Spring: A Time for Renewal

 

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Spring is my favorite season in Japan.  It is a time for me to take stock, reflect on future goals and whip my house into shape before the heat of summer.  It is also a time for cherry blossoms.

When we came to Japan in 1999, we arrived the first week in March. It was cold, dark and rainy.  I thought everything was so ugly.  I remember wondering how I was going to live in such a dreary country.

The end of March, I went to Hokkaido to visit a friend.  It snowed everyday I was there.  It was so beautiful, even if it was cold!  I dreaded returning to our part of Japan.  I flew back on April 3rd. When I exited the airport, it was warm and sunny.  Then I gasped!!! There was a long row of cherry trees in full bloom!  It was so beautiful!!  I have never forgotten that first lingering look of the beautiful blossoms.  It was a special gift to me from the Lord.  Every spring I am reminded of that special gift.

Since that time, I have learned to appreciate much about Japan and see the beauty that I missed during that first month.  I enjoy my life here and there are things I appreciate about each season.  BUT every year, spring takes my breath away!!!!

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For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”  ~Isaiah 55:12-13

Spring

February is probably my least favorite month.  It’s cold, rainy and dark and I am always looking forward to spring.  Sometimes the plum blossoms bloom later in the month.  Sometimes they wait until March.  Either way, that is the first sign of spring in this part of the world.

I usually spend February doing some projects around the house before spring arrives and calls me outdoors.  For some reason this year, I’m a little anxious for the appearance of spring.  I’m even thinking about spring cleaning early!  =O

Yesterday, I packed away my Christmas village and today I put out my cherry blossom dishes.  If you’ve been here long, you know that I absolutely love the cherry blossoms.  They should be here the end of March.  That season will be extra special this year as I will have a special guest from the USA to share them with.  Can’t wait!!Hutch.jpg

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

~Genesis 1:14

Bloom Where You Are Planted

 

Bloom where you are planted,
Shine where you are sent,
Know that God has used you here,
Just the way He meant.

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Love where you are living,
Serve where it’s His will,
Know that God has plans for you,
Only He can fill.

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Grow where you are going,
Weep when you’re in pain,
Know that God restores your soul,
Makes you whole again.

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Pray when you are breathing,
Laugh when you exhale,
Know that God is near you,
Never will he fail.

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Cherish all the memories,
Make a brand new start,
Know that God has placed you
Forever in our hearts.

—A Missionary’s Poem

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*It’s plum blossom season here.  Shortly after they finish, the cherry blossoms with begin.  This is my favorite time of year here. =)