Thursday, May 29

Artwork created by me. 2014

I have a love hate relationship with social media. 
I love it because it can be a great way to share content about Jesus and life. 
I hate it because it can make me feel like my life is pretty crummy in comparison to others. 
Like my life isn't great. 
Like I am behind because I haven't posted what everyone else is posting on Valentine's day or Mother's day, or memorial day on Facebook…...
Like I don't measure up…to who?

Social media makes me feel the pressure at times. to be great.  Do you feel this silent pressure too? You know the kind….to show how great your trip is going (when it's really not at times) to show a new art project (when you don't feel like you are a real artist) to post pics of the family  (meaning, that basically everyone is smiling for the camera so you can post to Facebook and Instagram and look like you never have any issues.

I admit, I like when I get "liked" on Facebook. Don't you? 

Doesn't getting "likes" make you feel like you are doing something great with your day that so many people will take the time to endorse your greatness and move their index finger to "LIKE" you? It can create a sense of self-worth that is fleeting…because the "likes" are fleeting. Because people's opinions are fleeting. 

I haven't blogged in a while because I have been weary of blogging. 
Weary of social media. 

Since I lost my father to cancer, I guess I have a different perspective about what really matters. Life is short. Being with people matters. And I don't have to find my greatness in being the "blog of the year" or getting "likes" on my Facebook page every single day. My greatness is only because Jesus is my savior. He is the Great One. But this is the truth-the social albatross around my neck is not going anywhere.  I have to learn to keep social media in perspective and not let it grow a bitter root inside my heart. It can provide a way to share good things and communicate about Jesus to others. But to let it be the marker of my life and to keep up with other blogs and create content that is "likable" that will make me feel like I am doing something "great" with my life is not the answer. To get 59 "likes" on Facebook for the day does not mean I am great either. It doesn't provide value to my life. It is simply people's opinions.

This pressure for greatness I feel (and so many others feel) reminds me of two people in the Bible who struggled with the demon of greatness…to be "liked" enough that they would have a guarantee to sit beside Jesus in heaven:

"And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" 37They said to Him, "Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory." 38But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"…Mark 10:36-38 (ESV)

Aren't we just like James and John too….
Jesus like me. 
Jesus I want to be your favorite one…
Jesus do you like me?

Jesus likes us all right. 
He more than "likes" us. 
He is crazy in love for us.
And we don't have to keep sharing content for Him to "like" us…to think we are great.

1 Peter 2:9 says, 
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

So glad I preached this to myself today. Maybe you will benefit from it too.
What freedom there is when God's voice (through reading the Bible) is louder than your own!!!

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Wednesday, October 16

Just for Women Wednesdays- I'm Not SuperWoman, And It's OK!

I'm Not SuperWoman, And It's OK!
I admire so many women who seem like they are doing it all. I constantly stand in awe of their accomplishments. Their blogs are up to date and swanky. They are writing books, making Cd's, starting businesses of all kinds, telling me on Facebook how productive they are, where they have been and what they are doing or new places they have seen. Many are running companies, making a mark for themselves in the business world. I follow lots of women writers who speak and write and are "out there" on the speaking and author circuit and I sometimes just think at this point in my life, " I am not superwoman." I can't do it all at this time in motherhood in my life.

I am me.
God made me,.....well, ME.
God has a calling on my life and I know it.
But I can't measure my life by where other women are in their life. 
I have to be doing what the LORD has called Ashley to do and keep my focus on the goal.
Not keep my focus on other women's goals and accomplishments.

Do you struggle with this?
Do you think "other women" are doing it all and wonder how they are doing it?

I am a wife, mom, keeper of the home, daughter, and friend with a big desire to speak, write, paint, sing and teach. Some people tell me, "You do everything. Is there anything you don't do?" Well, it's not true. You could easily ask my husband and he could give you a list of things I struggle doing. But when I teach God's word, sing God's word and paint God's word, my passion for Him just comes out. It's who he has made me to be and he is refining those gifts and passions for a certain time. My desire is to encourage moms and women of all ages everywhere to follow hard after God, to live in the joy He has given them through Jesus Christ.

I want my time to be given to my family. My son is becoming a little person who can carry on a great conversation and I don't want to miss that because I am updating my blog. My son has homework and is learning to read. I don't want him to remember momma was always busy and never had time to read a story. Yet, when I look around, I see other women doing all kinds of things on social media, I admit my flesh cries out, "Why not me too, Lord? I am behind in my goals, LORD!"

And then he gently reminds me that he "makes everything beautiful in it's time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

And you know what I am finding when I look to Jesus instead of other women's accomplishments? That I am content where I am, with what I am doing, on the time table God has placed me on.

