becraftysnapshopWAsmI am excited to announce that in May, I will be joining my sister (Lesley Zellers) and two friends (Amanda Rydell & Sara Parsons) for a late afternoon of crafting and photography goodness! We will spend a few hours together in a cute barn in Friday Harbor, WA.

Both Amanda and Sara are contributors to my SnapShop: Phone course (I share several interviews with some of my favorite photographers – they are among those). It is fun to get to do something together in person instead of just online!

Each attendee will create and take home 3 inspiring projects. Along with crafting with Amanda, I will share simple ways to improve your phone photography and Lesley will demonstrate tips and tricks on creating chalk art.

The workshop will be limited to 20 participants. Registration opens today. For more information and to register, click here.

UPDATE 3:00PM US CENTRAL: The workshop is booked.

 

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  • mindy - I am dying that you guys will be in washinton. Its like a dream. But i am 6 hours away and thats not doable with 3 kiddos at home. One day I hope to meet all you beautiful ladies!

  • Krystle - How exciting! The San Juans are a beautiful area in Washington… if you have some extra time… check out Hurricane Ridge; it’s over on the peninsula, but definitely worth the trip! :) You would also like Annacortes, closer to the San Juans… small, little town with a yarn shop called “Not Your Grandma’s Yarn Store” :)

  • Carrie - Friday Harbor (on San Juan Island) is an incredible place! San Juan Island is one of my favorite places along with the other “San Juans” nearby! No need to travel far from there and see incredible beauty. I hope, hope, hope that you have beautiful weather! It is possible! Have a fabulous time! Would love to come, love to come! but baby is due then :)

  • AshleyAnn - Thanks for helping me out on the island name Carrie & Krystle! I corrected that :)

  • windie d - this sounds like such a fun weekend! but as it’s the day before my 1st anniversary (and i am in Colorado) not something i could do right now. Hope you get so many responses that you decide to do this again!

  • Dawn - Ashley!!! I am SO excited!! I just booked my ticket!! Cannot wait to meet you and be in this beautiful place! I had no idea when I woke up today that I would be booking a trip to the other side of the country! This will be an adventure of a lifetime and I couldn’t be more excited!! :-)

  • Carrie Rowe - ugh, I want to go so bad!!! You gals are amazing!

  • Sara S. - We just moved to Washington and we are only 2.5 hours away. It’s killing me because it is probably not in our budget and my baby is due one month before but maybe I can figure something out. ???? Dying to go!

  • Jennie - Oh! My! I live near Seattle, and would absolutely love to come, if only so I could meet you and your sister. :) I just have to see if I could work out the logistics…and I’m afraid it will fill up before I figure out if it’s possible (budget/timing concerns). But I would so love to meet you. Oh maybe- if you are flying into Seattle, and need a quick crossfit WOD on your way North, I know of a great box :)

  • Maca - Ohh my this sounds great! I would love to go! I love your work.

    Maca

  • Caitlin E - Shoot! Sold out! If there’s a waiting list/last minute cancellation list, can I get on it? I LIVE in Washington, and it’s killing me that you’ll be so close!!!!

  • Natalie - Oh this would be so awesome to go to! You guys need to do another one closer to Kansas!!!

  • the inadvertent farmer - Ughhh…just got home from homeschool co-op and you are already booked! If you open it to more (or do another) let me know. I live in SW Washington and would have loved to join you! Kim

  • Stacey - Hi! I’ve been following your beautiful blog for awhile now and am soooo sad this is already full. Is there a wait list? I would absolutely LOVE to attend. Thanks so much!!!

  • Caroline Kelley - Is there a wait list? I just saw this and would love to attend!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - what an awesome group of ladies! Have a great time!

  • Stephanie George - So wish I could have done this! Although I wish it had been a DSL class rather than iPhone so I could have justified the expense to my husband! I live in Kirkland, WA (just East of Seattle). It’ll be so crazy knowing you and your sister are nearby and that I don’t get to meet you! Looks like the workshop is already sold out; I’m happy for all who get to go. “Next time” you need to have a meet and greet or a weekend full of mini classes so more can attend! Don’t forget to share all the pictures when the time comes!

