Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. I have officially been here (drum roll please) ONE MONTH. And I (as well most babies everywhere) will no longer be announcing my time in days or weeks but in months. And like every mother in the entire universe I will continue to count the weeks in my head and cry a little at how quickly time goes. (It’s been five weeks).

As always, the amount of things that has happened is enormous and hilarious and (only slightly) distressing. Allow me to give you a pretend powerpoint presentation of all that’s happened. (“Click”-cue annoying and time consuming ppt animation)

Below is a path up a small mountain in my city. The path’s name is obviously in a different language but I’m pretty sure it can be translated as “the stairs of doom”.**

And as the “stairs of doom” implies they are incredibly hard to walk up, very slippery when it rains, and almost completely straight up. There was one point where I thought I was climbing a ladder!* Before you get impressed that I completed such a feat, know that as I was walking up an older woman called out to me on her way down. Conveniently it was some new words I’d learned- “You tired?” She called looking not at all winded. Me- “(gasping for air) Uh…yes.” I will conquer you stairs of doom. I will be your master!!!! Also this gigantic Buddha awaited me at the top of the stairs. As I have since learned- ginormous statues of Buddha are actually very common- so I may be able to conquer my fear of giant statues. (Yeah, I’m talking to you Athena in Nashville).


I no longer live alone! I have roommates!! They’re pictured above in a group picture with two other friends from school. We ate an so many bowls of noodles that we got a free coke! Win! (I recognize that a group picture is highly confusing considering you don’t know who my roommates are. I’ll let you guess for now because unfortunately I don’t have another pic. But what a fun game!) Also my home is starting to look more homey! Adding a couch has been a dream- though more often than not we just sit on the kitchen floor to hang out and eat dinner. #SEA

I took a trip with some friends to a nearby village to visit with some teachers from school! The countryside is BEAUTIFUL and a simple iPhone camera can’t capture it, but everywhere I look I see the beauty of creation.

Remember when I said that driving a motor scooter was hard? Well…I maybe sort of wiped out when trying to turn down the alley to my house. The good news is, I have learned that there is (in fact!) a way not to brake. #win

My team and I took a short trip to a neighboring country for some rest and rejuvenation! It was a great time exploring the exotic and finding some familiar things. (why helllooo Oreos and KFC!) I’m so glad for a chance to explore!


Being in a huge “Walmart-ish” store again. My American brain understand this!
Memphis has followed me literally thousands and thousands of miles. ❤️
I’ll have one of everything!! …literally just one though….

Don’t let the excitement and the adventures fool you. The past few weeks have had their share of difficulty (hello motorbike??) Here’s the thing – Being overseas is a lot like playing a really really fun game with a whole bunch of strangers. Sometimes I know the rules, sometimes I get called out because I’m doing something wrong, and sometimes we score a point and I have no idea how or why. It’s fun! But, it’s also isolating. I’m surrounded by players in this game I haven’t figured out yet, and I still have so much to learn.


Most of my struggles this week have been internal, and the battle of knowing and feeling rages in my heart and mind. I feel sad. I know I’m victorious. I feel discouraged sometimes. I know I’m in the Father’s plan right where I am. Even though there are people all around me, there have been several days where I feel so alone, and in those moments especially I rest in truth, and act on what I know. I guess I should be used to being surrounded and yet separate (I mean, come on! I’m a daughter among sons!) but it still feels hard. I know that those feelings won’t last forever, and already I’ve felt lighter and more resilient when those moments in the week come! That’s through the Father’s grace. More than anything, I rest in what I know to be true – that He is with me and that He is working in me and that He is working through me.

And that makes me feel like enough.


Motorbikes (and other things new)

I have been really excited to ride a motorbike. It’s one of those things that felt really dangerous and impractical in the states and yet completely necessary as a mode of transportation here. I still remember the first time I got on the bike behind my supervisor. She was taking me to the market to get some skirts, and with zero fanfare, I hopped on and clung to the bar behind me for dear life. I remember riding back from the market, my hands now full of bags and having to rest my hands on my legs, feeling like a champion that I was able to keep my balance. Riding behind someone driving became an amazingly cool experience, watching the open air shops and temples pass by around me.

So when I was given the opportunity to learn to drive a motorbike, I was ready. I had been getting tuk tuks to take me around, I had been walking everywhere else, and I was sweating through all my clothes. Needless to say, I was more than ready to give up my shade umbrella and start driving all over the city.

When I wore a hat, everyone at the school and on the street was like “why are you wearing a hat?” When I switched to an umbrella, I think that people actually stared at me less. (This is my Friday shirt!)

Everyone was ready!…until I actually tried to drive.

