Truth: The Destruction of Lies

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

TRUTH

As a mom, one of the hardest things I’ve encountered is watching my boys grapple with God’s truth. In a world that feeds them lies at the speed of light, they hear tons of different messages and come away confused. And sometimes hardened.

And honestly? Some of them sound pretty good. They hear messages that it’s not wrong to try drugs, or alcohol. It’s not wrong to have sex. It’s okay to bend the truth, just a little, to stay out of trouble. And if it feels good, it must be okay.

Yet, when we believe and act on lies, we end up maimed. When we live according to our own truth and disregard what God says is true? We end up stripped of value, of hope.

My boys will each have to come to their own conclusion that living their lives, making choices based on what God says is true is the best thing they can do. Hubs and I have told them. We’ve talked about it with them.

 

One of the hardest things (so far) about being the mom of teens is giving our boys the freedom to explore and come to the understanding that God’s truths are eternal. That God gave us His truth out of His great love for us. He knows what’s best for us.

We have to let our children discover the beauty of God’s truth. It’s in them working it out for themselves that they come to make His truth their own.

Our guys are going to make some poor choices along the way. I can still guide them. It’s scary to know I am not always the main person they listen to anymore.

I pray way more often and more fervently for my boys now that they’re in the teen years. I pray that they will understand that God truth sets them free. That His truth is what ultimately defines them.

 

God’s truth is the only truth worth listening to. As their mom, I will pray day in and day out. And I will be available to listen when they share their thoughts. And I will pray for God’s words and for their hearts to be open to hearing His truth.

What about you? Which of God’s truths have helped you in relationships in your life? Which of God’s truths has given you freedom?

Click to Tweet: God gave us His truth out of His great love for us.

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

Labels: God’s View vs Man’s View

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

We had a conversation around the breakfast table this morning, my boys and me. In response to reading a devotion together, one of the boys talked about how all the popular kids were having sex (this is junior high, mind you), and doing drugs, and drinking.

I asked him if he liked it when other kids made sweeping generalizations about him and his friends. If they slapped labels on him because he does this, or doesn’t do that. He stopped.

“No.”

“Then let’s be careful what labels we place on others.” I felt so right saying those words.

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Marriage: The Importance of Staying Connected

older-couple

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My husband’s job has required a number of longer business trips over the past few years. Navigating our separations has been its own journey for our family. He must witness some of the struggles from afar. I walk out the emotional turmoil and busy schedules on the home front.

Maintaining our home, driving the boys to and from school, appointments, football practice, band rehearsals, Boy Scouts . . . All of these fill our days and weeks.

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Gratitude: What We Have and Have Not

for-what-i-have-received-storm-jameson-copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ve said before . . . it’s been a year. I’m choosing to focus on gratitude this month. As I’ve pondered what I want to share, the above quote stood out to me.

I have received much from the Lord this year:

When I tore my ACL, I had a great surgeon to help fix me up. And superb physical therapists to exercise me back to full mobility.

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Test: When Life Tests Us

wave-after-wave

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—TEST. 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!

TEST

Today’s been a testing-sort of day. And I confess, I’m pretty sure I failed.

I learned a long time ago that in order to pass a test, I need to prepare.

Somehow, I keep having to relearn that lesson.

From getting to bed way too late last night and up early this morning, I didn’t prepare well for the tests this day held. I’ve been running on tired for days now, and my sharp responses and impatient words give me away. Not to mention that need of a nap at about noon today.

The test was handling two boys on fall break, both of whom had to live out consequences from earlier in the week.

Yeah, I know. Not a great way to begin fall break.

I tried to cram for this test with time in the Word. And I got some reading time in . . . in bits and pieces. Between interruptions from one boy or the other.

Bits and pieces of time with God has been all I’ve gotten lately. See? Cramming. Trying to get some good time today, because I knew I was going to need His presence, His wisdom, and His grace.

When I don’t prepare well for life’s tests, my failings often show up in how I treat others.

The hard thing is? This is such a reflection of what’s going on in my heart.

storm-over-water

 

I’m learning with the boys coming into the teen years that I must be on top of my game. I have to be prepared for whatever the day throws my way.

The best way to prepare for any test is to come before my Father. 

It’s when I come before Him that I can be at peace with what may be coming. Something about that time in His word and in prayer equips my spirit for whatever tests the day holds.

It’s the meditating on His word that reminds me how to pray when my boys affirm they’re most definitely still in training.

Getting the physical rest I need, eating right? These also prepare me for life’s tests.

But it’s that time in the Word, that time spent still before Him that is the most effective way to prepare for any test that comes my way.

lam-3-2223-copy

Thank goodness for God’s grace. And for those mercies that are new every morning. I have a chance to begin tonight to prepare for tomorrow’s tests.

Because I already know, they’ll be written into my day.

What about you? How do you prepare for life’s tests? What Bible verse helps you on a day when you feel like you’re failing?

Click to Tweet: When I don’t prepare well for life’s tests, my failings often show up

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

Mothering: When Our Kids Are In Training

family-shadows

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Can I be mama-level honest for a moment?

With a pre-teen and a teen boy living under our roof, consuming more and more food, our days with them are passing lightning-strike fast. Soon, one will be in high school. Just after that, we will celebrate a couple of graduations, and our boy-men will launch into the world.

Hubby and I have worked to instill godly values into them. We strive to live out our faith and share with them the things Jesus is teaching us.

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Discouragement: 4 Ways to Move Beyond Discouragement

Crumby counter

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

As I walk through the garage door into the kitchen, they’re the first thing that catch my eye. On the table, the counters, even in the pantry.

Crumbs. They’re everywhere.

