16

Broken But Not Forgotten

 

cropped-800px-Soap_bubbles-jurvetson1

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

44

Engraved By Christ

Last week as I went on a walk with my son through our neighborhood I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures of everything that caught my eye.  Lots of beautiful trees, flowers and built up piles of fallen leaves. Oh how I love the natural beauty.

As I looked down at the sidewalk something in the cement caught my eye. they were so small that I almost missed them, but there they were. An imprint of a leaf. Several of them actually, leaves no longer there but the imprints remained. How long had they been there? Who knows, could be years.  All I knew was that these leaves had once fallen at this precise place leaving their mark, proving their existence, leaving a lasting impression in stone. So I took a picture of this imprint as it got me thinking of my own.

leaf imprint

What lasting impression will I leave behind?  Years from now will there even be an imprint? Will I have served my Lord well? What I do now, will it find its way into the future? My children’s future? Their children’s children future?

Not for rewards or for empty praises but rather to know I have guided them toward Christ and loved them so well that they will always remember. A love that has been etched into their hearts and burned into the very fabric of their lives.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen”
2 Peter 3:18

To know that those moments I cried in prayer for God’s blessing on their lives came to be, even if while I am no longer here. That through whatever small kindness they have witnessed they have learned of Christ’s love in action.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace”
Numbers 6:24-26

The things that we do matter. How we affect those around us will mean something if we do it with love.

But, the truth is…

We are flawed and the good we do is like filthy rags compared to God’s love.  So I pray… That despite my selfishness, short comings and sinful nature God will choose to use me in preparing a way for them.

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”
Isaiah 64:6

Like a leaf etched into stone or names carved onto a tree, I hope to have helped my children carve the name of our Lord Jesus Christ onto their hearts that they might live a lifetime of joy serving our Father.

That the imprint I leave behind be not that of my own, but rather the one engraved by Christ.

How will you leave your imprint?

I’m happy to be linking up with the beautiful women at:

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 Blog, MomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday,Give Me Grace, The Weekend Brew,Sunday Stillness, A Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends,

Thanks to Titus2Tuesdays

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17

God’s Whisper

 CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

So many times I feel out of control

Lost in all that’s going on around me

Those moments when you feel you’re being pulled in all directions

I’m sure you know exactly what I mean

I should be able to keep up

But there are those times that I just can’t focus

I don’t feel like I’m enough

What am I doing?

Why is this happening?

The answer never seems to come

Then unexpectedly

My son asks for a hug

My daughter kisses me

For no apparent reason

They remind me that I’m loved

They make me feel like I’m enough

That’s when I hear it

God’s whisper

When He says

This life is my blessing

These kids are His love

I will hear it

God’s whisper

Will always pull me in

Draw me close

Meet me in the earthquake

Save me from the fire

I will hear it

God’s whisper

In the roughest of patches

To mend and make me new

He will still my storm

With a whisper

God’s gentle whisper

Will see me through

Psalm 107:29

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

1 Kings 19:12

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper

I am happy to be linking up with the beautiful women at;

Wise Woman Link up ,Women With Intention Wednesdays,

Whole Hearted WednesdayThe Deliberate Mom,

Thought Provoking Thursday,Five Minute Friday, Faith Filled Friday, Blessing Counters Link, Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop, Look at the BookArabahjoy Grace & Truth

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4

You Are More

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

Its 5:00 am, the day starts off as usual, trudge my way in a sleepy fog off to start the day.  Wake up kids, get breakfast on the table and those lunch boxes ready to go.  They finally get dressed and show up in the kitchen bleary-eyed, but ready to eat.  The morning starts slow but the quiet brings peace that helps conversation flow.

Though daylight has not reached us we’re on our way to the bus stop as my daughter tells me how she’s worried about her grades or that she doesn’t feel smart enough sometimes.  Asks if I think she’s a good writer or if she’s just fooling herself into thinking she can be one someday.  Her eyes upon me wondering, waiting for encouragement.  She cares what I think.  My child needs me. So I tell her the truth.

I don’t say this just because she is my daughter or solely out of love when I say the certainty of her talent is clear. I point out the beauty in the words she pens, the emotion she invokes and how though difficult a feat, she rises to it. I have no doubt she will one day be that writer she aspires to.  She will do great things and she knows I’m her biggest fan.

Next I drive my son to school. At times these drives can be silent when sleepiness is hard to fight.  But today my son had something on his mind.  He blurted out these words, “I know I’m not normal”.  As you can imagine my mind raced trying to process what he meant.  Quickly worried and even briefly blamed myself.  “Why would you say that?” is what came out of my mouth.  What he said next was nothing I had expected to hear.

“I’m not like other kids.  The other boys think all girls are the same, but I know that’s not true.  They’re all different and special in their own way. I think it’s because you homeschooled me Mom.  And I’m glad for that because I learned from being around you and my sister all the time. I know that’s what God wants me to do”.

I thanked him for telling me that but I have to tell you that he has no idea how wonderful that was to hear.

As a mom you work so hard to do everything you can for your children.  You sacrifice and love unconditionally praying that you won’t mess them up and that they’ll grow up to be beautiful human beings. These are the moments, unexpected conversations of the heart that are like payment in full.

My kids know that I love them but cannot even fathom the amount of love I have for them.  These are the moments I want to remember when I feel like I’m not enough.  When I feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated I need to recall these moments, these words, and their love.