A teammate took me to a large empty parking lot to practice and get a feel for the bike. I settled in and took off at a controlled slow gate. Okay. Easy. Then I tried to turn. And I thought I was going to fall over. Every. Single. Time. Every turn I took I sped up too much or pulled the brakes too hard. I nearly ran into the one block in the entire parking lot and instead of hitting the brakes my hands pulled back on the gas and I flew forward! Thankfully I was able to pull the brakes hard before crashing, but that momentum threw my upper body over my handlebars and I slammed into the mirrors before yanking myself back to the seat.

There were some workers watching. My teammate kindly turned away. It was not my finest hour.

Graciously, at the end of my practice session my teammate offered to let me drive home. I told her, “well…I know the answer should be yes. I mean I really want to learn to drive. But maybe…maybe this time you should just drive.” I had been working really hard not to let opportunities pass me by. If someone told me to try something new, I tried it. If someone offered to take me somewhere, I went with them. No matter how new or strange or different, I tried to say yes! And the one time I said no, it didn’t really matter anyway. She took us down a hill and around a few of the harder turns and then slowed the bike down on the side of the road. “Okay. You take use the rest of the way.” I took a breath and we traded places. She took my bag so I wouldn’t have an extra thing to balance and we started.

Well we started, but it was way too slow. The bike shook like crazy, the handlebars going back and forth at an alarming rate. I slowed down more then sped up, then slowed down. “It’s a lot easier to go faster!” my teammate said, both laughing and shrieking as she rode. Finally, I gained speed and the handlebars evened out and we were going straight.

“Wait. What’s the noise?” There was an extra thumping now and my teammate waved a hand to the side of the road. “I think we have a flat. Pull over.” We pulled over (I nearly forgot to break and we almost went down a huge hill on the side of the road. Face palm) We checked. Yep. A flat. (Face palm again). We then had to push the bike down the road, a nice man coming up behind us to encourage us and tell us where to go. He drove ahead to tell a little store to stay open long enough to change our tire. It was hot and it was around 6pm so it was basically already dark. After changing the tire she drove home. I think that was for the best. I’d made enough of an impression for my first time.

A week later, I’m driving the bike to and from school, navigating traffic, and I drove home in the dark for the first time yesterday! No flats yet, but at least I know what to do when I get one again.

My motorbike lives in the kitchen at night. #SEA

“I’ve never ridden a motorbike before…I’ve never had papaya salad before…I’ve never been to South East Asia…I’ve never…” Before I left I told my sister in law, kind of in an off handed way “I’ve never traveled internationally by myself before.” She just laughed and without missing a beat responded, “I think you’re about to do a lot of things you’ve never done before.” She was right. Driving a motorbike is new to me. I’m much better driving my car back at home than driving this new vehicle. But I’ve been driving a car for 10 years. I’ve been driving a motorbike for like…maybe an hour total. Maybe. It’s hard to tell people as I go 20kph below the speed limit that I’m actually a good driver. One, they’re going too fast and two, I can’t speak their language.

All the new can bring some anxiety. I won’t lie to you. The second time I got on the motorbike and drove to school, I was unbelievably anxious. The school is a ten minute walk, less than a mile, and I left early to avoid any traffic, so there was a lot of things to buffer the anxiety, but you’d think that driving in a parking lot would be fine too! When I arrived I wanted to text everyone I knew, I grinned from ear to ear, and I couldn’t stop thanking the Father for his provision of getting me there safely! Going home, I had to have a teacher start my bike for me because I couldn’t figure out the key. I was still thankful. It’s about baby-steps people!

Even writing this, I’m completely in awe that of the things I’ve done. But the awe isn’t so much how do it, because I think it’s pretty embarrassing how scared I can be when I’m going about simple daily life. I’m in awe because of the Father’s provision. I have a way to get around and I’m figuring it out! The bike opens up so many doors to me, probably more than I even realize right now. I have a home that’s soon to be filled with roommates as of tomorrow! I don’t know them very well yet, but the Father brought them to me through my team and through the school! I don’t know the language yet but I’m trying and working and have a great school to learn.

I’m happy to announce that I’m a perpetual learner. I’m going to continue to do new things. I’m working to build my schedules and develop some routines. And I’m getting a chance to be courageous when it comes to facing my fears. There’s a lot new, but at least one thing remains the same. The Father is proving Himself over and over to be completely faithful and mindful of this particular daughter among sons.


Beautiful sky outside of the school!
Bumper cars in SEA are WAY better than the states. Also I got two massive bruises from slamming into the sides of the car. No regrets.
My first meal made in my house! #BreakfastFood












The road to get to my house.
Me. Learning how to ride a motor scooter. Highly recommend. Great tips. Awesome stache.
When your realize the toilet paper you bought is “super extra” and you completely agree with the label right now.