True friends know that when someone says to pose for a picture, funny faces are the only option. Love you so much @alexcoccaa. (at Lenora’s Legacy Estate)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-3)
(Huge thank you to Olivia White for taking, what are most likely, the most incredible pictures I’ve ever seen. You’re so great at what you do!) (at South Carolina Botanical Garden)
My soul comes alive in fields of His glory. I am His, and He is mine.
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says The Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’
I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as The Lord. (Hosea 2:14-16, 19-20) (at South Carolina Botanical Garden)
Okay friends, it’s crunch time. My first World Race fundraising deadline is coming up fast… June 27th! I need to have $3,500 in my fundraising account on that day to be able to go to Training Camp in July. $1,625 has been raised so far (WOO HOO!) so that leaves only $1,875 to go!
If you’d like to help support me while I’m on the field, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved!
1) Click the “Support Me” link on my blog (www.ashleyganahl.theworldrace.org) if you’re interested in supporting me through a financial gift.
2) Continue to pray for me. Please pray that The Lord would continue to bless this trip and bring in funds. He is SO good and has been incredibly faithful!
3) Buy an awesome new shirt! Check out my Etsy store (ashleygworldrace) to see the new shirts I’m selling to help raise funds. I think they’re pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. (To make things a touch easier, there’s also a link to my Etsy store through my Facebook and my blog.)
4) Spread the word! Share this post with your friends and family to spread the word about the World Race. Sharing is caring! :)
Thank you all SO much for all of the love and support you have given me so far! It has been incredibly humbling and I have felt so loved by each of you. I love y’all!!
Reliving middle school. I’d be lying if I said I don’t absolutely love this song.
What an incredible version of an old hymn. I absolutely love this.
If you decide to get hooked on any song this fall, let this be it.
Bring me your weakness, and receive My Peace. Accept yourself and your circumstances just as they are, remembering that I am sovereign over everything. Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning. Instead, let thankfulness and trust be your guides through this day; they will keep you close to Me. As you live in the radiance of My Presence, My Peace shines upon you. You will cease to notice how weak or strong you feel because you will be focusing on Me. The best way to get through this day is step by step with Me. Continue this intimate journey, trusting that the path you are following is headed for heaven.
'The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.' – Psalm 29:11
'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.' – Numbers 6:24-26
'But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.' – Psalm 13:5
— Jesus Calling (February 4)
You have to let the roots grow deep, and stop worrying about the leaves. In due season they will be made new.
He Remains Faithful
Back in late September, an old demon that I thought I had conquered came back to haunt me: the feeling that I was too far gone for God’s grace to reach me.
Hah. How ridiculous is that?! I had just written a blog about his grace. I had been through months of trials, tribulations, and victories that proved his grace abounded. I had watched him work in me and through me just moments after my screw-ups. I should have had the grace thing down, right? I guess old habits do die hard.
So, I decided to try to remedy this with good, old fashioned prayer (hey guys, it seriously works wonders). I spent a night face down on my bedroom floor begging the God of the Universe to calm my heart; to open my eyes to his goodness and grace. I went to bed unresolved. Calmer heart and drained emotions, but still unresolved.
The next day, I decided to take a nap during my lunch break at home and sleep off the restlessness I was still feeling. When I woke up, the lie was still there. The lie that I was somehow too far gone for God to eternally love me. The lie that, at any moment, he would completely give up on me. The lie that he didn’t love me as fully as he said he did. I was fed up. I was fed up with being told this lie, and I was fed up with believing it. God had a beautiful track-record of loving me, not only in his Word, but in my life too. He had proven himself faithful over and over and over. He had shown me that he was my eternal redeemer.
So, at the end of my rope, I begged God to speak to me. I wanted to hear directly from him that it was finished long ago; that my heart has been sealed to his for eternity. At the end of my prayer, I hadn’t heard anything, so I gathered my things and started the short drive back to work.
As I was about to pull up to a stop sign in the parking lot outside of our offices, God clearly and concisely declared his everlasting love for me. I quickly parked my car and made a dash to my desk to grab my notebook and jot down the exact words he said so that I would never forget them. My God didn’t just speak a word, or even a sentence, of truth to me… he spoke an entire paragraph. The God that created the heavens, and the earth, and the oceans, and animals, and abundantly more saw fit to notice my hurt and confusion and speak directly to my heart.
Since then, those words have been such a comfort when my fragile, fleshly heart begins to believe lies again. Because they have been such a help for me, I want to share them with you, in hopes that they bring light into your darkness and speak truth to combat the lies.
"God loved us in our most unlovable state. So much so that he saw fit to live with us, as one of us. To live in the most humble way imaginable, just to be near us. Then, he took every punishment we ever deserved. He died for us, while we were still sinners. Then, he took the keys of hell from Satan, rose again on the third, and lived another forty days with us. If God would do all of that before I knew him, how could I ever imagine he would disown me or stop loving me now that I love him back. You see, our salvation and right-standing with him isn’t based on who I am or what I do, but on who he is and what he has done. He began loving me and pursuing me 2,000 years before I was born… and nothing under the sun will stop him from loving me now.”
Dear friends, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)