  • Samantha - Goodness, that would be my dream come true! Congrats to the lucky ladies who are going!

  • Donzel - Friday Harbor is still too far away! :-D Head east about 8 hours and you’ll strike gold.

  • Melissa @ Bless this Mess - If I weren’t going to be super pregnant I would come!! I hope you do these for the next few years because I so want to come!

  • Christy - When you and Lesley host in OK, count me in! ; )

I’ve never been extreme. I am more of an even, straight line….pretty much the same all the time.  My excited face actually looks a lot like my ‘this is good’ face and my ‘hmm, yeah I like that face”.  I’ll never forget standing next to Chris one evening when we were dating. We were looking at a beautiful sunset. All the sudden, Chris threw up his arms and yelled something about how amazing the sunset was. I remember looking over at him like he was so strange. I mean, of course the sunset was stunning, but who randomly yells stuff like that? In the middle of the dorm lobby? Chris does.

Just a straight line…every now and then there might be a little bump up or down on my line, but mainly a straight line.

I’ll always choose a t-shirt and jeans over the current fad.

I don’t make new year’s resolutions.

I’m just even. Moderation. No extremes in anything really (well, maybe Crossfit now depending on which family member you ask).

All that to say, a few weeks ago I thought I would try to eliminate sugar from my diet. I eat carbs. And dairy. And meat. And just about everything else…just in moderation (I also know many do not have those options, I have many close friends that must walk delicate roads with their diet out of necessity). Anyway, I decided I would see how it felt to eliminate sugar for a bit. I’m pretty attuned to my body, I’m healthier now than I was in high school or college, and I definitely don’t lack energy; it wasn’t a decision based on not feeling good. I just wanted to try it. It seemed like a good idea.

It was a terrible idea – but not for the reasons I expected. I don’t eat tons of sugar anyway, so I didn’t have any horrible cravings and I didn’t feel any different. At all. I did however miss baking. Namely, I missed baking cookies.

Halfway through my time without sugar the boys had friends over. I ALWAYS make chocolate chip cookies when my boys have friends over. It’s my thing. Only I couldn’t make them. I didn’t have the supplies on hand (on purpose). Sure there are no-sugar alternatives, but those aren’t MY cookies. Everything felt wrong.

And I remembered this extreme stuff – no sugar ever business – it is not me. I’m a straight, no extremes line that involves sugar & chocolate chips, especially when my house is full of little boys.

Extra little boys have been back in our house. This time I had my baking supplies stocked. Sugar in the house. All was good in my world again.

2.15cookies-012.15cookies-022.15cookies-032.15cookies-052.15cookies-072.15cookies-082.15cookies-092.15cookies-10The cookies also helped the fact that my water was shut off for about 8 hours. Our friends’ 3 boys are staying with us for a bit. So that means 6 little boys in my house…with no running water. No water. 6 boys. No toilets that flushed. 6 boys. Needless to say, I chose to ditch moderation and eat too much cookie dough.

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  • Lisa K - I am a straight line kinda girl too. This post made me smile the entire way through it! I look forward to reading your blog every morning. And every time I read one I end up thinking….. “If I knew Ashley in the real world, she is someone that I would love to call a friend.” Have a wonderful and blessed weekend :)

  • Izzy - The cookies look so good! Could you post the recipe?

  • Gretchen - It’s so good to know that others are similar to myself. This is completely ME. I have never even thought about making a New Year’s resolution. And I can’t stand the word DIET. Everything in moderation is definitely key for me. Your words are so true for me. I hear ya!

