this week feels a little scary

So, I know this is a long, wordy post, but this is what is on my heart and mind right now. It is hard to think about crafts and diy and pretty photos this week. My mind is on surgery and the beautiful (though scary) unknown of a new career path for Chris.

Back in March I attended a conference and heard Dr. Barabara Sorrells speak. So many things she said stood out, but one of them was, “fear will take you places you were never meant to be.” Her words have lingered in my mind ever since.

I don’t want to live in fear, but fear can so easily creep into my mind.

This week is one of those game changer weeks for my family.

A week that could either be full of fear or hope.

I’m fighting fear to hold on to hope.

On Friday, Little One will have her palate repair. It is a big surgery. I’ve sat in the waiting room 5 times already while one of my kids is having surgery. It never gets easier or less scary. This surgery will determine a lot in regards to future surgeries. It will be pretty painful for her and longer recovery than her lip repair. It feels heavy and fear can over take me. But, on the opposite side of fear is the hope of all a closed palate will mean for my daughter. There is hope for her future that I must fight the fear to see.

Several weeks back Chris resigned from a job he loved at a place that has been part of our family for 10 years. This week begins his first official week no longer there. Moving forward is even harder when you treasure what is left behind.

As a couple and family, we are taking steps into the unknown. We are dreaming of what could be. We don’t have a specific plan. He doesn’t have a job lined up. We’ve made financial decisions for years that allow us a little freedom now to take a big jump and hope in the end we’re flying instead of crashing. I’ll be the main ‘bread winner’ for a while and I’m excited to see Chris get to take a few risks and chase ideas to see where they lead. It is an honor to stand by him as he dreams, knowing for so long it has been him cheering me on as I dream.

But it is scary. I’m plagued by the ‘what ifs’….

I’ll be teaching more SnapShops and I’ve been working on a phone photography course (hopefully to be released soon), but I still battle the fears of what if no one signs up. It only takes a quick glance on Instagram or other blogs for me to begin feeling inadequate to teach others, thinking so many more could do a much better job than I can. I worry about juggling homeschool and working more hours and the new normal of a changed daily routine. I worry about messing it all up and letting everyone down. I could make a long list of all my fears. Of all my worries. Of all the reasons I think we shouldn’t chase our dreams. Of all the reasons we should stick with stable and comfortable.

And then I remember….I don’t want fear to take me places I was never meant to be…

So when those fears and worries creep in, I’m taking my thoughts captive and I’m making the leap. Maybe we will crash. But maybe we’ll soar.

When I was in fifth grade I got in-line skates for Christmas. There was a huge hill by my house growing up. I wanted to badly to skate down that hill, but I knew it was a big risk. I could crash hard. One afternoon I snuck over to that hill. Like it was yesterday, I remember standing at the top and deciding I was going to go for it. I pushed off and started flying down the sidewalk. As I came to the end, I realized there was a fire hydrant in the middle of the sidewalk and I had too much speed to stop before hitting it. I could either hit it or lean to my side and stop myself the hard way. I leaned to my side, with my right leg scraping the sidewalk. I didn’t technically crash, but when I stood up there was blood everywhere.

It was pretty bad, though I don’t remember the pain. I remember looking back up at that hill with so much pride thinking, “I did it!”. I skated home leaving a trail of blood behind. After sneaking into the house, I cleaned up as much as I could before my parents saw me. To this day there is a big round scar on my right leg from taking that risk.

I know that might sound silly or like a stupid kid decision to some, but that day I learned that even if I get hurt and scarred up, sometimes the risk is worth it. That day I learned to calculate the risk.  Sometimes the thrill of a dream happening is worth any bumps and bruises on the way.

So, this week marks some scary leaps of faith for us. I know there is a chance we might crash. We might come out of this banged up with scars to show for it. But we might also come out of it soaring. And that will be awesome.

 

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

~ (It is Well with My Soul, Horatio Spafford)

 I won’t be posting again this week as we prepare and travel for Little One’s surgery. I’ll try to link my instagram account here on Friday as I share updates on surgery. Thank you for your prayers.

 

 

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  • Lisa Johnson - My heart soars for you.
    Praying for Little One. And you.

  • Dawn - I love Dr. Sorrells’ quote. What an inspiring perspective you’ve shared. Prayers for Little One’s surgery and recovery and for Chris’ new leap. Thanks for the candid, insightful post.

  • RachelC - Inspirational. Excited to watch you SOAR. Now, go do it!
    Praying for little one. She’s already fought fear and won. Many times. This ain’t no thang for her.

  • Kari Signe - Good Luck on Friday with Little One’s Surgery! Your family is in my thoughts! Such exciting/scary times for you. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • sarah - praying for Little One and your family. Look up “Disturb Us Lord” by Sir Francis Drake. I think you’ll like it…
    “Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
    To venture on wilder seas
    Where storms will show Your mastery;
    Where losing sight of land,
    We shall find the stars.”

  • breezy426 - Ashley, fear is a liar. you’ve got this. God has you, no worries. Good luck and look forward to tomorrows!

  • Cindy Hahn - I NEEDED your post today…your honest, raw words ministered to me. Thank you for sharing, Ashley.

  • Melinda - Ashley and Chris- you will be fine. Things will work out. Just enjoy this time with your family.

  • Bia - Dear Ashley,
    My family will be praying for your family , everything will be as just as God has planned, and I’m sure that will be as beautifull as he planed everything in our lives
    Kisses from Brasil
    sory for the bad english

  • Jessica P - Praying peace for all of you! God is in control, and He has plans to prosper you, to give you a future filled with hope. Let us know if you need anything!

  • Julie - Prayers coming to you from Texas for a successful surgery for your Little One, for Chris’ new journey, and for your fears to be kept at bay.

    This is actually an exciting time for you. Embrace it. You will hopefullly look back on these days with fondness.

  • Amy D - That does sound like a hard week! I love that you are making the courageous choice of hope instead of fear. I think that quote is going to ring in my ears too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy Cornwell - Congratulations on this new adventure! God will bless you in your stepping out in faith. Praying for little one and the family during her surgery.

  • Janice - A friend of mine went through this surgery with her little one this winter. She was not nearly prepared from her doctors. She wishes she could have talked to another mother who had gone through the same. Hopefully you’ve gotten to talk to other Mama’s who’s “been there, done that”. Best wishes for you, your family, and little one!

  • Kenna - Praying for your Little One, your Family, and everyone involved in her surgery. I think this will be another “soaring” for you and your family, Chris and Little One will be there to lead the way.

  • Sherry Eckblad - Congrats on facing your fears head on. Everything will work out as is intended. As for classes I would definitely take a phone photography class from you if it isn’t too expensive. Being on a tight budget I think we need classes everyone can afford. I was going to take the the Big Picture class for phones but feel $49.99 is too much. I like classes in the $20 – $25 range.

  • Erin - Thank you for sharing such an honest post. Your words were what I needed this morning.

    Praying for you and LIttle One!

  • Reesa Heilaman - Praying for Little One and for her family. So excited for her. Exciting for Chris and all of you on your new adventures….

  • Robyn - Your words are so timely for me. My husband was recently laid off and we are now faced with new opportunities. Some scary. Some exciting. Fear and hope battle in my core every second of the day.
    Prayers for Little One and your family this week!!!

