Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Conclusion: Things I learned in 07

1Yall and All Yall are words with different meanings
2 Each year is unique
3 Texans clocks are permanently broken and run 30. mins late
4 Peanut butter and chocolate no matter where you live tastes yummy
5 Sometimes the Good and the Bad live together
6 Culture shock exists
7 Feeding animals from a feeder, and then shooting them is “ hunting"
8.You wont pass out from driving in 5 lanes of traffic
9 Direction, brings clarity
10 Big cities are the best!
11. Never say never …
12. Yes Guys still open doors for ladies
13 When in doubt throw it out.
14 God’s faithful
15. King of the hill equals Texas reality TV
16 Watching and experiencing are worlds apart
17 Jessica Simpson’s is the reason why the cowboys( football team) aren’t winning
18 Beauty takes time
19 Razor Cell phones are stupid
20 And a conclusion is what happens when you get tired of thinking….

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Color Creation: Thankful

I pick up a pen, speculating whether I should draw or write. Maybe ill do both. An artistic out , is just what I need. Setting my ball point pen, against the blank sheet of paper I begin creating lines, words, and wiggles. Ugh My drawing/writing isnt making any sense.

Why can’t I focus? I wonder if Gods like me, and sighs during his creative process. Perhaps color will help, suddenly inspired, I grab a colored pen and trace over my picture. I’m astonished, words and drawings once drab are now glowing. This is how God rights wrongs done against us, I realize. Keeping our current ramblings, he covers them with his goodness. I swipe the red marker lying next to me and print "I'm grateful for…..... creation, laughter, and pens" along the top of my page... being thankful is see color where only black and white exists.

Isaiah 60:20 Your sun shall no more go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Winter: Memories

Generally I decide my attire relatively easy, yet here I standing speculating. Clothes don’t articulate a life or death situation.. Frustrated I pull a red long sleeve shirt off the hanger and wiggle the material over my head. I glance into my bathroom mirror, noticing its reflection. The red turns my ghostly skin milky white; and allows my green eyes to resonate…. I look alive.. So why do i hate this picture?
Unexpectedly a memory touches me, and i discover my answer. Should I throw the shirt away? Or keep my top until I enjoy the memories it inflicts? Sigh, Maybe I'll lay it in my closet with other, Oregon winter, i dont wear. How, I hate recalling last December...

Whether it is a good memory or a bad memory winter leaves nothing forgotten, my friend Kayla speaks the truth. Why else, would our Holiday season get mixed reviews? It reveals memories left in the closet, memoirs too bitter or sweet. ummm.....should we allow thoughts to define us, reminiscing in the past till it determines our future? Or do we throw them away, and let a piece of us die? What a dilemma...I reach down and pick up my shirt, my memories.I think ill drop them off at Salvation Army. I've wasted enough tears. Let God give me a taxes write off, and grant someone else the wear of my lessens learned.…. Exchanging old attire for bright new memories, is his specialty. Yes…… winter leaves nothing forgotten.

Isaiah 43:18-19 Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold; I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Button: Pride

Im not coming. Puzzlement filled his voice Why? . ummmm, I ,…. … its awkward….. you know? No Ash, I don’t know …. He waited …. Ugh How could I make this clear to him?. …. Well I hate good byes, and I cant stand it when friends leave … so …. My words were now clumping up making my throat dry. The phone weighted my hand down. Jordan who sat across the room, listened and shook her head in protest at me. But I ignored her and continued……

With each line spoken , condemnation rained down. He was what , the 5th friendship I had let pride gain control of ? All because I refused to cry or look stupid, afraid I might care for someone more than they cared for me.. Names came unbridled running, dancing and skipping into my thoughts revealing memories. ….. refusing to call Sophia, turning from Ryan, and throwing away sweet Sam’s email… geese I still missed her. Yet my declaration stayed the same. I’d see him in a year or two…… no harm would be done.

Click, I pushed my cell phone button off and I walked up the steps. Jordan’s voice yelled after me. You shouldn’t have done that Ashley. You’ll regret it…. Think about Sophia and Sam. Don’t you wish, you had said bye to them ? I kept climbing, and gave no reply .

