Overflow…

I’m so thankful that I can see God working in my life, especially in those around me. Last week, I started listening to a sermon series by James MacDonald of WALK IN THE WORD (www.walkintheword.com) called “Ordinary You, Extraordinary God” and is about how we are ordinary, despite what our cultures tell us, as exampled in the life of King David. It’s pretty neat.

Well, I listened to the first in the series on Friday, and that day, I just felt like I had some amazing classes. Yuka came to video tape some of the lesson, for advertising, and afterwards she commented, “Perfect lesson!” And then my other classes that day went really well. It felt a little weird that the day I listened to the sermon about how run-of-the-mill I am, I had an amazing day — thanks be to God!

Saturday comes around, Hiroko-sensei’s grandmother died, so she couldn’t come to work (is she coming tomorrow to help me move? I don’t really know.. I told her she didn’t have to worry about it… we’ll see!) so I thought I’d be working more, as usual, but instead, I got an extra hour off! Also, my Mommy and Baby student, Akihiro, didn’t come, so I was free for that hour also! Thanks, God!(blessed my Him~)

Saturday evening is full of meeting with the new 242 group. I arrived at the church early, so I got to practice with Bobby, as I was leading “Days of Elijah” that evening (LOVE that song! There’s no God like Jehovah!) Which was much more comfortable than last time. Yikes. Talk about performance anxiety! And then during the meeting, I felt not needed.. What can I offer to this group, to the new 242 services? I don’t know! I can’t lead worship.. too nervous, I can’t preach.. also scary, but a part of me would like to try~ well, if they need a “back-up”.. but there are three preachers already! I don’t think they will need me.. at any rate, I also can’t get there early, because of working until 6 PM every Saturday, so I can’t help prepare dinner! whoa, what else is there to do? I wish there was something. I went to bed feeling discouraged yet still with the desire to do something.

Sunday, yay! my day off! I got a ride to church – it was raining.  arigatou, Yuka-chan! ^^ And actually, I forget what Yoji preached about in the service! I remember that it’s the last sermon on “Overflow” though! oh man… During the sermon or ministry time, I thought something like, “God, I need to be reminded that my prayers do work. I need to see you answer a prayer of mine.” After thinking about what I would pray for, I decided to pray that Kevin would become a Christian. “God, I pray that You would show yourself to Him in an amazing way; Show him who You really Are.” Amen!

After the service, at lunch, I got to help out a friend, and it was so good to bless someone else! I was thinking more about what I can do, and somehow.. maybe someone was talking about something related to my experiences, or God brought it into my head, I don’t know! But I thought, boy, I really love to do drama! So, I decided (by myself… also, I brought it up with Bobby, and he quickly agreed~) to be in charge of the drama.. if there’s a skit we can do, I will put it into action! So I am happy to find something I can bring to the table; thanks God! And then I sent a song to Keiko, Bobby’s wife, so we will make a sign dance to it and perform at the opening service! I’m really looking forward to this! I went home happier, and more confident. Also, thanks to Hitomi for encouraging me! She’s great.

And then there was today, the last item on today’s agenda. Oh, today was a great day! God brought Himself before me in ways that I haven’t seen in a long time, so thanks to Him, it was really beautiful.

When I got into work, started preparing for class, Kevin came into the kids rooms to ask me a question: “When we do The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in the book club, would you be interested in coming to teach us about the Christian symbolism in the book?” (!!) Yes, I would~ Although it’s a little scary, partly because I want to be right, theologically, and really share God with these people! Kevin and Mikiko, another coworker, and some students go to this book club. Maybe it will be bigger when they read The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe? Wow!

Then I had fun teaching my classes, the students are great! Finally, in my last class, Noda-san told me and Naoko about a book he was reading, and I mentioned that I had read two Japanese books (of course translated into English!) Silence, by Endo Shusaku and Shiokare Toge by Miura Ayaka. Naoko then asked me, “You’re a Christian, right?” Yes, I am! Then we spent the rest of the hour talking about religion, and I got to share a bit about Jesus and God. I hope they can get it. I feel so flustered when I’m talking about it off the cuff. Although I usually know what I’m talking about. Living in a Christian home all my life, going to church and youth group every week and then going to a Bible college, and on top of it all, being interested in it really helps! ^^ Naoko seemed interested in learning about God, Noda didn’t really, but who really knows? So, I should invite Naoko to church, or 242. She is a great baker! Her father’s family (except her father) are all Christians, apparently, so she knows a little.

