Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I’m now crawling on top of my soapbox – so bear with me.

I just saw a discussion on Twitter between Jon Acuff (author of Quitter, Start and Stuff Christians Like) and several women (and a few men) over this tweet:

My wife, a female speaker, would be hurt by that: “I added 5 speakers: 3 guys, 2 girls”

I’m not sure where the original tweet is, but Jon must have announced that he had added 5 speakers: 3 guys, 2 girls to I’m sure an upcoming conference of his.

Another woman responds to that tweet with: Surely you mean women…

And then they all came swimming to the bloody water. You would have thought hell had broken lose!

To which Jon responds to all of them with (which he didn’t have to):

I said that cause “Guys and Girls” is a phrase, guys and women is awkward.

Yes. That TOTALLY makes sense to me. But not this lady, excuse me, woman, she, along with several other women (and a few men), then began to go through an entire diatribe as to why it’s derogatory, disrespectful and hard for women to be respected in this world, especially as speakers (of course a speaker herself) when terms like that are used.

Which of course makes me roll my eyes and reminds me of the time I was helping run an event where we had invited several pastors and their spouses. I say spouses, because there were women pastors invited to this event too. Read on and you’ll see why…

At this particular event I encountered a woman. I won’t go into the long drawn out version where she had saved seats (not allowed to do) and asked a black gentleman in a wheelchair to move from the seat she had saved. Yeah, I won’t go into the irony and derogatoriness of that.

I of course saw this happen and as I went to handle the situation I addressed her as, “Ma’am.” Which for me, when I was growing up, if you were older than me, was a sign of respect. But oh no…not to her. She took HIGH offense and said: “Excuse me, it’s Pastor.”


I say all this because, well, it’s driving me nuts!!! Ladies, yes, we’ve had to come a long way to earn respect in this world, to have the right to vote and be seen as something other than a secretary, mother, wife and/or piece of meat.

But boy, (oh wait, probably shouldn’t use that term), have we gone in the wrong direction!!!

It’s time to get over it!! We’ve allowed ourselves to swing so far in the other direction that we can’t even take a joke or read a tweet without being offended.

 Yes, I know you want to be seen as someone respectable, I get that. Yes, I know you want to be somebody in what is still, really, a man’s world. I get that too. Been there, done that.

I understand where you are coming from! I was raised with a strong dad AND a strong mom. My dad’s a pastor, yet my mom spoke from the pulpit too (gasp!). And today, they travel and speak TOGETHER!

They raised two very strong daughters. And we were taught to value who we were and the gifts and talents God had given us. And some of those gifts were hard to deal with as a woman…

I’m Choleric as a personality trait with Command (according to Strength-finders) as my number one strength and Prophecy, Leadership and Discernment have a three-way tie as my spiritual gift. Talk about trying to make that work.

But my goodness, we have dug our heels into the ground so deep that we have forgotten how to be a lady. We expect respect, but really, it’s entitlement.

It’s ok that men are pastors, it’s ok that men are bosses and it’s ok that men be seen as the head of the household (gasp!).

And it’s ok that you speak too! It’s ok that you manage a team of both men and women, however it’s not ok that you be the head of the household (that’s another blog for another day) – but you certainly can marry into an equal partnership – which I’m grateful for every day that I have.

We have much to be proud of as women. God took great care in creating us as the beautiful, intricate and complex creatures that we are. But . . .

It’s time to let it go – the need for entitlement. I know I’m nobody in this big world to say anything, but I finally had to. It’s driving me crazy!

It’s ok that someone says he added: Guys and Girls…to a list of speakers. It really, really is ok. Don’t get your panties in a wad…get over it. Now stepping off soapbox.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

germaphobe for life.

I now feel an appropriate time has gone by that I can share this story. It also helps I am in a new state (literally) and in a new season in life,  but it’s hard to say with social media around.

Around this time last year, I was asked to lead worship for our church Women’s Retreat. I of course was honored and freaked out all at the same time, but that’s another story for maybe never a time. : )

My mom and sister took the journey with me and we had such a blast together. I remember laughing so much, but I couldn’t even tell you about what. I think it was mindless and stupid stuff that only family or really close friends find hilariously funny when they are at the same level of delirium with you.

After a full Friday of working and traveling, leading worship and listening to the speaker, we got back to our room that the 3 of us were sharing. Somehow I ended up in my own bed, not sure how that happened because usually the mom gets that honor. However, you’ll see why it was a good thing for her . . .

