Wednesday, January 26, 2011


After much deliberation...I've decided to introduce you to someone who is quite special in the Gibson home.  Everyone has that one family member...the one who always has love to offer, always cares about your feelings, always puts everyone else first.  For us, that 'someone' is Moses.  We got Moses as a puppy a few years ago........

He was a 'leftover' of the litter - too short & plump to be a hunting dog.  We got him at a 'reduced price' - I guess you could say he was on clearance.  After just a few days of 'committing' to keep him, I was asking myself  "Whose idea was this!!  No wonder nobody wanted him!"  I won't tell you whose idea it was.  He was an absolute pain.  It's not that he chewed furniture, or made messes in the house - he never did any of those things.  He was just constantly in our faces, needing love and attention.  Constantly saying "Look at me!  Look what I can do!  I can balance this bear on my paws!  I can carry 2 tennis balls!!  LOOK!!".  Ugh.  Drove me nuts.  Everyone we talked to told us that Springer's don't tend to leave their 'puppy' stage until they're about we better just get used to it.  When we had Moses neutered, we thought that would change his demeanor for sure.  When we went to pick him up after 1 (happy, quiet, peaceful) night at the vet - we thought for sure we would be getting a new & improved (happy, quiet, peaceful) dog.  The vet walked us into a room and said he'd bring Moses in.  He said to prepare ourselves, because he'd probably be very groggy.  Hallelujah, we thought.  It wasn't more than a minute later that a brown and white 'thing' (which I later realized was Moses) was in our laps, licking our faces.  We kissed our hopes of a quiet dog goodbye as we left the vet that day.  "Well...we're going to just have to put up with him...for the next 13 years....".   As time went on, Moses continued to embarrass us with his antics - always being overly friendly with the neighbors (he tends to think everyone who walks past our house is there to see him), overly excited to go places (he jumps the gate at Petco when it's time to get groomed because he just can't wait), and overly playful when guests come ("No, Moses - don't knock over that pie in grandmas.....ohhh, no...").  To this day, Moses embarrasses us on a regular basis.  But in reality, maybe we're embarrassing him.  Maybe, if he could - he would say "Guys, just lighten up a little!  Relax!!  I'm just making a new friend!".  Maybe we all could learn a lesson about being friendly - happy - and playful.  I know I could use a dose of 'puppy' in my life!

One Thing I Know For Sure: I sure love this 'thing'. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just Wait A Minute

Waiting.  In the doctors office.  In busy traffic.  In the Starbucks line.  For your husband to pick out the 'right' sweater @ Kohls (yes...this IS something I do often!).  These are forms of waiting that I really don't mind.  It doesn't bother me. 
But when God tells me to wait for something....I lose it.  I throw a tantrum like a little toddler.  NOW, God!  I want it NOW!!  I whine, I complain, I get angry...pounding my fists on the ground, kicking my feet.  NOW!  When are you finally going to come through, and give me what I want?  (As if I've been waiting a lifetime.  But sometimes it feels like I have....)  As my meltdown comes to an end...this is when it happens.  A whisper.  Did you hear that?

"My timing is perfect"

No - God - you don't know!  You just don't know how badly I want this!  You don't know how much this matters to me!  You have no idea how this would change everything!

"Trust me"

But God, I have been trusting you!  I've been trusting you all along, and you still haven't given me what I want!  What I think I need!  Why are you denying me??

Do you ever argue like this with God?  Do you ever beg?  Plead?  Sometimes I feel like kicking & screaming.  And yet, I know all the responses "My ways are perfect", "I will direct your paths", "I am in control".  But you see, I'm a schemer.  I'm an organizer.  A planner.  I'm a "make it happen" kind of person.  If my day isn't going as planned, I take eight 3 year olds and turn it around.  If something needs to be done, or taken care of - I just do it.  But I'm learning that there are some things I can't just "make happen".  Some things require great amounts of patience, trust, perseverance.  All things that I don't do well.  You may be there right now - scheming, pushing, manipulating, organizing - doing your best to make sure the "right thing" happens. But when it's not God's time ... when it's not God's way ... when it's not God's will, you're "making it happen" will ultimately mess things up.  Lately, I've done a lot of kicking & screaming.  Things haven't always gone as I wanted them to...and I am so glad.  As it turns out, God did know what he was doing.  Despite my tantrums, He did work things out for good.  And won't he do so again?  Time to trust.

One Thing I Know For Sure: I am so hesitant to post this...vulnerability is also something I struggle with :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There's No Place Like Home...

You may be wondering why I chose "No Place Like Home" for my blog name.  I would love to have a super-spiritual, deeply personal answer.  It was actually a pretty random thought - and for those of you that have a blog, you know that you have to enter a million blog names before you get one that is not already taken.  I started by looking for the meaning of my name - Ashley.  I thought, it must be something beautiful - strong - graceful - something that would make a great blog name.  But, not so.  Ashley literally means "Ash Tree".  I even tried several different websites...and they all say "Ash Tree".  Lame.  I won't bore you with the rest of the details...back to the blog.
I've always loved the Wizard of Oz (maybe this is where I got my love of shoes?!  It's Dorothy's fault....!) - I probably wore out several VHS tapes watching it over & over.  Of course, after many hard learned lessons, Dorothy realizes that she just wants to go home. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home...".  I wish it had a deeper meaning.... 

