Sunday, February 2, 2014

Life couldn't be less about my new Steve Madden boots if it tried....

Listen to this <3 and lay down your troubles     < That is a link, Click on it!

So this weekend I went to San Francisco with a group of great people from Temple Baptist Church, and I need to tell you about it. Here we go! Be excited. I know it's long but hang in there, this is good stuff.

 We traveled so SF and met up with an organization called City Impact. They are located in the Tenderloin and that's where we did our serving and where we stayed. Yep I said the Tenderloin. What City Impact does is basically show God's love to the broken people who live in their community. Reach out to the people who become isolated from society, and to tell them that someone loves them so much that he died for them, and his name is Jesus Christ. They have a church, a thrift store, rescue mission, a school, and it's all to bring people to Jesus Christ. Everything City Impact does is centered around Christ. They are all truly great, loving, followers of Christ and it was a blessing to have to opportunity to meet them and to come along side them and serve. It was also a blessing to be able to meet some other people while we were there...let me tell you about them.

Yesterday we got to gather up some food at City Impact, cans of soup, bags of chips, and bags of cookies. We carried them a couple blocks through the tenderloin to a building called Single Occupant Housing (SOH). As we were carrying them people on the streets would look at us and ask for whatever we had. It made me feel sad but I knew we had to get the food to the SOH because our goal was to reach out to those isolated people living in the buildings and share Jesus with them. When we got inside we split up into groups and started knocking on doors. *knock knock knock* "City Impact, we have some food for you!" Then door..*knock knock knock* "City Impact, we have some food for you!" No answer...waiting a couple more seconds..then all of a sudden you heard someone coming and slooowly open the door, just a crack so you could see half their face. Some would open it all the way but others were very timid. We would begin the conversation by saying hello would you like some food? Most of them said yes and took the food. They were very grateful. It's nice giving something to someone in need who didn't even ask for it. Then, if their reaction wasn't to say thank you and quickly shut the door, we would ask their name and if there was anything we could pray about for them. That's when the stories started coming out. It was awesome when they opened up to us and shared a little piece of their lives with us, complete strangers knocking on their door. One man when asked what we could pray for said his mother who had dementia. And for his siblings who were taking care of her. Another woman asked us to pray for her family also. A large amount of them asked us to pray for their health. One woman had just gotten out of the hospital, something was wrong with her left leg. So we prayed for comfort and healing. One of the ladies I remember the most was Gloria. She talked to us for while. She told us we filled her up with encouragement and she asked where we were from so she could go to church. She moved to San Francisco many years ago from Alabama to go to school. Another woman named Della ended up there because her home burnt down so her sister came and brought her to SF. She also had a cross on her door so we asked her about it and she said she was a Christian and told us she prays all the time, mostly for other people she sees or encounters. That was so encouraging to me because often times we can be selfish in prayer. I know I can. To know that these people had so little and they still asked us to pray for Such a humbling experience.
These are the faces of only a few of the people living in this SOH. Such a cool way to display their pictures :) I loved it. These people touched my life and made me rethink how I live. I have always had a heart for helping others but coming along side those people in those buildings, loving them and listening to their stories while I stared into their broken eyes, really touched me. I don't think this will be my last experience doing something like this. Whether it's in SF or Stockton/Lodi. I want to reach out to those people who seem to be pushed away and forgotten. It saddens me when others talk about them like they don't mean anything. Like they aren't worth it. They will say, they smell, they're disgusting, they did this to themselves. But hey guess what!!!!! None of that even matters. Maybe they choose the wrong path and now they are in that situation because of poor life choices. God forgives them, and so do I. There's hope for the brokenhearted. And sometimes all they need is a little ray of hope, a ray of sunshine coming from groups like City Impact to show them they are loved. And they are so loved. God did not send Jesus to die on the cross just for the wealthy, the well off people, the clean people, the people that have the chance to go to school, shower every day, have a meal every day... He died for everyone. To save all of us. And he loves us all the same. He loves you just as much as the homeless man that asked me for my blanket and pillow as I walked by him on our way to City Impact from bart. Just as much as he loves the man who offered us drugs as we walked the streets of the tenderloin. Just as much as the angry, broken, woman who yelled at us with a colorful vocabulary after we knocked on her door offering her food. She screamed hateful words to our team how we didn't belong there and she wanted us to leave and leave her alone. It was a very scary and emotional experience but it was Satan trying to scare us off because he doesn't like when believers do God's work. But the enemy will not win :) We are stronger than that! This morning we had church with City Impact and before the service we spent an hour in prayer with the staff there. I spent some time praying for that woman. Unfortunately we didn't find out her name but God knows who she is. I knew I needed to pray for her as I walked away from her door with a frightened face and tears in my eyes. At first I was scared but then I just got really sad for her and my heart broke because Satan lives within her and she desperately needs the light of Christ to shine in her life. I really hope someone or something can do that for her. Satan was angry and definitely didn't want us spreading God's love in that building so he used her to try to scare us away. It's in those times that we as a body of Christ cling together and hold strong against the enemy.

