Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why I shouldn't write blog posts in the middle of the night.

Because there is always someone who says it better.

In perfect timing, I found this quote in my mail box today, and it sums up the "click" I'm waiting/missing/longing for...

When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. "It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him a [ezer kenegdo]" (Gen. 2:18 Alter). This phrase is notoriously difficult to translate. The various attempts we have in English tend to be "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat …disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Hebrew scholar Robert Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him."
The word ezer is used only 20 other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
God is your only hope. Your ezer. If he is not there beside you…you are dead. A better translation therefore of ezer would be "life-saver." Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart.
You see, the life God calls us to is not a safe life. Ask Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Esther - any of the friends of God from the Old Testament. Ask Mary and Lazarus, ask Peter, James and John, ask Priscilla and Aquila - any of the friends of God in the New Testament. God calls us to a life involving frequent risks and many dangers. Why else would we need him to be our ezer? You don't need a life-saver if your mission is couch potato. You need an ezer when your life is in constant danger.
That longing in the heart of a woman to share life together as a great adventure - that comes straight from the heart of God, who also longs for this. He does not want to be an option in our lives. He does not want to be an appendage, a tag-along. Neither does any woman. God is essential. Eve is essential. She has an irreplaceable role to play.
An excerpt from
Captivating by John Eldridge

Waiting for the click

After a month of living alone again things have finally settled down enough for discontent to sneak up behind me and start whispering heartaches into the hollowness that is  my heart.

It's only my second week back to work.

And I feel listless, numb, and just a little lost and a whole lot of lonely.

But there's no real concrete reason.
There never is.  Just an ache that never really goes away.

So tonight I ponder a bit and feel like I'm a puzzle piece looking for it's puzzle.  When I say I'm lonely, I sometimes hear well meaning suggestions. 

Why don't you stay here?  What about this place?  Look there are a lot of pieces around you so why are you lonely?

And I just sigh in frustration a bit.

Because it doesn't click.

I'm looking for my place, where I connect with the people/surroundings around me.  I'm not saying I'm looking for a place to be completely happy or fairy-tale like.  I just want to click.  I want to be in the place I was made for in community with the people I was made to be in community with.

There are many options and many look good or seem to be logical, but they don't seem to click...

Well, at least I feel like Japan is the right puzzle, but I can't seem to find my place in it easily. 

Well life is not simple enough to be explained by something like a puzzle, and God is watching over me and I'm sure my discontent is me chasing after idols...

Tomorrow I will sing and dance and smile with toddlers and wonderful students.  Tomorrow there will be sunshine and opportunity.  Tomorrow is full of grace waiting to be poured out on me anointing me as a Chosen child, a bride of the Son.

But tonight I feel the blisters of old lies irritating my heart.

This is also proof of my struggle.

Thankfully grace automatically clicks.

And now I should go to bed before I fall asleep writing.

I hope this makes enough sense to click with you too.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Still kicking

A while back I got a comment hoping for a new post.  Thanks!  It's very encouraging to know you are missed!  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to post until now, and now is just a quick update to let you know I'm not lost.

So I have successfully moved.  I hate moving.  It's like the most expensive roller coaster in the world, that you don't actually get to ride, instead you have to climb up it, and then trip and fall down and start all over.

Searching for an apartment that was in my budget and was big enough for all my stuff (not to mention my sanity) but still convenient enough for someone relying on public transportation...  Oh yeah, I'm not sure the word stressful is good enough.  And once I thought I had found something good (on paper), I'd go see it and the reality would be enough to make me want to cry.

But fortunately I had a good real estate company that worked very hard to find me a good place.  In the end, they found a place that would lower the rent to meet my budget and that was big enough.  The location is not that great, but not that bad either.  I have to say, it's nice to find good companies to help you.  (they even had DC Talk playing on their CD player.  I heard the song "Jesus is Alright" at least 5 times!  Of course they had no idea what it was about.)

I had thought that my Japanese hasn't improved so much in these last two years since I spend so much of my time in English compared to when I worked in public schools, but I discovered that moving this time was SO much easier because I had a much larger ability to understand and communicate than before.  Still, you get frustrated when there are still things you don't really get or only half understand.

Moving companies and everything were also stressful, but I did manage to procrastinate less than usual and somehow we managed to move two people to two different places on the same day.

Just so you know, moving is impossible to survive without ice cream.  seriously.

I was also moving while still working, so there was a lot going on in a short time, but now it's over.

This morning I threw away the last of the moving boxes.

A little bit more cleaning and arranging and I'll be settled in.

I had a nice spring break to take things a little more slowly and take care of things, and I'm gradually getting used to the new arrangement.

The strangest thing so far is grocery shopping.  Before I shopped for two people, and I took into consideration what my roommate liked, and what I thought she would like to eat the whole time shopping.  You never realize how much you think of others when shopping until suddenly you are no longer shopping for them.  And I had to re-train myself not just in terms of volume of food, but in what kind of foods I buy and such.  I think that's when I'm my loneliest.  So far anyway.

There are good and bad points with my new place, but so far it's satisfactory.

I'll have my first houseguest this week, a strapping young man will come stay the night.

Of course he's bringing his mother.  ;-)

Or rather his mother is bringing him, since he's like what, 3 months?

I'm happy because this will be the first close friend in 8 years that I'll actually get to meet and hold her child.

I think the hardest thing about living in Japan is that.  The missed weddings, the children I've never met, not knowing what kind of mothers my friends are, not being a part of my niece and nephew's lives...

So yeah, it's that kind of season.  Ups and downs.  New and old.  Fun things and stress.

All rolled into this one big mess we call life.

No deep spiritual insights right now, just letting you know what's up with my life.

I wanted to show you pictures, but I'm writing this from the computer after work because I don't have internet yet.  (frustrating story, but not really important.)

Hopefully soon I'll get the loose ends fixed and see what life is going to look like in my new place.

I just hope I don't have to move again anytime soon.