Time moves……. I find myself , witnessing a marriage crumble. These two people I care about are …. walking away. How am I different then them? Haven’t I refused to pray for someone or speak honest words? I’ve let pride kill my relationships, and Gods love vanish, because I didn’t want to be vulnerable. This is the price we pay for pushing pride’s off button..... destroyed lives.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

To crash or not to crash: Prespective

I watched in horror as my right rear window cracked creating raggedy designs. Noooooooooooo Please stop! But the thuds, bangs, and splats continued raining car crash sounds. A hand of dread now squeezed and clawed… seizing its opportunity to murdering my tranquility. Stupid Stupid Stupid. Why couldn’t I learn to paying attention? Dad would be livid, when he found out. Crunch… tires rolled over shattered glass. Breathe, it’s going to be fine, call work and THEN call Dad. Oh my Goodness, it couldn’t be true ? Did I really demolish a GATE, with my vehicle ?Please God, make an exception and yank my recent time fragments, alter their course... Ok prayer time is over Ashley. You must pick up the phone and dial. God isn’t going to fix this mistake…

Fellow drivers were slowing down as they passed the accident site. I’m sure speculating, how a 23 year old girl had failed to notice an iron Gate swing shut, until it was too late. . She must have been … oblivious.. Right? It’s the normal answer given to “ life crashes”. They just weren’t thinking when they committed their affair.” Sorry I didn’t realize my account was depleted of money.” “You mean to tell me, harmless teasing caused a school shooting?” …… making excuses. Claiming unawareness as the guilty verdict. While, truth shouts," my fellow spectaters Ashley was paying attention." Miss guided focused, noticing vehicles entering an exit road instead of watching a closing gate,cost her, her mistake. Glass sprinkles, cutting lives.

What if spouses had been concentrating on their marriage, Or students on giving kindness away? What then? Because every day were analyzing and processing( contrarily to current belief) choosing a focal point. I walk passed my mistake and sigh. Where does our attentions lye? Perspective…. to crash or not to crash? That is the question. ….

Luke chapter 12:34 For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Smile: Gods leading

He stood ridged, his eyes welling up with tears. Blond hair, tan skin slightly sun burnt, a young guy in his late twenties, my customer sure didn’t fit the profile for dysfunctional. I wondered….. what was the cause behind his tears? Seeing my puzzlement glance he opened his mouth and spoke. I excepted Jesus into my heart yesterday. I ummmm just wanted you to know. Ok? His voice sounded tight. I could barely keep shock from entering my expression, Are you serious?. Yes I’m serious Ashley. He countered, it’s… I mean…… God’s love …… well ….his words continued faltering, until silence hung suspended between us. How often had I prayed he would except Jesus? How many times had we argued about God? More than I could count. A smile breathed on my lips. My customer Jim grinned ineptly back at me, before abruptly darting outside the bank’s glass door.

God chuckles; he watches me lightly touch salvation's beams, I'm stunned by the shiver i encounter from my caress. What if the opportunity to meet Jim hadn't taken place ? What then? Would Grace orchestrate someone else to take my place? Who knows? I ponder Gods leading...and smile

leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be." -- Rosalynn Smith Carter

Isaiah 43:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness into light before them and make uneven places into a plain. These thing I have determined to do [ for them]; I will not leave them forsaken.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Although I don’t remember his name… I do recall dark, wild un- kept hair, and a face permanently stained from playing in the dirt. His brown eyes stared, as he whispered.. I like you, will you be my girlfriend? Boyfriends and Girfriends were a new phenomena in first grade but according to my parents Only grown ups, should have real relationships. Shocked by this strange boy. I found myself blurting the first thought that came to mind. If you like me , then prove it. He didnt replied back but instead reached down to grab a pebble near his shoe placing it in his mouth, he then swallowed. What kind of boy would eat rocks? Composure crumbling I started walking away. . His voice called after me, Hey. Wait, I just swallowed that rock for you. Why don’t you want to be my girlfriend? Silence was the reply I gave. What could i say?

How often do you and I deny passion, in an attempt to avoid pain? All the while knowing our dreams, those we love, and the directions were given comes from swallowing rocks. Its here that we are proven before God......transforming pain into.... passion

To love at all is to be vulnerable. To love anything your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one. Not even an animal. Wrap it carefully with hobbies and luxuries, avoid all entenglements and keep it safe in the casket of your selfishness . But in the casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable
~ C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The land of Roads : Surrender

In a far away land of Roads, a Father was trying to teach his Daughter how to drive a car. The manual stated, to live in the land of roads one must know the difference between the gas and the brake pedal. They must listen to their instructor at all costs. Our story father felt His daughter was old enough and ready to enter the land of Roads. After all he would be there to help her navigate.

