Year in Review

2013 blog 1

blog 2013 2

blog 2013 3

Happy New Year!

It’s been a busy year on the blog – here are our top 10 posts from 2013!

1. DIY Sweater

2. 3 Lessons from Tarzan

3. Accepting Transition

4. A Guide to Florence, Italy

5. Bologna Travel Diaries: New Beginnings

6. A Different Approach to Valentine’s Day

7. 5 Things: The Culture Shock Edition 

8. The Case for Mission Trips 

9. 10 Things to Do with a Barf Bag

10. When You’re a Third Culture Kid

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Guest Posting

Happy Friday! Today, I’m guest posting over on “Travel Lite,” an awesome new blog for MKs…

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As of now, I’ve been in college for roughly a month. Before college, I knew what it meant to be a TCK. I had been “schooled,” even, to know how I was supposed to feel; I knew what I should struggle with, what I should excel at. But coming to college changed that.

I have met numerous TCKs in the past month and I’m never sure what to say. One girl told me she grew up in Germany and I wanted to yell, “Me too!” and throw my arms around her and be best friends forever. The problem is, I didn’t grow up in Germany – I just understood all that came with that simple statement. When I tried to explain my life in Italy and that I got it, she didn’t seem to care.

That’s what it’s been like with a lot of the TCKs I’ve met. In my mind, we’re supposed to have a stronger-than-glue instantaneous bond, but they didn’t seem to get the memo. This became most apparent to me when a girl I’d been spending a lot of time with told me she was born and raised overseas. I excitedly told her that I was a TCK too and she gave me a blank stare. I explained to her what the term meant and she didn’t believe me. Let me repeat that. SHE DIDN’T BELIEVE ME. She thought I had made the term up! I gave her example after example of ministries and websites and magazines that reached out to people like us and she asked this simple question: why do we need to be reached out to? And you know what? I didn’t have an answer.

Read the rest over on Travel Lite!

When TCKs Reunite

Like I mentioned last week, I’m getting settled in at college right now so for the next week or so I’m posting links to other great blog posts from around the web. So today, enjoy this post from Djibouti Jones.

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“Upon arrival in Athens, tears sprung to my eyes at the sight of my friends. The last time I had seen many of them was at our high school graduation in Pakistan. I rushed to hug them, words tumbling out in a jumble. We laughed at the initial awkwardness we all felt, and then it was as if we had never been apart. We talked about our lives in our “home” countries, about our families and jobs. Someone brought up some of the ridiculous situations we got into in high school: the time baby cobras hatched out of the potted plants, the school lunches seasoned with the occasional cockroach, the teachers who made our lives miserable or inspired us to achieve our dreams. Memories bubbled to the surface.

TCK reunions overflow with emotion. We have said so many goodbyes in our lives to friends we never knew whether we would see again. We returned to our passport cultures without knowing who we were or where we belonged. We lost contact in our childhoods with more people than most people ever even meet in a lifetime. Our journey beyond the high school years has been complicated, often lonely, and full of awkward moments. For many TCKs, the trip “home” has meant having to learn the language of their passport culture. For all TCKs, it means learning the culture everyone assumes they should already know. For the most part, we maneuver and learn our “home” culture on our own.”

Read the rest here!

The Perfect Country

Like I mentioned last week, I’m getting settled in at college right now so for the next week or so I’m posting links to other great blog posts from around the web. So today, enjoy this post from Denizen Magazine.

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“People always ask me: “You’ve lived everywhere! Where’s your favourite place to live?”

Being a Third Culture Kid, you probably feel the same predicament I do in trying to find a suitable answer to this question. It is absolutely impossible. There are far too many people and places that you love, and too many memories that flood your brain the moment the question is posed, to be able to pick just one.

If anything, I have been wonderfully spoiled by all the places I have lived. There are little facets in each of the different countries that I wholly adore, and I always wonder if I can find a single place in the world that has all of these benefits. Might I finally be able to settle down somewhere, for once? It’s doubtful that such a place exists, but if it did, it would look a little something like a place with…”

Read the rest here!

 

Millennial Traits

Like I mentioned last week, I’m getting settled in at college right now so for the next week or so I’m posting links to other great blog posts from around the web. So today, enjoy this post from Relevant Magazine.

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“Google the term “Millennials” and you’re almost certain to immediately find several articles about the negative traits of this generation.

It’s easy to hate on Millennials. With all the tweets, pins, instagrams, selfies and Facebook posts, there’s no shortage of material for criticism….

…It can be easy to point out the weaknesses of a generation while overlooking the strengths. But, as William Strauss and Neil Howe pointed out in their book Millennials Go to College, Gen Y has many positive characteristics. And just like any individual or generation, there are aspects of Millennial’s generational stereotypes that, in a small part, reflect characteristics of Jesus. Here are four reasons I think Jesus would be proud to roll with Millennials.”

Read the rest here.

 

Too Hard for the Lord

Like I mentioned on Wednesday, I’m getting settled in at college right now so for the next week or so I’m posting links to other great blog posts from around the web. So today, enjoy this encouraging post by Whitney from Elm Street Life.

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“We moved to Raleigh three days ago, and despite the excitement of a new place and the assurance that this is clearly where the Lord has us, the past 72 hours have been some of the most stressful of our lives. From a problematic car (which required us to drive my dad’s car at the last moment) to difficulty with a home loan, not much has gone smoothly.

