May 9, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 95

Happy Weekend, y'all!

I am praying for each of you this weekend... because, well - divine distractions are the way I cope sometimes! We are doing the whole Starting a Church on Sunday and so, of course, my thoughts are on all sorts of other things... like how thankful I am for each of you! 

It's Mother's Day weekend and I know for some --well, for some this not their favorite 'holiday'! Whether it be because of loss or hurts or unmet/too high expectations... whatever the reason - for many - this day is empty of celebration and I want you to know that if that is you, or if you are more of a Hallmarky, feel the love kind of gal, either way - I am praying for you to know that you are loved and that you are held and that you are celebrated, my friends! Oh how He celebrates you!

On a side note... (only not... this is sort of the main note for this post) our pc sort of just stopped working this week.  Because of course, right?  One comes home from a writer's conference, doesn't write, and then when she is ready - her computer dies.  Still... I managed to find some GREAT posts before all of that happened, so here you go!

Featured today are posts by Emily Freeman, Colleen MitchellMichelle DeRusha, Amber Haines, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Sarah Bessey, Dean Nelson, 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 Emily Freeman with This One’s for the Mothers...
"Motherhood is both miracle and madness.

And so here is a toast for all the mamas everywhere during this week before Mother’s Day. It’s not the first or the best ode to mothers on the internet, but the words came to mind this morning and so I offer them to you..." {I couldn't really pick any one line... you simply must click over and read the whole thing! It's worth it! It's all kinds of wonderful!}

* This post from Colleen Mitchell with When Need Is An Intimate Thing... 
"They are simple needs, but they are intimate ones.

Ones she speaks with a whisper and shy smile.

I know I ask her these questions for all the right reasons, and yet still I fear I have violated a sacred space with my asking.

Because need, it is no easy thing to speak.

It is a thing birthed in the deepest, most difficult parts of our stories.

An intimate thing.

And expressing it to a near stranger is hard on such a multitude of levels that I blush to think of all that could be hidden in sweet Paola’s answers.

The church tells us that the poor and the vulnerable of our world deserve preferential treatment–that their needs are to be considered priority when we envision our programming and policy making both in the church setting and the secular one. It tells us that we as Christians should be advocates for the preferential option of the poor.

And I am wondering if that does not mean what we think it means–that it does not mean more stark programs and endless interview questions and long lines and multiple files in bureaucracy’s virtual filing cabinets.

I am wondering if it might mean that we always remember, from the depth of our own experience, how hard it is to need help to survive.

If it might mean that we stay conscious of the fact that asking for help and stating what kind of help you need is telling deep parts of your story.

It is intimate and sacred and complex."

This post by Michelle DeRusha with When You Can’t See God...
"No matter how many times I read the story of the road to Emmaus, I always get hung up on one verse: “God kept them from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:16)

It wasn’t that the two travelers simply didn’t recognize the risen Jesus come alongside them, but that God “kept them,” or prevented them from recognizing him. It was intentional.

At first glance, that intentional obscuring of the truth seems unnecessarily cruel. After all, the followers of Jesus had certainly been through enough grief and devastation at that point. They’d witnessed the arrest, torture and murder of their beloved leader. All their expectations, everything they’d believed in and hoped for, lay smashed at the bottom  of the cross. They were lost, bewildered and reeling from the shock.

Yet God kept the travelers from recognizing the risen Messiah in the moment of their deepest and most profound despair.

This, it seems to me, is the quintessential tough-love moment.

I don’t know about you, but God’s tough-love teaching is not my preferred method. I think it’s fair to say we’d all much prefer that God reveal himself to us straight up, exactly when and exactly how we need him.

But God doesn’t always work that way."

* This post by Amber Haines over at The High Calling with The Great Small... 
"I’m learning to be content with little, and yet it’s the most I’ve ever had. I believe if Arkansas keeps its spring rain and if water can still come through the spigot, we’ll grow enough food to feed all our neighbors. I’m falling in love with the great small.

Our tiniest boy runs the balance beam of the crossties that line our planting. Ian, as usual, is high in the flimsy part of a maple tree. His flip-flop dangles from one big toe. My two older boys help shovel mulch, pull weeds, and squish the caterpillars before they get to the stalks.

