Hello! Welcome to Journeying Whole!

My name is Ashley Willingham, and my heart for this space is to encourage, inspire and challenge women to continue growing to the most WHOLE version of themselves. I titled this website “Journeying” for a very intentional purpose – our growth is a journey that will continue our entire lives. It’s not a destination. We will never be perfectly whole until heaven, but we can pursue wholeness every day.

In 2012, I filled in for another leader to cover the topic of “The Importance of Personal Well-Being”. I felt so unqualified to talk about this, but I also felt a strong sense that I was meant to do this. I knew I would study for this, and there was a confidence in God that he would give me a fresh insight into this particular topic.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39

This verse was my first stop, but God showed me that in this particular verse, we often misunderstand the second part. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I felt like God showed me that we often look at this verse and think about others, which is valid. We need to love our neighbors well. However, he uses the word “as”, which is important here, and what I felt like I saw for the first time is that if we were to actually love our neighbors as ourselves, we may not be treating them very well. We aren’t taking care of ourselves well!

This may be because you’re a new mom who is figuring everything out and hasn’t had a shower in days, let alone a good night’s sleep! Maybe you’re in a busy season at work, and you’ve eaten terribly (or not eaten) and are continually running from one thing to the next. Maybe you simply don’t like the season you’re in, and you’re finding it hard to find motivation to take care of yourself. Whatever the reason, the business and chaos of the world right now can get the best of us, and we don’t actually take good care of ourselves.

It’s so important for us to take care of ourselves in order to love and take care of others well, and I think it’s so vital that we are loving our neighbors! There are a million analogies for this, but my favorite is the flight speech – “please secure your mask before assisting others.” You won’t be able to help anyone in a crisis if you’ve stopped breathing! Why don’t we think this way in life – loving our family, our friends, our kids, our spouse, our church, our co-workers. We won’t do this as effectively as we could if we don’t take care of ourselves first.

This space is dedicated to talking about this journey. I don’t write from a place of perfection, far from it in fact. I am like anyone else on the journey