Have You Seen? {May 8, 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.

Mother’s Day Thoughts

While not everybody in Velvet Ashes is from a country or living in a country where it is Mother’s Day, and Mother’s Day is more cultural than Biblical, it is Mother’s Day in many countries this weekend. If this is a hard day for you, we are praying for you. Being away from family can be one of the greatest costs we pay. Thank you for being away from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, other special loved ones. Thank you for being away from your own mothers. Thank you for investing in a family that is tied by blood who was spilled for us all.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Last Week’s Theme: Fearless

When the Bravest Answer is “No” by Jessica Hoover—”It left me with a HUGE decision to make and I swallowed hard at the notion of leaving my babies for most of the day AND at turning down such an amazing job. I told my husband I wished the whole opportunity would disappear so I didn’t have to make a decision. He laughed and shook his head at his wife known for her flight response to decision making.”

Announcing Our Next Seven Books! {Book Club and Giveaway} by Amy Young — The title says it all. The two winners have been notified. Happy Reading to All! We start Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service on Tuesday (chapters 1 and 2).

How “Home” Scares Me + Swedish Meatballs by Ashely Felder—”In a few months, we’re heading back to the States for a quick summer visit. I normally look forward to going back. I lovingly call it ‘The Time of the F’s: Family, Friends, Familiarity and Food!’ Except this time, some fears are creeping in. . . .”

Confessions of a Scaredy-cat by Joy Smalley—”It is easy for me to become trapped by my fear, to see it as a symptom of imperfect faith and inadequate trust in God, to stuff it down and try to hide it. This spiral of guilt pulls me deeper into shame and I want to hide my face from God, buried beneath Christian platitudes.”

Can We Just Pray, Please? {The Grove – Fearless} by Danielle Wheeler—”I have no brave inspiration to give you. But I can sit in togetherness with you if you’re broken and weary. I’ll let you know you’re not alone. I’m right there with you. It’s been a while since we’ve done a prayer request post. So can we do that today? Can we just pray for each other?  Please? Will you pray for me?”

From Around the Web

“Though I don’t think about it too often, I’ve always had those what if moments thumping around in the back of my consciousness” when it comes to the medical care for our kids. When Johnny’s Eye Started Bleeding.

Recently there have been several articles about the Psalms and their role in our lives when we work cross-culturally. Here are Psalms for Young Children.

The importance of Personal, Informal Maintenance Debriefings.

When we need to Go “All In” (Again and Again).

Helpful ideas when it comes to: How to create a home overseas.

When it comes to family here are  3 Ways to Care for the Heart of Your Wife and A Letter To My Daughter.

Finally, with next week in mind, The Spiritual Discipline of Beginning Where You Are.

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…


Prayer, Bible Study, and Going to Church are the trifecta of spiritual disciplines in protestant evangelical Christianity. That’s the branch on the limb on the tree where I build my nest. And the green grass grows all around.

Maybe these are the three spiritual disciplines with which you are the most familiar, too. They are fixtures for good reason. But the thing is, they could be more like art than fixtures, with nuance, light and shadows, depth and animation.

Has the trifecta ever grown stale for you? Does guilt sometimes become more of a practice than prayer?

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun catalogues seventy-five spiritual disciplines in her Handbook. This week we’re going to branch out onto other limbs and explore disciplines that don’t get as much press.

Like the sacraments, spiritual disciplines are an outward expression of an inward faith. The disciplines embody our inner life and work out our salvation. They are not fixed. Some disciplines may be life-long, and others turn with the seasons and stages of our lives as we yield to the transformation the Spirit works in us.

Our deep hope for you this week is that you will find yourself more fully in the freedom realm more often, experiencing the Trinity in the nuances of the trifecta or on a whole new limb.

Then come share your wisdom, experience, and art for spiritual disciplines at The Grove beginning Thursday at 6pm EST.


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