Catching a Cold

 Well, like self-fulfilled prophecy…. the stuffy/runny/nastified nose began. It was weird. As suddenly as my sore throat appeared Friday morning, it disappeared Saturday leaving behind lungs full of nastiness I won’t even go into, and a schizophrenic nose that can’t decide if it is stuffy, or runny, or both… but is basically frustrating me to pieces. I took the weekend off for the the most part. I slept most of Saturday… like I went to bed at 9 Friday night and didn’t wake up till about 4 pm Saturday. ( And only then because I couldn’t breathe.)

In the whole ordeal, I have really been blessed. I usually would feel SO MUCH worse right now. But perhaps the concentrated amount of vitamins, vitamin C, allergy medicine, and a few puffs of an asthma inhaler… have not only prevented me from cutting my own head off, but have helped me manage still going to school. (These are the only assortment of pills I have, since going to the pharmacy and trying to decipher Japanese medicines is probably more fatal that translating Japanese food products… and I have not been successful with THAT yet.)

The only part that REALLY sucks out of this whole ordeal, is that being sick makes Aris feel lonely in the USA, where a friend is only a phone call away. Try to get someone in Japan to risk catching your germs in order to watch a movie with you, or give you a back rub. (I don’t think I could get anyone in Japan to give me a back rub when I was healthy, on a GOOD day!) It isn’t going to happen. Oh well. The positive part of this, is that I think I am getting better. AND today is November first!!!

No, those two things have absolutely nothing to do with each other. But they both make me happy.

I am SO excited that I get to go home next month!!! I really am. I can’t wait to walk into Walmart and purchase medicines that I will bring back with me to Japan… and knowing my luck, I won’t get sick again until they all expire… oh well.


My Awaji-Mama

I went to dinner with my supervisor last night. She is an older lady who is probably the funniest Japanese person I know… and she doesn’t speak but 4 words of English. The first time I met her, she said “Awaji-mama” and pointed to herself. SO great. She brought along one of her older Japanese friends who showed me pictures of her visit to Germany , where she visited her grandson and daughter (who had married a German.) There was a younger girl at dinner too… at least in her 20’s but seemed maybe 25 or 26. We got along well since her boyfriend is in Italy… ironically where Jared is right now. She also plans to go there to visit him in December. Another coincidence. After a stomach full of okonomiyaki, we went to karaoke. I had done this only once before in Japan, and it was a room full of people, so I didn’t know what to expect out of a group of four. But it was great!! Even if I did prove to myself why I am NOT a professional singer. (AGAIN)

I woke up this morning with the sorest throat I have EVER had! The rest of me feels fine, not even a stuffy nose or anything. But I am bummed, because it sucks to have to teach where bringing water into the classroom is not ok. Oh well.

October is almost over. Soon I will be able to say, “I am going home next month.” And I am ready.

Making mistakes is ok…



So, I have been thinking through the events of my life the past few weeks…


After my revelation almost two weeks ago, life has seemed better. I still count down the days till I come home, but it isn’t all I think about. I have kept myself busy going to dinners with teachers and fellow JETs. I have barely had time to wash dishes, but I have found time to work out every day. Life is becoming normal… which is kinda scary. I have gotten used to being around so many Japanese people, not understanding anything… which is actually starting to change, I know what to mostly expect day after day. The occasional surprise, even if minor, still happen daily. I am getting used to being surprised, which makes surprises not be surprises really… just normal.




Struggles and Conviction


I have a confession.


The past few days have been full of self pity. Actually, the past few weeks have been full of self pity. I have been really struggling with my extreme and sometimes surprising desire to go home. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing that enters my mind before I drift off to sleep. I have been counting down the days till I return home since before I left… kind of to keep my spirits up, to remind myself that these feelings of loneliness are temporary and that I WILL be coming home. But within the past few weeks it has become my focus. I no longer walk to school thinking about how lucky I am to be living in Japan, I am thinking ” I can’t wait to go home so I can go_____.”


I know I am in Japan for a reason… and I am desperately trying to remember that. I know God is with me, and that if He is the one who sent me, I should be looking to see where He is working, not checking my calendar every few hours to make sure another day has not passed without me knowing.


So last night I took a real walk. I have been walking since the first of October almost every day, but yesterday I took a real walk. I focused on my surroundings and not on myself. I felt like I had forgotten I lived in  Japan, which is crazy I know, but if you stay indoors a lot, it can happen. And then I came home and read the devotionals from the past three days. (Yeah I have been a bum and hadn’t done them) And here is what I read:


   Grace For the Moment- October 7


‘As we get older, our vision should improve. Not our vision of earth, but our vision of heaven. Those who have spent their life looking for heaven gain a skip in their step as the city comes into view. After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice. In the handwriting of his old age the great artist wrote: “Draw, Antonio, draw, and do not waste time.” Well-founded urgency, Michelangelo. Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. And life ends. And what we came to do must be done while there is time.’ – Max Lucado


WOW!!! What a convicting passage for me! I don’t know what I figured I was letting myself do, by getting into a mental state of biding time. It’s like wasting water by letting the shower run, even though you are already clean. Sometimes it feels good to take an extra moment… but in the long run it’s just wasteful. I have been thinking “If I can just make it till Christmas, then I can come back and make an impact.” No… I can look forward to Christmas, but I have this time right now to do what I came to do.


As if that passage wasn’t convicting enough, here is today’s:


      Grace for the Moment- October 13


‘Jesus says the options are clear. On one side there is a voice of safety. You can build a fire in the hearth , stay inside, and stay warm and dry for what you don’t try, right? You can’t fall if you don’t take a stand, right? You can’t lose your balance if you never climb, right? So don’t try it. Take the safe route. OR, you can hear the voice of adventure- God’s adventure. Instead of building a fire in your hearth, build a fire in your heart. Follow God’s impulses. Adopt the child. Move overseas. Teach the class. Change careers. Run for office. Make a difference. Sure it isn’t safe,  but what is?’


Another WOW. This passage made me look at what I have ALREADY done! I must have forgotten the risks I took, the insecurity I faced, the loneliness I KNEW would come… to follow where God wanted me. I forget what I do sometimes… and since it is myself… I always tend to belittle it, even if it is a really good thing. The hardest part is OVER! Now I am here, doing what I do. Waiting on God to call me to my next adventure, while not forgetting that I am here now for a reason. And it isn’t my time to waste.


I am looking forward to coming home… but now, I don’t feel upset that that time isn’t now.


A Poem

Crazy Days….

It’s raining now… a beautiful cloudy day.

Freshly sent chai is waiting for me at home… as is a workout that I will create as I go.

My shapes are changing… I am not who I used to be.

They call me Alice in Wonderland…. I think I might agree.