Relationship

Bridges: 4 Truths About Bridges and Relationships

The international bridge between the United States and Canada

By Jeanne Takenaka

Most of this blog is a repost from a much earlier post . . . Our family took an impromptu trip, so I’m sharing this with you, and I’ll be commenting this week as I have time. 🙂

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This past weekend, the family and I had a paintball adventure. It was my first time ever playing the game. A creek ran through the course. Our referee told Hubs and me that there were five bridges crossing it, some were rickety, but they provided a way to cross and stay dry. 

There were a couple narrow places where one could jump from one side of the creek to the other, but I was always on the lookout for a bridge. Who needs the stress of trying to jump while not being splatted with paint?

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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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Focus, Perspective, Relationship

Focus: Where are We Living?

Focus-living a bee focused on pollinated a snowball flower

@JeanneTakenaka

Does a song ever speak to you? We’ve been singing, “You Reign Above It All” for the past few weeks at church. This song speaks so vibrantly of how big, how powerful our Father is. It brought to mind an event where God began showing me the truth in this song.

Years ago, I walked into my women’s ministry office one Sunday morning after service. My heart pounded in indignation when I saw one of our volunteers sitting at my desk and rifling through some files for an outreach she and I were coordinating. 

What was she doing in my office? 

Without even asking?

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Marriage, Relationship, Valentine's Day

Love: Eleven Practices for Growing Love

Man and woman from the back, holding hands

@JeanneTakenaka

Twenty-five years.

Twenty-five years ago this month I met my husband. I hated Valentine’s Day. Not the day itself, but how it made me feel.

Isolated.

Alone.

Not wanted.

I’d accepted the fact that I wanted only God’s best when it came to a potential husband, but this day . . . when romantic love is most celebrated . . . was painful.

I suspect most people who are single-wanting-to-be-married have felt the same way at some point.

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Faith, Forgiveness, Relationship

Wounds: 5 Thoughts For Letting Go of Offenses

Image of a country road lined by trees heading into a sunset

@JeanneTakenaka

We all have wounds. 

Not long ago, my wound got stomped on by people close to me. Things were said. The message conveyed felt like a snub, and it stung. My first response was to leave the situation. 

I moved on from the incident, but that re-opened wound festered, leaving me stinking on the inside, insecure in my thinking, and holding onto a grudge. My first thought was to ignore the pain caused by words.

But, ignoring rarely heals.

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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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Contentment, Relationship

Belonging: Understanding Where We Belong

Two girls holding hands

@JeanneTakenaka

For much of my life, I’ve tried to belong . . . somewhere. There was this deeper fear, that when it came down to it, I wouldn’t belong anywhere. So, I attempted to fit in everywhere . . . the popular group in high school, the swim team, various clubs, the “little sisters” of a fraternity in college, the choir for Sunday services. The singer-types on the worship team as a new wife.

But I couldn’t find my fit. I would reach out, but others wouldn’t reach back. And it only stepped on my childhood rejection wound.

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Faith, Relationship

Regret: After We’ve Failed

Photo of trees on each side of a pathway making an overhang above it

@JeanneTakenaka

One sure thing about life is that we will face opposition. We’ll be confronted with our own failings and shortcomings. We’ll be forced to decide how to respond to our regrets.

I love how, each time I read through the Bible, God brings different things alive in my heart. As I read through 2 Samuel, I gleaned insights about David. After his mistake with Bathsheba, God brought many consequences into his life. I was reading 2 Samuel 15 about how David’s son, Absalom, attempted to overtake the kingdom. Animosity toward his father had built in his heart for years (read 2 Samuel 13-16). Some would say he was justified in his anger toward David.

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Faith, Relationship

Reader: 4 Thoughts for Reading People

@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.

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Some of my earliest memories of my mom involve her curled up on our sofa lost in a book. When she read, it sometimes took WW3 in miniature form to bring her back to the world of three young, quarreling daughters. 

She was the first one who taught me to love reading. Even when I had to have eye therapy at five years old, I loved the feel of a book in my hands, the images from the story coming to life in my imagination.

As an adult, I’ve discovered there are many kinds of reading. We read not only the written word, we also read people and life situations. 

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Mothering, Relationship, Trusting God

Mothering: What’s Most Important

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Mothering teens requires so much emotional, physical, mental, spiritual energy. Some days I’m wrung out. It’s in those days when I must remember the most important things.

We’re walking through an issue with one of our boys. It’s been hard. 

Draining. 

Hit-my-head-against-the-wall frustrating, at times. 

And yet, I love this boy with all my heart.

This is a challenging time in history to be raising up young men and women to follow God. Watching our kids leap into pitfalls can be absolutely heart-breaking. 

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