The City No Longer Forsaken

"They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted." ~Isaiah 62:12

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

Looking back, 2006 may very well have been the most significant year of my 22 years. Being an adult is cool that to be in a place where my responsibility is to the world and not to professors. Which isn't to say that I don't take the opportunity to act like a kid every chance I get. :)

Anyway...notable events from this year!

-Spent a month in South Africa.
-Helped plan and lead one of the most fun (if stressful) SCA events I've ever been a part of
-Realized that I don't just like to dance, I *love love love* to dance.
-Traveled to Seattle for spring break to finally meet a friend in person
-Survived the hardest semester to be academically focused of my life with, ironically, one of my highest college GPAs.
-Somewhere along the line began considering myself a mainline conservative Christian instead of a mainline liberal Christian.
-Went to a bar with friends for the first time. Still holding off on ordering more than one drink. ;)
-Said goodbye to four of the most lovely friends I have ever had.
-Became a college graduate.
-Began a process of completely rethinking the way I look at peace.
-Began doing real drawings every once in awhile.
-Successfully threw away something like 20 billion boxes of things I'd been hanging onto and didn't need.
-Moved to Japan
-Met some really incredible new friends.
-Read the book Intercessory Prayer and completely changed the way I pray.
-Began a prayer assignment to end suicides on the Chuo Line in Tokyo
-Learned that, if one wishes to have a nice social time at a pub, telling even one person in the pub that your group is made up entirely of missionaries who are out to celebrate Martin Luther's birthday is not the best way to do it.
-Bought an orange jacket. Traded the desire to blend in for a desire to be a bright force in the world.
-Bought a Mac. (Still slightly in shock about that one, but happy.)
-Spent my first Christmas away from home
-Went from knowing no Japanese to being able to read two new alphabets and to give a five minute speech about St. Olaf.

My first event of 2007: I wanted into a convenience store at about 12:02am this morning to buy a sandwich. The streets were pretty much deserted (I had just arrived home on the last train) but the sounds of people ringing large temple bells could be heard from at least three directions. Typical to Japan, there were three tellers standing behind the counter to serve a completely empty store. But when I came up and bought my sandwich, one of them said, "Happy New Year!" with a big, embarrassed grin on his face. It was one of the only times in Japan I have had a store employee say more to me than "Thank you for waiting", "do you have a point card?", or tell me the total cost of my purchase. It was such a nice change after Christmas, when I told a woman working in a bakery Merry Christmas and she said nothing in return. Definitely left the store smiling last night.

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