Thursday, November 8, 2012


Time continues to fly.  Days are getting quickly filled up with rehearsals and school work.  It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas…actually not at all with the weather and all, so I have to keep reminding myself of the facts.  My Christmas concert is in 5 weeks, so yesterday we started working on props and costumes—a much simpler process than last year!  Last week we had auditions for our Spring Musical, Cinderella.  I am excited to get started on that! J Needless to say, we are making schedule after schedule and hoping that it all somehow fits together.  The life of a music teacher, eh?
These past couple of weeks I have started thinking about decisions that are coming up in my life once again, having to do with where I will be in the coming year or two.  The process always seems so complicated—in any decision.  And it’s so easy to get caught up in it—so easy to worry.  But I have to remember the way God has directed my decisions so far in my life.  And the fact that my worrying does no good at all, and that He will provide in the exact moment that I need it (whatever it is).  My perceived timing needs are so wrong sometimes…and sometimes He is just waiting for me to remember to ask.  A few months ago I was walking home from school.  I am pretty much exhausted by the time I leave school, so I was walking along, past all these people and thought “Why do You have me here among all these people that I will never get the chance to invest in or even just get to know?”  And as I turned the corner, I heard “Sister, sister!” and a group of 4 girls were trying to catch up to me.  So we talked as we walked the rest of the way home and it was great.  And things like that happen over and over again.  Why do I even think about it when I know better?  Sometimes it’s just habit I think—what a crazy habit!  So yes.  Take it as it comes, God's got it under control.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A few quick pictures

View out my bedroom window.  We live next a dump/recycling place.  The contrast is hard to wrap my head around sometimes.

Our kitchen area.  So thankful for the lovely space.

Entrance/living room area.

 Buddhist shrine right outside out door.

 Little fruit/vegetable stand right across the street.  They pop up everywhere.

My street.  We are very fortunate that it doesn't flood.

 People spend their days outside in the open for the most part.  Life is public.

Little bananas. The fruit is great!

Me in my moto-helmet.  I carry it around with me when I go out.

Just a few pictures to help visualize a bit.  :)
Come visit anytime!

Please pray for Cambodia this week, there is a tropical storm coming through and people in the provinces are worried about flooding.  Last year we had bad floods and many lost their houses, their ricefields and livelihoods.  They can't afford to have that happen again.

Reaction check-up

Life is going so fast.  And I think in my attempt to keep up with it and to be able to function, I haven’t found ways to communicate what is going on in my life right now.  Many times over the past few months, I’ve remembered and told myself that I should write a new post on my blog—but somehow, even when I have had the time, the thoughts haven’t been full…or I’ve struggled with what I want to say and put up on the internet. J

The past two weekends I even came up with topics for my blog.  Two weeks ago I was supposed to take pictures and talk about things that have become normal to me since living in Cambodia.  Last week I was going to write about how Asian Hungarian culture is.  Which both might happen soon!

But today something different.  I have been learning a lot about myself lately.  Life is not as smooth as I thought it was going to be, and as new situations come up, it’s interesting to notice my natural reaction.  For example, I’ve never had a problem with following rules, but I am finding now that boundaries that are put up that I don’t completely agree with are difficult and don’t bring out the best in me.  Also, realizing the influence I can have whether good or bad, simply by the way I walk through the door has to change the way that I react to the thousands of things that happen in a day. 

So this morning at church the sermon was on suffering, from 1 Peter.  It’s a topic that I have discussed in many one-on-one conversations, many Bible studies, I’ve lead classes on the issue…it’s not something I haven’t thought about.  But usually the conversations have to do with the presence of suffering rather than the reaction to suffering.  This morning one of the key phrases mentioned was “the presence of suffering does not necessarily mean you are in the wrong place or doing the wrong thing”.  Which is true when I think about it, it makes sense.  But I have never thought of it that clearly before.  Pain is not something I readily welcome into my life…not many people do—but I think my natural conclusion with pain is that there is something that needs to be changed…whether that is me, or the people around me.  The situation or my location.  But the presence of suffering does not mean we have to change something, it doesn’t always mean that I need to make adjustments to make the suffering stop.  Such a simple concept, but so complex at the same time.  The hardships, conflicts, frustrations that may be going on can be part of the life-process rather than a clue to turn the other direction.  For me this is an important thought right now as I react to everyday situations.  I hope this encourages you too.

More to come on life in Cambodia.  For sure. J

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A good week

The summer is almost halfway over!  It sounds like such a long time and then it goes so quickly. J For the first time in my life (as far as I can remember), I do not have something concrete to do with my time.  So I am taking things as they come up, taking some Khmer lessons, and doing some work for school. 
Last week—perfect timing because I was starting to get bored—I got to help lead a service trip with some of the high school students who are here this summer.  We went to an orphanage called Jumpah in one of the nearby provinces mainly to help with jobs needing to be done around the site.  It was my first time spending more than a day in rural Cambodia so it was a good experience for me to be sleeping on the floor, using squatty potties and bucket showers. J I was challenged again with thinking about the lifestyle I live and the way I use my resources.  Besides the manual labor we got to help with evening English classes, play volleyball and just spend time with the kids there.  I also got to teach a music class to a few of the students there, which was one of my favorite things.  I wasn’t sure where to start with them or what their musical abilities were so I asked if there was anything specific they wanted to learn, and one of the young men said “I want to learn anything that you know”.  J With the music and with English classes it was so encouraging to remember the joy of learning as we interacted with the kids.  It was also a joy to watch the students that came with us step out and love people and be challenged themselves.  At the end of the week we were dirty and sore but we got to serve and get to see more of God’s work and His people in Cambodia.  Here are a couple pictures from the week…

