Monday, April 21, 2014

make a difference monday | the beginning

Hey y'all!

Today, I'm so excited to introduce you to a big project that me and a few wonderful bloggity friends I've made through the Influence Network will now be bring you each week; the Make a Difference Mondays link-up. If you're not familiar with link-ups, it's a way for people to connect their posts with one another by connecting the web link at the on the hostess(s) page (it's at the bottom of this post by the way ;-) ). The purpose of this link-up is to provide a weekly spot where women can gather and receive encouragement from one another. It will be a place where we can be vulnerable with our own flaws, share in the victories of our sisters to our left and our right, and seek guidance through God's word and by the example of His chosen daughters as we succeed and fail as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc.

This inaugural post ("inaugural"...well, that sounds all super-important now doesn't it?!) is going to be a traditional written post, but in the following weeks I will be posting short videos with my weekly dose of encouragement.

If you don't have a blog, that's fine! You can still join in by posting encouragement on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and use the hashtag #MADMlinkup so we can all see how everyone is encouraging others (and ourselves) to make a difference!

Now...for my post for today:

Sometimes I don't like to read my Bible.
That may sound like a shock to some of you, but it's the truth. I never want y'all to get a picture painted in your minds that I have this whole spending-quiet-time-with-God thing down. In fact, since people ask me so often what my quiet time looks like on average, I'm going to post about that later this week (...brace yourselves!).
When I recommitted my life to Christ in 2010, reading the Bible was how I spent most of my free time. No matter what I was reading, I craved more. I fully accepted that I knew absolutely nothing but that Christ was sent to be the sacrifice for my sins, and that I needed to grow closer to God through Him. I went to church every Sunday, and three (sometimes four) Bible studies a week. I was reading popular, and not so popular, books by Christian authors and texting my pastor on the regular with questions.
Shortly after I got married in 2011, my husband brought to my attention that I'd never read through the entire Bible. To be honest, I'd never really thought about it and was perfectly find just being spiritually fed from the snippets I received from sermons and what not. I remember thinking to myself, "Read the whole Bible? Who does that?!"
Well, God must've told him what I was thinking because before I could express my seemingly justifiable feelings he said something along the lines of:
"Think about it this way. If someone gave you a book and said all of the answers to life were placed in it directly from the mouth of God, why wouldn't you read it?"
*insert look of shame here*
Yep, I've got me a good one! At that very moment, I considered myself enlightened...and challenged. I took the following summer reading through the New Testament, and that autumn, we completed the Bible in 90 Days challenge together. I don't think I have ever pushed myself that hard to complete something in my life! It was intense, but definitely worth it. I remember having a fire in my heart and a desire to grab my Bible, or open my app, whenever I could. I was hungry for more. A very close friend of mine was reading along with us and I remember she and I talking about how we had to stop from reading ahead sometimes because we wanted to know what happened next. But when it was over, life got busy, my personal life got heavy, and somewhere in the fog of it all my desire to read the Bible regularly started to fade.

Today, I'm still in somewhat of a "funk". My life is filled with joy by the blessings God has given me; a loving husband, a beautiful daughter filled with happiness, friends, a job, creative outlets to pour out my passions...but am I missing something? Am I missing Him? Have I become so content with the blessings that I'm not craving Him like I used to?

The answer is yes and no.

I need to refuel and fall back in love with resting at the feet of Jesus.

There's peace there, hope lives there.

Today, I want to encourage you to go live out Psalm 27:8 in your life.

When truly making a difference in our week, in our lives, we must start at the beginning. And in the beginning it was all about Him.

Ashley Danielle

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

proud to be a workaholic

I was planning on posting anything today, but I just came across this video and I had to share it.

For some reason, being a workaholic is getting a negative connotation. Like it's not good to throw yourself into your work. I guess it depends on what you do.

This is for those who work nonstop.

Who live to see their calling fulfilled.

Who do it without a second thought and who wear their puffy eyes as a badge of honor.

Who are completely engulfed in the job.

Those who breathe to get the job done.

This is for you.

This is for us.

Ashley Danielle

Friday, April 11, 2014

1 cor 2:1-5 | she shares truth

I don't know a lot.

Yes, I have two college degrees, read or watch at least one national news outlet daily, love studying political history and can whip out a mean DIY of home d├ęcor when I have the chance. But with all that said, I still don't really know a lot.

And that's okay.

Because the little I do know is more than enough.

I know Christ.

