Friday, June 12, 2009

One more thing....

I meant to add this to my just recently posted blog:

Sunday, May 31st, we held our first Baptism at Wrightsville Beach.  We had 9 people who were baptized.  Two were our own kids, Ally and Caleb.  We were so proud of our kids and the fact that they chose on their own to be baptized and take that next step in their relationship with Christ in making a public declaration of their faith.  It was an incredible sight to be at the beach in the midst of God's awesome creation to witness baptisms in the ocean.  It was a humbling experience. 

Check out the video of the baptisms at www.crosswindslive.com/media/


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Begins!

The kids had their last day of school yesterday for the summer. They are thrilled! It is hard to believe we have been here for almost one year. July 1 will be the one year mark. So much has happened over this last year. The year has been filled with lots of different emotions. It has been an incredible journey...one filled with many ups and downs. God has stretched each of us and He continues to mold us and shape us into who He wants us to be. I have been humbled as I have seen His hand in SO many areas of our lives. There have been days of uncertainty, doubt, confusion, hurt, JOY, sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment, regrets, happiness, amazement, humility,.... I could go on and on with the range of emotions I personally have felt over this last year. Never would have dreamed we would be doing what we are doing right now. Planting Crosswinds church has been hard but so rewarding at times as well. God is on the move and I am daily reminded of His goodness, faithfulness and love to us. We are so undeserving.

I return often in my mind to the day He called us to do this and I often ask Him, Lord, are you SURE it was us you were calling to do this. I am QUICKLY reminded and reassured that YES, He DID call us! That is where I go to be reassured to be fueled once again to KEEP ON GOING! To be honest, I haven't liked who I have become at times on this journey. The busyness of life have consumed me and I have found that I have not made time to IMPACT people's lives. LIFE has consumed me and there were and still are times I feel swallowed up with the busyness and I long to return to the days in NY where I felt needed, loved and valued and felt like I was making a difference for Christ. Those were great years...harvest years. Now, we are in a different season. I am continually asking the Lord to show me in this new season His will and His plan for my life. How does He want to use me here? How can I make a difference for the kingdom? Keeping that kingdom focus in the midst of surviving has been SO difficult! But God has been right there...lifting up, loving me and encouraging me to keep on keeping on! For that, I am SO thankful! He has been the consistent one and the only one who has not let me down.

There are exciting days ahead for the church and God has been so faithful. We are continuing to see new families every Sunday at Crosswinds and they are returning. It is so incredible to think we started with just a handful and now we are up to 100 people! God is SO amazing! He is drawing people to Himself despite our inadequacies, our faults and our failures. I am SO thankful for that!

Thank you to our faithful friends and supporters. Without your love, encouragement and support we could NOT do this journey! We love you all so much!

In a few weeks we will be moving into the Leland area to a home we have found to rent. That story is amazing as well. We are SO blessed! God opened up an incredible door and we are so excited to move into this home with the option to buy in a year or so! God is good! We are excited to get back into a neighborhood where we can minster again and connect with people daily. It was hard to do that in an apartment complex with mostly college students who we never saw during the day! :) The neighborhood is beautiful and the house is on a cul-de-sac and has plenty of yard for the kids to play. The kids are excited as well to be able to play outside and feel safe! :)

I try to reflect daily on God's goodness and when I do, the other "stuff" that isn't so good just fades away. Keeping my eyes on Him and His calling in front of me daily, keeps me keeping on! Looking forward to seeing all God teaches me this next year. Exciting days are ahead!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Long overdue update....

I have been told by some that I need to update our blog. :) I am so overdue on updating what has been going on in our lives over the last few weeks. Sorry! So, here it goes:

My last post we were awaiting news on a possible job lay off for me. We are happy to report and SO thankful that I have not lost my job. My department did not lay off anyone right now. There were 27 lay offs in other departments. The county will reevaluate in July to see if other lay offs will be necessary. So for now, I am thankful and trusting the Lord that He holds our future and knows what is best for us. Thanks to those of you who emailed or called to say you were praying for us. That has meant SO much to us. Prayers were answered!

We had a wonderful launch Sunday with Crosswinds on March 29th. We have started with two services 9:30 and 11:00am. Our website is up and running and updated...it is www.crosswindslive.com if you want to check it out. God is doing some amazing things. We have not gotten the keys yet to the new building, but we believe the Lord is teaching us that it is not about a building. The church is His people and we think we have been consumed with getting into the building that we were losing sight of what we are really called here to be...the church...which is HIS PEOPLE! We are meeting in our temporary space across the parking lot from the building and it is working fine...not ideal, but we are blessed to have this space to use for now. God's timing is perfect and we are daily having to keep that in perspective. Please pray that the inspections will pass next week so we can occupy the space soon. We are seeing new families every week at Crosswinds and receiving emails during the week of how God is moving in the lives of His people. God is drawing people to Himself and it is just amazing and exciting to watch this all take place.

