August 15, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 109

Hey Sweet Readers...

I hope your week was filled with good things, great memories made, and of course... a little reading time!

Featured today are posts by Joe Kay, Emily P. Freeman, Eugene Cho, Alia Joy, Liz Curtis Higgs, Robin Dance, Shannan Martin, 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 Joe Kay with Tattoos, Dyed Hair, and Amazing Grace... 
"The young woman sitting in the back row caught my eye. She had tattooed arms and brightly colored hair. I don’t remember what color her hair was that day; it’s tough to say. Jordan changes it regularly.

Could have been Alpine Green – she’s worn that color, and many more. Rosy Red. Spring Green. Lagoon Blue. Plum Purple. Flamingo Pink. Wine Purple. Fire Orange. Just to name a few.

Anyway, I remember thinking as I sat down for the start of our church service that Sunday: What’s her story? A few minutes later, she was introduced as our new youth minister. And I thought: Hmmm. Now I’m really intrigued. What’s behind those tattoos and that shade of hair?

Jordan gets that reaction a lot. She embraces it and uses it to connect with people — well, most times. She told us how one time she was headed home from church, carrying her churchy stuff in a bag, and she stopped at a store. Behind her in the checkout line was a couple sizing her up. The man noticed Jordan’s churchy stuff and said something negative about people with tattoos. He suggested in a judgmental tone that she should learn to treat her body like a temple. Jordan reassured him that she does indeed consider her body to be a temple. The tattoos? Those are her stained-glass windows. The man frowned. His wife smiled.

That’s Jordan.

A few weeks ago, Jordan shared another story. She was in a restaurant and a lady at a nearby table stared at her as she ate. When the lady got up to pay her check, she headed straight for Jordan’s table. Oh dear Lord, Jordan thought, here we go again! I’m not in the mood for a lecture about hair or tattoos..."

* This post from Emily P. Freeman with A Conversation Guide for You and Your Tuesday People... 
"Do you ever feel like you’re doing friendship wrong? You look around and see how everyone seems to have the hang of it, but maybe you’re missing something?

Growing up people said I made friends easily. A teacher once told my parents that I made friends with other girls by complimenting them. Of course I did.

Having friends was important to me and telling people good things about themselves seemed like the fastest way to it. But that was back when the word friend meant someone you’re comfortable sitting with at lunch or someone who will walk with you to the bathroom.

All that counts when you’re in seventh grade. But now that I’m grown, friend means something more. Meeting people is easy for me and making good impressions is, too. But now I want what I like to call Tuesday people in my life – regular, everyday friends, not people I work to impress."

* This post by Eugene Cho over at A Holy Experience with when our bigs plans & unspoken dreams aren’t turning out at all...
"One of the best things that happened in that season of my life was that God used it to break me, to help me see and surrender to His will. I was reminded of these words from Henri Nouwen: “Just as bread needs to be broken in order to be given, so, too, do our lives.”

As I sought clarity, answers, strategies, His favor, and divine appointments, God simply prompted me to ask myself: To whom should I surrender? I love the wisdom in this quote from C. S. Lewis that captures this truth:  “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.”  “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.”

We can go through times that seem like spiritual and emotional deserts. In the barren landscape of those uncertain times, there’s often a prime opportunity to pause. There’s prime opportunity to pray and to listen for the voice of God speaking comfort and assurance through uncertainty.

We need to allow God to break us. We need to escape our self-absorbed blindness and see life illuminated in the light of God.

In other words, let’s not be so consumed by our own visions that we forget the God who gave us those visions and dreams in the first place.let’s not be so consumed by our own visions that we forget the God who gave us those visions and dreams in the first place.

We worship God, not our visions and dreams.

We worship God, not our plans and strategies."

This post by Alia Joy with When You Water a Garden...
“I am a mechanism of rest, forced to slow once again when I’d rather cross things from my to do list. This watering is a sabbath to my day. Not work as much as surrender.

I can do no productive thing other than hold the hose and aim at the roots in my life. It takes forever to get it right, to get the water into the soil and not just spray the leaves with abandon. Our hose leaks down the side of my hand and soon I am drenched.

I am given to pray when I water. Maybe even more than when I plant.

I am bound back to earth and the tread of soiled paths weaving through bud and stem and the bloom of life and color. It gives me pause to breathe and remember to see all over again and again.

This post by Liz Curtis Higgs over at Incourage with What Not to Say (When You Gotta Say Something)...
 I’ve been spending more time at funerals lately. Close family, close friends. Not nearly as joy-filled as a wedding, even when we know the one we’ve lost will live happily ever after in heaven.

The truth is, saying good-bye is hard.

And saying anything at a funeral is difficult. Time and again I’ve stood in line at a funeral home, waiting to speak with the family, trying to think of something encouraging or helpful to say.

Then, when it’s my turn, I blurt out some Christian cliché that’s thoughtless, heartless, or just plain foolish.

The good news? I’ve made a complete idiot of myself, so you won’t have to.” 

This post by Robin Dance with How to pray for the college-age kids in your life...
Seriously... click over to read her Ten Important Prayers to Pray for College-bound Students!

This post by Shannan Martin over at Incourage with Mirrors...
"The work we do as parents is significant and the stakes often feel too high. So many nights my husband and I lament over our mistakes. We default too quickly to guilt-mongering. We’re the opposite of long-suffering. We lord our authority. We offer grace too extravagantly. (Or is that even possible?)

The good news is, God never meant for us to parent in a vacuum. The even-better news is, His plan for all His kids involves a glimmering web of other humans, placed in close proximity of one another just so His glory could bounce around and land square in the eye of you, me, our children, the spatula-wielding widow, the retiree, and the hopeful souls who fill the brick school building across the street from August to June.

We do our part as parents, and our community helps to fill in the gaps.

That teacher luncheon wasn’t my idea, and I didn’t even bake a pie. All I did was wrestle myself reluctantly out of my yoga pants and show up."

* This one from right HERE with Small Wonders Are Oh So Easy to Miss, So Look Closely With Eyes Wide Open!
"Among the roses, yellow roses are my favorite. My rose bush bloomed like crazy earlier and then, thanks to all those triple digit days in a row, seemed to be done. However, it's gotten a second wind or a second summer and even though some of it looks dry and thirsty, and a little tired - new blooms are opening wide and it is blossoming yet again... the persistence of yellow and a perfume that is intoxicating if you simply slow your steps and inhale deep, even just passing by.

But I-- I stop and lean in close. I frame my shot and I am pleased. Beauty and Grace is captured even when the heavenly fragrance can't be. Small Wonders... gifts from Him to me that I could have just as easily walked right by.  Layers and layers, like petals, of blessings surround us all and He promises us that we will find whatever we are searching for."

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week and sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is worship... this time, well - this time it is one of my favorites (who just so happens to have a new book, For the Love, coming out that you are going to want to have... for real!) Jen Hatmaker - keepin' it real, as she does, on faith-based parenting...

Brave vs. Scared!
Amen, right? Gah! So good!

Happy Weekend! 


  1. That Liz Curtis Higgs at InCourage was pure gold. So helpful!! Oh and I love this so much: "But now I want what I like to call Tuesday people in my life – regular, everyday friends, not people I work to impress." Um yes!! :)

    1. I know, right? I loved that line from Emily, too! And no big deal, but I had a little conversation on Twitter with Liz earlier today about her post! Love you and I am so appreciative at how you always take the time to comment! It really does bless me, friend!


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