Perspective, Suffering, Uncategorized

Perspective: When We Walk Through Suffering

Small flowers with rain droplets on them

@JeanneTakenaka

“We recommend further testing.”

A number of years ago, these words accompanied the news that I had an ovarian cyst that looked “suspicious.” As I grappled with the waiting for the doctor’s appointments to be scheduled, for the tests to be run and translated, my thoughts were never far from “the C word.”

Cancer? Me? But I was a mother of very young children. I couldn’t have cancer. I feared walking through the suffering of the disease. The not-knowing, the waiting clawed at me, shortened my breaths, made my heart pound hard.

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Marriage, Relationship, Valentine's Day

Love: Eleven Practices for Growing Love

Man and woman from the back, holding hands

@JeanneTakenaka

Twenty-five years.

Twenty-five years ago this month I met my husband. I hated Valentine’s Day. Not the day itself, but how it made me feel.

Isolated.

Alone.

Not wanted.

I’d accepted the fact that I wanted only God’s best when it came to a potential husband, but this day . . . when romantic love is most celebrated . . . was painful.

I suspect most people who are single-wanting-to-be-married have felt the same way at some point.

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Life, Mothering, One Word

Present: When We Want to Run Away

@JeanneTakenaka

Can I just tell you that last week was one of the most difficult I’ve walked out in a long time?

A close friend had a health crisis that only God could avert, and He did. I had the privilege of walking out some of that with her, her family, and our other friends. 

There were issues with the boys. And with their school. And with the boys. Yes, I meant to say that twice.

As I put out fires and sent messages to people who needed to know some of what was going on, I struggled against the urge to escape. 

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Infertility, Surrender, Trusting God

Heart: 4 Steps for Dealing With Idols

Picture of a valley leading down to the ocean with high mountainous walls on each side

@JeanneTakenaka

I slumped on our bed and cried. 

Every month, I careened on an emotional roller coaster. Every month, I prayed, begging God for a baby. Every month, when my cycle came on time, my heart plummeted.

I don’t remember the exact day or event when God confronted me. But He showed me where my heart was set.

…on a pregnancy

…on filling my arms with a squirming newborn

…on having my heart craving satisfied.

And that was the problem.

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God's Love, Infertility, Trials

Love: When We Question God’s Love

A woman standing with two young children near a pond

@JeanneTakenaka

Many years ago, as Hubs and I stumbled through the valley of infertility, I struggled a lot with the Lord. I faced well-intentioned loved ones who told me I just needed more faith, and then we’d get pregnant. 

But more, I questioned that God loved me as much as He loved other people. 

If He loved me, why did He withhold this heart desire? Why did he not fulfill the innate yearning to carry a pregnancy to term and to nurture a child? 

I still remember the day. 

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Faith, Perspective, Waiting

Waiting: When the Waiting is Hard

A white grouping of trees on an overcast, snowy day.

@JeanneTakenaka

Many years ago, our oldest wouldn’t wake up one morning. It wasn’t stubbornness on his part. He was feverish, lethargic, and simply couldn’t stay awake. I let him sleep. But as the clock ticked toward noon and I couldn’t rouse him even for a drink of water, my mama’s heart revved as worry dug in deep.

God allowed us to get a same-day appointment with our doctor. I hefted my unconscious boy into his office. Long story short, he thought it would be best to take Peter to the ER. 

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One Word, Uncategorized

2020: One Word

Image of Diamond Head in Hawaii on a partly cloudy day

@JeanneTakenaka

Happy New Year! And not only a new year but a new decade. 2019 was a year of stretching and trusting. Teenaged boys have given me a lot of practice in learning how to trust God.

My One Word for 2019 was LIVE.

I thought my word would have me focusing on choosing to live in each moment instead of looking too far ahead and managing my days rather than living out the moments of my days. 

But, God has ways of bringing out other facets from the lessons we think we’re going to learn. 

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Christmas, Intentional Living, Mothering, Uncategorized

Christmas: When We Need to Give Grace

A lit Christmas tree in dim room casting light on the walls

@JeanneTakenaka

It seems like this happens every year.

Thanksgiving is a couple of days behind me, and I determine I’m going to make this year the Christmas season where I’m truly resting in the midst of the busy-ness of it all. I decide to cut back on activities and things I feel obligated to complete.

Each year I promise myself I’m going to come upon Christmas Day rested and worshiping my Savior, grateful for all that the Day represents. 

And almost every year Christmas Day arrives and I am weary.  I forget to give myself grace.

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Joy, Thanksgiving, Trials

Thanksgiving: Finding Joy in Every Circumstance

Meme with the quote: "If you let something steal your thanksgiving, you let something steal your joy, and if you let something steal your joy, you let something steal your strength." ~Ann Voskamp, Author on a backdrop of fall-leafed trees near a creek.

@JeanneTakenaka

As we are in the throes of Thanksgiving week here in the United States, I decided to add to a post I originally shared a few years ago. It’s short but sweet. And, I’m still sticking with a quote. 🙂

***

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.

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Family Relationships, Gratitude, Perspective

Gratitude: Thankful for the Little Things

Meme with the words: "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." —Robert Brault, Author on a backdrop of a photo of berries

@JeanneTakenaka

The phone rang. It was Hubs. “Honey. I’m in a bit of a panic. I’m at my first flight layover, and I can’t find my passport. Can you check my desk to see if it’s there?”

My husband, world-traveler that he is, had made this trip to the far East many times. My heart dropped when I heard his words, and I sprinted to his office. The edge of his passport peeked out from beneath a short, elevated pile of papers. 

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