Have You Seen? {October 6, 2019}

Last Week’s Theme: Learn

Diary of a “Mature” Student by Karen Huber—”Living overseas is an education unto itself, and having re-entered our country twice in two different cities, I have a front-row seat. Studying the culture, learning from our friends and neighbors, investigating the nuances and the unspokens are all a scholastic rush to my thirsty mind and soul. Of course, it’s not all easy to digest. With every passing year, every growth spurt in our kids, every milestone, a new language is to be learned (yes, even in English!). Just when I feel like I have mastered one level, I graduate to the next. And I wait… for the Lord to give me permission, to tell me that I know enough. Friends, that day never came. In fact, I don’t think it will ever come. A wise woman who had gone down this road before told me that we are never not learners in this new culture, even especially when it is no longer new. We are constantly tweaking our defaults, adjusting our hidden agendas, and adapting to a world and language and culture that is not our own. We are learning to learn.”

Re-imagining Hospitality: An Interview and a Giveaway! {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”Writing this book stretched me as a writer to take risks, learn more about the craft of writing, and to develop a discipline of writing. I also struggled with all The Voices in my head telling me I couldn’t, I had no right, I didn’t have what it took, no one would read it and if they did, they’d probably hate it. Imposter syndrome attacks on every bend of the writing journey. But God (and my husband) helped squelch the voices and remind me that God led me to write the book, it would reach someone—perhaps many people, and was worth the emotional, physical, and financial toll it took on me and on our family. For a long time, the book is part of you. Then you (miraculously) finish and it drifts off into the world and becomes an entity apart from you that God can use whether you know about it or not. As a follower of Jesus, it helps to remember my identity is not wrapped up in my book. Our belovedness is never altered by our successes or failures. We are loved before, during, and after we do the thing God leads us to do. “

God Is Not Boring by Joy Smalley—”Above all else, as our creator, He knows what we need. He knows how to show us love in a way that we can receive. He knows how to push us into risk so that we can grow. He knows when we are losing ourselves, dying on the inside and He hates it. He longs to see us made whole because He knows who He created us to be and He knows the pain we will incur when we act in opposition of who we are. God is never boring and in this season I am learning to lean on a God who is foremost about healing and not converting. I’ve spent a lot of time believing that cross-cultural ministry is the pinnacle of faith. That selling all, moving overseas to the least reached corners of the world was the best God had for me. Yet, as I sit here today, in sunny California, I am reminded of what Paul said. He said he counts all of his accomplishments as rubbish in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ. All the learning in the world and all the doing and all of the letters he wrote to churches were irrelevant once he had tasted and seen God.”

Running, Powder, and the Better Life by Maria Mullet—”An individual, independent American has a lot of things to learn from a collective culture. Running has taught me this lesson. I first took up running when I admitted that transition had brought some unhealthy habits into my personal life. I needed to start building time into my schedule to invest in my health. It was a personal, private decision. So, I started going to the track at the university, plugging in my headphones, putting my head down, and plodding along.  But horrible things started to happen; I was constantly meeting up with people I knew, and they were, gasp, saying hello. I didn’t want to say hello, I didn’t even want to be recognized. Exercise is one of those things in the private/personal file for me. It’s my zone. My personal zone. And people were crashing their way into it. It all culminated one particularly hot summer evening. I felt like I was heaving like a horse and sweating like an ox, and I saw so.many.people I knew, including the dean from my workplace. And no one seemed to acknowledge that I probably don’t want to be recognized.  Everyone kept being friendly. And I wasn’t pleased.”

Always Learning {The Grove: Learn} by Lilly—”Every year of living overseas keeps revealing more deeply that to live overseas is to be a lifelong learner. What you thought you knew about God, the world, people and even about yourself will all be challenged. You will need to pay attention, listen more than talk, and ask questions more than give explanations. There is a lot of learning that happens initially but I think that learning doesn’t stop once you are no longer a newbie. The past two years we were caught in the rapid waters of the chaos of transition. With 3 kids in tow, we navigated a third cross-cultural move, a flare up of an autoimmune disease, a systemic infection, culture shock and resettling in yet another country, while learning its language. We were in survival mode, gripping the edge of our rafts. Waves knocked us off and we fell overboard. The waters washed over our head and at times footing was hard to find. At the bottom, though, was the Rock. He wouldn’t let us drown. We are no longer in those rapids. We made it to a calmer part of the river. But I am finding that the relative calmness of this season is revealing the undercurrents of my soul. And so the learning continues.”

From Around the Web

Ouch! I think I strained my life

Settling in to Patience

Depression and My Some Other Day

Make sure you check out the This Global Kitchen series on Taking Route this month! 

Power Tools or Vulnerability Tools

Finally, Fear Knot 

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

It’s a list you probably have had tucked away since you were little. Maybe you learned them through a song or fun actions.

Many of us can rattle off all the fruits of the Spirit—but how are we doing at living them out?

Constant dust and streaming ants might test our patience. Heat or freezing temperatures chip away at our joy. A scarcity mentality and stress-induced chocolate cravings fight with our self-control.

How is the Father harvesting the fruits of His Spirit in your life right now?

Is there a fruit He is pointing out that needs a little tending to?

We love keeping the conversation going throughout the week both in the blog post comments and over on Instagram! Use the hashtag #VelvetAshesFruitsoftheSpirit, and share with us what the Father is cultivating in your life right now.

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