get out of the Grey area (all 50 shades of it)

Oh, hey, hi! It’s me again. Let’s just skip the fact it’s been over a year since I’ve last blogged. Something has been piercing my heart and nudging me to get back on here to share a little bit with y’all.

Ok, enough of the niceties, let’s get straight to it.

I read “50 Shades of Grey.”

…and I liked it.

Yep, I said it. I liked it.

If by “liked it” I mean the book(s) had somewhat of a good story line and they slowly ruined the holy and sacred image of sex that God has shown me through his word.

Then yes.

I liked it.

Dang, did you catch on to that? I said book with an s. Ok, fine. I read the whole series. The books were full of suspense, love, and ended predictably.  Even though I told myself I was reading soley for entertainment…the books affected me. Just like when we (women) read a Nicholas Sparks book or watch the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and think our lives should be THAT romantic and THAT perfect, we put unreachable expectations on our relationships that can ultimately be destructive. Not only did reading the books ruin God’s sacred image of sex, but it also put my relationship with God and my husband on a rocky road.

And no, unfortunately, not the ice cream kind.

Luckily, I’ve been blessed with forgetting 99% of the movies I’ve watched or books I read in less than 3.7 days. (Which, I got from my mama.)

However, there are some things that you




I am aware I’ve only been married a little under two years and you are probably thinking, “What the heck would she know about a solid marriage?” Right? Well, I do know that I wouldn’t have this conviction if reading the book was okay. (Or watching the movie for that matter.)

So you’ve bought your movie tickets.

Your mind is made up…and you’re going.

Now you’re thinking, “Oh c’mon, it’s just a movie!”

Hey, remember me? The one who read the entire series….trust me, I’m not judging you.

But I do ask that you consider sitting this one out. And please let me explain why.

All the posts I’ve read bashing “50 Shades of Grey” have been from women who have not read the books. And praise God, for they are stronger than I. But what I have to say  is coming from me, a Christian woman, who let down her guard and picked up a book that exposed  me to a lot of things that, again, I simply can’t forget. And boy, do I wish I could!

So, please. Hear me out on this one.

“50 Shades of Grey” says pain in sex can be enjoyable. 

The Bible says “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3: 19)

“50 Shades of Grey” says women should be submissive to men.

The Bible says, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18, emphasis mine.) The ESV study bible says this, “Paul roots his instructions in “the Lord”… thus stressing the importance of evaluating everything in light of Christ and his teaching.” 

“50 Shades of Grey” says it’s okay to disrespect women.

The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) 

“50 Shades of Grey” says sex is okay, even encouraged, in a non-martial relationship 

The Bible says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)

With that said…

If you’re married, instead of going to see the movie, I encourage you to take that time to be thankful for your spouse and enjoy HIM, instead of Christian Grey. Your husband longs to be with you, instead of watching you long to be with Christian Grey.

And for all my single ladies, instead of going to see the movie, I encourage you to take that time to be thankful for Him and enjoy Him. God desires your love and appreciation. Christian Grey could care less.

Let’s have some respect for ourselves and for our relationships (and future relationships.) Let’s make an effort in our lives to restore what we have instead of striving to feel things that will only destroy us.

Some of you will agree with me on this and some will become defensive, but just know I’m not trying to attack anyone. Seeing as I have no room to attack anybody. I’m just the girl who read these books a while back, felt guilty about it, tried to keep quiet in all the commotion of it, and now  humbly coming forward, trying  to help my sisters out.

If I haven’t succeeded in changing your mind or are unsure what to think, then at least take some time to  ask the Lord for wisdom in this decision.

Sorry for being so long-winded! Just remember, you get out of life what you put into it. Let’s work on putting encouraging and uplifting things into our lives! Thanks for listening to me share! Love y’all!

“…training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” Titus 2: 12

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

It’s Time For Us To Do Something

“Do Something”
By: Matthew West

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something”

207If you have not heard this song, you must. Stop right now and click here. The whole song is on point. Complacent? Insignificant? No desire? I can’t be the only one with these feelings from time to time. Often we get into vicious cycles of our monotonous lives. For me: school, work, run, clean, cook (sometimes), clean, school, work.

