Furlough is coming…

…I can always tell when it is time for furlough.  Little cultural irritants can…well, for lack of a better word…irritate.  I dug through my blog posts and pages to read this one reposted below.  I need the reminder.  I highly recommend keeping a journal.  You don’t have to write it in everyday.  Things that have helped me in the past, always help in the present when I go back and review what I have written.  As an update, we have now lived almost 9 years in this city instead of the 4 mentioned in the repost.  I keep working on this difficult language.  My understanding has improved on a very small scale and my ability to speak is still very limited.  I keep plugging’ along.  I am thankful for all opportunities the Lord gives to me to minister in English!  =)

grapes-on-vines-languedoc-roussillon-france-europeCulture Shock and the Fruits of the Spirit

Dealing with cultural issues…If you are living in a country that is not your own, you will deal with these from time to time.  These issues can be very irritating. I describe them as pebbles in your shoe: small, but terribly annoying, even painful.

Let me give you a little background information. This is our second term in this country. We spent 3 years in another city, 3 years stateside and we are finishing our 4th year in this city. There are some things that contribute to the irritations that I face. One is my age. No matter how willing I am, I find that change becomes more difficult the older that I become. A second factor is that I am the “new kid on the block.” My husband’s parents and brother’s family are nearby. My hubby is a missionary kid from this country. It is his home. My husband’s parents have been here over 35 years. His brother’s family has been here over 20 years. They are all very comfortable here, but I am in the adjustment period. I struggle with this very difficult language. I can sit in a meeting for 2 hours and understand very little. Each city in this country is different. Each has some unique twists in the culture and even has its own slang language. I’m not saying this to make you feel sorry for me, just to help you know where I am coming from.

Last Tuesday, we had the ladies Bible study. My hubby teaches it. I was quite clueless for most of it, so had my own little study. The Lord has ministered to my culture shocked soul in the past from the fruits of the Spirit. That day, He did it again. I have a study Bible that I love. The notes are thorough and often instruct me. Such was the case that day.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”~Galatians 5:2-23

Joy-”…the sense of well being experienced by one who knows all is well between himself and the Lord (I Pet. 1:8). Joy is not the result of favorable circumstances, and even occurs when those circumstances are the most painful and severe (John 16:20-22). Joy is a gift from God, and as such, believers are not to manufacture it but to delight in the blessing they already possess (Rom. 14:17; Phil. 4:4).”

Peace-“The inner calm that results from confidence in one’s saving relationship with Christ. The verb form denotes binding together and is reflected in the expression ‘having it all together.’ Like joy, peace is not related to one’s circumstances.”

Longsuffering-“…the willingness to accept irritating or painful situations (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; I Tim. 1:15-16).”

Gentleness(meekness)-“It is a humble and gentle attitude that is patiently submissive in every offense, while having no desire for revenge or retribution.” Three necessary attitudes are mentioned: submission to the will of God (Col. 3:12), teachability (James 1:21), and consideration of others (Eph. 4:2).

These fruits are something we acquire as we grow in our knowledge of God (2 Pet. 1:2). I am so thankful that I don’t have to conjure up these fruits. All I have to do is continue in God’s Word and He will give me these fruits.

I will close with something that a friend wrote in a farewell card to me over 10 years ago.

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
~Psalm 61:2

“He who communes with God is always at home.” ~C.H. Spurgeon

~Notes are taken from the MacArthur Study Bible

photo credit: allposters.com

His Robes for Mine

Robe-eHis robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!

I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

~Chris Anderson

*photo credit:  google images

photo[3]Amy Butler Swing Bag

I made my bow a little smaller since I am so short.

Bridging the Gap

Asuke, Japan, Fall 2009

Asuke, Japan, Fall 2009

“Perseverance bridges the gap between the trial and the blessing of becoming mature and complete, not lacking anything” (page 126).

~Made to Crave Action Plan

Feeling Crafty

So I’ve been doing a lot more crafting and sewing lately.  I have a big project that I am working on right now that I can’t wait to share with you all.  Maybe in a week or two…but for today, I stepped away from the big project to work on a smaller project.  I needed a new notebook for my What Do I Know About My God? notebook.  It has grown to the point that I can’t add any pages or turn the ones I have.  Paper sizes and notebook sizes are different here.  Since I started this notebook in the USA, all my paper is from there.  I didn’t want to start the notebook again on Japanese paper to fit a Japanese notebook.  I was at a loss as to what to do and then I remembered this post from Homespun Living.  I didn’t have any old books that I was willing to take the cover from, so decided to make my own.  notebook 1I covered cardboard with a beautiful Japanese washi paper and then covered that with clear contact paper to protect it.  I added 3 rings from the 100 yen shop (a.k.a. dollar store) and I have a new notebook that I love!  notebook 2If I need to expand it again, I can just buy bigger rings.  What fun!

My photos aren’t that great.  Maybe learning to take better blog pictures should be my next project.  :)

A Cultural Moment

Fotor0320200532I preparation of my hubby’s upcoming surgery, he has become considerably smaller.  It kind of cracks us up that everyone here congratulates me instead of him for the effort made.  =)


calendarThis year I participated in the T-tapp Challenge that began on January 25th and ends March 25th.  I’ve learned so much and as I look back over my exercise calendar of workouts, I realize I was consistent!!  WooHoo!  Can’t wait to see my results next week.


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