June 25, 2020

More

You are worth so much more than—(Fill in the blank)—is telling you that you are.

Fill in the blank. We usually know who/what it is. Maybe not all the time, but if we dig deep down it is usually pretty easy to pinpoint those moments when we let ourselves shrink by a belief, harsh words, fear of being judged, self hatred, or feeling forgotten. 

So...Who is the one telling you? The Voice inside your head? Your Ex? Your Mother? Your Roommate? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your boss? Your kids? Your fears? Strangers giving you weird looks? People you love and—want to—trust not seeing you for who you really are? 

Sometimes the people who should protect us the most...just dont. Including ourselves—especially ourselves. Do you feel like you have to shrink in the presence of your own thoughts? Do you let yourself feel small by someone else’s words or body language? Do you feel like a failure when you set out to accomplish and you don’t succeed? Do you spend more time focusing on what you wish was different about you, than what you DO have? Do you worry about why others don’t like you? Me too. And it sucks. 

So here is the deal. Today, we just don’t buy it. We show up anyway; we know that not everything we do will be successful...and even sometimes the biggest successes won’t be noticed by the people we want to see. Not all relationships are going to last forever. Not all people are going to like us—or treat us right—or even acknowledge that we exist. But our own thoughts...those are the ones that will be with us always. So today we tell ourselves how great we are. We control what we can control. We don’t shrink when fear tries to make us feel small. We don’t let another person’s judgements—or our perceived judgements from them—stop us from being who we want to be...and who we were born to be. Genuine. Unique. Powerful. And brave. 




June 11, 2020

United as One

This past Sunday during our lesson Tytus opened to the weeks chapter and immediately pointed out this picture. He said, “Mom do you think Jesus knew what would be happening in our country when He told the artist to paint this picture for this exact week? There are white sheep all around him, but Jesus is holding the black one.” 

I have been at a loss for words the last few weeks—trying to find my voice in an array of many emotions. Hurting for black mothers who are scared for their babies; hurting for minorities that don’t feel part of a country that was founded on welcoming and bringing all races together. Hurting for other families that have been thrown into the fear and chaos that murder brings. 

I am not an expert, and I have not been where so many of you have been. I have felt like I have no words to try to comfort—or even understand—anyone because I have not lived through racism, or acts of hate because of the color of my skin. 

I don’t have all the answers...but I wanted to share some truths, because I know that it is in truth that—many times—I have felt comfort...even without having all the answers to the “whys”. 

I know that divisions among equals is wrong. There never has been a time where one person—or race—is better than another...that has always been a made up delusion by insecure beings to make themselves feel better or bigger than someone else.  It was always wrong, and it will always be abuse when someone hurts or belittles another person because of a difference between them or their beliefs. It always was, and always will be murder if a life is taken out of hate. 

Just like body size, and eye color...skin color does not give us our worth or make or break who we are. Hitler was wrong. Our ancestors were wrong. Skin color, eye color, hair color...these are just traits that make us unique—beautiful in our own way. We weren’t meant to be just like each other; we weren’t meant to be the same...but we were meant to love each other. 

Jesus has wept for so many of His brothers and sisters who have felt lost and forgotten, targeted, trodden down, abused, and unwanted. He has cried for you, and with you. He loves you. He has counted every tear and I know He will remember all that we do, or fail to do to protect and care for each other. He will remember all we go through at the hands and ignorance of others. There will be a time—if not now—that we will all be held accountable for the actions we do, or fail to do. 

I know that it is His light that can take away the darkness that has racked our country with hate, decades ago and still today. Hate, anger, revenge...those feelings are so real...but they never do bring light. Darkness never has been chased away by more dark. It is the light each day that brings morning. It is the light in our hearts that brings peace. It is the light of Christ that brings healing. 

His gift to see us as God sees us is what we need. To see each other as the worthy, beautiful, valuable souls that each need to be loved, honored, and protected. We are all one...sons and daughters of the same Creator. 

I believe in us—a country...a world...that has been stuck in confusion that is ready to be real. Ready to STAND for what’s right...STAND for truth...STAND for love...And STAND for light. 

