Have You Seen? {May 5th, 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.

Are you preparing to return to your passport country after serving overseas? Are you trying to settle in to a new normal after returning? Join Danielle Wheeler and Sarah Hilkemann for a webinar about re-entry on Thursday, May 16th at 9:00 AM EST. Danielle and Sarah will share personal stories about their own re-entry experiences, as well as practical tips and encouragement for your journey. More information on registration coming soon!  

Last Week’s Theme: Discernment

When In Doubt, Choose Something by Joy Smalley—”Discernment is always connected to choice and knowledge; it is about being both decisive and wise. Yet, honestly, unless we are about to be willfully sinful, decisions are simply that: decisions based on the knowledge we currently have. They are a point of convergence, from one path to another, maybe right or maybe wrong, certainly different. Each unique choice we make will lead us down a path with its own set of struggles and victories. As Christians, we spend so much energy worrying about whether or not the choices we make will be the right choice, or if they are in God’s will, but what if we began to view our choices as the means through which we gain wisdom.”

What Now? Creating a Rule of Life {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”Putting together a rule of life, a rhythm for meeting with God and the flow of our days, weeks and months, is both personal and communal. I’ve learned so much from your thoughts and insights, your practical tips for the working out of these disciplines in real life. Yet I can’t make my rule of life a cookie cutter copy of yours. I love this aspect of our walk with the Father- that He gathers us together in community but relates with us in such unique and personal ways.”

The Cost of the Almost-Right Way by Karen Huber—”I think about that cost, the cost of the almost-right way. What would’ve changed if after a few weeks of prayer and discussion, we’d both said no, not yet—together? I wonder if other areas of work would have flourished, if relationships with our team would’ve grown deeper as opposed to fraying like overburdened string. Maybe our support wouldn’t have dwindled so much, maybe our marriage would’ve been stronger, maybe if we closed that door a better window would’ve opened, a harvest planted, fruit sown. “

The tricky decision and the path of discernment by Jane—”I added that difficult work issue to a list of questions to ask my local mentor. As we sat on her sofa, drinking hot, sweet tea, I shared the difficult decision I was struggling with. I shared my tension, my concerns, and my fears. The resulting conversation was one of the richest cross-cultural learning discussions I’ve had so far. My tension lifted. The Prince of Peace answered my prayers and taught me a valuable lesson: when I am lost in a cross-cultural crisis, He has placed others around me – sometimes literally – to guide me on the path to discernment.”

Where Discernment Begins {The Grove: Discernment} by Laura Cerbus—”To recognize what is good, we need the stories and instruction and poetry of Scripture to be in our bones, to be part of us at the deepest level. This is more than the ability to rattle off our dutifully memorized verses (though I am grateful for AWANA and the Navigators!). As we know from the many stories in Scripture, faithfulness does not require the same exact life and decisions from each of us. And as we know from decisions we have faced before, Scripture does not tell us whom we should marry, where we should live, how many children we should have. Simply memorizing Scripture will not be enough for us to be discerning in these decisions: we need something more to recognize what God is doing, and to see how the choices we make put us in line with that work.”

From Around the Web


What to Know Before You Go

Finding Courage When You’re Not 
Momming Well

6 Adjustments of Moving Back to My Passport Country

Simple Health Tips for the Healthiest You

Finally, My Travel Journal Activity Pack

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

social media prompt
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Navigating all the platforms of social media can feel a bit like walking through a minefield. A picture from home of your new baby niece, the friend who just got married or a post with news you haven’t seen otherwise can be gifts that brighten your day. Or they can heighten the sense of homesickness, or stir up feelings of inadequacy and jealousy.

Then come the decisions about what to post yourself, factoring in what your supporters might think, wanting to honor your host culture but also wanting to keep up those connections back in your passport country. What’s a girl to do?

We are diving into the topic of social media this week here at Velvet Ashes! In this place where so much of our community happens via social media, we don’t take this topic lightly. How do we find balance in today’s media-savvy world and make wise decisions when it comes to how we use this tool well?

Come join our discussion this week on the blog, and we invite your thoughts on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesSocialMedia. We hope this will be a valuable time of personal reflection and learning together!

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