Now, if you know me even a little, you will know I’m a bit of a germaphobe. And I married one too. Public bathrooms, hotels, hotel beds, planes, etc . . . they all just gross me out. I have been known to yank off the comforter on the bed immediately (don’t tell me you haven’t read those MSN articles about maids that tell all . . . you know!!!) and then I rip back the sheets and investigate. If it’s remotely dirty I ask for a new set of sheets.

This particular time, I remember pulling back the sheets, but didn’t see anything and decided it was clear . . . oh how wrong I was.

I settled in, Mom was about to turn off the lights and Sister was already half asleep. And then it happened.

I moved my feet all the way down to the end of the bed and my feet found something wadded up down at the bottom. Without even thinking about it, I reached down there with my hands and pulled out the wad – an item in each hand. Slowly I pulled it out and then it registered what it was . . . Adidas MEN’S SOCKS?!?!?!?!

I have never in my life dropped and thrown something so fast in my life!

My mom and sister died laughing, to the point they nearly wet their pants and I was appalled to the point of screaming?!

And then of course my mind began racing . . . were these sheets never washed?! Did someone sneak in our room and take a nap?! Oh Lawd, did the bathroom get cleaned?! And on and on and on my mind went.

But here I am the guest worship leader and all the rooms are rented out for this retreat . . . what am I to do?! I pondered sleeping in my car. But just decided to fully clothe myself and sleep in the fetal position all night . . . which means I think I slept about 30 minutes.

I’m telling you, if it’s gonna happen to someone, it will happen to me.

So, new thing added to the ever growing and long checklist: Check the end of the bed for dirty socks.

P.S. Later that night, Mom was complaining about being cold and wishing she had a pair of socks and I said, "Oh, I have an extra pair!" "Oh good . . . you do?" (totally not getting it) "Yep, down at the end of the bed on the floor." 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Everyone Poops

So a couple of months ago a very hilarious blog post was traveling around Facebook. I have no idea who this lady is, and have never really followed her since then, but oh Mylanta, I laughed so hard when I read it. Number 1, it was hilarious, and Number 2, it was MY LIFE! I have lived that moment. Literally, my very first date consisted of a moment very similar to that. Let’s just say Babe’s Chicken made an appearance twice that night.

You see, for most of my life, I struggled with what I only knew to be IBS. But 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy…it ALL made sense. I was grateful to find the answer, but geez…it only took 15 years and a lot of embarrassing moments.

I say all this now because even though I’m 95% better, I still have moments, especially when I get a little lazy with my eating…and then of course my sweet husband has to haul butt home like Bo Duke.

We have a very open and honest marriage when it comes to this topic. I know a lot of marriages that don’t even discuss their habits, but well, that’s not us. We laugh a lot about our “moments.”

So one day last week I was in Starbucks where a lot of Nashville celebrities like to hang out. I can only say thus far I have seen D and F listers. And by that I mean this week I saw Colton Dixon from this last American Idol and then last week I saw Jason Hervey. You may say, WHO?! But if you were a child of the 80s, you’ll remember a very popular show, The Wonder Years. This guy was the mean, yet cute, older brother. I always did like him. Apparently even my mom did. I told her I saw him, and she goes, “Oh, the good looking one?!” Yes mom, yes it was. : )

Although, he's not now. And man is he SHORT?! Of course I didn’t say anything to him, he was in a meeting. But fast forward to about 45 minutes later.

While I’m sitting in Bux, I begin to feel the urge to use the facilities. I had just gotten a massage, and the lady had told me that I would begin expelling toxins – and let’s just say, the expelling was beginning.

I went to use the ladies room, and low and behold it was OUT OF ORDER?! You have to know, I don’t’ go as soon as I feel the urge, I wait until the very last possible second. I can’t even tell you why – other than I’m afraid I’ll miss something. I have been that way since I was 3 years old. My own husband will take whatever’s out of my hands and say, “GO!” because I’ve begun to do, “the dance.”

So I walk up, see the sign, and panic. I begin pacing and dancing outside the men’s restroom, but it’s locked too. And this guy must have been in there for at least 10 minutes, and let me say how excited I was to use the facilities after him.

I begin looking at my surroundings to see where I can bolt to. But keep in mind, I’ve already asked a nice gentlemen to watch my stuff in Bux while I step away to use the facilities. That means I’d have to go over there, pack up my stuff and then run for the hills. I have waited too long at this point to do that, so my only choice is to wait.

