As I was reviewing my past posts, I realized that I have not really written anything personal in a while, about how I’m doing and what I’m up to. So here goes…

August is not an easy month for me. August 7, 1986, my mother died while I was in Ulpan Akiva. On August 10, 2007 a day I had never really believed would come arrived and I got married. On August 16, 2010, Rich died—sorrow for me and joy for him entering his heavenly home and finally experiencing health. Two months after Rich died, my best friend Judy died as well, after a long battle with cancer. On August 11, 2011 I returned to Israel to live, begin a new job, and start over again.

Life has its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows. Truthfully, I doubt if the sorrow would be so deep if the joy had not been so great. To give up some of the joy so that the sorrow could be less doesn’t appeal to me. Over time the sting is much less, but I will always miss these people who have so influenced my life. God has truly carried me through it all.

There have been many achievements as well. I’ve had the joy of seeing Rich’s younger daughters get married and was able to attend one of the weddings. Rich’s oldest son has a child and another is on the way. Each one, Ivy, Roy, Lloyd, Andrea, and Emily, holds a special place in my heart and prayers. And the grand-kids simply bring a smile to my face when I think of them: Ben, Amaya, Ivy, and Abigail Mae.

I am back to teaching English as the Chinese Church and have enjoyed amazing conversations with my students since I’ve come back, and continue to be in contact with some of my students from years ago. They are all such a blessing and encouragement to me.

I enjoy my work at Rambam Medical Center. It is not hi-tech with all the stress, daily deadlines, with documentation and product releases treated like life and death. There, life is life, and the battle is real to save lives; saving money may be important but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

In January I joined an experimental weight loss group. I was very reluctant, but I absolutely will not have surgery and the doctors insist that while most of my health problems are not caused by my weight, losing weight will help me feel better. Since January I’ve lost almost 6 kg (~12 pounds). Not a lot but better than nothing. I’m also beginning to walk more, including home or to work (1 km or ½ mile) and take a bus part way home (if I’m in a hurry). It hasn’t affected my weight but I do feel better J.

Perhaps most importantly, after a long period of feeling nothing, with no desire really to do anything, I’m starting to feel again. I am enjoying music more, enjoying writing more, communicating with others, and starting to think about goals, projects, and the future.

In a couple of weeks I’m going to visit two places that never before were of interest to me: Moscow and Oslo. Suddenly those cities are very important to me personally because I’ve got wonderful friends who live there. I’m looking forward to having time with them, and after knowing them for years and hosting them in my home, finally experiencing their world and their lives.

It will be a nice way to end the month… maybe August is not so difficult after all!

Perhaps some of you will also find hope in these verses which have been a great encouragement to me lately:

I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,
In paths they do not know I will guide them.
I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone.

Is. 42:16

For I will turn their mourning into joy
And will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.

Jer 31:13b

Judy, Lisa, me, Rich, Jon, and David under the Chuppa during the wedding

Judy, Lisa, me, Rich, Jon, and David under the Chuppa during the wedding