This month I want to share something very personal, but I hope you will see things in my story that touch your heart. While on a two month home visit, we flew to Oklahoma City to spend a week with my dad, step-mom, and extended family. On the weekend we had a family reunion. We gathered at two log cabins near a beautiful lake. It was a four hour drive for the closest ones, and flights from as far away as Arizona and Virginia for others. Family gatherings are sometimes bittersweet, like a chocolate bar. For all the sweetness, there’s always a few nuts; in all the sweetness just a tinge of the bitter as well.
Actually no reunion was planned for this year. But after my Dad had a small heart attack (if any heart attack can be called small) in August, plans were quickly made for this reunion.
Although Dad was dealing with dizzy spells, he thoroughly enjoyed seeing his children, grand-children and great-grand-children together. The almost constant smile on his face was worth all the work, travel, and expense involved.
Sarah, a married woman with two small children, was living and working overseas. She thought she knew why she was there: support her husband, take care of the kids, and help with their community development project with what time she had left.
But something else troubled her. So many women, both expatriate and local, looked lonely and frustrated, as though they had no one they could trust. In her mind a surprising question grew: “How can I be a woman other women trust?” This never bothered her when she was in her home country. Now, in this place, she wanted to help these women, but wasn’t sure they would let her.
And why should they? When she was eight years old her mother just disappeared, leaving her with her dad. She never saw her mom again. Her dad did his best, but she had no woman to look up to, ask questions of, or model herself after. After marriage she found that her mother-in-law was not a very motherly type, either. A good woman, yes, but not the kind of woman you felt you could trust with your secret struggles.
Continue reading 'A Woman Other Women Trust'»
As you may know, our two sons grew up, for more than half their childhood years, outside their home country. That makes them Third Culture Kids, or TCKs. Recently I have been thinking about how our sons react to their world. I wondered how much their experience as Third Culture Kids actually affects them today, now that they are adults. I was especially interested in how TCKs make friends, and how their experience differs from others in that area.
For a refresher, I looked at David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken’s textbook called, Third Culture Kids. The chapter on Relational Patterns discusses how Third Culture Kids (TCKs) make friendships and how that affects them later in life.
Continue reading 'TCK Friendships'»
This month, I’m including an article from my husband’s web site, Intermin.org
. Agreement is the strength of any marriage. I hope you will be blessed.
“We had this bicycle,” the lady said. “It was built for two people to ride together. What problems that bicycle caused us!”
“How so?” I asked?
“Well, my husband would ride behind me, on the back seat. I always rode in the front seat and steered. But he wouldn’t peddle! He just let me do all the work. When I applied the brake, then he would start peddling!”
Now, this husband worked against his wife only to tease her, but in many marriages the husband and wife fight against each other over much more serious issues. Rather than making a joint effort towards a common goal, they end up battling for their rights. Each of them has an individual goal and tries to make their spouse go in their direction, at their pace. Marriage becomes a struggle rather than a partnership.
Continue reading 'Bicycle Built for Two'»
Today’s newsletter is not about speaking a language like Russian or Swahili or Tamil. It is about the language of love. My husband wrote this article for married couples, but the principles apply to conversations in our family, among our staff, and even with nationals. Our words are powerful.
How old were you when you learned to talk? Very verbal children might say their first words at 10 months. By age two you probably had a vocabulary of 100 to 200 words, and the ability to form simple sentences. So you might say that you’ve been saying words all your life. But the real question is, “What have those words done?” Sure, millions of them, even most of them, are gone and forgotten, having served their momentary purpose. Others, though, had profound and lasting consequences.
Continue reading 'Healing Encouraging Words'»