18 Years Ago Today

Eighteen years ago today I was a young, naive 18 year old girl. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had just left my senior baccalaureate service. I drove to where my friend was working and in the back bathroom I took my first pregnancy test.

Immediately the test turned positive and immediately I became undone! I already knew I was pregnant. I had been throwing up everything in sight for the last month and a half. Deep down I held out hope that surely it was all in my head and this test would be negative.


It was my senior year. It was suppose to be the happiest time of my life! I had just turned 18 the month before. Graduation was on Friday and I could finally be free! 

My senior year was full of heartache and confusion. Two of my best friends died at two different times that year and I had been raped by someone I trusted. Someone I really liked. Someone I thought would never hurt me.

That pregnancy test sealed the deal. My life was worthless.

On the way home Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House came on the radio and I lost it.

I began screaming and cussing at God. How could HE let this happen to me! I didn’t sleep around! I wasn’t one of those girls! I just wanted to be normal.

Eighteen years ago I attempted suicide for the first time. I stood in our kitchen holding a carving knife to my throat then to my wrist. I was toiling over which one would be the messiest, fastest. I wanted to be sure I didn’t survive.

Eighteen years ago today, in the midst of the darkness and the hell I was in I heard God speak to me.  

He told me this wasn’t the end for me. That someday He would use this for good.

I could see my self standing on a stage talking, but it didn’t make sense. I thought I had completely lost my mind.

I really just wanted it all to end right then and there, but thankfully I heard my mom getting up and I ran back to my room.

If you’ve read my blog or watched the videos you know how it ended. I went on to have an abortion that further catapulted me into a deep, dark depression for many years.

But if you know that, you also know how Jesus saved me, healed me, and changed my entire life! 

Eighteen years seems like forever ago, but my memories of that time are still fresh. I thought my life was over then. I’ve since learned that Romans 8:28 is definitely true! 

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes for Him.”

One of those mysterious things I’m eternally grateful for! I didn’t understand then how valuable my life or my baby’s life was. The Lord has kept His promise and has used my testimony to share with others the truth of abortion and glory of His grace and mercy! 

Sweet friend I don’t know what season of life this post may find you in, but I hope you know the God of the universe, the great I AM loves you! No matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you. He can heal and restore ALL things!

Please message me if you need some help. 

Bless you all! Thank you for always taking this journey with me! 

Silly Sunday Confessions 05.22.16

Welcome to a new series I’ll be posting about from time to time! 

In case you don’t know I love to be silly, to find the funny, to be crazy, and to have some good fun as often as possible! 

A while back I felt the urge to make today’s confession on social media to see if there were any other weirdos out there who had some sort of silly confession they wanted to make and voilà! This series was born!


For as long as I can remember I’ve HATED mayonnaise!!! I think I had a bad experience once at a fast food place that bathed my chicken sandwich in nasty mayo! I do remember it had a funky taste to it that I couldn’t seem to get rid of! After that, I had to break up with mayo for good.

If I ate a sandwich I would typically eat it with turkey, lettuce, and cheese. No condiments. Sometimes mustard if I had pickles on it, but usually just the TLC. 

When I was pregnant with our firstborn, I sadly had Hyperemesis my first trimester. It was horrible! I was constantly nauseated and threw up so much I lost 27 pounds those first 12 weeks! By the time my second trimester hit I was a ravenous wolf ready to devour anything I could get my preggo hands on! 

One night my dear husband was eating a sandwich and it looked DIVINE! I asked him for a bite, but he warned me mayonnaise was on it. 

After not being able to eat for over two months I couldn’t have cared less! I was drooling at how yummy his simple little sandwich looked! 
I reached over, snatched it from his hands, and took a huge bite! It was DELISH! Even the mayonnaise!

I should add my husband is a mayonnaise snob! He will only eat Blue Plate! I’ve since found out that most Southerners around here share this preference too.

Ever since that day I have loved Blue Plate. I wonder if I had eaten it all those years ago if I would’ve hated it too. Maybe it’s just so yummy no other mayo compares?!

You may be thinking, “Big whoop! She likes Blue Plate. What’s the confession?”

My #SillySundayConfession is

I’ll eat it on almost ANYTHING!

I’m sure some of you are gagging at the thought, but it gets worse! Since my miscarriage last year I’ve noticed my cravings for Blue Plate have been more intense! I don’t know if my hormones went all bizerk or what! All I know is my love for this particular mayonnaise is through the roof! 

