Q&A with Ashley HetheringtonGod is the source of anything that we create; everything that we do or create or post or write is an outflow of being close to Him.
Ashley Hetherington is a 24-year-old content creator, author and blogger behind “The Honey Scoop,” designed to equip and encourage readers to reach their full potential in God.
PEER: Can you tell me about yourself?
ASHLEY HETHERINGTON: My name is Ashley. I am a 24-year-old living in Nashville, TN and I’m a content creator, an author, a speaker and I love the Lord.
P: When did you start your blog and what inspired you to start your blog?
AH: Yes, so four years ago is when I started my blog and I was a freshman in college. I started an advice blog, and no one submitted any questions. No one wanted any advice. No one read the blog. But I wanted to do it because I just felt the Lord put it on my heart and I think whenever God’s putting something on your heart that you can’t get off your mind. That’s something that you should do so, that’s how it was for me with the blog, and I just did it.
PEER: And it’s called The Honey Scoop, correct?
AH: The Honey Scoop, but in freshman year, it was called Dear Ash. So yeah, it’s gonna grow and change over time. But I’m so glad I started when I did because now we’re here and if you’re watching this, listening to this, reading this, you’ve got to just start because in the future it will pay off and it will change courses and directions over time but you will eventually end up to where you need to be.
P: When you first started your blog, did you have any expectations of how big it would grow? What’s the origin of The Honey Scoop?
AH: Great question. So I never really thought it would become something that I’m doing full-time. I just thought it was going to be a hobby; I always wanted to write books so at the beginning, of when I was six years old, I never thought I would have a blog but I’d always want to write books and so God again always steers us in the direction we need to go. He doesn’t tell us the whole rundown but He always tells us what we need to do like He always gives us the next step; He doesn’t give us the whole roadmap.
But what I did is I started Dear Ash—it was an advice column. No one was submitting any questions so I was like okay, we probably should change this so I was brainstorming with my family about a new name and I was inspired by like all the publications and magazines that we all know—The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times—and wanted to be a place for positivity and hope and inspiration. So, I said okay, it needs to start with “The”—got that down. Then, I was like okay, what are some biblical words, what is the biblical meaning? What are some biblical truth for words? I looked up in the Bible like what kind words what uplifting words, what positivity would mean in the Bible and I came across the word “honey” in Proverbs 16:24. It says “kind words are like honey sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
So that’s where that came from. I was like, oh my gosh the honey, we got this. There is like the honey buzz I was talking with my mom in the bathroom, in her bathroom, she was getting ready for bed with her skincare and I’m like, okay the honey buzz—great, looked it up online. It was taken. The honey buzz is taken and that was when Buzzfeed was big. But then I went downstairs to talk to my dad and he’s like you know what people would always call me is the scoop. My dad was a newspaper reporter. He said people would always call me the scoop because I get the scoop on things I’m like oh my goodness—The Honey Scoop. It’s like a scoop of honey like a physical scoop and then when you’re having that uplifting moment with the words that you’re engaging with on the platform. It’s like that scoop so The Honey Scoop. That’s how we got to where we’re at both. My parents were very helpful.
P: That’s such a unique story. Where do you get inspiration for your blog posts and other content (TikTok, YouTube, Instagram)?
AH: Absolutely. I love to just listen to the audience and hear what they want. I think with any creative endeavor you’ve got to just serve your audience. So, if your audience is wanting to learn more about a certain subject, you just got to talk about that subject. It might not be what you want to talk about, but if they need to hear about it, then you meet that need rather than doing what you want. So, I had to learn that the hard way to just meet the needs and know what my audience is struggling with, so that I can add value to them with and help them with.
P: Who is your primary audience?
AH: So, they are around 18-35 in that range so young and young women from all over the world. It’s been so cool to see how the Lord has just gotten so many women from all over the world—not just from the U.S.
P: What advice do you have for young Christians who are interested in starting a blog or any other content—podcasts, YouTube, even TikTok?
AH: Yes, especially TikTok. I would say to never give up. It sounds so cliché but there were so many moments when I wanted to give up, like three years ago, a year ago, and you know, there are still days where I’m like, does any of this matter or is this editing this video going to really make a difference? There are so many days but you just can’t give up. You run your race with perseverance. You fix your eyes on Jesus and you run and you don’t give up until you hit the grave like literally don’t give up because they’re going to be days when you do and you’re not going to because you’re going to remember this and you’re not going to give up.
P: What’s the hardest part of being a Christian influencer online or having a blog?
AH: I would say the hardest part with being a faith creator or a creator where you’re helping people and teaching people things to do with their life and bettering their life is that you also have to have your own spiritual disciplines and your own relationship with God and your own disciplines that are apart from your content. You can’t talk about God if you’re not close with Him. That’s very hard to differentiate that; like okay, I’m reading the Bible not to teach someone about it later in a video, but I’m reading it because I need to connect with my Father or I’m waking up early not because I need to post about it but because this is the discipline that I’ve set for myself. Separating the two is really hard; separating life and creating is hard but you gotta before you can actually talk about it. You don’t want to live like a double-sided life. So, that’s the hardest part—disciplining yourself to do the things that you preach about.
