Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why I will Always LOVE Working with Teenagers...

Hey Kanakuk Friends,
It's funny when you blog and you think about 56.4 things to blog about and other days it's just 1 thing. Just one thing you want to type...express, encourage, or just write your heart. That's today for me...just my heart.

This summer would have been my 16th summer at K2. I was such a bonehead when I got hired in college. Our staff now is so incredible but it literally is an act of Jesus that I ever got a call from Kanakuk. 16 summers of teens...being immersed into their lives, hearing all the good-the bad-the hard-the sad-the horrific-and everything in between, just learning so much from them. Some moments filing them under "remember to never do this with my kids when they are teens." Some moments as I watch the rare gal that still has an innocence and genuine spirit to her and thinking..."go talk to her and see what her parents did." Always learning in those 16 years...always.

I am in a little season on life...little hearts, little toes, little hearts. But my summers were full of big kids, big problems, big dreams and big decisions. K1 will fill my heart just like K2 did...but I am pretty sure that K2 and teenage ministry will always be there. To sit down with a teenage girl that is so desperate for Jesus and for Jesus to use a goofy director of a summer kamp...yep, that will be missed. So enough of the missing it...why am I blogging about it?

So many avenues to go with this...but in summation of whether you are a mom of teens, a discipler of teens (all K2 staff...THAT'S YOU!), teenage ministry full time or just volunteer for teen retreats...don't lose hope in them! EVER. They need to be believed in. They need hope and love and OUR TIME. They need our face, not face time with their phone. They need hugs, not likes to their instagram accounts. They need truth, not more whatevers. They need the unconditional, ever powerful unending grace and love from a Savior that created them and has a wonderful, beautiful story written just for them.

They might be hormonal and a bit cray-cray but they need YOU...

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Teenagers...come hang out here for your summer!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Never Ending Laundry is Good, Really Good, for Me...

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Hey Kanakuk Friends,
It's Tuesday...I like Tuesdays. They are slow in our house and filled with snuggles and a choo-choo show and lots of POP cereal. My littles love that stuff. It was also overflowing with LAUNDRY. As I sat with friends and lots of kids this morning for an impromptu play-date I folded laundry...lots of laundry...like 3 baskets full...that had sat there for 2 weeks. Oh the shame...

As I sat down to blog today it's all I could think of...laundry. I honestly don't mind it. We do cloth diapers so it's a part of my every day-and-a-half life. But I chuckled as I pondered laundry because I just kept feeling the message of...laundry is so good for you Ashley. Over and over...

So Why? Why is never ending laundry so so good for me...because I have to see Jesus in the mundane of life. The routine, the scheduled, the cycle of life...where is Jesus there? I think about women on mission in Africa (why is it always Africa...), college students weekend retreats for Passion and more, small business owners that are women who navigate it all...they must see Jesus more in their life. What a joke to the Lord? How I limit Him? Laundry is good for me because as I sit in a quiet house most times folding the 3 basket my soul feels His peace. My heart senses my calling right now and I'm at rest. I breathe deep as I know faithfulness and steadfastness are qualities deepening in my soul during these years. So laundry...I hope it doesn't end...because I see Jesus in each basket.

What feels mundane in your life? Do you believe Jesus is there, even in the small of your life?

* College staff and teenage girls: send this link of a blog post to young moms you babysit for or know...older sisters or your mentor that has young ones. Add a note that you see Jesus in their life...it will literally make their day!

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Hey Moms, Send your kiddos to KANAKUK! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Simplicity...

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Hey Kanakuk Friends,
I know I have posted on Simplicity somewhat recently (here) but it continues to be a word, a concept, I am just entrenched in. My heart feels absorbed in this simplicity of life. I wrestle with wanting to sell our home and our clothes and move to a farm with a teeny, tiny farm house and live off the land. (Some of you might have giggled thinking "she's funny." Alas, that is no joke). I just crave chores for my kids, sunlight beaming in through open windows, picking the ripened vegetables each day, dirt in my nails and no form of social media anywhere in my home...

Naive? Maybe. Crazy? Totally. Serious? Yes and No.

What needs to be simplified in your life? Focus on the simplistic...the friendships, the moments, the laughter, and even the chaos at times.

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Seriously, come to the most wonderful place ever! Kanakuk!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Minivan Moments...


Hey Kanakuk Friends,
Oh the joys of minivans. Let me be the first to say I LOVE OUR SWAGGER WAGON! Seriously I love it. I was never that girl totally opposed, or even slighlty opposed, to the life of minivans. Minivans can say a lot about your life...what matters, what state it's in and probably so much more. Good things minivans can't talk...oh the stories they would tell.

So let's get real...here is my minivan. It honestly shows my heart and life right now. It's a bit in disarray but yet perfectly imperfect all at the same time. It shows that the son, referred to as the beast, never AND I MEAN NEVER keeps shoes on. It tells you Belle love dolls and taking care of little ones. Books are devoured in our house...our firstborn loves the adventures of Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy! (Thank you free books from Dolly Parton!). It also shows you we are never without snacks and sippy cups. And funny enough it shows my peaceful space of yoga, the blue mat in the corner. Yep, I'm a yoga girl! I'm still new. It's a splurge for our family but the hunter (my husband) says it's all worth it b/c I love it so much! I do! It's an hour where I get told what to do, sweat like I just pounded the pavement for 10 miles, and stretch all the stress away. I pray or try and think about nothing or just try and do the crazy move the teacher is doing. No plug for you all to do yoga...just showing you my minivan.

