Rachel Jenae

Ashley’s Legacy

It’s another fabulous Tuesday! I’ve been caught up in all of these stories and am addicted to hearing them now. The transformation, the beauty, the things I never would have known having just looked at the surface. I didn’t set out to have stories each Tuesday. It organically happened. As if God knew all along what He was doing, while I kept thinking I did.

Each story is like a set of binoculars, giving us a glimpse into the far away distant lives we all once lived. They show us where people have been and what brought them to today.  Today is the stage, the launching pad for tomorrow.  I’ve seen that picture a lot when I think of Ashley’s story below. Props are being set, she’s been training and practicing her lines and God the producer is about to open the curtains. It will look much different than she envisioned, but it will be His dream playing out in her every day role.

Some will say it’s too much, that she’s dreamed too big and what it will demand of her to give to people she doesn’t know will make others feel uncomfortable with how little they’re giving.  They will encourage her to relax, enjoy life and be happy.  It will require more time and energy than comfortable, but you see here’s the thing…legacy doesn’t leave you comparing to others next to you, it leaves you looking back comparing to what you know you’ve been given and asking how you can now give it away to share with others.

“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” Luke 12:48

That’s legacy.

So here’s Ashley’s story below and here is a link to her entire shoot.  Be sure and leave her some love, this story was not easy to write.

ALSO:TUTU SILENT AUCTION:: *** The tutu in these first shots was made by a dear, sweet and incredibly talented friend of mine, MicahJayne, with MJayne Design!  If you are interested in entering the silent auction for it please email your bid to hello@racheljenae.com or to ask more questions.  

Growing up, my sisters and I would go sledding every winter.  We lived on a hill in rural Missouri, so this was a regular occurrence for us.  Another regular occurrence was the “behind the scenes” love that made each snow day a success.  Before we were even out of bed, my dad would put hay bales in front of every big tree and prep the sleds while my mom would begin warming the stove with homemade hot chocolate and stew.  Looking back, I had one of the greatest gifts I could ever imagine- a loving family.

I had a strong relationship with my dad from an early age.  We were in Indian Princesses together, a father-daughter organization, where we would camp, race derby cars, and roast marshmallows with our tribe.  As I got older, morning runs became our time to connect and discuss life.  And my mom, she was my best friend.  There was a gentleness about her that calmed every fear and took away any insecurity.  Her heart was full of love for others, she always had a listening ear and her eyes reflected grace and forgiveness.  She was our ‘wonder-mom’ that would pack lunches, prep outfits, volunteer at school, make afternoon snacks, help with homework and prepare dinner every single day.  I grew up in a home where God’s love was strong and everything was right; the rhythm of everyday life was steady and the love of our parents was consistent.  Every day was a good day.

Every day, except for April 27, 2003.  This is the day that my world changed forever.  This is the day that caused me to reexamine what I thought I believed.  This is the day that all hope seemed lost.  This is the day that I lost my mom.  She was 43 and was diagnosed with breast cancer only 4 weeks before.

My mom was a gift.  Not just to me and my family but to everyone that she came in contact with.  She was sweet, humble, had a strong confidence of her identity in God, rejoiced in the triumphs of others and mourned with them through trials.  She was a friend and a servant to all.  What made her so special is that she shared the gifts that God gave her with everyone she met.  And as a result, everyone who met her felt special too.

You see, we all have gifts to give.  They may not necessarily be wrapped in paper or bows but instead, found in an embrace that embodies a smile, a loving gesture, a listening ear, or an open heart full of grace. We have gifts to give gifts. We, as mankind, were given each other to help, encourage, and share this amazing adventure called life.  Each day is a gift and an opportunity to share the gifts that we have been given.  Using our individual God given gifts and living with a passion for things far greater than ourselves, we can all partner together, make a difference in the lives of others and create a legacy that continues for generations.

My mom’s legacy is one that will continue to live; she was far too great for it not to.  Shortly after she passed, the Lord planted an idea in my dad’s heart to launch a non-profit in her name that would provide assistance to those going thru cancer.  The dream was big and I was not on board.  It was too daunting of a task and I was too hurt to begin thinking about how I could help others.  It seemed impossible to focus on anything other than my own pain and loss.

While I stood aside in resistance, my dad kept moving forward and by God’s grace, he was granted non-profit status.  Shortly after this victory, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and, again, I stood aside and watched him work extremely hard to make ends meet while aggressively treating the disease (twice).  He is now cancer free in Jesus name!  I say all of that to say this: in those five years, I saw two glorious victories!  There is a theme here and I’ve noticed the same theme in the Bible…all miracles resulted in someone taking a step of faith.  An action was required for God to move.   And to the degree that people prepared is the degree that God filled their need.  He will never leave us or forsake us and the faithfulness that I’ve seen is a testament of His love for us.

Something that I’m learning right now is that God meets us exactly where we are.  I’m realizing that all of my ‘excuses’ for not stepping up and joining efforts with my dad on the non profit are invalid because I serve a God who is above all circumstances.  So what if I don’t have a website?  So what if I don’t have the entire master plan figured out yet?  So what if I don’t know how we will raise money or find volunteers?  Those roadblocks do not mean that I have to stop all together. I just have to keep moving forward with what I can do.  I can pray for and encourage those who are currently sick.  I can clean and help those who need work done around the house.  I can take steps forward and I can help someone in need.  Sometimes this is the hardest part because it doesn’t look like what we think it should.  But how selfish is that?  To not help one if I can’t help millions?

I am a firm believer that God restores all bad for His Glory!  The death of Jesus on the cross did not look promising in the natural; yet, His death gave new life and hope to a dying world.  Holding on to this truth, I am making a declaration this month.  I am going to take a step toward this dream that God has given our family.  I will not wait for it to look a certain way and I will trust that God has everything under control.  After all, when it’s impossible, He gets all honor and glory.

It’s human tendency to want to be noticed.  But think about what an awesome world it would be if we shifted that mindset and made it a priority to notice someone else…to share a smile, an encouraging word, a snack, a story.  We all have gifts and those gifts are intended for the benefit of others. Let’s share them.  Let’s focus on more than ourselves this month.  Let’s make a lasting and worthwhile impression.  Let’s create a legacy.

My heart is to see hope restored to the lives of those affected by cancer and to share the legacy of my mom.

What’s yours?

by Ashley Movold 

 

*If you feel drawn to connect with Ashley and partner with her as she moves forward with her non-profit, please feel free to leave a comment below.  If you have wisdom to share, a word of encouragement, a heart to serve a long side her in growing this vision…whatever it is, share your gift and partner with her.