Gifted

Pretty paper-wrapped or boxed presents… with fancy bows and shining colors. No’b, not that kind of gift.

The thought in my head: Gifted people. 

Some are gifted. Born that way. They may struggle in other areas of life, but if you wish to read the encyclopedia at age 6, I’m betting you’re gifted in one way or another… But no, I’m not talking about that type of gifted either.

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If you are one of those who can see the rainbow beyond the cloud, then you are gifted with a stellar faith I’m downright envious of! 

I’m a doubter. From early childhood or as far back as I can remember, I have been drinking deep of a cocktail known as “Trust Doubt” or the liquor called “Prove It”. Occasionally both and undiluted.

When I can’t see a so-called “silver lining” to circumstances or somehow put reason behind things about to happen, I look for God and want Him to prove to me that He is still good. But I doubt Him.

When my child is in bed at night crying salty tears, telling me she hates life, I seriously wonder where Jesus is, because in those moments – I sincerely look and cry out to Him but I do not find Him. Every time she utters those words in one way or another, a part of me dies. Broken-heart-two-part-heart-wallpaper

Unless you have walked a mile in my shoes, you have no clue what it feels like! 

I still have my faith. I can’t really get fiercely angry with Jesus if I don’t believe He exists. So that’s that.

I’m not gifted. I wish I could see the rainbow beyond the cloud.

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Teaching homeschool

Once upon a while ago… about a year I suppose… I began homeschooling. I made a promise – to myself – that homeschooling wasn’t something I was going to blog about.

I may have to eat my words. 6a0134813bd9b0970c01538e76c72f970b-600wi

During my daily life of homeschooling my 11 year old, I often turn, twist and tune a thought, complaint or idea – and find that I want to share it. So I started a “journal input” category here on my blog. It’s basically for short diary-type posts.

The thought in my head is “I’m NOT a teacher!”

Teaching or being a teacher is and has always been as far from me as my repented sins!

I do not like, nor do I wish to teach in any shape or format. However, the Lord has placed me in a situation where I have no choice. And yet – When I go to Him and complain about me being this homeschooling mom, essentially being someone I do not want to be – He is in full agreement with me.

I know! It sounds strange.

I can’t teach (many homeschooling moms say the exact same thing: I can’t do this), but for me, it’s actually fully true and fully supported by the Lord.

By acknowledging the very fact that I can’t and shouldn’t teach, I am able to take on a role that enables me to homeschool; I can give assignments and I can help my daughter by showing her HOW to find out the things she needs to find out… In this way, I am still mom, not the teacher, and despite having a curriculum to follow, it’s a “working together” thing which in its basic form boils down to relationship.

Did that make sense?

In essence; I can do this.

Scolding-Nun

Not because I want to, because I still cringe at every curve, but because the Lord needs me to, I can relax in my “role” – and (for the most part – ahem!) not turn into some crazy frenzied “nun-mom”.

Rising Boy Scouts

smd_f_000593_george_michael_through_webMy love for music has always been a dominating factor in my life. From my tweens until now. It can more or less literally set my mood. When George Michael sings “Through” – I fall to pieces inside… Emotionally wrecked as I am, combined with that magnificent voice he had… Oh boy! jpeg

Remnants of my youth (B.C.) and young adulthood still remains hidden in my heart. I thought I had it under lock and key. Nicely tucked away because “non-Christian music isn’t really for Christian people…”

Maybe not – and truth be told, most of the popular contemporary music out there is more or less outrageous in various degrees of shocking or scandalous ways. On Spotify, the popular playlists have more songs flagged as “explicit content”, than I dreamed could be true and almost literally – the songs they sing today are chockfull of f-, b- and s-words. So honestly, choosing the Christian music road was easy. Until now.

Since my daughter has entered teenhood, she has also entered a new world of popular music. I try to stay up to date with what she’s listening to. Mainly to make sure she knows where I stand on the various music genres. I certainly don’t want her to find it surprising that I’m not a fan of explicit lyrics, even if the beat is good.

She is still making her own decision about Jesus and I have learned that God does what God needs to do, as long as I stear clear… so I butt out.

I love worship music. I really do… when I need to sit down and be still with the Lord.

