Have You Seen? {March 10, 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.

Last Week’s Theme: Sisters

The Risk of Vulnerability by Sally Pim—”I loved my connection group last year. It started as they normally do. We shared a bit about who we are and what our days involved. It was nice and sweet and we shared prayer points each week. And then something happened. A friend in the group took the risk of being vulnerable and shared something that was close to her heart. We all paid attention. And as we prayed for her in her situation, we each began to share just a little bit more of where we were really at. That season of 10 weeks saw a deep sharing of joy, struggles and pains. It was with women all over the world and on very different journeys, who were connected by  something bigger than ourselves.”

Let’s Nourish Our Souls {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”Barton said, ‘The disciplines themselves are basic components of the rhythm of intimacy with God that feed and nourish the soul, keeping us open and available for God’s surprising initiatives in our lives.’ I think I need a perspective shift when it comes to rhythms and disciplines. How can the Father nourish my soul when I put these things into practice regularly? Instead of just another thing to do, what would it look like to be with Him through these practices? I am excited to explore this with you all in the coming weeks!”

Pursuit of Connection by Ruth Felt—”I was a bit leery about Connection Groups. Everyone knows that talking to people you don’t even know online can be awkward. Small fuzzy pictures of faces frozen in strange positions isn’t quite the same as face-to-face over coffee. I have been disappointed by that before. Group counseling changed my mind. Part of our intensive debriefing retreat last spring was daily group counseling. It was there I realized the power of telling your story – your true, honest story – in a safe, accepting environment. I saw how connection could break down walls to aid deep emotional healing. Our group was able to sit together in the same room, but I believed this kind of connection could be possible from a distance. I was willing to try, at least.”

No Lone Rangers by Sarah Hilkemann—”We can’t do this alone. We might try and go all Lone Ranger for a while, but ultimately our hearts were created for connection. We yearn to be known and accepted and to give these gifts to others as well. I found myself living in a pretty isolated village situation in Cambodia for a year, with no other English-speaking expat believers other than my teammate. It was hard to make friends, hard to find inroads to get to know people who shied away when they heard my clumsy foreigner-sounding Khmer or witnessed my strange ways.”

An Opportunity to Teach Overseas by Adventure Teaching—”As a member of the Velvet Ashes community, we’re going to guess that being abroad is a significant part of your life (or one day will be). Maybe you’re trying to figure out the best way to go abroad and make an impact in the lives of others. Maybe you feel called to experience different cultures and serve those around you. Maybe you’ve been serving abroad for years and are feeling like it’s time for your next opportunity.”

From Around the Web

An Honest Reflection on Re-entry, Repatriation, and Reverse Culture Shock

Why We All Need A Sabbath Journey For Lent

Good Father’s Perspective

5 Types of Fear in the Bible

When The Thief Steals

What Have I Done to My Children?

Finally, Take Heart, Weary Servant

And Now for Next Week

The theme is….

Photo by Meiying Ng on Unsplash

The ache can press in hard while you are standing in a crowd of people, but no one understands your heart. Or speaks your language. Or knows your name. It can well up as you video chat with family on the other side of the ocean, or in the empty house you come home to at night.

Loneliness doesn’t always make sense, but she has a name. And this week, she is our invited guest at the table.

We are talking about the reality of loneliness this week, and we have a space for you to come too. Let’s be honest about the struggle. What heightens a sense of loneliness for you? How has the Father met you during those times? We hope you will find connection and encouragement as we engage this topic together this week.

Share with us in the comments, and post your stories with the hashtag #VelvetAshesLoneliness on Instagram.

1 Comment

  1. Patty March 9, 2019

    Wow, how this is so appropriate for me. Tonight, I sit in my apartment alone. Well, not totally. I am watching some coworker’s dog. They are on stateside for a few more months. But none the less – alone. I have prayed and asked God for friends and for awhile I had some sweet neighbors but they have moved to Chile. My other friend had to do a visa run and wont be back for three more weeks. So here I am. Praying to God for some answers to some things that are heavy on my heart. Trying to make decisions for the future and feeling very alone. I know God is with me. His Word states He never leaves.

    I am looking forward to reading the blog on this one.

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