Choices: What Will We Choose series, Fear, Mothering, Trusting God

Choices (series): When We Want Freedom

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ve spent the last few months reading through the book of Jeremiah. The thing that struck me was how many times God gave His people the choice of whether or not to forsake their idols and worship Him. As I read, I realized how many times we have choices to make. In our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and especially with God. These next few weeks I will be sharing a 5-part series on choices (Read other posts here). I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what helps you make wise choices.

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Sometimes we have to choose to risk and change if we want something different for our lives.

As I watch my boy-men move toward manhood, I’m a witness to their struggle. They yearn to stay in the safety being a child offers. There’s certainly less responsibility for children than for teens and adults.

But, there are also fewer freedoms. And anyone who’s raised teens knows those years are all about claiming freedom.

Continue reading “Choices (series): When We Want Freedom”

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Fear, Intentional Living, Rejection, Trusting God

Intentional: Accepting What God Offers

autumn-pathway

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ll never forget the day.

I was sitting with a friend at a Quizno’s. She always had a way of speaking truth, even hard truth, with gentleness. And she had the gift of prophecy.

“You have a gaping wound in your heart, Jeanne.”

Nine eye-opening words.

With those words, God opened my spiritual eyes to see the wound and its cause.

Rejection.

Continue reading “Intentional: Accepting What God Offers”

Faith, Fear, Forgiveness

Stuff: What We Hold In Our Hearts

early-morning-reflection

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This is part two of a three-part series about creating white space in our homes and our lives. You can find the first post here.

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Last week, I shared a bit about how I repurposed my “junk/project” room into a creativity space.

Purging stuff from our homes can become addictive. At least for me. As I worked through the things in my “creativity nook,” joy infiltrated my spirit. There is something about opening up space that opens up breathing room in my spirit.  Continue reading “Stuff: What We Hold In Our Hearts”

Fear, God's Love, Life, Trusting God

Storm: Walking Through Life’s Storms

Windmill and stormy sky

It’s so good to be blogging again! I missed connecting with you all these past couple months. Our family had some crazy weeks, with family things needing my attention in May. We spent the better half of June on the Takenaka 2016 Road Trip. Which was great fun, filled with wonderful memories, many glimpses of rural America, time with friends and family, and time together in the car. And a whole lot of crazy in the mix. Thanks for your patience while I was on my break. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with everyone again. 

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My heart always thrills at the thought of a road trip. My husband. Our boys. All in one car, seeing our country’s amazing beauty. Me taking pictures out the window like a crazy woman And I love it. Well, most of it.

Continue reading “Storm: Walking Through Life’s Storms”

Faith, Fear, Trusting God

Promise: When We Fear

pine needle path

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Last week I shared about promises delayed. I’m reading in Exodus, and I’ve never noticed before how much we can learn from the Israelites’ journey from captivity to the Promised Land.

Receiving the promises God’s given us often comes step by step on a journey. His promises fulfilled is more about the process than the result. Sure, the result—the promise in our hands—is often pretty amazing. But the process that got us to that point? That’s where the real joy, growth, and deepening occurs.

Continue reading “Promise: When We Fear”

Fear, Time, Trusting God

Waiting: 4 Tips to Help in Waiting Times

Psalm 130 Wait copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Right now, I’m waiting. For an answer. And it feels like this waiting has been going on for nigh-unto-forever. Really, it’s only been a little over two months, but the days feel long. The thoughts keep questioning. “When will I hear an answer? Will it be the one I hope for?”

Waiting. Is. Hard.

Period.

Continue reading “Waiting: 4 Tips to Help in Waiting Times”

Dreams, Fear, God

Dream: When God Is In the Process

Morning sunshine in trees

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Whenever we make up our minds to do something bigger than ourselves, we’re going to face opposition.

It may look like normal life gone crazy . . .

Physical challenges . . .

Loved ones becoming ill . . .

Unexpected obstacles that crop up . . .

Discouragement . . .

Continue reading “Dream: When God Is In the Process”

Fear, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Trusting God

Fear: What Comes Next

Zion narrow trail

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—FEAR. 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!

***Confession: I thought I set my timer, but apparently, I forgot to push START. So, this post went a wee bit over five minutes.

FEAR

A number of years ago, hubby and I visited Zion National Park to celebrate our anniversary. We hiked and savored God’s beauty surrounding us. We walked on a narrow trail up, up, up, where the only thing to hold onto was a chain embedded into a rock wall. The trail was, maybe, three feet across. Did that strike fear into my closet-adventurer’s heart? Not really.

What left me trembling was what came after that. We hiked along a hidden path that led between trees blossoming in spring. The faint buzzing over our heads didn’t bother me at first . . .

. . . until I saw the trees were in bloom,

. . . and bees doing what they do best—pollinating. Hundreds of them. Around us, mostly above us.

I got hungry and pulled out an apple. Yeah, I’m not sure what I was thinking.

As I ate, and the sweet juices flowed, then the bees became interested in me.

That’s when I trembled from the inside out.

Both of my sisters are anaphylactically ( think I just made up a word) allergic to bee stings. What are the chances that I am?

Zion hiking between rocks

The fear of the possibility of being stung overcame any desire to be an adventurer. All desire to explore God’s nature. I’d had enough.

Isn’t life like that sometimes? We are walking our path, and a bee of uncertainty buzzes around us. We may not notice its presence at first, but something triggers an awareness.

Something awakens that fear within us.

Most often, it’s the unknown that kindles fear to flame within my thoughts and heart.

When I focus on what could happen, rather than Who is surrounding me, fear has its way, leaving me a shivering, shaking mess.

When those bees come around that try to cause us to fear, we need to focus on the Lord. We may end up having to face those things we fear the most. The best thing is, we don’t ever face them alone.

Zion beauty copy

God’s sovereign, and He walks with us. He knows what we need to be craft us into the image of Jesus.

He never forces us to walk alone through those fearful times. When we lean into Him trusting Him, then we can know peace. Peace helps us walk with confidence rather than with shivering fear from the “What if?” question.

I don’t always succeed in trusting Him with the unknowns, but I’m learning to, step by step, and with lots of practice.

What about you? What is one fear you’ve struggled with? What helps you to overcome fearful situations?

Be sure to visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Fear

Dependence, Enough, Fear, Pride, Relationship

Weakness: Act Strong or Ask For Help?

Destin late afternoon

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“Why is weakness something we fear so strongly?”

I was reading Kara Tippetts’ blog, Mundane Faithfulness last week, and she shared about those days you just work to get through. At the end of her post, she asked some questions, but this one stopped me hard.

Continue reading “Weakness: Act Strong or Ask For Help?”

Fear, God, Life, Trials

Worries: Perspective on Fear

Snowflake on red

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Snowflakes leave me in awe. So small, yet so incredibly beautiful. Crafted so that each one has intrinsic similarities and yet are absolutely unique. As winter snows visit our little corner of the country, I find myself gazing out windows as snow falls quiet. Steady.

I’m reading The Hardest Peace, by Kara Tippetts. This book shares her story—of her life, her cancer journey—and the beautiful, deep lessons she’s learning. I come away from each chapter moved, wanting to grow deeper in love with Jesus.

Continue reading “Worries: Perspective on Fear”