Category Archives: Relationships

Big Mama Says We Talk Too Much.

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself in my kitchen singing the words to “You Are Good.”  These lyrics rang through my head until nighttime:

Your kindness leads me to repentance
Your goodness draws me to Your side
Your mercy calls me to be like You
Your favor is my delight
Every day, I’ll awaken my praise
And pour out a song from my heart.

Romans 2:4 says, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?  Does this mean nothing to you?  Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”

It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance.  It’s His goodness that draws us.

My translation:  Stop judging and be so dang intolerant of other people.  God uses kindness, sweet words, and forgiveness to transform our own lives into something beautiful.

When people disappoint us….

When people don’t live up to our expectations….

Fill in the gap of your expectation of someone and what that someone actually does with kindness and forgiveness.

Even with your spouse.

Give him or her the benefit of the doubt.  When has expressing your disappointment with your spouse EVER worked?  There is a definite time and place for healthy communication.  Healthy.  There is also a time to keep your mouth shut.

I remember being aggravated with Kris once for not taking care of something before he left for a trip.  I was so stinking mad.  I picked up the phone to call him and tell him exactly how I felt about his oversight.

Fortunately for Kris, Big Mama was at my house.

“Talk, talk, talk. That’s the trouble with young people.  They think they need to talk everything out.  Sometimes, you just need to keep your mouth shut.  Put the phone down, and just forgive him.”

I’m pretty sure filling in the gap with forgiveness and a closed mouth did more for my marriage than that phone call would’ve done.

Trying to bring conviction to someone’s life never goes the way we think it will.  But kindness will always bring about effectual change.   And often times, our kindness towards others changes US.

It’s how God functions.   And, since we are of God….created in His image….isn’t it how we should function?

I am so thankful for His patience.  For His love.  For His mercy.

And, so thankful that His mercy calls us to be like Him.  Because, His ways are truly better.

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Filed under Big Mama, disappointment, God Stuff, Marriage, Relationships

Next Year, I Might Say, “Be Mine.”

Can I just be honest and say that Valentine’s Day is my least favorite holiday of the year?  I don’t mean to be a love humbug.  I mean, I love love and all.  I just don’t like using it to celebrate Kris.  And, he is not allowed to buy me a Valentine’s Day gift.  I know this makes me odd.  And, I’m okay with that.  I’m sure Kris is, too.  Not to worry about my littles.  We certainly lavish on them on this day of “Be My Valentine.”

So, instead of making the day about recognizing how much I love Kris, I pick a person really needing to feel some love to bless.  I started this tradition two years ago.  It’s kind of given me a reason to look forward to the holiday.

However, yesterday ended up being one of my favorite days of the year.  No expensive gifts.  No over-priced roses.  But, a string of texts, notes, and unexpected surprises made me so thankful for the relationships in my life.  Several members of Eagles Way Church surprised the staff with the most heartfelt, delicious lunch at the office.  Kris surprised me….and I do mean surprised me, by cleaning the house before he took off into the wild blue yonder.  An unexpected text from a friend simply expressing her appreciation broke me.  And, then?  A surprise knock at my door with none other than my father bringing me my favorite hummus and pita bread.

I spent the rest of the evening playing Pictionary on the Xbox with my big kids and laughing at this littlest kid while he saw himself being videoed.

Why do videos start and stop on the most awkward of facial expressions?  Have. Mercy.

Anyway, my heart swelled with an immense gratitude for the people in my life.  A gratitude that I get to wake up every morning to the most incredible beings in my home.  A gratitude that I get to be Kris Takle’s wife.  A gratitude that I get to be a mother.  A gratitude that I get to work at the greatest church on the planet.  A gratitude that I get to be a pastor.

I am so rich.  So rich in relationships.  Rich in love.  Rich in contentment.

So, perhaps, after days like yesterday, I just might become a fan of Cupid.  After all, I am definitely a fan of lunch.  And, a clean house.  And, sweet messages.  And, hummus.  And Eagles Way Church.

