Yeah, so it's been a while since I have posted. I this is a habit for me. I will keep up with something for a little while and then I will just not feel like doing it. So, I become a looser and don't keep up with things. I always regret it afterward, but that doesn't seem to stop me from doing it again.
So here is a quick update. My first Holiday Season in Japan was good. For the holidays I visited another group of missionaries on the other side of the mountain range in Niigata. I have to admit, I had a wonderful time. I am so grateful for all the hospitality shown to me. Everyone was so thoughtful and kind, I would have to say that this has been one of the most rewarding vacations for me in a long time.
There are currently 5 missionaries in the Niigata area. The great thing was being able to spend time with all of them, getting to know them and learn more about them. Since they are separated from those of us in Tokyo, it is harder to get to know them as well. I am very grateful for the chance I had to get to know them better. I would write more about it, but I have already forgotten much of what I wanted to say.
In other news. Japanese class resumed and it was hard going to get back into the swing of things. I think learning Japanese is really important, and I want to do it, but 3 hrs of Japanese class every day is tiring. It doesn't sound like much, but is is definitely mentally draining. The good news is that I can see my progress and there is a lot of instant gratification. (like turning on the TV and hearing one of the verb forms you learned that day)
Orientation is going pretty well. It is interesting dynamics when there are only three people in a group. There has been some friction recently, but nothing too bad, and really, that's to be expected when there are people who spend time together. Doesn't mean we like it though.
Yesterday we went as a class to see Sumo. It was great. I know it doesn't sound exciting to see very large, mostly naked men wrestling with each other, but it really is. I got all into it. Of course I've been watching some on tv, so I could recognize a few of the wrestlers. I think I will do more research on the sport.
Now on to random thoughts. You know, it's an odd process to dertermine things to write in your blog. I mean, on the one hand, this is almost like a journal for me to keep my thoughts and feelings. But at the same time, I know people are reading this (mostly people I know). Well, this definitely makes you filter what you say. Not really a profound thought or anything, but just something I was thinking about.
I think I am getting used to live in Japan. I don't get quite astounded that I am here anymore (although it does still amaze me that something so wonderful happened to me). That's probably a bad thing. I am falling back into bad habits of mine and that is not a good thing. I often wish that once I overcame something, I would never have to deal with it again, but life is an awful lot like laundry. No matter how many times you wash your clothes, you always have to wash them again. Yeah, that's the reason I hate housework so much. Actually, that's probably a good reflection of my life. I let my house get all cluttered and messy till all I can see is the mess. Then I try to start to clean it, and it is discouraging because there is so much to clean. But, when I actually get something accomplished, sometimes its really easy to see. So I try to feel good about what I accomplished, but I still always see how much is left to do still. And the sad thing is that it is all my fault. I can't blame the state of my house on anyone else. I am the only one who lives here. Sometimes it's really easy to get arrogant. I can think that because I am a churchworker, and I am a missionary, and I have had all of this training, that I am such a good person. But then I look at myself and wonder how I get anything accomplished at all. It really is amazing that anything good comes out of my life. I am constantly being reminded that I am a child of Grace. I cannot do anything without God. This should be reassuring, and it is, but at the same time it's not. Yes, I have Grace. Yes, that is good. But I still wish that I could be the kind of person I could be proud of. Yeah, I know it's really selfish and I want it for the wrong reasons, but there it is. My only pride should be in Christ, and well, it is because I just don't have anything to be proud of on my own. So, in a way, my mess is a good thing. It keeps me humble and aware of my total dependence on Christ. After all, we can't have me thinking that I can earn my own salvation or that I deserve the good things I get.
And and quick side note. I realize that the way I express my thoughts are often misunderstood. People don't like it when I get too negative and try to cheer me up. Well, there are just all kinds of ways people react to the things I say. All I know is that a lot of my thoughts and feelings are just really abstract. Many people don't know what to think of them. And that's all right I guess. I realize that I am strange. I also acknowledge the possibility that my insights are horribly wrong. The good news is that I know that ultimately, it doesn't matter. I don't have to be a perfect person, I don't have to know all the answers. I have been redeemed by grace, and that is all I need. Yes, I know this is not an excuse for my shortcomings. While I know I can stay the same I am and God still loves me, I also have His fire in my heart. This fire doesn't allow me to be content with the bare minimum. It calls me to be refined. I will never obtain perfection in this world. There will always be things that I struggle with. Yes, sometimes it's discouraging. But that's ok. I don't have all the answers, and that's ok too. Because I have faith, I have the strength to keep moving. I don't know where I'm going, but I know that no matter where I go, God is there.
That was a really round about way of thinking things out, but that's how my mind works. If you have actually read this to the end, let me say I am impressed. You have a better attention span than I do.