Adoption, Family Relationships, Love

Family: Lessons Learned as a Family

Yellowstone boys hiking 2

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Last week’s Five Minute Friday word still has me thinking about family. It’s such a unique circle of relationships. And it’s lived out differently in each home.

As children, what we see in a family setting often defines what “family” should look like. Both of our boys love us, and are completely bonded with us.

Continue reading “Family: Lessons Learned as a Family”

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Five Minute Friday scribblings, Rejection

Real: The Journey to Real

Interrupted Reflection

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—REAL. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. 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!

REAL

I grew up in a world where people made fun of me. Mocked me. Spit upon me.

I learned pretty early on that being real got a girl ostracized. At school anyway. My family loved me, and that brought comfort.

Growing up, I determined to do whatever it took to fit in, to be accepted. Even if that meant not being the entire “real” me. It was safer for my heart to be accepted than it was to step out in brave-ness and be who I really was. And part of my heart— the essence of me—was lost.

Choppy Waters

It wasn’t until my thirties that I realized I was trying to live life around a gaping wound in my heart. It hurt to look back on choices made because of my fear of rejection.

Was it safe to be who I really am? Would people condemn me for being . . . me?

God took me through a journey I don’t have time to go into now. It’s been painful. He’s shown me I don’t have to look like I have it all together. People may not always accept me. And that’s okay.

Because my Abba does. He created me. He knows the real me. He knows the wounds of my past and has the salve for my present.

God’s showing me that the real me is enough. Because of Him.

And I’m learning that as I am real with other people? They are drawn to Jesus in me. And they accept me as . . . me.

It’s only Jesus in me that can bring beauty from the wounds. Healing from the hurts. And reveal truth to transform the lies.

Blue Mesa Reflections

He is the One who is real. And He’s teaching me how to be a real reflection of Him—reflecting His love to those around me.

Being real is scary. But this step-by-step journey of trusting God to create in me all that He intended for me to be? The messiest, most difficult, most freeing journey I’ve ever walked.

What about you? Do you struggle with being real with those around you? How do you live real in your life?

Vist Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Real

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Identity, Rejection, Uncategorized

Belong: Belonging to God

Holding Hands 2

By Jeanne Takenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Belong. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out Lisa-Jo Baker‘s site. 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!

Rejection was my first identity marker when I was a girl. Attending a small elementary school where the kids had known each other since long before I was added to the roster was difficult. As I grew older, I made friends—good friends—but the lie had been planted. I was never truly going to belong anywhere, in any group of people. I’ve struggled with wondering if/when I would do something that would cause others to stop letting me belong in the friendship, in the group. God has had to speak his truth into that aspect of my life.

Some days I still struggle with a sense of belonging. Yet God in his goodness has gifted me with an amazing husband who loves me through my pretty days and my ugly days. He’s added to our lives two amazing boys to whom I belong. Our family is the perfect place for me to belong. Here, I have learned what that acceptance feels like.

Boys n me 7-4

The interesting thing is: I’ve belonged to God’s family since I was fourteen. Yet, I walked through years of doubting it. That lie of rejection runs deep, it’s roots entwined throughout my heart. A little at a time, God has pulled those roots out, and replaced them with the truth that I belong to Him.

He loves me passionately, perfectly, completely. I will always belong to him. I never have to worry about if He will stop accepting or loving me. I am His. And He is mine. Oh Joy!

Each one of us belong to Him. There is nothing we can do that will cause Him to stop loving us. He’s just faithful that way.

What about you? Do you have a place in life where  you belong? How well do you receive it? Do you believe it’s God’s gift for you?

Crystal Stine is the guest hostess for Five Minute Friday this week.