Ten: Ten Things I Wish I’d Known

Ten and daisies copy

After being away on vacation for two weeks, I’m thrilled to be back among the community of Five Minute Friday!

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—TEN. 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!

TEN

Ten Things I Wish I Could Tell My Ten-Year-Old Self:

As a ten-year-old girl, I had much to learn. If I could talk to her now, These are ten things I wood tell her:

  1. Those girls you so want to be like? They’ll still be mean to you when you get older. They may be mean now, and it probably won’t change anytime soon.
  2. Don’t let what others say about your talents define how you do/don’t use them. When God gives you a gift, He wants you to use it. Don’t let others shame you for it.
  3. It’s okay to be tall. Some day you’ll be glad you can reach to the top cupboard.
  4. Take comfort in the fact that having even one good friend is better than having many double-faced friends. True friends are beyond value. Cherish them.
  5. Take risks and don’t worry so  much about getting hurt. Pain often is the thing that spurs growth as a person and in compassion toward others.

    This is a picture of my sisters and me when I was about ten years old. :)

    This is a picture of my sisters and me when I was about ten years old. :)

  6. 6. Keep striving to do your best at all you attempt. God tells us to do all that we do our very best to bring Him glory. It’s never a bad thing to attempt greatness, even if you fail.
  7. It’s okay to be the smart girl, and to know the right answers on tests. Don’t try to shrink into invisibility when you’re right.
  8. Stand up for those who are bullied. You know how it feels. Be their defender and be their friend.
  9. Don’t let what others say about you define your perception of yourself. They often speak from their own pain in a n attempt to hurt you the way they’re hurting
  10. Be thankful for parents who love you and love each other enough to work through the hard stuff in life and marriage. It’s a gift.Looking at the ocean

Just in case you’re wondering, I wrote each item on this list as they came to mind, not necessarily in the value of the advice. :)

What about you? What life lessons have you learned that have helped you grow into the person you’re meant to be? How do you encourage the children in your life?

Ambition: The Quiet Life

Quiet purple blossoms

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I had a B-U-S-Y spring. My hubby had to travel overseas on business for six-and-a-half weeks. Forty-five days to be exact. In that time, he missed two birthdays, all the end of school activities, including a sixth-grade celebration ceremony for Peter before he heads to junior high next year.

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Calling: Our Timing and God’s Timing—Guest Post by Jennifer Kolb

Kileaua lighthouse

 

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ve lived a lot of life—in person and over the telephone—with my dear friend, Jennifer Kolb. She is truly a lady of wisdom. As I talked through the ideas of knowing God’s best and what is good enough with her, her thoughts challenged me to really think through what each of these look like. I asked her to share some thoughts in a guest post. Please welcome Jennifer!

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I grew up watching “I Love Lucy” reruns. I watched them so often I memorized much of the dialogue. In one of my favorites, Lucy becomes the spokesperson for a miraculous tonic called Vitameatavegamin. “Are you tired, run-down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular? The answer to all your problems is in this little bottle…”

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Priorities: Discerning God’s Best

Hollyhocks

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

(This is part three of a three part series. In part one, I explored the idea of When Good Enough Isn’t and compromise). In part two, I shared thoughts on when Good Enough is Good Enough. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!)

When I met my husband, I was teaching third grade, serving in the nursery at church, serving in the high school ministry, leading worship at a start-up church, attending a home fellowship and sometimes helping with worship there. I was a busy lady.

As our relationship grew, we spent more time together. One by one, God encouraged me to set aside these other ministries. He was preparing me for the ministry of marriage. Was it easy to step back from all these ministries? No! I loved being a part of every single one of them.

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Favorite: When Relationships Are Restored

Thistle in evening

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FAVORITE

Sometimes, to experience a favorite, I have to live through the hard.

It was a hard day with one of my littles. He got mad. Something set him off. Still not sure what.

We spent hours today going around and around. Him determined to trip my temper trigger. Me determined to show him grace . . . and discipline. By the time hubby got home. I. Was. Done.

I took a long walk on a trail I’ve never traveled before. With the evening light, God showed me glimpses of His beauty. He renewed my spirit and my perspective. He gave me lots of pretty things to take pictures of. Something that always lifts my heart.

Evening sun on water

By the time I got home, this little of mine was ready to talk  . . . and to ask for forgiveness. It’s these times of connecting that are favorites for me. There’s something about fellowship restored that touches a deep place inside.

I wonder if that’s how God feels when one of His kids comes to him, repentant and longing for fellowship restored? I’m so thankful that He’s quick to forgive. That His love is ever-there. That His loving-kindnesses are new every morning, and throughout every day.

My favorite times are connecting with others. Especially when relationships are restored. When I’ve had to ask forgiveness and then been given that gift? Yep, that’s something you can’t put words to.

Yellow wild flowers

Sometimes we have to walk through the hard things of life before we can really know . . . really embrace . . . our favorites. God gives us His beauty and his faithful love. He gives us the ability to forgive and have relationships restored. 

What about you? What is your favorite aspect about God? How do you walk out forgiveness?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post on Favorite to link up and read other great blogposts!

Change: Love God, Love Others

 

Change word signBy +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

***This is not my normal style of blog post. I had planned to post my third blog about perfection and good enough, and I will . . . next week. This week, I’m wrestling with all that’s happened in our country. So, I thought we could wrestle with it together. I’d love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.*** 

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I have a confession to make. I struggle with the thought of being just one person. Just one Christian. For years, this struggle has left me in a place where I figured I can’t change the world, so I’ll focus on living the best Christian life I can. And I’ll ignore . . . not ignore, exactly . . . pray, but keep myself distanced from the world and all that is espouses.

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Dream: Pursuing Dreams God’s Way

 

Les Brown dream quote

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

DREAM

For decades, I was afraid to pursue a dream that had been on my heart since I was about thirteen .  . . To write.

Oh, I’d write in my journal, use descriptive language, and try to be coherent. I developed a love for God through writing out my struggles.

Hearing His voice through the written words, when I could hear it no other way.

But a few years ago, He upped the stakes. Or shall I say, He upped the calling. . .

. . . To take my writing from the privacy of my journal to a much more public, and intimidating venue—blogging and pursuing publication.

He began to prepare me to fulfill the desires He’d placed on my heart as a teen. To write a book.

Sometimes, God walks us through years of equipping—preparation—before He begins to grow those seeds, those dreams, He planted within our hearts.

He allows that dream to die. Not the dream itself, but our perceptions of what the dream would look like.

Then, He begins to give us His vision of what that dream will look like.

Open Gate

One obedient step at a time. It’s only as we take the first step that He shows us the next. We can stop at any stage of the process, but we’re the ones who miss out . . .

. . . On the beauty He’s fostering within us

. . . On the blessings He has for us on the journey

. . . On the closer relationship with Him

. . . On the fulfilling of the dream.

It’s never an easy thing to pursue a dream. I’m still dying to myself one day at a time. Learning to trust Him to bring me to the next place on this writing road. Still releasing my vision for the dream to come true. Still writing, making mistakes . . . and seeing how He brings accomplishments along the way.

Seeing a dream fulfilled is never really a solo project. If it is, I’d bet the dream is incomplete.

Sun dappled road

As I learn how to write for Him—to trust His timing for each step of this journey—I’m a little more conformed into the image of Jesus. Reflecting Him a little more clearly.

What about you? Is there a dream you’re afraid to pursue? What’s stopping you? What’s one lesson you’ve learned as you’ve pursued a God-inspired dream?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Dream—and link up!