Mothering, Prayer, Words

Words: Making Words Count

Meme: Word Count super imposed over a dictionary page

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

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Stories of the heart are built by adding word count. I belong to an online group for writing 1000 words in one hour. Not everyone does this, and not everyone who’s part of the group is adding word count to their manuscripts. But it’s a great community where we hold each other accountable to work on our projects. For any book to come to a place of completion, words must be added in the creating of said book.

As important as it is to build word count in a book, it’s even more essential that we make our real-life words count. 

Continue reading “Words: Making Words Count”
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Mothering, Perspective, Trusting God

Perspective: 5 Thoughts for Navigating the Unexpected

Perspective: Pitcher in motion pitching a baseball

@JeanneTakenaka

I was having “a day” with one of the boys. The other one was at baseball tryouts at his school. 

You never know when something unexpected will alter your perspective. 

The call interrupted me as I spoke with a pharmacist. I didn’t recognize the number, so I ignored it. After my conversation with the pharmacist ended, I listened to the message the other caller had left. 

And my stomach tightened. 

“Mom, I got hit in the face with a baseball…teeth came down. Possible broken jaw.”

Continue reading “Perspective: 5 Thoughts for Navigating the Unexpected”
God's Love, Mothering

Legacy: What Makes a Legacy?

A man holding his two sons' hands walking on the beach with the sun silhouetting them

@JeanneTakenaka

A couple of weeks ago, Mary Geisen shared some thoughts about legacy in relation to a post about creating I wrote. Her words have begun to ruminate in me. This offering is my initial attempt to really consider what it means to leave a legacy.

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Have you ever thought about different aspects of legacy?

My father, whom I am beyond blessed to call Dad, was left a legacy of brokenness. His father was an alcoholic who abandoned his family when my father was three. His mother worked hard and traveled for nursing jobs to keep my father and his sister fed and clothed. But she loved him well and instilled in him a character that nurtured a loyal, hardworking man, even into his eighties. I wonder, though, if there are still scars that never completely healed because of his father’s choices.

Continue reading “Legacy: What Makes a Legacy?”
Adventure, Mothering

Teens: Learning to Let Go

By JeanneTakenaka

They were a cluster of testosterone, those teenage boys. As a mom, it was intriguing to watch my son take steps toward manhood as we spent a week on a school tour of Athens and Rome. 

He didn’t want me around. Groaned when he happened to be assigned a seat next to me on a plane ride. 

He didn’t want Mom. 

He wanted his friends. 

He craved independence.

As the mother of two teen boys, my biggest challenge is learning how to let go and let them fly . . . And flounder.

Continue reading “Teens: Learning to Let Go”
Fear, Mothering, Trusting God, When Fear Tests Our Faith series

Fear (series): When We Have an Agenda

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Have you ever read a passage in the bible—one you’ve read many times before—and God just speaks to you? 

I don’t know how many times I’ve read about Saul’s and David’s lives. But this time? The Lord has shown me many things I never considered before. I noticed how differently Saul and David responded to fearful situations in our lives.

Maybe the stories of these two men spoke so deeply to my heart because I, too, have dealt with fear. I discovered some valuable, timeless lessons to take away from their examples.

This is the fourth and final post in this series. If you’ve missed past posts, you can find them here. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to better understanding fear and how deal with it when it tests our faith.

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A few years back, one of the boys and I went through a difficult season. The hard-heartedness, back-talk, stubbornness, unwillingness to yield . . . had me on my knees in prayer and praying throughout each day.

The “rebellious force” was strong with this one. He had his agenda, and it didn’t match mine. One morning, I was driving somewhere talking with the Lord about this child. Fear had dug in, sprinkling in doubt and worry about the upcoming teen years. I couldn’t even handle him at nine.

