Welcome to One Pink Toothbrush, where I will be posting moments from my days as a mum and as a wife. Funny moments, messy moments, thoughtful moments, teary moments.... and hopefully using each moment to see what God might be saying.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Second Opinion

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22v6 

That's my opinion on raising my kids. Let's get a second opinion...

Dinner-time's finished, time for pudding and I know what's coming. Mum puts three mousses onto the table and says "Boys, who is going to be selfless and give way?" 
Same saying every day. Selflessness, selflessness, selflessness. Why do I have to? 
I wait to see if someone gives way first, and if not, then I do. I know that's not being selfless, but I'm only ten.

For years, my mum has said there's always an opportunity to give way. It's like she knows it's going to happen even before it does. But being selfless isn't easy, unless you're my brother. He always gives way. He's younger than me so I should be the one setting the examples. I struggle to not show off once I've been selfless.

Today I was selfless. I did it. Today, my dad was taking me and two of my brothers to see 'Frozen' at the cinema. I gave my ticket to my youngest brother so he could go. I felt that it was right to put my brother first. And even though I gave way, he was still crying because he wanted to make cakes.

My dad's always explaining to me that life's not fair. He says "Fair is getting punished for my own sins; but Jesus died on the cross and took the punishment for me". And that's not fair!

I wonder how long all this teaching will go on for. Probably decades or until I'm dead. I can't wait for tomorrow's dinner-time. I know what's coming.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2v3-4 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

To The Moon And Back

One thing I'm learning from being a mum, is that the little people in your life do as you do, and they eventually even start to do as you say. I know that I am one of the biggest examples in their lives. They copy me and the husband, which can be wonderful to watch or embarrassing to witness, depending on which bit of you they decide to imitate.

One thing I teach my boys, is that if a relationship has broken down, they need to sort it out. Usually this means that they need to say sorry, or they need to forgive the person. Maybe they need to ask the other person if they're okay, or choose to love them by showing them practically. It pretty much always involves talking.

"Use your words", is a highly used phrase in this house. Along with "change your tone", and the more than occasional "get your hands out of your pants".

The thing is, sometimes I think I haven't got time to practice what I preach. The boys need to leave the house at 8:30am, so if they all do everything that needs doing at exactly the right time, in exactly the right way, everything is good and they leave on time. 
But this is a house with kids in it.... So it just doesn't happen that way!

More often than not, there is a moment which needs dealing with. I usually make sure a 'sorry' has been said. It doesn't take long to do. Either I need to be quick with mummy forgiveness, or humble enough to admit that I'm in the wrong. I don't like the boys leaving without a kiss and a hug. Sometimes we shout "I love you, I love you more, I love you most, I love you infinity.... to the moon and back, I love you a zillion" until they've walked round the corner. 

However some mornings, family harmony doesn't happen quite so well. We end up bugging each other, or the kids upset me, or I simply snap. I feel overwhelmed, or I only love them to the bottom step and back, and even that's pushing it. And there isn't time to practise what I preach. 

(There is actually always time!!) 

Last week, I had one of these moments. There was lots of nagging and shouting on my part. One of the biggest flaws in my parenting, is that I lecture them. I may well be upset with them. They may well have done something wrong. But instead of speaking into it once, I go on and on and on. (Which any male will tell you, just makes them glaze over). Anyway, it was school time, and there was "no time" to mend relationship. So I just closed the door, without a hug, a kiss or any declaration of love, even to the other side of the road, let alone a round trip to the moon. I felt sad, but in my heart I justified it because of the stress and the time and the volume of kids in my kitchen. 

As I sat with the other elders' wives a couple of hours later, I got a phone call from the school. It was a learning support assistant ringing to say that my son was upset. He had informed her about our argument, told her he was sad and explained that we hadn't sorted the problem out before he left. He knew that it did not feel good to be in a broken relationship with someone. He was unable to get on with his day so he had asked to call me. It's always fun when you teach your kids something, and then they put it into practice. And by fun, I mean humbling!

