Saturday, July 28, 2007

Super Powers

A gal named Lori who is coming to Japan-soon we hope!-as a missionary wrote about super powers she would like to have and asked what we'd like to have. Well, I would like to have the same one she mentioned, be two places at once! I love living in Japan and everything I am involved in here, but sometimes things happen back in the US that I would like to be a part of. For example, last week my friend had a baby in SD. I will only get to see her in pictures, maybe on webcam chats, until she is 2!

Another super power I would like to have is to be able to survive on less sleep! There are so many things I want and need to get done each day, but there is that sleep factor that has to be added in! And, I, for some reason, seem to need more sleep than other people I know.

Today a friend and I went shopping. When we were buying our train tickets to come home two middle school girls came up to us with their paper and asked if they could ask us some questions. One of the questions was "What do you hope for the Japanese people?" We looked at each other and thought, how do we say this? The response she came up with is "I hope Japanese people find Hope." If giving out Hope and having people accept it more quickly was a super power, I'd love to have it!

Of course, I do have Hope and I do share it as often as possible. I wish people would try it out themselves and find out how wonderful Hope is! We keep praying!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Typhoons and Earthquakes

Since moving to Japan I have learned about two new natural disasters, typhoons and earthquakes. And, I actually got to experience one of each in the past couple of days.
Last weekend a typhoon passed through most of southern and eastern Japan. Thankfully, here we just had lots of rain and no other effects. I have experienced others worse than this one.
Then, today I was sitting at the table making a grocery list when I heard my dishes rattling and suddenly felt like my chair was moving. We were having a small earthquake. I turned on the TV a short time later to find out where the epicenter was and found out that this little one was nothing compared to what happened in the morning. There was a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in northwestern Japan. The news tonight said 7 people have died and over 700 were injured.
In South Dakota we have tornadoes (does that have an e in it?) and blizzards. For both of those natural disasters there are generally warnings. For typhoons there are also warnings. But, then there are earthquakes! No warning. No way to know the ground is going to start moving under your feet!
New country, new natural disasters to learn about!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Back again

Well, after signing out and then back on later in the day, I still could not find the previous two posts. So, I went into edit posts, put some more spaces at the end of the wedding one and then re-posted it. For some reason, they appeared after that. I do not even pretend to understand computers but that one is a complete mystery to me. Oh, well, it worked!
So, after that fiasco, I am going to try another post and see if it works.

This picture of my family was taken when I went to the States recently. We had a chance to go to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater to see Les Miserables to celebrate my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. I know, my parents don't look old enough to have been married 40 years. But, I was born almost 38 years ago and they were married for 2 years before I was born, so...

My parents have taught me so much about life and marriage. Even though I am not married, I have learned much about marriage from them. Since I am a Christian, I am a member of the church, the Bride of Christ, so these things have helped me in my daily walk with Jesus.

1) Communication-talking to each other about everything is a good idea. Of course, my mom, being a female, has a tendancy to talk more than my dad, but he can hold his own quite well. And, communication is not just spoken, it can also be written. My mom used to leave little notes in my dad's lunch or briefcase or suitcase just to let him know she was thinking of him.

2) Respect-show respect for the spouse God has given you not just in private, but also in public. It is okay for your friends to know you actually like and respect the person you married. This sounds sort of like a 'duh' but I am amazed when I hear a group of women talking, it seems like they do not like the men they claim to love!

3) Support-When your spouse is going through a challenge, stick by him/her.

4) Laugh-I am pretty sure that while I was living at home there was never a day that we did not laugh. Most often it was after dinner when we were sitting around retelling stories of the day. I learned to laugh at myself and with others at a good story.

5) Pray-It's true, the family that prays together, stays together. My parents taught me how to pray and I heard them model it in their prayers, it wasn't just something the left up to my Sunday school teachers and pastors to teach. As I have grown, I have seen them growing and learning more, too, reminding me that this spiritual journey through life does not end until we go home to Glory.

6) Worship-Going to church together as a family was a given in my family. I don't know that I really questioned it. I was amazed when I got to my Christian college and more than half of the people in my dorm slept in on Sunday mornings. When I got my first job and moved to Texas-1800 miles from home-I was once again amazed at the number of young adults who said they were Christians but did not place an importance on being part of a church family. Through all of the challenges our church has weathered, my parents have stuck it out.

I could probably go on and on but will stop there for now. I know that I appreciate my parents and the life they have lived in front of me. It has not always been pretty, but it has always been real and even when times seemed dark I knew God was there holding us up because my parents taught me that.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vanishing Post

Okay, I just posted about going to my friend's wedding. I was told that I had successfully posted, yet, when I went to view my blog it was not there. So, I signed out and then back in, but it is still not here. I hope it shows up! Maybe I should check Edit Posts and see if I can find it!

Japanese Wedding

Well, I arrived safely back in Japan just in time to go to my friend's wedding on July 7. I met Yuko in Karuizawa while she was working at a church there and I was attending language school. She speaks English well and was hungry for fellowship with other believers. So, we hit it off right away. I was so excited to hear from her back in April when she told me she was engaged!
For a variety of reasons they decided to hold the wedding at a hotel wedding chapel-these are everywhere in Japan, a great money making business for the hotels! It was the first time I have been to a wedding in a hotel in Japan. They provided everything, the music-a mini pipe organ, trumpet player and quartet who sang Ave Maria at the end-the programs, dress rental, etc. They also provide a pastor, often a foreigner. I guess this whole trend started because Japanese girls wanted to have the white wedding dress and 'church' weddings they saw in movies. This hotel allowed Yuko's pastor to give the little sermon, which apparently was longer than the usual wedding.
Several of my friends from Karuizawa were also able to attend so we had a fun time catching up and eating and laughing together.
Overall, it was a fun experience! One thing I need to remember for next time, go to a hair salon and get my hair done up before going to the wedding-or learn to do it myself!