Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So long, farewell

[what's brewing: Coffeegirl, good to the last drop!]

The thought of composing my last Coffeegirl Confessions post has brought a multitude of thoughts and emotions to the surface. I’ve faced a jumbled lot of emotions, knowing that this is indeed a necessary change but knowing that nonetheless, it brings with it elements of loss. Physical loss is often far easier to deal with because there are tangible representations of the change, but the intangible losses in life are many times just as, if not more significant than tangible losses.

It is the sting of those intangible losses that I am feeling the most in the midst of this change.

Looking back at where this journey started , I am reminded of the intangible losses that made saying goodbye to our first house so difficult – memories of our first Christmas, the process of making the decision to come here, lazy Saturday morning breakfasts, and the crazy ways we tried to stay cool during the blistering summer heat with no air conditioning. It was hard to leave that tangible space because of all the intangible yet treasured memories that had been created there.

So it is with this goodbye. Coffeegirl Confessions has been a place to share my journey in a way that I couldn’t have done in any other way. It’s been an endeavor of processing my experiences in ways I likely would have missed otherwise, and sharing them with other people on a weekly basis (well, almost).

It’s been a place of connecting with other women who understand the complexities of cross-cultural living – a place of hearing, “I know exactly what you mean!” even when I wrote about things I was sure would reveal my true neurosis. It’s been a place of seeing women from different cultures, backgrounds, denominations, fields of service and life circumstances come together on common ground to share their experiences and encourage one another.

If you’ve never noticed the CG’s Global Friends map on the sidebar before, take a look at see all the places where readers are located around the world. That map provides a profound visual representation of the experience of Coffeegirl Confessions – a global community of readers who come together to connect on common ground, setting aside the matters that so often lead to division rather than unity within the family of believers.

When Cindy Blomquist, Editor of Women of the Harvest, and I first started talking about the idea of starting a blog like this we were really unsure what would come of it. We agreed to run it for 6 months and see what happened. We hoped for the best but braced ourselves for the real possibility of a low reader turnout. When the first post went up I was hoping for just one comment from someone, anyone out there. I was delighted when I checked in and found 7 comments, and was amazed when the comments continued to come not just that day, but in the weeks and months to follow.

And it is there, in your comments and your weekly visits to read along, that the real value of this blog resides. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to share my thoughts, but you have turned the ramblings of a lone Coffeegirl into a community. And therein lies my reassurance to each of you that despite the ending of my weekly posts, the community and connection that has been built here can be sustained.

I have learned many things through my experience as Coffeegirl, but if I leave you with just one last thought it would be this:

The experiences that make you feel alone wherever you are living are the same experiences that can unite you with others who are living this cross-cultural adventure. Hiding our fears, failures and honest emotions only isolates us from the community of believers that God has intended for us to rely upon. There is no place for competition or comparison among us. Whether it be a language disaster, a cultural mishap or a deep disappointment in your ministry or personal life, sharing the experience leads us to dwell in the unity we are called to.

How about you? What have you learned along this journey together?

And now with a very thankful heart, I bid you farewell. Thank you for reading, for commenting, and for sharing yourselves in this Coffeegirl Confessions community. There are many more good things to come…so ya’ll come back now!!

[Editor’s Note: OK, all you cyber lookie-lou’s and loyal CG comment post-ers, I have one HUGE request: please post a comment to our dear Coffeegirl and let her know how she has impacted you!

This site will remain intact and will guide you to new blogs—one is being launched today: WOTH Writer’s Blog-- and resources hosted by WOTH.


The blog roll of Coffeegirl Regulars will keep you connected to one another through the experiences you’re sharing in your own words.

Updates--including the arrival of CG's little coffee bean--and highlights will be posted here to keep you connected to the global community that has been established over the last year and a half. Follow WOTH Editor on TwitterI promise not to post frivolous tweets!]

22 comments:

Missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras said...

Yes, thank you indeed for the journey, the experiences, and the sharing. As we are along for the ride as well, it's good to "see" others struggle and experience the joys of the mission field. Thank you for your candor, your willingness to be transparent, and your love of God and your family.

Becky said...

Thank you so much for your heartfelt honesty and humor. God has called us all to amazing places and it was so great to catch a glimpse of life where you are. Thank you for encouraging me, even for just the short time I was around! May the Lord bless you as you enter a new phase of life!

Krisanne said...

