Christmas: The Greater Gift

christmas-cross-1

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I think this is one of my favorite images of Christmas. We celebrate the amazing gift of Jesus in the manger. But the even greater gift came as Jesus offered Himself in our place on the cross. What kind of love is this?

It’s the kind of love that leaves me humbled and feeling small. And yet, knowing I’m loved with that kind of passion fills me with a deep-down joy. As Christmas draws nearer, I am taking a break to spend time with my family.

Know that you, my readers, are a great gift to me as well. I thank God for you. May your Christmas be one that holds much joy, leaves you with treasured memories, and confirms that truth that you are greatly loved by our heavenly Father.

I’ll see you back here on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 (can you believe it?!).

Merry Christmas!

Hope: When Our Days Are Dark

darkness-and-moon

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Many people around me are walking through dark days right now. One friend’s marriage is dying at the grip of infidelity. Betrayal has broken her spirit and her heart. She’s left reeling, trying to figure out what her next step needs to be.

A friend’s son has turned away from all the values he was raised with. He’s walking in his own will, oblivious to the coming consequences for his choices. His mama’s heart is broken.

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Approval: The Facade + Giveaway

Broken windmill

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ve mentioned before how people-pleasing tendencies have burrowed like weeds in my life. Though most of the time, I keep them tamed, that desire for approval still pops its head into the surface of my heart more often than I’d like to admit.

The rejection I dealt with in elementary school became a huge motivator for gaining peoples’ approval. Through my teen years—and into my twenties—I sought to become whatever I needed to in order to be accepted, to be approved of.

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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.

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Humility: Choosing to Live Real

Wearing masks

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I suspect I’m not the only one who’s done it.

Who’s donned a mask for one reason or another.

Sometimes I’ve done it to impress others.

More often though, I’ve placed that mask over the real me because it felt safer to have people look at the image they thought was me than the picture of the actual me. Living as the real me was too dangerous.

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Chosen: Believing God Loves Us

Beach stones at sunset

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

You are chosen.

Have you ever felt like the left-overs? Like people hang out with you because, well, there’s no one better to hang with so, you’ll do in a pinch?

As I shared last week, I dealt with rejection . . . heck, I am still learning to live beyond the lies rejection told me for the last number of decades.

Those lies we hear and accept as children sometimes take a lifetime to erase.

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Easter: How Deep the Father’s Love

Light behind clouds 2

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

As I listened to a song during worship last Sunday, I was struck by the intimacy of the words . . . of the act of Jesus going to the cross, and His Father’s plan to save all humans from a fate worse than death.

I was struck anew at the depth of God’s deep love for us. That He crafted a plan at the beginning of human ages to offer an amazing gift to all people throughout time.

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Broken: When Broken Is Beautiful

Broken leaves

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I had just walked in the door after dropping kids off at school. I was so ready for a quiet morning, time spent with Jesus, and getting a couple things done before heading into the busy-ness of the day.

I’m a candle-girl. I love the peace a flickering flame and a pretty scent add to my home. I grabbed a jar candle by the lid from the pantry, and stared in horror as the thing dropped to the floor, shattering the top portion of the jar of my brand. new. candle.

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