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I’m on vacation somewhat unexpectedly this week. My mom bought me surprise plane tickets home for my grandpa’s 80th birthday party. The “somewhat” in that first sentence comes in because I made sure from the get go that I had no commitments for this week just in case she ended up doing exactly what she did. She’s predictable spontaneous like that. Never count on her to do the easy or simple thing and I have to say knowing you can count on someone to do the crazy thing in any given situation is comforting in a crazy sort of way.

My baby sister, in the spirit of our family, called me the day before my plane left (Wednesday) to tell me she had volunteered me to do a live worship paint at her church that Sunday. I was happy too, but running around town running errands with Mom, finding time to build an on the budget canvas big enough to use in front of a church with Dad, (plywood covered in duck canvas; cheap, heavy and heavy.) and rushing to the two worship practices with my sister to figure out what, exactly, I was going to paint in a two-day time span was pretty intense.

Here’s the iphone snap shot of the pic and worship team. It’s a little blurry, sorry, but I’ve been too busy to get a better one.

My sister, who is on the far right, is the worship leader at Crosswalk, but was singing back up for Brianna, the Pastor’s daughter, that Sunday. Brianna was home in support of her mother, Linn, who has been diagnosed with cancer (type uncertain right now) just the Thursday before. Cancer is scary. God is powerful. Our prayers are with them and I hope this piece ministered to them in some small way.

Painting this on Sunday morning, then going back to my parent’s house to help host my grandpa’s 80th birthday party made me very thankful for the blessings of health and kinship we have in my family. Cross planetary types of kinship even. My parents just arrived back home from Japan a few weeks ago. There were there visiting my Japanese sisters, Motoko, Satoko, Tomomi, and Naoko. The four exchange students we hosted while my sisters and I were still in school. It’s been years since we’ve been able to see them and when the school in Japan invited my parents over for the schools program anniversary they were so excited to go! The trip was supposed to happen last year this time, but the tsunami and melt down at the northern nuclear power plant delayed things.

Mom brought a lot of things home for me, some she bought, some the girls gave her. Below are a handkerchief, a tea-cup and a water-color pen set. (The paper is the wrapping from handkerchief.)

The culture in Japan is very giving. The host family my parents stayed with offered them a Yukata that their son had worn when he was young (now grown). Traditional clothing like that is frequently passed down and this family offered to give that right, that memory to my parents for a child they had never met, and will never meet. The good ol’ US of A could use some of that attitude.

My parents declined, knowing the significance and bought my son his own little Yukata. Also they bought him a plastic samurai sword set which he looks adorable in.

Why yes, spider-man socks ARE traditional footwear for samurai.



  1. Shade looks awesome! And so does your painting.

    Cancer is scary. God is powerful…

    So true.

    The other day I hosted a table at a tea party and gave my table a Japanese spin. I even whipped up some traditional matcha tea for the ladies which they all agreed tasted like grass! I would have loved to have had some cups like the the one you got. A friend let me borrow a kimono to wear, and now I’m surfing the web for one because I loved it so much.

    Are you home now, or are you still with your parents and sister?

    • I like Matcha tea, but I like using the powder for cooking more than I like drinking it. =) Matcha pound cake shound be a must on everyones kitchen bucket list! I’m still in SuFu, We fly back to Columbus on the 30th.

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