Binding Love

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Sometimes it’s easy to look around the world and feel overwhelmed because there is so much darkness and pain and it feels like you cannot do anything about it. It’s easy to get bogged down by the hopelessness; However we should NOT ignore the pain in the world…and when we as as individuals come together, lives can change. Currently it is estimated that over 45 million people are enslaved (trafficked) around the world. In 2012, when Audra saw a documentary about trafficking, it broke her heart. Audra didn’t put it to the back of her mind to forget about it or wait for someone else to do something. 

She immediately began praying and asking the Lord what she could do. And He led her to start Binding Love Scarves. Audra and the Binding Love volunteer team create one of a kind, upcycled infinity scarves. 50% of every scarf sold are donated to two homes (Eden House and House of Refugee) in Thailand. Audra and her husband (I knew both of them, when I was a child, before they were married) have four boys, homeschool, are involved in YWAM, and still maintain a very active role with Binding Love. 

Proverbs 3:3 “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.” -Proverbs 3:3 

The goal of Binding Love is to increase the awareness about the millions in slavery, to restore a heart of mission in volunteers, and to connect and care for the homes in Thailand. Both Eden House and House of Refugee are Christian run homes that are committed to creating a place of refuge and helping young girls. The money from scarves, other purchases, and monetary donations help to provideweeks school lunches, school shoes, or other meals for girls that have been brought out of trafficking and have dealt with abuse, neglect, and other painful situations. 

Binding Love scarves are sold at various locations in Pennsylvania, at events, and online. I am very excited to share with you that, just in time for the Fall Season, I am partnering with Binding Love to give away a free scarf (or two children’s scarves) of the winners choice! Head over to my instagram (laurenadenner) to see how to enter…if you don’t have an instagram you can follow my blog for an entry and will get one bonus entry for each person that you send to my page who follows my blog(let me know in comments)! Entries will close: Friday, September 21st and winner will be contacted. 

Also, please let this be an encouragement to you. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed when you see problems, whether it’s trafficking, refugees, hunger, homelessness, bullying, or another really big problem. You are not alone…I have been there. But don’t give up hope, you are not alone. There are other people that care too…sometimes you just have to go looking for it. You can make a difference, whether it is buying a scarf, or starting an organization, or speaking up or writing about a problem!

Waiting For Friendship

C4D89EEE-6284-4EB4-8AE8-4B9C35FC74DFThere was a point in my life where I felt really alone. I had a few good friends, but what I longed for was a group of close friends who loved Jesus. Most of us have at least had one point in our lives where we feel alone; Or at least a period of time where we feel alone in our faith. I desired people that I could have fun with, but also who would spur me on and challenge me to grow. I started asking God for that around the time I graduated. And I thought that I may have found it, but turned out to be superficial and only lasted the summer. Began to feel even more lonely after coming home from YWAM and having to leave the group of people that I had lived with and grown with; I was now alone again. I continued to pray and once again made a group of friends that turned out not to be for the long haul. 

It wasn’t until I was at the beach for my bachelorette party with my cousins and bridesmaids sitting around me and praying for me, that it hit me. Every single one of them loved Jesus and they loved and cared for Phil and I. Now I have friends that aren’t Christians and I absolutely do not think that it is wrong to have really close friends that aren’t believers. But right now most of my really close friends are. Tears started pouring down my face as the realization hit me. Until then I didn’t actually realize that God had finally answered my prayer. 

A lot of these girls didn’t actually know eachother before the wedding  week, but my heart warmed to see how they got along and got to know eachother throughout the week. I was reminded again on the day of my wedding, as my new sisters and dear friends held hands with me and prayed over Phil and my marriage. I couldn’t ask for better friends-friends that I have so much fun with, friends that love Jesus and lift me up, but also friends that are very different than me and challenge me to know myself and my farther better. 


The thing is, I didn’t know if I would ever find that. It sounds silly to say when I had my whole life ahead of me, but at the time it was huge. I was young (still am, but I’ve gained a few more years of experience) and trying to live for God, but felt like I didn’t have people with a similar mindset to help spur me on. And I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t answering my prayer…or at least why His response seemed to be “Wait.” This might be you right now. And you may have heard this before, but God DOES hear you. And He does care. Don’t give up hope. 

