Marilyn Gardner

The Beatitudes for Cross-Cultural Workers

by Marilyn on October 9, 2020

Blessed are the language learners, for theirs is the gift of idioms and verbs, of words and communication. Blessed are the visa holders, for they shall never forget what it is to live as a guest in a country. Blessed are the homesick, for they shall know and understand longing and displacement, the themes of […]

{ 0 comments }

Uprooted with no RAFT

by Marilyn on September 11, 2020

It is mid-September and six months since borders closed, masks became mandatory, and life changed for people around the globe.  While fall is always a time of movement and change for expats and third culture kids, for TCKs transtioning to college, and for those who have tried to make transitions during the summer from their […]

{ 0 comments }

Decision Making and Transition

by Marilyn on August 9, 2020

In all my years of coming and going, of moving and transition, I’ve never experienced anything like the transition and confusion that the last months of pandemic chaos have brought into our world. Its impossible to quantify the amount of grief and loss that people around the globe and in this community have experienced. I […]

{ 0 comments }

An Appeal – A Life Overseas

by Marilyn on August 9, 2020

On November 14, 2012 Laura Parker, co-founder of the A Life Overseas blog and community space posted a “Welcome Video” to the site. That was the beginning of what has now become an online community thousands strong. We are a diverse group linguistically, culturally and theologically, but we all agree that taking the step to […]

{ 0 comments }

I’m sitting at my desk in our guest bedroom when the bells from the church across the street begin to ring. They began at eight in the morning and they end at ten at night, giving us a full ten hours without being reminded of the time. This is new for me. While hearing the […]

{ 0 comments }

Cultural Hope

by Marilyn on May 11, 2020

“But what on earth can I write?” This was what I wrestled with last week as I thought about writing for A Life Overseas. Half of you are displaced, wrestling with when you can get back to your host countries and homes. Half of you are sheltered in place in various places around the world, […]

{ 0 comments }

Grief at Gethsemane

by Marilyn on April 10, 2020

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with […]

{ 1 comment }

On Safety and Sanity

by Marilyn on February 9, 2020

“Safe passage cannot be bought. We have no holy passport to protect us and so we venture forward, fragile maps in hand, flying our banners of courage and of hope.” Call the Midwife, Season 6 When life feels like it is too much, and I can’t make sense of our broken world, I turn to […]

{ 0 comments }

Living Borrowed Lives

by Marilyn on January 10, 2020

“A Syrian painter recently told me that we all have a map in our bodies, composed of the places we have lived, that we are constantly in the process of redrawing. A street from our childhood might be traversed by a train car in which we once fell in love. A garden from a year […]

{ 0 comments }

On Family Albums and What I Didn’t Know

by Marilyn on December 9, 2019

Our family albums tell amazing stories. Picnics in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Egypt; bucket baths in Swat Valley – home to Malala the brave; hiking in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains; feeding pigeons outside the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul; climbing on canons in Quebec City; wandering through Topkapi Palace with cousins, […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Mountains of Transition

by Marilyn on November 11, 2019

Northern Iraq is a place of mountains. From our front balcony in Ranya we looked across at the snow covered mountains of Iran. At the back of our apartment, beyond the mosque, were the rugged Kewa-Rash or “black mountains” famous in our region. Beyond those mountains were more mountains. We never tired of looking out […]

{ 0 comments }

On Scarcity and Abundance

by Marilyn on October 14, 2019

I’m sitting on my couch, feet stretched out. The mosque next door has just begun their Friday sermon, broadcast loud in a language that is still unfamiliar to me. The electricity is on and I am trying to be grateful instead of fearful that it will go off.  In recent weeks, I have thought a […]

{ 0 comments }