Have You Seen? {January 4, 2015}

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

Christmas Project Update:

We believe the community who gives together, grows together and honors God together. We did it as a group and now we celebrate and thank God together.  We exceeded our goal of $2,500 by $500! The grant has already been issued and the money is in the hands of those who will feed malnourished kids and help people with tire gardens. It’s already there and we wanted to let you know and say thank you! Thank you!

Velvet Ashes Live in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Will you be anywhere near Chiang Mai on Feb 5th? {Note the date change}  Then you have to come for an incredible evening with us.  Velvet Ashes will be live and in person!  Join us at the Centara Duantawang Hotel 6:30pm.  R.S.V.P. here.

Last Week’s Theme: One Word

Words Woven Into the Fabric of Our Lives by Danielle Krouch — “As I sat down at the end of December last year to figure out my one word, I settled on ‘entrust.’ I knew there were many things that God wanted me to surrender and hand over to Him, knowing that He would fully take care of all of my worries and needs. I’m thankful that we can’t see too far ahead of us; if I had known what the year would entail, I may have run away, screaming that it was too much.”

The Practice of Pronouncing Blessings {Book Club} by Amy Young — “As we enter our last practice in An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor, I feel the way I do at the end of many good booksa mixture of happy and sad.” We had a rich discussion in the comments about not getting a blessing from a parent before they die. Come join in!

 What’s Your Excuse? by Amy Young — “You might be thinking, I do not have one more thing to add to my to-do list right now and these gimmicky things are so not ME. Fair enough. How about freeing yourself from “to-do” and turning towards who you want “to-be?” And though it may not be your thing, this is why I think you should prayerfully consider choosing a word for the year.”

The Word I Forgot that Changed My Life by Danielle Wheeler — “My One Word was about embracing what comes, embracing people, and embracing the now. And then a few months into my year, I had nearly forgotten my One Word. Embrace what? Life at the time was straining at the seams. We had reached our capacity and beyond. Family medical issues were a huge part of our stress. I wanted to blame it all on that. But the truth was, there were deeper core issues that brought us to where we were, to our life of little margin, to the thick fog of exhaustion, to the strain in our marriage and our parenting.”

Quiet Courage {The Grove: One Word} by Alece Ronzino — “The word brave naturally conjures up certain images in my mind. I picture Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. I see Jim Elliot and Mother Teresa… our armed forces… persecuted Believers… single parents…What doesn’t come to mind, is me. Even at the end of a year in which I intentionally chose to be brave.

From Around the Web

Why Knowing Our Stories is so Important by Abigail Alleman  {A Life Overseas} — “I wander this dark wilderness and cannot feel His presence. Have you been there, too, friend?  The way out is hard to find. It is impossible without intimate fellowship with God and trusted friends who love, pray and walk us through. And, I will add another essential, often forgotten, companion. Our story.”

When the Straight & Narrow Isn’t by Jonathan Trotter {A Life Overseas} — “The paths of God meander. But somewhere along the way we got this idea that we should be able to sit down, especially in January, and map out THE SPECIFIC WILL OF GOD FOR OUR LIFE AND MINISTRY FROM NOW UNTIL FOREVERMORE. I’m sorry, but my life’s just not working out like that. But if yours is, then hey, more power to you. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be hanging out back here with all the folks who are a wee bit confused by God sometimes.”

What I Pray You Give Yourself in 2015 by Kristin Strong {(In)Courage} — “Being a fan of Tsh’s words and wisdom, I perused her post. And when my eyes read the following sentence, they couldn’t help but widen with curiosity: ‘My entire life, I’ve felt more affected than others around me by seemingly small things—lighting, sounds, smells, violence in movies.’ Me too, Tsh, I thought to myself.”

It’s My Life by Lisette Lewis — “This is a blog about my life as an M. The problem is this: I am in the U.S. right now and, let’s be honest, my life is not that interesting.”

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…


Deep sigh…

Christmas is packed away.  The New Year’s been rung in.  And now… now it’s time to start living this year.

Perhaps you’re feeling it too.  An ache, a longing, an itch for… something more.  Something different.

Recently a woman asked us here at Velvet Ashes if we could talk about ways to creatively connect with God.  And we said, “Absolutely!”  God had already crossed our paths with just the woman to lead us.

Michele Perry knows what it is to walk in our overseas shoes.  She lived and worked in some of the poorest places on earth for the better part of a decade.  And now in a new phase of life, she’s being called to create.  As the founder of Sketch Book Prayers, she’s passionate about helping others tap into their creativity, to use art as a way to connect with God.

At The Grove this week, she’s going to help all of us do just that.

This week we’ll be exploring prayer, getting creative, opening up, and straight out praying for each other.

Then we’ll show up to The Grove together beginning Thurs 6pm EST.  What should you bring?  Whatever you have. Pencils, markers, children’s watercolors, or just a pen.  Just be ready to pray creatively. And let’s all agree to leave our self-conscious timidity behind.  My six-year-old can draw better than I can, and yet I am so excited to do this with all of you, to share our creative prayers together.

Hungry to be with the Father in a fresh way?  This week is for you.


Danielle Wheeler for the VA Team


Photo Credit : Gratisography

Photo Credit: Bravely You

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