Monday, March 31, 2014

plan b

plan b is a tricky little thing in this life. especially mine. 

see, my plan a has always been africa. as long as jesus calls me, africa is where i'll be. and i'm ok with that. actually, i'm in love with it. 

but because i don't know where i'll be in 5 years or even 5 months, i need a plan b. but plan b and i don't really get along that well on most days. plan b has never sat well in my bones. it's never been where i wanted to be, yet so many of us stay there. 

in my mind, plan b is where you are standing when you decide that you are too afraid to step out + let life hit you hard. with blessings and dreams and things you didn't know you possessed. plan b is the boring, but seemingly secure, place you build when you desperately want to keep things together. but here's the thing, plan b, it's not for me and it's not for you either. 

plan b didn't work for me when i was 12 and desperate to be normal and it's not working for me now at 18. it didn't work yesterday, it won't work tomorrow, but if you, are like me, you will try your very best to fight and push and put everything you have in your little being into making that plan b work. but it's never gonna. 

in our heads, plan b is the safe way. the good way. the way that leaves everyone with nothing negative to say, but with nothing positive either. plan b is bland. and it is the easy way. 

the thing is, jesus doesn't call us to be safe. He calls us to be faithful. and sometimes being faithful means quitting the good act. quitting the safe path. choosing to be reckless and to love with abandon. choosing to go beyond our comforts and what our idea of life should be. it means leaving the shouldhave + wouldhave for what He has. 

don't get me wrong, if jesus gives you a plan a and you go with plan b, He won't love you any less, but take it from me, you could miss out on some of the best and greatest blessings of your life.

if i've learned anything in this season of my life, it's that plan b doesn't work. and neither does living to please this world and the people in it. i've finally come to the realization that this is my life. it's your life, too. so i dare you to stop acting as if this world runs you. as if the people who have never cared enough to listen to you and the song in your soul have any say in what you do with this one, amazing and beautiful life that is all your own. i have learned to stop waiting for the next big thing and to stop standing in the corner waiting for an arrow to show me where i am supposed to go. i dare you, just start running. full out sprint. 

peace will come flooding into you when it's right. peace comes in footsteps and trials and quitting plan b, i promise. you have one chance to change this world and to be the mover and shaker you were born to be. and the thing is, the world isn't  gonna cry if you never use it. it's all on you. every bit of it. it's all you. the sweat, tears and blood to come they are all your own. you were put on this earth for a reason. 

you may not know, yet and i don't know either, but this world has always been about one thing. it's always been craving for the one thing that brought it together in the first place, love. it's about helping people. choosing to be graceful for people. choosing to find beauty. choosing love. this is where you'll find joy. and that, that is where the peace is. it's the beauty in every aspect of this life. you were born to make a difference. you were born to break the chains and to quit plan b. you were born to chase plan a and to rock it. 

seek your passion, seek His heart and go after it. don't stop running until you're so overcome with joy and peace you can barely breathe. will it always be easy? absolutely not. will it always be worth it? definitely. 

Monday, March 24, 2014


i get questions, always. i love answering them and am always so excited when people show genuine interest in my move. if you see me, ask me about it! i love talking about the land i love and am always open to answering any questions. 

because i don't get to talk to everyone in person or detail, i figured i would answer a few FAQ while i had a little bit of time. so, here we go. 

where will you be? 
jinja, uganda for the most part. i will be in kampala less frequently but will make a few visits. 

what about college? 
right now, i feel like this is the calling God has placed on my life and i plan to follow Him fully. college can wait. no degree is worth ignoring the calling God has placed on my life and it is always gonna be available to me when i am ready. souls are at stake here. i am going to be a missionary and right now loving and serving His people is my top priority. and it's not every day you get to pack up and live your dream, right? 

well this is a deep question, but basically from the time i was about 10 uganda has been my heart. from the time i was 13 i have harassed my parents to allow me to go to uganda. when i finally went at 16 my soul knew. uganda is the land i love and i am eager to return. i feel certain that God gives us desires and passions and i am chasing mine right now. 

