Busy-ness, Christmas, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Intentional Living

Crave: When We Want More


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—CRAVE. 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!


First of all: I confess, I went slightly over five minutes on this one. I hope you’ll allow me a bit of grace. 🙂


It’s only December first and I’m already weary. It’s been “A Week.” With internet woes and an injury requiring stitches, I already feel the glare of this month, as it tries to stare me into submission. As it attempts to make me obey its whims and plans.

But what I crave is times of stillness, of quiet moments with Jesus. It’s only as I spend time in His word and in worship that I am able to recalibrate my spirit.

It’s the only way to get through a busy season without arriving at Christmas morning exhausted, grouchy, and worn down. I’ve had too many Christmas seasons where I do and do and do. I come to the morning most anticipated by my boys . . . too tired to enjoy it.

The older I grow, the more I crave simplicity. The only way toward simplicity is to be intentional.

So instead of letting the month of December stare me down, and tell me I have to bring about all our traditions, say yes to every invitation or opportunity to serve, I’m going to be intentional.

I am going to pray before saying yes. I’ve learned that I need to say no to some good things to say yes to the best things.

I may sound idealistic, but I am taking control of this month, as best as I can.

I’m going to say no to certain traditions because we simply don’t have time to do them this year.

I’m going to pray for God’s guidance before committing to anything.

I’m going to be intentional about savoring moments with my family. Our boys are growing quickly. I love to laugh with them. To talk about the things on their hearts.

If I’m too busy with trying to make things happen, I’ll miss those moments. I’ll miss Jesus’s whispers into my heart about what’s most important.

I don’t want to arrive at the day where we celebrate Him too exhausted to care. I don’t want to wake up on December 25th and wish it was over already.

Big hands little hands 2

If I am intentional now, I can satisfy the craving in my spirit to connect with Jesus. And the bonus will be having a heart open to His promptings about the other things that come up this month. And maybe, just maybe, I won’t feel quite so weary come Christmas morning.

What about you? what does your spirit crave during December? How do you feed yourself during busy season?

Click To Tweet: I crave is times of stillness, of quiet moments with Jesus.

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung Five Minute Friday—Crave

26 thoughts on “Crave: When We Want More”

  1. I hear you, Jeanne! We’ll be having an empty nest Christmas, so I’m going to be super intentional about reaching out to others (so that I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself the whole month 😉 ).


  2. Great post, Jeanne, and there is a stunningly brilliant takeaway in “the intentionality of simplicity”. Like, dude…WOW.

    I sort of miss the ‘busy season’; now it’s just life, and there is no room available for decoration or holiday baking or seeing Christmas lights (the ABQ botanical garden has a bonza display). It’s just day-to-day survival.

    There is some grace in that; in the hours I have to spend lying still and trying to meet the pain, God comes to meet me, and He shows me both the worth of busyness, and the value of simplicity. They’re not mutually exclusive, as a busy life can be lived with a simple heart.

    Took me so long to hear Him saying that!

    #1 at FMF this week.



    1. Andrew, it’s interesting that you kind of miss the busyness of this season. I long for a little less to do. But, as I thought about it, I enjoy many aspects of the season, most of which create the busy-ness. Funny, huh? I really like what you said about how, even in the busy seasons, we can have a simple (at peace?) heart.

      I needed that reminder. Thank you!


  3. Jeanne, great post friend. Advent is my fave season. So much THIS: “If I’m too busy with trying to make things happen, I’ll miss those moments. I’ll miss Jesus’s whispers into my heart about what’s most important.” I’m in the 5 spot this week.


    1. Thank you, Tara. I’m coming to appreciate Advent more. My parents tried to do some Advent activities with us when we were young, but I didn’t really understand the beauty of it. Over the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate the message and the slowing of my tasks and stilling my heart.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!


  4. Very encouraging post. Reminding me about what matters the most. I don’t want to get tired or exhausted in Christmas preparations and forget about soul cravings. I need to pay attention on that. Thanks and God bless you.