I’ve eaten it with eggs and even used it on my nachos! Weird random foods that one would not add mayo to have found themselves dabbed with Blue Plate in my house.

I’m well aware at how unhealthy mayo can be and I’ve made a conscious effort to not over use it! But golly gee whiz friends, I LOVE some Blue Plate and I don’t care who knows!

So come on and spill it! Comment below with your #SillySundayConfessions! 

The blessing of this mess


It’s never fun to wake up in the morning and see your house messy. Especially on a Monday morning after a Sunday night in which you didn’t get much sleep.

Sometimes things like this make me frustrated and have even made me lose my cool.

Let’s take a closer look at the picture above. It reads similar to “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”

Saturday I did two loads of laundry and what you see is the last bit I was putting up when I got distracted by the argument my boys were having over how to play pretend Star Wars. There was whining and screaming which is like nails to a chalkboard for this momma!

So I make them stop, give them a good talking, apologies are given and a compromise was made. On my way back to the laundry my two year made a huge mess by trying to get her cup off the dining table and cereal with milk left from breakfast spilled all over the floor.

After I cleaned it up I realized we needed to start getting ready for a wedding and there the laundry sat nicely folded and ready to be put away whenever we got home. It was a lovely wedding and we had so much fun we all crashed in my bed and watched a movie til dinner. 

Of course dinner came and went and by Sunday morning the laundry was still there. I told myself I’d get it later and it’s definitely later and the clothes are definitely still there. However, they’re not nicely folded anymore. They’ve been sat on, moved around, and some are now on my floor and partially under the couch.

Ooooooh…the floor.

 What you can see in the picture is blocks everywhere. I’m assuming that happened yesterday when I was at a meeting. There’s also crumbs telling me my kiddos broke the rule of no eating in the living room. Plus there’s yucky dust bunnies because let’s face it, I don’t often dust under my couch.

If you were to see the rest of my living room you’d see the end table covered in children’s books, an iron, a Paw Patrol cup, and some random Legos.

The chair and other couch would show signs of more laundry that was washed and dried yesterday sitting in a basket, light sabers, water bottles that have been donated for me to take to Haiti, and a big garbage bag full of clothes ready to be given to a friend.

Waking up on a Monday morning after a busy weekend to this doesn’t make me feel calm or ready to start my day. It makes me feel overwhelmed and ten steps behind. But as I looked at this mess and thought about why it was here, I didn’t feel those normal feelings of being overwhelmed or frustrated. I felt blessed.

Do everything without complaining and arguing,

Philippians 2:14

I started to think about a mom I read about on Facebook who buried her two year old daughter on Saturday. I thought about the mom whose little boy is battling cancer for third time. Then I remembered two different moms whose babies each had to have some kind of heart surgery recently.

I bet they would love to wake up in their own homes to the mess of their kids. I’m sure they’d prefer to be groggy on a Monday morning because their children slept in their bed with them, not in a hospital where it took multiple tries to get an IV started and certainly not because they were up all night crying trying to figure out how they’re going to live knowing their child is gone.

These moms have real messes. I call these deep water issues. My living room mess isn’t even in the shallow end. It’s just a drop on the ground that will soon evaporate.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

After I finish this post I’m going to clean up my mess while I thank the Lord for the blessing it is. I’m going to thank Him for all these books on my table because they’re from my seven year old who has found a love for reading. I’m going to thank Him for the abundance of clothes we have to wear and the others we can pass along. I’m going to thank Him for all these blocks because it’s a sign of how my children love to build and create.

This Monday morning I’m not going to complain about a drop of water. I’m going to hug my kids and play blocks with them. I’m going to pray for these mommas who are in the deep waters while I finally finish up my laundry.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. 

Isaiah 43:2a

Are you going through deep waters today? I would be honored to pray with and for you! 

Have you ever wanted to complain about something and the Lord totally changed your perspective? I’d love to hear from you too! 

Please feel free to leave a comment below! 

Have a blessed Monday friends!

Wonderfully Made (Book Review)

I was given this book free of charge in exchange for a review. My review is my completely honest opinion.

If you’ve read anything on my blog before you know I am huge advocate for life! I didn’t fully understand just how valuable every life is at every stage until the Lord healed me of my abortion and then later thrusted me into fighting for Personhood Amendments.

Author Danika Cooley has done an incredible job with Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life From Conception To Birth! It comes from the view point of a mother talking to her children about being pregnant and the process of development in the womb. She gently walks us through the beginnings of conception and takes us on a journey through each stage of pregnancy to see how unborn babies grow.