But I'm pleased that he did it. We had a chance to say sorry and put this verse into action over the phone. "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3v12-14

God calls each family to clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, even at 8:20am. And that is not easy! But it must be possible, with His help. He asks us to bear with each family member and forgive each other. He asks us to 'put on love', as if it's an actual item of clothing. Why? Because He is clothed with compassion. He is clothed with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. He bears with us and forgives us. And because God sent His son to die for us, so that we would no longer be in broken relationship with Him. 
He loved us to the cross and back.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Teabags & Tissue

So having a one year old is indeed a delight! Especially when it's a red-headed pink one, and you've been so very used to the blue variety. I'm getting to grips with tights under shorts and hair in bunches. I've adapted to there being a mini handbag in the house, and I'm secretly pleased to say it usually has a car or two in it, as well as a puppy of course.

She's a busy little bee, which seems to involve her mainly tipping stuff out and tipping stuff in. She opens the cupboards, and has her own little sort out. Much more than the boys ever did. She thinks the Tupperware looks much better if she tips the Soy Sauce in it. She thinks the Weetabix is better placed in the lounge. The tea bags taste better once spread out over the floor and the contents of the bin look better in the bath. She's discovered that her shoes turn a darker shade of purple once they've been down the loo. The toilet tissue should be released from the captivity of the loo roll, and the wet wipes should definitely not be imprisoned in the packet. Socks shouldn't be kept on feet and she gets a much better view of the DVDs, when they're in the washing machine. Yesterday she decided that she would prefer our green stair carpet to be yellow, so she added a hint of mustard powder. Of course, the best time for her to do any of the above is when I'm already late and about to rush out the door. 

I get lulled into that false sense of security; The boys are at school and the little redheaded one is quietly busy, so I try to fit in a quick job before I head out. I'm a mother of five children. I should know better. Yes there are moments when quiet equals calm, and these moments are like gold dust. But the house dust to gold dust ratio in this house, is a million to one. Most quiet moments in this house mean that intrigue has set in and therefore house wrecking will commence. I seem to wander around after her, clearing up her discoveries. Or I leave it 'til I get back in later, at which point I've usually collected the boys and forgotten about the random mess, which the husband then finds and wonders and what point during the day we were in fact burgled.

I can get a bit frustrated with all of this at times, even though it's simply just the developmental stage she is in. I know that she is just growing and working it all out for herself. But when you're not the tidiest person anyway, this just adds to an already slightly chaotic house. 

Sometimes she even asks me for help with the mess she's making, unaware of my day and my plans. This is where it's encouraging for me to remind myself that I'm God's daughter. After all, I find myself asking Him for help, even when I've stepped out of His purposes for my life, and I'm trying to work things out for myself. He watches me make a mess of this and a mess of that, making my own choices as I go. The difference with my mess and my baby girl's mess is so vast. Yes, tea bags on the floor take a bit of time to pick up, and yes rolls of ripped up tissue is a bit of a hassle to sort out. 
But my mess, my sin, is a vile stench to God. 

In every moment where I have not chosen His way, for every time I have been self seeking, and in every way that I have disobeyed Him, it all piles up into a hideous mess which I am unable to clear up. It didn't take an extra once over with the hoover, to clear up my mess. Instead He cleared up all my sin, by coming into the midst of it Himself. He gave up His only son to die a painful death on the cross for me. This is the only way I could receive His forgiveness. It always puts my frustrations into perspective, as I remember how wonderfully patient God is with me. How available He is to me too, to come right into the middle of it all. Maybe I should ask Him for His help with the things He has planned for me, and patience for the daily frustrations I face. And maybe I should sit down in the midst of the teabags and the tissue, and be as patient with the gorgeous red-headed one, as my Father is with me.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1v18

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Love Is...Specific

Now in asking God to help me to love my kids, I realised it was a prayer which required me to be active. Like when you ask God to help you be more patient, He may not just throw patience at you, or send it in the post. He may well allow you to go through something which requires you to rely on Him for more help, to trust Him with His timing and His way of doing things and along the way, ask you to make godly, patient choices. Well, if I was going to actively love them, I needed to do something about it, not just wait for the courier to bring a heart shaped packet of love to my door.

