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Showing posts from November, 2018

Loving Something Better

Woke up to this magical black and white world. God is such a masterful artist, and I am going to miss this view of His handiwork. Yes, I'm going miss this. People sometimes assume cross-cultural workers are different kinds of humans. That maybe we don't like where we were born, have some kind of unquenchable thirst for adventure, or don't want our kids to experience any of the good things we did growing up. None of those could be further from true for me. I am a Buffalo girl, through and through. I don't like change (I am a type A+ control freak). My heart hurts to think about our kids missing snow days, football/hockey with extended family on Sunday afternoons, huge free libraries, gorgeous parks, amazing public education, four uniquely delightful seasons, and all the beauty/privilege that accompanies life in America.  I love all those things. But I love Something else more. I want to teach my kids to obey God, no matter the cost. If they are called to liv

We Do Not Have a Disease and We Are Not the Heroes (And Other Things You Might Assume About Cross-Cultural Workers)

Whenever moving our family to a developing nation comes up in conversation, several responses are typical. Most often, surprise. Followed by awkward silence. (e.g., "Oh, wow. That's really something." [...]) Right. We suddenly went from interesting potential friends to people with a possibly-contagious disease.  Similarly quarantining us from "normal" Americans are the responses that falsely attribute hero status to us (e.g., "That's something I could never do. I give you a lot of credit."). I haven't figured out the best way to respond to this sentiment, though I usually want to say something to this effect: "You could do it. Really. We are not heroes. And we don't deserve any credit for doing exactly what God has equipped us to do." On many occasions, we've been engaged in conversations about why we should stay in America. Acknowledging our country's great needs, along with our country's great resources (

An Algorithm for a Mind that Doesn't Mind Jazz

My brother once told me that people who didn't like jazz don't like to think. Or at least, that's the general premise I remember. He may have been more diplomatic in his actual phrasing. Today, I re-encountered jazz during a brief and full night out. Alone. I went to the library to return a stray book found under the couch, stopped at Walgreens' to pick up some salt (hey, big spender!), and walked across the street to attend a free college concert. Listening to some familiar big band tunes brought me back to high school, which I suddenly realized was half my life ago. The space between me and the girl I was when I last regularly listened to jazz didn't make me feel old; it made me feel grateful. In this half-lifetime, I have completed thirteen years of formal higher education, fallen in love, married a cancer survivor, brought three little ones into the world, witnessed several miracles, lived in West Africa, and spent a year in near-gypsy style as we prepare to