About Ash

Growing up in the South, I watched the women in my life do “a little truth-telling.” The older I get, the more I realize that old-fashioned truth-telling, seasoned with sweet grace, makes relationships richer, normalizes our shared human experience and empowers us to live freely and fully.

Eugene Peterson said, “You write because there’s fire in your bones. You’ve got to do this whether anybody ever reads it or not.” I started writing this blog, when nobody was reading. I have been writing since I was a little girl. My first little novel was in the fourth grade and won a little award in the state of North Carolina. Writing eases my suffering, and reminds me that I am not alone.

I’ve got one hell of a past, my dear friend, and it gives me great content. How about you? Have you had a colorful upbringing? Well, I believe that gives us greater opportunity to understand more than we judge, and to love more than we hide. I believe our pain has purpose, and that true freedom and authentic, reciprocal relationship is possible. I’m a wife, mama, pastor, writer, voracious reader, teacher and prison chaplain. I love to serve on the Board of Directors for Treasures, my favorite non-profit, an outreach and support ministry based in Los Angeles, to women in the sex industry.

I’m passionate about justice, and transformation in people, communities and neighborhoods. I discovered this passion over the 14 years I lived in Los Angeles, where I met and married my husband Cody. We’re living in Harlem, NY, with our two boys, and pastor together on Wall Street, at Liberty Church, Downtown. I’m still committed to developing sustainable solutions to felt needs, as well as advocacy for the poor and marginalized. I am hopeful that change is possible through a restorative justice model, in partnership and collaboration with others, across multiple sectors. I desire to see change at both the individual and institutional level.

The joy of my life is my family and friends. Cody and I are committed to building a strong marriage, raising our family in an urban city, eating our way through New York, and inviting everyone we can to the table. There’s always room for more.

22 comments

  • Thank you for your Devotional Finding God in Hard Places. Sharing your experiences with others is a great ministry. Todays Devotion covering Matthew 13-32-33 states how we need to spread and share Gods word with others.
    Is there a way to receive copies of this devotional, “Finding God in HARD Places” for members of my church. My email address is cawoodridge@gmail.com .
    Do you speak at churches Freedom church is located in Porum Landing, Oklahoma. If it is possible please let us know.
    thank you,
    Rev. Charles A. Woodridge MD, M.Divinity

  • Hello. I’m a new follower of yours and I just had to end my night in saying what a joy it has been this week to study Finding God in Hard Places. It has been my favorite plan! I literally can’t wait to settle down at night to read before bed. Thank you so much for helping me. You taught me the importance of God and having Him in my life. God healed me after I prayed for a healing…moments after I practiced one of your exercises to communicate with our Father. He healed my body just like that. I would be a fool to let this night end without reaching out to thank you! Thank you for the bridge back to God. My life has been hard for over 20 years. (I’m 30 years old.). I’ve been grieving and lost for 3 years. My 16 month old daughter passed and life hasn’t been the same. You gave me hope and a way out. Thank you, thank you, thank you. God bless you and your beautiful family.

    • Oh Chana, I literally just wept reading this! Thank you for sharing with me – I prayed that the Lord would touch and heal and restore lives through this devotional, and I am so glad that we can get past our past together. I will be praying for you, and continuing to believe God to strengthen and heal and give you courage to go forward. You have a purpose and a future ahead of you, and I am full of hope for God’s movement in your life. You’re not alone, and I sure do wish we could share a meal, and hug each other. 🙂

  • I am loving Finding God in Hard Places… is there a book?? If so, how and where can I order it? Dottie Pitts.

    • Oh Dottie, I wish it was! I’m working on a book now, and I can’t wait to finish it and share it with you. Thank you for reading the devotional – it’s my honor to journey with you!

      • Wow! God is good. The bible study group I had been with for the past 5 years recently dispersed. I feel like I’ve been grieving for that group, there’s a significant hole there for sure. I had been praying but not very intentionally about this. I decided I would start looking for inspiration and started with my bible app & that’s where I found you! Finding God in hard places has been AWESOME!! I am now intentionally praying & looking for a group to study with. Meanwhile trying to do some studying on my own. Thank you, thank you! Denise

  • I just finished the plan Finding God in Hard Places and it was so encouraging. Right now I’m going through one of the hardest times in my life and I really apprieciated the devotionals. They were very fun to read. Thank you.