I have been doing alot of reflection lately in my own life as well as on the past 9 months that we have been here in Wilmington. God is stripping me of ME and He is revealing so much to me. Areas in my life that need changing, molding, and areas that need real growth to take place. This journey has been a difficult one, but one that has been SO rewarding. My word for the year was DEEPER...and I felt like I was to go deeper in my relationship with Christ. That is a part of it, but I am realizing that there are DEEPER issues in my life that God is trying to mold, shape, change and purge in order for me to be WHO He has called me to be IN HIM. In order for me to be the woman of God he desires for me to be. Even for me to be the "pastor's wife", wife, and mom that he would have me to be, I have to go deeper IN HIM and FOR HIM! There are so many new roles and new challenges that this move has brought into our lives. I am taking it one day at a time.

We have a wonderful team of people who have stepped up and who are leading and ministering on Sundays and for them we are SO grateful! We certainly couldn't do this without them. So, for those of you reading this who are a part of this team...THANK YOU! You are truly valued, loved and appreciated!

The last few weeks we have had lots of family and friends in to visit. We have loved every minute of it. We are looking forward to a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating our RISEN Savior with our church family and friends who are coming in from NY! God is so good!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating with your family and friends the reason we live....to celebrate and praise our risen Savior!
Much love to your family from ours!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Living by Faith.....

Living by Faith...trusting the Lord....both of those statements we have truly been learning what that looks like for us as a family and in our own individual lives. God has been showing us that the leap of faith we took in moving here was not and will not be the ONLY act of faith He will require of us to make. He has been teaching both Chris and I that here in the last few weeks. When Chris spoke that to me a few weeks ago I started praying and asking God to help me recognize the moments He would have for me to step out and take a risk or to recognize those moments when they came so I could act in obedience and not ignore them.

My moment came on Friday, February 13th..... We had a mandatory emergency meeting at work that morning about budget cuts. Immediately when I heard that my heart dropped and fear started showing its ugly face and I began to worry....my heart started pounding and immediately the enemy started his thing..with thoughts like..."ok Ashley, you will be the first one they lay off...you have only been working here 6 months....you won't be able to afford not to work...you won't have a place to live anymore....what will you do? How will your family make it financially?" I immediately called Chris to ask him to be praying...I was a little bit emotional and when I heard his voice my tears did come...but he was not upset at all. His faith is so unswerving and so strong. He said, "honey, even if you lose your job, God will take care of us...It WILL be ok!"

I sat through the meeting and heard the plan the county has come up with to try and help with these hard economic times. And, yes, there is a realy possibility that I could lose my job. It is not 100%, but a possibility. I won't know anything until the end of this month. And if I do get laid off I will be have to be done by March 9th.

As I have processed through this the last few days, my awesome God has provided His comfort, His PEACE in my life. He gave me the verse in Matthew on Friday that says, "DO NOT WORRY about your life"..... I am to take each day one day at a time and LIVE FOR HIM...that is what I need to do...that is what He expects me to do...nothing more nothing less.

So, my next big moment in LIVING BY FAITH has arrived... I am totally trusting the Lord and trusting that He will take care of us no matter what the outcome is. What I have to concentrate on now is....how am I pointing others to Him through these uncertain days. There are those here at work who are concerned about losing their jobs too. How I respond and how I react can be a real time for the Lord to shine and for me to be able to point others to Christ. So, I am not going to worry and I will speak into the lives of others and share that my hope is in the Lord and that is where my trust and faith lies. Bottom line.... My life is in His hands and I am NOT TO FEAR...I am going to trust Him that He IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS..and He has MY BEST INTEREST IN MIND...no matter what the outcome of this situation is.

Every morning I surrender to Him and ask Him to go before me and please take this burden from me....to not allow me to listen to the enemy when the moments of fear and doubt show their face. God is in control and I am once again along for the ride of my life!!!

Living by Faith....TRULY living by faith..there is honestly NO OTHER PLACE I would rather be then right here...side by side with my Lord and allowing Him to guide my every step, thought and action.....GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Deeper....