However, after thinking about this today - I realized that this could mean so many different things!  I mean, at the end of a hard, long, rotten day - don't we all just want to go home?  Even if we know it's messy, and there's laundry to be done (insert props to my man...he folded 2 loads of laundry this am...together now "awwww"...!) doesn't matter!  Just get me home!  Or maybe we can think of 'home' as a certain memory, or a group of memories.  Our family just made some memories @ my grandparents cabin in Iron Mountain. We all spent the weekend there - did some sledding, sat around the fireplace, and enjoyed a sleigh ride.  Those are memories I'll treasure...those memories are 'home' for me.
Then I think about sweet Elijah...who was just brought home from Eastern Europe.  Last year, Elijah didn't know what a home was - but he sure does now.  He's home.  Forget about the 'house' - that's not the point.  The point is - he's at home in his mommy's arms.  Now that's home!  Unimaginable!
But better than all of this....better than coming home after a crummy day, better than being a 'found' the home we have waiting for us.  Our eternal homes.  I'm talking about heaven, people!  Now - hear me - I'm going to be honest  (why have a blog if I'm going to be phony?)...I'm in no rush to get there.  Does that sound unspiritual?  I mean really - the Lord can (and will) take me at any moment.  He doesn't need my permission.  And when He's ready, I'm ready.  Before Jake & I were married, we would always say "The Lord can come back after we get married!"  and everyone would laugh.  Now, we think "The Lord can come back whenever he wants - but can we have kids and watch them grow first?!".  So - as much as I want to live on this earth - I know there's something better....something so much better.  Forget about streets of gold...I can't wait to spend an eternity with my Creator!  It doesn't get much better than that, does it?  Well, maybe some of you reading this (there is someone reading this...right?!?) are dreading an eternity with your Creator...well then maybe you have some work to do.  Give it to Him - your fears, your anger, your insufficiencies...He wants you...yes - YOU!!  All of you!  Give it's time. 

Praying huge blessings on you, dear friend.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Home really is where the heart is...isn't it?  Where is your heart?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The First...(let's hope it's not the last...)

Well, here it is.  The first post.  What exactly does one write on their first post?  The task is somewhat daunting!  I guess I should answer the question my husband has asked me several times - WHY are you starting a blog?  Well...I don't really know!  I know, I'm busy (so don't expect daily posts!) - and I probably have more important things to do.  I've gotten hooked on blogs lately, as a family in our church has recently adopted a sweet-as-can-be boy from Eastern Europe...and her blog just inspired me to do something...anything!  I know, what do I have going on in my life that is anywhere NEAR as exciting as adopting a child?  Well....nothing...right now.  But I hope to use this blog to do a few things:
1. Brighten your day!  If anything, I hope you can laugh with me ( me?)
2. Share what's going on in my life.  Somedays, this may be ultra boring. Other days, maybe not so boring.
3. Raise awareness and advocate for orphans.  Afterall, I was once an 'orphan' - but am so blessed to be adopted into a special family!  And maybe someday, we will be lucky enough to adopt an orphan into our family...? Only God knows :)
4. Get to know YOU.  Yes, YOU!  Please, leave comments with your thoughts...I'd love to know what you think (...I think....). 

So, there it is.  The first.  I guess it wasn't so bad.  Jump aboard...follow along...

One thing I know for sure: If this blog ends up to be a flop, I will blame Rachel..she said it was a good idea. ya, Rachel.

Friday, January 07, 2011

"I want them to rub off on me..."

Our church family is so blessed to have many...MANY talented, Godly 'kids' (okay, they're not kids...but they're younger than me...).  I'm not sure why we have so many.  Some churches can't get anyone under 30 to walk in their doors.  But we are overflowing with kids...amazing kids.  I've worked with kids for over 7 years (crazy, I know...) - so I have had experiences with so many families.  I have never met kids like these.  Do you remember what you were doing when you were in middle school?  High school?  Maybe you'd like to forget.  I know I wasn't spending much time helping others...and especially being an only child...everything was all about me.  Gross.  I still struggle from time to time with this (does anybody else - or am I alone here?).  I forget that there are other people in this big world. I forget that it's not about ME.  I forget that it's not about making my life as comfortable as possible. It's really not!
I want you all to meet some really cool ladies.  You're not gonna believe these girls.  They're amazing...they get it.  I want you to check out their about them.  Catch their passion.  It really is contagious (clearly...I caught it.) 

Rachel's Blog

Sarah's Blog

**These are just 2 of the incredibly talented...God-seeking...faithful...beautiful...AMAZING (have I used that word yet?!) 'kids' that I'm blessed to know!**     

The other day, Jake & I were talking about whatever old marrieds talk about :)  These girls came up in our discussion, as they're both in Jake's youth group.  As we marveled at how cool God is, that he would bring these girls together for one purpose...Jake said "You know...I just want to be around them.  I want them to rub off on me."  Have you ever spent time with someone, and felt like a better person afterward?  That is the feeling after being with these girls.  Now, I'm sure their parents (and siblings!) would tell you that they're not perfect....I'm sure they're growing just as any other 'kid'...spritually, emotionally, etc.  But once you read their blogs, I think you'll agree that these girls have something else.  A fire.  A passion.  A clear understanding that it's not abot them.  No excuses about their age or their abilities.  Amazing stuff going on. 

One Thing I Know For Sure: My comfort is not...will never be...God's priority.  I best just get used to it.
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