1c5889d81ed68b1e2d5cedaf1e6f71fbAny other time or occasion, I’m down with the beat and recently my daughter got into K-pop. BTS to be more specific – Okay, BTS is the SOLE object of her attention! She explores all aspects of the band and its members and has now achieved decorating her room as a real genuine A.R.M.Y.  (BTS’s fans. ARMY stands for “Adorable Representative M.C for Youth”). BTS stands for “Bangtan Sonyeondan” which translates into “Bulletproof Boy scouts”.
I’m writing this post fully aware that BTS is being marketed fiercely targeting the US market… my marketing degree wasn’t entirely wasted. They won their 2nd – well deserved – Billboard Music Award a week ago and have paved a way for Asian music in the english speaking world. Maybe.

At first, I was observing and taking an interest but sort of stayed “away”. But when I saw those boys dance (my word!!) and sing and saw the youtube videos about their life back stage and dance practice etc, I found myself very attracted to their music and downloaded it to my Spotify playlist!

The positive messages these boys are sending to their ARMY, through videos, interviews and songs, baffles me. My daughter has vividly pressed through some hard days because she’s an ARMY and has found a “family” of fans who respect her and share love. She has even begun learning Korean through DuoLingo. The amount of positive influence BTS has already had on my child is insurmountable so guess how pleased I was to learn that 2 of the members believe in Jesus… But – but, their music isn’t Christian. 266px-BTS_at_the_31st_Golden_Disk_Awards

I don’t understand all the lyrics of their songs, but they are decently dressed, amazing dancers and they can sing! The lyrics don’t use any x-words…
They are proof that it is possible to be highly successful “nice guys” in a world where “extremely outrageous” seems to be “the more the better”.
I fell in love with the way they openly show love! Yes – love! They way they love each other and how they love their ARMY.

So, I fully support my daughter being an ARMY. I’m ARMY too… perhaps in a different way than when I was a teen, but I believe the world needs more “boy scouts”!
And… eh… yeah, I do have a bias, but I’m not telling – he he…

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Analog Woman in a Digital World

Amish-lifeA part of me is envious of the Amish way of life… No electronics to distract from the work they do alone or together. Well, I’m not Amish so can’t really say what that life would be like, but essentially, wouldn’t it be nice with a more simple lifestyle?

– She said… and kept typing on her electronic device… –

A simple lifestyle where the focus would always be on doing the good and right thing. Such as cooking the healthy fresh foods. Reading an old dusty book. Make a phonecall to a friend for a chat. Cleaning a room a day or something like that. Never shopping for unnecessary things – ahem! Play fun and educational games with the kids. Making the simple things a priority.

Instead it seems that life has to be busy, electronic and even complicated to be “good” – or fashionable. It’s a digital world. header
I rely on electronics for various things and while that’s not a bad thing, communication is often limited to text messages… so I don’t need to call and disturb anyone. The more busy I feel, the more popular I feel – or skilled, or professional or whatnot and I haven’t found a better tool to help me feel busy than the world renowned electronic device (regardless of name)!

We just “look better” sitting in Starbucks with a kindle rather than an old dusty book. Kindle Voyage 2014 woman at coffee bar

I’m “analog”. Or old-fashioned if you wish. I’m the one carrying the old dusty book to Starbucks (if there were any around my area). That’s honestly the only thing that hasn’t snuck it’s head into my life yet: The Kindle!
As for the rest… I too often skip the healthy cooking, I prefer texts and I do facebook in a limited way (e.g. I post, but rarely read the newsfeed – my life gets too depressing if I do that). I stay busy! I wish I was busy doing all the good things I want to put focus on. Instead I find myself busy being on my electronic devices that steals my time.

But I did invite all the electronics in!
I’m writing a blog for crying out loud. If I didn’t like electronics and the online world, I shouldn’t be doing a blog, let alone two! Duh!

I also use both Netflix and Spotify… and some days a lot and obviously all the vast amounts of helpful apps!

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Essentially, what I want to do isn’t what I do. But what I do, isn’t what I would like to do.
And yet, it is. I watch Netflix because I like it. I listen to music on Spotify because I enjoy it. I post stuff to facebook because I enjoy seeing reactions from friends and family. I email and text because it’s convenient.

So forget the Kindle!
That’s where I draw the line… ?!

Thank you

When I began this blog some 5 or 6 years ago, it sprang from me “having something on my heart.” At the time I really didn’t know what… well, maybe except from me wanting to tell my story.

If that makes sense.

My first posts were up and around. Dancing around the pit of that time: Stress!

I got a lot of therapeutic writing out which was great. But after that I had a long long time of no posting. Not really sure why though but I suppose I just needed some space to grow. Emotionally. Rest after stressing… Learning to see the signs of stress and acting upon them. That last part – Yeah, VERY important part! 

