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A LIVING SACRIFICE

 busy calendar

     A lesson in obedience is a scene where a father is willing to surrender to God’s will no matter the cost, Abraham’s son. Though when I think of that moment I can’t help but grimace at the thought of a father put in that position.  And yet that’s exactly the position that God was in, however He actually followed through with the sacrifice paying the ultimate price.

Genesis 22:10-11

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I

But many of us are willing to sacrifice our children to this world. This sacrifice requires no weapon or cross, but is executed in subtle day-to-day compromises. Busy schedules that leave little to no time for relationships.  Verbalizing misguided messages and expectations onto our children. Pressuring kids to do better than we did and not make the same mistakes we made. Placing too much importance on making money, chasing power, beauty, and fame.

We are fooled daily as our self-worth is diminished and devalued with each worldly standard that we just don’t meet up to.  We are meant to live in the world but not be of it.  We can get so caught up in what everyone has and what everyone is doing that we forget to worship the Creator. The things of this world are temporary but our Creator will always be.

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Our kids are watching.  We need to make sure we’re living the life we want them to see and emulate.

 

 #Time2Refuel

Happy to be linking up withModest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysA Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the Word, Titus 2sDay, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRaLinkUp, Purposeful FaithCornerstone Confessions, Blog HopTeaching What Is Good,Wise Woman, WholeHearted Wednesday,Women With Intention, Three Word WednesdayTellHisStoryCoffee for your Heart,Wednesday Prayer Girls, Word Filled WednesdayI Choose Joy Link UpThought Provoking Thursday Link Up, The Deliberate Mom, Growing in GraceA Field of Wild Flowers, Angela Parlin,While I Wait,  Arabahjoy Grace & Truth, Imparting GraceLittle Things ThursdayGraced SimplicityFellowship Fridays,  Friday Favorites, Friday Flash Blog,MomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday,Give Me Grace, The Weekend Brew,Sunday Stillness,A Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends, DancingWithJesus

16

Broken But Not Forgotten

 

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She was so bubbly during dinner time. Ate her food so quickly in order to make it on time to church for her usual Wednesday night youth group bible study.  A few hours later when it was over, her mom pulled into the church parking lot to pick her up. She opened the car door to take a seat and immediately her mother noticed that there was something different.  Something heavy in the air. Nothing bubbly about it. Not wanting to be intrusive, her mom casually asked how her night went, to which she answered a short  CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™  Mom pressed a bit more to discuss the topic they had studied that night and quickly moved on to ask who she had been “hanging out” with.  The answer was pained, abrupt and disjointed.  Leading her mom to believe that the heavy feeling she felt was not just her imagination but rather in her daughter’s demeanor. Point blank her mom asked, “Are you okay?”
To which she received a quickCeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

Her daughter was very insistent and went as far as saying  CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

The truth…she was tired.  Tired of being ignored.  Later on that night she let her mother into the truth of the matter.

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

Her bubbly demeanor was burst

Can you relate? What do you do when your teen feels pushed aside, forgotten or left out?  My heart breaks every time I think about what she must have felt.  As an adult I’ve experienced that sensation of being left out, not being able to connect with those that we’d like to be friends with and the pain that goes with it. Imagine how much more devastating to a teenaged girl. I can see how that could happen to me because I was quite shy.  This young girl however is extremely outgoing, involved in her church and always willing to help a hand. All the adults rave about her.  You couldn’t ask for a sweeter girl. So why do kids her age not seek her out or include her. The saddest part is that this girl has been battling this issue quietly for several years now.  She confessed to her mother that she even opened up about it during a bible study one night last year.  She told them she felt left out and how she would really like to feel included, like part of the group.  Do you know that not one girl approached her afterward.  Poor thing was so disillusioned.  It just doesn’t make sense.  If anyone has some insight I’d love to pass it on.

As a parent our first instinct would be to protect our child’s heart.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the hurt which quickly turns into defensive anger.  What do you do when they get angry because they just can’t deal with it anymore?

