Monday, August 27, 2012

Show and Tell: Marriage!

I'm linking up with Becky of From Mrs. to Mama again for Show & Tell! Last week was the home edition. This week is all about marriage! Since I've never talked about that, I decided to join in and let you know that I'm married. (HA)

Most of you probably already know that besides my salvation and relationship with the Lord, my marriage is my #1. Jordan is my priority. Even if and when we have kids he will still be my priority. We are one in Christ. :) 

But this may give you a little more insight. I'll try to keep it short and not overwhelm you!

Here are Becky's questions and my answers:
  1. Are you married? If so, when did you get married, and tell us about your special day. If not? How would you describe your dream wedding?
YES. We got married on March 19, 2011 - about a year and a half ago.

My special day was more than I could have hoped for. This is where I need to take a moment to give my parents a shout-out - THEY ARE AWESOME and gave their only girl the BEST. Probably because they knew she was marrying the best. :)

Since there's no way I could really describe it - I'll just let you see for yourself. Here are our highlight videos!

Jordan & Ashley Highlights from Josh Sliffe on Vimeo.
Jordan & Ashley Reception Highlights from Josh Sliffe on Vimeo.

2. Show us some wedding pictures. Either yours or of some that you love.















3. How about the engagement? Tell us your story. If not engaged, what's your dream proposal?

Jordan completely shocked me during my first visit to Fenway Park in Boston. (I'm a Red Sox fanatic.) I thought he was in NC. He showed up during the 7th inning stretch. I about fainted/got sick/fell down. It was crazy awesome. We had been together for about 4 months so I had no idea it was coming anytime soon. But I DEFINITELY knew I wanted to marry him. :) You can read more about our proposal here!


4. Show us your wedding rings or an engagement photo! If not engaged/married ... show us your "dream" ring.



5. Tell us why you think marriage doesn't work out for so many? What can we do to make things last?

I think marriage doesn't work out for so many because to be married you have to be selfless. We are naturally selfish, therefore putting another person's interests completely above our own is not something that just happens. It involves true commitment, work, and most importantly - God. He is our example of love. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. It is meant for HIS GLORY. It is a beautiful gift that we too often take for granted. 

I'm learning more about being a wife every day, and the best way I can do that is to be in His Word and growing in my relationship with God. I could write about this all night, but I'll try to sum it up. :) I'll just say that I can't look to my marriage for complete satisfaction in this life. Yes, I ADORE my wonderful husband, but he's human. He will disappoint me sometimes. (Not as much as I disappoint him!) God will never, ever fail me. Living for Him is my purpose, and being a godly wife falls under that purpose. I am nothing without Him. If I put my marriage on a pedestal to have all of these lofty expectations fulfilled, it's not going to perfect, and I'm going to be let down. But  when our goal is honoring Christ NO MATTER WHAT, we can do it through His strength.



That's it for this week's Show & Tell! 

Let me know if you link up. My blogger pal Amanda from The Brandon and Amanda Story did. Are you following her blog? She's awesome. And they are CUTE.

Thank you to Becky for hosting this!



Hope everyone is having a great start to your week! 
 
Ashley

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We got a HOUSE!

I'm so so so SO excited oh my word.

Home.
Our house.

It is SO weird to say that! 

After months of looking online, figuring out what kind of space we want, deciding on a budget, watching House Hunters a thousand times, and a few weeks of looking at houses with our realtor, we found THE ONE.

Thank you to everyone who gave good advice back in March. It definitely helped to hear about others' experiences.

Now we're just highly anticipating our closing date of September 28th! Hurry hurry!

Here is a poor quality preview picture that was from the listing that will have to do for now. I'm sure you'll see hundreds later when we actually live there. Haha.


We are so blessed. Our prayer is that we can use our home for the Lord and always be hospitable. 

"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15

Ashley

Monday, August 20, 2012

Show and Tell: Home Edition

Today I'm participating in From Mrs. to Mama's "Show and Tell: Home Edition".

