Have You Seen? {November 30, 2014}

Have You Seen?  Reviewing last week and sharing other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

Last Week’s Theme: Thank You

 Truly Thankful + Thanksgiving Meal Ideas by Ashely Felder – “My heart is full this season. I’m in my comfort zone, my family is healthy, and we’re about to welcome a new one. It’s easy to be thankful this year” And loads of recipe links!

A Chance to Make Things Better Or Worse {Book Club} by Amy Young – In  An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor dials purpose down to its bare essence, “While my chosen vocation gave me a really good job in the divine work of creation, it remained a subset of a larger vocation, which was the job of loving God and neighbor as myself.”

Confessions of Good Intentions and Thank You’s Never Sent by Karen Huber – “I buy stationery inlaid with beautiful Irish scenes, yet I freeze with pen in hand, wondering how to put into words the ocean-full of thankfulness I feel welling inside me. The stories I could share seem hollow, the anecdotes seem repeated and the gratefulness-centered verses seem rote.”

3 Lines from the General Thanksgiving to Rock-a My Soul by Kimberly Todd – “I began to ravenously study spiritual disciplines. I tried some on. I hung some back on the rack. I wound others tightly around my vulnerable places like bandages.”

Give Thanks HERE?  Now? {The Grove} by Patty Stallings — “I needed to figure out how to be emotionally authentic while being rooted in gratitude. That’s a nice way of saying how to be honest about what you are experiencing without whining and complaining. Or how to tell your friends how you are REALLY doing without making them wish they hadn’t asked.”

From Around the Web

Ask A Counselor: Do I need counseling? by Kay Bruner “Cross-cultural friends have been asking me this question for years:  “Do I need counseling?” After hearing this question repeatedly and answering it repeatedly, I finally realized this. If you’re asking this question, the answer is always YES. … Here’s the next question: how do you know WHEN you need help? That decision, I think, is based on your level of FUNCTIONING.  Ask yourself these questions:…”

Needing a Bible study for yourself or your team? Thrive – some of you have attended their amazing retreats – also provide weekly installments of Bible studies. They are currently doing NehemiahThey have nine completed studies.

US Expats: Tax Information You Must Read By Everyday Expat Support Center – “While you may not be thinking about taxes at this time of the year, now is a great time to make sure you are compliant with your US filing obligations. In particular, have you heard of FATCA and FBAR? If not, it’s high time to get acquainted!” (We know many of you aren’t Americans, this is a helpful reminder to all of us to check with our countries.)

Gift Giving For the Far Away Family  by Karen Huber – “If you’re a fellow expat, or love an expat, or just live too far way from family, here are a few ideas to make Christmas gift-giving (and shipping) not such a pain in the neck.”

Tips for Giving Birth Abroad by Kimberlynn Boyce – “There are so many reasons my experience is one that I will cherish for years to come. There are also some parts of the experience I won’t cherish, like getting kicked off a plane for being a mere 29 weeks pregnant (more on that later in this post). While it’s all still fresh on my mind, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the things I learned through this first-time experience. I’ve also asked Denise, who has given birth abroad three times, to contribute a few of her tips as well.”

Jessica Hoover launched her beautiful new site this week.  If you haven’t seen it, go check it out!


A brief announcement to save you money :)! Our January book is As Soon As I Fell by Kay Bruner.  Kay let me know the book is on sale THIS WEEKEND and is only $0.99. If you buy the paperback you get the kindle version for free (so you can keep the kindle and have a present for someone else!). More information about  As Soon As I Fell as we get closer — but I didn’t want you to miss out on the sale! And if that’s not enough, she’s got an advent book based on Handel’s Messiah.

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…



What are you expecting this Christmas season?

Are you full of joyful expectancy as you await the Savior’s birth?  Or are you struggling to merely make it through today?

This week we’re delving into the Christmas story, we’re meeting afresh the characters who made it real.

And come Wednesday, ladies, we are leaping out in audacious faith.  We’re looking straight into the eyes of the least of these, and we’re saying “We’re here for you.”  We’re daring to believe that together, Velvet Ashes can meet a need, that we can give gifts this Christmas season that will literally be life-altering for those that receive them.

If anything has me expectant this month, it’s this.

Then join us at The Grove at the end of the week.  We have a special guest, an excellent overseas cook, who is here to help make your holiday cooking a bit more do-able.  We all know how cooking in our foreign kitchens, trying to drum up some semblance of the goodness our tastebuds expect at Christmas time can put us in a… not-so-Christmasy mood.  So let’s collaborate, share our wisdom.

Bring your favorite Christmas recipe to share, the ones that can be done overseas!  

(Our own resident Velvet Ashes cook, Ashley Felder is taking a maternity break, as she awaits the arrival of her daughter!  We can’t wait to announce the new addition!)

And as always, bring your words, your heart, your art to The Grove on this week’s prompt, “Expect.”  Reading the link-ups each week is like a present in itself.  You all have so much goodness to share!!


Photo Credits : Gratisography, Unsplash

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