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

Take this opportunity to speak to them about how God wants them to trust Him completely and that sometimes we place too much emphasis on the wrong things.  How they shouldn’t let circumstances change who they are but rather allow God to mold them into who He knows they can be.

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”―

C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

I’m praying for God to heal this girls wounded heart and send her some very special, close friends.  That He in turn stir their hearts to seek her out, forming a bond created by His power. That she not allow anger in but rather cast it out in the name of Jesus and let down her walls in order to truly, freely trust that God is in control. 

Though she may feel broken, she is not forgotten

Will you please join me in praying for this young lady that so desperately wants to connect? Also for her mother who is heartbroken for her daughter and probably won’t be getting much sleep tonight. If so please show your support by leaving your prayers and words of encouragement in the comments.CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

 

 

 

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

 

Happy to be linking up withModest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysA Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the Word, Titus 2sDay, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRaLinkUp, Purposeful FaithCornerstone Confessions, Blog HopTeaching What Is Good,Wise Woman, WholeHearted Wednesday, Women With Intention, Three Word WednesdayTellHisStoryCoffee for your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Word Filled WednesdayI Choose Joy Link UpThought Provoking Thursday Link Up, The Deliberate Mom, Growing in GraceA Field of Wild Flowers, Angela Parlin,While I Wait,  Arabahjoy Grace & Truth, Imparting GraceLittle Things ThursdayGraced SimplicityFellowship Fridays,  Friday Favorites, Friday Flash Blog,MomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday,Give Me Grace, The Weekend Brew,Sunday Stillness,A Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends, DancingWithJesus

3

Careful What You Wish For

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

 

It was about 5:15 am when he climbed down from his bunk-bed. Stomach spasms and nausea hit like angry, swollen waves forcing him to clutch his belly in desperation. He ran to the nearest sink hitting the kitchen counter first. Oh how I wish I would have emptied the sink earlier. No matter…I need to focus on getting to the bottom of what’s causing this nausea. Did he eat something last night that didn’t agree with him? Could it be the Tupperware full of sweet peppers he consumed after a bag of caramel corn? Not exactly the best combination, but no. The slight heat radiating from his brow was the final tell tale proof…the flu had reared it’s head and it was ugly.
Today I’m playing nursemaid to my youngest. My poor baby…sure he’s 12 and taller than me, but he’s still my baby people. About 2 nights ago as he was doing his homework at the kitchen table he randomly stopped and said “I haven’t been “really” sick in a VERY long time. I wish I would get sick, like really really sick”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Who wishes to be sick. Of course he’s just thinking of having a day off from school and not about the pain and miserable discomfort that comes with it. So I proceed to remind him about how terrible it is to wish such a thing and to try and remember how bad it feels. You think he’d take a moment to ponder. He took a moment alright. He took a moment and prayed a really fast prayer that went like this, “Dear God, ppleease, please, please let me get really really sick, Amen”. What the!?!?!? Is he kidding me right now? Who does that? Am I forgetting what it’s like to be 12 or is he off his rocker? I tell you that I still don’t get it, but it did remind me of something.
How many times do we go through rough patches, painful things caused by bad choices we’ve made and as time goes by we forget the severity of the pain it brought and make the same mistakes wishing, praying for the same again. We in essence bring on a “spiritual flu” of sorts. It’s only when the pain hits that we see the error in our ways and ask ourselves “What was I thinking?”
It’s our humanity. We’re broken and scarred but luckily we have a savior that looks passed that and sees our hearts intention. He takes our bad choices and uses them for good. We’re suppose to learn from our situations, choices, decisions. Do we have to bang our heads against the wall each time? No, definitely not but it all lies in the choices we make. What we think is good for us in the moment is not necessarily what’s best for us in the long run. If only we would commit this to memory so that what we’re learning is to change and seek Him first before making any decisions.
In the end He wants what’s best for us, to heal and make us well. Who better to put our plans, future, well-being and trust in? There is none other.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11

Now go, Rest in Him and let Him replenish your thirst. Hopefully it’s just a 24 hour thingy.

