Friday, June 24, 2011

A Long-Winded Man with 1000 Silent Words

Ever notice how when looking at someone's face you can tell basically every detail of their present feelings and thoughts? A whole story is wrapped up in the eyes. A whole story is wrapped up in the wrinkles. A whole story is wrapped up in the direction the way the lips tilt. A whole story is in the seconds of eye-contact. Personality, insecurity, offensive accusations, and judgments, or lack of judgments, are etched on a person's face. Why do you think I like looking at you when you speak?

However, have you ever paid attention to the fine notes of inflection in one's statements? Inflection and face combined convey the entirety of one's desire to be heard and understood despite what they are communicating verbally. You can say one sentence, it can be a complete lie, and yet I there is always an element of truth that can be detected.

If you have ever spoken with me, you know that when I listen I listen for what you need. If you need me only listen and not respond, I hear it. If you need me to encourage, I hear it. If you need me to assure you of your opinion, (if it's a good one) I will. If you need me to intervene when lies are being spoken, I will with a purposeful force. I will do whatever you tell me to do with your words, with your inflections, with your tone, with your face, with your eyes, with your lips, with your hands. It makes for a fun conversation because really I am only gifted in listening, you are the one counseling yourself with me being your filter.

However, this gift, or should I say "'gift," has its downside. Instead of being able to sit and relax, I sit and stir. I am always thinking, always pushing for a better way to solve a problem, always thinking about how others are processing and getting by. Can I just be honest and say it's exhausting at times? Not to say I don't enjoy hearing your thoughts (seriously I thrive on hearing you), but it can be extraneous and energy depleting because I care so deeply about you.

It is ironic that I can hear other people so clearly even when they are not speaking, but I cannot hear myself. And why is it that when I finally hear myself, I turn and run in the opposite direction? My life's passion is hearing other people and helping to further their maturity in life... but when it comes to me I hold myself to such a high standard of perfection and failure-less existence that I create situations where I always fail and never succeed, thereby decreasing the accuracy of my ear and fogging my judgment. A somewhat vicious cycle.

However, by listening to your face, to your voice, and to your words, I have learned that in order to take better care of you, I have to take care of me. I have no doubt that my life has been called from a young age to be poured out for other people...but with that comes a certain amount of depression because life is not as it should be-yours or mine. People have said I have a "depressed disposition" but who wouldn't have a depressed disposition when you hear the things I hear, see the pain I see, and experience the torture with the one's communicating with me? I see it, I hear it, I feel it; it affects and effects me.

However, you know what the most amazing thing is I see?

When I look into someone's eyes and amidst the pain, horror, depression, insecurity, loneliness, and isolation...I see hope.

I wish I could explain what it looks like or feels like, it is very distinct, but somehow it would almost diminish the potency of this vivid reflection if I tried to explain it. If I one day sit there talking with you and see this "trait," if that's what we wanna call it, I will know for a fact You Will Be Okay and you should know that in that moment you have instantly brought me an abundant amount of relief.

I have to admit I have seen this hopelessness in a small few was awful-like walking with the dead. However, this enlightens the point that the vast majority of people I have come across has the endurance to carry on. Human beings are quite amazing at pushing through circumstances and adapting to change. This quality of hope has carried us through boundaries, limitations, and injustice.

If you feel hopeless, can I just suggest one thing? Find a person you trust, sit facing each other, one foot between the both of you, and silently look each other in the eye for a full TWO MINUTES (no looking away). After the two minutes are up, talk about what you saw in the other persons eyes, then talk about what you felt as they looked into yours.

You may feel very uncomfortable doing this but sitting in this tension is important. Push.

What you feel or see in this exercise is precisely the fuel that drives my passion and motivates me to keep going. If I can make one confession it is this: I may be a depressive personality but, ironically, the nemesis of depression is what pulses through my veins-hope. I see in your faces, in your eyes, and in your tone; hope. Hope is why I endure the pain with you.

My ending question must become this then: Where...does HOPE come from?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

She Said, "YES!"- Indeed, I did.