FINALLY, the guy leaves, I step in, hold my breath and do my business.

I won’t go into any more details other than whoever used it after me was going to hate me.

And guess who was waiting outside the door after me? Yep. Wonder Years boy. And of course I did what any self-respecting adult would do, I blamed it on the guy before me. And of course text my husband what happened. : )

Happy Friday!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy 1 Year Anniversary, Brent Warren!

Being silly in Paris
At this time last year (September 16) I was getting ready to walk down the aisle. I had moved out of my town-home with two of my besties (one being my sister) and moved in with my parents. I look back now and treasure those 2 weeks I had with just my family of four…it hadn’t been like that since I moved away to college…and it never will be again…but that’s ok. It was a sweet time I will never forget.

I woke up very calm that day, as if it was just another day. All of my bridesmaids came over for brunch that morning that my amazing mom made – and I just remember laughing A LOT. Before I knew it, was time to head over to the church and get ready and take pictures.

Celebrating after "The Kiss"
I remember the day being very peaceful. We did happen to run late to the church (shocking) – but for the most part I remained calm. The funniest moment of the day was getting a “Hey Tell” message from my sister saying she was going to be late because she just had gotten chased in Central Market by a large boy with a red balloon. My mom and I laughed so hard at the visual she gave us. She survived and made it just fine.

I actually didn’t cry at all the whole day. Everyone around me kept tearing up – out of happiness…but I stayed calm. I just remember feeling prepared for this day. I had waited a long time, and there was peace in knowing that this was right. No need to cry, just a day of laughter and celebration.

My sweet Pappaw and Dad performed the wedding and even still I kept it together. And the moment I walked down the aisle, when I saw Brent, rather than tear up, I just grinned…a lot. I joke now that I thought he would cry when I walked down the aisle. He didn’t. Such a let down (wink). He just grinned a lot too.

State Fair of Texas! (Brent's 1st)
Brent Warren has given me the best year of my life. I have laughed so much. Outside of my own family, he is the one person I can be an absolute dork with. We have laughed so hard at each other over the dumbest things. I’d try and share them with you, but you wouldn’t get it.

This year has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Lots of firsts we’ve experienced together (First Thanksgiving, First Christmas, First Valentines’, First Dinners, First time to the State Fair, First moves, etc.)

And for the first 11 months, we have lived temporarily in his grandmother’s house, which we were so very grateful to have while we got our feet on the ground. Little did we know that a month later we would be picking up those feet rather quickly and moving to Nashville – and moving into another temporary living situation. We laugh that that has been our word for this year – temporary. Yet, we know there is something quite permanent in always being together. No matter where we go or where we live – he will be my home. It will always be an adventure – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
1st Christmas

He has given me the greatest memories this year. I am beyond grateful for the gift that he is to me. The Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He brought him into my life. I joke that it sure did take him (Brent) long enough to get here. But it was the absolute best and perfect timing. God has a way of knowing what He’s doing – even when I try and tell Him otherwise (and I do that a lot).

I cannot wait to spend the next 70 years with you, Brent Warren. Yes, you heard that right. There are 10 years between us, so you better stay young. :)

Auditioning for the Amazing Race!
Thank you for being the BEST best friend, for loving me unconditionally, for believing in me when I don’t always believe in myself, thank you for your countless prayers, your smiles and your laughter, for your continued patience and understanding over the silliest meltdowns (even the one last night) – and thank you for pursuing Jesus with all of your heart and leading our family of two well.

I love you with all of my hearts. Happy Anniversary, Babe. We made it 1 year – miracles still happen?!

1 year
12 months
52 weeks
365 days
52 bascettis
228 honeymoon hours in London and Paris
7 days pondering getting a puppy
57 Adele song plays
14 dances
42 drives to Moms & Pops
37 chipotle lime chicken breasts
36,987 texts
288 morning prayers
2 ½ broken gray glasses
8 cans of hairspray :)
1,000,001 kisses
414 iced Trenta unsweet no water green teas
577 iced Venti coffees with LIGHT cream
28 Saturday mornings at Fuzzy’s
3 states crossed to our new home…
…and 1 very, very happy woman!

