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.

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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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All… Hallows…Eve…

Last year I wrote this blog post about Halloween. Since I’m up to my neck in “stuff” I’ll reblog it this year, because my viewpoint is the same…

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Oh boy, am I ever going to be unpopular after this…!!
Best to apologize in advance if I step on a pinky toe… Sorry!

Each year I have the internal struggle, whether or not to whip up a post about that festive night of the year where people, adults and kids alike, dress up to look horrible (?!!??)…
You know, that night when “scary is good and fear is fun”?

God gave us free will and I love that He did. We have choices…
My choice is to not celebrate Halloween.
Okay, so you do, but at least the costumes are cute and the pumpkin is smiling – yeah? Take a slice of moldy bread and smear on a nice thick layer of peanut butter and it looks really good – but the bread is still moldy.54eba640e0b89_-_halloween-mason-jars-luminaries-boo-xln.jpg
Sorry – couldn’t help squeezing that one out…

Yep, I can almost feel someone slapping my face now “How dare I – who do I think I am”… I’m a nobody. Pay no attention to me… after all, it’s still your choice.

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Why not join in the fun? So many Christians all over the world enjoys the party of All hallows eve and it’s Catholic too!?! I know many Christians who does celebrate it and often because “why take the fun away from the kids?”

Yeah – that’s where my internal struggle begins.

Honestly, it freaks me out. Just the look of the decorations gives me the creeps… which in turn is actually the main idea, right?
Or maybe I’m wrong… But if it creeps me out, does it come from Jesus?

I have no intentions of digging into the Celtic “Samhain” or the Catholic church’s “all saints day”. If you have the interest, there’s about a million websites out there all speaking for or against Christians celebrating Halloween.

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Since when are scared kids fun: Top FEAR pics of the WEEK? Seriously??

– But for me, simply gazing at the Halloween I see around me:
It’s creepy, crawly, monsters, zombies, ghosts, goblins, witches, sorcerers etc. Pumpkins with frown or smiley face and all that simply tells me:
This is something odd and scary. Then I see kids dressed up in anything between princesses, superhero’s and zombies and they learn that this scary stuff is fun.

It’s not fun. It’s scary. Fear is not fun and fear is not from the Lord!

Dwelling on the Lord… I can’t find any place in the Bible where the Lord says I should celebrate (or pray to) His dead saints nor dress up like something only the evil one would do anything, to make us wear.

What I do have are Bibles where it repeatedly states in various ways:

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A smiling devil?? Yeah, something’s wrong here!

“Do not have anything to do with sorcerers… evil… darkness…” etc. Want the verses? Try Ephesians 5:8 and 11, Galatians 5:19-20, Deuteronomy 18:9-13 and I’m sure there’s more.
Halloween, as far as I can see, does not celebrate anything that has to do with God. Because only good things comes from God. When we try to make scary costumes fun, we are teaching the kids exactly that. Is that really good? pure? holy? kind?

Halloween is not a celebration given to us by the Lord God and that’s why I’m the “evil mom” who places the huge burden upon my daughter’s shoulders, to say NO when her friends in school want her to celebrate Halloween! – Praise Jesus, for He gives her the strength to speak up and say no.
Gosh, I’m so proud of her!

the-philippians-4-8-filterI know that my opinion about Halloween is strong, but I do respect those who chooses to celebrate it anyway. That’s not really any of my business. However, I will choose to ignore or delete any comments to this post which may indicate a longing to change my mind…
So, if I have stepped on your toes, I’m sorry. But I really really really do not like anything that has anything to do with Halloween or the celebration of it
That’s me…
But I still love you! May Jesus Bless you all and keep you safe from evil all the days of your lives. Amen.

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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Leave me in the mess – please!

Because only in the mess, will I be able to truly see the Lord’s hand at work.

Actually, please don’t leave me in the mess, because it’s the last place I want to be in!

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I don’t know about you, but I often find myself in circumstances and messes where this dilemma exists.
I love seeing how God works in my life. I really really really love it.
At the same time, I thoroughly dislike being in those situations.

Then, of course, an average person, preacher, pastor, sermon etc proclaims that if I didn’t sin, I wouldn’t be stuck in bad situations. While this may be true… I’m pretty sure Jesus found Himself in a few “bad situations” during His 3 years of ministry and He for sure did not sin!
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So… May I just conclude, that even if I were entirely sinless (yeah, that’s not gonna happen!), the devil would just come at me with all the more force and all the more temptations and all the more… catch my drift? And eventually he would either win over my poor selfish soul or kill me in the process, so to speak. Either would work for him because seriously; the devil would truly slay your newborn baby if he could! The guy has no clue how to spell “mercy”, let alone show it.

Sure… God always provides a way out: Yes indeed the Lord does!tumblr_static_tumblr_static_8l0munbqf6skwc0gsck400s8w_640.gif

But that will inevitably mean you have to get stuck in messes sometimes…!?! So while we do have the power to not sin, we will. The way out of it goes along “the narrow road”, but there are some HUGE gates along that narrow road!
Just saying…

 

So please don’t leave me in the mess… LORD!
Because only in the darkness can we all truly see the light. Amen.

God owns the tide!

“I’ll stare down the waves – ’cause You own the tide!”articles-42.jpg

That’s a line from a worship song from Hillsong young & free called “when the fight calls”. During the past few weeks, that song has lingered in my heart and helped my mind submit to the Lord’s will.

The feeling of being overwhelmed seems to be an ongoing theme among most of my friends; Some have serious circumstances to deal with, making the feeling far stronger than overwhelmed and for some it turns into fear.

overwhelmed.jpgAlong with my own set of challenges I have the privilege of walking alongside a few friends – some sick, some with a spouse in hospital, one is waiting for heart surgery and fearing for her 4 little kids, some struggle with being gossiped about, others with relationship trouble. I feel helpless as I listen to their words and read their mails.
Despite their continued decision to trust the Lord and seeing all the positive they can… feeling overwhelmed in the moment can grow into fear of the unknown future.

We must fight it.

Romans 5:3-4 (NLT) 
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

poster-celebrate-life-no-matter.jpgNo matter my sufferings, it always end in hope.
I can rejoice in the suffering… okay, not so much!…

– But looking at the suffering now, I can “stare down the waves” because Jesus “owns the tide”. God is still in control. Though we may have to fight being overwhelmed, we can keep our minds fixed on the Lord. He has the last word.

When the fight calls – Hillsong Young & Free

 
As for me and my circumstances, then my husband’s work place, job and time frame remains unknown. It’s stressful because we know something will happen and the last thing he wants is a desk job. I have been cleared of colon cancer, but there are no explanations for the stomach pains apart from stress… But we are considering an MRI or CT scan if for no other reason, then just to make sure.

6101bf6d0ea6ea409e1b6aab67996f34.jpgMy daughter is now on her new school schedule with half day of classroom school and private tutoring/teaching for afternoon classes. She loves it! A huge ordeal pulled together by God’s hand working through obedient people! – And it’s not merely the academics, it’s also socially and developmentally perfect for her. I’m stunned really. Speechless. In complete awe!

May the Lord be Praised always and forever

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.