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

 

I’m linking up with: Modest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysA Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the Word, Titus 2sDay, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRaLinkUp, Purposeful FaithCornerstone Confessions, Blog HopTeaching What Is Good,Wise Woman, WholeHearted Wednesday, Women With Intention, Three Word WednesdayTellHisStoryCoffee for your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Word Filled WednesdayI Choose Joy Link UpThought Provoking Thursday Link Up, The Deliberate Mom, Growing in GraceA Field of Wild Flowers, Angela Parlin,While I Wait,  Arabahjoy Grace & Truth, Imparting GraceLittle Things ThursdayGraced SimplicityFellowship Fridays,  Friday Favorites, Friday Flash BlogMomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday, Fath and FellowshipGive Me Grace, Still Saturdays, Saturday SoireeThe Weekend BrewSunday StillnessA Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends, DancingWithJesus, Renewed Daily

 

 

#Time2Refuel

14

With A Word

Beautiful Sunset - CeliArt © 2014 T2R

Deep in the darkest part of me

My soul reveals a raging sea

Control is what I need and long for

Oh give to me the peace I need

 

Let this heart of stone be softened now,

For you to shape and mold, with those

Hands so reassuring stretched out for me to hold.

 

With a word you calmed the sea

With a gesture of your hand

I find it easy to believe

Though hard to understand

It was the power of a mighty God divine

Only you can calm this angry heart of mine

 

You shelter me from the storm

That drives its winds across my heart

I feel the rain as drops of pain

The more we drift apart.

 

I blame myself no other one

There is no fault above

I heard you speak but made my heart deaf to your cries of love

 

With a word you calmed the sea

With a gesture of your hand

I find it easy to believe

Though hard to understand

It was the power of a mighty God divine

Only you can calm this angry heart of mine

 

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

Luke 8:24

 

Happy to be linking up withModest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysA Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the Word, Titus 2sDay, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRaLinkUp, Purposeful FaithCornerstone Confessions, Blog HopTeaching What Is Good,Wise Woman, WholeHearted Wednesday, Women With Intention, Three Word WednesdayTellHisStoryCoffee for your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Word Filled WednesdayI Choose Joy Link UpThought Provoking Thursday Link Up, The Deliberate Mom, Growing in GraceA Field of Wild Flowers, Angela Parlin,While I Wait,  Arabahjoy Grace & Truth, Imparting GraceLittle Things ThursdayGraced SimplicityFellowship Fridays,  Friday Favorites, Friday Flash Blog,MomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday,Give Me Grace, The Weekend Brew,Sunday Stillness,A Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends, DancingWithJesus

3

Summer Reading List

cropped-image_2013-11-06_1707571.pngChallenging and age appropriate books can be difficult to find.  It seems that these days everything is riddled with explicit language or sexual connotation. I personally struggled finding books that were both captivating, appropriate and also at my children’s reading level.

I’m not crazy about testing but years ago I had my children tested to find out what their Lexile Reading Measure was.  This was just a way for me to accurately select books that would challenge as well as entertain them on a suitable level.

My daughter was reading at a college level by the time she was in 6th grade and my son was reading at a 7th grade level when he was in 4th grade so you can understand my dilemma.

Maybe you’re in the same position and are struggling to find reading material for your kids.  Below you’ll find a list of some of our favorites.This is a great way to start choosing interesting books for your kids to read.  If they’ve already read these I suggest you look up similar books by entering your book titles on http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/. I found this site quite helpful when I ran out of options.

If you had your child tested and have a Lexile score then you can go to https://lexile.com/ and look up books within your child’s Lexile Level.