  • Paige E - Love this. In August of last year I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. So no more gluten for me… ever. It has been very confusing because I like to bake for my guys. I want moderation in their lives. My life has always been extremes and I want something different for them. I’m so thankful my husband is the moderate. I strive to be more like him. Not just in food, but in life. I have two Boston Terriers, Tubby and Blue. When we go for walks Tubby just trots along, stopping to sniff when he wants to, and taking his time, just enjoying the walk. My Blue leans so far on the leash and halter that a lot of time he is basically walking on his back legs. He lunges ahead and side to side, never stopping to sniff, just wanting to go go go. Oh boy. God slapped me with that one. I want so much to be Tubby and not Blue! I’ve decided I will still bake for my boys. I will be careful and I, of course, will refrain. But I want them to remember good smells from my kitchen and real cookies with butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Isn’t God grand how he puts moderates and crazy people who yell about sunsets (that would be me) together for life?

  • amber - Amen sister, amen. Baking is relaxing & it makes everyone happy! Now, if I could get that moderation thing down, that would be helpful…I’m currently nursing my newest & all I want are cookies & brownies. Ugh. And yay! Ha ha!

  • dana - Eight boys and no water?? yikes! And by hearing you comment that there were no toilets to flush…I assume you are on well water? We are too…When the power goes out around here, most people think “oh no, no lights” …With 5 kids, i always think “oh no, no toilets!”…ah, perspective! I think even, straight lines are good..everything in moderation????…except homemade chocolate chip cookies

  • Sarah - I can’t tell you how nice it was to read this. It seems like more and more fear mongering is happening every day, food being one of the topics. I read on Facebook the other day, “EVERY BITE of food either feeds or fights disease.” That might be true…? But it makes everything seem like a black-and-white fork in the road where you can eat beets and live or eat cookies and die. Ha. Anyway, it’s nice to see someone admired and respected (whether you admit it or not!) say that moderation is okay. And now I will go make the banana bread I’ve been wanting but afraid to make for weeks.

  • lucia - I would just LOVE LOVE LOVE to know what camera, what lens and what photo editing you did to these pictures, it would be so helpful, I am struggling so much taking the kind pictures i want to take…
    Thank you!
    Lucia

  • Arlene - Me: mom of 5 grown children. Chocolate chip cookies (& other yummy treats) were made a couple times a week. I, too, loved everything about the baking–the fragrance, the eager hands grabbing warm cookies… Whenever they return home or we go to visit them, homemade treats are on the menu. Enjoy this precious time!

  • Heather - Oh Ashley, this made me sooooo happy! I am one of those non extreme kinda gals too who loves me my sugar & cookies too – yet all in moderation. AMEN! Funny how such a simple thing as hearing someone else express & give voice to your own internal thoughts so well can bring such joy & encouragement – thank you! You are a treasure indeed. I’ve not commented on anything till now but had to today (though I’ve read your blog for years & prayed you through many things, especially the adoption journey of ” Little One”) you have been such a breath of fresh air in my heart & life. – on this very cold wintery day in PA you have warmed my heart big time this week yet again. Giving thanks to the Lord for the blessing of you! Wish I could pop over & share some cookies with you.

  • jenn - I love this post. Straight line. I never really saw myself that way until my husnand pointed it out to me one day. I get this. Thanks for posting. Oh and cutting out sugar. I dont think I could do that. ;)

  • Cassie - I absolutely love this post! It is exactly how I do life. I eat everything, yet definitely in moderation. I don’t mind when people have allergies or special requests, I’m happy to accommodate, but I love being the person that can go anywhere and eat whatever is served. I always say everything in moderation – including moderation. Which means I can indulge every once in a while. :)

  • leiann - I love this post! This is totally me, too. I am a big believer in moderation and I’ve always been known to be the t-shirt and jeans girl, no matter what trend is trending. Also, can I just say that I LOVE the fact that you let your kids lick the beaters?!?!? That is by far the best part of baking chocolate chip cookies, especially with your mom. Raw eggs in moderation? Yes please! :)

