Reach: Reaching Beyond Myself

Bright Zinnia

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Reach. 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!

REACH

Reach is such a challenging word. It can mean stretching beyond myself, my comfort zone and extend life, words of encouragement, actions to another. Sometimes reaching involves risk. Reaching for a dream a goal to satisfy a deep desire.

When I reach for something I’m stretching myself. Whether it’s a physical stretching of my hand to touch another in comfort, to stroke a blonde head, combing fingers through a child’s hair.

Or perhaps it’s reaching an arm around the shoulders of one sobbing or hurting. Reaching can involve the risk of rejection.

Is it worth it to reach out? To reach in the hopes of ministering to another?
Stepping Up

Is it worth it to dream and reach for said dream?

Yes. It is.

We may or may not achieve the dream, but we learn in the process. We can aspire again and reach forward with more wisdom, and perhaps achieve the dream in the future.

Even more importantly is reaching out to people. People are eternal. When we reach out to another, offer comfort, pour on love, we are being a glimpse of Jesus to them. When we reach out with words that speak life and truth—even the difficult truths—we are giving a taste of eternity.

Does this involve risk? Yes. We could be rejected. Does this mean it’s not worth it to reach?

What if Jesus hadn’t reached both arms, spanning the width of the cross?

We’d be lost now.

So, yes, I believe its’ worth it to reach beyond ourselves, to touch another skin-to-skin or heart-to-heart. Reaching out with Jesus’ love to be a salve and to be truth spoken at a proper time.

What about you? When have you risked to reach out to another? What dreams have you reached for?

Kate Motaung’s FMF: Reach

Plans: My Plans and Jesus’ Plans

Lighted Star

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

**Confession: I wrote this piece about a year ago, but I still find myself thinking about the truths I learned. So, I’m sharing it with you. :)

So, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself today. As I push forward hard to get things done before my favorite writing conference of the year—American Christian Fiction Writers conference—nothing is going as I planned.

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Change: Yearning For Change?

Change Arrow

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Change. 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!

Change

Isn’t it crazy how we sometimes yearn for change without realizing it? When I was single, I wanted a change in my status, in the form of a gold band (and a diamond) on my left finger.

hands wedding photo 001 copy

God gave me an amazing husband. A change in status led to many changes in addresses as we traveled at Uncle Sam’s will with the Air Force.

After a few years in marriage, I yearned for a change in status again. Children. We’d tried to have children, but God’s plan was not for us to conceive. That change in my plans about broke me. But, he did give us a change…..we had the privilege of adopting two amazing boys.

Baby toes 2 copy

Anyone who’s a mother knows that change is the daily constant with kids in the home. I haven’t yearned for any more changes in status because I want to cherish each moment with our kids.

And it might be in part because under it all, I don’t like change. I like predictability in my schedule, in my days.

God has a way of mixing things up though—of changing them—because it’s through change that I am forced to draw near to Him, to trust Him through it.

Change is not something I often ask for, but when I have it 1) leads to more change and 2) challenges me to grow deeper with Jesus.

Black Canyon Steps

Change…..status, roles in life. Yearning for change without knowing it has led to lasting changes in my character (thanks to Jesus taking over more of who I am). It’s led to depth in empathy and compassion for others.

Evening Sun

It’s led to Him shining more brightly through me.

Change is seldom something I yearn for. But, when God’s given the asked-for yearning, He’s blessed me far more richly than I could have ever imagined in the initial asking.

What about you? What’s your take on change? WHat’s one word of advice for walking through change?

Check out Kate Motaung’s FMF: Change

Comparison: Comparing Ourselves to Others

Vanilla

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Things are meant to be compared. We compare fruit to determine which pieces are the best to purchase. We compare prices on similar items to get the best deal. We compare qualities of an item to decide what we need most for the money we have available to spend.

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Tell: What Do My Actions Tell?

Mom Son hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Tell. 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 new 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!

Tell:

Much fills my mind this week as I ponder our Five Minute Friday word: Tell. Thinking of the sudden death of Robin Williams, and all the conversations surrounding his passing.

What do I TELL others? I tell my kids the things they need to get done (wash the dishes, please, sort the laundry, homework before play…..)

I tell my husband about my day

I tell my friends my struggles.

I use my words to convey normal, every day messages.

But what about those words that I treasure in my heart? Those thoughts I have about others, about Jesus? Those truths that both break my heart (Iraq) and mend it (God’s love heals the wounds).

Wild flowers burgundy amid white

How do I tell my love to those who people my life? What do my actions tell my family?

I’m convicted when I think about how I allow the tyranny of the urgent to overpower my ability to show my love to my family.

To tell them my love without ever using a word. I need to guard my time, lest it be taken up with the urgent rather than the important.

I need to tell my family I love them through my words, yes. But also through my undivided attention. Through my willingness to set aside a task and listen—just listen—and be a seat for a boy who climbs onto my lap.

I tell others my love when I show my care for them.

Yes, there is a place for words—to tell friends what they mean to me. To put into words the admiration, the gratitude in my heart, the joy which they add to my days.

Words mean so much more when followed up with actions.

What do my actions tell others?

What about you? How do you tell others of your care for them? What actions speak love to you?

Kate Motaung Five Minute Friday: Tell

Now: Thoughts on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ed near water

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Hubby and I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty a few weeks ago. We watched it again the following night. It spoke to us in its simple, yet poignant story line.

One thought that’s stayed with me is this: if I’m tuned out to the real—to the now—because I’m dreaming up a better present, I will miss the gift of today.

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Fill: Filling in the Gaps

 

Black rocks and waves

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Fill. 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 new 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!

Fill

The idea of filling in the gaps is one I love. I pray it when I’m praying with a friend who’s struggling with motherhood, or being the wife she needs to be, or another area she feels a lack.

I pray it for myself when I know I’ve blown it with my kids.

Black rocks and waves

Only God can really fill in my gaps.  He knows them better than anyone. He knows the areas where I”m weak. Where I fall down when I should be standing. God fills in the gaps in my life.

I picture a piece of lava rock, black and with porous holes cratering it. Then, I picture God, like the sand that fills in those holes just to completion.

God completes me too, when I let Him. He fills me up in my weak areas. Where holes have been carved out by the currents of the world. Wounds have been etched into my heart. Lying thoughts have worn grooves into my mind.

Coral

God can fill each of these with His perfection. He strengthens me where I’m weak. Or, He redeems what I’ve blown in some way.

God fills in the holes in my understanding of Him with His truth. When I’m yielded to Him, He can waylay the world’s currents and fill me instead with His love, giving me eyes to see the world as He does.

He can fill the heart-wounds with his healing touch, with his balm of Gilead. He restores what the moths have eaten. He makes even better the attempts I’ve made at doing my best.

grooved lava rock

He smooths out those lies grooved into my thoughts, and replaces them with His truths. He gives me what I need to walk by them.

He fills in my gaps.

What about you? What fills you? How has God filled gaps within you?

Kate Motaung–Five Minute Friday Fill