Poems, Pictures and Providence

I’m taking a minute to tell you more about why I’m doing this blog, and how it came to be.

Like many others, sometimes I have a problem seeing “the forest for the trees”, but with this blog, I also didn’t fully notice some of the trees! Oddly enough, it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I fully realized how it all came together so perfectly, and I identified all the “saplings” that the Lord planted to form the “blog forest” I am now enjoying!


It continually amazes me just how many poems and other writings He’s given to me over the years. I’ve written on how the truths of God’s Word play out in my life, pouring both good and unpleasant life experiences out on paper, and giving voice to various periods of struggles and growth that have brought me here. Every time I’ve searched for something on a particular topic, I’ve rediscovered long-forgotten poems that will be great for future posts. I am thankful and humbled to have so much material from which to draw!


Though I’ve shared many older poems, I’ve also composed new, more extemporaneous works. This is exciting for me, as writing had largely taken a back seat to personal and financial challenges for the past several years. I see more clearly that this was always a part of God’s larger plan. Just over two years ago I began a journey of transformation, through which He has guided me back to my creative roots. Later, after much prayer, I felt it was the right time to share more fully with others. Blogging seemed a natural choice, as I also wanted to combat the growing negativity and unrest in the world by sharing His light and hope on a broader scale. God has affirmed that decision and is enriching my faith walk through this experience. It has been at once cathartic and invigorating, especially hearing how God has spoken through my humble offerings!


Perhaps you’ve noticed that a photo accompanies every post. They are not stock photos, but all original snapshots taken by myself in various places; many while out walking by myself or hiking with family and friends. I enjoy taking pictures, but had often pondered what to do with all of them, as there are no children for me to pass things like that down to. Some images I’ve posted on Facebook, but I always wished to share on a grander scale, if not actually becoming a professional photographer (the thought has crossed my mind, but it is not my calling). The Lord has given me an artistic eye for color and composition, and with this blog, He’s also provided a way to share all those shots!

His Blog

Though I did not plainly state it at first, in my first blog post, this blog is HIS. Now that the “trees” and “forest” are in better focus, I feel even more strongly about that assertion. When beginning this blog journey, I wasn’t sure what He would do with it, but I remain confident that His purposes will be worked out as long as I keep my mind transformed by His Word (Romans 12:2), my heart trusting in His plan (Psalm 28:7) and my hands devoted to writing whatever it is He wants to say through me. Not that I will always say everything perfectly, but that He will use this imperfect vessel to inspire and encourage others according to His will (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Here’s a poem I wrote to reaffirm my dedication of this blog to His service:

“His Blog”

Your words, Lord, are what I seek.
Your will first in what I speak.
Your message, through text great and small.
Your gentle whispers shared with all.
This blog is Yours; it’s not my own.
Lord, set the rhythm, course and tone.
To further Your kingdom, for Your glory;
To uplift and inspire with my story.
For my story is You, and what you’ve done;
I rest in Your grace as each post is begun.
With expectant joy, I listen and pray
Holy Spirit, keep guiding all that I say.

©Ladeena Ashley

Pass It On!

I’ve been doing a LOT of writing lately, and am thankful for every word I’ve been inspired to write. For those who have been following, and those who are new followers: thank you for coming along on this journey. I pray you are blessed by what you read, but more than that, I pray that you too will pass along that encouragement to those around you. We are all blessed to be a blessing (2 Corinthians 1:4)! We are His light in the darkness, our words and lives shining the light of His love everywhere we go.

I have several favorite songs named “Shine”, but the one I’ll choose for this post is by Salvador. It is truly one of the songs of my heart.
Shine – Salvador (Note: link opens in new window)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16

©Ladeena Ashley
2016 All Rights Reserved (content & blog photo)

God Sees Me (& You)

We all have a story to tell. Whether from humble beginnings or an immense wealth of knowledge and ambition. My story would definitely be described as the former. Though at times I wonder how God could use my simple faith to encourage others, I think it may be the simplicity of my faith that is so valuable and uplifting.

My Story

Without going into too much detail, one part of my story involves chronic digestive issues. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and lactose intolerance back in 1999. Then in 2011 I had surgery to remove my stone-filled gall bladder, and have had problems with many foods ever since. This week I’ve been struggling through a nasty IBS flare-up that has my insides screaming and my head throbbing. My severely limited diet has been even more curtailed, leaving me tired and a bit frustrated. Thankfully, the Lord keeps me looking at the positives, like: “Hey, it helps me keep my girlish figure!”

Being among the trees and squirrels helps, too. Last night, after a particularly sticky summer day, I decided to stretch my legs and cool off by heading out for an evening walk in a nearby park. What began as the expression of my perennial awe of nature turned into yet another reminder of God’s purpose and care for me. (Apparently I need lots of reassurance!)

“Late Summer Evening”

The night affords a mystic beauty:
Towering trees shrouded in shadow,
Muted greens aglow from the city.
Gnarled shapes cast upon the meadow.
A hidden choir of crickets throng.
Heat of day now a balmy breeze,
Stars, like sequins, shimmer a song;
A wispy wind rustles the leaves.
Trunks and branches, tangled and dark
inspire this evening reverie.
A late summer stroll through the park
with nature and humanity.
Different perspective in moonlight:
Yet God sees me as if it’s day.
Comfort to know I’m in His sight
where the light and shade interplay.

© Ladeena Ashley

Always Surrounded

I love the way I feel in nature. Day or night, there’s always something to marvel at. But best of all, no matter where I am, God sees me – sees us – and loves us. His purpose and plan are perfect (Psalm 18:30)! We are all surrounded by the shadows (sin and pain) and light (God’s goodness and love), and He walks with us, strengthening us through all of it! When He looks at the world, all of the shadows and darkness are light to Him (Psalm 139:11-12). He sees us and knows us better than we know ourselves. We cannot run from His presence, but I, for one, would never want to. God has always been faithful to me, and He’s the only reason I’ve made it this far.

© Ladeena Ashley
2016 All Rights Reserved (content & blog photos)