A New Birth Year Day 1: Say “Hello” to 24.

A New Birth Year Day 1: Say “Hello” to 24.

Yes, it’s official. As of 10:21pm on October 12, I am now 24. Yes, it hasn’t happened in California yet. Am I still considered 24? 

Wow, 24. Think about that.

In these years, I’ve had 18 years of education, I’ve flown, sailed, walked, and road-tripped around the world. I’ve lived in three countries including 3 Californian cities. I’ve played, acted, laughed, loved, cried, sang, been depressed, had anxiety and danced every year. I’ve made friends, lost some, grown in faith and had “dry-spells”. I’ve sinned, repented, grown as a human and flourished as a young woman.

And all through these stages, I’ve had a family who has supported me, friends who have walked with me, teachers who were patient with me, doctors who have cared for me, a God who has loved me and an independence that has served me well.

So, thank you.

Continue reading “A New Birth Year Day 1: Say “Hello” to 24.”

When I Read

When I Read

When I read, I think about the present.

Where I sit.

What I feel.

Who I am.

When I read, I think about the past.

Where I was when I read it last.

How I felt the last time I read it.

Who I was all those days ago.

When I read, I think about the future.

Where will I be the next time I read it?

Will I feel differently?

Who will I be?

Katharyn Stong 9.1.16

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Show and Tell

Show and Tell

Only for kindergartners? I think not.

It’s time to share some pictures and sound bites!


All from the iPhone 5. 

Let’s face it: I don’t have LTE here but it’s been a blessing in disguise. Here is why: I am not using my phone as an excuse when I don’t have anything in my hands, when I want to avoid a social situation or am bored. I find myself relying on my phone less and less. But when I do take my phone out to capture a moment with my camera, I always capture something special.

These four pictures were taken a couple of Saturdays back.

Grace, age seven, hangs out on property while her mom works at our apartment and dad works at the school. We went fishing at the Bethel pond that particular day. We also put flowers in our hair, played cards and colored.

These next pictures were taken for my Instagram, let’s be honest.

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Gilmore Girls and the ocean breeze

Gilmore Girls and the ocean breeze

Sometimes its okay to be sick, watch Gilmore Girls while eating oranges, and visit the ocean to catch a breeze. 

Hi, again. I usually wouldn’t be writing so frequently but this week has been unusual. I believe this is the first time, in a long time, where I have been sick for this long from bugs and viruses. I’ve been in bed this week and thinking a lot.

Since I have been here, I have had the flu, a bad reaction to gluten, dizzy spells and a bad cough.

I’ve had anxiety weeks and migraine months, but the last time I remember this happening was Swine Flu 2010. In hind sight, I’m used to being this sick, but usually I feel more in control. This time, I don’t.

I’m in my seventh week here and I can feel it.

Continue reading “Gilmore Girls and the ocean breeze”

Courage Doesn’t Always Roar

Courage Doesn’t Always Roar

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes, courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’.”

That’s the theme of the week. 

I have noticed that my anxiety can rise and fall very quickly. I’ve noticed that one second I’ll be very confident in my abilities to teach, live alone and/or take care of myself and the next second, I’m an electric ball of anxiety who is only being held together by my skin. The only thing that is getting me through the anxiety attacks is the knowledge that “anxiety is not forever.” Regardless if it feels like it will last forever (which is what makes an anxiety attack so excruciating), in reality…as quickly as it came, it will leave. So may the Lord keep that in my head this week!

And another theme: 

Continue reading “Courage Doesn’t Always Roar”

in the midst of grief, we must grieve.

in the midst of grief, we must grieve.

I am sad. Hearing about the pain that goes on in the world, experiencing difficult emotions and having to explain it to my students on Monday makes me sad. They deserve to know how to process grief in a Jesus-honoring way, but it pains me that they have already experienced grief to such a high degree. Also keep in mind that these young adults were barely teenagers when Typhoon Yolanda hit and some lost everything. Think about that…losing every earthly possession you have and still surviving. Although it has been 3 years (2013) since the  storm and I am seeing their process years after, it still affects everyone who was here. I am honored that they allow me to experience those experiences with them.

Continue reading “in the midst of grief, we must grieve.”

When I leave my Saturday and you start yours…

When I leave my Saturday and you start yours…

…Blessings to you!

Things are going really well. Not only am I flu free but my lesson planning is almost complete.

Parent Meeting On Monday

This is when we will introduce ourselves to our homeroom students’ parents and go over school policy with them.

Classes Start Wednesday

Yay school! It’s such a surreal experience planning for an experience like this for a year, arriving two weeks ago and  having my own classroom for the first time. It was a far off plan for so long it’s arrival creates an indescribable feeling. I was walking through the mall in town yesterday, which is our main air conditioned hang-out spot. I thought: “I can’t believe I live here. How blessed am I?!? 

Our 11th Grade Homeroom Is Ready And Our Theme is Coffee Shop

I didn’t make this
Continue reading “When I leave my Saturday and you start yours…”

first week down and I’m going strong (sort of)

first week down and I’m going strong (sort of)

I’ve been in Tacloban for 7 days!

Teacher Instruction: Week 1

I shared my lesson plans with our principal who loved them so much so she had me share them with the rest of the faculty during Teacher Instruction.

I wasn’t sure if I was imposing my culture on to Bethel, especially after our principal “Luchie” called my plans “very American.” But she assured me it was a good thing and that the rest of our teachers could learn something from the preparation I did.

everyone has a nickname and mine is “Kath.”

Over the years, “Katharyn” has been shortened in a variety of ways, so I wasn’t surprised that “Kath” emerged on it’s own even in the short time of being here. As Margie put it: “the extra ‘a’ throws me off.”

Continue reading “first week down and I’m going strong (sort of)”

got here safely

I’m here in Tacloban! (Pronounced tac-LO-ban.) 

Happy, safe and excited. 

We start teacher instruction Monday morning (in a couple hours- I’m 15 hours ahead.) 

I’ve adjusted well to the timezone; sleeping on the plane and my layover in Hong Kong helped. 

Weather is relatively cool. Margie joked yesterday that I brought the cool weather with me. (Look up who she is here under “Who We Are”.) 

I’ll write again at the end of the week. 

I’m planning on writing every week for the first month and then bi-weekly. 

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!  

Check out my Instagram  @_katharyn for frequent pictures.