Choices, Faith

Choices: Walking Through Hard Times

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Every time I read these words, they speak to my heart. I love the contrast of weeping and joy. 

Let’s face it. We all will walk through times of weeping. Of pain. Of hardship. We have a choice on how we walk through those difficult seasons of life.

When I read this psalm recently, something pinged that I had never seen before. We sow seeds, even in times of weeping. I usually view hard seasons as a time where I’m stuck. Not doing much beyond trying to get through a day without falling to pieces. 

Continue reading “Choices: Walking Through Hard Times”

Advertisements
Faith, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Woman: What Makes a Woman

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—WOMAN. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. 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!

WOMAN

A woman’s shoulders are stronger than they look. 

We bear the burdens of our families, our friends, our jobs. 

Our mouths, they speak. Usually words of life. But sometimes words we later regret. They offer words of life. Of empathy. Of wisdom and truth, as Jesus fills us. They learn when to stay silent. When it’s best not to speak the real thoughts that would hurt a listener. 

Our thoughts, they dwell. On those we love most in this world and on our Father. The Giver of all good things. 

Our hearts, they carry the weight and the secrets our husbands, our children, our families, our friends. We empathize. We cry. We hug. We laugh. We love. We ache. We leak happy tears . . . all because of how our hearts respond.

And we seek. Truth from our Father. The capacity to love as He does. We revere Him because, well, He made us.

Our hands, they serve. They prepare meals. They rub foreheads and scratch backs. They hold tight to steering wheels as we drive precious cargo from one place to another. 

And they clasp in prayer. 

And move with humility, doing the mundane, unseen, necessary things that help those we love.

Our feet, they walk. With children. With friends. On wooded paths. In grocery stores. They learn to walk with grace through life’s joys and disappointments as we learn to walk by Jesus’ side. Not racing in front of or lagging behind Him. 

A woman who walks with Jesus walks, talks, serves, feels as He does. 

When we walk with Him, we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. We learn how to live more like Him and reflect Him to those who people our world. 

God created us to reflect Him. He made us to be so much more than appears on the surface. He fills us and strengthens us to walk in the callings He gives us. 

What about you? What part of who you are best reflects God’s image in you? Who has been an impacting woman in your life?

Click to Tweet: Women are often more than what appears on the surface

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Woman. Come join the fun and read other great posts!

Brokenness, Identity

Accepted: When We Want to Fit In

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I learned to embrace the lies at an early age. I don’t know if it came from being a tender-hearted girl, or if I was just a sucker to want to fit in, oh . . . .from kindergarten on.

From being pushed around in second grade, and bullied throughout elementary school, I was certain there had to be some way I could fit in. I just needed to discover that secret key to unlock popularity. Or at least acceptance.

Continue reading “Accepted: When We Want to Fit In”

Mothering, Relationship, Trusting God

Mothering: What’s Most Important

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Mothering teens requires so much emotional, physical, mental, spiritual energy. Some days I’m wrung out. It’s in those days when I must remember the most important things.

We’re walking through an issue with one of our boys. It’s been hard. 

Draining. 

Hit-my-head-against-the-wall frustrating, at times. 

And yet, I love this boy with all my heart.

This is a challenging time in history to be raising up young men and women to follow God. Watching our kids leap into pitfalls can be absolutely heart-breaking. 

Continue reading “Mothering: What’s Most Important”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering

Thirteen: Aspects of Thirteen

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—THIRTEEN. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. 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!

THIRTEEN

I had told myself I wasn’t going to write tonight. It’s been . . . a week. Hard. Stretching. Wearying. Wrecking in some ways. 

But I see this word and the first thing that came to mind was my youngest. My thirteen year old. Who can count the days on two hands until he is no longer thirteen. 

He brings laughter and joy. He’s learning how to express his heart and his mind in such amazing, honest ways. He blesses me with his smile and humor.

He drives me crazy with his constant comebacks. He is the one teaching me I don’t always have to have the final word. 

Though there are times I want that final word.

