いってらしゃい

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marginal scriblings

Detox to Retox theme by Marg

I wonder what it’s like to live a life that brings strangers and acquaintances closer to Jesus.

I reckon that most days, my life doesn’t even inspire me to intentionally know Jesus better. I’m thinking a lot right now about how I’ve been lazy and hypocritical and other times of weakness when I choose my way instead of His way. I’m also not a good small group leader lol.

However, I’ve definitely experienced Him. I’ve experienced Him even when I do things that don’t seem conducive to fostering my spirit. But He’s definitely at work in my life here in Japan. I used to be cynical and proud of it of this realism that I thought cheery happy people always neglected to see. Now, I feel like I have this attitude that would trick anyone into calling me an optimist.

God’s love and power is no trick though.

It’s not that I see the glass half full. I just see the hand, pitcher, and source of water ready to keep me hydrated. How could that not get you to feel calm and secure?

Each night, before I fall asleep, a mix of gratitude and awe fills me up from inside. I don’t think people often say this: but everything in my life is so good AND I LOVE LIVING!

I have friends to talk to from anywhere and at anytime. I have a job that’s a learning experience everyday and always fun. I work alongside people who don’t know my full potential yet but are surprised by my zeal and let me be me. I’m surprised by my zeal too, but it really hasn’t been that difficult going above and beyond expectations here. And on top of it all, I get paid handsomely and have a generous amount remaining after bills and necessary expenses. Please recommend a charity for me!

I’m so blessed to be where I am now! Jesus is so good! All the world should all praise Him! I know it’s totally easy to like something when life goes well, but that doesn’t invalidate my praise.

Also, I’ve had some pretty emotionally rough days. I just get too distraught to blog about them while I’m going through them and too busy celebrating life after I get out of those slumps. But praise Him in every season because it really does get better and He’s a very good hope to have.

Posted 6 hours ago

"read easy picture books!"

ok

Posted 2 days ago

"Japanese are socially primed from a young age to see gaijin not just as the ultimate other, but as the ultimate guest, especially if the foreigner is European in appearance. If gaijin didn’t exist, Japanese would have to invent them, not so much as to describe the physical reality of hairy barbarians as to create a foil by which to focus and firm up an inchoate identity.

This is why gaijin who speak Japanese fluently and settle in Japan defy not just expectations but mental categorization. “So, when are you leaving?” was the habitual greeting an American friend of mine heard while teaching English in a small town in rural Iwate. He left two years later after completing his contract, fulfilling the apparent expectation that he would leave—because gaijin always leave—but he has since settled in another part of Japan.”

Non-Japanese are routinely singled out and marginalized in ways both pleasant and unsettling—typically a mix of the overwrought politeness, pomp and ceremony reserved for high-class guests, and the simmering resentment and condescension reserved for low-class guests who don’t know their place.”

Posted 5 days ago

1. How can I be nicer by default? It’s really taking me way more effort than it does to boil water.

2. Foxy boy kept saying “hey lets go to your house” (as a reply to a reading exercise about directions and he messed up). I said no. He said it again, so I went up to him and stopped an inch away from kneeing him in the balls because I’m so kawaii (´ε` )♡ .

3. THIS ONE GIRL IS ANNOYING ME AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP BEING ANNOYED BY THE THINGS SHE DOES AND SAYS

4. I’m eating healthier today.

5. A boy tried to prank me by dropping a plastic sugar cube with plastic ants on it as if it was a real sugar cube with ants on it into my hands. I was gonna keep it but then he was like, “no please give back!”

6. Purple pants aren’t not-work-appropriate because people here say I’m stylish, woohoo. 

7. It’s fall when mornings are too cold and afternoons are too warm.

8. Eyebrows have been on point since yesterday. I also correctly hypothesized the source of my forehead acne and cured dat shiz. 

9. I joined a taiko group yesterday. No one really believed I was from America or that I didn’t have an ounce of Japanese blood in me til I had to keep saying “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you just said!” in Japanese 9 times.

