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Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Monday, December 16, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 15-25

30 Days of Thankfulness
Day 15: Free Flu Shot & Health
Today, I am thankful for a free flu shot on Wednesday and for NOT getting the flu! It was my first flu shot and I've heard too many people say something like, "Whenever I got a flu shot, I got the flu" or "I only got the flu when I got a flu shot." Titus got a flu shot a few weeks ago and didn't get the flu either, thank you God!

Day 16: Relaxing, Productive Saturdays with Pdai!
Today I am thankful for relaxing and productive Saturdays at home with pdai! Lots of nesting, homework, and writing baby shower thank you's.

Day 17: Safety in the Storm
Survived the storm.. sustained no damage.. celebrating with fried noodles. Thank you, Jesus! (Picture taken at our church.)
Day 18: A Surprise Paid Day-Off!
Today I am thankful for a surprise paid day-off, in a warm home with electricity, for all that was accomplished, and for the time spent with my husband!

Day 19: My Parents
Today I am thankful for parents who have been there whenever I have needed them... and still are! Parents who are willing to inconvenience themselves so I can borrow a car.
Day 20: TIME with my husband!
I am thankful for extra time spent with my husband this week!  My office hasn't had power for four days and I have been working only part-time in a makeshift office and part-time at home!
Day 21: Baby Movements
Today, I am thankful for baby movements! I am a blessed woman!  To feel a baby move inside of you... it's a wonderfully indescribable feeling.

Day 22: Healer...Teacher...Father
I've been wishing since early October that something annoying would stop happening. Earlier this week, I started praying about it.. and it's been gone for two days. Today, I am thankful that it's gone. I am thankful that Father God is HEALER and a gentle TEACHER. I am thankful for every moment that He opens my eyes to His goodness! Today, I am feeling overwhelmingly blessed!

Day 23: TIME with my husband!
Today, I am thankful for another day just me and Pdai!  We had such a good weekend just spending time together! Only *10* more weeks and our lives will never be the same!
Day 24: Brookhaven Family
Today, I am thankful for a church family that truly inspires me every time we are together! Thankful that it seems so natural to rejoice together and to mourn together. I was blessed to witness their love and service today! Thankful for those who have welcomed my husband into the Family. Thankful for those who have and are investing in us. Thankful for those who lead by example. Thankful for new church family and for those who have been around for years!

Day 25: Grandmom's Nativity Set
Today, I'm thankful for a possession and what it represents: Grandmom's nativity set. It not only represents the true meaning of Christmas, but for me it represents her passion for it! It represents a family heritage. As a little girl, she let me set up all the figurines; she made it a "special job." Wish I could at it up at her house just one more Christmas, but... feeling truly blessed to have at mine. Love you, Grandmom! Thankful for her faithfulness, her example, her teaching (with and without words), and for lasting memories.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 6-14

30 Days of Thankfulness
Day 6: A Warm Home
Today, I am thankful for a warm home to abide in.  When I was a sophomore and junior in college, I participated in weekly early morning prayer walks on campus. One bitterly cold January morning, I was overwhelmed with compassion for the homeless - for those who have no warm shelter in which to take refuge. On cold winter days, I often remember that moment and I am grateful for my home, for its warmth, for the blessing that I have never had to worry about where I will sleep and how I will stay warm and safe.

Day 7: Full Kitchen Cupboards
Today, like yesterday, I am increasingly thankful for how the Lord provides and has always provided.  I do not take for granted that I have food to eat.  Thank you, Father God, for providing for your humble children.

Day 8: Healthy Cravings & the Lord provides!
I neglected to have my regular glass if orange juice this morning, but when I got to work there was a bag of tangerines waiting for me to devour! The Lord provides!! Pregnant girl's best friend! Simple pleasures. Thankful for a pregnancy void of much morning sickness and for healthy cravings!  
Day 9: Sleep
I am thankful for a few more weeks of good sleep! I instinctively woke up at 6:00am this morning, remembered today is Saturday, and rolled over and slept until 10:00am! Probably won't be ANY mornings like that after Baby Girl arrives.