  • Stephanie George - Lately I’ve been on a health kick and have really been trying to cut down on processed foods and sugar. I’ve been trying to do the same for my kids as well. But when I read that you always make cookies when your kids’ friends come over… it made me feel a little sad for my own kids! There is something wonderful about a plate of warm cookies, isn’t there? And I don’t ever make them. Maybe I’ll have to come up with some recipe that uses sugar in moderation so I can give my kids that carefree feeling of eating for pleasure. Happiness shouldn’t always depend on eating something sweet… but a treat certainly can put little kids in a great mood! (And as much exercise and outdoor time as your kids get… I bet they burn that sugar off as soon as it hits their mouths!)
    On another note – Firecracker looks older. How/why do they do that overnight?! Love your blog and am always so thankful for what you share of your life. You are a wonderful, imperfect mother and I’m always inspired by how much you teach your kids about history, art, beauty, life. Keep up the good work Mamma!

  • Krystal - It’s wonderful that you can recognize and accept yourself for who you are and be comfortable with it. So many of us struggle with that and the need to be like everyone else. I am a horrible extemeist when it comes to making everyone happy and that is my downfall. I get upset when my actions aren’t noticed or valued. Big birthday celebrations, decorating the house for special occassions, stuff like that. But as someone told me….who is to say ‘they’ want it. It’s true. I do what I think will make someone happy then get upset at them when they don’t show it. They may be happy but it may not be ‘their thing’ or they just might show their happiness in their own way. That doesn’t make them bad people. It doesn’t make me bad either for going overboard sometimes. What I have to do is not put expectations on others. That’s my fight right now…..to not be extreme in my expectations. That’s just my blarb…..now…..how about a recipe for those cookies ;)

  • Ashley - This made me smile:) I tried to make some healthy muffins this week with no sugar… they tasted like butt. Needless to say I like sugar too. And I’m cool with it:) Happy Friday friend!

  • Sarah - I admire that you stay true to who you are, there’s a lot to learn from that!

    My husband is the same way, even all the time. The same expression for most things, which if I’m being honest, confuses me. I’m a jump and shout type of person, so I’m perplexed at the(seemingly) lack of emotion that he exhibits. But it’s neat to see that difference in other people’s relationships as well. Opposites attract! :)

  • Debbie H - HA!!! I TOO have been attempting to do no sugar for some time now. And no gluten and limited carbs. Because I DO need energy, and clarity,and weight loss- all of it. Yesterday I caved and made choc. chip cookies for the first time in a long time. I can live without a lot, but not without cookies. Once in a while — it is okay to cave. I guess that will be MY moderation – except when they are here I am not moderate. But they will be gone soon. You do have a knack for hitting on the right topics at just the right moments! Hope the water is on soon! :) such great imagery.

  • Natalie - I love that you do this! What a great tradition for your kids. And I love your moderation! Reading your blog everyday is so refreshing, you truly have a gift with words and pictures. You could write about absolutely nothing and I would still be captivated. :)

  • Wilson - :o Hi! :D jejeje your blog is so interesting… I read that you’re a follower of Jesus :3 (me too, jeje). You’re an amazing photographer ;)

    God bless you!

    Saludos, desde Barranquilla – Colombia (Wilson Tovar).

  • kimberly oyler - this is always how i describe myself. i am a straight line unless someone mentions steak. then i get excited. i dread opening presents in front of people because i feel excited on the inside but never express it on the outside and then they’re like “why do you hate my present.” feels good to be understood. :)

  • Maureen - You are the real deal my friend! Could have written this post myself. I too have always baked to show my family love and comfort. Moderation is the key to most things in life. Homemade chocolate chip cookies should be a part of every kids childhood.

  • Krystina - That sounds so much like me! I’m always just a steady even and I don’t do really do diets of any kind. Until about 18 most ago when I got really sick and suddenly I had learned I was now fructose malabsorbant. So a lot of kinds of sugars got cut out. But the best kind stayed. The kind that allows me to make chocolate chip cookies. Because seriously, the best cookie is a chocolate chip cookie. I make those on my bad days. I’m not even much for a sweet tooth, those are just my weakness! And yours look delectable.

  • Jamie - Yes to everything you wrote. Yes!

