Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thoughts on Home

I've been thinking a bit about our time here in Japan. We've been here about four and half years now, longer than most people associated with the naval base here where Ben words. We came here pretty naive about what we were getting into. But it has turned out to be far more wonderful than we could have imagined. We've made many friends, seen many move in and move out. We've experienced a massive earthquake, and ensuing nuclear threats. We've added two kids to our family and a whole lot of chaos. We've become expert video chatters with grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. And we are seasoned airport security navigators.

 When we first moved here we thought it would be for just a few years to save up money and then we'd head back to the States and settle down somewhere. But it quickly became clear to us that we would stay in the DoDEA school system until Ben retires. There are many things that we love about it. The hardest is being away from family, but we have technology to thank for keeping us connected.
Sakura 2012-We missed 2011 because Ellie and I left after the Tohoku Earthquake on Mar. 11, 2011

When we go back to the States to visit someone invariably asks us when we are moving back "home." The truth is, we already live at home. Right now for us Yokosuka, Japan is home. We are together as a family, and we know that we are where the Lord wants us to be, so that is home.
Sakura 2013

Something my wonderful mother taught me at a young age was that it was my choice to be happy where I was in life. We love our choice to live here. We love the people we know that are here as expats like us. We love the Japanese people. We love driving on the left. We love taking trainsWe love sorting our trash in to 5 different bins. We love being associated with the military. We love working with the high school kids. We love our church family. We love the torii gates and shrines and the ocean and the green hills and the proliferation of hydrangeas and cherry trees. We tolerate the humidity ;).

Sakura 2014
There are times when we have ached to be with family, mostly on the happiest and the saddest days. But I've found that when we actively cultivate our own Christ centered home we find that our joy is amplified and our sorrows our soothed through the love we share for one another.