Perspective, Trusting God

Scars: When We live with Wounds

Image of yellow flowers with some dead and some still alive

@JeanneTakenaka

I was talking with a friend recently. We both have teenaged boys who are scraping wounds across our mama’s hearts. At times the pain is so raw I still feel like I’m bleeding. 

We both like the song, “Scars” by I Am They. But neither of us feel thankful for the scars right now. As I thought about it, I believe this is okay. In the moment.

Sometimes, we’re still living in a wounded place. We’re still walking in the pain of the strikes against our hearts. 

Continue reading “Scars: When We live with Wounds”
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Contentment, Expectations, Mothering

Satisfy: Where Does Contentment Begin?

A young man sitting on a stump facing the ocean

@JeanneTakenaka

“I’m never content, Mom.”

These words slipped from my son’s mouth some months back. Probably after I’d gone to great lengths to get him something he wanted, or to do something he desired. 

And then I’d probably made the mistake of asking how he liked it.

I don’t ask that question anymore.

First, I found it revelatory that this boy of mine knew he would never be satisfied. Second, a piece of my heart cracked because all that I had done to bless him—to make him happy—hadn’t been enough.

Continue reading “Satisfy: Where Does Contentment Begin?”
Faith, Relationship

Regret: After We’ve Failed

Photo of trees on each side of a pathway making an overhang above it

@JeanneTakenaka

One sure thing about life is that we will face opposition. We’ll be confronted with our own failings and shortcomings. We’ll be forced to decide how to respond to our regrets.

I love how, each time I read through the Bible, God brings different things alive in my heart. As I read through 2 Samuel, I gleaned insights about David. After his mistake with Bathsheba, God brought many consequences into his life. I was reading 2 Samuel 15 about how David’s son, Absalom, attempted to overtake the kingdom. Animosity toward his father had built in his heart for years (read 2 Samuel 13-16). Some would say he was justified in his anger toward David.

Continue reading “Regret: After We’ve Failed”
Perspective, Trusting God, Writing

Dreams: When Dreams Don’t Come True

Meme with typewriter and the word: Publish

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well. This is my final post with this series. 

*****

Have you ever had a dream that felt so big, so out of reach, you never thought it was possible to achieve?

From the time I was fourteen, I’ve wanted to be published. I set the dream aside for decades because of . . . well, life. 

And fear.

At first the idea of writing a full-length novel—with characters, plot, and setting—overwhelmed me. The fear of failure cast a large shadow in my thoughts. 

And then there was the fear—of my dream never coming true.  

Continue reading “Dreams: When Dreams Don’t Come True”
Perspective, Trusting God, Writing

Direction: 3 Things to Remember When God Changes Our Plans

Meme with rocks that are slanting downward and the word, "Slant"

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

Have you ever thought you knew where your path was leading, only to have it slant in another direction? 

If I had to guess, most of us have experienced occasions in our lives where we thought we knew the plan, only to have it change in some way.

I thought I’d procure a teaching position straight out of college, only to work in other jobs for two years before God led me to the job He’d intended for me. 

I thought Hubs and I would begin having children before I turned thirty . . . and our first child came along when I was nearly thirty-six. 

Continue reading “Direction: 3 Things to Remember When God Changes Our Plans”
Faith, Relationship

Reader: 4 Thoughts for Reading People

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

Some of my earliest memories of my mom involve her curled up on our sofa lost in a book. When she read, it sometimes took WW3 in miniature form to bring her back to the world of three young, quarreling daughters. 

She was the first one who taught me to love reading. Even when I had to have eye therapy at five years old, I loved the feel of a book in my hands, the images from the story coming to life in my imagination.

As an adult, I’ve discovered there are many kinds of reading. We read not only the written word, we also read people and life situations. 

Continue reading “Reader: 4 Thoughts for Reading People”
Faith, Trusting God

Unexpected: How Do We Handle Change?

Meme that says Plot Twist super-imposed over a pic of a snow-covered tree

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

I might take ridiculous pleasure in creating plot twists for my stories. Maybe I’m a little mischievous because I enjoy watching my characters struggle. Mostly I enjoy it because I know they’re going to learn and grow through the challenge.

Can I just be honest and say that I’m not fond of real-life plot twists? Torn ACL’s, snow days in May (yes, we had a snow day on May 21st this year, with three days left in the school year), and other challenges that force a change to the rhythms of my days? 

Continue reading “Unexpected: How Do We Handle Change?”
Calling, Faith, Trusting God

Motivation: 5 Thoughts for Choosing Motivation

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

Last fall, I left a writer’s conference motivated to finesse the book I’d begun writing early last year. I was going to tear the story apart, make it stronger, put it back together, polish it, and send it to the people who had requested it.

Sometimes we have the best of intentions . . . and then life tromps right over them.

I had no idea I’d have to learn how to choose motivation. 

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Identity, Knowing Truth, Trusting God

Rewrite: When What We Believe is Wrong

Meme with the word Rewrite imposed over a picture of a hand holding a pen and writing

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

My friend and mentor, author Rachel Hauck, says, “Writing is rewriting.” 

A first draft is never a finished draft. Fiction writers have to develop the plot line, strengthen our characters, deepen their emotions, and sometimes rewrite large portions of the story. But, in the end, the story is stronger and much better for the hard work we do.

As I thought about what “rewrite” looks like in my life, I see my “first draft”—meaning the things I believed about God, myself, and others. 

Continue reading “Rewrite: When What We Believe is Wrong”
Mothering, Prayer, Words

Words: Making Words Count

Meme: Word Count super imposed over a dictionary page

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

Stories of the heart are built by adding word count. I belong to an online group for writing 1000 words in one hour. Not everyone does this, and not everyone who’s part of the group is adding word count to their manuscripts. But it’s a great community where we hold each other accountable to work on our projects. For any book to come to a place of completion, words must be added in the creating of said book.

As important as it is to build word count in a book, it’s even more essential that we make our real-life words count. 

Continue reading “Words: Making Words Count”