I’ve Moved!

Lots of changes are happening! I’ve had to make the decision to change websites and website names and it has officially happened.

You can now find me at at Writing Boldly.

AND if you sign up for my newsletter on the new website, you will get a free workbook! Newsletters will be how I communicate with my followers from now on as I cannot transfer my wordpress followers to the new site.

I hope you guys stick with me, I appreciate you reading my words.

Keep writing!

Ashleigh

Pause

Sometimes, we need to take a step back.

This year, I have big goals. I had goals to grow Writing Out Loud. I had plans and a lot of things coming up on the horizon. All of it was good. I was so excited. Very quickly, I found myself in a spiral I have caught myself in many, many times. The spiral of time and feeling pulled in different directions and falling behind because life is happening all around me. While I’ve been able to keep on top of my schedule and I have been working on the stuff I wanted to work on, I felt overwhelmed. I felt like something was being neglected. I have been constantly caught up in my thoughts and it was all just too much. Too much planning and too much chasing. 

While I was so proud of myself for setting a few big goals and laying out the micro goals that it would require to accomplish the big goal, I still set out to do too much. The book I’m writing is the most important goal on my goal sheet. This book has been in the works for years, even though it was mostly mental planning. God has really put on my heart to write it. And that is what I want to really focus on this year. I want to write this book and hopefully publish it. 

God and I had a nice moment during a journaling session this week where he told to me pause the blog and podcast while I work on this book. I’m not 100% sure how long this pause will be. I’m just taking it one day at a time and trying to focus on this book. I want the first draft done in March so here’s to getting laser focused!

I hope you stick around for when this little break is over. You can always follow me on Instagram, but I also plan on taking a social media break. I might pop up over there from time to time though. 

Catch you guys later!

Devotional Thursdays- Worry

Worry

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I’m not a fan on change. As much as I think I can adapt to change and I go with the flow, the truth is that I don’t. I struggle to go with the flow. Going with the flow goes against every natural instinct I have. I can adapt to change. I’m actually really good at that. However, I try to control the change, plan the change, make back up plans for the change and even have back up plans for the back up plans. I like rules, order, lists and plans. Oh gosh plans make me happy. This is why change is hard for me. You rarely get to plan change. Even if I see the change coming, I try to plan out all the details. 

All of this causes a large amount of stress and worry. What about this? How about if we tried this? How about I do this and that and maybe we can make this work? Instead, I should be praying to the author of the change and the knower of the details. While I’m stressing and trying to plan, He already knows exactly what is going to happen and when it is going to happen. I think in my plans I try to do things on my time. If you’ve been a christian for five seconds you have already heard the God works in his own timing. I seem to constantly forget that and forget that I know who to go to when I worry. I know who to talk to about my fears and worries when it comes to change. I know the author of the change and somehow still manage to make it appear as if I don’t trust him. EVEN WHEN I PRAYED FOR THE CHANGE AND HE IS MAKING IT HAPPEN. 

I wanted to emphasize that point. Even when I pray for a particular change, even when I beg God for it, when he says yes to those prayers I still try to control the following details. Details that He has already figured out. Things that he already knows. I just don’t see it in my finite brain and I try to make sure I have ALL the plans.

For example, my family is about to undergo change. A huge change. A change we have fervently prayed for and asked everybody to pray along with us for. God said yes. We got the yes today. I’ve barely been celebrating this yes and this awesome change in my family’s life. I’ve been too worried about some details because the yes looked different than we thought it would. We had to change some things. We needed a different kind of help to allow this yes into our lives. The crazy part is, as much as I spent worrying today, God already knew the answer and knew that it would work out. I just wasted time worrying about it. I wasted time during my date night. I wasted time during conversations trying to plan and back up plan. God already had the details in place and all I had to do was be still and wait. 

Instead of waiting, I worried. I stressed and wasted time. The beautiful thing about seeing all things in my life as blessings from God is that I also see how he works in the small details of my life. So I write this today, because I need this reminder as much as anybody else might. God is in the details. He created each one of us so different and unique and detailed, that I forget that power lies in our every day lives.

