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

Grace: Living Out Grace


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?

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Life, Relationship, Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday: Hands

This week’s Five Minute Friday post topic is—Hands. 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. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


By Jeanne Takenaka


I take my hands for granted. They clean. They cut vegetables, tend to gardens, hold the water container to pour life onto my container garden. My hands comb out the knots in my hair, wash my face, and wipe children’s tears away.

My hands stroke the heads of my “babies” ( now 9 1/2 and 11) when they’ve had a difficult day. They comb through hair, rub backs, cuddle close these boy-men when they are on the boy side of manhood.

Hands . . . I can’t imagine life without them. They type on my computer, pouring words onto the page. Hopefully bringing encouragement to those who read them. They hold the camera to capture scenes and smiles on the spur of a moment.

What about God’s hands? His hands move planets, craft new life. His hands move in my life, in the lives of all who know Him. They give rain in due season, move the sun and moon at appropriate times. They do big, important life-essential things for his small creations on planet earth. Even when He’s not acknowledged, He continues to provide all we need for life.

His hands give comfort to His children. They wipe my tears away, sew up the wounds on my heart inflicted by others. His hands hold me in the crook of His arms, cradle me on His lap when I’m in need of a cuddle, of comfort.


My prayer is that my hands will emulate what His hands do—bringing life to those in my circle. Bringing comfort and encouragement and service, whether or not others acknowledge it.

What about you? What are you thankful your hands can do? How have others’ hands blessed you?

Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday

Affirmation, Affirmation Five Truths From The Lego Movie, Relationship

Affirmation: Five Truths From The Lego Movie


Being the mother of Lego-lovin’ boys, it’s a given that we would see The Lego Movie. There were so many truths woven into the storyline.

Though the overriding theme of the story is that everyone is special, one of my favorite sub-themes was the importance of affirmation. Emmet, the main character is just another Lego construction guy.

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Mothering, Perspective, Pespective Four Thoughts on Finding Beauty in Stormy relationships, Relationship

Perspective: Four Thoughts on Finding Beauty in Stormy Relationships


It was one of those mornings. One kid woke up stormy, lightning and thunder flashing through back talk and attitude. When things didn’t go his way, we all paid for it as his words rained down stinging with their touch. We all, each of us, left the house unsettled and ugly.

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Kindness: It’s the Small Gestures That Make a Difference


Did any of you read the story about the new widower who made a small gesture of paying for a young couple’s dinner at a restaurant?

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God, Gratitude, Gratitude in a relationship with God, Gratitude Thanking God For the Small Things

Gratitude: Thanking God For the Small Things


“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Have you ever prayed for something big? I mean, the “it’s probably not going to happen because it’s so big” big?

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Marriage, One Word Yes, Relationship

One Word: Yes


Has one word ever changed the course of your life? I’ve been thinking about one word that changed my life forever, for the better.

Eighteen years ago, I said, “Yes,” in answer to a question. I was in my late twenties, single and wishing for a change in my “status.”

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Affirmation, Identity, Identity Am I Enough

Identity: Am I Enough?


Last week, I shared a few thoughts about things that molded my identity. I borrowed the analogy of gold stars and gray dots from Max Lucado’s children’s book, You Are Special.

When I chased after the gold stars, the question, “Am I enough?” dominated my thoughts.

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Building Bridges and Relationships Four Thoughts, Relationship

Building Bridges and Relationships: Four Thoughts

International Bridge between New York and Ontario, Canada

When hubby and I first married, the US Air Force stationed us at Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB). We rented a little home in Prattville, Alabama, about 10 miles from Montgomery. Whenever we drove to the Base, we crossed a little, one lane bridge that spanned a river. Every time I neared it, I prayed no one else would be driving from the other side.

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