Sunday, May 31, 2009

hot and snappy.

that's two things. a fever and my attitude. any other mamas out there get grouchy when their babies are sick? i do. and mainly because i can count on one hand the amount of times that my baby has been sick and so when she is, i get worried. our little one started running a high fever yesterday and after two hours at the dr. today, we're still clueless as to why. i wish i could blame it on the six teeth that are pushing through her gums. but i doubt it. so i'm guessing that it's a virus. and i'm praying for the fever to break. and i'm praying to be a little sweeter to the guy i live with - i usually call him husband, but this weekend i've called him by other names. you gasp. but it's true. i'm totally imperfect and get quickly frustrated when my baby is hurting and i'm helpless. sigh.

but still, she's precious and sweet and loves rubbing noses and giving kisses. she still loves giving maddie dog kisses and feeding the dogs her strawberries. and still she loves talking about things like "dat a apple? ...dat doggy bone? mommy kickle yorayay?! ...daddy go wuk? mo." apparently she can't have just one of mo...more is required of everything: laughing, playing, 'kicks' (sticks) to dig with, flowers for picking, berries for eating... so even when i'm stressing over my baby being sick, i'm totally amazed at how precious she is despite her little position. because i, i ain't so precious. she's a flower and i'm a cactus.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

two years ago tomorrow.

two years ago tomorrow marks the day that my dad died. it feels so much shorter than two years ago. i'm amazed, still, at the waves of grief that sneak in. and i'm amazed, still, at the sweetness of God and how beautifully he was glorified through dad's life. most of me is happy that dad is free and in the presence of Jesus. but i'd be lying if i said that there wasn't a part of me that still aches for him. some days i get sweet memories of him flooding back. and i'm pretty sure, on those days, i can smell him and recall the touch of his skin as certain as if i had just seen him. the love that a child has for their daddy, especially a daughter, is a fragile thing. so isn't it something to see the Holy Spirit at work when life is redeemed after such brokenness?
i don't have much to say on dad's passing. it seems odd to revisit the same thing, every year, out loud to public eyes. but then again, it would seem odd for me not to mention the man who gave me life.
dad. i sure do miss saying his name.

(to read about my dad and to know his story, click on 'dad' above)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


so i was reading and came across this word: lavish.
it was talking about being lavished with love. like smothered, covered, washed over, engulfed in love.

i tried to think about lavishing love. how do i lavish love? who lavishes love on me? physically, i mean. in the here and now. presently on earth. and i started thinking about my loralai. and i'm pretty certain that i lavish her with love. i cover her sweet little body in kisses. i adore every inch of her being. i think from her brown eyes to her chubby little toes, i could just gaze at her little creation without looking away. i delight being in her presence and miss her when i'm away. and when i am away, i think about how i can love her more or better. i hope for wisdom in raising her and long to protect her. i think about every bite of food that goes into her mouth and carefully brush her soft brown hair so that it sweeps over just so in its precious baby-mullet little way. i clothe her and make certain that her clothes fit and are soft to her skin and clean and protect her where she needs covering. when she's in the sun, i make sure she has plenty of water to drink, a hat to break the sun's gaze on her face and sunscreen to keep from burning. i was created to cover this sweet little creation with love. and so i make it my job to do so. and i turns into my joy.

and then i think about my husband. and the more i fall in love with him, the more it comes to life that "i am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." that all of me is for him and all of him is for me. that there isn't an inch of this world i wouldn't give for a minute of his time. that there isn't a smil i'd rather see than his, a laugh i'd rather hear, a goofy joke i'd rather laugh at, advice i'd rather seek,wisdom i'd rather receive...than his. i am his, and he is mine. and i am covered in his love and he in mine.

and so when i read "How great is the Love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" i just sit in sweet awe. because i know for certain one thing: my lavish is not his lavish. and my lavish is nothing if He isn't in me. my attempt at love is pitiful and failing if i'm doing it for me and not for Him or if i think that i can make the mark by what i know and not allow him to work in me. do you hear what i'm saying?

because the Father sent his Son, we can be called children of God. without that sacrifice, we would still be working at reaching heaven. but now. now we're in kinship with the Son. we are children of God. sister, brother. daughter, son. how beautiful is that? i love my baby girl and i'm pretty sure that i love her in a different desperate way than i love other people - because i know she was given to me for a purpose, for my care and my charge is to show her love. God's holy sweet love. but when i read that God lavishes us with his love, i smile. because i know that his lavishing is far sweeter and covers way wider than my heart can conceive. and he loves us because. just because. because we are his and he is ours.