  • RachelC - Well, this post is refreshing.

  • Jennifer - there are days that i read your blog and think- we should totally be friends. and then usually i don’t comment because i think it’s weird because i don’t actually know you and we live lots of miles away from each other. but today is not that day. our family is ironing out some changes in our diet for various reasons, but i am struggling with the loss of baking and making gloriously sugary treats for my family and others and the joy that it brings to me and them. thank you for sharing this; thank you for reminding me that moderation is key and that so many of our memories are wrapped up in the food we eat and the loving hands that prepare it. i made cookies today with no sugar- seriously they were not yummy. that’s not gonna happen again!

Woah…I think I might have not been too clear yesterday! I am not wrestling with stopping blogging, or instagram for that matter. Blogging has always been something I enjoy – it is a weird culmination of all the things that make up my days. I’ll keep blogging as long as I enjoy it, regardless if no one reads it but me! I had a difficulty verbalizing the tension I feel. A comment yesterday was able to word it so much better…here is her comment:

Audrey Assad penned one of my favorite lyrics, and it comes to mind here as I read your struggles with Instagram: “From a need to be understood / And from a need to be accepted / Deliver me” (from her song “I Shall Not Want”). Perhaps part of what it means to live with peace, even in the tension of it all, is being set free from that insidious fear of being misunderstood. It’s true that someone may see only a slice of your beautiful life on Instagram and come to different conclusions than those who follow your story more closely on the blog, but it seems to me the only thing you can control is how you conduct your life in real life and on the web (and in my opinion, you do this with vulnerability, honesty, humor, and hope). If you are misunderstood at times (and who among us isn’t?), could the freedom and peace come from accepting that and trusting this is actually normal and okay? Just some of my musings this morn…

The freedom from fear of being misunderstood.  Reading her words, I thought…yep that is it. I’ve watched countless blogging and instagram friends walk through horrible circumstances simply because someone somewhere misunderstood them. I’m sure you have seen it too. So, I guess that is my struggle with instagram – it is my quick snap happy, pretty place most of the time. There is a fear that those that only see my instagram would think my life is all rosey and perfect, or worse that I aim to portray that online. Life is truly good and for the most part I do find joy in everyday moments and things, my cup overflows – but there is more to the story than what that little square instagram picture portrays. However, Sara is right – I can only control how I conduct my life in real life and on the web. I’ll be misunderstood. I’ve been misunderstood. It will happen again. It happens to all of us. So, I’m going to let go of that fear. It is kind of dumb when you really think about it anyway.

Thank you for all your comments yesterday. I was hoping maybe 20 of you would give me a little insight – I was not expecting that response. That was a good…long cup of coffee that lasted all day.

Last week I mentioned I was wanting to learn more about hand lettering. You guys had so many good ideas and recommendations. Of course, I will be asking my sister for lots of tips. I’m also looking into some SkillShare classes. For now, I am just trying to copy by sight letters and words that catch my eye. It has become a relaxing way to end the day. Several artists online recommended focusing on one letter and writing it as many different ways as possible. I was going to do that, but I ran out of ideas…so I’ll just copy stuff I see for a bit!

2.15journal-01

Since I am on the topic of your comments, I am guessing not too many of you go back to read comments on old posts. I read every comment. I don’t respond as often as I’d like, but I read every comment. There were a few posts recently that you guys shared some really great ideas, so I wanted to highlight those posts. If you get the chance, the comments on these posts are full of so much goodness:

Coloring Outside the Lines  – lots of inspiring links regarding Bible journaling/art

Asparagus Pizza & Little Chefs – links and ideas regarding kids in the kitchen and recipes

Knock-Knock Jokes & Feeling Sad {Creating a Refuge} – beautiful ideas regarding creating a home that is a refuge

Thank you again for all your feedback yesterday!

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  • Bambi - Thanks! Cause we really want you to keep blogging :-) !!!

    Love and greetings from Italy,

    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.it/2015/02/inspiration-lately.html

    Bambi

  • Blair - i so admire your desire to be honest and understood, Ashley. Thank you for sharing your life here. I, for one, am inspired.

