Well, I received my black belt. It literally has my name on it. It’s actually quite pretty, really. And, as for the performance we did, it went really well. Also, my mom got to participate in the whole ceremony, too, kind of like last week. Everyone else had a black belt carrying in their belt to the ceremony and presenting it for us. Most of them had a parent as that black belt. But I had a brown belt, my mom, carrying and presenting mine.

When we removed our black-belts-in-waiting belts, the brown with a black stripe through the center, our head instructor had originally just told me we would be handing it to a family member in the audience. Okay, no big deal. I’ll hand it to whomever, so long as he or she is in the front of my family section. Easy peasy. When we actually tied the belts, and she announced to go hand them off, she announced that we were presenting them to ‘the person who had been the most influential in our karate career’. Uuhhh… not what she’d said before… Well, of the options, obviously my mom had played that role. Fortunately, she also was sitting on the front row, making it easy to present the belt to her. I was sure to turn it facing her before presenting it – true Japanese style, of course – and thanking her.

Then we went off with no belts on, breaking rules of the uniform – you never wear the top without the belt and the pants, and without wearing them all fully and properly. Only the pants can be worn without the rest. Then, we changed into our new white uniforms to receive the black belts, again and still breaking the whole uniform rule for another few minutes.

But then the cute and dramatic procession happened, presenting all the belts in rank order, alongside our individual black belts we would receive (carried by our selected black belts and my selected mother who has a brown belt) to music. And we all went back out there one at a time while a photo slideshow played for each of us. After that, we finally were given our belts, and they were tied on for us by our head instructor, and we were officially black belts. So, yay!

It was a good time. So was dinner afterward with my family, and the occasionally chatting with others at dinner.

Separately, I’m still sick. Ugh. Almost no yellow remains in my nasal passages, but the coughing just won’t give up. After tomorrow, I will know if I need to go for more doctor stuff. Ugh.

Also, my apartment lease ends tomorrow. We scheduled a walk-through with the office at 4pm tomorrow. My flat-mate sent me a screenshot of an e-mail she received today – but that I did Not receive, even in spam – that says the office is closed tomorrow. No idea how that is going to go down, but I’m going to pray much about it tonight and tomorrow. This process with this complex has been a huge hassle from the start, and I’m genuinely concerned about what they might try to do to us. Please, say a prayer for our easy move-out tomorrow, if you’re able.

God, help us move forward easily from all of this. Heal my body. Heal my man’s body. Heal all those in need of healing, that we might all serve you better and share your love more effectively. Help us to have a smooth completion with this apartment complex. Please. Please, help me to release this guilt I feel around signing that contract in the second place. Help us, please. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2023

Believe it or not…

I’m still sick. Still with the same nasal infection. I now can barely talk, even with a terrible rasp. And, when I do talk, I almost always break into a terrible coughing fit that not only sounds terrible, but feels dreadful in my throat and in my abdominal muscles. Add on top of that that we had to do photos in the near-freezing weather this morning for karate, barefoot and just in these thin uniforms, for an hour and a half, and you get an even worse situation than anticipated for today. Now, I have volunteering out in the cold all morning tomorrow, from six AM to one PM. I can’t talks I cough a lot, even without the talking attempts, and I feel miserable. Ugh…

God, heal me, please. Amen.

Post-a-day 2023