  • Dora - I wish you all the best for the future! You’re a peacemaker, a clean and pure soul and I think that there is world “justice” to people like you. I won’t say you deserve, because I believe that noone deserves anything by nature. But you definitely have earned your lightened path through the misty forest, so I am totally positive that everything will be more than ok. Brilliant and better for you and Little One!

    A big hug to all of you,
    Dora.

  • Caroline - Bravery and courage will be with you.
    Praying for you and your beautiful family. :)

  • natalie - hugging you big time right now. you will soar.

  • Lyn - Praying for you and your family. Will sign up for your phone snap shot. Fear is good to overcome. You remind me to take risks and push towards my dreams. Thank you. God Bless.

  • Carri - I will certainly be praying for you all this week and next as Little One recovers. I am currently reading What Women Fear by Angie Smith. It is amazing. She is amazing. Big virtual hugs!

  • Ari - Woah, big things in your life this week. Proud of Chris- taking risks is hard but usually always worth the jump. I’m sure he will be successful in his next venture. And prayers for little one, she is strong and so are you!

  • Dana at Happy Little Lovelies - Oh, thanks for sharing this. Sounds like such an intense week and I’m encouraged that you’re fighting for hope. I just wanted to leave my fav verse for you: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 cor 9:8)

    And PS…I would totally jump at letting you teach me to take better pictures. I read a lot of blogs and your gift for photography stands out at the top in my mind. :)

  • Holly - I never post, but I’ve read for years… God Bless you and your family. You’ll look back on this time in a year or two and it will all seem surreal. Hang in there and know you are covered in prayer.

  • Renae - No doubt you will receive hundreds of comments on this post. All of us, your faithful followers, will be praying for you and your family. For Little One and for Chris. For everything to be alright. For Him to hold you in His hand and love you, care for you, and comfort you. My faith in Him tells me that you and your wonderful family will be taken care of. I will be praying for you and watching your IG feed. My heart will be heavy in the weeks that follow, knowing the physical and emotional pain you are all feeling as Little One heals. I hope that our thoughts, prayers, and words lift you up. On the other side of all of the unknowns is light. I just know it. God bless.
    –Renae

  • Candy - “Dream big, laddie. The maker of heaven and earth is right beside you, so go ahead and take a leap or two. You might fall, get a little bruised. But if you end up flyin’ . . . Ah . . . think of the thrill that would be! For both you and our Maker.”
    ~ Tamera Alexander

  • Natalie - Ashley, I needed your post today, too! Change is definitely scary for all of us and I am thankful for hope. Thank you for sharing this with us today, your words are always so inspiring. I know you are going to do great with all of your new endeavors! There are so many who desire to learn from you. That’s evident in the fact that SnapShops fill in less than 5 minutes! Praying for Little One!

  • joelle - Prayers for peace, comfort and strength. Prayers that the Lord guides the hands of the surgeons, places the words upon their tongues to speak to you and may He hold you all in His arms as you embark on a new chapter in life.

    “My God will supply all your needs…” Philippians 4:19

  • HOPEonthemountain - It’s funny to think you have insecurities over this plan when I – and I think a lot of your readers – view you as the woman who can do anything! You can. I know that without a doubt, and I can’t wait to watch you all soar. <3

  • Sharon @ Discovering Blog - Well, I think we all just learned where Firecracker gets her spirit from! That story was brilliant.

    Best of luck – I know that knot that takes hold of you heart when worry creeps in. Stay well.

  • Alyssa - Love your openness and honesty. It is so easy for me to worry; I think it’s because I like to be in control of everything. But I’m glad the Lord is and not me. I know there are a lot of strangers (myself included) who have never met you but we love your blog and your family.

    The first section of this hymn are a comfort to me and will hopefully be to you too:
    What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!

  • Alice H - Will be in constant prayer for Little One. Praying for you and your husband as well.

  • Laura - God is with you.

  • Kimberly Troth - Prayers for you and your family! Love this post!!

  • Stephanie - I am in awe of your bravery. We never know how far we can soar until we take that leap of faith. Prayers for your sweet baby and your family as you embark on life’s next adventure! :)

  • Melinda D. - I completely understand your fear! We, too, are in the midst of some big changes and gearing up for a chance to let my husband finally chase his dream (of farming full time). In the meantime, our house is up for sale, and I’m doing most of the farming while he continues to work his town job. And, we have 3 kids (one with special needs) and I homeschool. My advice in this busy season is lean on God, and relax on the schooling. If this is from the Lord, he will see you through and your kids will be better for it.

  • Lynne Malan - Oh Sweetie!!! You can do it!!!

    We went to met a contact on Sunday for a potential adoption (and could have had a little baby girl in our arms this passed monday)…but things did not add up and we walked away. Anyway… afterwards we went for dinner and when we got out of the car in the parking garage at the mall, the music was playing really loudly in the garage… guess what song?

    ‘God is watching us, from a distance’ (think by Barbary Streisand).

    God is watching you too… He loves you and He knows the plans He has for you (and your family).

    Jeremiah 29:11
    New International Version (NIV)
    11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Praying for you.. and Little One and your husband… trusting that God already know your future xx

  • Sarah - Ashley! I too was at the Adoption conference and listened to Barbra in all her wisdom. One thing I kept coming back to when reading this post was your story when you first launched online snapshots in hopes to pay for someone else’s adoption and maybe your own. God took that little step you made and blew it out of the water. You and Chris are such deep deep followers of Christ and I know for a fact you wouldn’t be taking this big leap had you not felt the call of Christ. He will bless this. Hold your chin up and remember that he will take this inch and make it a million miles!

    We will miss Chris sorely at TC but know that God’s plans for you guys and your family are going to be astonishing.

  • Jaime - You reached out to people. You share your life and the things you love and hold dearest. There is honesty and courage and truth in all of that. Blessings be to you. All of these things have drawn a multitude to you- a community that looks to you and cherishes what you are sharing. You have taken the steps and planted a seed of which God has blessed and you are now reaping the fruits. Well done :)

  • Sarah K - I will pray for you all. Pray for healing for Little One and pray for guidance. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8

  • Tasha - Congratulations on new adventures and new chapters!!
    We’ll be praying for you guys for direction, open doors, favor, blessing, and comfort!!
    Many prayers covering Little One and her surgery! Prayers of wisdoms for doctors, comfort and strength for family, and healing for the babe!

  • Chris - Good luck to Little One!!!

  • Celia - Honestly…. I could try to come up with encouraging things to say, etc., etc, etc… but the BEST and most important thing I can say is: We are praying for you, your husband and children. The Lord knows all of your needs and He is fully in control.

  • Janine - Wishing you strength, courage and peace of mind on all fronts! Go and grow! My thoughts will be with you and your family!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Oh friend- so much coming up. So much good, but some hard stuff to walk through to get there. I am praying for you.

  • Renee - So many things going on for your family, may the knowledge that the Lord has planned this journey for you and that He walks faithfully beside you carry you through the fearful times. I’m praying that your husband finds happiness and fulfillment on his new career path. I think it’s very brave and very cool, actually, that he did this. You will see God at work in ways you may not have seen before. I will be lifting little one in prayer and praying for God’s hands to guide the surgeon’s. Blessings!

