Five Minute Friday scribblings, God, Perspective

Journey: When We’re Weary

Red dirt path

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—JOURNEY. 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!

JOURNEY

I’ve said it before. This year has turned out so differently than I anticipated.

It’s held many complications to “my” plans, my hopes. So many distractions.

Hubs traveling. Boys bickering. Injuries thrown in. Disappointments along the way.

Right now, my journey—my path— feels overrun with vines.

And I am . . . weary.

I shouldn’t be irritated by the small things, I know I shouldn’t. But when I am weary, irritation is one of the first indicators. My poor family.

God never promises us an easy journey. Whether we’re on the marriage journey, the parenting journey, the infertility journey, the dream-seeking journey, or the illness journey.

Zion narrow trail

He never promises us a smooth and rock-free path.

He never declares it will be a hill-less hike.

Instead, it’s a journey where we sometimes get tripped up. The path turns in unexpected directions. Sometimes we trip on the rocks in the path. At times, the path is so narrow we barely fit on it without plummeting from the drop off a few inches away.

There are seasons where the path is even. Times when things go fairly smoothly.

And there are times when the path I’m walking feels steep, defeating, and discouraging.

One thing I’ve learned is that, no matter where I’m at in my journey, I need to trust my Father. He knows each step coming up for me.

Quiet Path

 

When my eyes are fixed on Him, though I may trip, the recovery won’t be as difficult, because God is there. Though I may stumble or get caught up in the vines of unmet expectations (with people or circumstances), God’s grace will catch me. He will untangle me. He will set me aright again.

He will always be with me. With us on every step of our journey.

What about you? When your journey has been hard or discouraging, how did you work through it? What’s your favorite verse for those times when the journey feels overwhelming?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Journey

Click to Tweet: He knows each step coming up for me. 

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Five Minute Friday scribblings, Focus, God

Forget: God Always Remembers

Foggy road

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FORGET

A few times in my life, I suspected that God may have forgotten me. When I searched for two years for a teaching job, I was so ready to begin really l living my life!

When I attended ten weddings in one year, and was in two of them. When would my prince charming come and help me begin really living my life?

When so many friends had babies in a short span of time . . .

When hubby and I attended a new church on Mother’s Day and three times carnations were offered, and then rescinded when I admitted I was not a mother—physically—though I was in my heart. I was so ready to begin really living my life.

How many times did I secretly accuse God of forgetting me?

It wasn’t until I really and truly understood how amazing His love is for me—and each of His children—that I began to see that He hadn’t ever forgotten me.

Is 49-15

When my eyes focused on unmet desires, I forgot Him, for the sake of what I was certain would fulfill my heart and make me happy.

I was stuck in those times of forgetfulness.

But—our God—His love for us is perfect, complete and passionate. He never forgets us. Mothers never forget their children. They may go a little crazy sometimes, and even mamas who have not been able to raise their own children, they never forget.

And our God? His love is even stronger, his memory never fades. He knows us from the inside out, and He still loves us.

He knows our needs before we do. And He has His ways of fulfilling those needs. We don’t always understand, but we can be assured He never forgets us. It’s one of His promises.

Morning sunrise glory

May we grow in not forgetting His faithfulness to us, especially in those hardest of times. May we always remember Him and His love for us.

What about you? When have you forgotten something? How has God shown you He remembers and loves you?

Today, I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Forget

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Focus

Focus: Peace in Hard Seasons

Winter leaves on snow

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FOCUS

There’s something so precious about a baby gazing into it’s mama’s eyes. The complete trust, adoration, and love that jumps from tiny eyes to grown-wise eyes that melts my heart.

When I think about Isaiah 26:3, this is what comes to mind. That baby may live in a tumultuous situation, but if it has its mama (and its papa), nothing else really matters. Babies trust their parents to take care of them, to protect them, to provide for them, to love them.

I believe this is how God wants us to look at him.

Life has been challenging these past couple weeks. Disappointments, injuries, and a fair amount of chaos have torn my eyes away from the Lord.

And, unfortunately, I somehow slipped from that place of trusting the Lord to walk with me, to thinking I need to “handle life” on my own. I have struggled with keeping my heart focused on Jesus.

But, when I can look into His eyes—when my mind remembers Who He is—I can rest in Him.

Is 26-3 storm background copy

How do we truly get to know God’s perfect peace?

First by keeping our minds stayed on Jesus. Keeping our thoughts focused on the truth of who He is.

Second, when we trust Him. With everything. The disappointments, the struggles, the hard that joins us on our path.

