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… ?!

Meanwhile…

I once told myself that I wouldn’t be posting “nonsense” posts on my blog. That all posts would have a purpose.CcMGoWaUMAAEAdG I think I’ve been pretty good with keeping that…
However, my last post was a while back and I think I owe it to those who follow this blog, to let you know that I’m still here.

 

We had an absolutely amazing trip to Australia and I can’t wait to post some photos! 

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After the summer, we got busy as life generally does and then we began the journey of homeschooling… The first 2 weeks I was all over the place and the following weeks has been full of adjustments. I’ll get back to that in a different post.

When I finally reached the point where I felt more relaxed in our new situation, I managed to trip and strained my neck – possibly had a mild whiplash – but thankfully, it feels like it has subsided again and I’m back to normal.

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“No stress” is top priority and in case you’d like to know:
I’m still not afraid!! Please see previous post for more info on that… 

 

reject jesusI do have concerns about my daughter as she continues to avoid social things, continues the cutting and is refusing treatment – while still refusing Jesus. At the same time, she is more relaxed with the homeschooling situation, so things do look brighter and we don’t have the same stress we did before.

 

Thanks for reading. I just wanted to keep you up to date and I do so hope I will be able to post another more purposeful post in the very near future.

Praise the Lord of us all! 

 

Swopping knots

20140918-379-girl-in-bed-7.jpgShe was stuck in a situation she couldn’t get out of. Circumstance she was unable to change. People who chose to disrespect her. It was like a mental snake-pit. She felt like running away. From home, from school, from everything. Or even better, just go home to God, so she would never have to enter back into the snake pit…

In the beginning of April, these were my daughters thoughts and feelings. She’s 10. On April 4th I found a note where she wrote, that she just wanted to die… It wasn’t a suicide note; It was suicidal thoughts and an intense cry for help. mental-health-thoughts_wide-a514e5c72a55accd8ef792b779b91316864bb05c-s1000-c85.jpg

Because of suicidal thoughts she couldn’t attend school – which makes sense – so she’s been home with me, doing some of her schoolwork, intense therapy and some TLC.

During these 20+ days, I have seen her stress-levels drop, I have seen cutting decrease, I have experienced her courage as she ventured into a sleepover at a friends house. When she’s in school, the stress is high, the cutting is daily and having a sleepover is simply unrealistic!

It didn’t take long for me to realize that there is only one way of dealing with this: Take her out of school. So I have… she will be homeschooled from 5th grade. As for finishing her 4th grade year at school, it may be a long shot, but the therapist really wants her to glean something positive before she leaves school, so that she may one day be able to return. It makes sense, but seems impossible.

And the Lord ain’t done with me yet… so once again I’m swopping “knot’s”:

I’m facing homeschooling. post-41755-0-90463300-1447240753.png

Though I know it’s the right thing to do and I also have God’s peace with it, I can feel every cell in my body resisting the “teacher” part. If you read my blog more or less regularly, you will know that I’m pretty well aware of my own sets of strengths and weaknesses. I’m an entrepreneur, a facilitator, a leader and organizer. Creative in many ways and a bit of a “funny clown” too. But there’s not a hint of teacher in me. The closest thing I get to that is an interest in psychology… which doesn’t really say much!About-Homeschooling.png

I’m praying for the Lord to “define my role as homeschooling mom”, because I’m… well… ahem… not there. I have this sense that if I begin “teaching” my child, it won’t go well. My role isn’t supposed to be a teacher, but I’ll try to patiently wait on the Lord to bring me the answer. I did say “try”… Lord knows, I’m not the most patient woman!

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Cut the Pain

I’m seeing things I don’t want to see and hearing things I don’t want to hear.
I’m living a life, I do not want. I’m in a war zone!
Lord, we get what we need and not always what we want.
But I don’t think I ever needed this!

cuttingMy daughter is only 10 and has a depression caused by severe anxiety. It has been going on for years and she has been on medication for about 10 months now. Only… Recently… Things took a turn I didn’t expect: Cutting.

Cutting is also known as self-harm, using a nice word – or self-mutilation, using a hard-core word. It’s a tangible pain that for a moment replaces an intangible and possibly unidentified pain of the heart and mind.

Istrongmomt’s gruesome for a mom to watch and not having many or any means of help. But the tough part of it is actually, that I must be “non-sensitive” to it. Meaning, if I can’t take it – handle it, my child will loose the only safe place she feels she has.
Lord, I really don’t think I ever needed this. 
All I can do is love her through it and patch up the cuts and sore places on her skin and pray, pray, pray… please Lord, no more!

My heart breaks in pieces all the time…
This is my life and I have to accept it, even if I don’t want to.
If I do not accept her condition, I can’t recognize the issues and ultimately help her.
Lord, I need You to help her.

During the years while battling this anxiety that paved the way to depression and now cutting too, I have stayed strong the best I could, but I’m done. I look in the mirror and I see a tired woman. Not one who is thriving in life, but one who is surviving.
Lord, I don’t want to just survive – I want to thrive!depressedmom

I visited a counselor the other day. I did it for myself… and after a test it was revealed that I can be placed in the box of “2-points from severe depression”. Until next meeting, I need to make an effort to do something daily for myself. Something that is good for me.
Lord, I need this.