So there is a piece of me...well, a piece of my minivan. Which to me equals a piece of my heart...
This is the trunk...my husband is always ready to shoot something. So much camo!


Oh and we have toilet paper. Why you ask yourself? Because this family went camping with all 4 children in one tent, overnight! It was hysterical! And Memorable! And perfect! And chaotic! And sleepless...

Look at your car...what's it say about your heart?

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
BEST SUMMER CAMP EVER! Here! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...Change...

{source}


Hey Friends,
Who knew there are so many inspiring quotes on change...seriously! I feel so inspired just from finding a picture for this post. I kid.

So here is the next addition to the "What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...". You can find part 1 here, part 2 here, the popular part 3 here and part 4 here.

Junior high and high school are years I must admit I squirm to look back on. Mistakes and ego and just loud insecurities. I must admit the thought of my 10 year reunion was not one of glee or nostalgia...more of just awkwardness and still at 33 years old loud insecurities...so not much has changed...ha!

Looking back to those days are what prompts these series of posts...for life in the Robbins' home right now Change is something that is moving like a freight train. So therefore today's post for teens...Change! What I wish I could tell my teenage self about...Change.

1. It happens. Change will come. You will change. Life will change. Others will change. Simple to the point.

2. I just typed "embrace it" and even for my heart that seems overwhelming and scary. How do we embrace change when it feels like for women change is all things scary. But what if we looked at change and embraced not the change but the One who is in charge of that change? (hello...conviction in my life!)

3. Cling to Jesus when the change feels hard or scary. Oh sweet friends/girls...I type with tears in my eyes to think of life for some of you. For someone reading this maybe last night your folks sat you down and said "we are separating." For someone reading this maybe all your friends have walked away from you this year. For someone reading this your dad got transferred jobs so at Christmas you are moving to a new town and new school. Sweet friend, cling to Jesus. Ashley, cling to Jesus. What if we really did? What if the vision of holding as tightly as you can the hand of your Everlasting Father was ever at the forefront of your mind and heart. My husband has been an anchor to my overwhelmed soul. He sent me this verse the other day...

" My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness (Ashley paraphrase: perfected in changing life on you.) Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me."

Oh, Jesus, Dwell in me...

4. It may just be what makes you, YOU. If we believe our journey is ever unfolding before us then change is inevitable. So even in the midst of hard change, fun change, great change, exciting change...change is what tends to make our reflection more like our Maker. Why does it hurt so very much to be more like Jesus? Ponder that...the answer makes me giggle and nod my head at myself and say "bless her heart" (about myself). I forget sometimes who I am and whose I am...

5. Change...I think I am daily learning that with any change, good or hard, comes with a question. Who do I trust? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."

Hold hands with Him...He's got this!

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Kanakuk...life changing summer camp!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's just 1 number difference...

Hey Friends,
I sat at the keyboard for like 10 minutes not quite sure how to begin.
Shay and I are moving our summer camp director roles from K-2 to K-1. It all started when Kris Cooper and his wife Diane, long time K-1 Directors and dear friends of ours closed a 37-year chapter of ministry at Kanakuk. We can't even begin to imagine filling their shoes and we will miss them!
I keep telling myself that moving from K-2 to K-1 is just 1 number difference...just one simple number.
But it's not. It's 250 teenage girls staring at me like I'm crazy as I try my best to get some laughs during our Komo Rules talk. It's being the caboose in triathlete every day...literally always last. It's the shaving parties during FOB, the dance parties to Lecrae and the girl pageants when you make over your counselor. It's all those things that make this so much more than just a 1 number move.

Shay and I are so excited to be on this crazy twist of a turn in moving to K-1. It's good. It's really good...mostly in part because Jesus is truly at the center of it. K-2 has been my home for 15 years, 12 years being full-time. Trish, although honors me like a co-director of K-2, is the best executive director in the whole wide world. We know each other so well and I treasure all she has taught me. She saw potential in me...she shouldn't have because I was a mess of a 19 year old. Joe and DJ, oh tears tears...I love your umbrella of love, friendship, laughter, tears and grace. You have poured your guts into Shay and I. You have taught with example and then used words. You have sacrificed so much for us to have the amazing life of being directors for this amazing Kamp that you basically built with your own two hands. Oh our hearts will miss you (I know a rather dramatic statement as we are just going to K-1 for the summer months but you know what I mean!) The summer staff teams...past and present...I have memories, so many memories that could fill all of K-2! So much laughter! I will treasure those. KAMPERS! Some of you "Kampers" are now moms (what??!!!) and wives and business women and church leaders and amazing women...You made me the woman I am in so many ways. Kampers are what make Kanakuk. Kampers are what make K-2 so dear to me. Kampers are what bring life and laughter to the gates. You bring magical moments when you raise your hands in worship. You bring the rawest of hearts in your questions in 1-on-1's. You make Kanakuk…Kamp to me. 

This little blog will stay somewhat the same as I don't think many 10 year olds read blogs. Maybe I'm wrong...but I guess we are just expanding the gaze. Or maybe narrowing it to just what Jesus puts on my heart. No matter the age or Kamp...just Jesus. That's probably the best idea anyways. 

Our mission is still the same. I love the heart of Kanakuk Kamps! I love the heart of Jesus that dwells in every office at Kanakuk Kamps. May we always be about our Father's heart…





Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
THE BEST CAMP EVER! Here!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beginnings...


Hey Friends,
Wow...you know when you have...no.
It's been too long. I truly never intended...no.
Hello again blog world...no.