Take a look at our link, "All Things Wedding Website," located on the left hand sidebar for more engagment/wedding details. Woo!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Good News

I GOT IN TO DENVER SEMINARY! Thank you so much for all the prayers and the help from all those that have gotten me this far. Now I need to start applying for scholarships which is more exciting. Keep those prayers coming. - Ashley

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One Year Anniversary!!!!

Could there be a more perfect day?
The day started with a "Good Morning Beautiful, Happy One Year." And then the day took off. While Patrick had school, I was on a mission to find the perfect journal to to start the new year- new year= new journal. Well I could not find the "perfect" journal so instead I bought some paper and mended my own out of an old book and ribbon.
As Patrick was making the trek across town back from school, I was sitting on my bedroom floor watching Princess Diaries with my freshly painted toe nails and curlers lining my face. I love being a woman! You can always find the excuse to get all done up and this anniversary was no exception. I think he is the only one I want to dress up for so that is saying something.
He arrived in his white button up shirt and brown cardigan looking so...mmmmmh. With a quick kiss, and a smuggling of my parents steak, we were off to the grocery store to get the rest of our dinner -Steak, garlic mash potatoes, braised asparagus, and a Caesar salad served with a glass of our favorite red wine (compliments of J.LOHR).
I was dog sitting this weekend out in Highlands Ranch so we headed back to the townhouse and the cooking began- with Siga Rous playing in the background, I chopped while Patrick cooked- yup that's the way it is. This dinner was quite exciting for me because not only was it my first anniversary but I have never had a candle light dinner. When the dinner was almost done cooking, I told Patrick I had a surprise and I had stuffed an evening dress in my back without his knowing:) I figured I wanted to dress to the 10's even if we didn't go to 5 star restaurant because he is the one I was showing off for anyway. As I walked down the stairs he just looked at me and said - YAY! (which is you know Patrick means- mhmmm and yes!)

Dinner was delicious and company quite enjoyable! After clean up we watched Julie and Julia- one of my favorite movies and I have to say that Julia Child would have been proud of the dinner we...Patrick...cooked. For dessert, Patrick had a Coffee Liqueur, Chocolate Ice Cream while I ate Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream- ah soooooooooooooooooo gooooooood.
With our stomachs aching and eyes lids drooping heavily, we fell asleep on the couch and woke up to the credits of Julie and Julia- haha- what partiers we are.
Anyway- we are hoping for another great year where we grow closer toward each other and continue following God's plan for each of our lives. This "love" thing is so exciting!!!! Cheers to you my readers and to you a good year too!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Weekend Get Away

Above pictures:
1) My dog Tucker (haha) Patrick says Tucker acts just like me.
2) The painting I did for Patrick this last Christmas
3) Patrick and I doing...whatever it is we do.

I was reading my friend Nicki's blog and I thought I needed to not just see this as an updating tool every other...year... but start saying whats really going on and not glazing over a millions details. Therefore, the new an improved information from my head and life...

- Have you ever had a week where you are mindind your own business and all the sudden your hand hits your face and says "SLAP!" That was my week haha. The hum-drum of going to school, missing a few class because they are a waste of my time, a few tests, a teacher that seems to think I care about Biology and useless information lined my walkway as the week progressed. Those mundance chores were not however the source of my SLAP! My hand came to my face over another reason- life. Real life decisions that I was unaware I would actually have to make. (HaHa). I can not go to further in depth just because I still need to process what the reality of those decisions are. But I can say that I have alot to learn.

