Posted by: thewhitesintokyo | April 9, 2009

Perpetual Impermanence

As you may know from our recent entries, Rachael and I have moved…again.

This time, we didn’t move several thousand miles or across an ocean but rather moved to a new apartment less than a mile away from our former home. Ironically, we moved further away from work, the nearest train station, and convenient grocery stores, but we also moved to a place where we can see more than just concrete and cement and a place where we can keep our dog, Callie. In moving, we brought only the things that were most important to us, and took the opportunity to rid ourselves of the unnecessary things that build up so easily in a home.

In the corner of our closet, I had a small pile of goodies: pens, receipts, coins, a keychain, etc. This pile of junk has accumulated since August, so it was about time to throw some of it and keep the rest. What I decided to keep, I shoved in my pocket before we left that apartment for good. This afternoon I emptied out my pocket and had an interesting discovery. In this pile of goodies were coins from three countries: the United States, Thailand, and Japan. The fact that we have actually been in each of these countries in the last month is hard to comprehend.

Living outside the U.S. has given us many glimpses into life in all its variations, whether on an uncomfortably silent train in Tokyo, Japan, in an auditorium full of lovers of choral music in Oklahoma City, or at a vibrant yet humble orphanage in Buriram, Thailand.

The coins in my pocket are a small memento of the places and people we’ve seen and experienced this year. There’s not much I can do with a handful of extra Thai Baht in Japan, but just seeing these coins conjures memories of digging in clay-ridden soil and singing Thai children’s songs with two precious little girls.

Our life has been turned upside down by our move to Japan, giving us the very real sense that nothing around us is permanent or static. Yet the same things that have kept us grounded throughout our entire life continue to give us focus, encouragement and strength even while everything around us seems to be changing. Tonight, we spent almost two hours sitting on a piece of cardboard next to the riverside, chatting on and off and enjoying our Japanese-style picnic with a glass of wine. This morning, we sang (and wept) powerful hymns of hope and reflected on a challenging yet inspirational message from our pastor and as we prepare for Easter. Yesterday, we called our families back home to get the weather report and the latest news on our grandparents and siblings.

Although so many things have changed for us in the past six months we feel truly blessed to take on the challenge of a dynamic and global life for the next few years. It has made us stronger as a couple, deepened our faith in God and each other, and given us memories to last a very long time.



  1. The picture is beautiful and you both look happy. Glad you got moved and will enjoy your new home; I know you will when Callie arrives! I must say even with all the “messes” Callie makes, we have loved her being with us. I’m not sure how the seperation will be between Callie and Sarah as they are such good pals. Blake said we’ll have to get another dog! I think he’s already planning. No doubt, Brad, I’ll have tears when we sing our hymns on Easter, too….imagine that, your Mom crying while singing in church! Happy Easter! Love you guys, Maaa

  2. Great blog, by the way! This entry speaks to true to what Brandon and I have been through in our 4 years of marriage, with moving away from all that is familiar and safe to embark on a new adventure filled with the unknown. Although moving to Tennessee is not nearly Tokyo, it was something that forever changed me and only strengthened my relationship with Brandon and our relationship with God as a couple. What you two are doing is so amazing, and just know that these are some of the best times of your life! Keep taking care of each other, and one of the best things that kept us sane through our journey ( which was Brandon in graduate school) were the little things like a glass of wine and sitting on our patio talking about life. God is so good and has amazing things planned for you and Rachael!

  3. Thanks to both of you (Mom and Megan) for your messages. We love hearing from you.

    Life has now settled in at our new place, with odds and ends like laundry hampers and a coffee table getting delivered last night. We will definitely live here the rest of our time in Japan (whether that’s 1, 2, or 3 more years remains to be seen).

    Let’s hope a little stability will help things slow down a little for us. Take care and good luck to you and your hubby, Megan!

  4. […] Pocket coins…memoir […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: