Monday, August 10, 2009

Looking Back...

This year has been a wonderful year; a year of changes, growth, learning, new experiences, and overall wonderful times for my family and I.

The Wedding Party
The biggest change of this year took place at the beginning of the year, which was spent gearing up for, and rejoicing in, the marriage of Trevor and Thelma! Mom and I were involved in making the bridesmaids dresses while the boys helped Trevor finish up his house. It was an exciting time, although sometimes a bit crazy and hectic, as a new arm of the Castlebury family was established!

Spring Time gardening...
Soon after the wedding, we began gearing up for our 2009 gardening season and put allot of work into getting the garden ready for planting. Once the garden was growing well and bearing fruit, we began to preserve or can the produce that was given to us or came from our garden. Since canning green beans was on our 'want to learn how to do' list, a pressure canner was invested in and we've been learning how to use it; not only for canning but also for everyday cooking!! Did you know that you can have a meal that contains dry beans ready in about a half an hour??? Amazing... and very tasty too!!!

Momma & I putting up tomatoes last year...
Adding in a few (ok, forty-two to be exact!) chickens, reading up on gardening, broadening our sewing repertoire, and a host of other things have all made this year a wonderful and memorable one! I am truly blessed with the Mother that the Lord has given me, as she has so much wisdom in many areas and a thirst to learn about even more

Workin' Away
But there is one other thing that has taken place this year... one that affects me. At the beginning of January my Dad, after corresponding with a young man for several months, granted him permission to get to know me. Ryan and I have spent this year getting to know each other, under the guidance of our parents. Now, eight months later, we have entered into a time of courtship where we are getting to know each other in a deeper way with the intent of determining whether the Lord would have us marry.

This is a time of excitement for both Ryan and I (and our families!) as we seek the Lords' will and watch the Lord work in our lives! As we've gotten to know each other, I've been so impressed with Ryan's heart for the Lord and his desire to be in the center of the Lord's will. I've been challenged in my own walk with the Lord; challenged to seriously search out the Lord's heart in all things and to bring myself, even more, under the Lord's control. What a blessing it is to have friends that challenge and encourage us in our walk with the Lord!

Yes, the past eight months have been wonderful... a time of many changes and additions, a time of learning and growing, and a time of growing closer as a family. They sure have flown by in a hurry!


Lydia W. said...

Hey Ashley,

This has definitely been a wonderful year, and I am very glad that you have let us share in all of the excitement in your family!

I am excited for you and Ryan; and will be praying for y'all, that the Lord will work in your lives. I know He will guide and direct your steps, and show you His will for your life!


Joy said...

Congratulations to you and Ryan, Ashley!! This is such exciting news. :) (By the way, I "found" you through Sarah's blog!)

We will be praying for you both as you enter into this new season of your lives.

Rebekah said...

Ohh Ashley,
I'm so excited for you! I'll pray that everything works out wonderfully and it will be the Lord's will for you and Ryan to be together... I too am waiting for the Lord's best...and I want to let the Lord bring us together.
But Anyway I'll be praying for ya'll as ya'll are courting!

Sarah said...

Need I say that I am so happy and excited for you both?! :) (I have a big smile on my face as I am typing this! :) It has been so wonderful to see how the Lord has worked in both yours and Ryan's lives these past months. How much we have to thank the Lord for! I will continue to be praying for you both, dear friend!

I really enjoyed this entire post, and loved how you shared the highlights of the year . . . what a wonderful and special year it has been!

Maiden4Christ said...

Dear Ashley,
Congratulations!!! I am soooooo happy for both of you:) It is very exciting to see how the Lord worked it all out, especially in a time when people think you HAVE to go to college to meet an eligible young man.
You are living proof that this is not true, and it just confirms me in the decision that I will stay at home and will learn from my family.
May God bless both of you.
As always your friend,
~Bethany Francostein
P.S. Mother is ecstatic!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Ashley,

I am SUPER excited for you!!! I squealed when I read the news and can't help shedding a couple tears of happiness for you. :-) I will be praying for you as you begin this new phase of your life. Please keep us posted!!!

Delighted for you,
Sarah Ann

Amber said...

I'm very happy for you, Ashley! I feel like I "know" you and can be excited for you just as I would be for a friend that I see here, where I live. I can't tell you how cool I think it is that I "know" the Pelcs, too, and that two families I know via internet have connected! What a small world it is when God is involved! :):):)

May God grant you wisdom and grace in this new phase of life. May it be a wonderful time for you!


Ashley said...

Thank you for your prayers, Lydia!! They are very much appreciated!
It has been a verrrrrrry exciting and wonderful year for my family!
Have a great day!

Thank you for your comment, Joy! I have been to your blog several times, linking over from Sarahs' as well!
Your prayers are so appreciated! Thank you!

Thank you for your comment and your prayers, Rebekah! Both are very much appreciated!

Sarah, I had a feeling that you were just a bit excited for Ryan and I! :o)
I, too, am thrilled to look back and see how the Lord has worked in our lives the past few months. He truly is good!
Thank you for your prayers, Sarah!
Have a terrific day!

Bethany- Your comment brought a big grin to my face... I can just imagine your Mother being 'ecstatic'!!!
Thank you for your sweet words, Bethany... I can't tell you how much they meant. Keep following the leadership and guidance of your parents Bethany; I know that they want the Lord's best for you.

It was good to hear from you again SarahAnn! I had been wondering about you recently.
Thank you for your prayers. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them!

Amber- Your phrase "What a small world it is when God is involved!" is so true and so exciting!! Thank you for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Ashley,

We have truly been blessed by you and your family the past eight months. How very thankful we are that the Lord has led our families together!!

May God guide and richly bless you and Ryan as you go through this time of courtship. We are SO happy for both of you!!!

Michael and Nanci Pelc

Ashley Sebo said...

Dear Ashley,
I cannot tell you just how excited I was when I read your email! To say I am excited is not the right wording! I'm THRILLED! In fact your email brought me very close to crying!!!! I'm SO happy for you! What a blessing!

I will be praying for you dear friend and Ryan as you seek the Lord's guidance!

Love and hugs!

Ashley said...

My family is so thankful that the Lord has brought our families together, Mr. and Mrs. Pelc. Y'all have been a huge blessing and encouragement to us in many different ways.
Thank you for everything!

Ashley S.- your comment brought a huge grin to my face! Thank you for sharing you exuberant excitement!
Thank you for your prayers. They are very much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

What WONDERFUL new!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry I got to see this post SO late. :(