Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I can't believe it was three years ago that I was stepping onto a plane with three very strange people. Their names? Jake, Pat, and Amy. Our destination? Japan.

Can you believe three years ago we were little SIJers; iddy biddy SIJers without a clue. And now we are all scattered about~ Jake in FL, Amy dancing it up in NE, and Pat is MARRIED with a BABY! Ahhh! And then Brandon and Carissa joned us and now they're in IL with Joshua... wow! God totally blessed us with a tight group that year. And the funny things that came out of that summer...
  • Jake's surprise party and mashing a billion oreos for oreo balls with ladels
  • Amy adopting Michio
  • leaving my manners on the top of Mt. Fuji, oops!
  • Jake was an accomplice to a public urination (on top of a sacred mountain, who would DARE to do that)
  • Amy helping out Micho's "dress/undies" situation
  • Pat's tat getting us kicked out of the Onsen
  • Brandon singing "Copa Cabana"
  • when Bryan got the great idea to use the gigantic sling shot, which broke and snapped Jake in the back~ then Bryan tied it in a knot and wanted me to hold it. Um, no thanks! (i'm tearing up laughing so hard now)

I can't believe it is my turn to greet the SIJers now. Crazy business. Kanako just called me and said, "Guess where I am?" And she was with the team, after having picked them up at the airport. I pray that they would experience the same blessing we did. Can you believe it was three years ago?
This time in Japan is flying by. No joke. Mary and I were talking and we could map out the next eight months with big events that we were looking forward to. In six months I will have been here a WHOLE year, okay well, six and a half.
Anyway this is some crazy business... and my Grandma tells me it only gets faster.

Carpe Diem! "Seize the Day!" and for the sake of Jake, who would only shake his head, I will not burst into the NEWSIES version of that song, instead I will just say~
I couldn't ask for better or more faithful friends, who would have guessed?
I love you guys.
(with that said, "WELCOME SIJers 2006" I am pumped to have you! I have been waiting for the breath of fresh air you will bring, the talks, the heart, and the friendship. In the words of my friend Sarah, "Boo-yah!" ha ha)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Little things...

I wanted to blog about something deep and profound but in order to move on with my recent sad entries, I have decided instead to give thanks for the "little things" in my life.
*Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.*
1 Corinthians 13:7
Thank You, God for the example my Grandparents and parents have set in loving each other and loving their family. (60 years is a huge blessing!)

*When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God* Daniel 6:10

Thank You God for the walkway and the river near my house. Thank you for the opportunities You have given me to walk those and to cry out to You. Thank You for the beauty You give me daily through nature.

*Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.* Hosea 2:14

Thank You God for my balcony and our time together out there at night. Thanks for the few stars I can see each night though the city shines brightly too. Thank You for calling me out of the darkness into the light.

*Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.* Habakkuk 3:17-18

*Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act* Psalm 37:5

Thursday, May 25, 2006

To You

I was standing on your roof tonight,
watching your life go by,
your life contained in
the buses that get their fill,
the people who run to exercise,
the mothers with strollers,
the lights of fancy hotels,
the memories of "this is where I" and "that's where that".

I was standing on your roof,
from where you cursed,
from where you wondered what you were doing there,
from where you humbled yourself before the Lord,
from where you met your friend in prayer,
and where you said goodbye.

I was walking down the street
and suddenly it hit me
I had forgotten for a moment
in time
but now I remember.

I was standing on the train,
the crowded train
with it's people in your face
and their knees in that
oh-so-tender-when-you-push-it-right muscle
right above your own knee
with their armpits raised so it smells like old onions
and their hot breath making you sickly clausterphobic.
Yeah, I was on that train.
And if that wasn't bad enough
I was pressed against a man who looked like he had had
and all I could do

I cried on the train
I cried because you hurt my feelings tonight...
I cried because the whole way home all I could think of was,
"There's gotta be another way to live life and not cry myself to sleep every night."

