Saturday, July 23, 2011

it's camp time.

Forgive me for not writing. And for not responding to all of the emails, messages, and such yet. July has been INSANE. Something every day. Trips. Events. Bible studies. Hardly ever a weekend at home. I'm loving it, but at the same time I'm kinda ready for things to slow down. Until then, I'm praying for energy and new opportunities to serve God through the busyness of every day.

The next thing is CAMP. :) I'm so excited to be a counselor! But also nervous because I haven't been to this camp since I was about 11 and don't really know what I'm doing haha. But I've definitely had experience in relating to 15-19 year olds so that will help of course. I know I'll love it...but I'll miss my husband ridiculously for sure. We haven't been apart for more than three days since we even started talking, so it's gonna be very weird.

Pray for the campers - that their hearts will be softened to the gospel and the theme: "Walk His Way". And pray for me - that I will be totally surrendered to God's use this week (and every week though haha), and that I will be filled with the Holy Spirit as I interact with these girls in my cabin and other campers. Thank you so much for your prayers.

I'll be back in a week! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

comments.

I will write more later, but I just wanted to note that due to a lack of respect, all comments will have to be monitored now. I was hoping I wouldn't have to do that, and obviously I haven't been deleting them, but when people start talking badly about my family, friends, or loved ones I cannot tolerate that. Thank you for understanding.

I'll leave you with this encouraging passage from Psalm 18 that I am so thankful for -

As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven; 

He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 

For who is God, except the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength,

And makes my way perfect.

Psalm 18:30-32

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ice cream cone cupcakes.

First of all, thank you for everyone who has commented/sent me messages/emailed me about yesterday's post! I definitely had no idea that it would get a response like that. It is so good to read different opinions and to have a lot of feedback to think about and to pray about. I truly mean that. I love the accountability factor of the blog and am so scared of it at the same time. I've never been an open, transparent person, so this is all new for me and God is teaching me sooo much! The main lesson being that I am literally nothing without Him. Nothing. He is everything. 

But anyway. This is a much lighter post today so no need to get into all that. We can save that for another day. Today I want to talk about one of my favorite things to eat - Cupcakes. :)

Not long ago I made cupcakes for my sister-in-law's birthday party, but I made them with a twist. Instead of being in their normal little cups, I baked them in ice cream cones. You may have heard of this before, but I hadn't until recently and knew I had to try it. 


When I practiced, all that the grocery store had at that point was colored cones, and we did chocolate instead of Funfetti that time but they still turned out cute. Yes, there is a cupcake underneath that icing.

I first saw it on Pinterest, (if you don't know what Pinterest is, look it up, it's really cooool) and it led me to this blog post about making them. So I just followed what that post said to do it, so the credit belongs there, but I will tell you about it here. Seriously look at that blog post though because I do not have good pictures like she does!

It's super hard. It will probably take me a long time to list the instructions, but I'll try.

1. You mix the cupcake mix with the other ingredients.
2. You pour it into the ice cream cones.
3. You bake them in the oven just like you would do for regular cupcakes.

I mean, I don't know how I pulled all of that off. So complicated. I am such a pro baker.

Yeaahhhh so anyway, there's not much else to tell you besides a few tips for making it even easier. You should probably make a pan like she tells you how to do in that blog post. Otherwise I don't know how I would have succeeded in not knocking them over. Just cut holes in an aluminum baking tin thing to put the cones in. You'll be good to go.


Don't judge those too much. It was my first time and also a ten year old was helping me.

Then you should be ever so careful when pouring it into the cones. Do not fill them too high...they will overflow very easily. Definitely leave some space below that line near the top of the cone. I put the batter into a ziplock bag and cut off a corner like she suggested, and that definitely helped. Same thing for the icing if you don't have a piping tool.

Also, if you're going to do this for some sort of event, practice beforehand so you can get the hang of it. I did it with the kids I babysit before I did it for Anna's party and they loved them and how they turned out. So that was swell.

I left my memory card at home when we went to Anna's party, so I stole one of her mom's pictures for your viewing pleasure. Not a close up, but you can see that I got some normal cones and also used colored ones, and used Funfetti mix and icing (my favorite as well as Anna's). They turned out to be better than my first try and tasted scrumptious. So try it and love it! And let me know if you do! :)


By the way...it's awesome to be able to communicate with y'all through Facebook, so if you haven't already - definitely "like" The Christian Wife Life Facebook page! :) Thank you tons!

Friday, July 8, 2011

giveaway WINNER!

I loved having a giveaway. It's fun to give something away. It was included in this post about important announcements and such. Definitely expect another one next month!

So this morning, I woke up to over 75 likes on the Christian Wife Life Facebook Page, and I got all giddy because I could draw a name. :)

Also it's Friday, and I'm off on Fridays, so I was already giddy.

