Let Me be Me

The thought in my head: Can I be me..?? 

My life is a swirling bathtub drain full of “stuff” I’m dealing with. I can’t wait for it to disappear so I can be truly free of these overwhelming issues. I’m so b* tired!!

paralisi-nel-sonnoEmotionally tired, physically tired and brain tired.

The things I want to do and do for the Glory of Jesus are drowned out by the things I must do because of current circumstances. Essentially it means that the things that drain me are things I can’t choose not to do, while the things that brings life and energy back to me, are things I have no energy for.

Makes sense?… Well…

What I want to do is to write my book and paint my pictures, open up a webshop and sell affordable original art. That’s me… if I could be allowed to just be me. But just browsing through platforms offering a web-shop makes my head spin… and the good ones costs money. Would people really buy enough of my art to just cover the cost of keeping the website..?

But I can’t concentrate too much on this because I have to juggle finishing the homeschooling year (trust me; It’s horrid to have to motivate a teen when you can’t even motivate yourself!), getting right with the Japanese tax laws (yeah, I missed something there… prayers appreciated!), another psychological test for my child and possible change of medication (would be welcomed if it worked out!) and of course – money issues! My computer is crawling and could use a… well, a new one… As we say in Denmark: Argh!

When I’m done dealing with the day… I’m done and have no more energy (or time) for painting, let alone writing. Both these things needs attention. The kind that consists of cutting out a few hours or more. Making art takes time.

Wearing hats at home gives me a headache. I’m the mom, teacher, housewife, maid, cook… oh yeah, I’m a wife too… which is something I think I forget most days. Poor husband of mine.

The past 2 weeks I have slept about 5 hours pr. night. I’m literally tired. I’m emotionally burdened. I give it over to Jesus, but take it back when I look at my child struggling to the point of my heart breaking and my eyes turns into waterfalls. The money issues I mentioned before? The mental health system in Japan is a huge money pit!

I can’t afford a therapist, though I likely need one. So you good and kind people in the blogosphere are my therapists… Thanks for reading about the thought in my head.

Maybe I’m just being selfish. But how I wish I could be just Me.

love-yourself

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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Touch the scroll

Photo on 4-17-15 at 9.29.jpgAbout 3 years ago I began a painting… It’s done and I gotta tell you: I’m SO proud of it! I only have 1 slight problem: I need to name it! If you have a suggestion, please make a comment. – Thank you!
IMG_2662.jpgScrolls are pieces of art. They are fascinating and I find it incredibly beautiful to know that Jesus read from a scroll. But instead of me jotting down a lot of explanation, I will allow the painting itself to speak for itself: The journey of my 90 x 90 cm painting.

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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.

Lovely Blog Award

one-lovely-blog-award-badge1.jpgI was nominated for this award by In the Desert with Jesus written by Joel who is simply one amazing guy! If you have read his blog you already know that though… 😉
I both proudly and humbly accept this award. Sounds confusing? I’m just very proud that Joel thinks my blog is worthy of an award and at the same time, I’m humbled that the Lord pointed to my blog through Joel…

I’m supposed to display the rules of this award, so here goes:

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Thank the lovely person who nominated your blog and follow them. YES FOLLOW me… actually even better: Follow Jesus!

Display the award logo and add this set of rules to your post so that your nominees will know what to do (sounds sensible, right?)

Nominate 15 other lovely blogs listing them in your post and notifying them via a link in one of their blog posts (or as I chose – link to their blog while listing them).

List 7 interesting facts about yourself to the post (not really sure what would count as “interesting” but I’ll give it a go)

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Okay… There are so many blogs out there and I read here and there and am “wow’ed” by the writing skills of all these great bloggers, so choosing just 15 is like picking out my favorite ice cream at cold stone creamery… almost impossible, but here goes:

These are my nominees:

Pastor Jim Bell’s jottings – Pastor Jim recently passed away and will be accepting the award while resting in the arms of Jesus. But I choose to nominate the blog anyway, because Jim had a lot to say about a lot of things and his blog lives on even though Jim isn’t with us anymore.

