Friday, August 19, 2016

Gal Pal Society: Ashley

Ashley: 28

The term "best friend" has always seemed adolescent in nature, almost petty even, until I became an adult and found one. My idea of what a best friend was as a child was someone that must like everything I like. or have all the same opinions and interests as me. Of course as you age that false idea becomes more and more invalidated, and from someone that has always identified as a "loner" it hasn't been the simplest process to make lasting friendships. Then came along Ashley, and it wasn't long before our beautiful friendship came to be. Our friendship is based on honesty, transparency, and pure unquestionable love, which in past female friendships I've never experienced. In most human interactions there's this strong sense of "give and take", which leaves us feeling unfulfilled and needy, but in a genuine friendship there is no limiting the "giving" aspect, and I'm thankful this is the case with mine and Ashley's friendship. We have children close in age, many similarities in our personalities and even personal life, but a true bond isn't only formed through the positives in life, but more so the trials. I've seen Ashley struggle through things that I can only imagine, and she has been on the receiving end of countless vent sessions regarding my own battles; these things and more have only strengthened our bond. She's determined, selfless, caring, sincere, dependable, genuine, passionate, encouraging, and an all out positive person.
I admire the woman Ashley is, and continues to grow to be, as a wife, a mother and most importantly a daughter of Christ.God knew what he was doing by introducing us at such a specific time in our lives, and I'm nothing but blessed knowing her. I can say in confidence she is my BEST FRIEND.

Ashley Poynter.

Who is a female that inspires you greatly?
Mary (a member of our church, and community group we hold once a week) has been a huge impact, because she is overly generous, and knowledgeable of the Bible. She’s logical and uses the Bible as her number one influence at all times. If I could surround herself myself with one person 24/7 it’d be Mary. Although her walk has been vastly different than my own, she has been a powerful influence. Mary has welcomed my family into an intimate prayer group that gathers once a week, which is filled with people from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. It has been really good for my husband and I, and has helped us become more bold in our faith! I'm so grateful for Mary.

When do you feel most confident?
“Quiet time” with the Lord first thing in the morning lays the foundation for the remainder of my day and my encounters with other people. It gives me time to reflect and receive the word which helps me feel confident to face whatever the day has in store.

What inspires you?
My kids inspire and motivate me everyday to be a more Godly mother. They make me want to do all I'm possibly capable of to provide for their needs, both physically and emotionally. Our church family is another major inspiration because of the powerful  “family unit” within our church body, that I  didn’t have in my catholic upbringing. It makes it even more special that my children have so many amazing people in their lives, that love them dearly.

What is most important in a female friendship?
Being honest, open, and translucent. Everything you do or say should be out of love, first and foremost, ultimately pointing back to God and his kingdom.

What were you like as a kid?
I had dreams of being the president or a geriatric doctor. I would say I was caring  and very adventurous. I had a strong desire to be friends with everyone, which I still have to this day. I mainly found friendships with the boys, and related to them easier than my fellow female classmates, because I would classify myself as a tom boy, naturally.  The fact I had two male siblings contributed to this greatly, as well.

What advice would you give your daughter Aubrey regarding female friendships?How will you  instill confidence in her early on?
Be a light, love everyone unconditionally, and respect them no matter their background or appearance. I currently try to encourage her to try new things, and constantly remind her she’s capable of anything. Through our homeschooling she has shown frustration towards certain activities that don’t come as naturally so I try to use those moments as a learning experience and advise her to take a deep breath and ask for help.

What’s a habit you’ve adapted to strengthen friendships, and connect to other women?
I've made an effort to hold women’s bible studies at my home once a week for several years now.I try to make it a habit to reach out to women in my life throughout the week by sending an encouraging text, and putting forth the effort to connect with someone I may not necessarily talk to often. I know when I personally receive unexpected kind words, it's super uplifting and so that's something I strive to do for others.

If you could have coffee with any female currently living or past, whom would it be? Why?
Janis Joplin, because I’ve always felt like I should’ve lived back in the 60’s- 70’s and her music is some of my all time favorite. I’ve always had a passion for music, so to hear her life story and how she began her music career from her directly would’ve been super cool.

Where do you think your passion from music came from?
My dad introduced the old rock and roll to me at a very young age. He’d drive me around in the family compact car that broke down quite often, and blast anything from the Beatles, to the Rolling Stones, and The Who. I refused to have a television in my bedroom growing up, but HAD to have my cd player to listen to my favorite bands. I became dj for my high school's radio channel, which was something I became quite passionate about, and got a thrill out of playing music that hadn’t became mainstream yet. I still am a rock-n-roller at heart, taking my dad to see all of his favorite bands when they come to town. I feel like it’s only fair to share those moments with him, since he spurred my attraction to music in the first place. It’s the special bond we still hold with one another.

If you could learn to play any instrument, which would it be?
I have a thing for guitarists in bands, because I think there are so many ways to play and portray an array of different emotions through the sound. I’ve wanted to learn to play for so long.

You're definitely a strong-headed, independent and hard working woman. Is there anyone in particular that taught you to be this way?
My mother Kim, was an extremely hard worker, as was my father so there was always an equality
  between them when it came to finances. She has always been someone to do things on her own terms without relying to heavily on others, which at a young age showed me how to be independent. Even though I'm grown with my own family, I know I can still confide in my mom for an absolute honest, unbiased opinion which is something I can appreciate now. Ashley, I'll make this short and sweet. I love you, and your family terribly. You restored my faith in female friendships, and I don't for a second take ours for granted. I can't wait to see where this bond takes us in life, and fondly look forward to more goofiness, laughter, and the friendships that will continue to grow between our kiddos. (We're in trouble with the oldest ones!) Love ya, Nelly. Stay gangster!



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