Day 10: Memories with my Cambodian family
Today, we are feeling sad that we could not attend our brother Chamrang's wedding in Cambodia, but I am feeling very thankful for the memories that we have already shared together.  I cherish the memories that we have already made together - family meals, watching the nephews play, going to the market for groceries, and family vacation at the beach - and I look forward to the many memories to be made together in the future! 
Day 11: Safety
Today, I'm thankful for a safe (albeit LONG) trip home from a meeting in Indianapolis. I got stuck behind either an accident or a breakdown and either way, I'm just thankful that the Lord was watching over me. God is so good to me! Creator, Sustainer, Protector, and Provider!
Day 12: Baby Girl Gifts

Today, I am thankful for all the ways that friends and family are already blessing us and Baby Girl with baby clothes and baby wipes and baby wash and baby elephant toys and so much more!

Day 13: Schooling
Today, I am thankful for the wisdom, strength, and determination that the Lord has given my husband to go back to school. Titus got a 98.8% in his first class and is in week two of his second class. REALLY proud of him!! Also, very thankful to the Lord for blessing us with Titus' FREE TUITION!

Day 14: The Lord's Promises
This morning, I woke up very heavy-hearted - burdened by the thought of Thanksgiving without Grandmom and burdened by all the devastation in the Philippines. Today, I am thankful for the Lord's promises.
*I will never leave you nor forsake you! (Deuteronomy 31:6)
*I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart... (John 14:27)
*I am with you always! (Matthew 28:29)


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 4 and 5

30 Days of Thankfulness
Day Four: Nurse Mom
Today, I am thankful that my mom is a nurse. Nurses make the best moms! That was especially true when I was little, but its still true today!
Day Five: Work
Today, I am thankful for my job. I don't love it everyday... and that's all I will say about that.. HOWEVER, it really is a huge blessing to our little, growing Romdenh family. It pays enough. I get a good amount of sick and vacation time as well as paid holidays. They are paying for Titus to go to school. The health insurance is good. I have made great friends in my office. My boss might be crazy, but he might just also be the perfect boss for me. With so many people not able to find work, I am really thankful for a good job at a really great place. PS: It sure beats the months that I worked three jobs (waitress, church janitor, and daycare worker) before Titus came to America!


Sunday, November 03, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 2 and 3

30 Days of Thankfulness
Day Two: Baby Movement
Today, I am thankful to feel Baby Girl moving!  It wasn't too long ago that I started to feel what is undeniably baby movement. For weeks, I didn't feel any thing, but I would see movements in my belly! I am so thankful for the precious reminders of the growing life inside me and for the resulting assurance that she's okay.
We love you already Baby Girl - so much - and can't wait to meet you in just 3 short months!

Day Three: Grandmom is in Heaven
Today, I'm thankful that Grandmom is in Heaven. I am missing her a lot today and nothing makes me feel better than knowing she is with God, the One she wholeheartedly gave her whole life to. She's praising Him with the angels! She has received her eternal reward! 
"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:23) ♥ ♥ ♥


Friday, November 01, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 1 - Marriage

Goodbye pumpkins, hello snowflakes! Goodbye candy corn, hello candy canes! Goodbye oranges and yellows, hello reds and greens! Time for Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, Christmas cookies, Christmas movies, Christmas carols, and everything Christmas!

While I might seem overly enthused with the Christmas season already, I cannot let the season of thankfulness slip by without daily recognizing the many many blessings in my life.  Today, November 1, is the first in a new blogging series: 30 Days of Thankfulness.

30 Days of Thankfulness
Day One: Marriage

Tuesday (October 29) was our second wedding anniversary.  The last two years have been both the hardest and the best years of my life!  My husband is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I cannot imagine life without him!
He makes me laugh.
He keeps me accountable.
He makes me feel safe.
He encourages me to dream big.
He believes in me.
He spoils me and helps me!
He cooks!
He cleans!
He loves me! He loves Jesus! He loves my family! I know all of this without a doubt.
He is my best friend and we have so much fun together!

