Have You Seen? {April 14, 2019}

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.

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We need you! We need your heart and your experience and your words, because they are an important part of what makes this community so special. We have several openings for guest post submissions for the upcoming themes of discernment, social media, personality, singleness and marriage. Head over to our Submissions page to read over the guidelines and instructions for submitting a guest post!

Last Week’s Theme: Guilt

The Guilt of Leaving by Kate Motaung—”I couldn’t see God. In my weakest moments, I wondered if trusting Christ was worth it. Did my faith even matter? My family suffered just the same as unbelievers, so what was the point? I knew God existed, but the benefits of being His follower blurred with the tears in my eyes. As I teetered on the edge of doubt, I looked at people I knew who didn’t have Jesus. I saw their emptiness. Their complete lack of hope. I couldn’t help but compare them to my mom. Even though Mom may have feared the unknown, she was anchored by her trust in Christ. She was held.”

A Recovering Perfectionist and Self-Examination {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”My perfectionist tendencies build up a wall around my heart and it’s hard to be honest and vulnerable. For so many years I wanted people to see only the very best parts of me, the ones that revealed I had it all together and knew what I was doing in life. Those walls also affected my relationship with God. Everything in my conversations and interactions with Him stayed on the surface because I was afraid of what He would think of me if He saw the depths of my heart. But I slowly began to realize that this was no way to live in relationship with the God of the universe, the creator of my soul and body. He knew me intimately anyway and He still loved me relentlessly.”

The Many Kinds of Guilt by Jenilee Goodwin—”Again, family would never want us to feel this way but real or imagined, the guilt is there. To not be at birthday parties or host family events or have a way to shop for meaningful gifts or help with doctor’s appointments or babysit my nieces and nephews. To not be there during long illnesses or the passing of a loved one. To miss weddings and births. We participate through FaceTime or make sure to send a gift card but it’s still not the same and we feel the guilt of missing important family moments. The guilt of our kids having so many other aunts and uncles on the field or not being as good at keeping up with cousins or grandparents as we’d like them to be. A lot of guilt goes with the topic of family and living overseas. Guilt that is hard to navigate.”

Releasing Guilt From Failed Expectations by Ashley Felder—”There are little to no organized sports to be a part of. Clubs for art, theater, or music might exist, but they lean a little too far into the perfection and performance arena than we are comfortable with. There are no libraries. There are few parks with actual playground equipment. Instead, they have the rusty metal exercise equipment frequented by the elderly. There are few local kids to play with…because they’re at home studying. In our 8 years serving here, most of the time, we’ve been fortunate to be on a team with other kids. Ages and genders don’t always match up, but everyone is happy to at least have a playmate. Their creativity in playing with sticks and dirt or in an abandoned kitchen are amazing to watch. I treasure each day they get to play with friends, yet I still long for more for them.”

Guilty or Not Guilty – Is That Your Question? {The Grove: Guilt} by Lilly—”Envy, on the other hand, is a sin Christ shed his blood for. Christ calls me to repent of it– so I bring it to the Lord and repent. Envy is unbecoming to a woman who exists inside Jesus Christ. His generosity and love are mine to enable me to rejoice at others’ abundance. As I repent, He gives faith to accept both His forgiveness and His righteousness. What a joy and relief that he not only took my guilt but also my shame. I don’t need to carry around guilt for the sins that my High Priest already offered a single offering for, and which the Holy Spirit remembers no more. (Hebrews 10: 1-23). What a promise to defend ourselves with when guilt wants to bully us: Christ has taken away all our sins. Praise the Lord that in Christ, we are always declared not guilty!”

From Around the Web

How to Be a Safe Place for Others

The Blame Game.

Grief Is Less Heavy in Community

“WHERE ARE YOU FROM?”

20 Easter Foods Around the World

Step-by-Step Guide to Recovering from Jet-lag with a Toddler

Finally, Who Will Pluck My Chin Hairs?

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

He is making all things new.

In the messy middle when things feel murky and dark, it can be hard to remember. But that is what we are doing this week as we prepare for the celebration of hope that marks us as followers of Jesus. We will remember that He came to redeem us out of the pit, to bring transformation to our hearts and to all peoples. He frees the captives and rescues us, relentlessly pursuing our hearts out of a love we can barely fathom.

He is redeeming you.

Will you come remember with us this week? You can share your heart in the comments, link up your own blog posts at the end of the week at The Grove, and post your redeeming moments on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesRedeem.

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