Control, Fear, Trusting God

Fear: Why We Seek Control

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I’m just going to say it. I hate not being in control. I’ve played tug-of-war with God for years over who’s in control of my life. I would yank on that rope, thinking I had control of my plans and dreams, and that God would come alongside and nod agreement to my plans.

I know. Silly me.

And then He tugs back when life circumstances overwhelm me with their bigness.

This past summer was a difficult one for our family. Choices were made that have long-range consequences and required changes and relinquishment of some freedoms.

Continue reading “Fear: Why We Seek Control”
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Adoption, Faith, Mothering

Mothering: When We Want to Be Angry

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A few years ago, one of the boys was having a hard time with his homework. We sat together, him working it through, me explaining as I could. It just so happened on this day that the other boy needed extra help with his math. Dinner needed cooking. And Hubs was out of the country.

I can manage all these things simultaneously . . . as long as everyone works with my plan. 

On this particular day, the first boy went to his room for a break before he dug into more homework. I waited the ten minutes I gave him. And then fifteen.

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Faith, Trials, Trusting God

Question: Do You Want . . .

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Has God ever asked you a question so clearly that you squirmed with the discomfort of it?

A number of years back, I was sitting in church. That morning my rejection issues rose up and called me condemned.

Peoples’ words and compliments filtered through that rejection lens and came through as warped and untrue. I doubted any good thing said, and pain burrowed into my heart.

All of a sudden this question shouted in my mind:

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Impact, Loss, Perspective

Impact: Second Chances

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

There’s something introspective about participating in a memorial service. Especially when it is for someone who was so young.

Over the weekend, Hubs and I attended the memorial service for our friends’ daughter. We both teared up. We both laughed. And God spoke to my heart.

For only having lived twenty-one years, this young woman impacted many lives. 

The pastor brought out some beautiful truths about living . . . and dying.

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Faith, Hope

Hope: A Violent Hope

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

“Hallelujah it is finished . . . 

We thank You for the cross.”

“A violent hope shook the ground . . .”

I was standing with our church family, singing this song some weeks back. We’ve worshiped the Lord many times through this song. But on this particular morning, these phrases caught me. Turned my brain around a bit.

I never thought about hope being violent. The word “hope” has always struck me as a gentle thing, like a quiet, steady rain falling, or a pastel sunrise.

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Faith, Hope, Loss, Perspective

Gone: Death . . . and Life

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A person never expects to hear about the death of a friend’s child. Especially when that child only spent twenty-one years this side of heaven.

Just over a week ago, I learned that a friend’s daughter died unexpectedly. Gone. How does one even grapple with that?

Even as my One Word for the year is Live (as in to live well), my friend and her husband were forced to deal with death.

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Hope, Living with Intention, One Word, Trusting God, Uncategorized

2019: One Word

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

There’s something about a new year that enables me to breathe deep. 

2018 was a tough year for our family. We walked through some things with the boys that had me remembering that my Hope is truly found in Jesus alone. I found myself turning to Him in the stress and the chaos that the year threw at me.

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Busy-ness, Christmas, Faith

Christmas: Making Jesus Known

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

“I must decrease that He may increase.” 

~John 3:30

Isn’t this the whole idea of Christmas? Making Jesus known?

The angels worshiped and declared the Savior had been born.

The shepherds worshiped and declared Jesus’s birth. They set aside their work, their busy-ness, their identity, and even their fears of condescension from those higher on the status rankings. They left their livelihood to worship their Messia

Over the past month, I’ve been busy and distracted—in mind and in heart. The boys’ activities, doctor’s appointments, life’s interruptions . . . they’ve all kept my eyes pointed toward . . . 

Me.

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Choosing Gratitude series, Gratitude

Choosing Gratitude (series): Themes of Gratitude

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Over the past five weeks, I have been challenged by, encouraged by, and uplifted by my five blogging friends who shared their thoughts on gratitude. Lisa Jordan, Meghan Weyerbacher, Michele Morin, Lesley Crawford, and Marie Gregg . . . thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your words at my place. If you missed any posts in this series, you can find them at: Choosing Gratitude.

To wrap up this series, I am sharing a few final thoughts . . . 

I gave myself a challenge. Find thirty things I was grateful for during the thirty days of November.

On the hard days, I had to look beyond disappointment and frustration in the current day to the bigger picture of my life. 

I found hope. Beauty. Family. Friends. And especially the reality of God’s love.

These themes are what my heart revolves around. 

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Choosing Gratitude series, Gratitude, Guest Posts, Perspective

Choosing Gratitude (series): The Beauty in Aging

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

When I come to November in a year, something happens in my spirit. I’m ready to cozy down into warm sweaters and soft blankets. I love scented candles burning and soups simmering on the stovetop. It’s a time to slow  down and reflect over the year. When my spirit is in a good place, my heart finds much to be grateful for. One thing that fills me with gratitude is the gift of friends—real life and blogging friends.

For the next few weeks, I have invited five friends I respect deeply to share stories and thoughts on gratitude in their lives. I hope you will join with me for all five weeks and share your responses to their words. If you miss a week, you can click Choosing Gratitude series to catch up with the other posts in this series. Will you settle in with me, with a mug of something warm in your hands and think on those things and happenings in the year for which you are grateful?

*****

Marie Gregg and I met through the Five Minute Friday linkup some years ago, one of our blogs was usually posted right after the other’s. Over the years, I have discovered what a beautiful spirit this lady has. She is a deep thinker, passionate writer, and lover of God’s word, dogs, and young people (among other things). Her blogposts always leave me thinking. One day, I hope I’ll have the privilege of meeting her in person. Until then, I will enjoy her words on her blog. Please help me welcome Marie to this little corner of the blog-o-sphere!

*****

As I slide into my mid-thirties, I notice more and more advertisements promising to delay the aging process. Lotions and potions for younger-looking skin. Hair dye to cover up those unsightly silver strands. Torturous devices labeled “waist trainers” to smooth out lumps and bumps. Magical, easy solutions for every Madison Avenue conjured problem.

Of course these ads have always existed; they catch my eye now only because I have joined the target demographic. I find it so odd that we are shamed for aging, as if we’ve broken the rules. As if we have control over the onward, relentless passage of time.

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