GUEST POST: Marci Tharpe Mulkey

MarciPlease welcome our very first guest post by my dear friend, Ms. Marci Tharpe Mulkey. Marci is the mom of two amazing biological kids, adopted mom to countless others and teacher mom to probably thousands through the years. There isn’t a child she doesn’t love and to know her is to love her too.  I’m honored to call her my friend and I know you will be blessed by her as well. Welcome Marci, and thank you for sharing your heart with us.


Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is continuously emerging everywhere I look!  “For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Plans for my welfare?  Plans to prosper me?  So why did He have to take me on a roller coaster ride if he had plans for me from the beginning?  And not just any roller coaster – the kind that takes you through three upside down loops, through ten tunnels of terror, and down at least three free fall dips!  That is simple, yet complex:  he needed me to recognize they are HIS plans. 


For so long I had my own plans, my own visions of my perfect life. Slowly but surely those went up in smoke. Not once, not twice, but three times (and let me assure you the third was a charm)!  I knew God; I am sure I always have. Growing up I LOVED church. My granny and my ma-ma made sure I was there and, when old enough, I went on my own free will. I knew scripture. I was rooted BUT I still wanted my way. Why?  I can’t answer this plainly, but the complex answer is because God needed me to make my mistakes so I could accept His plans. Looking back if I had not experienced the major devastation I experienced in 2016, I would still be a Pilgrim on the wrong ship to the new world!  I would still be lost. 


Today, God is moving in my life. Am I perfect?  No!  Far from it, but to borrow my friend, Tab’s, saying, God choke slammed me at the cross. I want to MOVE for him. I deeply desire to make a difference. Will I still falter and sin?  Absolutely!  Will I be chastised by those who cannot forget my mistakes?  Yes. But my prayer is that those people experience whatever they need to experience to feel the peace I feel today. I still have days, BAD days. The past STILL comes knocking at my door. It gets easier daily to leave it right there. 


God led me to the RIGHT people by letting me experience the wrong ones. I have friends who never left, parents who go above and beyond,  and I have augmented my circle with nine women of strong faith who encourage me to dig deeper. I am blessed (still sometimes stressed – I’m human) but richly blessed. I want to begin sharing those blessing with whoever will receive them. 


Lord, Thank you for meeting me right where I was. Please remove the negativity from my thoughts and actions. Help me to help others see God’s plans to prosper them. Help me to cleanse my mind of negativity and judgement, and thank You for Your grace. In Jesus Name, Amen. 


Marci Tharpe Mulkey Y’ALL! ❤ ❤ ❤


When asked if you want to be first or last in the race, naturally we all want to be first. Of course we do, right? Winning is awesome. 1 Corinthians 9:24 goes so far as to tell us to run the race to win. [Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!] Remember here, context is key and we can’t miss the prior is telling us all is done for the sake of the gospel, so that we may share in its blessings. Changes the purpose and tone of winning according to the worldly views, doesn’t it? What does that mean for Christian leadership in a management role?

As Christian managers, given authority over others, we need not look much further than our Bible for leadership lessons. The greatest leader of all time is Jesus and the Bible is the primary source for learning. We cannot forget in 2 Timothy 3:16 we are told all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. There is no other book that comes before nor other source we should find direction in. Our only direction, outside the Bible, should come from books that directly compliment and assist in further explaining the principles found in scripture.

The greatest leader of all time is Jesus Christ. The Son of Man, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords did not come to be served, but to serve and give the ultimate sacrifice of laying His life down for us. (Not sure I’m ready for that kind of leadership! How about you?!) He came to serve and the example he set is obviously modeled in the concept of Servant Leadership being popularly taught and sold in numerous management books today. I love when the “new concepts” can be tied directly back to biblical principles.

While servant leadership is a timeless concept, the phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in “The Servant as Leader”, an essay that he first published in 1970.  (Greenleaf, R. (1991). The servant as leader ([Rev. ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Robert K. Greenleaf Center.)

Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy. Traditional leadership generally involves the exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership turns the power pyramid upside down; instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they unlock purpose and ingenuity in those around them, resulting in higher performance and engaged, fulfilled employees. (“What Is Servant Leadership”Servant Leadership Institute. Servant Leadership Institute. Retrieved 20 June 2017.)

Do you see that – there is a whole Institute on this style of leadership. Now, let’s walk through the scriptures on just a few of the leadership style of Jesus.

Whoever wants to be a Leader among you, must first be a servant, and whoever wants to be first shall be servant to all.  Mark 10:43-45.  The word used here for servant is similar to “waiter” as in a subservient or humble role.  Through Jesus, the leadership model is clearly;

  • Care for your team’s human needs. You would assume they are coming to work they are getting physiological needs met, but are they getting their other needs met? Do they feel like part of the group and accepted? Are they confident and recognized for their accomplishments? Do they feel fulfilled and see a growth plan?
  • Grow your team. Seek the best for each team member’s personal growth, even as we seek the best for our organization. The people make the company. Grow your people.
  • Show authority with humility. Essential to leadership, is humility, because it authenticates a person’s humanity. This gives an avenue to not only show your accomplishments but your character as well and thus, inspire your team toward greatness.
  • Respect your team. Plain and simple.

Jesus examples this in washing the disciples feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 13:15. I am not suggesting you wash your team’s feet. Surely there is a time and place for such an intimate act of service, however the message from Jesus to His disciples is clear to follow His example in the heart of this act of service.

  • You accomplish goals when you meet the needs of others. Allow yourself to become the one on your team seeking out the needs of the rest and meet them.
  • Your God honoring behavior is going to benefit your team. By behaving in a Christ-like manner, the work of the kingdom is being done.
  • You lead best by helping others achieve their goals.
  • Do humble acts of service.  This might be as simple as going last in line at the team lunch or getting the trash up afterwards.

There is so much that can be learned from the leadership of King David it would be hard to encompass it all in one small section. In relation to his servant characteristics, I believe we see his humility (2 Samuel 7:8) and patience (Psalm 27:14) in the Lord before he even took the throne. With God the primary focus, David’s life embodies long term personal, professional and spiritual growth.

  • After being anointed King, David went back to shepherding awaiting the Lord’s timing.
  • David willingly played music, on demand, for King Saul.
  • David still served his brothers as guided by his father.

Additionally, a strong leader recognizes their team’s interdependence. Paul, in the book of Romans, clearly shows this model from the church. [Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another. Romans 12:4-5.] If the entire church is dependent on one another to function in a healthy manner, naturally each team member has value in our teams. The team needs to be keenly aware of their individual roles in team’s successes and is best served by a leader who nurtures the relationships inside the team as sums of the greater whole.

FIRST or LAST? The biblical model of leadership tells us to be first (or rather to lead), we elect to be last. This model, obviously, adapted from scripture by Greenleaf when he coined the term “Servant Leader” in the early 1970s.  [What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9]

The best leaders, the leaders most likely to impact the people entrusted to them, the leaders making large scope impact for the kingdom of the gospel and ultimately giving the best to their particular organization, follow the leadership model described and lived by Jesus Himself.

To be your best leaders, follow Him.

You’ve got this!  Ashlee Gillis Vickers, CPC



You CAN master the art of small talk.

I am sure, at one time or another, we have all had the dreaded feeling of attending another group function where we felt slightly awkward because we would have to stand around making small talk with people. Ever been unsure of how to keep the conversation going – me too! Even the most extroverted people, have the planned emergency “my cat is sick” or “my neighbor’s garage door is stuck” text already worked out to make their escape exit as soon as possible. Then others might avoid the function all together.

Believe it or not, these functions can be fun. Yep, I said it, fun. And if you can’t go that far, let’s just agree interesting. The key is knowing how to get and keep conversations going beyond, “Hi, sure is hot/cold/rainy isn’t it?”.

