July 25, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 106

Happy Weekend, sweet readers!

I hope yours came just in time! I know mine did! I don't want to brag or anything... but I have myself a Saturday planned, y'all! My Honey and four of our very best friends are all hitting the road and going to Jazz in the Valley for the day - outside seating, incredible music, great food and wine, amazing fellowship, TONS of relaxing and laughing and not (ahem!) being in front of a screen! I am super excited!

Still - if you missed these posts this week, well - you really should carve out a little screen time this weekend and drink these in! You're gonna want to read them!

Featured today are posts by Sarah Bessey, Preston Yancey, Rhonda Quaney, Lori Harris, Ruth Simons, Ann Voskamp, Erika Morrison, a post from right here, and - of course - a video (or two) 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 Sarah Bessey with To the young women reading “Jesus Feminist”... 
"Find your people. This is so vital, so important – you need a home team. Be loyal. Show up. Love and support other women well. Learn how to champion and celebrate each other. Put others first. This is not time for pettiness and who-is-in-and-who-is-out. We’re all in. Make time for fun and for joy, be silly and go on adventures.

Go ahead and get angry at injustice; I think your calling is often hiding somewhere in your anger. Pay attention to what makes you angry. And then follow that anger all the way down to good hard and holy work. As our brother Paul wrote, “throw off the sin that so easily entangles you. Keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. (Hebrews 12:1) Challenge who you think you are. Listen well to the marginalized and oppressed, theirs is the Kingdom of God, align yourself there."

* This post from Preston Yancey with how we pray now where he shares his heart and calls us to pray... 
"We have told God often that we are so ready to hear that this is what Jackson has and it's done. We are ready to receive that. We are ready to believe it. We are ready to prepare. We have nine weeks left, God free us from the prayers of healing and let us alone to make peace. No matter what, we will still worship Jesus. No matter what, we will yet praise him.

But God does not release us. God says to us and to many others to pray on.

So here we are, we can do no other.

I don't know what will happen, but I know what I hope: I hope Jackson David Yancey will be completely healed. I hope he will have an eye. I hope he will have a formed ear. I hope he will have a closed face. I hope he will have a closed palate.

This is what we are praying for, on the other side of all things, when it would now be undeniably God if he were healed.

But I remind God often of the psalms. I remind God that God likes to show off. So show off, O Lord. Show off. For you alone and only you could do this.

This is how we pray now. Wild. Untethered. Rushing into hope and trust that God is who God says God is.

And we believe fully that, should the healing not come through the miracle of God but the miracle of God through machines, people, and plans, God will give us the courage, the character, and the conviction to walk through that. But we'd be shamed to ever tell our son we stopped praying fierce for him when God had not spoken a word to us to stop."

* This post by Rhonda Quaney with Do You Know Your Neighbors...
"A few years ago my neighbor decided to begin hosting the annual meeting in her back yard. Bless her. She has a wonderful back porch, completely enclosed with windows that can be opened to allow the evening breeze to drift through. Having a neighbor open their home for others really changed the tone of the annual meetings. I probably should have been the one to think of that.

Last year, at the annual Homeowners Association meeting, the Spunky Little Lady, wanted to discuss the old rough wood table that sits on an empty lot which is set aside to be a park in our neighborhood. 

Before all those in attendance even made their way through the buffet line for the first time, she made a case that the table was too heavy, too old and "….no one uses the table anyway."

My front picture window looks toward that little park, which is home to the old table and an aging cottonwood tree, but I had no real opinion about any of it. Others at the meeting surprisingly wanted to keep the picnic table and moved on to other important new business.

Truth? I never saw anyone sit at the table either.

This spring I attended Jumping Tandem Retreat and one of the sessions I sat in on, was with Kristen Snell. She is so much of what I love. Her blog photo was taken in her fabulous kitchen. She is an author, a chef and a woman who exudes easy-going acceptance and hospitality. At the retreat, she made us feel like girl-friends and she shared how she had been sure life would have her living as a missionary in Africa. Instead she lived in a nice neighborhood in Austin Texas. 