  • Susan - Wishing you all the best.

  • Katie M - In so many ways, my family has been where you guys are/have been. I know the specifics are different every time with every family, but I’ve been praying for you with expectation and confidence that He is always working and what He does is always good…even when the path is so hard!

  • Debbie C - I will pray for Little One and you! Thank God we can come to Him with all of our cares and concerns, may His peace guard your heart this week. Also, your chicken coop turned out so beautifully! Great job!

  • Mary Lemon - You continue to amaze me with your compassion, love and insight for others, especially your family. I’ll pray for Little One’s surgery and for Chris as he chases his dreams and for you as you deal with all of this and take on additional responsibility. Seeing what you do every day, I’m confident you all will get through this along with God’s help.

  • Jesse - So beautifully written. I admire you for taking those leaps into the dark. Best wishes!!! One day at a time, I guess, right?

  • Stephanie - Great post. Exactly my thoughts and feelings lately about my families life and our big change…here are two quotes that help me though when this dreaming & scheeming business gets scary :)

    “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”
    -awesome right?

    and the good old Mark Twain quote

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

    So throw off the bowlines.

    Sail away from the safe harbor.

    Catch the trade winds in your sails.

    Explore.

    Dream.

    Discover”.

    – Mark Twain

    I keep a wish book, I will write a wish for little ones surgery to go over the moon great. Be strong mama.

    Stephanie

  • Robin C - Do you know the story to the hymn “It is Well w/my Soul?” It’s awesome. This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the 1871 Great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago which was decimated by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873 at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone . . .”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Isn’t that incredible?

  • Amanda W. - Oceans by Hillsong has been a song on repeat for me as my family also navigates the unknown. Thank you for sharing the depths of your heart with us. I will be praying for your beautiful little family.

  • Heather Sullivan - Praying for you guys! Blessings.

  • Vbibler - God is so faithful, Ashley! My hubby did the exact same thing last year- left his job to pursue his dream of being a full time photographer. God has provided every step of the way and I pray we never have to go back to working ” real jobs.” It is so awesome to have him home more and to really share parenting with him each day! I too struggle with fear, especially about finances, but I know that I know that God is in control and he will provide for you just has he has for us!!

  • Eva - Praying for peace during this time of transition and your new normal. You will SOAR. I know it! And praying for wisdom for the doctors as they operate on Little One. Cyber hugs to you!

  • Emily - Parying for Little One, Chris, and your entire family. Hold on to the hope, friend!

  • Tricia - Sending many prayers to you.
    I have a 5 year old boy with cancer and the best advice I have gotten I’ll give to you. One day at a time. That is all you can do. And you guys can do this. She will do great!

  • Julie G - More prayers coming to you and Little One from Texas. I am less familiar with the hospitals in Dallas as I am with the ones in Fort Worth (which is where I’ve been with my kids.) But I know plenty of people who have taken their kids to the hospitals in Dallas and had wonderful experiences. I pray this surgery goes as well as possible.
    My family is in the middle of a big leap of faith. I agree that it is too easy to let the fear take over. This is a decision I have prayed about and now that it is where God wants me to go. Even though I can’t see how it’s going to work out I have to have trust in Him that it will.

  • Bethany - WOW. Will definitely be thinking of you & Little One as you take this step of faith :) We serve a big God who works miracles daily, and I know He will be walking alongside you through this tough time!
    I’ll be keeping you in my prayers :)

  • shelly Capehart - I am once again inspired by something you have to say. I am going to home school my son this Fall while working full time. I feel very alone doing this because everyone I know who does it are stay at home moms. Not only are you brave in the upcoming trials with your family’s future, you have been brave so many times prior in ways you may not realize….and aided (unknowingly) another scaredy cat along the way;)

  • Shanalea - I will be praying with you as you get to go deeper into where God wants you. I recently felt many of those things.We were singing Oceans at church and I realized that I was done going out into the waters at that point in my mind the risk was too great. I have come out of that place of fear. My situations haven’t changed in the least, but I had someone tell me that God hears me and see me and it made all the difference in the world. I could face the fears because God was there. I have probably over shared now, but wanted to let you know I get it.

  • Elena - 6 years ago today, I held my 30 month old son, only 6 weeks home from China, as they readied him for cleft palate repair. It is a rough surgery, but incredibly important for speech, eating, sinuses, teeth, etc. etc. I won’t sugar-coat it….it is hard, especially the eating restrictions. But you and she will get through it. Tips: (1) if “no-no s” are required (arm restraints, to keep her from touching her mouth as it heals) a long sleeve shirt and safety pins are the key (2) keep alternating pain meds for maximum pain relief (tylenol, ibuprofen, tylenol, ibuprofen…), lastly (3) syringe feeding can be a lifesaver if she will tolerate it, it will help with at least dehydration. I will keep both of you in my thoughts this week. My son had his bone graft surgery just 3 weeks ago, so it is all very fresh in my mind.

  • marcy - I’m so glad you posted this Ashley! We’re in the same place job-wise right now and hoping everything works out. It’s nice to there are other people out there in the same boat as you are!

    Best wishes on the surgery!

  • Lynn - Thank you for your honesty about facing fear and I hope you know how much your words help so many of your readers. I admire you and Chris for taking a leap into a new direction and the best of luck to the both of you.
    Many prayers for Little One as she goes through her surgery and recovery.

  • Amy M - Thanks for this post and the quote – so timely to some of the things I’m struggling with in my own life. I’m very guilty of giving into fear and doing what’s comfortable and safe, and recently I’ve been feeling the tug to do something scary and figure out what I’m meant to do. I hope I can be as brave as you and Chris. You are a huge inspiration to me.

    I can’t wait for the phone photography course! I’ve been dying to take SnapShop but I haven’t gotten myself a DSLR yet. Be sure it’s the first thing I’ll do once I make the leap. :)

    You and Little One and the rest of the family will be in my thoughts the rest of the week. Praying all goes well!

  • Renata - Someone once told me not to let the “what ifs” of tomorrow ruin the happiness of right now. I find this idea really helpful when I start to feel worried. A lot of times we give the negative “what ifs” the chance to be stronger than the positive “what ifs”. The most beautiful things may be down the road. You always seem pretty good about finding the positive. Best of everything to the seven of you.

  • Jessica - Good luck with Little One’s surgery. We’ll be thinking and praying for you.

    I too love that old hymn. Here’s a quote I love too as you embark on this new adventure: “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that is an idea whose time has come. -Anonymous.”

  • Rhiannon Fountain - You are an amazing and strong woman. Your husband is a lucky man. Good luck to you all in everything you are doing right now. I will be praying for Little One and you guys every day. You guys lie heavily on my heart. Enjoy your Fouth and FireCracker’s birthday. Much love!

  • Carrie - hard stuff. can’t remember where I heard it, but to go along with the song… “it may not be well with my circumstances, but it is well with my soul.” may you walk in the light of our Heavenly Father – trust Him.