It’s when we remember who God is in the midst of life’s hard that we can know God’s perfect peace. It’s when we trust Him with all of who we are, when we choose to believe He is who He says He is . . . this is when we can know his peace.

Sun's rays

I want to be like that baby, looking into Jesus’ eyes and not worrying about my present circumstances. I want to see Him through eyes of adoration, complete trust, and deepening love.

And this happens when I’m focused on Him rather than my circumstances.

This song is really speaking to my spirit right now. I hope it doe to yours as well.

What about you? What are you walking through right now that’s causing a lack of peace in your heart? How do you focus your eyes on Jesus when circumstances press in close to you?

 

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—FOCUS

Hope, Life, Perspective

Life’s Hard: 4 Tips For Surviving Hard Times

Red dirt path

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

We just returned from a couple weeks in Hawaii visiting Hubby’s family. While there, some of us spent time on Kauai. One day we hiked the Kalalau Trail, an eleven mile trek that leads hikers to some breath-taking views along the Napali coast. Two miles into the trail, there’s a stopping point at a secluded beach. Our goal on this particular day was to find the beach.

Continue reading “Life’s Hard: 4 Tips For Surviving Hard Times”

Expectations, Gratitude, Life, Perspective, Plan, Plans: My Plans and Jesus' Plans

Plans: My Plans and Jesus’ Plans

Lighted Star

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

**Confession: I wrote this piece about a year ago, but I still find myself thinking about the truths I learned. So, I’m sharing it with you. 🙂

So, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself today. As I push forward hard to get things done before my favorite writing conference of the year—American Christian Fiction Writers conference—nothing is going as I planned.

Continue reading “Plans: My Plans and Jesus’ Plans”

Focus, Life, Perspective, Perspective: Focusing Beyond Frustration

Perspective: Focusing Beyond Frustration

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We spent Christmas in a locale on many people’s “hope to visit someday” list. Hubby’s family lives in . . .

Hawaii.

The land of beautiful sunsets, crashing waves, gentle breezes, and . . . frustration.

Continue reading “Perspective: Focusing Beyond Frustration”

Affirmation, Affirmation Looking for Five Stars, Focus

Affirmation: Looking For Five Stars

digitalart FDP
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I recently visited a friend’s blog. She had wonderful news to share, and I eagerly celebrated with her. I happened to notice at the bottom of her post that people had given that post a five-star rating.

Hmmm. Had anyone given me a five-star rating? Or a four-star rating? Here’s where it gets sad (in that I did this to begin with). I checked my recent blog posts, and sighed. There were no stars at all. Then, I stopped.

Continue reading “Affirmation: Looking For Five Stars”

Baseball, Distractions

Baseball Distractions

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Image courtesy of kakiski at morguefile.com

Last summer, Hubby’s company took the employees out to the ball game. Minor leagues, but still an adventure. We cheered for the home team with the crowds, and we ate hotdogs and chips. But, no peanuts or Cracker Jacks. It was a first for our boys. Watching them brought as many smiles to my face as the game. They are a study in contrasts. They caught every pre-game detail, studying the score board, watching the players warm up, and showering us with questions.

And then, Sox the Fox jumped into the scene.

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Image courtesy of taylorschlades at morguefile.com

While Edmund engrossed himself in the game, every second or two, Peter’s question was, “Where’s Sox the Fox?” Forget watching all the great catches and the occasional double play. Peter’s eyes scanned the bleachers searching for the team mascot. Sox‘ newest fan gave me my own play-by-play of the antics the fox performed. From time to time, Sox disappeared from sight. Peter would scan the stands, worry creasing his forehead. When he spied Sox, he pointed with a grin. The actual baseball game was as captivating for him as math homework.

When Sox came within fifty feet of our seating area, Peter, bouncing in his seat, asked if he could go say hello to Sox. Of course we said yes. I watched him almost run to the mascot, and then slow as he neared his newest hero. He hugged Sox and scampered back to us.

As I thought about how Peter’s focus riveted to the fun distraction rather than the main event, I was challenged. How often do lesser attention-grabbers distract me from “the main thing?” How often to do I get worked up about some immediate worry and forget about the long term goal? More often than I care to admit.

Whether it’s a frustrating distraction like a flat tire, a fun distraction like shopping a great sale, or a painful distraction like harsh words aimed at me, my eyes become fastened on life’s distractions. I seek to keep my attention on growing in God’s grace, but some days, I strike out.

I’m working to recognize those times when I’m distracted more quickly and get my focus back on the game. It’s an inning by inning process for this lady.

Your Turn: When you’ve been distracted by life, how do you get your focus back where it should be? Do you enjoy baseball or prefer watching a different sport?