Have You Seen? {January 18, 2015)

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.

Join us in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

velvet ashes live2

All the richness and realness of our online community, only better because we’ll be together in person.  Join us Feb 5, 6:30-9pm for THIS unforgettable evening.

Last Week’s Theme: Niche

10 Ways to Find Your Niche Overseas by Beth Everett — “When my husband and I came to China, it was primarily for his work. I, on the other hand, came as the ‘accompanying spouse’ without any particular job to do. Before leaving for China, I had a job where I felt fulfilled and accomplished – I had found my niche there. I came to China wondering: ‘Will I find my new niche once I arrive in this new place?'”

How Our Childhoods Formed Us For The Field {Book Club} by Amy Young — What a rich discussion on the ways we were formed and the hierarchies within Cross-Cultural work. Come read through the comments and join in the discussion!

If I Met Me Five Years Ago by Susan Cochran — “That wide eyed, bewildered looking girl standing at the airport five years ago with sweat pouring down her palms? The one who within three weeks will have experienced malaria, hospitalization, and her first earthquake? If I could travel back in time, I would take that girl by the hand, look her in the eyes, and tell her this…”

The Special Thing About Being Single and Overseas by Kayla Rupp and Hannah — “My advice to people serving alongside women like me is: be intentional. It can be hard to be overseas as a single woman, and it can be beautiful. It can feel lonely, and it can be so much fun! Ask questions about all of these things.”

I’ll Find My Niche Someday {The Grove} by Danielle Wheeler — “Because I’m not buying that lie anymore. (Women ahead of me in years nod their heads, because they know.) Every phase of life is hard. And every phase is beautiful. Finding your niche is about learning to live in both, with feet in the hard and eyes on the beautiful.”

From Around the Web

How I Felt About My Miscarriage {And Why I’m Not Going to Feel Ashamed} by Jessica Hoover — “The problem was I was reading these miscarriage posts and I felt as if I was being told how to respond to my loss and what the most “pro-life” course of action would have been.”

Let’s Make History by Danielle Krouch — “I think one of the hardest things about moving into a new location like this is that you have to start all over with making friends.  Not only do you feel like friends back overseas have in a sense forgotten you and moved on, but you find yourself …”

Four Snares of an Expat Marriage by Colette Hernandez — “I want to make you aware of the possible set backs; so, together you and your spouse can avoid, or at the least have some idea on how to manage, the traps and snares of an expat marriage.”

Cultural Values, Mapped by Joann Pittman — “More often, however, the clashes occur at the deeper level of cultural values — beliefs about what is right and wrong or how how the world ought to be ordered. I recently ran across an interesting graphic that maps out these cultural value differences based on two major dimensions: traditional values vs. secular-relational values and survival values vs. self-expression values. This is one of the clearest depictions of cultural value differences I’ve ever seen.”

What are some of the benefits to living through reverse culture shock? by Ruthie — “For those in the early days of re-entry {wondering: what is the point of this season?}, I want to say:  You will not be in this place forever, and there are GOOD things that can come out of this season!”

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…

gifted

Remember those spiritual gifts tests?  You’ve taken one, right?  What did it say?

Probably not: “Gifted in uprooting her life, leaving her home and finding her way in a foreign place.”  And yet this is what you’ve done.

Packed in your bags you brought with you two kinds of spiritual gifts.  You brought the ones you know about.  The ones that you say, “Yes, this is me, this is how God uses me.”  And yet somehow when you arrive, these gifts that you knew you had, can suddenly seem all wrong.

Miss Hospitality threw amazing parties in her previous life.  So she was excited to host her first party in her new foreign home.  She created an tantalizing spread on her table, welcomed her guests and told them to dig in, help themselves to the buffet.  And then they all just stood around awkwardly, no one touching a thing.

So Miss Hospitality cried in her pillow that night, feeling anything but gifted.

Then there are the gifts in your bag that come as stowaways, the ones you don’t even know about.  Somehow you only get to know them when you’re thrown in and stretched thin by the extremes of foreign living.

You didn’t know that you could swallow anything with a smile.  You didn’t know that your eyes could carry a wordless conversation with a little girl on the street.  You didn’t know that you knew sign language.

We talk a lot about how living overseas brings out the weaknesses in us that we never knew we had.  But it also bring out our gifts, sometimes in ways we’d never have imagined.  So this week, let’s talk about our giftedness.  Bring your link ups to The Grove.

And don’t miss Tuesday’s book club where we’ll be talking about calling and mistakes in ministry.  Such great discussion happening over the book As Soon As I Fell.

Photo Credits : Gratisography,  Yen L. via Compfight cc

Photo Source : Unsplash

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