  • Julie - I check your blog early every morning, before the kids wake up. Each day your pictures and words speak truth to me- that life is precious, that this journey is such an incredible gift, that even in the messiness and frustration of parenting there is something special and something to give thanks for. Thank you for helping me to see the light in what can sometimes be a pretty gray day. Even today, this post touched my family as we’ve been struggling to find the courage to lead our own crew down an unknown road. We believe that it is where the Lord wants us, but it’s still frightening. Our prayers go out to you today, tomorrow, this week… the God of angel armies is on your side :)

  • emmybrown - oh, Ashley! Totally praying for you…..and as a fellow sister who has taken similar leaps of faith, there is no other more exciting time to see God manifest himself in the most surprising ways! I’m excited for you and can’t wait to see what God has in store for your family. Hugs from Iowa! :)

  • Sara W - I’ll be praying for your family during this time!

  • Kara M - Love Dr. Sorrells quote! It is the main thing that has stuck with me since Fearless. I remember and meditate on it often! I’ll be praying for little one Friday.

  • Necole @seriouslysassymama - Good luck with your scary leaps. I would not worry about anyone not signing up for your phone pic class. Your snap shop classes fill up so fast I never get a chance to get in one. I pray your little does well during and after surgery. None of my children have ever had surgery, but I am a nurse, and I waited with many a stranger while their loved one was having heart surgery.

  • amber - Some of the best things in life are the most scary in the beginning. And what a testimony to your children that sometimes God does crazy things & if we follow, our life can be amazing. If I’m right about what I think Chris used to do, I can only imagine how hard it was to leave it behind. But, when you let God lead, only awesome comes from it. Praying for your sweet Little One. I don’t know any of you, yet I feel nervous for you all. Hugs from Texas.

  • Nicole C - Reading this helps remind me that there is no need to feel alone when it comes to tough choices. Someone is always going through something similar somewhere in the world. I feel like I am in a similar boat as your husband, but I have not let go of my work due to fear. I really just want to hang on until the end of the year, mainly for financial reasons. Yet, I am happy to be reminded of what fear can do.

    So many positive thoughts to you and your family, especially the next few days and weeks on healing for Little One <3

  • ellen patton - Good luck! I bet things are going to be great!!

  • Jennifer - While I rarely (never) comment, I love your blog and am so thankful for the stories you share. I’ll be praying for Little One this week and for you and your husband as you turn down a new path. I have great confidence your SnapShots will continue to do well. After all they sell out in under an hour everytime. I know I plan on signing up for one and would LOVE a phone course as well, since I find myself relying on it more and more.

  • Sara - Ashley,

    I’ve been reading your blog for almost two years now. I’ve so enjoyed your photos and crafts but more than that I’ve enjoyed watching your family grow. You are an inspiration to me in the way you nurture your babies and their dreams and now in the way you’re doing the same for your husband. I have always toyed with the idea of adopting someday, but after following your story I truly hope my husband and I will be able to provide a loving home for a little one who needs a family. Sending prayers and good vibes for Little One’s surgery, I’m sure no matter the obstacles ahead you and your family will surmount them with grace and love.

    Wishing you all the best in everything,
    Sara

  • Kelly - “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” – Margaret Shepard

    I pinned this on Pinterest just the other day and when I read your post, I was reminded of it. Your family is strong and you all stand united – a beautiful thing. You will get through these hurdles as you have gotten through every other hurdle you have faced. During this scary time of transition and pain for your little one – I wish you and your family a sense of peace and a feeling of calm.

  • Brandi - I just wrote a novel and then realized five little words summed up this post and how I feel about it, so I deleted it all…

    “YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!!” – Glennon Melton from Momastery (Love her!)

    Fear is the Devil. The Devil works the hardest when the Lord’s blessings are upon us. You are so very blessed sweet girl. Don’t let him steal your sunshine!

    Prayers! Prayers! Prayers!

  • Rebekah - Thank you thank you thank you! A decade ago we took some huge risks and ended up banged up along the way. We often wonder if we were supposed to wait or if we made the right decision. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about risk-taking in the way you’ve put it and it helps me so much!!! Will be praying for you regularly this week and in the coming healing weeks.

  • Katie - Miss Ashley you have SO many fans routing for Little One, Chris, and YOU! You all GOT this! We believe in you! Many thoughts and prayers your way over the weekend, please let us know if there is anything we can do (from near and far away). :)

  • Aja - How exciting! I love your skating story- what an awesome lesson and perspective. I will be praying for you guys during this time.. I know it can be scary as well as exciting! And of course, for Little One, too. That Jesus will be with her and you guys and all the doctors and nurses involved. Last week I happened to turn on the tv while working on a project and listened to Creflo Dollar teaching about faith and unbelief. I have heard and clung to so many teachings about faith, but had never heard anything quite like it, in regards to our unbelief. How we can have both at the same time and need to cast that care onto Him. “Lord, help my unbelief” is now a huge part of my daily prayer. Anyway, your post brought that to mind, so I wanted to share.
    And ps- your phone course will be awesome, I have no doubt!!

  • AshleyAnn - Candy – that quote is so perfect. Thank you for sharing it with me!

  • Julia - Beautiful post, and often feel the same way. I quit my job and started my own elementary school with my husband a couple of years ago. Balancing everything still feels daunting, but when I look at it all, I know it is so worth it and my life and the life of my children is more meaningful and wholer that way.

    I was sorry to miss your last class, I look forward to hopefully participate in one soon.

    blessings and love on your family!

  • Angie Walsh - What a beautiful post as always! You have such a lovely way with words and the bearing of your soul is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing! You have spoken of such hope and courage even in the midst of the unknown! Always a jot to read your posts. All the very best for friday too. xxx

  • Angie Walsh - What a beautiful post as always! You have such a lovely way with words and the bearing of your soul is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing! You have spoken of such hope and courage even in the midst of the unknown! Always a joy to read your posts. All the very best for friday too. xxx

  • Catherine - Oh, I so hope and pray everything goes smoothly. Even though we don’t know each other, I love coming here and sharing your family life, so I hope you can feel the love being sent your way.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - My family will absolutely be lifting you up in prayer as this journey begins. May God grant you peace and rest. I completely relate and praying that people show up.

    Love, love, love you.

  • Sara - Here is another song that helps me when I am in similar emotional situations!

    I may have doubts and fears,
    my eyes be filled with tears,
    But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night;
    I go to him in prayer,
    He knows my every care,
    And Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.

  • kimberly oyler - it’s the risks we take and the dreams we dream that make life beautiful. praying for you sweet friend.

  • Carol - “This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.” –Hafiz …the “you” meaning all of you, of course: Little One with her important surgery, Chris stepping out to explore new options, all the rest of the kiddos and the most incredible loving mom. I’m sure I’m not alone among your many readers who have every confidence that things will go very well. More than very, in fact! A while back I was trying to find the photo of Firecracker with the wings you made her to show a friend and found myself in your gallery of photos, many of which predate my reading of your blog. I was totally captivated by all the colorful, happy, poignant images and thought: you and Chris are giving your children such a glorious, happy childhood. It just radiates form the page aka screen. All of us out here hold your family in our prayers. Good things ahead!

  • Samantha - Thank you so much for sharing this. The big leaps of faith and crazy dream chasin’ hits close to home for Husband and I. Thank you again.

  • Sarah (SophieBugsMom) - Proud of you!! With great risk comes great reward! Sounds like you and your family are jumping in without holding your nose… I am betting that you surface smiling!! Prayers for your Little Songbird… so happy she has you to comfort her as she heals!

