Adoption, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Here: Determined to Stay Here

Rainy day road

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


Tweeting with some of the FMF ladies tonight, the phrase, “keeping it real,” came up. How easy is it, really, to do this? As I’ve thought about what my week has held . . . oh, it’s been real all right.

Real agonizing as one boy struggles with what his core identity is.

Real painful as I watch him battle things out with me and those around him.

Real sorrowful knowing I can’t be all that I want to be for him.

Because, really, what he—and all of us—needs is that close intimacy with Jesus. Right here, in our hearts, in our thoughts.

At times this week, I questioned why God thought I was ever the right person to mother these two amazing boys—His gifts to us.

But, gifts don’t always come with no trouble. The most worthwhile gifts often require change in the recipient. And so too, does the gift of motherhood.

Hands fingers intertwined

Right here, in my home, I’ve been challenged to stay humble before the Lord. To press in hard to Him, begging for a soft heart once again.

Right here in my home, I’ve cried, I’ve ranted a little, and I’ve prayed . . . hard, for all that’s going on in our hearts.

It’s right here in this place, on my face, where God can work the changes in me that He needs to work. When I am humble before Him, when I’m willing to look at everything going on with eyes that look beyond my own hurt? That’s when He can begin the work of healing and restoring.

I need to be here, in this place—right now—for Him to begin that work. No, I don’t want to be in the place of pain. But it’s often here when I feel the closest to Him . . . When I know His peace the most intimately.

Orangy flowers

It’s only here, in this moment—hands lifted to God in prayer and choosing to worship Him—that I can know the depths of His presence.

Right here is where I’ll remain, even when life’s pain is great.

What about you? When have you chosen to endure pain to know God better? How do you remain in the hard places without losing heart?

Hop on over to Kate Motaung’s site, and celebrate her one year anniversary of hostessing Five Minute Friday—Here

35 thoughts on “Here: Determined to Stay Here”

  1. Jeanne,
    oh so loved this. Loved how you identify that he’s needing what we’re all needing. Intimacy with Jesus. He is Here. Emmanuel. God with us.
    Praying for your motherhood journey. You are not the only one sweating in your cocoon here. But the wings to fly? They’re getting stronger.
    Love and hugs!
    (#5 this week)


    1. Thanks for your words, Tammy. Thank goodness God IS here, always. Emmanuel. Thanks so much for the prayers. I’m sure most moms sweat in their cocoons at one time or another. 🙂


  2. What a beautiful, graceful post, Jeanne! And the pictures you chose really add depth. A real tour de force, this week.

    I’m sure dealing with the pain…and this has been the worst week in a string of bad ‘uns…and I suppose I’m getting to know God better through getting to know myself a bit better. It’s nothing I would have chosen, though, and nothing I would wish on my worst enemy (that’s what ka-bars are for).

    It is strange, though, that I don’t feel humbled by this. When I meet God face-to-face I’m going to look Him straight in the eye. No kneeling, no bowing. What this merry-go-round of agony has given me is endurance, and backbone. And probably a bit more arrogance than is good for me.

    Wait, listen…do you hear that?

    I think it’s God…laughing.


    1. Andrew, I think sometimes God allows us to know ourselves better so that we might seek Him more, and hence get to know Him better. 🙂

      I wonder if different circumstances bring about humility for people . . . ? For me, I came into motherhood with a plan and a vision of all that I would do to be the mom our boys needed. I thought I had much of it figured out. Yeah . . .right. That’s where my humility comes in over and over. My own failings, or glimpses of how much I need God to do this well is what brings me to a place of humility. Does that make sense?

      And, yeah, I suspect God gets some laughs out of our ways of thinking. 😉


  3. Hi Jeanne, Your post made me a little sad, this morning. I can relate to weeks when it seemed like everything closes in and there isn’t room to breathe and you question yourself – your thoughts and your decisions, even your reason for being – so that you feel small and inadequate. It makes me sad to know that you are feeling some of these things and I’m sorry. But I also feel you reaching for the only One who can and always, always will be there for you – guiding and supporting, comforting. It’s hard to carve out that place where we surrender everything – hands lifted to God in prayer and praise – so we can feel his presence intimately. Your words are a precious reminder that sometimes we really do need to stop, we need the stillness, even for a moment. I pray peace for you and your family.


    1. Janet, you’re so right. It when we feel the smallest that we most need to go to our Father, to be reminded of His amazing love for us. And yes, surrendering all that we are (and think we are) to Jesus is the best way to come through the hard times. Thanks for the prayers. They are much appreciated!