Today, I am thankful for the gift that Titus is and for what the Lord has done in and through our marriage.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Twenty-Five Weeks

Baby Baby Girl is at 25.5 weeks developed now and is clearly evident outside my skin - there's no hiding her now!  Strangers have began to notice and many feel comfortable starting a conversation about my belly!  I've had to do a 2nd "weeding-out" of clothes that don't fit are not long enough to cover my entire belly!

Slowly, baby things have begun appearing around our small apartment - little reminders that our lives are going to change (and already have in some ways)!!  I often catch myself dreaming about our first few weeks together... wishing that maternity leave could last forever!!

*feels very good most days!! Some back pains, but no real complaints!  I have really been blessed with a very easy pregnancy!  (Praying the third trimester, delivery, and early stages of motherhood are as easy!)
*feels like I cannot drink another ounce of water!  I have a 59oz. jug that I try to finish twice each day.
*is OVERWHELMED!  There is still so much to be done and Baby is due to arrive in less than 15 weeks! :O
*wants to have another ultrasound!!  I'm starting to doubt that Baby Girl is a baby girl and not a baby boy!  (Is this normal??)
*is hot pretty much all the time.
*finally gained weight before the last doctor's appointment!
*finally finished Baby's registry (Target and Wal-Mart) - a huge accomplishment in my book!
*has been enjoying using a fetal doppler to hear Baby's heartbeat at home!
*sees Baby moving more than feels Baby moving.  Neither happens regularly and its always very special when it does!
*has more goals and dreams than energy!

Baby Girl:
*is approximately 13.5 inches long and weights about 1.5 pounds
*has hair!  (I wonder if it's a head full of dark hair...)
*is already very well-loved and admired by many!

*is very careful to monitor momma's activities and feedings, ensuring the best for Baby.
*does not want to talk about baby names.
*will be an awesome stay-at-home dad when momma goes back to work!

Loving Baby,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Sweet Baby Girl

We had our gender-revealing ultrasound on September 4th and....

It was... surprising news, but we are very excited!  A little girl!  It's so good to finally know that I have a daughter living and growing inside me!  It's so fun to finally be able to pin little girl nursery ideas, register for dolls, dresses, and purple* things, and dream about all things princess!  For five months I have been so anxious to get my mind and my hands busy planning and preparing for our little one - son or daughter - and now that we know she'll be a princess, I can finally start dreaming and getting things done!

(Contrary to the picture above, I'm actually dreaming of all things purple NOT PINK!)

I'm 22 weeks now and feel like there is still so much left to do in only 18 more weeks! Eighteen more weekends including the busyness that is holidays!  I inherited a dresser from my grandmom's estate, so Baby Girl now has a place to keep her things as well as a changing table!

I decided long ago - boy or girl - to have an elephant nursery and thankfully, husband consented.  I found the nursery set below but... sad sad SAD, this design is discontinued!  The search continues and I haven't been happy with anything else that I have found... but I will find it!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013


My husband turns 31 today!

Look how young he was when we met and started dating! (Almost 5 years ago)

This man is such a blessing in my life! I am a lucky lucky woman and I try to remember that every day!

He is a giver.
He is a hard-worker.
He is a leader, a shepherd, and a teacher.
He is a player of Scrabble, ping pong, and Nirtz; a lover of books, movies, traveling, and Asian food.

In his 31st year of life, he's going back to school and he's going to be a daddy!

"God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face
and make you prosper
(Numbers 6:24-26, MSG)

"This is the day
which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it
(Psalm 118:24, NASB)
Happy birthday Bong Samlange,
Oun Jewel

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

From our arms to His

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.
Psalm 116:15 

At 1:00 this morning, September 3rd, 2013, Grandmom earned her eternal award - one she has truly given her life to/for.  No more suffering. No more pain. Walking with Jesus. Meeting her Lord. From our arms to His...

 I spent Sunday and Monday by Grandmom’s bedside, holding her hand, reading her Scripture, counting her breaths, and praying her into sweet Jesus’ arms. For almost 25 years, I was blessed to have the world’s best Grandmom – a true godly example, a woman of prayer and God’s Word, dedicated to His service. If everyone had a mother/grandmother like my family has been blessed with, the world would be a better place. There would be more kindness, generosity, and Christlikeness. There would be less hunger, war, and anger. I hope my children and grandchildren will have at least half the amount of admiration for Titus and I do as I have for my Granddad and Grandmom Ache.

