We all know the madness that has been happening recently in the world and have felt the weight of all the darkness and anger. What's harder still, is when that weight is piled on to the things going on personally, in our daily lives. For me, right now, that's mom's broken foot and grandpa Komae in the hospital. I want to be home with them, reaaaaaally badly...but I rest assured that God has me here - right here - for His good purposes.
It's hard not to feel anxious at a time like this, but because of God's grace He teaches me to see the light in everything, the beauty, the hope, the good, and the purpose. So I want to share a few good things that are going on in my life here in Japan...because God is my helper and I will give thanks to Him forever.
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me, O Lord, be my helper
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed by sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
Children are a complete JOY and I was lucky enough to spend a Saturday with my good friend Mina's niece, Yui. She's a full force of energy and stubbornness (terrible twos!) but being around her was so refreshing for my auntie soul. We went to the local mall and played in the incredible giant-Japanese-snack area which had me cracking up and their perfectly proportioned giant sized objects of things, i.e this green tea! Ohhhhh Japan!
I also was blessed to hang out with my good friend Yuki in Tokyo on a beautiful crisp day! She took me to a local beer festival and although it took me 3x longer than the average human to finish that cup, I enjoyed the german food, ambiance, and chatting with Yuki. She works in Honda right in the super fancy Aoyama area of Tokyo and showed me some local spots. She's the best! Then...the next day after work I got to meet Mashiko sensei's beautiful wife and their two kittens (named "Kin and Gin" -" gold and silver") It was the best start to the week.
Watching Election day was suuuuuper interesting from Japan and the students were way more into it than I thought. We kept the TV rolling all day and had CNN up on the computer screen. In between classes kids would run in and say, "WHO WON? WHO WON?" The blessing in all of this is that Steph and I were able to share some positive insight into an otherwise chaotic day...we kept the kids positive and tried to make it a teachable moment.
Speaking of Steph and I...
We came to work on Friday literally matching head to toe. We don't live together, but we do spend every working day together so we are doing that weird subconscious twin thing! Maroon pants/tights and a black sweater. ha! I am thankful for Steph though, she is a great coworker and a good friend. God knew we needed each other at this time in our lives.
Can't go wrong with Udon for dinner and Mr. Donut for dessert. The old fashion donut from Mr. Donut will forever reign supreme as my favorite donut in Japan.
And lastly, they re-opened a mall in kashiwa and put a GONG CHA!!!!!! I tried this boba chain for the first time when I was in Vietnam last year and it was amazing...so when I walked into the mall and saw it I almost dropped to the floor. There is NO good boba in Japan...so having this in Kashiwa is too good to be true. Sign me up for a loyalty card ASAP.
So there are a few snippets of goodness amidst a lot of madness and chaos. The future seems scary, and to be honest...right now the reality of my grandpa passing and me not being there hurts bad. He is someone I love deeply and he has blessed me so much in my 24 years of life. But...ahhh...I rest. I rest because the Lord above holds all things in His hands. My grandpa will soon spend eternity with the Lord in fullness. fullness: the state of being filled to capacity. What a beautiful sight that will be.