God, Identity, Infertility

Promise: When God Fulfills His Promise

barren hill

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

There’s something about Abraham’s and Sarah’s story that stirs my heart every time I read it. Especially the part of their lives as they walked through the disappointment of childlessness. As I read Genesis 17-18 recently, I was struck by a couple thoughts.

I wonder if Abraham had grown tired of hoping—of believing—that God would actually give him a child with his wife, Sarai. Waiting decades for a promise to be fulfilled is wearying on the soul and the hope.

Continue reading “Promise: When God Fulfills His Promise”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Infertility

Morning: When We Need Light

Autumn sunrise 2 copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

MORNING

Walking through our season of infertility felt like stumbling through a long night.

The despair I sometimes grappled with, the questions of if we would ever become parents.

The darkness of focusing on self rather than God took me to some scary places.

When He showed me that having a child had become my idol? Oh, that hurt. But that was also the first crack of dawn in the darkness of my soul. Whenever God shows us that our hearts are set on something else, it hurts.

Sometimes we need the hard words of His truth to help us return to His light. When we focus on other things, whether it is an unmet desire like mine, or anything else that takes our eyes off of Him, we begin to walk in shadows. If we continue on that path long enough, we wander into full night.

Fog lifting

Sometimes, God allows us to walk in those dark places for a little while. Sometimes it takes walking in darkness before we begin to see our need for Him. When our hearts are hurting, when our minds are confused . . . that’s when we need His light the most.

God is a compassionate God. His lovingkindnesses are new every morning. His compassions never fail. Even when we don’t understand why He’s allowed us into the place where we are, His faithfulness is great.

Sometimes, it takes walking in the dark of night before we can truly see the beauty of His morning light. Before we can experience those loving kindnesses He gives us each morning and through each day.

When He opened my eyes to see the idol I had made of motherhood, I could see the darkness I’d placed myself in. Then, I could choose to walk in His light. We can each do this, every day, when necessary. We can choose to walk in His light, rather than darkness.

Lam 3-22-23 copy

I had a hard time focusing for this word, for some reason. There’s so much that comes with morning, but I think the thing I like the best is that His light cracks the dark of night, instilling us with His hope, and giving us the courage to walk forward with Him.

What about you? How have you seen God shine His light in the middle of your darkness? What helps you to walk in His light?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Morning

God, God's Love, Perspective

Broken: When Broken Is Beautiful

Broken leaves

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I had just walked in the door after dropping kids off at school. I was so ready for a quiet morning, time spent with Jesus, and getting a couple things done before heading into the busy-ness of the day.

I’m a candle-girl. I love the peace a flickering flame and a pretty scent add to my home. I grabbed a jar candle by the lid from the pantry, and stared in horror as the thing dropped to the floor, shattering the top portion of the jar of my brand. new. candle.

Continue reading “Broken: When Broken Is Beautiful”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Focus, God

Forget: God Always Remembers

Foggy road

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FORGET

A few times in my life, I suspected that God may have forgotten me. When I searched for two years for a teaching job, I was so ready to begin really l living my life!

When I attended ten weddings in one year, and was in two of them. When would my prince charming come and help me begin really living my life?

When so many friends had babies in a short span of time . . .

When hubby and I attended a new church on Mother’s Day and three times carnations were offered, and then rescinded when I admitted I was not a mother—physically—though I was in my heart. I was so ready to begin really living my life.

How many times did I secretly accuse God of forgetting me?

It wasn’t until I really and truly understood how amazing His love is for me—and each of His children—that I began to see that He hadn’t ever forgotten me.

Is 49-15

When my eyes focused on unmet desires, I forgot Him, for the sake of what I was certain would fulfill my heart and make me happy.

I was stuck in those times of forgetfulness.

But—our God—His love for us is perfect, complete and passionate. He never forgets us. Mothers never forget their children. They may go a little crazy sometimes, and even mamas who have not been able to raise their own children, they never forget.

And our God? His love is even stronger, his memory never fades. He knows us from the inside out, and He still loves us.

He knows our needs before we do. And He has His ways of fulfilling those needs. We don’t always understand, but we can be assured He never forgets us. It’s one of His promises.

Morning sunrise glory

May we grow in not forgetting His faithfulness to us, especially in those hardest of times. May we always remember Him and His love for us.

What about you? When have you forgotten something? How has God shown you He remembers and loves you?

Today, I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Forget

Faith, God, Living with Intention

Lent: An Out-Loud Faith

S Shock Shadow cross

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I remember closing my eyes as a girl, and feeling the ashes scrape across my forehead. As I attended mass with classmates during my school day, we’d all be christened with a black cross of ashes on our foreheads. It made me stand out, at least in my own mind. That dark smudge set me apart, along with my parochial school classmates.