And, Kris Takle.

And, these little love bugs.

 

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Filed under giving, gratitude, Kid Stuff, Love, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships

Breaking the Dangerous Cycle.

One of my friends and mentors, Penny Doss, is full of wisdom.  I like to draw from that wisdom as often as possible.  We recently engaged in a conversation about difficult relationships.  We can see people as either dangerous or hurting.  And, often times, we see them as dangerous, because we feel they do not respond in ways that are Christ-like.  We feel they are a danger to our self-esteem, our emotional health, or our other relationships.  And, while we know in our gut that the person is wounded, we still find it difficult to see them that way.

So, we either consciously or subconsciously, see them as dangerous.  A threat.  And, we enter a dangerous cycle.

Whenever we view that person as dangerous, we create an environment where that person will view us the exact same way:  dangerous.  And, a vicious cycle ensues.  You see them as dangerous, so they see you as dangerous.

You are key in breaking this cycle.  Sometimes, those people we view as dangerous will say things that hurt us.  We view their actions as vindictive and ugly.  And, we want to respond to them likewise.  The first thing you need to do in breaking the cycle is realize that the person isn’t telling you who you are.  But, rather, he is showing you who he is.  Only God can tell you who you are.  So, let that principle go deep into your heart.

So, now what do you do with your hurt?  Your urge to respond to them in a way that is consistent with their behavior?  Take it to God.  Tell Him every time you are struggling.  Tell Him how you want to respond likewise, and ask Him to take it from you.  Keep giving it to Him.  Then, one day, you will realize it is His for good.  And, the dangerous cycle is broken.

And, that person no longer has power over you.  You will choose to love and forgive instead.  As a matter of fact, you will see that person as hurting.  And, you will begin to see that person the way Christ does. 

You will be free.  And, full of more love and forgiveness than you thought possible.

And, your life will be abundantly blessed!

Thank you, Penny Doss, for imitating Christ for me time and time again.

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Filed under God Stuff, Relationships

Girl Interrupted.

Kris is watching Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners right beside me.  What is this guy in the hat and overalls saying?  Anna-pedia walks in to let us know that the Whale Shark is the largest species in the ocean and has 3000 teeth and wants to know when she can go swim with a few of them.  John Henry enters behind Anna with a few questions of his own.  The littlest Takle is behaving nicely in his bed.  All the while, I am trying to write this post.

Interruptions.

Life is full of them.  We can resent them.  Try to avoid them.  Become irritated by them.  Whatever our response, they are going to happen.  So, we may as well embrace them.

Because, by embracing them, we allow ourselves to become fully present in that moment.  It’s like that moment when you run into an old friend in grocery store.  You’d really prefer to skip the interruption and move right along with your cart full of sundries.  Wouldn’t you?  But, usually you can’t.  You stop.  You half-way listen to what your friend is telling you, because you can’t stop thinking how hurried you are.  You aren’t fully present.  And, you miss an opportunity to really be with that someone.  To connect with them and embrace them.  To embrace that interruption.

I’m not arguing that every life interruption is a beneficial one.  Certainly, there are interruptions that can actually divert us from something God has called us to do.  But, many are beneficial.  And, often times, God will use them to our advantage.

During His ministry on earth, Jesus was interrupted ALL THE TIME.  And, many people were healed during His interruptions.

We will never know how many times God is using people and circumstances to interrupt our lives.  He loves you.  He wants your attention.  And, He wants us to attend to the people He places in our lives.  This year, I want to embrace those interruptions without my internal (and sometimes external) sigh of annoyance.  Because, by embracing them, I am embracing that friend who may have something life-giving to impart to me.  I am embracing a moment to look up the history of moonshining and learn something new.  I am embracing the courage of a little girl who wants to swim with the largest animal of the sea.

I am embracing LIFE.