I typed up the 75 people, plus the people who got an extra entry due to their comments, printed it out, cut them into strips, tried to make them all the same size, and put them into a hat. I almost put them in a bowl, but I was like no. It needs to be a hat. I'm sure there is some thing online that can choose for you randomly if you put names in, but it's just more fun this way.



Thanks for letting me use your beloved hat, husband. I shuffled the names around, being sure not to look down, stuck my hand in there, grabbed one from the bottom, and then slowly pulled it out.



I was brimming with excitement as I flipped the name over. I actually laughed out loud as I read who it was......


None other than Miss CARRIE SIPPY!
She actually had her name in there twice because she commented on one of my blog posts. Awesome. I laughed because I've known her literally my entire life, actually before I was even born if that's possible. Also I know that if anyone loves a good book it is Carrie.

I was going to mail the book to whoever won, but since it's someone I know, I guess it's just a great excuse for me to actually see her! She just needs to let me know which book she wants. :)

Breaking Free or So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore?
or
Radical by David Platt?

Carrie - please do comment and tell us all which one you want! Yeeauhhhh.

Thank you to everyone who has "liked" the Facebook page! It's so awesome to see lots of people I don't know but hope to know. :) And the ones I do know of course! So keep it up! I already love interacting with y'all on there and through my new email ashley@christianwifelife.com. 

Praise and honor be to our Lord Jesus Christ! And I hope that one of those books will bless Carrie like it did me. That's the reason I write - to bless and help others! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

important announcements!

First of all, I know that this is my 3rd post in 24 hours, and I know I haven't even done Wednesday Witness yet, but I have just had a lot to say! And I must say it! And this post is important! So important that I'm using exclamation points excessively! I'll stop!

I have an excellent announcement. From now on, you will be able to access this blog by going to www.christianwifelife.com or just christianwifelife.com! No more searching for the blog or trying to figure out what the website is. Now it is easy to remember and to access! Yayyy.

I know that a good number of you readers get here from Facebook, and usually that means I post a link to a blog post on my Wall and you click on it. Then sometimes you want to find the blog or revisit a post, which means you have to find where I’ve posted on my Wall. No longer. I have made a Facebook page for the blog, where I can post all of the updates and make it simpler for my Facebook friends to find. Or, if we’re not Facebook friends, you can still go to the page and Like it! So many people are on Facebook but not Blogger, so now all you Facebook people can join in on being updated. A lot of people don’t know how to work the RSS feeds and other ways to subscribe, so just accessing it through Facebook will be the easiest way. So go "Like" the page on Facebook (there is a place for you to do it on the right side of the blog!), and it will be easy for you to get here. :)

Also, some more great news:
The first 75 people to “Like” The Christian Wife Life Facebook page will be entered to win one of these three books – Breaking Free and So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore, or Radical by David Platt. Those are a few of the books (besides the Bible of course) that have REALLY helped me in the past year, and I would love to give one away to a reader! (In reality I would love to give them to everyone, but sadly I am not made of money.) The winner, chosen randomly out of the 75…probably out of an actual hat, will get to choose which book he/she wants. Pretty sweet, huh?





I think I’m going to start doing a giveaway every month or so. I’m assuming you would like this. Because…who doesn’t like free stuff? So get to likin’. 

Thank you so much for reading! I would love to interact with you through comments, or email if you would like to be more private. Now you can email me at Ashley@christianwifelife.com. I would rather get an email from you about the blog than a Facebook message, because I get super behind on those Facebook messages and they just pile up unfortunately! So I’d love to talk with you! 

All feedback about any of this is very much appreciated. :)

Also...if you are one of the first 75 to "Like" my Facebook page AND you leave a comment on any of my blog posts, your name will go in the drawing 2 times. So double the chances. Oh yes. This is your reward for reading to the end of this post haha. 

happy birthday, mom!

It's my mom's birthday. Her name is Shelley. My last name is Shelley. I know, it can be confusing.

She's beautiful. Inside and out.

I am so blessed to have had her as my influence for almost 23 years.

Sometimes I get upset with myself because I think I'm not doing a great job as a wife. But I think that's because what I have to compare it to is my mom and my mother-in-law. And they're the best. Jordan has to remind me that they've been doing it for like 30 years and I've only had a few months. But my prayer is to be like them.

I don't know why God chose for me to be in my awesome family and have an amazing mother, but I am truly grateful and try to remind myself of it every single day.

We pick on her, because she's hilarious. But it's because we love her. And she gets our sense of humor more than any other mom could.

It's obvious why my dad fell for my mom so hard and asked her to marry him when she finished high school. Their love story inspires me and continues to inspire me. They've taught me love and respect through their actions more than any book could have.



She would do anything for her family. I never doubt her love and devotion.

I can't explain how much I love my mom, and I can't wait to celebrate with her tonight.

