Comparison: Comparing Ourselves to Others, Expectations, Mothering

Mothering: When All We See is Failure

Two boys sitting on a swing together

@JeanneTakenaka

I read the post with a lump in my throat. This writer shared about how amazing her sons have turned out. Oh, not that there weren’t struggles, and pulling out of hair, but as they grew from boys into men, they have become good men.

And images of our own sons came to mind. 

It’s so easy to see the character traits that seem like weaknesses rather than the potential that is still taking root in their hearts.

Continue reading “Mothering: When All We See is Failure”
God's Love, Infertility, Trials

Love: When We Question God’s Love

A woman standing with two young children near a pond

@JeanneTakenaka

Many years ago, as Hubs and I stumbled through the valley of infertility, I struggled a lot with the Lord. I faced well-intentioned loved ones who told me I just needed more faith, and then we’d get pregnant. 

But more, I questioned that God loved me as much as He loved other people. 

If He loved me, why did He withhold this heart desire? Why did he not fulfill the innate yearning to carry a pregnancy to term and to nurture a child? 

I still remember the day. 

Continue reading “Love: When We Question God’s Love”
Perspective, Trusting God, Writing

Direction: 3 Things to Remember When God Changes Our Plans

Meme with rocks that are slanting downward and the word, "Slant"

@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.

*****

Have you ever thought you knew where your path was leading, only to have it slant in another direction? 

If I had to guess, most of us have experienced occasions in our lives where we thought we knew the plan, only to have it change in some way.

I thought I’d procure a teaching position straight out of college, only to work in other jobs for two years before God led me to the job He’d intended for me. 

I thought Hubs and I would begin having children before I turned thirty . . . and our first child came along when I was nearly thirty-six. 

Continue reading “Direction: 3 Things to Remember When God Changes Our Plans”
Enough, God, Identity, Mothering

Enough: Our Search For Significance

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I read a post recently that reminded me of a conversation I had with God a number of years ago. I had been very involved in our church, working in women’s ministry.

All that changed when God decided to fulfill a dream for my husband and me. He gifted us with our oldest son. As soon as we knew we were going to become parents, I let my boss know. He looked at me, a knowing expression in his eyes. “You’re leaving us, aren’t you?”

Continue reading “Enough: Our Search For Significance”

Adoption, God, Infertility, Mothering

Miracles: When You’re Not Looking

black-and-mint-butterfly
+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”

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!

NEWS

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

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Infertility

Morning: When We Need Light

Autumn sunrise 2 copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

MORNING

Walking through our season of infertility felt like stumbling through a long night.

The despair I sometimes grappled with, the questions of if we would ever become parents.

The darkness of focusing on self rather than God took me to some scary places.

When He showed me that having a child had become my idol? Oh, that hurt. But that was also the first crack of dawn in the darkness of my soul. Whenever God shows us that our hearts are set on something else, it hurts.

Sometimes we need the hard words of His truth to help us return to His light. When we focus on other things, whether it is an unmet desire like mine, or anything else that takes our eyes off of Him, we begin to walk in shadows. If we continue on that path long enough, we wander into full night.

Fog lifting

Sometimes, God allows us to walk in those dark places for a little while. Sometimes it takes walking in darkness before we begin to see our need for Him. When our hearts are hurting, when our minds are confused . . . that’s when we need His light the most.

God is a compassionate God. His lovingkindnesses are new every morning. His compassions never fail. Even when we don’t understand why He’s allowed us into the place where we are, His faithfulness is great.

Sometimes, it takes walking in the dark of night before we can truly see the beauty of His morning light. Before we can experience those loving kindnesses He gives us each morning and through each day.

When He opened my eyes to see the idol I had made of motherhood, I could see the darkness I’d placed myself in. Then, I could choose to walk in His light. We can each do this, every day, when necessary. We can choose to walk in His light, rather than darkness.

Lam 3-22-23 copy

I had a hard time focusing for this word, for some reason. There’s so much that comes with morning, but I think the thing I like the best is that His light cracks the dark of night, instilling us with His hope, and giving us the courage to walk forward with Him.

What about you? How have you seen God shine His light in the middle of your darkness? What helps you to walk in His light?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Morning

Being Still, Busy-ness, Family Relationships, God, Intentional Living

Ambition: The Quiet Life

Quiet purple blossoms

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I had a B-U-S-Y spring. My hubby had to travel overseas on business for six-and-a-half weeks. Forty-five days to be exact. In that time, he missed two birthdays, all the end of school activities, including a sixth-grade celebration ceremony for Peter before he heads to junior high next year.

Continue reading “Ambition: The Quiet Life”

Five Minute Friday scribblings, Forgiveness, Relationship

Favorite: When Relationships Are Restored

Thistle in evening

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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

FAVORITE

Sometimes, to experience a favorite, I have to live through the hard.

It was a hard day with one of my littles. He got mad. Something set him off. Still not sure what.

We spent hours today going around and around. Him determined to trip my temper trigger. Me determined to show him grace . . . and discipline. By the time hubby got home. I. Was. Done.

I took a long walk on a trail I’ve never traveled before. With the evening light, God showed me glimpses of His beauty. He renewed my spirit and my perspective. He gave me lots of pretty things to take pictures of. Something that always lifts my heart.

Evening sun on water

By the time I got home, this little of mine was ready to talk  . . . and to ask for forgiveness. It’s these times of connecting that are favorites for me. There’s something about fellowship restored that touches a deep place inside.

I wonder if that’s how God feels when one of His kids comes to him, repentant and longing for fellowship restored? I’m so thankful that He’s quick to forgive. That His love is ever-there. That His loving-kindnesses are new every morning, and throughout every day.

My favorite times are connecting with others. Especially when relationships are restored. When I’ve had to ask forgiveness and then been given that gift? Yep, that’s something you can’t put words to.

Yellow wild flowers

Sometimes we have to walk through the hard things of life before we can really know . . . really embrace . . . our favorites. God gives us His beauty and his faithful love. He gives us the ability to forgive and have relationships restored. 

What about you? What is your favorite aspect about God? How do you walk out forgiveness?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post on Favorite to link up and read other great blogposts!

God, Grace, Mothering

Grace: When People Forget

Butterfly on flowers

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Of all the times for the boy to forget to do his asthma-managing breathing treatment  . . .  it was on a day when we were already thirty minutes down the road to an adventure.

On vacation, he’d already neglected to check his inhaler and make sure it still had medicine in it. I had no idea how many days he’d puffed on empty . . . which led to a prolonged asthma flare-up, lots of coughing, and purple-rimmed eyes.

Continue reading “Grace: When People Forget”