Things are changing around here again.
The leaves are turning a brilliant red, the air is shifting, and everything around me is taking on that warm hue that so familiarly accompanies this autumn season.
The foreign feeling that once accompanied this Asian place has melted away and I find myself calling Japan home. In fact, I'm starting to notice and appreciate the things that locals notice - like the fact that the lotus are melting into their muddy fields and the persimmons are decorating the trees around us with the ornaments of fall.
The smell of ramen and udon infuse the air in the city, and oden has begun to be sold again.
Warm tea and coffee is served with every meal and I've pulled out my favorite cardigan again.
Things are changing again.
The cycle is repeating.
But for me, a new cycle is starting.
I have begun the college application process. It's strange and sophisticated, and to be honest, I don't like it one bit. I've had a really hard time with this whole "growing up" thing.
It's so surreal to me and I can't quite come to grips with the fact.
I know it's cliche to say, and I know we all can relate on some level, but it seems like time has simply disappeared. So here I am - standing on the great shore of adulthood - preparing for college.
And while I'm not sure if college is quite what the Lord has for me next year, the simple fact that I'm an adult freaks me out.
I am content here.
This place that I once viewed with such hesitancy and unfamiliarity has become a place so natural. Everyday, I find myself thanking the Lord that he pulled my itchy feet out of their comfort zone and into this great adventure.
It's been such a joy.
And if I'm honest, the thought of leaving makes me want to cry. I want to bottle up God's blessing and keep it forever. I want to keep it safe...to protect it. But that's not what living with the Lord is about. I have to have faith. I have to trust that the same faithful goodness with which God carried us to Japan will carry me into his will.
I don't ever want to become so content that I'm not willing to move forward.
If I had been too content in the States, then I wouldn't have come to Japan, after all:)