10. I miss worship. 

Posted 1 week ago

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

— Psalms 4:8

Posted 1 week ago

Akita prefecture in northern Japan, which has had the highest rate of suicides in the country for the last 13 years based on a separate welfare ministry survey, has been running a suicide prevention programme since 2000.

"People used to say ‘why do we have to use tax money to deal with suicides, when this is an individual problem?’" Akira Sato, an official at Akita prefecture, said.

"But unless the entire community understands that this is an issue, it can’t be solved."

Posted 2 weeks ago

Long overdue s/o to benshim for being one of the best brothers I’ve got in my life today and for reminding me of the deep and undeserved love I accept from Jesus everyday. I share these excerpts not to promote him, but to offer hope to anyone who feels guilty or immense regret today.

Brief background story: I went to Ben to ask him a very big question like “how do I stop hating someone?” because at that moment, I really wanted to hurt somebody but at the same time, I was just shocked by the intensity of my own feelings. He told me to take it to God and helped me step outside of those sickening emotions and enter a place where I desired true repentance. I’m better aware of why it’s still so hard for me to forgive. I’m ashamed that I still need to struggle with it as seriously as I did 3 years ago. I don’t want to admit that nothing’s changed, because so many things have changed!, but I find myself back here again. 

There’s a stupidly big story looming in the backdrop of this story but I don’t know if I’m ready to admit that part yet. When I finally do, it’ll have been 3 years in the making and probably grossly inappropriate to post on this blog for anyone to read, which is just one of many reasons it’s never been written before. 

You might find it petty. I tell that to myself every time these feelings swell up to be bigger than they should be. Ben told me to stop being so self deprecating because it kept interrupting the way I narrated things to him, but it actually interrupts so much more than that. I’ve never been able to tell my testimony because I don’t know what it is and my thoughts are further hindered by me telling myself it wasn’t really that big of a deal. 

My experiences matter. My experiences matter. My experiences matter. The truth of it is is that few people were there to see me at my worst when I needed them to be there the most. I remember asking for help, getting meals with people I normally wouldn’t meet, asking if I was crazy or wrong to feel the way I felt. But like so many other hurt individuals, I cut out throngs of people (who were supposed to help me instead of ignore me) from my life in order to salvage some sanity and peace within the chaotic hurricane I had to dub “sanctification,” “pruning” or “growing up.” It still hurt way more than I was prepared for it to be.

What do I now have to show for my suffering? Wisdom, compassion, true friends. What can I learn from today’s antagonistic feelings? The usual truths. We’re all works in progress. It doesn’t matter how petty my story might compare to your story because at the end of the day, that’s exactly what helps me see and understand, not accept, the unfair brokenness of this earth from all our equally stupid but not always unnecessary suffering. And when I learn that we’re actually all the same, it helps me be humble. And when I’m humble, it makes it a lot easier to love you like God must love me. 

I’m still not an expert about this. I don’t know what I’ll have to face next time. But I know I don’t have to act on how I feel, so for now, I’ll say that I’m at peace and keep trying my best to love. 

Final wisdom from Luke da boyf:

If it breaks your heart or makes you angry, I think you can convert that into love. You’ve gotten the short end of the stick but now you’re in a season of victory. You’ve come a long way and I’ve seen you use the past for a better present.

To my friends: one million thank you’s to you each. Only a few can truly say they’ve seen me when waters were rough and tears were aplenty.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Posted 3 weeks ago

I love you more!

— my mom after I watched that video about people spontaneously telling their Asian parents “I love you” and following their example

Posted 3 weeks ago

Around 10:45 p.m., I was at a fellow ALT’s apartment laughing with another female ALT about the Twilight movies and how we all needed to marathon them for just the soundtracks’ sake when all of a sudden, a thunderous stomping from the floor above us became loud footsteps that led to my friend’s door. Immediately, the front door was flung open (because it wasn’t locked), and the silhouette of an angry Japanese man stood there. He doesn’t take one step inside but instead screamed “YURUSENDEJGJFBSKDKFJGJShgjsiFjfjdksiJFJDHDIFJjfjshsosiJFBDJDJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!” before slamming the metal door shut and pounding on it with heavy fists for good measure.

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Posted 3 weeks ago