Sunday, January 26, 2014

just a little catch up post...

Can't sleep... just can't get comfy these days with my 35 week belly in the way.  The lack of abdominal muscles to maneuver in bed is entirely too taxing and as soon as I am comfortable it is time to get up to pee. :)  The joys of the the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Since Ray got back from South Africa about 8 months ago I have not updated my little blog... but tonight, instead to turning on the tv or perusing pinterst I ended  up re-reading almost my entire blog from start to present.  Kinda crazy how life has changed over the years.  Never in a million years would I have thought we would live in Dallas Texas, Ray in Bible college, living on one income, me working as a full time nurse, living in dorms, our best friends a Brazilian family, and pregnant with our second son.  Life happens.

So... we found out we were expecting fairly soon after Ray's return from his Africa trip.  Another little boy... our hearts were both SO excited and we had felt the Lord preparing us for another son the few weeks before we found out what we were having.  Oakley Zion Hunt... that's his name.  God had given us the verse Isaiah 61:3.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

We know that our Oakley will be a strong oak for the Lord, that his life will display the glory and splendor of the God.  We are more than excited to meet our next little love... but...

We have SO enjoyed this amazingly sweet time with our Barrett.  The past year and a half in Texas has made the 3 of us so close.  We do not live near immediate family... we have to depend on each other a lot more.  Ray and Barrett's relationship has been one of the greatest blessings to me as Barrett has gotten older.  Barrett LOVES going off with his daddy to do EVERYTHING!  Ray never gets annoyed that Barrett wants to come with him...  they are best friends and it is so much more than I ever dreamed of!  I get sad sometimes when Ray gets ready to go to the gym and Barrett is running to his room to get his gym clothes and shoes on so that he can go with his dad.  The other Saturday they spent the whole day together at a softball tournament!  But soon after they leave I see that the Lord has given me sweet times of rest and refreshment... especially since I am still working full time night shift and 8 months preggo! Our times with Barrett the past three and a half years have been precious... we are just soaking up every last minute with just three of us. 

When I look back on my posts from my blog about marriage or Ray or our relationship, I am overwhelmed at how much has changed.  Almost married 5 years now... and well, things are different... but our friendship is definitely sweeter.  This journey here at CFNI (Ray's school) has changed us.  It is hard to put into words and there are so many intimate parts of this journey that will never be shared except between us... but he has healed many parts of both of our lives, He has restored places in our hearts and our relationship that we never thought would live again, He has taught us new things and given us new revelations from His Word, but most importantly He is continuing the work that He started in both of us.  It has been incredible to feel we both want the same thing in life... Ray loves school.  He loves his classes, teachers, chapel, incredible friends, prayer room, serving on the directors teams, playing inter-murals, and just knowing that this is where God has him.  I have heard him say how much this season in his life has changed him... and I am so thankful that I get a front row seat to cheer him on!  His love for God is contagious... and that is a precious quality to have in a husband.

Ray and I both have many passions.  We have many things we could see ourselves doing down the road.  But we still do not have any clear direction for our future at this time... other than just pressing in and receiving all we can while we are here.  Ray is planning to to complete the third year youth major and graduate in May 2015.  We are trying to hold all things with an open hand. We want what He wants for us as a family... and so this year we are asking for a clear VISION for our family... for where we can serve the Lord best.  We are trying not to think too far down the road and just enjoy this year.  

Now that my blogging juices are flowing again, I will try to stay updated... especially for those times when I cant sleep and I sit down and read 3 years of blog posts.  It is always a good reminder of where God has brought you and where He is taking you.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

fresh wind for south africa...

he's off to Cape Town...

after many days of work, preparing, praying, fasting, and packing...

he's going to write in the journal i gave him... i know he will have some amazing stories.
can't wait to hear!

please join me in praying for him everyday for the next 18 days...
praying today for safe travels, as they land in Cape Town this evening.
it has been a long 2 days of travel.  praying for health. praying for rest.

also praying that as they fly into cape town, they would bring with them a fresh wind of the Spirit and presence of God... praying for a a fresh wind...

