living there still, towards the end.

It has reminded me of who I really am at my core, who I really want to be, and who I believe God has made me and wants me to be as well. 
I share this with you not to "toot my own horn" so to speak, but rather again, to record this intervention from the Lord. This hope, this calling to remember.
My friend is several years younger then me and I was in a sort of leadership role at the time but we just connected, she had such a great sense of humor (which I loved) and such a tenderness for the Lord as well.

 This was an excerpt from her journal at that time:

"sunday 15th january, 2006

Ashley is leaving in 2 weeks and going back to California. she cant cope any more. i had no idea. she just isnt happy here for a number of reasons. it makes me really sad because i think shes totally wonderful and in a very short period of time shes inspired me and taught me a lot. Ashley has what seem to be a REAL relationship with god. the way she talks about him, its as if he really is her best friend. i want that.

every time i see her i get excited, because i know shes real, and she's good to talk to. i love her sense of humour, and she gets mine. the whole way through training i admired her. and shes become the kind of person to me that i really look up to for a number of reasons. it was such a privilege that she talked to me about Andy. even for a short space of time, she was a genuine friend.

it's funny because im almost like a baby Christian, or a little child when i talk to her because shes the only person ive met that i feel like running up to her and saying, "tell me about Jesus!" it excites me to hear her talk about him. i know she has by no means got it right, like none of us do, and she probably struggles like everyone else, but i pray that i become to someone what Ashley is to me. i thank God for her."

I believe she wrote this to me in a note as well before I left. I remember thinking and still do to this day that this is one of the nicest things that could ever be said to me.
This is who I want to be, this is how I want all people to remember me, this who I want my son to know as his mother. 

It is my stone of remembrance.

I think my journey in this desert is not done, but there is a purpose in it as well.

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18 Thank you for your thoughts

  1. I look at those pics and think, "There is a little guy that loves you so much... every day. He doesn't see your flaws, but loves you unconditionally." That is how God feels as well. Don't forget that you are cherished and loved by your family.

    Okay, enough with the sappy... I need to quit being so emotional. :) ha

  2. Geez, Ashley, that is a beautiful post!! I love the Steve Jobs quote... so very very true. Talking through feelings and trying to sort everything out through writing always seems to help me.


  3. Look at your little guy!! He's getting big!!
    Wonderful post! I love the Steve Jobs quote...my mind and thoughts are so my worst enemy! Especially with my husband...I always think the worst and it's 99.9% wrong! Wonderful words your friend wrote about you too. :)

  4. Too often there are clouds that fill our mind, keeping us from seeing/believing the pure beauty and purpose that is there. The devil is deceitful and wants nothing more than to bring you down and derail you from God's path for your life by making you believe his lies. Hold onto God's truths and keep them in your mind at all times, even if you don't feel it or believe, think on his promises until you know it and feel it in your heart.
    Be encouraged and never give up on yourself. It's so easy for us on the outside to see the impact you are having on sooo many lives. And that's just on the internet. I'm sure in "real life" it is even more so. I hope soon you can see what we see.

  5. Great pictures! It looks like you guys had a fun day at the park and your son is so cute!! Why is it so easy to believe the negative things we hear and so hard to believe the positive?

  6. When I was an exchange student in California I just gone through 10 years of bullying back home in Norway. At a short mission trip with the youth group at the church I attended we did an exercise where we wrote our name on the top of a sheet and then sent it around to everyone in the group. Everyone was then to write something nice about you. That was the first time anyone ever said anything nice to me. I kept that note for years and I believe I still have it somewhere. Eventually I think I will frame it as it really did change my life even though the negative comments I had heard about myself till then still haunts me to this day.
    I am glad your friend sent this to you to remind you of who you are.

  7. I really love your blog because it's so real. Know that you are beautiful and inspiring, because I've only followed your blog a few days, but your words have really got me thinking. Thank you for being you :)

  8. what a beautiful entry!! you are right, your purpose is not done and I for one can't wait to see how you continue to evolve. authentic people are very rare and you are definitely one of those people. thank you for continuing to inspire!

  9. Remember God does not make mistakes you are exactly how he wants you to be. You are you and that's awesome! It took me a long time to realize that other peoples opinion of me did not matter. I am loved by my family and am learning to love myself. You'll get there I still struggle with who I am and if I'm making the right decisions in my life. Have a great day and your little guy is adorable!

  10. I LOVE this! Your friend who wrote this is so right Ash, YOU ARE amazing, & GORGEOUS INSIDE AN OUT. You have such a tender heart! I love you so much an see you just as your friend did, an I'm sure there are many other people out there who view you just the same! As a strong women of God. He has a plan for you, an I don't know how hard things are for you right now but I do know that the one thing I have learned from going through hard times in this past year is that all HE wants from us is to obey him, an trust him knowing that no matter how hard things are right now only HE can hold us together. Thats what kept me together is knowing that no matter how much hurt an pain I was feeling that he was feeling it with me :) an he was going to get me through it! I love you an I'm praying for you everyday an I can't wait to be out there with you! Just know 'He is before all things, and in him ALL things hold together.' Colossians 1:17 EVEN US :) LOVE you! :)

  11. Very beautiful post!
    Say, I've been trying to reach you via email, but when I click on EMAIL there link doesn't work. I'd like to chat about blog design, I am interested!

  12. Your son is just the cutest little guy! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  13. Thank you for writing this! I have read your blog for just a couple of months now, and I am glad I found you. It is so nice to know that others go through this also. Thanks you for being open, and letting others know we are not alone. I feel lost, I lack confidence and self esteem and I am my worst enemy. Thanks for the Steve Jobs quote, it was uplifting and you are inspiring! I always judge whats on the outside of myself but from reading you lately I realized that I need to focus more on the inside to truly be happy. Thanks again...good luck!

  14. We are soul sisters :))) I made a printable with the quote you used!! Thank you for always sharing you and your heart!! You are truly beautiful and inspiring!

  15. awwww...your son is adorable! looks like a fun day at the park!

  16. I love this post, girl! THanks for opening your heart to us! I've been walking a similar path with the Lord lately. It's like He allowed me to be stripped from all the things I depended on or held on to, just to show me that my identity is not on any earthly thing. On the contrary, we were created to His image, we have His DNA. =) This is the first time that I read your blog, and I LOVE it already! You truly are a blessing!

  17. I love this post! You have a gorgeous family. :)

    I can relate to you so well. It's like you are writing about me. I too look back on who I thought I was and where I am now... I wonder if I could ever get back to being that person or if I have just outgrown her?

    I'm sending you an email but wanted to stop in to see what's new with you first. :)

  18. LOVE this post, girl!!! And that note is SO SO sweet, and just shows what a great person and example you are!!!


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