About Elizabeth

In 2012 I moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia with my husband and four small children – though at first the idea of moving overseas scared me out of my mind. I began writing as a way to process the difficult cross-cultural transition. Eventually I felt at home in Cambodia, far more than I ever dreamed. Cross-cultural living became a life I loved.

Along the way I started writing for A Life Overseas and Velvet Ashes, and in 2016 I became the Editor-in-Chief at A Life Overseas. I began serving in an editorial capacity mostly as a way to fill a need, but I quickly learned to love empowering other people to tell their stories well. I’m still passionate about helping people’s stories shine through their writing (I do freelance editing too).

More recently, Jonathan and I co-wrote Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-cultural Christian Worker, and my musings on womanhood, motherhood, and ministry were published separately in Hats: Reflections on Life as a Wife, Mother, Homeschool Teacher, Missionary, and More.

In 2020 we returned to America for a planned visit but stayed because of covid. We now reside permanently in the Midwest. I’m again using this blog as a way to process the cross-cultural transition of re-patriation.


A few other things about me: My husband and I were high school sweethearts. Shortly after getting married, we stumbled into youth ministry, where we stayed for over ten years; high school and college students are still my very favorite people group.

I studied chemistry and chemical engineering in college — math and science are truly my first loves. I still find God in the pages of a science textbook or periodical.

I’ve been homeschooling my kids since my oldest started Pre-K. For years my favorite part of the day was read-aloud time. Now that they’re older and read-aloud time has all but disappeared, my favorite part of the day is helping each of them with their math and science questions.

I’m a Third Culture Kid – specifically an Army kid. I fell in love with God at a summer camp in Kansas. I also fell in love with singing there. You know this is true if we were high school youth group together.

I’m risk-averse and have all sorts of ridiculous stories to prove it (see here, here, and here). I love sleep, exercise, dark chocolate, hummus, and nut butters of all kinds. I love board games, and I’m a sucker for a good Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, or Lucy Maud Montgomery book or adaptation – and as much as possible, I pass on all my loves to my children.

14 thoughts on “About Elizabeth

  1. Sure would like to visit with you about your plans for Asia. Any chance of you coming through Texas in the next few months?

  2. I don’t know if you remember me, Elizabeth. You were my chemistry tutor at MCC-Blue River (and yes, I received an A!). Then I started working in L&D at TMC-Lakewood. So, yes, I had the honor of delivering one of your baby girls. I don’t remember if it was Hannah or Faith.
    But, I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I have always admired you and your steadfast faith! So I will continue to admire you (and your family) as you spread the Good News!

    Shelly Smith 🙂

    • I often think about you, Shelly, and how our relationship spanned different parts and years of our lives! Faith may have been my scariest birth experience, but it was also the birth where I felt the most cared for, because of you being there to take care of me! I can’t tell you how comforting it is to be taken care of by a Christian health worker, and how I still cherish those memories. Love you.

  3. Sierra “Radford” (now Keaster) here from good ol’ Rolla Church of Christ. Just wanted to say that I just started following your blog and am thrilled to read the updates on your lives. You and Jonathan really impacted my life during a difficult time and I will ALWAYS remember your ministry to our church and how you changed us. Thank you. In my prayers!

  4. you r ur mother’s sweet daughter you have her kindred spirit n your dad’s never give up attitude god bless u n keep blogging n inspiring

    • I recognized your last name right away, Eileen. 🙂 Mom reminded me you were the family we stayed with when moving back from Germany. And then I remembered your house and some of the stuff we did there 🙂 I’m glad we could re-connect here, and I hope you’re doing well.

  5. I am a kindred lover of British literature (and LMM). Ever read much Dickens? My favorites are Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, and Our Mutual Friend. You might also enjoy the author, Frances Burney–her books are long, but light and fun.

  6. I can actually hear you laughing out loud right now, Elizabeth! I am praying for your family. You are one of my favorite Rolla people.

  7. Pingback: Changes at A Life Overseas

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