Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Craziness!

I just have to say that life has been crazy lately! It cracks me up that my last blog was about peace and now I am feeling crazy!  Honestly, I feel like I haven't been able to breath for the last 2 weeks. I had such an awesome time in New Zealand and came back refreshed. I had an amazing opportunity to spend time with God, enjoy His creation, and be encouraged. Coming back, I wanted to keep up with Circles and make sure I spent time with God each day. However, that has not happened. It seems like I am just running and that God wants to show me things but I need to slow down to see them. I want to give my all to God but I am so burnt out that I offer Him just a little morsel. I know I need to manage my time and cut back on some things to make sure God is a priority in my day. This is the first day I have had off to just relax and have nothing planned. It is still hard for me though to be quiet and still before God. Lately, I have been overwhelmed with starting school, work, volunteering at Catalyst West conference, and all the other little things I planned for myself before I started school. I am one of those people that loves to be a part of everything and to hang out with everyone, but I realize that I am at stage in my life where I can't do that. I tend to say yes to do everything but my new answer will be " I will get back to you on that." ;)  Basically, I need to focus on being intentional with you all as my community right now and also focus on school. I am so blessed to have you all in my life and I don't want to miss opportunities and friendships because I am spreading myself to thin to be of use to anyone. My goal is to be more intentional with Circles and to be dedicated to you guys. Thanks for being in my life and I really am looking forward to growing with you all in the next few months :)

For a little side note, I want to share some things I learned from the Catalyst conference. I was so exhausted going into it and did not really have the right heart to serve the first day I went. I was soo tired and honestly didn't really know what Catalyst was all about. I only heard of it a couple months ago from a few friends and decided I would help out and go for free at the same time. :) The theme of the conference was to "Take Courage." I am still trying to process all that was said there but there were some powerful messages. That first day I helped out, I felt so selfish and in a funk. I decided to stay for the evening session and was so blessed. The guy that spoke talked about how Jesus is the sum and substance and that we should not feel like we are lacking anything because with Jesus we have everything! As I sat there feeling unworthy and just a ball of selfishness, the band Gungor played the song "Beautiful Things." This song spoke to me so deeply! Basically that even though I felt selfish and unworthy to serve because of my heart's condition, I was reminded that God wants to use us. He makes beautiful things out of US! He used the disciples who had no training or degrees and who were selfish and who failed at times. It is so amazing that God wants  us. The next day I came back with a new perspective and with a heart ready to serve and be used by God. God blessed me that day and I felt refreshed to move on to a weekend at work. One of the blessings that day was being able to give a Starbucks card to someone at the conference. Those on our volunteer team were asked to start a conversation with someone who needed encouragement and then bless them with the card. So Dannah and I went around super awkwardly trying to find someone to encourage. For those of you who have been to Mariners Church they have a little chapel on site. Anyways, Dannah and I couldn't really seem to find anyone so we went into the chapel just to take a look at it. Well, inside they had set up a time of reflection, confession, and time to be with the Lord. We took communion and wrote down our fears and confessions and nailed them to the cross. Then we wrote on this wall the fears that we wanted to let go. I wrote the fact that I fear man and lack boldness and want to let that go and just trust God! After our chapel experience we went outside and right in front of us were two women sitting on a bench. I had seen these women around the conference working to clean the church. It felt like just people to bless. We went up to them and just told them even though it may not seem like anyone notices the work that you do we appreciate it and want to bless you with these Starbucks cards! It was so awesome seeing that God placed the opportunity in front of us once we stopped trying to force it to happen :)

I know this is a long post of rambling but I have had a lot on my mind. I have been going so fast that I am just now starting to process what God has been doing and wanted to share that with you guys. Thanks for bearing with me :)
Ashley

8 comments:

  1. hskfhpouafroaiwsdhfkharepofhu! translation-so excited that God put you in my life. make time to be still and hear from Him because without being sustained and filled by Him you have nothing to offer in school, work, circles, cyclying class, or secret meetings. i am confident that He is going to surprise you in the chaos of this season too though. yay for His fingerprints everywhere! love you!

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  2. this is all so exciting :) Your post brought me joy. Thank you for sharing & may you have many more God moments this week and until forever. :)

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  3. I am so excited for you! I know it is hard to slow down but I am so lucky that God is revealing Himself to you! I can't wait to spend more time with you!

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  4. Love this Ashley! I've also been struggling with just sitting still before God...it is so tough to quiet ourselves enough, and also to trust that God doesn't need us to do EVERYTHING all the time, just to be faithful with what He has given us! Slowing down can be just as honoring to God :)

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  5. looking forward to your intentionality within the group! I also love how conferences can at times impact you when you least expect it. This happened to me when I was in Berkeley which I described in my blog. It is kind of fun realizing that you had no intention of attending a seminar or something, but once you did for some strange reason, it had a larger impact on you than you thought it could. Also, love the part where you guys loved on those two strangers and gave them a starbucks card :) beautiful!

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  6. I feel super blessed to hear about your adventure of taking courage to stand against the craziness all for God and spending time with Him! Jesus is so cool for using the disciples, and using us...and even though we don't always get it right, he still always gives us the opportunity to try again. Making time is super hard sometimes, but keep fighting to it! God will always be there! Thanks so much for sharing Ashley!

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