We all need to change: to be better than we were, stronger than we are, striving for what we can all be. United. United as neighbors and friends. United as strangers who see way past ourselves and our fears...and see the goodness of every soul. United as cities that see the value of every life and honor the value of every being, race, and culture. United under God—as beings created in His image, and valued in His grace. United in light. United as one. 


April 24, 2020

A Reason to Stand: FEARless (quarantine event)

The day I started my blog I thought I was going to be writing a story of hate about a broken girl, in a mess of a life, raising hurting broken children. Instead that day I was given a gift—to see that life, those kids, that girl in a new way. Instead of seeing the pain, I remembered moments where a little glimmer of light carried us through. 

A little glimmer of light is all a broken girl needs to be brave. 

Sometimes it takes a miracle to see a glimmer of light when you are—or feel—stuck in the dark. My life—just like yours—has been full of these moments. I call them grace—a gift I used to think would be given when I lived a perfect plan—but have come to see as a gift that lifts us when it feels impossible. These moments—of grace—have shown me what it feels like to have hope. In the world, in God, in others...and in myself. 

Brave isn’t a word to describe someone living a perfect plan. It is a word to describe someone who holds onto those glimmers of light through the darkness and lives life anyway. Brave is someone who is hurting and shows up for someone else. Brave is being scared to death you aren’t enough, but trusting that you have a Creator who believes you are. That’s grace—a Savior show sees us just as we are and loves us anyway. 

Grace. Watch for it. It comes quietly. It doesn’t always change the pain—or take away what is scary, but it always bring peace, if even just for a glimmer of a second.  A light at the end of the tunnel promising that there is a reason to make it through. It brings hope and light regardless of where or who we are. Hope in grace is the decision to trust in God’s plan, and to know that even this darkness will one day end. 

I know it will. 

Tonight would have been A Reason to Stand in Brigham City. Since we can’t meet in real life...we are coming to you. Follow this link to find a virtual event with so many amazing people sharing stories and tools of FEARless warriors. Please leave comments for our presenters—as speaking to a phone is so different than standing on a stage and getting the energy and direction you feel from the audience.  That is the part we all miss as we have struggled to speak from our hearts to people we don’t get to walk up and hug after.

Happy quarantine online conference. You aren’t alone. You are enough. You are brave. You are a warrior! FEARless. 







Please share with friends and family that could benefit from hearing these messages.

We miss you and so appreciate your support and the support you are giving each other through this hard time. Stay safe and healthy, and most of all look for those little glimmers of light.







Here is the YouTube link to the conference playlist:  https://bit.ly/2S23dBb

April 8, 2020

Love parenting

I had a sweet online friend message asking for advise on how to make it so her kids don’t driver her crazy. So I thought I would share my thoughts on ideas that work for me to build relationships with my kids and ask all of you to share as well.

Joyful parenting for me starts with looking at myself and how I am showing up. Usually when they are having problems...I find that I am usually the reason why. Days when I am too busy for them, unorganized, easily frustrated, not feeling good about myself, or too tired...usually end in moments of frustration with my kids. 

The good days usually begin with one of five things:

First off—I think this probably rings true for all of you who have lost someone close to you—we don’t get to choose when our last day will be with anyone...let alone our babies. Time is a gift—that we sometimes learn the hard way—can easily be taken away. For me that knowledge has helped me enjoy the little moments, desire to create lasting memories, take pictures often, and have more patience and willingness to forgive and move forward with love. 

Second. I have found that time can be stolen from us in ways we cannot even see. Scrolling through social media (or another addiction of choice) is a nice down time...but can become a thief to precious moments that could be spent loving, teaching or caring about someone’s feelings. 

Third. I work hard trying to spend more time looking for the good and less time showing them what they do wrong.  

Fourth. I try to remember that mistakes are how they learn. Milk can be cleaned. Broken dishes can be replaced...but words cannot be taken back. Relationships are harder to mend than jeans with skinned knees. Parenting is a hard job...but I try to remember so is being a kid. We do a lot of balancing of work and fun. (Yesterday we went for a hike that everyone loved...but first everyone did some jobs, homework, and yard work)

Fifth. I see the seven people in my house as my best friends. I have made it a goal to never use words or actions that make them feel like a burden or unimportant to me. They are all my favorite, and I work every day to build a relationship unique to each kid. I try to celebrate their differences, and connect with them in the things that make them tick. 