These years are going to stretch me,
these years are going to test me,
I've never trusted Him this much
and I think I'm going to be worn thin.

I was standing on your roof tonight...
watching your life go by,
your life contained in
the boys who love you,
the men who follow you,
the team who had a gap you filled.

I was standing on your roof tonight when I realized,
I guess I'd rather cry for you then feel nothing at all.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Finally! Yatta!

I love walking through seasons with people. Andy Kampman was my leader for freshman VERVE when I started college and the end of that year I watched him marry his sweetie, Jamie. Jamie is a ton of fun and she was my discipler and inspiration for the following three years of college (and so on into life). Jamie is a good balance of serious and laughter. She taught me to chase after the Lord. Jamie has been great to encourage me and lead me even as a friend and sister. She has this great laugh that just carries throughout your day. She has one of those laughs that when you think about it, a smile comes to your face.

When the Kampmans married they had Habakkuk 3:17-18 as their marriage verse and I feel like God has been good to show His faithfulness through these words. *Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.*

Well! I have waited five years to meet them.. their offspring that is. And now, they are here. I am pleased to announce that Josiah and Abigail were born May 22nd. I instantly thought of both Mary and Hannah and how God had appointed times to open and close their wombs. PRAISE GOD for their lives. I am so honored to be a part of this (even from Japan). CONGRATULATIONS JAMIE AND ANDY!!! WELCOME JOSIAH AND ABIGAIL!!!

*And Mary said:"My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
Josiah William Kampman; 7lbs. 2oz.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."* Luke 1:46-55
*Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God." Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. "The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. "The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.
Abigail Moon Kampman; 6lbs. 13 oz.
"For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; upon them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."* 1 Samuel 2:1-10

Abigail Moon was named for Lottie Moon an amazing missionary woman who went to China around the 1840's.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I don't know what it feels like to be a mother. I know, shocker, huh?
No, but seriously! I've never had a child and although I hope to one day I can't say that I have any real reason to have these feelings... but here you go.

When baby birds learn to fly they must leave the nest. No joke. If a bird tried to do all it's flying from the nest, it would not actually learn to fly. It can flap it's iddy biddy wings and picture flying in its brain. It can even buy itself a little flying simulator for birds but it still is not actually flying. It is not flying until the little thing walks to the edge of the nest and says, "I don't know what is going to happen when I leave but I have to try." then steps off the nest and free falls a little, then beats it's little wings and starts to rise. The mommy bird must feel really proud but also sad that her baby is leaving. And the Mommy must feel like her job is done in some ways... but she must also feel proud that her little baby is actually flying and not just lying around watching soaps all day.

Okay, sorry I'm just totally rambling but I have a point. My point is this~ AMY!
AN and AP... These two beautiful girls were in my bible study. Well, actually I met Nox in Feburary when I went to her high school play, "Bye Bye Birdie" (ironic!) with her brother and my good friend. When I first met her I thought, "Man, she's beautiful!" Of course her bro spoke wonders of her as well. Fast forward two years and Amy comes to college... and she is placed in my bible study. I felt so lucky. Amy learned so many lessons that first semester but that is her story to tell you. Let's just say that I got to watch this beautiful girl, "hatch" into her potential and then grow as my little baby bird. Oh, and as beautiful as she is outside, she has a goregous spirit.
When I was making post-college decisions I thought, "Do I stay with Amy and my girls so that I can watch them finish college? Do I stay with them two more years?" But ultimately God said, "No!"
And I'm so glad He did. For AN went to do an internship with a Christian organization~ you should ask her about it~ but to give you a little taste of what she did... she spoke for those who can't speak, she fasted, she prayed, she sang, she delighted herself in the Lord, and she learned what a community of believers should look like.
Now AP came into my group my senior year. At first I didn't know what to do with Pep... our group had a joking manner where during our study we would get the giggles and just explode and sometimes Amy would gently remind us, "Shouldn't we be getting deeper now?" ha ha!! I loved that about Amy. She never wanted to stay at the level she was at. She was constantly desiring to be taught and to learn more about the Lord.
She has such a tender heart and a teachable spirit about her~ I love that she continually wants to know more about God. She is not afraid to step into the depth that He is. Some people live all their lives wading in the kiddy pool but not AP.
She joined a group of mostly non-believers so that she could reach out to them on campus.
The cool thing AP has done has been to pursue me in friendship. She has written me while I've been away and just kept me up-to-date on her life. She writes me what she is learning and what she wants to do. She talks about the hard stuff, the stuff that makes her cry or worry and also the stuff that makes her laugh and gives her joy.
I am not their mother... I am not their teacher... in fact, I believe these two girls have taught me more than I ever taught them. But I have the priviliege of watching them grow, watching them walk to the edge of the nest and say, "I don't know what is going to happen but I have to try."

