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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

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The Grass Isn’t Always Greener | Rachel Cruze

Before you read the re-blog I’ve posted here by Rachel Cruze I’d like to share a bit of what I deal with when it comes to my kids.

On so many different occasions I find my kids wanting and “needing” more and more. Today it’s that “awesome” game, tomorrow it’s that amazing skateboard.  I can’t keep up.  I’m sure all parents face this at one time or another…at least I hope I’m not alone in this.

Grass...what grass

Grass? What grass?!

There are spenders and there are savers.  I happen to have one of each.  My daughter saves and only splurges once in a blue moon. My son on the other hand has a new favorite item every week.  I truly can’t keep up with him anymore.  I’ve tried time and again to explain that he needs to relax and save.  That doesn’t go over very well.  Last Friday he wanted a game for his Nintendo 3ds which he purchased with his own money and today he explained to me that he wanted a different one.  When I said to wait on it he came back to me with another game choice.  He’s apparently missing the point.  I’m not giving up though…today I had a conversation with him about making good choices now, so that he doesn’t have to struggle in his future. “It doesn’t matter what your friends have, you need to be happy with what you have.”  Hey, little seeds that’s all I can plant and pray that they take root as I try to lead by example.

I came across this post by Rachel Cruze and felt I needed to share it.  I know I benefited from it and wanted to pass on the blessing.

Thanks Rachel…

 The Grass Isn’t Always Greener | Rachel Cruze.

Also as a great read I’m including a link for a book written by Rachel Cruze and her dad Dave Ramsey.  I can ‘t wait to check it out.

Smart Money Smart Kids

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It Really is Better to Give

He was the greatest gift of all.

He was the greatest gift of all.

Christmas time means different things to different people.  Shopping comes to mind.  People fighting over parking spots, not me I choose the hassle free world of online shopping but there is so much more to Christmas.

Of course I want my kids to open gifts and have that giddy feeling on Christmas morning and they will. However this year we’ve decided to change things up a bit. I want to make sure my kids understand that it’s important to show gratitude by sharing your blessings.  With that thought I proposed that they use their own money to buy something from the Samaritans Purse Gift Catalog. This way they would be giving a gift that would not only put a smile on someone’s face but actually improve their life and give them hope. They’ve always put together a Christmas shoe box each year so I wasn’t sure if they’d agree to doing more. At first I didn’t know if they’d be happy about it or complain but I was pleased to find that they actually loved the idea.  I was a proud mama.  So this will be the first year of a new tradition This year they plan on buying some baby chicks and maybe even a goat, they can’t seem to decide.  Either way I’m happy to see  them eagerly decide between them.

I’m sure you have your own Christmas traditions that you have each year.  How about adding a new one? Help give hope to those that have so little.  Share your blessings and Christ’s love for them in the process.

Help Raise a Village

 

Merry Christmas

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  

Isaiah 9:6

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Treasures of the Heart

I’m so excited to say that I was just recently encouraged to write a short story about my journey into motherhood for possible publication in a pro-life project benefiting a women’s health clinic with the Gabriel Network, in Baltimore, Maryland.  The project was created to encourage young women to choose life for their child, regardless of their circumstances.  I’m so flattered to be even a small part of such a meaningful endeavor.  What could be more important than encouraging the preservation of life.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

My submission is presently being considered for publication with CausePub.com in Jillian Amodio’s book “New Life Within”.  I say “considered” because the final stories chosen will be determined by votes. The more votes I get the better my chances of being published. So if you are willing, I’d love it if you would read my story and if you like it, I’d be honored if you would vote for my story and ask a few of your friends to do so as well.  And perhaps they’ll tell two friends…and they’ll tell two friends…and so on and so on.

Please click here or on the title to read and vote for my story Treasures of the Heart“.

You can also click here to learn more about “The New Life Within” project and how to support it.

Btw: If you would be so kind as to check out my good friend Gail Centeno’s story  Not the Nanny” as well that would be amazing.  Why?  Because if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t even be involved in this project but just mostly because she’s pretty awesome.

Thanks and remember…every vote counts.

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Must Have Done Something Right…

My baby girl enjoying God's beautiful scenery.

My baby girl enjoying God’s beautiful scenery.

You know…you always wonder if you’re doing right by your kids whether you’re being a good parent or if you’re messing them up.  This week I had such an “I’m so proud of you moment”.  My daughter is just starting high school and is naïve in many different ways but never ceases to surprise me.  Two weeks into school and she already has a boy wanting her phone number.  I felt caught off guard as I sat in the car listening to her recount the conversation between her and this “interested” boy.  My surprise was not so much that there was someone interested but rather how quickly it happened as well as how she handled it.  As any normal girl would be she was very flattered and giddy “so cute” but more than that she was very observant.  She noticed he was reading a book which had God’s name in the title.  She made a mental note of the books name and decided to look it up.  Once she found out that the book was disparaging faith in God she was disappointed.  The next day as he approached her again she made a point of out and out no holds barred asking him “are you a Christian”?  To which he answered…”nope, I’m an atheist”.  She proceeded to inform him that she does not date as of yet but would not date anyone that was not Christian however suggested that they could still be friends.  He seemed to respect that but followed up by asking her to the movies, you know, as friends. Wink, wink. 

