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First we go back....

Where to begin.

Things within my life are beginning to change and the feeling of unsettlement cannot be escaped or dismissed. 
The natural question you are probably asking me through your screen is “WHAT is changing”. 
That’s the million dollar question. It is almost like a "shift."
I can't put my finger on it. But it is changing.
What am I supposed to do about this - I don't know.

Thankfully today just when I needed it I came across this scripture: Psalm 27:14
“Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart…”

I am not sure there could be a more fitting verse for me today.
Today. In this moment it brings me a feeling of peace and I remember that all within His time will His plan be revealed. My job remains. Wait on the Lord.

I know that you have all been anxiety awaiting a lot of photos from our make a wish trip and I assure you there are thousands (yes thousands) to share but with the events that have unfolded in my family I don’t find it appropriate to share today. If you find yourself asking what happened or how you can help - Click here

Because you have all been checking in often waiting on the photos I promised I will share a few.

I promise more photos and stories to come!

I feel like before I can go forward I first need to go back.
I would like to share a post that I wrote prior to Mason’s Make – A – Wish trip.
It was written the week before we left on August 28th.
Hopefully by sharing this post you will be able to better understand this change within me that I am still working through....

As written on August 28, 2014:

I was having a bad day.
Traffic was horrible and I thought I was going to miss my flight. This would be a first since I was in highschool! 
Just when I thought things couldn't get any more frustrating… I get pulled over.
Was I speeding (natural question with my driving record) – NO! I was going less than 5 mph on the freeway; remember traffic was horrible. 
So why did I get pulled over – EXPIRED TABS.

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!

Where is Ashton. I literally thought I was being punk’d except yes my tabs were expired and NO this lady cop was not joking around!
I mean I didn’t even stand a chance – not even with my “fireman” sticker glaring at her from my back window got her to bat an eye.
So here is the light in my grim morning… I made my flight! However it was delayed due to a MISSING SCREW! (Seriously?!?! – I can’t make this up)
That missing screw gave me 60 additional minutes to sit in silence on the plane. (YES silence because naturally this would be the morning I would forget my ear buds)!
But sometimes things like this turn out to be weird blessings.

I feel compelled to tell you (just for a second) about a few things I FULLY believe…
  •  I believe with EVERY fiber in my being that ONE person can make a difference in this BIG & CRAZY world we live in.
  •  You know the saying “BLESSED to be a BLESSING”. Well that about wraps up everything I strive to do. The belief that I can make a difference (No matter how little or big) is what motives me to do everything that I take on! It is what makes me set aside time to tell our story over and over and over again, it is what pushes me to write and hit send on those e-mails to the families that feel lost and heartbroken due to a recent CHD diagnosis, it is why we fundraise for Seattle Children’s and The American Heart Association and it is why I helped play a role in organizing the Oso Strong 5k. (Insert shameless plug – SERIOUSLY check it out).
  • I want to make a small ripple in the LARGE ocean because if we all make small ripples it would turn into a massive wave that could be unstoppable.

Since that is now out of the way. 
That missing screw combined with my left at home earbuds gave me the opportunity to do something I had been meaning to do for months… Pick up this book I had been carrying around!

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker… (Seriously Jen – Can we be friends?!?!?!)

I have always felt blessed in all aspects of our life… Family, friends, career, kids, home, health (yes even with a kid with ½ a heart I feel blessed), love.

Really at the end of the day we have EVERYTHING we need and then some! We live in a world of excessive and my family fully participates. 

I hit page 25 of interrupted and suddenly my view on how blessed we were shifted.
Jen shared some eye opening statics to give her readers some perceptive. I would say for me it worked.

  • Of the 6 billion people on earth 1.2 billion live on TWENTY THREE CENTS a day
  • HALF of the WORLD lives on less than $2.50 a day. (Hello. We can’t even get out of the starbucks drive thru for less than that?!?!?)
  • The wealthiest 1 billion people average $70 a day
    • If you make $35,000 annually you are in the top 4% (wait what?)
    • If you make $50,000 annually you are in the top 1% (Have you figured out where this puts you?!?!?!)
  • Someone dies of HUNGER every 3.6 seconds
  •  Roughly 40 MILLION people (the equivalent of 7 Jewish holocaust) die annually from starvation, disease and mal-nutrition
    • 69% of adult Americans are overweight or obese
    • 18% of children are overweight or obese    
  •            780 Million people lack basic water sanitation which results in disease, death, wastewater for drinking and loss of immunity
    • Americans consume 26 BILLION liters of bottled water a year
  • Americans spend more annually on trash bags than nearly ½ the world spends on all good combined (YES you read that correctly)
  • 57 Million children work world wide instead of go to school
    • 4 out of 5 Americans are high school graduates
That makes my measly problem of when I am going to fit in my pedicure before my cruise into perceptive. In fact it is a laughable problem that literally has me in tears.
It pales in comparison.
I feel dirty. 
I feel greedy.
I am indulged, entitled and oblivious!

“What seems like basic freedom to us feels like vast consumption to someone else”
Yes you can dispute what I shared… I get it, a pancake no matter how flat always has another side. I will be the first to say that I have seen the works of amazing generosity in my life, the other side of the pancake– I have also seen acts of greed.

When this book and these passages entered into my life I suddenly started listing all of the things I have recently done to give back – shoot I even did it in this blog post (sigh). Not going to lie it makes me feel better thinking about you my reader currently listing your list of recent do goods, its normal. Do not panic.

-         Maybe you tithe to a church, sponsor a child, or give of your time to other local charities. I am confident the list could go on.

But after today I am left asking myself more questions.
I just think the majority of us (ME INCLUDED) have no concept of our own prosperity and we don’t have an actual understanding on what is happening to the rest of the world.
Not sure what else to muster up for today.
So I leave you with this scripture. I found it the most fitting!
“Feed my Sheep”

John 21:17

More questions. Does this mean with physical food or is this a metaphor for something deeper than food?


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