Happy birthday, Mom! You don't look a day over 29!

july and all the fun it offers.

It's July. Can you believe it? It seems like we were all just wishing for warm weather and summer and boy do we have it now. As my days are now filled with babysitting, I have a lot more on my hands. I'm loving it, though, and there is a list in my head of things to look forward to this month. So I will now attempt to put that list into words...


1. Spending time with the Shelley family who are here visiting from China. 
I'm so thankful for this time we get to have with my brother and sister in law and their precious baby Harvey. There will be much to write about that, but what I keep thinking is, Wow, it's so great to be with them and not be a stressed out bride-to-be like last time. I'm sure I'm much more pleasant to be around. :)


2. Myrtle Beach with my mom's side of the family.
This has always been my favorite tradition of the year and it never disappoints. My cousins are a hilarious group and there is never a dull moment at the beach. Having Jordan there again will be a plus as well of course. I remember last year thinking how well he fit in with our family and how I hoped he would be back with me...now he gets to come back with me forever. It's so comforting to have my teammate.


Us at the beach last year!




3. My birthday!
I'm turning 23 which seems as though it's leaning more towards the "mid-twenties". Kinda weird. Lately I feel like I'm 18 again, trying to figure out what in the world God wants me to do with my life. But I guess I'll always be trying to figure that out, won't I? I'm so glad I'm not the one in control. Anyway, I can't wait to spend my birthday with my husband for the first time!

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
This movie that is sure to be spectacular is coming out on July 15th. This is the first and only time that I will experience a Harry Potter movie premiere, which is sort of sad considering how much I've loved it in the past year. But my goal was to finish the books before this movie came out, and I definitely did that with nooo problem. I'm considering dressing up a little bit....no, I don't have robes, but I might just get a shirt or something. Maybe put a little lightning bolt on my forehead. Some glasses. We'll see.



5. Mountain Top Youth Camp
I'm counseling for Senior Teen Week at an awesome Christian camp for the first time. It's in the mountains, obviously. My father-in-law is in charge of the week, my mother-in-law will be there helping, my brother-in-law Joseph is working there for the summer, and my sister-in-law will be a camper. Awesome. The only unawesome thing is that Jordan cannot attend. But hopefully he will come up for a day at the end. I used to go to camp there when I was a wee child. I will talk about that later though in full detail. So look forward to that.

6. Ty and Julie's wedding
Two of Jordan's friends, who are also my friends now of course, will be tying the knot and we are oh so excited. Jordan lived with Ty and went to NCSU with him and Julie, and now I'm in a Bible study with Julie. They are so perfect for each other and I am sooo happy for them because I know they're going to LOVE marriage! And I know that she's going to love having the wedding over with. haha. :) Can't wait.

Monday, July 4, 2011

happy 4th of July. pray for our country.

I love the 4th of July - spending time with family and friends, having cookouts, watching fireworks, having a day off, celebrating our country. It represents everything we love about summer so well. But as you're scarfing down your hamburger, laughing with friends, basking in the sun, waving your flags, and admiring the sparkling colors bursting in the sky, remember to take time to pray for our country.

Jordan and I have been talking about how this is something we definitely don't do enough. And that's not because we think that we're a Christian nation and that it's better to pray for other countries to become more like us. Really, it's the opposite. We sometimes think that the US is beyond the point of no return when it comes to selfishness, materialism, a twisted worldview, and pure evil. Although those attributes are definitely true of our country, we are never past the point of no return as we may think. God can change anyone and anything at any time.

There is a lot of talk about "freedom" this time of year. Freedom to be whatever we want to be, to live the way we want to, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and so on. Yes, I am immensely thankful for these freedoms. I often wonder why I was chosen to be born here and not somewhere else in the world without these freedoms. But do we really take advantage of them for Christ? There are people in other countries who meet in secret to worship God, risking their jobs, families, and lives. They are putting their lives on the line to spread the gospel when they don't have the freedom to. Are we doing it at all when we DO have the freedom to? We are in this country for a reason. God gave us divine appointments here. But the devil uses good things such as freedom and comfort to lure us into selfishness rather than thankfulness. We get caught up in the benefits of being an American instead of using them to glorify Christ.

"Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people." - Proverbs 14:34

I'm not bashing our country, but we are far from a "Christian nation". I do not want to be like most of the American "Christians" who live just like the world. I want to be different. Which means I'm not saying that I am different, I want to be different. So that change needs to start with me and how I act, and it also means I need to pray. What I'm going to be praying is that we will see our need for Christ, that we will turn from our selfishness and sin, that we will stop thinking that we can do it all ourselves, and seek righteousness. That we will stop relying on our leaders who we hold up as great and then have a field day with them when they fall. That we will make a change as individuals and stop waiting on others to do it.

Will you join me in praying for this on our nation's birthday? Happy 4th of July.

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