Perspective, Trusting God, Writing

Direction: 3 Things to Remember When God Changes Our Plans

Meme with rocks that are slanting downward and the word, "Slant"

@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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Have you ever thought you knew where your path was leading, only to have it slant in another direction? 

If I had to guess, most of us have experienced occasions in our lives where we thought we knew the plan, only to have it change in some way.

I thought I’d procure a teaching position straight out of college, only to work in other jobs for two years before God led me to the job He’d intended for me. 

I thought Hubs and I would begin having children before I turned thirty . . . and our first child came along when I was nearly thirty-six. 

Continue reading “Direction: 3 Things to Remember When God Changes Our Plans”
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Perseverance, Perspective, Writing

Idea: When We Need to Be Brave

A photo from the back of a woman gazing toward the ocean with the word "Idea"

@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 your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

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One of the biggest reasons I was never brave enough to write a book was because I had no idea what to write about. From the time the initial desire, when I was a teen, to weave a story on the page until my early forties, I struggled with the idea of writing a book. 

As a teen, I wrote poetry. I journaled a ton, and most of those words came through the filter of experiences or events I was trying to understand or/and remember. But writing an actual book? I wasn’t brave enough to even pray about that . . .

Continue reading “Idea: When We Need to Be Brave”
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”
Faith, Perspective, Trusting God

Doubt: When We Have to See

@JeanneTakenaka

Confession time: I’ve always looked down on the disciple Thomas. 

The doubter.

The unbeliever.

But after reading through John 20 recently, my regard for him has changed.

When the other disciples saw Jesus, talked with Him, ate with Him . . . Thomas was missing in action.

Then, when the other disciples declared they’d seen Jesus—alive—he poo-poohed them, declaring he’d only believe if he could put his fingers in Jesus’ nail wounds, in the slice in His side.

Continue reading “Doubt: When We Have to See”
Control, Fear, Perspective, When Fear Tests Our Faith series

Fear (Series): When We’re Not In Control

JeanneTakenaka 

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.

Over the next few weeks, I’m sharing some insights God has given me. If you’ve missed past posts, you can find them here. I hope you’ll share your thoughts, struggles, and victories here so we can all encourage each other, and maybe even pray for each other.

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Please tell me I’m not the only one who begins to tremble when life spirals out of control. I suspect we’ve all walked through those seasons. Last fall and winter left me reeling as thing upon thing piled on my shoulders. Time demands. Emotion demands. Soul-sapping demands.

Everything felt out of control. 

I couldn’t breathe deep. There were many unknowns . . . things going on with our boys and with my mom after her fall. 

Continue reading “Fear (Series): When We’re Not In Control”
Impact, Loss, Perspective

Impact: Second Chances

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

There’s something introspective about participating in a memorial service. Especially when it is for someone who was so young.

Over the weekend, Hubs and I attended the memorial service for our friends’ daughter. We both teared up. We both laughed. And God spoke to my heart.

For only having lived twenty-one years, this young woman impacted many lives. 

The pastor brought out some beautiful truths about living . . . and dying.

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Faith, Hope, Loss, Perspective

Gone: Death . . . and Life

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A person never expects to hear about the death of a friend’s child. Especially when that child only spent twenty-one years this side of heaven.

Just over a week ago, I learned that a friend’s daughter died unexpectedly. Gone. How does one even grapple with that?

Even as my One Word for the year is Live (as in to live well), my friend and her husband were forced to deal with death.

Continue reading “Gone: Death . . . and Life”
Choosing Gratitude series, Gratitude, Guest Posts, Perspective

Choosing Gratitude (series): The Beauty in Aging

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

When I come to November in a year, something happens in my spirit. I’m ready to cozy down into warm sweaters and soft blankets. I love scented candles burning and soups simmering on the stovetop. It’s a time to slow  down and reflect over the year. When my spirit is in a good place, my heart finds much to be grateful for. One thing that fills me with gratitude is the gift of friends—real life and blogging friends.

For the next few weeks, I have invited five friends I respect deeply to share stories and thoughts on gratitude in their lives. I hope you will join with me for all five weeks and share your responses to their words. If you miss a week, you can click Choosing Gratitude series to catch up with the other posts in this series. Will you settle in with me, with a mug of something warm in your hands and think on those things and happenings in the year for which you are grateful?

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Marie Gregg and I met through the Five Minute Friday linkup some years ago, one of our blogs was usually posted right after the other’s. Over the years, I have discovered what a beautiful spirit this lady has. She is a deep thinker, passionate writer, and lover of God’s word, dogs, and young people (among other things). Her blogposts always leave me thinking. One day, I hope I’ll have the privilege of meeting her in person. Until then, I will enjoy her words on her blog. Please help me welcome Marie to this little corner of the blog-o-sphere!

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As I slide into my mid-thirties, I notice more and more advertisements promising to delay the aging process. Lotions and potions for younger-looking skin. Hair dye to cover up those unsightly silver strands. Torturous devices labeled “waist trainers” to smooth out lumps and bumps. Magical, easy solutions for every Madison Avenue conjured problem.

Of course these ads have always existed; they catch my eye now only because I have joined the target demographic. I find it so odd that we are shamed for aging, as if we’ve broken the rules. As if we have control over the onward, relentless passage of time.

Continue reading “Choosing Gratitude (series): The Beauty in Aging”

Faith, Perspective

Perspective: When We Face the Unknown

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I read in the book of Numbers, chapters thirteen and fourteen, recently. You know, the story of how Moses sent in twelve men to spy out the land God promised them? He told them to bring back a report and fruit so they could see what they were going into.

I am always a little bit astounded at how these men gave their reports. Caleb shared of the good of the land. He accurately spoke about the size of the people and the cities, but he was ready to go in and kick butt.

Ten other men in the spy party agreed that yes, the fruit was good. But . . . 

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Perspective, Plan

Perspective: When We Feel Stuck

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

We were about thirty minutes outside Washington D.C. when the pilot addressed the plane. Something about weather blocking our path to Reagan National Airport. Waiting for it to pass. Plenty of fuel.

And then we began the circling, skimming the edge of huge, cumuli-nimbus clouds, puffy and reflecting the softening light of the setting sun.

Continue reading “Perspective: When We Feel Stuck”