I still don’t know completely why I had to wait as long as I did for these friendships. But I do know that during those years I did a lot of growing. I made mistakes, I had some friendships that didn’t build myself or the others up; but I wouldn’t be who I am today without those times. God does have your (and my) best interests in mind. And He really does hear the desires of your heart. So if you are in that place, keep praying-but also take advantage of the time of loneliness to cling to God and know Him more deeply. That is one thing I wish I would have done better. Maybe you don’t really have close Christian friendships and that doesn’t bother you. I still encourage you to pray for God to send someone your way. Our walk of faith is not meant to be alone and you may be surprised to discover how much you needed it. 

Another thing I realized as I looked around at my friends praying for me, was that my friendships did not look the way I had expected when first praying for them. When I started asking God, I was looking for a group in the same area with the same mindset as me. But I have my cousins in Lancaster, a friend from Highschool, two friends from college (who didn’t know eachother in college), a friend from YWAM who lives near Chicago, and my two new sisters who live in Illinois. Some of them were just meeting. Some of the girls have different theological backgrounds and world views. 

But I wouldn’t change it for the world…because God knew what I needed so much more than I did. So don’t be surprised if it looks different than how you pictured it, but it’s okay because life often works that way. It’s okay to feel a little frustrated with where you are at OR even to ask God what’s going on. But don’t ever think He isn’t listening….because He is. Keep pushing forward and don’t give up. God might just be waiting for when you least expect it (but need it the most). And if you ever really feel like you need someone to talk to right now…feel free to send me a message. I would love to be there to listen ❤ 

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4


Why I write


Over the past few weeks I have been thinking (and praying) a lot about writing and my blog. I’ve been thinking about if it is something I want to continue and get more serious about and what my purpose behind writing has been and what it should be. I started blogging back in 2012 when I went into YWAM and needed a good way to keep in touch with my supporters. I actually really enjoyed it and have been blogging on and off ever since, but not always very consistently. After coming home from Greece and thinking a lot about how God touched my life there and some of the changes I that want to come from my time there (see blog: Returning Home), I started thinking about my writing.

Did I want to continue blogging? What is my purpose in blogging? Is blogging the best avenue for my writing? If I continued writing and blogging…I want to take it more seriously, if this is an avenue that God has really given me to use, than I want to put more time and effort into it. But having all of those thoughts, I really wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to invest so much time in. And if it was something that God wanted me to focus on, presently. Not long after I saw a quote on a friend’s facebook status that rocked me to my core: “Powerlessness and silence go together. We…should use our privileged positions not as a shelter from the world’s reality, but as a platform from which to speak. A voice is a gift. It should be cherished and used.” – Margaret Atwood. 

It was one of those times that I knew, very clearly, that the Lord was speaking to me. One way for me continue processing and changing from my time in Greece is to continue writing. God has given me the ability to use my voice and I might not be a famous author and I might not have a ton of followers, but that doesn’t matter. God has given me a gift and He has given me experiences in which to share with others. I have an opportunity to use my voice as a platform to share my faith, to share what others who have no voice are going through, to share ways I am learning to live more passionately for God, and a way to be an encouragement to others

During this time as I have been praying and thinking, I have really been processing the best ways to take my writing more seriously and how to spend more time invested in it. And that being said, as you can already see, I have chosen to move over to a different website. This is a little difficult for me as I have a history and memories of the last few years on my other blog, but the website that I was using is not the most user friendly and hasn’t made a lot of updates in the last few years. I am excited for this new start with a much friendlier format for both me as the writer, and for you as the reader.

I have moved over the last few blogs from my old site, but other than that this is a new start for me. I am so excited to continue writing and sharing my life experiences and what God is teaching me (stay tuned for another post about why I write). I am so excited to have you here on this journey with me and I hope that I can touch and encourage you. Please feel free to leave questions and comments on this post and those to come and I’d love to have you follow me: Simply type in your email to subscribe and confirm email you recieve, and then you will be able to follow each blog I post.


Lauren Ashley