monument

Tuesday, August 1, 2017



Caught up in fear so dark and so deep
I never found words to describe it


Where words failed me then
Now they rush in and speak
Of your everlasting grace


I was afraid of everything
But now it's of your peace I will sing


So, I raise this monument up
The pillar is set in the ground

Fear can't hold me now
I raise this monument
up
up
up

And lay my burdens
down
down
down

-ashlyn

deep waters

Tuesday, July 25, 2017





Gasping, wheezing

Head breaks through the surface

Suck in air with aching lungs

Pulled back under the next break of waves

Of water so deep you find it hard to exist

When it feels like your only options are

Get out or drown

Because you've fought so hard

Battled so long

And you can't do this anymore

You just can't

Whispered accusations cast at yourself, cast at God

If I could just get it together, then everything would be okay,”

How, how, how, can God be good when it hurts so bad?”

Try harder, do better, you can pull yourself out,”

Why, why, why,”

But when we come to the end of ourselves

And there are so many questions that don't have answers

Maybe our greatest shortcoming is looking for solutions

Instead of looking to the solution

Maybe instead of finding a way out of deep waters

We should trust in He who goes through them with us

The deepest hope comes from the hardest places

The darkest pit of hell only magnifies His light

And it's when we reach the end of what we can do

Choose instead to cling to what He's already done

When we know it isn't just about coming through

But about coming through changed

Closer to the image of Christ

Closer to who we were made to be

That we begin to walk in the freedom of knowing

It isn't about escaping or drowning

It's about learning how to swim 

He remains

Wednesday, July 19, 2017





It's an all too familiar feeling

That soul-sucking, draining, never ebbing hole that rests between who you are and what you strive to be

Who you know you should be, but just..aren't
Your feet are close to the edge, it crumbles, you might fall, and it's too much, too much, too much.

Because you try, try, try

But you're never quite enough, enough, enough

And there's nothing you ever been so aware of as you are your own inadequacy

The war you're waging has you losing more ground than you're gaining

Your own brokenness is staring you in the face, commanding all of your attention

When you fall into the same temptation again and again and start to wonder how there could ever be enough grace in the world to redeem you

When the rug is pulled out from beneath your feet, suddenly you find yourself not being able to hide anymore

Dirty hands, downcast eyes, the overwhelming knowledge that you've got nothing much to offer

Except for a broken heart and wounds so deep they threaten to swallow you alive

But, friend, what is your patch of darkness when it's held up against an infinite source of light?

Because the truth is, there isn't anything so broken or messed up that grace can't step in to make whole

Lay down your arms, it's safe to trust, He's safe to trust

You don't have to be in the trenches alone

There is One who sits with you

Holding your hand, cradling your heart, and whispering

That He knows exactly what you're going through because He's been in the trenches, too

When it's all said and done, maybe it isn't your job to be enough

Maybe fighting against inadequacy is a false choice

Maybe perfection is a less worthy pursuit than progress

Maybe the mess isn't meant to be fixed, but shaped into a message about grace and hope and light

That is less about who you are or who you are not

And more about who He is in you, through you, and around you

About how when you are faithless

He is forever faithful

When you are weak

He is strong

When all other things fade away

He remains

-ashlyn 


the struggle

Tuesday, June 27, 2017



There's no shame in the struggle

No shame in the strain

In those days where the effort between this breath and next

Is almost too much to take

The times when tears fall and all hope seems lost

There's no shame in the fighting

In the grit, in the groaning

Things clawed for, peace barely gained

T h e r e i s n o s h a m e

He is there

In your mess

In your heartache

In your war torn mind

In the whispered prayers

Where you're not sure anyone is hearing you

He is t h e r e

And you know what?

He loves you

Every last, beaten up, torn down, messy, broken part of you

The parts of you that you love

The parts of you that you hate

Is fully loved, fully cherished, fully accepted, and fully His

So, go ahead


Live like you believe it



-ashlyn

girl

Tuesday, June 20, 2017





Originally featured on Burning Youth


Girl
Braids and ball caps
Hair bows and stuffed animals
Flower crowns and chipped nail polish
Lover of all things bright and beautiful
Adventures and staying up reading past bedtime

Girl
Owner of scraped knees
Porcelain figurines
And worlds created in her imagination
When did you trade the books and toys in your backpack
For the weight and burden of the world?

Girl
The one with the caged and wary heart
You're a little weighted down
With lies and tears and promises that weren't kept
Shackles around your ankles
The burden of shattered trust

Girl
Did you know those places that seem beyond repair?
Those places..yes, girl, those
Those are the exact same places
That the light gets in and grows
The seeds planted in your soul

Girl
I know what you're thinking
How can something that hurts so bad
Ever be turned into anything resembling good?
But I know you
Because I am you

Girl
I know the nights you've spent
Sobbing into your pillow
The victim of your own unrelenting thoughts
The days that the hustle of going through the motions
Was enough to send your head spinning

Girl
Shaking hands with 'braveheart' written across your palms
Tigress earning her stripes
I know how hard you have fought
To never, ever let the battle make you
Anything, but soft

Girl
She who has galaxies in her eyes

Girl
The one with a nuclear warhead for a brain

Girl
Raging hurricane in the place of your soul

Yes, you, darling, you
Are a mountain shaker
Because you belong to the One
Who casts them into the sea on your behalf

Girl
Do you know how bright you shine
Each and every time you reflect
The light of the Morning Star Himself?

