Dodgeball games and growing pains  

So it's been a while since you've heard from me and after the holidays I am gearing up for a 2017 calendar year.  My full-time job is being a mommy but my part-time job is most definitely music so I have been  working on new ideas for this upcoming year and booking events.  But let me back up to Christmas Day ...
You see I'm slightly competitive. Ever since I was little I was into sports. Volleyball, soccer, basketball, swimming, softball, you name it I played it and I loved it...  so when a friendly game of dodgeball broke out Christmas Day at my in-laws house of course I was in !  It was boys versus girls so you know I was extra competitive. With the girls behind we had to catch up and as my husband threw the ball towards me it was like slow-motion and I caught the ball and felt a sharp pain go up my finger but it was overtaken by the joy of the fact I had gotten my husband out !  I looked down at my finger and the top portion was pointed straight out I have never broken a finger before and thought oh wow that doesn't look right ha ha.  But my equally competitive athletic trainer sister in law said let's go tape it up and will keep going and with that I did .  I honestly thought it may just be a bad jam because days later it was still very swollen but still very crooked. As weeks went by I realized this was not going to change so I went to the doctor and yes my ring finger on my left hand was in fact broken ...  about a week after the incident I picked up my guitar and realized oh my goodness I can't wrap my hand around the guitar and play the strings and then my head dropped .  How am I going to play the guitar what do I do? I have a splint on my finger I have to wear for 10 weeks in order to make it heal properly. I always knew I had to take care of my vocal chords and rest my voice but I never considered my left hand being so important as well. After talking to the doctor and telling him that I am a musician he said once the pain subsides some we maybe can fashion the splint to wear while you play. I'm going on week two with the splint and so far it's very difficult to play but I am going to keep pressing on and hope for the best so guitar players heed this warning ...  take care of your left fingers you don't realize the notes you play directly flow from the fingertips of your left hand.
 So what do I learn from this. Stop playing dodgeball? Absolutely not. Be a little more cautious? OK I can do that. 

Much love,
Ashley

Clarity 

What I have felt for so long is uncertainty. Just very unclear thoughts about my future and what God wants me to be doing right now.
Though I know these times will come again right now I know this.
I am a daughter of KING JESUS.
I am loved by him dearly. He desires for me to spend time with Him. And I long to worship Him and know Him more every day.
I have 3 amazing children, Nolan is 5, Hayden is 7 and Addison is 9.
Being a mom is HARD. Its no joke but i know that His timing is perfect so I'm right where I need to be in my own season of life to be 
able to be compassionate to their seasons.
My husband and I are in a season of newness and desiring change whatever that may look like. We just want to be
obedient to where God wants us right now. So we have been in prayer together pleading with God to show us what He wants us 
to spend our time doing and how to better parent our children. Even in that uncertainty I feel clarity. A clear knowing that God will
show us what we need to be doing and when he wants us to move. He has always been faithful in this area before so why would
i worry now?
Im so excited about the album release party I can't stand it. This time around with "Beautifully Broken" has been a lot different than 
my previous album "Complete".  Im doing a lot more of the business end of this album and so its caused me to grow and learn
and lean on people. Thats humbling! Asking for help is hard for me... Anyone else?? haha.
But with each lean I have hands that are pushing me back up straight and with that I am grateful.
So for now Im in awe of what God has done this past year. What a journey it has been! 
The people I have met and been able to listen to their stories has been priceless. What happens when we start getting real with one
another is something only genuine people know about. Like its some big secret. HEY! Everybody is going through something so 
lets just drop our walls and start sharing it with people who need to hear it! You never know who is going through the exact 
same thing you are and just needs to hear they are not alone.
I know that's what I needed to hear.
So for now I leave you with this. 
Isaiah 43:18,19 says " Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a NEW THING, now it
springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
This promise is absolutely amazing to me and I believe it with all my heart. He is always doing a new thing we just need to open up our
eyes to see it.

