Saturday, March 11, 2017

March 11, 2017

Today, on the last day of spring break, it snowed. There will probably be snow on the ground tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is also daylight savings, which is stupid for the record.

It was 90 in Phoenix today, and Arizona doesn't participate in daylight savings.

Maybe I'm just super tired from school and life, but I kind of really miss my friends and my old house and my piano and my youth groups and just my old life tonight. I understand that had we stayed in Phoenix or if I go back it wouldn't at all be the same, but it would be Phoenix.

(Surprisingly, this is the first time I've missed Phoenix HARD (and it was short-lived), but here we are.)

And there's my problem. I'm too wrapped up in place. I'm taking a geography class, and aside from the work, I love it! Geography and maps has always been something my dad, brother, and I have really enjoyed. I just love learning about different places even if I don't really like to travel. Weird, I know. I just enjoy the concept of place and the different stuff each city offers.

I also get really connected to places I've been too. Cities, stadiums, buildings, libraries, gyms. You name it, I probably have a memory with it.

I've recently realized that I've been struggling contentment this year, and I think I just understood why. I don't like the city I live in. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Nashville so, so much. But I don't live in Nashville.

I live in Springfield, north of Nashville, where we try not to go to the Walmart because there have been serious safety incidents. Springfield where it takes 10 minutes at least to get to anything you need. (That sounds near, but I used to live 3 minutes from like 2 shopping complexes...) Springfield where they have to take down a city sign because somehow they didn't get a permit from their own city (?!?!). Springfield with 1 high school and like 3 funeral homes. Springfield where roads are barely wide enough for 2 cars in some places near my house.

I'm not discontent about the cross-country move per se. I mean sure Southern culture is something I'm not sure I'll ever completely assimilate to, but I've made so many memories in TN and the surrounding states that I wouldn't have EVER been able to make if I were still in AZ. And Nashville is the perfect spot to be for a gospel pianist. And have I mentioned that the city is beautiful?

I'm just struggling with driving past the tobacco fields and cow farms for 20 minutes to an interstate to get to school.

I don't know about you, but that's usually what gets me. The small things. Yeah, I'm in one of the greatest states in a suburb of my second favorite city but I can't handle the lack of customer service. God has provided for my family a home and jobs in an amazing way, but I get bent out of shape over daylight savings time. God is miraculously providing for my education before my very eyes, and I get frustrated because I haven't seen an interstate for days. God has given me so many amazing friends but I can't handle that I don't know a lot of people in my own city yet.

I know this is petty, stupid stuff. Maybe some of it is a somewhat of a big deal, but not in the whole scheme of how blessed I've been. I DON'T want to be like this. I long to be content in Jesus WHEREVER He has me. And I thought I was.

I appreciated my big blessings. I took the initial big changes of church, school, and house in stride. I know just how blessed I am to have the friends and influences I have. I am so grateful for my job and my house.

But contentment doesn't have a size limit. And what kind of person am I if I can't see past my tiny problems to how awesomely my God has blessed me.

They say the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging it, and I guess this post helped me do that.

Learning to be content is NOT the same as trying to stay where I am forever, but it is trying not to thwart God's plan. If He wants me to live here for forever, I know He's gonna give me the strength to do it. He's given me SO MANY other things. I just gotta wait and hope on Him.

Faithful is He that calleth you who also will do it.

(I hope I didn't come across too negative in this post. It's how I've been feeling lately, and tonight in typing this I realized the root issue of it all. Life has hard parts, but life is also crazy and fun and awesome. Sometimes, you gotta acknowledge the hard parts to move on to the fun. Like realizing that your hand smells like chlorine for some reason which means SUMMER!!!!!)


  1. Ah Ashley, that sounds so difficult... no, of course you weren't too negative!

    SAME... it's the little things that get me nostalgic for other places/things too. That's so true.

    Thank you for writing this post, dear... I really hope you'll feel better soon. You're where you are for a reason... God's got this. :-)

    1. Naomi, thank you so much for your encouragement! It means a lot!

  2. Ashley, thank you so much for writing this post.

    I'm there. So there. And it helps to know I'm not the only one feeling this way right now.

    My dad took a new church on January 1st in a town I DID NOT want to move to. Higher crime, no "small town" feel. I hated the thought of leaving my friends and the coffee shop I loved.
    I cried for weeks. Yes, I'm 28 and should have handled it better, and yes, I COULD have moved out and gotten a local job and apartment in my old town, but I know my parents wish for me to live with them and help with their ministry until I'm married, and they would be deeply disappointed if I moved out. So I feel that honoring my parents by living here is God's will for me right now. But this isn't an easy place to be. (Wow, look at all those conjunctions,  lol.)

    We started packing to move around Christmas time, so the holiday and my birthday both passed in a blur. Then we moved into the church's old sanctuary, which we are currently transforming into a parsonage/pastoreum. It's hard waking up to construction every day, too far to drive and see my best friend and her new baby. On top of all this, probably because of stress, I feel absolutely stuck in my writing, my blog has suffered, all my writing projects refuse to come together when I try to plot--and in the busyness of our new life here and responsibilities with the church, family time, which I value so highly, is scarce.

    In other ways, God's has blessed abundantly and is definitely taking care of my needs and several wants as well.

    Like you said, I don't like being discontent. This isn't "me." I'm usually the cheerful one. And right now I don't know how to get that back.

    Maybe God's trying to teach me something in all this, but I haven't learned the lesson yet. I don't even know the object, much less how to get an "A." All I know is to keep reading my Bible and pouring my heart out to God, and like Elisabeth Elliot said, just "do the next thing."

    Tell you what. I'm going to write "Ashley and Springfield" in my prayer journal and start praying God will help you in this. And maybe when you think about it you can pray for me too. :)

    I also plan to start a Gratitude Journal, where I write ten things I'm grateful for every day. I really hope things get better soon, for both of us! It's a cold but beautiful day here, and I hope there's some sunshine heading your way as well!

    1. Natalie, that sounds so hard! Thank you so much for sharing; it was a great encouragement. God's got us both where we are for a purpose, and He's not gonna let us down. I'll be praying extra hard for you in this season! God has blessed me so much too, yet sometimes I still focus too much on the negatives, legitimate though they may be. I've fought with contentment a lot in the past few years, and every time I think I have it, Satan's like haha nope... That's wonderful advice to just keep on going. God has promised He will show Himself in a mighty way! I'll be praying for you girl!!

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