Perspective, Time

Gift: Unwrapping the Gifts of Summer—A Retrospective

Purple flowers in morning

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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A quick note: Ellen Gray, you won Jill Kemerer’s book from last week’s blog post! Congratulations! Jill will contact you to get the book to you!

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Every summer it happens.

I determine this will be the summer where we learn to rest, to enjoy and to take the days slow.

But there’s something about having two active, need-to-stay-busy boys that makes this dream a little bit impossible. At least my vision of this dream.

This was the summer when I didn’t sign them up for a bunch of swimming lessons. We didn’t do Vacation Bible School (attending or serving). We didn’t sign up for a bunch of summer camps.

Continue reading “Gift: Unwrapping the Gifts of Summer—A Retrospective”

God, Life Lessons, Perspective

Life Lessons: Finding Peace

Summer Snowballs

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This is part three in a five-part series about life lessons. Some friends and I are answering the question: What life lesson has changed you the most? You can read part one and part two here.

I don’t know when I fell in love with photography. As a girl, I begged for a camera. And for my tenth Christmas, my parents gave me their old Kodak 110 camera. I made everyone shrug into their winter coats and stand outside on bare, brown ground so I could take family photographs. My camera made occasional appearances after that.

Continue reading “Life Lessons: Finding Peace”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Life, Trials

Keep: The Choosing

Is 263 copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

KEEP

As I saw our Five Minute Friday prompt, this verse kept coming to mind. There are days (like today) where I’ve longed to know and walk in God’s perfect peace.

On those days when there are more to-do’s than there is day, I feel stress. When I’m on my own with the kids for the week, when unexpected events steal my time—distract me from my plans—these are the days when God’s peace seems far away.

These are also the days when I tend to become more focused on the day than on the Giver of the day. How do I keep my eyes on Him in the midst of crazy? In the midst of sick kids and planning for trips we may not be able to take? In the midst of taking care of car repairs and not getting the things done that weigh on my heart and mind like a wet wool blanket?

frosty morning copy

When the diagnoses come that steal everything else, they don’t have to steal peace, permanently. If I’m trusting God for His best outcome.

I’m learning it’s discipline. It’s choosing.

It’s in the choosing that I can know God’s peace. Choosing to trust Him when life goes haywire. Choosing to believe His word when my days go in directions I never anticipated, and I can hardly breathe for the stress and the busyness of them.

mountain at dusk

When I keep my eyes on Him, when I choose to believe that what God says is absolute truth? That’s when I can know his perfect peace.

This is how I can walk in perfect peace. And I do it very imperfectly this side of heaven. I probably always will.

So, I’ll just continue to practice keeping my mind stayed upon Him.

What about you? What are the peace-stealers in your life? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when life doesn’t cooperate? 

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Keep.