September 15, 2012



it's been a difficult last while.

i lost my grandpa.  i stood in the hospital room and held his hand.  i sang hymns of faith and farewell with my aunts and uncles.  we were all so prepared.  still, it was hard.  but we were prepared to say goodbye to him.  i'm thankful for that.  i said the things i needed to say.  he knew how much i loved him; he knew that he shaped so much of my life into what it stands to be.  he saw the tears and the love that glowed on the faces of his children.  we were so happy for him, so happy for him to shake off the frail confines of his body and return to that heavenly home he knows so well.  papa and i hang out sometimes, when things are really hard, or when i just need some peace and extra guidance.  we can love each other more perfectly now than we could when he was on earth, where his mind and brilliance was suppressed by dementia.  he continues his great work in heaven, and i know that he looks after our missionaries.

then was rachel.

she left us so early--only twenty-one years old.  no one could've anticipated it.  we thought things were getting better, but her mind was warped by depression.  no one can understand the pain and sadness that came with losing rachel.  rachel was the most kind human being i've ever known to live.  she had time, love, and patience for everyone.  she was so good to me and we were close.  and i feel like it's unfair that she was ripped away without understanding how much everyone adored her.  her brain just wouldn't let her.  it's selfish but i wish she stayed just long enough for me to let her know how much i love her and how important she is to me.  but she didn't.  and i am burdened with "what if" and "i wish" and "i could've" and "i didn't."  rachel's passing has devastated me.  i'm trying hard to pick up because i know that's what she'd want.  sometimes it's really hard to see the big picture.

September 6, 2012


place me in the rolling mountains of northern thailand and leave me be along the dirt road by the stream.  let me wander a village or walk alongside an elephant with my camera slung around my neck.  leave me while I sit in the rice fields as the sun sets and the villagers remove their straw hats and walk back to their homes.  if I could be anywhere in the world, i’d be returned to thailand, where life is simple and the land is untouched and my spirit is whole.