I know this was a really long post but you can't go away from an experience like this and not share it with people. I want to share what I experienced because it changed the way I look at others and the way I want to live my life. As I drove away from Temple Baptist in my 2012 Honda Civic with my seat warmers on to my house in a gated community, my heart was heavy for those I met who live in the SOH and are so isolated from society. Then I started thinking about how little they have and once I walked in my room and saw my new steve madden boots that I absolutely love, God continued working in my heart. Life is soooo not about material things. My boots don't matter, the salvation of my brothers and sisters is what truly matters. So that's where my silly title came from because when I walked into my room and thought about the money I spent on my boots it hit me that I need to not care so much about the things of this world, but caring about God's will, and his perfect plan, and his promise to us the body of Christ, and sharing all of that with others.  This mission trip didn't end today when we left San Francisco, it just began! Because it continued as I got home!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog post. It means a lot to me that people actually read all this and can hopefully make sense of it and take something from it. This weekend was an awesome experience for me, I encourage you to go out and serve and love on the unloved. I really enjoyed going out and being the hands and feet of Jesus. 

Here's a link to City Impact if you'd like more information or are interested! :)  


Monday, September 2, 2013

My Heart Breaks....

Today has been such an eye opening day for me. I have such a new perspective on life and how I want to live my life. After meeting someone who has unexpectedly, quickly become very close to my heart...everything changed...

My heart breaks for those who feel like they have no hope. So lost in their own little world that they don't know which way is up. It amazes me the affect someone can have on a person without ever knowing it. When someone touches your life like that you just can't contain it. It's all you talk about, think about, write about...And sure, people will get annoyed. But so what? God has called us to share His love. What are we doing if we aren't showing God's love through our lives? Nothing. And that is what I learned today. When you sit and listen to someone talk about their life and their trials and you realize how they live every single day, you become so thankful for all that you have. As I type this I'm sitting on my big comfy bed with my soft pillows and warm blankets. In my nice bedroom with all my clothes and shoes and stuff I don't need. In my wonderful house with plenty of food. And my nice car parked outside. And then I start to think.... there's people sleeping on the ground tonight, there's people who are going to sleep hungry, people who don't know where their next meal is coming from, people who walk to every place they need to get to, people that wear the same pair of pants every day...and my heart breaks.

I'm not writing this to make you feel sorry for others..or to pity them. I know life is about choices and people have to make their own decisions. But maybe they just need that little push. A smile can go a long way. I think it's important to be aware of the people around us and to show them that they are loved. Sometimes people just need to be shown that there is hope for them. There is hope for the brokenhearted. Jesus didn't die for us so we would just live our own little lives and not pay attention to anyone else or care about anything but our own needs. We are called to share the love of the Lord. So I challenge you to this: next time you drive by a homeless person, just give them a smile.You don't know how you can change their day just by acknowledging them.

 Really just needed to share what was on my heart tonight. I haven't written in my blog in forever!!!  I miss it!

Going to sleep with a heavy heart tonight....but finding peace in knowing that there is power in prayer :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hey guys....sooo I was re-reading my posts and I've got this unnecessary pattern on beginning with how long it's been since I've last I'm going to skip that nonsense and get to the point! Sometimes I just get an urge to write and I always wish it happened more often but when it does I have to take advantage. There's something about typing your thoughts out that is so incredibly refreshing. I love it.