“…Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This past week my sister came into town for vacation. She really didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. Once Brent and I found out we were moving to Nashville, the following day I booked my sister a ticket to visit us. She’s a trooper to spend her vacation with us, in a temporary house, with tons of boxes, sleeping on a twin bed, sharing a bathroom with her sister AND (stinky) brother-in-law. I’m sure she would have preferred the beach, but I had my ways of convincing her, one being cheese grits.

To say we laughed a lot this week is an understatement. It’s been a blast. And I was very sad to put her back on the plane. I did my best to convince her to move here. But she said, “No way! You don’t have Central Market!” : )

On Labor Day we took a journey over to Cincinnati to see my parents, which is only 4 hours away. It’s taking some serious getting used to the fact that if you drive 4 hours, you are actually OUTSIDE your state. In Texas, you can drive 8 hours and STILL be in the great state of Texas.

Anyways, to drive to Cincinnati, you have to go through Kentucky. And let me just say, I don’t have much of a good track record with Kentuckians thus far.

When I went and picked up my sister from the airport, my Texas driving skillz apparently upset a Kentucky “gentleman.” Unfortunately for him, when he decided to “school” me on the art of driving, he didn’t quite know what he was getting into. I might be little, but I’m mighty in spirit. Let’s just say, he walked away quickly. And that’s without my 6’5” husband being there. (Don’t worry…I behaved myself. He just had to be reminded how to speak to a lady.)

So after visiting my parents, on our way back to Nashville, we stopped in Kentucky to fuel up, literally and physically. While popping in to the local “Krogers”…it’s customary to add an “s” in small towns by the way…I was asked a question by a lady that I can honestly say I’ve never imagined being asked in my life, nor ever really expected.

Keep in mind I’m dressed pretty trendy. On road trips you never know with me, but this time I actually wasn’t in sweats. I was in cute jeans, a t-shirt and a trendy scarf. I say all that to give you a point of reference.

Right when I grabbed the Advil, I heard an “Excuse me.” I at first thought she wanted around me, so I moved and said, “No problem.” But THEN, she said, “No, I actually need to ask you a question.“ . . . (Uh oh)

“Do you know if jock itch is the same thing as athlete’s foot?”

Yeah, read that again.

To say I was stunned is an understatement. First of all, why in the WORLD do I look like I would know the answer to that?!?! And second of all, I have NO earthly idea?! I am not a mom, a boy and I sure hope I don’t look like I am plagued by either of those.

I think I just stared at her for a good minute and blinked – and the first thing out of my mouth was, “OH! I don’t know…there should be some gold bond over there somewhere, I’m sure that will help.” And then I quickly backed up, found my sister and we RAN for the door.

My sister and I laughed the whole way back. That question stayed on repeat for the rest of the drive. And the more tired you are…the funnier it is. The best response was from Brent when I told him what I had been asked: “OH MY LORD…NO they are NOT the same thing?!?!”

So, please don’t ever ask me that question. I have no earthly idea. Nor want to.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Trader Joe's

I’ve actually never been inside a Trader Joe’s until we moved to Nashville. They had just opened one in Ft. Worth a couple of months ago, but I never braved it. Word on the street was that the lines were out the door and if you parked anywhere other than the parking lot, they were towing cars left and right.

I had been quite fine with my Central Market. I calculated that have probably been going to the one in Southlake at LEAST once a week since it opened. I can honestly say no grocery store has ever made me happy. In fact, I have always dreaded going. Up until Central Market opened.

It was my happy place. And once I went gluten-free 2 years ago, it became even MORE of a happy place. I have lots of special memories in that one in Southlake. Memories with my former roomies (we’d pack up and head there and do our grocery shopping together) and our favorite cashier, Carlos, memories with my mom – she even embarrassed me once in front of “hot guy”…never did get his name.

And my sweetest memory of all is telling my husband, when we were dating, that I loved him for the first time.

You see, we had only been dating a couple of weeks before he said he loved me. Homeboy didn’t play around. For the first time in my life – I didn’t say the words right back. I actually looked him dead in the eye, and rather than say the words back, before I could stop myself, I said, “I’m going to have to think about that.” And you know what? He looked me right in the eye and said, “I understand. Take all the time you need.” Yep, I love that man.

So one day, a week later, after we spent the whole day together – we pulled into the Central Market parking lot and before we got out, I said, “I need to tell you something.” . . . “I love you.” No pomp and circumstance, no fireworks, no angels singing “Hallelujah.” Just the sweet realization that you would never say those words to any other love interest for the rest of your life – except that person – the love of your life.