And if you’re anything like me you want to make the world a better place and make an impact, so this monotonous life will start to drive you crazyy…

After our  3 hour (to the very last minute) night class, Thursday night, Dylan and I decided we needed a sugary treat to reward us for being able to sit still that long. <—sounded like a good excuse to have a chocolate brownie fudge sunday from Braums at 9:30pm. We pull into a parking spot to enjoy this chocolately goodness and we ended up having a heart-to-heart discussion.

Dylan and I have been living in Stillwater going on two years and we attend Eagle Heights Baptist. We go on Sundays. I would say that’s pretty normal. Normal: adjective-conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. And I’m not saying that normal is bad. I’m not trying to offend anybody. But for me, I don’t really want to be normal. I want to look at my life and say that it’s extraordinary. Extraordinary: adjective – very unusual or remarkable.

To be honest, I feel as though I have become content. I have felt insignificant. I have lost my desire; my flame. As if God is looking at me waiting for me to do something and I’m just over here sitting on my hands. God put us here for a reason. He gave us these feelings deep inside of us full of passion for His people.

I do not know what I am supposed  to do right now. I do not have all of the answers. And I’m okay with that.

For the next couple of weeks, one of our main prayers to God will be to light our fires and show us where He needs us to be working. Whether we need to start a bible study, pursue volunteer options, get connected with people in the church, or anything else. We are open to what He wants. Part of living in Christ is letting Him live through you. I think a big part of us making an impact is to just love.


What does love look like?  Good question.

Love could look like holding the door open for stranger.

Love could look like lending a hand to someone trying to carry too many groceries to their car.

Love could look like a phone call. A phone call to someone who needs to know how much you care. A phone call to someone who just lost a loved one.

Love could look like spending extra time with your spouse, child, family, or friend.

Our world needs all the love it can get. Am I right? Let’s change the world, together.

blessings… ashlyn
(P.S. You might be thinking that I heard the song and it inspired my thoughts, but it’s quite the opposite. These thoughts came into mind and as Dylan and I were talking about it this song came on the radio. I may have cried a little. Such a God moment.)

Question: What does love look like to you? Let me know in the comments Smile

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, so ignore the fact that it is indeed Thursday. I saw this cute idea on some of the blogs that I follow (Lindsay’s List) where they post only pictures to show what you did in a day. I’d also like to admit that the pictures I am going to post are from Tuesday. So there’s that. I may just really stink at this concept. Bare with me. I’ll get better! Here ya go:










(by the way… who ever really has to worry about the expiration on these bad boys?? )



Well there was my first Wordless (Thursday) Wednesday! I’ll try to get it right next week.

Question: What is one word that could explain your day?? Feel free to comment below with your word! Smile


What’s been happening lately

Lately this is my life: school, puppies, work, job search, puppies, homework, snow, gym, puppies.

They are spoiled.

Did you notice I said job search? Ugh. I guess I have to finally face it that it’s time to button up my big girl pants and find my big girl job. The only problem that I have with that is I have NO idea what that big girl job looks like. Now I know I’m not the only one that comes to their last semester of college and still doesn’t know what they want to do with their life, but it is not the most settling feeling. There is a lot (read: A LOT) of pressure on graduating students these days to find, enjoy, and excel at the first career. As I talk to my fellow students at OSU there are a lot of them in my shoes throwing up their hands and wishing they had more time or answers on their career paths. And this might sound picky (which I know there has to be a limit to my pickiness) but I want to enjoy whatever I end up doing. Patience. Prayers. That’s what I’m focusing on in the next couple of months.

The thing that is settling is that I know God has a plan for me.

Ministry. Business. Marketing. Fitness. Stay at home puppy mom. <— (Yes I said puppy, mother.)Whatever category I fall into the next couple of months, it will be because it was all in God’s design. Scary. But exciting.


