Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dinner Out

After the retreat - seven of us went to dinner at Uotami. It was a nice to time to relax after the busy weekend....though I had fun with some of the menu options....

Simmered Pork Cartilage

Highly recommended thinly sliced pickled pork intestines

Horse meat sashimi or shabushama? - Any way you say it - if it's raw on the menu, I've learned it will show up raw on my plate. So thankful for photos in Japanese menus. 

I opted for the "Chain wide cook off winner" - Collagen. The menu promised it would be very good for my skin - and Japanese women do look youthful. I wasn't sure about the scissors, but quickly figured it out. 

Yes, this is my "relief/retreat" exhaustion look. ::snort:: 

May I just say making the choice to NOT eat pork years ago has saved me from many eating adventures in Japan? ::snort:: After dinner we went to the chapel and unpacked Tara's van.

I came home, unloaded my van. I'll put things away, clean the house, finish some regional business, attend chapel and pack tomorrow...for Monday I fly.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

The Retreat that Became a FLING! ::snort::

Semper Gumby was our motto as we planned this year's local retreat.

It was a learning experience (as I like a PLAN) and ultimately a joy (!) to serve as Misawa's Retreat Coordinator this year. We had a Fall Rally the end of August and had planned a 3 day/2 night retreat in May....the date had to change  due to Military exercises earthquake and tsunami, a voluntary departure involving many of our members, a return of many of our ladies (Welcome BACK!)...and a change in venues.....

Renee was our anointed speaker. She spoke on Glory, Arise, and Light from Is 60:1-3. This beautifully tied up our year's theme -  Shine in the Light of His Glory. We began exploring this theme at the Fall Rally focusing on Matt 5 and being salt and light. It has been amazing to watch how God prepared us for current events.

We went to Komaki for our Fri night meeting, dinner and onsen enjoyment-no onsen photos will be forthcoming. 

Retreat Team members showed up at 3:00 to set up (and repeated in a new location the next a.m.)

Chocolate and Onsen just go together....

Annette and Sarah were champs! 

Flowers, chocolate, candles...we're good. 

Ruth and Mandy, our registration team, BREATHED Semper Gumby! 

Perfect, one of our first registrants coordinates with the tote! Love ya, Tanya. 

Small group leaders are briefed and pray


Kobayashi-san is our liaison with Japanese Venues. He's invaluable and it was a learning experience to work with him this past year.  I learned much about Japanese culture. He very much approved of my announcements about onsen behavior - giving me high praise, "De'Etta-san, you are just like Japanese." 

I shared briefly about Dancing with God in shaky situations

Becky and Mandy led us to the throne of grace

We were OFF - with small groups exploring the concept of "Glory". 

Renee shared 3 sessions - centered on Glory, Arise, Light - Excellent time in the Word

I haven't a CLUE - but it was fun. 

We moved to Misawa AB ski lodge for Saturday's sessions. 


Renee kept things moving with charades, skits, times of personal reflection...we enjoyed munchies, games, sharing....

What is God calling you to Arise from and Arise to? 

Gifts were given to our amazing Retreat team. I asked two to remain and as all sat down, I realized Renee (speaker) and Susane (President)  are both leaving shortly. What a joy it has been to serve with these two ladies the past two years. 

Board gifts for Susane were two of Twyla Misawa's famous pillow cases, a photo albums, notes and letters from the PWOC group and a gift certificate for a facial. 

Well - something was funny, I'm sure. Work hard but HAVE FUN! 

Tara surprises me with a gift from y'all - card (such sweet encouragement from one of the best PWOC groups in the world) and itunes for my ipad (already purchased movie for my flight) and a bit of green for a pedicure (which is a new Misawa thing for me!). 

The event ended with the recognition and thanks to the 2010-2011 PWOC board and the installation of the 2011-2012 Misawa PWOC board.

Susane shared some thoughts on serving the past two years

2011-2012 Misawa PWOC Board (partial)
De'Etta (Pres), Mary (Titus 2), Mandy (Admin), Tara (Spiritual Life), Sarah (Finances), Christie (Hospitality), Ruth (Prayer)...Kristin (Programs) and Jess (Publicity) were unable to attend. There are still a few open positions.... ::wink, wink:: - We can promise you hard work, personal growth and lots of friendship and fun! 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unexpected Intimacy

I expected to spend this day in solitude. 

7:35 a.m. my Skype rang in and I happened to be nearby heading to workout. I answered. Good regional Skype. The plan was for me to run some errands for the retreat, be home at noon to continue the Skype. That sort of worked. More Skype. More break. More Skype. 

I wasn't too worried about the "loss" of solitude this a.m. I decided to head out to pay bills and then play in the dirt. The plan was to clean house tonight. 

I had ordered 3 cases of Bibles from a company in Tokyo. They arrived yesterday. When you shop online here without the option of a credit card....they deliver your stuff an with the bill inside  the box. You take it to the nearest Lawson's and pay for your purchase. Quite trusting, isn't it? Refreshing.  There must be thousands of Lawsons scattered throughout Japan....and Family Mart and Circle K and Kozusomethingorothers.... As I waited in Lawsons, I couldn't help but thinking of Akiko-san. She's repeatedly told me (skeptic) how wonderful Cup Noodles are...and so I bought an assortment to try....seems the perfect time as I don't want to do a lot of cooking.  Before you turn your nose up, you should know that Ramen here is about a million times better than Ramen in the states...who knows...maybe this will be good too. ::snort:: 

I stopped at the Japanese version of Walmart to buy 4 more 40 ltr bags of DIRT...This time I bought a bag that said, "Garden Soil" in small print...I'm quite sure this is not fertilizer.  

