Have You Seen? {November 20, 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.

Christmas Gift Idea

We’re excited to announce that you can now purchase access to Velvet Ashes past online retreats! Did you miss out on one of our two retreats? Now you don’t have to!  You can put this on your own Christmas list so people can get you a meaningful gift (and not have to spend a fortune to mail you a package!). This would also be an amazing gift to give a fellow cross-cultural friend.  It’s regularly $25 per retreat, but for the Christmas season, it’s on sale for $20!

Last Week’s Theme: Domestication

How to Survive Without House Help by M’Lynn Taylor—”Instead of hanging the expectations of someone else’s to-do list over my head, I came up with my very own list of how to survive my life without house help.”

Why the Chicken, Jesus? Why? {Book Club} by Amy Young—”why she bangs this drum again and again. But I know why she pushes back on power, because my own heart secretly seeks and craves power. Power for myself. Power for our ministry. Power, even from God. We’ve learned to package this longing in such a way that sounds good, even holy.”

Go Ahead … Invite Yourself Over by Lauren Pinkston—”But I’ll admit here first: Sometimes I enjoy having people in my house because I like my house the best. I like my stuff. I like my food. I like being where I can control the temperature and the conversation. And I wonder if sometimes I’ve worked too hard to make my home a place of ministry instead of going into the homes of others – where they are already comfortable – and bring my ministry with me into THEIR space.”

Discipline for Endurance’s Sake by Joy Smalley—”When we find ourselves under God’s discipline we assume that we must be doing something wrong that deserves to be punished and there is this frantic search to seek out which character trait God is trying to change in us so that we can quickly overcome the pain. Imagine my surprise as I’ve been studying Hebrews to read through the 12th chapter and hear the writer connect discipline with endurance and joy.”

8 Ways to Bless Your Home {The Grove: Domestication} by Kimberly Todd—”If you’d like to bless your current abode – be it house, flat, dorm room, or no-label-suffices – there are eight prayers and blessings below that you can choose from according to your home and situation. Make it work for you: it could be an anniversary or any ordinary day; you could gather your family or team, or invite Jesus to be your only witness.”

Instagram Highlight for #VelvetAshesDomestication


This week’s Instagram pic comes from @sumatramama and is oh-so-relateable for those of us have lived and are living in transition.
“How do you create a home in someone else’s home? // My husband and I went to check out what will soon be our next house this week, third one since we’ve been back in country these past six months. In the seven months before that on the other side of the world, we laid our heads in more places than I care to count (but it would number the dozens). I am not good at nomadic living. I’m weary from all the re-setting up of house and living with just the basics we can fit in a few suitcases. But for us right now, this is what it means to obediently follow Jesus, and I’m so grateful he’s leading the way. I also find a lot of joy in the little things that God graces me with in order to feel a bit more at home on the road. For example, I miss being able to garden. For those months in America I bought a potted orchid (that sometimes lived in our car!) and now a friend is keeping it alive and healthy. And now, I have a gorgeous, portable teacup succulent garden (ordered online in Indonesia – who knew?!) and I can’t tell you how much it blesses me – a little piece of beauty, a little land of my own, a simple plant I can nourish – and hopefully bring back when we land in our long-term place next spring.”

Such a beautiful example of how God sustains and blesses in the midst of transition and home-making! Check out all the pictures for #VelvetAshesDomestication.

From Around the Web

The Thanksgiving You Never Knew You Needed.

Relax! God was at Work Before you Arrived!

So You’re Thinking About Serving Overseas?

The Broken Way: What I Learned from an African Mental Hospital-I.

Forgive, For We all Mess Up.

Looking ahead and living present.

22 Things I’d tell a first timer.

Finally, don’t miss 22 Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Cross-Cultural Worker an excellent list of ideas gathered by our own Amy Young!

And Now for Next Week

The theme is . . .


Throughout this week, can we together center our hearts on the contentment that is ours in Christ?  Yes, we all have burdens and stresses and busyness, but if the apostle Paul can learn the secret of being content in any and every circumstance, should we not also?

This week, let’s pause to find and soak in the contentment He offers us.  When you have that moment, will you pause and jot it down?  Just a line or two.  Let your list grow throughout the week.  Then let’s gather at The Grove beginning Thursday 6pm EST and let’s share our lists.  Let’s see and rejoice in all the multitude of ways we experience contentment because of Him.  Marking it down, sharing it with others, this is an act of worship, an offering of gratitude, a training of our hearts and minds to living in that secret contentment.

Let’s dialogue throughout the week in the post comments, and let’s share on Instagram.  Share a pic of your moment of contentment and use #VelvetAshesContent.  Then at the week’s end, we’ll see you at The Grove.

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