Ok, this is getting too serious because it’s making me tear up.

Remember how I said moving is a crisis? Still true.

So I say all that to pick up a few days later when I went to Trader Joe’s. Central Market is a Texas thing. Now more than ever, oh how I wish they would branch out. Believe me, my prayer life has just increased.

People had told me that Trader Joe’s was even better – but THEY LIED!

Brent and I walk in (he’s sweet like that to do the shopping with me)…and as we start walking around, I get overwhelmed. Aisle after aisle I start to realize how DIFFERENT it actually is. And then I’m so thankful I had made a last minute run to Central before I left. You should have seen the look on Brent’s face when I brought grocery bags home to my parents for him to somehow fit into our already full car (sheepish grin).

I walk down the next aisle and am overcome with immense sadness. Brent sees it and asks me if I’m ok. I respond, “I’m just so sad. It’s so stupid…but I miss my Central Market. I could even start crying”

“It’s not stupid, it’s ok. It was your place – you knew where everything was.” (Again, love that man.)

So we head up the next aisle, him looking at one side and me looking at the other. And all of a sudden, the welling up begins (I’m now really familiar with the feeling). I turn my head so no one sees me, because MY GOSH, I’m in the middle of a grocery store. And there are HIPPIES all around me?!? I didn’t fear them seeing me as much as I feared them stopping and giving me a hug.

Brent turns to ask me a question and double takes – and before I know it, with one step – he moves from one side of the large aisle to the other where I am and just holds me while I cry. In the middle of a grocery store. I thought the underwear drawer was bad – I think this was worse.

Through the hiccups, I just kept saying, “This is so stupid – but I miss it. I miss it so bad.”

He continued to hold me, unsure of what to do next. But asked if there was another store we could go to.

(Hiccup)…”I think there is a Whole Foods Market around the corner.”

“YES! Whole Foods, let’s go!”

I think he was even willing to call Central Market and have them deliver, STAT.

We found the Whole Foods, and although it wasn’t the same – it will do for now – until I get my first care package in the mail from my mom and sister. And Thanksgiving, you better believe I will be stocking up!

Trader Joe’s on the other hand. All hype. No thanks. I love my Central Market way better.

P.S. I’ll try and make the next post about something other than breaking down. : )

Saturday, September 1, 2012

underwear drawer meltdown

So, last month…right around the time when work was a bit more stressful than normal and details of “the move” were in full swing…I had a slight breakdown.

Up until this point, I was actually quite proud of myself for handling “the move” well. I had handled the details extremely calm and peacefully – but, the calm wore off quite quickly.

I’m not usually a crier unless I’m stressed to the ultimate max…or overly exhausted. Both of these happened to fall together at the same time.

The night before this had happened, Brent and I'd had a “discussion”…which didn’t end well. In the Warren household we don’t always abide by the whole “don’t go to bed angry” thing…people, sometimes its necessary to sleep it off.

So, the next morning, we made up and then I asked him to be honest with me about something. If there’s anything neither of us have a hard time being, that’s honest. Don’t ask us what we think if you don’t really want to hear it – because we will tell you.

Any other time I would have been fine hearing it…but not this time.

After he told me “the truth”…I walked away and headed back to our room to finish getting ready for the day. I headed to the underwear drawer – you know, the basic necessity to face the day.

I opened it, looked inside, and before I knew it I could feel the welling up begin…

I tried to talk myself out of it, “Ashley, seriously?! You’re going to lose it over this?” “For gosh sakes, you’re going to lose it right here in your underwear drawer?”

And people, yes I did! And we’re talking the ugly kind of crying. I don’t think I’ve cried like that since I was a kid.

About that time, Brent comes walking around the corner and starts to ask me a question, “Hey babe, do you know whhh (GASP)…BABE!!!…WHAT HAPPENED?!?!”

It was so bad I couldn’t even answer him. I had liquid flowing from every orifice on my face. To quote my friend, Margo, it was “WHOAH BAD.”

He was extremely precious and sat on the bed and held me why I continued to make an even bigger mess on his shoulder…until I finally got the words out. Not even sure if they made sense…but he pretended to understand.

Thank God for him.

When they say moving is a crisis…it’s so true. So there you have it – sometimes you lose it in your car, your bathroom (you know, so you can watch yourself ugly cry and say, “I did my best, I did my best!!!”)…and apparently sometimes even in your underwear drawer. And you know what? It’s ok. : )