I thought it would be appropriate since we've been house searching. :)

Here are her questions:
  1. If you were searching for a home now, tell me what would be on your "MUST" list
  2. Show me your favorite room in a home {either your home, or any home, i.e. kitchen}.
  3. If you could have any room redone, tell me which one would it be and what would you like done?
  4. Tell me where your favorite stores are to shop for home decor.
  5. Show me your dream home {it can be your home, if you already have your dream home}

(1) Must List.

1. Counter space in the kitchen!
Right now I don't have much of that. (I alluded to that in one of my favorite past posts EVER)
This is a must for me because I want to be able to spread all of my ingredients out, to have multiple dishes going on at once, and to have a bar for people to sit and casually eat. 

2. Closet space.
Right now Jordan and I share one little closet. I don't need the best closets ever, just more space to keep things TIDY! And yes, I still haven't bought clothing in 2012. (I'll give you an update on that later.) So no, I am not continually stuffing more things in there. This closet just wasn't meant for 2 people.

3. At least three bedrooms, preferably four.
For lots of space now, and room for growth later. :)

4. A decently sized, private yard.
For cookouts and games and room to play.

5. Good living and dining areas to entertain. With a fireplace.
We LOVE to have people over for game nights and such, and we plan on having the youth group over a lot now that it's about to begin for fall. Along with this is the fact that we won't have someone living below us who hates any type of noise (including us simply walking). So that'll be nice.


(2) Favorite Room in a Home.

Any eating/gathering area. Centered around family and fellowship.


I love exposed brick and beams by the way.


(3) Renovated Room.

Well, when we have a house, the first room I'd want to "renovate" would be the living room.
Just some paint and our furniture and decorating touches will make it OURS. 

And it would have to be perfect for Christmas decorating!



With lots of WHITE and light colors. I love love love bright and white and airy.



(4) Favorite Decor Stores.


My #1 store is The Nest hands down. It's in downtown Burlington, NC. SUCH GREAT STUFF. Vintage, renovated, gorgeous pieces for good prices. Ahhh I love it. It's been too long since I've been. When people compliment anything at our place, it's usually from The Nest. And let's not even talk about their Christmas stuff or we'll be here all night.


I also love HomeGoods and TJMaxx. But we really haven't had to buy much because we were given so much furniture by wonderful people. What a blessing. :)



(5) Dream Home.


I have no idea what my dream home would really look like, because anywhere we move together will be a dream. Sounds cheesy but it's for real. I'll guess I'll have to choose the place that's been my dream home since the age of 5.





With this library of course!




Thank you to Becky for having this link-up! Let me know if you link up too so I can see your answers. :)



Ashley

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our Church and Beliefs.

A common question I'm asked is about what type of church we attend. What denomination are we? What are our specific beliefs
These are not questions with simple answers. 
Usually I say, "We are non-denominational." 
And then I get, "Oh, so you're like such-and-such church down the road?" (They just name a church that doesn't have Baptist/Methodist/Presbyterian in the name.)
"Well....no."
"Well then what are you??"
And this is when I ask them if they really want to know, because it might take me a little while to explain.
First and foremost, we're simply followers of Christ. Saved by grace through faith. Serving a living God with whom we have a relationship. Living to bring Him glory.
But one of the greatest joys that we can have here on this earth is to fellowship with other believers - sharing a common purpose of glorifying the Lord and spreading the gospel.
Since we are humans/sinners/not perfect, we base our "church" gathering on New Testament principles. For some it may seem old-fashioned. There are a few things that may stand out to you if you visited our church. Things that may seem different or unusual to you.
I'm going to direct you to our church website for an explanation of these differences - Mark Frees did a far better job than I could have when he wrote this article on New Testament Assembly principles that is on our church website. (Western Wake Bible Chapel)
I encourage you to read the whole article for a better understanding. Here are a few points you will learn about as you read.
1. The Lord's Supper - We break bread every Sunday and have a set apart service to do so. The meeting is all about what Christ did for us. Men share Scripture, prayer, and songs as they are led by the Holy Spirit - there is no set "speaker".
2. No "pastor" - We are led by elders, men of our assembly who are mature believers and committed to leading our assembly. 
3. Men and women's roles.
Our church specifically is a gathering of about 40-50 people who meet in Apex. Although we are small, we have a pretty diverse group. Jordan and I are able to learn from other couples our age, older believers, and help with the younger ones. We are SO thankful for our assembly!
Currently we are renting out Potter's Hand Bible Church on Sunday evenings so that's where you can find us. The "church" is definitely not the building, but the body of believers. We are searching for a new building in Apex to accommodate our growth, though!
It can be hard to understand all of this unless you actually visit. (Please do!) I hope the article answers some of the questions I've gotten concerning our church, but I will be happy to answer more if you'd like to email me! 
Speaking of email, I'm about to go on a crazy email rampage this week. I've gotten so, so behind in even looking at it. Please forgive me!
Hope you're having an amazing Sunday. God is so good.
Ashley

