She has a Master of Arts in Family Life Education from the Oxford Graduate School and studied at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While Curriculum Editor at Thomas Nelson, Ashley was a part of the team that first conceived the Inscribed Series. She subsequently became the author of one of its books, Inseparable: Who I Am, Was, and Will Be in Christ.
Ashley, her husband, and their son live in Bellingham, Washington.
What started you on your writing journey?
I’ve always been passionate about helping others know and love God, and teaching has always come naturally to me. I’ve loved writing since the moment I learned the alphabet and when I was nine, I wrote in a school essay that I’d be an editor and an author someday. And here we are!
Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often includes a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Too many to count. We recently moved for the third time in a year and definitely didn’t plan things out that way. It has been amazing the way God has provided for our needs, in so many ways, but also relationally. I’ve literally made friends with people because I happened to sit down on a particular bench at the mall or because I happened to look out the window at the right time at a restaurant. And these people are believers, which is pretty amazing to find “happenstance” in the Pacific Northwest.
Inseparable takes a look at our identity in Christ, based out of the book of Romans, though it draws from the grand narrative of Scripture. For most of my youth, I really struggled with whether God truly loved me. I had experienced a lot of traumatic things as a kid and didn’t know how to reconcile those events with a loving God. I figured there was something wrong with me or something I’d done to deserve it all.
In college, I had an incredible mentor who came alongside me and helped me see the freedom of what it means to be in Christ. Seeing myself through that lens totally changed things for me and for the past ten or fifteen years I’ve had this message building in my heart. It’s amazing to see how God has worked through it, and the book that is now in people’s hands.
What was the genesis for the project, and how has it changed you?
A few years ago, I was the curriculum editor at Thomas Nelson. My boss Frank Couch and I, had a dream of creating a unique collection of interactive Bible study books written by women who would interact together in an unprecedented author community. We started asking God to bring us the right authors and show us the way. At the time I was serving as the editor and never dreamed that I’d have the opportunity to write as a part of this group! But as the Lord would have it, here we are. It would be impossible to be a part of something like this and not be changed, but I’m still “just me.”
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
My comfort foods are all from my home of New Mexico and not usually found anywhere else, so I don’t get to eat them very often (unless I make them myself)! Red or green chile enchiladas and sopapillas with honey at the top of the list. Another unusual “comfort food” for me is shaved ice. I have no idea why. It’s just sugar and water but I’m sort of obsessed. I’m almost as snobby about shaved ice as I am about Mexican food.
If you knew you couldn’t fail, what dream would you pursue?
Founding and teaching in a higher education institution that is focused on world change through Bible study. And possibly owning my own shaved ice food truck.
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
The story of Joseph in Genesis really resonates with me. There have been so many times that I’ve felt like I was rotting in a prison, but those were the times God was refining me and preparing me for the things He had coming next. Genesis 50:20 is very close to my heart, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (ESV)
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Probably the unqualified leader of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Before we moved to Washington state, we had two fur babies—an Australian cattle dog named Bradshaw and a terrier mutt named Molly. We had to re-home them with family members when we moved, but they were part of our lives for about nine years. I miss them!
Thanks, Ashley! It’s great having you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Ashley, visit her website.
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