Name Change

My current legal name is Ashlee Cobb Hyatt. Cobb being my maiden name, and Hyatt being my married name. Why is this important you ask? Well, 2 important things:

  1. I have always HATED my name. I didn’t like the way it sounded when I said it, and I didn’t like who I was named after.
  2. I am named after my maternal grandfather, who I hate to say, was not a very nice person. His name was Lee (hence the double e’s in Ashlee). I don’t want to be named after him. I don’t want to be his namesake.

So, earlier this month, I was speaking with my mom, and she told me she wished she would have spelled my name Ashleigh INSTEAD as Leigh is her middle name. I got to thinking that maybe now was the time to put Ash”Lee” to rest. I spoke to my parents and my husband, and as soon as I can, I want to make it official.

You may wonder why I would change the spelling of my name after living with it for almost 29 years. First, it’s my name, and I’ll change it if I want. Secondly, Lee, again, was not a very nice person. He has hurt my mom, my grandmother, and me in numerous ways, and to keep my current name, feels to me like I am still honoring him in some way. Have I forgiven him for the pain he has caused? Not yet, but I’m working on it. But I don’t feel as though I have to honor him in this way.

I’m not sure when I can get it done as it has to go through court, but I’m very decided about the decision.

Looking Back to Look Ahead

Each year, my husband and I take a look back at our year and make a list of everything, both good and bad, we have experienced that year. It’s kind of fun to then read the list to see just how God helped us make it through difficult times but also how much he has blessed us. These are just some of the things that are on our list this year:

  • Ashlee survived a major car accident
  • Josh traveled to both Spain and Seattle
  • We got our first foster care placement
  • We traveled to Chicago and Chattanooga (for Moon River Festival)
  • Ashlee ran the Knoxville Half Marathon

These are some pretty big things—some scary, some wonderful. It is interesting to look back each year to see how certain decisions and certain events have shaped us into who we are now. God knows what he is doing. He has a plan for my life and yours. He was with us in our past, present, and future. That gives me hope. Because He was with me during our past scary times, I know he will be with us in our future scary times—times that will inevitably come.

Another reason we look back at our year is to also learn and prepare for the year to come. What have we learned this year? My husband reports he has learned: what kind of family he wants for the future, to better appreciate who he has in his family now, and to no longer do things he doesn’t want to do out of fear of displeasing others. I have learned that just because things are hard and are not what I wished they would be doesn’t mean God can’t give me joy in the situation. I have also learned that it’s okay to lean on people and that you never know what kind of an impact you have on others. (My car accident taught me this, and I was blown away by my loved ones’ care, time, generosity, and patience they gave me).

Now it’s your turn. What did you learn this year? What has God shown you through the good, bad, wonderful, and scary times? Before making New Year’s Resolutions, look back on the previous year to see what kind of person God has prepared you to be.

Have a good Christmas and may it be merry & bright!

The Exhausted

“You guys don’t seem yourselves. You just seem like you are on edge or are gritting your teeth all the time.”

That is a confession one of our best friends made to us this afternoon. All I could do was agree with him. My husband and I HAVE felt like we are on edge or are unhappy. And unfortunately, it’s based upon a decision my husband, myself, and God made together. To foster children in our home.

We are exhausted. It’s not what we thought it was going to be. We knew it would be hard, but we didn’t realize we would feel as though we didn’t have any brain cells left at the end of every day. We are currently fostering a 4-year-old little boy who is currently in full guardianship of the state. We thought this is the way God wanted us to help others and grow our family. We tried other options before realizing this was our path to go on. So, for months we took classes, mentally prepared, completed a home study, and waited until just the right time and child came along. It took about 6 months for everything to be completed and for us to get this special little guy.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27

He’s cute. He’s adorable. He’s smart. But he’s also entitled, spoiled, argumentative, aggressive, manipulative, and impulsive. He sometimes scares me with his actions. We feel as though we constantly have to be on guard and to be vigilant in order to protect both ourselves and our home. He has been in our home for almost four months. These four months have been really, really hard months, and after a lot of praying, we came to the conclusion that we are not supposed to adopt him. It was a hard choice. It was something I felt very unsure about. Because how are we supposed to grow our family through foster care if we don’t adopt?

I don’t know what God’s plan is for our lives. I don’t know what will become of me and my family, but I do know that God is with me through each day. I also know he holds the future in his hands, and for that I am very thankful.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11



Coming Back

It has been a while blog family. To be honest, MANY things have happened over the past few months. I had a scary, life-threatening car accident, my husband turned 30, we received our first foster care placement (a 4-year-old boy), my husband started a new job where he travels often, and there have been changes in my job/career. It’s been a whirlwind. Some of these things have been positive, some have been negative, and some have been both. But I have definitely learned a lot about myself and about my God throughout this whole process.

