January 9, 2016

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 123 and an Announcement

Happy Weekend, y'all!

I almost titled this post That Thing I Did... because, well... it saddens me to even type this out, but I am finding in this New Year my OneWord (Change) is showing up and bossing me around already --already, y'all! 

What that means is I am having to say no to some things in order to say yes to going back to school with My Honey.  We are taking a year long course for Pastors and Leaders on how to sustain a revival and Kingdom lifestyle. We figured since that is our goal and we are (somehow) now referred to as Pastor Dave and Pastor Karrilee (--only, not really - because we make them stop that craziness!) ...well, we decided furthering our education when it comes to leading people further deeper into living in the Kingdom would be a great investment of our heart and time. 

This means, for me, less reading time online and more studying time... which means, for you --less consistent posts like this lovely little Gathering I do each weekend. Because I won't have as much time to scour the interwebs to find my favorite reads, this post would seem like more of a habit than a service.  Of course, I reserve the right to Gather and post whenever I have the time... but it will most certainly not be every single Saturday! 

But it was a good run, wasn't it? Hooking you up every weekend with some amazing posts to read... for one hundred and twenty three weeks (nearly) in a row!  I will not wrap this up and say we're done... but like Ross and Rachel, let's just say that we are on a break! (We both know we're gonna get back together!)

Featured this week are posts by Lisa Jo Baker, Amber Haines, Kinsey Thurlow, Annie Downs, Lisa Bevere, Shannan Martin,  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 Lisa Jo Baker with The One Thing You Should Stop Saying to Yourself This Year...
"So here’s the lie I think we most often, most dangerously, buy into. We take that thing we love, that we’re passionate about, that we feel called to and we compare it to what other women are doing and then we belittle it by putting the word, “just” in front of it.

I had a friend tell me this afternoon that she thinks I’m a good encourager. And immediately in my head I heard the words, “Lame! You’re just an encourager.”

I’m guessing you can relate?

Why do we do that to ourselves?

Suck the joy out of that thing we’re good at because we think it’s not as good as that thing she’s good at.

As in, I’m “just” a mom or I am “just” a blogger or I am “just” a home cook or I am “just” a small, small, small group leader or I am “just” a homeschooler or I am “just” a good listener, or I am “just” a coach.

The list goes on and on and on. This year let’s agree not to diminish the things we’re good at, the things we love, the things we’ve been called to do.

Own your thing. Run your race. Name your gift. There’s no “just” about it."

* This post by Amber Haines over at Incourage with If Love Is the Only Goal... 
"Somehow letter-writing opened something in me and protected me from the fear, because my expectations for myself were simply that I show my friend that I love her. Both times I began to write not knowing what would come of my words beyond the greeting and mention of the weather. Then a part of my heart came through, and because I’m a writer, my words weren’t a ministry only to my friend. They were a ministry to me. This, I believe, is a gorgeous part of being a follower of Christ. Our gifts are for the world and the church, and our gifts are also the Spirit within us ministering to our own souls. It’s the paradox of becoming full as we pour out.

If love is the only goal, then I wonder what can hold us back?

Here at the beginning of the year, I realize just how held back I’ve been, so held back that I feel near paralyzed. As I look ahead and decide the kind of year I want 2016 to be, I first have to figure out what’s keeping me from the LOVE to which I’m called. If I love you, I will pour out and hope for nothing more than to show the love that Christ has to shown me. When I show it to you, I will see it all the more for myself.

I believe I write in the Spirit when I say that we are not meant to withhold."

* This one from Kinsey Thurlow with Building History with God in the Unknown...
"...who knows what history will look like this year?

I always think of the New Year as the turning of a page, a new chapter. Though we may still carry the aches of the year just passed, we hold the hope of new stories being written. And we each have the opportunity to enter this new year, this new page, holding on to the One—the only One—who, in the midst of our ups and downs, and of soul’s winters and summers, is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow. Forever.

Our Constant, our Rock, our Everlasting—He will be there, however the unknown ends up materializing.

He’s never left. He never will.

When we rejoice, He will be there to rejoice with us.

When we weep, He will be there to weep with us.

When we crumble, He’ll be strong enough to revive our brokenness.

Whatever unfolds in the next 365 days, I pray God grants me (and you) the grace to simply stay in His embrace.

When blessings flow, may we never fail to always name Him—just Him—as our greatest blessing.  And when winter winds blow, may we remember to find our shelter under the shadow of His wings.

May this be a year when our history runs deep, when our hearts grow up, and when our souls find their sustenance–in Him."

This post by Annie Downs with New Year’s Experiments…
I want to do everything I can to fill 2016 with hope.

Failed resolutions never bring me hope.

So this year, instead of “resolutions,” I’m trying a couple of “New Year’s Experiments.”

Instead of saying, “In 2016, I am going to _________”, I’m trying a new sentence.

“I wonder how my life would be different if, for one year, I ______________?”

. . . read my Bible every day?

. . . walked for 20 minutes first thing in the morning?

. . . quit eating desserts?