And finally-finally, I’ve decided finally to give up my computer for Lent. As in, I’m even going to give my computer to Kevin so I won’t even be tempted to use it during the 46 days! I’m allowing myself to use the computer at work, but it really sucks. So send me mail! Write me an email, or if you need to, you can even phone my cell phone (VIA SKYPE ONLY!).

In closing, my favourite benediction (well, this one is a little different from the one I really like, but here it is):

May the Lord walk beside you to comfort you.
May the Lord walk above you to watch over you.
May the Lord walk behind you to keep you safe.
May the Lord walk before you to show you the way.

memories

“‘Turn around, child,’ [Mother] said. ‘Look once more before you leave home. Childhood is waving farewell and you are stepping out today into a big, wide world. But there will never be anything more precious than this spot, be it ever so simple, for it was your home.'” (from Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika, by Maria Anne Hirschmann)

I was glad to leave my home, and like Hansi, I quickly found a new home among new places and faces. Returning to who I was as a child is the last thing I want to do.

But my childhood memories are few and precious. (Yes, even the hard ones: fighting every morning with le seour, Christmas times where we were all missing Dad, not fitting in with who I really wanted to be friends with.)

(Note: The following memories are how I remember them. Maybe they didn’t happen exactly this way, but this is how I think of my childhood.)

One of my greatest memories of my childhood home is going out for a walk all by my lonesome at night, when I could clearly see the stars, accompanied by Delirious trapped forever in CD and walk up either of the hills, just lollygagging about, worshipping God and getting refreshed. I would do that here, but there’s not enough country/too much city.

Another memory I have is one day my Mom must have been having a bad day, or my sisters and I were being really really terrible! Anyway, we were down stairs in Vikki’s room, talking, hanging out and trying to to piss Mom off anymore, when we started to hear some loud banging-type noises come from upstairs. We went slowly up to investigate, and all the lights were off, the record player (yeah, a really old one! it still works really well!) was spinning (right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round!), playing as we later found out Pink Floyd, and Mom was laying on the floor just enjoying the music, and relaxing in her own way. We crept back downstairs, happy that Mom was okay, and content to let her deal with what she was going through. I was surpised because that was the first time it really sunk in that Mom actually liked rock music, which eventually birthed the music I love today. She became more than just a “mom” that day.

I remember in Grade 9 or 10 when the cat I got on my ninth birthday (two months after my dad passed away) died in the bus engine (gosh, I have some terrible cat-death stories! And Mom, I don’t blame you one bit for Sammy’s death. Just wanna put that out there ^_^). And when Vikki found out, she laughed. Out Loud. I was in the same room. Even though he was an outside cat, I still loved him, and I couldn’t believe how cruel she was. I know she didn’t (doesn’t) like cats, but that was still really cruel.

I remember in Grade 10 or 11 when I would come home (mostly) every day after school, get a snack, get my current “The Cat Who” book, settle in the red chair (I loved that chair!) with Elijah, such a beautiful, soft white and gray cat, and enjoy the book whilst stroking the cat in my lap.

I remember how much I loved youth groups. I hated to miss a single event, and if Mom made me stay home, I would be so angry/upset. I don’t really know why (besides God) I loved to go, because I was never really super close with any of the kids there, until Dana and Shannon came. I remember the TFK concert at Faith Baptist. Oh, that was really fun. I also really enjoyed the occasional youth retreats I went on with the Pentacostal church. Peter, Peter and Mitch were fun guys. Then Mark came to Bethel, Dan came to St. A’s, and I believe it was Mark who was at Faith during my last years of high school. Maybe there were some other youth pastors inbetween, but I guess they just didn’t make a lasting impact on me. I am so glad I had the opportunity to be mentored in the youth ministry team with Ben, Meaghan, Dan, Juline, Jean and Mike (and some other youth, but sorry, I forget).

While I’m reminded of Meaghan, hehe, I can’t forget the various heists she and I pulled on the Ankenmann’s house. Oh, those were fun. I can’t really believe how into that we got. haha.

Ahh, childhood! ^_^