Update on the pups: They have pretty much outgrown their crates so they are now sharing the bed with us. Meaning Dylan and I now only have 1/4 of the bed. And my legs hang sideways of the bed. Oh the sweet joys…


“No more kisses, mom!” – Gracie

“Your face… it tastes so good.”

“Stop with the pictures” – Pace

P.S. Yes we HAVE been riding our bikes to school in the 10 degree weather and I have excelled in locking the back brake to do this cool slidey-trick-thingy.

Puppy Love

Hey y’all. I will try not to wait 21 days in between each of my blog posts, but no promises. We have two baby huskies! Need I say more??


If you missed it the first time I said it, yes… we now have TWO puppies. Double the trouble. Double the potty. Double the chewed up socks. Double the (read: slobbery) kisses. D.o.u.b.l.e the love. You wouldn’t think having a puppy would teach you many lessons, but oh boy they do.
Slow down: Obviously these two pups are adorable and they always will be adorable, at least in my eyes. However, they are growing up way. too. fast. Puppy stage is flying by and it is making me slow down. Slow down by cherishing the times I can be around them, taking the extra five minutes I have to give them a good belly rub (which they LOVE), and taking ALL the pictures of them. But seriously its getting a little ridiculous how many pictures I have of them.

This lesson is also spilling over into other parts of my life. I am officially in my last semester of college. Officially. Last Semester. Of college. Say what?? How did that happen? Now I am most definitely excited about graduating, but this rapid pace of life has caught me off guard. I have realized I may miss taking notes, not having anything to do until my night classes, and having access to a free gym! It is time to sloowwww down. My main challenge to myself is to slow down and take all of the new experiences that come my way in and enjoy.

Okay, I know you all are dying to know a little about our pups! :)

Grason/Grace/Gracie is our first born! Not really they were actually born at the same time. (More on that in a second.) We got her at 8 beautiful weeks old and she was the definition of cute. She was very calm at first, but quickly grew playful. She is also athletic, so obviously she takes after me. She can basically climb over anything including the tallest of baby gates, crates, etc… She also enjoys chewing quite a bit. Including anything that shreds to pieces and leaves a huge mess, my hand, and the refrigerator (not kidding.) She was also VERY easy to train… until our new pup came into the picture, then we took a couple steps back.


“Mom, this bottle just crumbled up like this by itself. I promise.”

Pason/Pace is the second puppy we got! She is from the same litter as Gracie! They are sisters! Long story short, she was put on craigslist because her previous owners didn’t have as much time as they thought to train her and whatnot. Dylan found the ad and they sold her to us for half the cost of Gracie, plus they gave us their big crate. SCORE. We got her at 12/13 weeks! Pason was/is/and probably always will be calmer than Gracie. She is just a natural sweetheart. I like to call her my snugglewufflegus. She loves to cuddle with you and will basically be content however you position her.



So, sorry for the random ramblings in this post! Hope you enjoyed!

blessings… ashlyn

First Post!! #findyourstrong

I have been wanting to start a blog for about two years now. I actually set this blog up last summer and never got around to writing a post. But what better motivation than a new year, a clean slate, and a day off of work? So here I am, on January 1, 2014, starting my very own blog! Wohoo! I know you are so excited. Somehow I made it through my education with A’s in all of my English and writing classes, but I really have no idea what I’m doing. Lauren Matthesen has always been the writer. :)

“Don’t forget to play with me, mom!”

But anyway, the idea behind “Dressed in Strength” is from Proverbs 31:17. The verse is “She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.” When the thought of starting a blog popped up, I knew I wanted it to be about my faith but also about my love for running and living a healthy lifestyle. So what does it mean that she “dresses herself with strength?” To me I believe that the strength is not only physical, but mental. That while she keeps her body in physical shape, she sharpens her mind. Boldness. Courage. Power. Strength. Confidence. 

My prayer for this blog is that it encourages and challenges you and me to dig deeper in our faith and causes us to push our limits physically and mentally. And like Saucony, #findyourstrong.

blessings… ashlyn