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”

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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

Mothering, Trusting God

Parenting: God’s Role and Our Role

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

When we brought our first boy home, I had no doubt we could be the perfect parents for him. God had given him to us, hadn’t He? Of course we could parent him. And train him up in the ways of the Lord. And get him to follow Jesus whole-heartedly. All before he left the house some eighteen years later.

I knew God figured into the equation, but in my naive, new-mom mind, I hadn’t thought through just how much I would need Him in parenting a boy, then two, who are . . . human. 

And adopted. 

And unique individuals.

Continue reading “Parenting: God’s Role and Our Role”

Discouragement, Hope, Mothering, Trusting God

Hope: When We’re in the Battle

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I was going through a hard season with one of our boys. Fights, angry words, hatred in the eyes because of every word I spoke. I was the loser-mom in his eyes. 

His hard heart about broke mine. 

The back talk, the disrespect, the hate-laced words gouged holes my spirit until it felt as pocked as the moon.

This wasn’t a day’s worth of struggle. This was weeks. The constant ripping apart within me left me depleted and weary. 

Continue reading “Hope: When We’re in the Battle”

Calling, Mothering

Calling: When Opposition Hits

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

May was my month to write the rough draft of my book. I prayed about it. I made a schedule I thought I could meet. I know how to write a story. Mostly. 

What I didn’t expect was the car to be in the shop twice . . . in one week. 

Extra appointments for the boys. 

Late nights talking with one or the other of them.
Mind you, I’m not complaining. I love talking with my guys.

My days ticked by with much reduced or no word count toward my story. 

Continue reading “Calling: When Opposition Hits”

Intentional Living, Mothering

Time: When the Years Fly By

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Only three more slots.

I admit it. I’ve been terrible about keeping baby books for the boys. Or even those cute little books that highlight their elementary years. Yeah, I think they’re more empty than full.

But, this weekend, I determined to catch up their kindergarten through twelfth grade photo frames. And it hit me so hard I had to swallow back tears.

I only have three more slots to fill with pictures of my oldest. When he noticed it, he got a little sad.

How is it the years have flown so quickly?

Continue reading “Time: When the Years Fly By”

Choices: What Will We Choose series, Fear, Mothering, Trusting God

Choices (series): When We Want Freedom

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ve spent the last few months reading through the book of Jeremiah. The thing that struck me was how many times God gave His people the choice of whether or not to forsake their idols and worship Him. As I read, I realized how many times we have choices to make. In our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and especially with God. These next few weeks I will be sharing a 5-part series on choices (Read other posts here). I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what helps you make wise choices.

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Sometimes we have to choose to risk and change if we want something different for our lives.

As I watch my boy-men move toward manhood, I’m a witness to their struggle. They yearn to stay in the safety being a child offers. There’s certainly less responsibility for children than for teens and adults.

But, there are also fewer freedoms. And anyone who’s raised teens knows those years are all about claiming freedom.

Continue reading “Choices (series): When We Want Freedom”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering, Relationship

Discover: When They Talk

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—DISCOVER. 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!

DISCOVER

His eyes had held the look all night. That expression saying something was on his mind, but he wasn’t sure if he should talk about it. Maybe all teens wear that expression. I know mine do.

Whenever I’m invited into the inner sanctum (a.k.a. his room), I try to say yes. That night, he asked me to walk to his room with him before he went to bed. What followed was an amazing conversation of questions, reassurances, honest sharing. I closed his door over an hour later, my heart full.

I’ve prayed for years that during these most trying years we would still connect with our sons. 

But friends.

Friends are so important to both of our boys.

Hanging out.

Being accepted by their peers. All of these things often seem to take priority in our boys’ hearts.

That night, though, I discovered something. My boys? They still want me in their inner circle.

I think this is true with most—if not all—teens, even when they seem to push us away.

No, we don’t talk as much as we used to. But the beauty is, when I take time to just listen as they express their fears, their thoughts, their joys, their secret desires? 

That’s a gift.

 

Nothing can replace knowing that they will share their confidences with me.

I know I’m just their mom. But, . . . I’m their mom.

Our boys don’t want to push us into the backseat on their life-car-ride. Well, not always anyway. They want us riding in the front seat with them. They don’t always want to hear our words, but they want our companionship. To be told we love them.

No matter what.

They want to know that we will always accept them. Be in their corner. 

And we will.

The discovering comes when we are intentional and take time to listen. Not always to give them advice (and man, is this on hard sometimes!)

Often, they just want to know they are being heard.

I’m discovering the beauty God’s planted in each of them as I listen to their words.

So, the next time one of our boys invites me into his room? I’ll say yes. In a heartbeat. There’s nothing so precious as being a part of their inner circle.

What about you? What encourages you to invite someone into your inner circle? How do you foster relationship with those around you that goes below skin-deep?

Click to Tweet: We can learn the most interesting things 

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Discover