But ladies, you have both soared. You have encouraged me and prayed for me, you have tenderly reached across the ocean and given me a hug when I needed you most. You may not realize this but it is true.
ALL THE GLORY TO GOD for your life.
You ladies would not be who you are without His amazing grace and love. I know you know that but I just want to give God the glory.
It was not 24/7 or JK or me... it was not Perspectives or IHOP...
God chose you, wooed you, called you, and is using you.
I am honored that I have been able to see the transformation. You ladies are more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed for you. Thank you for sharing this beauty with me.
If ever I am to have daughters I would want them to grow up and leave the nest as you two have done. I love you so much and can't wait for the next time I get to hug you in person.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

Enjoy this season of flying!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Yes, I'm from Wisconsin

I love Japanese food. In fact, I am often surprised to learn that most foreigners don't immediatly love everything they are given.
Load my plate with it all... seaweed, fish (raw or cooked), okonomiyaki, gyoza, ramen, nabe, katsudon, temakisushi, udon...
But I have to admit, when Natusmi suggested we eat at our nearby OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE I was immediatly filled with delight at the thought of eating steak. So here is my wonderful entry dedicated to my steak.

Is this really sad that I took pictures of my steak? Ha ha! Look at it! Isn't it beautiful?

I haven't used a steak knife for so long, how do you use it again?

YATTA! (meaning, "yipee skipee") Natsumi is so pretty.

Natsumi and Mary fight with their knives... "kyotsukute abunai yo!"

Wooo... the first bite. Mary laughed at me when I asked, "Can you take a picture of me with my steak?" Can you blame me? Come on, it had been a long time and it was sooo good.
The lemons were pretty sour. After we took this picture Mary quickly snapped the one below. Natsumi isn't too keen on the sour taste and I love the picture cause we're both laughing so hard.

After we ate dinner we met up with Mitsuru and Nagisa and spontaneously went to karaoke until 5AM. Mary and I dazzled them with "Be Our Guest" and lots of other cheesy songs. I also burned out my voice doing my best imitation of Green Day with "Minority". I love karaoke because the students are so calm as they are singing but Mary and I were dancing around the room and laughing and standing on the couches. We're a wild pair.

P.S. I was talking to Rochelle and after sharing with her some of my cultural blunders I thought I would write them down. But also, share with you all.

Last Tuesday my neighbor bumped into me and she knows almost no english. I mean like NONE. But she invited me over for coffee. She is precious and so I decided that it would be a good opportunity for me to chill with her and become friends. Well, there are WAY too many cultural blunders from this one afternoon to share but one of my most humilating is the fact that the little I know of Japanese I can't seem to remember when I need it the most. When you enter someones home there is a proper way to "greet" the host and for the life of me I could not remember the phrase, which is "ijamashimasu". Instead the only thing I could think of and kept for some reason repeating was, "irashaimasen" which is, "welcome to my store!" So here I am, a stupid foreigner going through her house, entering each room saying, "Welcome to my store" instead of the proper Japanese greeting.

Why do I share? In hopes that you can laugh and enjoy my life as much as I am. Also, to remind you all that life happens and you just smile and praise God for the opportunities and experiences you are given.