Now, Ashley I want you to drive out of this parking lot and on to the road. One Two Three, breath in breath out… OK I replied. Confusion clouded my mind. Oh dear, which one was the gas ? I press my foot down hard, hoping I had made the right choice. The truck lurched forward…. Straight for a ditch.Slow down my Dad yelled. Brake, Brake, where was the brake? My foot must be on it… right? I pushed harder on the metal beneath my shoe. My Dad swung his leg, to the driver side of the truck. He pressed down on the vacant pedal... the brake. I began to screamed hysterically . This was it. I would Die. Dust flew from the ditch to the pavement. wheels turned. With my foot on the gas and Dads foot on the brake, Our truck malfunctioned. A hand, Dad’s hand, pushed me out of the way. His vicious voice said, Ashley let go of the gas. My foot slid off of the pedal. Suddenly the truck grew silent. ….and peaceful.

Back in the Land of Roads, A daughter says to her father, with sadness in her voice, I guess that means I wont be getting my drivers permit.. Well it depends on if you can surrender control, during the retake test, he replies .
Turning to look at each other, father and daughter smile.

Why do we believe were right, God is wrong, and dreams malfunction? Our life road has many bends and turns. But, take faith, when you find your in a ditch… all you have to do is let go of the control pedal...surrender surrender God whispers

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Star Giver: Healing

The ride to Medford, on December 27, at 8:00pm is a moment I will never forget.… words from a song :catch a falling star and put it in your pocket save it for a rainy day mirrored my feelings. I was in the back seat of a car crammed with people. Not caring about our destination , thinking anything would be better than staying at home. How alone i felt. The world was void of laughter. Suddenly, someone named Kayla, walked into my storm commanding peace. How sweet was the grace that held me, that prayed over me. Even with the whys, and tears i had from my grandpa's death, kayla showed me the love of God... Discovering your not with out hope, someone else is in the vast darkness with you, is a great gift. .. A star.I often wonder if Kayla knew the song she brought to life. The star she gave? Or how it is still healing me.

Kayla when I really need it, you gave me your star. Who could be alone when they have a friend like you? May God remember you, the price you pay… and give you his goodness as you turn 18. Happy Birthday! Love you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

15 dollar beauty : Grace

Dolphins are every where in my room. And, no I don’t mean my room is full of water, and a mammal with a tail has decided to take up residents next to my bed. But, what you will find is tons of dolphin objects and a gigantic size fan displaying a underwater world view…. My crazy, Dolphin room obsession began, on a bright spring day with Disney land magic.

After the rides, laughter, and too much chocolate… our family trip was nearing a close. My parents decided, now was the perfect opportunity to teach their kids the value of money. They gave both Jordan and I a spending allowance. We could pick out any trinket from the over priced Disneyland store.. that was worth 25 dollars. Jordan grabbed a cup. She announced proudly there would be enough money left over to have her name engraved on the glass. Time was running out we need to leave. My parents encouraged me to “ just pick something”. I wondered aimlessly until I saw the beautiful object. Light from the window touch the Glass Dolphin riding on a wave. It sparked, like liquid dew from the mist of a cold morning. My breath caught, while I stood awaiting my dads verdict. He took the item from me and turned it over glancing at the price. I'm sorry Ashley this is 40 dollars, your short 15 ,find something else.

I tried to be brave, I tried not to cry, as I walked back to look at my other options. Who was i tricking? I have always been someone desperately in love with beauty, trapped in a logical mind. I get lost in sunsets. For years as a child my goal was to capture a butterfly.If only I could see how the wings were drawn on paper. Try as i might the romantic child with in, was greater than the fear of disappointing my parents.

Running back to my Dad, I pleaded my case. This girl, who never, wants to disturbed the peace, was breaking it for all she was worth. My Dad gave his answer, setting aside his “money teaching lesson” he instead purchased a glass dolphin for his daughter. Its here, years later looking at my obsessed room, I'm once again reminded of the magic Disney land holds, a fathers love…. And Gods grace to exchange my 15 dollar shortages for his beauty.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sack of junk : Giving

The brown paper sack was too heavy. It felt ruff beneath my small hands.. How could only a few feet grow magically into a mile, because of the rocks, ponytail holders, and paper clips, in my paper sack? It was Christmas Eve, when Santa clause was alive and breathing, waiting to eat the cookies Jordan and I would set out for him. One half of the bag was slightly dragging, Jordan struggled to keep her end of the bag from breaking. So there we walked into the living room, each carrying the gift between us. .With flare the bag was dropped in front of my parents. Shock registered on their faces. What is this? my dad asked . well ummm this is the gift Jordan and I got you and mom, I answered. Tears filled my mom’s eyes, as her and my dad began looking at the assortment of junk.