The truth is, when you want it all, the house, the clothes, the perfect family outings and photos, doing everything on your bucket all becomes exhausting. I rarely think that my great-grandmother who was born in 1891 thought the same way then. Did she even know what a "bucket list" was?

It's OK if my blog posts don't become a published book by a big publishing house. If I never become a New York Times Bestseller author, or make a CD that sells 20,000 copies, I am still a woman of worth, of value in God's eyes. It's OK if my Facebook page of Joy Treasure never reaches 500 likes. I want people to like it because they like the content that I share about God's Word. I want to stay true to who God has made me to be and not try to be someone else.

It's OK to not be superwoman dear sister. 
You can't be good at everything. Satan's lie for you to "be where you think you should be" at this time in your life is a lie. God is sovereign and in control and at work. We shouldn't be lazy, but we should make and keep goals that are realistic and measurable and can keep balance in our home lives. Keep a focus on Jesus. Keep a focus on what God has called you to do that no one else can do.

No one else can be a wife to my husband.
No one else can be a mom to my son.
No one else can make our home feel warm and cozy.
No one else can make dinner like I can and satisfy my family's hungry bellies.
No one except me. 
And those are my priorities. Everything else is gravy and I give it to God and let him work it and lead me as time allows.

It's OK to not be Superwoman. 
It's OK to be where you are in life at the time you are in life.
Just keep your eyes on Jesus and you will find the greatest contentment.

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Saturday, October 12

Free Art Friday's Winner

Sorry for the delay ladies!
Family time always trumps the blog and Facebook.
I didn't put into account enough time to post to the blog.
Will try to do better next time!

Thanks to ALL the ladies who entered!

Here we go!!!!

So excited to have my helper draw names!

He chose this airplane instead of a bowl this time to hold the names. I love it!

Going fishing!

 Congrats Amy Moore!!!!
Message me on Facebook how to get the painting to you!

Stay tuned to next Friday! I'll be back with another something fun!

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Friday, October 11


Hey Y'all! It's back! And it's for a little girls bedroom or bathroom. Could be a tween or teen girl too!
Don't have a little girl but have a niece? Enter to win it for her!

How do I enter?
Enter your first and last name in the comment box below this post UNDER MY NAME. The WORD COMMENTS is small so don't overlook it. Click there and follow the promptings.

Can I enter more than once?
Sorry, registrants are only allowed to enter once.

When will the chance to enter end?
Today's drawing will begin today, Friday October 11th at noon and run to tonight Friday October 11th 10pm (central time). After that, all names entered will not be accepted.

What do I do if I have a problem entering my name on the blog? 
Message me on the Joy Treasure Facebook page and I will check out the blog. To be fair to those who enter on the blog, you will have to go back and re-enter on the blog. FOLLOW ALL the PROMPTS of blogger. 

When will you post the winner?
My son will draw the name and the winner will be posted Saturday October 12th no later than 5pm. Keep checking the blog to see when I post.

What do I do if I win?
Please message me on the Joy Treasure Facebook page your contact information so I can get the artwork to you.

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Wednesday, September 25

How to Become A Woman 
Who Keeps Her Word

I have done it and have been on the receiving side of it. I have given a promise that I couldn't keep or wasn't realistic in keeping because of scheduling. Then I have had to go back and apologize for not being able to keep a commitment.

I have come to learn that women, well....we really aren't that different. We like the same clothes, we like the same cutesy gifts but we also struggle with saying, "no."

Why is that?
Because we desire to do so much and be involved and yet, it is so hard for us to say the word "no." Some women have it mastered, and they are far and few between. Many women really struggle with keeping their word these days. Is it possible to be that woman whose "yes" is "yes" and "no" is "no?" I have come to find in my own life the following reasons that keep me from letting my "yes" be "yes" and my "no" be "no." Maybe they will help you think about your own answers.

1. I haven't looked at my calendar.Sometimes we want to say "yes" to something that we go ahead and say "yes" when when we should say "I will have to get back to you. I need to make sure I am available and can commit without any other conflicts." 
2. I looked at my calendar but I didn't update it.I can't tell you how many times I have looked at my calendar, but have forgotten to update it to where I could clearly see there was a conflict. Ugh!!! Then I have to go back and say "no." I hate doing that. My desire is that I come across dependable and this kind of a pattern is not what I want to be portraying to others. 
3. I feel the need to be liked or be included. There have been times in the past, when I wanted so much to be included in something, or make new friends or get to know other women that I let that be the motive to my saying "yes" (even though I knew I was adding a couple of things to my calendar that were really going to stretch my day) when I knew I could keep the commitment but I was gonna be exhausted after over committing. 

