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inspiration

Wednesday Word

June 29, 2016

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Change is inevitable. Change can shake things up for the better or worse. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of change at my workplace. I’ll be celebrating a year at my current job in about a month, and since then, six colleagues in my department have left — two within my first couple of weeks on staff. We have no director, a.k.a. no leadership, and I just found out that I’m being forced to work out of a different building. Clearly, these are first-world problems (the situation could be far more dire), but annoying nonetheless. Before I start getting bogged down by the minutia, as I so often do when presented with a new something-or-other, I was reminded to see these changes through rose-colored lenses. This Wednesday Word No. 73, spoken by British philosopher, writer and speaker Alan Watts and presented courtesy of Pinterest, gives you and I permission to run headlong into whatever situation or thing is changing and embrace it. Get in there! The sooner you confront it, the sooner you’ll learn to be at peace with it. After the initial shock wore off, I began to see the silver lining. I get an all-new space to decorate and make my own. And there’s a certain newfound freedom that comes with leaving behind that bad mojo of the old space. So here’s to new beginnings, y’all!

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

June 22, 2016

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Happy summer, friends! It’s the best time of year, in my opinion. Days are longer and temperatures are warmer, and there’s just an atmosphere of merriment and levity that’s contagious. This Wednesday Word No. 72 — spoken by John Lubbock, author of “The Pleasures of Life” — gives a shout out to summer and reminds us that it’s OK to bask in all its glory. ‘Tis the season, after all! Lubbock’s quote, pulled from his book “The Use of Life,” reads: “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” This Wednesday Word is dedicated to all the workaholics out there who will find every excuse in the book to keep busy all summer. Frankly, the only thing you should be busy doing this time of year is being busy relaxing, soaking in the sun, with your head in the clouds and your toes in the sand or in a cool pool, or you fill in the blank. Trust me, taking time for yourself to recalibrate and unwind is far more rewarding in the long run than filling your days with activities that add strain. With that kind of attitude, you’ll look up and summer will have slipped away. No bueno. No time for regrets. So get out there. Enjoy! Let the day get away from you. Give frivolity some room to roam free.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

June 15, 2016

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Moment of honesty: It’s taken everything in me to remain positive and write an uplifting Wednesday Word in the wake of the horrible terrorist attack/hate crime at Pulse nightclub in Orlando this past weekend. To think that 49 people are dead and more than 50 others are injured at the hands of one evil person is absolutely frightening and heartbreaking. I think of the husbands, wives, fiancés, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends, co-workers, you name it, whose lives were unnecessarily ended (and those whose lives will be forever altered by the injuries sustained in the incident), and it’s unbearable. Hard to imagine the pain and anguish their loved ones are experiencing. Hard to come to grips with the fact that such hatred exists in this world. Hard not to go numb hearing about yet another mass shooting in this country. We can sign hundreds of petitions asking lawmakers to reform gun control and ban assault rifles, and yet nothing seems to change. Today, however, I choose to keep believing that change will come. That love will conquer hate, and that love wins every time. This Wednesday Word No. 71, courtesy of Pktfuel.com and spoken by writer and theologian Frederick Buechner, is a reminder of the strange dichotomy of living: We’ll experience some of the happiest days of our lives and some that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies, but we can’t live in fear. I read somewhere that the Bible references the phrase “do not be afraid” 365 times, which is a reminder from God to live every day being fearless. Perhaps my favorite of those “fear not” verses is found in Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Keeping my eyes fixed on Him, and resting on His promises is what’s restoring peace and hope to me. I hope that it does the same for you. Be well, friends.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