Most people enjoy talking about things they are interested in and all you have to do is kick off their topics. They will do the talking for you.  However, remember a really critical key is that you are the listening participant, so listen. Engage in the conversation with head nods, ask more questions where necessary and keep eye contact (without an impromptu stare off of course, ‘cuz that’s creepy).

Here are ten questions to get you started:

  1. What made you chose your profession? – This might be insanely insightful or they may hate what they do, but either way you can spring into more topics from here easy enough.
  2. What is now (or has been) your most meaningful way to give back in a charitable way? If they have nothing, they are a slug of society, run! I’m KIDDING!! You could let them off the hook easily by saying either you have been looking for a meaningful way to give back as well. Or even say it took you a while to find the right fit to dedicate your time in the best way. Very diplomatic way to get them out of feeling like “less than” if they aren’t currently investing time charitably.
  3. What are you reading now? If nothing, maybe ask what they have read recently? If nothing, maybe what was your favorite book in school? If they still have nothing… you are probably trying to start a conversation with the coat rack and very nonchalantly step away real cool like because you are going to look really silly.
  4. Tell me about your journey that got you here? People are fascinating and their journey is never boring. Hands down one of my favorite questions.
  5. Do you say YES or NO as a general rule? Why would you say that answer? You have no idea how much this can tell you about a person. Listen carefully.
  6. What’s one thing you have tried that you are glad you did, but won’t do again? Maybe this is skydiving? Bungee jumping? Eating monkey brains? I don’t know, but imagine what you might learn.
  7. What is the most important thing I should know about you? Can you just imagine the amazing things you will hear? Think about your own answer….. what is the most important thing you would want someone to know about you?
  8. What are you most passionate about? I love to hear what really stirs people up. Where are their dreams living?
  9. Do you have a life defining moment? There is no question or hesitation for me –  in my life, the defining moment is when I began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  Do you know yours? Aren’t you curious about others?
  10. How can I be of most help to you right now? People are genuinely touched by your true desire to be of help to them. Whether personal or professional, this could be a feasible question. They could have said something in the conversation about their charity that really appeals to you and you want to join in with your help.  Or bridge a potential business connection. Maybe you have a product that can solve their problem at work and maybe you know someone else who does you can connect them with.

It is good to keep in mind to gauge your depth of dialog by the event and be respectful of what your conversation partner is open about sharing.

These tips will have you much more comfortable with small talk, making some great connections and maybe even some amazing friends.

They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.
—Carl W. Buehner

You’ve got this!  Ashlee Gillis Vickers, CPC



February 8th – 3 years

February 8th, three years ago our lives changed forever.

In an instant every single thing we knew as reality was changed.

That’s what happened when Gerald died. The moment he collapsed in our driveway and I was left to pump his chest for blood, breathing breath into his lungs for him, things changed. A reality I had never felt before weighed heavily on us.

Gerald went nearly 15 minutes without full oxygen. And I know we weren’t alone in those moments. As clearly as I can see my hands in front of my face now, I saw Jesus standing with us saying, “This is not how your story ends.”  And it was not, because Gerald did not stay dead.  He lived.

Full cardiac arrest is what they called it.  What he had they call the “Widow Maker”.

A miracle survival.

Even through a doctor trying to tell us he was brain dead, our community believed in the power of prayer and claimed the promise I had heard, “This is not how our story ends”.

It was not. Gerald was not brain dead, he did recover and it was not how our story ends.

February 8th. Another anniversary.

Before February 8, 2015, life was not perfect and neither has it been since. But before February 8th three years ago, I had very specific prayers for my our marriage. I prayed I would be the wife I was intended to be, that I would love Gerald deeply with a daily renewed love and true desire to serve him as God called me to serve.