The idea had emerged with Jordan and I getting in the Christmas spirit. We wanted to wrap a present for my parents . But, the problem was we had no way of remedying the situation. Without money or someone to drive us we were at a loss…. And then suddenly brilliance snapped us into attention. Sneaking into the kitchen we pull out an old brown grocery bag and dumped all of our favorite trinkets into the sack; Favorite items included : ponytail holders, colored markers , rocks… The labor of love, ended with a bow swiped from a present under the tree. By the praised we received after the gift was open, I knew my parents loved my blue marker just as much as I did.

Thinking back to that Christmas it makes me wonder .. ..why do I do want to give drive down to the store and give God a real gift, when its my junk that brings tears to his eyes? Jordan and I got more thanks and hugs from our parents in that moment, then in any Christmas that followed. . We gave our very best… sacrifice . And, while God ( like our parents) may not have much use for a ponytail holder, I’m sure he smiles at anyone willing to sacrifice their last hair tie.

God loves a cheerful giver.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Arms: Comfort

She was around 6 years old, sobbing and wet. Big blue eyes, and a mass of stringy straw colored hair. The way the little girl held on to my moms arms, you would have thought she was her beacon of light in the vast darkness. Earlier that day, my family had participated in an outing for my mom’s birthday. We rented a raft, grabbed our life vest and headed down the Rogue River. It was one of those perfect days. Not a cloud in the sky. The beautiful Oregon scenery and the cold rushing water splashing the edge of our raft. Hours passed, nearing our destination site we maneuver closer to the bank.

Suddenly, a man’s voice called out. Panic seemed to slice the perfect day. His little girl was heading down the Rogue River pulled by the chilly water. People were running down to the shore line. My Dad turned our raft around, and we began following a dot in the distance. Time was frozen glass. My arms hurt. We were making little progress, despite our effort. If someone didn’t reach the little girl soon, she would be surrounded by sharp rocks. I could hear my mom’s earnest prayers whispering through the trauma. Noise echoed giving me a headache. It was pounding, rushing water, screams, and shouts from people on shore. On lookers were pointing, a few had cell phones out dialing 911.

Then as sharply as it began peace returned to the balance. An off duty firefighter who happened to be a few feet away swam out to the girl. When, we arrived moments later, the girl scampered from her protector’s lap and into my mothers arms. There she stayed in the comfort of Grace, saved from her environment, fears, and cries…..So if you’re like me and at moments life is a rapid carrying you down stream remember… He, who measured the sky and water in the hollow of his hand, cares for you. And, He will always provide his safe arms of comfort.

Isaiah 51;3 For the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song or instrument of praise.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The line : Fear

First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

I believe I was in first grade, the night of the event. The night my Dad told me to go back to bed. At the time I was having nightmares, with this paralyzing fear. Begging and pleading not go to bed, I tried to get out of going to sleep. However, once the inevitable happened and I was in my room I would make the best of the situation. A fortress with my pillows, usually did the trick .. Steaming hot sweat would be drip down my face as I pulled the blanket up and over me, covering my face. Torn between feeling smothered and shutting out the shaking fear, I had chosen to be smothered.

At first my parents were sympathetic, but as the weeks turned to months their mercy grew thin. I would wake up in the middle of the night get up and go crawl into bed with them. They tried everything…. Making me listen to worship tapes when I went to bed, praying with me and even changing the list of movies I could watch. My Dad bought a baseball bat and set it next to the font door. He wanted to show me the object he would use to slaughter any intruder with. .. But nothing helped. The fear was so terrorizing and numbing that I wasn’t able to block it out.

Each dream less evening led up to me walking out of my room late one night and into the living room, where my parents were watching T.V. I expected this moment to be like all of the others, my parents trying to comfort me and tell me it was ok. I was shock to find my Dad saying:

Ashley we’re not doing this again. It ends tonight. Mom and I have tried everything we know. This is a battle you need to fight on your own.. Everyone faces fear. You think I’m never afraid? All fear does is change its subject matter as you age. I battle fear of something happening to you, your mom, and your sister. I wonder how the bills will get paid. Each day I make a choice. If you don’t draw a line in the sand daring the enemy to cross it, he will run all over you. At what point are you going to get fed up with not sleeping through the night? Now go back to bed, and deal with this fear.

