For a couple of years the word ‘beloved’ has been on my heart. The word “be.loved” means
dearly loved, a much loved person. In an interview once, a woman asked me, "What do you wish you could tell childhood Ashley?" It was a question that really stumped me. I felt flustered and nervous and like I could probably tell little kid Ashley a million different helpful things, but spilling out of my mouth was this:
"I would tell her to live loved."
In 2016 I launched a series called The Beloved Woman, where I featured women across the U.S who I felt embodied grace and talent, and who were empowering other women with their inspiration. While I would love to say that series has turned into something huge, I found pretty quickly that I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to photograph and interview women. There are so many women with incredible and important stories to tell, I hope that over the years I can get into a better rhythm or at least figure out how God wants to use me within that series.
Over the last several months or so, I have been trying to use Instagram as a tool for ministry (as well as a place to do business and earn income.) It is a gigantic platform with millions of users, so what better way to talk about the Gospel there. We who use it know that the algorithm is and can be very tricky; I think social media experts say that maybe 3% of our followers actually SEE our work. I decided that I didn’t really care about the algorithm anymore, that I just want to share what I am passionate about. I felt called to start asking people how I could pray for them, and before I knew it, my direct messages were overflowing with requests and notes of thanks from followers who appreciated the offer. After my most recent Instagram story telling viewers I would pray for them, I felt a giant nudge in my heart that perhaps this could turn into something bigger. I immediately called my sister in law, Bethany Renee, and spit out all my thoughts/ideas/questions. She’s been really great at helping me compile my cluttered notions into an action plan, and ultimately we decided that creating a Facebook Group for women in need was the current way to go.
Here is where I want to welcome YOU to the Beloved Women Collective!! Sign up easily HERE, and your name will be added to my mailing list specifically designated for those of you who want to be a part of this mission. You will get instant access to the Facebook Page, where you will be able to ask for prayer, find scripture, and ask for advice or help. The Page is a safe place, free of judgement, and is a community of women dedicated to lifting each other up both in prayer, and in heart. It will not be a place of judgement, or to degrade. You can say, “I need prayer for…..” and be assured that women will pray diligently for you. It is my hope through this online community that we can grow closer to each other AND feel God’s love through our interactions with one another.
Sisters, you are beloved. And I feel like it is my mission to help you believe this truth. I want to know you better, to encourage you, to wrap my arms around you, to challenge you to think deeper about yourselves; so that in turn, soon, YOU will feel the love. Do you know OTHER women who would be interested in joining this Group? Please share this Blog Post with them so that they can sign up too!
As always, feel free to comment below your thoughts or any questions, or shoot me an email! I am so excited for this movement and to see where God takes the Beloved Women Collective. Special thanks to my sister in law Beth who got this up and running for me, and SHE Y’all, just launched a new business called Curative Brands. She is SO creatively minded, she can help YOU organize your goals and dreams too.