It wasn't supposed to rain Easter Weekend.
In fact, in my head, it was supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny.
But on good Friday, the clouds rolled over - despite my wishing - and sprinkled a grey mist over the whole weekend.
I don't think it dampened our spirits at all.
We made the best of it, and it was another weekend full to the brim with simple joys.
It's been a Monday, and I'm too exhausted to compose a narrative explaining it all...but I never want to forget the moments that make up these magical days.
So I'm going to list them. Because its my experience that sometimes random thoughts are the best way to remember things:
- We dyed eggs and cooked traditional Easter food with my Obaachans on Good Friday. It was so sweet.
And one of the older ladies sat down with me and folded origami cranes for about an hour while she told me about her cats and the adventures she and her husband have on their boat.
I don't want to ever forget the moments spent with these little ladies in my small, Japanese kitchen - they're precious.
- Friday night, I accompanied Padre to my first local Rotary Club meeting and had the best time.
I sat next to the most hilarious 70 year old dentist, and we discussed Top Ramen versus homemade Japanese Ramen...
he's a fan of the pre-packaged variety, in case you were wondering:)
We were two of four Americans there, and were treated like royalty the whole time.
I swear I looked like Ms. America coming out of the club - my left hand held an overflowing bouquet of flowers, and my right hand was weighted heavily with local gifts and delicacies.
It's nights like these when I feel like I'm living a stranger's body, and I'm overwhelmed when I realize I actually do live in Japan, and I actually do have these experiences.
It's a little bit surreal.
- We spent Saturday at one of my favorite places - Hikari no Sono Children's Home.
I am smitten with that place and those children.
They've become like good friends, now.
And before we left, one of the sweet little girls whispered into my ear:
"Graysie-san...daisukidayo" - "I love you, Graysie"
And it melted my heart. Again.
- I can't remember the last time I attended a Easter Sunrise Service.
In fact, I didn't remember just quite how earllyyy they were.
5:30am is very early for a Sunday morning.
But I don't regret it at all.
We all stood on the Kintai Bridge and worshiped our risen Lord in the early morning fog. We prayed for the small community of believers here...for the city of Iwakuni, and for the salvation of our Japanese neighbors.
It was a great way to beckon in Easter Sunday,
And I'm so glad I did wake up so early.
We spent the rest of our day savoring the Sabbath.
I ate way too much ham and deviled eggs, and I'm pretty sure we have enough leftover banana pudding to feed a small army.
And then, when everything quieted down, we drove towards the mountains and chased the sunset with no destination in particular and watched the city of Iwakuni fall asleep from the top of a mountain.
It was the perfect way to close the door on the weekend.
And now we look forward with joy.
We look forward to the next weekend, to the approaching summer season, and our eternal life with Christ one day.
He is Risen...He is Risen, indeed.