June 8, 2016

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What do you call those who make you happy? BFF? Lover? Bae? Friend? Colleague? Comrade? Homie? A-One Since Day-One? Well, Marcel Proust, a French novelist, critic and essayist, and the man responsible for this Wednesday Word, calls them “the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” How poetic! It’s such a profound statement, and when I reflect on the people who make my heart soar with gratitude, love and appreciation, this quote comes to mind. Think about it: The person(s) you can point to as someone who has brought joy into your life has also taken great care with cultivating the relationship. They continually plant seeds of affirmation and adoration, water them and watch them grow in your life. I was reminded of this fact last weekend, when my good friends (I call them “Big Sis” and “Big Bro”) Amber and AJ came to visit me and Dash. Although we may not talk every day or go weeks and months without seeing each other, whenever we hang out, I can count on having a fulfilling experience. Abundant laughter ensues and ample positivity abounds. The same applies with so many others in my life. May this Wednesday Word No. 70, courtesy of illustrious illustrator Lisa Congdon and Alfalfa Studios, inspire you to take inventory over your life and honor those “charming gardeners” who set your soul ablaze with merriment and delight.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

June 1, 2016

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This past weekend, I was fortunate to be a bridesmaid in my good friend Andrea’s wedding in D.C., which got me thinking on the subject of soulmates. Looking back over the glimpses I’ve gotten into their love story, I know that Andrea and Andrew are meant to be, and it’s been such a beautiful thing to observe. This Wednesday Word No. 69, spoken by renowned poet and philosopher Mark Nepo and courtesy of Pinterest, is a reminder that, as cliché as it may sound, love finds you when you’re least expecting it. As this quote reads, “The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.” As for me, personally, these words of wisdom ring true. After my first serious relationship ended, I was single for more than three years. Admittedly, while I was not happy with singlehood for a good chunk of those years, I count it as a blessing because it was during that season that I really came into my own. I stopped looking outwardly for the man of my dreams who would come and rescue me like the proverbial knight in shining armor, and instead started examining myself, my desires, my flaws and all. And when I had finally become content with where I was and who I was, my guy Dash found ME. Pretty soon we’ll be celebrating our three-year anniversary! So basically, you “find” your soulmate when you stop looking and just become yourself. Hang in there, ladies!

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

May 25, 2016

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Monday was the worst. OK, it definitely wasn’t the absolute worst day of my life, but it started off kinda crummy. We all know how much fun dealing with “car stuff” is. Well, this Wednesday Word No. 68, spotted on Pinterest, helped put things into perspective. Like to hear about it? Here it goes: On Sunday night, I discovered my front passenger side tire was shredded. The tire was still intact, but the tread on the outer portion was not in good shape. It wasn’t safe to drive all the way back home on the freeway with the faulty son-of-a-gun, so I parked my car at my guy’s house, Ubered home, Ubered back in the morning and drove to the Sears auto shop nearby to get a new tire. Thankfully, the boo wop came with me. We arrived at 7:50. They opened at 8 a.m., but no one showed up until 8:30 a.m. and even then, they still didn’t have the proper staff on hand to fix my tire. Onward to Pep Boys! But by then, everyone had already gotten there early so my wait time was two hours (ended up being closer to three). Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed that my day was off to a shaky start. However, the silver lining was that I got some quality time in with my guy. While we waited, we had a nice breakfast at the Denny’s across the street and shared many laughs over dumb things, like the episode of “The Price Is Right” that we got to enjoy, wherein one of the people in Contestants Row kept getting the prizes stolen from under him by people bidding a dollar higher than him. Daytime television at its finest, folks! If there were any person I could choose to do mundane things with, like tend to car stuff, it would be Dash. May this Wednesday Word remind you to search for the good in every day. It’s there. Trust me.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

May 18, 2016

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All too often I can look outward for acceptance, or heck, to even feel confirmation that I’m headed in the right direction with my endeavors on my life’s journey. Self-doubt is real, friends! I begin to question whether I’m fully equipped and if I have the goods to get the job done. I know that I do, but some days, I can get caught up in the “what-ifs” and the “but-theys.” And that has not been productive. A mantra I’ve recently adopted is “It’s gonna be great.” Because it really will be. God has a way of working everything out for your good. Romans 8:28, anyone? This Wednesday Word No. 67, courtesy of the Heart Abandoned Tumblr, says it all: “Everything I really need, I’ve already been given.” May this Wednesday Word remind you to stop discrediting yourself for everything that you aren’t and start giving yourself credit for everything that you are. You got this! It’s like the Bible says in Hebrews 13:21: “[May the God of peace] equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him.” And in Philippians 1:6: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God has given you everything you need to do what He has called you to do. Be encouraged and get back to work!

