Five Minute Friday scribblings, Marriage, Uncategorized

Learn: The Best Lessons

Autumn path

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

This prompt goes along well with series I’m hosting on my blog this month on Life Lessons. I shared one of the most life-changing lessons I’ve learned in a recent post. As I thought about other life-lessons, here’s another one I’ve learned.


Life offers many opportunities to learn.

As a child, I learned the sting that rejection inflicts on a girl’s heart. I learned the warped lies that come from believing the words, when they’re said to you enough. And for years, I believed them.

As a teen, I learned the truth of Jesus’ gospel gift. And I embraced Him as my Savior, and my Lord. I wouldn’t learn what it means to know Him as a lover until much later.

As a college student, I learned that compromise never leads to lasting joy. Compromise may lead to temporary acceptance, short-term feel-goods, but never to lasting fulfillment.

As a young professional (teacher) I learned the beauty of falling in love with God’s word. Hardship in the classroom instilled on my heart the need for knowing God’s word. Leaning into Him was the best thing I could have learned in my tumultuous first year of teaching.

Quiet Time

In my twenties I learned the heartache and the beauty of waiting. That when I waited for God’s best for me, I would learn how to desire Him above any man. And when God brought the man I’d prayed over for years? He was so much better than anything I could have dreamed up.

Infertility? Yea, lots of lessons there. Adoption? Lots more lessons there. For another post.

Now, as a mom in my forties, I’m learning how to begin letting go of the precious boys God’s given us. Sure, they’re only twelve and eleven, but already, they’re anxious to discover who they’re meant to be. They may not know it yet, but they’ll have many life lessons to learn as well.

Watching them get hurt—trusting them into God’s hands is hard—but it holds its own beauty. 

Holding Hands

Growing older with my husband, I’m still learning the delight that comes in complete acceptance/unconditional love from a human.

One of the best lessons I’ve learned so far in my nearly fifty years? I don’t have to work for acceptance from anyone else. God’s unfailing acceptance of me—His delight and perfect love for me—is enough.

What about you? What ’s one lesson you’ve been learning? What’s the most life-changing lesson you’ve learned? 

27 thoughts on “Learn: The Best Lessons”

  1. What a beautiful reflection on all you’ve learned over the years! I think the most life-changing lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t have to live up to anyone’s standards of perfection. I just need to always be open to the teaching of the Holy Spirit as he prompts me to make changes in my life so that it’s patterned more and more each day on the life of Jesus.


    1. Anita, isn’t that such a freeing lesson?! It’s taken me decades to understand that, but I’m finally grasping that I don’t have to be perfect. Perfectionism isn’t my standard. I love the way you’re choosing to life, patterning each day after Jesus’ example. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  2. Visiting from FMF! Loved your lessons you’ve learned.Especially resonating w/ the teacher one right now. Currently student teaching and am floundering underneath the pressure and stress. I haven’t leaned on Jesus like I should… thank you for the reminder. 🙂


    1. Jordan, going into teaching isn’t easy, but I admire you for pursuing it. May God give you wisdom and discernment as you interact with those middle school kids. They really need teachers who genuinely care about them. It’s a lot of work the first couple years, but you’ll find your groove. And Jesus will help you as you lean into Him. Thanks so much for stopping by! I enjoyed your blog too. 🙂


  3. I love the post and the pictures, Jeanne. They brightened my evening.

    What I am learning now, and re-learning every day, is that no matter how bad I feel, I’ve got to rise up in spite of the pain and nausea and blood and do something to make progress toward my goals. I’ll feel worse at the end of the day anyway…you should see how the room’s spinning as I write this…so why not feel awful in the service of a good cause?

    The most life-changing lesson? Hmmm…I’ve taught OTHER people some life-changing lessons, that’s for sure (they didn’t really like the changes).

    But for me? I guess it’s the lesson that Eric Greitens learned, that led to his writing “The Heart And The Fist”…compassion for those victimized by evil men is useless without the means and the will to make the suffering go away. For good. I learned this in a place I won’t describe, attending to the aftermath of an incident whose perpetrators were later made to pay a dear price.