P: That’s good. How do you avoid the temptation of “mission drift”?
AH: That’s a great question. I would say just abiding in the Holy Spirit and I think the Holy Spirit will give you a check if you’re going off like if you’re staying close to the Father. The Holy Spirit will give you a little check like, maybe we don’t post that or maybe we don’t talk about that or maybe we don’t say that maybe like you don’t go online today because it’s like a hard day for you.
Staying close to the Holy Spirit; He is the source of everything. He is the source of all creativity. God is the source of anything that we create; everything that we do or create or post or write is an outflow of being close to Him. If you’re close to Him, you’re gonna be on mission. If you’re far from Him, that mission is you’re gonna drift from, so stay close to Him, keep your eyes on Him and everything that you need to create will be out of an overflow of that.
P: In the busyness of life and creating content, how do you remain close to God?
AH: Disciplines—so waking up early and reading my Bible even when I don’t feel like it. A lot of people ask me, they’re like, Ashley, I don’t always feel like reading my Bible. So, what is that about and I’m like same—I literally don’t either. There are some days where I’m reading through my plan and I really don’t want to read about all the laws that Joshua was telling the Israelites, or I don’t really want to hear about Deuteronomy. I don’t want to hear that, but you just do the disciplines of showing up. Opening it up and as you do that, as you sit in your prayer closet, and as you just sit and you make the time and you do the discipline, there is like an outflow of that. Then that Scripture you read earlier that didn’t really mean anything at the moment, it comes up and you’re like, oh my gosh I read about that that day or I read it. I think it all comes down to discipline of spending time with Him even when you don’t always feel like it.
P: One of your videos about a Christian morning routine with viral. What advice do you have for young Christians who are interested and starting a Christian morning routine but don’t know where to start?
AH: Absolutely. I would say to first give grace to yourself. If you’ve been waking up at 8 a.m. and you all of a sudden want to wake up at 5:30, that’s probably not gonna happen right? Maybe you do some incremental changes so one day you wake up at 7:30, the next day, at 7 a.m. The next day, 6:30; we’re making progress so give yourself grace and make little goals. Also work on something—work on a morning routine, develop a morning routine that works for you. There’s a lot of moms that are following me that do not have any capacity to wake up early because of their kids and so if you need to, maybe sleep in a little bit. Just find something that works for you. My morning routine is going to look different than yours or your friend’s; find something that works for you, make it doable and don’t be super hard on yourself if you miss it one day—just get back the next day.
P: What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?
AH: I love this question. Oh, such a good question. When I was in college, I was a part of this leadership group, and it was so good for my development and what I’m doing right now. I literally think about what was taught there as Oxford Leadership Scholars with Crossroads Church. I’ll never forget that in one of the lessons, we were taught we are in the business of effort and God is in the business of result so it’s on us to put in the effort. To put in the work, to do the time, to be consistent, to innovate, to network, to show up every day, but God is in the business of results. He’s in the business of what happens like the result of whatever you do with posting and writing and things like that I don’t know the result of this or I don’t know if this will do well but I trust the work now and I give it to the Father and I say you do it and it’s on Him. It’s not on you to produce the results. It’s on God but it is on you to show up and do the work.
P: What are you currently listening to?
AH: I really like Christian rap right now. There’s some great Christian rap. GAWVI, such a vibe. Also Young C—the song “God’s image.”
P: What’s a go to self-care habit?
AH: I love this and honestly self-care is getting a bad rep in the Christian world and I’m like why? We have to honor and take care of ourselves to do God’s work. You can’t just like be constantly giving, giving, giving, giving, giving. I would say my favorite thing is going to bed early and getting in my bed early and reading like as many books as I want. I love to learn.
P: What are three essentials for a prayer closet.
AH: One, you need a bulletin board to put up your prayers. If you don’t have a closet, find a corner in your room. You need index cards to write anchor Scriptures for this season so write down Some scriptures that you’re like God is really speaking to me right now. Write down a few Scriptures that you’re like, God is really speaking to me right now, and the Scriptures that I want to speak over my life and declare over my life. Write those down and put those up on the board. And then also write prayers for your family, prayers for your career, prayers for your relationships—write those prayers down and put them all up. You have a bulletin board that sits in your corner and fits in your closet.
P: What is your favorite Bible verse?
AH: I would say Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Another translation that I was trying to describe was that when your eyes are fixed on are fixed on God, you’re kept in perfect peace. And you’ll know if your thoughts are on all these other things of the world or on social media or on what people think of you, you ain’t in peace. But if your thoughts are fixed on God, there’s a peace that is from the Holy Spirit that you can’t even explain and it’s not from you. It’s from Him.
P: Where can Peer readers find you online?
AH: My handle is Ashley Hetherington (@ashleyhetherington on Instagram), my ministry’s handle is The Honey Scoop (@thehoneyscoop on Instagram) and then if you want to find me on TikTok my handle is at @ashleyhetherington and also on YouTube and Pinterest.