Everybody wants a home, a place to be that is theirs, and theirs to share. When we live and work outside our own culture, home becomes even more important to us. We seem to lose so much of our identity as we strive to acculturate our lives. We want our homes to have a familiar feel that comforts our family members, yet we want our homes to reflect our host culture as well. How much should your home reflect your heritage, and how much should it reflect your adopted culture? Do you worry that your new friends may be offended by your home or your style of hospitality? These are common questions for PWs.
2011, a new year is here! Last year’s triumphs and trials are history. We have a chance to start with a clean slate. It is a new year with new challenges and new blessings just beyond our reach.
I started off this new year in the Methodist Church my son and his family attend. We read aloud Wesley’s Covenant Prayer.
“I am no longer my own, but Yours. Put me to what You will. Put me doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for You or laid aside for You, exalted for You or brought low for You. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are mine, and I am Yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in Heaven. Amen.”
What a prayer of dedication! What a declaration of total surrender to God! As PWs, we’ve made that kind of surrender in the past. We said it with glowing faces, perhaps streaming with tears. Deep in our hearts we know this kind of surrender is what we should do, even if we don’t feel like it. But the realities of that commitment sometimes hit us with crushing force.
It is December again. We all have Christmas in the back of our minds even if we are not actively thinking about it. The message of the angels to the shepherds was, “Peace on earth and goodwill to men.” Are you experiencing God’s peace? Are you at rest in God and the work He has given you to do? Are you secure in His provision in this economic atmosphere?
Judith Havens shares her lesson on trust with us. In whatever ways your world is turned on its head this Christmas season, let your stability come from your deep abiding trust of the God who gives us peace.
Have you ever ridden on a roller coaster? You know, that up and down motion. One moment you are excited with anticipation of what is to come…the thrill of a life time. The next moment you are being flung through the air and wondering if you will survive. That is usually when I think, “I will never get on this thing again!” [Read more…]
Sue Eenigenburg & Robynn Bliss introduce a new resource for Women in Cross-Cultural Ministry, their new book, Expectations and Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission.
Everyone has expectations. Women in cross-cultural ministry are no exception. They usually go overseas with extremely high, if not unrealistic, expectations of themselves. Using data from surveys and research to form the basis for the book, Sue and Robynn not only explore expectations women workers might have of themselves, but also expectations they might have of their agencies, sending churches, co-workers, host culture and God.
Criticism! What a great topic since we are all confronted with it to some degree. We are grateful to Joy, a Peter’s Wife reader, for sharing her experience and insights that can help us better handle criticism.
Criticism–when you’ve had about all you can take
“You know why your kids are sick all the time, don’t you? It’s because you don’t make them wear slippers or undershirts. You should take better care of your kids.” (from my closest local friend, just after my son had his tonsils and adenoids removed due to repeat infections)
“Your backside is really getting enormous—I mean look how wide it is. But that’s OK. You have a pretty face.” (from a very slim 40-something neighbor)
“I can’t believe how loud your kids are. It’s impossible to get any rest. I feel like running away. Why can’t you keep them quiet like other people do?” (part of a longer conversation, where my downstairs neighbor berated me for more than 10 minutes in front of all my other neighbors at a tea)
Living in a Culture of Criticism
These are just three criticisms that I’ve received in the last couple of weeks. [Read more…]