My family and I just got back from a week vacation in Santa Cruz and it was amazing! As much fun as it was though I am very glad to be home and in my own bed. Eight people stuffed in a motor home for eight days is probably exactly what you think! Kinda crazy! But I wouldn't have wanted to be there with anyone else. It was a week of fun but also a week of learning. Learning about ourselves and about each other. Most importantly learning about God. I know I've said this before but it just keeps happening to me! Sometimes it takes a while for me to get the picture.....but God can take everything away from you if that's what it takes to get your attention. In my head I picture Him saying helloooo we've been though this! Look at me I'm right here!!!! And I'm like yeah yeah I know but hang on... Really?? I'm telling God to hang on? I'm telling the creator of the universe to hang on. Like he's my little sister knocking on my door while I'm on the phone. Who do I think I am!! So He has to take away all my distractions. If that means friends, money, job, family, boys...and once the distractions are gone and it's just me and God, I look back and I see where He was showing up in my life and I pushed Him away. It's crazy to me how clear it is when I look back but in the moment I didn't see it at all. We get so caught up in the moment and so caught up in not wanting to miss out on anything that we are missing out on the biggest thing which is God's plan for us! This world is one big distraction and sometimes we need to get away for a while to realize how truly blessed we are and how amazing God is and how much He loves us. No matter what we do. He is always there, arms open, loving us the whole time. Friends can walk away. Best friend bracelets can break. Boyfriends can break up with you. Your relationship with God, that will never change. He never changes. God wont walk away, his love wont break. His love is everlasting and that alone is enough for me. God is enough for me. 

Exodus 20:6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Everything happens for a reason...

Well hello there! A great amount of time has gone by since I've last written a blog and I have truly missed it! There have been many times where I will think, oooh I shoud blog tonight but I have yet to come up with something to blog about! But tonight I think I have come up with something and am hopefully go somewhere with it!!

I am a firm believer that God puts certain people in our lives for a certain reason. We don't just become best friends with our best friends out of no where. We don't date certain people just because. God meant it to happen for a reason. The hard part about that is we don't always know the reason or realize what the reason was until later. We may not always benefit from it but sometimes I think it's for the other persons benefit. Which is pretty sweet if you ask me, being put in someone's life specifically to encourage them or help them in some way or to share the good news of Jesus with them! But also for us to learn something from it. People that are placed into our lives aren't always meant to stay there. Which is a tough one for me. I have a hard time letting people go, I get attached very easily. Something I think God is teaching me right now is that He puts people in our lives for us to learn something from them or from the relationship we have with them. You don't always realize what an effect you have on someones life!Maybe they weren't meant to stay in your life forever. Or maybe they were..You just have to live life bringing Glory to God and he will lead you to who you need and where you need to go! So often I think we take people for granted and get so accustomed to having them in our lives we forget to remind them how special they are to us. Try to remember to take a moment of your day to remind someone you care about how much they mean to you :) whether it's a phone call or a sticky note, a short & sweet reminder is all it takes!

Be in God's word daily. Live your life in such a way that is pleasing to God. Tell people about Jesus Christ and share His amazing love. In doing all of these things God will bless you tremendously and you will be truly happy. I find myself seeking happiness from things that will only give me temporary happiness. God's love isn't temporary. It is always and forever. So take the challenge with me and seek true happiness from God! It is almost silly of us not to when we know he is so powerful and capable of all things!

So kinda short tonight but I just wanted to share this while it was fresh on my mind. Hoping to write again very soon!

Short & Sweet,
           Ash :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Wow It's been a long time since I've written a blog! I miss it. I finally got a new lap top (thanks Dad :) ) so now I'll be able to write again! So much has happened since I wrote last! I'm back at school now. Oh, and, I'm twenty! :) I love saying that. I love when people ask me how old I am. Twenty sounds so good! Love it. Okay......where to begin..???

Lately I have been learning a lot. Learning about everything. Myself, my friends, my family, everything. I am a very impressionable person so I have to be careful who I surround myself with. I've learned a lot about my friends. Who's really there for me, who's fake, who will stab me in the back, who I can trust. It's a hard lesson but it's a good one. For me, I can't let people go. I know when I need to let someone go and I know why, but I can't bring myself to do it. Friends, boy friends, anyone. Knowing that my time with someone has to end, it kills me. But I have recently found something to help me. Memories. The reason I love music so much is because you can hear a song and it can take you back to a memory, a time in your life you hadn't thought about til now. You can feel the emotion you felt, smell the smells, all of it! I always connect songs to people. Maybe it was just the popular song on the radio when we were hanging out, or maybe you made me a cd and my favorite song on the cd reminds me of you. Or maybe something sad between us happened, so a sad song reminds me of you. Whatever it may be, I absolutely love that music can do that. Memories can make things harder also, you can just live in memories and get stuck in them. Wishing they could happen again, wishing things were how they used to be. But that's not what they're for. Memories are for us to go back for a moment, and remember a face, a smell, a feeling, a place. When you have to let someone go, you keep all your memories with them. And that's what keeps you smiling. :)