Much Love,
Ashley

A New Beginning 

Its been a season! I am so excited to share the struggles the restoration and the future.
God has been doing amazing work and I am ready to begin sharing my story.
I will be posting a video soon sharing what God has done.

Blessings,

Ashley

A rescuer  


I was talking to one of my best girl friends who I dont get to see very often because we live in different states but as I sat across from her
she began to tell me with tears in her eyes how she had gotten to a place of desperation again for God in her life. And
questioned how she got there.
She went on to say how at this point in her life she even "scares herself with what she is capable of" meaning outside the will of God.
Now this is a godly woman with two sweet kids and I knew exactly what she was talking about. When we are in sin and outside of
the will of God we are capable of anything . Even the thing you thought and maybe even judged that other person of in your life.
Sin is sneaky and sometimes a very slow fade from being intimate with our very creator to completely turning our back as if to say
I dont need you anymore.
She talked about a girl from her church who is a missionary in India and how the girl talked about how being there is not for the
comfortable. Its hard and messy and not glamorous at all and do not come unless you are crazy for others to know Jesus.
She says "You see she  I am already rescued... I dont need anything else and these people need someone to rescue them , thats
why I am here to tell them who rescued me"....

Selah.

I am encouraged today by many things. Life is hard and we need people.
Im thankful for people who are real with me so I can be real with them.

-Ashley
 

Concerts in the Park 

WELL.............
The rain came and went and then cancelled concerts in the park on August 12th but I know its for a reason.
I was definintely disappointed and at the same time felt so loved for those who came and out sat in the
questionable weather waiting to see the outcome of this event. I am currently looking for another venue to
have this set list be heard.
I love singing .
Period.
God created me to sing. So I want to find an outlet for this type of genre. It may not be till Concerts in the Park 2014
But It will happen. SO thank You to those who came.
Come to Willowbrook Baptist Church on Sundays. I lead the Venue in the Gym at 9 then Co lead in our contemporary
Services at 10:30 and 5pm.
And I am blessed.
LOVE and MORE LOVE

-Ashley

Bless the Lord Oh my Soul 

Today was a good day.
We had the MRI done which he did great today. Afterwards we met with oncologist and she basically said that we are in the same spot. We are now using
this MRI as a baseline (the new normal for him) and compare it to another MRI we will do in October. This will be a determining factor to the next step.
If it is growing we will more than likely get it taken out if it looks like it is healing then we will leave it alone.
One of the doctors in New York asked if he had had trauma to his chest ( car accident etc? ) bc it looked like his sternum was fractured and was trying
to heal but we would have recognized it. There would have been a significant bruise and we just would have known so with this being ruled out they
too were stumped.
So we wait.
Still not knowing quit what is this our Doctor is not comfortable leaving it alone so we will follow the doctors orders and go through with the MRI in a
few months.
So thank you again for being a part of this journey.
I have seen my kids faith grow through this event in our lives. I have seen my own faith increase and my trust deepened.

I will praise my God.
I am worshiping to 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman tonight.

"Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy Name"

What great truth and hope.




Back in the Swing  

My oldest daughter addison started kindergarten this week. It was definately a moment of feeling old and more so she is getting old.
My other two daughter and son attend preschool at my church a few days a week so we are definately trying to get in the swing of things
I enjoy having a routine but i also enjoy having time twice a week to do what I need to without the kids. Its been nice going for a run without
pushing a stroller or doing my favorite workout insanity without fear of who may walk downstairs ; )

Nolan goes for an MRI on monday which once again he will be sedated for. We will meet with the oncologist right afterwards and we are praising
Jesus we dont have to wait on that appointment so we will know if the tumor/mass is growing or staying the same or hopefully shrinking.
We are also still waiting to hear back from the other oncologists around the country. So please pray that when they do the MRI
they will find nothing! Or if its still there that they will find it shrinking and healing.
We learned more risk factors about the surgery to get it removed and are strongly praying against it at this point but if it is growing then that will
most likely be the outcome.
Thank you again for allowing me to share this information and for partnering in prayer with us!
We will keep you posted on the progress when we know.
LOVE in CHRIST

