Starting Out…Giving In

I’m giving in! And starting a blog. I have to say I have resisted for a number of years, convinced that blogs are pretty self-focused. But I guess that most people just stop reading the real narcissistic blogs… So if I find that no one’s checking in to the Takameter after a time… I’ll know more about myself.
(Disclaimer: This blog will generally NOT be profound. This blog WILL contain many photos of our children.)

Yesterday, Eric took our partners Peter and Wendi and their 4 children to the airport, as they are flying back to the US for a three month home assignment. Already Sanda feels lonely without them. I have felt strongly the need this summer to pray for God’s protection on them. Please pray with me for these friends who will be covering a lot of ground.
The Thomson & Takamoto kids at a recent picnic
This week has been a notable week for Olivia, our one year old. Last night Eric heard her say her first word (besides mommy and ba-ba, or daddy)… and I heard it myself today. Her first real word is “pocha pocha”, the Japanese children’s word for bath. It’s one of her favorite pasttimes… we frequently find her crawling into our shower/bath room and trying her best to get wet. Then, today our friend Yasko was over, and Olivia took 2 steps from her to me with no one holding on! We keep telling her to stop growing- where is our baby??
Olivia pointing

Owen continues to do well in yochien (Japanese pre-school/kindergarten). He seems to be a friend-maker… today another mom came up to me and said that her son keeps talking about Owen every night, and asked if he come over and play soon. Apparently several moms have heard their sons playing at home saying in English, “Everybody!” — guess who they learned that from?

Our favorite recent incident happened last week, when I went to pick him up. In true Japanese-school departure form, Owen and his classmates were all sitting on the step in front of their classroom, waiting for their teacher to dismiss them. As I walked up, I noticed that one of Owen’s good buddies, Sousuke, had written all up and down his legs in magic markers. I glanced over at his mom, also waiting for the teacher to dismiss the class, and felt really embarassed for her. When the teacher dismissed Owen, she motioned me to come over, and in a quiet voice she let me know that it was OWEN who had written all up and down Sousuke’s legs in magic marker! NOW which Mom was incredibly embarassed? Thankfully Sousuke’s mom and I have become friends, and we had a good laugh. (Keep laughing, Mom! keep laughing! Sousuke’s in the forefront; Owen in background)
Owen and SousukePlaying at the park

We are already finding that Owen’s school provides a wonderful place to build new relationships… to begin walking with new friends in their places of joy and pain…to care for people and become part of their lives. Yesterday 3 moms and I took our kids to the park after class. (Owen and Annie are in the center).
We were sitting eating lunch, and one mom shared with me that her first daughter died as a baby from a heart condition. She would be 8 today. Suddenly my friend N. became more real as she opened up and began sharing layers of her life…. Isn’t this what it’s all about?
Henri Nouwen says it well:

“More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets…. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.”

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13 thoughts on “Starting Out…Giving In

  1. Sue & Eric,

    I love this site. What a great way to share pictures and stories and moments of your life. THanks for doing this and being so good at giving us glimpses into the Takamoto tribe.

    love to you all

  2. Sue, Your words seem to make you feel like your right beside me. I love the kids pictures and your reflections of your day. I know that God will bless you walk and talk with those you meet, whether in Owen’s school or the market or in your home. Just watch for the opportunities. They are all around you. Love to all, Joan

  3. Sue and Eric – thanks for sharing the dailiness of your lives ……..we are go grateful to be a part of your team and thank God for your attention to his Spirit. much Love, Kristin

  4. Hi Sue and Eric,

    I love your website! Choice of colors, graphics, etc…just perfect! Owen is the cutest thing I have ever seen in his uniform. I was looking at him with his Japanese schoolmates and thinking “I’m glad he only has one ‘white parent’ so that he looks Japanese and fits in so beautifully visually.” Then I remembered that he is 100% Japanese! Can’t wait for the next updates. Anne P.

  5. I love your blog! I always love reading your writting!
    I miss you guys soooo much. I can’t imagine how quiet Sanda is right now. God is goign to do good stuff in your ministry in this time.
    Please hug all your kids for me and tell Owen I am so proud of him.
    Love you!

  6. Oh, Sue!! How fun! Rest assured, I will be stalking your blog regularly 🙂 What a great picture of all seven of the kids, and how neat to hear what God is doing through the experience of yochien! He really is faithful, isn’t He? Thinking about you all and praying for you!

  7. Hey Sue and Eric!

    Oman when you said you were going to start a blog, I thought it was going to be one like the rest of us have, but this was WAY more impressive than I expected. I am really excited to be able to keep up with you guys through this, hopefully you find time in your busy schedules to keep it updated! I cant believe how big the kids are getting! Cant wait to see you guys in a couple months! Counting down the days…

  8. I love this Nouwen quote! The ministry of presence–to bring peace wherever you are that comes from knowing your identity and security only in Christ. This is what I pray for everyday. This blessed me today!

  9. Hi, Sue and Eric!

    Love your blog, especially the way you live with the people around you. Thanks for the examples of walking the walk you talk (or however that goes…LOL). Your smiles to the elderly lady will warm her heart, it just may take several repetitions. Your goal of glorifying God shows in all you do. Love to you all!

  10. I love the Henri Nouwen quote…from what your family tells me and the stories I hear I think this kind of Missional/Incarnational lifestyle is reflected in your ministry, which is awesome! God is glorified in your work and we are encouraged, by your example, to get out of our comfort zones, move beyond our bible studies and love those who God has put into our daily lives. Keep up the great work.

  11. Great blog site. Thank you for persevering and sharing the pictures and your lives. Your children are beautiful-happy!

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