lessons on discipline, rest, and the creative seesaw
I think we forget sometimes that just because we did something well it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a cost. You can be well, but also be exhausted. I find I expect peak performance all the time. I’m learning that if I’m superwoman one day I will need a nap the next day. As I was reading I just kept thinking about how athletes train and compete... and then they have an off season. We need the recovery time just as much as the performance.
I’m actually in the middle of a study of Elijah right now, and it’s pointed out how God separates Elijah to prepare him, to sustain him, and to surprise him. I pray that you feel God near in this season Ashlee. Enjoy your summer of family and rest! ❤️
In 2016 the Senator I was working for passed away. She was more of a friend and beloved mentor than she was a boss, and the loss of her hit hard. And did I mention I was 11 weeks pregnant with my oldest? I churned out a press statement, started helping with service arrangements, and handled some really awful press calls with a remarkable amount of grace. I only cried once. It wasn’t until close to a year later, while sitting in the relative quiet of brand new stay at home motherhood, that I broke. It took me months to get over the grief and catch my footing. So, I guess what I’m saying is, I get it. Your delayed reaction to all of this makes perfect sense! I’m so thankful you are giving yourself the space and room the breathe. And the fact that you are still sharing this all with us? It truly does make you one heck of a creative doula. ❤️
Oof I feel this. I have been in a writing drought myself. But what struck me most (perhaps, thanks in part to your creativity doula imagery) is that you are in book launch postpartum. Perhaps what you truly need most is to rear, eat good food, sleep, and wear comfy (if not mesh) underwear. I hope you can lean into it fully. ❤️
So good to have your words in my inbox once again, Ashlee. So many good things here. "This is a summer for listening, staying quiet, figuring out what I’m hungry for." Yes, amen.
Loved this and love your honesty about the writing process. And yes to nature, to family time, to room for breathing and being and noticing and relishing God's beautiful world 💛
Ashley, this is incredible and brilliantly written. I always believe that God whispers to us first. It is hard to reroute your mind and soul when you’ve put so much of it into your passion- but what happens when our passion no longer sparks that same joy? Maybe it’s a season, maybe it’s a full change in direction- but God will lead you regardless ❤️
I worked so hard for years to get the best education I could to become a teacher. I loved every minute of it and found my heart in my Kindergarten classroom. It was truly my passion- until God whispered to me. Fast forward 6 years and he led me to a career of being a SAHM and teaching online (hello less stress and making my own schedule)-both my purpose and passions but in different ways than I had envisioned.
He never leads us astray and he will continue to point us in the right direction even when we hold tight to those reigns and want to take control. Let yourself surrender to Him, enjoy this time away, and listen for what His next step is for you.
You’ll find it friend 😊❤️
Our God is so good and so kind to make us lay down in green pastures. He is faithful to restore our soul. Beautiful words, Ashlee. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Cheering you on as you feast, rest, and wait.
So good and relatable! You know, minus the post book launch season. 😜 I laughed and nodded to the part about not always looking for a metaphor in everything. Sometimes I have so wished that my brain wasn’t always looking for stories. 🙈
Really beautiful. I needed to hear this. Thank you.
This kind of vulnerability of walking the line between obedient discipline and grace really hit home for me. Thanks for sharing 💗
Chills. I am totally having a ladybug moment, Ashlee! A mentor of mine directed me to this exact section of scripture yesterday, encouraging me to spend time in it during my sabbatical. Reading this newsletter today felt like a little wink from God, reminding me he's near. I am so thankful that even in the midst of a season where you feel words are lacking, the Lord provided you with the right words he had for you to share at just the right time.
Ah, I’ve just read the ladybug chapter in your book! I hope they lead you where you need to go :) 🐞
Amazing, Ashlee! I am holding onto these words. I have recently went through a delayed breakdown like this. I had never experienced anything like it before, and I didn't understand why it was happening when it was. It is so common when we hold ourselves together on the inside and seem so calm on the outside, we do eventually need a break. God has also sent me whisper signs like he sends you your lady bugs, I can relate 1000000%. I am so happy you are taking care of yourself right now, that is the most important thing you can do! Enjoy your Summer with your babies!
Like usual, your honestly is so refreshing and affirming. I used to think that a lack of producing something was failure...but I'm starting to appreciate more the "lulls" that give me a chance to rest from the (perceived) pressure to always have a tangible outcome.
I love this so much. Your words always speak to me. I pray that someone and Someone speaks to you as well as you speak to the hearts of others.