Have You Seen? {September 30, 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.

Last Week’s Theme: Labor

Mama by Cecelia Walden—”It’s early morning and I hear the screen door of the back porch creak open. I instantly freeze mid spoonful of yogurt and go through my mental checklist: Did I remember to put my laundry out? Do we still have cornflakes for her breakfast? Did I pre-clean my room enough for her to clean in there today? Do I need to pay her today or next week? If she hitch-hiked a ride here it may be too early for my brain to be awake enough to answer these questions. If she walked the dusty road herself, I might be just enough cognizant to remember to brew her some tea.”

A Time for Goodbye {Book Club}  by Sarah Hilkemann—”This last section of ‘Monique and the Mango Rains’ is full of goodbyes. Kris, the author, describes in detail her last day in Namposella as she and her fiancé John end their term with the Peace Corps in Mali. Even before the sun is up, the village leaders are at her door. They go through a series of formal goodbyes, giving blessings to Kris and John. I thought this was beautiful, giving space for parting well. In Cambodia, far too often the goodbyes are rushed to non-existent. A quick “Okay, I’m going now” can be all the words spoken even when the separation might be significant. I want to rush as well when it feels too painful or I’m not sure I have the right words, or fear even if I did have the words I would dissolve into tears. I’m not gifted with the ability to continue speaking when the tears start.”

Laboring with Littles by Ruth Potinu—”My cousin and I live over 14,000 miles apart and yet our lives are often similar- diapers, laundry more laundry, keeping the family fed, seeking to bring hope and healing to those we come in contact with. We both spent many of our formative years on African soil. It shaped us, grew us, taught us about some of the harsh realities of life that break you but can also draw you closer to the Savior. Coming from a family of four generations of overseas workers is a gift, but it can bring an unseen weight of expectations and this weight rested heavily on my cousin’s heart. She just wanted to do more.”

[Not] Changing the World by Laura Cerbus—”It’s not a classroom I’m used to. I’m seated at a long table, chairs gathered around. No orderly desks lined up facing a whiteboard. Instead, we’re set up in the middle of a community space. Toys litter the room, a kitchen opens onto our space, glass walls reveal the gymnasium next door.”

Laboring in Community {The Grove: Labor} by Nancy Mauger—”But being in a relational country for 26 years has softened me. I see the value of community. Which is a more productive activity, getting a task done quickly or sharing together with others while doing the task even if it takes longer? I guess it depends on how you define productivity. I remember the first time I was invited to join a Costa Rican family for their annual Christmas tamale making. As we stood around a table laden with bowls of rice, pork, carrots, peas and sweet red pepper, I was amazed at the picture of inefficiency as each person grabbed one of every item to press into their tamale dough. Trying to be more productive I explained, “We need an assembly line. I do the rice, you do the carrots, and we slide the tamale dough (sitting on its banana leaf wrapper) along down the line.”  Somehow as the yearly tradition has gone on, my suggestions never seemed to stick. Even though it takes all day to make tamales, we catch up on each other’s lives.”

From Around the Web

Cultural Low Bridges

At the Proper Time

The Expat at Rest

From Surviving to Thriving – God’s Word.

Being an Introvert in a Loud World

The Shepherd’s Work of Spiritual Mentoring

Finally,  Never Enough

And Now for Next Week

The theme is….

Times, they are a’changing. Can you keep up?

Leaves bleed red and orange, linger and fall. Rainy season dumps its last hard downpour, making way for different rhythms. Instead of 40 hours of work each work, 60 is required, or 20 instead. What you came to the field to do is no longer needed or doesn’t fit anymore. Children fill your home or make their way off to school in another city or country. The stable culture you entered is immersed in conflict or visa changes or uprising.

When the ground under your feet feels like shifting sand, how do you hold to the Rock that is immovable? This week we will explore the ideas of shifting and how we can keep peaceful hearts with all the ebb and flow around us, in us. You are welcome to stop by and share your heart through the discussion in the comments as well as at The Grove. What is shifting around you this week? Share a picture with us on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesShift.

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