Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Still here!

No doubt you who may still actually look here had decided I gave up blogging for Lent... and then forgot it was past! I really want to do better at this! Just haven't quite figured out how yet. A continuous work in progress... thank you Lord that you don't give up on us!
I can't even remember most of whatever it is I haven't blogged about for the past two and half months! There have been birthdays, anniversaries, a wedding, school graduations, school entrance ceremonies, music events, basketball games, church, classes, visa applications...and lots of hurry up and wait ...!
The snow has at last all but disappeared from view and most days are getting warmer, though there is still that occasional chill day that makes me a little wary of putting away all the long sleeved wear.
The cherry blossoms, as well as plum, apricot, peach and a few others, have come and gone. There are still other things blooming and the colors all around do brighten things up nicely.
Monday morning we experienced the first solar eclipse to pass directly over the area in some 932 years!!! Different parts of Japan saw it differently, of course. In Nagano it was bright and clear before so it got that eery shadowy look, but not dark. All the kids around had their special glasses to view with. In some areas it was pretty cloudy so got much darker. Lots of really amazing pictures popped up in all the media.
The March for Jesus that our area churches hold will be this coming Sunday afternoon. As always, we pray for a good turnout and nice weather, and mostly that some who see us and hear our hymns will be led to Jesus.
There is still so much to be done in  the areas that were affected by last years earthquake and tsunami. Thousands are still living in temporary housing with no idea of their future. Thankfully there are still many groups that continue to reach out in those areas and do so much to encourage and help those living there and still trying to put their lives back together.
Every time I have one of those moments, or moods, where I realize I'm not feeling joyful in my heart, I have to just make myself stop and very consciously begin to list things that I have so much to be joyful over and thankful for. Of course I never finish listing them all.... God is so amazing and so wonderful in His grace, gifts and blessings. I'm working to be more aware of the opportunities He offers me every day and to listen for how He wants me to respond to them. I admit far too many likely go by unnoticed or not acted upon. Thankfully He is still there when I do snap out of myself.
Our lives here are nothing like I ever would have imagined to be. We are blessed beyond measure in ways and by means that only God can create. This doesn't mean we are constantly joyful and without daily concerns. Thank God for His love and all that it means and for each one of you that touch lives like ours for Him by your prayers, love and gifts of every kind - in ways that you may never comprehend. Your every act of kindness is a seed planted, and though you may never view the blossom it is beautiful none the less.
Always in His love and service!

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