Most of the good stuff in life happens in between our scheduled plans.  They are called interruptions.  And, I am choosing to be present in them.

I don’t want to miss the good stuff.  Because, it is most certainly the God stuff.

How do you respond to life’s interruptions?

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Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, life, Relationships, Writing

It’s Always Better.

And, this is how the conversation went yesterday.

John Henry:  “Mom, Anna says you die when you get baptized.”

Anna:  “Mom, it’s true!  The old Anna dies and a new Anna comes up out of the water!”

Me:  “Anna is right.”

John Henry gave me quite the dumbfounded look.  So, of course, I explained what dying to oneself means.  Dying to one’s own thoughts, belief systems, and desires and whole-heartedly seeking after those of Christ. 

The truth is. 

I have to die myself every single day.  I have to consistently make myself make right choices in how I respond to people.  I have to consistently choose to forgive even though holding a grudge seems easier at times.  None of it is always easy.  But, it’s always better.

It’s always better to admit to my children, “Mommy was wrong.  Would you please forgive me?”  This way they know the behaviors and words that are good and healthy.

It’s always better to squash my pride and take my husband’s hand after an argument.  This way we both know we are okay.

It’s always better to forgive a friend and shut my mouth about it.  This way I can continue to pour into her life and she into mine. 

It’s always better to forgo a day set aside for some “me” time to spend the day counseling someone struggling.  This way she will know God loves her, and her life matters.

It’s always better to give up sleeping in on a Sunday morning to go to the local church.  This way my children will always be reminded Who their source is for every need they will ever have.  And, they will know how much they need the body of Christ.

It’s always better to choose Him.  I don’t always understand His ways and thoughts.  But, I do know that choosing them is always better.  I’ve never heard someone say, “The worst mistake of my life was forgiving that person.”

Or making up with my husband.  Or making things right with my children.  Or going to church.  Or helping out a friend in need.

Dying is always better.  It’s in the dying that I truly live for Him.

23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.  Luke 9:23-24

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Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, parenting, Relationships

Loving Hurt.

I’ve always heard and maintained the philosophy that sometimes you’ve gotta play hurt.  In other words, sometimes, you’ve got to play and give and serve even when you don’t feel like playing and giving and serving.  But, quite frankly, we usually WANT to play even though we are hurt.  Most athletes will continue to play their game hurt, because they are passionate about that game.  So, it’s not really that much of a sacrifice.  I mean, I’m no athlete, but I do have some pretty awesome running apparel that I wear to carpool little people. 

The real sacrifice comes in loving hurt. 

Kris is my safe place.  He is the one who understands when I don’t feel like giving or serving.  He’s the one who loves me no matter what.  That being said, it’s pretty dang easy to bow out on serving him when I’m physically or mentally exhausted or hurting.  Besides, he understands.

And, with my recent back injury, I was little good to anyone, and Kris served me without a single complaint.  He’s good like that.  He’s compassionate and understanding.  He does, however, fail to understand how accessories really do make the wardrobe.  I know, right?

But, it hit me a few days ago.

Sometimes, you’ve got to love hurt. 

I’m not just talking about loving in spite of the proverbial headache.  Well, sort of, I am.  I am talking about stepping outside of yourself. 

Outside off your physical pain. 

Outside of your emotional pain. 

Outside of your exhaustion. 

Outside of your broken heart.  

Outside of your stuff.   

And, choosing to love hurt. 

I was really tired the other night.  (It’s okay.  You can keep reading.  This doesn’t get graphic.  This is a family blog.)  I had the worst headache of all the headaches in the world.  (And, I never exaggerate.)   I looked at my husband lying beside me and this little revelation hit me:  love hurt.  So, I rubbed his back….  And, we will just leave it at that, friends.   

At that moment, I sure would have loved to fall asleep watching House Hunters and nurse my headache.  But, I knew I needed to choose him this time.  I knew I needed to love hurt. 