The lamb’s servant Sue lives in Jordan and her blog is like a journey into the ancient Hebrew scriptures. She captured my heart long ago… I hope she might capture yours too.

Julian for Jesus Julian stole my heart – in a sense – when he wrote a post for my sideblog “Song of Virginity”. His blog is just simply awesome and it’s ALL about Jesus!

Run the race Heather is an amazing writer who really gets the point across. Pay her a visit!

P356 – faith and life in action This is simply a lovely blog!

ThoughtCascade blog Simply unavoidable!

Rina Rose You just can’t help falling in love with this girl!

Jeffrey H King Explore the world of faith… go get it!

Cross of Christ From Tanzania… it simply doesn’t get more authentic than this!

Learning to be full of Grace and Truth A true and honest follower of our Lord Jesus.

Minus the cynic This is one of the bloggers I really want to invite over to Song of Virginity for a guest post… oops, guess the “secret” is out…

The Progressive Christian blog Sharp and opinionated with that lovely touch of good sensible Christian faith and respectful words – stay tuned and you’ll stay sharp too 😉

Eddaz Really – Never a dull moment here!

Francis and Anna Quite possibly the cutest couple ever!

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7 Interesting facts about me:

I love blogging because it’s my opportunity to share the love I own from Jesus. He’s mine and I’m His and nothing will ever change that.

Those incredibly popular “adult coloring books” which are supposedly therapeutic and relaxing? They drive me nuts!! I tossed them… they stress me out.

Stress has been a part of my life since childhood, though I only began realizing that a few years back. The struggles with mental health has been a constant companion and at times I take a serious dive bordering depression. But my help comes from the Lord and though the evil one in this world can hold me down, I know he can’t keep me there when I cry out to Jesus. Albeit, it can take a while for me to find my voice inside.

I used to be a DJ – a disc-jockey on the local radio station – back in the days when vinyl and record players were in existence. Today they might be known as “antiques”… It was a hilariously fun time of my life and though it’s all in the past (including the vinyl!), I still have a huge love for music and dance.

I’m a painter. I never took a painting class or art class apart from my elementary school years. I paint for His glory alone and I love to paint symbols of God’s love for His people. I’m currently working on a big “sofa piece” which has taken me 2 years – give or take – so far, but is finally coming together.

I’m definitely an entrepreneur. I’m good at starting things up and getting them going… My side blog Song of Virginity is a good example of that. I share my past experiences which surely aren’t always pretty and I’m always on the lookout for those willing to share about the subject of virginity, sex and life as a single Christian, in the hope of reaching the younger generations. And that was how I met Joel who wrote this incredible post The pursuit on Song of Virginity!

de699bb7c71821400dad451ca49ad012.jpgGrowing up my family always went to the north for vacation times. So even though I live in Japan, my heart holds the mountains of Norway, the forests of Sweden and the fields of Denmark very very dear. I miss the climate immensely, especially during the Japanese hot summer and humid fall seasons. However, we have IKEA over here and that takes most of the sting out ;-)… and of course Yokohama harbor area is my go-to place when I get homesick. It’s not too different from Copenhagen harbor.

 

 

The sketch – and the result

A while back my daughter was struggling greatly with a particular relationship in her class. At first I was fumbling blindly finding something to say that would help. But the Word of the Lord is always best! 

Proverbs 3:7-8 in the Good News translation told my girl that SHE was doing the right thing… 

So I thought I would be creative. 

The sketch: 
The poster that will go on her wall:  

She is every bit as creative as I like to think I am, so she told me which words to highlight in the verse and maybe I have to put more swirly flowers on, but in essence. 

Do the right thing and it will make you strong. 

Thank you Jesus!

Living water

While resting my leg, I finished and framed my “Living Water” painting. I’m especially happy with the deep contrast of broken clay pots and the living waters ability to heal and renew us on the insides as well as outwardly.

It’s inspired by John 4:11 in particular but in essence the story of the Samaritan woman found in John 4.

Praying this painting will bring love, joy and healing to all who are in need.

With love in Jesus

Woman: 
Sir, You sit by this deep well a thirsty man without a bucket in sight.
Where does this living water come from?