Beginning is so hard. It feels like I have been out of the blog game for years...though according to my last post it's only been a handful of months. It's always akward. It's always a struggle to begin again. I love this blog although I hate social media. I always struggle with the tension in my head and heart of this whole world of the ever-instantly-changing-tech-social-media world we are in. I embrace but with my arms up against it. I spend time on it but always want the time to be a small portion in my life. It's tension...but a healthy one.

So I typed and thought...typed some more then erased...and for this blog and it's author...it's a beginning. A beginning to continue with some things and a beginning to continue to write on this little blog. Dream on the blog with you. Allowing Jesus to prayerfully capture our hearts. Maybe give you perspective for the years you are in. I am no expert or claim to have it all together. Gee whiz I'm not even sure I brushed my teeth today. So with beginnings...let's introduce ourselves...

About this writer...
1. i pray each day i'm more like Jesus.
2. i fail each day at being like Jesus.
3. i desperately need and love the lavishing of grace and love from Jesus.

That's really all you need to know...my heart is His, my home is full of a crazy man of 8 years, 4 little people that are on loan from Jesus to us and a camp that has captured my heart so I work for them b/c i love this camp!

Let's begin, okay?

Be awesome & Love Jesus,
ashley

www.kanakukashley.com


Friday, April 4, 2014

Simplicity...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Okay, let me first state the obvi...how much am I obsessed with Katie Daisy prints! I love her and them! Okay, I don't know her but if I did I'm just sure we would be best friends (along with Reese...yes, Reese Witherspoon...is it weird I still truly believe these things and I'm 33 years old with 4 children. Sanity could be in question?)

Okay, so I might be a bit absent from the blog world as we have leadership weekend this weekend (it's called weekend but we started yesterday). It's a blast of a time when Trish and I get to huddle with our team (Jennifer, Sarah, Liz, Hannah, Hillary, Abby, Betsy) and we laugh, plan, laugh, cry, pray, laugh, pray, plan, and then play Skittles at Joe & Dj's house. Pretty good time...

Would love prayer for our team as we tackle the machine of K2 Summer 2014. It's going to be epic...does epic lose it's meaning when truly every summer is always epic at K2...probs!

(Side note: I know that Mary Ottley, Tanya Beardsley and Whitney Burris actually read this blog so therefore I am shouting out to say how much you will be missed...ugg! Love you 3!)

Okay so why the random creek and tangled hair print...SIMPLE. Would you explain your life as simple. Isn't it a lovely word...how are you? I just want to start saying...I'm simple. Simple in that love fills my day. Simple in the clothes on my back and the house we live in. Simple in the laughter from rolling in the grass hill by our house. Simple. Get your life back to simple...it's so simple. (see what I did there).

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Most Simply awesome Camp! Kanakuk!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Characteristics of God We Need Not Forget...All Knowing...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
I was going to use the big word for "all knowing" but let's be honest that I didn't know how to spell it. Then I remembered I have spell check on this blogger world of mine. Score.

Omniscient. All Knowing.

Psalm 139:4...
Even before a word is on my tongue, 
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

Isaiah 55:9...
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Oh, man if you gals are anything like me you might be thinking...oh goodness Lord, I'm thankful you are all knowing but for some points in my life...not so much. Sometimes in my life (especially in your years) I totally forgot (or selectively forgot) that Jesus knows all. He knows every crack in my heart, every dark thought of my soul and every hidden room that I want to keep locked. He knows it...and loves me anyway. In high school I was so scared. Scared to be different. Scared to be bold. Scared to be alone. Scared to fail. Scared to not be perfect. Scared in so many ways. High school was a weird time. It was good and I had friends but I had no real relationship with Jesus. I just didn't. I knew the right things but it was during those years I forgot God's character...that He knows me. In so many ways I didn't know myself during those years...and He still did. And the best part...He loved me. He knew my fear of failing. He knew my insecurites. He knew my deepest sin and He loved me.

I can't put His love in a box and send it to you to believe me. I can't site all these scientific laws to prove Jesus. But I can tell you to know and feel Jesus...to be created by a Creator and then known in every way by that Savior...that is all I need to believe in the God that knows everything.

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Best camp ever...click here! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...Beauty...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
All I can type right now is that fact that One Direction's song is looping in my head over and over...

     "You don't know you're beautiful..."

Oh, One Direction.

Moving on. I have so loved these series of "What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about..." LOVED THEM. They have been reflective, creative and good for my heart and soul. To the 10 people reading...bless your hearts.

Here are all the past posts of this little series...Family, Boys, and Moms...

Beauty is defined by Webster as "the quality of being physically attractive." To me, for some reason, that definition is so sad. As I am navigating the whole mommy of 3 precious little girls this idea of beauty pops up in my head a lot. I think of it when I tell them how beautiful they are. I think of it when they see me putting on makeup (not a usual occurrence...however, this mom is thankful for mascara...it just makes a gal feel put together...it's the southern in me. we belles need our mascara.). I think of it so often...what will their definition of beauty be? What is your definition my hip and cool teenage gals?

I want to simply give my two cents...that's about what it is worth...so here are the top 5 things I wish I could have told my teenage self about BEAUTY.

