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.this. day started with me being down. discouraged. and just feeling like i should hide. pull away and not get involved..not jump in. this is my normal battle i fight here in the 'burg. not pulling away because i am too vulnerable. i get freaked out sometimes that i have been too open..let someone in too close..and due to fear of getting hurt or fear of them leaving i run. i leave first. i hurt them first. i have been walking through this with Jesus and close friends over the past eight or so months. this is nothing new for me. what was new is that i was in Nica. i wasn't in the 'burg. where i knew my next steps to take. bring people in on how i was feeling my walls come up. push through it. move into my friendships when that is the absolute last thing i want to do. when i push through those thoughts/feelings that's when God shows up big time..ever so faithful to teach me what being a part of his family looks like.

.i. expressed to the team that morning that i had felt discouraged. specifically with my story. that i had not shared enough..or that i did not share what God wanted. all lies. lies meant to keep me quiet..pulled away..withdrawn. my frustration mounted as i realized that my junk was hitting me here too. not here. not now.

"oh God bust through my walls. keep them down. you know i can't lower them..i don't even know how. God push them away like a vapor. Jesus i want your truth to be a mega-phone in my ear so that i can't even hear the lies."

.this. has been a prayer of mine consistently for the past six or so months. wanting God's truth to be ever so loud to drown out the lies. having scripture close is key in this. having it circle my thoughts. God's word is alive and that became ever so clear to me this day.

.today. there were a lot of things to get done. which meant that everyone would need to split off into their designated area. all the mothers in the group went with Shea to sit with the moms at HoH to teach a parenting class. i wasn't involved in this but i heard such amazing stories from this time. the ladies on our team were even saying how they learned a lot about being a parent and that it encouraged them to change or shift the ways in which they approached their children. amazing how we went to teach them and we come back ten-fold of knowledge and encouragement that they gave us. this was humbling to me. that here i was at some points in my thoughts..thinking that i was going to give them love. show them love. share with them what God did. but when it was all said in done it was about me doing and giving. not about God doing in me..through me. death to pride so that Jesus can live in me. some of the other women went with April in order to help organize the store room where they keep the supplies for the jewelry that the women make on Tuesday's.

.so. i was left to go to the dorm to start sketching and painting the mural. i was honestly relieved and glad that i could be alone for some time that morning. be alone with Jesus. this was good timing for me to be able to allow God to speak to my heart. to be louder than my lies. to show me his truth. i walked into the dorm..most of the twenty girls were there excited to see me. i dug out my pencils and started to map out where the main mural and verse would go on the wall. the girls were all so interested and wanted to know what i was doing. i decided to sit with them and sketch out a quick drawing of what i was going to do. they loved it. this sparked a mob of girls to join in on the drawing. there are missing pages in my journal as evidence of budding artists. i handed out pencils and charcoal to each of the girls. thankful that i had brought so many. i began sketching on the wall the mural that would soon be painted for them. the entire time God speaking to my heart about what the mural meant personally to me and what it would mean to them. that they would be able to have freedom in Jesus. again..i was overcome with being in the heartbeat of God. i can't explain it other than using the verse that talks about taking care of the widow and the orphans.

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." james 1:27

.this. verse was so true to me at this point. here i was painting for rescued girls..orphans..and asking God to keep the lies of the world out of my head. pushing through them just like here in the 'burg..but doing it at a different level. God allowed me to experience himself even more.

.as. i was painting the girls thought it would be a great idea to color in my tattoo. i didn't mind. allowing them to connect with me in this way. they colored in the birds and the flower. as they filled in my tattoo i remembered what that tattoo meant when i got it a few years ago. it was my tattoo of ultimate rebellion. there is a lotus flower and an origami dove coming out of it. four candles that represent the fires of life that make me who i am/was. then the dove transforms into a life like dove as it flies through the fire. this tattoo symbolized me being done with religion..with God. it was my way of saying to the world i am going to be true to myself from this point on. oh how wrong i was. i met Jesus and that all changed. i was done with religion..and still am. i am all about knowing God..and knowing him for who he says he is..not what others tell me. thank you Jesus for redeeming me. for pursuing me. for loving me first. then they started drawing their own designs..and their names all over me. i was a walking wall of graffiti tags. i thought it was painting their wall..them writing/drawing on me. perfect.

.the. mural took most of the day for me to finish up. i was disconnected from most of the team but it was ok. some of them had come by to check up on the progress and lend a hand for a bit. was neat to have everyone on the team take part in some way on the mural. i wanted that. i wanted everyone to have a hand in it. then it hit me. the girls! the girls didn't have a hand it it. they weren't owning it. i didn't want it to be us coming in doing something for them but not caring about them. so as i was talking to God about it he gave me this great idea to have them make butterflies with their hands and paint their name under each one. the butterfly is the HoH's mascot if you will. God is the inventor of creativity. such beauty flowed out of this. chaos. but beautiful chaos. what came out of that dirty pink wall turned white was something only God could do.

.after. a long day with the girls we headed back to where we were staying. this was what Shea called  a marathon night. we had the privilege of hearing other's stories of how God pursued them. it was amazing to hear them and to hear what God did in each of their lives. i am falling more in love with God in how he loves us first. i ended the evening with reading through isaiah. sixty-one.

"1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
      for the LORD has anointed me
      to bring good news to the poor.
   He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
      and to proclaim that captives will be released
      and prisoners will be freed.[a]
 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
      that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,[b]
      and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
 3 To all who mourn in Israel,[c]
      he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
   a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
      festive praise instead of despair.
   In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
      that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
      repairing cities destroyed long ago.
   They will revive them,
      though they have been deserted for many generations.
 5 Foreigners will be your servants.
      They will feed your flocks
   and plow your fields
      and tend your vineyards.
 6 You will be called priests of the LORD,
      ministers of our God.
   You will feed on the treasures of the nations
      and boast in their riches.
 7 Instead of shame and dishonor,
      you will enjoy a double share of honor.
   You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land,
      and everlasting joy will be yours.
 8 “For I, the LORD, love justice.
      I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
   I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering
      and make an everlasting covenant with them.
 9 Their descendants will be recognized
      and honored among the nations.
   Everyone will realize that they are a people
      the LORD has blessed.”
 10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God!
      For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
      and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
   I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit
      or a bride with her jewels.
 11 The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world.
      Everyone will praise him!
   His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
      with plants springing up everywhere.

.this. is our God.


  1. Ashley, you are so amazing. Love hearing what God is doing and you are responding. Prayers and Blessings are with you. Carry on my friend.

  2. "Glory to Faith, Faith to Glory, Glory to Glory"
    How beautiful are our prayers to the ears of our Lord Jesus!
    Oh, how He loves us......
    Oh, How He loves......
    I Pray God Will Bless Your Heart Every Day!


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I'm not a writer.
(Don't judge my grammar/spelling, I do what I want.) :)
I'm not a blogger.
I am a sharer. (If that's a word.)
I shared my journey through living in Nicaragua.
I shared bits and pieces here and there as life unfolded post Nicaragua.

This post is coming from something deep. Something that is deep in my heart and has been a major part of what God has been teaching me through my year and a half back in the States.

Loss. {def. : be deprived of cease to have or retain.}

What is loss?

Loss can take on many different faces through our lives.
"I lost my car keys."
"I lost my teddy bear."
"I lost my glasses."
"I lost my grandmother."
"I lost my home."
"I lost my wife/husband."
"I lost my child."
"I lost my childhood."
"I lost my friend."
"I lost my ________."

So many different emotions arise as I read those statements. Some bring up a lightness in helping a young child find their t…