Vacation Week – Guest Blogger Ashley Warren

Of all the great women that I work with Ashley probably works the closest with me… AND STILL LOVES ME!  Ash sees the real me on a daily basis and is faithful to support and yet challenge me when needed… helping me to tear down my walls.  Enjoy her post!

I have a direct line of sight from my desk to Jenni’s. We essentially have a conversation going on day in and day out. My name is Ashley Warren, and I’ve had the privilege of serving with Jenni and the Cross Point team for 2 years now as Jen’s assistant, the Office Manager and the First Impressions Ministry Coordinator. What fun to have a job that involves putting attention and energy into making sure people feel valued and have a great experience when they’re with us! I’m also the wife of an amazingly steady and talented man, an avid reader, a Dr. Pepper addict, a runner, and a former high-school English teacher. We sometimes tease Jenni about the fact that she has hired two teachers straight out of the public school classroom…those poor kids sure are missing out!

While in the classroom, one of my favorite poems to teach was Frost’s “Mending Wall.” In it the speaker describes an annual ritual in which he and his neighbor walk the line of the fence separating their lands and repair the damage that nature has done to this dividing rock wall.

And he says,” Something there is that does not love a wall.”

Does that resonate with your heart the way it does with mine? We think walls protect us, give us privacy, a fortress. Sometimes they do. More often, they keep people out of the places in our lives where we need the accountability and influence real relationships provide. They are a barrier to the truths we need to hear and the grace we so desperately need. They keep us trapped in facades, a barrier to being authentic. And we know they’re not right. We want them down.

My wall, the way I manage people’s perception of me, is the toiling to keep people convinced that I’ve got it all together. I work hard to keep from having to admit how out of control, overwhelmed and crippled by insecurity I often feel (but there I go typing it for all of blogdom to see!). I keep those stones firmly stacked one on top of the other. But something there is that does not love a wall.

And when the walls come down, and I am able to see myself the way Jesus looks at me, that’s where freedom and rest and growth happen. That’s when I experience real love. And what a breath of fresh air it is to see those stones fall.

Where is the wall you need to chip away at?

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  • janowen September 4, 2008  

    Hi Ashley! Great post. I think for me, I have been hurt so much recently that I struggle with confidently being myself and answering my calling and sharing my heart because I know (and yes, it’s been proven) that some will not understand, accept and encourage. They will not – that is truth. Choosing to take the risk anyway is where I’m at right now. Choosing to be myself. Choosing to say yes to God. Choosing to take a chance and help others grow perhaps. Choosing to – at times – pointedly ignore others disapproval and stay open and loving with them anyway. I wonder at times when that stops being wise?! I don’t have an answer. I just know it’s my job to live genuinely and it’s not my job to answer for other’s response. And that perhaps is the hardest thing about tearing down your walls. You don’t know what’s on the other side….waiting. That takes faith.

  • lisa September 4, 2008  

    Self worth seeing myself as God does.

  • waswrittenin September 4, 2008  

    Hey Lady!

    I hear you. My wall(s) are many… but the one I struggle with most is self-confidence… Confidence in myself, confidence in hearing God’s true voice, confidence in believing that God knows what I don’t know…

    Good post. I think that we need to get you a blog up and running 🙂

  • Jessica September 4, 2008  

    Aw Girl, I hear ya! Im always walking around like I got it all together when inside Im slowly falling apart. And always forgetting to go to God!

    Love Love your post!

  • Marla Saunders September 4, 2008  

    I have always loved that poem, especially coming from New England originally. I had never thought about the wall in terms of our personal lives In fact, I’d never thought about Robert Frost’s wall in relation to my adult quest to build community in my life.

    Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. Indeed!

  • melissa1970 September 4, 2008  

    That’s beautiful, Ash.

  • brandiandboys September 4, 2008  

    well done, girl!

    mine if probably also self-worth… thinking “what do i bring to the table?” so to speak.

  • Mark Thomas September 4, 2008  

    My wall hides the insecurities I get with my musical abilities. I know that God gave me some talent and that should be sufficient for me but it sometimes hard not to compare myself with others, especially with musicians that I’m not extremely close to.

  • tam September 5, 2008  

    mark – me too.

    my wall hides my insecurities. and i DO have’em. i second guess everything i do. whether that be from insecurity or the “fear’ of what others may think. funny…cuz im always telling my kids…never let someone elses opinion of you dictate your life. yikes.

    wonderful post. another great challenge and reminder for me…

  • Christina Schmidt September 5, 2008  

    I’m a really sensitive person, HOWEVER, you probably won’t notice it. I have a tough outer shell, probably because when I’m too nice, or show emotion, I feel like it’s a weakness, and it could be used against me.

  • Heidi September 5, 2008  

    Hmmm.. wall of insecurity.