Mothering, Series, When There Are Words

Words: The Power of Love-Giving Words


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This is part four of a five week series on the power of words. We have all been impacted by the words of another. Some words have imbued us with confidence, while others have deflated us. We are created to be communicators. So, when there are words, how do we use them well? 

Let’s explore this over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me and add your thoughts to the conversation! If you want to read previous posts, click: When There Are Words.


“There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you.”

I’ve said these words to our boys since before they could talk. And it turns out, these are words they’ve needed to hear.

When they’ve done things right,

When they’ve gotten things terribly wrong,

When they have let a big, scary anger rule their words and actions,

That’s when they’ve needed these words most.

As boys who are cherished by two sets of parents,

As boys who are trying to figure out who in the world they are in the big picture of things.

Continue reading “Words: The Power of Love-Giving Words”

Adoption, God, Infertility, Mothering

Miracles: When You’re Not Looking

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I was sitting in my “creativity nook”, the junk room I repurposed this summer. Autumn breezes blew through the open window. I listened as it whispered through the tree, and rattled the boys’ art hanging on my “family” wall in this new, peaceful room.

My heart was heavy with all that is going on around us. And then, I read a post on those miracles you don’t pray for.

Continue reading “Miracles: When You’re Not Looking”

Mothering, Trusting God

Growing Up: Who’s Responsible?

Big foot little foot+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

UPDATE: I’m so sorry I forgot to mention the winner of my giveaway from last week! Michaela Weidinger, you won! I’ll contact you to get information to send you your prize. Thanks for entering, everyone. 

How is it they grow so quickly?

I remember holding our first son in the hospital—twenty minutes old—gazing into his dark blue eyes, feeling my heart twist and turn to mush. Counting each finger. Each toe.

I remember tickling the palm of his tiny hand and his fingers instinctively wrapping their sweetness around mine.

Continue reading “Growing Up: Who’s Responsible?”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering

News: Sharing Good News

baby-peter-and-me copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—NEWS. 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!


I couldn’t wait to hear my parents’ response the night we called to share that we were going to be parents. Years of waiting would finally result in them becoming grandparents. Finding that creative way to share our news made me giddy with joy—both for hubby and me—but also for my parents.

And for the sheer joy God had finally offered to us in the giving of good tidings for our family.

As I expected, they were thrilled. Happy tears spilled on my mom’s and my cheeks.

As we called other loved ones, our good news wasn’t always received with as much joy and excitement. Some cast doubt on our joy.

Meeting Edmund copy 3

I wonder how God felt when the time finally came for Him to offer Jesus for mankind? When the angel said, “Behold I bring glad tidings of great joy!” was that angel giddy with the news of redemption for a hurting world?

And how was it received? We know the answer to that.

The shepherds who heard those words that night? They received it with great joy, and probably a large dose of humility.


Others? Did they question or doubt? Surely, some people went on with daily living, unbelieving.

And yet God . . . He had such great news to share with His creation! How special that He found that unique, stand-out way to share HIs good news, His great love for this world. Who but He would have a glorious angel get peoples’ attention?

I love sharing good news, but I can’t control how others will receive it. Will this stop me from sharing it?

It shouldn’t.

Silhouette sunset

Just like when we shared about the coming birth of our first son, I should be that excited to share the amazing gift of God’ salvation with those around me.

There is no shame in sharing good news. We get to be the bearers of it, and we should be joy-filled with the gift we offer.

We can’t control how it’s received. We can only control if we will share.

What about you? What was the best news you got to share with others? How do you share God’s gift of salvation with those in your world?

I’m linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—News

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.

Continue reading “Family: Lessons Learned as a Family”

Adoption, Hope, Infertility, Shelli Littleton

Life Lessons: An Embarrassing Display—Guest Post by Shelli Littleton

8. Bear (1)


I’m so excited to have Shelli Littleton guest posting today, as the second of a five part series on Life Lessons. I first “met” Shelli on a blog we both follow. Her thoughtful, encouraging comments—both in response to that blog, as well as to other commenters—revealed what a uplifting person she is. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her over the last couple years. Her love for Jesus and living her life for Him comes through her words.  

Please welcome Shelli!


