debriefing on Railey Beach

Saturday, August 24

I love debriefing, I really do. 
It's like a verbal journal entry where you relive the crazy and the calm.  
It's  taking a million puzzle pieces of your adventure, and fitting them together to make something whole. 
Something that makes sense, the sum of it's parts. 

Debriefing validates the journey that you encountered in a real, life giving, and moving way. 

But mostly it challenges me to be different. 
Because why the heck do we travel or volunteer or do anything if it doesn't change us? 
If it doesn't make us better, more loving, more kind, and really...
more like Jesus? 

When I debrief, I pray that God will lead me to some treasure that challenges me, and forces me towards the heavenly. 
And today He did. 

Kevin and I are in Thailand right now on Railey Beach. 
I'll save most of my Railey pictures for another post 
{because honestly I could write 497 posts on this place because it's seriously the most incredible piece of land in the world!!!!}, 
but today I wanted to share a few photos 
while I stumble through some of the thoughts Kevin and I burrowed into. 

We got serious about this debriefing business and printed up a list of about 30 questions that tackled reflection head on. 
We found a lovely cafe on the water, spent some time praying and thanking Abba, and then jumped in. 

We talked about our favorite meals in Nepal. 
Like the time the girls cooked us some delicious mo mo's and samosa's {and gluten free tempura for me}! 
Or when we had the girls to our house and introduced them to tacos and brownies and watched in delight as they found they really enjoyed them! 
The weekly volleyball + sushi outings with Jon and Jenna, or the fun we had with our British friends Matt and Kate, where we learned the finer points of English dialects {and what the word knockered really means}. 

We shared the impact the Nepali's had on us, picking one who imprinted their hands on our hearts. 
Mine was one of the girls, who with so much hurt in her life, chose to celebrate God's word and use it to steer her life. 
Who constantly pulled the treasure of joy from every situation. 

We talked about how working at the home impacted our future plans. 
I can't reveal everything now, but our time at the home in Nepal has changed the trajectory of my life forever 
and i'm planning to go back to school in January- 
those five sweet faces confirming my decision at every turn.  

And lastly, one daunting question read "Complete the last sentence...'For me Nepal means...." 

and I said "freedom". 

freedom with time: 
time to just be. to create space to journal and read. to actually read for fun! 
to waste time with God and with people and not feel pulled in a million directions. 

freedom with myself:
accepting the past and giving myself grace. 
Nepal became a place where I could look objectively at life and realize it's ok to make mistakes, 
that God forgives me and that I can forgive myself. 

and freedom to love 
with all that I have, and to accept the magnanimous love of the girls. 

And then I realized, Nepal changed me. 
It was in that place that God freed me of so much that has held me down in the past. 
And I want to be different, live differently. 

I want to go home and create boundaries of time, and feel the freedom to say "no" to things. 
I want to go home and live a life of forgiveness and grace to all those who surround me, and myself. 
And I want to continue press into the evil of trafficking in hopes that Jesus in me can shine justice and light. 

And in this debriefing, the pieces came together and my puzzle stood before me. 

{contrary to what this picture may suggest, I have not grown a male "part"! 
My romper evidently decided to stick out at an extremely *ahem* inconvenient place} 

 love, Katie 
and ps- if you need some good debriefing material, I would be glad to send some over:) 


  1. We did a debrief after our time in Uganda which was so imperative for me. We were prepared for reverse culture shock and for the barrage of questions we'd get (from ourselves and from others). It didn't make the experience any less life-changing, and at times, jarring, but it was really helpful for me to compartmentalize my thoughts and emotions and to be able to diagnose them when they confronted me.

    Debriefing really gives us a chance to meditate on why God chose to bring us to these places, and how he wants the experience to change us. It's been such a blessings reading about your journey and I can't wait to see where it takes you!

