As a mom, I love to imagine what God might have planned for our daughter. I know He’s got a plan–an eternally valuable role–uniquely crafted for her. A crucial role in God’s kingdom.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I’ve learned, more often than not God’s plans are so utterly different than anything I could fathom. And yet, when His plan begins to unfold, it all makes sense. We can look back and see the people and events God placed in an individual’s life taking them one step further.
As parents, the best thing we can do, in my opinion, is to embrace and encourage every dream our children have, teaching them to move forward with an eyes-wide-open expectancy. Because we never know which flight of fancy will lead to their divine-calling.
Today’s post is from my daughter. Ashley has always been creative. As a child, she’d craft elaborate two-story houses from paper. I’ve always been impressed with her ability to look at an intricate weaving or piece of jewelry, figure out how it’s made, and replicate it. But although this impressed me, I never gave it much thought … until we visited El Salvador last summer.
While we waited for crusades to start, she studied a wide-banded, beaded bracelets she’d purchased from the locals. Within ten minutes, she’d figured out how it was made and how to replicate it. Our church was teaching orphans how to make jewelry, and she wondered if perhaps she could help with the instruction, teaching them to make the bracelet she’d just deciphered. Although she never got this opportunity (yet. Grin), she didn’t give up beading nor her desire to use her love of beads to bring joy and hope to others.
Today she shares her story, or should I say, the beginning of her story. 😉
Bracelets for the Beautiful by Ashley Slattery
About a year ago my church helped serve a meal at a homeless shelter, and while I was there these two little girls were fascinated with the bracelets I was wearing. I ended up giving the bangles to them and they were excited. It made me think, if it made those feel beautiful would it make others? so I decided to use my beading skills to make bracelets for homeless ladies, make them feel loved and beautiful like those little girls did that way. Last month I had an opportunity to do so. My family when to a homeless ministry called Taking it to the Streets in Omaha, and I brought 20 some bracelets with me and gave them to the ladies there. I loved seeing that my hobby could bless them. It truly amazed me that a simple craft put a smile on their faces. It showed me that God truly does have a use in mind for every aspect of you.
God willing, Ashley hopes to teach the ladies down at Taking it to the Streets how to make jewelry. She hopes this will not only give them a marketable skill, but something they can feel good about–a hope-infusing sense of accomplishment. It’s hard for someone who’s been beaten down to strive for better. (Read When Helping Hurts, a phenomenal book about the psychological struggles inherent with poverty.) But often, success is contagious–motivating.
Thanks to July’s Reach Out Donors: Elaine Marie Cooper with the Road to Deer Runand the Promise of Deer Run, Sandra Robbins with Shattered Identity, Katie Ganshert with Wildflowers From Winter, JoAnn Durgin with Awakening, and Ann Lee Miller with Kicking Eternity.
Do you have a Reach Out story to share? Send it to me at jenniferaslattery(at)gmail(dot)com.
Authors, agents, and publishers, if you or one of your authors/clients would like to donate a book to one of the Reach Out gift baskets, shoot me an email at the above address.
How sweet and touching! Ashley is one young lady that her peers should look to as an example of kindess and service. It’s been wonderful seeing her grow into such a wonderful servant of Christ through your posts.
Melissa, I love your loving, encouraging, positive comments both her and on Facebook. You always radiate such contagious joy. 🙂
Ashley, that’s GREAT! What a beautiful talent you have! Every woman wants to feel beautiful, I think some have just given up that beautiful is for them. What a gift to share how beautiful God sees them….
Kim, I love your comment–each part. The reminder to pause and really view other’s heart, to see their wounds and find a way to pour Christ’s love on them. I also love your reminder that God sees each of those women as beautiful and treasured. May we do the same!
Great story! May God continue to lead Ashley’s heart.
Thanks, Dicky! May He lead all our children toward deeper worship and full surrender. 🙂
thank you Mellissa! your very nice
Ashley has a beautiful heart – just like her mama. Great story 🙂
you all are very encouraging! thank you for your support!
I love this post! Ashley, may God bless you in your endeavors to help others feel loved and beautiful. You are setting an example for all of us to use our skills and talents to share Christ’s love. Thank you!
I’m inspired by Ashley! What a wonderful gift to women who probably don’t have many pretty things.
Catrina, thank you for encouraging Ash. May we all be inspired by one another as we each seek to use our unique gifts and passions to bring glory to God and share His love with a hurting world.
It just goes to show that we can all make a difference in our own ways.
I am blessed with my daughter. I have been ill & she has stepped up quietly to do all she can.
That is so true, Mary. I am sorry to hear you are not feeling well. It sounds like you have a loving, compassionate, gentle daughter. May God hold you both close during this time, giving you strength and peace.