a stirring.

so i've completely forgotten about blogging. i haven't been reading OR writing. perhaps this is weird to say, but my "muse" is back. i'm looking around and finding things worth sharing. i'm feeling things in my heart that are not able to keep silent. so here i am. back to the steady pluck of these keys.

life is weird. how we choose to live it. will we desire wealth and fame? a beautiful spouse? a worthwhile job (and at whose definition??) or will we desire to live as wanderers. i met a man yesterday. he's homeless and rolling through wherever he goes, experiencing the Lord as he goes. he dives into his word and grows with his savior because he isn't living the rat race. he tries not to let the pressures of america defeat his soul like the rest... i was encouraged in our conversation. i also felt a sense of jealousy. it hit me so quickly that i was confused. i became jealous of his freedom and his hope in the one that saved him. he wasn't bound by worldly things (as i have become). he isn't a slave to selfish ambitions or vain conceit. in our talk, the Word came more alive to me and began to wave like a long lost friend across an open field. will i run to hug him? or saunter showing my disbelief? doesn't the second sound so silly when you can call out and reunite?

i am not sure of what i am afraid of. but it has become clear that i am. i'm growing, breaking, and being stirred and its a good place to be. Adam reminded me of that... and i will continue to pray for these new friends of mine.


This spring weather is warming me from the outside in. I am beginning to hear the birds and that is so exciting for me. It is when i hear these birds, that i am able to respond to Jesus' gentle voice inside, and I feel more freedom than I could ever know of my own strength...



am i reverting? i seem to be in a perpetual funk these past few days. its causing a rift and i feel lonely. boo. i need jesus.



i know that a lot of people have covered this song... but this morning, as the rain falls down and inspires creativity, i find this song to fill my soul with something entirely exhilerating...



Some kinks...

so, i guess im back. if you know me at all, you know im not a "blogger". I'd rather fill my day with other things. Not necessarily that these "other things" are better--they're just... fulfilling. Sharing my brain is something I haven't quite decided to love through the internet. Thoughts and ramblings come out, thats for sure, but these days, they haven't been flowing south to the fingertips. But i will try...

March is over. WHAT?? How did that happen??! We just moved into a big new house, and LOVE it. I have my own enclave in the basement that fits just perfectly, and the basement is almost always quiet. I feel like i have my own apartment! PLUS, im with family. Something that has been severely lacking for the past 3 years. With this and the growth of some friendships, its about spring; inside and out. (Lets just forget about the snow that fell just this morning and covered up my gnomes' little face and red hat!)

I love Colorado. The sky that swallows me whole, feeling small, the closeness of the snow capped mountains, and the fields of grass... this all seems so new. i am used to one of the biggest concrete jungles in the world. Tokyo was a mass God could span with a finger nail, and i learned next to nothing living there for 2 1/2 years. Perspective. What a trip. But being back has been good. not as hard as i thought it would be... and in a few ways, a little harder.

Let me explain. Culture Shock has a way of rearing its head in ways that are completely unsuspecting. I know this now. Before, when i came back from being in Europe where i played with the darling gypsy kids or fed some homeless guys in a park, i felt some sort of guilt for the different lives we led all because of where we happened to be born. After being in Thailand where it seemed everyone had a crippling disease or some other breed of misfortune, i felt responsible for them not having what i wished they could. Even when i got back from Taiwan, i held the weight of the impoverished world on my shoulders because we, as americans, live so comfortably. HOW could i turn a deaf ear? Pretend i never experienced all of that?? But time would pull me from that and sink me back into ignorance. This time, i feel a pulling out of Japan into the pain of America. Its all so backwards. There is so much pain here--so many lost and hurting--and I am seeing that. Without looking back, i can walk with the lessons that ripped me apart and put me back together down inside, and have courage. Courage? yes. i have fear, but im pressing on anyway in the face of that fear.

So im here. Living in a way that forces me to learn. Surrounded by people that refuse to let me stay inactive. Next to family that deserves my everything. I am here. and its working... kinks and all...


God is "Weaving my Unfolding"

life can be so exhausting amidst big change. when you up and move to another country--whether its "home" or not--it drains the life right out of you. im happy to be here with family. YES. but something is just... off. i dont know how to explain it. its hard to not belong somewhere. im missing the relationships and laughter i had in Japan... and tonight its getting stronger. a familiar song comes on the iPod, and it sends my brain in swirls to the life i used to have. to memories revisited where i see joy on my face and hope in my heart. an unveiling of the beauty i DIDN'T see for so long... and how that all changed. and now, here, i feel stagnate in a way, and i dont know how to wait well. i think this is just my fleeting mood for the evening. im unsure. but i know that now, more than anything, i need to cling to the cloak of the One who loves me... praying all the while. yes... here i go.


its so fun being back in california... laughing and enjoying "home"... not a home found in this city, but a home found in the hearts of these people. these people that have known me since i was a pipsqueak, and still love me. awww. its so special. today i shared at church--pictures and a speech of sorts--and it was great. everything seems to be reminding me of my mom, and its wonderful. childhood friends and deepening relationships. oh, how lovely. i am so enriched today... so full and bursting with life and great joy!


