A bracelet

Because when the Lord clears your eyes, you never want to know what it’s like to not see again.

And when He splits open your heart, it’s a rupture that you know will never mend.

And when He breaks through your hardened ears, you realize you’re hearing for the very first time.

IMG_2664

Because He is Father to the fatherless, and defender of widows, and He sets the lonely in families. (Psalm 68)

And because he has told us what is good and what He requires of us…

To do justice, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)

Showing us purest religion, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. (James 1:27)

IMG_4025

So this bracelet

A reminder to be that which we yearn for most on this broken soil. A reminder to be a willing vessel for the Lord’s will to be done on earth, just as it is in heaven.

So from one broken heart strung tight to another, a bracelet supporting a friend who is waiting to bring their baby girl home.

Would you pray with me for them?

Would you consider what the Lord is laying on your heart?

Would you watch this video, hear their story and ask the Lord how He yearns to leverage your life for the least of these (Matthew 25)?

Would you just begin to even consider, that life, this one very fleeting wisp of a life, is meant to be lived out until empty for the world around us, for our very own flesh and blood kin. It’s meant to be spent, poured out like a drink offering, receiving life abundant from the only One who willingly poured out and emptied His own life for our sake.

And would you consider, what a grace that radical, a grace that altering compels one to do.

What it compels one to live..

What it compels one to be.

Advertisements

A bit of Tetras..

Well, we’re up to our ears in boxes and packing paper!

Praise the Lord, the first shipment of our stuff made it here in one piece! Aside from the usual wear and tear, the bulk of our things arrived Monday with no catastrophes, and I’ve been working on setting up our home dawn til dusk.

Feet of snow don't stop them

Feet of snow don’t stop them

This little guy ended up having to go through a window to get in our house...

This little guy ended up having to go through a window to get in our house…

We are finally rid of the oh-so-charming FMO furniture. Bailey is probably the most upset about this..

Shhh, don't tell!

Shhh, don’t tell!

We really don’t have that much stuff. I know we have a dog, but we don’t have kids and we like to do things pretty minimally around here. But you would think we were hoarders with the current state of our house…

This is even after a little organizing on my part

This is even after a little organizing on my part

Let’s just say, it’s been a giant game of tetras finding a place for everything. And this is left to the very “visual-spatial” -ly challenged one to figure out..

Yeah...

Yeah…

So naturally, this week has been chiefly dedicated to setting up house and home. But here are a few other happenings as of late..

A traditional Japanese basket meal

A traditional Japanese basket meal

Our first sushi here in Japan

Our first sushi here in Japan, ordering on a touch screen

Yep, it comes on a conveyor belt. The Japanese have efficiency down to an art..

Yep, it comes on a conveyor belt. The Japanese have efficiency down to an art.

I promise I had other more sushi-like plates. This is a hamburger patty, on rice, with cheese. Yeah....

I promise I had other more sushi-like plates. This is a hamburger patty, on rice, with cheese. Yeah….

Oh and did it ever! Although another meltdown has since begun

Oh and did it ever! Although another meltdown has since begun

Bailey in heaven..

Bailey in heaven..

More pics and stories to come!

 

These last few days…

These last few days brought with them quite a few new adventures…

From language classes, Bible Studies, books, and lots of work…

To much needed baths,

Bailey looking all sweet after a much needed grooming, yes...I made her pose.

Bailey looking all sweet after a much needed grooming. Yes, I made her pose.

Documenting new journeys,

For documenting and planning our adventures

For holding our adventures

And discovering a flower garden under all the snow.

IMG_3854

Anyone know what this is?

Anyone know what this is?

From days of celebrating our love,

IMG_3857

With pizza straight from the heart of Naples,

Yumba!

Yumba!

Italian pizza...in Japan...

Italian pizza…in Japan…who knew!?

To origami class and being all, “visual-spatial”.

A balloon

A balloon

From special days worth celebrating,

Love this man!

Love this man!

Love this man!

To new (snow covered) vehicles,

Our new (snow covered) ride!

And first festival adventures!

Look out world, the directionally challenged one is the Nav...

Look out world, the directionally challenged one is the Nav…

Entrance to the Lake Towada Snow Fantavista!

Entrance to the Lake Towada Snow Fantavista!

We drove south two hours for lots of snow, cold, and lights!

We drove south two hours for lots of snow, cold, and lights!

A snow chapel

A snow chapel

Inside an igloo bar

Inside an igloo bar/restaurant

IMG_3914

IMG_3928

Festivities

Festivities

Warm Japanese plum wine in frozen carved out apples!

Warm Japanese plum wine in frozen carved out apples!

Fireworks to end the night!

Fireworks to end the night

To the gloriousness that is Ramen,

Warmed us up!

Warmed us up!

Soooo goooood

Soooo goooood

And friends for Bailey,

Sweet Lucy

Sweet Lucy, bandana friends!

More painting,

Chalkboard painted wall---aka, my husband is a GENIUS!!

Chalkboard painted wall—aka, my husband is a GENIUS!!

Sweet cafes,

Cafe Live Forever

Cafe Live Forever

Delish scones and espresso

Delish scones and espresso

And topping our bellies off on our “extra” day!

Strawberry picking in Nanbu town!

Strawberry picking in Nanbu town!