While healing from the car accident, I began to have a pulling in my heart. An uneasy feeling deep inside, but then other times a peace would come over me. I felt like he was trying to get me to rest, to take a break, to be present in my own life. I sometimes feel as though I had the accident in order to learn to rest. I definitely experienced a decrease in anxiety while healing, which was an unexpected joy. But during this time, I decided to seek out spiritual counseling through my church.

I began seeing a counselor in July while I was still healing, and I am currently still seeing her less regularly. She has helped me in many ways; some of them simple, and some of them large. She has told me to “sit with what the Lord is doing,” ask Him what he is up to in my life, and to be okay with saying no and having boundaries when needed. She taught me that I don’t have to manage people’s emotions and that an idol I have is my reputation or what people think of me. Things that seem very simple and obvious but that I didn’t understand about myself. 

Through working with my counselor and staying in God’s word daily, I have heard Him speak many things to me. One of them being rest. Rest in Him. Trust Him with my life regarding my relationships, my future, my reputation, and my desires. Through trusting Him, I can rest. I can stop trying so hard. Giving Him control is something I didn’t realize I struggled with, but man, it is really hard. Every time I struggle, I remember this verse:

You make known to me the path of life;
    in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalms 16:11

Remembering that being with Him gives joy and that He will guide me throughout my life. I never experience anything, good or bad, alone. In Him, there is peace and pleasures, which is what my heart desires. He knows me and created me. Surely, He will guide me. If I rest in Him and His goodness, I can have joy and peace. 

I really want that promise. I struggle every day with trusting Him with different aspects of my life as I humanly believe I know what is best for my life. But I will continue to give things to Him, and I will choose to trust that He has my life. I can rest, and it feels wonderful.



Easter Weekend


Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, a huge religious holiday for self-proclaimed Christ-followers. This is my first Easter without my sweet grandmother, Memmie. She was a very devout Christian during her time on Earth, and she enjoyed celebrating our Savior’s resurrection each year. Even though I have been busy and overextended this particular weekend, I want to still remember her, her faith, and the reason for this particular holiday, which inspired me to read each of the Gospel’s accounts of the Resurrection and to write this post.

Easter. The day the Lord overcomes death and rips apart the veil between himself and us lowly humans. We have hope because of Jesus. We have life because of Jesus. However, because I am an imperfect human, I still find myself allowing Satan to tempt me into wrongdoing or becoming distracted with life’s demands. I find myself creating a veil or a wall between myself and Jesus because of my actions and sins. I find it hard to let it go. Whatever it is at that time. It has been a long list including:

  • envy or jealousy
  • greed
  • other idols
  • perfectionism
  • busyness
  • impatience
  • longing
  • distractions
  • future plans…the list goes on and on.

I have followed Jesus for most of my life. I understand the importance and the significance of the Easter holiday for both my soul, my faith, and for humanity. I know and I believe that Jesus came to save me because I am sinful, imperfect person destined for the fires of hell otherwise. I trust in that. I trust that Jesus has my soul on lock. He’s got it covered.

However, I cannot seem to trust him with my everyday. The “what ifs.” Or the “what should I dos?” Why do I continue to pretend to be God, to pretend I have the answers for my life instead of trusting in Him to have them? Why can I not trust that God’s plan for me, may not always look good or easy, but is good? Instead of giving everything to him wholeheartedly and in faith, I try everything in my own power first. I work. I hustle. I plan. I seek advice. I sleep on it. I journal about it. But only then do I pray about it. Only when I have exhausted all of my efforts first.

I don’t want this life. I want the life that trusts God to guide the nitty-gritty details of my every day existence. I want a savior of my eternal soul AND a king of my every day life. I want a Father AND a friend. I want, and need, to remind myself that Jesus saved my soul, and He will save me from whatever this world can throw at me. His “handling it” may not look fun or feel comfortable, but if I trust him to save my soul, I can trust him to handle Tuesday. Or starting a family. Or work-related problems. Or family issues. I can trust Him with everything, and I can resign as Queen of my day-to-day.