Ashley Danielle

Monday, April 7, 2014

refocusing on contentment | april goals

Yes, I know April started last week, but I promise I had my new set of goals mapped out before the first "April Fools!" was uttered. But obviously sticking to my blog schedule wasn't on the list (and has since been added). I feel like I sort of strayed away from the verse that rocked my world at the beginning of the year and is fueling my thoughts and actions, which is "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. (1 Timothy 6:6)". I want to make sure that I see the beauty in all God has blessed me with, and not get caught up in always wanting more.

Contentment may look different from person to person, but in my life in my life it means refocusing on the tasks our Father has given my to fulfill right now, and not trying to fast forward to step 12 before I complete step.

If you're new here and want to see my general guidelines for goal-setting each month, why I do it, and/or learn more about my word for the year, simply click here to play catch up. For my regular bloggity we go again!

                    MARCH GOALS UPDATE:
- Pray more with The Mr. Okay, so I didn't do this as much as I'd hoped to, but getting back into the swing of work after being on maternity leave for almost three months really threw a wrench in my usual morning routine. However, I've already started praying with him more this month, and he has been faithfully sending me little prayer text messages in the mornings so it's been making up for my slack. :-) 
- Meal prep for the week on Sundays This has been going quite well! Though I've tried a few recipes out that failed horribly and I will not be revisiting, for the most part, we haven't had to do any major cooking during the week and have had something to take to lunch every day.
- "Girl Time" with Felicity Grace every afternoon after daycare Yay! Having to place her in daycare last month was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I'd gotten so used to us spending so much time together, and missed seeing her look up at me with that angelic smile of hers after nursing (even though we still have those moments every evening). However, I understand that it's the best situation for our current season of life, and am just praying one day we can be in a position that I can spend more time with her. Going back to work has made the time we spend together when I pick her up in the afternoons, and even when I'm getting her ready in the morning, even more valuable.
- Vacuum, mop, and dust once a week But I'll do better. I do give myself two pats on the back for dusting twice in one month though! Grace over perfection, right? ;-)
- Finish reading EntreLeadership I've decided not to finish this book. I'm just really not enjoying it and it seems sort of repetitive in a lot of ways. It's helped a lot of people, but just isn't my cup of tea. This gets crossed off the list for April, not because I read it, but because I am truly finished with it.
- Research non-profit status for my mentoring program I actually had a wonderful business meeting with one of my mentors about how to reformat my mentoring program, and am hoping to make some major changes in the near future.
- Drink my green juice at least five times a week My system still hasn't readjusted to me drinking green juice since I had Felicity Grace. I used to be able to mix it with juice or in a smoothie with no problem, but now I can hardly stomach it. I've been just taking it in small shot-glass type cups to just get it over with but may have to find an alternative soon.
- Exercise at least five times a week I didn't do five times each week, but still went to the gym almost every morning before work! It helps that the daycare opens at 6 a.m., which means I can meet up with one of my besties so we can motivate each other to work out before heading to work. I've started doing Holy Yoga again and I am LOVING IT! I plan on posting more about it soon so stay tuned.
...and now, April!
________________APRIL GOALS.

- Read Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron-Bure
- Write five sections of my book
- Thoroughly familiarize myself with Excel
- Date night with The Mr. (Lord, please let this happen!)
- Vacuum, mop, and dust once a week (...let's try this again).
- Send application out to get a summer intern/assistant to help with Code Blue
- Write on lunch breaks during the week so I can spend more time with Felicity Grace on weekends
- Restart the contentment challenge for the months of April, May and June.
Keep me in your prayers, loves.
Ashley Danielle

Friday, April 4, 2014

joshua 1:8-9 | she shares truth

Today's She Shares Truth meditation has been on my heart all week.

Day and night.

My brain is usually going ten-thousand miles a minute throughout most of the day. When I'm working on tasks, I'm thinking about tomorrow's to-do list. When I'm done writing tomorrow's to-do list, I'm stressing over what didn't get done today. I know there's nothing healthy about succumbing to the "GO! GO! GO!" mentality of our society, but it's so easy to get pulled into.

But then there are days like today.

Days where I start slowly.

I wake up peaceful, rested. I'm not rushing to get things done, but giving myself a mental high five for getting my clothes together and lunch bag packed the night before. I pray with my husband before leaving the house, drop off the little one at daycare and join my bestie for our morning meetup at the gym.

While submerging the weight of the world into today's Holy Yoga practice, I felt at ease as I thought about the peace found in Joshua 1:8-9. I felt ready to take on whatever adventures (as hefty as they may be) that laid ahead of me as I reflected on God's promises to His people, and encouraged at my instructor's challenge from Romans 15:7 to love on other's with all of God's strength.

Sisters, I challenge you to do the same.

Rest in Him, walk in His grace and spread His love.

Share His truth.

Ashley Danielle

It's not too late to get your April ad spot. Click here for details. God bless.