ashton ray

On Being Single

Culture tells me that I need to do everything I can to pursue changing the fact that I’m single. For a long, long time I believed that. I had a hidden ideology influencing the way that I think about myself because of my relationship status. I was dissatisfied with where my God has me in life because I grew up believing that happiness and singleness are not synonymous.

Today, I’m calling crap.

On Being Single

My Year, As Told By Books // 2015

This year has been a lot of things and sooner than later, i think i will process them all, but not now. Right now i will enjoy this night, with the familiar weight of my computer on my lap and my favorite sound of keyboard clicks as my brain spills itself out for you. In all that this year has been, God has been my only constant and books have been a safe place. i have learned so much, changed so much, and cried so much because of the books that i have read this year. i could go on and on about the highs and lows and tears and smiles of 2015, but honestly, i don't want to do that. So, i will tell you about the books. They will tell you my story. These are the pages, the words, the sentences that carried me through all the ups and downs that 2015 has offered me. 

My Year, As Told By Books // 2015

Love Your Enemies

As Taylor Swift's voice came through the speakers and the bass thumped, i heard glass fall in my back seat. i turned around and my heart sank and my body went numb and suddenly the world felt too small. My entire backseat, which had been filled with groceries and my school things and my friend's stuff and more when I left, was now empty. Everything was gone and i couldn't believe it. i ran back inside and found the nearest person. i was at a loss. You hear of car robberies, but what do you do when it's your car? your stuff? your normality?

Love Your Enemies

Thanksgiving

My most recent memories of Thanksgiving are not ones of joy. i approach the holidays hesitant to embrace them because they never feel good for me. i never fall asleep the night of Thanksgiving or Christmas feeling very joyful or whatever we’re supposed to feel. Maybe you have never experienced the weight that the holidays can bring and if so, i am so thankful for you. But, if you’re like me, i want you to know that you are not alone tonight. 

Thanksgiving

Kevin // Part Four

i am constantly having to remind myself that Kevin is not defined by the fact that he is an orphan. Knowing and loving that little Guatemala has taught me a lot about what God has rescued us out of by making us a part of His family, and i am so thankful for that. i am praying that one day Kevin will get to tangibly understand what it means not to be an orphan anymore. i want him to have a last name and a room to himself and so much more, because he deserves it. He is a punk, but i love him because God loves all of the punks in the whole world.

Kevin // Part Four

Shame or Freedom

i am leaving home today. i am currently sitting in my bed drinking coffee and enjoying a slow morning. i've been home for three weeks and it's been really hard and full and slow. i have learned a lot and i've cried a few times and i've watched more movies than i can count. Despite how miserable it has been at times, home has been exactly what i needed it to be.

Shame or Freedom

The Bridge Called Counseling

i'm sitting in this waiting room for the hundredth time. my heart is beating loudly and i feel like i'm going to vomit. i've been here for ten minutes and i should have gone in five minutes ago and every minute that passes is a stronger temptation to run. 

A year ago, i went to my first counseling session. 

Last week, after five months away, i went back.

The Bridge Called Counseling

Within Silence, Peace Awaits

i find that silence is a full thing. It is the absence of noise, but it is the opportunity for much more. It is the opportunity to think, loudly and boldly without anything else hindering what your mind wants to say. It is the opportunity to observe the world within its stillness. Silence opens the door for us to simply be. Silence is full. 

Within Silence, Peace Awaits

Steal, Kill, & Destroy

On Sunday night, my car was broken into. The smashed my right rear window and took everything in my backseat. My backseat was full of stuff. It could have been called a thief's dream. They certainly saw it that way. With them, they took thousands of dollars of things. They left me with a Beyoncé card, a cold piece of pizza, and a lot of broken glass.

Steal, Kill, & Destroy

A Letter to December

Hello again. i've been expecting you. i know that you were waiting with patient, open arms for me to fall into you like i always have. We have such a familiar dance, you and i. You show up, your cloudy blue skies and dark afternoons and you romance me. You tempt me, telling me to let you in and let you win. You want so desperately to have me. You beg! Your spend your nights begging me to walk into the darkness, to let the wave crash over me and drown me. You want to swallow my joy, my confidence, my everything. You are hungry for everything that gives me the drive to get out of bed, hungry for anyone who could make me smile. You try with everything you have, with every minute of your every day to draw me into you.

A Letter to December