Hope, Love, Relationship

Choice: When Love Is Hard

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The boy’s attitude ballooned up bigger than our doorway as we rushed out for school this morning.

Teenage troubles, loss of a cell phone, Homecoming drama and hard decisions? They all coalesced to create a simmering heat beneath his normally unfettered surface.

I couldn’t wait for the boy to exit the car in the carpool line. Loving him was not the first thing on my mind.

I had my own bubbling mess of irritation threatening to destroy the quiet I envisioned for this day.

Continue reading “Choice: When Love Is Hard”

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Love, Marriage, Mothering

Marriage: The Importance of Staying Connected

older-couple

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My husband’s job has required a number of longer business trips over the past few years. Navigating our separations has been its own journey for our family. He must witness some of the struggles from afar. I walk out the emotional turmoil and busy schedules on the home front.

Maintaining our home, driving the boys to and from school, appointments, football practice, band rehearsals, Boy Scouts . . . All of these fill our days and weeks.

Continue reading “Marriage: The Importance of Staying Connected”

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”

Faith, Life, Living with Intention, Love

Pain: A Heart Like Jesus

safe vs obedient quote copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

When I first read a headline about the Syrian refugee crisis, it was a blip on the radar of my attention.

Then, I read more.

I discovered the shocking reality of the numbers of people impacted by ISIS’ actions in the middle East. Millions fleeing their homes just so they can stay alive, so they can keep their children alive. They take dangerous risks in the hopes of living another day. And my heart broke.

Continue reading “Pain: A Heart Like Jesus”

Confidence, God, Infertility, Life Lessons, Love

Life Lesson: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Footprint and wave

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’m beginning a five week Tuesday series. I’ve asked some friends to join me in sharing their answers to this question: What life lesson have you learned that has changed you the most? Please stayed tuned as Shelli Littleton, Michelle Lim, Tiffany Parry, and Jill Kemerer also share what life lesson changed them the most. And please join in the conversation each week!

I thought I’d begin by sharing my answer.

~~~~~

“What’s love got to do with it?” Everything, it turns out. Sorry if I just put Tina Turner into your heads.

Continue reading “Life Lesson: What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

Forgiveness, God, Love, Mothering, Relationship

Love: Undeserved Love

Low Storm Clouds

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

His storm rolled in on the heels of a decision I made that he didn’t like. These storms he goes through always lead to dark places for this boy. First, he got mouthy. After ignoring a warning to take a step away from the situation, he went in for the attack, his words aiming to wound.

Continue reading “Love: Undeserved Love”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Love, Mothering

Dare: Loving Through Hurts

Heart and knot necklace

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

DARE

“How dare you?!” roared around in my mind as my son spewed disrespectful words at me. Again.

He’s a boy. I’m the mom. But I can never quite swallow those hurtful darts without them slicing me on the way down.

He’s learning—and so am I—how to deal with the surge of emotions that roil over him and spill onto me. The hurt is there. Sometimes it dares me to retaliate, to not forgive when asked.

Sometimes the greater dare comes in loving after being hurt. Yes, he’s a child. He’s my strong-willed, amazing, loving-big, arms-wide-open boy. Except for when he’s not.

I dare not stop loving this child of mine. As if I could.

Hurt sometimes tempts us to withhold love. Acceptance.

Hurts caused by others challenge us to move beyond them. Or hurts encourage us to give up.

There are situations where hurts must be stopped, and that comes with distancing ourselves from the one doing the hurting.

In my case, my dare is to love through it. To love well. And to train godly.

Big vine, little vine

It’s hard. But I’m the example of love for this boy of mine. I’m the example of Jesus with skin on, of what daring to love—even when one is unlovely—looks like.

I’m not big into taking dares from people . . . but a dare from God? Dare I not accept the challenge to reflect Him to my boys, to the circle of influence I’m placed within?

Is it easy? No! but, it’s necessary. Love well.

Dare to be like Jesus in all of who He is. Including loving when it hurts.

What about you? Have you ever been dared to do something? Did you do it? How do you love those who are hard to love?

Kate Motaung—Dare

Love, Love: When Loving Is Hard, Mothering, Rejection

Love: When Loving Is Hard

Storm moving in

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This mama job is hard some days.

The boys got to bed late last night….for a lot of reasons. One woke up tired. One woke up mean. It’s the mean that is hard for my heart to look beyond.

As he spewed his negative and his mean on the morning, I found myself reacting, distancing myself from the venom.

Continue reading “Love: When Loving Is Hard”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Five Minute Friday: Tell, Living with Intention, Love

Tell: What Do My Actions Tell?

Mom Son hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Tell. 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 new 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!

Tell:

Much fills my mind this week as I ponder our Five Minute Friday word: Tell. Thinking of the sudden death of Robin Williams, and all the conversations surrounding his passing.

What do I TELL others? I tell my kids the things they need to get done (wash the dishes, please, sort the laundry, homework before play…..)

I tell my husband about my day

I tell my friends my struggles.

I use my words to convey normal, every day messages.

But what about those words that I treasure in my heart? Those thoughts I have about others, about Jesus? Those truths that both break my heart (Iraq) and mend it (God’s love heals the wounds).

Wild flowers burgundy amid white

How do I tell my love to those who people my life? What do my actions tell my family?

I’m convicted when I think about how I allow the tyranny of the urgent to overpower my ability to show my love to my family.

To tell them my love without ever using a word. I need to guard my time, lest it be taken up with the urgent rather than the important.

I need to tell my family I love them through my words, yes. But also through my undivided attention. Through my willingness to set aside a task and listen—just listen—and be a seat for a boy who climbs onto my lap.

I tell others my love when I show my care for them.

Yes, there is a place for words—to tell friends what they mean to me. To put into words the admiration, the gratitude in my heart, the joy which they add to my days.

Words mean so much more when followed up with actions.

What do my actions tell others?

What about you? How do you tell others of your care for them? What actions speak love to you?

Kate Motaung Five Minute Friday: Tell

Marriage, Marriage: 5 Tips For Keeping a Marriage Strong, Relationship, Uncategorized

Marriage: 5 Tips For Keeping a Marriage Strong

Image

By Jeanne Takenaka

Hubby and I recently celebrated our eighteenth anniversary. Life before I met my man is hazy memories. Times with him occupy most of the happy cells in my thoughts, in my heart.

Things haven’t always been easy. We traversed the ups and downs of the second decade of a military career. Travel, occasional stress with co-workers and accomplishing the mission at hand sometimes demanded his focus.

Continue reading “Marriage: 5 Tips For Keeping a Marriage Strong”