February 21, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 84

Happy Weekend, Ya'll!

We made it to the weekend! Whether it was long and hard, or short and not so hard, I pray you found a bit of sun or at least safety from the cold, and are ready for a little Sabbath Rest!  Honker down, grab something yummy to sip on, and enjoy this little Gathering of Awesome!

Featured today are posts by Christie Purifoy , Karen Ehman, Lisa-Jo Baker, John Pavolvitz, Jessica Leigh Hoover, 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 post by Christie Purifoy over at GraceTable with Love Prepared a Table For Me...
"I planned to tell you all about the quiet hospitality we live today. About the cooked breakfast routines and the Friday night homemade pizza tradition. We no longer have the space in our lives for big efforts, but by living a few good, daily rhythms it has become easy to invite others into them.

I thought I would tell you about the ways in which hospitality has become, not this extra, added-on thing, but something woven into the daily fabric of our lives. For instance, there is the young neighbor boy who spends every afternoon with us while his parents finish out their workdays. Also, there is the young woman who recently moved into one of our third-floor attic bedrooms.

But the quietest and most beautiful hospitality I am living right now is this: God has set a table for me in my own house."

* This one by Karen Ehman with 
The Reverse Lent Challenge {Don’t give something up ~ Take something on!}...
"This year for Lent, don’t give something up. Take something on.
For the last two years during the Lenten season leading up to Easter, I have tried a new spiritual practice. While I did not grow up in a church that observed Lent by giving something up for forty days, the practice always intrigued me, and so I did it anyway.

One year it was chocolate. One year it was soda. And one year I tried making it meat. But I loved me a good quarter pounder with cheese, so that pledge didn’t last very long!

For the last two years, I have observed the forty days of Lent in a different way. I decided that rather than give up something, I would take on something. And so I trekked off to the local department store and purchased forty cute note cards (on the clearance rack—whoo-hoo!). Then I stopped by the post office and purchased forty cute stamps. (I mean, I love and respect the American flag and all, but nothing cute-i-fies a letter quite like an adorable, whimsical stamp.)

I placed the note cards and stamps, along with my address book, in a rustic wicker basket and nestled it between the two chairs in our living room. Then, each morning upon rising, or each evening before bed, I took about three minutes to write an encouraging note to someone in my life." 

* This post by Lisa-Jo Baker over at Incourage.Me with For Those Who Feel Like They Are Dying on the Inside... 
"Maybe you’re dying a little bit on your insides?

Every day. Every Monday and Tuesday there are little pieces of your soul crumbling and crying and dying.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
  That saved a wretch; like me!

Maybe you’re over there between the loads of laundry and you think you’re dying of all this mundane rut of a routine?

I once was lost, but now am found,
  Was blind, but now I see.

Maybe it’s the commuter lane at rush hour that’s got you bent over the steering wheel thinking this is it — I just can’t do this anymore. I’m no one’s rat, and I just can’t take this mind-numbing race anymore.

Maybe it’s your cubicle that’s got you slowly feeling all the life drain right out of you.

Maybe the leftover dishes feel like all your left over life that you’ve been missing — gritty and gross and hard to clean.  "

* This post from John Pavlovitz with The Death You Die When They Do (Another Lesson In The Grief Valley)... 
"If you haven’t walked the Grief Valley yet, just trust me on this.

One day you will miss someone dearly, and when that cold reality hits you; the truth of just how much of you is gone too, you’ll grieve the loss of yourself as well, even as you live.

One of the great things about having people who love you and who’ve lived alongside of you for a long time, is how they can surprise you; how when you’re with them, they can dig out a story or unveil something about you that you had totally forgotten about or never known at all. My dad would do that all the time, matter-of-factly tossing off a random memory that allowed me to see myself through his eyes. It was like having a small lost part of you, suddenly and unexpectedly returned to you.

As much as I miss my dad, (and I do miss him terribly) I miss the me that he knew, too. I grieve the loss of our shared story.

I mourn losing the childhood me, who napped with him on his bed, the teenage me who spent those priceless Saturday mornings with him, the college aged me who fell asleep while he drove the four-hour trip back to college, the middle-aged me who made him laugh with silly stories of his grandkids.

Just as sure as he isn’t coming back, neither are those parts of my story, because he was their co-owner.

Friends, as you grieve for those who are gone, know that it’s normal to also lament the part of you that they’ve taken with them."

* This post from Jessica Leigh Hoover on When You Just Want To Give It All Up For Lent...
"I see it on my screen all the things people are giving up from sleep to sanity in order to remember the Cross. To focus heart, mind and spirit on the One who came as a baby and all the ordinary time in between until graves burst and veils ripped and our hope became full.

All I can feel is the pull and tug of the day and the days stretching out ahead and it comes crystal clear like rays of sun on fresh snow. If I’m honest it’s not just one thing I want to give up for Lent. One thing doesn’t seem like enough. I’m weary and I want to give it all up. Because there is really only one thing I know I need to give up for all the rest of it to fall soft like snow.

Cease striving.

Again and again I return to this place where I lay down the list and the list of lists and find nothing is really expected of me. I place far too many expectations on myself. The only expectation God has of me is that I would be found seeking Him and His purposes daily.

For all my doubts about my ability the one shameful doubt my striving reveals is my doubt that Jesus is more than enough."

* This one from right HERE with The Wonder of Time... How It Can Be a Gift or a Burden, and How Our God Isn't Bound to It!
"While I am bound by time, He is not.  He moves inside and outside of time and when we remember this --well, we remember that time can be a gift or a burden, and we get to decide!

As I have been more intentional in spending my time wisely, I have also been more mindful of seeking out Wonder! Counting Gifts and looking for how He is with me through out my every days. I told a friend last week that Wonder shows us that God is active in our lives and I prayed with her that we would be Carriers of His Presence and Distributors of Wonder!  

Yes. That.  Let's do that!

With less bossy lists, and more wide open spaces on my calendar, I am being drawn to quiet corners and longer times lingering in worship... in conversations with God... in sometimes just sitting with Him with no other motive or need than to just be at peace with the Prince of Peace. For this world is hard and heavy and full of darkness - but He is none of those things, and He is readily available to us... to lift the burdens and carry the yoke... to be Light within us and to shine brightly through us - but we must fill up.

Not in an add-one-more-thing-to-my-list kind of way, but in a do-this-one-first-and-the-rest-will-get-done kind of way... In a bring-Me-with-you-and-let-Me-help-you-throughout-your-day kind of way, and who wouldn't want that?"

Lastly, we wrap This Thing up with a video because that is how we roll... I wrote my Five Minute Friday post sort of all about how awesome Bob Goff is, because -of course! And this video? It gives you a glimpse... and the part where he explains that the reason he is a hugger because '...this ain't a business trip that we're on. This is our life and we keep telling people that we are a family, and so I want to start acting like a family...' Yes! This! (Enjoy!)

Have a great weekend, friends! 

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