Have You Seen? {September 1, 2019}

Last Week’s Theme: Welcome to Team

Finding a Team by Spring Davis—”As a habit, I would explore Instagram to find others in similar situations. I followed hashtags. The one that came up which made me curious was #velvetashes. Finding the website connected to the hashtag was life altering for me. I felt alone, but suddenly there was a world of women in similar situations to mine just a click away. That spring, I filled in the application for connection groups, not fully understanding what it meant, but longing for just that: connection.”

It Demands We Risk Our Dignity {Book Club} by Amy Young—”Overseas teams are often brought closer though unusual circumstances, be it housing related, a medical situation, or traveling that forces you to let others see behind the tidy surface. Britt-Marie grew to care for Sami, Omar, and Vega all the more after she and Sami smoke and drink whiskey and he tells Britt-Marie about his dad being run off and his mom dying on a work trip. Sami was wise beyond his years when he said, ‘Vega’s afraid, even though she mainly seems angry. Omar is angry, though you’d probably think he was afraid.’ If only I could remember that is true of most people I interact with too. Thank you, Sami, to remind us to look beyond the obvious when it comes to relationships.”

Cheering One Another On by Monica F—”I have had those ‘God made me for a purpose’ experiences. You probably have too- holy moments when you are using your God-given gifts in such a way that God’s pleasure is undeniable. It’s like being on holy ground. And I wonder…have you seen this in your teammates? Do you even know? Let me pose a question to you: Are you cheering your teammates or local partners on as they grow and serve in the way God has gifted them to?”

Broccoli, Opera and Team {The Grove: Welcome to Team} by Denise Beck—”Can I be honest for a minute? I have a mixed bag of emotions at that word myself (team, not brother). No one can hurt your heart quite like those who know you best, and my team sure got to know all about me. As bright shiny newbies in our country I thought I had this team thing all figured out. In my mind, we were going to be each other’s best friends and family. We would fulfill needs in each other’s lives that we didn’t even know existed yet. Side by side we would live the most amazing lives and in 30 years we would sit across from each other at Applebee’s (yes, for some reason in my dreams it was always Applebees) and laugh as we exaggerated the great things that had happened. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? That dreamy future reality lasted about 48 hours into my career on the field. (I know… you aren’t as shocked about that as I was.)”

From Around the Web

Expat Memes: Tea Bags and Coffins

How the Enneagram Affirmed My Desire to Lead

Laughing in the Face of Transition

Home: A TCK’s Perspective

Noteworthy on Instagram: When Change is Constant and What You are Doing Matters 

3 Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

What Have You Seen?

Finally, The (Painful) Truth About Transition

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

Niche: “a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted; a habitat supplying the factors necessary for existence”. (Miriam-Webster)

It might seem like the stuff that dreams are made of, that magical spot where your passion and talent meet in a way that allows you to live out your calling, to meet a need. That place where you feel like you belong and are welcomed, you are not just taking up space. A place where you fit.

It can be heartbreaking to know you have found your niche in your passport country, and then have to search again when you move overseas. The same can be said for the reverse process as you walk through re-entry after time serving cross-culturally.

Have you found your niche? Has that changed through the years and seasons and locations you’ve lived? We would love to hear your stories this week as we talk about our niches! Share with us in the comments, or post on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesNiche.

We also are so excited for the launch of Connection Group registration this week! Mark your calendars for 6:00 PM Eastern time on Tuesday, September 3rd as the first wave of groups open up for you to register. Head over to our Connection Group page to get all the details and find out more!


  1. Amy Young September 1, 2019

    I love the link to Heather Peterson (the Enneagram article!) 🙂 … we are in a writer’s group together so when I read the article I thought, “Hey, I think I know Heather!” Love that feeling :). And her insight in this article was great!!!

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