Family Relationships, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Relationship

Eat: A Time to Connect

Prayerful hands

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—EAT. 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!

EAT

Last night, I listened to a psychologist speak on youth issues. Focusing on suicide. I know, sounds depressing, right?

One of the things he shared that surprised me most was how important it is for youths to stay connected to their families, and how one of the best ways to encourage this is by eating supper as a family.

It’s something hubs and I have been intentional about with our boys. The older they grow, the more challenging it is to eat supper all four of us. One boy has football a few nights a week. There are drum lessons, Boy Scouts, youth group.

So many activities—many of them good—that are a draw away from our family time.

Can I be honest? I love eating with my family. The fellowship, the laughter, the thoughts our boy-men are sharing make me smile.

Big.

family-table

 

We share things we’re thankful for about each day (yes, sometimes I have to pull a few molars to get the three gifts in their days), but it’s worth it. What often happens is, in the course of thinking about the gifts and the happenings of the day, memories surface.

Good times with friends. Struggles in the classes they’re taking. Who won the football game at recess.

Connecting.

Jesus focused on eating with His disciples as He trained them. They fellowshipped, learned lessons through His words. They grew in their relationships with Jesus and with each other.

Eating a meal is a natural place to slow down, to connect with those we care about most. 

Thanksgiving Breakfast table

 

Yes, it can be done quickly, in the middle of completing other tasks. But food digests best when it’s accompanied by sitting and enjoying others. And we find the greatest refreshing when we share a meal with others.

Funny how God created eating to be good for our bodies and for our spirits.

What about you? How do you connect with others in your life? What are favorite memories of eating with your families when you were growing up?

Click to Tweet: Eating a meal is a natural place to slow down, to connect

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

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Family Relationships, Mothering

Interruptions: Hidden Opportunities

Big foot little foot

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’m seeing a pattern with one of our sons. He summons my attention, usually with just a grunt or some cute little sound. Without fail, it’s when I’m in the middle of a thought, or having a quiet time, or I’m trying to write something down before I forget it.

I’ll be having my quiet time, and from my doorway I hear, “Mama!” Or a grunt. Honestly? Too often, my first response is a heavy sigh. I turn, because it’s expected, and make eye contact with the boy.

Continue reading “Interruptions: Hidden Opportunities”

Family Relationships, Gratitude, Mothering

Gratitude: Training Our Children to Have Grateful Hearts

Presence not presents quote copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This all started with a picture . . .

Though we’ve tried hard to prevent that sense of entitlement in our boys, they’ve have fallen prey to the “I deserve this” mentality. We have never bought them stuff just because they wanted it, never impulsively purchased a candy bar in the check out aisle.

We’ve worked hard to help our boys see nothing truly belongs to us. All that we have (and we have a lot) has been given to us by our good God.

Continue reading “Gratitude: Training Our Children to Have Grateful Hearts”

Calling, Confidence, Family Relationships

Confidence: No Place For Comparison

Quiet morning

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Some days, I find it so easy to forget who I am . . . who God created me to be.

I was reading in Psalm 18:49-50 when it hit me. David knew, and was comfortable with, who God designed him to be.

No doubt, he endured derision from his older brothers when he was the one sent to the fields with the sheep. He heard the cutting remarks from those who were certain they knew better than he. And, he put all of himself into working with those sheep.

Continue reading “Confidence: No Place For Comparison”

Adoption, Family Relationships, Love

Family: Lessons Learned as a Family

Yellowstone boys hiking 2

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Last week’s Five Minute Friday word still has me thinking about family. It’s such a unique circle of relationships. And it’s lived out differently in each home.

As children, what we see in a family setting often defines what “family” should look like. Both of our boys love us, and are completely bonded with us.

Continue reading “Family: Lessons Learned as a Family”

Family Relationships, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Grace

Family: The Importance of Grace

 

Family life dance copy 2

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FAMILY

Why do we let those we love the most see the ugliest versions of us?

Why is it we feel like we have the right to vent on those closest to us?

