Have You Seen? {September 16, 2018}

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.

Still looking for a Connection Group?

We have a few spots left! If you are free on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. EST, join Emily Smith and her Facebook Live Chat group. Sign up for the group here. We also have one spot on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m EST (join Megan here), one spot for moms of young kids (join Dorette here), and one spot for moms of kids with special needs (join MaDonna here). All groups will start this upcoming week, please be in prayer for quality connections both relationally and technologically. Thanks!

Last Week’s Theme: Understood

We Are Not Called to “Do Things Well” by Sally Pim–”So as others shared in the group, I shared too—things I had not even realized had been on my heart. And what I started to realize, is that maybe I was not the fraud I thought I was. Through this group, I was being shown that I was not alone. There was no need to explain the specifics of why a simple shopping trip could be so difficult, or why a trip to immigration might bring on mild anxiety. They got it. They shared in it too, in different ways, around the world.”

Green Mangoes and Grace {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”Entering a new culture requires a learning and humble heart, eagerness, and the utmost care to leave judgment aside and allow curiosity to grow. In some ways, I feel like I need the same attitude coming in to this section of Monique and the Mango Rains as we continue our discussion this week. It is not easy to be confronted with inequality, illness, and death that could be prevented, and cultural customs in need of transformation, whether in our new homes across oceans or as we read our book club pick this month.”

Permission to Share and Care by Amber Taube–”Sisters bound by the bonds of blood-bought freedom and its resulting responsibility, we linked arms around the world to carry the burdens of our fellow overseas workers. I believed these women when they promised to pray for me because I was convinced that each one of us knows how much we need them. There was no pressure to meet any need brought before the group because it was physically impossible to do so. Instead, we encouraged one another in the Lord and placed our sisters’ burdens in His capable hands.”

My First Connection Group by Elise Paty—”I was amazed how we meshed together so quickly and became a supportive community to one another. Despite our many differences, we actually have more in common than not. We talked about everything from the ups and downs of language learning, to the grief and celebrations of frequent transitions of life abroad, to singleness and marriage. I relished our weekly time together, not just because it helped me reflect and grow personally (which was a huge blessing in itself!), but because I felt a sense of belonging to this life-giving community of women.”

Little Miss Independent {The Grove: Understood} by Batya Schwarz—”I joined my first Connection Group when I was in the throes of re-entry and desperate to connect with others who ‘got it’. Since then, I have had the privilege of being part of a few groups. I love the sense of camaraderie, of feeling understood, of learning from each other, of being encouraged. And yet. It still takes courage to take that step of sharing honestly about what’s going in my life. Every. Single. Time. ‘Little Miss Independent’ is still very reluctant to show vulnerability.”

From Around the Web


Cross-Cultural Work and Mom Guilt: Letting Go of Other People’s Opinions 

Unmasking What’s Inside for Others to See 

More Results: Continued Analysis of the Cross-Cultural Worker Attritition Survey 

How Doxology Can Change Everything

Finally, You Are Worth Taking Care Of 

And Now for Next Week

The theme is….

“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.”

Maya Angelou

When you arrive in your new home, heart full of expectation and hope, and long for someone who understands you, you realize that belonging is a gift.

When you get off the plane in your passport country after months or years away, heart weary and worn, and you can’t figure out all the things that used to come easily, belonging feels elusive.

As we walk the journey of overseas life, the shape of our soul no longer fits neatly in the vessel it did before. We are changed, grown, refined through the process. Yet we still want a chair at the table, a place in the discussion, a smile and arms spread wide to welcome.

That’s what we offer you here this week as we explore the gift of belonging. May you find in these words, pictures and stories hope in your search to belong. Come explore with us at The Grove, and give thanks for those who create space for you by posting on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesBelong.

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