So I considered how I could love my kids. I knew it wasn't to be a general act of love, but an individual one. Loving them specifically takes more thought usually. It has dawned on the husband lately, that when he buys me flowers, I usually thank him, and then put them on the table. He then does what needs to happen to flowers so they don't die, and I find them in a vase. But when the husband buys me earrings, ooh that's different, then they go straight in and I mention them all the time. I'm definitely more of an earrings girl than a flowers girl. So I know the husband has thought about me when he's picked up a pair for me! 

I started with the one who had actually taken himself to bed, probably in an attempt to rid himself of boredom, and maybe even with the hope that his mum would chill out a bit. Now this particular boy got a couple of balls of string for Christmas! Yep, big spenders in this house. He loves string. I think it's a boy thing; string brings out the survival instinct. He can tie stuff up and set traps. Perfect if you have brothers. Anyway £1.99 always well spent, with a ball of string. 

I found a cheap bar of white chocolate in the snack drawer and attached some string to it. At the other end of the piece of string, I added a note saying, "pull this string". I snuck the note over his door, and then unravelled the string round the top of the house. Another son came up and asked what I was doing. I quietly explained, and then had to deal with the grumpy face and crossed arms of a child who didn't think it was fair for him to not have his own bar of white chocolate, attached to his own piece of string. I hoped that the gentle reminder that 'we don't do fair in this house', would be a wonderful prompt for him, to be delighted for his brother, but alas, the grumpy one was not delighted in the slightest. And of course, in making his undelightedness clear to me, my string loving boy woke up. 

I ignored the grumpy one for a moment and watched the other one pull at the note. His smile as he received his treasure, was worth the scowls from the other one. I told him I had been a bit grumpy with him, and that I wanted to show my love to him. He appreciated it and scoffed his chocolate, with an offer of a square to the heavy eyebrowed one. 

As I went back downstairs, one of my boys was looking through the Lego, in search of the tiny round, single colourful bits. He had no reason for his search, but he wanted them. So in an attempt to actively love him, I tipped the whole box of Lego out, to his surprise and possible concern, and we looked together. Well, I say together, but after about 3 minutes he had found something else in the Lego box and he was off. I pointed out to him that I had lovingly tipped the whole box out in order to help him, and after having a bit of a whinge at him, about how loving I had been, I proceeded to find the bits on my own, and scoop all the Lego back in the box. 

Humbled again by my mixed motives, my expectations, and the reality of life as a mum, I pondered on God's love for me. His amazing act of love; sending His son Jesus, to die on the cross, was a general act. He did that for every single person. He did it for us all. He also loved every single person enough to let them choose or reject His son and the cross. But yet I know it was also an individual act of love for me. He knows that we 'all' need His love and forgiveness. But He knows that I need it too. He knows how to individually love me, as if I am His child, because of course, I am His child. He knows if we like string or Lego. He knows when we think it's unfair. He knows what it is to do it all for us. He knows what flavour chocolate we like. He knows how to love me, because He is my Father. I am His child. His love for me is specific. I need to dwell in it more. 

 “As the Father has loved me, so I (Jesus) have loved you. Now remain in my love."
John 15v9

Love Is...A Choice

2014 is lacking in blog posts! It seems to be taking me a while to get back into the swing of life. After Christmas, my kids seemed to be the only ones who weren't back at school, for like ever! Okay, actually it was only for two extra days, due to teacher training. But it felt like a whole lifetime. Now I love having my kids around, especially over the Christmas period, and I'm all for teachers getting trained in how best to teach my kids. But this was two days extra that I could have done without. Two days in January; the season of fresh starts and new beginnings. The tree was back in the loft, the cards were in the recycling bin, and most of the new toys, had their own place. I had made a Gingerbread house, a Rice Crispie house and a chocolate house. I had completed nearly all 24 wonderfully fun advent ideas. I even had the uniforms ready to go. I was ready for the new term.