I can recall thinking who is this person? I thought my Dad loved me. Why didn’t he become superman, and save me? Jumping into bed, I re-built my defense pillows, until once again the icy hand of fear touched me. But, this time I was mad. Pushing the pillows off my bed and I begin to shout, scream, yell, every scripture verse that came to my mind….. and … magic happened. The fear vaporized into a screen of smoke.

Many times we want God to save us or to hear a thus says the lord prayer….. However, it could the answer from God is, “Ashley would you please convert your retreat into a advance?.” My Dad was right fears don’t disappear with age they simply changed their subject matter. There are moments I want to become 5 years old again and cover my self with the blanket. But, then I feel the crossing line inside of me give a tug. So I do what my Dad taught me…. I go back to bed and face my fears.

For God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear but of love power and a sound mind.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Best Days: Living in the Past

My Dad, said it was an old paint gun cleaner. However, With its shape and weird angles it could have been a time machine. Liking a good joke, he along with my cousin Shane, decided to make use of their imaginations. When ever anyone would step in the paint department asking,” asking wow what in the world is that.” Their answer was oh that’s our time machine. They would then proceed to convince their victim to sit down, strap in, and let the time machine take them into the past. Of course everyone knew it wasn’t true. But, surprisingly enough, grown, logical adults, went long with it. The one exception was Jim. When asked if he would like to take a ride in time his reply was, “why would I do that? My best days are ahead of me.”

Listening to that story, like 99 percent of my Dad’s victims, I start fantasizing about what period of my life I would like to revisit. Umm maybe when im was little and my mom would serve Jordan and I homemade cookies and milk, after school. Or how about being at Sherries, talking and eating with friends till one am, Arguing with Seth Reeser and Rory…. laughing with Mindy. Of course I can’t forget playing tennis with my Dad on a cruise ship. The ocean beneath us and the stars above.

Yes, what bittersweet memory would I pick? What history of hurts would I rewrite? Because, each morning we wake up we’re writing our lives with no backspace or delete button. There isn’t any white out under the cabinet and you can’t go running to the publisher screaming you have been ripped off, mad because your story didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. You can’t ask for another published copy. This isn’t your favorite book that you can keep and reread.

You have one chance on the spot. To visit the past is like being in the middle of playing a football game and running off the field, while your team plays on. You jump in your car, and drive home. Pulling out your old VCR you put in a tape of a game you played last week. What!?! in the world are you thinking? Don’t you know it doesn’t matter if you won or lost, last weeks game….! A real live game is being played. And when you and I are constantly looking back we’re forfeiting our chances of participating.

So here I sit trying to figure out which video tape to play from my past, when the entire time I’m wasting my present. Who is to say that I won’t eat better tasting cookies today? I can still stay up till one a.m. laughing with friends or go on another cruise with my family. Why limit the “ good old days” to the past when they are in our present and future?

For me this has been a year of first experiences, death/grief, having my heart broken, moving to a new state, missing people, buying a new car, getting direction, and seeing
Dreams restored. At moments I wanted to scream GET ME OUT !. . However, I have also experienced the chilling AWWWW that comes from “finding” God in the in-between places. What If I had a time machine, would I go back? Would I reverse my losses, and relive my joys? Ummm…. Tick Tick Tick … ….breath in breath out….. no I think ill answer, “ why would I do that? When my best days are ahead of me.”

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Glass Slipper

A Castle, a Prince, and a Servant girl, yes I'm talking about the story of Cinderella. A tale about the enchantment of love. And while the story is enduring it leaves me with a lingering question. How would Cinderella have " found her prince" If she first didn't believe he existed,and that he would become part of her life?

When we look around at our lives through reality, many times we can see a shack instead of a castle. A used car sales man instead of a prince and a dirty ashen girl instead of a princess. Because every Cinderella finds out that to hope through the eyes of logic….. is to gamble.

