Focus, Perspective, Relationship

Focus: Where are We Living?

Focus-living a bee focused on pollinated a snowball flower

@JeanneTakenaka

Does a song ever speak to you? We’ve been singing, “You Reign Above It All” for the past few weeks at church. This song speaks so vibrantly of how big, how powerful our Father is. It brought to mind an event where God began showing me the truth in this song.

Years ago, I walked into my women’s ministry office one Sunday morning after service. My heart pounded in indignation when I saw one of our volunteers sitting at my desk and rifling through some files for an outreach she and I were coordinating. 

What was she doing in my office? 

Without even asking?

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Perspective, Suffering, Uncategorized

Perspective: When We Walk Through Suffering

Small flowers with rain droplets on them

@JeanneTakenaka

“We recommend further testing.”

A number of years ago, these words accompanied the news that I had an ovarian cyst that looked “suspicious.” As I grappled with the waiting for the doctor’s appointments to be scheduled, for the tests to be run and translated, my thoughts were never far from “the C word.”

Cancer? Me? But I was a mother of very young children. I couldn’t have cancer. I feared walking through the suffering of the disease. The not-knowing, the waiting clawed at me, shortened my breaths, made my heart pound hard.

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Marriage, Relationship, Valentine's Day

Love: Eleven Practices for Growing Love

Man and woman from the back, holding hands

@JeanneTakenaka

Twenty-five years.

Twenty-five years ago this month I met my husband. I hated Valentine’s Day. Not the day itself, but how it made me feel.

Isolated.

Alone.

Not wanted.

I’d accepted the fact that I wanted only God’s best when it came to a potential husband, but this day . . . when romantic love is most celebrated . . . was painful.

I suspect most people who are single-wanting-to-be-married have felt the same way at some point.

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Life, Mothering, One Word

Present: When We Want to Run Away

@JeanneTakenaka

Can I just tell you that last week was one of the most difficult I’ve walked out in a long time?

A close friend had a health crisis that only God could avert, and He did. I had the privilege of walking out some of that with her, her family, and our other friends. 

There were issues with the boys. And with their school. And with the boys. Yes, I meant to say that twice.

As I put out fires and sent messages to people who needed to know some of what was going on, I struggled against the urge to escape. 

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