Have You Seen? {July 14, 2019}

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. 

Check out our Submissions page for our current openings related to our upcoming themes! There you’ll find the guidelines for submitting a guest post as well.

Last Week’s Theme: Vacation

Announcing a Change by Danielle Wheeler—”As I shared my desire with the Velvet Ashes Board to take a year of rest in obedience to God’s invitation, we discussed a replacement plan. As we did, we all agreed that the executive director position has grown into a full time job. I knew that even after a year of sabbatical, a full time job with four young kids was not His particular calling for me. I could clearly see that what was best for both the ministry of Velvet Ashes and for myself and my family was to have someone else in that full-time position. So over a period of months, God revealed who He was calling to be the next executive director of Velvet Ashes. I honestly could not be more thrilled. I have only joy and confidence in the future of Velvet Ashes. I am so excited for you to be introduced to the new executive director in the coming weeks. I truly trust that God will continue to steward and grow Velvet Ashes through her and the Board. You are in good, good hands.”

The Community {Book Club} by Rachel Kahindi—”On the drive home from the mall, my youngest son told me, “Mom, we’re the same because we’re both the second born in our family!” The boys are always looking for ways that we are alike. They wanted to know where their dad falls among his siblings. He’s the sixth. And my older son pointed out that there are 4 brothers and 8 sisters in that family. “Why does Dad have so many sisters, and I don’t have any?” the youngest son asked. “I guess God knew our family was just perfect with only boys,” his brother answered. Before my second son was born, people would tell me, “Maybe it will be a girl, then you can be done having kids!” After my second son was born, those same people would ask if we were going to “try for a girl.” They didn’t understand why I didn’t want The Ideal Family. In Kenya, people are surprised that we don’t want to have as many kids as physically possible. “Only two is enough?” It seems many (all?) cultures have a concept of the ideal family, and people expect that everyone aspires to that idea.”

Loco Moco – That’s Fun to Say! by M’lyn Taylor—”On our trip to Maui, Hawaii last month, we enjoyed a ton of fresh seafood, but most of those dishes are impossible to recreate at home in West Texas. That’s why I was so excited to find Loco Moco! Its main ingredient—beef—is plentiful here in our landlocked dwelling place, so I took careful notes as my husband devoured the dish that I declared my souvenir of the trip. (I didn’t order it because I was too busy eating raw seafood). We scoured the local grocery store before leaving Maui for some sort of seasoning packet to assist us in re-creating this tasty meal back home but came up empty handed. I know there’s a “Loco Moco” packet out there somewhere, but we decided we could do it without one. A few days after we got home from our trip, we took to the kitchen to see if we could cook up some Hawaiian fare, and a new recipe was born. I posted a pic on Instagram and our very own resident Velvet Ashes foodie, Ashley Felder, saw it and asked me to share it with y’all. So here goes!  Forgive me for not having a super formal recipe, but I don’t feel it’s in the spirit of this laidback dish to write down specifics. (Read: I’m short on time and still trying to catch up from vacation!)”

How to Vacation Without Feeling Guilty + Crunchy Cinnamon Toast {The Grove: Vacation} by Ashley Felder—”Every year, our former org has a conference in Thailand (as many do). Because it was also a long national holiday in our host country, we would often add a week or so of vacation after conference. It was good to be in a different, slightly more western atmosphere for a while to give us a boost before heading into another semester. Some years, we took a short flight and a 5-hour van ride down to the beach. It was fun to be near the relaxing ocean, but the effort it took to get there with 3 small children was too much for us. Our last few years, we spent a similar amount of money as it would take to get to the beach and splurged on nicer accommodations in the city our conference was in. It was nice to stay in the same area, yet still be able to explore all the nooks and crannies of our new location. Often, we hunted for nice serviced apartments. For us, it was a step up from a hotel because we had a lot more space for everyone to spread out, and the option of a kitchen if we wanted to refrigerate or cook something simple. Because they were serviced, we would get fresh linens or towels whenever we needed them and the staff would clean our rooms every few days. Of course we lost a few amenities such as a pool and breakfast included, but it was too cold (for us) to swim at that time of year, and we were fine with buying simple breakfast foods to eat in the room.”

From Around the Web

That Time I Learned to Take a Vacation

When You Wish You Could Be Like Her

Signs You’ve Got a TCK

When Did This Place Become Home?

In-Flightisms

The cure for my contempt (and yours too)

Finally, Letting Go of the Child Who Graduates

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

When you look outside your window, what do you see?

Do concrete buildings rise to the meet the skyline, nary a hint of green in sight?

Do you come from a land of pine trees, but now you are surrounded by palm trees?

Oh, the outdoors! Our surrounding environment can be a source of joy or a reminder of all the familiar that we long for back home. This week we will talk about how the Father can meet us right where we are, reminding us of His glory through the beauty of His creation. Even when that view out our window might not be what we are used to, we can learn to love it and find rest for our souls.

What does the great outdoors look like where you live? We can’t wait to see all your pictures this week on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesTheGreatOutdoors!

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