the note tacker

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That would be me… I love to learn, to read to take notes and then to research and prayerfully walk through information. Though it usually appears unconnected, so much of the time I am connecting the dots later. Usually I can see an idea or an issue that the Lord is giving me to research and then I can pass on that information to family and friends who might need it at a later time.

Example

My niece was having problems in school. The school automatically diagnosed her in need of testing for ADHD.

Classic “school” response to a child who is different from their normal mannequin students.

The conversation with my sister(in-law) was fairly easy to flow. After reading articles and books about health and gluten, I simply suggested a few amazing websites a good book or two and keeping a food journal.

Simple basic information that is filed away on rainy days from online communities and friends who have dealt with gluten issues and because I’ve listened and pondered things in my heart I’m able to help.

I’m a note taker, and a natural born encourager. Though some days people get tired of cheerleaders in their life, I’ve learned that with this comes the precious gift of praying for my family and friends and at times complete strangers.

A simple gift. Going BOLDLY into the throne room of God and praying on behalf of others.

Do you take time to take note of what is happening around you?

I don’t always, sometimes it is too much. But I often pray that the Lord would use me to say and do things that would bring HIM glory and not myself.

On this day of my photo, I was the family note taker. My 7-year-old daughter is writing and illustrating a book.

I stated that I would write down all the animals we saw at the zoo that day. I also included that we took a Mr Pibb, popcorn and fairy floss break😉 I was notified by my daughter that it was not needed information! Ha!

My I be like Mary who stored up things and pondered them in her heart😉

It must be important or God would not have mentioned it in his word.

wondering in the wasteland

To be accurate there have been beautiful moments of oasis in this wasteland that is well-traveled by myself and my family. There are heart struggles that have led some to tell me that I needed to call the “whambulance.” Cute right, only when you are growing weary for a long season of Winter in your life, this is just more salt in a very tired wound that seems like it will never heal. I want to write, and yet a journal is not enough or close enough to my tapping fingers most days.

The longing to be an at home mom rages on within my heart of hearts most days. Yet I believe that somewhere in there is a hole, that allows the sadness of daily leaving my daughter to sep out so that it doesn’t poison the rest of me. There are days that tears stream down my face, eyes to the computer screen, back to the rest of the office. Especially when there are many in the workforce who do not understand the importance of being a mother and the heart-strings that are attached to the needs of our children. Much like needing to race on the wings of the wind to pick up a your little one who has just thrown up at school. Anxious because you love your child and want to be there to help them and hold them right away, yet, being made fun of while trying to get your mixed up emotions straightened out enough to shut your office down for the day and leave.

Yes, the wasteland. In this land I have walked through my own divorce, paying for it both financially and physically as well as spiritually. It was hard, the reward of walking with the Lord through this time in my life is priceless. There is just no other way.

This land includes being a single momma, who by choice has decided to wait as patiently (and often with many words spoken boldly in the throne room of the Lord) for a Godly Boaz to come into not just my life, but my families lives as well.  This land has included the fight of cancer for both my mother and my father. Both with two surgeries and both with treatments as well as new medicines and the tweaking of said medicines.  Our land would not be complete without the loss of three special dogs, one very cranky mean cat, the bite of a rabid bat on top of my father’s head and treatment of said bite with prayers that the treatments would work. The stresses of all of these hills and valleys. Now include in this land the addition of my loving brothers rejection from his wife and her desire for a divorce, that of course she won the right to have.  Shall I tag on a few more items, Grandparents aging, and uncle who has needed medical assistance more than a few times, and family drama that goes along with all of that. My oldest brother being without work for more than six months at one point and a wife and three children to care for, then a job, then a new job and a relocation and now a sweet miracle (baby number four for them).

Weary is a state that I’m ready to move from. Winter is a season I’m long over. Waiting is a word that should be added to my name, instead of Ashley just call me Waiting. I’m Naomi’s best friend, though, I would have told her that Mara was not a good choice, because I’m not bitter and just don’t like that road at all. I’ve avoided that one in the wasteland, thanks to the hand of God moving at just the right moments to keep my life from wasting away.

The promise for our Lord Almighty, HE will make a way for us in the WASTELAND. The beauty is that I daily see evidence of this in my life.

Smiles

 

Isaiah 43:19

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

NIV version

Fashion and Faith

Bold Lips

Spring turns into Summer…Summer into Autumn and Autumn into Fall… and away we go…
With the raising of the temperature the fashions tend to trend bolder and brighter. For me I love the boldness of red lips! For me it is important to keep my lips treated so my red lipstick does not “feather.” I do this by gently rubbing my lips with a warm wash cloth in the shower and following up with burts bees lip balm. If I’m heading out the door I’ll grab my lip eye pencil by Aveda in red and shade in my lips. Smooth with my ring finger and away I go…

Wearing bold lips is so much easier than speaking boldly through my lips. I tend to fear repercussions from friends and family and society. When I am this way, I only loose precious opportunity through Christ. I must learn to speak boldly of the truth of Christ and our heavenly father, which in a culture that is decaying rapidly…

“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that there in I may speak boldly, as I out speak.” Ephesians 6:19-20

a random photo snatched from my moms computer

a random photo snatched from my moms computer

I’m blogging from my mothers laptop down in Almaland. Needless to day I have a camera full of photo’s but none on their computer. So I snatched a photo from mom. And it says just what I’m thinking…. JESUS… I so love me some Jesus. He is my comfort, my provider, the love of my life. I’m so thankful for him.