1. Let your beauty be defined by who you are. Okay, nothing I am typing is rocket science or even a new theory of sorts. Just thoughts. Sweet girls, the world from the time you popped from your momma to each day of your life is yelling at you that beauty is defined in makeup, sizes and numbers, clothes, and how great of natural curls you can do. The world is screaming beauty messages every day at your spirit and soul, heart and body. You are told to be beautiful you need to straighten this, tuck that, and never wear these. You are told to be beautiful you need to have no pores seen, no hair out of place and no thighs touching. You are told a lot of things...maybe I should switch "things" to LIES. You are told lies. What if you changed the message of beauty...You know you can do big things like that. You can be a woman defined by your own definition of beauty. You can be defined by the acts of beauty you live in your life. The act of helping the broken in your hallways. The act of stopping the bully from teasing the downtrodden anymore. The act of sitting with the loner a few tables away. Let your beauty be found in your life...in your daily choices. Don't let beauty be something so simple as outward. It's so much more.

2. Beauty fades. This beauty I speak type of fading is the outward. Oh precious I know you think your legs are too short and your cheeks to chubby (Girl, I'm always storing for winter in my cheeks! Squirrel cheeks could be my nickname), your lips too thin and your *ahems* too small. Oh to see in the future to when we are 40, 53 or 87...do you think any of that will matter. Answer: NO. You will be 64 years old and sitting in a rocking chair looking through photo boxes or your kids, grand-kids and great gran-kids. You won't care about lines around your eyes...those lines tell stories of tears as you welcomed your 1st grandbaby. You won't care about your thighs...those thighs tell memories of marathons run with your best friend. You won't care about your *ahems*...those *ahems* tell many countless nights nursing your first baby through it's first fever. Your outward beauty fades...absolute truth.

3. Beauty can be found in everyone. If I wasn't a mom and a somewhat totally morbid thinker I am pretty sure I would pick up every hitch-hiker I ever passed. I just always always want to...but then the 8 little dangly feet and my morbid "what-if-they-kill-me" mind kicks in and so I drive by praying someone with a mission to pick up hitch-hikers who is a male and knows moves like Jagger to protect himself if a gun in drawn would pick them up and share Jesus...I'm serious, I pray that. A lot. Anyways, I say that to simply say I want to see beauty in everyone...the person who doesn't look like me or my friends. The darker and lighter. The smarter. The sad and broken. The outward and upfront. The special needs. The homeless. The all put together. I want to see beauty there. The sunrise. The loss of love. The second chances. The deer in my road. The cries of my baby (4 am...that is a tough beauty call!). Beauty was made for our enjoyment. Beauty in Jesus' definition is in everything.

4. Physical beauty isn't bad, but be careful. I wanted to make sure this was a point. Beauty outwardly...it's not bad. New clothes, great. A new set of makeup brushes, great. New TOM Wedges that you wear everyday even with yoga pants, great. (Not that I do that or anything.). Beauty, in the most physical terms, isn't bad. It's not bad to tell your sister she looks beautiful in her new easter clothes. It's not bad if your hair looks especially beautiful one day. It's when that beauty, the world's beauty definition, is what you seek. When that beauty becomes your idol. When that beauty definition limits you and enraptures your life and heart. Walk this line carefully...always remembering true and unwavering beauty has nothing to do with the outward.

5. You are beautiful. Okay, I know your mom tells you this. I know that school counselors say this when you get called into her office because you got put in a locker by the girl bully again. But I can't not type it. I want to be a voice (or a read) that tells you once again, you are beautiful my sweet girl. You were made with purpose. Your hair is wavy because Jesus knit you together perfectly. Your outward beauty is perfect to your Heavenly Father. Your inward beauty makes Him lavish His love on you. You are His beauty!

Let's end this post with a perfect cliche..."beYOUtiful."

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Come to a beautiful CAMP! Kanakuk!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Prom Post...

{source}
Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Well I feel like prom is upon us...and by us I mean most of you. Oh my proms. My junior year I sort of was asked (sort of being very much pathetically sort of) by a friend. It was a miserable prom. Not sure he wanted to go but much less with me. Senior year had a great prom. Went with a great friend and had a great time. So why all the pressure? What if you don't get asked? Is it okay to go with a group of girls? My answer...don't know. it's okay. yes.

Oh sweet teenage life...I should do a post on what I wish I could tell my teenage self about PROM. Seems like it would only have 1-2 points...it is not the end of the world if you a) don't go at all. b) do go but go with a bunch of friends. c) go and later when you get your pictures realize you look like a bad glamour shot photo.

Prom begins about now taking up magazine covers and soon for one night the restraraunts in our town will be covered with nervous laughter, glitter explosion and the lingering scent of hairspray. Prom is so fun. Well, it can be so fun. Even as I type I feel my brain a bit all over the place in what exactly my message is with this post...

1. I'm so sorry if you don't get asked. I know that sting. Trust me. I technically asked the guy I went with senior year. I mean I know that sting. Please hear me say...you are not weird. You are beautiful. You are so valuable. You will be okay. I exhale even as I type thinking...when I was there these words didn't make me feel any better. So I guess I will just say...I'm so sorry. (*I also would say...but look I got married to a hottie mchotterson and have 4 beautiful littles...take that PROM!)

2. Please don't do anything stupid on prom b/c of what you have seen in TV, movies or read anywhere. Oh the dreaded thought of prom night in some guys' minds. Sweet girls, please know that Prom is not a memory you want to have about anything other than your dress, your selfies you will take with everyone and the song of the night (our was that one with "we're going to party like it's 1999...that was our year and our jam!). The memory of giving anything away of you...makes my heart beat pick up and makes me want to sign up to be a chaperone at all of y'alls dances. Please...just go to prom and go to a fun friend's house and play board games, drink Fresca (seriously it's so good), and eat pancakes that the mom makes at 2 am. Then go home and before you go to your room go kiss your dad on the cheek.