So what about you? What are your reasons for saying "yes?"
Maybe it is not because of the reasons I mentioned. Maybe you say "yes" because you feel pressure from the other person to do what they are asking. That's never a reason to say "yes." Become comfortable saying, "Let me get back to you" or "I just can't at this time."

Wishy-Washiness, overcommitment, and being motivated to fill your schedule too much are simply signals that you need to practice pausing. Pause before you say "yes." Think about the other person and how they might feel if you have to say to them, "I am sorry, I can't help. I can't come...." They may be really depending on you and you don't know that. Be a woman whose "yes" is "yes" and "no" is "no."
If you are finding that you are having to apologize all the time because you can't keep commitments then you need to stop and examine why you are saying "yes."

Get comfortable pausing before you give an answer. And be okay with saying, "no."

Last, I love the story of Chick-fil-A. I worked there in high school. As a businessman, Truett Cathy never has let the pressure of other people's desire for Chick-fil-A to be open on Sundays force him to say "yes." His "no" has been "no" and stayed "no." Did you know that his restaurants have been closed on Sundays since 1948? WOW!!!! What an example of a modern day believer who keeps his word.

I hope you have been challenged today by this post. It's okay to struggle, but you can decide today to do something different. Go become that woman who keeps her word and can be counted on whether it's a "yes" or a "no." It will do your heart much good! And those who know you will know they can depend on you and not be waiting for a phone call, email or text to say you can't do something.

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Monday, July 29

Manna Monday: Making Time for God in the Summertime (Simple Prayers)

This summer has been like a roller coaster.
Fast, slow. 
Fast, slow. 
Up. Down. 
Sit down on a park bench to catch a breath and on to the next ride. 
Throw on a poncho when it rains and keep going.

 Meeting God in the summertime has been a challenge for me. 
I am just keeping it real. 

Has making time for God in the summertime been a challenge for you? 

I have found that reading itty bitty parts of Scripture in the same passage during the summertime (until I could get a longer period of time for deeper study) has kept my heart longing for God in the busyness.

Praying simple prayers is one of the ways I keep Scripture at the forefront of my mind during the day. I love picking out bite size parts of big truths and praying it throughout my daily tasks. 

Here lately, I have traveled back to Psalm 119 and my heart has been immediately uplifted by its vast truth. Can't read it enough!

Today I share this simple prayer with you: 
              "Give me understanding...."   Psalm 119:34

This prayer is one we all can pray when we open the Bible, are studying a particular passage or examining a verse at a deeper level. Asking God to "give me understanding" is one way I keep the conversation open with Him about parts of my life that I don't make sense to me, truth that I want to live out as a wife, mom and believer, and parts of the Bible that just perplex me. What I have found is that He always answers it. Always! 

If you find that you only have time for bite size truths about God during the summertime, pray simple prayers throughout the day. You will find this to be a great way to keep truth alive in the midst of roller coaster life.

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Friday, July 19

A Baby Step Toward Finding OrderI

I don't like taking baby steps when I do something. I like to finish the WHOLE thing at one time. (you know the phrase about eating the elephant!!!) 

But the older I get, the more I realize I need more order in my life. Order brings peace, and wastes less time, I am finding I must succumb to the pressure of "being organized." UGHHHH!
The problem with this whole realization thing is that I don't like to organize. 

Heee Heee!

So, after trolling through the web, I found some great sites that told me what to do!
Here are a two sites that I love and have taught me how to "DO" organization. I must add this though.....I will not be making my own detergent. (Smile!)

So here's what I am up to today. 

Aren't these the cutest file folders! I am hoping that when I look at them, they will make me want to file something quickly! 
Found them at Tar-Jay (aka Target)!

Click here to get them!

Moving on. Here's the next thing I am organizing.

My Pantry dry goods- sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking powder etc.
I found these at Target too!!! 

And I couldn't believe it, but I found these CUTE LABELS for pantry containers there too!

I am getting excited about this organization thing because those labels are SOOOOOO cute!

And I am so loving these pre-printed labels for my files in my home drawer. I don't even have to make them with my label maker. (Confession... I bought a label maker last fall..... Am I may be crossing over to the organized side....)

And last, because I LOVE living in the south!!! So, while I am organizing all this stuff, I get to glance up at something BU-TEEE- FULLL - my mason jar of flowers on my kitchen island.


Well, that's all I have for ya today! Nothing theological or deep. Just real life in a real woman's day.

Love y'all!
Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, July 10

Healthy Friendships: Not HER Jesus

What do you do when a friend looks to you as their Jesus? As their Savior? As the person who can make everything better for them? As the person they run to first for advice in every area of their life? If you have started to feel uncomfortable or have even been experiencing grief in a friendship and don't know why, you probably need to establish some boundaries in that particular friendship.

