Adoption, Faith, Mothering

Mothering: When We Want to Be Angry

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A few years ago, one of the boys was having a hard time with his homework. We sat together, him working it through, me explaining as I could. It just so happened on this day that the other boy needed extra help with his math. Dinner needed cooking. And Hubs was out of the country.

I can manage all these things simultaneously . . . as long as everyone works with my plan. 

On this particular day, the first boy went to his room for a break before he dug into more homework. I waited the ten minutes I gave him. And then fifteen.

Continue reading “Mothering: When We Want to Be Angry”
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Faith, Trials, Trusting God

Question: Do You Want . . .

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Has God ever asked you a question so clearly that you squirmed with the discomfort of it?

A number of years back, I was sitting in church. That morning my rejection issues rose up and called me condemned.

Peoples’ words and compliments filtered through that rejection lens and came through as warped and untrue. I doubted any good thing said, and pain burrowed into my heart.

All of a sudden this question shouted in my mind:

Continue reading “Question: Do You Want . . .”
Faith, Hope

Hope: A Violent Hope

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

“Hallelujah it is finished . . . 

We thank You for the cross.”

“A violent hope shook the ground . . .”

I was standing with our church family, singing this song some weeks back. We’ve worshiped the Lord many times through this song. But on this particular morning, these phrases caught me. Turned my brain around a bit.

I never thought about hope being violent. The word “hope” has always struck me as a gentle thing, like a quiet, steady rain falling, or a pastel sunrise.

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Faith, Hope, Loss, Perspective

Gone: Death . . . and Life

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A person never expects to hear about the death of a friend’s child. Especially when that child only spent twenty-one years this side of heaven.

Just over a week ago, I learned that a friend’s daughter died unexpectedly. Gone. How does one even grapple with that?

Even as my One Word for the year is Live (as in to live well), my friend and her husband were forced to deal with death.

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Busy-ness, Christmas, Faith

Christmas: Making Jesus Known

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

“I must decrease that He may increase.” 

~John 3:30

Isn’t this the whole idea of Christmas? Making Jesus known?

The angels worshiped and declared the Savior had been born.

The shepherds worshiped and declared Jesus’s birth. They set aside their work, their busy-ness, their identity, and even their fears of condescension from those higher on the status rankings. They left their livelihood to worship their Messia

Over the past month, I’ve been busy and distracted—in mind and in heart. The boys’ activities, doctor’s appointments, life’s interruptions . . . they’ve all kept my eyes pointed toward . . . 

Me.

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Expectations, Faith

Expectations: When All Is Not Well

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

“Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You.”

This line comes from one of my most-favorite-est songs, “It is Well,” (click the link to listen) by Kristene DeMarco. But, this line challenges me. Do I really live it?

When we miscarried our only pregnancy, my heart shattered. The dream of being a mom to that baby . . .

. . . of carrying our child to term, feeling the kicks, 

. . . of one day meeting him or her . . . 

. . . of becoming a mom . . . 

It was gone. With the ceasing of a heartbeat.

My expectations of God—of Him bringing this dream to life—were also shattered.

Continue reading “Expectations: When All Is Not Well”

Faith, Perspective

Perspective: When We Face the Unknown

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I read in the book of Numbers, chapters thirteen and fourteen, recently. You know, the story of how Moses sent in twelve men to spy out the land God promised them? He told them to bring back a report and fruit so they could see what they were going into.

I am always a little bit astounded at how these men gave their reports. Caleb shared of the good of the land. He accurately spoke about the size of the people and the cities, but he was ready to go in and kick butt.

Ten other men in the spy party agreed that yes, the fruit was good. But . . . 

Continue reading “Perspective: When We Face the Unknown”

Faith, Fear, Trials

Storms: When We Are Afraid

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Have I mentioned I’m not a fan of tornadoes? They scare me. They always have. From the time I rode in a car as a girl following a huge storm to hearing alerts recently? Yep. They strike that cord of fear in my heart. 

Clouds had filled and then darkened the sky for the past few hours one recent day. I had taken one of the boys to a doctor’s appointment. While there, my phone signaled that we were under a severe thunderstorm warning.

I live in Colorado. 

This is not uncommon.

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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”

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!