Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dirty Hands

Today I did some weeding in my sister's garden. Last week my mom and sister spent over 5 hours weeding. Sunday afternoon my sister and I spent over an hour weeding. Today I spent about an hour weeding. It is a HUGE garden! My sister got the green thumb. I like living in a condo on the 9th floor with no grass to mow or garden space!

As I was weeding today, God taught me a couple of things. I was working on the carrot row today. The carrots are not very big yet and are very fragile, kind of like our lives. But, there were a variety of weeds growing alongside and right in the middle of the weeds. As I looked at the weeds and tried to decide where to start, I decided to start with the biggest ones first.

It made me think that God does a similar thing in our lives. When He looks at us as we first come to Him, He sees a lot of weeds that need to be pulled, sins that need to be worked out and new character to be developed. It can't all be eliminated at once, worked through at once. So, God gets down on His knees and begins to gently pull out the weeds.

Even as I gently pulled the weeds, I was not always successful at not disturbing the carrots. God is gentle in weeding the garden of our lives, but sometimes it feels like He is being pretty rough. When it feels like He is being rough I need to remember that God is lovingly helping me get some space to grow. He is preparing the soil for me to flourish.

As I got ready to go inside for breakfast I noticed my hands. They were completely covered in mud. Pulling weeds is messy. It is not a job to do just after a manicure and in your nice clothes. When God works on my life, He is right here in the midst of the mess with me, getting His hands dirty as He pulls the weeds and helps me sort through the mess.

God has dirty hands and I love Him all the more for it!

Here are a few pics of my sister's gardens to enjoy...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Cold Trip

A week ago I was in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for our church conference's triennial gathering. It was great fun to see so many people I know from church visits, camp and other triennials, as well as to meet new people. I am thankful for my NAB family and the way God has provided for me through them. I could not be doing what I do without you all!

I rode up to Winnipeg with Bill, Luci, and Becky Lengefeld. We had great driving weather and good conversations-and the SLOWEST service ever in a restaurant at one stop.

Here I am with Becky as we entertain ourselves at the Manitoba welcome center.

Southern Manitoba is flatter than South Dakota! But, they grow canola which was flowering beautifully when we drove through!

Each mission field had a display area. This is the Japan display with those who put it together while the rest of us talked to our neighbors:)

I spent an afternoon at a local park with my friend Rosemarie. We looked at sculptures and ate cherries while she told me about her life in Germany during WWII.

Even though the temps were low and it rained often, we had a good time. I am looking forward to seeing many of you again as I visit your churches. The biggest challenge is that when I visit churches everyone doesn't wear name tags like at Triennial. Be sure to remind me of your name when I visit your church, please!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This week I am in Winnipeg for the NAB Triennial. (I forgot the cord to download pictures so they will come later.) One of the great things about Triennial is getting to see friends made in years past as well as to make new friends. Today was spent with missionary friends. What a great time we had just chatting and sharing and talking about ministry. Tomorrow the conference starts along with the next round of friendship renewals!

Yesterday I received a blog award from a friend from Texas days. We used to teach Sunday School together and I had Thanksgiving dinner at her house one year-the year of like 3 or 4 invites. Anyway, I enjoy reading her blog, but since she gave me the award I will choose others to pass it on to.

Here is the award:
The Love My Friends Award is given to those bloggers who aspire, inspire and share the most beautiful of human attributes: art, wisdom and friendship. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more.

And the award goes to... (in no particular order!:)
1. Lori
2. Julianne
3. Traci
4. Lara
5. Heidi
6. Melody
7. Stacy
8. Michelle

If you have time, check out my friends' blogs!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Driving and Shopping

For my friends in Japan, here is a picture taken as we were driving through South Dakota on Monday.
日本にいるの友達、車から月曜日でとったSouth Dakotaの写真です。

Here is my new pair of sandals which I am loving!

And a sudden South Dakota summer thunderstorm!
South Dakotaの突然の夏の大雨です。

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday Pictures

I have arrived safely back in South Dakota with only a short delay and diversion to Cheyenne, Wyoming on the way to Denver. I spent Independence Day with friends from church eating, chatting, and watching fireworks.
Then today, Sunday, I got to go to church with my parents, worshipping with long-time friends, studying the Bible together, and hearing about how God is at work here in South Dakota.
Worshipping together in English!
We spent some time this afternoon weeding the Jones' garden. Here is before and after.

Then we went for a picnic at Lake Herman State Park.
The day closed with a lovely moonrise.