Thanks Rocket for laughing at me and with me. :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What's your Theme Song?

Ya know why I love music? I mean, I am seriously crazy about music~ ya know why? Because music can fit you in any situation. I've got Bob Marley for my chillin'-I-wish-I-were-rastafarian moments, Green Day for my rocker-i'm-a-punk moments, Country for my i'm-cruising-with-the-windows-down-and-i-don't-care-if-you-are-staring-at-me-i'm-going-to-sing-on-the-top-of-my-lungs moments, Bela Fleck for ANY moment, Chris Thile and Nickelcreek for the sweet moments, Phish, Van Morrison, the Beatles, Jack Johnson, Copeland, etc.

Music is my friend. Someone once told me, "I like music because it helps me escape life, and look at it from a spectator's perspective... like a movie with a background score."

I think one of my favorite questions for people is "What's your theme song right now?" I also am a fan of burning CDs of my life. I once made an excellent CD for my friend that I felt grasped how I was feeling almost precisely. Of course, there are always going to be some repeats... for example: Alison Krauss's "When You Say Nothing At All" will forever be my favorite song... even when I'm 90 I'll still be wishing I had learned guitar so I could play that song.

Whatever you are feeling, you got music to sing to, cry to, laugh with and just be YOU with. Man, that is great. So what's my song for today?

Nichole Nordeman's "I Am"... I like this song because in her lyrics she gives God practical "names" according to her life. I.E. "elbow-healer" which to me just signifies how personal God is to her... wow! Enjoy "Joanna's theme song" and prayer of her heart~ Psalm 115:1

*Pencil marks on a wall
I wasn't always this tall,
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed,
You watched my team win,
You watched my team lose,
You watched when my bicycle went down again,


And When I was weak unable to speak,
still I could call You by name, and I said

“Elbow healer, Superhero, come if You can,”
and You said “I am”

Only 16, life is so mean,
what kind of curfew is at ten PM
You saw my mistakes,
You watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I’d never love again


When I was weak,
unable to speak,

still I could call You by name,
and I said,

“Heart-ache Healer, Secret-keeper, be my Best Friend”
and You said “I am”

You saw me wear white,
by pale candlelight,
and I said "forever" to what lies ahead
two kids and a dream,
with kids that came scream,
too much it might seem when it's 2AM

when I am weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name.
“Oh Shepherd, Savior,
Pasture-maker, hold on to my hand,”
and You say “I am.”

The winds of change,
And circumstance blow in
and all around us

so we find a foothold that’s familiar,
And bless the moments that we feel
You nearer

When Life had begun,
I was woven and spun,
You let the angels dance around the throne,
who can say when,
But they’ll dance again,

when I am free and finally headed home

I will be weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name
“Creator, Maker, Life-sustainer,
Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer,
Lord and King, Beginning and the End,
I am,
I am.”*

Monday, May 15, 2006

Building Bridges

I wanted to let you know about an opportunity you have to make a difference. (and buy some stinkin' cool jewelry)

Go to: http://www.beadforlife.com
and check this out.

I don't know much about it (thanks Bev for actually directing me to it) but I was really impressed. These African women make necklaces, bracelets, anklets, etc. to raise wages for communities who have been destroyed by war and AIDS. They invest the money into health, education and training, saving and finances, and affordable housing.

If you go to their page you get to read about each of the beadmakers and see their pictures... these women are so beautiful and the work of their hands, I pray is blessed.

Man, guys! I don't know much about this group but can I just say something about our lives....

We have such a short time to make a difference, to do something that counts, to be a light and bring the Light into the darkness. We are given ONE life. That's it. And if you are like me, you have probably wondered, "What can I do? I am only one person." or "What can I do, I live in Iowa and they live in Africa?"

Well, here is your chance to look into this group and buy some funky jewelry. Hey, my birthday is coming up in September (ha ha)! But besides that, think about what you are contributing to with $20. You are giving to a community that desires change and development.

