Have You Seen? {December 7, 2014}

Have You Seen?  Reviewing last week and sharing other posts from around the web, plus a peak at what’s ahead. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

Last Week’s Theme: Expect

 Violated Expectations and the Christmas Story by Danielle Hance –“What can we take away from all of these violated expectations? That God doesn’t always give us what we expect. That his plans are sometimes unconventional and messy.”

Does God Expect You to Always Say ‘Yes’? {Book Club} by Amy Young –“What do you understand God to expect from you when it comes to practicing no and yes? How much have you needed to realign your understanding to what God has said versus what you thought he said or were taught he said?” Great discussion in the comments.

Velvet Ashes Gives Eggs and Tires {Christmas Project Launch!} by Velvet Ashes Team –“Our goal is to fund two projects through Pure Charity . The first is to supply an egg a day for a year for 30 Haitian children who are fighting malnutrition. The second is to supply startup materials for tire gardens for 50 families. Our one-time donations goal is $2500.”

We’ll be honest here, our editors team lost some sleep getting this project all set up.  But now we’re shedding happy tears as we see the amazing response you all have given.  We’re more than halfway there!  See the live update and donate here.

Will you join us as community in saying to the least of these, “We see you.”?  Here’s a tearful word of thanks from Sally Todd.

What to Do When You Find Yourself in Donkey Class by M’Lynn Taylor –“Oh, and don’t get me started on how I would have reacted to the news that I had to travel in DONKEY CLASS (which is probably just above “standing room only” in Chinese train terms) in my THIRD TRIMESTER!”

The Grove: Expect an interview with Hui Causby –“We thought we’d create space at the beginning of the month to talk about expectations we have around holidays and foods. AND hopefully help you come up with a game plan that gives you enough time to think through and prepare for holiday baking and cooking. The goal being, not perfection, but connection.”

From Around the Web

 Christmas Flashbacks by Susan Cochran — Remember your first Christmas on the field? This might bring back memories or prepare you for what may be yet to come!

The Greatest Investment You’ll Ever Make by Dorina Lazo Gilmore –“This year my family has faced the most beautiful and painful season of our lives. My husband was diagnosed with stage four melanoma cancer in May. The news came like a sucker-punch to the gut, but it was no surprise to God. In the weeks that followed, we experienced God’s presence and provision in the most profound way and I began to understand how critical community is to our lives. Ericlee invested in what I call ‘community life insurance.'”

Debriefing Resources by Angie Washington at A Life Overseas –“Other names for debriefing include: home assignment, re-entry counseling, member care, and processing for repatriation.” Resources include short-term, long-term, places around the world, online, and books.

Clouds and Sunshine by Laura –“Friday afternoon I had a brilliant idea. What if I flew home and surprised my family for Christmas? So I looked up plane tickets and pondered logistics … even though I knew it wasn’t reasonable. As I began to feel sorry for myself …”


Did you know Velvet Ashes will be LIVE in Chiang Mai, Thailand?  There’s been a date and time change, so plan to join us Thursday Feb. 5 at 6:30pm at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel.  To be together in person for the heart-connection, the soul-encouragement that we do here online?  That has us beyond excited.

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…



I smile at familiar faces, the vegetable lady, the egg lady.  I walk out of the market with bags full.  I walk home, breathing the unusually fresh air, crisp and chill, thankful for fuzzy warm long johns.  I pass the noodle shack, savoring the spicy smell.

I step inside my home, all cozy in the glow of Christmas decor.

And then… the jack-hammer construction starts up outside my door, rattling my brain.  Suddenly everyone is shouting at each other, no one can hear.

It goes on like this… for five hours.

There’s always something ready to steal joy.

There’s always reason to complain, to throw up the hands, let the heart swirl down.


And yet I wonder… I wonder if this Christmas season, if you and me, our sisterhood here, if we could band together and say “This Christmas we will find every reason to rejoice.

That we would say, “Yes, there are jack-hammers and family far away and holiday fun we are missing out on, but I will NOT let these steal my joy.  I will keep my eyes and hands open wide, ready to see, to receive all the reasons to rejoice.”

Can we do that here together?  The posts this week, they will help you fight your joy-thieves.

Then I am SO excited to share at The Grove with you the story and music of one of my favorite musicians ever.  She’s going to be giving away some of her gorgeous music, so you don’t want to miss it!  It’s the kind of art that touches deep places, and leaves you…rejoicing.

What have been your joy-thieves lately?  What has you rejoicing?  

Bring your link-ups to The Grove, beginning Thursday 6pmEST.

Photo Credit : Gratisography

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc


  1. Elizabeth December 7, 2014

    I LOVE music, and can’t wait to find out who you’re introducing on Friday!

  2. MaDonna December 7, 2014

    I find that what I rejoice in also can steal it – the weather! I’ll be writing more about that and will link up with you at the end of the week on The Groove. Can’t wait to hear the new music…always looking for new stuff that will awaken my rejoicing side.

    1. Amy Young December 8, 2014

      Great ! (on the link-up) — and I can relate to the weather influencing me a lot 🙂

  3. Hallie December 10, 2014

    Thank you for the Debriefing resource link! It looks like I will need to return to the USA for a bit to get some help, and  I found a couple Oasis option near my hometown, where my kids could stay with Grandpa and Grandma. Thank you!

  4. Hallie December 10, 2014

    OMG! I thought that was setting my profile pix. Good grief. Now you all get to see a GIANT ME!!!!! Luckies!


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