It doesn’t matter how many times I wipe things down, they’re magic. They keep appearing.

Especially when the boys rush from breakfast to the car for school. Somehow they never see the crumbs they’ve left behind.

Always I see them with my mama, want-a-clean-house eyes.

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Whole: When We Are Broken

Quiet dandelion splayed

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

WHOLE

As a little girl, I began my school years feeling whole. Confident that I was a nice person, worthy of having friends. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with me?

It only took a couple years of being picked on to see that I was not really all that “whole” anymore.

A couple more years, and the lies broke apart my self-concept, leaving me fractured.

As I’ve written before, I spent decades trying to work through the fractures in who I thought I was, and align it with who God says I am.

I’m watching my boys walk through some of those same childhood struggles. Kids picking on them. Friends turning on them. It breaks my heart.

Always it’s the words that inflict the most damage.
I’m not advocating fighting, but boys sometimes throw a couple punches, and then they’re done with it.

But when the words come in? Those are what devastate a spirit.

white flowers snowy backdrop

When we believe what people say over what God says about us, that’s when our whole spirit becomes a fracture, a broken reflection of who God intends us to be.

That’s when we refract a crooked sort of injured light to the world around us. It’s filtered through the pain of words that broke our spirits.

I pray for my boys that they won’t walk through the years and years of pain that I have. I pray they will begin early to see who they are in Jesus’ eyes, rather than who they are spoken to be through their peers’ mouths.

It’s when we can begin to see that Jesus has made us whole—that He is the One who offers healing, that He is the one who puts the broken pieces back together—that we can be whole again.

Wild flowers burgundy amid white

It’s when we come under the sometimes painful revelations about the lies we’ve believed, the coping mechanisms we’ve developed— and when we allow Him to strip them awaythat we can become the clearer reflection of who God created us to be.

What about you? How have you seen God making you whole in some of the broken areas in your life? How has God done some healing in your life, making you more whole?

Limit: I’m No Wonder Woman

Old picket fence

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

**I confess, I took a little over five-minutes to write this post. 

LIMIT

Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking I’m Wonder Woman. Except that I don’t have an invisible vehicle.

I think I can do it all—take care of the house, the kids, the husband.

I can be all things to all people.

I can rush through my days at mach 10, rarely slowing down long enough to be still.

I can depend on myself to do all things that must be done.

Except, when I can’t.

Tearing my ACL three weeks ago has shown me another side of life. Mach ten has turned into mach zero, limping rather than rushing through my days.

Mountains with yellow sky

I’ve come face-to-face with the reality that I am not Wonder Woman.

I can’t fly off and fight piles of laundry on my own. I can’t fight off the insecurity thoughts that sometimes threaten my spirit.

I can’t be the always-patient mama with a boy who  has consumed hours of “my” time.

No, I most certainly am not Wonder Woman. Sometimes I’m barely-clinging-to-the-rope woman, with ever-graying hair.

I’m the one who’s confined to the couch for a few hours each day to give her knee a rest until surgery happens.

I’m the one who’s been limited by mobility.

God’s given me a limp where once I had the capacity to do everything I thought had to be completed in a day.

God is teaching me the beauty of depending on Him and on others. There’s nothing beautiful about a person who can do it all yet misses moments connecting with kids, spouses, friends.

There’s beauty in learning to hear God’s voice, learning to set aside the things I thought were important to listen to a hurting kiddo.

Fences

Yeah, sometimes God limits us so we learn to hear His voice, to depend on Him. To begin living out some of those lessons He’s been waiting so patiently to help us learn

Being limited is inconvenient, but not always a bad thing. Especially when we can see God’s fingerprints in the limitation.

Maybe sometimes the wonder in Wonder Woman comes in acting on the important rather than the demanding.

What about you? When have you been limited in some way? What have you learned? Where have you seen God’s fingerprints in your life lately?

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

Present: Heart Lessons in Being Present

Early morning presenceOur Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—PRESENT. 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!

**Please bear with me. This post went a bit over five minutes. 

PRESENT

Being fully present is not as easy as it sounds. Being fully present in body, mind and heart is hard sometimes.

When that presence requires a sacrifice, I confess my heart often chafes at the inconvenience. And when things take longer than I expected, I begin to feel stressed.

This has been one of those stress-inducing weeks with unexpected demands on “my”  time impacting everything I had planned to do this week.

When things don’t got he way I thought they would, when others don’t cooperate with how things are supposed to be done, I begin to be stressed. Which often reflects itself in my words and through the insecurities that surface.

It’s been one of those weeks.

Father son presence

I am learning that, though I say I want to be fully engaged with what’s going on in my boys’ lives, with meeting their needs, I don’t always have the heart attitude that reflects this desire.

I have so much to learn about humility and the beauty that comes from being not only fully present, but willingly present. 

When my heart sets aside the expectations, and my mind lays down the plans I had for “my” time, then I am more willingly present when the unexpected chomps away the time in a week.

I’m seeing God’s hand and His patience as He is fully present with me. He never leaves. He’s always got a shower of grace waiting to wipe off the grime of my pride. To cleanse the stress from my heart.

Sometimes plans need to be laid aside to ease stress, so that being fully present is pleasant . . . especially for the one I’m present with.

sunlight presence

Being fully present also means remembering that “my” time is not really my own. God gives us time, and lets us choose how we spend it. If I want to truly be a light to others, it starts with relinquishing cement-laid plans and asking the Lord to write His plans into my day.

Honestly? I’m not there yet. But this word has challenged me to evaluate my attitude . . . and see the need to make a few things right with my family.

What about you? How do you keep a right heart in being present with those around you? What does being fully present look like for you?