Somewhere between leaving for errands and getting home the sun went away and the WIND arrived in FORCE....I decided to plant and save the housecleaning for the evening....plenty of time. I was valiantly planting plants...and chasing fly away planters across the yard...when Akiko-san called. We had a great talk. She asked if I'd like to spend the evening with her! Yes, that would be well worth changing plans.  We went to Universe. She had to buy things for a work BBQ tomorrow and showed me her favorite snack items for me to take home when I go next week. 

After the shopping adventure we went to her favorite Ramen shop - I didn't take a photo and can't remember the has Tom Yum on the outside but that is a type of Thai noodle or something and not the name of the shop. Akiko-san had a wonderfully  huge bowl of ramen.  I had curry and giyoza.  Akiko-san informed me that "most Japanese don't use hashi for curry." Well now, that's nice to know. ::snort::  

As we laughed and slurped ramen it happened - unexpected intimacy. She shared new thoughts she is working through - I gained insight in to a culture  still very new to me. I thanked her for sharing with me, I gave her several heartfelt assurances  I am praying for her....she thanked me for letting her talk about things that are perplexing her. I will ponder tonight's conversation for quite some time.  With all my heart I wanted to give her an easy answer....but the answer simply doesn't appear to be easy.  How can the simplicity of grace, the free gift of grace be understood when it will cost so much and goes against what you've been taught to believe? It seems very complicated and costly from this  perspective. And yet, I long to introduce her to Jesus, not philosophy or religion, but Jesus. I sense He is drawing her to Himself...and so I sit on the outside and thank Him for the moments when I'm unexpectedly pulled inside the intimate circle...and continue to pray the process, pray the kingdom purposes in this situation. 

Your kingdom come, Father, on earth as it is in heaven! 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 2 of Solitude

Guess what? I've been told FOREVER that I'm an extrovert...but I am loving this time of listen, to worship, to recharge. When did that happen? I think I may be a closet introvert......

I woke up and spent some leisurely time in worship, in the word, in prayer. 

I had a nice workout and didn't have to worry about waking anyone up - even with loud music....and I could worship at the top of my lungs with NO ONE to hear...that is cool. 

Mary, when hearing about my solitude, told me she was ready to catch up at the onsen. She's been in the states the past 3 weeks. This a.m. we headed to the onsen. I think the onsen has gotten hotter.

We grabbed some gyudon at Sukiyas.

We headed to the chapel to begin set up for today's assembly. I was worried as I always have the kids to help set up tables and haul things from the storage to the fellowship hall. I wouldn't have that help today and we were doing TWICE the number of kits today. Wow. My friends are such a blessing. Several showed up earlier than the time I'd posted to help set things up. Mary, Connie and girls, Susane, Anna and more....what a blessing. We got 100 kits done....that was a lot of work though.

Some things simply move slower in Japan and relief efforts are one of those slow moving things.  We're getting a back log of kits and have run out of storage area....we've used a garage (most on base do not have garages) and today we also filled Mike's office. We have 150 ready to deliver to CRASH's pastors when they are ready. We'll halt shopping until we begin delivery.....this gives time for local stores to build their stock back up...getting difficult to find plastic cutting boards and toilet slippers in Misawa/surrounding areas. ::snort::

Susane invited me out to Mongolian Grill tonight. Yummo!

I ran by the chapel to talk numbers with Tina. Tina loves me....but I make her laugh. Who KNOWS why my numbers simply don't cooperate. For one thing, it seems she doesn't want you to "round up or down".

 I'm back home and thinking I'll watch a bit more MONK.....and wonder of WONDERS - the house was still quiet and clean when I got home. It's that "just home from vacation feeling" every time I walk in the door. OK - I'll admit it - I'm being renewed in deep levels with the quiet and sleep and extended times of worship and word....but I do miss the chaos of our typical family life.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

We Made AFN

I DO think this is more accurate than the Navy's piece or here least I'm not a Chaplain in this piece. ::snort::   I was sad that they took out all mention of the fact that this is a CHAPEL sponsored program....and they interviewed our Wing Chaplain for quite some time and then didn't use any of the material....but it is accurate. 

This is fun as you can see some of the activity. We put together kits again today - 100 today! Twice as many as last week. We had many more uniformed volunteers today. I knew word was getting out but wasn't sure how until someone said, "Hey, saw you on TV and thought I'd come help."

You can see Nolan, Zander and Arielle in  this clip too....I learned from our press experience when the van was stolen to speak with EXCITEMENT and in 30 sec sound bites. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday - They're Off - AND

The bags were packed, they were on the list and now we wait to see if they would make the final cut and fly to Seattle. They did. Seems most are flying HOME to Japan at this point and not back to the states. 

I found myself a bit nervous as the time came for the family to leave. Hesitant to be staying in Japan - alone - without kids or Michael (though I'd done 8 months without Michael).  I realized WAIT....I've not BEEN ALONE more than one night in the past 28 years.....and this is a new experience. 

I left the terminal and headed to the chapel where Sarah and I had a date to fill PWOC retreat totes. 

Sempter Gumby has been our refrain on this retreat team. First, we were scheduled in May. Then we had to move to April. Then we had an earthquake and 60% of our group left, and all were nervous about leaving kids for 3 days....we moved to a local event....Going to be great fun and I can't wait to hear what God is going to say to all of us...we are surely primed to consider what it means to SHINE IN THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORY. 

The house is so very quiet tonight. Very quiet...but I'm relaxing.....and cleaning. I may not get the whole house clean but I can do some main areas..... Having done two rooms I think it's time to climb into bed and watch some Monk. 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...