It’s amazing to think that thirteen Augusts ago, God saw fit to add this boy to our family. He’s special and tender and amazing and tough and resilient and gentle with animals and hard-hitting in football.

He’s a lover and loyal and funny and helpful.

He’s thirteen.

I always worried that thirteen year old boys would drive me to the edge of crazy. 

Okay, there may be days when he’s done that. 

But there have been more days when he’s left my heart smiling with something he said or did.

I love watching him discover his passions and his interests and his strengths. 

I love thirteen. I love being a mom to teenage boys. 

I know fourteen will hold its own special challenges, but for these few days left of thirteen, I’m going to enjoy it. Laugh with him. Engage with him.

Thirteen sounds scary when your kids are little. But now that we’re almost through the thirteenth year? I’m going to miss it. Just a little. 

And I’m going to thank God for all the things He’s taught my boy and me during this thirteenth year.

What about you? What blessings have/did you find when your children walked through the teen years? What has God taught you through your own teen years, or your children’s?

Click to tweet: There have been more days when he’s left my heart smiling

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Thirteen

Mothering, Trusting God

Parenting: God’s Role and Our Role

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

When we brought our first boy home, I had no doubt we could be the perfect parents for him. God had given him to us, hadn’t He? Of course we could parent him. And train him up in the ways of the Lord. And get him to follow Jesus whole-heartedly. All before he left the house some eighteen years later.

I knew God figured into the equation, but in my naive, new-mom mind, I hadn’t thought through just how much I would need Him in parenting a boy, then two, who are . . . human. 

And adopted. 

And unique individuals.

Continue reading “Parenting: God’s Role and Our Role”

Discouragement, Hope, Mothering, Trusting God

Hope: When We’re in the Battle

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I was going through a hard season with one of our boys. Fights, angry words, hatred in the eyes because of every word I spoke. I was the loser-mom in his eyes. 

His hard heart about broke mine. 

The back talk, the disrespect, the hate-laced words gouged holes my spirit until it felt as pocked as the moon.

This wasn’t a day’s worth of struggle. This was weeks. The constant ripping apart within me left me depleted and weary. 

Continue reading “Hope: When We’re in the Battle”

Guest Posts, Kelly Balarie

Thoughts: The Blessing of Being Battle Ready

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Years ago, the Lord challenged me to guard my thoughts, to think on what is true, and to learn what that looks like in the lives of believers. I love that Kelly Balarie has just come out with a book, Battle Ready, that covers this in depth and with transparency. She shares practical tips on how to keep our thoughts aligned with God’s word so we are Battle Ready when life’s trials come.

Kelly is guest-posting on my site today. In the comments, I’d love to hear how you keep your mind Battle Ready!

~~~~~

TITLE: The Blessing of Being Battle Ready

By: Kelly Balarie

I was in the waiting room for the MRI. All that was going through my mind was thoughts of, This is horrible. I am never going to survive. I am not going to be able to walk. There is no way out of this. I will be scared to death in that loud machine. I hate needles and they’ll put one in me.

All I could see there was me. It was me and my problems. Me and my trauma. Me and all the horrible pain that was ahead of me.

Continue reading “Thoughts: The Blessing of Being Battle Ready”

Freedom: Remember What We Celebrate, Love

Independence: What It Costs

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day in the United States, I find myself humbled by the sacrifice of those who have fought and died defending our flag. 

I am also humbled by those who have fought and maybe returned with horrible injuries—physical and psychological—while defending what the red, white, and blue represents. 

Liberty

Freedom.

Continue reading “Independence: What It Costs”

Perspective, Plan

Perspective: When We Feel Stuck

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

We were about thirty minutes outside Washington D.C. when the pilot addressed the plane. Something about weather blocking our path to Reagan National Airport. Waiting for it to pass. Plenty of fuel.

And then we began the circling, skimming the edge of huge, cumuli-nimbus clouds, puffy and reflecting the softening light of the setting sun.

Continue reading “Perspective: When We Feel Stuck”