There are weeks that go by and I think…if I had to tell someone about everything that has happened this week, they probably wouldn’t believe it. Each morning, day, and night has been so — full. Little crises, challenges, sorrows. I decided tonight I want to share a few of the joys of this past week.
1. Not just one baptism today – but three. It was unexpected, but completely amazing. There are still no words nor pictures that can do justice to the joy we experience as a community when one – or a few- in our midst enter into the waters that three years ago caused so much destruction here. Today’s cool weather, and bonfire, made it all the more special.
2. Doing ministry with our families… One of the joys for us here is watching our children interact with our community, and forming strong friendships. One of our friends sent me this picture a little bit ago of Annie and her best friend:
3. When God surprises us in the midst of our challenges. This past week I had numerous meetings about relational challenges at Nozomi Project – women in conflict with each other and unable to resolve it. Last night, thanks to the hard work of a great team here from hawaii, we had a BBQ at our home for Nozomi women and their families. While we only had three definite yeses before the event, we were thrilled that nine of the staff and children/families attended! Even with lots and lots of food, we ran out. It was a great problem. And the laughter and camaraderie was such a treat. It was the perfect timing and a chance to see some really cool relationship things happen.
4. After two plus years of Eric and Owen studying the Japanese martial art of aikido, I still don’t really get it. But what mom isn’t going to love training that teaches her son discipline, manners, and restraint? I was proud of my two guys today at their demonstration!
5. Family rituals. Even with schedules that sometimes run rather crazy, there are some family traditions that really help to anchor us. Or at least i hope that they do!
Today, even with making lunch for 50, worship, attending an aikido demonstration, running back for lunch after worship, a beach baptism,and an after-baptism celebration, we were able to unwind from the day and the weekend as a family. We made pizza, and watched our favorite Sunday night video series – don’t laugh! – “Little House on the Prairie.” Olivia was excited to help out. I love this picture!
Now, we are waiting for Typhoon #18 to arrive. It is heading straight for Japan and for our region. Ian’s preschool has already been cancelled; we will get an email at 6 am about the other three kids’ school. We are fairly sure they will be home. And they have already asked if I have all the ingredients for another important ritual for such a day — Typhoon Donuts (recipe here – they are awesome!) . I assured them I do. Praying for minimal damage tomorrow from the typhoon, and for maximum chances to do rituals and spend family time.