    1. Andrew, you bring up an important point. We have to choose to rise up . . . after disappointments, or in the midst of them, in the midst of illness, or tragedy, or grief. When it would be easier to give up. You are an inspiration to me in how you live each day.

      Your comment on compassion resonates with me. Sympathy is feeling bad for someone without doing anything about it. Compassion is doing something about the situation, for the person suffering. Of course, you’ve probably helped in ways that I never could, in dealing with what’s causing the suffering…. Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart.


  4. God’s acceptance of me…is enough. Oh Jeanne, so grateful that you share this wisdom. And I ached with your journey and all the sorrows that make you appreciate your joys so much the more! I never want to stop learning. 🙂
    (linked at sweet 16 this week)


    1. Tammy, our journeys help make us who we are and who God designed us to be, don’t they? The struggles, the pain fills us out, and colors us more like Jesus. 🙂 Loved your post!


  5. Jeanne, I’ve been trying all day to get over here to read your post! It’s been one of those days full of divine interruptions – which I’m LEARNING to view as such! I love the direction you took, ticking off the years and the lessons learned. Live is a never ending learning curve, I think. Once you get one thing going pretty well – by God’s grace – you get to LEARN something new.
    I’m so glad God is accepting of us that way too, my friend. He’s so patient with me.
    Thanks for visiting today, I’m working on those replies as well! 🙂


    1. Ruthie, I KNOW those days. In these final few days before school starts up again, I feel like I’m constantly running. Sigh. And yes, I’ve definitely found that once I think I get one thing figured out, God shows me something else I need to learn. We’re always learning. I’m with you . . . so glad God accepts us just as we are.

      Have a great weekend!


  6. Jeanne, you ooze grace and wisdom. The fact that you can so clearly see the lessons and the good in life’s hardships blesses and inspires me. May your faith be strengthened today. May you sense His pleasure!


    1. You’re sweet, Marie. I don’t often feel wise. 🙂 I guess we all learn the wisdom God has for us, don’t we? And we learn to see the good in the hardships. I hope you’re feeling a little better!


  7. Wonderful post, as always. I’m having to re-establish so many ‘baselines’ in my life that I find I’m having to learn so many things afresh, particularly about myself. It’s a bittersweet process (that could lead me to falling in to resentment and bitterness) but, with His help, I’m choosing to accept these lessons with humility and, perhaps most joyfully of all, with hope and optimism.


    1. Helen, I can imagine you’ve got a lot of baseline-building to do. As you learn who you really are, you’ll learn what those baselines need to be. Just remember to embrace God’s grace for you as you learn the hard lessons. I so appreciate you and your transparency. Praying for you, my friend.


  8. Learning or being taught? At this stage of life I’m still learning what Gd has to teach, and know I’ll never stop. The aging process brings a whole new carriage load of learning situations. . . self concept~ how others perceive me? Does God still have big goals ahead for me, or is that time passed? That face in the mirror isn’t how I perceive me. Many challenges in my “God and me” learning curve still ahead.


    1. Mom, I hope we never, ever stop learning. God’s goals are perfect goals for us: too big for us to accomplish on our own, but never too big for Him. His definition of big goals and ours are sometimes different, yes? Keep leaning into Him as you round those curves. 🙂


  9. The most life-changing lesson: When God calls me to a new responsibility don’t hesitate, Jesus told his disciples to start now with what they already had at their disposal. I spent too much time in the past thinking that I wasn’t prepared to do what I was being called to do. Stepping out in faith changed that in me.


    1. Gene, that’s a great lesson. How often have I hesitated in saying yes to a responsibility God’s called me to? Years ago I walked through a Bible study, and one of the most life-changing lessons was about joining God in the work He’s doing, rather than asking Him to join me in the work I wanted to do. Sometimes the two “works” are aligned. Other times? Not so much. 🙂

      Thanks for the exhortation to step out in faith. We can never fail if we do that. I always appreciate your wisdom!

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