It was so much fun. Some of my favorite memories of her days at home are from those times when we set out on a great explore.
She entered a Miss Teen contest in our state when she was near the end of her high school days. There were many different outfits required for this event. Of course every outfit she chose was of vintage style. Out of all the girls in that contest, she was the only one that had made such a choice.
Some of the other contestants admired her choice, others did not appreciate it. I am sure that some were a bit threatened by it. It really didn't matter to Ashli what the other girls thought of her. She loved vintage and she was bound and determined to wear it.
When she first entered this contest I just wasn't sure about it. I thought it was a bit of a worldly thing to be in such a pageant. Honestly, I didn't like the idea. Not at all. Little did I know that I was going to learn so much from this experience.
Oh, the things my children have taught me! Oh, the ways the Lord has used them to humble me!
The first lesson I learned from this experience was about having the boldness to stand for what you believe in. I knew about this but Ashli demonstrated it to me in such a beautiful way. She stood out from all of the other girls. The vintage that she chose was beautiful on her. She was striking and graceful.
I couldn't help but see the truth of being set apart. We are in this world, but we should appear different. In a world of darkness, we should be light. There should be something really different about us. Our robes of righteousness will not blend in with garments of unrighteousness and worldliness.
I wish you could have seen my girl that day. I was so proud of her! She was the most beautiful girl in the pageant. (I know what you are thinking........I am her mom!) It wasn't just her outer grace and beauty that made the biggest impression on me though. I was moved by the fact that she was not moved by the opinion of her peers. She stood for what she believed in regardless of their response to her. That was an inner beauty in her that spoke loud to me. It was a strength that I longed for. Her boldness inspired me to be bolder in my choices.
Ashli never tried to force others to make the same choice or even convince others that her choices were right. She just walked in her choices with confidence, knowing that they were right for her. She made quite an impression on all of us. Her witness spoke volumes.
I will finish the rest of this story tomorrow. Please come back! You will love part two of this story.