Freedom: Remember What We Celebrate, Love

Independence: What It Costs

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day in the United States, I find myself humbled by the sacrifice of those who have fought and died defending our flag. 

I am also humbled by those who have fought and maybe returned with horrible injuries—physical and psychological—while defending what the red, white, and blue represents. 



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Love, Revelation Series

Revelation (series) Love—Who Do You Love Most?

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I didn’t set out to write a series based on Revelation 2-3. As I began reading the book of Revelation during my quiet times, I wanted to find truths written to the churches that apply for my life. What came from that desire to find one thing in each letter . . . is this series.

The churches to whom John wrote dealt with many of the same issues we face in an increasingly godless culture. Just as the early churches made choices about whether they would live for Jesus or themselves, so too, do we. 

We have the gift of being able to look at back at their strengths and weaknesses and learn from them.

This isn’t an in-depth theological rendering of these letters. Rather, each post reflects what God has taught me through studying both the letters and the churches. As we walk through Revelation two and three over the next seven weeks, I hope you’ll be encouraged and share your thoughts here! 


When our pastor’s wife asked me out to lunch, I was excited . . . and nervous. What would we talk about?

Through the course of our time together, she asked if I would be willing to work in our church’s women’s ministry department. The request humbled me.

She wanted me?

There was something gratifying, yet somber about the thought of taking on the mantle of women’s ministry. I prayed hard about this decision.

Thought about it.

Used the question, “If I say no and look back in five years, will I regret not doing this?”

Continue reading “Revelation (series) Love—Who Do You Love Most?”

Hope, Love, Relationship

Choice: When Love Is Hard

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The boy’s attitude ballooned up bigger than our doorway as we rushed out for school this morning.

Teenage troubles, loss of a cell phone, Homecoming drama and hard decisions? They all coalesced to create a simmering heat beneath his normally unfettered surface.

I couldn’t wait for the boy to exit the car in the carpool line. Loving him was not the first thing on my mind.

I had my own bubbling mess of irritation threatening to destroy the quiet I envisioned for this day.

Continue reading “Choice: When Love Is Hard”

Love, Marriage, Mothering

Marriage: The Importance of Staying Connected


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My husband’s job has required a number of longer business trips over the past few years. Navigating our separations has been its own journey for our family. He must witness some of the struggles from afar. I walk out the emotional turmoil and busy schedules on the home front.

Maintaining our home, driving the boys to and from school, appointments, football practice, band rehearsals, Boy Scouts . . . All of these fill our days and weeks.

Continue reading “Marriage: The Importance of Staying Connected”

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.

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Faith, Life, Living with Intention, Love

Pain: A Heart Like Jesus

safe vs obedient quote copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

When I first read a headline about the Syrian refugee crisis, it was a blip on the radar of my attention.

Then, I read more.

I discovered the shocking reality of the numbers of people impacted by ISIS’ actions in the middle East. Millions fleeing their homes just so they can stay alive, so they can keep their children alive. They take dangerous risks in the hopes of living another day. And my heart broke.

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Confidence, God, Infertility, Life Lessons, Love

Life Lesson: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Footprint and wave

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’m beginning a five week Tuesday series. I’ve asked some friends to join me in sharing their answers to this question: What life lesson have you learned that has changed you the most? Please stayed tuned as Shelli Littleton, Michelle Lim, Tiffany Parry, and Jill Kemerer also share what life lesson changed them the most. And please join in the conversation each week!

I thought I’d begin by sharing my answer.


“What’s love got to do with it?” Everything, it turns out. Sorry if I just put Tina Turner into your heads.

Continue reading “Life Lesson: What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

Forgiveness, God, Love, Mothering, Relationship

Love: Undeserved Love

Low Storm Clouds

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

His storm rolled in on the heels of a decision I made that he didn’t like. These storms he goes through always lead to dark places for this boy. First, he got mouthy. After ignoring a warning to take a step away from the situation, he went in for the attack, his words aiming to wound.

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Five Minute Friday scribblings, Love, Mothering

Dare: Loving Through Hurts

Heart and knot necklace

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


“How dare you?!” roared around in my mind as my son spewed disrespectful words at me. Again.

He’s a boy. I’m the mom. But I can never quite swallow those hurtful darts without them slicing me on the way down.

He’s learning—and so am I—how to deal with the surge of emotions that roil over him and spill onto me. The hurt is there. Sometimes it dares me to retaliate, to not forgive when asked.

Sometimes the greater dare comes in loving after being hurt. Yes, he’s a child. He’s my strong-willed, amazing, loving-big, arms-wide-open boy. Except for when he’s not.

I dare not stop loving this child of mine. As if I could.

Hurt sometimes tempts us to withhold love. Acceptance.

Hurts caused by others challenge us to move beyond them. Or hurts encourage us to give up.

There are situations where hurts must be stopped, and that comes with distancing ourselves from the one doing the hurting.

In my case, my dare is to love through it. To love well. And to train godly.

Big vine, little vine

It’s hard. But I’m the example of love for this boy of mine. I’m the example of Jesus with skin on, of what daring to love—even when one is unlovely—looks like.

I’m not big into taking dares from people . . . but a dare from God? Dare I not accept the challenge to reflect Him to my boys, to the circle of influence I’m placed within?

Is it easy? No! but, it’s necessary. Love well.

Dare to be like Jesus in all of who He is. Including loving when it hurts.

What about you? Have you ever been dared to do something? Did you do it? How do you love those who are hard to love?

Kate Motaung—Dare

Love, Love: When Loving Is Hard, Mothering, Rejection

Love: When Loving Is Hard

Storm moving in

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This mama job is hard some days.

The boys got to bed late last night….for a lot of reasons. One woke up tired. One woke up mean. It’s the mean that is hard for my heart to look beyond.

As he spewed his negative and his mean on the morning, I found myself reacting, distancing myself from the venom.

Continue reading “Love: When Loving Is Hard”