December 12, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 119

Happy Weekend, friends!

Featured posts by Jennifer Dukes Lee, Deidra Riggs, William Paul Young, Tammy Hendricksmeyer, Emily P. Freeman, Michelle DeRusha, plus 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?)

* We will start this week, with this post by Jennifer Dukes Lee with What Jesus Wants from You at Christmas...
"What do You want with a girl like me? I’m no gift. I’m the cardboard box, destined for the trash heap after the Christmas party is over.

Why in this great world do You want me? Pick a star instead. Or maybe the moon. Pick a mud puddle. You’d be happier. Wouldn’t You?

Why would a woman like me ever make Your Christmas list? But I can hear You, just now, saying it into my heart. I hear You telling me that it’s really true: You want all of me for Christmas.

So I’m trusting that. I come to You, a beggar at your door, dizzy over the absurdity of it. And I’ve got my gift for You in my hands.

I scrounged around, Lord, to find the perfect thing to give You this Christmas. But this here is the only thing I could find. I hope it’s okay with You, Lord, but it’s the same thing You get from me every single year – my sin.

I give it to You. That’s what I’ve got. And it ain’t even wrapped pretty.

And You take it. Like you wanted it all along.

And you trade it for beauty, in the form of a babe.

I give you my sin and my tear-stained heart. You give me love. That is one crazy trade, how you give us your unfailing, unbending unwavering love, in exchange for our sin."

* This post by Deidra Riggs with A New Kind of Advent (for me, anyway)... 
"God reminded me that he is good, his plans for me are good, and he delights in me. I don’t mean to sound selfish or exclusive, here. God’s message for you is the exact same as the one I’m telling you he shared with me. It just so happens, however, that my time in Nashville was like a date with God—just me and him, and him telling me I’m the apple of his eye and that he’s in this for the long haul.

I couldn’t escape him. We cannot escape him. He is relentless in his pursuit of us. His love for us is endless and without condition. His love for YOU is endless and without condition."

* This one from William Paul Young over at Storyline with The Beautiful Necessity of Tears...
"I look back at my own story and I know there are times when I’ve shut down emotionally. You probably have too. It definitely seems easier to go through the most difficult parts of our lives on a sort of emotional autopilot.

But here’s the thing: You can’t pick which emotions you shut down. It’s an all or nothing process.

When I shut my emotions down out of a response to abuse and other tragedies, the world reduces its colors.

When you shut down your emotions, you lose the color of life.

That’s why I love tears.

Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak. –The Shack, pg 228

Tears are a part of that process, and yet, for many people, tears remain a sign of weakness.

That is a sad and dangerous misconception..."

This post by Tammy Hendricksmeyer over at Amber Haines place with THE AMNESIA OF HOME: A WILD IN THE HOLLOW GUEST POST…
I remember how Hope first came to me. How I’d lived as an unconventional rule-keeper, the punk-rocker who also kept her nose clean, eventually becoming the wide-eyed Christian who–to this day–has not grown tired of Jesus.

It’s taken me time to want everything He has to offer. I mean, who would admit they didn’t want everything Jesus offered through the Holy Spirit in the first place? But if “everything” required me to run around the room whooping and hollering, or falling out in a dead faint, or excessively perspiring (like the first time I ever raised a worshipping self-conscience hand over my head) well, God could keep those “everything”s stored up in Heaven. Locked away. I did not necessarily want those kinds that pushed too far out my comfort zone.

“For a long span, I lived self-aware, tried to fill my own hollow places. ‘I’m on my own,’ I said. It’s only me here, surrounded by ghosts…” Amber Haines, Wild in the Hollow
I’ve written about the fact that long ago, in a silent avalanche of disasters within my soul, I surrendered. I returned home like a prodigal who had come to the very end of herself. I had changed my tune about the “everything.” I wanted it all–the whole kit and caboodle. In a desperate and holy place, a Wild in the Hollow place, my thirst overcame my fear of the unknown and the fear of awkward and freakish things that might befall any Jesus freak like me. Instead I discovered a way to live, more alive than I’d ever imagined – alive with a beautiful broken way about me.

Over time, I’ve entered seasons of faith that pushed my roots deeper and out of spiritual droughts as if I were a spindly tree with dormant roots coming out of a long blistering winter of the soul. I’ve known the seasons which watered like a flood of spring, whetting every thirsty drop in me. Or the ones where I’ve basked like a sun-bather in summer with God’s healing warmth on my skin, worry sliding away at the scent of coconut oil. In other words, seasons change and they change me, too. And through them I grow, mostly in invisible, small increments, inch by spiritual inch.