IMG_3973

All you can eat while you pick!

All you can eat while you pick!

Our bellies were happy

Our bellies were happy

Nanbu town is filled with orchards boasting a huge variety of seasonal fruit.

Nanbu town is filled with orchards boasting a huge variety of seasonal fruit. I’ll be making this drive again!

IMG_3987

The carnage

The carnage, maybe two cartons of strawberries each?

Kuduo-san. Wanted to just hug her

Kuduo-san. Wanted to just hug her. And no, I’m not wearing heels.

IMG_3992

Luf him

Luf him

Well that about wraps up another week here in the lovely Japan! Continuing to enjoy lots of snow (got a few feet this weekend) and await the arrival of our stuff. Hard to believe we’ve been here almost a month! This city and country is always surprising us with the amount of really awesome things to do and see.

YOU should seriously come visit!

But for reals,

I’ve got a rented couch with your name on it friend..

Oyasumi nasai.

(goodnight)

Vast Beyond All Measure

As we start the season of Lent and the journey to the Cross,

I was just wondering if you knew..

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

His wounds have paid my ransom.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,

made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—

it is by grace you have been saved.”

Ephesians 2:4-5

The Weaving Carries On

Have you ever wondered how it all winds together?

How the pieces from this day, and from that fit into one?

How the days string into weeks stringed to months and even years.

The moments. 

The ones of crystal clarity and the ones dark and cloudy. The joyous and the jaded. The purposeful and the plain.

The times of living and even of dying.

Have you wondered how they all fit, stepping back to get a closer look?

Have the gifts of distance and of time given you the eyes to finally see?

When we see, but especially when we don’t…the weaving still continues. The weaving carries on.

The knitting together, it began in the mother’s womb but it hasn’t stopped and won’t quit because the weaver Himself hasn’t quit.

All of it matters. All of it matters.

This beautiful tapestry being woven in my life and in yours is without flaw, without mistake. It’s looks exactly as it should.

Are you looking? Looking for what He’s weaving in and through you?

Are you ready to be a part of it? Stepping fully in, heart fully engaged, hands fully open?

The weaving, it keeps coming.

And self…it steps aside, avoiding the inevitable tangle, it’s sole desire to be woven to the Master’s design.

Our goings and comings

Well, it’s been awhile…

I know, I know, I’m sorry! I truly am! It’s hard to believe that mere days have passed when life has been full enough for a month of living.

This past week has seen many new and exciting things plus plenty of the plain old ordinary.

We toured this new city turned home.

A local Buddhist temple we toured. This room is filled with boxes of ashes

A local Buddhist temple. This room is filled with boxes of ashes.

IMG_3776

We toured a nearby city, Hachinohe, a thirty minute drive south of us.

Hachinohe fish market!!

Hachinohe fish market!!

SO stinky, but we got the best salmon we've ever had here!

SO stinky, but we got the best salmon we’ve ever had here!

A Shinto shrine.

A Shinto shrine.

IMG_3804

IMG_3821

IMG_3822

We readied our house and spent the weekend painting away (with still more to do!)

yes

A new headache, I mean experience, hand mixing our paint. Notice the grey, a safe color choice..

We enjoyed a long weekend due to Superbowl Monday morning parties….weird?!

We have one of hopefully two vehicles lined up to buy.

Lots going on, lots still to do. Continuing to meet new faces and getting excited about the opportunities for friendship that seem to be cropping up in varied places. Trying to find our place and see what the Lord has in store for this new season of life. Taking those changes slowly, settling in to what He has.

Today, actually, was our first “real-ish” day! Bryson has official gone to work at the Sq starting MQT (Mission Qual Training) which will consume the next several months of his (and my!) life. He’s hitting the ground running with a busy week to get back into the swing of things.

So of course, I thought it fitting to hit the ground running in my own way. I drove (!) myself to Bible Study this morning in a snowstorm, ran several errands, got our mail at the Post Office, and didn’t make a single horrible traffic decision. Yes friends, it’s been a big day over here!

Call me crazy, but this whole driving on the “wrong” side of the road has already started to feel right.

Tomorrow I’m starting the first of several Intro to Japanese language lessons which I’m super excited about! We’ve picked up a smattering of typical greetings these past few weeks but I’m looking forward to learning more and hoping to have intentional opportunities to use what I learn. That along with some possible cooking and origami classes, reading and plenty of tromping in knee-deep snow with Bailey Rae will keep me busy until the majority of our stuff gets here in two weeks.

By the way, this is what everything looks like right now, the golf course is just a few doors down from us…

Beautiful untouched snow on the golf course

Beautiful untouched snow on the golf course

Bailey posing pretty whilst loving life :)

Bailey posing pretty whilst loving life 🙂

Overlooking the lake and mountains in the distance

Overlooking the lake and mountains in the distance

Bailey's snow dress

Bailey’s snow dress

Yep, we’re loving this winter wonderland! Here’s some from another day..

IMG_3828

IMG_3845

Stinker

Stinker

 

The back of our house

The back of our house

And one more for your amusement….

Consequences of playing in melting snow...bath time!

Consequences of playing in melting snow…bath time!

Laughing much, living simplistically and wearing the same clothes often. (Never fear, we have a washer!) Staying warm, sleeping deep and thanking the Lord for going before us and faithfully preparing a way…