Saturday, October 8, 2011

Finding Joy

Reese is in bed after a busy day and Hubby is at work. I am finally sitting down to write something that has been on my heart lately. For a while, it was just a whisper in my mind but that whisper has become a full on roar.

It started out simply enough right here in the blogosphere. I began seeing a few blog posts about being a wife, stay at home mother & blogger and what God desires of us. People were questioning what God really asks of us as wives & mothers and people were questioning their priorities. That struck me. I realized that I'd been living with my priorities all mixed up and hadn't even recognized it. I was putting Girl's Night over small group. I was putting social media and the outside world over quality time with my family. I was putting this blog over my housekeeping. I was putting everything over a daily quiet time. Basically, I was putting what I thought was important in my life over what God thinks is important in my life.

I love Jesus, I go to church every week, I tithe... check, check, check. I run a ministry for wives, I talk to people about God, I pray for people... check, check. But I don't have a daily quiet time reading my bible and praying. I don't stay on top of my household responsibilities. I don't take joy in the daily tasks that are expected of me. Hubby has a job that allows me to stay home with our daughter and for that I am more than thankful, but dishes, dusting, laundry? I take no joy in that.

I realized my priorities were all skewed and needed to get right with God. Hubby and I did a facebook & twitter fast. It was becoming too distracting and we needed to cut it out for a week. It was surprisingly difficult to step away from, which is totally embarrassing and only furthered my desire to put it at the bottom of my priorities.  Hubby and I started a small group that meets once a week and also spend one night a week hanging out with the Girls or the Guys. Girls Night was happening fairly consistently but small group was not. I asked our small group if we could switch nights in order to be consistently meeting and they agreed. Then, I did something that was huge for me. I asked my small group to hold me accountable to spending daily time with God and in the word. And they did (Becca especially- Thank you!

I didn't know where to start and, cliched as it may be, I started with Proverbs 31. I found a series from my favorite get-in-your-face pastor and started pouring over it. I was amazed at how much it applied to my life. How intelligent and strong this Proverbs 31 woman was. She did things, even if she maybe didn't feel like doing them, out of love. Love for God, love for her husband and family, love for her friends. I realized something important.

My home is my ministry.

My home is where I serve my husband, out of love. We have different roles. Equal but different. He supports us financially. He works a job that is draining physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He works hard because he loves me. I need to do the same for him. I need to keep on top of my housekeeping. I don't need to be perfect, and I won't be, but I need to do better than I am doing.

My home is where I serve my daughter. She is growing and learning so much each day. I want her memories of home to be warm, clean, and inviting. I want to give her my full attention- she's the whole reason I stay at home! I want her to explore, become responsible and learn to love God. She is always watching and I want her to learn healthy habits from me so that she can be happy. If I want her life to glorify God then my life needs to glorify Him, even in the little things.

My home is where I serve my friends. I want my home to be a place of rest for my friends. I want people to feel comfortable and loved when they are here. I want them to be able to get real with us. What better way to minister to friends than a clean home and a good meal? What better place to share both the laughs and the tears? I want people to know how much I care about them and a few candles and some clean counters are the least I can do.

I'm not saying I'm going to be perfect. I'm just saying that I know in my own heart that my priorities were out of whack. I went to God and asked Him to lay on my heart what it is I needed to do. He answered me very clearly: have a quite time, care for your household, love your family and friends more and better (and mo'better!). My priorities need to be God, then Hubby, then Reese, then everybody else, then myself. I don't need to take care of myself first because I know that I'm first on God's list of priorities (we all are) and second on Hubby's.

That's something I can find joy in.


  1. This is beautiful, Ashley. I'm so thankful to know you and have you as a close friend and sister in have seriously blessed my life so much!

  2. I'm a new follower - a friend of 5ohHubby's from high school (and went to FSU, too! c/o '08)..Saw your blog on his facebook, and girl, I am hooked! This post finally struck me to comment :) sorry, I'm weird! But what an awesome message. I struggle with these same thins, and struggle finding my "ministry" while working full time. I am going to devote more time to figuring it out and finding joy in it :)

  3. I can relate to this. I work at a church part-time and often my quiet times gets put aside. I get so "busy" serving, serving, serving, yet missing what's really important. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. just wanted you to know that you are awesome. :) I am a friend of Jenna's and am a momma too... my daughter is 15! This touched my heart so much. My daughter Abbi just told me that she read Proverbs 31 the other day and it touched my heart. Here I am learning from HER. and you too! :) I think I need to read that chapter about the crazy amazing woman, mrs. 31 the rockstar. ;) God bless and keep that heart filled with HIS love and give hugs to Jenna next time ya see her! Just say they are from her big sis Pol. XO

  5. This is such a good post. I really needed to hear this---I feel like this is a post many women can relate to. Thank you!

  6. I admire you...plain and simple.

  7. Thanks. :) My heart written in your words.

  8. You are truly amazing. I am so so so so glad I found your blog. The more I read, the more encouraged I am & look forward to being in your stage of life someday. I really look up to you Ashley :)