KODO is amazing.

went and saw them last night. incredible. the amount of strength these guys have... and their stamina! WOW. so good. i wish video could even do justice what it was live. KODO means heartbeat in Japanese... and its true. even Abby's little baby boy was pounding away on her tummy from the inside when the beat picked up...

still, more goodbyes. i dont know if i can take much more...

and still, i am blessed. Mexican Dinner Party tonight! woot woot. and im going to teach these friends of mine about white elephant gifts... heeheheh. please keep praying for me. im still oh so scattered...

oh and im singing in a choir today "Go Tell it on the Mountain". hehehe. this is going to be fun.


Sayonara desu.

goodbyes are HARD. especially when you know they're forever. this leaving is ripping my insides and showing me whats important. my heart is struggling, but still somehow, overflowing. i am blessed. so many people love me... and it is because we took the time to know and care one another. tears. lots of them. my little kids giving me gifts of songs about toys and Totoro and being friends forever. christmas lights and something to do every waking moment to make use of my time.

once upon a time, i didnt really have any friends here. but oddly enough, i no longer remember that! and now i am grieving japan. i will miss her. i will miss waking up every morning and saying hello to Mt. Fuji out my window. i will miss the twinkling city skyline and the respective bows. i will miss this world full of giggles... yes, it will be hard to go.

my adult students at one of my schools totally made me cry. when we said goodbye for the last time, Uchiyama san, my oldest student (a grandma) started crying. that broke me. and we all joined in like some 4 part harmony only God could hear and understand. these groanings are so very intense.

then, i finished my favorite school yesterday. so many parties--it was really special. i had a lot of strange pain there, with those teachers, but all is finally healed! i think everything is fixed; and that is HAPPY. how special it all has been. in saying these goodbyes, i am learning that i made a difference. the girl that shadowed me all night, even when her parents wanted to go--that was because she has learned the face of love. the last laughs bring me joy because i know that my life will continue in the way the Lord wants it to...

now, i must write my christmas sermon. i have NOT been able to focus on it at all this week with everything else going on... i hope to finish it now that its LAST MINUTE for my translator! hahaha

peace to you...


weirdest experience of my life.

once upon a time, there was a small gathering of people in front of a stage in a city known as Tokyo. the floor was sinking and the air was stale from excited beer drinkers ready in anticipation for the lights to change and the amps to blare us into euphoria. first show. lights. costumes. 9 people. spotlight on screamo japanese guy in a long tailed tux playing a knife on a drumstick. lights. a guy on a synthesizer in a skeleton costume. lights. a very tall woman dressed in a french maids costume approaches the microphone with a bass guitar. start the violins. 2 people--a man and a woman--dressed up and playing beautifully. lights. flicker. loud screaming. flinging sweat. obnoxious drummer. keyboards and a mixing machine. costumes that are nondescript... then, lights. a man, in spandex pants and a broccoli pasted head rushes out and starts singing Latin. harmony. tall girl in french maid clad is a man. more screaming. moshing that goes bad. the crowd is bewildered. only 5 people seem to enjoy this show. this freak show. broccoli man has gnarled teeth. he begins to chant and pulls out the tambourine. violins pick up and its beautiful. then polka. then more screaming. then jazz. then funk. then ridiculous falsetto from the man in the black and white miniskirt. disco ball. fear in my heart. orchestral leading from the shirtless broccoli headed man. his nipples shook. there was a chill in the room. i was laughing unable to contain the emotions inside of me. Thank you Vampirella for such a portrait of Tokyo underground. it will NOT be easily shaken.

second act. 3 band members. drums. bass. guitar. normal clothes. drummer is a premadonna. set up took 40 minutes. for this? oh no. beautiful girl in black glitter costume approaches the mic. she sings without expression. nothing in her eyes. gloss drenching her lips. a mole on her cheek. doofy guitar licks. her "sex appeal" backfiring. boring. cute. monotonous. over it. but its the first song. feet hurt. third song ends, i pray she's finished, but all she's doing is getting a drink of water. she bends like a doll. doesn't blink. all the world's a stage. she seems to be dead inside. a doll for men to play with. and the concert continues. i fall asleep standing for the first time at a live show. it ends, and i couldn't be happier.

third act. the act i paid money for. the most lively show i have ever seen live... Anathallo. they were wonderful. they always deliver. they've got mad talent. but why, i must ask, did they play with these other RIDIC-U-LOUS bands?! its a mystery. but it gave me an odd sensation in my gut of what the real face of Tokyo night life is like...

and the fun, it just never ends...