My one word for this year is Deeper....My desire for this new year is to go deeper in my walk with the Lord. I have been asking the Lord to show me what this looks like for me and to give me wisdom in how to begin this process.  

Crosswinds is beginning to take shape and we are getting closer to the launch date of March 29th.  Reality has begun to set in that we are in new roles and I am no longer just a youth pastor's wife but a lead pastor's wife and I am trying to figure out what that looks like for me.  Praying daily for His wisdom and guidance as I strive to become the woman He would have me be. I am daily praying for more joy, discipline, faith, love, mercy, grace, and patience so that I can be used by Him.  Dying to self....less of me and MORE of Him.
 
I am truly humbled to be on this journey and I am amazed at times that we are here doing this what seems to be such an insurmountable task.  Our desire is to be used by Him.  Simple us...with our faults and weaknesses...for others to see HIM not us...God IS going to do BIG things here in the Leland area.  I am so excited to see what He is going to do in the days ahead. I am continually amazed and SO thankful for the team He has assembled around us to help with launching Crosswinds. I was reading through my journal over the past year and as I saw all the many answers to prayers He reminded me that HE IS GOD and that HE IS AT WORK among us...God is so good!  I needed the reminder to Be STILL and KNOW that HE IS GOD!  He has gone before us and He daily goes before us to accomplish His will.  I pray that I never lose sight of why we are here and that I continually thank Him and praise Him for the MANY blessings and answers to prayers He is giving to us.  This has been a journey filled with ups and downs but one thing is for sure.... God IS who He says He is and HE IS FAITHFUL!  For that I am SO thankful!

Trusting Him,
Ashley

Monday, January 5, 2009

My One Word...

Sunday at Port City Community Church the pastor talked about "my one word" and challenging us to pick a word for the year of 2009 that would describe what we need the Lord to help us on throughout this new year. We have thought ALOT about this idea over the past 24 hours and the Lord is stirring ALOT within us as a family. I am praying for him to reveal to me my one word. (I will blog it when I know for sure what it will be.) There are several that come to my mind and I want the Lord to make it very clear to me what it should be. Check out the website at www.myoneword.org It is a great idea. We as a family are picking our words. Our kids have come up with their word and writing it on cards to post in their rooms to remind them. It has been a great thing for our family.

This new year that lies ahead of us is one that will be filled with lots of adventure for us personally as well as for our new church. God has been drawing me closer to himself and I am excited to see what He is going to do in the days ahead. My one desire is to deepen my knowledge of His Word...to dig in and become more disciplined in my studies. So much lies ahead of us....I desperately NEED Him to direct my every step and give me much wisdom and guidance for the days ahead....

Happy New Year and may your new year be filled with many blessings and challenges to know God more.

Trusting Him,
Ashley

Friday, December 26, 2008

Celebrating the Season....



We had a wonderful time together as a family celebrating this Christmas season.  It was a very relaxing time together filled with our family traditions.  Christmas Eve morning we started with making our traditional Christmas cookies for santa... The kids had fun decorating and eating them!  We went to the 4:00pm Christmas Eve service at Port City together and then came home and had our traditional Cheese Fondue and Chocolate Fountain along with other appetizers.  The kids were all sugared up and ready for bed..ha!  The kids got into their Christmas pajamas and opened up one present before bed.  

On Christmas morning the kids awoke EARLY!!!  Chris read the Christmas story before the opening of gifts.  Talking to the kids throughout the day that today is Jesus' birthday and celebrating that with them. Reminding them of the TRUE meaning of the season.
We had a great time watching the kids open their gifts one by one so we could all enjoy the moment.  After the opening of gifts we had our Christmas breakfast of monkey bread and breakfast casserole.  This is always a favorite!  The kids loved playing with their gifts while I started preparing for Christmas dinner...turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, collard greens......We then enjoyed an evening of watching movies with the kids and just relaxing!  It was GREAT!  

After the hustle and bustle of the two days and as I sit and reflect on the season, I am reminded of the many blessings in our life and how thankful I am for what God has done and is doing in our lives.  We have SO much to be thankful for!  It is taking each day and realizing it is a true gift and one that is not to be taken for granted.  God is stretching me and molding me and teaching me HOW to be the woman of God he intends for me to be.  Teaching me what that looks like and how I am to be His hands and feet to those I encounter every day.  Even to my own family...which I tend to forget often.....

We hope that each of you have had a truly blessed Christmas season with your families and that you remember what this season is all about...JESUS!!  

Here are a few pics of our Christmas for you to enjoy.....



  

BIG God using little us.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20

VHSM Videos

Loading...