“Soon, you will have so much time to blog!”
“Soon, you will be able to blog at least once a week; maybe even more!”
“Soon, you will be able to update the blog, and organize it into categories, and spruce it up!”
These are examples of things I told myself this summer while waiting for school to start. I was so excited to finally have all the kids in school! This is where I should probably say something sweet about how it is hard at the same time because I just love them so gosh darn much, but friends, I am ready. It is hard to accomplish much when you are so needed so constantly. Five to six hours a day, five days a week, to be able to focus was just what I needed. We are over a month in now and it remains a fun moment when we pull up to the school, the doors of the 12-passenger fling open, and kids pour out in a testament to my soon arriving, short lived freedom. I really think the staff (who still seem to stand there with wide eyes as they file out) is considering asking me to use the bus loop!
If you haven’t noticed, those dreams I had for the blog haven’t exactly gone to plan. In fact, I think I have blogged even less! A fellow blogger approached me last week and said, “You blog, right?” I actually stood silent for a moment before I answered. I do blog, it just doesn’t always look like it. So why am I still unable to make these posts happen if I have all this “free time” now?
First of all, time without the kids home does not equal free time. My sandwich making skills are lacking; I really need to improve my time. I think I’ll get one of those chess match clocks so I can slam it every time I finish one and make a sport of it. And its funny how they leave the house, but their laundry doesn’t, and their dishes don’t, and their messes don’t. None of this surprised me. I was excited at the prospect of staying on top of things around here too, but then there was the call.
I am not talking about a phone call. You probably know by now that David and I started a different website together. It is a place for non-partisan sharing of thoughts and ideas, a place to learn more about our government, and a place to learn about us. David does the blog posts and the writing for all the videos, but I have been helping him record videos and doing the podcast with him (which is now available on itunes!) You may be assuming that this was the call I am referring to, but, little did we know, this was just the beginning of what God had planned.
This is the part where most of you will hate the rest of this post. I am going to be everyone’s favorite type of social media poster: cryptic. We are not at a place where we can share yet about the path we are on, but it is big, and exciting, and scary, and crazy. Our self-proclaimed Beautiful Chaos that we live in will continue to be just that with this next phase of life. The chaos part has already started as my days and our evenings are filled with efforts toward this end. As David left for work today, he told me to take a break from it all today and sit and write. So here I am, sitting and writing; sharing my heart with you, my friends.
The word fear has been coming up for me a lot in the past few weeks. Have you heard the song titled The Breakup Song? It’s not what you think. It is by Francesca Battistelli and it is a song about breaking up with fear. I have had it on repeat for days. I am sure the kids would call it my “jam” as that is what we call everyone’s favorite song at any given time. I’m sure they could all sing every word of this current jam by now. See, what we have been called to is laden with a host of reasons for fear to work its way in, but perhaps the biggest for me is in my self-confidence. The chorus of the song says, “Fear, you don’t own me. There ain’t no room in this story. I ain’t got time for you telling me what I’m not like you know me, well, guess what? I know who I am! I know I’m strong, brave and I am free. Got my own identity. So fear, you will never be welcome here!” Fear wants to hold me back and convince me that God picked the wrong girl (even though I’m sure He didn’t pick the wrong man!), but I refuse to give fear, that big ‘ole liar, the power.
I keep going back to two verses. And I promise you-this will not be the last time you see me write about these two verses.
1. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” Luke 16:10 NIV
I can’t stop thinking about the journeys that God led David and I on. We have traveled hard roads on the way to here. When we were in the hard days: the days of rejection, the single parent days, the struggling to stay afloat days, the humbling ourselves to live much differently than we had ever seen ourselves living; in those days, we would have never, ever thought, that those were the little. Those hard days that seemed like the biggest things we had ever come up against, were the little things preparing us for the big things. I love how God works. I love getting to the place where you can look back and see a little bit about what He was doing. And IS doing.
2. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” Ephesians 3:20 NIV
I have held tightly to this verse for a very long time; through many stages of life. It has proved true for me over and over and over. I told David we were going to see it again. Last night, we sat on the bed and I prayed for my husband. At the end of the prayer, I asked God for something very specific and moments later, we got our answer-no. We tried not to be disappointed and pressed forward in other work and a few hours later, we got immeasurably more than I asked for. It was a small step accomplished, but it filled me with the faith I needed for many more steps to come. He had shown me once again that I cannot even begin to comprehend what He can do here. He will amaze. As He always has.
Friends, more will be known in time, and don’t hate me for being mysterious, but for now, know all these truths are true for you as well.
-Fear does not have to own you. Replace fear with faith! I was challenged in my little Bible study group this week to look up all of the verses that say “Do not fear” in the Bible and read what comes next. It is written in there so many times and each time with a new promise following. He is with us, He is on our side, He cares for us, and so many more.
-He can do, and wants to do, so much more than you can imagine! Walk forward in faith, in whatever big or little part of your journey He has you on, and believe that He will amaze you. He will amaze you.
As for me, I will continue stepping farther and farther out of my comfort zone (which is usually exactly where we are called) and saying “Fear, you are not welcome here!”
And before I get 5,000 messages: No, I am not pregnant!

Ashley Karaffa

Ashley is mother to a blended family of 10 and appreciating the beautiful chaos of it all. She enjoys creating systems - because how can you survive a family with 8 kids without systems - and spending time celebrating her family.

1 Comment

  1. Diane on September 14, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Beautifully written from your heart. Sweetly encouraging. I’m anxious for details.💖

Leave a Comment