cambodia trip: an update

I’ve got three reasons for writing this post.

1.) I’ve been tempted several (hundred) times in the past few months to tone down the honesty/vulnerability on my blog. Nope.
2.) I’m declaring this blog post (it won’t be the only one) my Deuteronomy (something to refer to in the near–or not–future as a reminder of all God has done and will continue to do).
3.) I love it when y’all share in our excitement (and pray for us), so I want to keep you in the loop.

When I think about our Cambodia trip, I think one of two things:

1.) I am so stinking excited about this/can’t believe it’s finally going to happen!
2.) How on earth is this all going to work out??

(If you are a Lover of Lists, this post will be right up your alley.)

Here are the amazing things that have happened since I first announced we were going back to Cambodia:

1.) We sold our house and got a big tax return. Unbelievable God-story here.
2.) We paid off thousands of dollars of medical bills and a chunk of Gabe’s school bill.
3.) We’re almost to the point where we can pay all of our monthly bills on time.

Here are the not-so-fun things that have come up:

1.) Our van over-heated to the tune of a $650 repair bill.
2.) And Gabe drove his 2-door Civic (that we’ve been cramming into for the past 6 weeks while we saved up the $ to fix our van) to pick it up today and left his car because it needs a new timing belt. Sigh. But SO HAPPY to have our good ol’ van back.

Here’s what needs paid off for us to be 100% debt-free:

1.) Orthodontist: $1700.
2.) Gabe’s school bill: $3600.
3.) One last medical bill: $335.

(It’s so close I can taste it!!)

We have $1930 in our Cambodia Fund (enough for approximately 1 plane ticket). Here’s where that $ has come from:

1.) Girls and I put all our b-day/Christmas $ in.
2.) Half of the profits from The Dancing Elephant since March 3.
3.) Several gifts–from $2 to $110–from amazing friends who’ve said things like, “So excited you’re going back to Cambodia!” And “We love you!” And “Cambodia ever closer!”

The optimistic (and also trusting) side of me says:

1.) This is so stinking exciting!
2.) This is really going to happen!
3.) Thank you, Jesus!!!

The pessimistic (read: doubting) side of me says:

1.) How are we ever going to get enough money in time?
2.) How on earth do I find the time to be a good wife/mom/teacher/friend/vegan chef AND love our neighbors AND write blog posts/e-books AND make enough money writing/editing to save up for our trip?
3.) We don’t have health insurance. What if something goes wrong? What if Gabe starts to get worse again instead of better?
4.) What if our vehicles die for good?
5.) What if if if if if if?

So. In light of all that, this is my plan:

1.) Trust God.
2.) Don’t worry.
3.) Work hard.
4.) But also rest.
5.) Stop feeling guilty when I can’t be all things to all people.
6.) Learn as much Khmer as I can.
7.) Dream BIG!
8.) BE EXCITED about going back to CAMBODIA!!

10 thoughts on “cambodia trip: an update

  1. Sharon

    I think your plan at the end is great.

    I may have had the same car as Gabe! Mine was white, 2004, 2 door. Looked sporty, if I do say so myself. And I loved it soooo much. But, once baby #1 was on the way and I had a friend (and her 6 mo old) visiting from out of town and realized how nearly impossible it would be to get a baby in a rear-facing seat in the back (and a stroller in the trunk – lol!) more than once or twice in my lifetime, we decided to sell it and get my current car. Which I’m grateful for due to more room, more storage space AND because it has 4WD, which is a must where I currently live.

  2. Ashley

    Have you looked into Medicaid through I would think in your financial situation for a family of 5, you should definitely qualify!

  3. Denise Dilley

    SO excited that you’ve saved that much in such a short time for Cambodia!!!! God is totally faithful, and it’s so fun to watch what He’s doing in your family’s life. 🙂

    Totally understand the “what if” side of things. I have trust issues as well. Which God seems to think is funny since He told me a month ago to take a big giant leap of faith and lead 2 teams on mission trips this summer to the tune of $1350. (This also includes me leaving my bi-polar, anti-social, already freaking out husband, for 8 days as I go.) Yay! 😉

  4. Amy

    I love this post. Can’t even tell you how excited I am about Cambodia, your life and being so close to being debt free you can taste it. Love you so much. xoxox

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