Ok I want to hear from you! Especially during this time when we are all at home. I know there are some hard days! We all have them, so don’t feel alone! I could write a book on all the moments I haven’t done parenting right, but today I would love to focus on the things we do right. What have been your parenting wins—during quarantine or before—that you are proud of? 

March 30, 2020

Questions that bring light

I have always defined the word trauma as a moment when you stop in your tracks and think “my life is never going to be the same”. That moment might not have ever affected anybody else... but it may be one that has lasted inside of a person for a very long time. 

The weirdest part about trauma is how it shows up when your body goes into that state in anyway again. A trigger can be anything that feels as if it could become a traumatic moment. In this time of uncertainty, I have talked to and receive messages from many of us who are experiencing some of those waves. And without fail those waves seem to bring with them one similar theme. A question of “why”. 

Asking “Why?”gets us feeling more alone, and more afraid. So today—as I have been working on this myself— I thought I would share some ideas of different questions to ask that might help spark some light...maybe even some moments of joy. 

Who can I reach out to today and help them feel less alone? Where does God need me today? (Hint...for most of us ironically—a lot of days—it will be within the walls of our own home...not just on days where we are home bound with stay-at-home orders) What can I do today for someone else? How can I get some exercise today to help my mental and physical health? How can I brighten the world for someone else? What questions can I ask to get my family talking and sharing? What can I do today to strengthen the relationships that are important to me? Who needs me to show up for them right now?

How can I step away from my coping mechanisms and spend quality time with the other people in this house with me? Who does God want us to be as a family...as individuals...as couples? What would it take for us to get there? How can I choose faith over fear today? What food will help my body feel healthy and safe today? What media or communications can I have that will bring light into my mind?

How can I feel grounded when the world seems so unsure? How can I connect to the Savior today to help me feel safe? How can I use this time in stillness and down time to better myself and the world around me? How can I support my (spouse or friend) who has been laid off and isn’t feeling worth a lot right now? What can I write in my journal that will help me work through past trauma so today’s trauma doesn’t feel so heavy? What around me makes me happy today? How can I purify my life and my space so I have good energy around me? What could I get purge (mentally, physically, emotionally, and tangibly) that doesn’t bring me joy? 

How can I find joy in the darkness I feel? How does God see me; what steps can I take so I can see myself how He sees me?

I hope this list helps you spark some ideas of the kinds of questions you want to write and ask yourself. I know this is a time of confusion, but we have the power to create light and life for ourselves and the people we love. Make these moments count! God knows where we are and He has not abandoned us, He is just giving us a chance to see how strong we are. 

Ok my brave friends. I need some more positive questions to ask. If one comes to you and you want to share...leave it for me in the comments! Stay healthy and safe. Ash

I don’t know who you give credit for, for this pic. Who ever you are, thank you! It is perfect. 

March 26, 2020

Quarantined

I have spent a lot of time over the last week and a half evaluating life from a perspective I haven’t seen for a long time. It has defiantly been a dance of fear and faith. Some days I wake up with the drive to keep living, producing, and creating. Other mornings I wake up in a fog feeling alone, overwhelmed, and scared for what’s next. What is next? I think we have all wondered that as the last few weeks have shown up with surprises each day. The unknown of what tomorrow might bring can be so daunting when we are nation...a world...surviving—in many ways—in shock and trying to suppress and process a new form of PTSD many of us didn’t know existed. This is scary. So many people are grieving a life that changed overnight, and people they have lost through this pandemic. So many business are sacrificing their own needs to help us all survive. We are uniting in ways we never have before. There is beauty happening through this struggle. Thank you to everyone who is making personal sacrifices for the greater picture. We are all part of one unit, individuals who are so used to doing most everything on our own. We are finally beginning to see how much we need each other. That alone is full of so much light.  

I have prayed so hard on how I can help make a difference. As the announcement was made to put on hold all gatherings, many events I had been asked to speak at this month and next have been postponed or cancelled. And we will be postponing all in person events for A Reason to Stand

 Next month we are going to hold a virtual A Reason to Stand conference. It will be free to the public and I have many presenters who were willing to join with me and share hope and healing for all of us who have felt broken, alone, and afraid. 

