Change Changes Everything!

Everything always changes, doesn’t? I mean no matter what we do or how we try to keep things going the same, something will always change somehow.

So many times change can be great! I loved when I changed from a girlfriend to a fianceĀ  to and to a wife! A couple of weeks ago Sweets and I had the chance to get back to the States and Canada for some great family visiting. I was FINALLY able to change my name! I LOVED that change!

But while we were there, a number of other things also changed. Some not so good, some not so bad and some we are still unsure about!

Sweets’ wonderful grandfather was diagnosed with cancer the day – actually the MOMENT we arrived. (Literally we walked in the door the second the phone rang and the hospital CALLED to tell him he had cancer – I still can’t believe they did that over the phone!) Many things will have to change now.

About 5 days later Sweets was asked to go to Iowa to see about a job opportunity. (We were in MO, so it was about a 7 hour drive to IA) We were kind of in shock! This was not in the plan! We were set to stay in Japan 18 more months, save as much money as possible and THEN start looking for work for him closer to his home/family when we could pay cash for a car and closer to 50% down on a home. Leaving Japan now we will only have about 1/3 of the savings we hoped to have before leaving.

Needless to say we drove the 7 hours to IA, had a very intense interview for a pretty niche job opportunity and then we drove another 7 hours back discussing Gods hand in all of this and what He could possibly be up to!

Let me tell you I was glad to have those 7 hours! šŸ™‚

So here we are, in a very difficult situation emotionally for both of us as we try to figure out the best steps to take next. Sweets has accepted the job offer and will be moving to IA right after Christmas. I on the other hand find myself in a VERY difficult situation that needs much prayer and only direction from the Lord.

Should I stay and fulfill my contract til March or leave with Sweets and be with my husband as he takes on this new responsibility in January?

To make it easier/further complicate matters I am Canadian and therefore need to wait for immigration clearance before I can move. This helps me to know that if it doesn’t happen before January then I can stay in Japan until it does. But then there’s the being apart for so long…

Alternatively I can go to IA with him for a month or two, then fly to Canada and stay with my family until the immigration process is cleared. This way its easier/cheaper for us to visit 1-2 times a month on weekends as we wait out the immigration. In Japan this will not be possible.

I go back and forth almost everyday! I love my students, and my work but I also want to be by the side of my husband at this very stressful/amazing time in his life. I want to be there when he comes home from work and help him get settled into the new life for at least a month or two before living apart…. I just really do not know whats best. Sometimes I think it is more selfish for me to stay in Japan and leave my husband. But other times when I think of the students, and the promises I made to them, their parents and my boss. Not to mention I do not think it is a good witness to break contract. I sometimes feel more selfish wanting to be with my husband rather than honour my word to complete the work when it gets hard because I miss my man….

Both sides are totally valid and depending on the view both would be honouring to the Lord and Biblically obedient!

So no matter how much I tried to keep our life the same (and I have been trying!) one call changed it all! Despite the trying I am in the process of life changes, but all the while learning that God is also in the process of changing ME.

In Sweets taking this new job, I am forced to face a lot of things about me that I know God has been pointing to, but I have been conveniently ignoring and rather working on the things I THINK I should work on first! (you know, the easier stuff!)

Change: For the good, the bad and the Glory of God! Bring it on!

-Bree

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God is a Matchmaker lesson 2

God is a Matchmaker lesson 1

I must have read this book over a dozen times in the couple of months that I had it.

Romans 12:1 says to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God. Surrender makes our bodies holy, the altar makes the sacrifice holy (Matthew 23:19). This therefore applies to your whole body when it is placed on the altar of surrender. Therefore I can be set apart for God and made Holy.

Romans 12:2 God will renew your mind. God will not reveal His secrets or open His treasures toĀ  a mind at enmity with Him. But when your mind is renewed you will begin to discover all that God has planned.

Life Lesson: Do not make my own decisions from now on. I find out God’s decisions and make them mine! God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.

