Hi Friends! Welcome! I am so happy that you are here.
I have been nervous, but very excited about starting this blog. My goal is to encourage you on your journey, as I share some of the valuable lessons we have learned (and are currently learning) on ours. What an adventure we’ve had so far…and we’re just getting started. I believe that our best days are still ahead of us... and I speak that over you too!
Before we embark on this journey together, let me introduce our family & give you a little history.
My name is Ashley. I was born the same year that Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire while filming a Pepsi commercial & Thriller was at the top of the charts (I love the King of Pop). My husband, Marty, was born the year that The Godfather was released in theaters…So from those clues, you can probably figure out that he is quite a bit older than I am (hahaha). We love to joke about this because he is so fit that he could run circles around me….so he lovingly calls me “grandma” at times. ;)
Marty is a “country boy” who hates everything pertaining to country. He moved away from his tiny hometown in NC as fast as he could to pursue his acting/modeling dreams in NYC & LA. He quickly shed his boots and southern drawl as he turned into “Mr. Hollywood.” He was a working actor/model for many years. No major roles, but he does still collect royalty checks from the time he danced with Cameron Diaz in Vanilla Sky. ;) Somewhere along his journey he recommitted his life to the Lord and made the decision to leave the entertainment industry and become a pastor. He attended Kings Seminary in CA & was hired by Shepherd Church as a Missions Pastor/Tech Director.
This is where our paths cross.
I had just made the decision to step back from my budding singing career as a “country music” artist. I had opened for some of the greats: Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Charlie Daniels, Rascal Flats, and Toby Keith…to name a few. I had traveled all across the US, Europe and the Middle East performing. I had 2 record deals (one in the states and one in the UK), a CD in stores and a music video on CMT…. It seemed like I was on the "brink of stardom," but I just couldn’t shake this feeling that I was meant to use the gift God gave me to glorify Him and not myself… so I became a worship leader. (*Side note: Isn’t God’s sense of humor great. That the guy who loathes country music, ends up marrying a country singer. Gotta love it! ;)
Marty and I ended up meeting on a missions trip, where we took a gospel choir of about 50 youth to sing at the World Expo in Aichi, Japan. When we got back from that trip we started hanging out with the same group of friends on Sundays after church… and I guess you could say, “the rest is history.” We were married not even a year later.
Today, we have been married for 14 years and have 3 beautiful children, ages 12, 10 and 6. We still have a heart for missions and have worked together in full time ministry for over 10 years. We were on staff as a pastor and worship leader at 2 different churches, helping lead mission trips to Japan, China, Holland, Germany, and Amsterdam. We helped launch 3 satellite campuses – 2 in the Los Angeles area and 1 in North Carolina.
In 2009, God called us to a different kind of ministry – “marketplace ministry” – where we could reach people outside the four walls of a church & we have been doing that ever since.
Currently, we live just outside Charlotte, NC and attend Freedom House Church. Marty is a financial advisor and I am a stay at home mom/ entrepreneur/ freelance graphic designer & now AUTHOR (which feels so crazy to say!). Enjoy The Journey, my new children's book, was birthed out of the lessons we have been teaching our children & a desire for them to develop a love of reading. Aside from our traditional jobs, we are most excited about our family business.
Together, we mentor individuals, couples and young families who are looking to take their lives to the next level. Through an elite personal growth and mentorship program, we offer coaching and a roadmap that allows for improvements in every area of life. If this is something you seek, we would love to hear from you. You can actually schedule a LIVE ZOOM meeting on our Business page.
Thank you for taking the time to drop by our site and read a little about our journey.
I could not be more excited about what 2021 holds in store.
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The Collins Crew
Ashley Jay Collins
Wife, Mom, Writer, Worship Leader
I love to encourage & build others up. I love to stir up dreams and bring out the best in people.
I believe God has planted seeds of greatness in every human being...
I love to water those seeds and watch them grow.