Kent and I are about a month into the internship. We are amazed at what we’ve learned so far. God has been giving us new desires in our hearts for things that are on His heart.
Last week I came down with a cold. By the second week of it I wasn’t able to sleep for about five days. I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I still had to cook, work, and live my life. During this time God gave me the strength and grace to do what I needed to get done. I would find myself praying more often for the sick and learning new things about Christ as I was up for so many hours. I eventually decided that I was tired of not sleeping and feeling sick, but I wanted this deep connection with the Father’s heart to continue. I had many people pray for me during this time. I had friends come lay hands on me for healing and we all felt that this was a Spiritual attack on me. I’ve been rooting things out of my life and replacing them with the things of God. The enemy doesn’t like that, but my God is stronger and triumphs over him every time.
After the fifth night of not being able to sleep, nap, or feel awake Kent and I attended our home group with the internship. I had previously spent a few hours in the prayer room. I felt like the Holy Spirit wanted me to repent of fear – the fear that this sickness wouldn’t leave me. He also reminded me that the Healer lives in me and I should not be afraid. I repented and asked the Lord to change me. At the end of home group I asked for prayer. The group got around me and invited the Holy Spirit to speak to them. One of the women there said that she felt like I was holding on to two fears in my life, which I was. The craziest thing is that we didn’t tell them that I was wrestling with those fears, but the Lord prophetically revealed those things to people in our group. She encouraged me to repent out loud. I did and immediately started to feel freedom. Other group members spoke verses of truth over me, words of life, and declarations of strongholds being broken. They anointed me with oil and encouraged me in how much God loves me. He truly desires for me to come to Him and give me good gifts like healing. I was so encouraged by my brothers and sisters in Christ. We serve a mighty God. Since they prayed over me I’ve been feeling almost perfect and have had no trouble sleeping. My body is loving it!
The Lord heals. He’s powerful and mighty. Kent and I are contending for a deeper awareness of the sick around us. We want to labor in prayer to see the sick and oppressed set free. We want this new desire in us not to vanish now that I’m feeling better. Christ used what the enemy meant for harm to redeem it to something glorious. I’m so blessed to have such a great Father, and siblings in Christ!
Over this past summer Kent and I spent some time dreaming about some routes we wanted to take. One of them was taking the Kingdom Foundations Internship with The Gateway House of Prayer. We prayed about it and weighed some things before we came to the conclusion that that was were God was leading us in the new year. So, we applied and thankfully were accepted.
We officially started the second week of January. It’s only been a little over a week, but man are we noticing tangible change in our personal lives and together. One word so far that I can use to describe our experience is “surrender.” We truly found out how much of a commitment it was when we were putting in as many hours as part time job. One thing Kent and I say to each other when we complain about giving something up is that it was never ours anyway. Our time, money, food, nothing is ours even if we worked for it. Christ gives us our every breath and blesses us with all of the good things listed above. We were made to serve Him always and by His strength He will sustain us.
It’s been stretching to come up with a schedule each week. We are learning discipline and time restraints to make sure that between KFI, work, family, and friends that we are still making time to be with each other. That means saying no to some outings, which is hard for us. We’ve noticed such a strength in our marriage by carving out time just for us, especially time to be silly and get creative. There has been so much good conversation about the desires the Lord is laying on our hearts for our future, mind sets that we need to change, revelation about Christ or the Bible, and life in general. We are so excited for the Lord to break off complacency and wrong thinking in our lives from this devoted season of seeking Him in a new way. We’ve been telling each other, “man, this is so good, but so stretching.” Kent and I are completely unqualified on our own to do this. We are so apt to getting sick or frustrated. Christ qualifies us completely. We want to boast in Him, not because we’ve figured anything out and are “super Christians,” but because we know that He sustains us and has proven Himself a faithful friend.
Please be praying for us as we are in this internship for the next five months. Pray that the things we learn will continue throughout our lives and this wouldn’t just be something fun that we did once. Pray that the Lord digs deep and that we would come to the end of ourselves so that we may be sold out for Him alone. That we would be encouraged as we take leaps out of our comfort zone to preach the Gospel to a lost and broken world. Pray that Kent and I would hear the voice of the Lord and rest in His promises.
Kent and I went to Maine the week before Christmas. We drove there in a snow storm and it was quite the adventure. Uncle Lloyd took us to some pretty awesome places and informed us on some we could go visit on our own. We loved spending time with my family members that I don’t see very often. Kent did such a wonderful job at professing Christ with each person we came across. I’m so blessed to be married to this man.
Here are a few photos of our snowy adventure!
I had some fun shooting little accents around our house for the sake of getting creative. Our little fishy in the bottom picture is named Barry, but we often just call him Little Fishy and sing songs about his name. Which reminds me of Gator Bill from our honey moon. You should check out that post too. Obviously we are a nerdy bunch.