On 11-11-14, while studying Ephesians 5:22-24, you can read in my journal;

Dear God, Shame on me for not protecting the husband you gave me. Give me an attitude of privilege in serving him including how I respond to him regardless of how he responds to me. Let me show your love in my marriage. In Jesus name, Amen.

That was a prayer I needed because I was not treating Gerald that way. I was not serving him or loving him more than myself or our children. I pray he’s forgiven me.

For Gerald, I prayed he would be free of the crazy hard hours he had to work that were tearing down his body and aging him way too fast. I had prayed very specifically Gerald would stop drinking and smoking. But mostly, for fifteen years, I had been praying Gerald would meet Jesus in a very personal way and know eternal salvation.

I prayed for our marriage to be whole and quite literally, survive. Things weren’t grand and we weren’t strong. We were not both rooted nor collectively grounded in Christ. We were a boat cast onto the rocks in a real life way, and I am not sure either of us were aware of a way to fix things. There is no doubt in my mind we wanted to, but the obstacles seemed insurmountable.

And yet, another February 8th coming and going since everything changed.

In full disclosure, sometimes, life post heart attack isn’t easy, if I am being totally honest with you and with myself. I lose my patience and forget all the promises I made while he was in the Critical Care Unit about he could do whatever he wanted and I would never get aggravated at him again. (Unfortunately there are witnesses to those statements.) Y’all, I just get tired and weary and deeply need reminding that my job to care for my husband is more important than my desire to manage him. (ouch.)

No magic wand sprinkled fairy dust. There has been no over night fix. Life is still hard and there are an entirely new sets of demons to battle I wasn’t even aware to pray for. New obstacles and a new life on earth, prior to heavenly glory, we are left to weed through here. I get frustrated and I want to complain about this new normal some days. Oh, how quickly we forget where God has brought us from, don’t we?

Yet such a patient God we serve. In my time alone with God, He has nudged me to realize… I didn’t ask Him HOW to answer my prayers, I simply wanted him to do the things.  However, and any way, that He would.  Just please do them.  And here, three years later, I can only say God in fact delivered on all my deepest desires from before. And, yes, I believe He will do it again.

My heart for Gerald is very pure and servant minded. Gerald is healed, sober, met Jesus personally and destined to spend eternity in heaven. PRAISE GOD!

Three February 8ths. Another anniversary.

We are all continually growing and God needed to remind me that when I ask for things, I will find thankfulness in the way He gives trusting that He knows what is best for me and my family. [Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes 5:18]  I have to believe even when the road seems hard and I don’t understand why, God knows all reasons and promises complete healing in heaven. Perfection promised in eternity with our Savior.

He already knows how our story will end, He has measured our steps and through His saving grace all will be for His Glory.

In His Grip, Ashlee

Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father God, Thank you for saving Gerald physically and spiritually and for saving our marriage. Your love for us is so precious that you would reach down and touch our lives in such a tender way. Please keep our focus on you and your blessings, not allowing us to waste a single moment of the time you have given us. May we use all we have to glorify you and tell others of your saving grace.  In Jesus name, Amen.

*photos from video reenactment “Twice Saved” (in progress). Producer/Videographer: Cameron Evans



Move where? Anywhere really. Nowhere maybe. Left…. Right…. Up…. Down…. I don’t know what you don’t know. But I do know if you sense a stirring in your core, a calling if you will, a deep desire to make this place, this time, this season better for a Kingdom purpose  –  perhaps He’s been moving on you too.

Do you have a sense of urgency to obey? One that requires you trust God in a way that doesn’t make a lot of sense to the outside world? Can you not shake the sense that God is telling you to do something? Do you feel a stronger obligation to make an impact and live intentionally on scales as little or as large as you can imagine? I feel it too.

Is God asking you to surrender something? Let go and put it down – for good? Finally give that thing up. Maybe give up the fancy six figure income for something much more meager? Or perhaps the opposite – how about that, how would you steward well? Do you need to give up control? Or obsession? Or addiction? Or give up the disguise?  Yep, that’s my “me too”.