You see, often, the person we love the most is the person we serve the least. 

For me, it was my physical pain keeping me from loving hurt.  For you, it might be a different kind of hurt.  Loving hurt for you may look like having to forgive while hurt.  It might be loving even though your feelings are hurt.  Loving even though you are disappointed.  Loving even though you are mentally exhausted and feel like you just can’t take any more. 

Loving even though….

Because, when we do love hurt, that love never returns void.  It is never without effect.

Because, love never, ever fails. 

And, that is one certainty I know with all of my heart.

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Filed under life, Love, Relationships

The Truth About Resentment.

Truth is.

I’ve had one million things to write about.

Truth is.

I’ve taken zero time to write anything.

It’s easy to get out of a daily routine.  A routine of exercise.  A routine of going to church on Sundays.  A routine of weekly date nights.  A routine of family devotions. 

A routine of writing.  Okay, and so a routine of exercise. 

And, I almost didn’t write this post.  I just knew I needed to.  I knew I needed to write down how I had this moment tonight where I found myself beginning to feel resentful.  Resentful for having so little time to myself.  Resentful that I am the one who picks up behind little people.  And, ahem, big people.  Resentful that my day is usually consumed with doing things for other people.

Resentful.

So, I prayed.

And, as quickly as that resentment came pulsing through my veins, it left.  Really.  It did.  I realized that usually when resentment begins creeping into my life, it is the direct result of me failing to spend time alone with my Father.  My Friend.  I can spend a large portion of my day studying scriptures and researching words like “faith.”  It’s all head knowledge.  Granted a lot of it goes directly to my heart, and that’s all good.  But it’s not relational.  Not in the way He wants and not in the way I need.  And, it’s that relational part that keeps me in check.  Well, it keeps my attitude in check.  If you don’t believe me, ask Kris Takle. 

Or not.

And, the truth is.

My life is not my own anyway. 

So, what could I possibly be resentful about?

Now, my resentment has turned into gratitude.  Gratitude for a Father who doesn’t let me stay in a crappy state of mind.  Gratitude for a Friend who will let me vent, but then speak truth into my life seconds later. 

Because, He loves me.  And, the only appropriate response is to love Him right back. 

With time spent with Him.

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Filed under God Stuff, gratitude, Relationships, Spiritual Journey

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall.

I love how the morning my article on relationships is published in The Grip and the morning after I attend a relationship class, I have a rather heated encounter with my husband.  And, I don’t mean the physical touch, love language kind of encounter.  I’m talking about the let’s find every wrong way to communicate to your spouse kind of encounter. 

It all started with this question:  “Is the bug man here?”  And, yes, by bug man I mean exterminator.  We are a sophisticated bunch in the Takle household. 

No need in spilling every pitiful detail of how I thought Kris responded to my inquiry.  Orrrr, how I received his answer.  But, it would be later in the evening before we would resolve our marital dilemma.

Joey Grubbs, our relationship guru, had shared only the night before how we need to look in the mirror when we find ourselves dealing with issues in our relationships.  I don’t think he meant for me to say, I don’t know, “Kris, Joey says you need to look in the mirror!”  I mean, I don’t think he said that.  I certainly wouldn’t have translated it that way….on a normal, non-hormonal kind of day. 

Once I invited God into my day, I finally looked in the mirror for myself.  What is it in me that made me receive Kris’ answer the way I received it?  Why was I so offended?  Later, Kris and I were able to sit down and talk about the unfortunate dialogue of that morning.  I was able to share how I knew my response just wasn’t a good one.  I was also able to share what I need from him in those situations.  And, he was able to receive it.

I’ve always been quite the self-assessor.  But, I’m learning the importance even more of looking at myself in the mirror.  And, asking simple questions like, “What is it in me that makes me feel or react a certain way?”  Actually, I need to look in the mirror for ALL of my relationships.  Once I do, I must line up those things that aren’t right with God’s Word.  Because, His Word is the best litmus test for how we are responding to and receiving from others. 

