Ashley adventure

art of adventure feature

Practicing the Art of Adventure :: Featuring Ashley Diehl

Ashley adventure

What does it look like to practice the art of adventure?

Every Friday we are featuring a woman who is Practicing the Art of Adventure in her daily life-stepping into the unknown, embracing change, trusting Him, leaving fear, and loving extravagantly, all the while, traveling deeper into God’s heart. It is our desire that through their lives and stories of adventure you will be inspired & challenged to say YES to God’s invitation to follow Him. No matter what season of life you find yourself in, may you see that everyday is an opportunity to practice the art of adventure as you abide with Jesus.

We’d love for you to join us here each week!

So…what adventures is God leading you into?

How can you practice the art of adventure in your everyday life?


Today is Friday! And that means we get a little peek into the life of a woman who is practicing the art of adventure. I’m so thrilled to introduce to you my sweet friend Ashley. We met when my husband and I moved to Cape Town. We had the common bond of being from Seattle and we were both expecting our first baby boys within months of each other. I am so thankful that our paths crossed a few years ago! It is amazing to see how God provides beautiful friendships and family wherever He leads us on adventure.

Sit down with us and take a moment to sit down and get to know Ashley! You will love her honesty mixed with humor as she shares her family’s current step out of their comfort zone, her biggest fear & what nearly stopped her from saying YES to a God adventure, how God speaks to her {despite her lack of “quiet time”} and what she learned through an addiction to achievement. 

First, introduce yourself {tell us where you are from, your favorite place to go or favorite thing to do, and what a “normal” day looks like for you!}

Hello! My name is Ashley Diehl.  I am from Washington State in the United States, currently living in Massachusetts while attending seminary with my husband. We have two beautiful children, Obadiah and Noelle, and one child on the way through adoption. As a family we love to get out of the house and explore new places and see new sights. Day to day however, we are normally in survival mode; how do we manage to go to class, get homework done, work our odd jobs, kept our home livable, and stimulate our growing and curious children? Only God knows.

What is your current season of life right now & where are you having difficulties trusting God?

This season is unlike any other season I have experienced. I am constantly reflecting on where my priorities lie. I am a wife, a mother, a friend, a student and an employee. I am truly beginning to doubt that there are really 24 hours in the day, it must be considerably less!

Even though I am busy and feel challenged to find times to rest, I am enjoying this season. Some days I am incredibly productive and feel like Super Women, other days God brings me to my knees and reminds me that I can do nothing without Him. I may not have all of my homework done, but I did read Green Eggs and Ham 12 times today, and that has got to count for something!

Ashley 2

Share with us a specific example {from the past} of how and when God has met you when you’ve walked into the unknown with Him?

Last year I became addicted to achieving: I took on more than I could possibly handle and attempted to be the best at everything I was doing. I wanted to be the best mom, the best wife, the best friend, all while attaining honors in all of my classes. Last September rolled around and I found myself completely worn out. The tiredness I felt was bone deep and no amount of sleep (which was not a priority) would rejuvenate me.

Where was my relationship with God at this time? I cannot not tell you. I was attempting to do it all on my own. I needed to cut my load in half, spend some quality time in God’s presence, and reconsider my commitments and priorities.

In the last couple of months I have been learning this lesson: God is my strength and my reason for boasting. Nothing I do on my own will be as life giving and fulfilling as my daily walk with Him. 

We’d love to hear what step(s) out of your comfort zone you have taken recently or will take soon.

My husband and I have felt the Lord call us to adopt a baby. This is not a new desire for us, but one we have been working towards for many years. We are half way done, and at the end of this month we will be officially “waiting”.

My heart aches for the birth family of our baby. Everyday I process what this mother is going through, and how our happy beginning will be the result of a heartbreaking sacrifice. This forces me to trust in the sovereignty of God and his plan.

It is a daunting process both emotionally and financially. I cannot tell you haw many times I have began to freak out about the financial aspect of this process, and then God presents a job opportunity, or someone buys a knit hat off on my Etsy site. It reminds me that if we just keep trusting in what God has spoken, and keep walking forward one step at a time, He will be faithful. Soon we will have our child and it will all be worth it! 

How do you hear God’s voice most clearly? Is it a time of day, a place you go, a thing you do…anything!

I’ll be honest, I am just the worst at sitting down and having quiet time. My husband wakes up before the rest of the family and has the best results. I, on the other hand, will wake up early and stare at my Bible blankly, fall back asleep, and retain nothing. But this is no excuse!

God works with me on this; anytime I am alone, driving, grocery shopping, or on a run, God will spark my heart to contemplate on a Scripture passage or pray for someone he has brought to mind. When I do find a moment in the day to sit with a cup of coffee and read His Word, everything is tied together. 

So much of walking with God on this adventure is about facing our fears, embracing change, and trusting Him…what is one of your biggest fears that keeps your paralyzed from saying “Yes” to God’s adventure for you?

And how do you overcome it?

One thing that I absolutely hate about our life is being away from the ones we love. We almost didn’t go into missions because of the fear of leaving family.

We almost didn’t leave missions for school because we didn’t want to leave our new family. Even now, knowing that we will need to leave this place in a couple of years, it almost makes me not want to invest in relationships that I know will need to end eventually.

One way I’ve been overcoming this fear is realizing and being thankful for all the amazing people God continues to bring into our lives! Seriously, I feel so blessed to have known so many wonderful individuals. It reminds me of this cheesy line from a terrible television show: just because you know the song is going to end, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the music.

Ashley 3

And lastly, what does a life of adventure with God look like for you?

A life of adventure with God for me means that when God speaks I respond with a “yes”. This is the scariest thing also. When something seems too large or too uncomfortable, I just remind myself to take one small step forward, it doesn’t need to be a leap. Moving across the world, going to school with kids, adopting a baby; it all seems like a big deal when you take it all in at once. Yet God provides small steps for us to take to help us meet these goals.

When someone says, “I’ve always wanted to….” I encourage them to make a move. If we are static then God will never use us! 


{GIVEAWAY!}

Now hop on over to her etsy shop! Ashley is using all the money from her sales to support their adoption! She has beautiful hand knit scarves, gloves, and hats for the whole family!

Art of Adventure would love to support Ashley and her family’s adoption adventure! All you have to do is leave a comment with the item you love from her shop and you will be entered to win it …Giveaway ends Monday! 

Ashley would love to connect with you! 

Find her on…

Instagram @ashleydiehl
Etsy Shop Instagram @diehl_adoption_fundraiser
Facebook /ashley.l.diehl
Etsy Shop

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