  • Amy L - Thank you for sharing your heart!! You have so perfectly summed up my feelings and thoughts regarding the changes coming up for my family, as well. My husband is quitting his job, and we are moving across the country. . .to follow a dream that is growing in our hearts. I understand your sense of fear. . .it’s so easy to fall into at a time like this. It is so comforting to know that our gracious God is leading us even though the path ahead is not very clear, yet. I will be praying for you and your sweet family. . .especially for Little One.

  • Kellee - When fear takes over concentrate instead on why you started the journey in the first place. You are stronger than you think and we are all praying and on your side. Love and hugs to your whole family and special squeeze for little one….

  • christine - be blessed! <3

  • Natalie @ TheShadyAcre - I’m praying for your sweet family. I have no doubt that the Lord has big plans for you all, and I know you have the faith and the heard to hear him guide you–even when it’s scary. And you have a loving community here cheering with you in the triumphs and lifting you up in challenges.

    Much love.

  • Gina - Keeping you and your family covered in prayers this week!! :)

  • Julie Thacker - I have faith that you will soar (and so will little one).

  • Maegan Schneider - As an alum (for 2 days) of your SnapShop class, let me just say that your instructional skills get two thumbs up from me. I might need to send my kids to you so you can homeschool them too.:)
    I heard the Third Day song on the way to lunch today with the lyrics “You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song!” and thought of your sweet post about your daughter and the great meaning of the name Song. We will be praying for smooth healing for her surgery and calmness for your heart while she is away from you.

  • Anne - Will be praying for the surgery. Our little guy came home from China at 18 months – and a little over a week fresh from his palate surgery (surprise! :). I don’t have experience of what the first week looked like for him, but I do know that when we met him, he was doing great. Kids are so much more resilient that we are as moms. :) If you are not a part of the yahoo adopt cleft group, I can say it is a huge resource for practical surgery wisdom and encouragement. Will pray for great pain management, total healing of her palate and lots of wisdom for mommy!

  • Judy Beltrez - praying for you little’s one surgery. That the Lord may be with her at all times. Also praying that God may give you both peace during this new transition as a bread winner and his new job/role.

  • emilyhh - I just wanted to say, as someone whose child has had the same surgery Little One will have on Friday, that children are strong. Our son had his palate repair about 9 years ago so the details of that surgery are a bit fuzzy. I will say that lots of hugs and deep compassion from parents goes a long way to soothe in those stressful post-op moments….also, lots of favorite videos :) My son did just have a major operation last Tuesday that involved having part of his tongue attached to the roof of his mouth to begin the process of closing a fistula in his palate. I’m not going to lie…the first two days were very hard, but he has learned how to cope and bounce back. It is part of who he is now. I will be praying for your sweet girl on Friday that she will know she is loved and is being cared for, that she will feel the unsearchable love of her Holy Father.
    He is telling a beautiful story….the story of her walk with Him, of who He is forming her to be.

  • Kristi - I’ve never regretted supporting my husband in whatever he feels God leading him(us) to do. Yay you for backing your man.

  • Beth - Hi Ashley. I just stumbled on your site. I pray all goes well with Little One’s surgery. Your site is beautiful.

  • Joy - Sweet Ashley! What a blessed thought – fear will take you places you were never meant to go. When i struggle w worry, my husband and I talk about The Lord giving grace for what IS, not for what MIGHT be; that though HE already lives in tomorrow, I am not built to. These words minister to my heart. We will be praying Friday and the days that follow for little one’s health and wholeness. Thank you for sharing about this new season of adventure for you and Chris – cant wait to see what The Lord will do through His servants, the Campbells. Much love- Joy Redfearn-Faber

  • Nichole Young - I’ll be sending prayers and good vibes to Little One and her Dr’s on Friday…..I’m sure she is in good hands because you made sure of it :)

  • Ellie - Love to the little one, just wanted to let you know, I met someone who used to have a cleft. I had known her for two weeks before I even noticed it! She is 18-20 years old, and such a beautiful wonderful young women. She has one of those personalities everyone radiates towards. She is so full of a beauty that shines through to you. Praying for the little one, as well as for you

    xoxo,
    Ellie

  • Jenny - It is so easy to be fearful in seasons of uncertainty. However, remember that you are not walking through this season of life alone. The Lord leads His children and He provides for them. There is purpose in ALL that we do in life, even in all of the little details that seem mundane. God is in them ALL. :)
    I pray that this week is full of peace from Him and excitement over what He is going to do in your lives. :)

  • Regina - Ashley, I have been a faithful reader of your blog and love your family’s beautiful story – and I just wanted to say that I wish all the confidence and strength in the world for you this week and as you all move forward. I am sending so many positive thoughts for Little One. And when you find yourself uncertain and full of fear, I hope you can find pride in all the things you’re doing — yes, the palate repair surgery is scary, but you are doing this to give your daughter the absolute best life she can have, because you are good, loving parents. Yes, this career change is scary, but you are supporting Chris and you foster each others’ dreams, and that is so beautiful and to be cherished. And yes, it must be so scary to put yourself out there with photography classes – but your photos are truly amazing and always strike a chord with so many people, and among the many photographers out there, YOU are choosing to impart your wisdom to others. You are choosing to make available the information you’ve learned to anyone who would like to learn too – that’s awesome.

    This may all be scary, but even if you are feeling fear, realize that you are DOING all of this, when you could have not done any of it at all. You have made amazing choices, and you are an extremely brave and strong person.

  • JoAnn - Go for it all! You can’t get there if you don’t try!
    Prayers for little one!

  • Missy - Praying you up!

  • Jen - I’ve been reading your blog since just before you went to China to get little one; thought about leaving comments many times as our lives line up in so many ways. Today I’m taking the time to comment because our family of 6 is driving across country. We are moving from the home we’ve always known in VA and beginning a new adventure in CO. We are taking giant running leaps of faith. I am walking the balance beam of faith and hope vs. fear this week along with you! Your family is in my prayers!

  • Ti Madame - Praying for you and your family. I stand in agreement, your family will come out of all of this SOARING.

  • Stephanie - I will be lifting you all up in prayer, please be encouraged. Thank you for sharing your blog with us, it is such a blessing. Praying for you. Psalm 91

  • Karyn ruohonen rudak - Thank you for this post. I have to get a test done on friday and im scared. So your post hit home to me….and the song verse at the end….much needed and one of my favorites!

  • bethany - I have no doubt that this “calculated risk” your family is undertaking is met with loads of prayer from you and Chris and intercession from others. God is not in the fear, but He is in the outcome, whether it looks like soaring or crashing from the outside. Thanks for your transparency.

  • Tanya - I just finished up your SnapShop on Monday and recommend it to the world!
    Congrats to your husband for taking a leap and to you for being so supportive. I have no doubt that only wonderful new experiences will come your family’s way.
    I’ll be thinking of your daughter tomorrow and praying for her to have a fast recovery.

  • colleen from alabama - saw a quote on scottboy and katygirl yesterday that I have turned over and over in my mind. It fits where you are… “worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.” I would add “but it can steal your joy today”. Praying you won’t lose joy and hope and anticipation of what all God can do as your TRUST HIM! Just said a little prayer for you all.

