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”
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Stress, Time, Trusting God

Stress: 3 Thoughts for Dealing With Interruptions

A meme with a waterfall and the word Flow at the top of the image

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both challenging 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 wanted to share some of those posts with you all. 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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Being in the flow of life . . . It seems like time flows, second-by-second, moment-by-moment, year-by-year, like a river shaping and directing our lives. It doesn’t stop for interruptions, or joy-filled moments. It flows around each event in our lives, like a river flowing over and around rocks. Sometimes, rapids are created when a lot of water is forced into a small area. 

Isn’t that how stress sometimes feels? We only have so many moments to complete the things on our daily to-do lists, on our hearts. Interruptions force us to re-direct our time. 

Continue reading “Stress: 3 Thoughts for Dealing With Interruptions”
Faith, Trusting God

Mantra: What Guides You?

Meme that says "Mantra" on a backdrop of a pond

@JeanneTakenaka

Last month, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both challenging 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 wanted to share some of those posts with you all, and I’d love your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*******

I know. This word kind of sounds hoo-doo, voo-doo. When I first saw this word as part of the writing challenge, I cringed. The images that came to mind were of monks on their knees, incense puffing through the air as they chanted the same thing over and over again.

But, as I considered this word—mantra—I realized I have a mantra that guides my choices in real life and writing life. 

Continue reading “Mantra: What Guides You?”
Living with Intention, Trusting God, Worry

Start: When We Face a Different Path

A meme with the word, Start in it

@JeanneTakenaka

Last month, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both challenging 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 wanted to share some of those posts with you all, and I’d love your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*******

A bridge on a tropical path, the other side of which leads to a darker part of the path

How often does this happen in real life? We think we’re walking on one path and something changes our course. We find ourselves on a rock-strewn trail that forces us to slow down and to approach each step with care. 

Or, sometimes, we must stop to navigate around a boulder, or figure out how to climb over it. We may want to walk one path, but God’s started us on a different route. 

What do we do with that?

We always have a choice . . . We can chafe with the change in direction. 

We can try to forge our own trail through the weeds.

Continue reading “Start: When We Face a Different Path”
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?”
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”
Faith, Impact

Creating: Making a Lasting Impact

@JeanneTakenaka

I had no idea what to expect when I boarded a plane to Athens with Edmund in March. What transpired has left me thinking about how big this world is. 

How amazing people are. 

How often I sell people short in my thoughts. 

How creating the visions in a mind can impact the world.

After visiting ancient sites—the Acropolis, the Olympic stadium where Greek Olympians trained and competed, the meticulous artwork of St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, smaller churches, the Pantheon, and Flavius’ amphitheater (a,k.a. The Colosseum), I’m humbled.

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Faith, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Opportunity: When Opportunity Feels Inconvenient

@JeanneTakenaka

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

OPPORTUNITY

Have you ever heard about a hard situation and wanted to do something, but you didn’t know what to do?

Can I be honest and say that, sometimes, I am grateful all I’m called to do is pray? It’s easier to pray while I’m driving my boys somewhere, as I’m living daily life. It’s simpler to think on what others are doing in a hard situation.

Sometimes, I crave an opportunity to do something new or to venture into unknown pathways. 

Other times, opportunity feels ill-timed. I have so much that occupies my days right now. My boys’ schedules. Hubs’s travel. My own desire to finish my book. 

Opportunity’s knocking is sometimes inconvenient. 

What if God sends opportunities our way so that we can be stretched? So that we have to look to Him for His direction?

Often, opportunity takes us beyond ourselves and places us in a position where we have to choose to trust if we are to find our way forward. 

And sometimes, that opportunity has nothing to do with us, but everything to do on the behalf of another

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve read about multi-published author, Rachel Held Evans. She’s a wife, a mama to young children, and she’s fighting for her very life. Her situation is dire. My heart has broken for her husband and her children, through they may be too young to really understand what’s going on with their mama.

My opportunity tonight is to step out of my own comfort zone and share with you about her. Will you please pray for her and her family? Will you please lift them up? 

I’m not good at issuing calls to action, but tonight, I’m taking an opportunity to step out, to invite you into this chance to minister. I’d love if you could pray for the Evans family. And, if God so leads you to follow through with more, there is a link at the bottom of this post where you can give financially to help the family with their staggering medical bills. 

***I just learned that Rachel went home to be with the Lord early this morning. Please continue to pray for her family.

What about you? What opportunities have scared you? When has God challenged you to step out of your comfort zone to follow Him on a new journey?

If you’re interested in learning more about Rachel Held Evans, how to pray for her family, or in helping out financially, here are some links that can help.

Her husband posts updates on her blog: Rachel Held Evans

And her friends have set up a GoFundMe – the costs are going to be devastating for them. Click here, if you feel prompted to donate: GoFundMe

Click to Tweet: What if God sends opportunities our way so that we can be stretched?

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday

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”