Here I am 5 years later – and +850 followers. WOW! OozX1_f-maxage-0

I need to say thank you – for following me and my journey, for loving and praying me through the best and worst of times. You are amazing out there in the blogosphere!

I’m still writing my book about Joy and Liz. It’s an amazing journey to walk in your mind – writing a book I mean. A story. Lives woven together.

Thanks for sticking with me!  I pray the Lord will fill each and every one of you with plenty of Joy!

 

Warrior to War

More than inspirational! Definitely beyond “cute”!

While it has taken me forever to watch the movie “War Room” – it’s been in my DVD drawer for more than a year! – I had a nudge and watched it this weekend.

warroom-687x550A movie that inspires to the point of “I want to watch a sequel” is a super fantastic well made movie.

Heck – I wanted to clean out MY closet!!

Unfortunately, there’s no sequel… which sucks…

Fight back, the right way.

No message, pastor or book ever got the point across to me the way “War Room” does.

Prayers are great for communication with the Lord and we are really good at praying for all “the right blessings”. But the Bible says to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Because they are not our enemies; The unseen devil is. When we pray God fights for us. 

I’m telling you: I’m off to War!!

I have battles in this household; Stolen joy, depression and deep dark thoughts, struggles with accepting God and His salvation. Physical pains and dietary needs.

God will fight for me and this household, so I’m going into battle.

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My closet? It’s still intact. Because a STILL SMALL VOICE whispered to me, that “THE WAR ROOM IS FOUND IN THE HEART OF A WARRIOR”

Sound the trumpets.

 

The Zero Tradition

So it’s been Christmas. I think that’s a part of a song lyric actually. Never mind.

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I love Christmas. My parents instilled in me a love for the traditions and the holiday and as a child: The presents!!
Once I got older, I remember their annoyance as to why I was so keen on keeping all the Christmas traditions every year… They wanted to change things. I disliked change. A lot!
Don’t mess with my Christmas mister!

But life happens… all the time. Can’t really stop it even though it sucks and cuts deeply at times.

My mom died suddenly. Then Christmas had to change.
Then I got married and Christmas really had to change.
Celebrating Christmas in Japan without the goodies I was accustomed to from Denmark. They simply couldn’t be bought… So I made the best of it.

Then I met Jesus and had the most wonderful Christmas of my life: The one where traditions mattered absolutely ZERO.
By then though, my husband had gotten a taste of my traditional Christmas and so did my daughter… all those lovely presents!

Then my dad died. I blogged a lot about the journey toward the end of his life. Goodness – that was hard!

This was my third Christmas without my dad in my life. The first year I handled really well. Keeping up appearances. “It was the best thing for him to let go of life” etc. I did good.
The second year was not that “easy”, but I thought I made it through alright. It felt harder and I thought I’d make up for it by putting more presents underneath the tree. Maybe it would help. Boy, was I wrong!

SONY DSCTHIS YEAR.
Oh dear. Total emotional breakdown in the middle of cooking Christmas dinner. I had to run out of the home… So I took out the trash. Well, in more than one way. All through December I had heard my dad’s voice in my head so often it nearly made me deaf. The pain of remembering! I wanted to scream and run away. His voice might have brought comfort, if I wasn’t so keen on running away from it.

In the parking lot area of where we live, I let the tears run… Nobody and everybody could see me. The mail guy came on his little motorcycle with letters and postcard. He looked at me with such compassion but couldn’t do anything.
I had to get myself together… and made Christmas happen.

The one thing I want to get back to, is to celebrate the Christmas where tradition matters ZERO. They’re good to have, granted. But the main thing isn’t that. It’s JESUS!

And New Year is rapidly coming my way. New Year used to be champagne at midnight. That was life pre-marriage, pre-grey hair, pre-I-need-my-sleep-at-night, pre-wrinkles… You get the idea!

In Japan, New Year is January 1st and spending the day with family. We drink a special sake, so thick with sugar it screeches in the ear canals. The Buddhist bow before their ancestors in front of the family alter… I usually need the bathroom during that time or I shrink and blend into the background. Never knew I had “chameleon traits”…

Then we eat. The food is great – “Osechi” they call it. Well, some of it is tasty… Ahem. Some of these traditional Japanese dishes aren’t my favorites! It used to be the big cooking spree for the Japanese housewives, but these days the New Year dishes (can!)  come ready made and packed from the supermarkets in Japanese, Chinese or Western styles… yeah.