Are you being led into doing things that requires 100% reliance on God? Certain there is really no way you could do the task ahead on your own, therefore you are so completely reliant on God, you feel super human ability to not fail? He is doing the planning and He will be glorified, because no one will believe you did what you did of your own power or ability. He makes you strong, shapes you, molds you, gives you character and allows you to behave in ways other people simply do not understand. You are God reliant and God confident. Yeah, “Godfidence”.

Is God asking you to believe Him in new deeper ways? Are you growing more deeply? Experiencing God in new ways? Learning to love God and God’s people more?  Does this leave you craving even newer depth of knowledge and intimacy with the Lord?  Is your desire to move closer to God or bring others closer to God growing? Yes for me!!

Exactly how is God stirring you to MOVE for His Glory? And what is stopping you from doing it?

In His Grip, Ashlee

Pray with me: Heavenly Father God, I love you and praise you and thank you for moving me. Thank you for stirring my heart for you and building a yearning in my soul for you. Remove any corners than hinder your will in my life and prevent me from your call on me to move for you. Anyone else that needs direction for how they are to move or bravery to act on the stirring you are creating in them, Lord, be their guide and strength. May we lay all that we have at your feet and rise to glorify you. In Jesus Name, Amen

Blessings in Obedience

So apparently if you drive the speed limit, you get better gas mileage… GO FIGURE?

See I recently made yet another road trip. It is kind of just what I do these days, always being on the go. I thought empty nest meant calmer, even quieter, but life is proving more active than ever these last couple of years. IMG_0750

Never-the-less, as I’m heading out to visit one of the kiddos at their college town to help set up a new house (translated free labor for said kid), I decided to drive the speed limit the whole way.

Those who know me well realize this is unheard of and find yourself wondering have I lost my inner speed racer. I would love to tell you I had an overwhelming sense of any broken law being a mortal sin, but the reality is I heard their was a super crack down on speeding this particular weekend and I am most interested in not getting a speeding ticket. Although, it typically doesn’t slow me down.  I’m the youngest in my family of siblings and thus fulfilling my “I’m the baby” stereotype, I rarely believe rules actually apply to me. (I know – insert eye roll. I am a flawed human.)

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China, one might ask?  I’m getting to that.

As I’m on the road and I begin to see the great gas mileage I was getting, I became excited to see how well I could let my car’s engine function. How, exactly, good could my gas mileage get? I mean it’s all South Georgia back roads anyway, who is going to care if I am not in the “fast lane”.

Then, as if God sat down in the car with me, I heard the resounding theme of my life come out loud and clear. “If you follow the rules, things are better”. Or better said, “There are blessings in obedience”.  hmmmm – Go figure!?!

See God isn’t a God of “rules and regulations” but a God of blessings when we obey what He has set out for our protection. This rebel child can so much more clearly focus on the blessings. Protective obedience is necessary for our own good, not rigid “do what I say or else” rules. God is a loving Father with our best interest in mind, not a dictator for His own enjoyment. I doubt He enjoyed putting His son on the cross for our sins. He did that to save us from ourselves. We are all flawed humans.

If we confess our sins, turn to God and use our resources as intended, we can return more everywhere with our lives of blessing.

You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. Deuteronomy 5:33

Just like my car is more efficient when driven as intended, so may my life be for Jesus when lived in accordance with his laws.

Part of my personal testimony is the turning point in my life when I finally heard God respond to my desperation. I sensed so clearly Him saying, “I gave you an instruction book, read it.” I’m so thankful for these times in my life, still today, I know God’s message is gently nudging me back toward obedience.

In His Grip, Ashlee

Pray with me: Dear heavenly father God, thank you for correction and discipline. Thank you for loving us so much you gently, and sometimes not so gently, push us back toward obedience. Thank you for not giving up on my wild abandon of rules and acknowledging my heart’s desire is to serve you well, despite myself.  Mold me, make me better for your kingdom’s glory. Help us all to see the areas we need to obey you so that we may receive your insurmountable blessings. Through all circumstances. Now and always.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.






