Here is episode 3! It’s a long one, but enjoy!
It was Friday evening in Dallas, Texas at her home and Ashley was praying in her room. She could feel the nearness of God at that moment. “Lord, when I was singing on stage last week I felt like you were making Your plan for my future clear to me. I still feel that way. If it really is your will God, please make it even more clear. I’ll do it of that is your plan. I know that you have special plans for me and I can’t wait to see what they are. I love you forever and ever. Amen.” She took a deep breath, stood up and glanced over at her alarm clock named Tick-Tock. It was just about time to leave for Kari and Cole’s for dinner and game night. The sweet couple only lived 10-15 minutes away from the Blakes and Ashley loved that. Most times she rode her bike there to talk and write songs with Kari when Cole was at work. They would laugh and write the prettiest songs together. Ashley smiled at the thought of her closest friend. She grabbed her purse, guitar and sunglasses and strutted out of her room. Her family was getting ready to leave. “Hi, honey. I was just about to send your sister to get you. Ready?” Ashley’s mother swung her purse over her shoulder. “Yep, ready.” Ashley answered. Her siblings Lacy and Cody were tying their sneakers. Lacy was 13 and Cody was 10 and they were all very close in friendship. A few nights a week the three siblings would hang out together in Ashley’s room while their parents watched a movie. Pillow fights were always part of the fun they had.
Kari Livingstone opened the door with bright eyes and a glowing smile. “Hey, ya’ll! Thanks for coming!” Kari let Ashley and her family in. After everyone was in the house she closed the door. Ashley’s parents were talking to Cole in the living room while Lacy and Cody were setting up a game of checkers at the coffee table beside them. Kari and Ashley were still in the mud room neatening up everyone’s shoes and placing them on the mat. Kari smiled and turned to Ashley. “Hey, Ash! How are you?” Kari asked her joyfully. “I’m well, how ’bout you?” Ashley answered. “Very well!” Kari stretched out her arms for a hug. “I see you brought your guitar. You and Cole should play us a song tonight.” “Great idea, Kari. I’ve been practicing a ton. I also have another song I wrote and I want to show you guys.” Ashley carefully leaned her guitar by the door. “Awesome. We’d love to hear it.” She motioned Ash to the kitchen. “Want to help me with getting the burgers and hot dogs ready for Cole? He’s grillin’.” “Sure. What would you like me to do?” Kari opened the fridge dramatically. “You and I can put them on the two trays.” She answered. “Oke-doke!” Ashley said. Kari took out the meats from the fridge and set them down on the counter top. “Let’s get started.” The two girls each grabbed hamburger patties and hot dogs and placed them on the trays. It took no time at all to get that done and the meats were ready to go. “Coley,” Kari called, “The meats are ready to be grilled!” Cole dashed into the kitchen, kissed his wife, grabbed the trays filled with meat and headed outside to the grill.
“Lord, we thank You for this yummy food you’ve provided for us and please bless this food to our bodies. Thank You that we can spend time with the Blakes tonight and um, just please bless this night. We love You, Jesus. Amen.” After Cole said the prayer, everybody filled their plates with food and stuffed their faces. Cole bit into his hot dog with ketchup and mustard heavily slathered on top. As he did so, the ketchup and mustard mess appeared on his beard. Kari glanced at him and giggled. Cole noticed her giggle and gave her a silly/confused look. “What are you laughing at?” Kari tried to hide her giggle with a cough. “Oh, nothing.” She replied with a flirty tone. Cole pretended to believe her. “Do I have food on my beard?” “No…nope.” “You would tell me right?” Kari nodded with a rather amused smile. “Ok, Kari.” Cole picked up his napkin and wiped his beard. “Aww, you two are so cute!” Ashley commented. Cole and Kari looked at each other and smiled. “So, Ashley…after dessert wanna jam?” Cole asked. “Sure thing! I practiced A LOT and I also wrote another song.” Cole gave her a thumbs up. “Good job. Can’t wait to here it.” After dinner and after the apple pie was passed around, the two families gathered around in the living room. Cole and Ashley sat on the floor with guitars. “Okay, show us what you wrote.” Kari said to Ash. Ashley began strumming and a few seconds later she started singing. “…Even in the storm You are with me. I know I am not alone…” Soon the room was filled with clapping. “That was amazing, Ash!” Cole commented with joy. “I’m so proud of you. Do you even need a teacher anymore?” Cole laughed. “Of course I do! Thanks.” Ashley beamed. “I couldn’t have written it without all those lessons. Keep teaching me everything you know. Last night God put it on my heart and then I wrote it. Isn’t He awesome!?” “He definitely is.” Cole said. Kari jumped off the couch and gave Ash a hug. “You go, girl! God has given you some talent.” “He has. I love singing and playing for Him.” Ashley’s parents smiled warmly and gave her hugs and kisses. Ashley and Cole jammed for a few minutes. “Who’s ready to play some games?” Kari asked.
After three hours of fun games and rolling on the floor laughing at Cole and his silly competitiveness, Ashley’s family had to leave. They said their goodbyes and headed to the car. But Ashley stayed a little longer to talk to Kari. “Hey, Ash. Thanks for coming! I had a ton of fun with ya’ll. You did great, by the way.” “Thanks. Kari. God is so good. I just love that He gave me that special talent. I had a lot of fun as well! Let’s do this again.” “We will. God has truly blessed you. Keep praying about your future career. He has special plans for you, sweetie.” Ashley nodded. “He does. I pray every day…I think He is making it clear to me. But until it’s like, crystal clear, I’ll keep praying.” Kari smiled warmly. “Good. You should come over tomorrow. I want to work on more songs with you. Hey! You should sleep over tomorrow night into Sunday and come to church with us! Ashley loved Kari’s joy. “That’d work out. I’d love to, Kari. I’ll text you. Thanks for inviting me!” They hugged and Ashley grabbed her guitar. “Love you, Ash. Hope to see you tomorrow.” “Love you, too, Kari. See ya’!” “Bye, Cole!” Ashley called to Cole, who was in the kitchen. “Bye, Ash! Great job, again!” “Thanks!” Kari waved to Ash and closed the door.
As Ashley settled into bed that night, she prayed and thanked God for Kari and Cole and also prayed for His will for her future. A few minutes later she drifted off to sleep with one peaceful thought. Her sweet Jesus.
I loved writing that! Hope you enjoyed it! Here is the news. I GOT MY BRACES OFF YESTERDAY!!! YAY!!!
It’s Alison (super kind desk lady), Dr. Lenk (my orthodontist) Me, and Caitlyn. She’s so nice. She took the braces off, snapped pics of my teeth, made my retainer, and took x-rays. I was nervous for nothing! I’m sooo glad to those braces off! I have a plastic retainer called Invisalign. It’s invisible and I’m glad. It’s very easy to work with and it makes me teeth look super shiny 😀 I have to wear it all day for one month and then after that I just wear it to bed. Ahhh…it’s so good to be free of those annoying metal pieces. I think I had them for a little over 2 years…not sure. But I’m so joyful! *dances*
Have a peaceful, restful night, ya’ll!