However, all of my little people were still in my house. All still in need of me. All still not quite getting along, in that harmonious way that siblings do. They were bored. Bored with their own company. Bored with their brothers' company. Bored with my company. I'd used the ridiculous empty threat, "If you don't play with your new presents, I'll throw them in the bin". They alternated from moping around in onesies to jumping on each other and wrestling. And in turn, they all came to me with their complaints; "He did that", "He did this", "What are we doing today?", "What can I eat?", "Why aren't we doing anything fun today?", and the biggie "When's school...It's better there!"

I sat in the kitchen, drinking tea in my pyjamas. I escaped through various apps on my phone and literally tutted in my head every time one of them called the stretched out version of my name, "muuuuuum". I huffed and I puffed. I sighed and I moped. There were moments during Christmas where I could have won the 'Fun Mum of The Year' award. But today my mothering was questionable. I excused it with tiredness and allowed myself to wallow in it. My whole body language gave into the wallow, from my eyebrows to scuffing my feet as I walked again to the kettle.

Then I got a text from my phone. Yippee, a new chance to escape; a text chat with a friend. The text said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full". My friend said she felt I needed to hear it. I was a bit miffed to be honest. I wanted either a chat, or an offer to take the kids out. Not some encouragement. But I felt a prompting in my heart, and so out loud, in a big sigh, I said "God please help me. I feel bleurgh". That was it. Not my most profound prayer. But I asked.

Then I read the only Christmas card which was still on my windowsill. In it, it said, "Love is patient, and kind...It is not irritable or resentful or rude...Love bears all things". Ah man!! It hit me like a ton of bricks. I asked for help in the hope that God would make it easier for me, like the husband coming home early, or the kids spontaneously loving each other or better still, falling asleep. But this help was in the form of a challenge. A gentle kick up the backside. I was not being kind or patient. I was definitely being irritable, rude and resentful. And I was most definitely not bearing the slightest of things, let alone 'all things'. Therefore I was not loving them at all. And I could either choose to wallow some more in phone apps and tea bags, or I could say sorry to God, and actively choose to love my kids. 

So as I drank my tea, I thanked Him for His choice to love me. I thanked Him for His patience and His help.. And I asked Him to help me to actually love them; to actively choose to love them. I would love to end this post with how perfect my day was from there on in, but it was still a hard slog. There were still five kids in the house. There was still the post Christmas blues, and moments of frustration and temptation to escape. But my heart was different, because I realised afresh that when God loves me, He really does bear all things. He loves me when I'm attempting 'mum of the year', and He loves me when I receive the trophy for 'best wallow of the year'. He loves me when I'm making edible houses and when I'm just drinking my own body weight in tea. He loves me when I'm loving my kids and when I'm being resentful. He is not irritable or rude. He is so kind. He bears all things, and therefore with his help, I can choose to love them, and I can aim to bear all things too. 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

'Tis the Season

So, 'Tis the season to be jolly, and 'tis the season to open little doors and eat little chocolates. Some mums or mums to be, may have replenished their Advent calendars due to much needed emergency chocolate moments. And no doubt some people forgot to buy any, but got the bonus of only having to pay half price for their 24 days of choccy-ness. 

Advent has of course been the countdown to the greatest story ever told. The countdown to the wonderful rescue plan for this world. It's the countdown to Jesus' birth. I love Christmas, and I love the build up to it. I love it when the husband gets in the festive mood and he puts the tree up. I love when the gingerbread houses get made and eaten. I love when The Muppet's Christmas Carol is on the tele, and you get to teach the kids about generosity and why a frog would marry a bossy pig. 

This year, one of the boys has woken up to an envelope under their pillow with the instructions of where to find the Advent Bag. In the bag has been a chocolate or a bubble gum for everyone, a family activity to do and a story to be read from 'The Jesus Story Book Bible'. Some of our advent ideas have come from Adriel Booker's blog.

I love The Jesus Story Book Bible. Its beautifully written, beautifully illustrated and each story beautifully whispers Jesus' name. I want my kids to be excited about Christmas for the right reasons, remembering what it is for. I don't want them just getting lost in presents and chocolate and tinsel. That's why we are reading stories about Jesus coming to save us all, every day. They can never be reminded of the wonderful truths of the Bible, too much.