Everlasting Love

Pain and heartache were familiar to Jeremiah and the people of Judah. Their homeland was torn away and they were suffering the oppression of Babylonian. Defeat and destruction. Grief and hopelessness. Yet God gave the prophet some words of hope: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” [Jeremiah 31:3].

Heartache.  Pain.  Oppression.

Have the blows of life kept coming at such rapid fire you felt like you were in a ring with a championship boxer? Have you questioned, “what else God?” while sitting in a doctor’s office, hospital room or CCU waiting for more news from an earthly physician? Have you searched for God in your circumstances more than you are willing to admit, albeit through the comfort of your air conditioner, tasty coffee and laptop? Guilt creeps in when you think other people have real problems, real illness, real loss…why am I feeling so desolate?

Perhaps you’ve been in a slump? A relational rut with Jesus? A dry season in your spiritual growth where you weren’t sure how you felt so far from God?

Maybe it’s just me…

The craziest grace filled thing of all is God is right there. Still. Always.  He has never left me, not forsaken me and loves me with an everlasting love. No matter how much I stray or throw my own personal pity party time and time again, God waits patiently for me to look up and see him holding me.  Through it all, He holds my fragile heart wrapped up in real and unreal concerns of my world.  He never belittles my pain.  He gently guides me back to His word and promises of His love warm my heart and I have strength to move forward.

Grace, patience and deliverance from myself.

In Jeremiah the prophet of God went on to explain that one day He would rebuild the nation, gardens would again flourish in the land, and happiness and dancing would once again be enjoyed by the people [Jeremiah 31:4-7].

Dancing in His Grip, Ashlee

Pray with Me:  Dear Heavenly Father God, Thank you for loving me when I am pouting and probably anything but loveable. Thank you for knowing me so well, you are prepared for my concerns and know the way I will work through them before they ever occur to me. Please give me wisdom to continually seek you first and push through the noise of this world and my circumstances. Despite what lies ahead, you lie within me and in you I have peace.  In your son’s Holy name, Amen.

A love like…

F48243BC-F5C8-4F6D-9CA2-634D50A19B71A sweet friend commented on a picture of Gerald and I that she wanted a “love like Ashlee and Gerald”. She might have been joking (it hardly seems real to me), yet throughout the day, I keep going over this comment in my mind.

I don’t want to hide behind fun social media posts that only show the best of things. We need to be more real, transparent even, with each other.

I do crazy, madly, deeply love this man. He is my full scope of love defined. But everyday isn’t “Facebook (or Instagram) perfect”. It has been an up and down, wild, tumultuous, faith building, life making, heart breaking, dreams lost and new dreams made kind of life. We each have our own flavor of weird but it seems to be the best flavor for one another.

We have fought with a passion only rivaled by our mutual stubborn determination to not give up. There have been days I wouldn’t wish to repeat or hardly call a love worth emulating. Times no one should go through. Days we totally get it wrong and can’t claim we model reconciliation in the best possible way.

Our trials, some public and some very private, aren’t like everyone else’s exactly, but they are our trials to endure. To better us. Better for one another and better for the kingdom glory.  With God as the glue, we are still here looking at each other goofy, taking selfies and enjoying the ride (almost) every day.

I’ve always said, “I want a love like Johnny and June.” I guess, in reality, I got what I wanted in “a love like Gerald and Ashlee”. ❤️

Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father God, thank you so much for giving Gerald and I to each other.  Thank you for the guidance and determination to hold on even when it’s been hard. Lord, continue to give us the love for each other like Christ loves us. God, remove any sense of pride from our hearts and allow us to use our story to glorify you. Give us all hearts to serve you.  In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.


