Faith, Hope

Darkness: Seeing the Light

Moon shimmering on some clouds and rising above tree branches

Byine Lisa Jordan

When I was seven years old, I had a nightmare there was a snake in my bed.

I rushed into the living room where my parents had been watching TV. My dad took a flashlight into my bedroom, pulled back the covers, and shined his light to prove the snake was not there.

It wasn’t real . . . only a dream.

It felt so real in fact that I still remember the details over forty years later . . . and snakes continue to be my greatest fear.

But isn’t that what darkness does?

Continue reading “Darkness: Seeing the Light”
Comfort Zone, Faith, Hope

Comfort Zone: When Hearts are Confronted

A photo of a deer grazing in a meadow

@JeanneTakenaka

I think everyone would agree this version of 2020 was not the year we signed up for when we turned the calendar page on January first. 

First, a pandemic shut down our country and tried to erase hope and joy. As we’ve become a little more comfortable living in the “new different”, we are confronted with where our hearts and thoughts really stand when it comes to racism.

Continue reading “Comfort Zone: When Hearts are Confronted”
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? 

Continue reading “Easter: What’s the Message of the Cross?”
Faith, Hope

Hope: A Violent Hope

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

“Hallelujah it is finished . . . 

We thank You for the cross.”

“A violent hope shook the ground . . .”

I was standing with our church family, singing this song some weeks back. We’ve worshiped the Lord many times through this song. But on this particular morning, these phrases caught me. Turned my brain around a bit.

I never thought about hope being violent. The word “hope” has always struck me as a gentle thing, like a quiet, steady rain falling, or a pastel sunrise.

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Faith, Hope, Loss, Perspective

Gone: Death . . . and Life

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

A person never expects to hear about the death of a friend’s child. Especially when that child only spent twenty-one years this side of heaven.

Just over a week ago, I learned that a friend’s daughter died unexpectedly. Gone. How does one even grapple with that?

Even as my One Word for the year is Live (as in to live well), my friend and her husband were forced to deal with death.

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Hope, Living with Intention, One Word, Trusting God, Uncategorized

2019: One Word

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

There’s something about a new year that enables me to breathe deep. 

2018 was a tough year for our family. We walked through some things with the boys that had me remembering that my Hope is truly found in Jesus alone. I found myself turning to Him in the stress and the chaos that the year threw at me.

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Control, Hope, Trusting God

Hope: What It All Comes Down To

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Do you ever get halfway (or more through the year) and wonder how you’re doing with those aspirations and areas of focus you decided on in January?

If you’ve read this blog for very long, you know I am a One Word girl. I don’t make resolutions, because I’m far too prone to break them in a weak moment. 

Instead, I ask God to give me a word to focus on for the year. Some years, I resonate with the word right away. And I see how God weaves it into the fabric of who I am.

Continue reading “Hope: What It All Comes Down To”

Fear, Hope, Trusting God

Uncertain: When There Are No Easy Answers

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

***I wrote this post about a month ago, but everything still holds true.***

~~~~~~~

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

It had been about two weeks since the conversation that changed my paradigm. The way I thought our family would grow up and mature and launch two boys into the world as young men, prepared and equipped to take on the challenges of adulting and figuring out who they really are.

Two weeks since I had talked with a person who “loves” my boy-man enough to share the hard truths with me. 

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Discouragement, Hope, Mothering, Trusting God

Hope: When We’re in the Battle

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I was going through a hard season with one of our boys. Fights, angry words, hatred in the eyes because of every word I spoke. I was the loser-mom in his eyes. 

His hard heart about broke mine. 

The back talk, the disrespect, the hate-laced words gouged holes my spirit until it felt as pocked as the moon.

This wasn’t a day’s worth of struggle. This was weeks. The constant ripping apart within me left me depleted and weary. 

Continue reading “Hope: When We’re in the Battle”

Hope, One Word, Trusting God

Hope: Worry and Hope

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The urge to cough tickled my throat . . . and kept tickling. And forced me into hacking.

This wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that I had a minor procedure scheduled where I would be under anesthesia. And I needed to be able to breathe without difficulty.

Coughing makes this a bit tricky.

Continue reading “Hope: Worry and Hope”