Relationship

Bridges: 4 Truths About Bridges and Relationships

The international bridge between the United States and Canada

By Jeanne Takenaka

Most of this blog is a repost from a much earlier post . . . Our family took an impromptu trip, so I’m sharing this with you, and I’ll be commenting this week as I have time. 🙂

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This past weekend, the family and I had a paintball adventure. It was my first time ever playing the game. A creek ran through the course. Our referee told Hubs and me that there were five bridges crossing it, some were rickety, but they provided a way to cross and stay dry. 

There were a couple narrow places where one could jump from one side of the creek to the other, but I was always on the lookout for a bridge. Who needs the stress of trying to jump while not being splatted with paint?

Continue reading “Bridges: 4 Truths About Bridges and Relationships”
Faith, Trials, Trusting God

Map: How is Your Spiritual GPS?

Hey everyone, I have a little news . . . I’m working on building a website. In a few weeks my blog will be moving over there. I’m so excited for you to visit my new little home! I’ll keep you filled in as the project wraps up. My blog will still be filled with encouraging posts, uplifting truths, and pretty pictures, it’ll just have a new home. 🙂

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Picture of a map, the visual for the theme of this post

By Lisa Jordan

I turned on the Maps feature on my phone and looked at the GPS. The robotic voice commanded me to go southwest then turn right. Okay, but I wasn’t sure if southwest was right or left. 

My mom thought we needed to turn right, so we did. 

And my GPS rerouted us around the block—or so I thought—to get back onto the road we needed to head out of the busy city.

However, instead of connecting us back to the route I was familiar with, the GPS guided us a different way. And honestly, that way had less traffic, less congestion, and less roadwork. 

Continue reading “Map: How is Your Spiritual GPS?”
Guest Posts, Suffering, Uncategorized

Grief: One Author’s Lessons From the Book of Job

Guest Post by Anne Morelli

I haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting Anne Morelli in person, but we’ve connected in a number of places online. And every one of her posts is encouraging and authentic. She has a way of sharing quiet, heartfelt wisdom. She recently released an intriguing book about grief called, When Grief Descends: Suffering, Consolation, and The Book of Job (see details below). I invited her to share a little bit about her book and her thoughts here. Will you please help me welcome Anne to this little corner of the internet?

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In an incredibly short period, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to face a breadth and depth of change that has thrown us off-kilter. The losses that are associated with every change have forced us to walk on unfamiliar paths, through uncharted territory. Most of us are just trying to find our next step, process everything that has happened, and do what we can to console others while still maintaining appropriate social distancing.

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Faith, Summer Break, Uncategorized

Summer-Glimpses So Far

Snowball flowers on a summer morning

@JeanneTakenaka

Happy July, Everyone!

I hope you had a relaxing Independence Day celebration, though I suspect it looked different from past years.

My husband spent the last number of weeks working out of state, so I’ve decided to take a two-week blogging break to spend some time with family. I’m sharing a few glimpses of my summer so far. I hope you’ll join me back here in two weeks!

And, if you are looking for something to read and focus on Jesus this summer, I’m giving away a 28-day devotional book called, Finding God’s Presence in Everyday Living to my newsletter subscribers. Click the book cover below for more information.

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Faith, Hope

Darkness: Seeing the Light

Moon shimmering on some clouds and rising above tree branches

Byine Lisa Jordan

When I was seven years old, I had a nightmare there was a snake in my bed.

I rushed into the living room where my parents had been watching TV. My dad took a flashlight into my bedroom, pulled back the covers, and shined his light to prove the snake was not there.

It wasn’t real . . . only a dream.

It felt so real in fact that I still remember the details over forty years later . . . and snakes continue to be my greatest fear.

But isn’t that what darkness does?

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Family Relationships, God's Love

Father: When Fathers Love

A photo of the author with her father

@JeanneTakenaka

The three men in my life who speak the most of fatherhood are my dad, my father-in-law, and my husband. My father was raised by a single mom, and yet, he figured out this “dad-thing.” He learned how to help his three daughters know they were loved. He encouraged us to chase our dreams and to grow into the women God intended us to be, not the women he thought we should be. I’m sure this was tough, as we sometimes made choices that grated against what he thought was best for us!

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Comfort Zone, Faith, Hope

Comfort Zone: When Hearts are Confronted

A photo of a deer grazing in a meadow

@JeanneTakenaka

I think everyone would agree this version of 2020 was not the year we signed up for when we turned the calendar page on January first. 

First, a pandemic shut down our country and tried to erase hope and joy. As we’ve become a little more comfortable living in the “new different”, we are confronted with where our hearts and thoughts really stand when it comes to racism.

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Faith, Living with Intention, Trusting God

Faith: When Everything Is Not Okay

Picture of a fence holding you back from a river flowing and trees on the opposite bank, reminder that we still live with boundaries on our lives

@JeanneTakenaka

Our boys completed their school year from home, as did most American students.

Nine weeks of staying at home (except for buying a few groceries and taking morning walks).

Nine weeks of together time.

Nine weeks of trying to figure out what life should look like in this pandemic-defined world.

And there are still days when I wonder if we’ll ever move beyond the restrictions, the sometimes tedium, the testing of boundaries by our sons. There are days when I wonder if everything will ever be okay again.

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Expectations, Grace, Lisa Jordan

Expectations: Fear of Not Doing Enough

Inside of a small chapel sanctuary-peaceful

By Lisa Jordan

Once officials began putting precautions in place to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus, millions across the country found themselves working remotely from home, getting laid off, or sadly, losing their jobs all together, and becoming their children’s teachers. 

With many having unexpected time on their hands, people began making plans—projects around the house, losing weight, learning a new skill, or working toward making their dreams happen. And then they’d feel frustrated when they couldn’t get things accomplished. Time wasn’t an issue—emotional and mental cloudiness held them back.

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Faith, Perspective

When Faith Doesn’t Solve Everything

Lilacs not quite opened up yet . . . symbolic of how we are before we begin to believe in Jesus

Guest Blogger: Beth Vogt

***For the first three weeks in May, I want to introduce you to three author friends. They have books that have just released, and each of them has wisdom they’ll share in their posts that guided their stories. I am including links to their books, should you want to learn more. And no, I’m not earning anything from sharing them. I just want you to get to know these authors. Enjoy!***

Some friendships are for a season, and some last a lifetime. Beth Vogt is a life-friend. We’ve walked many seasons together. She was the first person I shared with that God had given me a story. Instead of telling me to wait until my sons were older, she encouraged me to write it. And, she directed me to helpful resources to learn how to write a novel. She’s an encourager, a truth-speaker, an amazing author, and one of the most authentic people I know. I am so pleased to share her words here today. Please help me welcome Beth Vogt!

Last week’s winner of The Joy of Falling is: Anita Ojeda! Please contact me within the next week to receive your book.

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I was 21 years old when I embraced living by faith, instead of living by the familiar structure of my religious upbringing. 

I’m thankful my parents taught me to believe in God. But I’m even more grateful my then-future husband told me how important his faith was to him. I’ll admit that, at the time, I wondered why he talked so much about Jesus and the Bible. Both topics are a bit extreme for me—especially since we were on our second date.

Understanding that faith was more relationship than rituals altered my life. Hope began to seep into the parched corners of my soul and expanded who I thought I could be. 

Continue reading “When Faith Doesn’t Solve Everything”