Have You Seen? {April 12, 2015}

Welcome to Have You Seen?  We’ll review last week and share other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

The Count Down is On …

The Velvet Ashes Retreat is this coming weekend!  What are your plans?  We’d love to hear!  Anyone trying to figure out where to do their personal retreat?  Mothers, let me (Danielle) tell you my plan.  It’s called, “a lock on my bedroom door and Daddy on duty!”  I’m going to make my favorite chai, cozy up to watch the retreat videos, journal my heart out on with our journal guide, do a DIY spa treatment, a little art, a little yoga, and weather permitting, sneak off to my favorite park.

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What about you?  

Did you hear about the ladies meeting together in Siguatepeque, Honduras?

“We are going to come together to do this retreat because so many do not have internet or a quiet place. So we are meeting in a home for the day. We will have every denomination you can think of, every type of ministry represented, and women in many different places in life.

We will be meeting together for 5-6 hours, with a meal, a worship time, a nail station, and an art station. We will have a tea station, a rest station, and a cross station (for private worship in another room). A group of 3 us are putting together the logistics and praying over every minute.” 

How amazing is that?!  Comment below and share what your retreat plans are.

It’s not too late to register!  When you do, you’ll receive an email with suggestions to help you prep — complete with suggestions for music, art, food, exercise, and DIY spa ideas.  Also be looking for an email this week with an invitation to the Live Chat with the editors Friday 8pm EST.

AND…because we know the reality of slooow overseas internet, we’re opening up the retreat  on Thursday morning EST.  This way you can have plenty of time to download the videos if you need to.

We hope you’ll be sharing your retreat experience.  You’ll be able to write your reflections in the comments all weekend, and don’t forget to take pictures and share on Instagram with hashtag #velvetashes.

It’s nearly here!

Last Week’s Theme: Team

The Restorative Power of Diet Pepsi and TV by Danielle Krouch — “No pressure. Just a Diet Pepsi and some leftovers. She would make me laugh and feel comfortable. It was exactly what I needed. After a year of feeling like no one wanted to get to know me, she welcomed me and let me just be.”

Opportunities For Trust or Disappointment {Book Club} by Amy Young — “What did you think of the idea that we often arrive better trained and able to work with locals than with each other?”

My Team is My Body by Lauren Pinkston — “It would be so much easier to do this work by myself. It would be so much faster and more efficient to put team meetings and team fellowship aside and just DO THE WORK … I have absolutely no right to love people in a different language if I’m not giving love in my own language first.”

The Team that Found its Swing by M’Lynn Taylor — “That team changed me. I came away from that year a more generous person. I learned about true hospitality and came to a greater appreciation and awe of God’s ability to use conflict to deepen relationships. That glimpse of what can be accomplished when there’s unity leaves me thirsty for more.”

God Doesn’t Use People {The Grove: Team} by Kimberly Todd — “What if team was a reason to stay?  Nick and I sat our teammate down to have an awkward conversation. I had the same play-it-cool quiver I had when I asked Nick out in college. Would she change her plans to start graduate school in the fall? Would she stay another year and continue to work with us? Things are going so well. There’s an obvious chemistry and finally, (finally!) there’s some momentum building in the work.”

From Around the Web

Guess who was named one of the Top 10 Female Christian Bloggers by Frank Viola?!  Our very own!  SO proud.

How would you answer this new look on the familiar saying “I would I had a thousand lives that I might give them…?”

MaDonna noticed many of us have “leaving stories” and she’s collecting them. Which of your stories do you want to contribute?

Related to leaving are the mounds of grief we experience in this line of work.

And anyone else feeling like “I’m More Hot Mess Than Scripted Ministry“?

Joanna Swart shares on How To Build A Life (on mornings in the new place).

In anticipation of our theme for next week, here are two gems:

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…


Do you ever feel like you’re trying to DO IT ALL and you just can’t keep up?  Have you ever taken a long hard look at all the expectations you’re trying to live up to?

In our book club book, we’re learning the connection between expectations and burnout, especially among overseas women.

We’re burdened down by the weight of heavy expectations, yet we serve a God who offers a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.  How do we live in this lightness and freedom?

That’s what we’ll be talking about during the Velvet Ashes Retreat, as we step away from it all to rest and be with Jesus.  This week, begin asking God what expectations he would have you release or be released from.

Our posts this week will talk about…

  • when unmet expectations leave you with shattered trust
  • book club – expectations of our host culture
  • what to do when you expected to have a husband and don’t
  • when overseas workers are expected to be above the struggles of everyday folks

Then it’s retreat time!  What are your plans?

Photo Credit : Gratisography

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