    1. Saying yes to less is sometimes harder in the short term, but often leads to a more peaceful outlook, especially during this season. 🙂 Being more content with less . . . again hard, but so, so freeing. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, sweet friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeanne, it’s been a busy semester. Oldest daughter just has finals left for the semester … and she’s passing! Yay! I can’t wait for her last day … and then I long to slow down. Savor the month she’s off. Savor Jesus. xoxo


    1. Shelli! I can’t believe her first semester is nearly over! You must be so excited to have her home over the break. 🙂 I hope your family has many moments to savor being together!


    1. Yes, Lisa. In this age or pre-teen and teen aged child-raising, it’s hard to slow down. Praying before committing to something is helping me in this. May you have clear leading on which activities to say yes to. 🙂


  6. This year Jeanne I am determined to enjoy the season. I mean I always enjoy focusing on Jesus during the Advent season, but somewhere along the way I misplaced the fun if decorating and enjoying our traditions. The last several years the church we were a part of went overboard from Thanksgiving until after the first of the year…we were too busy…I have to wonder if the exhaustion I felt was from that? Hmmmm. This year I want to savor it all like a little child again, and I haven’t wanted that for several years. Oh and a little secret, we started listening to Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving…how shameful, lolol.


    1. I loved what you said, Christy, about savoring this season like a little child. It’s so hard to choose this in the midst of the to-do’s and activities, isn’t it? I’m glad you’re finding freedom and rejuvenation in your new place in life (no longer in your previous church). I’m taking your visual with me into the rest of this season. This is the first year I can remember where I was ready to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend!


  7. This was a beautiful reminder, Jeanne. ❤️️ I must admit, I’m a Christmas lover. If I could be a Christmas elf and live year-round at the Noth Pole, I probably would 😜

    However, this year my stores is much like Anita in that we’ve got one chick gone, and the second one leaving just after Christmas. My husband and I are feeling the separation intensely, and it would be all too easy to simply do nothing and just feel sorry for ourselves. But there are still two chicks left in the nest and many lonely people around us.

    We need to be purposeful to engage the season with intentionality and create those moments for heart connections with God and others.
    Thanks so much for the inspiration! (way over in #53 today)


    1. Thank you, Shauna! It’s interesting how the changing dynamics of our families make us value different things, isn’t it? I’m glad you still have two chicks left in your roost who can help you savor Christmas in your year of change. I love what you said about being purposeful and engaging the season with a mind toward creating heart connections. Beautiful!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. thanks for your good words today jeanne:) i had to learn to be more intentional during the busy years way back when life was crazy busy. it did help to not be running around crazy during the xmas season, to enjoy the time more for quiet and thought. i needed it.


    1. Martha, thank you for the reminder that those busy years are times to be intentional with our time. I’m trying to remember this as I’m now a few days into this “busy time!” 🙂 I like the reminder of the importance of having time for quietness and thought. I hope you have many of those moments during this season!


  9. I crave fun and laughter with my family this Christmas! And not to compare myself with those glossy magazine pictures of the perfectly decorated Christmas room! My tree goes up a week before Christmas and it is a mess of decorations, many made by children’s hands. To relax in the season means to me to relax in the imperfect of it all–the star cookies with broken tips, the Christmas lights with a burned out bulb or two. When Jesus was born in that stable, I am sure it was ‘messier’ than those neat nativity scenes depict! And maybe smelled bad even! May the joy of the season be in our heart being open, as you so eloquently write, to all the moments that even can be messy perfection.


    1. I love this, Lynn! Fun and laughter with my family are things I crave too. 🙂 I deliberately do NOT look on Pinterest for ideas for decorating and perfection. Because I’ll only end up frustrated that I can’t replicate it! And then, my focus is in the wrong place, LOL. 🙂 Our tree has lots of random decorations from friends, that our boys have made, and even some from my childhood.

      I LOVE your reminder that messiness is a reality in this life, and it’s okay. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. 🙂


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