Have You Seen? {June 9, 2019}

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. 

Last Week’s Theme: Parenting

Standing on the Fence by Dorette Skinner—”How much time do I spend peeking over the ‘fence’, thinking it sure looks like more fun to be on the other side… of the world, of the screen, of a messy and exhausting season of motherhood? I should know by now that I am only seeing a very small glimpse of other people’s reality. I don’t know the full story behind the ‘shiny car’, the curated Instagram posts, the parenting challenges waiting in seasons beyond dirty diapers. What if every second I spend on the fence is a moment of missing the beauty in my own backyard? The slow growth happening in the messy middle, where specks of gold and freshly planted seeds still lie hidden beyond the dirt. I am so quick to forget the nature of these fences I sometimes use to stand on, but more often use to hide behind or keep others out.”

The One Day That Changes Everything {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”I know there are prayers in my life waiting to be answered, dreams waiting to be fulfilled. I have conversations with the Lord and wonder how or when He will open the door, and in the waiting so often I wish I had a novel version of my life so I could flip a few chapters forward and see what happens. How long is this season going to last? Will I get the answer I’m hoping for? But the waiting, those areas where we feel stuck, can also feel safe. We know what life looks like in those spaces. I wonder how much of Valancy’s life is ruled by fear, and how much is beyond her control. Sometimes, taking that first step toward change can be scary, and the risk can feel too great. L.M. Montgomery writes in the book, “Isn’t it better to have your heart broken than to have it wither up? Before it could be broken it must have felt something splendid. That would be worth the pain.”

6 Reminders for Our TCKs by Jenilee Goodwin—”Since our move overseas, we’ve spent time on three continents. My girls have friendships with kids from all over the world. They speak pieces of a few languages, attend boarding school, don’t blink when the power goes out and love living in West Africa. In their young lives, they’ve moved, transitioned and persevered through challenges big and small.The challenges are always a part of their days. Whether a friend is moving away or America seems like a forgotten dream or it’s been a few days without water or another cockroach crawled out of their pillow, TCKs face situations of all kinds with smiles and courage.”

The Importance of Being Father by Joy Smalley—”I love my Dad. He has always been my biggest cheerleader, the one I am able to receive criticism from and the one who can talk me off the ledge when I want to quit and give up on God and faith. He has a way of speaking to me that I can hear, and there is something in his strength that gives me courage. It always has. My father is an important part of my life as all fathers are; yet cross-cultural work is not primarily known for producing strong father figures. Just a quick peek into the lives of many of our cross-cultural worker heroes and we find men who sacrifice the family for the sake of the call. The role of caregiver falls to the mother as she struggles to juggle children, language, culture and God’s call.”

Celebrating the Milestones Alone {The Grove: Parenting} by Karen Huber—”When you parent a child overseas, there are no grandparents in the audience, no cheers from the crowd. You know that it’s only primary school (or the latest match, or yet another band concert), but those seven years feel particularly hard won. You sneak pictures on his last day and whatsapp or instagram them for those who remember him on chubby, wobbly legs. They’ve watched him grow up on a screen for half his life, and they can’t believe their eyes. They love him and long to be near. When you parent a child overseas, every tradition is all brand new. His graduation feels more like a sacrament than a formality. You kneel at the wrong time, clap at the wrong time. The words may be the same, but the cadence and the rhythm is all wrong. You want to take pictures but the church lights are low, the names read at lightning speed, and his brown head is hidden in a sea of 120 others. You catch a glimpse of him between two friends, and you know that even with the foibles and missteps, he is exactly where he should be.”

From Around the Web

GOD USES YOUR DIFFERENCES

Travel the World Through Books

When the Harvest is Slow to Come

Summer Stack– a fun summer book list

How Mindfulness Benefits Our Bodies

Finally, Tired of Waiting

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

goodbye prompt
Photo by Lubov’ Birina on Unsplash

Your suitcases are organized and weighed carefully. Lists are checked off and all your favorite places have been visited one last time. You’re ready to go.

These months in the middle of the year are often full of transition. You might be saying “Goodbye” as you start a new adventure in a brand-new country. Or, someone else’s adventure means a transition you didn’t expect or ask for. Staying can be full of endings, last hugs and send-offs.

We’re talking about transition this month through a three-week series. This is for those who are going for the first time, or heading back to their passport countries or welcoming new teammates. This week, we’ll explore the theme of Goodbye. Goodbyes are neither easy nor fun, but they are an important part of our life overseas.

What are you saying goodbye to? How can we walk with you as you do that well?

If you aren’t following us yet on Instagram, check out @velvet_ashes and join our growing community! You can add to the conversation this week by tagging your posts with #VelvetAshesGoodbye.

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