Continue reading “Fear (series): When We Have an Agenda”
Adoption, Faith, Mothering

Mothering: When We Want to Be Angry

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A few years ago, one of the boys was having a hard time with his homework. We sat together, him working it through, me explaining as I could. It just so happened on this day that the other boy needed extra help with his math. Dinner needed cooking. And Hubs was out of the country.

I can manage all these things simultaneously . . . as long as everyone works with my plan. 

On this particular day, the first boy went to his room for a break before he dug into more homework. I waited the ten minutes I gave him. And then fifteen.

Continue reading “Mothering: When We Want to Be Angry”
Focus, Mothering, Trusting God

Focus: When Living Well Is Hard

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

This is a post I first shared here a number of years ago. Somehow, the truths still hold, so I thought I would share it again.

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Can I confess that I don’t like hard? I don’t want to suffer in doing what I’m expected to complete in a day.

I don’t want to run into an obstacle that knocks me down in the pursuit of living well.

I don’t know where  the idea came from that living this life would be—should be—easy.

I don’t know why I have this desire to sail through my days with no pain, no difficulties, no trials.

Maybe it’s my humanity peeking through?

Continue reading “Focus: When Living Well Is Hard”

Control, Mothering, Trusting God

Trust: Managing or Living Each Day

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I’ve said it a lot over the past few months . . . this summer was a hard one for our family. Between poor choices made, Hubs traveling, and life happening, I’m weary.

When Hubs travels, I find myself slipping into manage-mode. Getting the boys where they need to be when they need to be there. Tamping down my own emotions to help them deal with theirs . . . and to keep the home environment at least somewhat calm. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful my hubs has a good job that he enjoys. But, my mindset shifts when he’s gone.

Continue reading “Trust: Managing or Living Each Day”

Mothering, Relationship, Trusting God

Mothering: What’s Most Important

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Mothering teens requires so much emotional, physical, mental, spiritual energy. Some days I’m wrung out. It’s in those days when I must remember the most important things.

We’re walking through an issue with one of our boys. It’s been hard. 

Draining. 

Hit-my-head-against-the-wall frustrating, at times. 

And yet, I love this boy with all my heart.

This is a challenging time in history to be raising up young men and women to follow God. Watching our kids leap into pitfalls can be absolutely heart-breaking. 

Continue reading “Mothering: What’s Most Important”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering

Thirteen: Aspects of Thirteen

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—THIRTEEN. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. 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!

THIRTEEN

I had told myself I wasn’t going to write tonight. It’s been . . . a week. Hard. Stretching. Wearying. Wrecking in some ways. 

But I see this word and the first thing that came to mind was my youngest. My thirteen year old. Who can count the days on two hands until he is no longer thirteen. 

He brings laughter and joy. He’s learning how to express his heart and his mind in such amazing, honest ways. He blesses me with his smile and humor.

He drives me crazy with his constant comebacks. He is the one teaching me I don’t always have to have the final word. 

Though there are times I want that final word.

It’s amazing to think that thirteen Augusts ago, God saw fit to add this boy to our family. He’s special and tender and amazing and tough and resilient and gentle with animals and hard-hitting in football.

He’s a lover and loyal and funny and helpful.

He’s thirteen.

I always worried that thirteen year old boys would drive me to the edge of crazy. 

Okay, there may be days when he’s done that. 

But there have been more days when he’s left my heart smiling with something he said or did.

I love watching him discover his passions and his interests and his strengths. 

I love thirteen. I love being a mom to teenage boys. 

I know fourteen will hold its own special challenges, but for these few days left of thirteen, I’m going to enjoy it. Laugh with him. Engage with him.

Thirteen sounds scary when your kids are little. But now that we’re almost through the thirteenth year? I’m going to miss it. Just a little. 

And I’m going to thank God for all the things He’s taught my boy and me during this thirteenth year.

What about you? What blessings have/did you find when your children walked through the teen years? What has God taught you through your own teen years, or your children’s?

Click to tweet: There have been more days when he’s left my heart smiling

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Thirteen