Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Screen: Dependency

Through the penetrating tears, I notice Uncle Sean's arms and hear his voice, as he grapples with trying to comfort me. “See, you’re crying; it’s going to be fine. Silence would be worst… You could be DEAD, Ashley,” but his encouraging words do nothing to fight the fear I feel.

Running through our font door, frantic to find out what happened, my parents meet Sean and me. I hurt all over, it’s excruciating. Their questions echo inside my head: “How did you get out side?” “Can you move?” “What’s going on?” Mom reaches for me, and Sean acquiesces, placing me in her arms as he addresses their inquiries. “She fell out of the window from leaning against your screen. I'm sure the window was open, It must have given way.” Dad’s response almost penetrates me, “Ashley, I thought I told you not to sit next to that.”

My reply was silence. But now, after being at a hospital, breaking a collarbone and having a doctor’s bill given to my parents, the guilt burns. Uncle Sean was incorrect when he said “you'll be OK” – leaning against a screen out of laziness and curiosity had a price. Tears begin to line my eyes. “Ashley?” asks mom, her concerned eyes studying me, waiting for what I’d say next.
“I’m … I’m just sorry for leaning on something I shouldn’t have, for the money you and dad spent. It’s all my fault.” She laughs and, moving closer hugs me. “Nay, Dad and I aren’t mad at you. We’re so glad you’re alive, and we’re relieved we had the money to pay for it.” Her hands wrap around mine… and…

I'm safe again.

Safe to forgive myself, safe to see more then my mistake, safe to repeat the testimony I have. “You know what being OK is?” Mom pauses. “It’s knowing everyone is tempted to lean on screens of people, places and things instead of God, but he is faithful to save.”

Proverbs 3:5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Risk: His Goodness

"Here try it." My dad shoved a square, crystal glass, recently filled with water, to Jordan. Often during our last two years, Dad had successfully persuaded us to 'taste' a glass of water claiming it was good, only to find the liquid tasted awful. Neither of us were easily conned... . " Come on..." Dad pleaded.

Jordan, deciding it wasn't worth fighting over, reacted before I did. She took a glass, drinking the contents. . . Her eyes widened. "Wow! Tastes normal." My Dad chuckled, "I paid for a different water filter system and this one worked."
"Care to try some?" He asked, setting a cup down on our table, in front of me... my reflection loomed back. Did I trust him or did I trust past experiences? Him. I Grabbed the glass and took a risk because of HIS GOODNESS.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Will we trust our God or our past experiences? Some things can only be found out through the tasting of risk... the tasting of His goodness..

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Journey: Contentment

Trees surround us. My friend Christina stops along a worn path beside me and leans against her family's car. She seems peaceful, blind to the heat . Isn't she thirsty like me? Being invited by her family to see the Redwood Forest was an honor until I realized we forgot to bring water.

"You doing OK, Ashley? You seem quiet.. did you have fun today?" Turning around, Christina's mom, Viviana, is grinning. I want to be diplomatic but ... my need for water ...overpowers me . . ignoring her question, I ask".. Is there a drinking fountain somewhere?" "Every fountain we have passed isn't working," she replies," You know....Sweetie ,YOU NEED TO ENJOY THE MOMENT, you're at a beautiful park and besides, we're about to leave." Christina opens her family's car door. I follow getting inside after her, assessing Viviana's words.

Ive been ignorant.. God, who created a beautiful forest for viewing pleasure also created cool water for vitality. He is faithful .. Pinks, oranges, yellows, and reds race past our car window... Taking us closer to a glass of water. I lay back against my pillow, and except Viviana's suggestion to "enjoy the moment". This is contentment's journey. My journey. Our journey

During every given season in our lives two aspect are operating.....1 The beautiful now moments and 2 a thirst for something we are wanting... What is being content? Realizing that He who made the national park moments also made the water you will drink tomorrow. So don't fear ..relax and enjoy because God is always good and faithful to his word! Philippians 4:11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Surprise:love love love

Déjà vu, just like old times,” Mindy smirks, “except.. …. were in Texas SURPRISE” her flippant voice tone implies a flight from Oregon to Texas is a minor undertaking, instead of a expensive and complicated event. Constructing space, I propelled mindy's duffel bag off my seaweed colored couch and flop down sitting by her, “Ha that’s because you guys enjoy withholding information … keeping secrets. Seeing You and Casey stroll through the living room ….“I didn’t know where I was”.

Mindy chuckles and ignores my dazed expression " Yeah,i had the trip planned since Jan. I kept telling everyone in Oregon .. I was going to visit you for your birthday as a surprise and then Casey concluded she wanted to come too! It fit perfect." "I did what?" Casey questions, she comes towards us and sits down. Her left hand lays limp, and classy, a fresh coat of clear nail polish accenting the sparkling engagement ring. . . I stare at her ring and a thought formulates, "So Casey was Wes worth the wait...? " She Gushes,YYesss unfazed by my loaded question.

This is friendship.. joy.. contentment I have missed them. These Girls, who know me well.. who aren't shocked by my many questions... have come to see me. I feel loved. Yet, God required loneliness and waiting before they showed up in my living room today.. why? He could have articulated " Ashley your best friends will be visiting you, and your 24Th birthday will be splendid.. don't worry" instead i was found wanting and void of Texas friendships. God could have stated " Casey, I have this boy named Wes for you and although you will be alone for a season, at the perfect time you will fall in love." But God gave neither.. he handed us harsh silence...he gave us a surprise.

