Faith, Fear, Forgiveness

Stuff: What We Hold In Our Hearts


+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.


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. 


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.


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.


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”

Fear, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Life

Welcome: Trusting Jesus With My Fears


Welcome mat

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


Defined as: “to accept with pleasure the occurrence or presence of”

What do you envision when you read or hear the word, “Welcome?”

Coffee scenting the air, a table in sunlight, the promise of fellowship and sharing speaks “Welcome” to me.

Often, that’s what I offer when someone comes to my home. Except maybe there are a few piles on the kitchen counter. And crumbs on the table.

The Lord has welcomed me, and each of us, into a relationship with Him. With sharing, with fellowship. With transparency. With the potential for intimacy.

What do we do after we’ve been welcomed in somewhere? Accept the hospitality? Nibble a muffin? Sip coffee?


I’ve been thinking about this today. I’m reading a life-changing book, The Hardest Peace, by Kara Tippetts. Who happens to be dying.

The chapter I just finished got me thinking about the things I worry about. My worries—fears—revolve around my hubby and my boys. Not going into specifics here. 😉

Welcome mugs

The thing I realized is I don’t always welcome Jesus into these worries. I think I can handle them. Or . . . honestly . . . I’m afraid of what He might do with them. Like allow them to become reality.

So ridiculous. Jesus is Good. He’s trustworthy. He’s faithful. And He loves me like crazy.

So, I am thinking about my heart attitude when it comes to these inner fears. He invites me to release them to Him. To trust Him with my family. My heart. My very life.

And the thing is? He is trustworthy. He is faithful. He is good.

But I’ll only be able to know these aspects of His character if I welcome Him into my fears, my worries. I’ll know Him best when I do.

If any of these fears do become reality, I can deal with them then. In the meantime, He’s welcoming me to release them into His care and to simply trust.

What about you? What areas of your life are hard to welcome Jesus into? What do you picture with the word, “Welcome?”

Vist Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday offering.

Fear, Fear: Four Steps To Overcome Fear, God, Life

Fear: Four Steps To Overcome Fear

3 Cheerleaders

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Last week, I shared about being tethered and walking on a ropes course at a ladies’ retreat. So many life lessons came from that afternoon.

On the ropes course, each woman was on equal ground. Sure, some came in having suffered the loss of marriages, or children, or the death of a loved one. We all came in with the lies we struggle to erase. We—each of us—had at least a small degree of fear.

Continue reading “Fear: Four Steps To Overcome Fear”