- Tell us something fun about yourself that is not in your author bio.
I was a complete drama geek growing up. I was in classes, plays, and a mime troupe. I even taught drama with a friend of mine at a local college when I was high school. The theater cultivated my creativity, love for story, and passion for influencing others.
- What’s one thing you miss from North America when you are on the field, and one thing you miss from the field when you are in North America?
When I was overseas, superficially, I missed Target! I guess it spoke to the desire for things to be more convenient and familiar. On a deeper level, I missed the freedom to be fully understood. I love communicating, and to be limited in my second language was frustrating.
Back in the U.S., I miss the adventure of being an expat. I miss that every day has the potential for new and interesting experiences. It made life rich.
- What do you think is the benefit of writing and sharing your story?
I recently looked back on my first few blog posts. It’s fun to see how writing and sharing our stories helped me find my voice as a writer. But it’s also such a fun record of life, what God has brought us through. It also helps me process what He is doing. Writing about our transition back to the U.S. was so cathartic for me, and as people responded to what I wrote, it showed me I wasn’t alone.
- How do you create time/space in your life to write?
I schedule writing into my calendar each week. I have tried the “write every day for this amount of time or this number of words” method, but my schedule is so varied that just doesn’t work for me. So I write it in like an appointment and try to hold myself to it. If people want to meet during that time, there has to be a good reason for me to skip writing (and an alternate time where I can move my writing appointment).
- Where besides Connection can our readers read your writing?
I write at my blog: www.ginabutz.com. I am also a member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild, where I was one of the writers for the October issue. I have guest posted on several other Redbud writers’ blogs too. Other than that, you can find me here and there at blogs like SheLoves, Mudroom blog, Velvet Ashes, and Missional Women, to name a few. I am working on a book on transition that I hope will be published soon.
- What are you reading/listening to now? (especially something that is a helpful resource)
I am listening to The Road Back to You, which is a podcast about the Enneagram. I have found the Enneagram to be a helpful tool in understanding myself and others, as well as in my spiritual growth.
I’m reading The Allure of Hope, which is so life-giving! I love that the author talks about our deep heart longings and calls us to face them. I am not by nature a hopeful person, but this is calling me to it.
I’m also reading Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance. I heard about this at a leadership conference last year, and suspected that I was not the grittiest person alive. I’ve been trying to grow as a writer in the last few months, and it’s been tempting at times to give up because it’s hard. This book has been reminding me that this is where I need to get gritty – talent only takes us so far. I find it so applicable in the Christian life – will we persevere in what God has called us to do when it gets tough? Because it’s going to get tough. We don’t have to be wildly gifted. We just have to know what it is we’re aiming for and keep moving toward it. That’s grit.
- What do you think is the best kept secret out there (in terms of an organization or resource that is useful to global workers)?
I know how important homeschool resources were to me when I lived overseas, and one of the best resources I have found for that is Kathy Koch. Many people might have heard of her, as I know she travels extensively, but if you haven’t, her books and website www.celebratekids.com are a great resource for raising and teaching kids.
8. Who (dead or alive) would you want as a mentor for life and ministry?
As far as life goes, right now I’d probably say Brené Brown. I have been so blessed by her writing, particularly Rising Strong. I resonate with her work on wholeheartedness-it’s become a theme of my writing. In ministry, I would love to spend time with Brennan Manning or Henri Nouwen. Their writing has had such an impact on how I view myself through the lens of God’s relentless love and grace.
9. If you could choose a kitchen utensil or appliance that best described YOU, what would you choose and why?
I’d like to think of myself as a baster. I love to take what God has given me by way of truth, grace, love, mercy, and pour it out on people around me. I hope I can make their lives richer, give them a taste of what it is He is teaching me, and hopefully see transformation happen.