Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Storm

Tonight I just wanted to encourage anyone out there who wonders where God is sometimes. I watches a video done by this guy that we sometimes use for youth services..this particular message really touched my heart. While I feel like there is "turmoil" all around me in my life right now, I can honestly say that because of HIM, internally I am truly at peace. I recognize all these stressful things (as duly noted by my various social networking sites) but truth be told..God is doing something really great inside my spirit.  I trust that it will all come together in his timing and I am at peace because of that.

So the story goes like this:
He was camping with his family and decided to go on a hike with his, then, 1 year old son in a backpack on his back. A few miles into the trip, it started raining. At first it was a small rain, and his son wasn't too concerned...but as it continued, the rain began coming down harder, lightning and thunder were all around them, and the wind was blowing the trees all over the place...his son began crying, even wailing....his reality at that moment was soaking wet, full of fear and confusion...It was all he knew. But the dad....knew the way home. So even though he could recognize his son's reality, he also knew it was temporary. Pretty soon, the son's cries seemed unbearable to the father, he responded to the cries of his child....he took the backpack off, and wrapped his son up close to his chest, as close to his heartbeat as he could, and he began whispering "I love you son..Don't worry, Daddy knows the way home...We're almost there and we're gonna be okay....I love you child" over and over again...until they were home.

Imagine years later. The son is in "therapy" talking about all the damage that was caused from this storm. All the anger and bitterness he holds because his dad let him experience the turmoil of that storm. The dad, would be crushed...because those moments were some of the most intimate, close memories he holds with his son. Those memories are what grew and deepened their relationship as father and child...the trust the child has in his father.

See, sometimes, we look at the storms in our life and say "If there was really a God, and if He really loved me, I wouldn't be going through this right now" and God is saying, "Please trust me, child. I know the way home, and I love you. I am going to make sure you make it home safe...I LOVE you" And we, sometimes look back at these situations in anger at God...but if we cry out to Him instead and let him respond as a loving father to our cries, these could be the moments that we remember as the most important in building our relationship with God. What we see as a storm...what our REALITY is today, is different from our Dad's...just like the son in the story... he couldn't see anything besides the storm...but his father heard his cry, comforted him, and got him home safely. How much more will Abba Father for us?? Sometimes we need to be reminded to trust that our Dad....knows the way home, even if we don't.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yes...and No...

I find myself using this phrase a LOT lately....nothing is a definite anymore, which is highly unusual for me, but it seems that with 100 different things going on, I am "on the fence" a lot more frequently than ever before. TAHEC (The educational consortium in Tulsa that I currently preside as President over) has probably seen the biggest hit from my new unsettling disease. Case in point: "Do you know when/where our next meeting is, Ashley?" Answer: Yes...and no. "Was So-and-so getting the new tablecloths, Ashley?" Answer: Yes...and no. "Do we have a schedule for the upcoming event, Ashley?" Answer: Yes...and no. But TAHEC isn't alone....Oh no, in fact I am nothing if not COMPLETELY fair! "Are you finished with your part of the group assignment, Ashley?" Answer:...well, you can certainly get the picture by now...  

I know I need to get better at time management, with work, grad school, youth, working out, keeping house, etc... I know I need to be taking vitamins so that mornings aren't so terrible to bear and I can actually get moving in less than two hours, I know I need to be cleaning/finishing projects when I am home (and homework is completed) instead of watching sitcoms on TV....but when you ask me if I am serious about changing all these things in my life?? The answer is..of course...Yes...and no.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Out with the old...In with the new!

I have recently become very frustrated with my beautiful blog template...various things were disappearing and I was being forced to learn more about editing HTML's than I have ever anticipated. So, while this one  doesn't make me want to puke is nice enough,  although certainly not as unique as my previous template... it doesn't appear to be giving me the grief that my beautiful one was giving......c'est la vie..

I will have to re-add all my fun side sections at a more convenient time. Hopefully I can find it somewhere deep inside to be satisfied with the way it looks...changing templates is a pain.

Til next time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A re-post I thought you all would enjoy

This post is from one of the Ethiopian Adoption blogs I stalk read on a regular basis. I thought that, while there are specific implications when looking at it from an adoption perspective...we can all get better at "living in a life of gray". I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! If you like this, you can follow this amazing family @

It is always difficult for Dimples when things don't go as she anticipates. Changes in routine, menu, wardrobe, etc. are all challenging for her and very keenly felt, which has resulted in overly dramatic responses. If you have a child like this, you know exactly what I'm talking about. In a recent appointment, Deborah talked to Dimples about the idea that life is not "All or Nothing". In Dimples' mind, it is all black and white, so one of our healing tasks is to help her learn to live comfortably in a life of gray.

