Marriage, Series, When There Are Words, Words

Words: Speaking Words of Affirmation

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I am beginning 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!



My husband knows me well. He knows my love language. He knows what fills me. He knows I love words.

I may have had a significant birthday over the weekend.

Yes, I turned fifty. I realized I can’t call myself a girl anymore. And yes, I have done that on occasion. But, I digress . . .

My husband. He talked to me in April and said, “I have been thinking for the last year about how to celebrate your fiftieth. I thought about a party. What do you think?”

Continue reading “Words: Speaking Words of Affirmation”

Marriage, Relationship, Valentine's Day

Love: 14 Ways to Keep Your Love Strong


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

From the time I became aware of what Valentine’s Day represented, I struggled with it. Who could struggle with true love, right?

Except, I wasn’t one of the girls who received Candy-grams in junior high. I wasn’t one of the girls who ever—ever—had a date to the Valentine’s dance. In my mind, I wasn’t pretty enough, or popular enough, or anything enough.

Continue reading “Love: 14 Ways to Keep Your Love Strong”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Marriage

Build: One Choice At a Time

Wedding pic

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


When Kate posted the word for this week, my mind went crazy with ideas to write on.

Build a wall?

Build a bridge?

The thing that kept coming to mind with these ideas is the thought of building a relationship. Some of you know my sisters and I are throwing a party for my parents this weekend. They’re celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

No doubt, there were days and seasons when they didn’t feel like working at this thing called marriage anymore. Times when they were raising three close-in-age girls when they had no time for them…dealing with 3 chicken pox laden toddlers, girls in various activities, sibling rivalry, etc.

Yet, they continued to stay with their relationship. They built their marriage, one decision at a time.

They made time when they went out for coffee (or something) just to have a little “them” time.

There were times when they stuck with each other when one or the other of them made painful choices, choices that impacted the other.

They learned to laugh together. To cry together. To bear with each other in love (Click to tweet).

They’ve been through health scares, joyful times, the death of parents.

They’ve survived willful teenager daughter years when we did things that brought them embarrassment, and probably grief.

They chose to grow with each other.Relationships-one choice copy

I’m learning that marriages are built. Yes, they’re established with those first “I do’s,” but the building of the relationship comes after the first time they say those two little words.

The building of an enduring relationship happens one single choice at a time. A choice to say, “I do” when life happens. When life’s hard hits the core of the relationship.

They chose to stick together. They chose to turn to God, to look to Him to help them in those places where their relationship was weary.Dancing together

They have chosen to stay with each other. To encourage each other and to build each other up, every step of their fifty-year journey.

I’m so thankful for the legacy they have left my sisters and me. The reminders that marriages thrive one choice at a time.

What about you? What helps you choose to stay in a relationship when the hard times come? If you’re brave, how did you meet your spouse? (Because I LOVE these stories)

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday—BUILD

PS—I’m running a giveaway for Beth K Vogt’s latest novel and an Amazon gift card. I’d love it if you’d enter. The link is here.

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Marriage, Uncategorized

Learn: The Best Lessons

Autumn path

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

This prompt goes along well with series I’m hosting on my blog this month on Life Lessons. I shared one of the most life-changing lessons I’ve learned in a recent post. As I thought about other life-lessons, here’s another one I’ve learned.


Life offers many opportunities to learn.

As a child, I learned the sting that rejection inflicts on a girl’s heart. I learned the warped lies that come from believing the words, when they’re said to you enough. And for years, I believed them.

As a teen, I learned the truth of Jesus’ gospel gift. And I embraced Him as my Savior, and my Lord. I wouldn’t learn what it means to know Him as a lover until much later.

As a college student, I learned that compromise never leads to lasting joy. Compromise may lead to temporary acceptance, short-term feel-goods, but never to lasting fulfillment.

As a young professional (teacher) I learned the beauty of falling in love with God’s word. Hardship in the classroom instilled on my heart the need for knowing God’s word. Leaning into Him was the best thing I could have learned in my tumultuous first year of teaching.

Quiet Time

In my twenties I learned the heartache and the beauty of waiting. That when I waited for God’s best for me, I would learn how to desire Him above any man. And when God brought the man I’d prayed over for years? He was so much better than anything I could have dreamed up.

Infertility? Yea, lots of lessons there. Adoption? Lots more lessons there. For another post.

Now, as a mom in my forties, I’m learning how to begin letting go of the precious boys God’s given us. Sure, they’re only twelve and eleven, but already, they’re anxious to discover who they’re meant to be. They may not know it yet, but they’ll have many life lessons to learn as well.

Watching them get hurt—trusting them into God’s hands is hard—but it holds its own beauty. 

