Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering, Relationship

Discover: When They Talk

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

DISCOVER

His eyes had held the look all night. That expression saying something was on his mind, but he wasn’t sure if he should talk about it. Maybe all teens wear that expression. I know mine do.

Whenever I’m invited into the inner sanctum (a.k.a. his room), I try to say yes. That night, he asked me to walk to his room with him before he went to bed. What followed was an amazing conversation of questions, reassurances, honest sharing. I closed his door over an hour later, my heart full.

I’ve prayed for years that during these most trying years we would still connect with our sons. 

But friends.

Friends are so important to both of our boys.

Hanging out.

Being accepted by their peers. All of these things often seem to take priority in our boys’ hearts.

That night, though, I discovered something. My boys? They still want me in their inner circle.

I think this is true with most—if not all—teens, even when they seem to push us away.

No, we don’t talk as much as we used to. But the beauty is, when I take time to just listen as they express their fears, their thoughts, their joys, their secret desires? 

That’s a gift.

 

Nothing can replace knowing that they will share their confidences with me.

I know I’m just their mom. But, . . . I’m their mom.

Our boys don’t want to push us into the backseat on their life-car-ride. Well, not always anyway. They want us riding in the front seat with them. They don’t always want to hear our words, but they want our companionship. To be told we love them.

No matter what.

They want to know that we will always accept them. Be in their corner. 

And we will.

The discovering comes when we are intentional and take time to listen. Not always to give them advice (and man, is this on hard sometimes!)

Often, they just want to know they are being heard.

I’m discovering the beauty God’s planted in each of them as I listen to their words.

So, the next time one of our boys invites me into his room? I’ll say yes. In a heartbeat. There’s nothing so precious as being a part of their inner circle.

What about you? What encourages you to invite someone into your inner circle? How do you foster relationship with those around you that goes below skin-deep?

Click to Tweet: We can learn the most interesting things 

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Discover

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Five Minute Friday scribblings, Forgiveness, Relationship

Favorite: When Relationships Are Restored

Thistle in evening

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FAVORITE

Sometimes, to experience a favorite, I have to live through the hard.

It was a hard day with one of my littles. He got mad. Something set him off. Still not sure what.

We spent hours today going around and around. Him determined to trip my temper trigger. Me determined to show him grace . . . and discipline. By the time hubby got home. I. Was. Done.

I took a long walk on a trail I’ve never traveled before. With the evening light, God showed me glimpses of His beauty. He renewed my spirit and my perspective. He gave me lots of pretty things to take pictures of. Something that always lifts my heart.

Evening sun on water

By the time I got home, this little of mine was ready to talk  . . . and to ask for forgiveness. It’s these times of connecting that are favorites for me. There’s something about fellowship restored that touches a deep place inside.

I wonder if that’s how God feels when one of His kids comes to him, repentant and longing for fellowship restored? I’m so thankful that He’s quick to forgive. That His love is ever-there. That His loving-kindnesses are new every morning, and throughout every day.

My favorite times are connecting with others. Especially when relationships are restored. When I’ve had to ask forgiveness and then been given that gift? Yep, that’s something you can’t put words to.

Yellow wild flowers

Sometimes we have to walk through the hard things of life before we can really know . . . really embrace . . . our favorites. God gives us His beauty and his faithful love. He gives us the ability to forgive and have relationships restored. 

What about you? What is your favorite aspect about God? How do you walk out forgiveness?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post on Favorite to link up and read other great blogposts!

Change, Eternity, Grace, Marriage

Change: Love God, Love Others

 

