I’ve been doing a lot of praying, thinking, researching, and listening this week as I’m sure you have as well… I mean, how could you not, right?! The attack on the Capitol on Wednesday was enough to make anyone rub their eyes and check twice if they were watching Netflix or the news. The blatant hate, violence, and disunity was scary to see acted out on a real-life stage in front of whole world. It just didn’t seem real in so many ways.

Since Wednesday I haven’t been able to shake the words from 2 Tim. 1:7, “God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled”. I keep thinking about how beautiful and reassuring this verse is, but most of all I keep thinking of the freedom that is in those words. The Message version of this verse reads, “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible”. That really just drives it home doesn’t it?! I mean, wow. I need “Bold. Loving. Sensible.” tattooed on my forehead as a reminder that, as a follower of Christ, that is my call.

There is so much peace in knowing that I can be bold without being polarizing. That I can be loving without enabling, and that I can be sensible without being complacent.

This gives me so much comfort when events like Wednesday happen and I feel like I am not doing enough or saying enough. The world needs people who are loud and always have the right thing to say right off the bat, but the world also needs people who are quiet and need time with their thoughts.

Just because I’m not the girl who shares meme after meme, it doesn’t mean I’m timid about injustice.

Just because I’m not the loudest one on the internet doesn’t mean I’m not bold in my convictions and sensible in my conversations.

Just because I’m not reporting live-streams of everything that happens in our world doesn’t mean I’m not informed/concerned.

But, because of my platform I do have a responsibility to show up in love daily, to always be my most authentic self, and to be most of all, a light.

So you probably don’t need me to say that the events and violence on Wednesday where horrific, wrong, and unpatriotic, they were. You probably don’t need me to say that our country is in desperate need of healing and change, it is. You don’t need me to say that hate of any kind (racial or otherwise) isn’t welcome here, it’s not.

But maybe you do need to hear me say that we, you and me, have the power to shift the conversations inside our four walls and within our circles. We have the power to lead without being timid with words that are filled with truth AND love. We can say no to a cancel culture that inflicts shame and guilt on those with whom we disagree, or perhaps who just haven’t found the words yet. We can be listeners who are both gracious and kind.

If you are a loud voice, you’ll find grace here. If you are quiet voice, you’ll find grace here. And if you are still trying to find your voice, you’ll find grace here too.

*Editors note: I wanted to address a line in this post: “Just because I’m a blogger/influencer with a “platform” doesn’t mean that my voice counts any more than yours.” Because I think it came across unclear. What I meant was that on a human level my voice counts just as much as yours does. Even though I followed it up with the line about having influence entails a responsibility, I’m not sure it came across as clear as I hoped it would. I do have influence which is a responsibility, and my voice does reach further, which is a privilege, and is why I wrote this post in the first place. I hope that is clear.

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35 comments
  1. Hi Ashley. I just read this post and I just wanted to say that I appreciate your vulnerability and that you embody being “bold and loving and sensible.” Thank you for sharing.

  2. Ashley – this was a balm to my soul today, and just what I needed after a couple of weeks spent working through my own emotions/thoughts/horror at what happened last week while being accused of XYZ because I didn’t have the words. Thank you for so eloquently remindinf me of what my role is… and that it’s ok when others think I fall short, since that’s not where true peace and validation is found.

  3. I’ve so appreciated your grace-filled spot in the midst of all the crazy! I find myself coming back to your blog again and again because you have stayed true to the purpose of it! Praying for you as you continue to post content that we all enjoy and wisdom and grace to know when more may need to be said!

  4. Thank you Ashley for staying true to you and the lane you’ve decided to carve out for yourself. Like most of these beautiful women, I come to you not for my political information, or anything of that sort, but for kindness, graciousness, fun, lighthearted content that my weary heart needs after having lots of hate shoved in my face all day. Keep your sunshiney self going sister, the world needs more of you.

  5. Ashley, thank you for your transparency and such a beautifully written post in spite of what is going on in our country. It is so refreshing to read something from someone who truly radiates the love of Christ through their words and actions daily. Now, more than ever, we need to feel God’s love through others and you are perfect example. I pray God blesses you and Ryan in this New Year!

  6. This was so beautifully said, Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing this thoughtful post and scripture, and for creating such a beautiful space online. I’ve been following you for years now and as readers its obvious how Christ shines through you. I’m so thankful for what you do and will likewise be praying for our nation and praying to grow in power, love and self-control myself. Even though there is so much going on in the world today, I’m so grateful that Christ holds the victory and that we can share in His hope as believers, choosing faith and love over fear every day!

