I wanted to share briefly a few follow-up updates on several friends I have written about.
Today I went to the bus stop to wait for Olivia, and N.’s mom who I wait with came over. I wrote previously about how their home was washed away, and their pet poodle had died in the tsunami…. I could tell she wanted to talk. she grabbed my hands and said nearly bursting, “Can I tell you a big secret?” (Oh my gosh – this is ME! I love to be in on secrets!) Then she said, “We just bought a new poodle!” At first I thought she said a new “pool” and I tried to be excited with her. But as she said it again and it dawned on me how HUGE this was, I spontaneously hugged her and shouted with glee! We had two friends waiting in the car – Mary H. and Anda F. – who were quite curious what all the jubilation was about. But it was just SO important and So healing to hear this. She said she was finally ready to have a pet again. When her daughter got off the school bus, N.’s mom led her back towards the apartment where N. was going to discover this amazing surprise and see their new puppy with her own eyes. I drove away filled with joy over this sweet family addition.
Second – our friend Y. has been spending a lot of time at our home while her two older daughters are at daycare. It has been a great blessing. Several days ago she brought over photos of her mom and sister. Her mom looked like someone who I would have loved so much; who would have welcomed me into their home and loved on our kids. The loss struck me in new ways.
Anyway, Y. has helped us immensely by staying here some afternoons so Ian can nap while I have to go at three different times to pick up the three older kids. We are able to pay her some for her help and have just enjoyed whatever time together we can. She has come to every worship and english kids’ time that she is able to come with her three little ones.
Today she had to go to the family court to continue with divorce proceedings (initiated entirely by her husband). Before she left, I gave her a Japanese version of our favorite children’s bible, and an adult NT. We are leaving for the next four days to go back to Sanda, so I was glad she was excited to get these.
She called tonight and was really struggling. Her husband is claiming that he has spent all of the savings that should have gone as alimony for the three girls. But he stills want custody (which right now is just one weekend day and night a month). To make matters worse, it will be a 50/50 settlement so Y. will need to give him half of the savings that she has been putting away in a credit union over the years. She will get nothing from him. And it seems like the laws all favor the husband and there is nothing that can be done.
We talked for awhile, and I encouraged her to continue to live righteously, and shared with her the principle that “you reap what you sow.” I told her that I believe that God will take care of her through other means – she can trust Him to care for her and her daughters. She said that she somehow believes that and felt hopeful for the future. (Yeah!). And she said, “Tonight I was so happy because I realized that after I put the kids to bed I can read my new Bible!”
Going to bed thankful for little steps in the lives of those we love.