Appreciation and thankfulness to God for what He’s done, doing, and going to do! Appreciation is the inward reaction to Gods goodness. Thankfulness is the out ward expression of that appreciation. Be thankful and say so! (Ps. 100:4)

It’s impossible to be selfish and self-centered when you’re giving thanks to God for what only He can do. Get your mind off yourself and on to Him and the hope that you have for a future, a mate, love and marriage will seem strangely dim next to the Glory of the Father shining in your life.

Guidelines:

1. Obeying Gods Word. Psalm 119:105 reminds us that obedience to Gods word will keep us on the path that is leading to Gods plans for my life.

2. Walking in fellowship. 1 John 1:7 lets us know that doing so will allow the blood of Christ to cleanse us from sin. The right kind of fellowship is what God has in mind for our benefit, growth and relationships. (2 Corinthians 6:14-15, Psalm 119:63)

3. Being led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14. Total Dependence on the Holy Spirit, seek His direction in all things big and small. Sensitive ears must be tuned to Him. “Lord help me to be always in the right place at the right time. I pray in the knowledge that only the Holy Spirit can make this happen”. I must be sensitive to Him and how He guides.

4. Guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23) First discover the mate that God has approved of. Then, release your emotions toward that person to God. That way you wont need to recall the flood if it gets too intense. Avoid fantasy or day dreaming about who this mate may be. It puts God in a box and may not match what He has in mind. (Don’t IĀ  know it!)

5. Waiting on God. (Is 64:4) Waiting tests our faith – only faith that passes the test is accepted by God as genuine. Waiting purifies our motives: (Gods Will or my own?) Waiting also builds character to maturity. A person who has learned to wait is no longer at the mercy of fluctuation moods and emotions.

6. Planning for resurrection John 12:24. The relationship that you believe God for may have to pass through death and resurrection before it is ready to be cultivated.

7. Seeking Godly counsel from those older in years and faith. There is great value in Godly counsel and much can be learned, avoided and rectified by the wisdom provided from trusting servants of the Lord. proverbs 12:15, 15:5

8. Seeking Gods Favour. Proverbs 19:14, 18:22. Gods satisfaction must be your highest ambition. Approach everything with what will please the Lord. ps. 37:4 He will implantĀ  the desires and then fulfill them!

For me number 5 and 8 are the most precious lesson that can be learned. And maturing in these areas will not only bring the best harvest of fruit to our lives, but also prepare us the greatest for being Godly woman and wives for our beloved husbands (to be).

 

A not-so-Love-Story (Part 2)

A not-so-Love-Story Part 1

June 2012

I never heard from sweets again after that until June 2012. He asked me to meet him for dinner and I did, it was so nice! The next week he asked me to….. Ok here it is the BIG test….

He asked me to help him clean his house because he was moving. Seriously. It actually happened.

But I did! haha I don’t even know why I agreed to it. It was the most absurd thing I had been asked but I went, and it was fun! Shortly after that I offered him a summer teachingĀ  job at my school. Then God really took over.

The teachingĀ  job was at the elementary school but I teach at the pre-school. So that means I would see him at most a few minutes a week..if that. So it was safe to offer him the job. He had no plans that summer and wanted to earnĀ  money while he was off work. We needed a teacher for two months.

God totally had that thing worked out! It just so happened that for a number of reasons the school decided that I also needed to take my preschool class to the elementary school and teach the summer classes there along with my own class for the next two months. That put us as the only two teachers at the school! Prepping together, having meetings together and spending quite a bit of time together. It was also a great time for him to see what I am all about – MY KIDS! I have no idea why God is so gracious that way to have worked that out the way He did, but I will ever be thankful and in awe at the way He just simplifies things like this!

He and I met for dinner most evenings after work, we had dates and walks, many walks each evening for hours we would talk and walk around the city.

Then on August 13th Sweets asked me to be his GF. I seriously thought he was going to break up with me. I expected it and could tell he wanted to chat. I braced myself for the …”its been nice but I can just see that your not what I’m looking for.” But instead he asked me to be his GF! I was really excited and shocked! I just couldn’t believe it!

September 2012 We bought plane tickets to go back to North America and meet the families. We will spend 9 days in MO and 5 days in Canada. I am extremely nervous about Christmas morning with his family but so very excited to meet his family, friends and see where he is from.