Staring into Grandmom’s sleeping eyes, I remembered the good times – times when Grandmom was stronger, when I was younger, the special things that she would do, the ordinary things that she would do in a special way. Sitting beside her bed, reading portions of the books of John and Psalms, I vividly remembered her sitting next to my bed, reading to me – stories about little boys and girls in Africa.

To be continued…
Cherishing her legacy,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Precious Grandmom

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know that my grandmom is very fragile and often very sick.  Two weeks ago, she had a check-up with the doctor regarding a serious illness and surgery she endured in May. The next day, the doctor called my mom with grandmom's terminal diagnosis - fast-growing cancer in her liver and one lung.

She is truly a woman of the Word, of prayer, and admired by many! Grandmom was once a missionary in the bushes of Sierra Leone, Africa and although her two feet haven't been outside a few home states since her return from Africa, her influence has circled the globe, and her prayers have touched every nation. For many, many years she has financially supported almost as many missionaries and ministries as I have books on my shelf, including Samaritan's Purse, World Missionary Press, missionaries from the Christian Missionary Alliance Church, World Gospel Mission, the Wesleyan Church, and more.

I'm selfish to want her here any longer, enduring more. She wants to be with Jesus! She told me on the night of her diagnosis "my suffering will be short, but eternity will be long!"

For more than 10 years, Grandmom has been writing her testimony and life story in book form.  We praise the Lord that He gave her the strength and sight to finish her final revisions!!!  Once in printed form, this book will certainly be a gem for our family - a book to be cherished long after Grandmom is gone.  In it, she talks about life as a missionary, a pastor's wife, a mother, precious moments with Jesus, and life since Granddad passed away almost 20 years ago. I can't wait to read it and I pray that I will never take her written words for granted. 

Thank you for continuing to pray for Grandmom and that she will be with the Lord before she suffers much more.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Cherishing her legacy,

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Much needed update and big announcement!!!

Months of big life happenings have become Romdenh family history since I last blogged.
I'll try to catch you up on all of these happenings in the next few weeks, but it's going to be a challenge to rekindle this old habbit (as with any.)  My personal goal is to post two blogs each week! :)  I don't just blog for you, although you inspire me the most, but for myself too, and maybe even for my children and grandchildren to come!  I have laughed, cried, and smiled as I have read through old journal entries on this blog, and I really want to keep that going!!

Today's big announcement is pictured below, and my goal is to have another before the end of the week!

Onesie reads: "Cambodian American"
Onesie reads: "Made in America with Cambodian parts"

We are very excited and I am feeling very blessed to have a pretty easy pregnancy so far!  Three or four weeks were pretty rough with morning sickness, but I'm now at 141/2 weeks and feeling great! 

Progress: 14.5 weeks! Second trimester!
Craving: Orange juice!!
Avoiding: Garlic and coffee!!
Baby is: 3 inches long and weighs nearly an ounce. Baby has fingerprints and gender is becoming aparent!
Mom is: Excited! Praying for a health baby and easy pregnancy and delivery! Anxious for the next ultrasound! Energized! Trying to re-organize the house! Planning an elephant-themed nursery!
Dad is: Excited! Wants a boy!!!!!!! Anxious for the next ultrasound! Very protective of Mom! Praying for a healthy baby!

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord."
1 Samuel 1:27,28 ♥ ♥ ♥

Already loving Baby,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Giveaway extended...

Dale and Carrie have extended their adoption fundraiser giveaway, so I'm extending mine too! All donations must be made by midnight on Thursday, April 18, and the winners will be announced on Friday!

What you need to do:
1. Visit and donate any dollar amount using their PayPal button in the right column.
2. Leave a comment on Carrie's blog indicating the donated $ amount, and whether you shared the giveaway details on Facebook or your own blog.
3. Leave a comment on MY blog indicating the donated $ amount, and whether you shared the giveaway details on Facebook or your own blog. On my blog, each $ gives you 1 entry and each share (Facebook or blog) gives you 3 additional entries.