I’ve been quiet for a while… and will you allow me to say “that’s okay”?  I believe we need a time of quiet in our lives. Particularly in more difficult seasons. A time to be alone with ourselves and with God. And during these times, we don’t always have something to share. That really is okay, I believe.

During these almost two months since my last post, there are numerous draft blog entries started and not completed. In writing I process with myself and work through what God is teaching me. As God heals and gives clarity in those tender places of my heart, I will share with you. Promise.

I’m so strongly pressed upon right now in my struggle with ENOUGH. Am I enough? Do I do, serve, give enough? Am I a good enough wife? Or mom? Or daughter? Or sister? Or friend? Do I love well enough? Am I worthy of being loved enough?  If it sounds exhausting, I can assure you if feels all the more weighty in my heart and head.  Striking an even deeper cord of my soul’s fiber is the constant battle ENOUGH has played in my life. You see, this isn’t a new battle or a new lesson God is working through with me. I’m sure God might tire of me in this regard – that is if we propose Him a characteristics of anything less than total patience with his children.

One thing I know fully well is the inability to fully be all we are supposed to be while inside the struggle of enough. Living in the predisposition of not feeling enough, life becomes harder. Striving and doing and being more can become the driver in your days over the plan God intended for you.  It becomes easy to miss the really wonderful things trying to be something more for some reason more that is way too much more than your perfected enough already.  More is not immediately equal to better. Repeat – more is not immediately equal to better.

Equally in a battle with enough, we can quickly forget how wonderful people think we are just like we are – junk and all. At least for me, when I am feeling a highly “enough sensitive” time, I begin to think my friends and family, maybe, are worn out by me. I guess this is less about feeling like I need to be more, but more about thinking I am really just too much. If I could only be normal enough. Or have my act together enough. Do you do this too – think your struggles make you “not enough”? Maybe we all have stories we haven’t told, but certainly we all have struggles. The sooner we admit it and stop acting like we have our act together, the sooner we can love one another well and minister to the hearts of those around us.

Most recently I’ve been battling old voices from my past screaming rejection in totally tangible ways and I am determined to push through stronger this time. Who would believe 20+ year hurts could still cut so deeply? Scars transform to open wounds quickly in the battle of enough.  When the behaviors become mimicked in other close relationships, it becomes even more difficult to fight off enough. If “he can do this” and “she can do that” and “they did this” – obviously, I am the common denominator, it is because I didn’t do something enough?  Sound familiar? Immediately, I pray for all who feel this in their core. In Jesus name, we have to stop. God’s heart breaks over our broken heart and wants us to feel His love right now. Right this very moment, God is whispering into our hearts – YOU ARE ENOUGH.

I know whose I am and I know who created me. I know whose you are and who created you.  Together, say with me;

I am made worthy in the blood of Jesus.

I am chased after and adored by my heavenly Father.

I am accepted in the family, adopted by the King of kings.

Where ever you feel your inadequacy strongest, your particular fear of failure, or the voice from your past that screams rejection…. your Heavenly Father says “Enough! You ARE enough”

In His Grip, Ashlee

Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father God, we love you so much God and are so grateful for the opportunity to come to you with all our inadequacies.  Thank you for loving us through all of our junk and giving us your word to turn our fears into confidences. Give us strength to remain steadfast in your truth, so that we only desire to be what you have made us to be. Not more, not less – just perfectly enough as you designed.  In Jesus name, Amen. 



Advent 2016

2016 year I’ve placed the advent wreath on the center of our table where we gather. Where we talk. Where we sit silently. It is to be a reminder to us of the reason for this season.

Yet, the moments of candle lighting I have reserved for my own quiet times with God. This advent season has been hard, admittedly. Even in the light of advent season’s beauty, the shadows have been lurking painfully realistic. And still, today, in lighting the candle representing the LIGHT of the world – the birth of our Savior, the Messiah – I am rejoicing in this very quiet moment between God and I. He knows how I cling to this HOPE, PEACE, JOY, LOVE and LIGHT.

In Advent and always. Amen.