Faith, Forgiveness, Grace

Stuff: Renewing Our Hearts and Minds

Rocky doorway

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This is the final installment of a three-part series about creating white space in our homes and our lives. You can find the other posts here.

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Purging a closet, much less a room, can feel overwhelming. When we do the work, a room is opened up . . . and so is something inside of us.

But what things do we need to purge from our internal closets? Last week, I shared a few thoughts on our schedules and fear. What else sits on the shelves of our closets? Here are a couple I’ve worked on purging from my heart.

Continue reading “Stuff: Renewing Our Hearts and Minds”

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Five Minute Friday scribblings, Grace

Surprise: Surprised By Grace

Butterfly on flowers

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

SURPRISE

For years I lived with the false belief that I needed to do things on my own. People would disappoint me. I got that.

What I didn’t understand was that this truth isn’t always . . . true. I’ve been surprised by grace from people so many times, especially in the past few years.

As I have learned how to share parts of myself with safe people, I’ve been surprised by their grace and acceptance. People who have circled around me after a surgery. Or a disappointment.

And even more, I’ve been blessed by God’s showing up in those painful moments of life—whether its a mama-fail or a disappointment with writing-life, or an argument with my hubby and best friend, in which I knew I was wrong.

Grace.

Grace has been the surprise gift given when I least deserved it. When I didn’t know that I needed it. Until I blew it, that is.

God’s been the best at surprising me. As He proves I’m stuck with Him. I’m His girl, His child. And there’s nothing I can do that will cause God to turn away from me. To stop loving me. This is true for all of us.

Nothing I can do

When I was younger, I lived with the mistaken belief that I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t deserve acceptance by others. I didn’t deserve the love that others received.

But God.

He doesn’t operate on man’s belief systems. He loves unconditionally, and He teaches His children to do the same.

When others have reached out to me in love, they’ve taught me what it looks like to offer the surprise of grace to another after they’ve hurt or let me down.

Red tulips

We get to offer the grace surprise when we want to. And when we don’t.

When we offer others the gift of grace, God has a way of blessing us in surprising ways. Of letting us know His pleasure as we emulate Jesus.

What about you? When have you offered grace when it was hard? WHat’s been one big grace God has offered you?

I’m linking up with Kate Moutaung’s Five Minute Friday—Surprise

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

Grace, Life, Perspective, Trusting God

Doubt: Leaning Into God’s Grace

God's grace doesn't require perfection copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’m still pondering our Five Minute Friday word from last week. There are several wonderful posts on doubt, if this is something you struggle with.

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I’ve seen it throughout my life. My tendency to doubt. Looking for that teaching job after college, the perfect husband, babies and motherhood, and writing . . . doubt walked by my side through each of these seasons.

Continue reading “Doubt: Leaning Into God’s Grace”

Change, Eternity, Grace, Marriage

Change: Love God, Love Others

 

Change word signBy +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

***This is not my normal style of blog post. I had planned to post my third blog about perfection and good enough, and I will . . . next week. This week, I’m wrestling with all that’s happened in our country. So, I thought we could wrestle with it together. I’d love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.*** 

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I have a confession to make. I struggle with the thought of being just one person. Just one Christian. For years, this struggle has left me in a place where I figured I can’t change the world, so I’ll focus on living the best Christian life I can. And I’ll ignore . . . not ignore, exactly . . . pray, but keep myself distanced from the world and all that is espouses.

Continue reading “Change: Love God, Love Others”

Grace, Life, Mothering

Perfection: When Good Enough Is . . . Good Enough

Dewy Peonies

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

(This is part two of a three part series. In part one, I explored the idea of When Good Enough Isn’t and compromise). I look forward to hearing your thoughts!)

Years ago, I was driving around town with a dear friend. This special lady is an older woman in my life, and has a boatload of wisdom. As I shared my thoughts with her — my desires for living this life well—she gently said something that’s stayed with me. It went along the lines of, “Perhaps you need to lower your standards for yourself, just a little.”

Continue reading “Perfection: When Good Enough Is . . . Good Enough”

God, Grace, Mothering

Grace: When People Forget

Butterfly on flowers

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Of all the times for the boy to forget to do his asthma-managing breathing treatment  . . .  it was on a day when we were already thirty minutes down the road to an adventure.

On vacation, he’d already neglected to check his inhaler and make sure it still had medicine in it. I had no idea how many days he’d puffed on empty . . . which led to a prolonged asthma flare-up, lots of coughing, and purple-rimmed eyes.

Continue reading “Grace: When People Forget”

Forgiveness, Grace, Mothering, Relationship

Grace: Choosing to Accept Grace

Spilled cereal

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

It was one of those mornings . . .

It seems we’ve had a lot of them lately. I’ve gone from being mad mama, to hurt mama, to  . . . this morning seeing the hurt in one of my boys and my heart aching for him.

He’s in a place I can’t touch. Change has always been difficult for this one. He resists it with temper tantrums and angry outbursts, leveling all hearts in his path when he’s on a rampage. When his sanity returns, we talk through what happened amid lots of cuddles.

Continue reading “Grace: Choosing to Accept Grace”

Contentment, Contentment: What Does It Take to Live With Contentment?, Grace, Relationship, Uncategorized

Contentment: What Does It Take to Live With Contentment?

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By Jeanne Takenaka

When we were deep into our walk in infertility, I struggled with discontentment, I yearned for a child weighting down my arms down. A wee one to nurture. It became my daily—no, hourly—prayer. My cry when my body revealed I was not pregnant. The sorrow and grief of being denied what my heart was designed to yearn for about broke me.

Continue reading “Contentment: What Does It Take to Live With Contentment?”

Forgiveness, God, Grace, Grace: Grace Lived Out, Uncategorized

Grace: Living Out Grace

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By Jeanne Takenaka

I’ve been thinking about grace and what it means to live with grace. When people say, “I gave grace in that situation.” Or, “You are a gracious person.” What does it really mean, this word—grace?

Continue reading “Grace: Living Out Grace”