I will have more details soon, and I am excited to present to you many amazing fighters who have brought so much light into my life. 

As far as quarantined life is going...I am not hating having these kids to myself. We are enjoying some much needed slowing down and stillness. I love watching them team up, get creative, and spend more quality time together. We are so blessed.

Love you all. We are praying for everyone as we all embrace some hard changes, decide how we are going to show up, and turn to the one source of peace and love. He is always there and He loves each of us more than we know. 







March 11, 2020

Remember so you never forget

March 11th. 9 years and it’s like I can still remember every detail so clearly, yet all at once it seems like a life time ago that took place in a fog. 

I was awake many hours last night, after having my—now yearly dream—two gun shots, detectives, babies crying, fear so intense I can’t breath, an affair, lies, a casket, a murder trial. Always surrounded by people but never feeling so alone. 

Every year during this week. Like clock work. I am guessing to remind me how not invincible I am, and to let it all go...all over again. 

So what does it feel like 9 years out? That’s what they always ask, does this get easier? When do you stop looking around every room you walk in for danger; when do you stop being scared to sit with your back to the entrance of a restaurant? When do you get back to “normal”? When do you stop feeling the fear? 

To that I answer...You don’t. Nothing can take you back to be the same person you were before a severe trauma. The fear still exhists because the pain that was...is still real. Memories are apart of you. Those fears are powerful. 

What changes is how you react to them. How you let them react in you. Time doesn’t take away pain...it just gives you tools to manage and work through it. Time doesn’t change what happened, but it gives you lots of moments to be able to see it differently. Time doesn’t make you forget, but it does let you remember. Remember the miracles that happened in the dark. Time lets you remember the light that still exists all around—and inside of—you. Time heals wounds if we let it...but it is a choice—not a right. 

We each have two choices. We can live in fear...or faith. Both take a belief in something we cannot see. Pain comes from living in the fear...and healing is found as you choose to live in faith. 

Thanks for all your sweet messages. I cherish them. And to those of you who only know me from watching me cry on tv...and still send me messages every year on this day, I hope it always reminds you to choose light. I hope you feel the power and love of your God, and every year on this day you are reminded to put your family first, to choose good over evil, to follow a path that will bring you joy...not excitement in the moment—but the eternal kind of joy that only families can bring. I hope every year on this day you choose to forgive someone who has hurt you...and make right any pain you have caused. I hope every year on March 11th, you remember that you are a child of God, and He sent you here to remember how great you are. Show up. Be kind. And live in all the faith you can find. Let your light shine. You were born for greatness...your story isn’t over. 

February 13, 2020

Live with Carol Tuttle



All of you should know by now I am a big fan of Carol Tuttle and her parenting book and dressing your truth concept. We have a fun little chat the other day I wanted to share with you. Energy types and how they play a role in who we are as parents, children, and grown children learning to heal.

Here is a free video course on starting with the basics of energy types: http://www.liveyourtruth.com/259-12.html


Here are links for some of Carol's most popular products: Dressing Your Truth - ‪https://www.liveyourtruth.com/259.html‬ The Carol Tuttle Healing Center -https://www.liveyourtruth.com/259-7.html The Child Whisperer - https://www.liveyourtruth.com/259-2.html

February 3, 2020

A million reasons

This morning I woke up thinking about a tree I met many years ago. At the time I was a young college girl with the world at my fingertips. It was my 21st birthday, I was planning a wedding, and I couldn’t wait for the future. I felt sorry for that little tree. I stopped just a moment to listen to the story of how in a flash of light, its whole world changed. The story is said that when this tree was just small it was hit by a bolt of lighting—splitting it into many pieces. The little tree didn’t die—but for a long time it didn’t live either. Just fought. Then one day—as the story goes—life finally sprang again from its branches. Magnificent and unique . . . it found a way to get back up; way different than what it thought it had been created to be. It could no longer stand tall—but wow how it stood. Beautiful, brave, strong, and not just surviving . . . thriving. Many years had passed, and through many storms . . . there it stood.

I passed that tree hundreds of times—sometimes it was shade for cows in the hot sun, birds flew in and out of nests in its branches—every time I always remembered the story of its past. 