This Easter, Lord Father, please direct my heart and my spirit to you as the King AND the Savior of my life. I relinquish control, or perceived control, over my circumstances and the events in my day-to-day life. Give me wisdom and send the Holy Spirit to guide my steps in Your way. I thank You for tearing that veil that kept humanity apart from You for thousands of years. Please, help me remove the walls of my own creation, the walls I create of pride, control, envy, greed, and other idols, to be one in you. Forgive me Father for these sins and others that are beyond my perception, and I thank you for saving me and all who call upon your name.                                                                                  -Amen


Cheers, and I hope everyone has a blessed Easter,




Help me see You when I can see nothing else. Help me to follow You when I don’t see or know the path ahead of me. Help me to trust You, when I don’t know who to trust. Help me to hear Your voice, when the weight of this world’s problems seems too loud and too heavy for my brain to process. Help me to have wisdom and courage to stand up for what is right and what is true. Help me to have wisdom to discern your voice among all the other voices the world throws at me. Help me to be faithful in You and in Your promises especially when the world offers no solution or safety net. Help me to sleep peacefully at night knowing the sun will rise in the East, and You are already there. Help me to keep my eyes focused on you and wait patiently for your help. 


Feeling confused lately. Shaken. Like the rug has been swept out from under me, but instead of landing on the floor, discombobulated, I am still up in the air. Still in the gasping for air, surprised, scared phase. I don’t like it. I don’t like having my world rocked to its core or my future seemingly so unknown. I long for stability and safety. I long for comfort and peace. All of these things I was looking for in the wrong places, and I have been for years. I have been looking for these things in other good things, but not the BEST thing. Not my maker. He’s the only one who can save. Save from the falling, save from the unknown landing, save from my worried thoughts and racing mind.

Save me Father. Give me rest.



Feeling Discouraged

I am feeling discouraged. I feel like everyone goes through periods of their life where they feel discouraged, uninspired, or just plain tired.

I am feeling that way. I look around at other women who have what I want, and I feel the heavy weight of comparison and judgement rearing its ugly head. As a human being, I feel as though I am a naturally jealous person. I am not proud of this fact, but jealousy, especially comparison, is something I have always struggled with since I was a child. I hate it. I especially hate it because not only am I comparing my life to someone else’s who also has her own struggle, but I also usually fallen short of whatever my standard of judgement is at that time: financial success, weight, beauty, or material wealth. I hate it. I hate it so much. I know I have a great deal to be thankful for (#blessed), which makes me feel even more guilty about my feelings.

The day I am describing was yesterday. Today is the comparison/jealousy/guilt hangover. During this time, I feel disillusioned and discouraged. Unmotivated. Exhausted with trying to keep up.

I am hoping this feeling will pass as my husband and I will be visiting our best friend in Chicago for an extended weekend. Not gonna lie, I need a vacation. I need a break from my life. I am hoping to come back refreshed, rejuvenated, and inspired. I am praying for peace, love, and understanding especially as I ache for things I do not have at this particular time in my life. I know God’s plan is perfect. God’s plan is THE PLAN for my life, and sometimes, I just have to be patient, to know I am loved, and that I will be used for his will if I keep my focus on him. Sometimes, I just have to let it be.



Needing Rest, Finding Peace

As you may or may not know, I am a workaholic, social butterfly, goal-setter, and #girlboss all in one. I used to be proud of this fact. That is, until my energy is nowhere to be found, and my weekends are partially spent in bed (like 13 hours asleep in one sitting).

In short, I am motivated. I have always been motivated and dedicated to whatever I set my mind to especially if someone else is counting on me. I have learned to relish the slight anxiety I have over finishing a project to just begin a new one. Deadlines are like challenges to me. I feel lost when my planner is not overflowing with obligations, preoccupations, social events, and work to-dos. In fact my goals this year include: running my first half-marathon, beginning a family/completing fertility treatments, obtaining the highest credential I could earn in my field, being trained on a completely new-to-me intervention to use with actual people, and continue writing/journaling as, you know, a hobby.

I turned 28 on February 24. I know, I know–girl you look good!

But in all seriousness, my birthday made me look at my current lifestyle including how much authority I have for how my life turns out. I am leading a bible study in my small group using Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect in which she discusses being too busy, overlooking the most important things, and neglecting spending time in relationship with God. As I was preparing leading/organizing the study, I began to question again how much control I have over my life including how I am choosing to spend my time, thoughts, money, resources, talents. Based upon Niequist’s readings, I realized I have much more control than I thought, and I am choosing to base my self-worth on my ability to be productive, to be the responsible one, and to seem like I am “tough.”

I have not chosen to base my self-worth and value over being a Child of God. Nor have I taken the Biblical principle of “rest” seriously. Even God rested when was creating the entire universe, and Jesus rested when he was working in ministry! Do I really think I am above God and his Son in not needing rest/peace?

