Comparison: Comparing Ourselves to Others, Expectations, Mothering

Mothering: When All We See is Failure

Two boys sitting on a swing together

@JeanneTakenaka

I read the post with a lump in my throat. This writer shared about how amazing her sons have turned out. Oh, not that there weren’t struggles, and pulling out of hair, but as they grew from boys into men, they have become good men.

And images of our own sons came to mind. 

It’s so easy to see the character traits that seem like weaknesses rather than the potential that is still taking root in their hearts.

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Lisa Jordan, Mothering, Trials

Storm: Hearing God’s Whisper Through the Rain

Dark clouds hovering over a city, dropping rain over mountains

Guest Post by Lisa Jordan

Intro: I had no idea, on the day I met her, the gifts God had in store for me. My friend and award-winning author, Lisa Jordan, has been a confidante, an encourager, and a speaker of deep wisdom. She’s helped me on my writing journey, been a support and a listening ear when my kids have me pulling my hair out, and most of all, she points me to Jesus when I begin to think everything is up to me. I’m thrilled to begin sharing her quiet wisdom and encouraging words with you all on the last Tuesday of each month. Please help me welcome Lisa Jordan.

*****

At the end of March, I spent two days with friends, who lived ninety minutes from my house. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a social visit but one of necessity—at least to this aching mama. 

Earlier that day, I had taken my youngest son to the walk-in clinic in our community and then the emergency department at our local hospital. His jaw and neck were swelling quickly despite the prescribed antibiotics his doctor had given him the day before. After waiting nearly three hours, the ER physicians decided my son needed to be taken by ambulance to a hospital in a larger city to treat the infection more aggressively so it wouldn’t affect his breathing by closing off his windpipe.

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Life, Mothering, One Word

Present: When We Want to Run Away

@JeanneTakenaka

Can I just tell you that last week was one of the most difficult I’ve walked out in a long time?

A close friend had a health crisis that only God could avert, and He did. I had the privilege of walking out some of that with her, her family, and our other friends. 

There were issues with the boys. And with their school. And with the boys. Yes, I meant to say that twice.

As I put out fires and sent messages to people who needed to know some of what was going on, I struggled against the urge to escape. 

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Christmas, Intentional Living, Mothering, Uncategorized

Christmas: When We Need to Give Grace

A lit Christmas tree in dim room casting light on the walls

@JeanneTakenaka

It seems like this happens every year.

Thanksgiving is a couple of days behind me, and I determine I’m going to make this year the Christmas season where I’m truly resting in the midst of the busy-ness of it all. I decide to cut back on activities and things I feel obligated to complete.

Each year I promise myself I’m going to come upon Christmas Day rested and worshiping my Savior, grateful for all that the Day represents. 

And almost every year Christmas Day arrives and I am weary.  I forget to give myself grace.

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Identity, Mothering, Relationship

Wait: When Does Happily Ever After Come?

A bridge leading to a pathway with a mountain in the background

@JeanneTakenaka

Have you ever lain in bed at night and found yourself praying for your children or another loved one in your life? 

After a day filled with teen ‘tude from one boy and some extreme emotion that morphed into choices that left the other boy regretting how he’d handled himself, I felt unsettled. Part of me questioned when we would move beyond this stage of angst and grappling to our sons being at peace with who they are.

I suspect many of us wrestle with being at peace with who we are. Even in my fifties, I have days . . . But God. 

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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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Contentment, Expectations, Mothering

Satisfy: Where Does Contentment Begin?

A young man sitting on a stump facing the ocean

@JeanneTakenaka

“I’m never content, Mom.”

These words slipped from my son’s mouth some months back. Probably after I’d gone to great lengths to get him something he wanted, or to do something he desired. 

And then I’d probably made the mistake of asking how he liked it.

I don’t ask that question anymore.

First, I found it revelatory that this boy of mine knew he would never be satisfied. Second, a piece of my heart cracked because all that I had done to bless him—to make him happy—hadn’t been enough.

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Mothering, Prayer, Words

Words: Making Words Count

Meme: Word Count super imposed over a dictionary page

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

Stories of the heart are built by adding word count. I belong to an online group for writing 1000 words in one hour. Not everyone does this, and not everyone who’s part of the group is adding word count to their manuscripts. But it’s a great community where we hold each other accountable to work on our projects. For any book to come to a place of completion, words must be added in the creating of said book.

As important as it is to build word count in a book, it’s even more essential that we make our real-life words count. 

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Mothering, Perspective, Trusting God

Perspective: 5 Thoughts for Navigating the Unexpected

Perspective: Pitcher in motion pitching a baseball

@JeanneTakenaka

I was having “a day” with one of the boys. The other one was at baseball tryouts at his school. 

You never know when something unexpected will alter your perspective. 

The call interrupted me as I spoke with a pharmacist. I didn’t recognize the number, so I ignored it. After my conversation with the pharmacist ended, I listened to the message the other caller had left. 

And my stomach tightened. 

“Mom, I got hit in the face with a baseball…teeth came down. Possible broken jaw.”

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God's Love, Mothering

Legacy: What Makes a Legacy?

A man holding his two sons' hands walking on the beach with the sun silhouetting them

@JeanneTakenaka

A couple of weeks ago, Mary Geisen shared some thoughts about legacy in relation to a post about creating I wrote. Her words have begun to ruminate in me. This offering is my initial attempt to really consider what it means to leave a legacy.

*****

Have you ever thought about different aspects of legacy?

My father, whom I am beyond blessed to call Dad, was left a legacy of brokenness. His father was an alcoholic who abandoned his family when my father was three. His mother worked hard and traveled for nursing jobs to keep my father and his sister fed and clothed. But she loved him well and instilled in him a character that nurtured a loyal, hardworking man, even into his eighties. I wonder, though, if there are still scars that never completely healed because of his father’s choices.

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