  • Katherine - Wow, huge week for your family. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement in sharing your heart. Many prayers for Little One.

    Also, your chicken coop looks amazing.:)

  • Karen - ?

  • Karen - That was supposed to be a heart not a question mark.
    Sending the best of wishes as well

  • Melissa Cole - Ashley, I am praying for courage for you and Chris – and praying for Little One too. Funny thing about scars…they always tell a story. I’ve never understood why people want to cover them up or have them repaired. I love scars because behind every scar is a story…a lesson learned…or as in the case with yours, a moment of bravery and achievement. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Please keep us updated on Little One.

  • Vanessa - Standing strong and committed with you. {Psalm 108} Adore the coop!

  • Karen - As I was getting ready for work this morning, I was listening to KLOVE and I heard this verse. We are leaving on Saturday for our first mission trip, going to New York with our church, and this verse just seemed perfectly place for me to hear. “This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord you God is with you wherever you go”
    Joshua 1:9

  • Pam - Ashley, may the peace of God surpass all understanding for you and your family. I am so encouraged by this post. I want to be the risk taker and in a sense I have taken risks. We went through a job loss back in 2009 that lasted for a year and seven months and we are still recovering from it. I am happy your risk involves a choice, ours didn’t. Be encouraged by that. As for homeschooling we continued to do that even with job loss and because He called us to it He provided for it. We are blessed! Though others thought I was not helping my husband because we decided to continue homeschooling that was something that hurt but I had to look to God for my peace. I am saying a prayer today for this week and the weeks to come for your family.

  • Emily - Keeping you all in my heart this week and as Little One recovers.

    Also – I have nothing but confidence that Chris will realize his dreams. I read a book called The Year of Living Biblically and the author shared this from Rabbi Andy Bachman, who heads up Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. It’s a Midrash (a story not in the bible but which deals with biblical events: “We all think of the scene in The Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston, where Moses lifted up his rod and the waters rolled back. But this Midrash says that’s not how it happened. Moses lifted up his rod and the sea did not part. The Egyptians were closing in and the sea wasn’t moving. So a Hebrew named Nachson just walked into the water. He waded up to his ankles, then his knees, then his waist, then his shoulders. And right when the water was about to go up his nostrils, the sea parted. The point is, sometimes miracles occur only when you jump in.”

    You guys are jumping in. Bring on the miracles! ;-)

  • Amanda - I have goosebumps for you. In a good way. It’s all about aerodynamics, girl. You can’t crash when your wings are spread wide…go, go, go!! After all, with God as your business partner, how can you fail?

  • Rosalind - How inspirational. Thanks for the great post and for sharing your courage to take a leap of faith. All the best with little one’s surgery, may the God of comfort, comfort you all as you wait and then look after her post-surgery x

  • Robyn - Thank you for bravely sharing your fears! I want to reassure you that if this is a path and direction God is leading your family in, he will provide! 5 years ago my husband left his wonderful job of working for Young Life, not to go into a different job, but to go into nothing, because that is where we felt like God was calling us. At the same time, I bought a flower shop, so I was our main breadwinner (although I didn’t buy a business that is super lucrative!) I can’t say that the past 5 years have been smooth sailing. We are still journeying down a path we still don’t know the destination of, but God has shown himself multiple times on our journey, reassuring us we are doing the right thing. Right now we are really strapped financially, but are trusting in God, that he will provide, because he is the great provider! Take faith in what you have been called to, and enjoy the journey!

  • Pat - I read this quote the other day (probably on Pinterest!) that has resonated with me lately: “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” Praying for your family in the coming days.

  • Harriet Gray - Thank you for sharing what is on your heart. Praying for you as you face a scary week. I will be lifting your little one up in prayer. Praying that the Lord will give the Doctors wisdom and that He will watch over your wee one. I’m also praying for you and you and your husband step out in faith. I did that two years ago when I moved from Scotland to California. I fully trusted that the Lord was in this decision but there was definitely fear involved. Now, two years later, I can tell you that I would do it all over again. There was definitely some trials and obstacles along the way but I 100% feel that I am where the Lord would have me be. So I am praying for you, knowing that it is scary. But there is no greater place to be than fully dependent on the Lord. I am confident that you will be soaring!

  • Erin - I read your post with tears in my eyes as my husband just came home moments ago with news of an interview that could quite possibly be the answer to many prayers, but will require a bold, physical move out of every support we have.

    And this is what was playing:

    “Please keep my eyes
    Fixed on You
    Please root my heart
    So deep in You
    Keep me abiding
    That I would bear fruit”

    -Jeremy Riddle, Full Attention

  • Lisa - You won’t regret taking this adventure! You will learn along the way beautiful things whether you crash or soar. God is so faithful to work in our life. We stepped out in faith a couple years ago and yes it was scary, but it has turned out to be the greatest adventure of my life and for my faith. Prayed for your family and little one’s surgery. :)

  • Lauren @ MERCY iNK - You have me in tears. That is so powerful… that fear takes us places we were never meant to go. I feel like God has been refining and pruning me all year in regards to fear. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably… and for taking the leap. I look forward to hearing the awesome story on the other side of the hill :) blessings + prayers, lauren

  • Shauna - I won’t waste too much of your time reading this.
    I just wanted to say. Happy 4th of July.
    Good Luck Little One, I can’t imagine the recovery process and she will be tender for a while but she too will one day look back on the strength she gained from these surgeries and won’t remember the pain. And will be grateful for what you managed to do for her.
    Good Luck Chris, it is a big decision to move on from a job you love and that is like a safety net. I did it last year to move to a foreign country to be with a man I love, I crashed and burned, but Chris has so much support in your family that fledging might take a little while but he will soar.
    You will soar!!
    Thoughts are with you from Australia over this weekend. I know it might be a while before we a lucky enough to read about Little One’s Surgery and see her smile again. But all of your readers will be there thinking of you the whole way.
    xo

  • Alicia - I’ll keep your family in my prayers as you go through these next couple weeks because I know while I too struggle with fear of the unknown future, I also know that the Lord can help us soar to places we never even imagined when we lean on Him and the people he’s placed in our lives.

  • Megan - My thoughts and prayers are with you, Little One and the whole family. happy for your to be facing the fears with optimism and you will look back one day on this time fondly!

  • Elizabeth - Warm thoughts your way….

  • Noelle - We had our daughter’s cleft repaired at Johns Hopkins two weeks ago. It was so stressful for me but she was amazing. I will be praying for you and your family (I was surprised by how much it effected my other kids). God is in those waiting rooms filled with anxious parents and his power is perfected in our weakness. Hugs!

  • Aaren - Wonderful songs are being sung for you and you family.
    May you hear them loud and clear.

  • Chantel - Praying for you and all the changes! I’ve only sat in the waiting room for one surgery for my little girl but it was a big one -I feel like I have a little idea of what you are going through. Stay strong, you’ve got an army praying for you!

  • adeline - my most favorite hymn. cling to it!

  • Jenny B. - Praying for you.

  • Caitlin Elder - Many, many prayers coming atcha from WA. Especially for Little One!
    As a successful product of your SnapShop, I’d say you’ve got nothing to worry about there! It was fantastic!
    I was just reading the post about Fire Cracker loving thrills and adventure. You and your husband are doing an amazing job modeling that bravery as you step out in trust.
    Can’t wait to see what amazing things God has in store for you as you trust Him to take you on this awesome journey!

