We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Arrington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
WORK LIFE BALANCE : HOW HAS YOUR BALANCE CHANGED OVER TIME? HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BALANCE? I was called to be a leader of an organization that would require me to be focused, in tune, and intentional in how I steward myself. Balance is the foundational structure of my life. This fact is one of the simplest factors that under gird my work. I discovered my purpose when I was able to gain balance. Then, realized the importance of maintaining that balance or I would fail my calling. Looking back over the years, jobs have revealed that I am a nurturer. Even now, while being employed as a phlebotomist at a men’s wellness clinic, I have enjoyed spreading love and joy in the workplace. This job has taught me more than ever to be punctual, assertive, and the importance of having a work life balance. Sometimes, I am extremely tired and drained from a days’ work but working full-time and leading a non-profit organization has taught me how to be a resilient leader. The nature of my job exposes me to a lot of people from all walks of life therefore I am blessed to meet and network with new people every day. Though balancing work is a bit challenging at times, I can always count on prayer. In fact, the recipe to a good work life balance is: prayer first then seek God. Leading both a non-profit and working a full-time job also requires good health, strength, and undivided attention in addition to prayer and strong principles and values. Betsy Jacobson, an American businesswoman and business consultant, quoted in a very inspirational podcast for work life balance “Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” This quote sums up my growth in managing a good work life balance and it also reminds me how to keep moving forward.
What should our readers know about your business?
The I’m excited to be ABLE! Being able gives me access to be a giver, a lover, a nurturer, and overall someone who looks for opportunities to help others in need. Sometimes in life, we think we know God’s plan for our life and we know who we are but do we know our identity in Christ. I battled for six years not knowing who my identity belonged to. I felt alone not having a listening ear to hear me out. I moved from Mississippi to Texas in hope of finding my true self and love. Throughout those six years, I entered various relationships with women, knowing I wasn’t happy but instead I insisted on finding someone to love me as my mother loved me. In March of 2017, I lost my mother to complications of Type II Diabetes. While trying to process her death, I turned to drugs. I was thinking it would numb me to the reality I had to face. Along with my father disowning me due to the choices I made in life. During that time, I entered the last relationship with a woman and it surely woke me up to reality. I was mentally and physically abused in a year’s time. I was in jeopardy of losing my job due to me being late to work from having to fight myself out of my house. I battled with my faith in God. I felt as if church people would judge me, my family didn’t show me love and so I questioned how he could be real if I was going through all the drama, stress, and loss. I didn’t know I was serving two Gods. November 1, 2017, I got the courage to say, ok, I’ve had enough and with prayer of many days and nights, God literally removed me from numerous situations that he wasn’t getting any praise in. He came to me during a time I was getting high, and he told me, “Choose this day whom you will serve. I chose him rather than drugs. All the Glory belongs to God. Once I seen him faithfully perform on my behalf, I told him I would serve him and only him for the rest of my life. I became more active and started fellowshipping with other believers. I missed the feeling of what it felt like to be in a church and everyone worshipping God. Not having someone to go through the wilderness with gave me the idea to form a life group. This life group serves all ages, races, and backgrounds. I wanted to show God’s love that he showed me while I was down and not being the best Christian I could be. On April 28, 2018, God delivered me out of Homosexuality. He showed me my worth, he showed the queen I am, he showed me that he would supply all my needs. He showed me his heart posture, but most importantly, he showed me how to provide AGAPE. So now, I know you’re wondering who is I AM AGAPE! I AM AGAPE was founded on November 1, 2018, by Ashley Arrington that later transpired into AGAPE GLOBAL in June 2019. It is a foundation set upon love. We are a group of believers walking through our wilderness with Christ together. We are translating God’s heart through the community while enhancing our Christian experience in life. We want to share and be resourceful to individuals in need of various resources such as mental health awareness, grieving consoling, battered children and women, and ending hunger around the nation. We would like to provide workshops, and seminars and host health fairs to the community to help better educate how important our health and spirit is. We want to show that God will provide, and his resources are here to assist. We have held numerous meetings preparing our heart and spirits so that we will mirror God’s heart. We love everyone, no matter color, race, identity status, whoever, we are here to love you. Let’s make a difference in revealing God’s heart to his nation through AGAPE GLOBAL. The I’m excited to be ABLE! Being able gives me access to be a giver, a lover, a nurturer, and overall someone who looks for opportunities to help others in need. The journey of becoming a founder/ leader has been pretty interesting. Starting out, I knew I wanted to feed the community and give back whatever I could. Being that I’m a natural giver, I came up with an event to provide dinner plates to the homeless in Downtown Houston. My money was a little low to due to having to pay bills and having a personal life. I kept the faith and knew God would still provide. Once he assured me of his will, I came up with the concept of cooking the food for the community. It only took $20.00 to feed 20 people. Man, God is faithful. This reminded me of one God’s miracles of feeding 5,000 plus their families with 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread. I’ve met a number of awesome people that have become mentors. Just being able to retain meaningful resources and information to keep a prosperous non-profit, has truly been a blessing. Agape Global, originally formed in November 2018 and incorporated in June 2019. The foundation was birthed by a hungry founder chasing after God’s heart that was ready to become a world changer. The ministry started in her own living room. Multiple meetings were held with planting the seed of prayer, outreach, studying the bible and growing as a family. While in the midst, we conditioned our lifestyles to resemble God’s heart in human form. Agape Global mission statement is “Empowering the Community One Person at a Time”. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization. We are committed to strengthening individuals, families, and communities through education, prevention, and intervention to eliminate family violence, mental health, and other crisis issues. Our non-profit organization serves communities by being a resourceful aid in helping citizens of marginalized communities in need of economic assistance, health care, and MORE! Agape Global has provided the homeless community with self-care bags. The bags were filled with, blankets, washcloths, water, soap, wipes, sanitizer, and many other personal care items. We have also fed a numerous amount of homeless in the Houston downtown area with food cooked and prepped by our founder. In the future, Agape Global plans to have multiple outreach events including health screenings for the homeless, a health reform, educating the communities about mental health, rehabilitation, clothes and shoe drive, a water drive, a continuation of supplying food to the homeless, and even a community bible study. One of the main goals will be to obtain a shelter/community center. The tenants will have access to a hot meal, a warm bath, a bed, along with resources to be re-established as a citizen (ID cards, social security cards, and even government assistance until they’re able to be independent). Agape Global wants to see our promised neighborhoods become alive again. Praying to see our people becoming nourished, employed, and having a safe, clean, and functional environment to live in and enjoy. We are Mental Health Advocates!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s so many eateries in Houston. One of my top restaurants is MODS Pizza. Everything about their food is fresh. It’s like going through a pizza buffet where you can put whatever you want on your pizza for no additional charge. I would then take them to the ham-mick park, Axlerad. Axlerad is a beer garden originally, that serves different beers. The scenery is what pulls me in, The ham-micks make the garden. It’s so relaxing. For a dessert, we would go to Voodoo Doughnut. These doughnuts aren’t like your original glazed doughnut. From the different textures to the taste of the doughnuts is above the expectation for a Doughnut. A good hangout and bar like area would be The Turkey Leg Hut. Their food and drinks are the Bomb dot com! I also just discovered this new resort called Lagoon Texas. It’s a beach resort where it looks and actually feel like you’re on the beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I give all the credit to God for allowing me to be the vessel he has chosen to for fill his vision for Agape Global. Also to my awesome team that stands behind Agape Global strong. I truly appreciate and love them .