Truth is: this is not my home. Every bit of ground I own, every space I occupy, I’m homesick. I’m homesick with an ache so loud, I can almost hear it growl. But I feel it too. Clawing at my insides, searching for something to devour, eating away at my throbbing heart. Nothing satisfies. All of it is highlighted against the backdrop of the overwhelming weight of the world.

Yet, if we’ve given our life to Christ, a sacred resident takes up inside. And there, hidden and big inside our spirit, is a down payment toward our Forever home. Within us is a door and we can pull it closed until it’s only a narrow slit restricted to tiny slivers of light or we can open it wide, allowing all of Heaven to come in and pour out.

This post by Emily P. Freeman over at Incourage with How to Remember When You’d Rather Forget...
Some of us would give anything to go back to this time last year.

Others of us would give anything to forget.

Memory is a funny thing — subjective, illusive, prone to hyperbole.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to hold onto and what to let fall gently away. And so perhaps you would like to ask our Father along with me — Remember us.

And we don’t simply meant “don’t forget” us. No, we long for more than that.

Re-member us. 

Take that which is a part of us, all the broken bits, the worn down and worn out places, the pieces of memory we’re not sure what to do with, and re-member them. 

Put them in their place, we pray. Give us a holy imagination. Re-arrange. Re-align. Re-order our lives in Your presence.

Your name is God With Us and we believe You are. As we walk into another season of Advent, allow us to receive the new beginnings You offer without denying the layered places from where we have come.”  

* This one by Michelle DeRusha with When You Miss What’s in Plain Sight...
"I typically sit straight-backed and gaze out at the dead wildflowers and grasses edging the ravine. On Monday, though, I tipped my face to the sky and rested my head on the back of the bench, and when I did, I glimpsed what looked like three sea gulls flying overhead, their wings pumping, their breasts white and creamy as pearls. I marveled at their presence in one of the most-landlocked states in the nation. Do they live here year-round, I wondered? Do they nest next to one of Lincoln’s few lakes, a Nebraska-variety seagull? Or are they merely passing through on their way to Santa Barbara? 

That’s the thing about sitting still, even for just five minutes. You see things you normally wouldn’t.

Yesterday I watched four cardinals flit from branch to branch in a shrub next to the path – two scarlet males, two  females, drab,  except for their perky orange beaks. Do they know each other, I wondered? Are they friends? Is this shrub a cardinal condo? Or is it mere coincidence that the four happened upon the same bush at the same time? 

Who cares? you might think. And it’s true, three seagulls and four cardinals aren’t the be-all and end-all of discoveries. Watching them didn’t spark a spiritual epiphany or cause me to ponder the meaning of life.

Yet at the same time, noticing those birds felt important, even precious. Those seagulls with their gleaming breasts, those flitting, twittering cardinals, flash of scarlet in a winter-dull shrub, felt like gifts presented especially to me.

“Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him,” Paul writes to the Hebrews.

I jotted this verse into my journal a few weeks ago, along with a question: “What prevents you from going right into the presence of God?” Beneath that question I listed some of the things that inhibit me from experiencing God’s presence: busyness, lack of trust, doubt, laziness and inattention.


Out of all the things I listed, I think inattention, combined with busyness (the two are partners, don’t you think?), is my biggest roadblock to experiencing the presence of God on a regular basis. Because here’s the thing: the way into the presence of God is open to all of us, all the time — twenty-four-seven, seven days a week, 365 days a year, forever."

* This one from right HERE with These Are The Days Of... a Poetic Offering of Small Wonders)
Instead of the words written out... here they are, read aloud:

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's a video about Instagram and it cracked me up so much that I just had to share it here! (Disclaimer - I take all my own Insta-shots because, well - my husband would never...)

Enjoy your weekend, friends!
(And if you are on Instagram - leave your username in the comments below so i can follow you!)


  1. Thank You for sharing that post from Storyline about tears. I'm such a crier! Love these words: "Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak. –The Shack, pg 228"

    1. Amen! I am - I know you will be shocked to find out - a crier, too! ;)

  2. Oh my goodness!! I am laughing so hard at your video! First of all, the *ad* about women who love Star Wars was pretty entertaining. But, the Instagram husband video - seriously laugh out loud funny!

    After the laughter, though, it did make me stop and think a bit. Am I really living my life, or observing it from the sidelines? Time to jump in, and take some snapshots with my eyes and heart!!


    1. Wasn't that so funny, Sharon? I loved it too - and actually had that same reaction! Kindred! Thanks so much 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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