Have You Seen? {March 31, 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: Prayer

When Praying Is Hard by Sarah Hilkemann—”I’ll be honest, most of the time I don’t understand prayer. I’ve asked God for things and watched as He provided in ways I didn’t expect. I’ve bowed over meals, walked and prayed with eyes and heart open. I have filled journal pages with written prayers and requests; dreams expressed to the Lord and praises recorded. Then there are the seasons where it feels like I’m speaking to the empty sky. ‘Where are you, Lord?’ The words feel useless as situations unfold around me that are out of my control. ‘Couldn’t you show up, now, in the way I desire? Couldn’t you change this, remove this, help me?’ “

We Don’t Know How to Pray {Book Club} by Rachel Kahindi—”This year, I decided to finally stop reading about prayer and do it – spend time actually praying. I was appropriately convicted when Barton said, ‘In most cases, the reason we prefer to talk about prayer and read about prayer but don’t actually pray has more to do with our ambivalence about intimacy than anything else.’ We resist intimacy because it means giving up control. It occurs to me that I also avoid intimacy with God because I don’t want to face those offensive ways that David mentions in Psalm 139 (‘Search me and know my heart…’).”

That Time I Cried Over Spilt Soap by Emily Raan—”There I was. Kneeling on the cold, hard tile. Arms draped over the bathtub. In tears. ‘Why?’ you might ask. ‘Did somebody die? Was our family in some sort of crises?’ No. Somehow my soap got spilled. ‘All over an electronic device that is now ruined?’ you might ask. No. Into the bathtub. That’s right. My tub was now cleaner than it had been two hours prior and I was a sobbing mess. (What is it about this life abroad that makes me so emotional?!  Can anyone else relate?)”

Prayer Confessions + Sweet and Tangy Chicken Thighs by Ashley Felder—”I have a confession to make. An embarrassing one. I stink at praying. Not the kind where I’m gathered with others, voicing aloud our praises and requests. I thoroughly enjoy hearing others speak to God, pouring their hearts out to Him. I might enjoy praying with my kids the most—so innocent and full of expectation. Nor the kind that only requires a quick prayer because my friend texted me shes’s sick and doesn’t know how she’ll manage her 4 kids from bed. I’ve finally learned to stop right there and say a quick prayer right then, because honestly, I’ll probably forget to do it later. No, I’m terrible at sitting still and letting my mind stop…forcing my mind to stop churning long enough to even listen to what the Lord has to say. How embarrassing is that, especially as a ‘professional Christian’?”

Can We Pray for You? {The Grove: Prayer} by Velvet Ashes Team—”In a week where we are intentionally looking at prayer we don’t want to just talk about prayer, we want to pray together! In the comments please share requests and areas we can rejoice with you — also know you are invited to share as much or as little as you’d like. Please come back as more prayers are added and pray for each other by either commenting “I prayed” or writing out a prayer. All forms are welcome! No pressure to pray like others, this isn’t about how we pray or words we use. It’s about praying for each other. How can we pray for you today?”

From Around the Web

Smoke And Onions

Embracing Our Differences While Living Cross-Culturally

10 Fun Facts for Kids about Passover

How to Live Sent in the Place You Call Home

“Hello Again” — The Unanticipated Bright Side of Perpetual Goodbyes

If Only

Before you return: thoughts on preparing for re-entry.

Finally, Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs Is the Kingdom of Heaven

And Now for Next Week

The theme is….

This body of yours has carried you across continents and oceans, enduring the most extreme conditions and the strangest foods. Maybe you are proud of all your body has allowed you to see, do and accomplish.

Or maybe when you look at yourself in the mirror, you feel shame. Or indifference. Even thinking about your body might feel unimportant or strange when compared to the spiritual heart work that is happening.

How do you view your body?

Let’s get practical this week! How do we nourish not just our souls but our bodies as well in our line of work? How can we care well for this temple the Father has given us without elevating it too much? There are hard questions and real struggles related to this topic, but we hope you will join us for the important discussions happening this week.

You are welcome to join the conversation through the blog post comments, and make sure you are following us on social media so you can interact with us there. You can post your own thoughts and images on Instagram this week with the hashtag #VelvetAshesBody.

It’s not too late to register for this retreat that comes to you, right where you are!

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