May 30, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 98

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

How is it that these 'shorter' weeks seem so long? Am I right?  Praying you can unwind, relax, and accomplish as much or as little as your heart desires this weekend (and carve out a little reading time, of course!)

Featured today are posts by Ann Voskamp, Natalie Busch, Cadence Turpin, Shannan Martin, Kris Camealy, Michelle DeRusha, John Blase,  Lori Harris, a post from right here... and - of course - a video to wrap it all up! 

Happy Reading! (Ya'll know to click on the authors' names below to read the entire post, yes?)

* This one by Ann Voskamp over at Incourage with Four Ways to Be a Better Friend...
"She had called that winter. Left a message on the answering machine. I didn’t get around to calling her back for a couple of weeks . . . I folded laundry, made pots of soup, and baked dozens of loaves of bread. I had read history lessons to kids, taken out the garbage, paid bills, checked math homework. I had found a pair of red shoes, picked up knitting and a camera and a lot of lego. Planted a garden, attended meetings, returned emails.

But I didn’t get around to returning her call.

Painful how that is — Your days never fail to betray your priorities.

Late spring that year, the wheat field about in head, I sent Mare a note. A letter slipped in with a package of books, of bits of my heart, of all my love, wrapped with a string of raffia. I tried to reach out — reach right out. I had drawn a heart in the card, there by my name. I tried to explain. Tried to explain how much I loved her and missed her and how was her heart?

It was as the wheat turned gold that Mare wrote back.

Just a digital message, a few pixels long:

You’re busy. I’m good.
God bless. Have a nice life.
Was she saying . . . what I thought she was saying?

I had read the lines over again, hardly breathing, pixels crumbling away, all that history between us.

I wrote to ask? I wrote all summer. Every week, just a few lines of love. Just because someone decides to move out of your circles, doesn’t mean they move out of the circle of your love." 

* This post from Natalie Busch over at Messy Mom with 10 Ways To Feel Loved and Adored By Your Spouse... 
"Imagine your husband brings home a rare painting in an ornate frame and he wants to hang it up in the living room, but you can’t find any nails, or hooks. So you try to put this heavy piece of art work on the wall with some double sided scotch tape. It is not going to work. Even if you put rolls and rolls of tape, it might stick for a moment, but then it is going to fall off and you’ll be in worse shape then when you started because there may be damage to the painting.

That’s how it is sometimes in marriage. Some women are made of rubber when it comes to receiving compliments and affection. We can blame our husbands all day long (and they probably deserve some of it), but like I tell my kids “you are responsible for yourself”.  There are a lot of husbands out there that are geniunly in love with their wives, but dare I say we aren’t feeling it.

I am not an expert on marriage in any way,  but my marriage and self confidence has seen a lot of ups and downs in the past 15 years! So if you have a moment, I would like to share some advice for how to start feeling the love."

* This post by Cadence Turpin over at Storyline with Why You Settle For Less When You Know There’s Better... 
"The idea of having to uproot something we’ve planted with sureness — to end a season that’s created memories and shade for so many years — reminded me a lot of dealing with necessary change.

We don’t like saying goodbye to things we’ve found comfort in. But sometimes, if we don’t, we end up ruining our foundation, creating bigger problems than before and never making room for anything new to take place.

The man in this story didn’t want to say goodbye to the tree that was so much a part of his past.

But with its death, he got to watch a new tree grow.

A new tree that allowed him to let go of what had been and look forward to what was ahead.

This post by Shannan Martin over at Flower Patch Farmgirl with My Strangest News Yet...
“All I know is that I'm made of sun-tea and broken glass. 
I'm light and air and busted-up city blocks.

If you'd paid me two million dollars, I couldn't have dreamed up this life, where the only way to make sense of anything is to throw my big ideas on the trash heap and strike a match.

I thought I wanted a quiet life, down a country lane. I thought I wanted solitude and security.

I thought I wanted peace. And I do.

But the road to peace isn't as soldier-straight as I used to think.
Here, I come nose-to-nose with surrender. I see redemption in my everyday, close enough to reach out and grab. I confront my ugliest corners and dare to ask more of myself than what comes most naturally.

Here, I fail.
Over and over.

I found my voice in a white farmhouse with a porch I never used.

I keep finding my story in the scream and surprise of the city.

* This post from Kris Camealy with STRETCH...
"What if God calls us to an art purely for His pleasure, and not for the stamp of approval of the world–will we own it? Will we hold the pen in our hands, and smear pain on the page purely for His own pleasure and worship?

Some titles hang awkward around our shoulders, it feels like a stretch to remain upright, to get comfortable in what feels uncomfortable.

I’ve said that calling myself a writer, or a photographer, (even though I do both of those things), feels a bit like wearing a dress I can’t afford while pretending I can. I love the way it looks, I want to wear it well, but I’m afraid to cut the tags.

But today, here’s what I propose:

If you get this– if you feel awkward, or silly or uncomfortable wearing that title that feels too big for you, wear it any way.

Your gifts and talents are hand-crafted in you, for the ultimate glory of God. He picked them out specifically for you and while you wrestle with your worth, and the clanging symbols of the world, who shout you down with their faithless pessimism and  bitter cynicism, you cling to the cross. Remember, you are made for THIS.

So own it. Be who God has made you to be."

* This post by Michelle DeRusha with God Chose YOU... 
"Often when I tell my faith story or give my testimony, I use phrases like, “When I returned to God…” or “When I came back to God…” or even, “When God found me.” That’s the way I’ve understood my story: I was estranged from God for twenty years, and then I slowly came back to him. Recently, though, I’ve begun to realize that while my understanding of that process isn’t wrong, necessarily, it’s also not the whole story.

The whole story is encapsulated in this one simple verse from John:

“You didn’t choose me. I chose you.” (John 15:16)

Sometimes I forget that God does the choosing..."

This post by John Blase over at The High Calling with Stay in Conversation with the World...
"I hold that the face of every Christian’s work should be the same: excellence. If you bake wedding cakes, bake the most beautiful, delicious cakes you can. If you’re a professional golfer, swing the clubs in such a way as to draw gasps from the watching crowd. If you write copy for a video game designer, well, you get the point. That’s the face—excellence—always. Behind the face is the mind of our work, the thought, the intent, the goal. That is, I believe, to stay in conversation with the world and to witness to the grace inherent in every nook and cranny of this life.

Does that mean the waters are probably going to get choppy? Yes, welcome to the world, the same world Jesus says to be in but not of. And if we’re going to be in, we’ve got be all in. But take heart, because this doesn’t mean anything goes."

* This post from Lori Harris with Ignorance is Bliss…Or Is It?
"I’m on the porch soaking up the largest patch of sunshine I’ve seen all year when Rodney passes by on his way to work.  He works at Wal-Mart as a cart boy and a receipt checker. Sometimes he’s a greeter and passes out the occasional Roll Back sticker, but mostly, he’s a cart boy with a big smile and a job to do.

I wave and speak and he lifts one hand and one index finger to greet me. This is our daily rhythm and I like the sound it makes.

I watch him stride down the sidewalk and I know he’ll walk the full 5 miles from here to there. I also know that he’ll  clean himself up a bit before he gets to the store. His shirt needs tucking and his pants need a belt and his shoes need tying. But what I don’t know is how it feels to work 5 shifts a week at a job that pays just enough to keep the light bulbs burning but not enough to buy bus fare.

I think about these things because I know Rodney. He’s my neighbor and I know the exact house he calls home and I know his comings and goings. I know that he has a tendency to let his pants hang too low and he forgets to zip them up all the way. I know that he listens to his music way too loud and that he walks in the middle of the road in those tight white undershirts with no sleeves too late at night. I know his life is hard and that his eyes are often downcast when he thinks no one is watching.

He’s my neighbor and I know him.

But four years ago, I wouldn’t have batted an eye at Rodney or so much as lifted my hand to wave at him because I didn’t feel any responsibility to get to know my neighbors."

* This one from right HERE with The Big Small Wonders of Prayer, Family, & Faith Arising...
"Prayer is my jam. I'm a huge believer in the power of prayer.

This statement comes as no real surprise! I have written several times around here about my love of and call to prayer... of how it was never meant to be a monologue or a long (dry) list of needs/requests, a memorized petition or an emergency-only/dire need desperate crying out.  

Oh - we have all practiced that kind of prayer.
Every. one. of. us!

And yet, we know... our God is a personal, intimate God who - yes, knows all of our thoughts and needs ahead of time - but still longs to commune and converse with us..."

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week and sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is worship... this time it's most definitely worship. This, spontaneous worship with Jeremy Riddle and the Bethel worship team. (Just turn it up and let it sink in deep!)

Praying you are near His heart... because there is nothing like His love!

Happy Weekend! 


  1. Such great posts. I need to read some of them that I haven't read yet. So much goodness!! Happy weekend to you too friend!! Love Ya!!

    1. Praying for you and your service/message this morning friend! We'll Vox soon!

  2. Always appreciate having some new stuff on my *reading list*!! Thanks for the recommendations!


    1. You are so very welcome, Sharon! Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a blessed week ahead!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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