Write it Out

  1. Where are you worrying and need to allow God to work?
  2. How can you remind yourself of who God is?

Exploring My City: Market in the Alley

I’ve lived in Vegas my entire life. I’m part of a very small percentage of locals who are real natives, born and raised. There are people who have lived here longer than I’ve been alive, but they still came from somewhere else. Like my Godfather, who is from New York and reminds me of a mob boss. I digress.

ken-yam-532703-unsplashPhoto by Ken Yam on Unsplash

Vegas is beautiful. I’ve caught myself seeing pictures of Vegas and thinking, “wow, lights can be pretty.” I never thought so before but I’m growing as a person. What I think is most beautiful about Vegas is the people and how caring they are. Except for the guys who honk at you because you didn’t go the moment the light turned green. Those guys probably need a little growing themselves. Everybody else is awesome. We also all know each other somehow. Think the degrees of Kevin Bacon but Vegas style. 

Something I’ve never done though is enjoy my city. I’ve spent my entire life complaining about the hellish summers and the lack of local shops. I spent my teenage years going to movie theaters in casinos wishing I could go somewhere and do something without walking through a smoke-filled building. I grew up watching the few family-friendly things get yanked away. Adios Wet N’ Wild (we then went without a water park in all of Las Vegas until 6 years ago. I still haven’t been).

All this to say, I’ve never spent time doing things in Vegas. I’ve gone to like two shows, those were on the strip, and I just sort of do my life. I never looked at Vegas as somewhere to explore like other people see it. I want the small town shops and little markets. Vegas doesn’t have that.

OOPS! I was wrong. Thanks to the internet, I have learned about a little market that happens once a month in our downtown area. I dragged my family out with me to check it out and decided to make it a family adventure.

So we drive downtown (and part of me is remembering all the bad parts about going downtown, like paying for parking) and head over to check out this market.

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I felt a little off at first. It was literally a market in an alleyway. Seriously, how awesome is that?! It was really crowded though and I was quickly picking up on the fact that everybody seemed to know each other a little bit, whether or not they were working a booth or a patron. I started to think I wasn’t apart of the cool crowd. Maybe I wasn’t hipster enough or something. I started to focus on the booths and what people had to sell. There were so many people selling stuff they made at this market, it was amazing. Little small shops with little handmade awesomeness made me happier than a kid in a candy shop. There was a little booth that sold steel straws and cute reusable bags. There was a little succulent booth where they had baby succulents in awesome duel-color pots. There was the coolest illustrator with the cutest booth. She had a huge backdrop with all her designs displayed on a wire. It was adorable. We grabbed three of her designs. They also had food trucks and a couple corn hole boards on a little grassy area. The food truck area kind of reminded me of Magnolia Market. So basically, I was in Heaven and I didn’t have to travel to Texas to see it.

Eventually, we left to check out the Container Park nearby. However, this was St. Patrick’s Day and we couldn’t get in because there was some event at the Container Park. I forgot about it being St. Patrick’s Day and I also forgot in Vegas it is a really big deal.

We found a place to get lunch instead and headed home. It was nice to go out and see different things with my boys. It was nice to see something cool in the city I grew up in that I didn’t know was there before. Turns out, I haven’t seen everything Vegas has to offer.

As a family, we are challenging ourselves in a couple different ways. I’ll be writing about them but the first is we are trying to get creative with how we spend our time together and to stop doing the usual stuff. Checking out this market and realizing we could be doing things to explore our city was a good start to this and helped us realize there was more than we thought out there.

As we go out and do things, I’m going to write about it here. It’s going to be a little thing we’ll call “Exploring My City” if the title of this blog post didn’t give it away.

I wish I knew I was doing this before we went because I would have done a few things differently in preparation for this blog post but this blog is a learning experience too and I’m still pretty new to it.

If you’re still sticking around, I’m so excited you’re here! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. There has been a lot happening. Don’t worry though, I’ll be writing about it. It’s all good stuff.

Catch ya next time.