She combines biological facts with Biblical truth in a simple and tactful way. The entire book is themed on how each of us were wonderfully created by Almighty God and how He has plans for us all. The illustrations by Jeff Anderson not only show beautiful depictions of human life in the womb, but also how each child can relate to the characteristics they developed during each stage. He did a remarkable job!

Every page contains Scripture that reminds us of how God created us and that He loves us. My favorite part is the end of the book when Danika presents the Gospel message. She highlights that all have sinned and that we must be born again.

I highly recommend this book for all families, schools, and churches! Kids are very inquisitive and this book will help adults answer their important questions that surround pregnancy, babies, and Creation.

Theres a giveaway going on NOW! Hurry and enter to win HERE!

350-Wonderfully-Made-Giveaway

To find out more about Danika Cooley, please visit her website and be sure to check out her free resources that go along with Wonderfully Made.

WM-Long-Ad

 

For more insight on my abortion and healing please check these links and feel free to message me.

Mommy Had An Abortion

How Much Was My Baby Worth

My Abortion Story

Why I talk About My Abortion

Video Testimonies

 

 

Lively Faith…just the beginning

Last year the Lord began showing me the direction He wanted me to focus on in my writing & speaking; a ministry called Lively Faith that would focus on how to live our lives full of faith in action, believing & seeing miracles, being the hands & feet of Jesus.

 
The avenues He is directing me have fees for further education, domains, equipment, & other technological & legal expenses. My prayer was for Him to show me how to get these things going. We live on a tight, one income budget & I didn’t want to add another financial burden.

Last fall after prayer & fasting the Lord gave me an opportunity to seek a business endeavor in creating & selling t-shirts, jewelry, prints, etc to not only help finance this ministry, but to also be a part of the Lively Faith ministry He was guiding me to. You can see this unfold on Instagram at @LivelyFaith_Designs.

  
 
I also decided to start a YouCaring page for those of you who may just want to donate without buying anything. 

Monetary needs for 2016 will go to supplies for Lively Faith Designs, to secure domains & other internet fees for blog & podcast, including equipment, writing classes, & She Speaks Conference to help me grow in the calling the Lord has given me, travel & childcare fees so I am able to speak anywhere the Lord leads, even if it doesn’t pay, & legal fees to ensure everything in this ministry is legit & legal.

   

The Lord has recently called me to go to Haiti this summer to help But God Ministries Hope Center medical clinic in educating mothers in breast feeding, parenting skills, self-care, the dangers of illegal abortion, & post abortive help. Your donations will help me get there & for supplies I may need to bring.
I’m absolutely BLOWN away by all God is doing! He is FAITHFUL!!

Please keep us in your prayers as this all continues to unfold!

Blessings & love,

Ashley

God Disciplines Those He Loves

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of when I began to miscarry my empty gestational sac. 

By the end of 2014 I wanted to go into anonymity. I was worn down from ministry and speaking and instead of seeking the Lord for peace and rest, I made the grave mistake of telling God I was done when I got that positive pregnancy test. My mind was made up and I was ready to use this pregnancy as an excuse to walk away from a calling I knew God had given me.

  

When we realized I might have a blighted ovum and not a baby, I was crushed. Through the 4 weeks of waiting, I prayed for another child. I trusted God as the Creator of life and just because we didn’t see anything on the sonogram, I knew He could still give me a child if that was His will. 

Then I began to worry how I would feel if God didn’t answer my prayer. I was afraid at being angry at Him. I knew He loved me and my family and I trusted He knew what was best for us. My prayers then started to change.

 I began to pray for His will and for our hearts to be full of peace no matter what the outcome was. And as devastated as I was when it was confirmed there was no baby, He answered my prayer and poured the precious peace of Christ over me.

On Saturday, January 31, 2015 I started to cramp pretty intensely and by that night I was spotting. The miscarriage process had begun. The pain intensified over the next 24 hours. Somewhere in those hours I realized God was disciplining me. 

“And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children?

 He said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the LORD disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.””

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Conviction stung my heart as I realized that I had manipulated my circumstances to get pregnant so I would have an excuse to quit the calling God had given me. I stepped out of His will and being the loving Father He is, He didn’t give me what I wanted. Out of His sovereign love, He disciplined me.

