Five Minute Friday scribblings, Hope

Story: Each Story is Unique

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

STORY

We’re each living a unique story. We have our individual experiences Joys. Sorrow. Obstacles. Overcoming.

No two people live an identical life. No two people have the exact same purpose while walking this earth.

Or, maybe we have the same purposes, but God has created us in such a way that only we can influence the people in our sphere.

God has created each of us to minister to those He’s placed in our lives. I can’t replace you in your world and minister as effectively. Nor can you replace me.

God brings beauty into each story.

Walking through infertility shaped me in a way that I can speak into the pain of waiting and of idolatry from the things He taught me.

You have walked through certain kinds of hard that equipped you to be a unique voice in the lives of others.

Though there may be shame in parts of our story, we should not be ashamed of those times. God redeems our shame. He uses those aspects of our story to speak life and truth into people.

Our stories are crafted by our Father. Shaped by His hand. Yes, most of us have gone our own way at times, But God still redeems.

God hasn’t called us to live our stories in shame. He’s called us to live for Him, allowing Him to continue to rewrite our pasts, to counter our lies with His truth.

He still writes His truth on our hearts and over our lives. God writes His love into the fabric of our lives.

He’s giving us opportunities to share our stories with others so that they too can learn what His love is first hand.

When we share the “pretty” and the “ugly” of our stories with others, they find hope. Because they see that God is the One who heals the broken-hearted,

who sings over them with love,

who rewrites the ugliness of their pasts and transforms their presents into beauty.

What about you? What words has God written over your life? How have you seen His hand redeeming your story? 

Click to Tweet: God writes His truth on our hearts and over our lives

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Story

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Faith, Hope, Infertility, Trusting God

Hope: When Hard Feels Easier Than Hope

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Sometimes it’s easier to see the hard than the hope.

Have you ever been in a season where all you could see was the hard? When those seasons become prolonged, our energy is drained, our spirits deflate, and our bodies become weary. And our thoughts?

Our thoughts have the power to help us frame our experiences. We’ll see them through the lens of hard, or we’ll see them through eyes of hope.

Continue reading “Hope: When Hard Feels Easier Than Hope”

Faith, God's Love, Hope

Love: The Power of Three Words

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“You are loved”

The man stood at the roundabout as we headed into the school, holding a sign with these three words.

One boy’s first comment was, “Oh no. What happened now? They always have those signs out after something bad’s happened.”

Continue reading “Love: The Power of Three Words”

Easter, God's Love, Hope

Hope: What’s Your Version of Hope?

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“A violent hope broke through and shook the ground . . .” (from “For the Cross,” by Bethel Music)

We sang a new-to-me song during our church service this past Sunday.

There was this one line that challenged me to re-think my version of hope.

I never thought about hope being violent.

This word has always struck me as a gentle thing, like a quiet rain falling or a pastel sunrise.

Continue reading “Hope: What’s Your Version of Hope?”

Hope, Trusting God

Hope: When We Can Say It Is Well

sunrise-through-trees

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

A little over a year ago, when I first heard Bethel Music’s, “It Is Well,” things in my life were going well. It seemed I was close to fulfilling a long-held dream. My health was good. I was surrounded by people who “got” me. They understood what made me tick. The song resonated. Of course it was well with my soul. I could hum it and sing it and believe it with all my heart.

It’s easy to say, “It is well with my soul” when we’re in the good times.

Continue reading “Hope: When We Can Say It Is Well”

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”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, God, Hope

Blue: Hope in Life’s Storms

Rainy Month

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—BLUE. 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!

BLUE

Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled for most of this month, it seems. Buckets of rain sheeted the space between sky and land. Gray skies became our norm for the first three weeks of May.

The once dry earth became saturated to flood stage. Hail flung itself . . . enough of it that it looked like snow some days.

Shoveling Hail

I’ve never seen a May like this one.

Every morning, I woke up, hoping for a glimmer of blue sky. Every morning, clouds blocked out that little glimpse of happy.

A few days ago, we again had more blue sky than gray, and my heart danced.

To see the sunshine, to see clear blue of every shade on God’s palette? It restores hope that after storms, blue does come.

Storms sometimes permeate every area of our lives. Blocking out hope. Trying to squelch our joy. When it’s nonstop, those things in our hearts that make us smile begin to dim.

The good thing is, storms don’t stay. They have a beginning time, where they block out the sun and the blue skies of our lives. But, they move on. Perhaps not right away, but they do move on.

Gray Day

Or, sometimes, we move on.

Thank goodness Jesus is our Son Who melts the clouds. Who heals the hurts inflicted by life’s storms. Who dries saturated soil so springtime flowers can again be planted and add color and hope to our lives.

Blue skies . . . after three weeks of gray, I’ll never take them for granted again. I’ll thank God for them, adding them to my Gift List. I’ll rejoice in the hope blue skies offer me daily.

Blue skies again

I’ll seek out those patches of blue when clouds part, even for a few seconds. And I’ll cling to the truth that God is the One who knows the storms, knows how much we can can handle with His help, and knows how to bring us through the storms of life.

What about you? When have you faced a storm that seems like it would never end? How did you hold onto hope during the storm?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday offering—Blue

Perspective, Trials

Fog: 4 Tips for Seeing Through Difficulties

Foggy day with a frame

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Fog wrapped around my vehicle as I pulled from the garage. I glanced to the left and the right—twice—before steering onto the street. In a way, I felt as if I was the only person on the road.

There’s something almost eerie about driving when you can’t see anything around you. I’m comfortable driving in various conditions, but my hands still gripped the steering wheel. I leaned forward to check for shadows before me. Headlights from the other direction sliced through the soup, cutting a path in the mist.

Continue reading “Fog: 4 Tips for Seeing Through Difficulties”

Change, Hope, Seasons: the Changing of Seasons, Uncategorized

Seasons: The Changing of Seasons

Image

I’ve been waiting for spring.

Winter has worn hard on most of the United States this year, with barely a respite from snow and biting cold. Even in the monotony of the landscape, there is beauty in winter time (Yes, I know some will refute this!).

Continue reading “Seasons: The Changing of Seasons”

Life Trials: Looking Beyond the Fog, Perspective

Life Trials: Looking Beyond the Fog

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The other morning, I peeked out our window at o’dark hundred. The weak glow of the nearby street attempted to cut through the fog on our street. A couple hours later, I drove four active children to school in soft sunlight and no fog in our neighborhood. As I drove, I glanced toward the mountains.

Continue reading “Life Trials: Looking Beyond the Fog”