• Mission,  Reflections

    Socially Anxious Missionaries Who Don’t Speak Japanese

    So grateful today! For various reasons, today was the first day the kids actually got to meet some other neighborhood kids. I sent them out when we saw that other kids were at the park, but it was just little boys and so the girls kept to themselves. A while later, some girls around the age of mine rode up on bikes, and Madeleine came back to the house to ask me how to say something to them in Japanese. As I got myself ready to go out and help them communicate, I prayed again for courage and blessing in these interactions. The truth is, I didn’t want to go…

  • Partnership,  Prayer,  Updates

    Free from Quarantine!

    Tomorrow we are free from quarantine, and we give thanks for God’s grace during these last two weeks! We give thanks that our jet lag recovery was surprisingly quick. I woke up on Day 4 and knew I had gotten over the biggest hill of it. The kids truly didn’t seem affected by it at all. We give thanks that we are in a house! In His wisdom, He used our delay to take the apartment we thought was ideal from our hands, and replaced it with an actually perfect house. I can’t imagine quarantining our (reasonably normal) family of five in an apartment, no matter how ideal. The blessings…

  • General

    Welcome to the Neighborhood

    One thing you should know about Japan: They take their garbage seriously. It makes sense; given that they’re an island nation, they don’t exactly have the space to dump millions of tons of garbage into a hole and bury it. We separate our garbage into at least 8 different categories just for day-to-day trash, and then you can add in “special” categories. When we moved into our new house, the realtor gave a huge flier explaining all the different categories and on which day each is thrown away. (I’m gonna add pictures of this in the comments.) (And I promptly threw away the right trash on the right day in…

  • Reflections

    Rose-Colored Glasses as a Gift from God

    In our travels, we have often ended up in sticky situations that could easily overwhelm us and turn super negative. At those times I’m prone to quip, “Bad experiences make good memories!” Whether it’s forgetting to book a hotel for your trip to the most crowded festival in Kyoto and ending up in a roasting rented room the size of your entire bed in what is basically an old man’s house, or hustling the whole family all the way down to Immigration only to find out you forgot a passport and one of you needs to rush home and back before they close for lunch while the other entertains the…

  • General,  Reflections,  Updates

    Life Doesn’t Always Fit Nicely Into A Box

    Over the last week, we packed our life into 26 boxes. (Okay, that’s not entirely true. We still have about 8,000 Legos, plus our clothes.) Eight days ago we got our supplies from the shipping company. Seven days ago we found out that the only time they had available to pick up our shipment before we leave is today at 8:15 a.m. Okay! I work great with a deadline, I can do that! I canceled school for the week (homeschooling perks), shipped the kids to my mother-in-law’s for eight hours every day, and called upon my inborn strength and hardiness, passed down from my ancestors who came over on the…