3. Have fun. I try and never "speak down" to your generation. It's not my heart. It doesn't work. So I'm aware that Prom is important. Don't put crazy expectations on your beau or friend with how he asks you...what happened to just face to face "you wanna go to prom with me?" Make sure you let your parents be involved. Basically Prom in many ways is a pre-runner for your wedding (not to the same guy...most likely) in your parents eyes. So let them take pictures. Take one of you and your daddy. Let your mom zip your dress. Let the moments be sweet. Don't be all over your date. Ew. Be classy with your dance moves. Don't pose with your elbow out and leaned over so much that you look like you are doing your ABC's instead of posing for a picture. Laugh at yourself. Dance silly. Don't let hands during a slow dance go anywhere but your back and hand, again, keep it classy.

There's my pointers and jumbled message...interpret what you will.

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
We have tons of fun dances! KANAKUK!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Honoring Friends...

{source: me with allergies. is there such thing as being addicted to eye drops?}
Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Well today I felt a bit "stumped" for blogging...which actually happens a lot, hence the typical very random-no-point-at-all posts from this bloggy blog. But today as I was pondering I looked down to my planner (yes, I have a paper planner...with pages and lists and I actually use a pen) and saw this little invitation for a K2 gal's shower...Tanya's!

It got me thinking about friends...and then as I read the invitation the word HONOR jumped out at me. Do you guys think you honor your friends?

Ponder that for a moment...

Okay, moment over. Friends have always been a funny thing in my life. I can 100% be up front, on stage and give me a mic and I can hold the house down. BUT honestly a larger part of me could live on an island with just my family and be perfectly content. My husband (who totally challenges every grain of me on this) is constantly reminding me we were made for relationships on this earth...so I started to ask myself that question. How we do honor our friendships? Ya know the ones that are God appointed and the ones that would rally in a heartbeat if you needed anything. Those friendships. For me I pray I honor those friendships in 3 ways...

1. love my friend always.
2. love my friend...rejoice with her when she is great, when she does great things, when she accomplishes something or is excited about her new hair do. Cry with her when she hurts. Laugh with her till someone snorts. Truly honor her by truly wanting good things for her...celebrate her.
3. love my friend...but always hold our friendship towards the Maker of relationships. Allow Him to mold her, and me to simply admire the result. Allow Him to challenge and convict and me to simply speak truth when He needs me to. Allow Him to whisper into her soul and me to affirm His voice. Allow Him to be Him in my friend's lives.

So today...honor your friends well. Be a friend that rejoices with and for someone else...and be friends that always desire to be about Jesus' love.

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Wanna come to Kamp? Check out the BEST.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...Moms...

{source: me. those little feets are my littles...minus the most recent addition}
Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Well, sorry I've been such a slacker...the blog is finding itself on the very end of my to-do list as a certain little cutie newborn is hogging my arms. I don't mind too much.

Today's post might be super mooshy and totally relevant to life right now for me. I try hard to stay in the "mind of a teenage girl" for posts and will try with this post also as I type about what I wish I could tell my teenage self about my mom. Hence what I wish you could know NOW about your mom or any woman in your life that loves you and cares for you...

By the way (I totally typed BTW and went back and typed it out b/c it was like I was trying too hard to be cool! Made me laugh), you can read the other series by clicking below:

1. What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...FAMILY. 
2. What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...BOYS.

Okay so here is what I wish I could tell my teenage self about...MOMS.

1. Moms are so tired. Now I might be typing this from a very personal place but let me extend on this a bit. Although I am physically tired with this little newborn stage I still would say moms (of teenagers or tweens or young ones) are tired. As the hubs and I had our EOD (end of day) talk before we drift off to sleep-time I literally looked at him and said..."I'm going to be tired for the next 25 years." I think moms need more sleep but I also think this point is all too telling of their hearts. Do you know that I can hear any movement in our house...any little foot or cough. I hear the faintest of cry or the toddler version of "mommy" before it's even uttered. I would guess that even in teenage years it's the same...just a bigger version of those toddlers. I bet your mom hears every tear after you don't make the cheer team as you lay in bed. I bet she hears the door knob turns and knows you are home safe. She is up late worrying and yet trying not to worry and let you go. She lays in bed staring at the old popcorn ceiling wondering will you and she ever make it through these teenage years? She awakes at 5 am for a bathroom break and can't go back to bed because she is dreaming of the day she will give you away and the day you become a mom. She's tired...but trust me I can honestly say...it's the best kind of tired.

2. Moms are dirty. Yep. I presently have spit up down my whole shoulder. I haven't shaved in 5 years since we started having kids. I do own a toothbrush, though every little in my house has put it in their mouth too to "bwush teef." Again, stay with me for moms of teenagers as they are a bit out of the spit up and haven't showered phase...I hope. That would be weird if your kid still spit up on you. Ew. Your mom's hands are covered with glue from the project in 5th grade with all the planets. Pinterest wasn't around yet...therefore it was actually hard to make. Your mom's hands are covered in spaghetti sauce, chicken guts, burgers for the team and chocolate chips to feed the neighborhood kids. Your mom's hands are so dirty from the snotty noses you had during allergy season as a toddler, throw up from the flu that would hit like an atom bomb every year in your house and lice bugs from the horrible sunday at church when you "shared" with the itchy head kid. Your mom's are dirty...with your life. They are in it. They are a part of you. They have daily picked you up and cleaned you off. Sometimes they want to pick you up when you should fall and fall hard...so instead of picking you up they crawl in whatever "dirt" you have gotten yourself into. Mom's meet you in dirt...they wish with all their heart you would never get dirty or hurt. They know they can't protect you from that so instead...they meet you in your dirt.

