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.

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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… ?!

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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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.

Love Stuck

This is my first attempt of a “novel-like” blog post, so be gentle…

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Beautiful-Winter-Day-HD-wallpaperOn that beautiful winters day, a crisp air and a mild wind filled her lungs and enveloped her face. The blue sky was clear as the sun sent its beams straight down to earth. It was cold and she was all muffled up, wearing her brown winter jacket with her Scottish woolen shawl wrapped around her shoulders and neck and her long winter moccasin boots, which she bought when she visited Canada some years back. She was out on her Christmas round, delivering little pieces of joy to friends. A card in a mailbox here, a small bag of goodies there and she was now on her way to the last stop of the round; The Community Center. She had two bags left and two beloved people to see. She looked forward to seeing their contagious smiles. As she entered the center and walked toward the office of her 2 friends, she saw the one person whom the Lord had given her a particular strong love for.

Her name was Joy and they were of somewhat same age. A strong and almost majestic looking woman with a sweet tender smile and warm eyes. Everything about her showed authoritative compassion, not that she could actually explain what that meant. In the same way that she couldn’t explain why she had such a love for this woman. It wasn’t a romantic kind of love. It wasn’t a friendly buddy kind of love or even a bond like the love between family members. It did not feel like a love one would normally feel towards any friend. This was an entirely different kind of love which she had no doubt was from the Lord. But why? She did not understand why she had such a love for Joy or what to do with it. Joy didn’t seem like a person in need. Be it in need of a friend or some sort of support. Not at all. All she knew was that from the first time they met, she had loved her with a special kind of love. One she couldn’t easily show as Joy had never given her any incentive or even remotely hinted at a possible friendship. She wasn’t even able to call her a friend, but rather an acquaintance. Still, there was a free flowing love toward Joy and though she sorely wished to unleash it and allow it to pour over Joy, for some reason she always held back.

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As with most of the Christian people she had encountered, Joy too had some sort of invincible wall up. Never a sad look, always a smile. Of course some were genuine and those were easy to spot as she could feel it in her spirit where the Lord presided. Joy’s smile was a genuine one, but she still had a wall. Perhaps one to distinguish friends from Community Center relations. Maybe she was guarding her heart.
She didn’t know, but she knew it was there and it was blocking the way for friendship.

Joy walked in from the park area as their eyes met. She kept eye contact and to her amazement Joy walked towards her, greeted her with a smile and a hug. They chatted a little but unfortunately she had to move on if she were to see her two beloved friends, before they had to run off to meetings. Still, she felt the excitement in her heart that she got those precious minutes with Joy.

On her way back home she was contemplating the meeting with Joy. It was completely coincidental… though obviously it couldn’t be as there are no coincidences when the Lord rules. Thoughts flew through her mind like fireflies. She wanted so badly to show Joy the love, but she didn’t know how to… nor why, as Joy did not look or behave as a person in need. Not at all.

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That night she cried and wrote in her evening diary a letter to the Lord, asking Him to give her Joy as her best friend. She begged the Lord to open Joy’s heart to her and asked Him to initiate something to pave the way. The love was stuck inside her and it hurt… It wanted and needed to come out, but she couldn’t see how.
She was still pleading with Jesus when she laid her head to rest and drifted off to sleep.

2017 – Awards & Blogs

blogger-recognition-awardDuring this year my blogs, Wrestling with Faith – Dancing with Jesus and Song of Virginity, has both been nominated for several blog awards.

My heart skips a beat when I receive a blog award… I humbly accept and feel proud inside that someone actually like my blogs – and like them enough to want more people to read them. Truly, I’m humbly proud!

sunshine-blogger-awardThough I wrote down the blog award names, I have over time lost track of who nominated me with which award… I’m so sorry! – But instead of spending days searching for the good people and their blogs, I will happily accept the awards, post the logo on my blog and post below my own personal favorite blogs to read and contemplate:

Too fat to love

The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel

Minkyweasel World

Beauty Beyond Bones

Gail Loves God

Living in the Corner of a Vortex

Running the Race

Josephs Daily Walk with Jesus

Tripping over Typeset

These are mentioned in no particular order… But each blog can consider themselves nominated for any of the 3 awards shown in this post!

Just to sum things up, I have two blogs which I would like to share with the world. One has helped me beyond imagination in terms of cooking for dietary needs and continues to do so:

The Stonesoup

And the online shop that gives me access to get the dietary ingredients needed (which hasn’t yet found way in Japan):

iHerb

iHerb has been a “life saver” for me more than once and offers a variety of things within foods and household items (with free shipping to Japan!). If you go visit and decide to sign up, you can get 5-10% off your first purchase if you jot in my code:  ZRV661 – thank you! 

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Heroes of courage

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I think Jesus must have been the bravest person ever lived! – In His human form of course. Considering the punishments given by authorities in His lifetime on earth, He still spoke up and sometimes loud against the wrong.
A righteous anger backed up by amazing courage complete in the knowledge of His Father.

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He managed to make some pretty high-up-on-the-ladder people very angry. When He faced His human end, His choice was to endure. His love was meant to save people who trusted Him and to give the people who refused Him, a chance to be saved. Saved for the splendor He lives in. His voice is still used today to freely grant forgivenes to those who now realize the wrongs they’ve done.
Now t-h-a-t is a true hero in my book.

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But Jesus certainly doesn’t “fit” the profile of the heroes we have today on the movie screens; Arrow, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Batman etc. They train hard, seek justice and kill to get the revenge and even though some of them do display some remorse afterwards, it isn’t repentance. But, as audience, I do get carried away by the thrill of the story.  How about real life heroes?
Would Jesus have fought for a free Scotland like William Wallace?
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword”.
Would He have stood up (or perhaps more accurately “sat down”) for equal rights like Rosa Parks?
Jesus said “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what is yours, do not demand it back”.
While the heroes of real life fought for noble causes, Jesus does not “fit” the profile.
Because Jesus had to deal with the root of it all. 

Jesus didn’t kill anyone to defeat evil. Because in the spiritual realm, the “good vs. evil battle” is a cruel war for the souls of people. He gave Himself to win any soul willing to believe and be forgiven. Only by faith, only by wanting to believe, will you be able to truly see how evil was defeated by the death and resurrection of Lord Jesus Himself. dkYTTX42TYyPrrxdHJz3_JESUS-is-the-only-way-to-Heaven

Jesus changes the lives of those who wish it to change… But ah; You need to want it! You need to really want it!

A hero in the eyes of the world vs. a hero in the eyes of Jesus, are two different kinds of heroes. One fights according to worldly rules, one stands his ground and follow the Lord. One may have remorse of some sort, one asks for forgivenes. One confronts the bully, one gives the bully more than expected.

Being kind and to conquer all with love takes a remarkable courage.
Where does that leave me?..
“Have mercy Lord, for I am a sinner!”

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For full disclosure and in case you’re curious, the word “hero” popped up in English around the 14th century from the Ancient Greek ἥρως (“heros”), meaning “hero, warrior, demi-god”. So calling Jesus a “hero” isn’t actually a great idea since He IS fully GOD… But He owns my heart and in that sense, He is my hero.

T-h-a-t 2nd sentence…

I’ve been traveling the past month both physically and spiritually. I have much to say and blog about, but I can’t seem to get pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard. There’s lots I want to share though and my blog showing a severe lack of new posts is not caused by me not having enough time – now that I’m back home from my travels.

I may be experiencing a writer’s block… I know the subjects but words fail me. I’ll be back…

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