December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve 2007 Thanksgiving

Photo: Aiko lights her New Year Candle (Fukuoka, Japan 2004)

(New Year Candlelight Ceremony- part 2 of 3)

Before the New Year, here's a recounting of what I'm thankful to have done or learned in the year since arriving in the beautiful mountainous central prefecture of Nagano. The links are to posts from the past eight months.

Communicating with you...

Over the years I published at least a hundred newsletters about my adventures and ministries-- in Mexico, five years in India, and then the U.S. where, eleven years ago, I started emailing newsletters, as we headed first to China, and then Japan.

With my ever expanding band of children and grandchildren and friends now on five continents -- all with varying degrees and angles of interest-- I've found it difficult to say all I wanted to some, without boring the rest.

Blogging has helped. I can now post whatever happens, interests me or I care to share for the interest or benefit of friends or family-- and they can view or read what interests them. Now I spend less time agonizing over what to leave out-- leaving more time to—communicate!

And I've really enjoyed the increased personal e-mails, photos, calls and web-cam meetings we've had this year- quality person to person communication-- Thanks for calling and writing!

...and Fun with Friends

This year, usually with Andrew-- and often his friend Leina, who is also ten years-old-- I've found time to enjoy mountain-climbing, hiking, bike rides in the countryside, my first trip to Tokyo, and taking many photos. And, since we missed our (sniff) Fukuoka friends from the southern island of Kyushu-- Andrew and I hitchhiked to visit them in August.


I've made progress this year in learning to focus on priorities – meaning not just being lead by what I find in front of my nose each morning-- like this quotation that I adapted and adopted for myself:

'Get up each morning and set your heart-- not on what you have to accomplish in your own energies-- but set your heart on eternity, and nothing else will matter-- and nothing will be able to defeat you.'
...and Prayer

When I think of all I want to do myself and see done for others-- and remember to measure the task and my own strength against the power of heaven-- then I think of prayer.

I've found a new, distinct focus for prayer in my life. Rather than an 'add-on' to my others activities, it's becoming a major part of my life in its own right-- and the more I pray, the more I want to pray.

And there is so my to pray for-- from my newest grandchildren-- Izumi in Hungary and Kevin in California-- to the 'gettin' grow'd up' ones in Texas and Zambia. For my mom and dad, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews-- and you!

It's no wonder grandparents are often known for their prayers-- they finally realize the limits of their human resources and begin to lean on the divine.

No comments:

Post a Comment