She had a big dream of living in a community where neighbors knew and loved each other well, but it wasn’t happening.

One day she purchased a wood picnic table and painted it her favorite color and placed it in her front yard.  Just like God would do, her step of being available to her neighbors has taken on a global community life of its own, called The Turquoise Table Community.

When I heard her talk about the organic friendships that were happening because of that table, a few places came to mind, where I could too could paint a table and of course one of them was in the little park across the street.

This post by Lori Harris with All Good Things...
“In this summer of hospitality, I am feeling my humanity like never before. Life is brimming with good things and as life brims with good things, my flesh does what flesh is meant to do:

It rises up to catch all the goodness spilling over.

Our church plant is busting at the seams with people who feel called by Jesus to join our plant and the work we feel called to do in Rocky Mount. Our people genuinely like one another.

Our neighborhood is feeling like community and our door is ever revolving.

Our kids are happy, exuberant kids who love their neighbors and their school.

We’re finding like-minded believers to partner with in community transformation.

Thad loves his day job and we’re grateful he gets to make a good living while still having time to plant a church.

And y’all, a literary agent called a few weeks ago and offered to be my agent when I’m ready to write a book.

Life is good.

And so very full.

I tell you all of this because I am a blogger and this is what we do: We tell people things.

I also tell you all of this because all good things cast shadows, friends, and I’m learning that the best things in life only cast mightier ones.

Shadows remind me that I’m human. Finite. Just a breath.” 

This post by Ruth Simons over at A Holy Experience with unwrapping summer: the secret of learning to love what must be done...
“Maybe we’ve been tempted to hope in weekends, vacations, summertime, retirement, or making a life doing what we love doing. We live in a world that tolerates and survives the mundane because we can’t imagine that miracles of hope can happen in the smallest and simplest of places.

But redeemed people living in a manger-rejecting world can more than just survive.

When our summertime looks less like colorful beach blankets and snow cones, and most often like readjusting expectations, peacemaking between children, and learning to love what must be done– God faithfully shows us that He equips and sanctifies in quiet and secret places.

We learn to see the everyday as He sees them: Holy.

There’s a cadence to being transformed in the rigor and rest of what we call mundane, but He calls by design.” 

This post by Ann Voskamp with for all us hope-ers: when things aren’t working out as we’d hoped...
"In the middle of things seemingly not working out for us —- God is working out something in us.

Do not ever fear, ever. Simply do not ever stop patiently wait on God.

“But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
Who hopes for what they already have?
 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Roman 18:24-15)

This is the epiphany that comes straight up through a thousand dark places:

The Spirit is married to patience.

Be impatient — and you drive a wedge between you and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

In a world of fists and demands and tight grips for control — patiently waiting with open hand is a radical act — a radical art.

Open hands defy the dark — and testify to a radical act of trust."

This post by Erika Morrison with A LETTER TO MY SON...
"Dear Gabriel Marcus,

I had other plans for how I was going to begin this note, but just scrawling your name on the paper brings quick, tender tears to my eyes–fluid testimony that you are sorely, always missed. Testimony that there is a hole somewhere between my rib bones; a hole 13 years old, 5ft 9in tall and about 120lbs heavy. This isn’t said to make you feel bad for being gone from us. I embrace the ache of your absence and am at ease knowing you are right where you need to be–out taking risks in the great wide open, trying on new hats and ideas, finding oysters and learning delicacies about yourself. Carry on with your head up and a full heart, you are a rising son.

Gabriel Marcus.

I wrote your letters again because it brings comfort and I find myself pausing here and walking a few mental circles around the meanings of your name: messenger of God and mighty warrior. And I wonder what it will mean for you to be a messenger in a world full of noise? Or a warrior for the peaceful Kingdom?

