Friday, January 6, 2012

{first week + olli the owl}

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(Matthew 6:16-18 ESV)
This week was designated as {First Week} at my church. Being that it is the first week of the new year, the point was to intentionally clean out the rooms of our souls, so that we could make room for the King.

It is a step toward putting Him in His rightful place in our lives, with everything else in it's proper place.

One aspect of this "cleaning out" is to participate in a 24-hour fast. Not to deny ourselves, but to abstain from food, for the purpose of reorganizing our lives, looking at the things that are taking priority over our relationship with Christ.

Tonight, we will gather as a church after fasting for the day. We will break the 24-hour fast with communion and then we will share a meal together.

Fasting has never been one of my strong points, and as the day wears on, I am tempted to break it - for no one will know. But in that same thought, this comes to mind: These 24 hours signify my devotion to my King. Will I sacrifice my hunger so that I can draw closer to Jesus?

The answer is: yes.

To remedy my need for food, I have been reading my Bible, praying and reading from a few different devotionals.

I have also been drinking herbal tea throughout the day, in this fun little cup.

Meet {Olli the Owl}.
*At least the bottom of the cup says that is who this is :)

I pray that you all had a wonderful {First Week} and that the rest of this year would be one of blessings and drawing closer to our King.

xo, Aysha

Thursday, January 5, 2012

{what joy, what peace}

Psalm 16:11 {You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy}

For the past few days, I've felt God's presence so strongly - the feeling that makes everything else around you seem...unimportant.

I often get tied down, weighted down by the problems in my life, or in the things going on around me that I forget to place the King in His rightful place in my life. I forget that my time, my devotion, is what He requires of me..and rightfully so.

About a week or two back, I bought a playlist of about 11 songs (recommended worship songs by the wonderful team over at setapartgirl). This song was one of them:

{What Joy (Psalm 146)} by Generation Church, written by Sarah Emerson.

It is a beautiful song, a beautiful reminder of the joy and peace that we have when we hope in our Lord, and when we place all of our confidence in our King.
You made the heavens and the earth,
The sea and all that is in them.
Oh, Your promises remain.

You give justice to the weak,
You care for the widow and orphan.
Forever, Lord, You reign.

What joy! What joy for those whose hope is in the name of the Lord.
What peace! What peace for those whose confidence is Him alone.
Hallelujah! Forever we will sing.
Hallelujah! Praises to the King.
You can also listen here: What Joy (Psalm 146)

My prayer is that this song would be as encouraging and uplifting as it has been for me, and that you would feel a sense of revival in your soul.

xo, Aysha

Monday, January 2, 2012

{endings are beginnings in disguise}

Well my friends, we've said goodbye to 2011..but we've welcomed 2012!

God blessed me beyond measure last year and I am so very thankful. I started my photography business - Aysha Nicole Photography, my niece was born, I found out I'm having a nephew, I'm closer than ever to finishing my Creative Writing degree, and so much more.

How did you bring in the new year?

This year, as with previous years, I stayed home and spend it with my grandparents. Nothing fancy, but definitely my kind of night.

Yesterday morning, on January 1st, I went to church. It was the first time that I've been there in a year and a half because of being away at school, and it felt like walking back into my home. I loved seeing all of the familiar faces! I also had the chance to bring my 11 year old sister, Hannah, with me :)

After church, I brought Hannah back to my house and we cooked lunch together - Chicken Parm :)

Here are a few pictures I snapped as we cooked!

I'd love to hear what you did :)
xo, Aysha

Friday, December 30, 2011

{when God writes your love story}

I just bought this book two days ago, and I already love it.

Pastor at Ellerslie.

These two have profoundly affected my Christian walk, and I'm excited to say that I will be studying under them for 2 months this coming summer in Windsor, CO!

Eric is the teaching pastor at the Church at Ellerslie and the lead instructor in the Ellerslie Leadership Training.

Leslie serves as the executive director of Set-Apart Girl - an internationally-known organization that provides books, resources, conferences, and training for Christian young women.

From June 16 - August 19, I will be immersed in God - living and breathing His presence with ~50 other young men and women seeking to do the same.

I couldn't be more excited :)

As I prepare for this journey, I will be reading all of the Ludy's books, as well as some that were recommended to me, that will further help me to understand their mission. Here are a few of the titles:
  • George Muller of Bristol - Arthur Pierson
  • Rees Howells: Intercessor - Norman Grubb
  • Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret - Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor
  • Hudson Taylor: A Retrospect - Hudson Taylor
  • Gold Cord - Amy Carmichael
  • They Found the Secret - V. Raymond Edman
  • No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green - Melody Green
  • Chasing the Dragon - Jackie Pullenger
  • Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy - Marie Chapian
  • Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman - Gladys Aylward and Christine Hunter
  • If I Perish - Esther Ahn Kim
  • The Pastor's Wife - Sabrina Wurmbrand
  • The Cross and the Switchblade - David Wilkerson
  • The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom
  • Tramp for the Lord - Corrie ten Boom
  • The Shadow of the Almighty - Elisabeth Elliot
  • Through the Gates of Splendor - Elisabeth Elliot
xo, Aysha