Once someone hurts you, it's hard to let them back in. It takes courage and strength to forgive. When someone gets mad at me, I go crazy. It's the worst feeling ever. I'd rather have the flu and be throwing up all night than have someone be mad at me. It's just how I am. I love people. Being on the cash register at work is my absolute favorite place to be. I get to talk to people! People I don't even know. It's awesome. Sure we're only talking about food..but everyone has a story and maybe I can learn a little bit of theirs. So anyways, I love people. When a person is mad at me, I'll do anything to fix it. I've been experiencing this a lot lately for some reason and it's just awful. It's definitely not a fun spot to be in. Something I've learned through all of it though is to really really think about it before you do something, or say something. I know people say that all the time. "Think before you say something!" But don't let that go in one ear and out the other because our mothers have overused it and now we're numb to it. If only I would have thought about it before I said that, if only I thought about it before I did that. If only I thought about that person that I care so much about and would never want to hurt. I can't go back in time, but I can learn from this and think about things before I say them and do them and be more understanding of people's feelings. If I have hurt you, this is for you. You know who you are. I'm sorry, and I hope you have enough courage and strength to forgive me and let me back in. 


That's a tough one. It's something most people have a hard time with. Unfortunately, I don't. I trust way too easily. I just assume everyone is good, and I can trust them. But that is false. You can't trust just anyone. You can trust hardly anyone. You can trust in God. And that's about it. So I'm taking all of my trust, and putting it in Him. That's where it should have been all along. When you're sitting with someone and you're having an intimate one on one conversation, you trust them. Or at least I do. I don't think twice if they are going to share what I am saying to them with other people. I feel like you shouldn't have to say, "keep this between us" but I am learning with most people, you do. Everyone needs someone they can completely trust 100%. That's my mom. She's not the only one, but she's the one I've had the longest. :) I can tell her anything and everything. And she won't say a word to anyone. I completely trust my mom. If you don't have one of those people, you should find one. I definitely want to be someone that someone can completely trust. Sometimes we think we are trustworthy but we really aren't. Some of us don't even realize it either. It's something I am learning right now. You have to be someone your friends can trust, someone they can feel comfortable talking to. Telling you their deepest, darkest, secrets. Their fears and what makes them happy. Their goals and their dreams. Everyone should be that person for someone else. 

Today I found a bracelet that my friend Alyx bought for me. It says WWJD. What would Jesus do? Sometimes when I'm faced with a problem or I have to make a decision, I think, what would ________ do? But I never put Jesus in the blank. That's definitely something we all should do! But it's soooo hard. We actually probably already know what He would do but we push that thought over to the side and do what we want anyways. Jesus wouldn't take the easy way out. He wouldn't stop at the expected place. He'd keep going. So I don't think I'm ever going to take this bracelet off. It's such a great reminder. Would Jesus say that? Would He do that? Probably not, so I shouldn't either. Thanks Alyx. :)

Okay so can we pleeaasseee talk about how I am TWENTY! How does that sound coming out of my mouth?! I am in love with being twenty. Love. I don't know why but it's great. You're probably laughing at me or think I'm super weird but that's okay because I am super weird. So ha :)

I could literally sit here for like 4 more hours and write. I am loving it right now! When I was blogging about being the mom over summer, I would be excited about it, but sometimes I got lazy and I wouldn't want to. For some reason right now I feel like I could do this forever! You probably don't want to read 4 more hours worth of writing though. But I will definitely write again soon. But one more thing before I go....

I. Got. To. See. TAYLOR SWIFT.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! jkrbgrgbwkjbdksbktwuafbk!!!

Okay. :) Thanks for reading this whole thing! I'm glad you did. :) I didn't really go into this with a plan today, it was basically raw emotion, exactly what I'm feeling. So there it is. I'm going to make this a regular thing, so look for more posts soon. :)

His divine power gives us everything we need for life. 2 Peter 1:3

Sparkles and glitter, Ashley


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's been a while!

