Wednesday, September 27, 2017

New Normal

I was trying to figure out why it has been hard to think of things to share with you, recently, and a friend of mine here in Cambodia posted about life being ordinary. You can read it here, so good for the reality of life, I think overseas and in your home country. Just about the truth of living "normal" life. It also sparked some of why I have struggled to think of things to share, and pinpoint the many things God is teaching me. (some of it could also be that I just got out of the habit of blogging so then it's harder for me to think of what to share)

Though the first few months here everything was new and exciting, it is now our normal. So when I think about daily achievements or stories they are very similar to what they would have been living in the US. I mean I grocery shop, cook, do dishes, (though these look different) teach preschool to Amirah, deal with 2 year old tantrums, deciphering whether or not nap time days are really over...and trying to help keep my family's inside and outside time, screen time, and book time, and family time and friend time balanced. So much is just about normal life, and living it in a way that glorifies Christ in the day to day normal, isn't this the same anywhere we live?

The biggest thing that is new is trying to build new friendships. I forgot in the 10 years we lived in Durango, how much time, effort and energy is put into building new friendships and doing life with new people. The hardest part about living here in Phnom Penh is missing the people who we did life with for so long. Though it takes time, and can be exhausting it is so much fun, and refreshing. God has blessed us with wonderful relationships here. If I think about it too much, the great people we have met here and love here it brings tears to my eyes. (much like when I think about our dear friends and family in the US) Many of them are already so dear to my heart, and I cannot wait to go deeper with these friends.

Even in making new friends, it is kind of normal for our family. We have made most of these friendships just doing what we always do. Being involved in and attending church. We are a part of  a small group, our kids go to kids programs, and we participate in church activities outside of the "normal service time". Then any friends we haven't made at church have been from playing outside, playgroup, or relying on our beloved tuk tuk drivers. (these guys really are a huge blessing to us) It it is so fun how just living life as a family with little kids provides so many connections. (Language School has also provided many friendships, and we love getting to know the people we are learning Khmer with and from, our teachers rock!)

Overall, everything now seems normal. (I am sure I will see the differences when we have visitors soon, and I share our normal with them...) but for now I am enjoying the feeling of things finally feeling normal, even if it makes it hard to know what exactly to share here. I am so happy to be here in Cambodia, with our new people. (Sometimes in a tuk tuk or at church my eyes fill with tears because I am so happy God chose us to be here right now.)

Our God is good, He is faithful, trustworthy, and kind, He sees you, and if you are going through a transition in life, longing for the normal again, I will say that God sees you, hears you, and is with you. Your new normal will come. You will miss things from the old normal, but look for how God answers specific prayers you had for this new normal. Don't miss the little things in the hurt, the transition or the grief, that God placed there to remind you He is there, He is faithful, and He will see you through this as well.

He has never failed, and He won't start now. What a great living and active God we serve!


The last few months have been crazy! We have been so busy, and honestly what I've struggled with what to write about on here. I get amazing ideas on a tuk tuk, or between class hours at language school, or even waiting for Amirah at dance class, then I would finally get my computer out and I couldn't remember even one idea... I have one post I hope to have up next week, and another I started months ago right after we moved here, I hope to finish soon too. So there is more coming!!!

However this post I just wanted to give a quick update on our family... We are moving right a long! On Monday Amirah started Pre-K and we really enjoying our first week of home school this school year. I just wrapped up level 3 and 4 full time at our language school, and I am working hard on learning to read and write Khmer. Chris is back at full time language school now, and I am back doing part time. We are loving understanding and using Khmer more and more.

Just this week I had so much fun at the market because I hadn't gone in a while because Chris had been going while he was being the primary parent and I was focusing on school. When I was shopping in the market the sellers I have come to know, were excited to talk and catch up on life and I finally knew enough Khmer to do just that! :)

Our EMI office is moving forward and the need here is more and more obvious every month that passes, with ministries and places stating that they wish we were already up and running so they could give us work. In the last month or so I have began working with a friend of mine here to help with teacher training at her school! I am so excited about that! I love teaching, and I am getting to help implement some of my favorite things from teaching in a "typical" classroom. Like social emotional learning, center work, group work, and student centered type learning! SO fun! I have a feeling volunteering here will also be a wonderful place for using and seeing the value of my learning to speak Khmer as I gain enough for it be useful there also.

All of these fun things, and cool things and yet so much of our life is just "normal" too. Like caring for the girls, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. I was laughing to myself about how normal everything seems now and how as we get some of our first visitors they will probably find our new normal unlike what they think of as normal. But because things seem normal it is hard to think of things worth sharing. More on that in another post! I am planning to post here 2-4 times a month so you can subscribe so you don't miss any if you would like!

 Searching for leaves during Pre-K today. Then leaf art work. I love teaching the girls and talking about how awesome our Creator is. :)