Since I started working as a teacher, I have grown increasingly aware of the necessity for the Sabbath. Every day, I leave my house at 6:40am, work a full day, then arrive back home somewhere between 6:00pm and 7:00pm. My days are full of lesson planning, printing papers, grading, chatting with students, looking over my schedule a thousand times, and walking up and down the hallways at school from the classrooms to my office. As much as I love my students and the place I get to call "work", there is something so glorious about a day off. Especially Sunday!
Sunday is definitely my favorite day of the week. I look forward to it like it's a gift waiting for me around every corner. It has become my sacred day of fellowship, refuel and rest. Hallelujah!
Every Sunday I go to my home away from home - HOPE church. God has been so gracious in blessing me with my church family at HOPE and I am eternally grateful for the faithful servants who have obeyed God and built this church in the heart of Japan.
Sunday service starts at 10:30 am and worshipping with my sisters and brothers here in Japan is a gift I will treasure forever! A true taste of heaven!
Worship is mostly in Japanese, with a few English phrases here and there...but they put Japanese, Romaji and English on the screen for all to read. Singing corporate worship songs in Japanese is POWERFUL!
Once a month, after service, we have a Professional Women's meeting. I joined this group when it first began, a year or so ago, and it has been amazing getting to know these women and build a sisterhood with them.
We did a fun activity, The Marshmallow Challenge, where we were given spaghetti, tape, string and a marshmallow and has to see which team could build the tallest tower in 15 minutes. My team was so close to winning!! AHH. The Pro Women's leader, Sayumi, then walked us through a super interesting talk about how we work in teams, and what leads to successful towers and what leads to failed attempts. Research has shown that people who do the worst at this activity are recent Business school graduates - interesting. And the people who usually do the best are (get this)- children!! Apparently kids have the ability to problem solve and not get locked into ONE certain mean to an end and therefore have a higher chance of success in this game. It was really insightful, fun, and a creative lead in to the message by my friend, Ami.
Ami spoke about the story of two sister, Martha and Mary, in the Bible. She talked about how Martha was busy shuffling around the house getting everything prepared for Jesus, while Mary was simply at his feet. Martha complained, "Lord, Mary is not doing anything!" but Jesus replied, "Martha, you are worried and distracted by so many things. But only one thing is necessary. For Mary has chosen what is best." Ami reminded us to have the heart of Mary; a heart that is not swayed by the to-do list, the goal, or agenda, but a heart that finds complete purpose and peace in the presence of God. AMEN!!!
I got to hang out with my dear friend Haruka and her baby boy Alan! How cute is this kid!?
My good friend, Miri, has been coming to church with me recently and it has been so fun! She lives in Tokyo, so we headed back into the city together after the Pro Women's meeting. So thankful for Miri and her friendship!
In the afternoon, I headed to the place I'd say I know best in all of Tokyo - Omotesando. This is truly my stomping grounds, and I could spend every weekend here if I could!
Nothing compares to the architecture in Tokyo. So sophisticated, so creative, so dope!
It was pouring rain all day, and I was tempted to complain about it. But then I remembered how umbrellas can make for some creative photos so I headed to one of the best photo spots in the area : the TOKYU building mirror escalator to get this shot.
I then met up with my two good friends, Moe and Steph, both my former coworkers, and we ate pancakes!!
we went to MICASADECO&CAFE right on Cat street! This place is always crowded, so thankfully we only had to wait 20 minutes or so.
Japan is ALL about the seasonal flavors...and this one was Purple Sweet Potato Mont Blanc! How beautiful is this!??
But, the main attraction is their fluffy ricotta pancakes. And Japan is so EXTRA for making everything themed and seasonal, take for example the HALLOWEEN decoration. These pancakes were the fluffiest things ever and basically melted in your mouth!!
A perfect cafe afternoon with great friends!
After eating, we cruised Cat street, which I think has got to be the most fashionable little corner of Tokyo. I could sit on this street all day and photograph stylish people!
I mean, LOOK at this storefront. W H A T.
The design of this place...UHMMMM INCREDIBLE.
TOO CLEAN. TOO COOL. TOO AMAZING. Tokyo is a magical magical land.
And we ended the day with drinks and snacks at a place Steph recommended (she loves beer! ha).
Every time I spend a day in Tokyo, I am so grateful for the experience. It is enriching me in every way and I know the Lord has given me this time in my life as a GIFT! I am so blessed to wake up on Sundays, spend the morning with my church family, and enjoy the rest of my leisure time with good friends in a city I love. WOW. What a life! Thank you Lord!