Girl
Do you know your own preciousness?
That which is Divine became that which is human
In order to not only partake in your brokenness
But free you from it as well?

Girl
Do you know how brave you are?
How strength drips from your fingertips
As you sit with a pen and a page
Writing out the psalms of your broken heart?

When you could feel the first cracks of your hopes and dreams
About to avalanche around you
And the tears were streaming down
And you whispered, “Thy will be done,”
You positioned yourself in the safest and most glorious place
On either side of eternity

The next morning
As you began praying for someone else who was hurting
And His voice interrupted you with the reminder,
I AM close to the brokenhearted.”
Pulled you close and invited you to be filled up
Before you began pouring out
And suddenly, your pain didn't seem so overwhelming
Because you realized you weren't alone

Yeah, maybe he left
Took advantage of your gentle heart
Emotionally manipulated you while having the audacity to call it love
And it scares you that something could feel so real
Yet be so far from the truth

But what have you to fear when Love Himself knows you by name?
When He who is Love
Never leaves
Never forsakes
Never abandons
Always pursues

You claimed you were a fool
But aren't we all fools in love?
And if your greatest crime was loving too much
What have you to be sorry for?

Girl
Don't let this destroy you
That boy was broken so he did broken things
But you're broken, too
And that can only be fixed by the One
Who was broken to make us whole

Girl
You loved and you lost
But if you bow out with grace
Can you ever really lose?

Girl
You have a fire inside you
Somewhere deep in your chest
It cannot be quenched by temporary people
Not if you choose to keep the flames lit

Girl
You have fought hard battles before
Bruised and bleeding, you have carried on
Step by agonizing step until you saw peace again
You'll make it out of this just fine

Girl
You are a royal Daughter of the Most High
And you deserve a love that treats you as such
A love that would go through hell for you
A love that would cross oceans for you
A love like the One who went to the grave and back again
Just to have you by His side

Girl
Do you hear me?
You already have a Love you can never be separated from
Not by darkness, not by principalities, or even the powers of hell
So, girl, listen-
Anything less is only a counterfeit

Girl
Wait for this love
Give this love
Be this love
Because I AM does not give His heart in pieces
And neither should you
-ashlyn

tea time

Wednesday, June 14, 2017




“But I'm too afraid to lose him,” sighed the young woman, tears making her eyelashes wet and sticky against blushed cheeks. Pale hands encircled the cup of tea like a safety blanket.


The old woman's lips pulled back in a knowing, empathetic smile, deepening the wrinkles in her face.

“Tell me,” She says in hushed tones. Her voice vibrates with the weight of wisdom. “Are you afraid of losing him or being forced to find yourself?”



-ashlyn

imago dei

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

   




  “So God created man in his own image,


male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27(ESV)



We are all made in the image of God
In the image of God, He created us
We seem to have forgotten our origins
Pulled up our roots and left home for the street
We surround ourselves with those just like us
If they're different, they aren't someone we want to meet
We forget we're all saplings, little seeds, here in the dirt
Spread out across the nations, but planted in the same earth
After all, we don't like their culture, their political party
The clothes they wear and, sometimes, not even the food they eat

You know the ones I'm speaking of
Or, at least, you know what you've heard
And we know that hearsay is gospel
To step outside our comfort zone
Would not be anything less than absurd
So, you stick with your people
And they stick with theirs
But I wonder how much hatred would simply not exist
If we ever bothered to be open
And stitch together all the tears

The man with the broken English
Who has been here a few short years
The one who spends his evenings learning
As much about his new country as he can
He finds comfort in the familiarity of those who come from his homeland
But he tries his best to connect to the world around him, foreign as it seems
And yet, still, the things you spit at him:
Why won't he integrate?”
Perhaps he should just go back from where he came.”
But in the time you've spent judging him, did you even try to learn his name?

The young woman with the hijab
That no one dares look in the eye
Because they flash with unspoken fear
And war and running
Far, far from bombs and terror and home just to survive
No one knows her secret sorrow
Or cares that she can feel their unease
But if you paused for just a moment
And let her know, it's going to be okay
Maybe that would be enough to give her enough courage to make it through the day

The one that stands homeless with a cardboard sign
On the corner of a busy street
She's panhandling for a little change and maybe a bite to eat
Some scoff and roll their eyes, others demand she get a job
What they don't know is that she's already working
But after paying for books and tuition doesn't have enough for food or a home
They have no idea she's pursuing her Masters
Yes..she's getting a degree
They wouldn't know because when they look at her
None of them truly see

And you
The one reading this
The one with the smile that lights up like stars
Maybe you're thick
Maybe you're skinny
Flawless skin or deeply scarred
Do you know who you're representing
Each time you step out your door?
You are made in the image of the Almighty
And so is the guy living next door

We are all made in the image of God
Whether we're white, brown, black
Rich, poor, from Polynesia or Iraq
We belong to the One who made us
Every skin color, history, and culture
God never made a single person without leaving His mark
So, yes, that person you're thinking of
They're made in His image, too
They were made for relationship and purpose
Just like me and you

Some of us just don't know it yet

So, the next time you see a person
The type you tend to look away from
When passing them on the street
Make sure to tell them that God loves them

And be kind to everyone you meet



Hey, everyone! I'm back from my lengthy hiatus(September?? Really, Ashlyn??). I promise I won't fall off the map like that again! As you can see, the blog has a new name! I think it encapusulates the theme I'm trying to present more as I won't just be ranting about horses anymore haha! How have you guys been? Drop a comment below and let me know!
-ashlyn

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