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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Affirmation, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Follow: Where Do You Seek Affirmation?

3 Big T, little T

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


Affirmation comes easy on social media. We “like” a post. We “follow” a person on Twitter, or Instagram, or Facebook, or Pinterest. If we’re the one being followed, yay for us!

As one who’s prone toward being an affirmation-seeking-addict, it’s so easy to get caught up in the “follow-me” kudos social media offers. I admit it, when someone follows my blog, it makes me feel good inside. Like maybe I’m doing something right. I’m reaching someone that day.

How easy it is to find my value in the temporal.

We can chase after these temporary, impersonal kudos . . .  

. . . or we can pursue Jesus.

Yellowstone boys hiking 2

I need to look to what’s most important in Jesus’ eyes for me. Is writing a part of that? I believe so. Is seeking as many followers as possible a part of it? Not if it’s to gain affirmation from each follow.

One of my all time favorite worship songs reminds me where my heart should be leaning. Toward following hard after Jesus . . . wherever He leads. It’s not always going to be easy. In fact, it’s rarely easy, or simple. Following Him means sacrifice. Giving up what I want, what makes me feel good to embrace what He wants. What brings eternal value.

When I stop trying to satisfy my desire for affirmation from people and look to Him for value? Then I am living just the way He wants.

Feet on the beach copy

When I follow hard after Jesus, my heart’s focused on Him, rather than what this world offers—the temporary feel-good click of a “Follow.” If people do follow me, may it because they see Jesus in me, in the words I type on a page. Not because of me in my limited self.

May we all follow Jesus’ lead, running hard after Him.

What about you? How is Jesus leading you today? What steps have you taken to follow Him as He leads you?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Follow

Affirmation, Identity, Identity Am I Enough

Identity: Am I Enough?


Last week, I shared a few thoughts about things that molded my identity. I borrowed the analogy of gold stars and gray dots from Max Lucado’s children’s book, You Are Special.

When I chased after the gold stars, the question, “Am I enough?” dominated my thoughts.

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Affirmation, Identity, Identity Gold Star Standard

Identity: Gold Star Standard

My next couple posts will explore a little bit about identity, and lessons I’ve learned the hard way about my identity. Hopefully, it’s not too transparent! I look forward to your thoughts.

**For the record: The pictures in this post are only meant to illustrate what were once important gold stars. 🙂


“My name is Jeanne, and I’m a gold star seeker.”

“You’re a what?!”

I’m a gold star seeker. I learned at a young age how good receiving a gold star feels compared to having a gray dot pasted to my proverbial skin. (See Max Lucado’s book, You Are Special.”)

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Affirmation, Affirmation Looking for Five Stars, Focus

Affirmation: Looking For Five Stars

digitalart FDP
Image courtesy of digitalart at

I recently visited a friend’s blog. She had wonderful news to share, and I eagerly celebrated with her. I happened to notice at the bottom of her post that people had given that post a five-star rating.

Hmmm. Had anyone given me a five-star rating? Or a four-star rating? Here’s where it gets sad (in that I did this to begin with). I checked my recent blog posts, and sighed. There were no stars at all. Then, I stopped.

Continue reading “Affirmation: Looking For Five Stars”