Friends, today I am sharing something oh so special with you! This isn’t just any ole’ coffee talk monday post; this one is EPIC (or extra epic I should say, since all CTMs are pretty epic, right?!). Today I am introducing you to something that has been on my heart and in the making for a long time. You ready for this?! I present to you, my newest adventure: “Beneath the Olive Tree“.
Beneath the Olive Tree (BTOT) was born out of my own journey of discovering purpose in the day to day. As a photographer, wife, mom, writer and yoga instructor, figuring out which of those desires God wanted me to use was an exhausting task. For so long, I compartmentalized my passions and life, feeling as if I had to choose one thing to focus on or do something grand in order for God to use me. I was living fragmented; feeling the burden of wanting to live with purpose but not knowing how or where to do so. Then He freed me with this simple truth:
He wants to use all of me. The passions. The brokenness. The imperfections. All of it. For Him. For Others. For Good.
I began to understand that all that I do flows from what He has done and therefore ALL that I do has purpose in Him. And it gets even better. We don’t have to have it all together in order for Him to use us. If fact, He probably prefers we don’t. We don’t need to chase perfection or do something glamorous. God wants to use us wherever we are, in whatever we are doing, to bring glory to him and to be a blessing to others. Right Now.
But, truth be told, that’s not always easy right? Life is messy. It gets hard. Often we fail to see that what we do has real value and purpose. We doubt whether we can really make a difference. We need to be reminded that there is beauty in the simple, and purpose in the regular. We need to cause each other to see that each day, each step, each breath is an opportunity to love, to bless and to bring glory to our Creator. And that’s what we do here at Beneath the Olive Tree.
My hope is to see restoration, freedom, hope, beauty, flourishing and wholeness pour into individuals, families and communities. One step at a time, one breath at a time, through everyday means; that is the mission of Beneath the Olive Tree.
At the end of 2014, we found and bought our dream home. The few years leading up to that had been extremely trying as we endured the messiness of infertility and failed adoptions. We moved into our new home just a few months after legally adopting our precious daughter. This new home was a picture of God’s grace and faithfulness to us as we began our lives as a forever family of three. Our very own “promised land”.
When I was younger, I would daydream of the day I would be a mama, sitting in the shade of mature trees watching my little ones play and explore. But, instead God brought me to the desert of Arizona, (which is not exactly known for its trees!). I tucked that long-desired dream away in my heart, accepting that it probably never would be. Then I walked into our now backyard for the first time and saw the most gorgeous, mature olive tree. It was as if God said to me in that moment, “This is for you.”
While some might just see a tree, I see a picture of God’s grace and intimate love for me. He showed me how much he cared about even the small, but significant desires of my heart. Beneath our olive tree, I have found rest, laughter, grace, peace and surrender. Each time I see it, I am reminded that He wants to give me life to the full. He wants the same for you, and so do I. My hope is that through the work of Beneath the Olive Tree, you will experience those same beautiful truths I have experienced in my own backyard in the shade of our olive tree. May BTOT continuously point you to the fullness of life Christ desires for you in Him!
THE “LIVE BTOT” MOVEMENT:
Beneath the Olive Tree is more than just an idea or way of thinking, it is a way of living life with intention in the name of Love. It’s about seeing opportunities to bring glory to God and be a blessing to others in all the places and roles we’ve been called to. And it’s about encouraging others to do the same.
The “Live BTOT” Movement is a community of world-changers, encouragers, comforters and warriors who share in my vision to have life to the full in the everyday. A life full of restoration, freedom, hope, beauty, flourishing and wholeness. A life that pours out and is filled up in return. A life surrounded by others who love deep, encourage freely and keep it real.
Sound like something you’d like to be a part of? Then you are ready to join the “Live BTOT” Movement, friends! There are a few ways you can get involved and stay up-to-date on the latest BTOT news/events.
1. Follow us on Instagram @beneath_the_olive_tree
2. Share your pics/stories of how you are living life to the full in the name of Love by tagging us on IG and using the hashtag #liveBTOT.
3. Make sure you go “like” the BTOT Facebook page HERE.
4. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to have your “Live BTOT” story shared on the blog.
And I have more fun news for you! Remember my new promo video I told you about a few weeks ago? It is done and ready to share! Kale Fitch did such an incredible job capturing my heart and I think it fits perfectly with the heart of Beneath the Olive Tree. So what better time to share it with you than with the birth of BTOT!
leave some LOVE!
You should reach out to Brooke at Godlovesallofme.org. I went to high school with Brooke and she is doing some amazing things. May be a great Live BTOT story.
Awesome, Ashley. Thanks! I will look her up!