December 31, 2014

the year in review: what i learned

we're all walking that small but significant bridge that connects us from the edge of 2014 to the untouched path of 2015. it's untouched, but there is a path. a path that's already been made - hewn out of rock, dug out of dirt, paved with footsteps of the One who created it all. there's so much peace in knowing that we don't forge on alone, we are guided and carried and whispered to all along the way.

"for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." ephesians 2:10

do you ever just feel like a certain verse is somehow significant for you, in that specific time, even though it doesn't quite apply to your life right then and there? let me explain...

i first 'got' this verse in april. of course, i've read that verse a hundred times, but for some reason, when a pastor in california was teaching on that verse, it rang in my heart like an alarm clock - "write me down! this is important!" and it wasn't a verse that i necessarily needed at the time. in april, i wanted reassurance and promises that God wasn't going to forsake me because i felt abandoned. i felt nearly left for dead spiritually and physically. that might sound dramatic and i don't mean it to, but it's just how i felt - i felt betrayed by the church, i felt overrun by anxiety and i lost so much weight that i couldn't really leave the house on my own because of how weak i felt.

all that to say, when i sensed bells and whistles going off when i read ephesians 2:10, i was like... ok, Lord... i'll write it down, but you know that doesn't really apply, right? coincidentally, i had just bought a new journal because i knew i was in a night season that i wanted to document and learn from.... so that verse ended up being the first thing i wrote, right in front.

as the year went on, and i continued to write my struggles and prayers, that verse began to sprout up everywhere and became kind of a common thread through all that i was learning, bringing comfort and promise and reassurance that God had a plan. even as i stumbled and crawled through valleys and deserts, i started to believe that i was walking the very steps He had prepared for me instead of feeling like i was being attacked. i knew i was meant to walk that threatening path because i had to rely on Him to illuminate each and every step. i depended on Him completely maybe for the first time ever. i learned what it meant to wholly trust Him even when He seems so silent.

knowing how much time i spend on each painting and how much thought goes into one blog post, the idea that i was HIS workmanship, His to refine and His to tune, encouraged me in such a new way... if i was His work created for good works, then anything He allows in my life is going to equip me and shape me to better fulfill His purpose. He hasn't forgotten the work He has begun in you or me. whatever this has year brought you, whether hardship or celebration, or a mix of both, it's all for good and it's all important.

love you all!


  1. Thank you for honesty. Your genuine transparency has really spoken to me and I know I can't be alone in that sentiment. Your struggle is real and your passion is felt. God's grace is mighty and can reach us at any depth. Your words reflect that truth. Keep it flowing girl....He's proud of His precious daughter.

    1. desiree, thank you so much for your kind, encouraging words! you are so right - God can reach us at any depth, and i'm thankful to know him in those depths... so much love to you! xo, ash