December 13, 2014

That Thing I Do Now - Volume 74

Hey Ya'll!  How are you doing in the midst of Advent? In the midst of this Christmas season... in the midst of this weary world? Are you finding ways and reasons to rejoice?

I pray you are... I pray in the midst of the busy and the bossy, that you are finding moments to simply BE... 

Featured today are posts by Lisa Jo Baker, Jessica Leigh Hoover, Sarah Bessey, Becca Stevens, Asheritah Ciuciu, Sarah Jo Burch, 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 Lisa Jo Baker with What if We’re Supposed to *Be* the Good News We’re So Desperate for When it Comes to Race Relations in America?...
"Remember that time I told you I was a white girl from the South African suburbs who grew up under Apartheid? It means the news the last couple weeks here in America has felt so strangely familiar. And I’m wondering how to even begin writing about all the feelings I know so many of us have in the wake of Ferguson and Tamir Rice and Eric Garner without hurting or offending someone. I’m not sure that’s even possible?

But can I tell you from the beginning here how much I love you? You on the other side of the screen reading this with your own deeply personal story that I can’t possibly hope to know or understand or feel in that achey place that can become defensive when it feels misunderstood.

This is me trying to understand your heart.

And this is also me trying to understand the very persistent voice of a very persistent Holy Spirit I feel here in my gut that keeps asking me when I’m going to write about all this..." (Keep reading... this is so good!)

* This post by Jessica Leigh Hoover with What To Do When You’re Tired of Waiting...

"Advent. A season of expectant waiting.

What do you do when you’re tired of waiting? What do you do when it feels like all of life is Advent?

This year I focused on what it means to embrace life in all it’s wild and wonderful unexpectedness. I kept asking myself the same question, “What does it mean to live from the middle?”

Life doesn’t afford us hindsight until life is really in hindsight. We only get the up close blur of life in the present and our questions can obscure the view. Mary had nine months to prepare and I wonder in my heart if she felt like it was enough time. Enough time to really grasp the weight of God come down and growing in her? Do we ever really grasp the weight of our now?"

* This post from Sarah Bessey on I needed to see her...
"We’re never alone in our stories, we’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. I always feel like I love Jesus better when I hear from other women how and why they love Him, too. I feel braver when I see other women be brave. One seed of freedom, one woman who walks in freedom, sets others free, too.

Our stories are never just our own."

* This post by Becca Stevens over at Storyline with A Meditation for Advent...
"Advent is like the wallflower at a techno-dance party. It is the tea in a world of coffee drinkers. It is the silent prayer uttered in a Pentecostal-style worship service. It is the grief of a person in the midst of a Christmas party. Advent is the silent night between the wrapped Christmas trees glaring light.

It takes paying attention.

And it takes extraordinary religious discipline to carve out this space. But every now and again we are surprised by the spirituality of it all, where in the meandering commercial chaos we find a pathway open up and our spirits connected. This is the gift offered to us in Advent that saves the season.

These next few posts are from the Five Minute Friday Community... a FlashMob of writers, who write on one word for five minutes flat... our word this week was "Prepare"...

* This post by Asheritah CiuCiu over at One Thing Alone with How to Really Prepare for Christmas (It's Not What You Think)...
"We should prepare our hearts and invite Him to dwell in us.

But what if there’s something more to preparing? What if it’s less doing, less hustle, less churching, less list-checking, less Martha-ing? 

Because really, my heart? It’s God’s. He created it. Just like He created that little town of Bethlehem and the barn and the manger. I’ve nothing to speak of that is my own.

But maybe that’s the point.

Maybe preparing my heart means acknowledging that my heart isn’t my own to begin with so all my hustling isn’t what He’s after. My heart belongs to God. It was created to commune with Him but instead the dust of this world settles on it like a layer of dirty grime, separating me from the sweet fellowship of His presence.

Maybe preparing my heart isn’t so much about doing devotions or singing carols or even doing Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

Maybe preparing my heart for Christmas means less doing and more be-ing. "

* This one by Sarah Jo Burch with Prepare...
"...this year, working through an Advent week devoted to preparation and waiting, it finally clicked: it's not for His sake, it's for ours. We are the faithless and forgetful, caught up in our own little kingdoms, and the continual actions of preparation while we wait are what make our hearts ready to receive Him."

* This one from right HERE with Prepare - A Five Minute Friday post...
"I wrote about it awhile ago --about how more than anything else, what we really need is to prepare Him room... slow and focus and breathe in deep.  You remember a month or so ago, how God was speaking to me through The Lord's Prayer and He said that when we Hallow His Name, He hollows out more room in our hearts for Him. When we call Him Holy, He makes us holy... He does the work... He prepares the room.  He went on to show me that when I hallow His name, He comes in, and swells within me.

Just Wow.

And I had never seen that before, or thought of it that way, and even now as I sit here... I realize, is this not what He did for Mary?  He drew close to her, and she called Him Holy... and He swelled within her. Of course, quite literally with Mary - but He is the same yesterday, today, and forever and I believe with all of my heart that when we slow and breathe and just say His Name... He rushes right on in"

And now... a fun announcement:

I had Rafflecopter randomly choose
one lucky winner...
(because I love you all and simply didn't want to have to pick just one!)

...And the Giveaway goes to:

Trudy Den Hoed

(I will email you soon!)

Lastly, we like to wrap This Thing up with  a video... Enjoy!

Happy Weekend, my friends!


  1. Thank you so much, Karrilee! I feel like a kid unwrapping a new toy! :)


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