Since then we have been going strong, walking, and talking and pouring our hearts out. Learning about each other and figuring out this whole relationship thing.

We speak about marriage often, and if God’s willing, I have already decided to give my heart to this man…. if he feels lead in the same way. So this blog is my preparation curriculum! I will be studying so much to prepare and become the best wife that I can be. I have so much to learn and I know that after the wedding there will be even more to learn and study!

A not-so-Love-Story (Part 1)

He found me. I will always say it that way. For a number of reasons this is fitting. For starters the bible is packed full of verses referring to a man “finding a good wife” ect.. So on the surface it’s how God writes it anyhow. But for me its much more than that. I was lost. (Not physically!) but I was lost in love and relationships. I was wandering around hopeless and aimless. He found me.

Also when we met.. I was definitely not looking for him…the story isn’t nearly as amusing without the background, but basically I moved to Japan a few years ago, fell in love with the country, and my new life here and I was looking for love to tack on to that. I wanted my current life +1.
But being in Japan and wanting to stay here…indefinitely I was looking for J-Love! I planned to marry a Japanese guy, get my permanent visa, and have little half-J babies! It was a great dream!

March 27th 2012 Sweets and I met at a friends b-day party. I saw him when my friend and I walked in. He had a handsome face, I noticed it. But I was NOT thinking past that. I should get Sheila on here to tell the story… she saw it all and I was totally oblivious to it.

Anyhow, I was talking to other people – he was listening. A few minutes later he suddenly interrupted the conversation to confirm if I was a Christian. I said I was and he started to chat with me a bit. Basic stuff. I didn’t even notice really.Ā  He told me about teaching at the Christian school and I was interested to hear about THE STUDENTS! haha but needless to say at the end of the day he asked me for a date and my number.

I was NOT wanting to give it to him. This was like a detour for me, a waste of both our time, after all I was going to be marrying a J-boy and so why on earth would I need to give my number or have dinner with a white boy?!

Sheila made me give my number. She did. I was trapped between his request and her jabbing me and glaring at me.

We had our dinner date April 1st 2010. It was TERRIBLE! No Joke. (At least for me).

To begin he brought me to a Japanese restaurant. (I don’t eat that much Japanese food) Our conversation was bland and forced. After dinner we went for a coffee and though that was maybe the “nicest” part, when the night was getting to an end he quickly said good-bye and practically ran across the street as fast as he could.

Of course that was the beginning and the end. I never intended to hear from him again, and if I did I never intended to be free because clearly that was the worst date I should ever have to endure, and I would be silly to want to do that again!

He never called. No big shocker.

January 2011…..

We met again, with the same mutual friends it was bound to happen. We chatted briefly. He said “we should meet up sometime” I said “been there done that”.

September 2011….I started Japanese school. Sweets was there! “Oh geesh!” I thought, and then we would chat between classes and have short conversations. I was in a “relationship” with a nice J-boy so I definitely was NOT even considering him as a possibility. (J-boy and I ended this same month)

November 2011 we went to dinner with some classmates. It was fun but …. he’s American! I started praying more diligently for the right Christian J-boy.

December 2011 He sent me a Christmas card from America. It made me confused but smile. I tossed it out around the end of January but apparently I changed my mind as I still have it! I do remember vaguely having this “just in case thought” but I kept my prayers on my J-plan and didn’t give God any other option at that point.

January 1st 2012 we spent new years day together. Had lunch and went to karaoke it was tons of fun!! That night at church I wrote my new years prayers and thanks to God for an awesome year (we write them every new yrs’ Sunday and then read them the following year to see what God has done in our lives and the prayers we were expecting for the year ect..) I wrote mine, then put it in the box…then took it out and wrote a small little side note add-on to it documenting that Sweets and I had hung out that day and I wanted to document it “just in case”.

June 2012: I never heard from him again after that until June 2012. He asked me to meet him for dinner and I did, it was so nice! The next week he asked me to….. Ok here it is the BIG test….

a not-so-Love-Story Part 2