Monday, February 20, 2006


I am back to Kim's and computer access. It has been quite a whirl wind the last few days. We were up early Sunday morning to take the train about and hour and a half to my 'home town' of Totsuka. It was a little surreal walking to the church as so much was the same with a few changes here and there. It has been such a long time since I thought about my neighborhood and the shops that I walked past almost daily for two years.

As we climbed to the third floor I heard the worship team practicing and I couldn't help but smile. Suzuki Sensei, my pastor, greeted me at the door with a hug and his wife right behind him. Then it was a frenzy of greetings and introductions. As the service was starting Suzuki Sensei asked me to talk about my job now during the sharing time. I knew I would be asked to speak at some point during the service and it was nice to have a direction. Then the music began and I smiled to see a familiar face up front but also 5 new faces singing and playing instruments. Totsuka Chapel is growing and changing and it is exciting to see.

As the music played I sat composing my testimony for these people that invested so much into me as a young person. I knew by the shuffling in the back that some of my former English students had arrived. All of them still unbelievers. And I wanted to say so much to everyone. I don't know if I communicated all that well... but I think they were encouraged. When the survice was over I was instantly enveloped by a dozen former students. They were so kind to come and most stayed for lunch with me at the church. As I began to talk to them God gave me back a lot of my memory so I could ask about children and events by name. Things that I had totally forgotten for so many years. They stayed for about an hour and then everyone left. It was only Suzuki Sensei, his wife, and a church elder that stayed to sip coffee with us for a couple of hours. Suzuki Sensei called Nate, my teaching partner for two years, and I was able to talk to him for awhile. It doesn't seem right to be here without him, somehow.

The afternoon ended with Lorrie and I hiking up the hill to my old apartment. It was fun to be in my old neighborhood and show Lorrie my life here. We went back to the train station and went a couple of stations to Kamakura. A good friend and former student, Keiko met us there. We went out to eat for gyoza(pot stickers in american-ese ... but better). Then walked to her father's hotel where we spent the night.

We woke up to a rainy Monday. We bought some bright umbrellas and made the best of it. We went to a famous temple in Kamakura before hopping on a train for a very modern shopping area that I used to spend a lot of time in. It had an English bookstore and Eddie Bauer... so when I needed a little bit of home I spent time there. We shopped the day away and had some wonderful Tonkatsu for dinner before getting on a crowded train back to Kim's. Praise God we got seats early on the ride! But we were glad to get back to Kim's and soak in her Japanese tub.

That is the brief version of the last few days.... I started this last night and couldn't finish it then... so you get the summary this morning. More later...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Day 2

Day 1 seemed to fly by in a bit of a fog at times. Waves of jet lag seemed to come and go as the day went by. Kim arranged for 3 of her students to make lunch for us and let us try on summer Kimonos. It was very fun and delicious. Then after a strong americano we made shabu shabu for dinner with some other students. I am sure I ate way more than was healthy for me.

Lorrie has been a trooper with all the strange food and languages. She is attempting to learn a few phrases and tries at least some of everything.

I am amazed at how quickly my Japanese has returned. Really, I thought it would be way more difficult to remember. But I am loving speaking and listening to the familiar sounds.

So far the worst part of the trip has been that I have a cold. But I have lived through many of those and it is only a bummer that I have to mess with it while traveling.

Tomorrow we are going to my 'home town' for church and seeing old friends and students. It will be a long and people-filled day. I just hope I have the energy and stamina to make it through.

I am off to take some cold medicine and crawl into bed.

Blessings to all...

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Greetings from Tokyo! We made it and basically have eaten and slept. But it is all very nastalgic... the smells... the sights... the sounds... it all makes me smile and remeber fondly my life here 8 years ago. Sunday I will go back to my town where I lived for two years and see my friends and church family there. That will truely be a walk down memory lane!

According to my friend Lorrie we are easing into Japanese culture. It began at the airport where we had Starbucks before getting on the train to head to Urawa(Kim's town). If you think of American coffee sizes -my personal favorite 16oz Americano with room for cream- or at Starbucks in the US a tall size. Not so here where you step down in size and my tall was a short and cost nearly $4. It was good, though. Lorrie thought whe was buying two coffees - one for her and one for Kim...but after waiting for the second coffee for 5 minutes Kim looked at her receipt to find that she only paid for one...

Check back for updates... I will try to keep up with my adventures.

PS Hello from Kim to all those who know and love her!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Baby Update

My sister's twins are letting us get to know them a little. We learned this week that we have a boy and a girl. And they have situated themselves so that they are able to kick each other in the head. This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

More thoughts on singleness

As I have thought about some comments to my last entry I have also thought about my own response to the articles. I believe the twentysomething article spoke to where I have been. While the thirtysomething article resonated with the place I have come to peace with here and now. And it really was the fourtysomething article that helped me see a future and dream instead of a prison sentence.

Last Sunday was the perfect example... I had the privelege of sitting next to a good friend and her 5 year old niece. I don't think I heard anything of the sermon, but I did get to have an ongoing conversation about the many drawings from my little friend. This, however, did not make me long for children of my own, as even I might have assumed. I left the service longing for the day when my nieces and nephews were old enough to sleep over and build forts in the living room with blankets and chairs. Dreaming of the days when I can take them on an adventure with me somewhere. I guess this is all to say that I have come to terms with the fact that I may never personally have kids... but there are so many that God has placed in my family and life that I get to pour into. There is a hope and a future. It may not be the one I had planned in my own little mind... but it may be what God planned... which is infinately better.

This is not to negate the loneliness, longing, or deams of my friends or myself. This is only to give hope of more than perpetual frustration and wondering. And I have to add that I am not always so positive on the topic... I have my days as many of you well know.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Being Single

A lot of my friends talk about being single. And most of the time it is easy for me to join in the conversation... the gripes... the struggles... the freedoms... the fun...

But mostly I have to say that they gripe. True it isn't easy and I have my days when I feel life is moving on without me. But I also know that God has been extremely faithful in bringing me friends that meet my needs at each critical point in my life when I could not do it alone.

So this is not a gripe. It is for all my single friends who need encouragement and maybe a tool or two. God plopped an article down on my desk about a year an a half ago and it has really changed my thinking on what my focus should be as a thirtysomething single woman. Fortunately I kept it around and found it in a cleaning frenzy a couple of weeks ago. So I thought I would look it up to see if it was online so I could share it with more people... and it was. So this is my link to articles for singles,1702,M%3D50019,00.html
the article that helped me so much is split on this page into three articles... twentysomething, thirtysomething, and fourtysomething.

Enjoy a little reading and who knows... maybe you will find another article that may help you find peace or speak to your specific gripe.