23 September, 2016

A bunch of encouragement

When I wrote yesterday I was a bit grumpy and not that happy with how the day was proceeding, but determined to make the best of it.

Part of that was conflict after breakfast with a son. Part of that was my general mentality of late (see here and here), for which I've been seeking an answer. Why have I been out-of-sorts? I'm still not totally sure, it's probably a combination of factors, including lots of gray weather as well as feeling quite heavy of heart about several circumstances in the lives of friends and colleagues (read: cancer, moving away, broken engagement, unfaithfulness, ill health, death, injustice etc.). None of these significant things have happened in our lives, but we're praying about it in the lives of those we know. And that is heavy.

However, in the last few days God has sent a bunch of encouragement my way:
Oyakodonburi (chicken and egg on rice)
  • I've felt discouraged about my blog, feeling like I'm just writing the same-old-same-old stuff. But several people have told me in the last few days that they love it and are encouraged by it.
  • Yesterday I was feeling like a fish out of water during a time in the schedule at school where some parents were learning about American college applications and others about Japanese college applications. I don't fit either box, nor did I need to hear about the other options on the "menu". I've been here too long...So I was in the library. Not in a mood to either read or browse to borrow books when I ended up in a texting conversation with a mum with young kids who lives next door to the campus. In a flash of brilliance? I practically invited myself over to her place for the 40 minutes I had left before the next meeting I needed to be at. Great conversation. The start of a deepening relationship?
  • The meeting from 4pm was about senior stuff. Important things that are happening during this year. Part of the meeting involved those of us who have volunteered to coordinate the parent-led events at the end of the year (parent-student banquet and graduation after-party) informing parents and get the ball rolling on volunteers that we need, forms to be filled out, money to be paid etc. It was good to see things start to come together. This is a risky business, volunteering to coordinate such a diverse group of people organising events like this, but it seems to be working.
  • As a result of the argument with my son in the morning, the menu for the week got shuffled around and I ended up cooking something I hadn't planned on for dinner. But it worked out pretty well. Not getting home until 6pm, I was concerned about getting it on the table on time, but it worked well. Plus it was a Japanese meal I've only made once before. Making Japanese food always makes me feel accomplished.
  • I went to the school's weekly prayer meeting this morning and unusually stayed afterwards to chat with some of the mums. One of them is an editing colleague with the magazine. We had an encouraging, meandering chat.
  • I'm in the middle of an email exchange with one of my sons right now. I don't want to violate his privacy, suffice to say—I'm encouraged at the depth of honesty we've got going.
  • Even finding that all my boys not only volunteered to make their own lunches yesterday (they all had only half-days at school) but did so without prompting or needing significant assistance.
They're probably the biggest things, though I could add more smaller things.

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