Practical Ways to Not Be Her Jesus

1. Write a letter to yourself about your feelings. 
When dealing with a friend who takes ALL your energy, you might not even be aware of WHAT feelings you are feeling. Taking time to be still, think and consider what you are feeling about the friendship can help you uncover and pinpoint why you are feeling what you are feeling about this particular friendship. Then you can know how to begin establishing boundaries in the friendship.

2. Learn the art of listening to her
You don't have to offer advice to your friend every time they ask. Women have a need to "feel" needed and desire to help their friends. But think it through. For some women, your advice can become the crutch they look towards receiving in the future. Learn to listen to their issues and not feel compelled to fix their problems. 

3. Point her to scripture
Pointing your friend to the Bible to answer their problems is a healthy way to remove your opinions from the conversation instead of advice and get her thinking toward looking to Jesus to bring her burdens to.  

4. Learn to ask her questions
A friend who is looking to you to answer their questions continually will most likely do what she wants to do and not listen to your advice. Learning to ask her questions like, "What do you think you should do?" or "How do you feel about that?" or questions like this can bring the conversation back to how the friend is feeling and help her to answer her own questions. This removes you from being her Jesus.

5. Allow space in the relationship
 A friend who takes more than she gives can be so exhausting. Some questions to ask yourself to determine if you need to allow yourself some boundaries of space are:

  • Does this friend call/text me too much (what is too much?)
  • Does this friend expect me to pick up the phone every time she calls me? Does she react in a way that makes me feel guilty for not calling her back?
  • Does this friend expect me to drop everything to come to her rescue?
Putting space in the relationship can be learning to say, "I am not taking calls during this time" or "I am only going to be able to talk at night."  Learning to know what your boundaries are and become confident in sharing them can help you begin to relieve you from the burden of being her Jesus.

Last, there are friendships that can become so one sided that you may have to back off completely. I don't know what that looks like for you. It doesn't mean you aren't friendly, but it does mean that you may need to remove yourself from the day in and day out relationship. It may mean spending less time with that friend.

I know this is hard to talk about. It's hard to write about. But we want to be a healthy friend and create healthy friendships. The quicker we know what to do and how to do it, the better we can learn to establish healthy friendships.

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Saturday, June 22

I love encouraging women to love Jesus more! I love the gift of art God has given me to share! That's why I share it with you!!!!

 Thank you to every lady who entered Free Art Friday this week! YAY!!!!!

If you didn't win this time, just keep entering, I have LOTS of fun stuff coming down the pipe this summer! And one of them is gonna be my biggest giveaway yet.....A manger scene! More later on that! So stay tuned and tell your friends about this great stuff I share on the Joy Treasure Blog!!!!

Here are the precious ladies who threw their name into the ring this week on the Joy Treasure blog. I tried to give enough time for everyone to enter on the blog. That's why I only took names from the blog. There were 24 hours to enter your name here. 

Winner #1 gets the Green background with gray chevron cross..

Congrats Leslie!!!!!!
Message me on the Joy Treasure Facebook Page about how to get this painting to you.

Winner #2 gets the Warm Grey colored background with the pink Chevron Cross.
Congrats Stephanie!!!!
Message me on the Joy Treasure Facebook Page so I can find out how to get the painting to you.

Winner #3 gets the turquoise background with the blue chevron cross on it.

                                                                   Congrats Kim!!!!!
         Message me on the Joy Treasure Facebook Page so I can find out how to get the painting to you.

So thrilled for these ladies!
Thanks again for your support here on the Joy Treasure Blog and Facebook Page!
I love y'all!
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Thursday, June 20

FREE ART FRIDAY, June 20-21, 2013

Hey y'all! 
I'm so glad we can do this again today!

I am almost finished with these three paintings. They are mixed media paint and paper along with scripture. They are 6X6 in size and  1 1/2  inches thick. You will not need a frame.

They look great in a laundry room, bathroom, on an office desk, or girl's room. Some of you may have colors in your living room where they might look awesome too!

To Enter:

  1. Type your first and last name in the comment box under this post on the blog (ONCE only please!!)
  2. Winners will be drawn from the pool of names I receive in the comment box on the blog, not on Facebook. IF you have a problem leaving your name in a comment box here on the blog, please message me on the Joy Treasure Facebook page and we will discuss the issue.
  3. The first name my son draws will go to the green, the second name he draws will go to the gray and third name he draws will go to the blue background.
  4. Winners will be announced on Saturday morning June 22nd no later than 10:30am.

Happy Free Art Friday!!!

You enter NOW, Thursday June 20th at 7pm and comments will be taken here until Friday June 21st at 7pm. Then, I will close the contest.

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