As this week rolled on, I just started praying that the Lord would give me a place to rest. Wouldn't you know it that an old caravan leader (girl scout kinda group), whom I haven't talked with in years, dropped my name to a friend of hers that needed a dog sitter for the weekend and a few days next week. My answer of a "getaway" arrived sooner then I thought. So this morning (Saturday) Not only am I getting my retreat center, but I am getting paid to visit. Don't you wish that was the way the world worked all time? I arrived this morning and so far so good. I have done almost everything I enjoy including: grocery shopping but making it a game to see if I can spend less then $25 dollars on a weeks worth of food- success; got a Starbucks Americano with 3 pumps of C.Dolce syrup and and 1" of steam breve; and after my last sip of golden hot fluid I went home to chop up my vegetables for the week. I have to say I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to cutlery- if it cuts fast and efficient- I become obsessed. I think I ended up cutting everything I bought, even the things that didn't need cutting. Now you know if you ever need to mesmerize me, give me a good knife- I'll be occupid for hours. After I left the kitchen I worked out with an old school workout video that was laying around the house and found myself at minute 30 gasping for air. Just a quick note- if you can run a marathon, it doesn't mean you have the endurance for a dance-cardio-abe-butt busting video workout. Just a note. After nearly suffocating, I locked the door to the bathroom and took a nice hot shower. I ate lunch soon after and have been laying in this luxurious bed for...I don't know how long actually. Tonight Patrick and his band are playing a show for a charity dinner (Saving Pets or something- I don't know) and then I will come back to my silent, isolated, purple... getaway home.

My mind is finally at rest and the pressure of life seems to be fading away. Hopefully, I will be able to understand what boundaries I need to implement in my life as to not go so drained next month.Cheers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Last Semester

I have started my last semester of undergrad and will be graduating this Spring if everything goes according to plan. As of right now I am applying for Denver Seminary Counseling Licensure program and hope to hear back from them soon. If you think of it, please pray that I may get a scholarship:)
I am in seven classes this semester including: Human Sexuality (oooh lala), Human Cognition, Sociology of the Family, Learning and Behavior, Global Issues, Biology, and Sociology of Human Sexuality. Yes, it is a load! The first few weeks have had me stressed to the max but I feel as the weeks progress I will learn to balance the schedule better. The problem is that I enjoy every subject (except Biology) and it makes me crazy that I can't digest the information but have to quickly complete the assignment and move on to the next.
I just started a Bible Study with a group of girls and tonight was the first night. I have a feeling that it will be a great adventure and hopefully will develop into great relationships because God knows we need friends in Aurora. I am still singing at church for the time being, I am swamped with work so singing has been put on the back burner but it is still great. I am actually taking singing "lessons" from a friend and it has been most helpful in boosting my confidence.
On an exciting note, Patrick and I are about to celebrate our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!! WHOO! who knew I'd ever make it this far...:) We are doing great and I am continuously being confronted with the fact that there is a never ending abyss to my personality that I will never understand. It is the curse of the Psychologist to be able to read other people but get a blank, glassy eyed glaze look when looking at yourself. Thankfully we have friends that mirror who we are and Patrick is no exception. He builds me up so much I can not even express.
I am taking this Global studies class and have been overwhelmed at the fact that the world is full of suffering and pain. Patrick gave me the eleventh chapter of Psalms to ease my frustration at how life works- read it if you get the chance.
Well, I need to go to bed right now but just wanted to give a shout out to my five followers....haha...just found out you read this thing. Haha. Love you guys. - Ash