but in the mean time, i am playing with this boy.  he just got new goggles.  he refuses to take them off... bath time, in the car, at the park, etc. 

my sweet friend Nadine and her little boy, William, just arrived from Virginia... she is going to be keeping me company! thankful for a caring, loyal friend.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

the pitter patter of peace

 laying in bed, post night shift fog laying heavily across my eyes, but hearing the pitter patter of little feet outside my bedroom door.  coaching myself on the need to get up... so many things to get done before my next round of night shifts come along.  then i heard the swish of the little plastic basketball and the cheers of daddy, and then, "give me a high-five dad, i made it!"

i wanted so badly to get out of bed, to go take B to the park, to sit and talk with my hubby and actually feel awake... but i was exhausted.  the kind of exhaustion that you can't shake, that coffee will not cure. only the sound of little feet could have gotten this worn mommy out of bed.  i laid there just a few minutes longer, thinking, pondering, wondering what the future holds.  will there be continued grace for me to do this?  grace has met me daily since we moved here... i have felt the peace and presence of God in every decision and i have seen His beautiful favor with my job.

i merged from my little cave under the covers, my hair looking as though a bird had nested in it, and my heart heavy with emotion.  i sat on the couch and trying to get out something so that my dear husband wasn't blind-sided my emotionally breakdown.  barrett came over and kissed me, like he does whenever i finally get up for the day, and he said, "you miss me, mommy?"  well, that pretty much did it.  the tears started flowing... my boys can be very tender-hearted when they want to... and they were.  they held me, kissed me, encouraged me, and prayed for me.  i did not feel instantaneous deliverance from the heaviness and exhaustion, but i felt cared for and loved and i felt a glimmer of grace returning to me.

last week was hard.  i did not want to work full time anymore.  i did not want to work night shifts anymore.  i wanted to stay home with my boy, do crafts, make awesome dinners, and have a clean house... i would choose to stay home with 10 crying babies then have to have to go to work last week... but as i pressed in to hear God in those moments of desperation, i quickly realized that He is in control.  it's simple, but He is.  He holds my future, our finances, our plans, our jobs, etc.  my eyes were on myself and that brought overwhelming emotion.  i can not keep doing this, Lord... but He sweetly said, "I can."

this week has proved to be much better.  my heart a little more stable.  my eyes much more fixed.  my goals, plans, and future placed once again where they belong, in the hands of my Father.  He is constant and i need that.  He is peace and i surely needed that.

rivers of refreshment came.  peaces that passes all understanding is ruling now.  grace to get up, to be the best wife, mom, sister, friend, daughter, and nurse that i can be does not sound so overwhelming now... because my eyes are on Him.  resting in Him, listening to His voice, and just taking it one day at time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

one proud sissy

My sissy, my best friend, 
Dear Auntie, Sweet Daughter,
Loving wife, Special friend,
Amazing teacher, passionate woman...

During our time in Virginia, I was able to stop by and see my sister's first classroom!  She is a first year history teacher. I have never felt more proud of my sis that day.  She was so humble and so cute as she showed me all the "little things" that made her classroom special.  My sis, she has a teacher heart, just like our mama.  It was really special to see.  My heart almost burst out of my chest as I was overwhelmed by the favor of the Lord over Betsy's life. I know she will have many more testimonies of God's great grace and blessings on that little classroom.  His Spirit was there and that was truly my favorite part...

yeah, i'm pretty much beaming!!!

** side note: on our way into her classroom, she was chatting with everyone... even the janitor... and that's one thing i love about my sis... she loves people, no matter who they are or what they do. **

the little table skirt my mom made for her...

the first thing i saw when i walked in the room was this pic!

Her classroom

The awards she's received and the article about her in the paper :)
she would never tell you, but she is already an amazing teacher and its
only her first year!

I loved this note that one of her students wrote her because at the bottom
it says, " You are the teacher I can trust."
Wow... She has gained the trust of her students...

I know it has been hard on her, starting a new job, learning how to manage a household, be a wife, and do all the little things that still need to be done.  But I am amazed at her steadfast heart... her will to get up in the morning with a smile on her face... and impact the next generation...

