whether or not Your lips move

You speak to me

life fermatas August 20, 2013

fer·ma·ta noun \fer-ˈmä-tə\: a prolongation at the discretion of the performer of a musical note, chord, or rest beyond its given time value; also: the sign denoting such a prolongation —called also hold

In the musical world, fermatas designate to hold the note or rest longer than usual. The definition above says that it is at the performer’s discretion, which is often true. But in a chorus the length the fermata is held is up to the director. The chorus singers watch the director for that moment when he or she releases them from holding the note or rest and signals that it is time to move on.

Life is full of fermatas, isn’t it?

There are times when we are watching God… just holding on… waiting for Him to signal that it is time to move on. What do we do during those prolongations?

We keep singing the last thing we knew to sing. It can be tempting to move on to the next part of the music when it feels right or when we just get too tired of holding the same note. But if we do that, we will miss out on the beauty of experiencing the music the way it was meant to be sung. If we take things into our own hands instead of being faithful in the most recent thing to which we were called, we could miss out on experiencing the fullness of what God had planned.

We keep our eyes on the Director. Contrary to popular opinion, sometimes God does give us more than we can handle. There are many reasons for this but I believe the primary reason is to reveal to us that He is an endless supply of strength from which we can draw. So when you think you’re out of breath from holding that note, know that He is there offering for you to breathe in deep from His Spirit. (Cool fact: in the New Testament, the Greek word for spirit and breath is the same.)

We trust that whatever comes next will be worth the wait. Sometimes in choruses we sight-read, meaning we perform without having previously rehearsed or sometimes without having even seen the music beforehand. We watch the director even more closely in those times. The same is true during life fermatas–even though we don’t always know what the next part looks or sounds like, we can trust God that it will be magnificent and what is best for us.

So… hang on. Keep breathing. Keep leaning on Him. And know that whatever is coming, one way or another it is going to end up beautiful.


here we go… December 20, 2012

Filed under: calling,faith,family,parenting,positive things,sacrifice — Ashley @ 4:10 pm

I’ve embarked on a new adventure: work at home mom.
That’s right–I’ve had a baby and I’ve quit my full-time job.
I had a million eloquent things to say about it all over the past several weeks, but I can’t remember any of them right now. I think these verses kind of sum it up for now, though:

“Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19, HCSB)

I’m eager to see what God has in store for me and for our new little family. To say life has been different would be the understatement of the year. To say it has been the most difficult time of my life and yet also the most amazing, fulfilling, and joyful time would be the understatement of the decade.

So… here we go.


ministry multipliers meeting May 25, 2010

Filed under: calling,mentoring,sex,women's ministry — Ashley @ 2:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

I just came from a really awesome 2 hours spent with fabulous women from all across the country. They invest their lives in other women on a constant basis and it is just awesome to see their heart and passion for God and women of all ages.

In just those 2 hours, God further pressed into me the need for me to 1) be myself and the person He created me to be, and 2) speak out on the things that I am passionate about. Because there are dozens of others who are passionate about the same things, and we all need to be encouraged to continue in the paths God has carved out for us. For me, this passion comes out in the area of mentoring and what many might call “biblical womanhood.” Some of you who know me and spend a lot of time with me have heard me use the term “warrior princess” for this idea. (And yes, I’m still working on that paper– one of these days I’ll finish it and post it here!!!)

For those women who were there today, I want you to know I am going to work hard to create a blog post that will help empower parents to talk to their children about sex beginning from birth. There are several resources out there that have been useful to me as I’ve studied sexual development, and I’ll point you to those. For those who were interested in the Keep Him or Dump Him blog, you can click here.

I also want you to know that I want to hear from you. I have a very diverse audience on this blog, from teenagers to grandparents. I love each and every one of you and want to know what you need in your lives right now so I can pray with you and interact with you on this journey!


Ugh. January 4, 2010

Filed under: calling,education,stuff I've learned — Ashley @ 10:52 pm

I’ve learned I’m horrible at blogging. Not like you haven’t noticed.

I have a bad habit of starting posts and then never actually publishing them. I start second-guessing myself, wondering if I should really say that, if that’s even worth putting out there, if I want that much information being readily available to random stalker X, and so on.

And so much of the past couple of months I have felt completely lousy. Migraines, random viruses, you name it, I had it. All this while being months behind on finishing up coursework.

I really, really, REALLY want to finish up all my coursework before December 2010 so I can be writing my thesis and finish everything by April 2011. I really thought I would have my master’s degree by now. I wanted to have it well before I was 30, and now I’ll be lucky to have it somewhere in the year I turn 30.

I have a hard time knowing whether it’s the recovering perfectionist in me that is the hangup, or if it’s just life.



catching up February 6, 2009

Filed under: calling,fear,memorization,relationship with God — Ashley @ 4:55 pm

I think that, considering the low activity on my “Fun Friday” posts, I’m not going to do them anymore. Unless all three of my readers end up missing them and ask for them. 🙂

I’ve been quiet on the blog lately, mainly due to being so busy and not feeling well the past couple of weeks. I have fibromyalgia and chronic migraines, and never quite know how I’m going to feel from one day to another.

