Have You Seen? {December 20, 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.

We are …. Dreaming Big!

It’s humbling to watch God meet Velvet Ashes’ needs through you. We have raised . . .  over $7,540 which means with the matching gifts up to $10,000 we really have $15,080 towards our $23,975! And are at 63%. If numbers aren’t your thing, just know this, the God of infinity holds you very dear. If you’d like to be a part of His provision for Velvet Ashes in our goal by the end of the month, click here. Eleven more days. Are you ready to celebrate with us?

Last Week’s Theme: Ponder

Speaking Truth in Love + Crunchy Caramel Popcorn Recipe by Ashley Felder—”My first question to myself was, why am I not speaking the truth in love as God lays it on my heart? I think mainly fear. Fear of what others will think. Fear of how the recipient will react. I do not want to seem holier than thou! Fear of not keeping the perfect balance of 100% truth and 100% love.”

How the Captain Made Christmas {Book Club} by Amy Young—”He took what could have been a horrible annoyance to be born—traveling at a crowded time of year—and used his power for good. I wonder what little corner of my world I could have the same impact. Where can I enter into frustration, people being a bit snarly, and leave it altered for the good.”

Jacaranda (Is It, Then, Enough?) by Joanna Swart—”Age-old questions. Age-old weak answers. I won’t apologize for asking. I won’t wonder if I should be wiser yet, to bite the bitter ‘why’ off at the tongue. I’ll fling the questions as high as I can, against a steel gray sky, against a robin-blue abyss, against the clouds building and building and floating away, against a diamond-pricked ink canvas. The heavens declare, the heavens declare, the heavens declare…”

Why Pondering is For Chaotic Times Too {The Grove: Ponder} by Amy Young—”Pondering can happen in the midst of chaos. In the midst of the story, when strangers show up and you’re sweaty and tired. When activity swirls. I think this is why treasuring and pondering are mentioned, more like an off handed comment, in the midst of all the shepherd activity. Pondering is such a calming, private word, that I can be lulled into thinking it can only occur in calming private moments.”

From Around the Web

If you are in need of hearing a prayer read out loud, over you, listen to Emily P. Freeman read A Prayer for the People in Joy and in GriefAmen.

Four posts from those who get it:

  1. When Christmas Is Not Quite the Same
  2. Pain and Glory
  3. The 12 Days of Djibouti Christmas
  4. Home For Christmas

Ask a Counselor: What about anger overseas?

This was timely in light of this past week’s theme. “Pondering Means Not Hurrying: 5 Aspects to Growing a Contemplative Soul.”

Finally, Announcing a Life Change from Danielle Wheeler.

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…


You may be feeling more homesick this week than ever.  Christmas may be feeling far from wonderful.  And let us just say that we get it.  We get that achy feeling of longing that creeps in.  Longing not for the manger, but for the second coming, the one that means we can all be home together, no more boarders, no more brokenness.

We get it.  We so get it.

But this week, can we gently nudge each other?  Can we pause and remember?  That the baby born is the promise we all live for.  Can we let the miracle of that steal our breath?

Let’s let the wonder of it all seep in.   And then let our response be… joy.  Joy at the gifts that are all around, the beauty and love found in the big and small.

This week we’re throwing a celebration on Instagram!  In all our little corners of the globe, we’re letting loose with the wonder and joy of Christmas.  Share with us what Christmas looks like for you this week.  Hashtag your image with #VelvetAshesChristmas and it’ll show up in our Christmas post at The Grove.  Whether you’re in your home country or abroad, share your Christmas joy with us.  Let’s enjoy watching Christmas unfold in this beautiful community all around the world!

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