Early this morning, I woke up to feed Liam and the reality of our situation hit me hard. My mind went straight to the many difficult things we’re facing in this transition, and the prospect that we need a house, a car, and possibly another car for my husband’s commute was weighing so heavily. I sat in silence as my heart raced. When you don’t feel like some of your most basic needs are met, it’s hard to focus on anything else.

And then this: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Read the rest here!

Taking a Little Break

I’m moved in to my college dorm on Tuesday so the for the next week or so I’m taking a little break from the blog to get settled. So instead of the usual posts, look for links to other great blog posts from around the web. So here’s the first one…

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“As we await Sophie’s arrival, which we are praying will be within the next week (her due date was yesterday, Aug. 15th) the Lord has been reminding Kevin and I of His great character and the hope we have in Him over the past week.   Last week I was overcome with sadness, wanting to believe with expectancy that the Lord will heal Sophie and praying that joy would be the predominant emotion we experience in the delivery room however Sophie comes.   My sadness, however, was getting the best of me.  Yet this week the Lord in His sweetness has been renewing my heart and increasing for both Kevin and I a great sense of expectancy of what He has in store for Sophie, for us.   That said, I’m realizing even now as I watch the flood of prayers, the overwhelming support of people on facebook sharing our story and calling others to pray, the ways our family and friends have surrounded us that this is NOT a sad story.   Yes, there is sadness, there is sorrow, and there is fear and anticipation of what will happen with Sophie in the coming week.  But more than that, this is a story of how God has intersected our lives and forced us out of our comfort zones to trust Him in ways we never have before and see Him show up in ways we’ve never seen.”

Read the rest of Lindsey’s special story and how to pray for her Sophie on her blog!

Blog Review // Jennifer Blair Photography

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{read Jennifer’s blog here}

I haven’t done a blog review in a while, so I thought I would introduce you to the lovely Jennifer Blair. In her own words, “I’m Jennifer Blair – a photographer based in South Alabama. I’m a Christ follower, wife, musician, and a dreamer. I’m addicted to cute leather notebooks and I carry my camera everywhere. Here you will find my photography, tidbits of my life in the South with my wonderful husband, and my journey in the pursuit of Christ. ”

Where to Start

Austin and Taylor | A Classic Wedding with Old World Charm…“This wedding takes my breath away every time I look at it. Taylor and Austin planned the sweetest day surrounded by their close friends and family. They were such a tight-knit group. I wish you all could have been there to see the whole celebration. Their wedding day was pure Southern Elegance. The beautiful and historic venue set the tone for the whole affair.” This is a wonderful example of the gorgeous pictures Jennifer captures at weddings. Read the rest here

Destin Getaway…“I’m blown away when I think about how God has wired me to be an artist, and to be a refection of the Creator as I create. He has given me the ability to capture the beauty of His creation and the people He loves. It’s such a privilege! He has opened so many doors to share about Him, from talking with clients to what I’m able to write here. In the end my photography won’t really matter. What will last is what let Him do through me in this season.” Read the rest here.

A Simple Truth | How to Live a Life that Matters… “I want to live with purpose and passion…every single day. I want a life that counts. Most of us probably do. This isn’t a new desire. I’ve always wanted to live with purpose. I just didn’t know what it takes to do it. Maybe I thought purpose and passion would happen upon me one day. I guess I hoped it would come like a letter and say “This is your purpose in life, and this is how you accomplish it.” If only, right? I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be so, well, BIG! And hard too. I’ve realized that it’s not big or hard at all. In actuality, it’s small and easy.” Read the rest here.

If you love gorgeous photography and beautiful words, make sure you bookmark Jennifer’s blog!

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Blogs are great ways to be encouraged and inspired, but make sure you aren’t spending too much time reading them. It’s easy to get sucked into the lives of others and start playing the comparison game. I’m starting to do these reviews regularly to provide blogs that will keep your thoughts focused on Jesus and inspire you to use your talents to glorify Him. Let me know what your favorite blogs are and send us your reviews!

Click Click Click: Three Links of Encouragement #6

click click click #6

The giveaway just ended! Check back in next week to find out the winner. In the meantime, here are some articles I’ve been loving lately…

The Evolution of the Swimsuit by Jessica Rey…this is an excellent, brief video on modesty and beauty. I love this question she leaves viewers with at the end: how will you use your beauty? Watch it here

The Real Me by Gina Marie…“It happened yesterday at the dentist. I was myself. I mean, really truly, like just how I would be if I were with someone I’d known forever. I was chatty. I made witty comments. They laughed. It felt comfortable, and normal, and I thought, “Hey, I’m being me! With people I just met!” This is progress.” Read the rest here.

When You’re Done with Pundits, Soul Wrestling, and Looking at the Sky by Ann Voskamp…“You are changing the world – when you are changing one person’s world. Living radical isn’t about where you live — it’s about how you love.” Read the rest here

What have you been reading?

A Look Back

While I’m working on getting this blog back on a regular schedule, here are some of the most popular posts from the past few years. Whether you’re new or a regular, take a look around – there’s a lot to read! 🙂

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Saying Goodbye Well

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The Palm Project

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My Poppy Story

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Bologna Travel Diaries // New Beginnings 

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DIY Sweater

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A Different Approach to Valentine’s Day

Photo on 2012-08-15 at 18.55 #5

5 Things: the Culture Shock Edition

It’s been a fun three years on here so far!