Hide: Where Do You Hide?

Sea Animal hiding

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

HIDE

Ever since our boys were little, they’ve loved to play Hide and Seek. When they were small, I’d hear, “Mama, come find me!” Of course, they were hidden from themselves, but I saw them clearly, as a foot stuck out from under a lumpy blanket.

Now that they’re older, they still like to hide from me. Tonight, one boy hid behind his bathroom door. I walked into his bathroom to fill his humidifier, and there was no Peter. But, I heard his breathing. And I saw his reflection in the mirror. At twelve, he thought the reflection gave him away.

It was what I heard first that clued me in to: 1) he was hiding, and 2) where he was. Maybe I have good hearing. Or maybe I have come to know this dear boy of mine and his penchant for “surprising” unsuspecting family members.

It got me thinking. How many times have I tried to hide from God? As if we could. Our God who sees through the darkness as if it’s light.

Psalm 13912 darkness and light alike copy

When I’ve failed . . .

When I’ve hurt another . . .

When I don’t think I can face my perfect Father . . . I hide.

I hide from Him in activities or in busy-ness. Or in tears.

No matter where I’m hiding, He hears my heart’s cry first. The yearning for acceptance from Him. The reassurance that it’s okay.

We make mistakes. We can know His grace. And we can move out of hiding and into deeper intimacy with Him.

Flower amid rock

What if, instead of hiding from Him, I hid in Him? What if I opened His word, or sang a worship song? It’s hard to worship when I’m busy condemning myself. But if I can remember there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, it might just be easier to hide in Him, rather than hiding from Him.

What about you? Do you have any favorite Hide and Seek memories from childhood? When have you hidden and been surprised with grace?

Vist Kate Motaung at her site Five Minute Friday: Hide

Scars: How They Shape Us

Heart with cracks copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

We all have them. I still wear scars from the time I tripped while running up cement steps. One step tore a piece of my shin skin away. Or the one on my right hand from where I was practicing my starts for a backstroke race and the back of my hand met the bottom of the pool. They’re small visible reminders of past pains . . . and lessons learned.

They bled, scabbed, and healed over. Skin slightly warbled, but still good for go into every day life.

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Tomorrow: Who Holds Tomorrow?

LM Montgomery tomorrow quote

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

TOMORROW

Today was one of those non-stop days. Up at 4:00 a.m. and still running. Okay, maybe more like crawling, as I come to the final moments before I fall into bed.

It’s been a day of comforting kiddos, and raising my voice. And asking for forgiveness. This day held some mistakes. And some disappointments.

It’s also given me perspective. I have a friend dealing with some draining physical issues right now. Being able to help her in a small way? That was a blessing in this day.

Wrapping my arms around my boy through an exhausted meltdown? That grounded me.

Yes, this day held mistakes. It also offered blessings.

Yet, I confess, the thought of waking up to a fresh new day that’s still free of mistakes, or erase marks in it? I like that.

Beach stones at sunset

I can go to bed weary, and wake up with a sense of anticipation.

But what about when I don’t? What about when I wake up to a day that feels marked up already?

Those are the days I find I need to spend extra time with Jesus. Sometimes, I need the reminder of the bigger picture. He’s got this day. He’s got those things that weigh me down. He’s holding me in the palm of His hand. Because he loves me (and each of us) that much.

Tomorrows don’t always hold joy or refreshment. Sometimes they hold sorrow. Often, they hold uncertainty. But in the midst of what tomorrow holds, I know Who holds tomorrow.

God.

And I know Who’s holding me.

God.

Sunset on waves

He strengthens me and walks beside me through each day. Into tomorrow.

One of these tomorrows will bring me face-to-face with Him. And that will be the best tomorrow yet.

What about you? When you think about tomorrow, what impressions and thoughts come to mind? How do you view them? How do you refresh yourself when today has drained you?

Visit Kate Motaung’s FMF Post—Tomorrow

Guest Post: Healing Broken Relationships, by Jill Kemerer

Hubs and Ed

Jill Kemerer is one of the first people I met online when I began writing. She is one of the people who motivated me to begin blogging, and she answered LOTS of my questions as I set my blog up just over two years ago. Meeting her in person at ACFW one year showed me she’s as lovely in person as she is online. She’s such an encourager and an inspiration to me, and to many. Her debut novel came out on March 17th, and it’s a wonderful read. Without further ado . . . .

Here’s Jill!

