Discontentment: Watch Those Foxes

Red Foxes 1

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

One Friday afternoon, as the boys and I arrived home from school, I peeked into our backyard. My heart lurched when I spied two red foxes lounging in the grass as if they owned the place. They looked so cute as they soaked in the winter sunlight. When I opened the kitchen window to snap a picture, they stared back at me without a trace of  fear in their eyes.

They’d found their home.

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Still: When Stillness Comes

Dance of the leaves copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—STILL. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

STILL

Life has been so busy this fall. With the start of school and boys involved in different activities, this mom-of-two keeps on top of homework, meals on the table, food in the fridge, laundry relatively clean, piles . . . well, let’s not talk about the piles in this house. They’re um, scary right now.

I try to spend time with Jesus daily. I do have time with Him, but the challenge is to be still before Him. To be focused solely on Him rather than on making a cup of coffee, setting worship music on, having enough light filtering through the drapes. Hearing my computer chime saying I have emails? Oh, that chime is such a lure.

It’s the learning to be still before Him that stretches me. It’s such a noisy world I live in.

One thing God’s allowing in my life that drives me close to Him is trials with the boys, and other family heartaches. I find myself pouring out my heart to Him on their behalf.

On mine.

Yellow leaves in sunlight

I’m still when I’m praying earnestly for others. Focused on lifting them to the throne of Grace. It’s in times of struggle that I find myself still before HIm. Because it’s in those times when I need Him most. 

I’m more willing to listen to Him, to beseech Jesus for wisdom and to ask for His grace to strengthen me.

When life flows along just fine, it’s harder for me to be still before Him, because those needs I can meet? Well, I know I’ll take care of them. I don’t need Him.

Oh, that I can come the place where I see my need for Jesus in the difficult times and in the joyful times of life.

What about you? What helps you to still your heart before the Lord? How do you keep the world from filling your mind with noise?

***Visit Kate Motaung’s post: Still

Grace: Choosing to Accept Grace

Spilled cereal

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

It was one of those mornings . . .

It seems we’ve had a lot of them lately. I’ve gone from being mad mama, to hurt mama, to  . . . this morning seeing the hurt in one of my boys and my heart aching for him.

He’s in a place I can’t touch. Change has always been difficult for this one. He resists it with temper tantrums and angry outbursts, leveling all hearts in his path when he’s on a rampage. When his sanity returns, we talk through what happened amid lots of cuddles.

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Turn: Lead Or Follow?

 

 

Couple Dancing Together by photostock copy

Photo courtesy of photostock at freedigitalphotos.net

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Turn. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

 

 

 

TURN

I stood face to face with him. My dancing partner. He was to be my partner—the leader—as I learned the waltz. It was all for research, but I learned important life lessons along the way.

Like, when the man leads, the woman must follow. When he directs the turn, the woman must step a certain way.

This helps avoid stepping on toes. When he signals with his movements, she needs to follow.

Oh, how hard it is to turn from the natural leader I am into the follower I must be if I am to join in the dance. And actually enjoy it! (I had no idea what a crummy follower I was until he mentioned it.)

Following his lead by looking into his eyes rather than at my clumsy feet. (which only makes me clumsier, by the way).

Holding Hands 2

Turn.

One turn. Done in precise steps according to the beat.

Isn’t that how our walks are with Jesus, to a degree? He leads and we should follow. 

Some days I’m better at that than others. I sense His promptings in the words He speaks during my quiet time.

I hear his quiet words in my heart when I’m in a “situation” with one of the boys, or my husband, or a friend.

Will I turn my head and listen to Jesus’ leading in what to say, or not to say?

Or will I insist on my own way and end up flat on my face?
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Relationships are a dance. With certain steps that must be taken. Certain turns done in a specific timed beat. When I accept Jesus’ lead, and I follow him? That’s when the dance is beautiful. Even amid the ugly this life sometimes throws my way.

I can turn and follow Jesus’ leading and trust that He will bring me through the ugly times, with beautiful steps, strengthening steps. Following His lead. Turning the way He directs—my head my heart, my will. 

What about you? Have you ever tried ballroom dancing? When have you turned your will to the side to follow Jesus’ leading? What happened?

***Kate Motaung’s FMF—Turn

Change: The Good in Change

Sun in leaves

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Everything is changing. Okay, maybe not everything. And certainly not everything all at once.

The leaves have almost spent all their color and  are falling to the ground for another Colorado winter. The temperatures are changing. In Colorado, that looks like 70 degrees one day and 42 degrees the next. We’re definitely moving deep into autumn.

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Leave: Leaving and Left Behind

Dry creek bed

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Leave. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

LEAVE

Hubby and I stole our final few moments, sitting in the waiting area of the airport. The last few moments before he left for a month-long business trip.

Part of me wanted to savor every moment before he stepped into the security line and out of my sight. Part of me wanted to walk away, rather than endure the ache of watching him leave our boys and me for a month.

Frozen flower

I’ve decided between being the one leaving and being the one left behind, the second one is the more painful of the two scenarios. Being the one leaving, you have a purpose, a reason for going. Being the one left behind? Loneliness fills the place where his vibrant presence normally dwells within me.

When he leaves for an international trip, I always fear something will happen. It’s a constant choosing to trust that God holds him in the palm of His hand. A constant choosing to believe that God will bring him back to our little family again.

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No matter who does the leaving and who does the staying, there’s heartache involved. The absence of the person’s presence, life—the absence of vitality—is the hardest to walk with every day of his being gone.

But, the good thing with his leaving? We get to celebrate his home coming. We get to marvel at all the great ways God showed up to help each of us through the lonely times. How He met us in our sadness and uplifted us with His joy.

Red leaves

And on that day when one of us leaves Earth first? We will celebrate being reunited as a son and a daughter of the Father. Together.

The one who stays behind will walk a path of sorrow, certainly. Will also know the anticipation of seeing the other again. I hope it’s many years down the road. I am reminded that leaving is never permanent when we have Jesus in common.

What about you? Which do you find more difficult? Leaving or staying behind? How do you stay strong when a loved one is absent for a long period of time? 

Vist Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Leave post!

Fun: 20 Questions

Autumn Brilliance

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This new game has given those of us who are playing a fun way to get to know each other. And now I am inviting you to play, too!

What is the game?  Answer as many of the questions below as you want. Fun answers are definitely permitted, serious ones allowed, and cornier than ever ones preferred. Ready to get started?

First, I must credit my friends Shelli Littleton and Mary Vee for tagging me in this game which started this round.

1. How tall are you? 

5’ 7 1/2”. People love to ask me to reach thing for them. However, since hubby and I are the same height, I seldom those fun heels that are so popular now. I guess my legs will thank me as I grow older.

2. Do you have a hidden talent?

Yes. I’m good at purging (stuff from my home, not the other kind of purging). My mom dreads when I come over to my parents’ house with a trash bag in hand. Actually I only purge other people’s stuff when I have permission. But, I love uncluttered spaces.

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