If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

“If You Give A Mouse A cookie” was written by Laura Numeroff. Winning nine awards and also was the first of the “If you give” children book series. The series went on to win eleven more awards and became a childhood favorite for generations. However, what this lovely children’s author does not depict is that this is one of the most factual books on the planet. You think I’m kidding. I am most certainly not. I am being completely honest with you.

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The Pain That Does Not Go Away

Hot and wet with sweat. Tears rolling down my cheeks. I woke myself up again. I dreamt of Steven. It’s usually the same but sometimes changes. We are talking. Skype call usually but sometimes chatting on Facebook. That was practically our relationship the last 10 years. After he joined the army and we moved overseas, he became my cyber brother. Still real and still there, just different time zones.

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What The Pins On Pinterest Can't Help You With

I did it again. I found myself on Pinterest yesterday. Hannah, my intern, had just returned home and I quickly showered, grabbed my stuff, and jetted out of the house. I needed to sit and be me. I had one of those mornings where everyone wants Mom. Everyone’s clinging on to me, and pushing around me. I needed me time badly. Went to my usual Sunday spot and just tried to breathe. I quickly read the blog posts I had saved up all week, the few YouTube videos I had been waiting to watch, wrote some things down, took lots of notes. And felt like I had done my duty at keeping up on social media. Then I decided I’ll take a break and look at pins. I immediately found it.

“Become a morning person: 11 rituals that can change your life.”

Read it. Wrote a few notes. Then ordered dinner and started back up working on nailing down this week’s schedule.

After arriving home after three precious hours alone, I decided to lock myself in my room and practice yoga. Falling asleep on the mat, I thought I might as well take advantage of my tired body and just sleep early.

Getting into bed, I was dreaming of my morning. What order will I do my 11 rituals in and what will be my favorite?  I had it planned. Alarm was set.

Then the morning comes: “bang bang bang”. A door slams. I am awake. My morning has begun. But I can hear the children are already running around and banging doors. I reach for my phone and it is a lovely 5:23am. My alarm hasn’t even gone off yet. I then had to do the dreaded, drag myself upstairs, find out who’s running, discipline them, talk through why they thought it was a good idea to run around, and then soon enough, eggs had to be made and school uniforms had to be prepared.

Pinterest is great. However, I don’t think that the “How to be a morning person” is Cambodian orphanage proof or child proof for that matter!


A Tired Night Owl 

3 Things You Wouldn't Want To Hear

April 1st, 2016
I received an email today. It was a little disheartening but at the same time, good ideas. I was encouraged to look into the future of BYKOTA House and make some big decisions concerning the children and how BYKOTA House shouldn't be the solution for them and how I shouldn't be the children's mother.
April 2nd, 2016
Today I shared an old blog post on Facebook. I got three times as many views than the day I published it in 2015. However, I received one comment saying that, “orphanage building/running isn’t biblical”. I was shocked because it was a pastor from my home state.(James 1:27 people)
April 3rd, 2016
Out of the ordinary for me, I went to Facebook in hopes of finding encouragement. I sent requests to every single group imaginable. Today I received a response from a mothers’ group stating that the administration team, which doesn’t know me or anything about what I am doing, hopes I am “looking into alternative care options for each and every child in [my] care.”  My request to join was denied, and I was not allowed to be a part of receiving the much needed support.
April 4th 2016
I feel like the world is against me. I guess I’m doing something right.


If you are against Children Home’s and Orphanages, my suggestion is, instead of attacking the person that is keeping children off the street, safe from being raped, safe from being injured, safe from starving to death, adopt more kids. I am not boasting and saying that children homes are better than true family, but it is the best I can do and significantly better than the alternatives. I am open to advice and any support I can get, but non constructive criticism can only hurt and destroy. Take away point, think before you talk. 


Just a woman trying to love on the fatherless

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Your Self-worth

Hey guys!

I hope this finds you all well! Something that I have been processing for the last year is my worth. Conversations last night and this morning kept pointing me to the fact that there is a lack of understanding of worth here in Cambodia. I felt like it wasn't a coincidence that this subject was brought up since it's definitely something I'm passionate about.  So I figured, I'd share a little bit on this subject.

 Most usually, our worth is found in our occupation or talents. But those aren't accurate. Our worth is found in the LORD. He is the very reason of our existence. This past year has been horrific and amazing at the same time. I have dealt with so much persecution, pressures, and judgments cast because of the roll I play in this "job". I've had to really deal with where I get my self-worth and do I think I'm "worthy". I've had to part my ways with that "director" title and remember that I am me at the end of the day and that my self-wroth isn't found in that title.

Please watch this short video where I explain this subject a little more. I don't go in great detail but this is definitely a subject I am passionate about and will be sharing more on it in due time. 

Love, Danielle Benz 


Psalm 31:19

 My vision statement is actually, "Live a life that inspires others to save lives" Wherever my life goes, and the different seasons I find my self in, I know that I will be living my life according to this vision to save lives and inspire. 

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VLOG number 004

Hey everyone! I know that some of you are subscribed to my BLOG but not my VLOG, so I figured I'd share it here in case you missed it and want to watch it. The kids are actually loving this. Yesterday I let the kids watch the VLOG on the big screen in the TV room and it was so surreal watching their faces on the TV like that. Anyways, I hope you like the little glimpse into my life through these VLOGS. 

Love ,Danielle 

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VLOG 002 Hopefully I'm getting better!!!

Hey ya'll! The other night we were invited to enjoy dinner as a family at a cafe near us. This was a historicall moment because, at least for the year I've been director, BYKOTA House hasn't done this. Little kids will eat out, big kids will eat out, but never all together like this. For the Special Needs kids to leave the house it's a huge ordeal. But it was a blast and we are thankful for the opportunity we had. 

Hope you enjoy this weeks VLOG. Press the SUBSCRIBE button on Youtube if you would like to be notified for future videos! Or put your email down below and you'll be notified when I share the Youtube video on here. 

Love ya!!!

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It's a BYKOTA Christmas

You might have seen a picture on Facebook that had the tree and gifts here at BYKOTA House. (view able through the button under the video) As I soaked in the moment when I took the photo, I was so taken back by how much love was represented around the tree. Love came from all over the world and was generously poured out on the kids. Please enjoy this video that portrays the evening festivities. 

Happy Holidays! 

The Highlights of 2015

Can we just take a moment to take in the beauty of the LORD? This past year has been a phenomenal one. This year was filled with the love and peace of our God and savior. Myself, staff, and children, experienced God in new ways and also saw the hand of the Father over our entire home! My prayer is that you as well experienced the glory of our Father.

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