Friday, November 21, 2008

My Addiction Became A Blessing

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I have been really wanting to post about what God has been doing, but I often don't have the words to fully describe exactly what I want to get across. So I'm just going to try my best :)

Hi. My name is Ashleigh and I'm addicted to blogs. I check several of them daily. Sometimes I check them multiple times a day for updates. Did I just admit that?

A couple of months back, I began reading a blog by Angie Smith. She is the wife of Todd Smith, who is the lead singer of the group Selah. At 20 weeks pregnant she was told that her baby would not live outside the womb and that she should terminate. She and her husband decided that God created their baby's life for a reason and that Angie would carry her to term and pray for a miracle. The Smith's baby, Audrey, lived for 2 1/2 hours outside of the womb and was then taken to heaven. I came into the story late, Audrey had already been born, but I started from the beginning of the story/blog. I knew the ending from the pictures on her page, but I found myself so wrapped up in each blog entry that it was like everything was happening as I was reading it. I would sit down with my computer and a blanket and let Angie's words wash over me. It was truly as if God was speaking to me. Angie's faith is unwavering. Her words were the most encouraging/challenging I have heard or read in I don't know how long. Maybe forever. Although they weren't her words. They were God's.

As I was reading, God kept whispering to me how much He loves His people. How much He wants to have a real, intimate, powerful relationship with me. I didn't feel condemnation for my lack of faith/walk with God the past few years, but I felt a yearning. A longing to just spend time with Him. I just want nothing more than to let Him be the ruler of my life. So, for the past few weeks, I have really been trying to seek Him and spend more time with Him. I'm not perfect and our relationship is strained, but I know He is in this with me and I know He is ready to take over my heart, thoughts, and actions and I'm so very ready to let him.

Angie Smith has been a vessel of God and oh, how I give Him thanks for her!

Through all of this, God has really been showing me my mission/purpose. It is something he placed inside of me (and I beleive, every woman) long ago. More to come on that.... :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Best Halloween of My Life

I may be a little biased, but I'm pretty sure I have the most precious child in the world. Halloween this year was so much fun! The fun Chloe had this year was more than I would have imagined. My original plan was for her to be a skunk. Justin and I saw the skunk costume at Old Navy about a month and a half before Halloween. I figured I would look around a little more just to make sure that was the one I wanted. Well, I came back about a month later and it was gone (as were all the skunk costumes at the surrounding Old Navy's). So, I kept holding off thinking I would find a costume I would fall in love with. I didn't. Last minute, on Wednesday, we went to get her a costume. We came across a Goldilocks. I thought it was cute, but it wasn't my favorite ever. Until.....

I put it on her. I mean seriously, could she be any cuter?

The even better part was that she loved her costume. She begged me to let her put it on all day on Friday. She loved her bears. She loved her ribbons. She was quite the girly girl. As you can see, we also found an Elmo basket, which she adored as well.

Justin's work had a party for the kids, so that was our first stop.

She was a pro from the start!

I was so proud of her because she told every candy-giver thank you without any prompting.

We made a few stops to some family and friends. Chloe enjoyed seeing Jake Aviles as the Great Pumpkin and Lily Murray as a peacock. They were just adorable in their costumes as well.

Lastly, we trick or treated around our neighborhood.

I kept asking Chloe, "Do you want to go home or do you want to keep trick or treating?"

Of course, she said, "Trick or!"

I can confidently say this was the best Halloween I have ever had.

And judging from this picture, it may have been Chloe's too: