It’s been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down and be real with you guys. In fact, I am ashamed to admit it has been almost 2 years since my last “Who is Ashley” post. It was during that time that I shared with you a hidden secret, I was a single mom for 3 years. Many of you began a story with me in 2008 that included me, a spouse and a newborn daughter. In that time, I was shaped, molded, redeemed and blessed with an amazing story and the recent birth of a sweet baby boy. Additionally, I also have gone from living in Florida for 33+ years to uprooting myself and giving a new city and area of the country (Washington, DC) a try.
In my early 20s, my biggest fear was a failed marriage. The fear was over being alone, raising kids and somehow supporting myself and them. A paralyzing fear is the best way to describe it. I stayed in a relationship that wasn’t healthy because I was afraid of the unknown. However, as a single mother my faith grew, my compassion grew, and my self confidence grew. I am grateful for those years alone and grateful for the woman, mother, and wife that time molded me to become.
Photo Credit: http://terrismithphotoblog.com/
In December of 2014, I remarried this amazing man. He was a friend from youth group and not knowing each other too well, we parted ways and didn’t stay in touch. Years later, during a Google fiasco with the blog, he reached out to help. We reconnected and is it fair to say the rest is history. God closed a door and opened up a door full of love and hope I have never known. I have a compassionate husband and the girls have an amazing stepfather. Our book never closed, just new chapters were made. Our story continues…
Photo Credit: http://www.thestorkstudio.com/
This month, we were blessed with a son. I look down at this precious bundle and am in awe. I was always a girl mom. I once thought my days of having more children were done and there God goes again, blessing me with something I REALLY DON’T DESERVE… a sweet baby boy.
Don’t get me wrong, the trials don’t end with a second marriage and all of these blessings. I don’t just walk away from those years alone and thank God for all the additional pruning and refining. I am on earth and that time continues. Each day I have to fully surrender myself to His grace – because I cannot do it on my own, even with the help of a spouse. This verse comes to mind. I have a wonderful home, a wonderful family, a wonderful husband but as Matthew 6 states, these are earthly treasures and temporary fulfillment. My treasure needs to be stored in Heaven, the only place I will find complete joy and perfection.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
A marriage, a new home in Washington, DC, and the birth of a sweet baby boy. So many positives, so much change, but all by His grace and the daily (really hourly) surrender of storing my treasures up in heaven.
Also see Behind the Scenes February 2016 and Who is Ashley.
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