God Showed up at the Thrift Store

Most of us have longed to own something but couldn’t acquire it for different reasons.

Too expensive.

No place to keep it.

The kids need new shoes.

The electric bill is due.

It’s not essential.

 He remembers the red heels you tried on but didn’t purchase. He understands your dream to grow the beautiful flowers pictured in seed catalogs. And the food processor? He remembers that too.

So it was with me when God showed up at the thrift store.

I was browsing the used books when I read the words Tasha Tudor on the spine of a coffee table volume. I gasped then snatched it up like a thief. The store had an usual number of book shoppers that day. I didn’t want to make a scene with my zealous excitement, so I scurried around the corner to look inside. It was in mint condition. It was beautiful.

I first learned about Tasha Tudor years ago when Victoria magazine featured her several times as a children’s author, illustrator, and fervent gardener. Looking at the slick pages, I’d drool over her lush landscape and the delightful art I could only dream of owning.

Years had passed since I thought of Tasha Tudor, then that day in the thrift store she came to life once more. I realized, perhaps for the first time, God remembers what matters to me.

I purchased the $30 Tasha Tudor’s Garden hardcover for a buck.

We never know when something we once longed for will come to us years later.


Stories of Grace and Hope

Kindle   –    Nook

Five Christmas Wishes for You

Dear Friends,DSC01288_edited-1

This is my first year-end post and I want to celebrate by wishing each of you a sincere Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I pray you will have a prosperous 2015 filled with accomplished goals dovetailed with family, friends, career, play, and relaxation.

Be good. Be happy. Be healthy. Be blessed. Be a blessing.


Touched by Kindness

During the final stages of my novel, my health was not good. A close friend, Em Rojas, whose passion is painting and doing community service as a master gardener, offered to proofread my manuscript, not once but three times over a period of several months.nov kindness

Em is an intellectual individual who reads only nonfiction material. This made her generosity, and the time she had spent proofreading my fiction manuscript even more meaningful.

Friendships in themselves are filled with many blessings, one being the recipient of kindness when life is difficult. This November, I am overjoyed when I look at the past months and see close friends, like Em, who stepped further into my path and made my journey a little easier.

Special Thanks

This November, I want to express a special thanksgiving to Bernadine Chapman-Cruz. She is one of those unique individuals God had purposely brought into my life.final bible verse

Shortly after we met, I learned Bernadine had written hundreds of published articles. She no longer had a critique partner and I had been praying for one, so we decided to team up. Bernadine’s generous praises and words of encouragement kept me going while I wrote my novel.

“I just love Ashley’s Gift. You’ve got a winner here!” Bernadine often wrote to me, via email.

As a writer, Bernadine knew that was the type of encouragement I needed.

Although Bernadine has recently taken a new path, she continues to believe in me. Now her emails read, “I promoted your book today!”

I have been blessed many times by this unique individual who God had purposely brought into my life. She  helped me to believe in myself and that dreams do come true. For these reasons and more, I express a SPECIAL THANKS to my dear friend, Bernadine.