3. Moms are screw-ups. Preach. Yes. I cannot tell you how many nights I have walked in at midnight to my little 2 pigtails room and had to whisper in their ear..."Mommy is so sorry for being impatient today. I love you and please forgive mommy." There is no answer besides a little breath breathing so sweetly in and out with her thumb hanging out the side of her mouth. I have to do it...I couldn't sleep laying there and knowing I screwed up. I don't live in guilt (that's a whole nother blog post to mommies out there) but I am so very quick to say sorry. Sweet teenage girls...Your mom isn't perfect. She messes up. She is trying to figure out how to protect you, but not overprotect you...to raise you but not too quick but not too slow where you are living at home when you are 27. She is trying...be gracious. Talk to her. Don't shut her out. If she hurts your feelings, share that...but here is a crazy idea...listen to her why's and thoughts. Your momma might surprise you. Forgive her and know that no one loves you like she does. Seriously...no one. (besides Jesus. obvi.)

4. Moms are people. When was the last time you (yes, you little teenage girl that types more words to a stupid iPhone screen than actually talks to someone) sat down with your mom after arriving home from school and said..."how was your day, mom?" MIND BLOWN. Go try it. Your mom is a person...breathing, with feelings, thoughts, hard days, celebrations. Get to know her. Know her little sayings that are so "your mom." Cook her favorite recipes and learn how she does it so you can pass that on. Your mom is this full picture of love, grace, unconditional everything, patience, and acceptance...you owe it to yourself to know her. Hold her hand when you are walking. Hug her at night. Run into her bed on Saturday morning to just laugh and then go get donuts in your pjs. See her. If you do this you will see Jesus...

5. Moms are Jesus to you every day. Oh, how many moments did my mom probably stand in our hallway so overwhelmed in raising a teenage daughter. My silence, my door slams, my rollercoaster of emotions, my attitude...oh Jesus please come back before we hit the teenage years in our home. But my mom showed me Jesus...she was steadfast in her love, she always scratched my back at night which said I love you in every way, and she always took care of me. That's Jesus. My mom gave me the foundation of Jesus in my life. That deserves a million bucks and a million thanks...the great thing about moms, though, is that a little hug or "i love you" is all it takes to make our hearts smile and rest in a job well done.

Go get your momma...read this together. See her. Promise me...

Be awesome and Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com

Monday, March 3, 2014

Work Hard...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
"Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." ~ Proverbs 21:5

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." ~ Col. 3:23

I love the staff gals and kampers that role into K2's gates and they have a sense of work ethic. I see it so often in the triathlete gals that I get to "run" (very loose definition for my running ability) with each day. Oh, sweet girls, I wish I could impress a work ethic onto each one of you. Not a work ethic of just grades or a work ethic of being able to talk your way (aka passively manipulate) out of deadlines or the hard work. An actual work ethic that mows the yard every other Saturday for hours (yep, that was me!), sleeping in does not go until 2 pm on Saturdays, and getting out of things is not in your character.

Do you know how to work? And work hard and joyfully? My momma is a teacher and I cannot tell you the times she has parents bailing their kids out of a quiz or bad grade. She has students that literally manipulate anything to simply not have to work hard. It's unbelievable. I see it in the summer. I want this next generation to know what chores are (and not get $500 for doing them) that you have to do to get supper. To know what a job is before the age of 23. To know that working hard is good for your soul and your character. Work ethic stands out. Stand out my friends.

From what I have seen there is the rare gal who really get this...be the rare young woman!

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com

Friday, February 28, 2014

I Want to Believe in the Next Generation...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." ~ Romans 12:1-2

I know sometimes I can type/sound like a morbid-scared-to-raise-kids-in-this-generation-Lord-help-us-all-Just-come-back-now-type of gal...but truly today I have been pondering this thought and this thought alone (okay, alone is a big stretch as obvioulsy I have a million thoughts at all times I guess)...

I really want to believe in this next generation...
                                                       and I think I do.
                                                                         I believe in you.

I know social media is seriously "shallowing" up all of you. I know crazy things happen every day that make my momma say "Lord have mercy." I know that some (and even me) can say you are more entitled than ever. I know that the world of "selfies" has made for a word of selfishness. I know...and I still believe in you.

I believe Jesus has huge things for this next generation. Not just to be about causes that save whales and giraffes but that save babies and orphans. Not just a generation that wants to live more simply in their hippie no deodarant ways but truly a generation of simplicity in their lives. Not just a generation who "tolerates" anything but one that infiltrates with the Love of Jesus.

You. Your generation. Do you know that you can change the world? Truly. We didn't...maybe my generation did and continues to do some things to change the world...but you...you have the world at your fingertips...do not be conformed to this world...CHANGE IT.

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Come get away from the drama of life...come to KAMP! (also spelled like CAMP)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why Grades aren't Important...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Woah...here is what's happening on the screen right now...either all the K2 Kanakuk Kampers/Staff gals are singing the hallelujah chorus or the parents of these said kampers/staff are mean muggin' the screen wishin' they could use a small southern cuss word at me...admit it!

