September 19, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Volume 114

I don't know about where YOU are, but around these parts, it has actually felt a bit like Fall this week! #Swoon (and #BringOnAllThePumpkinSpicedThings!)

After a long, hot summer... Autumn is being welcomed with open arms and doors and fresh air blowing through the house instead of the A/C! And everyone said Amen!

Today, we are featuring posts by Colleen Mitchell, Shannan Martin, Emily P. Freeman, Allison Vesterfelt, Michelle DeRusha, Lori Harris, 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 Colleen Mitchell over at Emily Weirenga's blog with A Thousand Thresholds Called Home...
"My life on the mission field has made home not one place but many. Elusive and yet ever present. Not one place, but a mixture of memories and shapes and sounds and smells.
Home is my mama’s hug and the nearness of my sisters and the mountain views of my back porch and my boys’ hands slipped in mine and the place where I share a bed with my beloved.

It is a thousand different thresholds that all offer me a little piece of who I have been once, who I am now, and who I am becoming.

I wrap the memories and the smells and the sounds and the embraces tenderly and place them in a suitcase in my mind’s eyes. I carry them with me on all my journeys and unwrap them slowly—showing them to the people I call mine..."

* This post by Shannan Martin over at Flowerpatch Farmgirl with Of Course, Of Course... because sometimes we just gotta keep it light and keep it real, y'all! LOL! This is CLASSIC Shannan! Enjoy!
"One of my most guarded secrets is that I don't really like animals HEAR ME OUT.

It's not that I don't like them, it's just that don't really like them.

It's an "I'm just not that into them" sort of situation, kind of like the book from the early 2000's but without the self-loathing, low self-esteem, and crying jags.

I feel strangely protective of animals. I don't wish them any harm. More than once I've caught myself pondering the mental health of our cat, Howard. (He enjoys licking Calvin's hair when he gets out of the shower and I'm no expert, but doesn't that scream feline psychological maladjustment?)

But the point of this post isn't really that I'd rather not hold your cat or that I'm slightly afraid of large animals because I once fell off a horse and twisted my ankle, or that when I see a human person letting a dog lick its face, it gives me the visceral shakes.

The point of this post is that I can't stop buying animal paraphernalia.

It started after we left the farm. And it confuses me deeply.

No amount of self-reflection could have prepared me for the moment I was minding my own business, traipsing through a barn sale with my friend Emily, and came upon a piece of animal art, rendered entirely from magazine pages.

I repeat: It is a farm animal magazine collage."

* This post from Emily P. Freeman over at Incourage with Space for Your Soul to Breathe... 
"What happened during that busy season was I started to wilt on the inside. I’m not sure how else to explain it, but the constant deadlines and productivity combined with my travel schedule left me feeling empty and rushed.

As it turns out, my soul isn’t made for hurry.

I grieved slow weekends and normal working hours. I grieved margin and time to stare out windows. I grieved making dinners and walks in my neighborhood.

But I thought maybe this was the way it had to be in order to do what I felt called to do and be who I felt called to be.

I knew soul space and meaningful work could co-exist. I just hadn’t quite figured out what that balance looked like in my actual life.

Since then, I’ve been on an intentional journey to discover what it looks like to create space for my soul to breathe even in the midst of a busy life.

I’m finding it takes a lot more effort to maintain margins than it does to fill them up.

We are all made differently in the image of God, so I never want to imply that margin for one is equal to margin for another. We have to consider our season of life and our personality, as well as the needs and personalities of those in our family. We have to consider our goals, vision, and the resources we need to reach them.

It’s true that we all define margin differently depending on many variables. But here is one thing that it is true for all of us: We all need to define our own margins. If we don’t, they will be defined for us in the form of no margins at all."

* This post by Allison Vesterfelt with The Real Reason We’re All So Busy...
"The month of August was busy for us. I mean BUSY. I was pretty sure, at some point, my calendar was going to say, “no I’m sorry, there is not enough room for any more events in August… come again later.”

In fact, the only thing busier than our month of August is… uh…

Our month of September.

Right now, if I sit and look at my iCal for long enough, I can feel myself start to hyperventilate. I see weekends where we’re working or traveling, all the way through the weekend, and I can already feel in my bones how exhausted I’m going to be. The whole thing makes me want to let out a tiny whimper.

But it also has me thinking about why I do this to myself.

Why are we so freaking BUSY all. the. time?

The reason we most often cite for our chronic busyness (myself included) is we don’t want to let people down. It’s our people-pleasing problem that’s really getting in our way, we say. And in a roundabout way, I guess we’re right. But I think there’s a much deeper reason we pack our schedules so full we want to cry.

That is this: busyness makes us feel less inadequate.

We’re mind-numbingly busy because we choose to be. Busyness is our crutch."

This post by Michelle DeRusha with Grace is Moving Toward…
“During a class she taught at my church last week, my friend Deidra offered a definition of grace that settled deep into my soul.

“Grace is moving toward,” Deidra said — moving toward those we don’t necessarily want to move toward or even moving toward someone as they are, not as who we want them to be.

“Do you need to move toward a person and into their world,” Deidra asked, “intead of trying to force them to move into yours?”

When Deidra asked that question, I immediately thought of my two kids. The hard truth is, I haven’t always done a good job of embracing who they are as individuals, but instead, often find myself trying to shape one to reflect the other.

This post by Lori Harris with When Mothering Gets Hard and You Want to Play It Safe...
If I could narrow down all the hard things about following Jesus into one hard thing it would have to be this:
To love like Jesus, then I must choose to be where Jesus would be and trust His goodness there.

But here’s the rub.

I am a mama and as a mama, I am prone to want to hole up and hide out. Keep safe. Stay secure. Preserve self and family. I’m prone to want to believe that my primary job in this life is to launch Jesus followers into this world, one Harris kid at a time.

I’m prone to buy every good thing Satan whispers in my ear because he has mastered the art of good mothering and good mothering means safe.

But that’s a lie.

Being a good mother means that I give my children Jesus.

Being a good mother means that I make our home where Jesus is and invite my children to join Him there.

Being a good mother means that I teach truth and let the words of Jesus deliver.

Being a good mother means that I make wide open spaces for my children to see Jesus building His kingdom among people who are not clean or neat or pretty.  Or safe.

Being a good mother means that when my kids screw up, I give grace through Jesus and trust that His goodness will capture their hearts and that He will launch them where He wants them to go.”  

* This one from right HERE with There is Always a Reason to Celebrate... aka Light is Coming for You, My Friend!
"It's so often in the darkness that we remember that Light is a Person and the One who is Light walks toward us.

Light is always there... beside us, within us, and always - He is coming for us! His nail-scarred hands stretched out, arms open wide... and if you lean in and adjust your vision, you will see a smile spread full across His face as love and joy and grace and mercy freely spill out in abundance. 

Like the prodigal Father, He runs to us.
So can I encourage you not to wait? 

Don't wait until the end of whatever it is you are going through to celebrate! Whether this is an amazing season and you are nailing all the things, or it is a difficult season and you are barely getting by... there is always a reason to celebrate... always a reason to sing!"

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week and sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is worship... this time it's 
a short clip that is oh so powerful and true!

Happy Weekend, my friends! 

1 comment :

  1. Some new bloggers I haven't read before in your list today. Thanks friend! I need to find the time to read Colleen's post too. Love ya!


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