-ashley

Medical Mystery 

We heard back from the oncologist today.
So our son is a medical mystery. They said St Jude in Memphis cannot define what this is as well and they have now sent off this information and the biopsy to offices all over the country getting second opinions. They did reconfirm that it is NOT cancer and did not see any sign of malignancies at all. They want to do another MRI at the end of this week/beginning of next to look at the mass after it has been biopsied and will plan on doing another MRI in a month or two to keep a watch on it and by then we will hopefully have more information from the doctors that will be looking into it. There is still a good chance we will have to get it removed but they want to look more into it before jumping into such a major surgery so we are thankful for that but sad for our little guy to go through more
testing. Overall it was good news but we are still left in the waiting. And on a lighter note my dad told me when they figure out what this is we should have then name it the Nolan Isaiah mass. haha I got a kick outta that.

As I sang about at church this Sunday. I know my God has come now even if to write upon my heart to remind me who He is during this season of my life.
He is always always good and I have seen the good come in the waiting.
So..... we wait.
We praise him for the good news from today.
We praise him always.

Thank you again for your many many prayers.

-Ashley

Chuck E Cheese 

I can remember going to chuck e cheese as a kid staring at the wonderment of it all not knowing that the creepy bear playing the drums was really really creepy.
We are having our oldest daughter Addisons 5th birthday party there and i am kind of excited.
I am hoping for a night of adolesent fun and enjoyment. Most of all she has been waiting for this since she was 2!
I always told her when she was 5 she could have her party there. She has an uncanny sense of memory about these things.

On a more serious note we are still waiting to hear back about the next step with Nolan.
He is healing well from his biopsy. He touches his scar and says "its ok"... in a cute little 18 month old way.
Its almost like God is talking to me through my son.
I know it will be ok.

I am still asking for prayers over him as he continues healing and as we approach the next phase of
this season.
Trusting God knows better.

-Ashley

WE GET JESUS! 

Today was a better day.
I praised God again for no Cancer.
I praised God even for this potential surgery to come.

I wanted to explain my emotions. The doctors kept telling us this whole time that it was going to be a small chance that this would be malignant
just because of his age and his health. So I guess I just always pointed against the worst. Then I had a conversation with a woman of God and friend of mine who I trust whole heartedly.
I would say has the gift of prophecy. Im not sure if she would say that but I have felt this from her a couple times.
I ran into her at the mall and briefly she just said to me "Ashley I didnt feel like this was going to be an up all night prayer for Nolan, now I prayed for him..a lot. But I feel he is going to be ok. its not going to be the worst, but you are not going to like what you hear."
So with that I trusted her words and began too to feel that.
So I almost dismissed cancer. Saying God I really dont feel like this is going to be the worst news but what is it??
So when the oncologist told me this wasnt malignant it was a sigh of relief to hear it 100 percent but then for her to go on and tell us it is
very likely it is going to be a benign tumor that could be fast growing and still needs to come out I lost heart.
I was mad at God and at the same time knew my friend was dead on and correct by discerning the Spirit while she prayed over us.
I knew it probably wasnt cancer God so why is it still a tumor? Why does he still have to go through a surgery?

And I stopped....
God gave up His Son in my place.
God gave us Jesus
The pain felt by my Jesus Nolan will never even come close to. We dont deserve anything. We deserve death but yet while we were still sinners God chose to give us life.
The bigger picture became clearer.
This could have been so much worse yes. But God has already rocked our world and put us on our knees over and over again over this
and if i am being honest I have been more broken over Nolan AND other friends of mine that I have in a long time.
SO yes in our trials we are drawn to the cross.
I will praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.

I challenge you today to do the same. Take a good look at your life and weed out what doesnt matter.
Press into Jesus not because you should but because its a privilege to do so...
WE GET JESUS!
Amen!