Have You Seen? {January 31, 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.

Did you hear?  We want you to be in a video for Velvet Ashes!  It’s easy and honestly could take you all of one minute to do (record and send).

Here’s what we need: A really short video of you getting on your computer. We’d love for it to be in a noticeable environment that clearly expresses the culture where you live.  If you’re in your passport country or traveling somewhere, we want those too!  Outdoors would be great, but in your home or a restaurant (or other location) would also be good.   Here’s a quick example:

If lots and lots of you will do this, we’ll put it together into something amazing and much more exciting than this boring example, promise.

Send your videos to us at: info(at)velvetashes(dot)com.  Iphones can send with Mail Drop.  Dropsend.com is a really easy way to send videos through other phones/devices.  Be sure to tell us the name of the country or region you’re in (or you can say “undisclosed.”)

How fun will it be to see all of us spread out across the world! Send us the videos as soon as you can.  Thank you!

Last Week’s Theme: Metaphor

How to Feed a Starving Soul by Jessica Hoover—”If I’m honest my soul feels hollow and malnourished in the same way. I’ve filled up on things failing to feed my soul and the result is what looks like health on the outside, but is sickness on the inside. My One Word for 2016 is ‘Nourish’ and I’ve realized I need to re-evaluate, in every area, my soul’s health.”

Do You Really Ever Finish This Book? {Book Club} by Amy Young—”Nothing can bind you. Struggling to learn the language? That doesn’t bind you. Feeling isolated in your apartment, lonely, bored? That doesn’t bind you. People in your organization not listening to you? That doesn’t bind you. Wow. I need these reminders. What hope do they offer to you?”

Tangled Webs by Brandie Green—”Oh what tangled webs we weave when we agree to go overseas. I’ve never seen a spider weave it’s web, maybe that’s the stuff of science labs where people are paid to study the creative science that is nature. Is it made in an orderly way? Is it made in the same way every single time? Do spiders ever get tired of weaving webs again and again after people dust it away, or because the spider moved to a different corner of the house? Maybe it doesn’t matter. A spider needs its web to survive.”

In Every Season, Just Be Loved by Sarah Crickenberger—”At the end of 2015, I was at a loss. I kept turning over the question in my head of, “Well, now what I am supposed to do or be?” I felt like I wasn’t busy enough to justify my existence in Honduras. (Wasn’t obedience enough to get me here? Shouldn’t it be enough to justify still being here?) One day, I had been asking my Father what 2016 holds and what my one word is for this approaching new start. . . ”

If I Had THIS, My Life Would be Complete {The Grove- Metaphor} by Danielle Wheeler—”But I knew our next transition was just ahead, looming on the horizon. How do you live in the tension, knowing what you long for is not yet and might not ever be? Home was my metaphor. The metaphor I thought would save me. It was my “If only I had this, then my life would be complete.”

“We live as if the metaphor will save us, when the metaphors were only ever made to point us to God.” – Amber Haines

From Around the Web

A little bit of something for everyone. Humor. Books. Prayer. Change. Faith. Self-care.

The Five (Ironic) Enemies of Living Cross-Culturally.

What I Read Last Year {and a challenge} – Need books ideas? Or just love to read book lists?Kimberlee Conway Ireton (we know her from book club) shares the books she read and her family read out loud last year.

A Prayer for The Homesick.

What to Remember About Unwanted Change.

Snippets of weird and wonderful observations on American life.

Making Self-Care a Priority.

When leaving the field feels like leaving your faith.

Things I Would NOT Say to a New M.

Finally, What M’s Need to Know About Compassion Fatigue.

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…


Want to know one of the worst parts of living and serving overseas? The non-stop unofficial competition. Oh, we’d never call it that out loud because we are, you know, too refined for that. Which honestly makes it all the worse, doesn’t it?

This week we’re going to explore the theme of “Compete” and the ways the enemy uses it to silently divide, conquer and isolate.

Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. Competing can also spur us on as iron sharpens iron.

Once again it proves to be a rich week. Lord, we offer this week and this theme to you as you will use it to reveal areas we need to change in our lives and to encourage in others. Amen.

See you Thursday 6. p.m. EST at The Grove.

p.s. what’s your favorite game to play with friends, family, or by yourself? Anyone else love spades?


  1. Elizabeth January 31, 2016

    Love the snippets of weird American life! Thanks for sharing!

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