I was a wreck! I knew I deserved the immense physical pain I was in and my heart was aching for bringing this pain onto my family. They were each excited for a new baby and knowing it wasn’t going to happen hurt them too. 

Sunday evening I asked my husband to take our kids to a friend’s house so I could be alone to miscarry. The pain was unbearable even with the medication my doctor prescribed. I played my favorite worship music and cried out to God. I repented for turning my back on Him and asked Him for His forgiveness. 

“As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all. 

Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is ALWAYS good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. 

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:7-11 NLT

The pain raged into the night and by morning the worst was over. 

Even though I had peace about what had happened, I still grieved the loss of the hope I had to grow our family. And again, being a gentle, loving Father, the Lord allowed me to grieve and He comforted me through the discipline. His mercy and grace astound me! Here I am a dirty manipulative sinner and Almighty God lavishes me with love even after I disobeyed Him.

His love is more beautiful and pure than my mind can understand. I’m beyond grateful for His discipline and conviction. I have NO doubt just how much He loves me!

And He loves you too!

In 2015 I spoke at more events than I had in the previous year’s combined. He took me way past my comfort level in having me speak on topics I didn’t feel qualified for. He took me on an adventure in writing and finding my voice again through the written word. He took me to a conference to sharpen my skills as a speaker and writer and let me meet with one of the top Christian book publishers. 

He made me walk back through the wilderness of my past to face some things I tried to run away from and He healed me. He let be further tested and sifted. My mountain tops were high, but my valleys were the lowest and scariest I had experienced in many years. But all of this grew me and strengthened my walk with Jesus.

Through His kindness He led me to rest and allowed me to step down from all my duties outside my home to unbusy myself so I could simply sit at His feet and be still. 

In this season He is still asking me to speak and to write, but He is calling me to be His student. To study His Word like never before and to walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Sweet friend if you’ve gone through some rough times, trust that God is sovereign. He is for you, not against you. Maybe you’re enduring some sort of pain or conflict. Ask Him if He’s disciplining you. Repent and get back in alignment with Him. It’s never too late to fall at His feet.

Bless you friends! Thank you for taking this journey with me! Thank you to those of you who were making war for me and encouraging me through this last year. Your prayers were greatly felt!

Read all of Hebrews 12 and trust in the Lord!

“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:28-29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jordan Feliz GIVEAWAY!!

I LOVE good music! The kind of music that ignites your soul, especially when it gives glory to God!

My current favorite is Jordan Feliz! He’s a Christian husband, father, & even fronted a heavy-metal band in the past. This album bears no resemblance to heavy-metal, but is a perfect combination of soulful pop full of beautiful melodies. He even did a cover of NEEDTOBREATHE’s “Brother!”

  
I was not given this album or asked to promote it. I bought it on iTunes after hearing the song “The River” on the radio. After listening to the samples, I bought the whole album! I love it so much I want to give it away & let others know about Jordan Feliz! 

If you don’t win it, go buy it yourself!! It’s that good!

So how can you win? Easy! Subscribe to my blog & leave a comment below! 

For extra entries be sure to follow me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, & Instagram! For each one you follow you get an extra entry! 

And because this album has me in such a happy giving mood there’s MORE! Each time you share my blog on Twitter, IG, & Facebook you are entered to win a $25 gift card to Target!  

🎉❤️🎉❤️🎉❤️🎉❤️🎉

Be sure to comment below & let me know where you follow & have shared so I won’t miss any of your entries!

Have a super blessed weekend! The winner will be announced Sunday night!!!

Thankful Hearts Photo Challenge

If you’re on Instagram you may have seen your friends post about photo challenges or you may even have participated in one. They can be a lot of fun! 

It can be easy to let the busyness of the season overwhelm us and keep us distracted from what this season is suppose to be about. So I’m hosting a challenge for November to focus on having a thankful heart.

Psalm 107:1

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.

I’d LOVE for you join me!

  
How does this work?

 Each day you will post a picture according to that day’s challenge. You can interpret these however you like, but keep it within the theme of having a thankful heart. 

Be creative! Have fun! 

And don’t forget to use the hashtag #thankfulheartsPC!

Don’t have an Instagram account? Go ahead & do the challenge on Facebook or Twitter! 

I can’t wait to see your pictures!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus!

Luke 7:11-17 Don’t Cry



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I totally giggled when I read this verse. You see, I’m a crier. Hallmark movies, jewelry commercials, chick flicks–cry, cry, cry. When something gives me “the feels” you besta believe Ashley will be shedding some tears.