So, here’s to the confessions of a writer on relationships. 

I’m still growing.  And, from the looks of that girl staring back at me in the mirror, I have a lot more growing to do. 

Thankful for a patient husband.  And, an even more patient Father.

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Filed under Love, Marriage, Relationships

Soak It Up.

I have a lot of Big Mama stories.  As a matter of fact, every time I talk to her, she says something that bears repeating.  Her unintentional lessons are to my blog posts what Anna Takle’s…well, what any of Anna’s shenanigans are to my entries. 

I called her yesterday after I posted.  I didn’t tell her my post was about her.  She will find out soon enough by one of you.  And, she will tell me, “I heard you’ve been putting me up on that computer!”  She will laugh cautiously then ask me to show the post to her.

After our phone conversation, thoughts of her raced into my mind for the rest of the day.  Even into the night as I lay in bed rereading yesterday’s blog, my thoughts were of her.  How I love being with her and talking to her.  And, how I love repeating the things she says to me. 

I’m not sure how many more years I have to enjoy this incredible lady.  So, I started pondering questions I’ve never asked her.  Stories I’ve never heard.

I want to ask them.  I want to hear it all.  I don’t want to say, “I wish I would have asked her…..”

 Of course, she did recently ask me if she could have my “great big colorful painting” should she outlive me.  She was serious.  I told her yes. 

Who do you need to spend more time with in your life?  What questions do you want to ask him or her?  What stories do you want to hear? 

Maybe it’s the person lying next to you right now.  Maybe it’s that sweet little girl down the hall from you.  The friend who lives two miles from you that you only see or talk to a few times a year. 

Maybe it’s the father who shares a very different view of life from you, so you keep your distance from him.  Or the sister you’re not close to anymore.

I don’t know.  I just know I want to soak up the moments with the people in my life more now than ever.  So, if tomorrow never comes, they know.  Thank  you, Garth Brooks.

And, thank you all for being a part of my life. 

Have a great weekend.

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Filed under Big Mama, gratitude, life, Relationships

Some Greek to Help With Peeps.

Soooo, how DO we respond to people who hurt us? 

We are patient with them.

Wha?  Patient?  What in the Sam Hill does patience have to do with it? 

Well, I’m glad you asked.  Two Greek words translate into the English word “patience.”  One is “hupomone.”  It means to “remain under.”  This is the patience we talk about when we are enduring tough circumstances.  But, circumstances are not people.  Oh, no. 

The Greek word, “makrothumia” is the sort of patience we need with people.  Bear with me.  Or, be PATIENT with me.  Ha!

Guess what drives makrothumia?  Give up?

MERCY.

Remember yesterday’s story of the king forgiving the servant’s debt?  He FORGAVE that debt.

Again, stay with me.

So, we first have to FORGIVE.

My good friend, Beth Moore, says,   “Patience is the vessel through which God pours His mercy.  Mercy is fueled by forgiveness.”

Okay, let’s just pretend Beth is my good friend. 

When we forgive, we let go free.  We let go of our power.  We cut that person loose.  They no longer owe us a thing.

Sometimes, I think that I have a right to hold this grudge or be angry….and, every right to be merciless.  But, God’s word calls us to forgive.  Who wants to carry the burden of unforgiveness?  The plus side?   When we forgive, God can be released to work the situation to our good.  And, don’t even think you can do it on your own.  You can’t.  That’s what the HS is for. 

Besides, the opposite of patience is judgment.  But, that’s another post for another day.

You see, the patience God desires for us to extend to others is the same patience that meant the salvation of our soul.

That’s all I’m sayin’. 

And, I hope I am CONSTANTLY reminded of this kind of patience….this kind of mercy….this kind of forgiveness…..

Until I love people CONSTANTLY.

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Filed under God Stuff, Love, Relationships, Spiritual Journey