a confession & a giveaway

i was SO EXCITED to travel to alabama this past weekend and visit with my friend anna for her wedding. since my freshman year of college (when she moved to alabama), we have done our best to stay in touch and meet up once a year. it is fabulous! 🙂 meeting up with each other usually requires some airplane traveling for at least one of us. i don’t know why, but this time i got SUPER FREAKED out. scratch that, i always get anxious about traveling because i am a worry wart, but this time was worse than usual. i got so nervous the week of the trip. the night before my flight i only slept 2 hours (probably didn’t help i had to be up by 3 a.m. haha, but that’s beside the point). before i left my house i peed at least 5 times within a 20 minute time frame. TMI? sorry haha. anyway, as i was driving there i kept getting myself more and more worked up. i hugged my mom and amanda goodbye (thanks again, y’all) and headed towards security checkout. i made it through *PHEW* thank goodness for no pat downs hahaha. then i waited at my terminal to board the flight. on the plane, my legs were shaking, my mouth was dry, and i was having a mini-spaz attack. i needed to pull it together, but i definitely could not do it on my own.

i closed my eyes and just started pouring it out to God. i told him how nervous i was about traveling by myself and how apprehensive i was about everything. see, i have the tendency to worry about ANYTHING. i was programmed to over analyze. it’s in my blood. and He knows that. when i was talking with Him i stopped shaking and was calm. my freak-out session was over. it’s like He wrapped me in His arms and surrounded me with His angels, saying everything was going to be okay. it was AWESOME. for the rest of the trip, i was completely calm. i didn’t get freaked out about anything and was chill. how awesome is our God?! oh, and by getting up so early, i got to enjoy the artist my God is. how cool is it to be right in the middle of a sunrise? i am so thankful for everything that He does and i never get to say that enough. 🙂

to show my appreciation for my awesome Creator, i wanted to show love to the super sweet people He created. i want to give away one of my FAVORITE books ever and a starbucks’ giftcard. the book is…

redeeming love

now, before you go judging a book by its cover (see what i did there? ;), hear me out. this book is amazing. it’s based off the book Hosea in the Bible. the story takes place during the california gold rush and starts off with a little girl. she goes through some traumatic events and eventually becomes a prostitute when she grows up. this man of God meets her and God tells him he is to marry this woman. whoa now?! crazy start right? well, the guy keeps trying to rescue the girl and she just can’t understand why a man like him would want someone like her. she feels as if she doesn’t deserve his love because she’s not good enough and she keeps running away. it’s so cool because this is exactly what we do with God. we treat Him badly, forget about Him, only talk with Him when necessary, but He still loves us and fights for us. this book is AMAZING. i have told all of my friends about it and recommended to strangers before. that’s how awesome it is! that is why i am going to give away a copy of this book with a starbucks’ giftcard. you can curl up with your favorite drink and get fully absorbed in the book. even if you don’t win this giveaway, i totally think you should still get this book. it’s just that great.

here are the guidelines:

1. comment on my blog about an awesome-God moment you have had lately.

2. tag my facebook photography page in YOUR facebook status to share me with your friends.

3. make sure you tell God what you’re thankful for. 🙂

the winner will be announced on saturday. happy memorial day everyone! God bless the men and women who have fought for our country and those who are still protecting us today. <3

8 Comments

  • Right now, God is using me to reach others through yoga. I am creating a “Be the Light” yoga class using Scripture and worship music. Helping people to honor the body that God has given them and using it for His purpose. I am hopeful that I can encourage stillness and prayerful meditation through our practice as well, so we can listen to what God has to say to us. I am really very excited about being called to do this. It was never in my plans and I would never have imagined it on my own!

  • I love that God uses me to help the children at Reedemer to teach them about him and to plant those seeds that he will be able to grow as they grow. And the new people that he has brought into my life to help me understand him and what his purpose is for me.
    Also, I will be going out of town in July and on my first airplane ever and very scared. But I know I am in God’s hands and that even though I feel like Im gonna be sick just thinking about flying I want to do it, not just because Im going to seminar, but it is so much more than that now. I need to show God that I TRUST him and that no matter what he is in control and to hold back on our dreams because we have a fear then we arent fully trusting him. This trip has become a personal thing between me and God and I know I have to do this so I can show him and prove to him that I do trust him and it is in his hands. BUT I am scared to death, feel like I could faint and be sick at the same time and may have to be knocked out, lol. But I will still get on that plane because I LOVE God enough to show him that I know he will take care of me and that I TRUST that he will hold me in his hands as I fly through those clouds and keep my babies safe while I am away and bring me back home safely :).
    P.S. any prayers are welcome as well 🙂

