Have You Seen? {May 21, 2017}

Welcome to Have You Seen? We’ll review last week and share other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

Calling all single servants out there! 

I (Katie McCaw) have been inspired recently to undertake an anonymous study of singleness on the mission field and have compiled a survey for singles to undertake. It can be accessed here.

I never wanted to live abroad single. I decided to give it a go for a year and, well I’m still here 5.5 years later.  Singleness has many advantages, but it also has its specific struggles.  There is an abundance of books and blogs and websites out there about serving across the globe, but only a small percentage comes from the perspective of a single man or woman.

I am looking for a wide representation of single cross-cultural workers from across the globe and I believe that this data will be able to be used well by those in member care and also to encourage single workers that they are not alone. I would be grateful if you would send this link on, particularly to our male colleagues out there, to get as wide a representation of responses as possible!

The survey is completely anonymous and every question is optional. If you would be interested in being kept informed with the study, or would like more information, you can email me at [email protected]

Thanks for all your help, Katie

Last Week’s Theme: Return

 A Letter to the One Returning Home by Leslie Troutman—”To the One Returning Home, Like a transplanted lilac bush, you are being uprooted. Roots severed, your heart, mind and body are undergoing the silent trauma of displacement. You feel lost, alone and out of sorts. You are a misfit in a place where you should belong. Home is now a wild and unfamiliar landscape.”

Longing, Recalling, and Risking {Book Club} by Amy Young—”These three themes—longing, recalling, and risking—overlap with our realities, don’t they? We long for local friends around us (and so much more!). The stories we recall form us — as individuals, families, organizations, even the body of Christ. And risk is a part of our lives.”

Losing Identity In The Return by Sarah Sams—”My favorite hometown coffee house had been a popular place to meet friends. But instead of enjoying the reunion with my cinnamon dolce latte, I found myself longing for the quiet, peace and structure of the other home I had just returned from –– Japan. I couldn’t understand why the coffee shop’s atmosphere left me feeling agitated. I couldn’t understand why I felt so disconnected with my close friend. And I couldn’t understand why hearing English spoken everywhere I went grated on my nerves.”

Who Said Returning Would be Easy by Jodie Pine—”In that stressful season, when my sense of accomplishment each day was how many trash bags I could send down the trash chute from our 9th floor apartment. When my biggest dread every trip outside was discovering our rejected stuff in the overflowing trash heap—waiting for pick up by the Jingle Bells-playing trash truck–and then having second thoughts of maybe needing to rescue something that I might one day regret throwing away. When more than one person asked me if I needed someone to fly out to help me pack because they could see that I was not handling life all that well…”

The Happy/Sad Truth About Returning {The Grove: Return} by M’Lynn Taylor—”If we had known how it feels to return, would we ever have packed up and gone to China in the first place? Truth be told, the initial going felt like a tragedy as well, boarding a plane with a 9-month-old baby waving goodbye to mourning grandparents. It seems our overseas story–all the good stuff I want to remember–lies in the middle, bookended by the asphyxiating feelings of going and returning.”

From Around the Web

Why Short-term Trips Work… And How to Make Them Better.

What Should I Do Now to Prepare For a Call to the Field?

How to be a good houseguest (for those who will visit you on the field).

Just don’t do it!

Feeling emotional during transition. 

When It’s Hard to Want to Want to Be Back.

7 Ways We Secretly Rank Each Other.

Finally, Why Hymns Still Matter

And Now for Next Week

The theme is . . .

In this third week of our annual series, we have gathered around those of us who will experience Change and will Return. Even though it can seem like everyone is moving away or returning, that is simply not the truth. Plenty of people Remain.

Where are you remaining these days?

What have you learned as you remain?

Where is it hard for you to remain?

All this and more.

Join the discussion this week in the comments, on Instagram using #VelvetAshesRemain, and then at The Grove beginning Thursday 6pm EST. Bring your blog posts to link up.

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth May 20, 2017

    I love hymns! We just recently added hymns to our family’s morning devotional, because I realized my kids were growing up only know modern worship songs.While I love modern worship, nothing replaces hymns for theological depth in an easy-to-remember format.

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