Nothing gets my eyes to flooding like the Lord! His love completely overwhelms me! When the greatness of His compassion hits me I weep! I can’t help it! God made me this way!

In this passage Jesus was speaking to a widow who just lost her only son. In that time and culture, she would’ve been in a desperate economic situation with no one to care for her. 

Can you imagine the pit of grief this mother was bound in?

She didn’t even ask Jesus for help. In her distress she may not have even realized He was there. When He told her to not cry He wasn’t telling her stop, but He was reaching out in compassion. He was about to do something to help her.

Jesus reached out and touched the plank that held the dead body unconcerned about it defiling Him as Jewish tradition believed. Jesus knew nothing could defile Him! He said, “Young man, I say to you ‘ARISE.'” Immediately the son began speaking and everyone freaked out!

Rightly so! Can you even fathom seeing someone rise from the dead!? But as soon as this happened they also began glorifying Jesus. 

When I read this I felt the Lord telling me I don’t have to cry in fear or in angst. He sees the pains I carry. He knows how deep they flow. He has great compassion for me. And for you.

I adore the fact that He sees us. That we can trust He has a plan no matter the desperation of the valley we are in, we can trust He has a Kingdom purpose. 

This passage also reminded me to be bold in my faith. Romans 8:11 says the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in US! That means we have the power to raise people from the dead! To bring the dead to life!

 Sadly, too many Christians don’t live like they do. We lack faith, therefore we lack the power. 
So today let us be challenged to stir up our faith & live in the Power of the Holy Spirit! 

Don’t cry, ARISE!

***OK so I’ll likely still be a crier, but you know what I mean. 
Be blessed today friends! Be bold! 
Linked up with  faithnfriends

It’s ok to grieve

October is Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Many women have had miscarriages in some form or fashion, yet most never talk about it.

Somewhere along the way they were made to feel that a child didn’t exist or that it was too personal to talk about. Then there were women who felt they had to speak about their loss and no one seemed to understand their pain.

Grief is real and we need to be able to express it, not bottle it up and push it away. 

Many post abortive women struggle with unrecognized grief as well. They have an abortion thinking their lives can go on and struggle with bouts of depression, grief, anger, and even suicidal thoughts. Repeatedly being told it was their choice, their right, these women don’t understand why they’re hurting.

After all, there’s no child to grieve.

Except that there is!  

Once a child is conceived that little embryo is LIFE! That life inside a woman cannot be dismissed or ignored. Whether the child is born, miscarried, or aborted; life cannot be denied.

Scientific studies have shown that fetal cells remain in a woman for decades helping the mother’s body heal in certain cases when it’s been wounded. You can read more about that HERE. A woman who has carried a child in her womb will always have a part of that child inside her. Physically and emotionally.

For women who miscarry or abort, they don’t have a child to see or to touch to make their grief make sense. For post abortive women, the guilt we feel for choosing to terminate a pregancy often hinders our ability to accept the pain we feel. Once we accept that we ended a life we believe we deserve to feel pain, to hurt, but not to grieve the child. To allow ourselves to grieve means we have to offer ourselves forgiveness and that’s near impossible when you hate yourself for choosing abortion.

Women who miscarry can struggle with their feelings of grief because they believe they aren’t allowed to talk about it. It’s just a “natural” occurance and they should move on and try again. 

A mother who grieves her child can never just “move on.” We’ve been changed, we can’t just go back or move forward. 

We have to grieve in order to heal.

So if you’re like me and you’ve had a miscarriage or an abortion, please know it’s ok to grieve the child you lost! Their existence is as real as their absence. 

We may never understand why miscarriages, still birth, or infertility happens, but we can still trust in the God who sees us (Genesis 16:13). He wants to heal your broken heart (Psalms 147:3). 

Walking in healing doesn’t mean you’ll stop grieving the child or the children you’ve lost; the blessings you miss. It just means the pain you feel won’t keep you paralyzed. You can grieve and continue to love your child. 

At the end of the post abortive Bible studies I’ve done, we always have a memorial for our babies. Each mother gives her baby a name, lights a candle, some write letters or poems, and some even release balloons or plant a tree in their honor. If you’ve had a miscarriage, please consider doing this. Being able to say “goodbye for now” helps in the healing journey. 

Bless you all! If there is any way I can pray for you or help you in your healing journey, please let me know! I would be honored! There are many resources for grieving parents of miscarriage and abortion regret.