Relationships can be the most wonderful things in the world. There’s something amazing when you meet a new friend and instantly connect. Families can be more comfortable than the comfiest couch. And falling in love—is there anything better?

But relationships can also cause so much pain. There’s a reason many people dread the holidays, and it’s not the commercialism. It’s being confronted with imperfect, stressful relationships when we’re all supposed to be happy. Christmas movies make the holidays look good, but how often do you really end up with everyone in harmony?

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Relief: Connecting With Loved Ones

White blossoms, blue sky

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

RELIEF

This past weekend, amid a season of crazy, my husband and I got away for an overnight celebration of our anniversary.

We walked the streets of a nearby city, visiting shops unlike the ones close to where we live. We ate in local restaurants. We talked.

We laughed.

In a season of busy-ness, this time for just the two of us was sweet relief.

To not have two adorable boys demanding a piece of us. As much as I love our guys, they need me almost all the time—talking with me, sometimes me teaching them, always me listening. It’s what I love about being a mom.

But at times it makes me weary.

Used bookstore shelves

To get away—to spend time with the man I’ve vowed to spend the rest of my life with? Sweet relief.

Connecting through words, hands held, laughter. . .

Connecting on what is going on in each of our lives—more than the, “How was your day?”

Connecting on a heart level? Sweet relief.

Knowing he shares my burdens for our family, my writing, our lives together.

Knowing I can lift his burdens to the Lord in prayer . . .

Gives relief for both of us.

Getting away and not having to do anything. Choosing what we wanted to do on the spur of the moment gave me a refreshed perspective when we got back into real life.

Relief comes in many forms. I believe the Lord knows what relief needs to look like for each of us.

Whether it’s a break from care-giving, a break from the job, or a break from life-as usual—He gives us opportunities to know His relief. To experience His help with our burdens.

White tulips

When we purpose to spend time with Him, God gives us relief and prepares us for our days.

And, there are those days or series of days when relief comes in the tangible forms of rest. Breathing. Breaks from the norm.

Sweet relief.

Ours for the taking if we look for the opportunities God offers us . . . to lean into those moments.

What about you? What gives you relief in your days? What does your picture of relief look like?

Visit Kate Motaung’s blog to read her post on Relief.

Calling: Dwell Where God Calls You

E. Cartier Dwell where God calls you

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our pastor spoke these words on a recent Sunday, and they’ve stayed with me.

“Dwell where God calls you.”

God’s placed at least one calling on each of our lives. He has purposes that only we can fulfill. My friend might be able to fulfill my calling to a degree, but not to the the extent that God created me to do so.

But what about when I don’t like the calling, or when the calling is too hard, or when the calling is not the one I wanted?

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Good: What’s Good Enough?

Solitary at sunset

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

GOOD

Most of my life, I’ve struggled with not being “good enough.”

Good enough to be on a worship team.

Good enough to be accepted by others.

Good enough to be affirmed for anything about me or something I could do.

Good. Enough.

I still struggle, some days, with the fear that I’m not good enough.

A number of years ago, I poured out my angst-y heart to the Lord about my inadequacies, my desire to be significant to someone—anyone—in my world. I knew I was significant to my eleven-month old boy. To my husband. But to anyone else? My feelings convinced me I didn’t matter.

Solitary

Then God spoke to me. He told me I was significant to Him.

I justified why this wasn’t enough.

I know. Stupid idea. Arrogance and ignorance wrapped into one thought.

He asked me if He was enough for me. The question stopped me cold. If He allowed all my friendships to die, and all I had left was my relationship with Him, was that enough?

Conviction stabbed at me when my initial answer, honestly? was no.

Since that time, I’ve learned to lean on Jesus. to believe what He says about me. To let being His girl be enough for me. And finding incredible satisfaction and peace in this acceptance.

To know and embrace the truth that He loves me perfectly, passionately completely.

Crown Cross Stone

And as we head into Easter weekend, we remember the amazing Gift of love Jesus gave us as He hung on a bloody cross. As He took our beatings. As He felt the every thorn of the crown press into His scalp. Blood running down his face, His torso, down to His legs and His toes.

Is that enough for me? For us?

Yes.

So much more than I deserve. He. Loves. Me. He loves each of us.

And that is Good. And it’s way more than Enough.

We can take that truth, weave it into the fabric of who we are. If we let it, this truth can mend wounds in our hearts and make us clearer reflections of Him to the world around us.

What about you? How have you worked through the question of significance? How has the knowledge that God loves you completely changed you? 

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Good.