Have You Seen? {May 15, 2016}

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.

Let’s celebrate “Love a Graphic Artist” Day

An unofficial, but very real, day of celebration here at Velvet Ashes. Many don’t know, but Karen Huber is the talented graphic artist behind virtually every image on Velvet Ashes and has been from almost the beginning. She has created well over 600 unique images to illustrated, inspire, or highlight the written words. Six hundred. The retreat graphics are designed by her. Speaking engagement graphics are designed by her. She’s funny, easy to work with, gracious when we get her a post at the last minute, and able to find the perfect image in every instance. All because she loves us all.

Karen, thank you. Love is patient and kind. It turns out it is also beautiful. Over and over people comment about what a great job “we” do with the images, and the editors laugh. “We” would do a not-so-hot job left on our own. You, however, breathe visual beauty. We, the community, take deep breaths and breathe it in again and again, feeding our souls. Thank you. Love, All of Velvet Ashes

Last Week’s Theme: Spiritual Disciplines

Service: A Lesson Learned the Hard Way by Lauren Pinkston—”For someone who traditionally defined herself by tasks and roles, I was lost in my transition into my home abroad. I didn’t have a job title, and no one seemed to know what to do with a woman who wanted to work outside her home. I was pouring myself into language study, but I had no professional outlet to use my vocabulary.”

Do You Love the Olympics? {Book Club} by Amy Young—”I write often about a fertile soul because I know how hard it is to not switch to auto-pilot at times of transition. The desire to keep my soul fertile, even when (especially when?) life is hard is a personal value. However, I don’t want these to be “just” pretty words or written on some beautiful images for Instagram or Facebook. You are the same. If you are drawn to Velvet Ashes, you are drawn to living an engaged life.”

A Deep Well of Wisdom by Caitlin Lieder—”In different stages of my life, I’ve memorized scripture differently. As a high schooler, I used to memorize a short verse and wrote it down during the day whenever I could. As a college student, I memorized a verse or section of a verse weekly or monthly, writing them on small 3×5 cards to pull out while I was running, keeping rhythm with the verse. As a mother of young children, I . . .”

The Epic Battle of the Blanket and the Bible by Denise James—”I’ve had many ladies encourage me over the years after I’ve voiced my frustration over not spending quality time with the Lord, ‘It is just the stage of life you are in. Don’t beat yourself up. The Lord knows your heart.’ The problem with heeding that advice is that I have been in this stage for almost 10 years.”

Isolation Reimagined {The Grove: Spiritual Disciplines} by Kimberly Todd—”I believe we could see a new trend, one that defies logic, which is a good indicator that it resembles the Kingdom of God… like a mustard seed, like yeast. We could witness a force, women who emerge from solitude and silence speaking wise true words, making connections and relationships that ripple through eternity.”

From Around the Web

This Side of the Ocean – Grocery Shopping.

What Cross-Cultural Workers Need to Know about Adrenal Fatigue.

The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice.

In light of last week’s theme, read Why We Need the Restoration of Silence and How Exercise Helps Us Pray and Write (and I’d add think, plan, dream, and review)

THE LIE THAT SELF-CARE IS SELFISH.

When You’re Stuck On Pause.

Finally, A Prayer for When You’re Out of Good Ideas

And Now for Next Week

The theme is . . .

CHANGE

Last week we looked at Spiritual Disciplines.

We did this in preparation for our next three weeks series on Change, Re-entry, and Carry on. Regardless of which over-arching category you are in, we can’t face it without the Triune God. We need him as we change. We need him as we re-enter. We need him as we carry on.

We need him.

We’ll start by looking at change and how that theme might be interacting with your story right now. You might not live in a culture that uses cash or coins. But you’ve probably visited cultures that do. Go dig through your drawer and pull out a few coins, the random change we keep.

In Chinese, the term for “change” translates as “little money.” Put your coins in a small dish, use them to build a stack, stick one in your pocket. Let’s collectively, though far apart, use this as a small act of spiritual discipline to meditate on change, be it big or small, in our lives right now. How can your change be an offering to God?

We’ll meet back here, at  The Grove, on Thursday 6 p.m. EST to share what we’ve learned. We’d love as part of our link-up to see pictures of your change!

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