The Grove – Connect

You all are amazing, you know that?  The way you are showing up, offering up your stories, speaking courage and hope and prayer over one another, it’s just really something.  And it’s also exactly why we’re here.

Today we’re gathering at The Grove to share on the prompt “Connect,” to talk about this idea that is already happening among us.  Maybe you’ve been a quiet reader around here, silently observing what’s happening here.  We’re glad for you.  We also wonder if perhaps today’s your day to say, “I’d like to connect and be known in this place.”

There’s a spot just for you.  Throw your hesitations aside.  We’re here to be real.  And it’s the real you we’re waiting to know.  Come connect with us?

To get us going, here’s my story on “Connect”…


Look for green people, they told me. 

We were debriefing from a five-year stint on the field.  My heart, they said, had become green.  It was originally blue, the color of my home culture, but it had been stirred together with yellow, the color of my host culture.  I was now forever a shade of green.

All of us in that room were green, together unpacking our stories.

They told us we should find other green people, that we needed to find them.  If we were going to ride the roller coaster of transition, this back and forth across the globe life, we had to connect heart to heart with others who have lived or are living the same kind of story.

Because there’s nothing quite like this life, and no one that can quite understand, unless they’ve lived it too. 

So later, I’m part way into a two-year stint of Stateside life, in a new place, and I’m feeling a bit of a lonely ache, surrounded by people I’m growing to love, but feeling always a bit on the outside, like they’re the home team and my colors don’t match.

Then one day I stumble upon some people, and I know they are green like me.  So invitations are extended, dinner is made.  We gather round the table, and the stories start flowing.  We laugh long and hard.  We nod, and we sigh.  I scoop dessert onto plates, but I know nothing’s as sweet or rich as a heart’s shared journey.

I wipe crumbs late in the night after all have gone.  It’s true, I thought.  I need green people.  There’s a connection that happens with them.

There’s a knowing that comes only through living it, and that knowing connects us, binds us in a way nothing else can. 

And that’s when it hits me.

This.  This is why he came.  This is why the king of heaven lay in a manger.  Because how could he connect unless he’d lived it too?  Unless, he’d felt a hungry belly, wiped a dirty foot, held a weeping woman?

He died that he might have a bond with us, a bond that could only come from a heart’s shared journey.   He had to live our story, to feel the sweaty reality in his very own flesh.

And this leaving his home of heaven and forging a life in the land of man, it made him green, just like us.  Heaven to earth, greatest cultural adjustment ever made.

He is a soul of two worlds, his heart forever in both.  He knows

And thus he waits with us, with the ache of longing for when those worlds become one.  Heaven on earth.  No more goodbyes, no more distance between, always belonging, always home.


Come connect with us, all of you in all your lovely shades of green.

Here’s how:

      1.  If you don’t have a blog, share with us in the comments.  We have the amazing NEW ability to post images in our comments!  So post your images and/or your words there.
      2. If you have a blog, write or make art based on the prompt.
      3. Be sure to add the Velvet Ashes link ( to your blog post.  Feel free to use the button code from our side bar.
      4. Please select the permalink from your post (so not your blog’s url, but your post url:
      5. Use the blue linky tool below to enter your link.
      6. It will walk you through selecting which image you want to show up in the linky.
      7. Then your post will show up in The Grove’s linky.
      8. Then go share some comment love!  It’s the rule.  We applaud brave hearts!

Word Art by Amy Davis Art Design
Photo Credit: markchadwickart via Compfight cc


  1. Kristi December 12, 2013

    Our Hearts

    Our hearts were made to connect
    The beat of one to echo, answer,
    Make music with another
    Until the world resounds in harmony
    Each note separate but essential to the whole

    Because of sin our hearts can be out of tune
    The beat of one can drowned out, ignore,
    Be in discord with another
    Until the world rattles in dissonance
    Each note seeking only glory for itself

    Enter the heart of the Master
    His heart calls, calms, and
    Draws the others to Himself and each other
    Until Heaven enters the song
    Each note giving glory to its Maker

    1. Danielle Wheeler December 12, 2013

      Love the image of each of our little notes being essential to the whole harmony of glory. Each note called, calmed and drawn to Him.

    2. Jennifer December 13, 2013

      Made to connect. Only able to imperfectly connect without the intervention or involvement of the one who made us this way. Imperfectly connecting is a reality of our life at this time. Only as we connect to the one who made us who we are, only as we are open to his involvement in our lives, can we really hope to really connect to those in our lives. It is not our striving for connection with others, our striving to do better than we have, even our striving to be more understanding of others that really makes a difference. It is in connecting to God and being open to what he wants to do.

  2. Jennifer December 12, 2013

    Connecting, a challenge to make, needed to thrive. A gift we can give to another and receive from them. A choice for a moment to enter into someone else’s world and simply be there with them. It does not always need words. Often the most powerful occurs without words to acknowledge it. It simply is or it is not. Difficult to make happen, but none the less a choice that can stop it from occurring. Will I choose to be open to unexpected moments of connecting, to the doors God opens up for me, or will I choose to stay in my safe world, limiting the connections I am prepared to make, even for a moment. If I do this, then I am shutting the door on connections that God wants to make, and making a difference in the life of another, even if just for a moment. Sometimes it is connection for a moment, for a time, that is most significant to the other, even if less so for us. Ongoing connection, ongoing relationship is only a part of the connection journey.

    1. Jennifer December 12, 2013

      I wrote this, as one who knows the other side, both the connections for a moment or a time that made a powerful difference, and the challenges when others simply make the choice, to simply refuse to connect, refuse to listen, even just for a moment.

      1. Danielle Wheeler December 12, 2013

        It takes such bravery to open up, to bare your heart, after you’ve received a refusal to connect. So much easier to stay in your safe world. So glad you showed up, opened the door and allowed us in.

  3. Holly Dove December 13, 2013

    Connect. Two worlds coming together. Joining. Separating. Mingling. Changing. Growing. Adapting.

    1. Danielle Wheeler December 13, 2013

      The words, the colors – what a lovely depiction of connection! It really is all of this, isn’t it?

    2. Amy Young December 13, 2013

      Love this visual image + words :)!

  4. Kimberly Todd December 13, 2013

    Green is my favorite color, and now for one more reason. This post reminded me of a favorite children’s book, “Green” by Laura Vaccaro-Seeger.

    1. Danielle Wheeler December 13, 2013

      What a gorgeous book! Is it too late to add to the kids’ Christmas list for the grandparents? 😉

      1. Danielle Wheeler December 13, 2013

        Because it’s green, not because it’s a children’s book. 🙂

    2. Amy Young December 13, 2013

      I hadn’t heard of that book … looks great! And I like green too ;). Am wearing a green sweater as I type this!

  5. Amy Young December 13, 2013

    I think I was at a similar debriefing you went to and this is the clay image I made of myself. I find I’m green, but also yellow and blue. Color me confused 🙂

  6. Holly Dove December 14, 2013

    Can I do another? 🙂 I just felt this sense of changing when I saw the word connect, when we interact and have relationships with others, we are stil ourselves, but we evolve, changing, adding a color here, changing into still different color there, and yet through the change we are still the same person, just finding out more who we are as we connect to others.

    1. Danielle Wheeler December 15, 2013

      Yes, I find my colors continually evolving. Love that you did another. So pretty!

    2. Patty Stallings December 16, 2013

      Oooohhhh, I like this image and all the metaphorical connections implied in it! Beautiful!

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