If you don't want to buy their jewelry, that's fine. For me, personally I think it's pretty sweet jewelry though, better than the junk I've bought at Wal-mart. ha ha But just take a minute, go to their page and pray for them. They need your prayers as well as your physical action.

And like the beadteam says, "We know you will enjoy them, while helping build a heartfelt bridge between Uganda and the citizens of North America."

Beadforlife I applaude you! Thank you for teaching me that to help others is not limited to our physical location but to our heart condition. I pray that God will bless the hands that make the jewelry and those that receive that jewelry~ that He will receive all the glory.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

"Let him lead"

I feel like God has brought people into my life at such a specific time. For instance, Jamie K. came into my life when I needed some leadership, friendship, and a person in my life who could model beauty from ashes. I need her so.

Katie B. came into my life when I needed a girl who would love me and stick by me no matter what. Once I gave up on our friendship (i know, sad huh?) and she confronted me (bravo) and said, that she wouldn't let me get rid of her.

Holly and Rachel came into my life when I was short on girl friendships. They encouraged my walk with God, my randomness, and my love for ice cream.

Kelli came into my life when I had just about given up on a best friend. I had many friends and the above sisters but God knew my heart desired someone who could walk through fire with me. He gave me Kelli...

I could go on... and I know I am missing so many people... but I want to get to my point.

Yesterday I got an email with a potential decision I could make. Do I trust God? This is the question... do I trust that even when I don't understand what is happening in my life, that He is still in control?!

So of course, I brought this question up to my sisters...

And Ducky told me, "If God is pursuing you, (which I believe He is) then I need to trust Him to never leave me or forsake me, to guide me, to protect me, and to lead me." Then she said something so profound, "Let Him lead."

If I take control of this situation, I am telling God, "no, this is too scary to give to You. I have to take this into my own hands..." And I've done that before. Oh, buh-lieve me! I've tried to live my own life on my own strength, wayyy too much.

So I am doing this God's way. Because I believe that what the Bible says is true, God's ways are higher than mine, He will never leave me nor forsake me, He brings things together for my good.

This fell into what I was reading today in the Word (isn't that fun when God does that...) I read Isaiah 43 and was thinking about verse 2. *When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.*

I thought, "Hm, this is interesting... God doesn't say, 'If' you walk through these things or 'try to avoid these things'. Instead He says, 'WHEN'!"

Then my Dad sent me this picture and I thought it went nicely with the thought of God leading us, although sometimes it is scary. He is STILL faithful to lead us.

So as I walk through my own difficult times, I am going to choose the way everlasting and choose to trust God.

So Lord, I am going to let You lead. I am going to trust You. And when I don't understand "why" things are happening or even what the outcome will be, I will still trust You.
I believe your ways are higher than mine. And I believe You have already brought me through fire and deep waters and steep mountain sides. You have been nothing but FAITHFUL and LOVING to me. You pursue me with passion and with perseverance.
If this next step is an opportunity to trust You and become more righteous, more patient, more gracious, more forgiving, more hopeful in You~ than I embrace this time. I embrace Your ways... Thank you for drawing me out into the wilderness and for investing in me. I will reflect the glory You have shone on me. For You and You alone...

A sense of humor

Seriously, you wouldn't believe it if I told you, which is why you're only allowed to know my reaction and not the cause... but I bet I've read those two sentences about forty times now...

You gotta have a sense of humor to live my life. I've said it before and I truly believe God has this sense of humor with me... but this? This is just hilarious!

I just gotta laugh at my life.

Because if I think about it too much, I just might cry...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Yamadera (Mountain Temple)

While I was visiting Sendai, Hannah and Julie took me on a "cruise tour" which means we had 40 minutes to see all the temples at Yamadera. I'd really like to go again and hike around some more. It was beautiful. Please enjoy these wonderful pictures along with one of my favorite promises from the Lord. *Come everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine
and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, and a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you.

Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon him while He is near, let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

"For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I pupose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."*

Isaiah 55

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

All I know about him is he is 40

Today I had something really interesting happen to me... I was going for a walk and this man was hobbling down the street toward me. I had two thoughts cross my mind, "should I help him?" and "is he some tricky con artist waiting to attack me?" So I decided because my Japanese is poor and I was alone, to pass him by. (I know you're thinking good smaritian I am not, right?)
And he cried out, "suimasen" which means "excuse me"

This was proceeded by a half an hour conversation where he asked me repeatedly to help him and I said that I couldn't. I just couldn't help but feel that something was out of place and that something was weird. I didn't feel safe letting him put his arms around my shoulders so I could carry him to his car... yet, it didn't feel right letting him hobble by himself. I thought of the angels unaware verse... and the good smaritian story... And I'm pretty sure I screwed up but I did what I thought was best... I called my friends to pick us up in their car, and as we waited he, in broken Japanese, proceeded to tell me what a LOSER he was because he had to ask for my help. It was so sad. Seriously! SERIOUSLY! Sad.

All I know about him is he is 40 and has a problem with his knee... he thinks he is a loser because he is old and injured. His life is worthless now. He told me that. And I couldn't even communicate with him or share God's love with him... He just kept asking for my help...

And what a freak show I am. I wouldn't even give it to him... I kept thinking that I would get attacked or that there was something suspicious about him. I totally HATE this. Ya know, usually I am so quick to trust and especially when I first arrived in Japan... and then I ended up getting hit on by a pick-up artist... so ya know, tough girl act. I refuse to be tricked... and I probably just let this helpless man dive deeper into his depression. He said what a "surprise" I was and he was so glad to have met me...

He just kept saying "thank you" and "i am so sorry" in Japanese over and over again. When my friends arrived he was too embarassed and wouldn't accept our help. So we drove away...

I totally blew it. Why do I regard my life as so much more important that I wouldn't even help him? I kept praying, "God if this is an angel... if I am supposed to trust Him... please intervene. Please forgive me for not being more trusting..."

Have I become hardened and uncaring? As all my compassion been spent? I beg for God's mercy cause I really don't know what I am doing in this country...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Glass Top #303

Hey there!
Thanks for stopping by... today is absolutely beautiful so I took the time to take some photos. I have more to share you but wanted to give you a quick tour of "Glass Top #303" or as our sign reads, "Gurasu Toppu #303" which is how you write it when you send a letter...
Welcome and come on in...
this is our genkan... which is where you leave your shoes and
and pick up some slippers.
First door on your left is Mary's room and the first door on your right is...

the seminjo "washroom" and the ofurdo
this is our ofurdo, which is our "bathroom"

further in and this is our kitchen

these are the spectacular shelves TJ made for us, after I saw some in a Pottery Barn for kids magazine I took it to him and said, "hey, can you make this?" and this is the masterpiece he created... they are amazing and NOT connected so we can do basically whatever arrangement we want with them. woo hoo!

this is our tatami room... see the mat floors? that's called tatami... our mats are green cause its new... usually they are a woody color (beige?) this is our "living room"...

our dining room

ah, yes and my room. sorry it's a mess... SG~ see the painting you did in high school?

these are my bookshelves. I don't have a ton of room and I have too many books and pictures... so sorry it's messy... but that's my life.

teeny weeny closet and pictures put up with magnet strips... it was a creative idea I had spur on the moment. to put magnets on my pictures and on my door and the hang them... kind of different, but way fun!

today is a holiday... so some kids woke me up this morning with their little parade... this is the view from my window/balcony.

and this is the Japanese style garden I look out on... my neighbor owns it.

and here is the train which passes my window every day... plus, the place I get gyozu when I'm in the mood... mmm, mmm, mmm

this last picture has nothing to do with my apartment... but I just got a disposable camera developed and found this picture of Megumi and I. I laughed so hard... check out her face... she's really not as mean as she looks... I laughed so hard.

oops, speaking of Megumi.

We're going to a festival tonight in Chofu... gotta run!