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.ย  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)

ย 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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  • 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.

  • 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.

    โ€œfear will take you places you were never meant to be.โ€

  • 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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