By Shelli Littleton

“Shelli, you have about a 50% chance of conception,” my doctor said, leaning over my hospital bed. I can’t begin to relay the pain I felt or the tears I cried. For you see, having a family had been my childhood dream.

Embarrassment … shame, and everything in between, covered me. All my friends were having babies … baby showers. I felt less than ….

Continue reading “Life Lessons: An Embarrassing Display—Guest Post by Shelli Littleton”

Adoption, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Here: Determined to Stay Here

Rainy day road

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—HERE. 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!


Tweeting with some of the FMF ladies tonight, the phrase, “keeping it real,” came up. How easy is it, really, to do this? As I’ve thought about what my week has held . . . oh, it’s been real all right.

Real agonizing as one boy struggles with what his core identity is.

Real painful as I watch him battle things out with me and those around him.

Real sorrowful knowing I can’t be all that I want to be for him.

Because, really, what he—and all of us—needs is that close intimacy with Jesus. Right here, in our hearts, in our thoughts.

At times this week, I questioned why God thought I was ever the right person to mother these two amazing boys—His gifts to us.

But, gifts don’t always come with no trouble. The most worthwhile gifts often require change in the recipient. And so too, does the gift of motherhood.

Hands fingers intertwined

Right here, in my home, I’ve been challenged to stay humble before the Lord. To press in hard to Him, begging for a soft heart once again.

Right here in my home, I’ve cried, I’ve ranted a little, and I’ve prayed . . . hard, for all that’s going on in our hearts.

It’s right here in this place, on my face, where God can work the changes in me that He needs to work. When I am humble before Him, when I’m willing to look at everything going on with eyes that look beyond my own hurt? That’s when He can begin the work of healing and restoring.

I need to be here, in this place—right now—for Him to begin that work. No, I don’t want to be in the place of pain. But it’s often here when I feel the closest to Him . . . When I know His peace the most intimately.

Orangy flowers

It’s only here, in this moment—hands lifted to God in prayer and choosing to worship Him—that I can know the depths of His presence.

Right here is where I’ll remain, even when life’s pain is great.

What about you? When have you chosen to endure pain to know God better? How do you remain in the hard places without losing heart?

Hop on over to Kate Motaung’s site, and celebrate her one year anniversary of hostessing Five Minute Friday—Here

Adoption, Family Relationships, Staying Connected, Thanksgiving, Traditions

Traditions: Strengthening Connections

Prayerful hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

The kid had been asking for weeks.

“We’re having breakfast pizza for Thanksgiving breakfast, right Mom?”

“Yes, honey. We are.” I assured him and made the mental list of the ingredients to pick up at the store.

Continue reading “Traditions: Strengthening Connections”

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”

Adoption, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering, Uncategorized

Ready: Who Makes Us Ready?

Baby toes 2 copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


I was ready.

I knew in the depths of my heart that I was ready to be a mother.

But my body contradicted my desires. Month after month yielded nothing in the way of family.

Sometimes what I think I’m ready for and what God knows I’m ready for are two different things. I may have thought I was ready for motherhood. And I may have been . . . on my terms.

As it turned out, the Lord had hubby and me wait for another five years before granting us the gift of parenthood—via adoption.

He knew when my husband was ready even to take that step. And it was years later than when I thought I was ready. When our hearts united in this desire, God gave it.

Sunny-shady path

And oh, it’s been such a different ride than I ever anticipated. I haven’t been ready to deal with some of the issues children who are adopted walk through.

But God . . .

God has to prepare us—to make us ready—to walk the paths He’s ordained for us.

And, I’ve not found this “ready-ing” to be an easy thing. I’ve had to die to myself—my desires, my agenda—to learn to live the way God knows I must. To be the mom He wants me to be for our amazing boys.

Sometimes being ready comes in stages and via walking through difficult seasons.

Sometimes, we’re never quite ready for what the Lord allows into our lives. But, when we lean into Him, He equips us to walk those paths, holding His hand. Or sometimes fighting Him all the way.

When I’m most ready to walk in His paths, I find joy in the heartache, and reassurance in the dark days. And I find He’s walking with me through it all, readying me for the next step of the journey.

What about you? When have you thought you were ready for something and God withheld it from you? When have you seen God readying you for a new chapter in your life?

Kate Motaung FMF: Ready

***I’m guest posting over at Let’s Talk today. I’d love it if you stopped by!***