Well, either face hold your little horses or britches...whichever one you have. Hopefully everyone has britches on. The title is only half truth...though maybe more than half. I must admit that I don't think grades are important, well, at least not as important as pressure of parents and world tend to make them. Hear me...I am not validating being lazy, dropping out or not doing your best. I am speaking (well, I guess typing) on the pressure of these little letters in our teens today. It's big. Every summer 95% of my conversations (I love that I can somewhat make up statistics...it's a big chunk of my convos) consist at somepoint you all sharing about the pressure you feel with grades, school, your resume (what, I didn't even know what a resume was till I was 24...seriously), and ACT/SAT score. And sadly, parents, most of that pressure is coming from you. You sweet gals share that you made a "B" or heaven forbid a "C" and you are feeling so overwhelmed by school. These sweet gals are 15 years old. I guess on behalf of education and anyone else I want to tell you I'm sorry for that pressure.

This post has hit me as I have begun to think of my littles and school, etc. I hear moms talking about preschools, alphabets and writing. And honestly I don't feel the pressure. If little L is the first to do mulitplication, awesome...but if not, who cares. If little B, when she is 17 gets a "C" in Algebra and worked her little tooshy off for that "C." We are going to Andy's to celebrate! I want to see my kids...to truly see their giftings and even their "not the best" parts too. I want to equip them in knowing if they did their best, truly their best, then that "B" or "C" is going to get hugs and applause all around. I don't want my kids ever saying things I hear in the summer...
    "My parents expect all "A's." No matter what and I can't do it anymore." 
          "I am overwhelmed and stressed all the time. All I do is study."
                "I have no time for a Bible study or youth group b/c I am doing community service and         studying b/c my parents say I have to get into ____ (fill in the blank)."

I have heard all those statements...so many times. From great kids with great parents...but somehow we have begun to place pressure on these letters and our kids are feeling their worth comes from these letters. I know it's a balance of a tight rope moms and dads to encourage our children and challenge them...but keep walking the balance well. Step back from moments when your precious one comes home with his/her first "C." Listen and talk through that. They are worth more than any "report card."

(Disclaimer: I am once again not bashing challenging a child or even grounding a kiddo for an "F" on a homework assisgnment. Take this post for what it is meant to be. A post on simply making sure the priority of grades is in the appropriate spot.)

I am not saying you, teens, shouldn't do your best and study hard/work hard. Please do. But you must too know that someday when we kneel at the Father's feet...I don't think He will say, "Hmm, I see you made a "B-" on your 11th grade Biology quiz? That may play a part in your entering or not?" Just sayin...

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
COOLEST slip-n-slides ever are at Kanakuk Kamps!

Monday, February 24, 2014

What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...BOYS

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Goodness, I love when I start a "series" and really it just lives on the world wide web as a serie. No "s." Well, boom...this just became a series..."What I wish I could tell my teenage self about...______"

The first addition was on FAMILY. You can read it HERE . I thought for the second addition we would jump into the topic that will bring inward squeals (because no way do you outwardly act like boys are a biggie...totally cool) and crazy eyes (eyes that all teenage girls have and make their parents roll their eyes and cry into their daughter's old dolls longing for the days of yore with pigtails and poopy diapers...yes, they would probably pick the poopy diapers) --- That was a long statement for parentheses. (I just googled "parenthesis" plural as who knew how to spell that).

Okay, so drumroll for the Top 5 Things I Wish I could Tell My Teenage Self about BOYS.
1. They smell. (deep, I know). Sometimes they smell good since they have all fallen prey to those ridiculous AXE commercials. This smell with burn the hair all the way up your nostrils b/c it is so oddly strong, bad strong, not like oh, big muscles strong. Also, after their athletic endeavors or for some who sweat easily just being called on in class, their body odor is, well, like that of their lineage. Poor Adam...no deodarant back then. (Oops, but the garden was perfect so maybe Adam didn't have BO).

2. Boys want you to be a good friend. Oh, the drama. I love the girls in the summer who say these words to me. "I hate drama" and then they continue to talk through with me their life and it's like a scene blitz of every CW show and vampire movie without the vampire teeth. Seriously. Guys that are great guys want just good friends. I am not speaking to the age 'ole question of "Can a girl and a guy be best friends?" (Oh, that's a whole nother blog...is "nother" a word...it was to my mamma). I look back to leadership teams (I didn't really have friends in high school...Looo-ser! I know. Or college really but at K2 on staff...there I found great friends...guys and gals. Deep memories!) and I realize I had sweet guy friends...true brothers in Christ. Oh, so sweet! It was pure and clean and safe. The operative word to this item is FRIEND. Be a sweet, kind and true friend.

3. Boys have no "cycle" but just as many hormonal or "cray-cray-ness." (Man, webster should holler cuz I'm making up some awesome vocab words. My english teacher mom will be proud...Hey Mom!). I know girls have periods, puberty and body changes. Girls are labeled as harder and emotions everywhere. I would debate though that teenage boys...equally as weird, hormonal, puberty-ness and well funny. Girls, I know so much emotions swirl in your little heart in a day. For boys I don't think they have 4,000 words they want to share with someone but they are equally as clumsy, awkward and need help. They aren't Mr. Cool Face all the time. (This point goes back being a good friend b/c all y'all got to many cells that are cray-cray to be anything but friends.) For all adults...like a 7th grade boy is maybe my favorite to try and conversate with...it's hysterical.  (Conversate...totally not a word)

4. Boys are boys. Don't make them girls or make them Channing Tatum in Step Up (the original, let's be honest after the 1st one it was pretty much downhill from there.) Don't be mad that for Valentine's day your boyfriend of 12 hours just got you a box of those chocolates from Walmart...maybe I over dramatize, no, I've heard it before from your girlies at kamp. Be glad they are boys and you are a girl. I just cringe when girls say...I have no girlfriends. I just hang out with guys. Sweet girl, that's not that cool. You need your girlfriends. They need guy time. They need to explore and conquer stuff and girls need to bake with their moms and crochet (you don't do that, oh, here's hoping that's what the teenage version of my baby L, baby B and baby T girls want to do or I'll just be moving to a cave in Australia and have prearranged marriages to my best friend's children...it's do-able, us kanakuk people know how to have babies!).