  7. I am not a business owner nor influencer but I work for a brand. It is a confusing time to navigate “the right thing to say” because nobody will be happy. Thanks for your vulnerability! We can all agree these are hard days when you have a public face. Thanks for not overly swaying your content!

  8. Wonderful post. So many of us feel this way. I still can’t believe this happened in our country. I actually had people unfriend me because I wasn’t posting my stand on social media. Unbelievable. I’m happy to privately discuss things with someone but I don’t need to shout my opinion from the rooftop. I pray our country comes out stronger on the other side.

  9. Thank you, Ashley, for the calm, sensible Spirit filled post. I appreciate the space you create in this little part of the internet.

  10. So happy to read this point of view. I’m a quiet one, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. Thank you for your acceptance and grace of everyone’s thought process and timeframe.

  11. Ashley, I am a huge fan of your blog and although I love this post I have to be honest, I think it is sad in this country/world that people think that every blogger/Instagram(er) with a large following should be shouting from the rooftops every time something happens that people think other people should have an opinion about. Why do people think a food blogger, or a fashion blogger or a travel blogger or a diy blogger would have influence over peoples political thinking? And then when they don’t “shout their opinions from the rooftops” or it is considered the “wrong opinion” they are trolled and harassed? I have seen things this past year that are unbelievable, “famous” and well know influencers “calling out” and harassing other influencers for not doing enough or saying the right thing. Just yesterday I saw a Canadian designer calling out and demanding that her numerous followers go and harass Martha Stewart, Mark D Sikes, and Patrick Flynn to name just a few of the people she mentioned, not only for not “taking a stand” but for them simply liking a post of someone that she though was from “the other side.” I ask you how does this sort of behavior help us heal the divide in this country? Personally, I do not read blogs, or follow accounts for them to influence my values or politics or religion, I follow them for entertainment, information, recipes, book recommendations and more. I am sure that people will disagree and that is ok but I think that it is ok to disagree with people, that is what makes us different. Thank you for your kindness and compassion and for sharing your thoughts.

    • I agree. Why does a fashion/beauty/lifestyle blogger have to provide their opinion on every issue? No matter what you do, no matter what you say or don’t say, someone will be offended. Like Ashley, I am a processor. I may have an opinion but not be ready to express it publicly. Or I just may not want to express it. Everyone has opinions. Sometimes we’re inundated with them whether we want to hear them or not. I visit several blogs regularly to get away from all the mess in the world. Thank you, Ashley, for your honesty.

  12. Amen ❤️ Reading this brought a bit of calm to my my soul.
    It’s been a difficult week since Wednesday. People who were friends are no longer friends, family are no longer family. I can’t wrap my head around it and I’m making myself sick over it.
    So, thank you again.

  13. This is so wonderful! Thank you so much for being real and speaking against the cancel culture in the blogger/influencer world.
    Much love and hugs from your friend.

    Ebonee

  14. Beautifully said! God bless our country, and God bless you! You are a beautiful, inviting glow for so many of us.

  15. Where was your outrage with the BLM riots? First of all, I don’t condone any political violence of ANY kind. I just find it interesting (and tiring) that so many bloggers feel the need to share their “outrage” on a riot that lasted one day and failed to show similar outrage on BLM violence that lasted 7 months, caused damage to 150+ federal buildings, and destroyed hundreds of small businesses.
    Is it the pressure to be woke? Is it falling into the trap of virtue signaling and falling for critical race theory?
    If you’re going to speak out on your outrage toward Wednesday’s riot, your silence on the BLM riots shows inconsistency.
    I’ve been a loyal reader for years and I’m just disheartened.

    • IIRC the stretch of “riots” for 7+ months was due to multiple deaths/ brutalities by law enforcement.
      I guess if there was just one incident ….. there would’ve been just one riot.

      Btw, yes, all of these events are disheartening.

    • Hi Ashley,
      I’m so sorry you feel disheartened, that was exactly the opposite of my intention, and honestly I’m so sad that this was your takeaway. But I totally understand and hear where you are coming from. I supported the peaceful BLM protest 100%, but was so sad to see businesses burning when some of them turned violent. I do not condone violence or destruction of personal property of any kind by anyone. I’m not at all falling into a trap here.

      This post was not to condone anything that has happened in the past or future. This was a post more about how treating others with kindness and love is still something we can do even if it sometimes it feels hard.

  16. Thank you, Ashley. You’re the only blog I still follow because you’re not political. I really don’t need to hear everybody’s opinion. I love your blog as a distraction from what else I going on. Thank you for sharing Christ’s love for everyone which I think is the most important subject. Thank you.

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