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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Refreshed and Simple

I just recently returned from my Summer vacation, and I’m about to jump into the second trimester of the school year. Without that break I just mentioned, I don’t know how I’d be feeling about another 7 months here.

Here’s a (hopefully) succinctly written version of the break:

Buses to Fuji. Found a place to stay after a horror story of losing the place I paid for. Climb Mt. Fuji. Made friends.

Fly to Australia. Layover in the Gold Coast. Made a plane friend. Walked along the beach in the Coolangata area.

Fly to Sydney. Stayed with one of my favorite people, Ashley. Darling Harbour. Tumbalong Park. Broadway Shopping Centre. Touched the Sydney Opera House. Walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Rocks. Museum of Contemporary Art. Sydney buses buses buses. Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach walk. Wild dolphins. Taronga Zoo. Ferries as public transport. Australian animals. Koalas. Wombat! The Blue Mountains. Waterfalls. Rainforest. Wild kangaroos. Coogee Beach. Swimming. Freezing. Darling Harbour Fireworks. Pancakes on the Rocks. McDonalds’ chicken and cheese sandwiches. Max Brenner (chocolate by the bald guy) hot chocolate. Chinatown. Paddy’s Market. Hillsong Church. Hillsong Church. Nightime walks and encouraging talks. Cathedrals. Different Art Museum. Royal Botanic Gardens.

Fly to Cairns. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. New friend. Esplanade. Night Markets.

Fly to Tokyo. Bus to Sendai. Subway. Walk.

I was travelling alone most of the time, and I made it back home safely. I’m very thankful for that. All those things I saw and did mean more to me than the experiences they gave me, though. I feel so refreshed, like I have a better perspective of my life as it is right now, and like I have a better understanding of what the future looks like.

Life words right now:
temporary. Everything on earth is temporary. And my time here, specifically Japan, is the same. Appreciate this temporary opportunity. Treasure it. Live it fully.

missions. This is on my heart. It will always be on my heart (not temporary). I don’t know how that will unfold for me, but I’m at peace that it will be a beautiful story that I don’t deserve.

Simple words that mean so much. Pray I can live and learn these words as I start the last half of the school year.



Again it’s been too long since I’ve written. I’m finally feeling like my brain has a chance to think about something other than work or making sure traveling plans are not going to fall apart. Praise God for the blessing of great times with my students, but praise Him again for some rest!

The camp season has just finished for my kiddos, and the relationships that I was able to build on grew beyond my expectations. I feel so much closer to many of my students, and I think that most of them can feel to some degree the sincere care and appreciation I have for each kid. They are all unique and precious, and I loved seeing them interact with each other and with me on our trips. They gave me lots of laughter and only a little bit of stress. :-) I am beyond blessed to be their teacher. Can I keep them?

In just over a week I’m headed down to Mt Fuji with the goal to climb to the top of it and back down. And live. I’ll be packing my inhaler for sure. After that I’ll fly to Australia to visit my dear friend, Ashley, and scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef. Yesterday I googled how to beat up a shark (just in case). How blessed am I to get to live out my dreams of travelling! I definitely don’t take it for granted. After all that, it’s back to work for the second trimester and only 7 months left in this school year. Time is flying!

I’m happy to say that I had a thought worth writing about (in my head it seemed worth it, at least) the other day. I’ve been listening to Air1 on my phone lately and there was a song that came on that got me thinking. I didn’t really like the song, just not my style, but the lyrics struck something in me and I started thinking… (And now I like the song a lot.)

Album: Into the Light

The story behind it:

Here’s something strange about me: I can never hold a grudge; I can never stay mad at someone for a significant amount of time;  I can never treat someone differently after they hurt me. It’s just not possible. Now, you may think I must be really good at forgiveness.


I’m really really good at forgetting. I don’t know if I intentionally try to forget when I’m wronged, but I for sure can’t recall something like that much later. And I don’t think I’ve often treated someone differently after it happened either. I don’t know where I picked up this trait, but I’m a pro at forgetting when I’ve been hurt by something.

The fact that I can treat people as if nothing has happened I think is ok in itself. However, the lack of a forgiving heart behind it weakens, if not negates, the spirit of love in my actions.


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  1 Cor. 13:1


If I can’t really forgive things which are obviously small and insignificant since I can forget about them, though hurtful anyway, how will I be able to forgive something that is so significant that it could never be forgotten? When someone does something as small as talking badly to me or about me, I can forget it. But what about something so huge that it’s unthinkable? Can I simply forget that, as well?

If I turn the situation around just a little, I put my forgetfulness on God. And I’m the one wronging Him. God forgets and He forgets if He’s like me. But maybe one day something in His memory is recollected, and there is still an unspoken conflict between us. Or maybe one day, I mess up so ginormously that there is no way it can just simply be forgotten. Either way, I lose.

The only way to truly forget is to first forgive. Even if you do remember again, it’s already been let go. There’s no conflict inside; only love.

Conclusion: I must consciously practice forgiveness in every small thing, and when, God forbid, a big storm comes, I have the most loving and godly reaction: forgiveness. This is what God does for us daily.


Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1