As me or the husband read each morning, my five children sit wonderfully still and listen intently as I turn the pages. They absorb every word and I can tell their hearts are softly being changed as they quietly ponder on it all. Now you see, that isn't actually what it looks like at my breakfast table. I'm not sure if it's all children or if it's just my children, or if it's the number of children, but our family bible times, like most other times in this house can be a bit messy. Someone has a question, (sometimes about the bible, sometimes about Scooby Doo). Someone needs a wee. Someone can't see the picture. Someone spills their cereal. Someone looked at someone which upset them etc etc, and all this is happening as the school run time gets closer and closer.

I remember being greatly encouraged, about Bible reading with the kids, when I interviewed a mum who has nine children. (Mothering Many
"We read Scripture aloud together, which my husband was and is especially good about. He doesn't let squabbling, complaining, or fidgety kids keep it from happening.There were gaps of time when we were struggling or distracted, but every bit adds up, like drops filling up a bucket over time. Nothing good is wasted".

So we keep on keeping on with the Bible readings most mornings, knowing that nothing good is wasted. We stop and train them when we need to, we stop so they can go for a wee, we stop to clear up the cereal, and we try to allow for questions. We want them to know the importance of reading the Bible daily, of drinking it in every day, allowing it to affect the rest of their day, causing questions to arise and all the time drip drip dripping in that the whole Bible points to Jesus and His great love story. 

Sometimes its the only bit of Bible reading I get to do, or hear. And because it so simply and beautifully points to God's love for me, I am greatly encouraged by it and it makes me want to read it more. After all, the Bible is for life, not just for Christmas.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Mothering Across Cultures

Another post in the Mothering series, from a friend who is currently mothering in Japan.

Why did you move to Japan?
When Tom & I got married, God starting speaking to us about being willing to go to another nation, an 'unreached nation' to share the good news of Jesus and to build His church there. God called us more specifically to go to Japan in November 1999 and we eventually moved there in September 2004. At the time we had 2 children, who were aged 3 and 1. Now we have four children, Jess (12) Beth (10) Zanna (6) & Judah (1).

What were your hopes & fears for you and your children before moving to Japan?
We really believed that God was not just calling Tom & I, but calling us as family. We were so excited to be on an adventure with God as a family. We trusted God that if this was His perfect and pleasing will for us, then it was also His will for our kids. To be honest I didn’t have many fears about the children when we first moved to Japan and found moving with young kids a relatively easy transition to make. It has been as they’ve grown older that I’ve had to face challenges such as how to educate them, their friendship challenges and helping them work through feelings of not belonging or fitting in, and the repercussion of that in their lives. In many ways I have to trust God more for my kids now than when we first moved to Japan.

Do your children understand why you moved to Japan?
We have always talked openly with the kids about why we moved to Japan and that we believe this is God’s best for their lives too. We’ve also encouraged open channels of communication with the kids. If they ever felt resentful or unhappy about being in Japan then I wanted them to know that it’s ok to express that openly with us and God. It’s painful when your child feels anger towards you or blames you for their situation in life. We’ve had some challenging conversations with our kids, but actually God has used those conversations to help build stronger relationship between us and between them and God.

How long did it take you to feel 'at home'?
That is a difficult question to answer. The customs, the culture and the language are so different in Japan, that for the first few years I was constantly learning and feeling out of my depth. I would have been lost without the kindness of the Japanese people and their eagerness to help me. We have been here 8 years now and although I can call Japan home, there are still many situations when I’m acutely aware of being the foreigner. There are very few foreigners where we live and so I’m nearly always the only non-Japanese mum in my various communities. Despite a deep desire to belong, I’ve learnt over the years to be content with being a foreigner in this place I call home. 

What is hard about being a mum in a different country?
The thing I’ve missed and still miss the most is being able to hang out with other mums (particularly Christian mums) where I can chat in my own language. Although I have some really wonderful Japanese friends I do feel lonely at times.

It’s also been hard trying to understand the medical system; the doctor-patient relationship and the different vaccinations and medicines. I used to dread the kids being sick as I wouldn’t know which clinic to go to (it seemed like there was one for every body part) or whether I would be able to communicate with the doctor.