But Lord, I want to have FUN with You.
To live, love, laugh, do and BE with You.
I know I prayed to be a woman of faith once… but Lord, this road is harder than rocks and my mustard seed inside is melting in the furnace. And it hurts, Lord. It hurts!


Lord, I really need to have some fun with You.

I really need You, now.

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The Jesus heart

It was 2012 January. It was cold and Japan was still much affected by the 2011 triple disaster and I was very much affected by the fact that our child had been traumatized in her Japanese kindergarten. overkwork.jpeg
My body was weak and my heart was slowly freezing. I was trying to recoup so I could help my child overcome. But my mental and physical condition was rather bad. I slept 2 to 3 hours pr. night. This was before my husband sent me off to the doctor to get some sleeping pills… (So glad he did!).

To get away from it all, we went to the mountains in the Kanto region near Mt. Fuji during that January. Just my daughter and me. I thought I needed to get away… It didn’t do my health much good, but the Lord gave me a Blessing I’ll never forget:
While there, we visited the Venetian glas museum, where Jesus met me in one of my deepest moments of despair.
Imagine an almost empty Venetian estate. Inside it’s full of various glass art, from facets to colorful engravings. The walls are all covered with gorgeous art and the ceiling with paintings of beauty. The lighting is soft and dim in most places and you can hear the smooth sound of water from fountains from almost any place inside the estate.Hakone_Venetian_Glass_Museum_002.jpg

The place was almost empty because it was out of season and my daughter was excitedly going from display to display, up and down the stairs, wow’ed by the beauty.
I was scared of the future, frightened at the present and angry about the past.

I looked up at the ceiling, wondering if life would ever work out – and saw the replica of the famous “Last supper” painted there. I found Jesus and as I did, it was as if His eye moved, looked at me and I heard His voice whisper “You will be okay!”.
Immediately I broke into tears. They streamed down my face… I kept focusing on Jesus in the painting. I refused to let the moment go… but my daughter was calling me and I had to wipe the tears and keep moving.

Jesusheart.jpgMy heart was both heavy and yet light. I knew I was in a rut, but I also knew that Jesus had spoken to me. His assurance took the burden off me. I can’t say that life got easy after this, but that day and the rest of the week in the mountains certainly did.

On our way out of the museum, I stopped by the gift shop and I saw a beautiful red glass heart pendant. I bought it despite the price tag being way over what I would usually pay for a glass pendant, and I call it my “Jesus heart”.
He glued my heart that day with His words.

It’s 5 years ago and it’s still fresh in memory and the heart still hangs around my neck.

Nuts!

I-Miss-U-Like-A-Squirrel-Misses-His-Nuts-Funny-Meme-Image.jpgI’m going total nutcase! and feeling a bit silly about it…

 
When a star dies… the ones made by dreams, hard work, Hollywood or music labels… many fans go all out and the late star is credited in more ways than I can count. When David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston passed away, I kinda shrugged my shoulders and whispered “yes, what a shame such talent should go too soon” and then I moved on.

But… then I learned that George Michael had passed away on Christmas day and I got sincerely sad deep inside my heart.

I don’t do that! – normally.
So this is unchartered territory for me. I’m not even a “fan type” of person…
Well, I’m a “fan” of Jesus, but I don’t consider myself being a fan of “stars” as pr. see, nor did I ever have a teen-crush on George Michael.

So – my only conclusion is that I’m going total nutcase!
One basket of nuts! coming up…
I can’t seem to grasp his death. I keep listening to his music, crying tears I didn’t think I had in me and I’m feeling very weird about it!! Silly really.george-michael-4-274fbbbe-0221-49f7-9670-975d889d2b4c.jpg

I grew up with George Michael’s music!
First Wham! on the dance floors and on my radioshow, then the celebration of his solo career taking off so well and then his many many lyrics about deep feelings… and I realized something; As he grew – or rather his music grew to adulthood – so did I.
One way or another I can relate to his music.
He was a deep thinker and it’s reflected in his lyrics. He had an amazing voice that could sing just about anything. He had a real talent made for real music lovers.

Maybe I’m not entirely a basketcase after all.
Gosh, how I miss George Michael… just knowing that there won’t be another amazing lyric and vocal coming from him. He wasn’t a star because his music label turned him into one. He was a star because he had the talent, the passion and the voice to reach people.

No, George Michael had nothing to do with me meeting Jesus or my journey of faith. This post isn’t about God. This time. It’s about grief.

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Not a book review 

I’m done with my favorite author’s latest book: Lysa TerKeurst and “uninvited” … chapter 15, 16 and the bonus chapter are amazing. Honest truth about hurts and pains, feeling rejected and unloved and how Lord Jesus can enter our pains. Simply put: great chapters and Lysa at her best. 

The rest of the book… well, not so much to my liking though I fully admit that I think a lot of girls out there might love it. I find it hard to relate to all the rejection she describes. Not that I haven’t been rejected. Her other book, though, “unglued” pretty much nailed me down to an art and is a permanent member on my bookshelf!

It just goes to show that Lysa is an author able to reach many women in all situations across all spheres of life on earth.