  4. Your words made me think of the hymn “Here In This Place.” Also loved this line: “But, gifts don’t always come with no trouble. The most worthwhile gifts often require change in the recipient.”


    1. Tara, thanks so much for stopping by. It seems like some of the gifts God give come with so much more than we anticipated, doesn’t it? I’m going to go listen to that hymn. For some reason, it’s not coming to mind. 🙂 What number are you in the link up so I can come by for a visit?


  5. So many people I love are going thru difficult times right now. The enemy is working hard to tear God’s kids away. But those who know their God will pursue Him, focus on Him and His word, and be rewarded for their faithfulness. That’s what you are doing, and all shall be well! You write so beautifully! Thank you.


  6. Being a Mom is a gift and the hardest as our hearts ache. Praying for you. Real is the very, very best. Which of us does not feel the depth of challenge here on earth.


  7. How does one choose to remain in the hard places without losing heart? Good question. From my experience, the harder the place the bigger the choice of each morning–do I immediately run to my Abba and climb into his lap for comfort, or do I keep giving him the ‘later, I’m busy now’ brush off? If I start my day with him–I can handle the hard places without losing heart. Otherwise, I’m a mess.


    1. Agreed and agreed, Anita. I agree, the harder the place, the bigger the stakes. Choosing to spend time with the Lord each morning sometimes feels hard, but it’s always the best choice. I’m usually a mess on those days when I rush into my day too. Have a great weekend!


  8. Oh my, I’ve missed you, girl, and missed your writing….I agree: it’s when we’re most in pain that we really come to appreciate Him and all He does for us, when we really learn to grow in to Him, through appreciating His will. Hang in there: as we’ve said before, they have strong roots, our boys, they have strong roots. And a plant with strong roots might bend but it won’t fall. [Praying for you, sending blessings your way]. Helen xxx


    1. Oh, Helen. I like what you said. Can we appreciate God’s will? Even when it’s the harder path? That’s a choice, isn’t it? When we trust Him, we grow in Him. And appreciate His will. Thanks so much for the prayers, my friend!


      1. I think there’s growth in doing so, and I’ve reached some kind of ‘peace’ (if it can be called that) in realising that I have to reach towards the path of most growth (even if it is the more – temporarily – uncomfortable path). Blessings xx


  9. Love these pics. The second one is just incredible! I find myself in a similar place as you at times. I keep praying, “God, help them land well.”. With teens in the house and they’re all growing into their own it can be difficult at times so I pray for patience, understanding and lots of love. These are good words. Thanks for sharing with us! Happy Friday to you!


    1. Yeah, Rachel. Praying for patience, understanding and lots of love sounds like a great plan. 🙂 I don’t always remember to pray for lots of love for them. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!


  10. Being in those places of pain in our hearts is so hard. But you are right in that we need to be here in those moments even when it’s hard. Thank you for sharing about the painful experiences you are going through and how you are handling it with God on your side.


  11. Jeanne, the following words of yours jumped off the page for me:”No, I don’t want to be in the place of pain. But it’s often here when I feel the closest to Him . . . When I know His peace the most intimately” The sweet and sour seasons of our life journey are rich with lessons of love. I ‘remain in the hard places without losing heart’ by guarding my quiet time. Without it I’d truly fall apart.
    Blessings from one mom to another ~ Wendy


    1. I so agree, Wendy. Spending those quiet moments with God are what strengthen us, fortify us for the hardest things in our day, our weeks, our seasons. Thanks so much for your words of kindness!

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  12. Jesus was constantly telling people to TAKE HEART because as John 16:33 says: “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.”
    We are to have hope, to be confident, to not give up, and to have courage!
    But sometimes life’s sorrows cause us to reach a breaking point and we lose heart. We didn’t mean to, it just happened. I believe that it is in those humbling times when we come to the end of ourselves that we are afforded the greatest oppertunity for growth in Christ.


    1. Gene, I love the way you shared your truths here. It is hard to always have courage. On those days when we feel broken, those are the days God can work most powerfully. If we’re looking to Him for comfort and healing. And yes, we have the greatest opportunities to grow when we’re broken. As always, I love what you add to the conversations!


  13. Beautiful, Jeanne. Yes, the hardest times in my life have been the sweetest walks with God. And I know God is working in your son’s heart. He’s surely bringing him to a place of understanding and contentment and thankfulness. And I’m praying for him and you.


    1. Yes, God is working in my son’s heart. Some of what He’s doing I probably won’t see until he’s an adult. But, I have to trust (we all have to trust) that He orchestrates the happenings in each life to draw us closer to Himself and to bring us to who He designed us to become. Thank you so much for the prayers.


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