This girl of risk was a tender of fires , a servant in her own home. The definition of the word Cinderella is, " the women who kept the house while the man hunted" . It remind of the corny caveman cartoons, " you sit, make fire cook food." Expect this day dreamer, was wanting more. She longs to be beautiful, and charming. But, instead she is covered in dirt and talks to mice all day. She spends each 24 hours caught in between what is rational and what is insane. Maybe she wasn't meant to be a princess, to live in a Castle to fall in love with a prince. It is better not to fantasize when the road leads to disappointments. She runs to the garden, way from the hurt.... then suddenly... a light flickers, then another and soon the entire garden is out lined with moving lights... think Las Vegas.What could Cinderella be thinking? Geez the fireflies sure are out early this year. Ummm maybe all of those years talking to mice has finally caught up with me. I knew something was weird about this garden......

When God begins to move in our life, our first question is Often i wonder .... where all of those fireflies came from. We want a " thus says the Lord" instead we get a still small voice... "dots of light" . Being the person that I am and wanting each dot to make sense, i start chasing the "fireflies "around the garden. I ironically I end up tripping over a stick, because i 'm dizzy. But to make sense of the "lights" is to open the book Cinderella and find the words " they lived happily ever after" on the first page. Where is the adventure in that?

We are all Cinderella in some aspect, even if its not a prince were hoping for. It could be, praying that this time there will be money left over, till the next the pay check. Believing we can get past the depression death brings. Or hoping that our parents will pick up the phone and say their sorry. I wont lie… Hope can disappoint, but without it there is no fairy tale to repeat. No Prince to be found. So have a little faith. Don’t give up Cinderella even after the stroke of midnight, God always leaves behind a glass slipper.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Some where over the rainbow… way up high there's a land that I've heard of……….. Why Oh Why…… Cant that song be true? Over the past 8 months, that is the question I have asked over and over. But, like all things in life… resounding silence is the reply… so I wait, wait for the story to make sense… then again it might be starting to become clear.

I can remember, when the TX quarters came out Ken gave Jordan one, because she talked about moving to TX so much. She was going to be a Financial Adviser, and go to LakeWood church( where joel Osteen pastors)and live in TX. All that can be said concerning the situation, was that it was a Dream that she dared to dream really would come true.

It's a hard place to be , having an idea and not knowing how to proceed.
Jordan talked to four financial investor each from different companies. They all gave her advice. Schooling was a must. The best rout taken was to start as an assistant and to go to school part time. So Jordan applied for an assistant position, at Edward Jones. We knew someone who worked there, and she had banking experience. The chances looked good. Plus It didn't seem like a lot of people had applied for the job. She put in her application….
And got denied. Now, Jordan has been talking about being a Financial Adviser for the last 7years, so disappointment was inevitable. One day I went into her room and sat on her bed. She asked me where she should go from this point. Should she go to school full time? Keep working at the bank and try again later? I said nothing … I had no answer.

For a long period in my life I had no answers… to give anyone. Why hadn't our house sold? Why did almost all of my close friends " have to" leave? Why did my grandpa died? Why oh why must change happen? I wanted my troubles to melt like lemon-drops……..

By the time our family moved to TX.. I felt num. I couldn't eat or sleep.
Nothing was left, so I wasn't surprised when Jordan didn't express much interest in pursuing her career at the moment. We were all exhausted.
However, my dad told her she should speak to the Financial Rep our parents invested with at Edward Jones. Jordan agree, and from that point every door that had been slammed in her face previously was now opened. She moved along at such a smooth pace that it even surprised the people interviewing her.
Not a single person she spoke with could articulate how she had gotten that far in the hiring process.

Its enough to make me wonder… what if we had moved sooner? What if Jordan wasn't available at the time they were avidly hiring for the company? What if our grandpa hadnt died after we had moved….. would It have left a bad taste in our mouth concerning TX? And what if my friends hadn't left one by one? Would I have been able to handle going from lots of friends to none at all? Yes from time to time I play the what if game. … only to realize that perhaps there was a plan, a timing, to each sadness we experienced.

I held a piece of paper a few days ago. It was a " we regret to inform you"
letter. Jordan told me to turn it over… Awww the Edward Jones denial letter, on the back Jordan had written, I wont let this make me give up. Standing before me was my sister….. A girl who tried to get a job as an Assistant to a Financial Adviser.. Instead she is going to be the " adviser" with her own office.. With her assistant. She is a 10%. Edward Jones only hire 10% of the those who apply. The only one out of the fifty in her class that doesn't have a degree. She is a women in a male dominated field. Jordan is living in Tx, working as a financial adviser, and going to High Point church( the church joel osteens sister and brother-inlaw pastor) Umm It could be the resounding silence is the broken pieces starting to click into place.

