Have You Seen? {December 22nd, 2019}

Last Week’s Theme: Team Traditions

Holiday Camaraderie + My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies by Ashley Felder—”I have grown to love this team atmosphere, especially during the holidays. I love being with others on special holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family dearly, but in my book, more is always merrier. (Ok, I do have limits, but I just love people!)”

At Christmas Time {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”My mom would read aloud the letters that were stuffed in the envelopes along with the card, telling us all about this distant cousin’s children’s marriages and adventures, or that old acquaintance’s life updates from the year. Mostly I didn’t know who these people were other than by stories and memories told by my parents, but I loved hearing these letters or reading them on my own later on.”

Forging Team Traditions by Sarah Hilkemann—”Some of my favorite traditions while living overseas started in the darkness, a desperate clinging to hope when things were hard. They were started because I needed a way to mark time, to hit the pause button on stress and work and the daily mundane that can hover over this global life.”

Just One Thing {Choose to Lose} by Denise Beck—”We know that our community is so beautifully diverse. Introverts, extroverts, singles, grandmas, and ALL the enneagram numbers. Those who live with fear of being asked to leave their country and those that live out their faith openly. All have different needs and the encouraging thing is that sometimes it just takes one thing to give them the strength to keep going. 

Embracing Christmas with Your Team {The Grove: Team Traditions} by M’Lynn Taylor—”Duplication of my ideal Christmas while living away from family is impossible. However, I’ve learned over the years we spent in China that holidays can still be very memorable and tons of fun, but it takes a bit of effort and a lot of willingness to let it be different than what I deem customary.”

From Around the Web

We love book lists! Top 10 Books of 2019 and 5 Book Recommendations for 2020

Loving Your Single Friends at Christmas

Stop Wasting Your Time Abroad: Recovering What You Came to Do

How to Care Well for MK’s {An Interview with an Expert}

The Impact of Culture on Our Sensitive Boys

Sorry, Not Sorry: Cross-Cultural Triggers and How To Respond

Naming Your Longing, Not Always Getting It: A Lesson From Advent

Finally, The Only Way Out of Our Inescapable Feelings

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

There might not be days off work, office parties and school performances. You might not be braving airport chaos or making the long drive over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house this Christmas. You might be in a t-shirt instead of an ugly sweater, gathering in a living room with no tree but full of friends or teammates.

Let’s pause this week in this space, though, to remember the greatest gift of all. Whatever that looks like for you, whether you are living your best life or aching with loneliness, let this community be your people, the place you remember and celebrate and share honestly about longing and hope. Gather in the living room of our blog posts this week, or in the great hall of our social media as you share glimpses of what Christmas looks like wherever you are. You can tag your images or stories on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesChristmas, as we celebrate the gift of Jesus.

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