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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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.

 

 

Jesus & the Japanese

I was so humbled when Joel asked me to write a guest post on his awesome blog In the desert with Jesus and very challenged too! Joel is a coffee lover like me <3, loves Jesus like me and writes about his family – and little new baby girl!

I don’t write about Japan usually, but I gave it a shot…

Please head over to Joel’s blog and see what you think: Jesus & the Japanese – and while you’re there, check out his own posts. This guy has a lot to say!
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And just to add a Japanese spin on this, here’s the manga version of the story of Jesus as seen here in Japan. It’s a widely popular manga within international Christian circles.

Wind, sand & coastline 

A perfect stroll along the beach. Nice temperature and only a gentle breeze brushing your hair and you can just imagine the Kodak moment… Today was not one of those days. 

Today the beach near Kamakura, Japan had wind speed around 7 km/h and I stopped counting the surfers and windsurfers gliding on the water like fairies until they suddenly took a dive beneath a wave. 

The sand in this area is not white! It’s so grey that when it’s wet, it’s more black than grey. Today the wind carried the sand upwards to cover the stairs, it got into every ear and found its way in between each hair on every head. 

The sun was shining through the clouds and the small island of Enoshima was covered as if in a mist… But it was in reality my eyes  trying to see through the sand flying in the air. 

But I took some nice shots. 

Japan… will rise again.

I wasn’t going to write anything about Japan’s latest many, many, many… many earthquakes in the Kumamoto prefecture.
But then I watched the news and saw the photos and like a case of PTSD it all came back to me: 3.11.2011 the great eastern triple disaster.

Scrolling through tags in blogs I follow, I came across “earthquake” and I decided to jot down a few words:

Kumamoto is the prefecture on the most western island of Japan named Kyushu (and opposite of the Tokyo region in the east).
It was struck by a 6,5 M earthquake Thursday night and again on Saturday in the middle of the night a 7,3 M hits. For the next 7 days earthquakes of various sizes will continue relentlessly, experts say. Roads are broken, houses fallen down in ruins, landslides etc.
People were killed. Many have left their homes for shelter at local schools and community centers.

Kyushu does have an atomic powerplant, but it’s located on the southern tip of Kyushu island. It may be affected though so far we are told it has not. Mt. Aso is a volcano and a small eruption was observed. We can’t know if an eruption will come. Experts says no, but we also know that there are connections between earthquakes and volcanic activity.

But this is what the Lord had for me this morning, in light of the stress that followed 3.11 and I ask you to whisper this prayer with me for all the people of Kumamoto:

Lamentations 3:20-26 (GNT)

… – my spirit is depressed.

Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: 

The Lord‘s unfailing love and mercy still continue,

Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.

The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.

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Who I am and why I’m here…

This new beginning – a new year – I gave myself the challenge of doing the “blogging101” course. It began 3 days ago and I’m already behind schedule, but I took some time out and began with day 3, then day 2 and today I’m “down” to day 1, which is to post my “who I am and why I’m here”…

After revisiting my “about” and “ongoing” pages, I realized that those pretty much already describe why I’m here; To share how God works in my life. It isn’t always pretty and oftentimes it’s hard, but only by sharing can I bring Glory to Jesus when He wiggles His little finger and gets me out of the rut. Time and time… and time! again.

Who I am… well, that’s another ballroom dance. I’m a child of God and I’m dearly loved. That’s what I’m practicing so I can learn to see myself the way God sees me.  But here are a few more facts and stuff about me:

I’m from Denmark (the tiny country up north next to Sweden and though we are very often defined as Europeans, I do very much consider myself as Scandinavian. I have way more in common with the northern neighbors than with the southern).

Age wise I have reached the age when I look my best in candlelight which is pretty much okay with me as I am a romantic at heart.

I live in Japan. The western part of the Tokyo prefecture and I have about 30 min train ride to the outskirts of the metropolitan area. My heart belongs to Yokohama though, of that be there no doubt… I love the ocean and harbor!

I’m married to this Japanese guy who is just way too cute to keep my hands off… and we have an 8 year old gorgeous daughter (but I’m very partial!) who is about to turn 9 in 8 days! Gasp… where did time go? According to her, I’m “the best mommy ever! because I’m the best hugger, funny and clownish”… I am definitely not like most other moms I see on campus, so I get why she tells me this, but I’m confident that I’m far from the best mommy ever because… wow… but I’m pretty sure the Lord Blessed ME with this girl because I’m right for her, so – there we go ❤

I am a Christian protestant, born again, a Christfollower, a Jesus girl… and in His sight I’m (thankfully only) about 6 years old! I’m “out of diapers” but far from mature.

Things that I love… Breakfast at Jonathan’s! (see photo), writing poetry, painting God-inspired paintings, bike rides, walks along the river, archery, reading books, writing my blog, matcha (green tea) latte, coffee with milk and Starbucks gingerbread latte during december, writing and receiving Christmas cards (yes indeed) etc.

I would love to… be able to eat and drink without gaining weight, learn Hebrew and greek, conquer my fears and stress, study psychology, have the ability to pronounce Japanese words etc.

How do I spend my time? In daily life, I take care of my girl. She has school to attend and homework to do etc. I take her to a psychologist for therapy as she has severe anxieties as well as dyscalculia. My husband live and work in eastern Japan and is only able to be home on weekends. I weekly have my small group of Jesus girls and we will study the armor this year. I also read with a one year old baby Christian (what a privilege!). I’m a homemaker and on the job 24/7 without holidays and I’m not whining but just stating the fact that being a homemaker is actually a job in its own right.

Enough about me – thanks for reading and if you already know me – thanks for staying with me. Love you ❤  If you just found me; Very Pleased to meet You! I hope you will stick around 😉

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