Today I am ever aware that this life that I have chosen overseas or rather, chosen for me, is hard. The dips and turns, ups and downs, the leaving and being left, is excruciating today. I find myself asking, “Is all this worth it?” If I’m enduring just for the sake of adventure and excitement, right now in this moment the answer is “No, not today, not worth it.” BUT the one I follow, the guide on this crazy-train 🚂 expat life... He is ALWAYS worth it. Psalm 20, ladies, Psalm 20. // 📸 and words by @travelinfam
|| TAP FOR SOUND || “You think your life is one thing and then you get blindsided by the reality that it’s actually something else, something you were totally unprepared for,” Julie Martinez (@julietheresemartinez) recounts about her final weeks in Chile. Five days after Julie delivered her second child, she found out devastating news concerning actions done by her husband. The next thing she new, she and her family were on a plane headed back to the States in a cloud of shame and embarrassment. Just when she thought the worst was behind her, more betrayal and hurt entered her life. During our chat with Julie, we talk about the toxicity of shame, the need for intentional people to reach out to those hurting, and the importance of being obedient in the small, seemingly insignifcant things. Julie knows what brokenness is, but she also knows what it is to be healed. ___ As always, you can find #TakingRoutePodcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking the link in our profile (which is also where you find the episode show notes). If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, do us a favor and leave a review. Or maybe you can tag some friends below who would benefit from this community. We want to reach the earbuds of women living all over the world! 🎧🌎🌍🌏
“Using the bands left on a bottle of soda or water after opening it, this boy brought his own jump rope to supplement the two we were sharing amongst 120 kids!” — @andyjennott ___ This is incredible! I’m always amazed at what kids are able to come up with when left to their own devices ❤️ . Has anyone else seen a local take something ordinary and come up with an ingenious way to (re)use it? Share it with us in the comments!
“I’ve been thinking so much about where we are at as a family, having lived in Tanzania for a good chunk of time now, and I’m just reminded that this time and opportunity to live our lives here, raising our family on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.... it’s just such a gift. There will come a day when we no longer call this country home, and I know, that even though it can be challenging and we are so far from family and loved ones, I will reflect on these years here with such fondness, and know deep down in my soul what an amazing gift God gave us by being here. He’s just so kind, you guys. Even in the midst of hard days when I’m throwing temper tantrums and feeling all sorts of frustration, He’s just still so incredibly kind.” ___ That’s only a snippet of what @thebeautyofbecoming shared using the hashtag #expatsgetaftergrateful. Go to her account and find this photo to read the full post ❤️
Everything seems to be telling me to slow down and breathe deeply. Sometimes I listen to these rhythms and other times I fight silence and space. It’s best when I give in to the slowness and listen to its message. It’s the worst when I try and force the rhythms to go faster. There are rhythms all around us sending us messages. The power goes out. The water tank is empty. The internet hasn’t worked in days. The car breaks down. The baby just wants to be held. In those moments there is a very critical choice that will make or break my day; will I listen to the rhythms or try to create my own? // “Listening to the Rhythms of Life Abroad” by @elizabeth.j.w.spencer is up on the blog! ___ What are your rhythms telling you today? And how can you accept the invitation?
These are four great words to remember when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Elisabeth Elliot pulled these words from an old poem by an unknown author and I’m going to share it below because ILOVEITSOMUCH. ___ Whatever decisions are hanging over your head or future unknowns are clouding your vision, just entrust it to God and do the next thing in front of you. Eventually you’ll find yourself heading in the right direction and it’s all because you did one “next thing” at a time. Have a great weekend everybody! And now, on to the poem! ___ “From an old English parsonage down by the sea There came in the twilight a message to me; Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven, Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven. And on through the doors the quiet words ring Like a low inspiration: “DO THE NEXT THING.” . Many a questioning, many a fear, Many a doubt, hath its quieting here. Moment by moment, let down from Heaven, Time, opportunity, and guidance are given. Fear not tomorrows, child of the King, Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing Do it immediately, do it with prayer; Do it reliantly, casting all care; Do it with reverence, tracing His hand Who placed it before thee with earnest command. Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing, Leave all results, do the next thing. Looking for Jesus, ever serener, Working or suffering, be thy demeanor; In His dear presence, the rest of His calm, The light of His countenance be thy psalm, Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing. Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.”
Remember when we talked about gratitude during Thanksgiving and how repetitive positive thinking helps keep the brain from defaulting to negative thoughts (which we’re pretty prone to when living outside of our own culture)? If you didn’t read that article on our blog, go search for “Get After Grateful: The Expat Edition.” ___ As you all know, gratitude isn’t something to be saved for special occasions. It’s a DAILY practice. So let’s get after grateful today...together! Share something about your life right now that you’re grateful for. Write it in the comments section. Say it out loud to someone! Or, if you need a longer character count, share it on your own IG account and tag it with #expatsgetaftergrateful. ___ “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie . Photo credit: @marebeard ❤️
What’s the common household pest where you live? And a follow up question: is it even POSSIBLE to prevent said pest(s) from entering your house?? . Thanks for sharing your photo with us, @allielynnriddle!
All the birds have flown up and gone; A lonely cloud floats leisurely by. We never tire of looking at each other - Only the mountain and I. ___ “Alone Looking at the Mountain” by Li Po Photo credit: @almostbananas ___ Keep sharing your photos with us! We love seeing your daily life — the extraordinary, the jaw-dropping, the mundane, the basic, the laugh-inducing — we love it all ❤️