  • ranee - Isaiah 41:10….that is my favorite verse related to fear and is always an encouragement to me. praying for you this week!

  • Lindsey - First of all – I will send up prayers for your family as Little One goes through surgery.

    Second – Good luck to you and Chris as you start on this unknown journey. I hope something fantastic happens for you guys!

    Third – This post spoke to me on so many levels, so many pearls about chasing those dreams. I let fear overtake me way to often. Thanks for sharing these words to help me!

  • Tammy - This post so resonates with me. My family is coming up on our one-year anniversary of taking a huge plunge to realize our dreams. A couple of years ago, we realized that our big-city lives had gotten too crazy for us. Two full-time jobs, school, daycare, spending too much time in cars and buses and not enough time together. So we decided to pull up stakes, move to a small mountain town, and slow the heck down. I was able to keep my job and telework, but my husband quit his job.

    I won’t deny that sometimes I get a little anxious about being the primary earner, but I’m learning to have faith in myself, as well as faith in the belief that if something goes wrong, we’ll land on our feet.

    And the upshot is that this move has been tremendous for our family. Our boys go to school three blocks away, and I work from our home office. My husband has gotten very into volunteering for several local groups, which was something he always dreamed of being able to do but never had time for in the city. We’re still busy (I mean, we have kids, how could we not be busy?)’ but it’s a good kind of busy. We spend way more time together. We spend more time with friends. We spend practically NO time in cars, which I love.

    Everything you wrote about fear and faith was so eloquent and true. Working to overcome my fear was one of the hardest, and best, things I’ve ever done.

  • Allison - Praying for little one and your family. May all that God has for you come your way as you live out your lives in faith. thanks for putting this post in words. I always knew that it doesn’t help to worry and it takes our trust away from God when we dwell on those thoughts but now I have more of a word picture that fear takes us places we were never meant to be. Thank you and carry on.

  • ashlee - im so excited for your family and your little one. i know what an unknown future looks like but when your ewalking in obedience there is a peace that seems to envelope you. im so excited to see where God leads you in this. i will be praying for you guys friday!

  • Jacci Morgan - Ashley, my words are failing me (and you know that hardly ever happens, lol!). Just know, sister, that you have a friend in Ohio praying earnestly for you, for your family, for sweet Little One. I’m setting aside special time on Friday, but I know the need for prayer goes well past the actual surgery. I’ll keep at it as she heals <3 And for you all… those are huge changes. But our God is able. Wish I could squeeze you this week. Or make something awesome to send you… to encourage you and remind you that the Body is in this alongside you. But, the best thing I make is pie. That probably wouldn't ship too well. Many hugs. Many prayers. "For I know what e'er befalls me, Jesus doeth all things well." <3 <3 <3

  • Caroline R. - My heart echos what so many others have said..I really appreciate and adore coming to this hopeful and beautiful little corner of the Internet that is your blog. It’s hard to put into words how much you and your family, people I’ll likely never meet, inspire me daily. I really hope to be able to take your snap shots class, and I have a really strong feeling that I am only one of many- the last class was booked so quickly! But, in the meantime, I’ll continue to pray for you and your sweet family- can’t wait to hear how well all the changes turn out for you all…

  • Sophibelle - Prayers for your little girl!!!!

  • Stephanie - Your bravery and courage throughout the short time I have followed you is more than some people are able to show in a lifetime.

    I will be sending positive energy to you, Little One and your family that the surgery is a success and that she will have the quickest recovery possible despite being the long recovery mentioned.

    I have also begun my own business as a photographer with my young family. I am hoping that my day to be the breadwinner comes soon so that I may also allow my husband to leave his job and catch up on his dreams, while WE cheer him from the sidelines. I can only imagine how terrifying it must feel to transfer the financial stability and comfort, but it is also very exciting!!!

    Your work is amazing. And just as you feel unsure about your work, those other photographers that might have you feeling overshadowed also second guess themselves. We all do. But we all have our place in the world. Even if a photographer is more talented or more skilled, you are a package deal. You are a mother. You are an individual. The best photographer in the world isn’t going to captivate every single person. Your story and your sense of the world that you capture through your camera is what draws so many of us to you.

    You hit the nail on the head with your analogy to your skating experience. You gotta get out there and JUST DO IT! Whether you succeed or fail, you will feel the warmth of pride rise within you for having the courage to overcome your fear. And though it might be a lot of practice before mastering something, it will be all the lessons you learned along the way that will continue to inspire you.

    You are amazing

    xoxo Phanie

  • SueB - Looking forward to seeing where you are soaring. Praying for your Little one.

  • Jennifer - I’ll be praying for you and Little One on Friday! And I’ll be the first to sign up for a phone photography course!!

  • Corrina - Prayers to your family!! And no worries about people not signing up for your SnapShop classes. The information you share in your classes is PURE GOLD!! I cannot wait for the phone class!!

  • Kim - Praying for all your needs, as well as the doctors and your other children during Little One’s surgery. Your journey reminds me of a book I just finished called Freefall to Fly. Have you read it? It might be good waiting room material.

  • elma - Praying that the Lord will guide the doctors in her care and that she has a complete recovery!!

    Mt.21:21 “And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,believing, ye shall receive”

  • Rebecca Harrington - Ashley,
    I know you already have a lot of comments. But I really want to add mine as well. I thank God for the gift he has given you. You are gifted in so many ways, but so often it is actually your gift in writing that encourages me the most. My husband and I are stepping out into deep (scary….wonderful) water with the Lord as well. Your words are so true and so encouraging. I will be praying for you and your family as you go through this time of growth and transition.

  • Asha - Well, anyone considering taking your class, let me just say, I learned so much from you!!

  • Kimberly Dial - Call me silly but I predict you’re gonna soar! Praying for you, your family & that precious Little One that all will be well in Jesus name. BTW, as soon as I can buy a DSL I’m gonna take one of your photography classes :) God bless!

  • Caitlin - Thinking of you and your family. Best of luck!

  • Katie S - Prayers for your family! And thank you for the reminder not to fear! Such a great inspiration!

  • Macy - I will think good thoughts for you and your family. I enjoy your blog so much and you have inspired so much in me. Good things happen to good people, and you are definitely good people! :)

  • Jen F - Thank u for sharing this. My family is going through something similar in regards to taking risks with my husband’s career. It helps to know we aren’t the only ones going through it. :) I also must tell you as a new mom you inspire me so much! Thank you for your honesty it is refreshing! Prayers for your family and Little One!

  • Shelly Cunningham - Thank you so much for sharing this. Fear has been holding me back from really living my life lately. I am going to adopt your mantra. I love it!
    Good luck with all the life changes and most of all with Little One’s surgery.
    Hugs!