Holding Hands

Growing older with my husband, I’m still learning the delight that comes in complete acceptance/unconditional love from a human.

One of the best lessons I’ve learned so far in my nearly fifty years? I don’t have to work for acceptance from anyone else. God’s unfailing acceptance of me—His delight and perfect love for me—is enough.

What about you? What ’s one lesson you’ve been learning? What’s the most life-changing lesson you’ve learned? 

Change, Eternity, Grace, Marriage

Change: Love God, Love Others


Change word signBy +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

***This is not my normal style of blog post. I had planned to post my third blog about perfection and good enough, and I will . . . next week. This week, I’m wrestling with all that’s happened in our country. So, I thought we could wrestle with it together. I’d love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.*** 


I have a confession to make. I struggle with the thought of being just one person. Just one Christian. For years, this struggle has left me in a place where I figured I can’t change the world, so I’ll focus on living the best Christian life I can. And I’ll ignore . . . not ignore, exactly . . . pray, but keep myself distanced from the world and all that is espouses.

Continue reading “Change: Love God, Love Others”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Marriage

Relief: Connecting With Loved Ones

White blossoms, blue sky

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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


This past weekend, amid a season of crazy, my husband and I got away for an overnight celebration of our anniversary.

We walked the streets of a nearby city, visiting shops unlike the ones close to where we live. We ate in local restaurants. We talked.

We laughed.

In a season of busy-ness, this time for just the two of us was sweet relief.

To not have two adorable boys demanding a piece of us. As much as I love our guys, they need me almost all the time—talking with me, sometimes me teaching them, always me listening. It’s what I love about being a mom.

But at times it makes me weary.

Used bookstore shelves

To get away—to spend time with the man I’ve vowed to spend the rest of my life with? Sweet relief.

Connecting through words, hands held, laughter. . .

Connecting on what is going on in each of our lives—more than the, “How was your day?”

Connecting on a heart level? Sweet relief.

Knowing he shares my burdens for our family, my writing, our lives together.

Knowing I can lift his burdens to the Lord in prayer . . .

Gives relief for both of us.

Getting away and not having to do anything. Choosing what we wanted to do on the spur of the moment gave me a refreshed perspective when we got back into real life.

Relief comes in many forms. I believe the Lord knows what relief needs to look like for each of us.

Whether it’s a break from care-giving, a break from the job, or a break from life-as usual—He gives us opportunities to know His relief. To experience His help with our burdens.

White tulips

When we purpose to spend time with Him, God gives us relief and prepares us for our days.

And, there are those days or series of days when relief comes in the tangible forms of rest. Breathing. Breaks from the norm.

Sweet relief.

Ours for the taking if we look for the opportunities God offers us . . . to lean into those moments.

What about you? What gives you relief in your days? What does your picture of relief look like?

Visit Kate Motaung’s blog to read her post on Relief.

God, Marriage, Priorities

Priorities: What’s Most Important?

hands wedding photo 001 copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

What am I married to?

I mean, yeah, I’m very happily  married to my husband of nineteen years. No regrets there.

But, if an outsider were to peek in on my daily living, what might they see as my groom? What do I devote time, attention and emotion to?

Is it busy-ness? That hurry-up, hectic pace that kids and family schedules keep me on?

Continue reading “Priorities: What’s Most Important?”

Love Languages, Marriage, Mothering, Relationship

Marriage: 6 Tips For Staying Connected

Ski Slope in morning

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I sat beside my hubby thirty feet above the ground, a blanket of snow glittering beneath us. As the chairlift moved us upward, I glanced over at the man I’ve shared the last twenty years of my life with. I know him, I love him, but we don’t always have time to connect. When I looked at him, I was convicted by the thought that we hadn’t connected on a soul-level all week.

Yes, there were good reasons, including a three day business trip. But are they good reasons…..really?

Continue reading “Marriage: 6 Tips For Staying Connected”

Dependence: When We Must Depend On Others, Life, Perspective, Uncategorized

Dependence: When We Must Depend on Others by Jeanne Takenaka


I read this thought the other day, and it stopped me hard. Jennifer Rothschild has been blind since age fifteen. She’s had a lot of years to walk in the darkness.

Continue reading “Dependence: When We Must Depend on Others by Jeanne Takenaka”

Marriage, One Word Yes, Relationship

One Word: Yes


Has one word ever changed the course of your life? I’ve been thinking about one word that changed my life forever, for the better.

Eighteen years ago, I said, “Yes,” in answer to a question. I was in my late twenties, single and wishing for a change in my “status.”

Continue reading “One Word: Yes”