Anywho, here’s my memory verse for the first half of February (that should have been posted on the first, but ah well!):

“He has given us the privilege, since we have been rescued from our enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days.”
Luke 1:73b-75

I love that serving God is a privilege.

I love that we’ve been set free from our enemies’ clutches.

I love that we’ve been set free to serve God without fear.

I love that God has given us holiness and righteousness.

I love that when we serve, we serve in His presence.

This verse is going to be very meaningful to me because I really struggle with comparing myself to others, especially other women who are successful in ministering to others. It’s ridiculous, I know, which is why I’m combating this with Scripture. 🙂 This struggle has greatly improved over the years as I’ve come to realize that God has things for me to do on this earth, things that are meaningful and amazing and fulfilling. My calling is not going to be the exact same as someone else’s. Another area I need to stop comparing myself to other women is (you guessed it!) my weight and appearance. Totally want to get over that insecurity! Seriously. Not worth the time and energy.

Another way this verse is going to be effective in my life is that fear can really be a big problem for me. Fear of what others think, fear of not pleasing someone, fear of this or that. And if I’m living my life in relationship with God, every minute of my life can be “serving Him without fear”. If I’m following His lead, I won’t have any reason to fear what anyone else says or thinks about me. I’ve been rescued from that way of thinking so I might as well start living it, right?


so…. about that September 8, 2007

Filed under: calling,Deeper Still — Ashley @ 10:09 pm

I started seminary… which means I think Isaiah is on hold for a bit. 

I’m in an intro to New Testament class and another called the Ministry of Leadership.  Both classes have been absolutely great.  NT has been a good refresher from undergrad, and with a bit more detail.   Min. of Leadership has been great in helping with clarifying some issues for me, while stirring up some others for me. 

The idea of having a “calling” has always been somewhat illusive and mysterious to me.  I’ve been looking back on the past many years of my life, looking at what I enjoyed doing as a child, taking personality tests, and such.  Trying to allow God to further clarify for me the next steps in the journey.  I just came from the Deeper Still conference (which was amazing btw) and came away with a few thoughts on calling, and other things that will probably need to wait for another post. 

I realized quite some time ago that I really struggle with fear and insecurity.  I think it is ok for me to be a little insecure and not quite so self-confident, because it means that God has to do more work than I do and therefore He gets credit.  And I pray almost daily with all my heart for God to remove any ounce of pride in me.  Fear however, can’t have a place in my life because perfect love casts out fear, God has not given me a spirit of fear, and all over the place in Scripture God is like, “Hey!  Be strong and courageous!”  And really, there’s too much to do and too much going on in this world and the one unseen for me to sit around peeing my pants in fear.  And apparently God wants to get through this message to be courageous because we’ve talked about it in class, it was talked about this weekend, and I’m reading it in just about every leadership book I’ve got on the list right now.

But back to the calling thing.  I think I’ve always felt a calling toward teaching God’s Word, whether through writing or teaching a ‘class’ or one on one.  And honestly, there is nothing that gets me more excited than searching Scripture and researching and having that “a-ha” discovery moment, and then helping someone else have an “a-ha” discovery moment.  I get bored very easily and have to always have some sort of challenge before me or else I start to kinda lose my mind.  So discovery is extremely important to me, and when I discover something I get super excited and just really want to tell whoever will listen. 

So therein lies some of my struggles with my calling– I fear not having anyone to tell.  (I’m pretty sure Aaron will tell me this is a silly fear since I technically am a published Bible study writer.)  I don’t want an audience, I don’t want fame, I don’t want money.  God spoke to me this weekend that even if the only ‘students’ I ever have are my own children, my masters degree will be worth it.  If there is only one person who is ever effected by my writing, it will be worth it.  I will have fulfilled my calling to help someone discover something new, look at something in a different way, to love God and others more. 

So I’ve been able to narrow the calling down to what it seems they’ve always been: write, teach, love college students (after being a wife and one-day-mom of course).  Now, what that all looks like is still a mystery to me in a lot of ways.  It’s a small percentage of people who get to write and teach full time.  And my reality right now is that I answer phones and do customer service (which is an important job but one that may or may not be a fulfillment of my calling).  Another thing God used to speak to me this weekend was the fact that King David was anointed as king of Israel at the age of 15, but it took 22 years for him to actually sit on the throne.  The day after he was anointed he went back to tending the sheep.  And then he got a promotion to taking lunch to his brothers.  BUT he was still the anointed king.  He didn’t just merely survive for 22 years (although he did do that, that Saul sure was out to get him), he thrived.  He took down Goliath, became a skilled warrior, nurtured a heart that beat for God.  And that’s what I need to do, too.

Well, that was a bit more than I expected to write tonight…