“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” * Jeremiah 29:14 *
|* A street nearby where vendors set up their stalls and sell their goods*|
* A great place to get produce for cheap! *
It always hits me when I’m riding my bike. Ok, that’s probably poor wording considering ‘hit’ and ‘bike’ are in the same sentence, but bear with me. Yesterday I was leaving work and heading downtown when the all too familiar wave of disbelief, mixed with awe and gratitude, washed over me as I surveyed my surroundings, re-realized that I was in Japan, and got giggly with excitement: I’m living the dream!
|* Haha - this is my bike. In Japan, it's called a Mama Chariot (or mamachari) *|
I’m wondering if this happens because I’m having a hard time believing that I’m actually here. For years I had been dreaming, wishing, praying with all my might that I could one day come to Japan – and now it’s here. I will admit that sometimes it’s easy to forget (as I often do) that I’m in Japan because most of the day I’m surrounded by people who can speak English, even if it’s only a little. A couple days ago I went across the street to the convenience store and was taken aback when the cashier started speaking to me in Japanese. Then I re-realized where I was - and smiled.
|* The park right next to our apartment building *|
Yes, I feel like I’m living in a dream and my greatest fear is that I’ll wake up and find that my students, colleagues, and experiences were all illusions. It’s at times like that when I remember that this whole thing is totally possible, and what once was a dream is now reality and a very special gift. God had a plan for me, and that plan goes far beyond this time and place.
|* Friends & Glee - this is quickly becoming a tradition! *|
If there’s one thing that I take from these daily re-realizations it is this: DREAM BIG! In junior high, I never thought I’d be here, yet here I am. The dreaming doesn’t stop here. I will continue to dream of the seemingly impossible, knowing that it is just the opposite. I will never settle for anything less than the impossible. For I have asked for what I thought was impossible, I sought it with all my heart, and although at the time a door was slammed in my face, God graciously and knowingly gave me the key to a different, better, and brighter future.
|* SAKURA *|
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” * Luke 11:9-10 *