Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

As usual, I can't believe how quickly this last year has gone by.  When I look back over the year, I am simply in awe of God's faithfulness and grace in our lives.  It was not an easy year, but through the challenges, we have seen God work in incredible ways.  God has brought healing this last year, healing from unexpected places, and healing that we didn't even know we needed. He has provided grace for the journey, so we are able to look back, not with bitterness or regret, but simple thankfulness for His presence and guidance and anticipation of new and exciting adventures in the future. As our boys continue to grow and develop, I am also in awe that God gifted them to us... they are so full of life and pure joy, and I am so thankful that we get to share this journey together.

The scripture that carried me through this last year and continues to challenge me in this new year is Deuteronomy 30:19-20 - "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." 
God continues to teach me what it means to choose life, His life, every day.  To everyone who prays for us and supports us - thank you so much!  We are so thankful to share this journey with you.  May God continue to show us how He is working around us and how we can join Him in His work wherever He places us.  Happy New Year from Okinawa!

Motheread follow-up

It's New Year's Eve in Okinawa, so it's a good time to catch up on a couple overdue blog posts. :)  Thank you for your prayers for my Motheread class this last fall! I wanted to share some of the pictures from our final party. We had our last class on a Saturday morning, and spouses and kids were also invited.  We read a book together, acted it out, did a craft, and had lunch together... it was wonderful! I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with my new friends over the 8 weeks we met for the class.  Once again, I witnessed God's amazing miracles of language -  even though we didn't always have perfect communication and understanding, God blessed us with new friendships, meaningful discussions, and excitement about how we can continue to work and meet together after Christmas.  Please continue to pray for these special relationships, continued opportunities to meet together, and, of course, my Japanese language skills. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

24 Hour Vacation

As usual, I can't believe it's already December!  The summer flew by and it seems this fall went by even more quickly.  Life has been busy but full of amazing friendships and memories.  God continues to teach us so many things and we are in constant awe of His grace and working in our lives.  Our summer was wonderful, but as it came to a close, we realized we never had any time away just for our family and we could tell we needed it. :)  But the fall calendar was busy and it's difficult for us to get away on weekends.  So we came up with a new idea that we all fell in love with and can't wait to repeat... the 24 hour vacation!

We picked up the boys early from school on a Friday and informed them we were going on vacation... for 24 hours. :)  Thanks to Brian's jar of change, some leftover birthday gift money, and support from our LINKS churches, we were able to have a short but very meaningful and fun get away. :)
So we checked in to our hotel and immediately went to the pool.  It was a little cool outside but we had just enough sun to still enjoy ourselves. 
We had a wonderful dinner and evening walk on the beach. 

The next morning we greatly enjoyed the hotel breakfast buffet (always our favorite part of staying at Japanese hotels... and we were way too busy eating to take any pictures) and spent our last hour in the pool again.

After we checked out we enjoyed a special treat for lunch and then went to a fun nature park we hadn't been to before. Then we made it home in time for supper and church the next day. :)



 A few years ago, I probably would have never been okay with us doing something like this... we should have had more time away, the hotel was too expensive, we missed an event and had stuff we should be doing, etc., etc.  But thankfully God is so patient with me and is teaching me to look at things differently.  There are always things that need to be done, and He is teaching me to not be so concerned with all those things... every day we have together is precious and wonderful.  It's important to work at what He has called us to, but it's also extremely important to obey His Sabbath commands and rest, get away, and play together... even if it's just for 24 hours.  :)