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

May 11, 2016

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“I could really use a good night’s sleep,” she typed as her eyelids grew heavier with each passing second. I’m tired, y’all! And have been since Hawaii because, really, the fun has been pretty much nonstop. Last weekend I was in Las Vegas for my friend Andrea’s bachelorette and … Need I say more? This Wednesday Word No. 66, courtesy of Brita Photography, is a reminder that all the sleep deprivation that comes from a weekend with my girls is well worth it. Always. As much as I complain about needing more rest, I’m grateful that I’m sleepy because of the nights out spent with some of my favorite people in the entire world. Heck, it beats being tired because of insomnia, or worry, or depression, or cramming for exams or a looming deadline. We’ll sleep when we’re old. But while we’re young, we’re gonna forego reasonable bedtimes and live it up. The memories, the spontaneity, the strangers, the quotables, the hurting feet, the full bellies, the beverages (oh, the beverages), the unshakable bonds — they’re priceless. May all your sleepless nights bring a smile to your face when you realize what got you there.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

May 4, 2016

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I’m taking to heart the words from this week’s Wednesday Word on this not-so-sunny Hump Day! This morning it was especially hard to get out of bed. It was chilly, I may or may not have the beginnings of a sore throat and I didn’t wake up feeling rested, which is totally my own doing. I know I should have called it a night way earlier, but instead I had to continue scrolling through my Instagram, though in my mind I knew I’d pay for it the next morning. The point is, I woke up this morning. And if you’r reading this, you did, too! Thank God! That means there’s still work for you to do. This Wednesday Word No. 65, courtesy of Tumblr, is a reminder to put your best foot forward, even though your circumstances may be less than optimal. Imagine if everyone called out sick at your job — heck, even the White House — because it wasn’t Friday and sunny and 80 degrees out. Nothing would ever get accomplished. Some days will be better than others, no doubt. However, it’s what you do with those days that are tough that builds character, that allows you to thrive when facing any situation. Also, someone else is depending on YOU to bring your A game. So what, it’s a gloomy Wednesday? There are a lot bigger fish to fry, and you’re the person everyone is counting on to do it. So do as this quote says: No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

April 27, 2016

I’ll be honest. I didn’t want to go back to work yesterday. I mean, five days of relaxation, fun in the sun, shenanigans my favorite people and observing God’s handiwork through the crashing waves on Oahu makes it extremely hard to return to the status quo. If I was impulsive as the fleeting thoughts in my head, I would have called in sick from the comforts of the Airbnb, canceled my return flight and extended my stay in paradise, because I deserve it, goshdarnit! But that dream isn’t sustainable … yet. This Wednesday Word No. 65, courtesy of Lifehack, is a reminder that I have to put in the hard work if I want to live the easy, carefree life. Oprah clearly practices what she preaches. She’s more than paid her dues as a local news anchor to be hailed as the “Queen of All Media,” and all the perks that come with such an accolade. And, yes, we do have the same 24 hours a day as Oprah (and Beyoncé and fill in the blank). Alas, as challenging as it may be to get back to work when I’ve got beaches on the brain, it’s necessary. So instead of moping about how I have to wake up early and sit at a desk instead of sleeping in and sitting on the sands of Hawaii, I’m using that as fuel to hustle hard now so that I may live the wanderluster’s life in the years to come. Keep grinding, friend. Hand work (and the work ethic, life skills and business acumen that come along with it) most certainly pays off.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores