December 20, 2014

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 75

It's countdown time... Christmas is ever coming closer and I pray that in the midst of this weary world, you have found a little rejoicing!  It's not easy, ya'll - with everything going on in this world... but this is why He came... because we are so very desperate for some Saving!

In the mix this week you will find some non-Christmasy posts, as well as some Advent/Christmas posts that are all about keepin' it real, ya'll!

Featured today are posts by Colleen Mitchell, Michelle DeRusha, Lisa-Jo Baker, Addie Zierman, Emily Freeman, Kelly Balarie, a post from right here... and - of course - a video!

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names to read their whole posts, yes?)

This post by Colleen Mitchell over at Blessed Are The Feet with Things I Don’t Mean When I Say #BlackLivesMatter...
"I really don’t have any nice, kind words to open this post with and make you feel any sweet feels about what I am about to say. And I really can’t be sorry for that.

It is what I is. I have written that the Holy Spirit has lit a fire in me to take action toward justice and stop wringing my hands about it.

So, I am saying that black lives matter. I am saying it to my black friends. I am saying it on my social media feeds. And I am saying it here, and I will be saying it again. And I’m not going to try to pretty it up.

But I would like to clear the air on some misconceptions that are being spread about what people are actually saying when they use the phrase or hashtag. I, of course, can’t tell you what everyone means.

But I can tell you what I do not mean when I say that black lives matter." (She goes on to list 8 Things that she does NOT mean when she says #BlackLivesMatter!)

* This post by Michelle DeRusha with When Now is Your Time of Grief...

"I’ll be honest: I’m not feeling very Adventy this Advent.  I don’t have that sense of anticipation, the expectation that is often present in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I’m not feeling all close and cozy with Jesus, or particularly prayerful or joyous or even spiritual. I’m just…here. Slogging. Going through the motions.

It can make a person feel like a real loser, can’t it? I mean really, who doesn’t feel Adventy during Advent? Who feels emptiness instead of fullness? Absence instead of closeness? Scarcity instead of abundance? Something akin to grief instead of joy?

I find myself wishing it were Lent instead. Somehow these feelings would seem more acceptable during Lent."

* This post from Lisa-Jo Baker with There’s No Such Thing as Perfect People or Perfect Hospitality...
"When someone arrives without calling or planning, but simply comes over to say hi or to ask the boys over for a play date or to drop off hand-me down clothes for Zoe the last thing I want is for them to catch me right in the middle of my real life.

There’s panic and a profound desire to hide. Then the reflex to kick everything into the boys’ room and try to wedge the door shut. To fix my hair, rush on a layer of make up, kick off my mismatched socks.

There’s an instinct to hide who I am at my most messy behind a volley of words, excuses, explanations..."

* This post by Addie Zierman with CHRISTMASTIME IN THE SUBURBS...
"I bought Ann Voskamp’s new Jesse Tree book and tried to read it to the kids, but at five and three, it’s too much for them. I kept reading the words louder and louder while they punched each other across my lap. I feel like Ann’s children do not respond this way when she reads to them and curse myself silently for doing a bad job of teaching my children the true meaning of Christmas.

What they actually interested in is Elfie — our inherited Elf on the Shelf. They have a borderline unhealthy obsession with him, every morning waking up early to figure out where he is. One day, when friends were over, I heard Dane yell, “YOU GUYS. ELFIE IS WATCHING AND HE’S GOING TO TELL SANTA THAT YOU ARE BAD!” I smacked my head on the kitchen counter a few times and lamented my terrible parenting.

At three and five, Dane and Liam could care less about the Advent candles except for when it comes to who gets to blow them out. When I suggested that Dane and I go to the Dollar Store to buy a gift for his brother, he burst into tears and said, “But I want to buy a gift for ME!” and if I’d been alone, I’d have found a place to smack my head again.

I think that maybe we’re failing at Christmas, but then Andrew says, “Maybe this is the part where they learn the joy of expectation.” And for a minute I feel better.

* This post by Emily Freeman over at with Why Your Soul Needs You to Unwrap Your Tuesday...
"This morning I woke a little after 4 in the morning, and though my body was still warm beneath the sheets, my mind was already bustling into the day ahead even as my heart sank back into yesterday.

It’s strange how that can happen, isn’t it? How our souls can split before we’ve even had our coffee, can travel ahead to the cares of the future and the sorrows of the past without our eyes even opening?

It helps to take a little time on purpose to consider what’s going on in the invisible places within us.

“One of the most important lessons I have learned over the past few years is how important it is to have time and space for being with what’s real in my life — to celebrate the joys, grieve the losses, shed my tears, sit with the questions, feel my anger, attend to my loneliness.”  – Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms

Sometimes I would prefer to be with what I hope to be real in my life rather than what is truly real in my life. There’s a place for that, for casting a hopeful vision for the future. But it’s also important to recognize what is true now."

* This one by Kelly Balarie with 5 Truths to Replace The Lies Servants Believe...
"...sometimes, when my eyes stray from the Ultimate Servant, I start to think I am the ultimate giver.

When this happens two things normally happen:

1.) I start feeling insecure, because I think results rely on my shoulders.
2.) I attempt to steal the Lord’s glory.

Tired. Worn. Weary. My eyes wander from Christ. I desire appreciation and require affirmation.

It’s so easy for the servant to be replaced with one wanting to be served."

* This one from right HERE with Why I Love a Flash Mob... and why you probably do, too!...
"I stopped and asked God... what is it about a Flash mob that so speaks to me way down deep?

He whispered, "It's all about the Wonder!"

It's the element of surprise, the sheer joy of it... it's the romance and the work and all the things that must happen behind the scenes... it's the way it spreads smiles and laughter, amazement and I-can't-believe-this-is-happening wonder...

It's the Community... the working together to pull it all off and the sense of coming alongside, learning, practicing and uplifting, sacrificing, and keeping it all a secret in order to make it a success. It's the fact that anyone can play - it's the knowing that to pull it off, we need all shapes and sizes and gifts and talents giving their best and oh my how it all comes together and looks like so much fun... so much Happy! (and who couldn't use more happy, anyway?)"

Lastly, we like to wrap This Thing up with  a video... I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I love some Acapella competition and this week, The Sing Off aired a Holiday show and Timothy's Gift was one of the teams... Enjoy!

(Bonus: this one didn't make it on air,
but WOW...)

Happy Weekend, my friends!

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