I just found your blog a little over a month ago, so I'm really sad to see you go, but want to thank you for sharing your heart and opening up for life here. In this short time it has been a huge encouragement to me and a reminder to me, just like you said in this last post, that we are not alone. Thanks for being willing to be transparent. Blessings on you and your family!

Stephanie said...

What a blessing this blog has been... a sweet way to know "I am not alone!". Thank you, Coffeegirl! I love the style of open, honest and sincere sharing that was representative in your blogging.
Blessings on you and your little one,
Stehpanie

Alan & Beth McManus said...

Thank you for sharing yourself with us through this blog. I've enjoyed it and enjoyed "getting to know" other cross-culture ladies who are working for the Lord. May God bless you!

My Bright Corner said...

I appreciate your honesty. Will miss you, Coffeegirl!

thetaskathand said...

It's like losing a friend! Thank you for doing this - for your openness, honesty, candor, and companionship. You will be missed! Many blessings on the new coffeebean and on your future ministry!
-Lisa B.

kimom said...

Coffeegirl, I'm sending you a huge hug from Congo to say thanks for all your work all along this journey! It has been like sitting down with a friend at a coffee shop, cute, fun, personal, safe place to chat with women who totally understand!

Congrats on little coffee bean! Looking forward to pics!
Kim

a56piano said...

Thanks, CG, for the blog, for the honesty... I have a feeling I'll be browsing backward through your blogs from time to time since I only recently "found" you. I wish I had found you in time to be added to the blogroll! (www.agapesantos.wordpress.com)
Enjoy the new little coffee bean - and don't be a stranger. If you have a personal blog, why not share that with us? I think you are a gifted communicator, and you have a way of speaking to so many of us with your honesty!
So...lots of hugs as you "press on".

Women of the Harvest Blogs said...

@a56piano: you're signed up on the blogroll!

Kara said...

Goodbye, friend! I will miss you. You summed it up well in this last post-it is so good to hear someone else speak our own emotions and know we're not alone.

May God bless you as you enter the life of missionary mom! Keep checking in on your (now former) blogroll to walk this path with others who have gone before you! I pray you would have strength and joy in Christ.

Jamie Jo said...

I had only recently discovered Coffeegirl Confessions after attending the WOTH retreat this past summer. Sorry to see it coming to an end. I've enjoyed your heart, your life, your story. Bless you as you move on from here. Maybe we'll see you over on the new writer's blog from time to time?

Becky Aguirre said...

I am so sad to see our journey coming to an end, but have certainly appreciated the time we had during these last few months...I look forward to continuing to connect with those I've met here! Thank you for your openness and being willing to share your experiences...hasta luego! ...until we meet again...

Duane and Carin said...

Thanks for all the encouragement along the way, I will miss the weekly chat. God bless your family as it grows and may your life be sweetly blessed because of it.

denise said...

Thanks for all your heartfelt sharing. I read Severe Mercies, and never commented on it, but enjoyed the book so much, my husband even read it and it gave us many interesting conversations! Thanks so much and blessings on your next journey.
denise in China

Shan in Japan said...

Thank you for taking us along on this journey. I, too, have appreciated your honesty and reminding us we are not alone. I enjoyed reading A Severe Mercy, reading comments from other women on this cross-cultural journey, and the light-hearted fun. Thank you! God bless you as you continue your journey with your new coffee bean!

6p00e008cbc1de8834 said...

Coffeegirl! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with me. It's been a huge encouragement. I feel like I've made friends reading your blog and the comments. Less alone, really understood, and that's huge.
A big hug as you go on the next part of your adventure with your little coffee bean!

Nora said...

Ugh, I don't know why I am a series of letters there! This is nora.
http://mmm-belly-may.typepad.com/

Michelle Abel said...

All the best for the future. I really enjoyed the sharing, and the sense of community created through the blog.
Michelle

malianta said...

Thank you so much Coffeegirl for connecting us with each other into a global community, for making us ponder, laugh, and cry together, share with each other, be encouraged and challenged by each others experiences. Thank you for your openness to share and all the effort you put into this blog. It has been such a blessing. Wishing you many blessings as you move on!

Tim and Susan said...

Thanks for paving the road for the rest of us to connect and network with other missionary women. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing from your heart hard lessons that God is teaching you along this way of missionary life. Blessings...
Susan (Japan)

Ellie said...

Hi Coffeegirl! Thanks for connecting us all with each other and beginning to talk during your first year. I'm still amazed that you found time! It's been a great place to talk and to get to know others. Enjoy your coffeebean - and I hope he doesn't live up to his nickname in energy levels.... Maybe he'll be decaf!

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