Here is the Short Film from our Wedding! I shot all of the Glidecam footage and Ashleigh shot some of the prep footage of her bridesmaids. A huge shout out to Vanessa and Maddie for shooting the footage on the day. Ashleigh and I then edited the footage to create the Film. We were so blessed by everyone who came out to support us on our Big Day. The Lord has taught us so much about each other, ourselves, and Himself, through the first few months of our marriage.
Hit play, then pause, let it buffer, and then hit play!
Here is a Photo Blog post of our honeymoon, from my perspective. I wasn’t using my go-to camera, since I left it with someone who wanted to use it in PA. However, I resolved that Ashleigh would do a stunning job with her post, and I would catch a few things here and there. It felt great to be on a vacation essentially without a camera. The Lord really continued laying the groundwork for our various ministries together on our honeymoon, and we are excited to see the places that He will take us. All in all, a great beginning to a great adventure together. There will be more posts coming soon from some things that have been laid on my heart recently.
For a more comprehensive look at our honeymoon, refer to Ashleigh’s post below.
Two weeks ago Kent and I went to a much anticipated concert at Lancaster Bible College. We got there only a half hour before the concert started and realized that we may not have a good seat, since it was packed out and sold out. Luckily a friend of ours saved a few seats near the stage for whoever needed them. We were so blessed to be able to take those seats and have a great view! These artists were so passionate in their love for Jesus. We love Audrey and her amazing voice that gives you goosebumps. We admire her rawness for music and what it can reveal about the Lord. Rend Collective got up and started off the Irish dance party. Everyone was clapping and tapping their feet. Their heart to see the Kingdom come on Earth is SO refreshing. We were so blessed to be a part of this corporate worship night to reflect on Jesus!
Many of you have been asking me “where are the pictures from your honey moon”…well this post is for you! Kent and I spent a beautiful week in West Palm Beach FL. We picked up a little Fiat (which I thought said “Flat”..) and cruised all over Southern FL.
The first dozen or so pictures were from when we ventured to the Everglades where we took a boat tour and encountered a gator on the side of the road. Kenton made a song about this particular gator which he named, Gator Bill. The lyrics are simple and they just keep repeating… “Gator Bill was a gator Gator Bill was a gator”. We survived being four feet away from a gator.
The next outing was when we went kayaking at a State Park. It was a gorgeous day. We saw beautiful birds peeking out of the mangrove trees. There was a particular mangrove canal you could paddle through that we LOVED. We put some worship music on and relaxed in the still water of the canal as we paddled. It started raining and we had our cameras on the kayak with us. We rushed back as fast as we could to shore through the choppy lake. The cameras survived yet another adventure.
The last pictures were from The Country Lion Safari. We drove the little Fiat amongst the zebras, ostriches, rhinos, tortoises, and many other four legged creatures on the plains. The bummer was that the lions were fenced in? I think so. We drove that car right next to a bull bigger than it. I spotted a baby rhino and then the baby and it’s mommy decided to run right in front of our car. As we drove our way around we witnessed a super sick zebra smack down. Two zebras began whacking each other with their heads. Dirt rose into the air and the whole herd ran passed our car. Totally awesome. We saw chimps from afar and witnessed their creepy form of communication.
We had many laughs on our honeymoon. Mostly because my husband is hilarious and we saw some pretty wild things. The honeymoon was not just a fun time, it was also challenging. We both want to continue to grow deeper together and with the Lord. There were some tough things that we had to discuss in order to keep up healthy communication. Each day we need to apologize and forgive each other. We are both broken people being refined daily by Jesus Christ. I married the kindest and most honest man alive, though. He blesses me each day with how thoughtful and caring he is. One thing in particular that he initiated on our honeymoon was to sit down and make a list of goals. These goals were for us as couple and individually. He wanted to take time out at the very beginning of our marriage to set goals in our lives. Nothing is more uplifting than praying with my husband and dreaming about what God wants to do.
We are so blessed not to have a horror story of a honeymoon, like we’ve both heard about. We enjoyed each moment of it, even the hard ones. It was a blast over all, but the end of the week we were SO excited to get home and start our lives off together in the “real world”.
This post is the first where we are officially married; before The Lord, according to the state of Pennsylvania, and in agreement with Pastor Todd. Our blog is no longer lying in it’s title- Kent and Ashleigh have said “I do.”
We have also posted our wedding vows, which can be viewed either by going directly to the top of this page under our banner and clicking on “Our vows,” or by going here:
Today Ashleigh and I are sitting in the airport ready to board our flight back to BWI from our honeymoon in West Palm Beach. We are sitting next to a little boy, named Oliver, who is singing happy birthday to his dad, and a little girl named Sloan who has dropped all of her popcorn onto the floor. Sloan is now eating the popcorn off of the floor. Their parents have already threatened to take away their yogurt parfait, and future trips to Disney World. Awesome.