  • Angie Merchant - Thank you so much for your writings! It brings cheer to my mornings while sipping my coffee on these cold wintery days.

    Joy comes in the morning!
    Angie

  • Julie B - You really are just the best. Really. As a reader (and a once upon a time blogger) I struggle with Instagram because I miss blogs. I miss spending an hour reading my favorite bloggers. I’m so thankful you are going to keep blogging. I still love your posts and I love the way you approach life, mothering and blogging. It is refreshing for my weary full time corporate job plus three kids and a husband who also has a full time corporate job life. I absolutely live vicariously through the life you have built.

  • cheri - Thanks for inspiring me to go back to blogging!

    And … looking forward to hearing about learning to handletter. I SO want to learn how to do this!

  • Kerry - I’m sure a lot of the comments of encouragement yesterday have to do with the fact that so many bloggers have posted the “blogging/Instagram struggle” posts – and that they don’t want to quit blogging – but then vanish from their blogs almost immediately!! we just don’t want that to be YOU : )

  • Mrs.T - So happy to hear you will continue blogging. I am not on Instagram and your blog has been a wonderful blessing and encouragement to me so many times.

  • Liz - I love reading your words and hearing what’s on your heart. I love your IG, too. :)

  • Sarah - The fear of being misunderstood…I’d never heard that before. In a lot of my struggles, I think that’s what I’m afraid of. In needing to constantly feel like I need to explain my decision to others, that seems to be at the heart of my scramble for words. Why do we feel this way, because in the end we all want to be accepted for who we are? Than you for sharing that comment, something to ponder as I go through my days.

  • Kim B. - I remember that comment from yesterday and thinking it was so insightful. I wanted to hit “like” on it!!

  • Natalie Lacy Lange - I love Audrey’s response. It is so disheartening to read some of the comments left on IG and FB posts for some of the more popular writers/photographers. I’ve wondered how some of you balance wanting to read comments so you stay connected to readers versus not reading them just to protect yourself. I think you have to have a thick skin to put yourself out there. Thanks for being brave and sharing, and I’m sorry that some people are quick to abuse or misunderstand something that comes from your heart. xo

  • Kathi S. - Thank you for following up. I didn’t think you would stop blogging, but it’s nice to know how your thoughts continued to process and what spoke to you! That song by Audrey Assad…personal FAV!!!

  • Kristi - First let me say that I love reading your blog…while I am not a coffee drinker it is the first thing I read when I sit down to my computer….before Facebook and Instagram. Now, I think the problem with Facebook, Instagram and the like is that most everyone does post the rosy, happy pictures because hey, who wants to see what life is really like, right? I say wrong. I think that I love your blog so much because you do show some chaos and struggle and I think that whenever you would like to you can show that on instagram too. These pictures and blogs and what not are a record of our life…an online journal per se…it is ultimately for you to be able to look back and see what was going on in your life. I am a photographer too (maybe more hobbyist than professional) but I feel there is a need to be real and post pics of your dirty laundry stacked high and dishes in the sink and your kid crying right in the middle of it all because quite frankly that is life! If people have a problem with that and there will be then they can just move along. I LOVE coming to your blog and your Instagram and reading about your day. We are misunderstood in life all of the time but the freedom from letting it control what you post is amazing! God knows your heart and that is what matters! Push on and post on!! Looking forward to “coffee” time tomorrow! Have a very blessed day!!!

