Adoption, Faith, Mothering

Mothering: When We Want to Be Angry

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A few years ago, one of the boys was having a hard time with his homework. We sat together, him working it through, me explaining as I could. It just so happened on this day that the other boy needed extra help with his math. Dinner needed cooking. And Hubs was out of the country.

I can manage all these things simultaneously . . . as long as everyone works with my plan. 

On this particular day, the first boy went to his room for a break before he dug into more homework. I waited the ten minutes I gave him. And then fifteen.

Continue reading “Mothering: When We Want to Be Angry”
Adoption, God, Infertility, Mothering

Miracles: When You’re Not Looking

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I was sitting in my “creativity nook”, the junk room I repurposed this summer. Autumn breezes blew through the open window. I listened as it whispered through the tree, and rattled the boys’ art hanging on my “family” wall in this new, peaceful room.

My heart was heavy with all that is going on around us. And then, I read a post on those miracles you don’t pray for.

Continue reading “Miracles: When You’re Not Looking”

Adoption, Family Relationships, Love

Family: Lessons Learned as a Family

Yellowstone boys hiking 2

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Last week’s Five Minute Friday word still has me thinking about family. It’s such a unique circle of relationships. And it’s lived out differently in each home.

As children, what we see in a family setting often defines what “family” should look like. Both of our boys love us, and are completely bonded with us.

Continue reading “Family: Lessons Learned as a Family”

Adoption, Hope, Infertility, Shelli Littleton

Life Lessons: An Embarrassing Display—Guest Post by Shelli Littleton

8. Bear (1)


I’m so excited to have Shelli Littleton guest posting today, as the second of a five part series on Life Lessons. I first “met” Shelli on a blog we both follow. Her thoughtful, encouraging comments—both in response to that blog, as well as to other commenters—revealed what a uplifting person she is. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her over the last couple years. Her love for Jesus and living her life for Him comes through her words.  

Please welcome Shelli!


By Shelli Littleton

“Shelli, you have about a 50% chance of conception,” my doctor said, leaning over my hospital bed. I can’t begin to relay the pain I felt or the tears I cried. For you see, having a family had been my childhood dream.

Embarrassment … shame, and everything in between, covered me. All my friends were having babies … baby showers. I felt less than ….

Continue reading “Life Lessons: An Embarrassing Display—Guest Post by Shelli Littleton”

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

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”

Adoption, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering, Uncategorized

Ready: Who Makes Us Ready?

Baby toes 2 copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


I was ready.

I knew in the depths of my heart that I was ready to be a mother.

But my body contradicted my desires. Month after month yielded nothing in the way of family.

Sometimes what I think I’m ready for and what God knows I’m ready for are two different things. I may have thought I was ready for motherhood. And I may have been . . . on my terms.

As it turned out, the Lord had hubby and me wait for another five years before granting us the gift of parenthood—via adoption.

He knew when my husband was ready even to take that step. And it was years later than when I thought I was ready. When our hearts united in this desire, God gave it.

Sunny-shady path

And oh, it’s been such a different ride than I ever anticipated. I haven’t been ready to deal with some of the issues children who are adopted walk through.

But God . . .

God has to prepare us—to make us ready—to walk the paths He’s ordained for us.

And, I’ve not found this “ready-ing” to be an easy thing. I’ve had to die to myself—my desires, my agenda—to learn to live the way God knows I must. To be the mom He wants me to be for our amazing boys.

Sometimes being ready comes in stages and via walking through difficult seasons.

Sometimes, we’re never quite ready for what the Lord allows into our lives. But, when we lean into Him, He equips us to walk those paths, holding His hand. Or sometimes fighting Him all the way.

When I’m most ready to walk in His paths, I find joy in the heartache, and reassurance in the dark days. And I find He’s walking with me through it all, readying me for the next step of the journey.

What about you? When have you thought you were ready for something and God withheld it from you? When have you seen God readying you for a new chapter in your life?

Kate Motaung FMF: Ready

***I’m guest posting over at Let’s Talk today. I’d love it if you stopped by!***