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

Pride: 4 Tips for Maintaining an Accurate Perspective

Peacock strutting

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Have you ever read something in the Bible many times, and this time when you read it, a certain truth smacks you in the face?

I was reading about King Hezekiah in Second Chronicles recently. I noticed a truth that I’d never considered before. When he was under attack from Sennacherib, the dominating king of Assyria, Hezekiah’s relationship with God was solid. He prepared his people, and his city. In humility, he leaned hard on God. He prayed and trusted that God would deliver them.

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Share: Making an Impact

Cape Cod decor

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

SHARE

Last night, I attended a “Happy Birthday/Retirement” party for a friend. We women enjoyed an evening of shared laughter, a little roasting, but mostly tributes to the impact this woman has had on so many lives.

She shares of herself . . . not reservedly. When you meet with her, she’s all there with you, not checking her cell phone or looking at her watch. Engaged. With you. All in the moment.

She’s shared much mommy-ing wisdom with me. As the mother of three grown all-boy boys, she’s walked many roads I’m just embarking upon.

She’s shared of herself, investing in the lives of women, being a life-changer to so many.

As I watched her, as people lauded all she’s done—especially her deep love for Jesus—it challenged me.

White laced trees

How many times have I withheld myself because of my own issues, or because I didn’t have time, or because . . .

Fear sometimes keeps me from sharing the giftings God’s given me. Fear of rejection or of “not being enough.”

But, God . . .

. . . when we make ourselves available to Him, when we share what He’s given us with others, shaken down, pressed in and flowing over . . .

. . . then His beauty shines forth.

I need not worry about being rejected, or not enough. When I’m pouring out God, splashing His love into the lives of those around me—invested in each moment—I’m reflecting Jesus to them.

Not that I want a party thrown in my honor, but I do hope to one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant . . . “

Mom Son hands

I want to share all that God’s given me with others, to be an encouragement, an uplifter, a truth-giver.

To share His joy, a compassionate touch, a listening ear and what wisdom God’s given me.

Maybe even have an impact on one life.

What about you? Who has had an impact on your life? How do you share of yourself with others?

Read Kate Motaung’s post about Share.

Fog: 4 Tips for Seeing Through Difficulties

Foggy day with a frame

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Fog wrapped around my vehicle as I pulled from the garage. I glanced to the left and the right—twice—before steering onto the street. In a way, I felt as if I was the only person on the road.

There’s something almost eerie about driving when you can’t see anything around you. I’m comfortable driving in various conditions, but my hands still gripped the steering wheel. I leaned forward to check for shadows before me. Headlights from the other direction sliced through the soup, cutting a path in the mist.

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Send: Sending Memos to God

Peter and jelly fish

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

SEND

I pressed the “Send” button on the email note. How exciting that a spot opened up for me to chaperone on my son’s field trip to the aquarium!

Two days later I received a note from my boy’s teacher. “Mrs. Takenaka, if I don’t hear from you by noon today, I’ll have to give your spot to another parent.”

What?!

Striped fish

My heart thudded as I read that note. How could she not have received my excited words from two days before?

For some reason, the address I sent it from doesn’t like the address the note was going to. I’ve tried a couple times since then to send her emails from that address. They always disappear into the ether somewhere.

How many times has this happened in life? I think I’m going to be doing something and send the “memo” to God. Either He doesn’t receive it. Or he laughs at it.

Yeah, I think He may laugh at the plans I tell Him I’m making for a given day.

I’m slowly learning to lean into Him, and ask for His input into the plans I have for a day. Rather than sending Him a list of all I’d like to accomplish.

Peter under aquarium

When the car dies just as I’m ready to run errands? How will I respond? As a frustrated brat, or as a daughter who says, “Okay, God. How shall I spend this time instead?”

Yes, this happened . . . yesterday. No, I didn’t initially respond with that calm yielding to His plans.

But, I learned a lesson.

As I figure out my One Word Breathe for the year, one thing God’s teaching me is to not be so set on accomplishing my to-do’s for a given day. Instead, to ask what His priorities are for me.

Instead of sending Him my agenda, I’m working to write to-do’s in pencil and leave space in my days for Him to fill in as He sees best.

Yes, I attended the field trip, and it was a fun-filled (and exhausting) day. If I hadn’t re-sent that email from a different address, I would have missed watching my son’s delight over sting rays and looking at sea animals from under their aquariums.

Reaching for a stingray

Sometimes I need to push a different Send button. Other times? I need to simply be still.

What about you? How do you handle the divine interruptions that sometimes derails your planned-out days? 

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post: Send.

Worries: Perspective on Fear

Snowflake on red

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Snowflakes leave me in awe. So small, yet so incredibly beautiful. Crafted so that each one has intrinsic similarities and yet are absolutely unique. As winter snows visit our little corner of the country, I find myself gazing out windows as snow falls quiet. Steady.

I’m reading The Hardest Peace, by Kara Tippetts. This book shares her story—of her life, her cancer journey—and the beautiful, deep lessons she’s learning. I come away from each chapter moved, wanting to grow deeper in love with Jesus.

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Welcome: Trusting Jesus With My Fears

 

Welcome mat

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

WELCOME

Defined as: “to accept with pleasure the occurrence or presence of”

What do you envision when you read or hear the word, “Welcome?”

Coffee scenting the air, a table in sunlight, the promise of fellowship and sharing speaks “Welcome” to me.

Often, that’s what I offer when someone comes to my home. Except maybe there are a few piles on the kitchen counter. And crumbs on the table.

The Lord has welcomed me, and each of us, into a relationship with Him. With sharing, with fellowship. With transparency. With the potential for intimacy.

What do we do after we’ve been welcomed in somewhere? Accept the hospitality? Nibble a muffin? Sip coffee?

Usually.

I’ve been thinking about this today. I’m reading a life-changing book, The Hardest Peace, by Kara Tippetts. Who happens to be dying.

The chapter I just finished got me thinking about the things I worry about. My worries—fears—revolve around my hubby and my boys. Not going into specifics here. 😉

Welcome mugs

The thing I realized is I don’t always welcome Jesus into these worries. I think I can handle them. Or . . . honestly . . . I’m afraid of what He might do with them. Like allow them to become reality.

So ridiculous. Jesus is Good. He’s trustworthy. He’s faithful. And He loves me like crazy.

So, I am thinking about my heart attitude when it comes to these inner fears. He invites me to release them to Him. To trust Him with my family. My heart. My very life.

And the thing is? He is trustworthy. He is faithful. He is good.

But I’ll only be able to know these aspects of His character if I welcome Him into my fears, my worries. I’ll know Him best when I do.

If any of these fears do become reality, I can deal with them then. In the meantime, He’s welcoming me to release them into His care and to simply trust.

What about you? What areas of your life are hard to welcome Jesus into? What do you picture with the word, “Welcome?”

Vist Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday offering.

One Word: Starting the New Year Well

Breathe Bracelet

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Last fall, as life’s stresses kept me in an adrenaline-running mode, I found myself breathing shallow breaths rather than replenishing my lungs and my body with deep breaths. At times, my breathing was shallow enough that I hardly inhaled any air, much less filled my lungs to capacity.

I breathed in shallow breaths spiritually as well. I gave the little I had to the Lord in my daily quiet times. I received what I could from Him. But it was hindered, limited by stress.

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