Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Fellowship - Ashley Lancaster

Today my guest is Ashley Lancaster.  You may have read her blog in the past.  She recently quit blogging but she still keeps up Instagram.  

I have sort of known Ashley since she was a little girl.  Her grandfather (with her above), H.D. McCarty was the pastor of University Baptist Church in Fayetteville forever.  He was my mom's pastor when she was in college and he was my pastor in my 20's.  I loved him.  He used to call people on their birthday.  I will never forget the times he called me at work on my birthday.  Ashley and her family would come visit and I remember them being there.  Her father is also a pastor and she has 3 siblings who she is very close to.   Years later we connected through our blogs and became friends.  We have been able to meet several times and even spent a weekend together at Dot Mom a few years ago.  

Ashley is the mom of 3 kids.  She leads women's ministry at her church as well as homeschool.  She also loves to decorate.  She's a talented singer as well.  I'm so glad she could visit with us today. 

1. What is your favorite food?

Italian food - ALL THE PASTA. And Mexican food - ALL THE ENCHILADAS.

2.  What is your very favorite piece of clothing right now? (FASHION)

Funny you ask - ha! ;) On July 18 I launched my Lularoe business! Lularoe is REALLY comfortable but beautiful and cute clothing. It suits every age range and more importantly, it suits every body type. There are no plus sizes or “sections.” Everything is cut the same but magically fits everyone. I tried my first piece of Lularoe only a few months ago and quickly decided to become a consultant because of how it changed my perspective on being comfortable and fashionable at the same time. I’ve loved this venture and I feel tremendously blessed to be part of the Lularoe movement! You can find me on Facebook - Lularoe Ashley Lancaster. :)

3.  Tell us about your Family?

I am married to the kindest, sweetest man named Kurt. We married in 2007 (after only knowing each other 11 months!). We have three beautiful children! Evy is 7, Liam is 6, and Lynley is 3. We adopted our son from South Korea in 2011 and it was such an incredible experience. I feel blessed to have experienced both pregnancy and adoption! I homeschool our kiddos and I really love it. I’m big on having a flexible schedule - ha! I am most proud to be Kurt’s wife and Evy, Liam, and Lynley’s mommy.

4.  What is the most important quality in your Friends? OR tell us something that a Friend has done for you that you can't forget.  

I could write for a long time on this one. But at the core of it, I think one of the qualities I value most is believing the best about someone. I have been guilty before of coming to conclusions too quickly or reading too much into things, and I’ve had people not give me the benefit of the doubt and not believe my heart is pure in my motivation for something. That HURTS.

Connected to that is just feeling understood and heard. I’m an introverted person (I sometimes present as an extrovert so it confuses people), and being around groups of people drains me. Not the people THEMSELVES. . .just having to be “on” and in a social setting doesn’t give me energy. One time after an event I coordinated at church, my friend Staci sent me a text and said “The event was awesome! Now go home and sit in silence in your rocking chair!” I felt really known and understood in that moment.

Finally, affirmation. My friend Grace is so good about this. She cheers me on and is constantly saying “You’re so good at this!” or “I am SO proud of you!” It’s not flattery; she genuinely loves cheering people on. I visited Grace recently and I noticed that a ton of our conversation was based in affirming each other. It was so uplifting, and women need to intentionally affirm each other.

5.  What's something you have learned recently in your Faith journey?  And/or share your favorite scripture right now and why or your favorite Bible Study or book you have read recently.  

I turned 30 last year, and it was the most transformative year of my life. I dealt with massive emotional issues (anxiety, being worried about how people perceive me, being worried all the time) and just dug deep into things I needed to work on. Everyone is messed up. We all have issues that haunt us and/or things we wish we could do differently (or not at all!). But I decided to sit with the Lord and really work on it. I watched Susan Goss’ Addicted to Anxiety seminar online which was the catalyst for change. I read “Lord, I Want to Be Whole” by Stormie Omartian and “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero. Those books changed my life. I didn’t go about my process perfectly, but I committed to be honest and transparent with myself, God and others. I don’t recognize myself, honestly - in the best way!