Remember, not only are your dollars changing a life and a family forever, but you could win one of these:

Monday, April 01, 2013

Andrea's Big Giveaway!

^^ These hearts love Andrea! ^^

My sweet friends Dale and Carrie are raising funds to bring home this sweet little girl, Andrea, whom God has called them to adopt.  Carrie has been working with children and adults with disabilities for ten years.  A few months ago, God called Dale and Carrie to more than loving children through a career and they have opened their home and family to a precious child with Down Syndrome. Andrea will be truly blessed in a life-changing and eternal way to become the fifth family member in the Bradford family. In talking to Dale and Carrie, I know that Andrea is already deeply loved by both her God-given parents and her little God-given sister and brother!

Dale and Carrie's financial goal is within sight - only a few thousand dollars away! If you can give just $5, $10, or $25 to help them reach their goal, you could win a Kindle Fire HD, a $25 Build-a-Bear gift card, or a beautiful hand-made jewelry set! Visit the Bradford's Adoption Journey HERE ( to give and learn more.


If you donate to Dale and Carrie (via the PayPal button on their blog) AND you comment on my blog, then you will also be entered in a drawing for one or two or three of these:

What you need to do:
1. Visit and donate any dollar amount using their PayPal button in the right column.
2. Leave a comment on Carrie's blog indicating the donated $ amount, and whether you shared the giveaway details on Facebook or your own blog.
3. Leave a comment on MY blog indicating the donated $ amount, and whether you shared the giveaway details on Facebook or your own blog. On my blog, each $ gives you 1 entry and each share (Facebook or blog) gives you 3 additional entries.

**In two weeks (April 15th,) I will update my blog announcing the winners and giving directions on how the winners can select/receive their prize(s).**

Thanks for supporting Dale and Carrie and helping to change Andrea's life forever!

Love, love, love,

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Praise be to God!

1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Khmer Family

Meet my beloved Cambodian family, the bloodline of my pdai (husband):

Pa and Ma. Chamnan and Sokly. A beautiful couple who have raised six, strong young men.  Pa is an engineer and currently works as a "project manager" in the rice fields in the province. Ma stays at home and raises our nephews. One mealtime it was mentioned that I want a Khmer name (that my family can pronounce and remember!) Pa chose Leakena, which means "girl with an almost perfect attitude."  They are beautiful people and I think about them all the time, always praying that they will recognzie their need for Jesus Christ- Savior and Redeemer.  I'm anxious to see how our relationships grow and develop in the years ahead. :)
My nephews! On the left is Chamroat, age 7, and on the right is Reaksmey, age 5. (Both much smaller than your average 7- or 5-year-old child in America.) They are adorable... Seriously, so cute!  We visited them at home twice before going on vacation together. At the beach, Chamroat warmed up to me, but Reaksmey never really overcame his shyness. I really enjoyed watching the boys play and interact with their uncles!  The boys LOVED the beach! While we were in the sand or water, they were all smiles, all the time!  In the days ahead, Chamroat and Reaksmey will be starting school for the very first time! We are excited to help provide this opportunity and to see what the future holds for them!

My brothers! When I married my husband, I gained five more bong-tlay (brothers-in-law) - Chamraun (28), Chamnieng (26,), Chamrong (24), Chamnong (20), and Chamnob (16). Pictured with me above are Chamrong, Chamnob, and Chamrong.  While we were in Cambodia and on family vacation, I especially enjoyed getting to know these guys! I miss them today!

They were all very welcoming. They seem very close. They are all funny like their oldest brother, my husband. I could hardly understand any conversation that took place during our time together (HATE THAT LANGUAGE BARRIER!) but I can see that they all love their motherly deeply, have great respect for their oldest, and are curious about their new sister-in-law. I often find myself thinking about them and wondering what they really think, how they really feel, always praying that they will come to know the Lord. I'm anxious to see how our relationships develop and grow in the future... and I'm anxious to see this family grow more!

At home, the Romdenh family minus Pa and Chamraun

Chamnieng and wife, Bopha, with sons Chamroat and Reaksmey

Sad good-byes at the airport

Missing them,