For example, in the past, when it was time to set the table, Dimples might ask to set the plates, but if I had already told one of the other children they could do the plates, drama ensued. She wasn't able to accept that there was another job that just might be okay as well. Now we practice saying, "It's not what I want, but it is okay." Or, if we were reading a book and another child was sitting on my lap, she couldn't cope with that, and disrupted all of us. If she couldn't be happily sitting on my lap, nobody could be happy at all.

When a child is an orphan and a survivor, she can't afford to think, "If I get a little and they get a little, it's okay. There is plenty to go around." In reality, there may not be plenty at all. Or, when the nanny opens the clothing cupboard for the children to get dressed, the little girl can't think to herself, "If I wait sweetly and patiently, I just might get that pink dress that I love so much." No, she rushes to the front, smiling her cutest fake smile, hoping to attract the nanny's attention, and pleading, oh so sweetly, for the pink dress.

Then we place this child, who has learned to be a survivor, in a family, and we wonder why she can't take turns, and why she gets so agitated as the food is being passed around the table. And why, oh why, does she wail when she can't wear the pink shirt that is in the laundry today?

So we practice coping with disappointment. We say, "It's okay if I can't wear my pink shirt today. I have a green one that I also like." Or, "It's okay if Ladybug puts the plates on the table, I can put the glasses on, and that is a fun job too."

If you have a child who completely falls apart when things don't go her way, who has reactions that are completely out of proportion with the situation, who can't accept changes in plans and is crushed by the simplest change, do not lose heart. Practice living comfortably in a life of gray. Role play situations where things don't go quite right and help her to find phrases that she can grasp and use.

Most recently, we are working on this with Dimples regarding school. She wants to do it all perfectly, which isn't possible. She also wants to do it all very quickly, which tends to have an inverse relationship with doing it perfectly. Each week she has a spelling test on Thursday and if she gets 100%, she is exempt from the test on Friday. She builds this up in her mind, but unfortunately, spelling is challenging for her. She has not gotten 100% on a Thursday yet. We adults know that this is not a big deal, but to her, it is black and white. Anything short of 100% is failure.

Our most recent phrase is, "Every week I do my best."

If a little extra help is needed, we rock in the rocking chair, we chew a piece of gum, or we take a few deep breaths. Jumping on the trampoline is good for resetting emotions as well.

This is nothing earth shattering, just one more thing we are learning along the way. Dimples is getting so much better at this and we are very, very proud of her.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Somber thoughts regarding friendship- warning!

So, I was all ready to "hit the sack" after spending the whole evening playing on facebook and fulfilling my incessant need to comment on everyone's facebook status er... working on homework. But, sitting in the shower (what, you guys don't sit on the shower floor?) I realized that I had a lot on my mind that, unfortunately, wasn't adequately released while doing above mentioned homework

I had an amazing weekend with one of my OLDEST, DEAREST friends this past weekend. I love that some friendships never fade, no matter how long they are separated, or how much distance is between them. We had an awesome time catching up, shopping, cooking, eating...And through the course of this fantastic weekend, I came to a pretty sobering realization; I don't make friends like that anymore, and probably haven't in the last 10 years. Although, I did have a few that could have grown to that point around 5 years ago...I think some of them stalk my blog and I wouldn't want any Conway-ians to think I don't realize what we had.
Don't get me wrong, I make friends. I even make good friends. But when we get together, we talk about kids, pets, fitness, shopping, recipes. When old friends get together you talk about sex, fears, anger, struggles, and love. I guess I never realized how important that really is to my soul. I thought I was fine shooting the breeze, but getting to truly pour out my heart without fear of reprisal, correction, or, that is a good feeling. I tend to internalize things that really bother me...I mean REALLY bother me, and getting to vent knowing that I could completely trust Ruth (not just her, I actually have a few friends I feel that way about) helped me, kind of, clean out my soul and my mind.

I think the worst thing about it, besides the miles I have to put on my car on trips to AR and MO to get my "fix", is the fact that I think I am a pretty good friend. And I bet there are some people out there that probably could use a friend like me. I just think I am incapable anymore of getting that close to people. I think that too many times, trust has been broken, corrections have been made, and wounds have been created. I have learned, in my life, that two childhood sayings ring very true. 

1. "Once you get burned, you learn not to touch the stove" 

2. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".

It's a shame's the truth but a shame nonetheless.