The 6.2 earthquake that jolted us early this morning did not actually wake me up. I had had too much soda late last night and was at a the second-worse place to be when an earthquake hits. (My friend Roberta just said the worse place is the onsen -public bath- especially since the lockers that keep your clothes while you are bathing are now often powered by electricity, meaning they would probably not open in the case of a bad earthquake. That would be the worst, for sure.)
Our first week back has seemed to have a lot of bumps in the road. We are genuinely really really happy to be back! But I don’t remember other returns to Japan feeling so jarring; it is probably a combination of a number of factors.
There is much about our current situation that still feels very “temporary,” making it harder than usual to really settle back into routine. We found out that our long-anticipated prefab house is probably not going to be ready until late December at best; this has felt surprisingly hard and made the return to this current temporary home harder than i imagined. We will be fine, I am sure, but mentally I somehow hadn’t prepared myself for that and the impact it has on our daily schedule and lifestyle. We will need to figure out what to do about the majority of our things still being in Sanda storage much much longer than we ever anticipated –fall and winter goods; dishes, pans, cake-making goods, appliances, etc. I have really liked (ok – 90% of the time) – not having a television for six months! But we are using a pretty small washing machine – no dryer – which means try as I might to hang up many loads, I still need to make trips to the laundry mat to get caught up.
We came back and three of the kids got sick in the first couple of days. Traveling overseas seems to take its toll on our kids! So Monday I spent the morning at the pediatricians and pharmacy, and several days were spent trying to nurse our kids through very high fevers, asthma, and bronchitis.
Olivia has a new bus schedule for her school, so we are now trying to have one of us drive all three kids and drop them off at their different places, so we have to have all the kids out the door with all their lunch stuff, school supplies, bottles of tea, gym gear, etc. by 7:35 am. It is a twenty minute drive to get Owen to his bus stop; then Annie is next and finally Olivia. Afternoon pick ups are more challenging- they each must be picked up an hour apart, which leaves just enough in-between time to be frustrating.
This morning was my hardest. I became a witchy mom for a few minutes as I was trying to get the kids out the door on time with Eric driving, and they hadn’t prepared what they needed the night before. I let everyone know I wasn’t happy about it. Aargh. They piled into the car, Eric raced off, and I collapsed. Failure mom morning!
We had a group of friends coming over for the jewelry business soon,and our house was still not ready, but I needed perspective- really badly! I pulled out my Bible. This is the verse that jumped off the page at me: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation” (Psalm 68:19).
Isn’t that the most beautiful promise ever? God daily bears me up. It was the perfect word for this morning. It speaks of grace for crabby mom mornings; of God’s commitment to walk with me through the challenges of unmet expectations and little inconveniences; of the reality of God breaking into my day with daily salvation. Truly – Blessed be the Lord!