Monday, November 2, 2009


Wow! How the time has gone. It has been a year since I last wrote. I have not felt a need to update this post considering only two people follow it. Therefore, it is slightly more secret than facebook which I like.
So an overview of the year would be good. After Lucy was born I just went back to work at Starbucks till march than quit because a series of events happened that showed me it was time to go. Thankfully, the Lord blessed me with a Nanny job for the summer with two awesome boys ages (11- Mason and 8-Max), than another nanny job for 3 young kids but I just got laid off from that one. Back in January I started school at University Colorado at Denver and have felt more at home there than any other place I believe because it challenges me to view the world differently and formulate opinions. It was quite a shock going from YWAM to Liberal USA but I really appreciate it now and actually being in the world helped me to furthermore establish my belief in Christ. I am still studying psychology and am grateful to say I now have no hesitation going forward with a counseling degree and paying for grad school. For those two of you that know me, you know what a struggle it has been trying to kill some expectations and recognize and accept my gifts and talents. I am planning on going to Denver Seminary and getting their counseling license because I believe I need to know what my point of view is as a christian and develop my faith in this area. Being at a liberal school, although freeing, sometimes drags me down because little hope is offered and we learn were not greater than the monkeys. Well, UCD...I don't believe I evolved from a monkey nor do I have a common ancestor with a monkey. God said he made human. Period. I think that if I am going to invest my time and money into an education, its gonna be the education I want that promotes my belief in Jesus and challenges me to new levels within my field. is coming along. Also, back in January I met my boyfriend PATRICK. Now this is an important name to remember for he is the most important person in my life. Hmmm- I guess January was a big month. We met at his church one night while I was visiting the place to see if I wanted to sing. He was the drummer that night and we said a quick "hi and goodbye," goodbye was meaningful because I was stolen. Now lets go back to last October (the last time I wrote). One night I was laying in bed praying and felt the lord had something intense to talk with me about. I said okay and there it was the sentence that changed my future. He said- "Ashley, you are ready to get married. I have prepared you. The next man you are interested in will be the man you're going to marry." - God. ...Now you may be thinking- "yeah right," or "I wish God spoke to me that way..." Well when God told me that...I freaked. For two months after that I didn't hang out with anyone for fear of meeting the guy I was suppose to be with. HAHA. Meanwhile, I was also praying for a place to sing...God said to go to this particular church but not yet. So I waited. January 1st came along and the freedom to go to this church came. So my parents and I went to there Saturday night service and that's the night I met PATRICK. Brown-eyed, brown-haired, drummer-boy Patrick. He didn't really notice me to much that night because at that time I had brown hair and he only goes for blonde's- ha, jokes on him! But he ended up using his friends to get me to go out with the group and eventually we started talking. Ironically, the first couple times we hung out he made me so mad because he said I can't preach because I am a girl. Oh man I was so mad! I even came home and called one of my YWAM guy friends to talk about this "stupid, small-minded guy I met." Well, the anger faded when I understood his sense of humor and after I confronted him about it. Ha Ha. He just laughed and me and told me he was not serious, that if the Lord has truly called me to be a preacher than he would support me no matter what. Well, that was the test and he past. In fact he has past every test that I have given him directly or indirectly. We fell in love one night after we went to my church up in Bolder. We sat in my car for four hours talking, laughing and listening. We got tired of talking so we wrote on the fog on my windows. That's when I fell in love with the person I knew I was gonna be with.
Now going back to January. (I told you it was big). It was no coincidence(?) that Patrick and I met January 25th. In fact, if we would have met anytime ear liar, we would have missed the timing. You see, he had been dating a girl for two years up until January 1st-ish. Than he felt compelled to break it off for good. Than who comes walking in to church??? ME. I also found out he has lived in my best friends neighborhood all our lives. I probably passed his house many times while walking with Nicki. And his sister knows my best friend...small world. I have lived 5-10 miles from him all my life but if I would have met him any other time- neither of us would have been ready.
Therefore, being in this relationship with Patrick and taught me more about caring for people, having a teachable spirit and perservering through life more than any other experience or person has. He makes me better and I love who I am becoming with him. We went down to Texas last weekend to see Nicki get married and that was the most meaningful time we have had thus far. We both got so excited because we know that that will be us one day and I will get to walk down an aisle toward him. (crying uncontrollably from happiness). But I have prayed for restraint on my heart until we are ready and the timing is right for the wedding to be planned. I have prayed for the experiences we need before we get married to really see each others true colors and learn all we can. Therefore, if you'd care too I'd love if you would pray for me, him and us as we figure out what it means to juggle life and love.
Let's see, I think that's all that's really happened. I went to San Fran to see another YWAM friend- Devin. The Holy Spirit washed over me. I've missed Him. There really is something about going to a church where the Holy Spirit is invited and than another where the Holy Spirit is castrated. (Not saying that the churches I go to do that...well, but maybe to a point they really do.) Hmmm- well I think that's about it right now. Thanks to my two fans for reading. Hope all is well.