Sunday, June 24, 2012


This past week was a wonderful week. We spent time together getting recharged, refocused, and encouraged. It was wonderful being around old friends and meeting new ones.

Driving on the wrong side of the road.

The famous Kuta Beach.

I love these divas.

Coffee!!! We had a few cups a day.



These gods and their offerings. So sad.

People's offerings to gods.

I had so much fun with these ladies.

Yoga on the beach.

Low tide.

Enjoying the sand and pretty sunset.

So. Much. Fun.

This sunset was INCREDIBLE!!

These kinds of things were everywhere.

Another pretty sky.


Enjoying some karaoke.

Pretty sunrise.

This was hilarious. Crazy music, crazy moves.

Love these ladies.

Rach right before she left for the airport.

Love this diva.

The most beautiful sunrise I've ever seen. I watched it like a movie out of the plane window.

It was incredible.

So sad.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you." Psalm 84:11-12

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6

my 23rd birthday

The most awkward year of my life.. on repeat.

That’s sometimes how I feel about this age. It’s an age where you’re just out of college, but not yet to the “next phase” of life. I’m single, living in a foreign mega-city, and learning so much. 

I am so thankful for this year and how it has and will shape the rest of my life. My perspectives have changed as I have grown to love a new part of the world. Asia. Who would have ever thought I’d be living 12 hours ahead of the people I love the most? 

My life this last year has been a testament to the Lord’s faithfulness, protection, sufficiency, and His ability to sustain His children.

I have learned to tell the difference between many people groups of what were formally known as “Asians.” I have learned that short 10 verse gospel stories can change lives. I have learned that relationships are what matter most in life. I have learned that there is nothing like “home.” I have learned that the Lord’s mercy is never-ending. I have learned that increased faith is a gift of grace from the Lord. I have learned that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I have learned that joy is not found in circumstances, but rather in the Lord and in the truth that can set us all free. I have learned that the world is so much bigger than I ever thought it was… at the same time, the international community is a tight bunch of people. I have learned that being in a foreign land requires grace and peace from the Lord. I’ve learned (or actually just confirmed) that adventure is better with your best friend by your side. And.. I have learned that country music isn’t all that bad- I’m starting to like it again. 

My birthday was wonderful. It landed on a Saturday this year… so I just continued with my normal Saturday Life Group. The girls showed up at my house with balloons, confetti, cake, and an awesome birthday poster. We had a great time celebrating together, and we ate pancit and cake. They definitely made me feel special. 

I also enjoyed getting so many Birthday cards! Thanks to everyone who sent one. Mail is one of my very favorite things.

I love these ladies.

They got me a cake! ... And, it was delicious.

So awesome.

Beautiful Paw.

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." Psalm 16:5-6

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

banuae and batad

Traveling overseas can be a bit more complicated than we might be used to in the States. It may not be as organized. It may not be as comfortable. It may not be as typical… but hey, it’s an experience! And, that’s exactly what Marianne and I just shared- an overseas travel experience. If you're interested- keep reading.

The last week she was here, we decided that we wanted to at least visit one more place. It would be a quick trip… maybe even a day trip. 

We started a little research online of different bloggers who had traveled in the Philippines. They would leave comments about different bus liners that we could use. Marianne gathered all of the numbers, and I started calling. At the end of 9 different calls with no answer… we had to take matters into our own hands and visit the places individually. We packed our backpack for the trip, and left on the hunt. After the rejection of 9 different bus stations on our side of town that told us that Banuae was too far… we got in a taxi to jet to the other side of town to some of the stations we had researched online. After 3 more stations and almost giving up… we found one night bus leaving for Banuae. Hallelujah. 5 hours and 12 bus stations later… we had tickets in hand and we had a seat at the shed waiting on the bus to leave. 

And, to think that was just the first part of the adventure. We loaded the bus liner and quickly realized that it needed a new name- the Arctic Circle liner. I’m pretty sure that bus could have successfully transported ice. We were freezing cold all 11 hours. Upon arriving in Banuae, there were about 20 people outside the bus wanting us to hire them to be our guide. After meeting an awesome couple earlier, we had already decided to forfeit the guide and hike ourselves. We rented another jeepney with the couple to take us to the rice terraces. 

Little did we know that we'd be going on an almost 9 hour hike! My calves are still sore as I am writing. These was probably the most difficult mountains I've ever hiked. It was probably a combination of a few hours of "bus sleep," a cereal bar for breakfast, and a swollen foot from a nasty bite on my big toe... along with the fact that we basically crossed over two mountains before we reached the waterfall. 

At the end, we both agreed it was totally worth the hike... but goodness- we were tired! Needless to say, we got our exercise in for the day! 

After the hike, we drove back from the rice terraces... took a shower at a local hostel, and within an hour we were back on the bus bound for Manila. (We also found a blanket to share for the trip home!)

Talk about a quick, crazy, awesome trip. It was an experience of a lifetime. We'll be talking about it and laughing about it forever.

We used the window curtain to cover up the air conditioning blowing on us.

This picture is probably blurry because our hands were shaking from shivering so much.

The awesome couple we met... and the jeep we rented to the rice terraces in Batad.

Just a few of the rice terraces.

The beginning of the hike! We had no clue what we were getting ourselves into.

This thing was at least 80 feet. It was unreal.. I've never seen a waterfall so tall and powerful.

This was the most exciting part of the hike... taking a dip by the waterfall. The water was so cold. It was basically the equivalent of icing our muscles for the hike back up.

This was awesome.

Mountains that we were hiking on!
Rice Terraces. These things were unbelievable.

"The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace." Psalm 29:10-11

"Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." Psalm 34:5