Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A life well spent!

I have copied this post from here-

It's just such an amazing story I have to share. If you haven't heard Louie Giglio tell Ashley's story, you've gt to. It's incredibly encouraging.
Still Shining Brightly!

Ashley Akinns 6/21/84 - 4/29/07
She lived a life of fun and laughter and loved God in the end.

I will never forget the first time I held Ashley’s journal in my hands. Though I already had a copy that had been transcribed by her brother, Jacob, actually holding her written life’s story, captured in an everyday composition book, was something else altogether…it felt like a sacred trust.

The transcript of the journal first came from Ashley’s dad after many conversations by e-mail over months of time. This particular e-mail read in part, “So you always say you wish you had known my daughter. Well, this will help you know a little bit more about my Princess .” So I downloaded the file and quickly realized I was reading her own words, personal snapshots of her journey beginning in the fall of 2006 and continuing until the the final entry on April 28, 2007. As I read the pages I couldn’t help but weep with sadness and joy as I watched in detail as her heart began to beat with the love of God.

But holding the journal revealed so much more about her, her personality beaming through the ALL CAPS wording, multiple exclamation points, unwavering energy, humor and varied ink colors. But nothing prepared me for what I felt when I saw what followed her last recorded words. Opposite the last line of Saturday’s entry was nothing but an empty page, an inescapable affirmation that her life on earth had come to an end.

Innocently, the last words she penned after spending a weekend at home with her family were, Tomorrow I am driving back to Gainesville after church and sushi in Riverside. We are going to Sushi Cafe-

What is interesting to me is that there is no period at the end of that sentence…just a squiggly line that seems to say “To be continued” more than “The End.” The next day, a one-car collision took Ashley from those she loved. But it did not dim God’s plans for her life. No way. Ashley found life in the One who overwhelmed the grave.

So, on this day that marks her death, I’d like to share her entry from February 8, written seventeen days after she encountered the grace of God in a personal and life-altering way.

Feb 8th ‘07

I went to a Bible Study with Christa tonight and that was actually kind of fun and cool. Everyone was like hey Ashley and did not make me feel like all awkward and stuff. It was like I belonged there. They sang some songs which I did not know and everyone else did but it was cool. My favorite I came home and looked up the lyrics, here they are cause I love them. I don’t know why but I started crying when they were singing it and I just wanted to lift my hands like they did…I did not but I talked to Christa about it afterwards. She said it was just a way of worshipping God. Jesus did take me just like he found me, with all my failures and screw-ups. He loved me just like I am. He has shown me so much compassion and mercy and he LOVES me. That just blows me away, ya know…

[change to red ink]

Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A Kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

My Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as you find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King…Jesus


All I can say is wow.

Ashley, I cannot fathom the loss your family and friends carry and I know they miss you with everything within them. Yet, I can say with certainty that those lyrics you loved so much are coming true in your life today. Your Savior is shining amazingly through you!

Your friend, Louie

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A BIG post...

Hello everyone,
I have so much stuff to talk about. I think it will take me a few days to write this post. I want to update my readers on a few things and also get some advice. So I hope you are ready. There's no telling how long this post will be :)

First things first, lots of things happening at work. Since December there has been a lot of change on our team. It's now April and finally no more changes. Out of the changes, we got a new team leader, lost a few team members, added a team member, and we all got more responsibility. So instead of speaking for everyone else-I'll just speak for myself. I got a promotion-basically, I replaced the person leadership promoted to be the IT Director. Now, I will be leading the support team. It's an awesome opportunity for me and I'm definitely up for the challenge. My position was replaced and the new hire starts on Wednesday next week. It will be weird for me not to serve the IT team as their assistant, but I know my replacement will do a perfect job.

Second, a few personal updates. We picked out the nursery furniture. I have pictures below. So, what do you think??? :)

And if you haven't seen what we picked out for the nursery bedding-here that is...
But I've decided the tan walls make it look more boy like. So, I'm going to paint the walls the pretty green color. I figured that can go either way better. And I do really think green is WAY BETTER than yellow :)

So what do you think???

OK, so i've updated you on work and nursery stuff. What else is there?

Lastly, I need some advice- Please comment and help me out, thanks a ton!

1-I cannot decide whether to take 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 weeks maternity leave. If the baby comes at the beginning of October, 12 weeks takes me through the rest of the year. But should I really miss that much work? We have an amazing weekday program that my lil' one will go to. Let me know your opinions, even if I don't know you-i'd really appreciate your opinion on what works for you, or what you wish you had done or hadn't done.

2-Maternity photos, to do or not to do? Whats your opinion? I have always not wanted to do them. However, i have seen some that very real cute-so now I can't decide.

3-What was your favorite part of being pregnant? I'm still struggling with stomach issues. They come and go, but it's starting to be annoying. I want to stay positive so I thought your stories would make me smile.

4-When was the first time you felt the baby move and what exactly did it feel like? Please be descriptive :) I know I should feel the babe soon, I want to know what I'm looking for!

Ok, I think thats all I have for now. Thanks for reading this long post. I have got to be better about writing. So I don;'t have massive posts like this one.

I love you all-

Saturday, April 4, 2009

14 weeks!!!!

So, i'm 14 weeks now and the nausea is finally gone! I'm only left with a hunger that I cant seem to feel and heartburn. But I am super blessed to have this little baby inside me! I have a ton to update you all on. But I don't have time to type it all. So stay tuned!!!


PS-here's some ultrasound pictures and a belly picture from last week.

I love this lil' foot picture, its so cute!!!

My belly is really popping out now! (this picture was taken the day before 14 weeks)