  • Tonya - I have followed your blog for years. Yours is actually the reason I started reading blogs in the first place. Your post from 3/2011 “filling my home with the unseen” has it’s own bookmark on my home screen. It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on what’s really important. Please know that for any negative or misunderstood comment you may receive, God is using you to impact hundreds (probably thousands) to see beauty in the mundane. We’ve seen the family photo with the empty chair as you waited to bring littlest home from China. We read as you struggled with all the adjustment that come from adoption and special needs, and we cried along with you and prayed for you. You have encouraged, inspired, and reminded us that life is a gift. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of yours :)

  • Amy T -Y - I’m a Hallmarker at HQ in Kansas City and we have a large and talented group of lettering artists on staff. It’s so fun to watch them work. All they do is hand letter all day! They (and other creatives at Hallmark) have a blog: http://www.thinkmakeshareblog.com/
    It’s awesome.
    If you follow the thinkmakeshare instagram page (link on blog above), there are videos posted last week of different artists hand lettering “love.”

  • Tanya - Hi Ashley, You inspire me! I love watching your momma heart as you share your treasured moments. I am a wife and momma of two little girls- 3yrs and 7 mo. I started following you on Instagram and on this blog. I rarely go on IG anymore- but Your posts and blog posts challenge and inspire me. In a way it’s a ministry that God blessed you with and used you to bless mommas like me! Thank you! Praying for you and your family! Keep running this race sister! Shine on!

  • Tiffany Higgins - I’m late to these 2 posts… now being a mom, my former (in my head) daily joining you at your table and reading your journey has become less daily but still regular refreshment. I just wanted to say that over the last 5 years I’ve read multiple blogs and yours is the only one I have continued to read regularly. The biggest reason for me is because you share your heart authentically and as a fellow follower of Christ, I am encouraged and challenged by how your family strives to serve where God leads you… however that looks. We adopted our first little one which just finalized in December and I’m currently cherishing my first pregnancy. As we are learning to be intentional parents, we have people in our lives we can emulate who lead their families with open hands into wherever they are called. I love reading how you and your husband do that yourselves and how you foster that in your children. All that to say, thank you for sharing authentically! God has used your journey to impact my family as well even without ever meeting you, that’s so crazy to me!

  • Sarah M. - So glad you’re sticking around ?? The lyrics you posted struck a chord in me. I just heard this song two weeks ago while practicing in order to sing it at church. Here’s a horrible video (but the sound is good) of the song. “From a need to be accepted” is a big thing for me. Hope you enjoy ??

    http://youtu.be/ojIo7pcvcjo

  • Haverlee - Such an interesting topic of discussion! I don’t have time to go back and read through all the comments on the previous post but I really love the comment you shared. Such great insight and advice. I agree with it. I’ve struggled a little bit about the same thing and it does make me a little sad that my blogging has somewhat gone by the wayside. But I realized in the end that I wanted to reach and encourage more people with my story and that meant sharing more of it through Instagram. I love how you started posting your weekly blog roundup on IG as a reminder for people. I thought that was a great idea. I don’t click over here nearly as much as I used to but when I do, it reminds me how much I love pouring over your “big camera” photos and it inspires me to pick mine up more often.
    Your hand lettering is beautiful. Your talents never cease to amaze me!!

  • Merry - Love Audrey Assad. Just curious- is that a vintage journal? I’d love to get one with graph paper. Awesome! We do CC too and I have to laugh that I just got into lettering as well. I swear I’m not copying you -I just figure great minds think alike! ????

  • AshleyAnn - Merry – it is my sketchbook from when I was tiny…the first drawing in it looks like I might have been 5 years old :) My mom found it in my old closet, most of it is unused

  • Amanda - I’m so very glad you plan on continuing this blog! I’ve been an avid reader for a few years now, and I’m always inspired. It’s so encouraging to see how you weave your faith and creativity into every aspect of your life while at the same time being honest enough to make it clear that you don’t always “have it all together”. My visit to your splendid corner of the internet has become very much a part of my day!

  • AngelaS - I’m trying to learn to not read comments in various places online because of so many negative or nonsense comments. I can’t imagine reading negative things being written to me about my thoughts, pictures, etc. I have recently joined a group of ladies that meet regularly. After every meeting I analyze my words and want to go back and explain myself better. I often worry about being misunderstood even though I most always give others the benefit of believing they mean well. I love your blog. Thanks for the links too. Sorry, pretty sure I just rambled and didn’t make sense. :)