Perspective, Suffering, Uncategorized

Perspective: When We Walk Through Suffering

Small flowers with rain droplets on them


“We recommend further testing.”

A number of years ago, these words accompanied the news that I had an ovarian cyst that looked “suspicious.” As I grappled with the waiting for the doctor’s appointments to be scheduled, for the tests to be run and translated, my thoughts were never far from “the C word.”

Cancer? Me? But I was a mother of very young children. I couldn’t have cancer. I feared walking through the suffering of the disease. The not-knowing, the waiting clawed at me, shortened my breaths, made my heart pound hard.

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One Word, Uncategorized

2020: One Word

Image of Diamond Head in Hawaii on a partly cloudy day


Happy New Year! And not only a new year but a new decade. 2019 was a year of stretching and trusting. Teenaged boys have given me a lot of practice in learning how to trust God.

My One Word for 2019 was LIVE.

I thought my word would have me focusing on choosing to live in each moment instead of looking too far ahead and managing my days rather than living out the moments of my days. 

But, God has ways of bringing out other facets from the lessons we think we’re going to learn. 

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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


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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Spring Break


You all know my family is pretty important to me. This week is my boys’ Spring Break. We are off making some fun memories. To be able to be “all in” for each moment, I have decided to take a Spring Break from posting this week. I look forward to reconnecting with everyone next week!

In the meantime, may God fill your days with many glimpses of His love for you, with greater understanding of His word, and with special blessings. 

See you next week!

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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Independence Day


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Happy Independence Day!

My hope is that you are spending this day with your family and friends. As you take time to barbecue, laugh, and enjoy fireworks and sparklers, may you also think on the incredible gift of freedom we are celebrating!

I wanted to let you know I am taking a little break from blogging. Our family has a lot going on in July, and I need to be “all there” with them. I will look forward to being back here in August, and I’ll be refreshed and ready to reconnect with all of you!

Please know how much I appreciate you and look forward to our interactions.



Expect: When The Unexpected Happens


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—EXPECT. 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 the Five Minute Friday website. 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!

***I went a wee bit over five minutes this week. Just had to confess it.***


I headed into the week with a lot on our plate. The boys were done with school (already?!). One had two days of band camp. We had house guests arriving. And my three guys were getting ready to head to Boy Scout Camp in another state.

I knew I had a lot on my plate, but I knew what to expect. I also knew I’d be able to breathe at the end of all the chaos.

What I didn’t expect was for one of my boys to pass out. At the breakfast table. And tumble from his chair. I knew he couldn’t be joking around (he’s a jokester). He would have stopped himself from falling onto the floor.

I had nothing in my repertoire of experiences to tell me how to handle this. So, I got him to the couch.

And waited.

And prayed.

And texted wise friends.

And was pretty much a wreck for the next few hours.

I didn’t know what to expect. We got a doctor’s appointment later that day. I knew God was in control, but I didn’t know what that meant? Epilepsy? Something worse?

The kiddo was tired for a few hours after he came to. He rested and I paced. What did one do with a child who passed out?

I worked on breathing, trying not to expect the worst when we met with the doctor. They ran tests, asked questions, took my son’s side of the event and then mine.

Of all the things I had planned for that week, having a kid pass out wasn’t on the list.

I don’t like when these kinds of unexpected things happen. Surprise birthday parties? Okay. Surprise faintings? SO not okay.


I had to come to God with my fears, with my concerns, and my worry. He knew exactly what was going on with the boy. Even though I had to wait a few days to hear the results of the tests.

I couldn’t live each moment, hovering over my son, expecting him to pass out again. Though that was my inner prompting.

We followed up with the doctor, who said the tests came back normal. Good news, yes. I had to choose whether or not I was going to trust God or expect the worst. Living with the mindset that we expect the worst to happen only leads to a stressed out life.


Living out the choice to trust God when the unexpected happens? To choose to rest in Him and trust that He’s doing/allowing what’s best for accomplishing His will? This sometimes feels harder in the short term, but making this choice each day enables us to live in peace in the long-term.

What about you? When did something unexpected derail your “normal?” How do you respond when the unexpected happens?

I’m linking up over at the Five Minute Friday site. Come join the fun!

Click to Tweet: I had to come to God with my fears, with my concerns, and my worry.

Christmas, God's Love, Uncategorized

Christmas: The Greater Gift


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I think this is one of my favorite images of Christmas. We celebrate the amazing gift of Jesus in the manger. But the even greater gift came as Jesus offered Himself in our place on the cross. What kind of love is this?

It’s the kind of love that leaves me humbled and feeling small. And yet, knowing I’m loved with that kind of passion fills me with a deep-down joy. As Christmas draws nearer, I am taking a break to spend time with my family.

Know that you, my readers, are a great gift to me as well. I thank God for you. May your Christmas be one that holds much joy, leaves you with treasured memories, and confirms that truth that you are greatly loved by our heavenly Father.

I’ll see you back here on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 (can you believe it?!).

Merry Christmas!

Dependence, Relationship, Trusting God, Uncategorized

Test: God Is With Us


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Why does God test us?

As I was reading Judges 3, I made it to the second verse before the Lord stopped me.

“These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wards in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience):…” (NIV)

And it goes on to list the nations.

The first time I read this, I thought about the Lord testing the Israelites, as in—did He want them to fail? What was He testing? Their abilities?

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God, Perspective, Trusting God, Uncategorized

Homeless: A Heart Like Jesus

Home doormat


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Can I be honest and say I am a cynic?

And I am convicted.

As I watched this video, I was challenged to think about what home is.

I’ve seen and given to people who were wearing new tennis shoes and decent-looking clothes, and I’ve questioned if they were really homeless, or if they were trying to turn a quick buck.

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