Have You Seen? {December 11, 2016}

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.

Our desire is to Continue the Story. If you’re like me (Amy), my home culture has seeped into my thinking more than I’d care to admit when it comes to finical giving. If it’s not “big” (whatever that might mean), it won’t make a difference, so why give. But look at the two examples that feature prominently in the New Testament: the widow and her two mites and the boy with his fish and loaves.

God uses the underdogs—could you get lower than a widow or a child? Size doesn’t seem to matter to Christ in the same way faithfulness does. Please be a part of continuing the story. We are rejoicing because you have generously provided 10% of the financial needs to keep women on the field connected to each other! Thank you.

You don’t want to miss the faces and stories of women you’ll recognize in this video!

Last Week’s Theme: Rejoice

My Invisible Christmas by Renee Aupperlee—”When I envisioned what my first Christmas with my newly married husband would be like, that image did not include a potted plant from the Biology department posing as our tree, with a tough chicken casserole acting as our Christmas feast.”

Hearing the Still, Small Voice {Book Club} by Kimberlee Conway Ireton—”Because God’s voice is a still, small whisper, and our world operates on shrill, large-scale shouting, I usually miss His voice. But the seasons of the church year remind me to turn off the noise (both the noise out there in the world, and the noise in here, in my mind, which teems with loud thoughts), and listen with the ears of my heart for the quiet voice of God.”

Ode to Joy by Joy Smalley—”In 2005 I was diagnosed with Dysthymia a type of depressive disorder because I had essentially spent years suppressing my “negative” emotions in a (necessary) attempt to cope with the day in and day out life of a TCK who has returned “home”. Believe it or not, the suppression of negative emotions also serves to suppress the positive emotions. Life becomes a series of monotonous emotional experiences. No low-lows and no high-highs. No grief = No joy.”

Rejoicing in the Comments {The Grove: Rejoice} by Amy Young—”As we come to the year’s end, we have much to rejoice over, both in the expansive and the mundane. Here is a brief look back at a few of themes we looked at this year. I’ve only selected one from each month (talk about a challenging task, when they all seemed to cry, “Pick me!”) and will share a comment from The Grove post.”

From Around the Web

Pausing to Honor.

What the darkness of a tropical jungle taught me about Advent.

Don’t Ask Me About My Christmas Traditions.

Tongue-Tied? Blame Your Affective Filter.

Is It Time to Go Home? (And How Do I Know?)

10 Reflections on Ten Years of Reentry.

Finally, For the weary one at Christmastime. 

And Now for Next Week

The theme is . . .

This month’s themes center around the season of Advent  – celebrating the story of God coming to be among us, rejoicing in the grace of His Presence, and this week, finding hope in God’s good gifts.

We are also sharing pieces of how Velvet Ashes’ story has intersected with your story, and rejoicing in ways Velvet Ashes creates space for us to be with Jesus and with one another. This is a place we rarely meet face-to-face, but find ourselves sitting with one another heart-to-heart through each other’s stories.

This week’s theme, Gift, brings us stories of God’s merciful gifts and the hidden gifts of experiencing this season in foreign places.  At the Grove, we’ll hear the voices of several in our community of how Velvet Ashes has been a gift to them.

Also at the Grove, we’d love to hear from you how you have experienced the gift of understanding, of encouragement, of companionship through the various facets of Velvet Ashes.

You can also link up your blog posts at The Grove and share on Instagram with #VelvetAshes and #VelvetAshesGift.

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