  • Kimberly Mason - “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

    This is my favorite verse. My niece had to go through the same surgery. My friend also just adopted a baby from China and her daughter had to go through the same surgery. Whenever anyone told her about how hard the surgery was going to be giving her specific examples she prayed against those for her little girl. Do you know that her child was off the chart for better than best case scenario for the surgery. she never missed a beat and was in no pain. i’ll standing in prayer with you that little one’s experience will be just as good! the only negative her child had was really bad breath due to the stitches. ;) that was just funny. it’s gone now of course. God bless you and your family! Love in Christ, Kimberly

  • Brooke - Ashley, I love this post. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write.
    That quote jumped off the page and screamed at me! I’ve now written it down and stuck it on my desk so I’ll see it all the time.

    You are so brave and have already done so much. I have no doubt that you and your family will soar! I love the story of the roller blades and I think you’ve nailed it on the head. There may be a few bumps and scars but you look back at them with pride and a smile and know that they taught you something and made you who you are.

    I’ve been thinking very seriously about moving to a whole new provence. I don’t know anyone there, don’t have a job there, etc. But it’s a dream I have to do, to go on this adventure and see what other dreams I can make come true. I will hold the reminder “fear will take you place you were never meant to be” so closely and I will take steps forward.

    Thank you for sharing your courage.

  • Christina - One day at a time. Live in the present and let the future take care of itself. Hard words to live by. I struggle with it everyday, but you are right, you can’t let fear dictate your direction. You will be just fine and right where you’re meant to be. There are road bumps in life, but it shapes our direction. A very speedy recovery to Little One and I look forward to hearing of Chris’ success with his new path.

  • Audrey - Will be thinking of you all on Friday ~ I hope everything goes smoothly with Little One’s surgery!!!!!

  • Seamingly Sarah - I remember the fear I had when we decided to go from two incomes to one. To be a stay at home mom was a big leap for me. But when we followed through with the decision it was freeing, it felt right. As we look forward to the next big decisions (moving to another state, changing both our careers etc…) I want to keep these same thoughts with me.

  • Hannah - I identified with your words. Risks can bring about fear but we need to take control of our thought life, release the fear, and focus on the hope that is found in Jesus and the amazing plan he has for our lives…plans that are more than we can ever hope or imagine (Eph 3:20). A beautiful reminder you’ve written here.

    Praying for peace and hope to overwhelm you and your sweet family.

  • Ruth - I hope and pray that the surgery goes well this week and that your family get through this difficult time. And I would love to sign up to one of your snapshot classes! I wasn’t home when registration opened for the last one! :)

  • Shannon - Prayers for you, Little One, the doctors and nurses caring for her tomorrow, and the rest of your family. I know how hard it is to be in the waiting room while your child is undergoing surgery – I hope the time passes quickly.

  • Kristin S - Beautiful, heartfelt, mama/woman/daughter of the King honesty. Thank you, Ashley, and praying for Little One and you guys.

    I’m not sure that quote will leave me. I’ve fought fear my entire life.

    “fear will take you places you were never meant to be.”

  • Lisa - Thank you for this beautiful post, we are awaiting to meet our sweet baby girl next week through adoption. I have much fear in the anticipation, but I will hold onto hope. You words and photos are very inspirational. We are praying for Little One and your family as you embark on another adventure

  • Meg S. - Lifting Little One, her surgeons, and your family up in prayer today and in the following time of recovery.

  • Becky - Thinking of you all today.

  • Melissa - Praying for baby girl and parents! There is no place better to be than in the hands of our Almighty, the Great Physician!

  • Michelle - Ashley, I’ll be praying for you and your family this week as you prepare and walk through such a huge thing as surgery. Also, felt like I should share with you the song that has been my last month’s anthem. You may have heard it but it’s ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong United. The line that came to my mind when reading your post was “take me to where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you may call me…” May your trust in Him have NO borders this week. Praying. -Michelle

  • Michelle - All the love and luck in the world for little one’s surgery. I find your words and your family so inspiring x

  • Lauren Klouda - I could have have written this post myself. Different circumstances of course but I am with you. Fighting fear and living the life we are meant to live one day at a time. Very excited for you and Chris and your family. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kiki - I’ve had this post of yours saved as a tab for a few hours now. I just haven’t had the words and haven’t felt that the time was right to read this. But, the more it lingers, the more I fall in love with this post, your honesty, and your trust in God’s plans. Thank you for reminding me that we all have fears, but that it’s what we do with our fears that sets us apart. All too often I let my fears guide my life instead of God and seeing you live your life bravely reminds me that I, too, I can live a brave life (seriously, you’re one of the bravest + most amazing bloggers out there!). Anyway, thank you for that quote. It’s now one of my faves!

    And I’m praying for you, your family, Chris, and Little One. Sending so many prayers your way! :)

  • samantha - I truly adore you and your genuine heart. I will pray for God’s bountiful provision while Chris pursues the next step for your family! It truly is well with your soul- in the arms of you Abba, yes indeed. Little one is in my prayers as well. With a son who endured a liver transplant, I know this fear and this yielding. You are brave and your footing is established.

  • Susan - Thanks.

  • Melissa - You are an inspiration. I simply adore you. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Best of luck with the scary things ahead, but I know you will soar!

  • elizabeth H - i too, sometimes fight the battle of fear …
    in those moments, the Holy Spirit reminds me of the Truth in song:
    “You Make *all* Things Work Together for My good”.
    {Chris McClarney}
    &
    “Oh, How He Loves Us” …
    reminding myself w. the TRUTH pushes fear aside.

  • Delecta Rollins - Last September, my husband called me on his way to work and told me that he was going to quit his job. He asked me how I felt about it, and to my surprise (and his too), I didn’t freak out. I knew that in every decision he makes, he seeks The Lord and as my spiritual leader, I had to trust that he was in this situation. We had enough money to survive for one month. Everyone thinks we are crazy, but my husband says, “if you have everything already planned out, you aren’t exactly stepping out in faith. It’s like having a fall back plan in case God doesnt provide.” Fast forward, 10 months later, and we still have food on the table. He is happier than he’s ever been and following his dream of starting his own business.

    I never comment, and even now, have deleted this and rewritten it several times knowing you have a zillion other things to do rather than read this comment, but I, too have struggled with fear creeping in so often. I hope of nothing else, that you are encouraged in knowing that God will provide for your amazing family as He always does. This is your leap of faith, and I’m excited for you guys and can’t wait to see how your story unfolds. Thanks so much for sharing your life (in words & in photos), you’re always such an inspiration.

  • Julie K - I am a little late leaving this comment, so let me start off by saying I’m so happy to see that Little One is out of surgery and doing well! But I’d also like to say, please please PLEASE hold a snapshot course on phone photography! I am anxiously waiting to hear more about it, and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

  • Links I Love – July 5, 2013 | k.foley wellness - [...] usually love everything Ashley Ann posts, but I especially love this reminder: “Fear will take you places you were never meant to be.” An excellent little mantra to pause the sneaky fear [...]

  • Barbara Sorrels - Have been reading through some of your blogs. Praying for a quick recovery for your little one. Love reading about your sweet family. I had to laugh when I read this post…I’ve been struggling all day with fear…and about to let it take me somewhere I am not meant to go. Thanks for reminding me of my own words!! So easy to say it…sometimes hard to live it.

  • Internet Inspiration – July 5, 2013 | k.foley wellness - […] usually love everything Ashley Ann posts, but I especially love this reminder: “Fear will take you places you were never meant to be.” An excellent little mantra to pause the sneaky fear […]

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