full speed ahead!!

Gabe had his yearly check-up with his cardiologist this week, and he said everything looks great. “Full speed ahead to Cambodia!” were his words, and we received them with great relief and joy.

Time’s a tickin’ and, now that the bedbugs have met their demise (We had our heat treatment yesterday. Thank you, Jesus!), we can focus our efforts on this Move to Cambodia thing. Which includes lots of Making the Most of Our Last Months with Neighbors, Friends, and Family things.

Exciting. Tiring. Bittersweet.

I find myself shaking my head and wondering if this is all for real, or if I’m going to wake up one morning and find out it’s not. We’ve waited so long (coming up on three years) for this dream to come true, and now that it has? Eek! A little bit of panic. Twinges of sadness. Wondering if it’s all going to turn out okay. Wondering if we really want to leave our comfort zone after all.

And I’ll tell you who’s the most Gung-Ho Cambodia! in our family right now. Mr. Gabe. He’s sending e-mails and making phone calls and doing research and keeping lists of websites in Evernote and making business/ministry connections.

And I sometimes just stare at him in awe and pinch myself and hug him.

When we tell people about Cambodia, he’s usually the one to do most of the talking and vision-casting and explaining how we’re going to take our time and learn and wait for God to show us how he wants to use us over there.

I can’t even.

The Dancing Elephants are making cards like they’re going out of style. (Buy some here!) The girls are squeezing in as many games of neighborhood kickball as humanly possible. Today we spent a few hours putting our apartment back together (we had to remove a lot of stuff before they jacked up the temps to 160 in here) and purging. Yes, purging.

We’re giving away lots of things and finding a few things we can sell. We’re working on a new home for Atlas, our tortoise (anyone want to adopt him?). We’re hanging out with neighbors and getting ready to start tutoring again in two weeks. We’re scheming and dreaming up banners we want my sister to make for us before we go (Banners by Bethany is back in business!).

We’re praying about having people support us while we’re there and figuring out what all we need before we leaveย (suitcases, shots, new passports for the girls, some plane tickets, maybe some health insurance, Gabe’s meds, shoes for girls with big feet that might be hard to find in Cambodia, etc). Hustling with freelance jobs to pay off Ava’s orthodontist and the last $3500 of Gabe’s school bill.

And sometimes I struggle with doubt and fear. It feels like we’re in a groove here, like we’re needed, important. Will we be needed and important in Cambodia? (I don’t know, but guess what–that’s not what matters.)

Sometimes I get scared that the culture shock will be too much, that it will be too hard to get around and whatever over there. That I will cry myself to sleep every night, that I’ll never be able to speak Khmer.

Sometimes I’m afraid everyone will forget us and when we come back to visit, they’ll just look at us blankly.

Sometimes I’m afraid of everything we’ll miss out on here while we’re there.


But thenย God just whispers in my ear, “I’ve got this.”

And Gabe whispers in my other ear, “God’s got this.”

And I can take a big breath and relax. I can Keep Calm and Purge On. I can rest and trust and work hard and make memories and look ahead to an exciting future.

God’s got this. And also? He’s going with me. Him and my four favorite people on the planet.

Let’s do this thing.

24 thoughts on “full speed ahead!!

  1. Sarah

    I have read your posts for a long time but this is the first time i have commented. I wish you all the best in Cambodia! I hope you continue your wonderful posts from time to time to let us all know what you all are up to. You all are so brave!

  2. sharon meekins

    Marla! I just read this and I know you know how thrilled I am for you and your family. I look forward with great joy to see how the Lord is going to continue to use your family for His glory in Cambodia! I still hold out hope that I will get to meet you one day! Maybe in Cambodia?!?! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love you and your family so much!

  3. Gaylene

    I am so excited for you all. Sending many prayers heavenward for all of you. Your are right, Gabe is right: God has this!

  4. Jen H.

    You guys are such an encouragement in the “trust God with everything” department (and the love others department, and the live simply department, and the eat better to live better department…. I could go on.)

    I love you Cousin and I’m so excited to watch your journey unfold!!

  5. Mallory

    Yay!! So excited for you all! I know a certain girl who lives close to Cambodia and would love to meet you in person! We’ll have to make a plan once you get here and settle in a bit. =)

  6. Rachele

    Marla – if you need contacts in Cambodia, one of our pastors (who was born and raised there & escaped) has MANY. He goes back every year (I went once). He has helped plant many churches (especially with former Communist leaders)

  7. Sharon

    Thanks for being real, Marla. And, HOORAY for Cambodia! So excited for you all still. No one is gonna forget you. I haven’t ever even met you in person, but I’m certain I won’t forget you and I’m also certain you are even more dazzling in person. Therefor, no one who has met you in person could possibly forget you, no matter how much time passes before you are back to visit.

      1. Ruth C

        That’s not true! Don’t let her fool you. She’s amazing both online & in person. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So excited for you all, Marla!! God does have this & it’ll be amazing through the ups and the downs.

      2. Sharon

        Well, the only way to settle this difference of opinion will be for me to meet you in person! Is Colorado on the way to Cambodia? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Jen H.

          Can I crash the party if it ever happens? The three of us together would have so much fun talking and being really tall together.

          (Miss you Sharon!)

          1. Sharon

            Agree with Marla, of course you may join us. In fact it’s not just a “you may” it’s more of a “you MUST!!” I miss you too, Jen!

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