5. Boys are creations of the Most High God who intimately knows how awesome of a gift they are and YOU are. I hate to use such a cliche but here it comes...what if we started to look at boys...the guy you are crushing on, the guy who gets slammed into his locker by the football jocks every day, the guy who you ate mud pies with growing up, the guy who is the most popular for all the wrong reasons...each of those guys as your brother. The brother who loves you, protects you, makes you laugh...a brother. A brother who is a great friend, but not a boyfriend since you and he are all of 13 years old. A brother who is a great date for prom b/c you can dance like a crazy person and laugh, but not a great date for prom if he has a room key waiting. A brother who can come over and play games with your folks and build a friendship if you must hang out with each other, but not a boy who honks his horn for you to come out or even worse, comes and shakes your daddy's hand and then that hand is roaming places it shouldn't later on in the date. He is your brother. You are his sister. Live as such...until your hand is placed in the one Jesus has written to hold your most precious heart. (Or until Jesus holds your heart and comes back and we are all jamming in Heaven in MC Hammer pants...I'm just sure of it).

So there ya go...please no theological debates or "let's anonymously argue" on comments. I have no degree, officially but just my thoughts to make you smile and maybe see the world a little different...go hug your daddy or high five your friends...girls and guys alike!

Click HERE to read "What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...FAMILY."

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Wanna come to summer camp! You totally should!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wanna Party...


Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Boom-shocka-locka! Kamp is coming...which means you gotta start thinking about your party costumes. They can be simple or elaborate, silly or spot on...pretty much anything goes! (K-rated folks!)

Below is our parties for summer 2014...Get ready for EPIC-ness! (yep, prob not a word but let's roll with it)

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Seriously, best summer camp eva! Here!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hello Again...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Well, hello hello...yep, still here. I'm sure everyone is waving, screaming and squealing with shouts of pure joy and overwhelmed with excitement that Kanakuk Ashley is alive and running again. Seriously hold back your excitement...you are acting like Harry Styles just popped out of your locker. Do you guys still have lockers? Hmm...I'm curious now...(stay focused Ashley...)

baby t's toes...they are long. like super long. 
Okay, so yeah...I'm back. I had a kid. She's awesome. For the social media world we shall call her baby T. We already have toddler L, toddler B, and baby K. We love the alphabet here in our house. Baby T has been the best. She's snuggly and has big 'ole cheeks...like on her face cheeks that are the most kissable cheeks E-V-E-R. The 3 other littles adore her and love to jam pacifiers up her nose and smother her with her blanket all in the name of "helping" or "loving." Melt.My.Heart!

So...thanks for your patience. I was getting hundreds of tweets and emails about when I was going to be back on Kanakuk Ashley...okay, I just a bluebird tweet at me once on my porch and I thought it was saying I needed to blog again...that's all...but it made me start blogging.

Come back, subscribe, check in every other day, or don't. Your call...

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
best camp in the whole world...Check it out: Kanakuk

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas...

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Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
It's December 25th...Merry Christmas!

"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord...and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE AMONG THOSE WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED."
~ Luke 2: 10-14

Be awesome & Love Jesus, 

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Kanakuk Kamps...the best summer camp ever.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
It's Christmas Eve (day) technically...I hope everyone is surrounded with family, friends and the deep soul calling that this holiday is so much more than trees, candles, presents, food and even family time...

Remember...

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Kanakuk Kamps...the best summer camp ever.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Stop the Insta-Madness...

Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
Okay, ya'll know I can have a soap box on social media (again, I realize the somewhat irony of that statement considering I am writing it on a BLOG). But you know what I mean...the craze and obsession and overall unhealthy and shallow, unconnected culture it is creating...shew, okay, moving on...

I found this and it was too much...seriously, Instalike Christmas...what does it mean? What does it even do? DON'T ANSWER ME. Today is December 23...2 days before Christmas. I know it's so fun to take pictures...but don't let it take over memories. I know it's awesome to spend 20 minutes on a collage or filtering a photo over and over...but don't let it take over the 20 minutes your grandfather sat in the old leather chair by himself. I know it's awesome to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll through The Twitter...but don't let it take over you rolling a dice for a fun family game day.

Social media = not bad...when done with moderation and healthy boundaries. Have some this Christmas. Put the phone by the door all together and make the memories that will be forever in your heart...not instalikes needed.

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Kanakuk Kamps...the best summer camp ever.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Little Drummer Boy...



Hey K2 Kanakuk Friends,
I love this Christmas Carol...it's traditional, precious and more precious. (My vocabulary is oozing right now)...

Anyways, I saw this floating around Facebook land and love this acapello group from The Sing Off. Love this take on it...Enjoy!

Be awesome & Love Jesus, 

kanakuk ashley robbins
ashley@kanakuk.com
Kanakuk Kamps...best summer camp ever.