Change word signBy +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

***This is not my normal style of blog post. I had planned to post my third blog about perfection and good enough, and I will . . . next week. This week, I’m wrestling with all that’s happened in our country. So, I thought we could wrestle with it together. I’d love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.*** 

~~~~~~~~~~

I have a confession to make. I struggle with the thought of being just one person. Just one Christian. For years, this struggle has left me in a place where I figured I can’t change the world, so I’ll focus on living the best Christian life I can. And I’ll ignore . . . not ignore, exactly . . . pray, but keep myself distanced from the world and all that is espouses.

Continue reading “Change: Love God, Love Others”

Calling, Infertility, Mothering, Relationship

Calling: Dwell Where God Calls You

E. Cartier Dwell where God calls you

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our pastor spoke these words on a recent Sunday, and they’ve stayed with me.

“Dwell where God calls you.”

God’s placed at least one calling on each of our lives. He has purposes that only we can fulfill. My friend might be able to fulfill my calling to a degree, but not to the the extent that God created me to do so.

But what about when I don’t like the calling, or when the calling is too hard, or when the calling is not the one I wanted?

Continue reading “Calling: Dwell Where God Calls You”

Busy-ness, Christmas, Doing or Being, Intentional Living, Life

Christmas: Weary or Celebrating

Christmas Cross 2014

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I promised myself I was not going to do it again this year. I always come to December First, determined to not let my calendar get the best of me. Determined to make Jesus the center of all I do.

Almost without fail, I enter into Christmas morning, weary. Not excited to create a special breakfast for my family. Opening presents? Sure it’s great, but then there’s the dish to prepare for that evening’s celebration with my family, an hour away.

Continue reading “Christmas: Weary or Celebrating”

Adoption, Family Relationships, Staying Connected, Thanksgiving, Traditions

Traditions: Strengthening Connections

Prayerful hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The kid had been asking for weeks.

“We’re having breakfast pizza for Thanksgiving breakfast, right Mom?”

“Yes, honey. We are.” I assured him and made the mental list of the ingredients to pick up at the store.

Continue reading “Traditions: Strengthening Connections”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Five Minute Friday: Tell, Living with Intention, Love

Tell: What Do My Actions Tell?

Mom Son hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Tell. 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 new 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!

Tell:

Much fills my mind this week as I ponder our Five Minute Friday word: Tell. Thinking of the sudden death of Robin Williams, and all the conversations surrounding his passing.

What do I TELL others? I tell my kids the things they need to get done (wash the dishes, please, sort the laundry, homework before play…..)

I tell my husband about my day

I tell my friends my struggles.

I use my words to convey normal, every day messages.

But what about those words that I treasure in my heart? Those thoughts I have about others, about Jesus? Those truths that both break my heart (Iraq) and mend it (God’s love heals the wounds).

Wild flowers burgundy amid white

How do I tell my love to those who people my life? What do my actions tell my family?

I’m convicted when I think about how I allow the tyranny of the urgent to overpower my ability to show my love to my family.

To tell them my love without ever using a word. I need to guard my time, lest it be taken up with the urgent rather than the important.

I need to tell my family I love them through my words, yes. But also through my undivided attention. Through my willingness to set aside a task and listen—just listen—and be a seat for a boy who climbs onto my lap.

I tell others my love when I show my care for them.

Yes, there is a place for words—to tell friends what they mean to me. To put into words the admiration, the gratitude in my heart, the joy which they add to my days.

Words mean so much more when followed up with actions.

What do my actions tell others?

What about you? How do you tell others of your care for them? What actions speak love to you?

Kate Motaung Five Minute Friday: Tell

Appearances: 4 Thoughts For Finding the Gold in People, Authenticity, Relationship, Uncategorized

Appearances: 4 Thoughts For Finding the Gold in People

Image

By Jeanne Takenaka

As a girl, I found some pyrite while on a family hike. It sparkled like gold in my little-girl mind, and I was beyond excited. I showed my father, and he patiently explained that what I’d found was fool’s gold, or pyrite. Disappointed, I set it back on the ground.

Continue reading “Appearances: 4 Thoughts For Finding the Gold in People”

FMF Messenger, Mothering, Relationship, Uncategorized

Messenger: Living in the Moment

As I checked Lisa-Jo Baker’s word for today—Messenger—I was stumped. Then I began thinking about it a little more…..Here’s the result. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out Lisa-Jo Baker‘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!

Image

By Jeanne Takenaka

I thought about who has been a messenger in my life.

And then it dawned on me.

I see smiles from two of the sweetest faces this side of heaven. I hear, “Mom! Mom!” just before some new discovery or animal fact pops out of their mouths.  My two boys have exuberance and joie d’vivre in abundance.

And me?

Well, I feel like I’m running from this task to the next most days. There’s much for this wife and mother to complete in a given day.

But these two precious sons—for whom I prayed for years—they summon me to slow down and enjoy life on their level for a little while.

Set aside my oh, so slowly plotting book . . .

Turn my back to the dishes in the sink for a few moments.

And simply listen. To their message.

Their hearts shine through their faces, through their words.

The message is, “Enjoy this moment, Mom! Enjoy it with me? Live it with me!”

I wrap my arms around my messengers and squeeze them close. They’ll only be little for a little longer.

Image

I want to embrace each day with them, loving them in the moment. Listening to their explanations, and their attempts at sounding like the men they’ll one day be.

I need to listen to their message of being in the now. It’ll be gone too quickly.

These messengers fill me with joy when I take time to really look at them. Really listen to their words and tones and thoughts.

What about you? Who’s a messenger in your life? What message have you been hearing?

Lisa-Jo Baker’s FMF Messenger

 

Forgiveness, God, Grace, Grace: Grace Lived Out, Uncategorized

Grace: Living Out Grace

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By Jeanne Takenaka

I’ve been thinking about grace and what it means to live with grace. When people say, “I gave grace in that situation.” Or, “You are a gracious person.” What does it really mean, this word—grace?

Continue reading “Grace: Living Out Grace”