December 19, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 120

Can you even deal with the fact that it is December 19th already? 

I am somehow in shock at this fact!  It doesn't feel like Christmas time yet... but here we are, with Christmas just around the corner! Are you ready... with everything wrapped and waiting, or are you a last minute shopper who thrives on Christmas Eve at the Mall? Either way, I am here to offer a little reading material to help you slow and savor a bit of your weekend - even in the middle of all the holidays! 

Featured this weekend are posts by Emily P. Freeman, Shannan Martin, Kris Camealy, Lisa-Jo Baker, Ann Voskamp, Erika Morrison, 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 prayer from Emily P. Freeman for the People in Joy and in Grief...
"It can be hard to live in community with one another when we all walk such different roads.

Help us to practice the spiritual discipline of shutting our mouths.

Keep us from attempting to dissect the mystery of our neighbor.

Wake up in us a holy curiosity for the experience of others.

Give us the gift of silence, to listen to one another rather than assume we know things we don’t.

Because You alone see our loneliness masked well beneath a smooth, olive layer of L’Oréal.

You alone see our fear of losing the good gifts as well as our hesitancy to embrace them in the first place.

You alone know the difference between the laughter that spills over from a true, joyful place and the kind that drips thin on the surface to cover up the pain.

You know and see and hold it all. And You condemn us not..."

* This post by Shannan Martin with One Day... 
"This is the season of rising in the dark, of walks to school under lamplight.
This is the season of returning home, and firing up a hot cup of tea along with my computer.
This is the season of fuzzy socks, blankets, and the glow of the Christmas lights while the world wakes up, just a little.
This is the season of words, words, words, typing in yoga pants, showering at 2pm.
This is  the season of gray, damp days.
This is the season of therapeutic baking, homeworking, box top clipping, gift wrapping, violining..."

* This one from Kris Camealy with God is a Midwife...
"We’re  waiting.

Murmuring, shifting, whispering–anxious for this babe to be born.

We feel the swelling grip of the contractions of this world, and we wait some impatient, uncertain hours for Him to crown–to be crowned.

We breath s l o w–concentrated efforts to carry ourselves from one pulsing moment to the next. We fix our eyes on just one point–the invisible promise of His imminent coming, and with that, the promise of our own becoming.

God is a midwife to His laboring world.

He holds us, reminding us to breathe, He props us up and leans in. He steadies us, keeps us from sinking, from dissolving in the pain. We bare down, push too hard and He whispers quiet, but firm, “s l o w–breathe--wait”

We sweat and bleed. We struggle and pant. The whole earth groans with us.

We live weary."

This post by Lisa Jo Baker with The Way You Celebrate Christmas is the Right Way…
This is what the Christmas season looks like for us so far. We’re not doing a lot. And frankly I wish we were doing even less. I feel the weariness of the world and my own small family. So we crowd around on the sofa with our feet up and try not to drip ice cream on the couch and I try not to snap as we all gather around each other and rejoice in ways that don’t look the same as what might be happening online. 

And that’s OK.

The way your family rejoices, the way they find to ease their weary shoulders at the end of a long year, that’s the right way.

The outtakes are always more interesting than the Christmas card.

I love them. Every single, ridiculous face that annoyed me so much while the kids were making them. I scroll through them today and I fall a little bit more in love with each unique personality of my three tiny humans.

I know those faces and what those expressions mean. I can read them like a storybook and still I’m surprised that they’re mine.

This post by Ann Voskamp with A Bit of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 27...
So Relevant Magazine started a conversation:  “If you’re one of those people who feels God calling you, one of the smartest things you can do is learn from the wisdom of those a little further down the road.

We asked some of the most creative, innovative and odds-defying people we know, “What do you wish you knew when you were 27?” ~Relevant Magazine

So — when Relevant knocked on the farm door here and asked me for a just few lines, I was thinking I wish I’d known this at 27:

Hey, younger you, you at 27, you doing hard things, you pouring it out? You in the midst of things?

The size of your ministry isn’t proof of the success of your ministry.

The very Son of God had a ministry to 12.

And one of them abandoned Him.

Forget the numbers in your work and focus on the net value...”  

* This one by Erika Morrison with WILL I COME BACK TO LIFE?

From the darkness of a virgin’s birth canal, there came a big and bursting light. God is born in straw and shadows with floating motes and the ongoing cry of cattle. And here I am to catch the slick, wet flesh of redemption; the fulfillment of dreams, hopes and prophecies. Is he surely Love made manifest? Or just another baby born to die?


There is just enough lunar light to see myself reflected in the amniotic fluid filling his eyes and I see . . . I see . . . I see me in him. And I look . . . I look . . . like a second heart beating in his tiny, eternal breast.

Even while I’m in all these pieces, it appears as though—and no matter what—I cannot get this Jesus; this act of bottomless Love out of me and this Jesus; this act of bottomless Love cannot be got out of me. We are two buffoons in adoration of each other, for better or for worse. We are one.

Oh, little Refugee from Ghettoville, dare I cut this cord that releases you into our care? Someday down the road we’ll crack you like an eggshell against a cross and you’ll pour out. Someday down the road we’ll go to war in your name, endeavor to wipe out different religions and races while we speak a cold and bold “Jesus told me so.”

Dare we release you into our care?

Dare we not?"

* This one from right HERE with Tis the Season for Receiving...
A gift is wonderful... but we only find it wonder-filled when we untie the ribbons and tear open the box.

Ah yes... that.

Let's untie what is bound this Christmas and tear open any boxes that we have limited Him too. Let's receive all that He has for us... however He gets it to us... Let's once again gather 'round the cradle and let heaven and nature sing... But let's also remember that we are to gather around the Cross when all of heaven fell silent.  That too, was a holy night.

That was a Night Divine when Life defeated Death and Christ was warring on our behalf... paying the price and handing us gifts nail-scarred hand over fist...

And, again, our job:
  To receive.

Receive Him... Receive your King. 

Prepare your heart and your home and make room for a bit of Holy to come crashing into your night... and watch and see how He makes all things new and turns the darkness into light... the downtrodden, Divine.

Because He comes... He came...
  He is coming for you still!

"Joy to the World...
    ...and heaven and nature sing..." 

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 Singing... because, of course!  Enjoy!

Enjoy your weekend, friends!


  1. Another great list friend!

  2. Your *lists* are always a wonderful gift! Thanks for sharing...

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and GOD BLESS!

    1. Aw - thank you Sharon! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! xoxo


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

Blog Archive