One day my drive passed this brave tree was very different. It stood at the bottom of a hill. One I knew I had to climb with my babies, to bury their father. The ground was covered in white—a lot like today—and there it’s snow covered branches reached out to me...and for the first time I didn’t see a broken little tree full of pain . . . I saw . . . hope. 

We all have a million reasons every day to just give up. Pain so real it could strangle us. Fear so strong it keeps us awake. Futures so unknown we feel like we are walking—or climbing that hill—in the dark. 

No matter our story...we are a lot like this little tree. Survivors who know what it is like to have a million reasons we aren’t going to be enough—fighting voices that tell us to just give up—but showing up anyway.

If a tiny tree can be hit so hard and broken so badly...but still stand anyway, so can we. A million reasons could keep us broken...but there are just as many that can keep us standing.

Reach those branches out proudly. If anyone knew the storms you have had to weather to stand so tall...they would know how much courage it took for you to hold them up. I can promise you this...God knows, and He is so proud of the magnificent, brave, warrior you have turned out to be. Hold your head up friends. Your story isn’t over. 


January 7, 2020

Looking in the mirror

Every year on January 1st, we look in the mirror with a resolve to be different than we were last year. A lot of times we set goals and lists of the things we want to be. Some years we follow through; other years our fears stop us before we even get a chance to begin. Not so much because we don’t want to be better, but more...afraid we might fail, or—even worse—we are scared we might actually succeed. We think: Who am I to be healthy? Who am I to be successful? What right to do I have to spend an entire year bettering myself when so many others need me? How could I possibly say no to that? How could I be strong enough to stand up for myself? Who am I to be organized?—I am just an overwhelmed person. 

Beliefs can change the way we see ourselves. Beliefs can stem clear back from our ancestors—trickling down through decades of patterns; or beliefs can cling to us after a life event shows us evidence of its “importance” in our minds. 

Wherever they come from, beliefs can hold us back in ways we can’t even see. Threatening us to fail...and mocking us if we try to succeed. 

So what do you want this year? Who do you want to become? You might have to start by asking yourself what beliefs are in play right now that will stop you from those goals? We are all really good at making lists of things we want ourselves—or others—to do better. We are all great at talking about change, but until we understand why we are the way that we are...most of the time we will find ourselves wishing for the same change year after year, never understanding why we can’t succeed. 

Fear. Where did you come from? 

Do you find yourself looking in the mirror and thinking, “my mother was right...I would be more lovable if I could just lose some weight?” Or “Just like my dad...I will never be good at ...” Do your fears and insecurities come from years of training—watching others you look up to hold themselves back...or are they originals you created in your own mind to “protect” yourself from humiliation and failure? 

Look into that mirror again. What do you see? Your fears might tell you that you see a person struggling, a person unworthy, a person broken. You might see all you didn’t like about your mother or father—things you said you never wanted to become. You might see flaws and cracks—someone to hate. 

Look into the mirror one more time. Look a little deeper. What do your truths say? If you could erase all the lies—the ones you carry deep, the ones you think are so invisible and covered, the ones that have played for generations, the ones that you have spent a life time gathering—who would you be then? If you didn’t hear your haters voices echo inside of you, or the dude in your head telling you of all that you are not...what would be left? You know what it would be? An amazing, beautiful, worthy child of God. That is your truth. 

Without fears and insecurities and blocks about who we think we are—or who we are afraid others believe us to be—we find our true selves. Not broken people who write lists or goals of an ideal version of what we never truly believe we can become. Without the lies...all that is left is the truth. Without the lies...we find—who we were always meant to be. 

Your life has been tough. That is for sure. Warriors are the ones who survive the hard stuff—not losers. Your story didn’t break you....or else you would not still be here. You have walked through the heaviest parts with grace because you are strong. So start believing it. Live that truth and tell the fear it is time to go. You know the only thing that has ever held you back...is you. So write the list this year armed with truth. Set goals—not out of fear of who you think you have to be, but—with faith that you will just remember who you are. 






-I love this phase when babies start to find themselves in the mirror, though the twins never got too excited because they basically had a mirror in front of them at all times! 😂 Happy New Year friends. Thanks for being here and always supporting us! We love you. 

 
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