Have You Seen? {December 27, 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.

Dream Big

We’re entering the last days of our Dream Big fund!

Can we be honest and tell you that this whole Dream Big thing feels scary and audacious and SO much bigger than us?  To dare to dream that we can have the all the funds we need to minister to women around the world in 2016?  To boldly set a goal that this dream become reality by Dec. 31?  It’s craziness!

And yet we’re doing it.  We’re doing it because we’ve got a God who has provided for this ministry in incredible ways since day one.  We’re doing it because we’ve got a God who has called us into the deep and wide.

We want to offer the tender care of Jesus to women around the world – to those preparing to go, to those in the thick of it all, and to those going through the upside journey of re-entry.  We want to be a lifeline that draws them into deep connection with their Jesus and into the sweet fellowship of a sisterhood that understands their cross-cultural lives.  We want to be wind in the sails of all the incredible kingdom work that these women are involved in around the world.

That is our dream.

There are only five days left.  Would you consider joining us in this dream?  Would you consider reaching out to those you know who believe in blessing kingdom work and asking them to help us make this dream grow real?  Thank you!

Last Week’s Theme: Wonder

Celebrating Together by Laura McLain—”During my time overseas focusing on all the Christmas traditions I was missing left me emotionally numb. As Christmas approached, I decorated and purchased gifts but only halfheartedly. I plastered a smile on my face for various Christmas outreach events and held back tears during church services. The wonder of Christmas had been replaced with survival of the season.”

The Other Wise Man {Book Club} by Amy Young—We finished our fourth (and final) Christmas short story. If you haven’t checked out the comments, do 🙂

When God Paid For Christmas by Elizabeth Trotter—”When we finally went to bed, we slept hard. Then around 8 am my sisters called to me to get out of bed. ‘There are presents down here!’ they said. But I didn’t believe them. (Also, I really like my sleep.) So I rolled over and told them I knew very well there were no presents down there and that they were just making it up to try to get me out of bed earlier than I wanted.”

Merry Velvet Christmas! by Danielle Wheeler—”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!  So come share a glimpse of what Christmas looks like for you.  Hashtag your image with #VelvetAshesChristmas and it’ll show up here.  If you’re reading in email, click here to come see the pictures of Christmas around the world and join in with us!  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!” SO FUN TO SEE all the images!

From Around the Web

This week there’s something for all parts. Stomach. Soul. Behind. Eyes. Heart.

To Eat or Not to Eat, That Is the Question“I need your help to crowd source this post. Let me explain. In every culture, there are some foods that those on the outside don’t understand.” You’ll love the comments!

Rest Revisited: What Does it Look Like?

Let’s Talk about Butt Plates.

The Force Won’t Awaken for Another 23 Days in China (Not That I’m Counting).

When Singing “Joy to the World” Feels Too Hard.

Finding the Magic When Christmas Isn’t Perfect.

Home For Christmas“Home, and what it is. Where it is. The things we lose. How we find them again. Memory, and faith, trailing a shadow of doubt. For me, it will always be about this.”

Finally, Two Words to Defeat the Worm (any other C.S. Lewis fans out there?)

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…

one word 2016

It’s One Word week at Velvet Ashes!   This is one of my absolute favorite weeks of the year.  It’s a tradition, a rhythm for us as a community.  I love hearing how God weaved each of your One Words into your stories over the last year.  And it makes me smile big to read how the Holy Spirit presses a new word into each of us for the coming year.  Sometimes your word finds you, and immediately you just know.  For so many of us, it often involves us fighting the word, until we resign and accept that this is truly the word we need.

If you’re new around here, you’re probably wondering what we’re talking about.

Each year on New Year’s, we join up with OneWord365 to ditch New Year’s resolutions. We’re inviting you to…

“Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway.  

Choose just one word.

One word you can focus on every day, all year long… One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.

It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your one word will shape not only your year, but also you.

We want to hear your stories.  Tell us how your One Word went in 2015.  Was it a daily reminder for you?  Did you forget about it for a while, only to have it sneak up on you later?  Did your One Word find you late in the year, like Ashley’s did?

Looking back on your year, do you see ways that God worked this word in your life without you knowing it in the moment?

What is your One Word for 2016?  What is one thing that God wants to cast as a vision for you this year?  Be thinking and praying about it.  The posts this week will be sure to inspire.

Bring your comments and your blog posts to link up this week at The Grove, beginning Thursday 6pm EST.

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