Category Archives: BigSister Milestones

I Have an Agent!

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I’m excited to announce that I have signed on with Hartline Literary Agency!

I met Cyle Young, my new agent, at this year’s Florida Christian Writers Conference. I told him about the children’s books I’ve written as well as the book I’m writing for young women (Girls with Gusto). It turns out that Cyle writes in a lot of different genres, including children’s books. And he’s a pastor, which I think is a very neat combination.

I’m honored that Cyle has agreed to represent me on behalf of Hartline, and I believe that our hard work will result in publication. Everything I write is intended for God’s glory, and I trust that if God is giving me a message to share that He will pave the way for it to be successful. (See Isaiah 55:11.)

Thanks to all of you who continue to support me here at BigSisterKnows. Your comments, likes, shares, and your prayers are appreciated more than you know. Please continue to pray for guidance, wisdom, and favor—for me and for Hartline.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NAS

~Ashley

2016 Liebster Award!

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Nominated in 2016 by Robin Baldwin of the Words for Life blog.

 

In 2016, one of my fellow bloggers, Robin Baldwin of Words for Life, nominated me for the Liebster Award! This award is passed on from one blogger to another as a way of encouraging them to keep on writing. I am very grateful to Robin for considering me for this!

As a nominee, I have to answer Robin’s questions below, nominate other new bloggers (with no more than 500 followers), and then ask those bloggers questions of my own.

The following are my answers to Robin’s questions:

  1. Why do you write?

The more I learn about God, the more I feel compelled to share it with the world. I simply can’t not write. (Yes, that was an intentional double-negative. As a writer, I take liberties from time to time.)

  1. What one thing do you want to do to leave the world a better place?

I want to help others develop a closer relationship with Jesus, whether that’s through example, personal discussions, or my writings.

  1. Who inspires you? Why?

My late grandmother, Verona Kirby. She was the most godly woman I have ever known. All of us who knew her were blessed because of it.

  1. What makes you laugh?

Cat videos. No matter how rough my day was, a crazy cat video will have me tearfully laughing in no time flat.

  1. If you could write a letter to your younger self, what advice would you give?

You are special, and you are loved. You don’t have to lower your standards for anyone.

  1. Who is your favorite author? Why?

Dean Koontz is an unbelievable author! His thrillers are terrifying, but it’s his imagery that leaves me shaking my head. What impresses me most, though, is that his books usually contain a message of hope. (Read The Face if you’re really daring and don’t care to sleep for a night or two.)

  1. What book made you become a lifelong reader?

I have to pick two: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. I remember thinking, “Now, this is a book!” (I’m pretty sure I was in fifth grade when I read Crichton’s, and I’ve been hooked on adventure books ever since.)

  1. What life experience humbled you?

God recently led me away from a successful career in risk management to work in a management / support capacity for a local business. Through this, I’ve learned not only be obedient but to get excited with whatever God wants to do through me. His way is always better than mine!

  1. What do you do for fun (besides writing)?

I love photography! For me, the fun is capturing that perfect moment in nature, like a fuzzy bumblebee perched delicately on a flower. There’s so much beauty, but a perfect photo is only framed for a moment. To capture that on camera is pure magic.

  1. What is your favorite quote?

“I want to be the kind of woman that, when my feet hit the floor in the morning, the enemy says, ‘Oh no! She’s up.’”

  1. What is your favorite blog post that you wrote? Why?

I really liked “The Most Lavish Gift of All,” which I posted in December 2016. In it, I wrote about a homeless man I had watched spend a large sum of money on a Christmas gift for his sister. Through this simple but generous act, God made me realize that His love is lavish; He does not budget or skimp on us. It was a great reminder, and I hope the blog blessed others as much as the lesson blessed me.

No man is an island. If you’re looking for great blogs to read, here are three of my favorites:

And for beautiful poetry, don’t forget to check out Robin’s site at Words for Life.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback.


My questions to those I’m nominating:

  1. Where do you get your inspiration?
  2. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you get “unstuck”?
  3. Is there a writing rule that you like to break from time to time? If so, what is it?
  4. Most blogs have a theme. Do you have a topic you’d like to write about that doesn’t fit within your theme?
  5. Finish this sentence: I wish I were more _____.
  6. Do you write outside of your blog, such as news articles or books? Tell us about it.
  7. Why did you first start your blog?

I’m Teaching a Seminar!

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The Desire

It started when I was a teenager. I would lie awake at night and imagine myself teaching a group of students about something very important. I was engaging and funny—but not silly—and by the end of the presentation, I knew I had a made a difference.

When I told my mom about it, she assured me that it was not common for people to fantasize about teaching in front of large groups. It figures; I never seemed to do anything normal. But it did make me wonder if this was a “God thing:” something He was laying on my heart.

While I don’t feel called to be a full-time teacher, I still find myself dreaming of teaching, speaking, and instructing on some level. (I have utmost respect for all our amazing teachers and cannot fathom how they have the patience to persevere in light of school politics and standardized testing. May God bless you!)

 

The Reality

Finally, this year, I’ll see this vision start to become a reality. I will be teaching my first seminar at the Tallahassee Christian College and Training Center (my alma mater) on November 19, 2016!

The class, “Navigating Your Spiritual Journey,” is based on all the research I’ve done as I continue to write my book, Girls with Gusto. We’ll dive into what I call the eight major steps of the spiritual journey, from salvation to becoming the person God made us to be. This course will be heavily based on Scripture and, since we’ll be talking about the spiritual journey in general, it will be applicable for both guys and gals, from new believers to the seasoned Bible student.

As I prepare for this class, I’m beginning to realize something important. These things God places on our hearts aren’t just our “imagination;” they aren’t “possible outcomes” that we can choose to embrace or deny. They’re words from God that He has spoken over us and imprinted on our hearts. The Bible says that God’s Word goes forth and accomplishes what He desires; it does not return to Him void. (See Isaiah 55:11.) Yes, this primarily refers to God’s Word as captured in the Bible, but it also applies to words He speaks over us directly, in the here and now.

 

May Your Dreams Become Reality

Do you have a vision of yourself teaching, preaching, singing, writing, healing, counseling, etc.? Have you always had a strong or unusual desire to go to a different city or country, to be involved a particular ministry, or to change careers entirely? Do you have an idea for an invention, a new product, or a business?

Seek the Lord! If He put this desire on your heart, He means to fulfill it! (See Proverbs 37:4.) You might have to wait nearly twenty years like I have, but when it happens, you know it’s God’s doing, and you can move forward without hesitation.

May God put you in the center of His will, and may He accomplish what He set out to do with you and through you.


If you’re in the Tallahassee area, please join us for the seminar! Here are the details:

When: Saturday, 11/19/2016, from 9am-1pm
Cost: $15 for personal growth or $25 for .25 semester credit
What to bring: Your Bible and a notebook to write in.

Our goal with this class is to understand the layout of our spiritual journey so we can grow closer to the Lord and become the person He wants us to be. By the end of the class, you’ll be able to determine where you on your journey, what steps are still in front of you, and how you can continue to press forward.