Moving right along.
I have been so thankful for all of the people who have surrounded Ashleigh and I in our journey of dating, engagement, and now our marriage. We have learned so many tools that will definitely aid us on the adventure of our marriage.
One thing that has been extremely helpful for me (Kent) is to know that our marriage together is not for my happiness or my completion. Don’t get me wrong- I love Ashleigh, and she makes me very happy. But if her chief goal was to make me happy, then she would never infringe on my boundaries that I have set up over the years of living without her. Ashleigh is not made for my happiness, but she is in my life to help me become more sanctified and holy. Holiness takes time and work. We engage The Lord through grace-driven works. We do not work because we need to be loved by God, rather we work because we are already loved by God. In Christ we are seen by God as righteous, and our minds and hearts have been freed to love each other as Christ loves us.
There have been moments during our honeymoon where we both began to get a little antsy. I think we are both pretty motivated and driven people. At one point I had the sudden urge to go through all of my 1,500 emails and delete what I didn’t need. There were emails from 2009. I now have an inbox of 40-something emails, and only 13 unread emails. I have also officially taken my business email off of my phone so that I do not compulsively check my emails. At one point during the honeymoon she asked why I was checking my emails since I had just checked them five minutes ago, if that. If Ashleigh were concerned primarily about my happiness more than my holiness she would probably just not care whether I was checking my emails again. But she does care, and this kind of love is not a love that only loves me for who I am, but it is also a future-oriented love who wants me to grow into someone more like Christ, free and not enslaved by the things of this world. She puts pressure on areas of my life, and I need to receive her wisdom. In this example we both need Christ, because this is not natural to us as humans. The natural response for her is to either become personally offended, or not care at all. My natural response would be to continue doing it, or to be personally offended that she is rightly concerned, and wall off that area of my life and check my phone in private, trying to keep her out of my life. These natural responses do not create Oneness or unity that marriage is designed to create. Marriage is meant to make one unit out of two people, rubbing our edges off of ourselves, through our friendship with each other.
This is only one function of a marriage, although it is inevitable. During our life together we will collide because we are by nature and choice two selfish individuals living under one roof. This can very easily be viewed as annoying, but the truth is I am a weak individual who needs help. I need help to know when to rest. I need help to know what to eat, and sometimes how much of it to eat. I need help to know how to love people. I need help keeping clothes in the laundry hamper. I need help to keep my shoes in one place. I need help keeping track of my wallet and car keys. It just so happens that Ashleigh is awesome at all of those things. Literally, I just now in the airport placed an empty cracker bag beside me because I was ready to throw it out. Without stopping her place in her book she reached across, picked it up, and put it into a trash pile that she has designated for all trash items to go.
Do you know what kind of pressure it would put on Ashleigh to suppress those gifts? She is naturally inclined to be good at that, she was intrinsically wired that way by God. There are things that I have been wired with as well, but the list is a lot shorter. There have been a few times already where we have both viewed the gifts of one another as competition instead of as a help, and we have needed to apologize for that and get to the roots of our sin together.
The truth is that we both need Jesus to redeem us from the way that we have been wired differently. We do not only need to learn how to compromise and work together and show our children how to be nice, but we also need to model forgiveness and repentance toward each other as we learn to grow together in Christ. Our righteousness is in Christ alone, and this means using our gifts in a way that builds each other up and frees each other to be the person that God has uniquely created us to be.
As our honeymoon has come to an end, we will need your prayers- that we are strengthened together in the unity that only Christ can provide for us. We are two very imperfect people who daily need to grow. Nothing has taught me this more than beginning the journey of living together.
One of our past clients sent Kent an encouraging email and some advice for our upcoming marriage. She told Kent that he and I should go on a date the week of our wedding. On this date don’t talk about wedding planning or anything of that sort, but just have fun together. Yesterday we took advantage of that advice and headed to Alexandria, VA where we previously shot a wedding.
It was SUPER hard for us not to talk about the wedding. One of us would slyly say “wait, what are we talking about” when one of us happened to veer down that path. First off we had some amazing grilled cheese and lemonade at a cutesy cafe. We then headed to the shops downtown and Kent finally experienced the wonders of Anthropologie (that dang overpriced goodness). We shared a red velvet cupcake with the most amazing cream cheese frosting after we were done walking around. Finally, we went to the waterfront to pray and relax together. That was one of the best parts of our day. We got to talk about what the Lord was speaking to us as we ventured downtown.
We kept walking alongside of the water front on a boardwalk. I immediately spotted a few couple month old turtles hanging on some logs. Kent got a taste of my crazy love for turtles and ability to spot them out. We spent about an hour talking as I pointed out many turtles that I saw. They are so darn cute. It was absolutely relaxing and just what we needed – a little down time with little reptiles. Who knew?