Happy Reading…


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JRTM832?creativeASIN=B00JRTM832&linkCode=w00&linkId=UAPSU5IQIIFXZEN5&ref_=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til&tag=time20b-20http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0440409411?creativeASIN=0440409411&linkCode=w00&linkId=Z5EB5422QWONXQ4G&ref_=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til&tag=time20b-20
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/044040942X?creativeASIN=044040942X&linkCode=w00&linkId=CTQO6FGIFJPSYTHF&ref_=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til&tag=time20b-20http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0545316480?creativeASIN=0545316480&linkCode=w00&linkId=QZRT4E2ZDOSXWXZB&ref_=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til&tag=time20b-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0439023521?creativeASIN=0439023521&linkCode=w00&linkId=G3AXZG6Q5JUOFLL5&ref_=as_sl_pc_tf_til&tag=time20b-20http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0842309071?creativeASIN=0842309071&linkCode=w00&linkId=257MLBTODDFBM2YJ&ref_=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til&tag=time20b-20http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375826696?creativeASIN=0375826696&linkCode=w00&linkId=MS5J4UN5GZCI46C3&ref_=as_sl_pc_tf_til&tag=time20b-20http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061146307?creativeASIN=0061146307&linkCode=w00&linkId=2WHNMVRPXURPQ5Q3&ref_=as_sl_pc_tf_til&tag=time20b-20

List of books by Lexile Levels:   

  • The Enchanted Castle by: Edith Nesbit                                                                  Lexile Level: 210L
  • The Castle in the Attic by: Elizabeth Winthrop                                                       Lexile Level: 750L
  • Battle For the Castle by: Elizabeth Winthrop                                                          Lexile Level: 700L
  • Dragon Rider by: Cornelia Funke                                                                            Lexile Level: 710L
  • Left Behind “Kids” Series by: Jerry B Jenkins; Tim LaHaye                                Lexile Level range: 440L-770L
  • Hunger games series by: Suzanne Collins                                                             Lexile Level range: 600L-1030L
  • Eragon Series by: Christopher Paolini                                                                     Lexile Level range: 710L-1200L
  • Series of Unfortunate Events by: Lemony Snicket                                                Lexile Level range: 850L-1370L

Linking up with: Modest Mom Blog, What Joy Is Mine, Nourishing Joy, Moms The Word,
Titus 2 Tuesday, Wise Woman, Giving Up on PerfectTrueAim, Crystal&Co,
32

Finding True Strength

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In this life that is so full of complications, worry, pain and fear there is joy to be had. There is life to be lived.  We spend our days so cluttered at times that we miss those moments.  We grow weak and weary lost in where we fall short. When I am at my weakest, feeling bound and helpless, is when His strength breaks me free. It’s in those moments that we need to take a step back to realize where our strength lies. That’s when I find myself praying “Keep me close Lord, however you may see fit.”

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

I came across a song by Go Deep that speaks directly to this point.  It spoke to me like a prayer that was so true and close to my heart that I wanted to share it with you.

Weakness For Strength by Go Deep

Lord, I trade my weakness for your strength
Lord, I trade my troubled mind for the comfort that you bring
Lord, I trade my not enough for your prosperity
Lord, I trade my weakness, Lord, I trade my weakness,
Lord I trade my weakness for your strength
By your grace you’ve made me worthy to receive all you’ve
Provided for those who believe, I believe! I believe!
Your words are true, they will prevail, Your Love for me, lord, cannot fail,
I believe… Lord, I believe
Lord I trade this weary heart for peace
Lord I choose to rest in faith to trust you and believe
I hold on to your promises
Of truth and life to me
Lord I trade my weakness
Lord I trade my weakness
Lord I trade my weakness for your strength

 I pray that their lyrics meet you where you are

and help you find strength and peace that can only be found in Christ.

heart scroll bar

Please let me know how I can pray for you, 

It would be an honor to do so. 

