Yesterday was the "baby blog shower" of my friend: Ashley. The idea was to surprise her by having a blog posted about her (in honor of her soon-to-be baby boy) when she logged on to check everyone's blogs. Isn't that creative and fun!? I love the idea. Unfortunately, I'm sending out a "Happy Belated Shower" card because we were in the car ALL DAY yesterday, traveling from Florida to West Virginia. But, I just COULDN'T let the opportunity pass without giving a shout out to Ashley.
I met Ashley during my freshman year of college. Freshman year of college was a difficult, transitional time for me. Jake was at a different school, and I felt lost at WVU. My music program was really HARD and everyone that lived in my dorm was constantly out partying. Praise God, Campus Crusade for Christ was there to fill that gap that my home church and friends had left. And one of the best parts about Campus Crusade was....Ashley!
She is a couple of years older than me, and she spent hours being friendly to the new freshman class, driving us around in her clunker, and being available for rides, coffee, whatever! Because of the love and kindness of her and other leaders in the organization, college started to seem less and less like a dark pit of despair, and more like a great opportunity!
My sophomore year, I had the distinct blessing of being in Ashley's bible study and being discipled by her. Our Bible Study consisted of quite a few girls I have since lost contact with, my best friend Jenn, and Ashley...and we held it at Jenn and I's house in downtown Mo-town. I grew so much during that year! Ashley's trademark was that she was always open enough so that you felt comfortable talking to her, but never judgmental or serious. She was a REAL influence in my life (and I know she was in Jenn's life too) during that time.
Ashley was always talking about being content in singleness. She was the poster girl for learning how to let God be MORE THAN ENOUGH for her. I don't know how two people could've been more thrilled about her relationship with Patrick than Jenn and I were. Watching someone walk out faithfulness and contentment, and then getting to see their hopes and dreams fulfilled...wow...it was a witness and a shining example to all of her disciplees.
When Ashley married Patrick and moved to Texas, it was definitely bittersweet for us. I, however, am a firm believer in letting people go when necessary, and never making them feel guilty about it. So, I cried at Ashley's wedding and then was SO HAPPY for her.
I check her blog from Africa and made Jake take me to town 3 times the week that I thought for sure she was going to post about being pregnant. She surprised ME at Sunda's "shower" earlier this year, when we first got home.
So, I am thrilled about Ashley and Patrick's baby and only wish I could be around to meet him.
Love you Ash...anytime you wanna move to Africa...I would love to be in your Bible Study again!