• Missionary Kids/TCK's,  Missions

    My MK Heritage, by Marc Gibbs

    Perhaps not so unique after all… I don’t remember a time where I have begrudged my MK (missionary kid) upbringing. In fact, I am pretty sure I gave it rather little thought until I moved to the US. For all intents and purposes I grew up like another French kid.  I just happened to be bi-lingual. In fact any marked difference from my school mates came more from the fact that I was a practicing protestant in a world of nominal Catholics and less from the fact of my American origins. I of course had a distinct advantage being Caucasian growing up in Western Europe.  I didn’t stand out in…

  • Stress Management

    When You Can’t Even…

    Real talk, friends.  The last three months have stretched, pushed, poked and prodded me in more ways than I have time to share.   I know you’ve been there.  Maybe you can sense the stress mounting or maybe it snuck up on you but eventually you feel as the Psalmist did:  “my soul is weary with sorrow”.  So what do we do when we just “can’t even” with life? *If you are facing a major life tragedy I would encourage you to reach out for help.  These strategies, while simple, can seem overwhelming in the midst of fresh emotional chaos and complexity.*  Be Realistic Stress and exhaustion are unavoidable.  As long…

  • Life

    Four Basic Relationships of Life – Part II

    In the Four Basic Relationships of Life – Part I we touched on our relationships with God and with others.  Today we finish up with the final two relationships of life.  Although “finish” is not really the correct term as this is barely skimming the surface of it all! Our Relationship with Ourselves In Genesis 3:7-11 we see shame and fear enter Adam and Eve’s psyche.  Their perfect relationship with God and each other was suddenly tainted by sin and the knowledge of their own nakedness.  Not just physical nakedness but a spiritual and emotional nakedness.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but fear, shame and insecurity…

  • Life

    Four Basic Relationships of Life – Part I

    In my first post I shared briefly about what caused me to enter the mental health field. One of the phrases I wrote caught my friend’s attention:  “It seemed logical to me that all of our lives are made up of four relationships:  our relationship with God, our relationship with others, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with God’s creation (nature, money, etc)”.  She hoped I would expound on that so here we are.  I do not claim to be a theologian and these thoughts are far from exhaustive (in fact countless books have been written about each specific one).  Nonetheless here is my understanding of Scripture and relationships.…

  • Missionary Kids/TCK's,  Missions

    How to Ruin Furlough For Your Kids

    #1-  Don’t talk about It Definitely, the last thing you want to do is talk about it!  We’re scared!  We’re all scared!  And stressed!  Why would we want to talk about that?!   It’s best just to pretend it’s not happening.   They don’t even need to know why you’re packing up the house. No, no, no.  That’s backwards!  It’s happening, you can’t change it.   Acknowledge the emotions that go along with the transition and give your children the freedom to share their feelings with you or someone else.  Think about your own emotions.  Even as adults we sometimes have difficulty processing our own feelings, how much more for…

  • Missionary Kids/TCK's,  Missions

    “MK’s are just different”: 2 Pitfalls of a Common Mindset

    If you are connected to the missions world in any way you may be thinking “what in the world is this girl talking about?!”  I hope you’ll hear me out.  If you want to accuse me of MK heresy after you’ve read this I welcome your thoughts.  But only after you’ve read the entire post. For better or worse, MK’s generally grow up in a world that emphasizes their distinctions. This may show up as a result of churches spotlighting or praising their family’s service at every opportunity. It will inevitably show up in the process of moving, meeting new people, attempting to explain where they are from and what…

  • Missionary Kids/TCK's,  Missions

    My MK Life: Redefining Our Differences

    It’s taken me a long time to drum up the courage to write these words. Not because of any major difficulty or traumatic event, but simply because it’s the story of my own life. And that, obviously, is very personal. We live our lives typically feeling they are nothing extraordinary and often not really paying attention to the way God has woven our story together through the years. That’s true for me anyway. But then somewhere along the way He starts to show us how the dots connect. And then if we’re really lucky we have friends and family who encourage us to share our story with others, because just…