Dreams: What Makes Dreams Come True?

Dreaming doing

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

For years, I dreamed of writing a book. But, fear kept me from trying. Fear that I couldn’t be creative enough to come up with good plots and characters, or good enough to actually interest readers, or . . .

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Marriage: 6 Tips For Staying Connected

Ski Slope in morning

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I sat beside my hubby thirty feet above the ground, a blanket of snow glittering beneath us. As the chairlift moved us upward, I glanced over at the man I’ve shared the last twenty years of my life with. I know him, I love him, but we don’t always have time to connect. When I looked at him, I was convicted by the thought that we hadn’t connected on a soul-level all week.

Yes, there were good reasons, including a three day business trip. But are they good reasons…..really?

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When: When God Speaks

Desert Road

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

WHEN

I’d been staying with my friend’s children for three days when she and her husband came home with their fourth baby.

For three days I’d gotten to put on the mommy hat, and enjoy a few hugs, cleaning, playing with children. Tasting motherhood.

When she came home, those sweet children wanted to see their baby sister. They climbed all over their parents. I sat in my borrowed room, trying not to cry at the pain of infertility coming back to smack me.

When I made the three hour drive home, I shared my joy for my friend and my own pain with the Lord. Hot desert wind blew through the windows of my car.

Baby booties and lambie

I asked the Lord, “When, Lord? When is it my turn to be a mom?”

Much to my surprise, God answered. Not quite audibly, but words spoken to my heart. “I will give you a child.” The emphasis was on the “I”.

In my crazy desire for motherhood, had I made up that six word sentence? It stopped my words cold. I prayed. I pondered. I drove in silence. I shared them with my husband, who believed they were God’s words for me.

God, in his sweetness, spoke them again, a few days later. “I will give you a child.”

My heart about palpitated at the emphasis. There was no “if.” Instead, it was a “when.”

Baby toes 2 copy

God speaks to each us in different ways. Seldom audibly. But when He gives a message, it’s up to us to believe it and act on it.

Those words infused me with hope as I took on a job at our church. And then fifteen months later, resigned when we learned we were going to be parents via adoption.

When God speaks, learn to listen. And more, choose to believe.

What about you? When has God imprinted a message on your heart? What did you do with it?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post

Stress: Choosing to Breathe

Rainy day road

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The door slammed as boys clambered out of the car. And gave me my first full breath since my guys had awakened on this battle-of-the-wills morning. Sniping and snarking had sapped my joy and irritation had replaced it.

God tried to get my attention with a beautiful sunrise, but one boy had already been snappish by then, and I ignored the colors.

Well, not totally.

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Keep: The Choosing

Is 263 copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

KEEP

As I saw our Five Minute Friday prompt, this verse kept coming to mind. There are days (like today) where I’ve longed to know and walk in God’s perfect peace.

On those days when there are more to-do’s than there is day, I feel stress. When I’m on my own with the kids for the week, when unexpected events steal my time—distract me from my plans—these are the days when God’s peace seems far away.

These are also the days when I tend to become more focused on the day than on the Giver of the day. How do I keep my eyes on Him in the midst of crazy? In the midst of sick kids and planning for trips we may not be able to take? In the midst of taking care of car repairs and not getting the things done that weigh on my heart and mind like a wet wool blanket?

frosty morning copy

When the diagnoses come that steal everything else, they don’t have to steal peace, permanently. If I’m trusting God for His best outcome.

I’m learning it’s discipline. It’s choosing.

It’s in the choosing that I can know God’s peace. Choosing to trust Him when life goes haywire. Choosing to believe His word when my days go in directions I never anticipated, and I can hardly breathe for the stress and the busyness of them.

mountain at dusk

When I keep my eyes on Him, when I choose to believe that what God says is absolute truth? That’s when I can know his perfect peace.

This is how I can walk in perfect peace. And I do it very imperfectly this side of heaven. I probably always will.

So, I’ll just continue to practice keeping my mind stayed upon Him.

What about you? What are the peace-stealers in your life? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when life doesn’t cooperate? 

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Keep.

Weakness: Act Strong or Ask For Help?

Destin late afternoon

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“Why is weakness something we fear so strongly?”

I was reading Kara Tippetts’ blog, Mundane Faithfulness last week, and she shared about those days you just work to get through. At the end of her post, she asked some questions, but this one stopped me hard.

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Wait: Who’s In Control?

Casting for fish copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

WAIT

I’d be lying if I said I was good at waiting.

Truth is, I hate waiting. When I drive the kids to school, I take the initiative. Take the free lane to get there oh . . . a few seconds faster.

Waiting for doctor’s diagnosis? Lab results? I hate it.

Waiting for my kids to get their things done so I can start homework with them? It tests me.

And that’s the thing I’m realizing. I hate waiting because I like being in control.

And when I’m waiting on someone else, I’m not in control.

Breathe deep here, Jeanne. Take it easy.

Fishin poles sail boat copy

Waiting is such a beautiful discipline. When we wait on the Lord . . .

When we wait on others, and we do so with patience?

With a heart that is yielded to Jesus? That’s when character grows and deepens.

That’s when God can shine through us. Through our situations.

Waiting on others is never easy.

Sometimes, I make myself drive behind the slow car, I step into the slow lane at Target so I can practice the discipline of waiting.

Because the truth is, when I can wait with patience—with anticipation—at the unexpected things God might do in the waiting? That’s when it can become exciting.

Waiting with anticipation leads to trusting God more. It leads to relying on myself less.

And it leads to letting go of control I think I have and placing it in the hands of the One who really holds the reins of my life.

The One who’s way more trustworthy than I am. He knows the plans he has for me. And they are good plans. They  may not look good in the waiting times, but because He is faithful, they are good.

Caught first fish copy

So, I’ll work at becoming good at waiting. Which now means, God will probably give me more practice at this beautiful discipline. (wink)

I’m yours, Lord. Waiting as you craft Your plan for my life.

What about you? How do you wait with anticipation? When has waiting “paid off” for you?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Wait