Have You Seen? {May 26th, 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.

Announcement from the Velvet Ashes Board of Directors:

The Board of Velvet Ashes would like to share with the community that our Executive Director, Danielle Wheeler, has requested a year away from leading Velvet Ashes to pursue the season of rest that God is inviting her to. She will complete her service as Executive Director this summer, but anticipates returning in 2020 to a fresh role within the organization. The Board is grateful for the work, time and care she has put into building Velvet Ashes over the past seven years. She will be sharing more in a blog post closer to the time of her departure.  The Board is extending an invitation to those within the Velvet Ashes community who would like to submit their name as a candidate for the new full-time Executive Director position based in the US. If interested, please forward your résumé to Board member Jayna Gallagher at [email protected] by Friday, June 7.    

Last Week’s Theme: Singleness

Singleness and the Commitment to Community by Jessica —”To love and be loved requires no vows or blood relation. Sharing in riches and poverty does not necessitate a joint bank account. It takes no rings to be present in sickness and health. There is no license for cherishing. But it absolutely requires your whole heart, mind, body, and soul – and probably your blood, sweat, and tears too. Community is the gift that keeps on giving and taking. To love is to cook for your neighbor’s kid and keep your cool when they steal your last plate. To be loved is to be tackled by hugs and served bewilderingly large helpings of rice and beans.”

One Reads for Pleasure {Book Club} by Rachel Kahindi—”I was a struggling reader as a child. I am always a little jealous of people who started reading at an early age because they have that many more years of reading than I do. I don’t remember being in the lowest reading class of first grade, but I know now that I was. What I remember is that I hated reading because it was so booooring. We were assigned home readers, which were usually old reading textbooks – the kind full of short stories. To me, the stories were entirely pointless and uninteresting. What I was given to read didn’t interest me, so I didn’t practice reading much. I wasn’t a good reader because I didn’t practice much. I didn’t get to read more interesting things because I wasn’t a good reader. Thus the vicious cycle ensued.”

Questions From a Single Nomad by Maria Mullet—”My left ring finger is empty. It’s not bare: a freckle marks the spot where a ring might sit. But nothing winds around it as a reminder of a lifelong promise. Because I’ve never stood before God and these witnesses and promised forever to another human. Our marital status is a huge piece of our earthly identity. Nearly every passport form, visa document, or work permit application asks us to check a box that puts us in a category, as if we don’t already know what box we fit in. Our sending organizations, churches, and small groups often follow the same categorizing system. It’s an identify we cannot escape. Some people look on singles with envy—mostly because of one word: freedom. And it’s true. I can choose where I go on vacation, I can eat all of my own French fries at McDonalds, and I don’t have to hang mounted deer heads in my living room. It’s wonderful.”

Dear Single Girl by Kelly Delp—”Marriage is not promised to you. Marriage is not something you can earn by not kissing any boys or not dating or praying for your future husband each night. Marriage is not the goal. Please hear that. Marriage. Is not. The goal. Marriage is not a prerequisite for living out your calling. You have a calling. YOU. Do not hold out to be a pastor’s wife. Be a pastor. Don’t hold out to be a cross-cultural worker’s wife. Be a cross-cultural worker. The dream of your heart is to be a mother? Be a spiritual mother who will have children in the faith. Did you know that Paul called Titus and Timothy his sons? It’s not a small thing. It’s not a lesser-than thing. I have daughters in the faith that I love differently than I love other people. They are my spiritual daughters. I am a mother to them.”

A Time for Lament {The Grove: Singleness} by Sarah Hilkemann—”If you are a woman completely content in your singleness, bless you, sister. Seriously, go with God and change the world right where you are, and teach us your ways. But maybe that’s not you. Maybe your heart feels broken open a little with unfulfilled longing and buried dreams. You are serving Jesus and following Him to your next door neighbors and the far corners of the earth. But your little girl visions of a white dress and white picket fence still take up space in your soul. Maybe the biological clock is ticking and soon your body will no longer be able to grow and nourish a tiny human being. The revolving door of teammates creates a layer of loneliness and you want that one person who will always have your back. You wonder, ‘Will it ever be my turn?’ There’s a time for wild adventures and celebrations of the gifts of freedom and sanctification that come with singleness. But today, it’s okay to lament. It’s okay to sit with the longing, that crazy bit of hope still left in your heart. It’s okay to weep and pray and even to be angry.”

From Around the Web


A Season for Crying

Surprised by Eternity

The Annoying Question That Turns out to Be a Gift

Leaving Well: 10 Tips for Repatriating With Dignity

Finally, When We Don’t Feel Strong Enough for Our Own Lives

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Many of us arrive on the field armed with little more than good intentions and a partner by our side.  Little do we know how much our marriage relationship will go through as we enter a new world and try to live out those good intentions.

This week we’ll hear from wives who open their homes, giving us a peek inside to see where they’ve struggled and where they’ve triumphed in their marriages. You might be that couple that walks down the street with your arms around each other, or you may be the couple that can’t remember the last time you did that.  Either way, this week is for you.

This is the second installment in our series on our roles and relationships. If you missed the posts on singleness last week, seriously go back and read them! Even if one week doesn’t apply to your current status, sharing in the deep words of your sisters in the community is a wonderful way to support and encourage each other. Single women, come and do the same for your married sisters this week!

As you ponder and reflect on marriage this week, add your pictures and words to Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesMarriage.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.