These are the low, free things: the dirty yard boys; the puddles; the purple clover; and the simple pucker of green on the dry brown branch before the bloom. We can have little and have it all, if we have eyes to see. I learned this in poor places—the peace next to my son’s hospital bed and the hope in Port-au-Prince churches surrounded in rubble. I saw it so clearly that I began looking for the kingdom in the places that seem impossible, the near invisible places, as if seeing the unseen were the only sane option.

This post by Jennifer Dukes Lee with Dear Graduate. (20 Bits of Truth for Graduates … and Maybe for All of Us)
"Dear graduate,
Listen up, kid. Let me have your ears for the next three minutes, before you pick up your diploma and head out the door.

I sat in your seat exactly 25 years ago, waiting to be called to the stage for my diploma. A lot has changed since my graduation in 1990, but the most important stuff is the same. The truthiest truths are still true. And if I could tell you 20 things I’ve learned about life, these would be it..."

* This post from Sarah Bessey with You're already so loved...
"You have nothing to prove. You have nothing to earn.

Sure, any one of those things might change because you are loved. You may know already where God wants to breathe change and wholeness into you, bringing your life more into line with the person you were meant to be all along.

Love can and does and will transform us in every way – our ideology, our opinions, our habits, our values, our priorities, our very names. But it’s not a prerequisite or a requirement, it’s not behaviour modification, it never is, not for Love.

Love has happened and it is happening and it will happen. It is kind and patient towards you.

You’re already so loved, you aren’t earning a breath of love or tenderness more than what you already have just by breathing – just by existing, just by being here in the wonder. Your name is already written in the lines of the hands of the universe, you’re star-breath-of-dust and you are beloved, intimately, faithfully, wholly. It’s your lifelong rock, you are known. You are loved with delight and abundance, with choice and desire, with covenantal love."

* This post by Dean Nelson over at Storyline with The Life Changing Power of Real Friendship... 
"After we hung up I just stared at the ceiling.

How could I have missed the signs of his alcoholism? What kind of a friend was I? The writing came easily. I wrote about what a gift he was to the world. I listed his talents, his traits, his acts of kindness, his humor.

I was specific in how much better my life was as a result of our friendship.

He stopped by the house promptly at 6, and I was waiting for him at the door. I handed him the envelope, and we shook hands. I told him that I was sorry and that I was proud of him.

He was silent and quickly headed back to his car.

He told me later that all he could see when he looked in the mirror was that he was a failure. Labels like drunk, divorced, disappointment, were the only ways he could see himself. He assumed that the world looked at him the same way. And that I looked at him the same way.

My letter gave him some new language: funny, loving, smart, friend.

He couldn’t see it. He needed someone else’s perspective."

* This one from right HERE with A Few of My Take Aways from Free Falling into Jumping Tandem 2015...
"If you follow me on Instagram (or Facebook or Twitter) then well, you probably already know. 

But here is maybe something you couldn't really tell from just following the feed:
This was a Retreat in the truest sense of the word.  

While we are in this modern age and obviously - selfies were happening, y'all! - I can't explain to you how many whites of eyes I was able to gaze into this weekend, for extended periods of time! 

That's no small miracle, people...

The gift of the atmosphere that Deidra and her team were able to create resulted in this: We were all present.  We all stayed present... engaged... connected... (and not in a 4G kind of way - but in an invested, I hear you/me, too kind of way and it was wonderful --wonder filled, even!)

Obviously, I could go on and on..."

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week and sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is worship... this time - well It's Mother's Day weekend, so here you go... Lisa Jo Baker, because -of course! Enjoy!

Happy Weekend! 


  1. Oh so much goodness! Loved this from the Emily Freeman post: "Here’s to you who longs for the children you don’t yet have or children you now only hold in your heart." But my fave is that Sarah Bessey post. And my friend YOU ARE LOVED!!! And thank you for thinking of me and all your readers in prayer. So sweet!

    1. Pst... I am totally reading that Sarah Bessey post tomorrow at church... it sums up exactly the heart of community that we are striving --no, not striving, praying-- for! xoxo

  2. A festival of reading pleasure! Thanks for all the recommendations. You have included some of my favorite Blog Land writers!

    Hope your weekend went well!


    1. Sharon... thank you so much! I just posted this afternoon on how our first Sunday went... (It went great!) and yes - these are some of my favorites too! So much goodness! Thanks for stopping by!


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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