Friday, June 15, 2012

End of the year

So it’s been a week since the last day of school—this means my first year of teaching successfully finished (!), but it also means a goodbye-exhausted heart.  Sometimes, especially recently, I wonder why I allow myself to go through this so frequently when I know how much I hate it…but who am I to say no, eh?  If He is calling me to a place and giving me the strength to go through it, I can’t say that it’s too much goodbye-ing, too much transition so I don’t want to do it.  Though I know this process well, it tears a bit on my already hurting heart with a new set of people I have grown to love and appreciate.  God has truly blessed me in so many ways this year in His wise and unexpected ways and the sadness right now is right and good because of how He has worked. 
As I’m sitting here wondering what words to use to try to explain what has happened this year, it seems there is so much to say that there is nothing to say…when the thoughts are rushing through your mind but none of them are full thoughts so they probably wouldn’t make much sense to anyone—that’s what is going on.  J  So I will just say that looking back lots of it looks like a blur, but a blur with clear pictures of beauty throughout.  The blur comes with the job of being a music teacher, comes with being busy, it comes with phases of adjustment in our lives.  But I have seen amazing growth and change in my students this year.  I have seen them think certain thoughts for the first time.  I have seen the transition from confusion to understanding in all kinds of situations.  I have seen students recognize talents they didn’t know they had.  I have seen kids shine as they selflessly use the abilities God has given them.  And those of you who know me well know that these are the things that make my heart smile…as I take time to rest and reflect this summer I pray to understand and see more.
I will be in Phnom Penh during our break from now until the beginning of August, so I will have more time for skype-ing and emailing and would love to talk to you.  Also, if you get the urge to visit South East Asia this summer, you are more than welcome to come by and stay with me! J

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Well, it all happened and I am so thankful! :)
It seems like much more than a week and a half ago since the performances, I think life just drastically slowed down Godspell and we went on our April break.  Anyway, my kids were amazing, and I was and am so so proud of what they did!  People were impressed and surprised by what they produced.  Even my band was made up of all students, who only had the music for 2 weeks and were able to keep the show going!  I really have no words to explain what it was like, but it was just beautiful to see the kids on stage, using the talents God has given them, working together and creating something so creative and so excellent. :)  It was a powerful experience and thinking of it will always make me smile! 
Thank you for your prayers for me and for the students~

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy from the show!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It is way past time for a blog update, and I apologize for that.  I have gotten into a better routine this semester so I guess I just need to put regular blogging into that routine. J
My 3rd set of grades were turned in this week, which means that my first year of teaching is ¾ done!  It doesn’t seem real, it is all going so fast.  But I am no longer a “new teacher” at school, which is nice.  Recruiting for music activities this semester was much easier than at the beginning of the year when I had no idea who the kids were and they didn’t know who I was.  J I am still enjoying my students and have been learning so much about teaching, about Cambodia, about people…it’s hard to explain.
We are less than 2 weeks away from the performance of Godspell! Yesterday we had our first rehearsal where things gelled and it was so great!  My cast is wonderful—many of them have never been a part of something like this and it has been beautiful to see them do new things and grow in confidence.  There are still details to take care of and last minute organizing to do as well as some intense rehearsals yet to go, but it will happen and it will be good. J I will post pictures after the performance!
Another exciting thing happening at the same time is that my sister Hannah is coming to visit for 2 weeks!  I am looking forward to spending time with her and to showing her my life here. J And she will be here in time to see Godspell~
Things at school this semester have been a little chaotic and difficult.  There are many changes happening—more than usual at an international school.  The biggest thing right now is that the high school will be moving to a new location in August because we are short on space and the prices were raised on the rent for the buildings we are using now.  The new school will be on the other side of the city and many people will have to adjust, but it is a necessary move.  This will change things for teachers of course—for me mainly that I will no longer be working together with Youjin, and that I will need to take on some other classes in the high school to fill my schedule. 
Along with that, here’s a little advertising...If you are reading this and looking for a place to work next year, Hope School is in need of new teachers as well as office staff—it could be you! J Check out the school website: and let me know if you have any questions!
That is a lot of what is going on right now—lots of things to do, I find myself gliding through days, which isn’t my favorite thing to do, but God is faithful in providing glimpses of His beauty that bring me back to reality and keep me going. J
Please pray for the next 2 weeks of crazy preparation for Godspell and for my cast, that this would be a great experience for them and a powerful experience for the audience. 

Here are some of the things we are getting ready...painting philosopher busts and having a table built for the set. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back to my new home...

Second semester has started full on, bringing lots of new things with it. I am now teaching a middle school math class which I am really excited about, I am moving with my housemates to a new place because the people whose house we are living at now are coming back from furlough in a week, and I get to start directing my first real musical, Godspell, that will be performed at the end of March! J
Here are a couple of pictures from my Christmas concert.  It turned out really well, I was so proud of my kids!

Time is such a strange thing—being back here in Cambodia now it feels like I never even left, like things are just continuing, but I know better than that.  And when I was back in the States with my friends and family, it also felt like I was just continuing my life from before…like no time had passed but it had!  But I am thankful that distance and time passing doesn’t seem to matter so much anymore in continuing relationships.
Over Christmas break I got to go to Iowa to be a part of my friend Joy’s wedding,
I got to see friends who are living all over the world,
and to see family,
I got to see my little brother get married to now Meagan Lingenhoel :) ,

and just spend time with the people I love.

Just to catch you up a bit on life… J As I am getting back into routines and trying to keep the momentum from last semester, I would appreciate your prayers for transitions happening among staff and students at school and for the process of starting Godspell- I am really excited for the product and for what God will do in these kids' lives through being involved in this show, but also a little nervous. J