If you can look beyond my silly little antidotes… beyond the song… you might find that because of the disappointments and joys life has handed out, your a better person today then you were yesterday. We all wish upon a star hoping it will come true. And, while the star can't save us there is someone who knows every thought we think. He weaves our life with wild perfection, so don't give up on your dreams. Each " dead end" God has brought you through, did have a purpose. It leads you somewhere over the rainbow… straight to his faithfulness

Roses are Red my Love

There is an old song by Bobby Vinton titled Roses Are Red My Love. My Dad used to sing it to me when I was elementary school age. At first I had a strong dislike for the song, and then it escalated into hate. The song made me cry, no matter how hard I tried not to. And, my Dad being the jokester he is, would sing Roses Are Red My Love just to annoy me. From the tune alone I would have tears streaming down my face.

My Dad was perplexed, a six year old couldn’t relate to the topic of romantic love.

The song lyrics are:

A long, long time ago On graduation day You handed me your book I signed this way: Roses are red, my love. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, my love. But not as sweet as you. We dated through high school. And when the big day came, I wrote into your book, Next to my name: Roses are red, my love. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, my love. But not as sweet as you. Then I went far away And you found someone new I read your letter dear And I wrote back to you: Roses are red, my love. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, my love. But good luck may god bless you. Is that your little girl? She looks a lot like you. Someday some boy will write In her book, too. Roses are red, my love. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, my love. But not as sweet as you

Being the detective that my Dad is he began to drill me. What part of the song makes you sad Ashley? Several songs I sing are sad, how come you cry at this one? My reply was I didn’t know…..

It is only now that I’m able to articulate my thoughts on the subject. Simply stated, I can’t stand the feeling of regret woven through out the song. The little girl was a symbol of what was lost, what could have been.

An ironic part of regret is its correlation with unforgiveness. I say I’m a forgiving person … but you know how I measure the truth of my statement? By monitoring the level of regret’s in my life… God uses all things for his glory, even our failures. So when I live in a place of regret (motivated by feelings) either I haven’t forgiven, my self, God or someone else.

The highest concrete evidence I have is, I’m tired of crying……. crying over myself, crying to God and crying about someone else. Forgiveness is honey that heals each broken place. Here is a question I would like to purpose: is there anything in your life that you regret? And if the answer is yes then maybe your not excepting the grace God gave you, to forgive..

Personally I don’t want to look back like the man in Roses are Red my Love who sang

Is that your little girl? She looks a lot like you. Someday some boy will write In her book, too.

It is that song, that melody of regret, which constantly persuades me to forgive.

Paper Clip

Have you ever noticed… the way people walk? I remember the first pageant Jordan was in, they spent time teaching her how to walk. Where to place your feet, which foot goes in font…. I’m sure it was a lot of work. After the pageant I proclaimed to Jordan and my entire family that I would never be in a pageant. I couldn’t walk a crossed a stage in high hills much less in a bathing suit. In fact, when I was in Auxiliary I was so bad at placing my feet to the timing …. I was given a personal assistant to teach me. It took all day, and when it was announced that “Ashley “could walk to rhythm, I had a group of onlookers who applauded.

I am “that girl” the one who is forever tripping over a box a hundred feet away from her. On several occasions I have almost face planted it in font of a customer…. Lets be honest, if I cant walk in flip flops with out making a mess of my self then, I would hate to imagine walking in 2inch hills. Anyone who can dance, literally amazes me. There was a classmate in high school on the dance team that it seems as if she was floating on air with each step she took.

Yes there are many ways people walk. You have your business man on a mission he looks like a bulldozer, to any poor victim trapped in his walking path. Your dancers who glide and make walking look like art. There is even the Occasional we’re just sooooooooo wonderful “ you need “ to watch the way we move people.

Some times in the mist of such great walkers I feel inadequate and embarrassed. God why do I have to be the person who would trip over a paper clip? I get hung up on feeling insecure that I miss the point, God never told us how to walk he simply said that we should. Who cares if you’re a dancer, a bulldozer, a paper clip, or a need to watch the way I move…… it’s the movement that matters. Fear of failing, disappointments can paralyze us…. Which is the worse kind of walking! Standing still.

A quote from the move ever after says it the best.
although they did live happily ever after, the point gentlemen is that they lived …

Put aside your fears, and insecurities , Take the chance to live, to walk even if you are a paper clip girl like me.