However, mums are mums wherever you live in the world so despite difference in language, culture and customs there is always an understanding between each other and instant things to chat about. Not many mums here work after having children ,so there are always plenty of mums to get to know.

What changes have you had to make?
I’ve had to learn to SEW! Help!! For pre-school and for school, the children need endless fabric bags for everything and they are all hand made. Japanese women are very proficient sewers and although not at all proficient, I can now make a very simple shoe bag and napkin to put their lunch box on!

What cultural differences have you had to adapt to?
The approach to bringing up children in Japan is very different to ours. I found myself being judgemental at first. It has challenged us to think carefully about how we bring up our children and whether it is based on Western values or biblical ones. For example when their children are young, Japanese families often sleep all together on futons in the same room. We have always put our kids to sleep in a separate room to us. When they hear this they feel sorry for our kids, they ask if they are safe or lonely. I wonder how they sleep or make love to their husbands with a baby in the bed. Both questions have validity. The bible is very clear about what is important when it comes to marriage and child rearing, but there is a lot left unsaid. Rather than getting caught up talking with Japanese mums about our different ways of doing things, I’m learning to spend time talking about what the Bible says is important. 

What do the children find hard about living in Japan?They don’t like it when strangers call out that they are so cute. They hate it even more if strangers ask to take their photos. They miss playing with other children who speak English and of course they wish they could see their grandparents and cousins more often. They often envy their friends who either have their grandparents living with them or see them a lot.

What do they like about Japan?
In many ways life in Japan is just so normal to them that they don’t think about what they like or don’t like. This is just their life. However they love Japanese rice. They miss it when we visit the UK. Some of them love the insect life here. There are so many and they are so BIG! We have Swallowtail butterflies every year in our little garden. They also love the Onsen; hot baths where everyone from baby to Grandma (of the same sex) soaks naked.

I love that Japan is so safe that the kids can play freely in the streets and the parks.

What have you learnt from living in a different country? 
That God loves the nations He has made. He really does love every people of the world and He really loves the Japanese. I’ve learnt that Jesus is the ultimate cross-cultural church planter. He went before us and I’ve learnt that there is nothing that I’m going through that He doesn’t understand. Every time I’ve poured out my heart to God about any challenge I’ve had about living and being a mother and church planter in Japan He has said exactly what I needed to hear. Sometimes what He has said is challenging to hear, but it strengthens my faith and enables me to keep pressing on. He is faithful to all His promises.

I’ve had to learn to depend more on others and God for help for many things. I’ve had to learn to be ok with making mistakes and getting it wrong. With cross-cultural church planting there is always so much potential for misunderstanding and mis-communication. I’ve had to learn to humble myself and be willing to understand things from another’s point of view and to say sorry a lot. I often have to apologise to the kids too when they turn up to school without something they need because I’ve misunderstood a letter.  

I am constantly amazed by our kids and how naturally they switch from the Japanese language and culture to English language and culture. I have sometimes questioned our decision to send them to Japanese school fearing they might feel alienated, but despite challenges they have flourished and are a blessing to their Japanese friends. As a mother, the desire to protect my children from pain and difficulties is strong. At times I’ve been aware of the huge impact that following God’s will, has had on their lives. Yet they seem to fly over these hurdles and their lives are a testimony that God’s plan for them (not mine) is the best.  

Do you think your children have missed out anything by living there?
Yes and no. Yes there are definitely things they have missed out on. Right now Jess & Beth have only one other female Christian friend around their age. I think about the vibrant youth works that I’ve seen in the UK and think about what they’re missing. However we have linked up with a church in another part of Japan that has a vibrant kids’ ministry and our church kids have been able to join their summer/spring camps. It is a journey of faith and I have to keep remembering that my kids belong to Jesus and to trust Him for them.

I said no because we do hang on to Jesus’ promise that “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19v29

What have they gained by living there?
They have gained so much by growing up in Japan, despite some very real loses. I’m confident that they’ll look back on their childhood and feel blessed. They are bilingual. They are culturally and socially sensitive kids, who can travel round the world with ease. They’ve also had the blessing of growing up in a very safe country where children stay children for longer. I’m very thankful for that.