Have You Seen? {March 29th, 2020}

Last Week’s Theme: Pleasures

Don’t Hold Your Breath by Emily Jackson—”I have a co-worker who gets dizzy spells on occasion. Thankfully, she knows the cause. When she’s concentrating hard on something, like reading an important document on the computer, she will unconsciously hold her breath. Only when she starts feeling dizzy does she “wake up” and remind herself to breathe again.  Then, voila, the dizziness goes away as oxygen starts flowing back into her system. As much as she knows the cause and the solution, she’ll still end up not breathing if she’s too focused on the task at hand. This made me think of what often happens to those working overseas. We know we need to have hobbies, fun activities, little joys, and things that give us pleasure sprinkled throughout our lives. It can’t be all work or we will, well, see previous Velvet Ashes posts on burnout. Yet we get going on the work, start concentrating hard on the task at hand, and subconsciously, we stop those peace-filled things. Pretty soon, we feel dizzy and wonder why.”

Parties and Picnics {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”It’s unpleasant to be around someone who thinks too highly of themselves, isn’t it? When Mr. Weston tells Mrs. Elton that he hopes to soon introduce her to his son, Frank Churchill, she thinks it all about her. “Mrs. Elton, very willing to suppose a particular compliment intended her by such a hope, smiled most graciously”. Sometimes I forget how much independence is valued and expected in my US passport culture (and others) in this day and age. I shook my head through the whole saga of Jane Fairfax being able to walk through the rain to the post office to fetch her own letters. Everyone else seemed to have an opinion of what she could and couldn’t do! I do admire a desire to protect those who are more vulnerable and in need of care (we are seeing this in action in the current events worldwide!). I can also be rather headstrong and stubborn (my siblings are nodding vehemently in agreement at that statement), so if I had been Jane, I would not have taken too kindly to everyone else’s directives!”

Once Upon a Time by Denise Beck—”Once upon a time I said I’d never homeschool my kids. Once upon a time I said I’d never serve overseas. Once upon a time I said, “And absolutely not in Africa.” Once upon a time I did all of those things. Do you ever think of your life in terms of the story being written? I used to dream about the story I would tell my kids of how I met their dad. Honestly… it’s a good one. The story of how I met my husband is so charming it was even featured in Woman’s World Magazine. My one claim to fame! Our wedding picture and story were nestled right smack dab under a picture of Antonio Banderas.  Do you want to hear it? It’s never as good as when my husband tells it but here goes. I was a junior in high school when I noticed a guy playing basketball for the opposing team at an away game. I mean, of course I thought he was cute but what caught my eye was his character as he helped the guys up and talked with the opposing coaches. I promptly declared to my best friend at the time that I would marry #40. Yes, quite bold, but when you know, you know!”

Hidden Pleasures by Stephanie Prater-Clarke—”4:30 AM.  The alarm awakens me while it is still dark outside. I force myself to crawl out of bed because I enjoy walking most when the cool of the morning welcomes the sunrise. It’s the perfect time to meet with my Creator. It’s there the fresh air reminds me that I’ve been gifted with new mercies as the day dawns. The sea’s crashing into the cliff is almost rhythmic. The bee buzzing from flower to flower brings to mind that God has already touched every facet of my day. The sun’s eventual breakthrough from behind the clouds assures me that if I remain faithful to the purpose that God has called me to, I, too, will realize my breakthrough. The knowledge of it all begins to stir my lips to sing a song of praise. And then I see Robert. Robert shows up faithfully every morning, despite his disability, for his morning walk. I greet him, “Good morning, Robert. How are you this morning?” He greets me back, his answer the same every day, “Good morning.  I’m good.” Robert doesn’t know it, but he inspires me. He’s quiet.  He’s humble.  He patiently walks at the pace his body will allow him. And he is committed to finish his route every single morning. Oh, that my life would reflect that commitment – that I would not tire of showing up and doing good in this overseas life, despite any handicap the barriers of culture may present. Time lapses quickly, so I wish Robert a good day and begin my walk home. My senses are fully awakened from the pleasure of being with God in His creation – for everything He has made is a quiet teacher of His truths.”

From Around the Web

Want to chat with other global worker moms? Join our Moms of Velvet Ashes group on Facebook!

A Word About Grief in These Unsettling Days

12 Diverse Easter Books

Simple Spice Cake from our friend The Serviette!

Valor’s Unsettling Saints

Finally, How to Cultivate a Quiet Mind Amidst Uncertainty

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

We cling to the mountainside as the narrow path winds, rocks slipping off the edge into nothingness. Darkness descends and fear is constant as we navigate treacherous terrain.

That might sound like an adventure novel excerpt or a description of what are hearts feel in these uncertain days.

When the path feels rocky, the journey agonizing, the way impassible, our God is our constant companion.

He goes before us; He holds our hand to guide and comfort.

No matter what the road may be like, He is our confidence. And we can be sure-footed, like a mountain goat scrambling over cliffs with no hesitation or foot slip.

How is the Father shoring up your steps in these days? What is helping you walk with confidence?

Join the conversation this week as we talk about how the Lord is giving us strength. Share your images of the beautiful or rocky paths your feet are taking you this week (both literally and figuratively) on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesSurefooted.

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