What are your thinkings about these questions?

Anyhow, this is the original way I was going to start your salutation:

It’s 7am and I’m sitting on the back porch in my white rocking chair. The rhythmic back-and-forth motion soothes my somewhat scattered mind and sets a slow pace for the day; I still try to start the way I mean to go on. Sometimes I’m good at it, sometimes I’m not. I have a feeling, though, that this will be one of the things you remember about me–the way your mama rose early most mornings and began with quiet, small moments. Certainly you will remember how I danced around the bathroom in my bootie shorts and just how many times I lost my lid. What a show that always turned out to be! I hope we sit around a someday-table laughing about all the ways and occasions I went demented. I’ll never ever forget that one time you spoke into my insanity with more certitude and intuition than any 4-year-old should have:

“Mama! YOU driving YOU nuts!”

Ahhh. Truer words have never been spoken, “out of the mouths of babes” and all that." (Seriously - do yourself a favor and click through to read this entire letter! And then maybe see if you can get your hands on Erika's new book Bandersnatch because, well - it's filled with writing like this!)

* This one from right HERE with a little poem, inspired by Emily Freemans' new book Simply Tuesday, called These Are The Days Of Small Wonders...
"These are the Days of...
* Church Planting as we Learn the Way,
* of Sowing and Weeding on Purpose Every Day
* of Watering and Reaping and Watching it Grow
* of Fresh Starts and New Moves (of what, we don't know!)

* Family getting Smaller and Family growing Deep
* of Old Love Renewed, Awakened from Sleep
* of an Empty Nest with Dates every single night
* as well as a Full House filled with everything right

* Feet Up on Tables & Quiet Unwinding, 
* of Side by Side Reading & Jazz Music Finding
* of Head Back Relaxing, of Contemplative-Filled Air
* of Sexy Low Talking and Sleepy Whispered Prayer

These are the Days of...
* Parents getting Older and Siblings Far Away
* of Doctors and Supplements, of Holding Sickness at Bay
* of Aches and of Pains and the Sneaky Entrance of Worry
* of the Wisdom & of the Joy of Not Being in such a Hurry

These are the Days of...
* the Right Here, Right Now
* of Giving up the Questions of Why and When and How
* of no more rushing past priorities or wishing away the years
* of Slowing Down to Stop & Listen --no, to Stop & to Hear!

These are the Days of...
* Counting Gifts that are Abundant
* of Saying "Thanks" & "I Love You" --no matter how Redundant
* of Writing and Posting, of Pouring Out my Heart
* of Painting and Dancing and Sharing my Art"

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week and sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is worship... this time, well I couldn't pick so I am giving you two!  The first one is actually the Earths' song... as in, yes - NASA captured the soundwaves or some Scientific-y thing and oh my goodness, it is divine! You can hear that here.

The second is a short series of free videos by Emily Freeman, and - you're welcome! For real! You are welcome. You can see those here.  Enjoy!

Happy Weekend! 


  1. Again another great list! So much THIS:"This is how we pray now. Wild. Untethered. Rushing into hope and trust that God is who God says God is." Reminds me of my Lenten practice of prayer and how awesome it is.

    1. Amen, right? Love that Preston... praying with you in agreement for his Jackson!

  2. Such a wonderful listing of great reads!

    I so identified with this:

    These are the Days of...
    * Parents getting Older and Siblings Far Away
    * of Doctors and Supplements, of Holding Sickness at Bay
    * of Aches and of Pains and the Sneaky Entrance of Worry
    * of the Wisdom & of the Joy of Not Being in such a Hurry

    Really sums up my life right now at 61 years old. A time of transition, a time of learning how to accept aging and all the challenges it brings.

    In all seasons, God is there.


    1. Amen! Those days... these days... that can feel heavy and hard, right? And yet - you are right... God is there... and nothing is wasted! Praying for you, friend!


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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