I’d never talk to my friends the way I talk to my boys. I never even talk to a telemarketer the way I talk with my boys sometimes.

And for that, I am ashamed.

I don’t speak disrespectfully to my friends, but I feel its okay, at least sometimes, to subject my husband, my boys, to that?

Especially with the males in my home, I must guard my words, and guide my tones of voice. They hear and understand love through RESPECT.

I need to be able to be real with my family. Let the guards down and share my fears, my hurts, my insecurities with them. But, I also need to love them well.

Boys n me 7-4

I can only do both well when I ‘m walking closely with Jesus. It’s when I allow Him to conform me to His image that I can love well, that I can speak truth with grace and still be real.

When I focus on being real without the love of Jesus guiding me? I will also be hurtful, at least sometimes.

When I seek to love my family without the freedom to speak truth, and share the real me? I squelch a part of myself, and that leads to me being unkind, disrespectful, and sometimes downright rude.

Loving well isn’t something I can do in my own strength, but it’s what I want to do with this amazing family God’s put around me.

One hubby who loves and leads us well. Who provides so much for us.

Two boys who I love to pieces and who love me with all of themselves. How can I love them less by withholding some of myself from them?

Mountain walk 2 copy

This family-life is a dance of grace and truth. It’s hard to walk in both constantly, but it’s what I want to do, because my guys are worth it.

And who knows, maybe my boys will see glimpses of Jesus in the loving and learn to love Him and others well as they grow older too. That’s my greatest hope.

What about you? What’s your favorite aspect of family? What’s your grace walk in your family life?

Be sure to visit Kate Motaung’s site for Five Minute Friday—Family

Being Still, Busy-ness, Family Relationships, God, Intentional Living

Ambition: The Quiet Life

Quiet purple blossoms

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I had a B-U-S-Y spring. My hubby had to travel overseas on business for six-and-a-half weeks. Forty-five days to be exact. In that time, he missed two birthdays, all the end of school activities, including a sixth-grade celebration ceremony for Peter before he heads to junior high next year.

Continue reading “Ambition: The Quiet Life”

Adoption, Family Relationships, Staying Connected, Thanksgiving, Traditions

Traditions: Strengthening Connections

Prayerful hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The kid had been asking for weeks.

“We’re having breakfast pizza for Thanksgiving breakfast, right Mom?”

“Yes, honey. We are.” I assured him and made the mental list of the ingredients to pick up at the store.

Continue reading “Traditions: Strengthening Connections”

Family Relationships, FMF Bloom: When Relationships Bloom, Mothering, Uncategorized

Bloom: When Relationships Bloom

Flowers Bloom quote

By Jeanne Takenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Bloom. 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 Lisa-Jo Baker‘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!

Daisies in bloom

I just returned from our family vacation. My sister and her family, my parents, my other sister and us.

We spent days “almost camping,” because this girl doesn’t do tent camping.

One afternoon, we walked around Crested Butte, in the mountains of Colorado. Wild flowers bloom everywhere (which must be why they hold an annual Wild Flower Festival). We talked, ate ice-cream and other sweets and laughed. Together.

Three boys running, one girl gazing at and pining for stuffed animals.

And relationships bloomed.

Sharing happened that has never happened within our family before.

Hearts opened. And seeds were planted and bloomed.

Poppies

As I watched my brother-in-law with his children, arms wrapped around each other, I smiled. He’s (and my sister) watering seeds planted within them. Teaching them how to be a man and a woman.

My honey and I learned from our family this week. We want our relationships with our children to bloom, not just with a flower here or there, but with vine arms wrapped around necks and waists and hearts.

Blooming happens with sun and water. With words of honesty and affirmation. And in the case of children, with intentional training.

Maroon columbines

The wildflowers in Crested Butte were colorful and amazing.

But what I’ll remember most is children laughing and hearts connecting as the sun shone down on us. As we watered each other with hugs, a little begging, with smiles and sharing memories.

BIL with kidsFamily relationships bloom when watered with love.

That’s what I want for my kids, for my family.

What about you? What helps you bloom? How do you water the relationships in your life?

Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday: Bloom