Monday, August 13, 2012

In honor of Shark Week.

I've always had a fascination with the ocean and the creatures who call it home. It is such a mystery and something we will never fully explore.

My little brother was borderline obsessed with it when we were little and had endless books and movies about the ocean and octopuses (I thought it was octopi but it spell checked me??) and giant squids. 

I've always been one to be in the water a LOT at the beach. I love boogie boarding and Jordan got me a nice body board for Christmas. :)

BUT....I've had a fear of the ocean since this scary incident in Hawaii. You may remember that story. The feelings of terror return to me whenever a big wave comes or my feet can't touch the bottom in the ocean. It is so wimpy, I know, but I think it's going to take some time for me to be comfortable in the ocean again. Maybe never.

Also, remember how I just said that we went to Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach? Well while we were there I was shown a YouTube video that was taken in the sound where the beach condos we rent are located. I repeat - this was EXACTLY WHERE WE WERE.

Watch this only if you're not going to be at North Myrtle Beach any time soon.


That is friggin scary. I flip out if a fish touches me in the ocean. A little fish. Seaweed even.

I like fishing but I don't like swimming with them. Unless they're pretty ones that we are watching while snorkeling in mostly clear water so I can see where they are.

We've had to evacuate the water at the beach before because of sharks...but to see that on video makes it a lot more real. One more reason for me to be scared of the ocean.

God sure did make some interesting creatures, didn't He?

Okay, I'm going to go watch some Shark Week and scare myself even more. 

Are you watching any of it? Any scary shark stories??

Ashley

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Beach, Birthday, Bridesmaid.

So what have we been up to these days?

Besides work....

North Myrtle Beach - Cherry Grove. 
One of my most favorite places.

I wish I was reliving this picture right now.








Me and my mother at Duffy's seafood. Yum.

Jordan's hole in one pose. 

The annual cousin couch picture. (Minus my brother who was in Germany!)

Me, my mom, Morgan, Aunt Shirley, and Kelley. Being our normal selves.


We've been celebrating my birthday. I'm 24 now by the way. :)

We always have a cake at the beach for my birthday.


One of my bestest friends Brittany got married

We got our nails done the day before the wedding. 

This was at the rehearsal dinner. I am SO blessed to be best friends with these ladies. They are all on fire for the Lord and inspire me so much. :)

Getting ready for the big day with our favorite snack - Goldfish of course!




We surprised the bride & groom with a bridal party dance. Two of the groomsmen were named Bobby and one was Ricky, so we performed "The Ricky Bobby" dance. Quite interesting.


 The beautiful bride and me!


And we've been doing lots and lots of HOUSE hunting! That's why I've been so absent these days...house hunting has taken every spare minute. 

But more to come on that later! For now I'm off to catch up on my favorite blogs and find out what everyone else has been up to lately. :)


Ashley

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