I’m linking up with: Modest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysA Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the Word, Titus 2sDay, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRaLinkUp, Purposeful FaithCornerstone Confessions, Blog HopTeaching What Is Good,Wise Woman, WholeHearted Wednesday, Women With Intention, Three Word WednesdayTellHisStoryCoffee for your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Word Filled WednesdayI Choose Joy Link UpThought Provoking Thursday Link Up, The Deliberate Mom, Growing in GraceA Field of Wild Flowers, Angela Parlin,While I Wait,  Arabahjoy Grace & Truth, Imparting GraceLittle Things ThursdayGraced SimplicityFellowship Fridays,  Friday Favorites, Friday Flash BlogMomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday, Fath and FellowshipGive Me Grace, Still Saturdays, Saturday SoireeThe Weekend BrewSunday StillnessA Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends, DancingWithJesus, Renewed Daily

6

Happy Mothers Day

 It was a morning like no other.  The last 13 hours of my life had significantly changed more than I could have ever imagined.  Who I was had now been altered, changed, re-created even into a new version of me.
There is no going back. As my eyes slowly fluttered open I gazed upon the most beautiful face I had ever seen.  It was round, flushed and peppered with an auburn sort of peach fuzz. I forgot all the pain.  I forgot all the fear.  All there was now was to focus on this little piece of “us” sleeping softly in my husbands arms and how she had transformed me into “Mom”.
Surely that was the first moment that I felt like a mom, however I was blessed to relive that moment once again four years later. I received into my arms my glorious boy who was the spitting image of his father.  He taught me that I, as a mom had so much love to give. Unspeakable joy!  That’s the only way I can explain what this child brought to me.
With each birth I wanted to be the best mom I could.  I nursed ’til it hurt.  I cared for, swaddled and protected them with all I had. Who needs sleep anyway… As the years have gone by and they’ve grown so much, I continue to care and protect. I definitely sleep more and I had to lay off the swaddling.
These days I’ve been thinking about what I do as mom.  I sometimes have fallen into the trap of feeling guilty that I’m a stay at home mom when people ask me what I “do”.  You’re just a mom?  That sounds insulting and I’ll admit that it makes me feel like less of a person.  Like what I do isn’t valuable.
This week I was thinking about all the jobs I’ve had in my life and I prayed asking God to help me focus on what’s important.  I realized then and there that my “job” as a mom has been the one to provide me with the best reward.

It’s the job I have been most successful at.  That’s not to say that I am flawless at it, but rather that God has blessed me with beautiful, wonderful kids that have grown into truly, lovely souls.  That in it self is the most amazing blessing I could have ever hoped for.

I am cook.  I am chauffeur. I am nurse. I am teacher.
I am Mom…

In giving myself up to You Lord,

that’s where the magic happens.  

In You is where my value lies.

A while back I was one of many contributing authors to a book titled New Life Within.  In which I wrote the story of my pregnancies and the ups and downs of it.  I had drawn this image as an expression of an expectant mother and wanted to share it with you along with this poem I’ve written about the fears that enter your mind about all that comes with being a mom.  Rest assured that there are more blessings than you can possibly imagine.

As you wonder
CeliArt © 2013 celi.camacho@gmail.com
What it’s like
Writing futures
Making life
Doubts that fly
Need wings be clipped
For there is joy
There is hope
There is new life
Within

Happy Mothers Day

Modest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysA Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the Word, Titus 2sDay, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRaLinkUp, Purposeful FaithCornerstone Confessions, Blog HopTeaching What Is Good,Wise Woman, WholeHearted Wednesday, Women With Intention, Three Word WednesdayTellHisStoryCoffee for your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Word Filled WednesdayI Choose Joy Link UpThought Provoking Thursday Link Up, The Deliberate Mom, Growing in GraceA Field of Wild Flowers, Angela Parlin,While I Wait,  Arabahjoy Grace & Truth, Imparting GraceLittle Things ThursdayGraced SimplicityFellowship Fridays,  Friday Favorites, Friday Flash BlogMomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday, Fath and FellowshipGive Me Grace, Still Saturdays, Saturday SoireeThe Weekend BrewSunday StillnessA Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends, DancingWithJesus, Renewed Daily