  2. two days ago i stumbled across your blog and i love your heart; the way you treasure details and moments and this post challenged me. i may not be on the other side of the world but i'm about to do VBS at our church - when it's over we are going to be so quick to say "we made it! hooray! see you after your vacation!" you know? to just be DONE and moved on to the next thing.

    but how humble to intentionally sit in the wake of something big, while the waves are still pushing against us, and really take in what has happened. to take that experience and actually make it a part of us, not just something we did once. i loved this post. and i am so grateful to have found your blog.

  3. hahah. dying over the last pic.

    debriefing is so important! i'm glad that you guys are giving yourself the space to process and allow the Lord to sink truth in even deeper. i love youuuu so much and can't wait to see you so SOON.

  4. I was reading this whole post with a smile and nodding "yes, so good...what else did God reveal..." and then your last pic description totally cracked me up! And that's one of the many reasons I love you. I'm so glad you have this time to debrief and recognize the message of freedom God's been speaking over you while in Nepal. That's a bit of glory, that is. Love you!

  5. You are just the coolest person I know. I hope God lets me do half the things you have.

    I'm giggling HYSTERICALLY at the comment on that last picture :)

  6. Hurray!! I'm glad you guys are still having such a beautiful time. I feel like we are very much at the same place....things aren't specifically planned or confirmed yet, but yeah, our summer vacation changed the plan for our lives, and I couldn't be happier! :)

  7. "Freedom to wear a romper, no matter how it chooses to behave." A lesser freedom, but freedom none the less. I love reading your blog, and with each post I think, "that post was her most beautiful post." I love how brave you are. This blog is a beautiful reflection of what a beautiful person you are:)

  8. "Freedom to wear a romper, no matter how it chooses to behave." A lesser freedom, but freedom none the less. I love reading your blog, and with each post I think, "that post was her most beautiful post." I love how brave you are. This blog is a beautiful reflection of what a beautiful person you are:)

  9. Love this post :) beautiful truths!! As for the picture & comment.... Hilarious!!!

  10. Love this. One of my favorite parts about travel is coming home and seeing everything that was once familiar with new eyes. I absolutely love how travel changes perspectives.

  11. Hello my name is Tara from LailasCharmingPieces. I found you from the sponsor bar on Casey Wiegands. I love the pictures! Beautiful location! Hope you will get a chance to stop by my little space. I took forward to getting to know you through blogging. Have a blessed day! :))

  12. Love this! You guys are such a wise couple! I only pray that God uses us the way he has used you guys. What an incredible journey!

  13. I am so glad you're getting the chance to debrief your time with Kevin. It's so important to do that after a life changing trip. I'm so excited to see what the Lord has planned for you as you go back to school!

  14. Love the moments when it hits you how something or someone has changed your life for the better. Glad you and Kevin are having some time to pray and rejuvinate. x

  15. love so much. our pastor talked about those impactful moments on sunday, amazing! i pray i can be even a little as impactful as you have been sweet friend!! xoxoxoxo (:

  16. Haha dying at your last photo caption. But in all seriousness...this was great. I'm learning that traveling to a new place alters your life in drastic ways. I would love to have that debriefing material sent my way! Praying for a wonderful trip for y'all!

  17. That is a great sunset!

  18. Could your heart be any sweeter? Would LOVE to hear more about your debriefing! Any chance you would be willing to share?
    Thank you sister belle!

  19. Love this, sweet friend. And the photos too are gorgeous. :)

  20. Amazing post. I am so glad Nepal has changed your life and that you have a passion and a yearning for the girls who you met. May many lives be saved and changed because of the work of Christ through you, no matter what you do!

  21. Love this completely. Freedom is such a precious gift.

  22. I think everyone who finishes living and volunteering abroad needs a debrief like this and to think about how that experience changed them, because it does, and forever. So glad that you guys could gain so much from the experience.

  23. You are just amazing in every way! Miss you xx

  24. That is such a perfect word to describe what you've said about Nepal. I love catching up on your writing. All of your posts are so beautiful, and you and Kevin are so encouraging.

    P.S. I didn't even notice that 'part' in the last picture, but when I read the caption and saw it, that made me giggle.


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