I also went to Israel this past April and I will never be the same. I can’t wait to go back! The Bible came alive to me, and I can’t get enough of learning about it now. I saw those places; they’re real. REAL PEOPLE lived and breathed what it says in the Bible. It was so powerful. Angie Smith’s BIble Study “Seamless” is one of my favorite studies ever because it helps you make sense of the Bible. I love it! 

Also, see my answer to the next question below. There has been huge spiritual growth for me in the last few weeks. 

 (Ashley and her siblings)
6.  What is your biggest Fear?

Losing a loved one. Even though I know they will be with the Lord, I can’t wrap my mind around that grief. 

BUT - As scary as it can be thinking about losing a loved one, I have a completely new perspective about death after this past year. I have had the absolute honor of watching two YOUNG friends grieve their spouses. Brittany Price lost her husband Patrick and Daniel Brooker lost his wife Lyndsie (also a dear friend of mine). The way they have both grieved their losses (earthly losses, that is) has been completely convicting and humbling to watch. Daniel encourages and serves in his church and Brittany blogs at So in answering this question. . .fear and worry can creep in when thinking about loss, but I have learned that we are only on earth for a quick breath. We can’t even wrap our minds around the span of eternity and being with the Lord forever (and those who know Him and are waiting for us there). I am so thankful for Heaven! 

EDITED TO ADD: I wrote the above response a few months ago, and little did I know that I would soon be going through the indescribable grief of losing a loved one. On November 9, at 12 weeks pregnant, my doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. Our little baby had gone to be with Jesus. Kurt and I were devastated, and I was profoundly overwhelmed with sadness. However, in walking through that grief (once my biggest fear), I have come to love and know the Lord on a level that I didn’t know was possible. Even in my deepest sadness, I have seen Him care for us, grow us in our marriage (we’ve never been closer), and teach us things about His character that we wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I’ve learned not to be afraid of what “might be” anymore, because I’ve experienced firsthand how the Lord equips us and draws us closer to Himself. All the days that we live are ordained and written in His book, including the 12 weeks of our baby’s life. I sensed strongly that this baby was a boy, and we named him Samuel David. “Samuel” because we truly gave this child to God, even before we were able to see his little face or kiss and hold him. And “David" because King David lost a child in the Bible and said, “He cannot return to me, but one day I will go to him.” It’s such a comforting verse. David also means “beloved,” and we couldn’t love our little baby any more than we do. God is gracious and good. I wanted to add this to my response, because I walked through my biggest fear and have come to love God so much more dearly, even in my pain!  


7.  What are some of your Favorite things right now?
Bath and Body Works candles (fall scents, of course), The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers (I can’t get enough and it has changed me forever), IKEA (St. Louis has one now and I want to live there), finding Disney Parks music to play on YouTube (you feel like you’re there). Also. . .POLDARK on Masterpiece/PBS! Yall, I can’t even tell you. I am obsessed with that show! 

8.  What has been your biggest Failure?

When I used to blog, there were a couple of occasions when I wrote my thoughts out and I should’ve just had conversations with people first. I process better through writing, and it wasn’t intentional, but I just wish I had handled a couple of instances differently. Not a failure, per se, but just a regret. I also failed to get honest with the Lord about a lot of things until I hit age 30. I now know what it feels like to have a clean conscience and just lay yourself down before Him. It’s freeing and amazing. I’m really thankful that our failures don’t define us - God is so much bigger than that! 

9.  What do you do for Fun?

Immerse myself in Disney culture, watch YouTube - and my favorite - TRAVEL!!!! I’ve been to several countries and all over the U.S.

10.  Tell me about what animals you have? (Furry things)

We have a Jack Russell Terrier named Kanga, and two cats - Leona and Thomasina.

11.  What is your favorite FILM? (movie) 
Can’t list just one. Top Three: You’ve Got Mail, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and About Time (changed my life - you need to watch it). 

12.  What is one Fact we might not know about you?
I wish I could live in a hundred different houses. I studied interior design and I love almost every single kind of architectural style there is. But oddly, I also desire to live in one house forever so my kids can always come back to their “childhood home.” I never had that, and that would be special. But really - I could live in a midcentury modern, an urban loft, a log cabin, or a Georgian mansion and love every single one.
Thank you Ashley for joining us today!!!! 

blog comments powered by Disqus