pinch me.

I just woke up. In Cambodia. How is this even a thing?? So unreal.

I’m hoping to take some time each day (or every other) to blog my thoughts. At least for these first two weeks Pam & Britt are with us. But, I’ll warn you now. I’m going to be honest. I’m going to share how I’m reeeeally feeling.

It may not be pretty.

Right now? Tired. Happy. Also knots in my stomach. Literally pinching myself (ouch). Nothing seems real. I’m in a bed in a guesthouse I left three years ago. We’re in Cambodia. We made it safely. The flights weren’t bad at all.

We have every piece of luggage in perfect condition. (Thank you, Jesus!)

We are safe, sound. We were sooooo warmly welcomed after 11pm at the airport.


I’m fighting moments of heart-racing panic. What have we done? Why did we leave everyone we love and come here? Who do we think we are? What kind of crazy game is this? Are we insane? Are we going to be a complete nuisance? Did God really tell us to come here? How are we going to figure everything out? How are we going to navigate this life?


This is my third trip to Cambodia, and I’ve felt this way every single time at the beginning. Must. Push. Through. Must cling to God. Must trust him, know he loves me.


This is the word I prayed over and over and over again the past two days (or however long it’s been since we left home). I prayed it a couple hundred times on the icy roads from my parents’ house to the Columbus airport. I prayed it as we checked luggage and said good-byes and unexpectedly checked carry-on bags all the way to Cambodia. I prayed it every time I felt nervous about what was ahead. I prayed it a lot as we landed in Phnom Penh.

And I’m praying it this morning. Immanuel. God with us. God, be with us. I have tears in my eyes, and I’m feeling a million things, and I need you desperately.

We are so loved and so blessed and the luckiest people in the whole entire world. Please help us to do this well. Help us to love others well. Help us to share the light of Jesus well. Please help us to bring the kingdom of God to the kingdom of Cambodia well.

Please help us show Britt & Pam an amazing time. A fun time. A meaningful time. A life-changing time. May time slow down, because I don’t want them to ever leave.

And please give Nina an amazing birthday. She’s NINE today. (I can’t even.)

Go before us, Jesus. Go with us. We praise you. We love you. Amen.

11 thoughts on “pinch me.

  1. Pingback: four days under our belts! | The Taviano Family

  2. allison

    It sounds like you are feeling reasonable, normal things. You’re doing an enormous thing. Enormous feelings will be part of that. Breathe.

  3. Sharon


    I’m thrilled that you will be totally honest in your blog posts. Who would want it any other way??? Not me!

    Praying with you today. I found it very interesting that you’ve felt the same way each time you’ve arrived in Cambodia. Thankful that you have the past experiences to remind you of God’s faithfulness.

    I am just so happy that you all are there. A dream, or rather, a CALLING, come true! Yay!!!

  4. McKenzie

    for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭13-15‬ NIV)

    Chris and I are reading a book about the ministry if serving as a sender, stages of physical/emotional/psychological/spiritual life, and how to support missionaries (essentially, that is you guys!! whether you would call yourselves that or not! 🙂 ) We are praying for you and for God to supply all of your needs, even those needs you didn’t know about!
    You guys have some pretty beautiful feet, I have to say 😉

  5. Sue Oda

    All is Well! You have left “your” play book behind in Ohio. Now, you will live by God’s play book and only He can direct because He is the only one who knows it. You can no longer be the director, so relax, trust and enjoy the play as it unfolds! Exciting days are ahead.

    I will be starting support this month.

  6. Jennifer

    Marla you are an awesome woman of God. Your life has been an inspiration to me. You also have been a great witness to my family. God will surely take care of you and your family. I pray that Jesus will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. God will supply all of your needs according to his riches and Glory by Christ Jesus. Be Strong and Corageous! We Love you and miss you.
    God Bless the Taviano’s!

  7. krisha

    I was just telling the boys this afternoon about your family and your move to Cambodia. I told them about all the amazing things He has done to get you there and I can’t wait to hear about the amazing things He’s going to do through your family in Cambodia. we will be praying for your family.God bless

  8. Jennifer Bale

    Happy Birthday, Nina!!
    Praying for the transition!

    You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. (‭Psalm‬ ‭59‬:‭17‬ NIV)

  9. Krysten

    Happy birthday Nina!
    Happy everything, Tavianos!
    Unanswered questions, a million feelings, it’s all good. This makes my heart happy. Love you and praying!

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