Wednesday, January 18, 2012


During these last three days, I have had the chance to meet and have dates with three of my girl-friends who I have not caught up with in a while. Two of these women are engaged to be married this year and one of them is deeply in love with an incredible man of God...of whom I greatly approve of. :) Each of these girls has a beautiful heart that is set solely on the Lord and the passions he has revealed to them in the quiet moments spent alone with the Lord.

They have inspired my heart greatly during this season of my life when the learning in college, working at a shoe store downtown, and just making it by with finances can seem so frivolous...or is it really that frivolous? Even these quiet moments right now as I type and sip my chai tea as I look out at the window-framed scene of college students walking across campus going about their moment by moment activities I must cherish and learn from. It is these moments, these conversations with friends, these times when I get into my car and sing the whole way to work, come back to school and read a textbook about Human Geography, go to bed, and then wake in the morning again to start a whole new 'today' all over again, that make up my life.

One thing that I love about each of the women who I met with these last few days is that each of them has reminded me that love is the greatest gift I could offer anyone. I can only pray that I notice people today, not the to-do list that I have. Jesus was the greatest example of stopping and giving love, even when it meant giving up time for Himself:

"The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.' So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things..." (Mark 6:30-34)

I think I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that each person that I meet and encounter each and every day, whether it be at school, work downtown, or even my own home, has a unique story of love, tears, joys, pains, hurts, fears, and let downs. I desire to look on people with compassion as Jesus did, and then give love to them by giving of my time, or whatever it may be. 

A friend once told me that he thinks that when Jesus looks at people, He sees souls with bodies, whereas we see bodies with souls. I just pray that I can see everyone I meet today as a soul with just an earthly body. Jesus saw the hearts... 

Be inspired today, and just love.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

He holds my world in His hands.

No, it is not yours to open buds into blossom.
Shake the bud, strike it, 
it is beyond your power to make it blossom.
Your touch spoils it.
You tear its petals to pieces
and strew them in the dust, 
But no colors appear and no perfume.
Oh, it is not for you to open the bud into blossom.
He who can open the bud does it so simply.
He gives it a glance and the life sap stirs through its veins.
At his breath the flower spreads its wings 
and flutters in the wind.
Colors flash out like heart longing, 
the perfume betrays a sweet secret.
He who can open the bud does it so simply.
-Indian poet, Tagore.

Sometimes, life can seem so complicated, so hard to sift through, and just like we are breaking everything we touch...well, alot of times we are. We so often try to put more power into our own hands than we really have. The Lords hands are gentle and His voice is sweet. His aroma overwhelms in the secret time spent with Him. His eyes capture the depths of hearts and His love has secured eternity in the  life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

In the book of Job, God takes Job on a 'tour of creation' and asks Job 
"Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?" (Job 38:12). Well, if God were to ask me that, the only response I could give is 'I would have NO idea where to begin!'

Even if I tried, I could not raise the sun in the morning, I could not bring a flower to blossom with my breath or the touch of my hand. That is out of my control...but it is in complete control of the one who holds my world in His hands.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Vulnerable & Weak.

I am real person. I have fears and weaknesses and am vulnerable. That is not easy to admit, but I do. There are days when I feel lonely and like I am doing life all by myself. I have a feeling I am not the only one...

After finishing one book that was on my list for break, I picked up my second. The first few pages of the 'Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning were without a doubt written for Ashley Margaret on January 1st 2012!

"And grace calls you out: you are not just a disillusioned old man who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold. You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken, or potbellied. Death, panic, depression and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted. Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you are really accepted. Paul writes: 'The Lord said, my grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness. So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me' (2 Corinthians 12:9). Whatever our failings may be, we need not lower our eyes in the presence of Jesus. Unlike Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, we need not hide all that is ugly and repulsive in us. Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don't have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazin' grace. As we glance up, we are astonished to find the eyes of Jesus open with wonder, deep with understanding, and gentle with compassion."
Sometimes, embracing our vulnerability and weakness gives God the most room to work in and through us so others see Him. Just look what He can do when He has the entire sky to paint! I know that He can handle me.

Thanks Brennan Manning.