thursday thirteen: inspiration

there are so many things in my life that inspire me. i know i complain sometimes, but i really do have a lot to be thankful for. God has blessed me and i hope i can bring glory to Him. here are some things in my life that bring me inspiration.

in no particular order:

1.) love – oh love. it makes the world go ’round. i’m not just talking about that can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, world series kind of stuff. yes, the mushy-gushy, happily-ever-after love can be inspiring, but what about the love a mother possesses when she first lays eyes on her newborn child? the unconditional love Jesus has for us? the love your dog has for you everyday when you come home? no matter how long you’ve been gone, they are still über excited to see you! love is so inspiring to me. it gives me so much hope in a sometimes hopeless situation. when i feel like i’m at rock bottom, a genuine act of love will remind me to hold on. the other day, i was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get my errands done. i was carrying this massive package to ship off to neverland and i was approaching the door. thinking to myself, i wonder if anyone is getting a kick out of me trying to open this door, when a kind lady turned from the direction she was headed and came to my rescue. she opened the door for me as i gushed over her kindness. i made sure to let her know that i was extremely grateful and even called her, “super nice.” yay for love!

2.) music – listening to music can be very therapeutic for me. i’m not always that great with words and being able to find a song that can explain how i’m feeling better than i can, is blissful. i love when i am driving to work and THAT song comes on. you know what i’m talking about. the one that gets you daydreaming about something you’ve always hoped for. the song that suddenly changes your negative thinking into positive streams of thought. that 3ish minutes and odd seconds can turn your day around. it can inspire you to think differently about a situation or encourage you to do something you didn’t have the audacity to obtain before. whoa! who knew something seemingly small could make such a difference?!

3.) laughter – seriously! when i am at school with my beautiful and crazy children, their laughter keeps me going. i can be on the edge of a breakdown some days and one cute giggle from them can lift me up. this one girl has the cutest, squeakiest laugh. it’s so precious. it makes me melt and washes away any bad in my world for that moment.

4.) dreams – have you ever woken up from a dream feeling like you can conquer anything? from the moment i wake up, i feel invincible. i LOVE it! if only i could take that feeling and bottle it up for when i’m feeling timid haha.

5.) silence – the introverted side of me loves the silence. it’s a time for me to recharge and meditate on everything that has happened and that is going on. having my down time is very important to me and very crucial to help my creativity at times haha. it’s also nice when i’m relaxing in the silence, contemplating on life and BAM i’m asleep. i love unexpected nap time! 😉

6.) walks – i am so thankful for the warmer weather. i love being outside and enjoying the sun! it’s my anti-depressant hehe. now that the days are longer, i can actually take a walk when i get off work. sometimes i’ll bring the ipod with me and other times i’ll just enjoy the nature. haha. the real reason i won’t bring the ipod is only if i can’t find it hahaha. but still, exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. happiness can inspire you, so, it’s a win/win! 🙂

7.) children – y’all probably get sick of me bragging on my kids at school, but they have changed my life so much. before i met them, i liked kids but i had no idea how much. i thought i only liked middle schoolers and up. when i heard i would be working with 3-year-old kids i was a little scared. after the first day, though, they captured my heart. they show me so much love and help me to grow every day. i don’t know where i’d be without them. i don’t know what i’ll do if i ever have to leave them. let’s not talk about that haha. but for real. i am so thankful for having them in my life. they give me new reasons to laugh and show me how to love. seriously, as soon as i walk in the gate at work i am greeted by my little monsters and tackled with hugs and love. if that’s not enough inspiration to keep ya going, i don’t know what is.

8.) my Jesus – His love is unconditional and He holds us throughout every aspect of life. He knows our strengths and our vulnerabilities and STILL loves us. everything we want to hide away from everyone and lock away in a box at the bottom of the ocean, He already knows and STILL loves us. the gifts we were given and want to share with others, He gave us those. He supports us and wants us to use them! duh! he wouldn’t have give them to us otherwise. i hope i always use my gifts for Him and always make Him smile. God is an amazing artist. just take a look at His sunsets and be inspired!

9.) my supporters – you guys make me smile so much. you truly do. if only you all knew how much you mean to me. i wish i could send each and everyone of you a box of cookies to show my appreciation. when you comment on my facebook page, my face lights up. when you post a comment on my blog, i grin from ear to ear. when you say you saw something photography related and thought of me, my heart flutters from joy. your support means the world to me. if y’all didn’t believe in me, i’d be no where. it is because of y’all i can keep doing what i love. thank you so much! i will forever be grateful!

10.) people – to all the kind people in the world, thank you! thank you for making a difference and showing that there is still compassion out in the world. never think that being nice is overrated. overcome evil with good. let the light shine through and hope live on.

11.) fighters – people who fight for what they want and don’t ever give up are a true inspiration. i love watching the underdog overcome all adversity. i love when they conquer their trials and win! fighters are such a great source of inspiration. looking to someone who was at rock bottom and still achieved their dreams gives you hope that you can do the same. i love it! thank you to all the fighters out there for inspiring people to not give up. go underdogs!

12.) creativity – i LOVE pinterest. seeing other posts about all the creative things people come up with is inspiring in itself. i am so glad pinterest was created. if you ever feel like you’re lacking creativity, just hop on over there. you won’t be disappointed, but you’ll probably be addicted. you’re welcome. 🙂

13.) photographers – i stalk other photography blogs like nobody’s business. it’s like my daily routine. i have certain photographers that i love to study everyday. they inspire me and push me to be better and achieve more. thank you for paving the way and allowing more ways for my dreams to come true. keep up the beautiful work. thanks for inspiring me! 🙂

and every post is better with a picture, right?! here’s a photo of one of the beautiful girls from our easter party. she was lovin’ her cookie. such a beauty! 🙂

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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