1. We found out last week that because the Japanese government is concerned about declining test scores in the school system and are adding on hours to each day and school days in the year, the last day of school before winter vacation is: December 25th! Owen (technically) needs to go to school on Christmas. (Do we — not send him that day? Or as a family just choose to celebrate on the 26th?)
2. An update on Annie’s eyes: We were given some good advice and feedback from a Christian Japanese eye surgeon who is practicing in Australia but was visiting in Japan last week. He affirmed the need for her surgery, and suggested that we see a Japanese eye dr. in the area as well to test her eyes now as well as for follow up after the surgery. Based on his recommendations, we have an appointment with a Japanese eye specialist for Annie on May 23rd. At this point we are thinking that I will take her back to NJ for the surgery in mid-August. We’ll keep you posted. Thanks for praying.
3. We received this email last week:
“do you like obama? no he is too arrogant”
That was it. From who? My 82 year old Dad- his first email. Ever. You sure can teach new tricks…But maybe you can’t change their political opinions (if you wanted to).
4. This morning I read a great paragraph that I think gives us a really helpful description of how to experientially spend time with God (I’ve been using a wonderful devotional since coming back to Japan that I highly recommend for drawing near to God: Pilgrimage of the Heart by Catherine Martin). If you have a few minutes sometime over the next day or two, get alone with a Bible, journal, and try this:
“Perhaps today you need to hear the words of Jesus: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place” (Mark 6:31). Find a quiet place and talk with your Lord. Tell Him everything on your heart. As David did, lay your requests before Him. Ask Him the questions that no one can seem to answer. Don’t be araid to dream big dreams and ask the Lord for the impossible. Perhaps that dream deep in your heart was placed there by the Lord. If it’s His dream, He will make it live. Maybe He will change your heart. Lay before Him the sin that keeps nagging your heart…. As you talk with the Lord, keep your Bible open. Sometimes He will bring a verse to mind. Turn to that verse, and think long and hard about what it says. Ask the Lord to speak to you from his Word. Turn to God’s promises as you talk with HIm, and read them out loud. Keep your Journal open to write any insights, ideas, or prayers as you sit with the Lord. Thank God that He hears when you speak and actually delights in your company. He loves to be with you.” (p. 143)
I love that. Sometimes people ask HOW to spend time deepening our friendship/intimacy with God. This paragraph is a wonderful way to spend some time with Him. Enjoy.
5. In the past five days, Olivia has: 1) picked off a piece of gum from under a table and McDonalds and chewed the life out of it before Eric discovered her secret; 2) gooey-kissed a pill bug she was playing with; 3) done an AMAZING job on (around, above, below) her eyes with my mascara; 4) eaten a chocolate chip pancake by holding the whole pancake up to her face and eating just the chocolate chips out of it, leaving chocolate chickenpox all over her face; 5) several hours ago while playing kitty cat with Annie I found her down on all fours, lapping the water out of Molly’s water bowl that I was just thinking really I should throw in the dishwasher sometime soon…
Have a good day. Thanks for being with me, through this blog, in the midst of life’s daily in and outs. Thank God for his promise to each of us in Psalm 138: 8: “The Lord will fulfill his purposes for me…” And praise God that applies to pillbug kissers, too!