Welcome to Circling the Story


Hi, I’m Ashley. Welcome to Circling the Story! I’m so glad you’ve come.

I think through writing. I’ve been devouring books since I could read — I remember almost being terrorized by the onslaught of street signs when I could first piece letters into words in kindergarten. Now I string words together on this blog, in my academic writing, and countless renditions of Goodnight, Moon. And as I continue to read and write, I’m reminded again and again that stories matter. Your story matters. 

A bit about my story: I have 4 kids, a Ph.D. in literature and one pastor husband. We’ve lived all over southern California, then in Edinburgh, Scotland, and now, Salt Lake City, Utah.

You can follow Circling the Story on Facebook, or find me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. You can also subscribe to the blog on Bloglovin or via email by clicking the folder icon to get to the “follow” button.

If you’re new here, jump on in and find refreshment, encouragement and a “yeah, me too.” To get you started, some of most popular posts are: Red cup righteousness (how Starbucks fills our scarcity); my posts on vulnerability and showing up; the god of the scale; and my encouragement to mamas of littles.

I like to write about identity, story, feasting, motherhood in the trenches, beautiful moments and living with intention. I’m also working on a book about home, belonging and our spiritual geographies.

If you’re interested in having me speak at your event, take over your Instagram feed, write for you, or any other collaboration, please email me at aahales AT gmail DOT com.



  1. Found your blog via The Peony Project. I am absolutely enjoyed your latest post. I too am fearful of speaking out about what I really want but God has been dealing with me on this. On a flight from Miami back to ATL last Saturday, I was convicted to speak out my desires when I come to Him in prayer.



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