Hey guys! I know, I know, I haven't blogged in forever! The main reason is because my laptop doesn't work anymore :( it wont turn on. And I never come upstairs and use this computer..but for now it's all I've got! I miss writing and checking back every five minutes to see if i have any comments or new followers! It's a lot of fun :) I need to get back into it!

Well summer is sadly coming to an end. It's still nice warm weather but school has begun! School for me will start next Tuesday. I'm super excited actually. Im looking forward to going back and learning! I feel like my brain is turing to mush. I. Need. School. Neverrrr thought I'd ever say that!! Hopefully I will get more classes next semester and be able to transfer from Delta soon. I want to go somewhere by the beach like San Diego :) Sounds lovely! Getting out of Lodi for a while sounds really nice and refreshing. My mom wants me to go to William Jessup in Rocklin and I have thought about that but the ocean is calling my name :) Studying on the beach? Check yes.

A lot has changed around here! We have two new brothers now. Carson and John are finally here. And let me just say, whoa. Not what I expected at all but in all honesty I don't know what I expected. I think I just thought they'd come here, act like normal, well behaved kids. Learn English quickly, and we'd go on with our lives just like before. No. Not quite! It is very interesting having them here. I;m not exactly sure how to describe it. John is sweet, he can be caring and compassionate. I haven't spent any great amount of time with either of them. I mean, when I'm home they're here obviously. But they are on strict, structured schedules so they are doing something. They always make sure to say hi and good bye to me when I leave or come home. And they really like to hug. I understand they like to be loved but you can't just haaang on me, I mean, I need my space. I like my space. lol Carson is different. He acts a lot younger  like 3ish. Kinda just waddles around mumbling weird things and making noises. But hey, they've got a house to live in, brothers and sisters to play with, and loving paretns who are doing everything they can to make their lives better. :)

I've gotta go pick up Emily from school now, we're going shopping :) Sorry it took me so long! I'll try to blog again soon :)

Lip gloss & Nail Polish, Ashhhh <3

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

They come home TONIGHT! kdgbkrbvkbgohbsd!!!

I. Am. So. Excited.

Words can't describe. I can't wait to walk down the hall and ask my mom if my outfit looks okay. I can't wait to say MOM again! Ahhhhhhh! <3

The boys are finally here. They are going to sleep in their new beds tonight in their new jammies! This is beyond exciting. Like I said, I don't have words.

The kids are giggling with excitement. When I got home from work at 7 Charlie ran up to me and asked if we were going now lol. Their flight actually got delayed to it's going to be later than expected. We have a long night ahead. But it will be worth it! :) Can't wait.

You haven't really missed much...I worked all day today and a little bit yesterday so Emily has been doing her time. Now that she's home I'm trying to pick up on lost hours from last week. One week off work sure does some damage to your pay check. That's okay though..I'll just have to lay off the shopping for a little bit. As tough as that is for me....! I have a small problem. Some may say it's an addiction. I just like to have new things :) I'm a girl, I'm allowed to love shopping. So ha. I do need to save money however..I have to move out some day.....

Well folks....there's really not much else to say except I will no longer be the head hancho. Ladies and gentlemen, lil mama will be off duty in less than 5 hours. I repeat, fiiivveeee hours. It's bittersweet actually. I will miss the boys coming to me when they need something, calling my name instead of mom or dad, asking me if they can do this or do that. But, at the same time, I will not miss the boys coming to me when they need something, calling my name instead of mom or dad, and asking me if they can do this or that. So yeah. I think that sums it up......

Now....I know all of you faithful readers of mine are expecting me to keep this blog up even when my parents get back....and I am here to tell you that....I will! I am not sure what I will write about all the time..obviously at first it will be about our new life and how everyone is adjusting. But after that, I guess we will see where this takes me! It is kind of exciting to not have a plan for it but to just let it unfold itself. I am looking forward to it and I hope you are too. Thanks so much for all your prayers and support during this journey. Thank you to everyone who brought us dinner. And thank you to everyone else who has been a part of this adoption adventure in any way. You all mean so much to us <3 This is the end of the road for lil mama's mommy blog, but...every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end...:)

Ribbons and pearls, Ashley