Well, hello friends! I’m Ashley. My titles include daughter, sister, friend, teacher, student, and writer. I’m a girl who loves the Lord and I am constantly learning and being reminded of what it means to love and serve Him.
I began blogging in 2010 in a completely different capacity than this; a fansite blogger! I had the time of my life writing about my favorite books and movies and I was lucky to have had some once in a lifetime experiences during that season of my life.
But at the end of 2013, right smack in the middle of my first year of teaching, I lost my aunt and uncle (my Dad’s brother and sister) two weeks apart, both to cancer. Later in 2014, my world was rocked yet again by an emotionally draining and stressful school year at work due to my caseload of special needs students that were physically and verbally aggressive. That same year, my Dad was hospitalized and diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. I had considered myself a Christian and attended church since I was very young, but I knew that God was trying to get my attention. Around this same time, He called me to leave the comfort zone of my childhood church and carve out a place for myself at a new church home and community.
Ever since, I have found myself in the midst of a journey of rediscovering the wonder and hope in our great God and learning what it means to love and serve Him every day. His timing and plans are perfect and I learned this firsthand in 2015.
In September of that year, I lost my maternal grandmother and my mom’s youngest sister less than 48 hours apart. I was very close to these women and they had irreplaceable roles in my upbringing. The experience had grabbed hold of my heart and shaken me awake. It was, and still is, the moment where I felt God’s peace and power the most profoundly and deeply. I remember like it was yesterday, the way it felt as though Jesus was actually physically there next to me, arms wrapped tight around me and whispering to me that He would use this pain for something bigger. Something more than I could even imagine in that moment. Four months later in January 2016, my family lost my paternal grandmother and eight days later, we said goodbye to our sweet Nellie – one of my maternal grandmother’s cousins who had stepped into our lives as a surrogate grandmother. She was a precious display of love and faithfulness and we were wholly blessed to have her in our lives for as long as we did.
Our family said goodbye to six of our close family members in just over two years and have since been on a journey of hope, trust, and renewal with our Savior. I created Messy Milestones in 2014 to be a place for encouragement, inspiration, and celebrating the joy and the hope we have in Jesus Christ. We all have a unique testimony and although the road may get messy sometimes, the hope that is found in Jesus is so worth every minute.