She's more than just a teacher, she is the teacher that her students can trust and I know that God will bless that abundantly!  So excited for the impact that she will have on the public schools and the children that attend!  

Mrs. Betsy Joy, thank you for impacting the next generation!  I could not be prouder of you and all that Jesus has accomplished through you.  My heart swells every time I look back over these pics.  Tears usually fill my eyes, because I just couldn't ask for a sweeter sis.  You set the standard high... doing all for His glory.  Praying that God continues to "establish the work of your hands."  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Happy New Year! ...a little late...

HApPy nEw YEar!

grateful for our new beginnings in 2012, looking forward with fresh vision for 2013

asking God for more of His heart; waiting on Him to show us the dreams that He has for us

thanking our Father for 2 amazingly sweet years with our little boy... believing that God is going to save our boy at an early age

crying out for more joy in our home, more love for our God, and peace in whatever storms may come this year

praying for faithfulness in our marriage and purpose in our ministry together... what God has joined together can only grow stronger

in faith that 2013 is going to be one of the greatest years of our lives... this time here at CFNI has marked us forever.  our hearts are overwhelmingly grateful to the Lord for bringing us here for such a time as this.  

Lord, we want to be ALL Yours this year.  
We will listen.
We will obey.
And we will give everything we have for you.
You are worth it.
You have always been worth it!

"blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.  as they pass through the Valley of Baca, they will make it a place of springs; the autumn rain also covers it with pools." Psalm 84:5-6

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Emmanuel, God with us...

"Its the most wonderful time of the year..." Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year!  I love my first "red" cup of coffee from Starbucks, choosing a night to decorate the Christmas tree, hearing "Jingle Bells" played on the radio, going to holiday parties with friends, more reasons to justify baking, hanging the stocking, lighting the Christmas tree scented candles.... even though its 80 degrees here in Dallas, Christmas is in the air!  And I love it!  But my heart can get so distracted from the true meaning of this season...

On Sunday, our pastor, said something though, that really stopped me in my festive cheer.... "Are we falalalalaing the Treasure away?" 

Emmanuel, God with us... this is Christmas.  Its so easy to love the season, but to forget the reason.  Its sounds funny, but so many Christmas's have passed, with my heart loving the season, loving the cheer, loving the gifts, the memories, the traditions, but forgetting or just passively remembering the Treasure.    

Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

Christmas is, God came to earth, to save His people from their sins!  What news this heralds!  HE CAME!  He did what we could NEVER do for ourselves! He came to save us! 

Christmas is, God came to be with us.  I had to blink the tears away as I spoke over myself, "God wants to be with you, Ashley."  Really, Lord?  You want to be with tired, arrogant, angry, impatient, rude... me?  And He whispers again, yes, you, my daughter, my Ashley... I want to be with you."  CHRISTmas should whisper to our souls the comfort of, "I want to be with you."

Lord, give us courage this beautiful season of Christmas to not only remember you... but to announce to a dying world that YOU are the Treasure, the Reason, the Gift!  Help us to stand up against the materialism and the traditions void of You.  Remind us again, why You came.... the love that You have for Your children.  Show us Your heart, this season.  

"Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new born king!"
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her king!"
"Oh come, Oh come Emmanuel!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

life in pics

baby boy is getting SO big!

handsome boy!

froyo with our friend carol

this boy is a ham! he keeps us laughing!

my boy and i spend many afternoons napping...
and i've grown to learn that napping is perfectly ok for mommies too! :)


just sittin on my scooter watching yo-gabba gabba

fall has come to the hunt house... and i LOVE it!

amazing things happening here at CFNI..
our times of worship here have marked us forever...
if you ever want to watch, tune into 

these little danskos are getting lots of use..
being a full time nurse again :)
and i like it!

my punkin in his new soccer chair!!

seriously, the light of my life

rockin our nikes :)

watching the dodge-ball tournament with mommy!
all the kids got a chance to go out and play too and my boy, apprehensive at first,
got in the game!!

faith and barrett.
barrett HAD to wear his football uniform for her! cute!