when do you leave? 
June 6th! i am literally counting down the days (74 left!) until i leave. i am so so excited. 

what will you be doing? 
i will be volunteering at Ekisa (such a dream!) and will be partnering with other ministries as well. i will be loving people, children, and sharing Jesus wherever i go. i basically am going to have the best job in the entire world and i feel crazy blessed to be on this journey. 

are you graduating? 
yes! i will be graduating on may 31 from high school and i'm quite excited. it's a bittersweet feeling for certain, but an exciting one nevertheless. i look forward to the new season of life that is just on the horizon for me after graduation. 

how old are you? 
i'm 18! 

what about safety? 
to be honest, there will be "danger" no matter where you roam, i rest in the promises of Jesus. if my God is for me, who could stand against me? i also use these verses/quotes to encourage myself (and my family)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. [Joshua 1:9]
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:19]
God never sends you where He hasn't already been. [Max Lucado] 

aren't you scared? 
this is quite a frequent question and if i am being honest, yes sometimes i get a small wave of fear, but it passes as quickly as it comes and i am flooded with peace and promises that only He can provide. i am excited about the future and i cannot wait to see what God does. 

how can i help? 
oh! i'm so glad you asked. 
there are many ways to help and there's a cute little tab at the top of my page that says "help wanted" click on it for some great in depth ideas, but here are a few easy ones that are linked for easy access. you're welcome.
> pray like crazy
buy one of these tshirts
> join my prayer team
> send one of the donations listed here
> all of the above
above all "money needs", prayer is so much more important. please remember to pray for me, uganda, and the people i will be serving daily. 

if you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me. i would love to hear from you! 

tying you closer than most, 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


yesterday we booked plane tickets to uganda. today we paid for them [ouch]

we you ask? yes. we. my dad and i. my precious dad has decided to travel with me to uganda and drop me off. he wants to make sure i am safe and i want to show him the land i love. it's going to be a sweet, sweet few days and i cannot wait. 

yesterday we finalized dates and finalized some tickets and guess what y'all? 

i'm officially uganda bound in 77 days. SEVENTY SEVEN DAYS

so soon! and i am going crazy. like i don't even know what to do with myself. I AM GOING TO UGANDA!!! 
(also, please notice my THREE ! points. i'm an english nerd and my rule is no more than two….if you're really, really excited) 

On June 6 I will board an airplane to the land that i call home. 

and there is so much to be done between now and then. 

i will be going to sea world. i will be swimming with dolphins. i will be graduating high school. have grad parties. savoring the last little bit of high school. oh, yes and planning to pack up and MOVE to a foreign country. 

it's a crazy few months ahead. i'm nervous, i'm excited, i'm anxious, i'm feeling thankful beyond belief, i am so so so ready, but sometimes i'm not. 

so, pray for me please. especially over the next 77 days. 

pray i find peace. pray i find joy and can enjoy the last bit of time in high school with my friends. pray i can prepare. mentally, physically and spiritually. 

i would be so, so thankful for that.

seventy seven days and i'm africa bound. 

ready or not, here i go! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

seek. love. walk.

one of my favorite verses is seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God [micah 6:8] 

i love everything about it. and quite frequently say "seek. love. walk." 

a few months ago the lovely jennifer and i began plotting for a tshirt to help raise funds for my move to uganda. i knew i wanted simple, yet powerful. 

i do a lot of sketching and actually sketched out a map of the world one day [the one on the shirt]. i showed it to jennifer, she worked her magic and my uganda shirt was born. 

the front of the shirt boldly states "seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God" 
that is how i want to serve, justly, mercifully, and humbly.  

100% of the proceeds of this shirt go to helping me serve the people of Uganda and enable me to live out the calling God has placed on my life. 

the shirts are $15 each [they are unisex] and you can order them at 

i have been overwhelmed by the support and love i've received since my announcement and am continually thankful. 

you can find me on social media, too
instagram: @ashtonbry