Have You Seen? {September 27, 2015}

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.

Last Week’s Theme: Story

The God Who Wants To Hear Your Story by Elizabeth Trotter — “Until recently, my main take-away from this story had always been Hagar’s name for God. But there’s something else going on in this passage too, something I’d never noticed before. In verse 8 the Angel of the Lord asks Hagar, “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” God is basically asking her, “What’s your story?”

Why the Language of “Success” and “Failure” Falls Flat {Book Club} by Amy Young — “Here is a hilarious turn of events. What book has lead to the fewest amount of comments? What book might lead me to feel like I picked a dud? What book has left me feeling like I am alone? Wait, please. It is okay. I do not say this to shame anyone or to guilt anyone into commenting.”

Sharing the Rough Draft by Laura McLain — “So if my story is messy, than why share my story with others? Why give people a glimpse into the chaos of transitioning from one section of my life to a new section of life? Why put my thoughts and fears on the internet for others to read? Why not wait until the story has been edited, until the structure is solid and until the words are final?

Taste the Sweetness by Jessica Hoover — “I believe there is sweetness in my bitter. I believe the parts of my story I find hard to swallow have an aftertaste sweet as a honeycomb. The miscarriage. The mother I miss so much. The overseas life that broke my heart and shattered my reality. There is a rim of sweetness to it all. It is a reminder that nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God.”

Mid-Story Endings {The Grove: Story} by Amy Young — “I thought through how I finish stories. Here we get to my light bulb moment. It was one of those … OH MY WORD. Really? Is that what I think?”

From Around the Web

This week I noticed quite a few fantastic articles that aren’t directly related to our line of work, but are directly related to being human and thought you’d enjoy them:

  • All The Things I Cannot Speak — “More than our success stories, we need to tell stories of weakness
  • All Shall Be Well: On Parenting — “Can we all agree that regardless of the age or stage, parenting is hard as hell? It’s treading water with weary limbs when you feel too tired to keep going. After a particularly rough week with one of her children, a friend asked, “Is this really my life?” And to her I say, “yes, this is your life. It’s the life of every parent, every wild and wonderful moment of it.”
  • We want more meat… — a different take on spiritual meat and milk.
  • 40 is NOT the new 30Every now and then the author’s language gets a bit salty, but friends, these bodies, they do age!

Nine Ways to Save a Marriage. “If there is one place where your marriage will suffer, it’s probably on The Field.”

Finally, let’s end with pizza! “What I was holding was a box of pizza. What I was feeling was a explosion of emotions: relief, elation, guilt, and grief. What came out were tears.” The Night Pizza Made Me Cry

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…

facade 2

It’s a big week here at Velvet Ashes. We’re kicking off our fall series! If you haven’t already, you’ll want to get ahold of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. (Psst… There’s a giveaway coming at Book Club!). This is the book we’ll be walking through together this fall. Our weekly themes will go along with the book, and our Connection Groups will be sharing on these themes as well.

Why did we choose this book? Why are we centering our fall series around it? Because we believe that your emotional and spiritual health is important…. vitally important. Too many of us deny our own health (spiritual, emotional, and physical) in the process of doing all the work we feel called by God to do.

But what if God is more concerned about our relationship with him than he is about what we can do for him?

What if he is offering us wholeness and unity with Christ, but we’re too busy and distracted to receive it?

Let’s go on a journey this fall, friends. Let’s come before the feet of Jesus with open hearts ready for him to do Holy Spirit work in us.

The first step in this journey is to look full on into the face of the facades we’ve propped up for ourselves, these shields that keep us from revealing who we really are. We clutch them in hopes that we’ll convince others and maybe God and maybe even ourselves that we are enough.

Can we let the Holy Spirit pry our fingers from these facades we’ve built for ourselves?  Can we let them clatter to the ground?

Because Jesus is waiting for us to get real with him.

And he’s ready for us as his people to get real with each other.

Because God isn’t a fan of facades. He hasn’t been ever since the first façades happened in the Garden –the fig leaves covering our shame, the bushes hiding us from the Father who wants to walk with us.

Many of you lately have talked about what a safe place Velvet Ashes is for you. May that be especially true this week, because this week we’re going to wrestle together with our facades.  If you’re looking for a group of women who won’t be scared off by the real you, if you need some sister friends who will nod in understanding and hold you up in prayer, know that you’ve found it here.  

The Grove this week is going to be special. Rather than having a post, we’re going to invite you to find a comfy chair and listen in as our editors’ team sits together in a mountain home to talk about façade. The four of us are meeting this weekend for our first ever editor’s retreat. If technology cooperates, you’ll get to be part of our time and join the conversation in the comments at The Grove.

As always, we want to hear your heart, so start writing about façade and then bring your link ups to The Grove.

You can follow our editor’s retreat on Instagram – #VAeditorsretreat.


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