The best food though is the “Ozoni” soup! Yuzu flavored soup with mochi. Yum!

Then we watch (those who can keep their eyes open) the annual “Ekiden” – relay run from Hakone to Tokyo. The TV is utterly boring but the atmosphere is good.

To the whole Blogosphere: I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year 2018. May this be the year of love, joy and laughter – even through the tears. Because tradition matters ZERO ; And Jesus matters all! 

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Christmas Joy Break

I can’t say that I have given this much thought – and maybe I’ll sorely regret it… But I think I want to take a short break from my blog.
I know – that does NOT sound like me…
But as I’m sitting here writing this I’m feeling such peace and joyful calm.

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The last 2 blog posts named “Love Stuck” are actually depicting true events. Names have been changed “to protect the innocent” – ha ha… and I truly can’t wait to see what the Lord really does have on His heart for “Joy” and I. If anything at all…
But the posts sparked my imagination and I’m thinking that I’d like to give it a go.
It, being actually write the novel.
I have no idea if I can master doing it, but I’d like to try.

Prayers, hints, advice and good ideas are all very welcomed.

And… I’ll probably stay updated on the blog so I won’t be completely vanished, just perhaps “out of order” for a bit.

Thank you for loving me.

Love Stuck #2

This is part 2 of “Love Stuck” – a novel-like writing so, please make sure you have read part 1.

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bigstock-Sun-Through-the-Blinds-75865586The morning after, Liz woke up and gazed at the white shining light streaming through the windows and blinds. It was another cold day outside, but the winter light was unmistakably the purest and clearest of all the seasons. She loved the colors of her bedroom. The rented apartment came with cream colored walls and a build in closet. The room was small but big enough for a double bed, bedside tables and a dresser. After all, what else would be needed in a bedroom. She had gone to great length to make the bedroom feel peaceful and relaxing, so she had purposely picked bedspread, cushions and wall art in dusty and pale colors of lavender and green.

After yesterday’s non-coincidental chat with Joy and her evening in tears, she needed God’s love to shine. As she was taking in the beauty of the light, she remembered the verse in the Bible that said “joy will come in the morning”. She found herself looking for a rainbow there, in the light, in her bedroom. Just like the Lord had made His promise solid of not flooding the earth again by giving His people the rainbow, so Liz was longing for a promise from the Lord. Liz shook her head when realizing how ridiculous it was to be looking for a rainbow in her bedroom.

d48fd6a46a4ffaf4e76eda061aba2464--knitted-slippers-natShe got out of bed and went straight for the heaters in the living room and turned them on to warm up the apartment. The floors were strikingly cold and she tiptoed in her slippers and pajama into the kitchen. She kept telling herself that the next place she would live would have heated floors! The house was quiet. Her husband was away on a longer business trip. He would often be gone for months. Travels and production trials at foreign factories was a part of his job description. Her daughter was still sleeping. She was reaching her teenage years and with that, her body just needed more sleep. It was great for Liz because it gave her silent mornings, which was something she vividly cherished.

In the kitchen, which was old but functional, she put on the kettle and watched the steam as the water came to a boil. She reached for her tea mug. A handmade ceramic mug she had bought on a market on a holiday. It was a beautiful grey and dark periwinkle blue mug with a tree on each sides of the handle. Like the tree of life from the garden of Eden. The sweet aroma of her morning tea, a mild blend of Earl Grey, filled her mind with smiles. She snuggled up in her rococo chair by the window with a blanket and her tea in hand. She enjoyed the silence and the little green birds outside the window dancing on the tree branches. A beautiful morning and the room was beginning to warm up.

As she sat there in the silence of the morning, she found her thoughts swiftly circling back to Joy. Only the Lord knew the answer to the puzzling questions that her mouth whispered to Him. Talking to Jesus was much more simple than talking to anyone else. She was always understood! Tears filled her eyes as she listened for His answers, but this morning no answers came. She got up and went to get her Bible, opened at a random page while her heart was pleading for something to hang on to. The Lord surely would relieve her of this hurt inside, from a love desperate to get out, but had to be under wraps.

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She was jump reading. First how Zechariah doubted the angel when told he would become a father and then how Mary believed, though couldn’t understand how, when told she were to be the mother of the Son of God. Both had to be patient, both had to trust God with their lives. Liz had to do the same. Be patient and trust God. There was a reason for this love she felt for Joy. One day she would learn why.

She wiped the tears when she heard her daughter was up and with a sigh of relief she whispered, that it was time to begin the day.