Continue reading “Lent: An Out-Loud Faith”

Busy-ness, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Trusting God

Limit: I’m No Wonder Woman

Old picket fence

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

**I confess, I took a little over five-minutes to write this post. 

LIMIT

Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking I’m Wonder Woman. Except that I don’t have an invisible vehicle.

I think I can do it all—take care of the house, the kids, the husband.

I can be all things to all people.

I can rush through my days at mach 10, rarely slowing down long enough to be still.

I can depend on myself to do all things that must be done.

Except, when I can’t.

Tearing my ACL three weeks ago has shown me another side of life. Mach ten has turned into mach zero, limping rather than rushing through my days.

Mountains with yellow sky

I’ve come face-to-face with the reality that I am not Wonder Woman.

I can’t fly off and fight piles of laundry on my own. I can’t fight off the insecurity thoughts that sometimes threaten my spirit.

I can’t be the always-patient mama with a boy who  has consumed hours of “my” time.

No, I most certainly am not Wonder Woman. Sometimes I’m barely-clinging-to-the-rope woman, with ever-graying hair.

I’m the one who’s confined to the couch for a few hours each day to give her knee a rest until surgery happens.

I’m the one who’s been limited by mobility.

God’s given me a limp where once I had the capacity to do everything I thought had to be completed in a day.

God is teaching me the beauty of depending on Him and on others. There’s nothing beautiful about a person who can do it all yet misses moments connecting with kids, spouses, friends.

There’s beauty in learning to hear God’s voice, learning to set aside the things I thought were important to listen to a hurting kiddo.

Fences

Yeah, sometimes God limits us so we learn to hear His voice, to depend on Him. To begin living out some of those lessons He’s been waiting so patiently to help us learn

Being limited is inconvenient, but not always a bad thing. Especially when we can see God’s fingerprints in the limitation.

Maybe sometimes the wonder in Wonder Woman comes in acting on the important rather than the demanding.

What about you? When have you been limited in some way? What have you learned? Where have you seen God’s fingerprints in your life lately?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung Five Minute Friday—Limit

Hope, Mothering, Trusting God

Fear: When Our Children Make Choices

Teens connecting over chess

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I recently learned about another young person who took his own life.

Somehow this news never ceases to shock this mama’s heart. If I’m completely honest, I sometimes worry about my own boys. Will they one day feel so hopeless that ending their lives feels like the very best option?

My heart weeps with mamas whose children have taken control of their pain to a devastating end. I get pain. I’ve had times when I—briefly—considered suicide as the best option for ending the pain.  Continue reading “Fear: When Our Children Make Choices”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Focus

Focus: Peace in Hard Seasons

Winter leaves on snow

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FOCUS

There’s something so precious about a baby gazing into it’s mama’s eyes. The complete trust, adoration, and love that jumps from tiny eyes to grown-wise eyes that melts my heart.

When I think about Isaiah 26:3, this is what comes to mind. That baby may live in a tumultuous situation, but if it has its mama (and its papa), nothing else really matters. Babies trust their parents to take care of them, to protect them, to provide for them, to love them.

I believe this is how God wants us to look at him.

Life has been challenging these past couple weeks. Disappointments, injuries, and a fair amount of chaos have torn my eyes away from the Lord.

And, unfortunately, I somehow slipped from that place of trusting the Lord to walk with me, to thinking I need to “handle life” on my own. I have struggled with keeping my heart focused on Jesus.

But, when I can look into His eyes—when my mind remembers Who He is—I can rest in Him.

Is 26-3 storm background copy

How do we truly get to know God’s perfect peace?

First by keeping our minds stayed on Jesus. Keeping our thoughts focused on the truth of who He is.

Second, when we trust Him. With everything. The disappointments, the struggles, the hard that joins us on our path.

It’s when we remember who God is in the midst of life’s hard that we can know God’s perfect peace. It’s when we trust Him with all of who we are, when we choose to believe He is who He says He is . . . this is when we can know his peace.

Sun's rays

I want to be like that baby, looking into Jesus’ eyes and not worrying about my present circumstances. I want to see Him through eyes of adoration, complete trust, and deepening love.

And this happens when I’m focused on Him rather than my circumstances.

This song is really speaking to my spirit right now. I hope it doe to yours as well.

What about you? What are you walking through right now that’s causing a lack of peace in your heart? How do you focus your eyes on Jesus when circumstances press in close to you?

 

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—FOCUS

Authenticity, Change, God

Change: When Change Finds You

Early morning ski run

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Sometimes, we know a change is coming. Other times, it makes its presence known through a simple tumble down a mountainside.

Yes, that would be the change I just encountered. We took the boys skiing recently. I was on my first run of the day, hurrying down ahead of hubby and Edmund, because I needed to exchange my boots.

The boots got exchanged all right . . . for a splint and a sprained knee.

Continue reading “Change: When Change Finds You”