Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not now...

I’ve always considered myself to be a patient person…maybe I just haven’t been in situations where it was really difficult to be patient.  But here I am, after 6 weeks (that was supposed to be 3 ½) still in Akron waiting for something I have no control over, and realizing that my patience is running low.

In Theory:  Patience is a fruit of the Spirit—it is important for us to show patience to others as we reflect who God is.  I know that I am so underserving of the endless patience God has already shown me throughout my life as I fail again and again.  It is important for us to have patience with God.  His timing is perfect and when we get angry when He is not doing what we want…well, you can tell just by thinking about it, that’s a little backwards.  To have patience I have to trust that God is in control and knows exactly what He’s doing.

In Practice:  During the first week I was in the States I got poison ivy all over.  If you have ever had it, you know that it is miserable and takes a lot of patience in the intense itching, the sleepless nights, and just in taking so long for it to go away.  So that was my first challenge.  Then throughout the summer God continued to challenge me in having patience with my family, with living at Grandma’s, with having to go out somewhere with free Wi-Fi to use the internet, and with the delay with my visa.  These are all fine and life goes on, but I was surprised by the attitude that came out of me in certain situations—an attitude of pride and a sense of entitlement to things going my way. 

So what do I do?  My visa for China is having major complications, so it looks like I will be here for another month.  Of course, I am asking all the “why” questions and wondering whether I was supposed to go in the first place.  But I am still certain that this is what God is leading me to do—just not in the way that I thought it would happen.  In this situation especially, there is nothing I can physically do to work it out.  I have to choose to trust and rely on Him to take care of it—not only in my head, but in my heart and my attitude.  Then I thought if I’m here, I might get some sort of job to help pay for things and give me something to do.  Well, I slipped in the rain and ruined my knee so that will be impossible. 

I was reading back over my journal from the end of my time in Cambodia, and read how I prayed that God would prepare my heart to serve at a new school and to love my new students because I did not feel that it would be possible.  Maybe God is providing for this request through my extended time of rest and waiting.  The battle against my human nature and against my brain continues and my angry moments don’t go away, but I want to choose to trust, choose to let go and allow God to do what He is doing.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Dear Friends,
Thank you so much for your patience with me and for supporting me and loving me over the past 2 years!  I am sitting here trying to figure out how to update you on what has happened in the past… 4 monhs?  Definitely not me getting better at blogging. J

Let’s work backwards.  Right now I am sitting in a coffee shop in Akron, Ohio.  I’ve been in the States for a month now staying with my grandparents, visiting friends, trying to get things sorted for the next part of life.  Some of you know I am now an aunt, and I got to meet my beautiful niece Saphira Grace since I’ve been here. J Before flying to the States I spent a week in Hungary with the rest of my family—it has been such a blessing to get to see them more than once this year!  And before that I was finishing up the school year at Hope in Phnom Penh.  Time continues, life is happening, but the last few months seem very incoherent.

I hope that most of you have already heard that I finished my job in Cambodia in June and am moving to teach at an international school in China.  I am now just waiting for my paperwork to be processed so I can get my visa and get there as close as possible to the start of the school year.  If you could join with me in praying for this process with timeliness and complications, that would be great! 
Here are some pictures from my last week in Cambodia.

 My beautiful 10SL pastoral group. I will miss them so much!
Our amazing tuk-tuk driver.

Working will never be the same without Youjin and James- love you guys!

My last music classes.

Time with the wonderful housemates.

I left my classroom more organized than it ever had been.  Part of trying to end well. J
Leaving my home for the past two years was not an easy decision, and though I know it was right, I still feel guilty about it and am working through some of that.  It broke my heart to leave my students and I have yet to fully understand the finality of the move.  Starting from nothing again in a new place seems a little crazy, but I truly love teaching these students and believe that this is what He is calling me to.  I also know that God will continue to provide and be the constant in my life.  I am finally starting to get excited for this new adventure in China and am looking forward to getting started and meeting my kids. J

Similar to my school in Cambodia, I will be paid enough to live on but need to raise some support for extra expenses.  If you would be interested in supporting me financially either with a one-time gift or monthly, please let me know.  I am serving with Oasis International Schools and my project number is 003759.  You can use this link to donate .  Thank you!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The start of the lasts

Dear Friends,

I apologize for not communicating with all of you lately.  This year has been a whirlwind full of wonderful things and difficult things, and when I try to explain in words what is happening, I find myself overwhelmed and unable to express the way I want to.  I think also, it has been a confusing year in some ways and if you know me well, it is hard for me to talk about something if I don’t have it figured out. J
I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed, and here I am at the beginning of May, thinking about how to end my time in Cambodia well.  It seems like a just got here! 
This week I had the privilege of being on an adult TCK panel where parents at the school were invited to ask questions about life as a TCK and how it has affected us.  I really enjoyed the evening—just getting to share experiences and trying to communicate to parents that even though there are tough things about it, they are not messing their kids up by living overseas. J I teared up a couple times as I always do when talking about the life of a TCK.  And every time I hear others’ stories, I am amazed by the unique lives, and the way that God works in us so personally.   Of course, one of the main topics of questioning was about transition.  Transition to the host culture, transition to the passport culture, transition to university after graduating… never-ending transitions it seems!  And that is the hardest part of this life.  It never gets simpler really to leave.  With the re-entering I have made some progress and found some things that work for me, but the leaving is gut-wrenching every time. 

So that is the phase that I am going into right now.  I have about 6 weeks left at school with my kids, with my friends and in this city.  Last night I had my last concert with the community choir that I have been a part of during my time here.  It was a good one!  And I know the next few weeks will be filled with “lasts”, so I am trying to prepare myself to be able to enjoy them and to end this phase of life well. 
I am still waiting for direction about where to be next year.  I have some exciting options, but would appreciate prayers for wisdom in this decision.  Thank you!