My Wesley, loves me... he gives me gifts.. he talks to me.. even the way he holds my hand.. shows how perfect we are together.. Casey continues. Mindy and i cant keep our laughter from esacpting, who grabbed our logical friend and replaced her with this romantic girl? "We're glad your happy" Mindy chirps, leaning against the pillow.

Here lets see how this looks on you.. I feel Casey place something cold in my hand, her engagement ring. "Its beautiful", I whisper. I'm holding a mans love for his future bride, sitting by my God given friendships and realizing how God's love is The Best Surprise... Yes trusting.. might be..worth my time... slipping Casey's ring on.. I watch it shine.

What area's of your life are you trusting God in? Maybe wondering why God wont tell you what the next bend in your road is? Its because he wants to surprise you! God shows his love by surprising you..so trust him and enjoy the adventure..
Isaiah:63:7 I will mention the lovingkindness of the Lord And the praises of the Lord, According to all the Lord has bestowed on us, And the goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, According to the multitude of his lovingkindness.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life Consultant :Preparing

My sister was-is THE FASHION CONSULTANT, however, her critique in the past, has caused friction between us . I, having no sense of color coordination would stubbornly fight Jordan on the ethics of fashion wear... Why should it matter what people wore? God values our heart as his mirror not the clothes we put on. She would counter act my questions by stating an out fit is a mirror! It shows how someone thinks and if they are going to a rodeo or attending a concert.

I disagreed with Jordan until her opinion began to have life merit. Forgetting my gym clothes one day, my teacher required me to run in pants and a long sleeve shirt. I felt silly. If I had " assessed myself" I have pants and a long sleeve shirt on, I would have realized it was scorching hot out side. If I had realized where I "was heading" ,PE, I might have remembered my uniform... my Dress should have proceed my environment, instead it hindered .

Now, concentrating on the mirror in font of me, I invite Jordan to asses my clothes. "Nice choice. I like that out fit" . I'm elated by her words. They are spoken thoughts I crave for God to pronounce over me as he critiques my Dream preparation's... taking classes, meeting new people, letting go of the old and buying the new...

Otherwise Ill judge my self and notice that I've been running in scorching 100 degree weather, wearing jeans,a long sleeve shirt, and my LIFE CONSULTANT,God, has amusingly pronounced I wonder what clothes ASHLEY has on now

We cant skip the process part. There are no short cuts. What area in your life do you expect God to perform but you haven't prepared for the promise he has given you? Its a new day! Workout, take classes, meet new people.. you never know where he will take you! Matthew 9:17 Nor do the put new wine into old wine skins, or else the wine skins break, the wine is spilled and the wine skins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wine skins, and both are preserved

Monday, May 4, 2009

The game:selfish

I want to disappear from her scolding " Ashley you trample up and down that soccer field, glancing at the sky or fixing your bangs. I doubt you know where the ball is located since your paying more attention to Dad and I, then to your own soccer game." mom's ridged body is radiating frustration but she maintains a relaxing smile for me. " i know you have talent.. why wont you use it? "

Should I tell a lie or tell her the truth? " I'm scared".. I whisper, judging that my mom will detect any lie i voice. " i mean.. what if i kick the soccer ball and i miss or an opposing team player steals it from me?" her arm glues it self around my shoulder, allowing me to feel comfort. " Well then at least you played the game... you didn't let it play on without you." i sigh..

moms encouraging speech ends abruptly , the coach throws his arms up like a windmill station and beckons me to join my teammates on our soccer field, as God whispers.. Ashley forget about your opposing team and stop questioning if your an effective runner or not. ... Play the game. I concur with my heavenly father, taking one step away from selfish insecurities... and one step toward my teammates and His game... the game God calls us to participate in.

A selfish person " tries" a surrendered person " does". What game/ area of your life are you being selfish in and letting insecurities, opposition, fear keep you from playing? To win this game we need you..we need everyone

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I ponder the sensation of SOMEONE expecting a baby.. alone. Morning sickness, gaining weight, craving to hear the words " you still look beautiful". Each sunny morning your heart bleeds when its wakened to the Cardinals singing and the empty space in bed....where your lover should be. Baby clothes recently purchased lay heaped... neglected.. just like you.

Your Fear mounts .Furniture doesn't magically move it self. Boxes require unpacking. What if your harmed transporting these items and the child is aborted? How can you give birth among adversity? Who will say.. push.. wait OK stop.. now .. now PUSH! without family, friends or a doctors hands .... doubt lingers. Your child's death seems certain...is certain.

I ponder the sensation of SOMEONE expecting a dream... alone. Clutching insecurities, over extending your self and craving to hear the words " its going to be OK". Each time those around you are blessed, being handed a job, being proposed to .. being found with child ..you feel excluded. The dream should be here by now. Gods indifference cuts..

Your fear mounts. Starting a new business requires money you don't have. Your not intelligent enough to become an author. rejection is inevitable on the dreams quest... and strength fading . How can God do something THIS impossible? Where's a mentor saying .. action.. wait OK stop.. now.. now take action. Without family, friends, or favor's help.. doubt lingers. your dream's death seems certain...is certain.

A child.. A dream.. neither can be cultivated ALONE. Products of intimate moments spent with a lover.. or God, yet they both require communities guiding hands to be birthed.. .. . Touch SOMEONES stomach and their child moves. Speak encouraging words over SOMEONE and their dream breathes again. Here in community is the sensation.. SOMEONE is never ALONE.

May you reach out to someone and may someone reach out to you... may you each birth the dreams God has given... Gen 2:18 God say's it is not good for man to be alone.