I was so proud of how bold she was to be outright and courageous enough to state her truth.  I was beside myself with happiness.  I knew at that moment that she was going to handle herself great.  I thank God everyday for the wonderful relationship we have. I never grow weary of letting my kids know that they can tell me anything…”I will never laugh at you” I constantly repeat and encourage them to be truthful and open.  I feel so privileged to know that both my daughter and son trust and confide in me. Though my son is only 10 he will one day soon have lots more to say about girls.  Not too soon I hope!  They are both such beautiful children and I feel so blessed to see God growing them through the years.  As I type this I can’t help but smile and think that on this journey of being a parent it may not always be easy but the benefits definitely far out way the contrary.  My husband and I must have done something right along the way.

Go hug your kids people!  They are tiny little miracles that bless us each and every day. Guide and encourage them to speak of God’s truth so they may flourish and grow in His likeness.

 

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.  They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

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Going against the flow…

Fish symbol

Its tough raising kids in this day and age. You try so hard to hold on to their innocence for as long as possible but the world always weasels its way in. It’s inevitable but you need to work that much more diligently in preparing their hearts, souls and minds for those moments when they do have to face the ugliness of this world. They might feel like they don’t fit in because the norm is to “go with the flow” so they find themselves discouraged or maybe even lonely as they go against it. As parents we need to teach them how to view all circumstances through God’s word even if that means going against the flow.  “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14

I homeschooled my kids for 8 years and in that time we grew closer with each day that passed.  They learned and experienced so many things having loads of fun along the way.  I mean who wouldn’t love learning about Marine Life at a Homeschool class in The Miami Seaquarium?

We were and are truly blessed. I don’t always feel like I’ve made the right choices when doubt creeps up on me and I find myself asking if I’m a good mom. I am considered by some to be a little “over the top” when it comes to protecting them from outside unnecessary garbage but I stand strong in trusting that God wants so much more for them that I refuse to let the outside noise influence me.

Through the years my kids developed a real love and respect for one another which is not always common amongst brothers and sisters.  At times when my son is hurting due to some sort of mistreatment I well up at the sight of my daughter coming to his aide to console and encourage him.  Those are the moments that I treasure.  The times that my daughter and I have “heart to hearts” and she tells me “Mommy, you’re the best and when I have kids I’m definitely homeschooling them”.  Those are the moments that I realize everything we’ve gone through is so worth it.  We may have ups and downs but what matters are the relationships in between and knowing that my kids are GREAT not because of me but rather because of the Blessings that God has surrounded us with.   Today I can honestly say that I made the right choices for them and I am so very grateful to have such tender hearted kids.

Today I want to encourage you to love on your kids.  Show them that you care.  If that means being overprotective then so be it.  Share God’s word and experience his blessings together. They will only be children for a short time…make it count.

kids on pier 3 crosses 2

My kids at Virginia Key. Keeping Christ at the center of it all.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”3 John 1:4

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He is all

jesus-is-all-i-need_1069_1280x1024

Try as I may

Words can’t explain

The hope that is found

In His love that remains

Now as I pray

Stand firm and proclaim

As this life finds new strength

It’s His blessings I gain

Truth finds its way

Through this world full of shame

To the dark tattered soul that is stained

No more dismay

For this heart my Lord reigns

He is all that I need to sustain

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Counting my Blessings

As I opened my eyes this morning I noticed a strange feeling overcome me.  Feeling nauseated I ran to the bathroom dreading the day ahead.  The Flu has hit and I couldn’t imagine how I was going to function in order to do the “house thing”, the “kid thing” and the “food thing”.  How will I possibly be able to make breakfast or anything else for that matter?  My bed was calling out to me, kept pulling me, and taunting me with warm sheets and soft pillows.  I tried to shake it off.  It worked for about 30 minutes then there was no fighting it.  I had lost the battle and had to raise the white flag as I surrendered to the welcoming cocoon of warm blankets. 
As I lay there I called out to my children…have you eaten?  What are you doing?  Please feed the dog!  You know you’ve done something right when they come to you immediately letting you know that all is well and that they are taking care of everything.  Breakfast, the dog, lunch and who knows maybe even dinner. My 14 yr old daughter was just so grownup when she said “I’m so sorry that you don’t feel well Mommy.  Is there anything I can get you”?  My 10 yr old son proceeded to come up to me to tell me not to worry and that I should get back to bed.  As I walked up to the window to open the blinds and let in some sunlight he said “Mommy, we can do that why can’t you just rest?”  That’s a good question I thought so I answered…because “I’m a Mom, it’s what I do”.  They both smiled really wide and I saw their love just pour out appreciating who I am to them.  It felt GREAT!  I realized then that I needed them to do this for me because it would be a great way to continue building them as the good hearted, loving, Christ-like kids that they are growing to be.cross rainbow
 
I may be sick today and feel horrible physically but my heart is feeling GREAT!  I am feeling very, very blessed to have such loving children.  I want to hold on to this moment and pull it out when I feel underappreciated. This is the moment that true colors shine and how bright they are.

So for today I will be following my kid’s orders to rest and while I do that I will most definitely be counting my blessings.

#Time2Refuel

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Nothing is Wasted

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

woman_praying_silhouette

God’s word is full of promises. In Romans 8:28 we are reminded that He will use all things…what does this mean? It means that all of our trials and tribulations, all of our loss and grief as well as our joy and triumphs will be used according to His purpose. Everything that happens can bring us one step closer to Him.

Take heart and cling to the promise that nothing is wasted.