Living in Japan has been wonderful, but it hasn’t exactly been easy. I think some of that is just the stage S is in right now, testing boundaries, being picky, and being cranky from whatever is causing her to wake up at 5. But it also took us a long time to get plugged in because ladies’ Bible study was during S’s morning nap and the first church we were going to wasn’t very good but from what we had heard it was the best option around, until we found something else (a community we are still plugging into but that can provide the support we need when E is traveling and when the baby is born). Culture shock was minimal, but still not nice and I still find myself with a deer in the headlights look thinking “I can’t Japanese!” in the middle of the crowded grocery store. And because E was delayed in the US and so I got here first, adjusting to him being here and a part of the life we had already settled into here was hard and rocky.

All that was an emotional roller coaster for me, often leaving me feeling exhausted – but I didn’t really feel like exhausted was the right word. Drained? Maybe a little closer. Overwhelmed? That was definitely a part of it.
Then one day it came.
Everything together was taking all of my energy, all that I had.
But it was when I realized I was empty that things began to change, because when I realized I was empty was when I realized that I was trying to do it on my own strength. Of course I’d been praying about everything, but when I finished praying I went back to trying to push through it on my own.
But when I knew I was empty was when I could let God fill me and when I started to know that the feeling of “can’t” was a sign that instead of pushing through and praying about it later, I needed to ask for His help now if I was going to respond to S patiently.

It’s amazing to me how some of the biggest ways I’ve grown through motherhood have been such seemingly simple things.


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