My daughter and awoke this morning, Christmas Eve, to get ready to spend Christmas with my parents. After a trip through Florence Adams and a stop of MJ’s coffee shop we turned the car towards Alma.

So far we weren’t able to have pizza from Gambino’s because of a break in their water line. So left overs and Christmas music it is. We are waiting for my grandparents to show. I’m excited. But not nearly as excited as my daughter.

Five year olds high on the dreams of Christmas. I need a nap just thinking about it. As I’m typing she’s drawing. I’ve asked for just ten minutes of quiet. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

May you enjoy Christmas…

learning to cook more simply and enjoying to eat it

I have loved to cook since I was little. I remember creating some kind of pasta dish in our Spring Texas house. I also remember making truly lumpy pancakes and serving them to my parents as “breakfast in bed” and they ate it. Bless their hearts, and stomachs!

In the past five years I have tried harder to create different meals so that I wouldn’t fall into a boring pattern.

And in the past year and a half I have tried much harder to purchase organic foods as much as possible.

Being the Christmas season that is getting a little more difficult. Or so I thought.

If the meal is more simple than the price can be a little bit cheaper at the checkout.

While others were out shopping Black Friday at Target, I was shopping Black Friday at my Grandma’s house.

And this is one of my finds. Once I started flipping the pages I was so HUNGRY!

There are wonderful ideas and recipes in there. Even how to make home-made Apple Butter and can it. Oh I’m so excited. Now to actually be apart of this creative cooking idea that was growing in my head. So pumpkin doodle and I head from my grandma and grandpa’s house and stopped in Manhattan Kansas (first at Joann’s) Hyvee and picked up the few items we would need to make three yummy meals from this cookbook.

Today I’m sharing with you…

And yes we made the pumpernickel croutons to top the soup. Oh it was so good.

It was very simple to make. I washed the asparagus  and prepped it just like the recipe calls for. Then I poured on the Chicken Broth (I used Swanson’s Organic broth)

And just followed the above recipe the rest of the way!

And then you have this to feast your eyes and hungry tummy on…

Simple Fast and so very yummy!

learning and growing

I’ll admit I’m a college drop out. The reality of spending thousand of dollars for a slip of paper that was suppose to make me “special” just never really cut the mustard so to speak.

I’ll admit, I’m a lover of learning and I love to learn about things from what my Kindergartner is learning vs. what I learned in Kindergarten to learning about natural health products and skin care (and fashion and photography and sewing and decorating…)

First and for most, I will always be growing and learning in my faith in Jesus Christ. Over the past few weeks I have been taking Adult Lutheran Classes at a little Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. That still small voice of God can be a true kick in the pants.  He speaks. I run, scared out of my head that I won’t be able to handle what he has for me. He speaks. I cry, broken hearted that God’s dreams for me are nothing compared to what I want. He speaks to me, I stop. I hyperventalate at the idea that what God has for me is the direction I should go. I make several lists in my head of a million other directions I should go. He speaks to me, I follow. I’m a stuborn women. I’m a stupid women. When I take the time to listen to His still small voice and act on His leadership I find peace. So as for my faith I’m learning, I’m growing and right now I’m following God right back to the truth of His words and His son Jesus. (Not that I’ve walked away I’ve just been a really tired and bruised reed in a few areas, like being a single mom, living with my parents, wanting to be remarried, wanting a house of my own and wanting to be a mother whose work does not take her away from her home or God’s instructions in Titus 2)

The other area of my life that has been hard for me. Health. Changing my views on physical fitness, vitamins, general diet and well being for my family and beauty. I need to learn how I can live more simply with food, fitness, beauty and fashion.  I am a mostly unaware consumer. Well let me change that I am learning to be a creative steward instead of an unaware consumer.

Where does that lead me? Single mom, limited time, learning that I need to be more aware of my choices in what we put in our bodies and on our bodies simply from the physical realm we live in.

Like I said I’m learning.

One of my favorite resources. The Bulk Herb Store. I can learn and chew in tiny bite sized pieces. So when all the information that goes against so much of what I have lived (organic foods and fabric) I can stop and go buy a Mcdonald’s Happy Meal and a frappi drink from Hastings Hardback Cafe and ponder the chemicals I am putting in my body.

I never want to stop learning. Simply put, I know that I need to know how to feed and take care of my family and know that there might come a time that nourishment from the world God created might be needed if we don’t have a health care system we can trust like we once did. And I know that I need to be able to feed my family and have the means in which to do this. I know that I need to KNOW how to be a wise consumer and to take the time to enjoy some of the traditions and wisdom from a generation that has gone on, like my Great Grandma Helmer and my Great Grandma Graham.  HUGE GARDENS.Image

Always learning.