    • I am so thankful it was helpful to you Mayson! And I am sorry for what you are going through. I’ve been there – you’re not alone. So glad you stopped by!

  • Wow! God is good. The bible study group I had been with for the past 5 years recently dispersed. I feel like I’ve been grieving for that group, there’s a significant hole there for sure. I had been praying but not very intentionally about this. I decided I would start looking for inspiration and started with my bible app & that’s where I found you! Finding God in hard places has been AWESOME!! I am now intentionally praying & looking for a group to study with. Meanwhile trying to do some studying on my own. Thank you, thank you! Denise

  • My family and I have been completely under attack for the past 3 months. I am a year into my doctoral program and spent the past 16 years serving as a therapist for the underserved and lost. I thought life was good, and then it crashed. God is still blessing us and providing but the heartache is debilitating. My beautiful and talented 15 year old daughter attempted suicide over the stress in our family, my son has been imprisoned for something he didn’t do (not convicted)…a heinous accusation from his new wife. My husband just finished his masters in theology and is desperate to serve and be in minstery but the enemy keeps throwing up barriers, my mother passed away from cancer, my father gave his life to Christ at the age of 74 (that’s a mira c ulous blessing)…the list goes on. Your devotional met me where I needed it most. God used it to show me a deeper level of surrender. MY walls are years entrenched around trust, my vices are less about coping skills and more about instinctual reactions built out of surviving instead of thriving with Jesus. Thank you for being open to God and trusting him. Your desire to submit allowed his light to shine into some of the dark places in my heart and life. I needed a reality check reminding me that I can’t fight my battles better than God. KEEP writing, keep sharing, keep pursuing his voice and call on you’re life. I am blessed because of your choice to follow him.

  • I want to thank you for your devotional reading on finding God in the hard places. I have only recently (this last year) began my journey with Christ, and what you wrote has only led me closer. You have encouraged me in ways I didn’t think possible and strengthened my relationship with God further and further. I just wanted to thank you and bless you dearly. You have become part of my testimony and for that I am forever grateful. I wish you all the best.

    • Thank you for allowing me the privilege of walking with you on your journey – It’s a great honor. This was such an incredible encouragement to me! Thank you for stopping by!

  • New follower here! My brother-in-law, Augie told me to check you out as my sister and I co-blog together and he thought I would love your personality and the way you write. Annndddd he was very right haha I love your way of speaking truth but with grace and love! It’s something we strive for on our blog. I think today’s culture has a way of avoiding the difficult truths that we need to hear. I love that you tackle this issue! Been reading for a few weeks and I can’t wait to read more. Thank you for being obedient to our Father and writing these words ❤

    • This made my heart so happy! Thank you for sharing – Augie is seriously one of our favorite humans of all time. I am going to check out your blog. So glad we’re in this together!

  • Ash – I came across your YouVersion devotional and I absolutely fell in love with the way you think and write! Ever since then I’ve been looking for a book you’ve written, or something more to read that you’ve done, and FINALLY found your blog! I look forward to browsing around and learning more about you and seeing what else you have to say! It’s like you are in my brain and have the same train of thoughts as me. So thankful for you! God bless!

    • Thank you so much Lindsay! Your words means so much! Thanks for reading, sharing, and allowing me to journey with you!

  • God is speaking through you. Keep going! You are quite an inspiration! I’m reading through your devotional “Finding God in the Hard Places” and it is remarkably honest, relatable, and useful. I look forward to reading more 🙂

  • Thankful for authentic beauties like you, Ash. Just finished your devotional, “Finding God in the Hard Places.” It’s probably one of those I’ll want to come back to again and again just to remind myself of the principles of being completely surrendered to the Lord. Reading through some of the other comments, it’s apparent God is doing (and will do) mighty things through your and your family. Please know you are inspiring others, so be encouraged! And thanks for encouraging me! 😉

    • You are so kind! Thank you Amber for taking the time to visit and share this with me! Bless you as you continue on your journey with Christ. Sending you lots of love!

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