  • My God moment has happened over the past few months. In December I decided to quit my job I was unhappy there and after praying about it, it seemed like the right move for me. As the months went by and I was unable to find another job, I began to question whether or not it was the right move and that maybe I had just imagined God telling me it was ok. As God always does he came through with perfect timing. It just so happened I was getting married in April and people kept telling me I didn’t want to start a new job right before my wedding, but I didn’t believe them. Don’t you know that while on my honeymoon I got an e-mail about a job and I started the week after returning home. Talk about a God moment! I realized right then that God had been in control the whole time and was just telling me to wait and trust him because he knew what he was doing. 🙂

  • Well, the Lord has just been showing me lately how much fear has controlled my life. I have a fear of emotional pain in general and specifically the fear of betrayal. I let my fear of getting hurt prevent me from different opportunities where I could grow. Even if my worst fears were realized, God would get me through it. I would grow closer to Him and develop character and bring Him more glory. As cliche as it sounds, it is kind of like that quote from A Cinderella Story. “Don’t let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.” God has just shown me that He is faithful to keep all of His promises and that He will never leave, no matter what happens. So why should I fear anything? He is my rock and my salvation! Whom shall I fear? Psalm 27

  • The most recent God experience was over a year ago for me. My oldest friend and the friend that helped me not commit suicide hung himself after our traditional phone call on St. Patricks day. I was the last person to talk to him and this experience brought me lower then I had been in years. When I was just about to give up on God, on myself and on everything else out of the clouds I was hit by a ray on sunshine and as the warmth hit me I was overcome by a feeling of love. To this day I know my friend is still in heaven and is watching out for me.

  • My awesome God moment has been within the past month. After the death of my sister I feel that He is talking to me through my daughter. I won’t go into too much detail, but the things that she has said to me since my sisters death has me thinking a lot. She is only 5yo and already knows so much! I think He is trying to teach me about forgiveness and acceptance through my little girl!

  • My latest God moment was via a friend. My friend Rebecca and her husband John, have been married for ten years. She and her husband were unable to have children naturally. They have been praying for a child since they got married. This past week God blessed them with a baby bot, Ashden Levi Calhoun. God is so good!!! God taught me patience through Rebecca and John’s faithfulness. During their time before Ashden, they built a new church and have brought many people to Christ!

  • My God moment has been over the last several months. God has lead me on a roller-coaster about what I will do about the summer, and for the rest of my life. I have been struggling with anxiety about my future plans. Each and every time somebody asked me “so, what are you gonna do after you graduate”, it got under my skin, and really tore me up, because I didn’t know, and that really bothered me. I tried very hard to control my future, and in order to do that, I needed an internship. I began to look for internships in late September. I began visiting the career center at least twice a week, and didn’t even once ask God what he wanted out of my life. I tried to have things my way. Over the course of the year, I became more and more anxious, and upset because no matter where I turned, the door got slammed in my face. I applied for multiple internships and even a few jobs. As the second semester began to come to a close, I changed up my approach. I broke down, and begged God to give me a path. To show me a door that wouldn’t slam in my face. I prayed for HIS direction in my life. After that, the doors being shut in my face didn’t seem to sting as much. I started to look at them as God guiding me instead of punishing me. Instead of feeling that I wasn’t good enough, I realized that those jobs weren’t right for me. Once I realized that, it was as though the stars aligned. The next week, i got a phone call from a Christian counseling place in Richmond, wanting an interview. I went to the interview, and I wasn’t nervous and the place was absolutely amazing. Whats even better, the lady offered me the internship right away. God also provided me with a wonderful amazing family to host me, and allow me to stay with them while I do my internship. Now i just have to find a way to make money, and I know that God will provide, and if He doesn’t, its just His way of pointing me in a different direction. Through yourself, you may achieve some, but through Christ, you can achieve ANYTHING. I have found through all this, that only through God’s plan can I be truly happy.

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I’M  Ashley

a Richmond, Virginia WEDDING & PORTRAIT Photographer

I’m Virginia Ashley, but my friends just call me Ashley! I’m a wedding photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. Even though I live in RVA, I travel all over for photography, which is awesome because I LOVE to travel! I’ve been as far as California and have my passport burning a hole in my pocket!

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