...It’s not about setting a new rule for your life you must follow. It’s about trying something new and seeing if it works out for you. In the grand scheme of things, one year really isn’t that long. I’ve done 35 1/2 and they have flown by. So what would it look like for me to pick one experiement for 2016? One change to make in my life, just to watch and see if it affects who I am, how I work, how I live, and how I grow?

I sat and thought through this last week, and prayed, and wondered. This year, in a way I’ve never experienced before, I want to be different. And I want to be a finisher, not a quitter.

So I’m doing an experiment. No resolutions, no rules, no failure.

This post by Lisa Bevere with WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND?...
Are you a dreamer? A planner of big plans and a believer for miraculous things? I hope you are. And if you are, you’re probably watching and waiting for God to do something amazing through your life. Then here’s a tip: God will always begin with what is in your hand—even if it seems insignificant.

We see this dynamic played out when God is talking to Moses during their encounter at the burning bush. After Moses relayed a list of reasons why he could not be the one to lead God’s people from their captivity, God replied, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” Moses responded (see Exodus 4:2 NIV).

Moses would go on to use that staff to perform miraculous signs in Egypt. But I have to wonder if Moses was thinking the staff was a rather common object. After all, a staff is really just an upgraded stick. Moses must have thought there was nothing particularly extraordinary about what he held. And it is true there is nothing extraordinary about any of us—until God begins to anoint what is in our hands."

* This post from Shannan Martin with Why Making a Murder is More Important than Church...
Coming off my general Christmas disillusionment, coupled with reading The New Jim Crow and all that happened after that, the show [Making a Murder]  felt strangely, vitally important. We sat glued to the screen, taking necessary mental health breaks to mindlessly scroll Instagram between episodes, our snack plan slowly devolving each night from hot tea and fruit to Cheez-Its and hard cider. 

The show isn't gory or terrifying. It's basically an extended Dateline Mystery, minus the Keith Morrison voice-overs. With each hour, it was increasingly hard to ignore the fist of poverty closed around the Avery family. They were despised and rejected by almost everyone. They were regarded as sub-human and as deserving of whatever trouble came their way.

The mom, Dolores Avery, was particularly difficult to watch. Lined by years and trauma, her face told the rest of the story, the most meaningful parts, but also the parts that made me want to shut it all down and pretend I hadn't seen her standing in her cramped kitchen in a fruit-patterned smock, frying dinner for her lost-soul family who somehow mange to survive in spite of everything else.

I'm sure they're not perfect. Casting judgment on those who aren't already under the microscope is damaging business, and I'm not interested. These are real people, ravaged by a system that is slow to offer justice to the poor. To quote Steve, "Poor people lose all the time."

This is the truth. And if it took a Netflix documentary for more people to see the craters in the system or even to recognize their own brokenness, well, God has moved in far weirder ways.  

I don't know if Steven Avery did it or not.

But I do know that many of us keep asking the question, "What can I do?" about things like inequality and lives lived at the boot-end of justice. The world is crying out for a better way, and it will require much of us. But "much" often starts quite small..."

* This one from right HERE with Are You Feeling Behind Already?...
"We catch our breath, and then comes the New Year with all it's Clean Slates and Righteous Ambition... with all the new ways we are going to be Nailing it in 2015 2016 and whether we say it loud and proud, or pencil it in quietly, we are just praying that it's true.

I wrote about it earlier this week... about how I was already feeling behind on All The Things, but really that's just a lie. How can I be behind already?

No, I - WE-- we're not behind!  That's just a trick we play on ourselves.

It is something we entertain that is not from God.  It's a whisper or a thought or a running tally of all the ways we are not, in fact, nailing it and it makes us tired and weary and it feels like a drain and all that shiny New Year ambition is just leaking out, seeping into cold, dry ground.

No, we are not behind... whether we are on track, on point, on schedule, or - well, or completely not! We are not behind. 

This God of ours - He is the holder of all the hours... He is the one who orders our days and hands out our minutes... and He is not stingy when it comes to giving... 

We may need to manage our time a bit better... (um, hello? This is me preaching to me right here!)  We may need to really pray about all those (less-than)Best Yeses we have been saying and remind ourselves that in order to say Yes to something, that means we need to say No to a thing or two, as well!

Still, Ann with no 'e' tells us to slow down time by being fully present in it... by counting gifts and seeing how it is all a grace and every one of our moments hold gifts for the taking if we will but pause to see.  

What we need is not more time... it's more HOPE!"

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 for all the Moms of Girlies out there... grab a tissue and enjoy!

Happy Weekend, y'all! 
Until next time...


  1. Sometimes God just calls us into a different direction, a different focus, to further the plans He has for us. I'm quite excited about this new venture that you and your husband are launching on! Yes, I'll miss your always wonderful recommendations, but I'll just have to be more diligent in seeking them out myself!!

    Please keep us updated on all you're going to learn! Your words are always such an encouragement!


    1. It's been a little strange this week... coming across a post or two and not really having a post to copy and paste them into! But - with classes starting up, I just knew I needed to free up a bit of reading time! As I said, I am sure TTIDN will return... at least sporadically, from time to time! Thanks so much for your support! xoxo


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