Faith, Trials, Trusting God

Map: How is Your Spiritual GPS?

Hey everyone, I have a little news . . . I’m working on building a website. In a few weeks my blog will be moving over there. I’m so excited for you to visit my new little home! I’ll keep you filled in as the project wraps up. My blog will still be filled with encouraging posts, uplifting truths, and pretty pictures, it’ll just have a new home. 🙂

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Picture of a map, the visual for the theme of this post

By Lisa Jordan

I turned on the Maps feature on my phone and looked at the GPS. The robotic voice commanded me to go southwest then turn right. Okay, but I wasn’t sure if southwest was right or left. 

My mom thought we needed to turn right, so we did. 

And my GPS rerouted us around the block—or so I thought—to get back onto the road we needed to head out of the busy city.

However, instead of connecting us back to the route I was familiar with, the GPS guided us a different way. And honestly, that way had less traffic, less congestion, and less roadwork. 

Continue reading “Map: How is Your Spiritual GPS?”
Family Relationships, God's Love

Father: When Fathers Love

A photo of the author with her father

@JeanneTakenaka

The three men in my life who speak the most of fatherhood are my dad, my father-in-law, and my husband. My father was raised by a single mom, and yet, he figured out this “dad-thing.” He learned how to help his three daughters know they were loved. He encouraged us to chase our dreams and to grow into the women God intended us to be, not the women he thought we should be. I’m sure this was tough, as we sometimes made choices that grated against what he thought was best for us!

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Faith, Living with Intention, Trusting God

Faith: When Everything Is Not Okay

Picture of a fence holding you back from a river flowing and trees on the opposite bank, reminder that we still live with boundaries on our lives

@JeanneTakenaka

Our boys completed their school year from home, as did most American students.

Nine weeks of staying at home (except for buying a few groceries and taking morning walks).

Nine weeks of together time.

Nine weeks of trying to figure out what life should look like in this pandemic-defined world.

And there are still days when I wonder if we’ll ever move beyond the restrictions, the sometimes tedium, the testing of boundaries by our sons. There are days when I wonder if everything will ever be okay again.

Continue reading “Faith: When Everything Is Not Okay”
Faith, Joy, Trusting God

Joy: 7 Thoughts for Cultivating Joy in Hard Seasons

Two teen boys climbing up boulders and scoping out the view beyond

@JeanneTakenaka

This picture brings me great joy. A few weeks ago, I insisted my two boy-men go walk/hiking with me. Getting our teen boys outside rarely meets with whoops of excitement.

When we arrived, my two guys trudged ahead on a dirt trail. There must have been magic in the air that day because, all of a sudden, they were running. With smiles on their faces. 

And the coup de grace came when they discovered large boulders to explore and to test their bravery.

Eighteen months ago, each of our sons were dealt life-altering events. 

Continue reading “Joy: 7 Thoughts for Cultivating Joy in Hard Seasons”
Easter, God's Love, Hope

Easter: What’s the Message of the Cross?

Statue of Jesus hanging on a cross

@JeanneTakenaka

What message does the cross convey to you?

To me, it’s love. And hope. 

How amazing is it that Jesus—a sinless man—loved humanity enough to endure the torture of beatings and being hung on the cross? And even more, He who had never experienced sin, accepted the burden of our sin because He loved us. 

Most of us know the story of how He was beaten, tortured, and hung on the cross until He died. But has His sacrifice become too cliché in our hearts and minds? 

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Authenticity, Relationship, Trusting God

Normal: Being Honest About Our Hearts

Moon hanging over a frozen pond-there is peace in a sense of normal, but there are dark times when there is no sense of normal

@JeanneTakenaka

Can I be honest and say I’m missing my “normal?” 

Normal tends to keep us grounded. It offers a sense of rhythm to our days, our lives, our spirits.

When “normal” is stripped away, as it has been recently, we’re forced to deal with the impact of that loss on our hearts. My normal defined my days. I knew what to expect. I gained a sense of achievement by accomplishing my tasks, by being on time to pick up the boys from school and then get them where they needed to be. 

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Infertility, Surrender, Trusting God

Heart: 4 Steps for Dealing With Idols

Picture of a valley leading down to the ocean with high mountainous walls on each side

@JeanneTakenaka

I slumped on our bed and cried. 

Every month, I careened on an emotional roller coaster. Every month, I prayed, begging God for a baby. Every month, when my cycle came on time, my heart plummeted.

I don’t remember the exact day or event when God confronted me. But He showed me where my heart was set.

…on a pregnancy

…on filling my arms with a squirming newborn

…on having my heart craving satisfied.

And that was the problem.

Continue reading “Heart: 4 Steps for Dealing With Idols”
God's Love, Infertility, Trials

Love: When We Question God’s Love

A woman standing with two young children near a pond

@JeanneTakenaka

Many years ago, as Hubs and I stumbled through the valley of infertility, I struggled a lot with the Lord. I faced well-intentioned loved ones who told me I just needed more faith, and then we’d get pregnant. 

But more, I questioned that God loved me as much as He loved other people. 

If He loved me, why did He withhold this heart desire? Why did he not fulfill the innate yearning to carry a pregnancy to term and to nurture a child? 

I still remember the day. 

Continue reading “Love: When We Question God’s Love”
Faith, Fear, Mothering, Trusting God

Faith: When We Must Choose Between Fear and Faith

A young man standing at the edge of a rock cliff with arms outstretched looking at a wide open space

@JeanneTakenaka

Sometimes, I’m a poser.

Oh sure, I tell people to pray for their children, their husbands, and the heart needs they each have. I tell them God hears, and He answers each and every prayer. Sometimes, it’s with a “Yes.” Other times, the answer is, “No.” And then there’s the “Not yet,” answer.

I believe these truths with all my heart. I know that I know I am a daughter of the King . . . that He loves me completely, passionately, and perfectly. I know we must choose faith.

And still . . . 

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Perspective, Trusting God

Scars: When We Live with Wounds

Image of yellow flowers with some dead and some still alive

@JeanneTakenaka

I was talking with a friend recently. We both have teenaged boys who are scraping wounds across our mama’s hearts. At times the pain is so raw I still feel like I’m bleeding. 

We both like the song, “Scars” by I Am They. But neither of us feel thankful for the scars right now. As I thought about it, I believe this is okay. In the moment.

Sometimes, we’re still living in a wounded place. We’re still walking in the pain of the strikes against our hearts. 

Continue reading “Scars: When We Live with Wounds”