Jesus, I am yours and You are mine...because you first lavished your love on me.

mmm. that's some good stuff right there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

oh my sleepy eyes

hello blog land. it's me, ashley. tired, sleepy, nearly grumpy, hungry but unmotivated to cook, and greasy but unmotivated to shower. isn't that somethin'? the hubs left on wednesday morning (at the slap crack of dawn) for an awesome journey to costa rica where he joined other men to take on five days of fellowship and worshiping our God. i can only imagine the awesome experience he had while gone. i'm so happy that he got that time away. time to breathe in fresh air, to take in the beauty of costa rica, to surf on waves bigger than dinky east coast thigh high mush, to learn from other believers and to offer insight into God through his own life. it must have been so awesome.
i can only imagine.
because while he was gone i traveled to raleigh (a day before he left), solo, to visit his parents and family with our one year old. the ride there, the ride back, pretty uneventful. but the nights. oh the nights. i'm coming to just accept that my child doesn't do sleep in someone else's bed. oh no. and so six days ago began a sleepless sequence of nights. every night for six days we've been up for at least two hours a night. if it was just she and me, me and her, mama and baby, no one else in the house, no grandparents around, no one's ears i was trying to spare...the crying would be ON. oh yes. and tonight i fully expect there to be crying as the short chunky-thighed one relearns that sleep is what we do in our crib at night. for twelve hours. do you sense the sleepless grump in my type? you're right.
but do you know what is so sweet about it all? time. time without my husband has been priceless. normally when i'm in doubt of what to do with the baby or when i'm at a crossroads or feeling like i'm going to lose my ever loving mind, i call him for encouragement and direction. but i couldn't call him this week. and for the first time in a long time, i had only God to lean on. which is backwards - i should always always always lean on God before Todd. so maybe the sleeplessness has just been a painful kick in the butt of a reminder that God needs to come before Todd. and while pressing into God this week and really seeking him in his word and in prayer, he's been ever so clear with me. beautifully clear. i had questions, clear questions and have been asking them...and then lead to direct answer in his word. i've been in need and he has provided - through his word. through is promise of provision. i don't know really how to articulate all that's happened in six days - other than several days of greasy hair, really lame meals and some serious crying spells. i just know that it's been trying and rewarding. and currenty my little one is in her crib working on the sleep thing. i say working because i can hear her talking....'mommeeeee. daddeeeee. hi doggyyyyyy.' i suppose she's saying her prayers and just including all of us creatures in our household. that's what i'd like to think anyway.
so right now i sit, bleary-eyed and considering a bird bath since there's lightening in the skies, thinking about sleep and the sweet relief that will come when my husband crawls in bed with me tonight.
and maybe next week i'll keep pressing into God - because after all, he's the one with the answers. and he gives them to todd anyway. so why not consult God first and trust that whatever he gives me is enough?
sweet dreams friends.
(i know what you're thinking: it's only 7p.m.! but i'm tired. and there's no rules against putting on your pj's before sunset. so jammies, here i come.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


i realize that i'm behind in the blog-world but i don't feel like i've had much that's been worthy of writing or speaking. so i haven't. but i've been reading blogs. and that's fun. so you bloggers, keep blogging. you're good naptime reading. :)

but loralai. she's obssessed with hats. and has been for months. for about three months, any time she's seen a hat she has to say "HAAAAT!!" and point and point until we get the hat, and then she demands that todd wear his hats. so for a while, there were days when todd was pretty much wearing a hat the whole time he was home. but now. now loralai knows how to put on her own hat and she's in hat heaven. she goes into the drawer in her bedroom where i keep her sun hats and she puts them on her head and then on her bo-bo's head (teddy bear) and on my head and todd's head... and then she loves shoes...but that's another post.

and i know that baby posts can be boring and dull - especially if it's not your baby and you can't hear the preciousness of her voice. but just trust me. it's a cute and precious thing when she talks - especially when she uses her manners. have i ever mentioned that? turns out i'm a total sucker for a polite child. especially mine. and when she says "peeez" and followed with a "tenk yew mommy", i could melt and most likely give her a freshly baked brownie that her sugar deprived body has no business eating but that manners would most definitely convince me to feed her.

so, enjoy these pictures.

so i know that the headband isn't a hat. but it might as well have been...because you see who else was required to wear it? the short one's dad :)