Yes…in my human, sinful-natured, flawed way I sometimes believe I am the God of my universe. I am the God of my life, and if I keep working, striving, filling my days up with social events and other obligations, I can control it. I can make good things happen. But that is nowhere in the bible nor is it even possible. I can’t control other people regardless of how much I want to. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even control  myself! (Hello, chocolate cake!).

But through this all, through my sin, my pride, my desire to control, God loves me anyway. He created me, and you, with special gifts and talents. None of which canNOT be accomplished if we rest and rejuvenate. His will for my life is not going to disappear because I set less goals for myself or attend a few less parties/weddings this year. I also have to let go and allow myself to rest. Rest in Him. Rest in prayer and meditation. Jesus rested. He prayed alone and secluded himself, yet His work was done. His will for my life will be too, and everything else is just noise and distractions.

Will you find ways to rest in Him today? To give up some of the hustle our society has become addicted to?

My favorite ways I am finding to rest is through journaling, reading spiritual works, and through mindfulness meditation. All of which allow my brain to pause and to appreciate the life I have been given. All of which all me to rest and to rejuvenate myself in Him.

How will you rest today?



It’s been awhile

So, lots of things have happened since I’ve last posted including: house being robbed, employee of the year at my work, and regaining some sense of peace.

I have been feeling a bit strange since this new year has started. I’ve been tired, more frazzled, and less focused than I have ever been. Why, you ask?

I’m not sure. My husband and I are trying to have a baby. I have work responsibilities that seem even more important than last year’s responsibilities. I am close to finishing my running plan for the half-marathon I’m running in March. So, you know, we don’t have much going on.

But something seems not right. Something seems off.. It’s like part of my soul is missing, or left somewhere like I forgot it along with my wallet and/or keys. How do I figure out what is missing? Furthermore, how do I get it back?

I’ve been praying for strength, courage, wisdom, and patience. Yet that doesn’t seem like it’s enough. I know that my God doesn’t leave me nor forsake me, but why am I feeling so lost? How do I specifically pray for my future if I don’t know what it is I am missing or needing more of?

Maybe my body just needs rest. Rest. Rest in Him. Rest for my body. Rest for my mind.

I believe I will start there, and see where my God takes me.



Treasures in Heaven

Dear readers,

I have been going through a tough time lately, not just myself, but everyone in my family has been dealing with a lot of emotional baggage and grief. You see, my grandmother–the one who led me to Christ, showed us unconditional love, and has been the matriarch of our family— is dying.

Her death has been expected as she is older and has been in poor health for quite some time. She is ready to go meet the Lord and to be with her husband, my Poppy, who died in 2006. I have been praying for the Lord to take her quickly home because, for as much as I want her to get well, I know she wants to be with Poppy and with Jesus. I have been praying so hard all throughout the night for the past few days, and yet, my grandmother remains on this Earth. I find myself getting angry with God that He is allowing her to suffer and to remain when she doesn’t need to any longer. I’ve been getting SO angry, readers. Because I don’t want anyone I love to suffer or be in pain.

Fast forward to this morning as I am doing my bible study and having my quiet time. The study is going through the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount (very important lessons that I think many Christians can take for granted). I was thinking about treasures. Both treasures in Heaven and treasures that are worldly. It got me thinking about what I consider treasures—friends, family, pets, experiences, memories, travel, etc versus what the Lord considers to be treasures—-his kingdom, his Word, and people. My first thoughts are: Well, I think I have the people down, but do I really focus my heart on his word and his kingdom enough? For that matter, I focus a great deal of time and energy on my loved ones, but what about all the other people God has placed on this earth? Am I focusing on them? Am I loving them enough?

Readers, the answer is no. I am not. Then I got to thinking about my Grandmother. I am angry at God for letting her suffer here on Earth, but she knows Him. What about all those other people that don’t know Him? Am I not letting them suffer not only now but in eternity? Shouldn’t I take more care to spread Jesus and his love for us while on Earth to those who don’t know?

I’m not saying what I am feeling for my grandmother is wrong, but maybe I should pay more attention to others around me and love them in the same way, as Jesus has called us to do. I can then store up treasures for myself in Heaven and help the Holy Spirit plant seeds into others’ hearts so that they may know the kingdom and the father and the provider of all good things as well.

It won’t be easy. It might even be scary. But it is what we are called to do. I am not responsible for making Christians, but I can help plant seeds in others’ hearts through love.

How has God been speaking to you lately? Has it been through pain or something unexpected?