Faith, Fear, Forgiveness

Stuff: What We Hold In Our Hearts

early-morning-reflection

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This is part two of a three-part series about creating white space in our homes and our lives. You can find the first post here.

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Last week, I shared a bit about how I repurposed my “junk/project” room into a creativity space.

Purging stuff from our homes can become addictive. At least for me. As I worked through the things in my “creativity nook,” joy infiltrated my spirit. There is something about opening up space that opens up breathing room in my spirit.  Continue reading “Stuff: What We Hold In Our Hearts”

Faith, God, Living with Intention

Lent: An Out-Loud Faith

S Shock Shadow cross

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I remember closing my eyes as a girl, and feeling the ashes scrape across my forehead. As I attended mass with classmates during my school day, we’d all be christened with a black cross of ashes on our foreheads. It made me stand out, at least in my own mind. That dark smudge set me apart, along with my parochial school classmates.

Continue reading “Lent: An Out-Loud Faith”

Family Relationships, Gratitude, Mothering

Gratitude: Training Our Children to Have Grateful Hearts

Presence not presents quote copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This all started with a picture . . .

Though we’ve tried hard to prevent that sense of entitlement in our boys, they’ve have fallen prey to the “I deserve this” mentality. We have never bought them stuff just because they wanted it, never impulsively purchased a candy bar in the check out aisle.

We’ve worked hard to help our boys see nothing truly belongs to us. All that we have (and we have a lot) has been given to us by our good God.

Continue reading “Gratitude: Training Our Children to Have Grateful Hearts”

Gratitude, Joy, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: Finding Joy

A Voskamp Thanksgiving and joy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Today, I had planned to share some tips for dealing with busyness for this holiday season.

I think it’s more important we take time and consider Thanksgiving. Both the holiday and the attitude. So, that  post will be up next week.

I love this quote by Ann Voskamp. Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart, and it’s a choice. When we choose thankfulness, joy is the result in our hearts. We see the good things God has placed in our lives. When we take the time and make the effort to say, “Thank you,”  we not only show Him appreciation, we build up a storehouse of joy within us.

It’s not always easy to choose thanksgiving in our circumstances. Some people have lost loved ones this year. Others are dealing with terminal illness. Divorce. Prodigal children. Heartbreak. Job loss. And perhaps the thought of “putting on a happy face” absolutely drains you.

Maybe, taking a few minutes to write down things you can be thankful for will help ease the sense of being overwhelmed. It won’t change your circumstances. But, choosing to give thanks will lift your heart, and begin letting joy back into those dark places.

D Bonhoeffer gratitude makes life rich1

As we Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the beginnings of our country, may we also choose thankfulness in the midst of our circumstances.

What about you? What’s one thing you are thankful for right now? How can I pray for you over the next week?

I’ve linked up with Holly Barrett‘s and (for today) Angela Parlin’s sites this week. Check out some other wonderful blogs!

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”

God, Intentional Living, Life

Obey: Deep Waters

Casting the net

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“Cast your net into the deep water.” ~Brooke McGlothlin    

How many times have you tried to accomplish something, like Peter fishing all night, and come to the end of your striving with nothing to show for your efforts?

Except perhaps frustration, a sense of failure and discouragement?

Continue reading “Obey: Deep Waters”

Living with Intention, Mothering, Relationship, Uncategorized

Savor: Savoring Each Day

Spices 1

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

How do I walk out my days? Do I savor them? Or do I rush each moment, perhaps sprinkling a wee bit of salt on them, but coming to bedtime bland?

I have fallen into the trap that prompts me to believe busy-ness equals value. Busy-ness equals productivity. Busy-ness equals worth.

Continue reading “Savor: Savoring Each Day”

Forgiveness, God, Grace, Grace: Grace Lived Out, Uncategorized

Grace: Living Out Grace

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By Jeanne Takenaka

I’ve been thinking about grace and what it means to live with grace. When people say, “I gave grace in that situation.” Or, “You are a gracious person.” What does it really mean, this word—grace?

Continue reading “Grace: Living Out Grace”

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

Marriage: 5 Tips For Keeping a Marriage Strong

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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”

Affirmation, Gratitude, Mothering, Relationship, Thank You: Two Meaningful Words, Uncategorized

Thank You: Two Meaningful Words

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I read a story over the weekend and watched the accompanying video. And it got me thinking. About gratitude.

About thankfulness.

November is a natural time to focus on Thanksgiving. But how much “thanking” do I do during the rest of the year?

As Hubby and I attempt to instill in our boys the beauty of gratitude, I find myself wondering how much I practice this discipline in daily living.

Continue reading “Thank You: Two Meaningful Words”