I know that down the line I’ll still make mistakes and doubt myself along the way but I’m thankful for God’s reminders. Letting me know that I don’t have to be perfect and in the scheme of things all is well. God has blessed me with an amazing family to nurture and I am privileged to be loved by them.

Proverbs 31:25-28

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

I encourage you today to take a moment and know that you are loved.  That there is more to being a mom than preparing lunches, making beds or driving your kids around. That all you do is not in vain, all you are is infinitely more important to your family than any mistake you have ever made.  You are more and love covers all.

#Time2Refuel

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2

Careful Little Eyes…

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel™

It’s so heart breaking to watch our kids forcibly lose pieces of their innocence before they’re ready.  From magazines, T.V. shows, movies and music, they all seem to be pushing the limits.  Are there even limits anymore?  Kid shows are all about relationship drama these days.  Why are these 11 y.o. even dating?

The music that’s played at school dances for kids in elementary and middle school are full of foul language.  I asked my son what songs were played at the last dance he attended and most of the songs mentioned had foul language.  That is totally inappropriate!  He followed up by saying “they bleep out the bad words in the song but the kids just keep singing and blurt out the words anyways”.  This is what they learn from today’s music. Why is this acceptable?

A while back we purchased some concert tickets and as a thank you gift were given some free subscriptions to various magazines. Sports Illustrated was one of them.  When the magazines arrived my son would normally love reading the articles about the players or events.  Until the day the swimsuit edition arrived. I was shocked to see my son holding the magazine. He brought it to me and said that he didn’t think he should be looking at that.I was horrified to see these basically pornographic images right here in my home.  I was so angry and immediately threw it in the trash.  It’s not about being a prude or self-righteous.  It’s about self-respect.  It’s about honor.

Coincidentally, today I just happened to come across a blog post from Nitty Gritty Love regarding a similar situation, but from the view-point of an 11 y.o. boy and I wanted to share it with you.

AN 11-YEAR-OLD BOY’S OPEN LETTER TO SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

– See more at: http://www.nittygrittylove.com/an-11-year-old-boys-open-letter-to-sports-illustrated/#sthash.6crpGpVQ.dpuf

An 11-Year-Old Boy’s Open Letter to Sports Illustrated

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.

Romans 12:2

So what are your thoughts on this?

#Time2Refuel

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2

5 Free or Frugal Family Activities

CeliArt © 2014 Time2Refuel

Entertaining a family can get quite expensive these days.  We definitely have to get creative sometimes in order to stay on budget. Though a challenging task not impossible.

Here are 5 suggestions on ways to spend quality family time together spending little or no money:

  1. Grab a picnic basket and prepare a few sandwiches and fruits.  Add some tempting sweet treats and drive to the nearest park, lake or beach.  Toss a Frisbee or a football. My kids get a kick out of seeing me climb a tree and yes even roll down a hill right alongside them.
  2. Time to dust off those bicycles or skate boards and hit the road. If you want a change in scenery go to the nearest park or pick a neighborhood you love driving by and bike/skate there instead. Then drop on by Dairy Queen for a BOGO Blizzard, Register here for coupons.
  3. Redbox to the rescue…you can use this promo code for a free rental and choose a flick everyone will enjoy. Free Redbox Code: DVDONME (ongoing)
  4. Visiting model homes has always been a fun outing for us.  Might sound strange to some of you but hey they enjoy themselves and I love going to get decorating ideas. It’s a win, win. The kids love going from room to room.  They especially love exploring with their cousins.
  5. Freebie dinner, yep that’s right I said “freebie”.  I’ve been getting restaurant gift cards from mypoints. If you’ve never heard of it you’re missing out. Check them out at mypoints.com . You’ll thank me later. ツ

Family is important and the kids are growing up way faster than we’d like.  I encourage you all to take advantage of the time you have with your family.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:21

I hope you enjoyed this list.  I’d love it if you let me know of any activities you’re doing with your family that are free or frugal. ツ

 

#Time2Refuel

0

Letter To The Broken-Hearted Mom

Moms are meant to nurture, that’s how we’re wired.  We care for and guard our kids from all kinds of dangers.  As they grow and face different challenges we teach them how to turn to God during those times. We do our very best to prepare them but can’t possibly cover everything they might come up against…so we pray.

They don’t see our hearts intent, they don’t see how in our eyes they can do nothing to drive us away or how we hurt when they hurt. We just keep loving them the way we do. Then they grow up and are making decisions on their own, fumbling through life as they navigate the world of adulthood.

It’s so difficult to stand back and let them fall, resist the urge to catch them and just watch as they make choices that will lead to no good.  When our words of advice fall on deaf ears because they think they know better. The day they no longer turn to God for guidance because they “don’t need Him”.

Then there are those that are lost to cancer or an unforeseeable accident before they even get a chance to make their own mistakes. These are tough scenarios but some moms are going through them right now. Feeling lost and alone.

Today my mind has been wandering back to this topic and how painfully devastating it must be for any mother to feel these types of loss.  I’m praying that God break my heart for what breaks His and I know that sometimes in the pain it’s difficult to draw close but I encourage you to not lose sight of His promises.

God break my heart for what breaks Yours

Though I don’t know you by name I’m crying along with you and praying that you find solace in Him. My heart goes out to you. I pray that the words in the video below serve you as some form of comfort.

0

Celebrate Your Love

Nineteen years ago today I made a commitment that set off a chain of events that would change my life forever.  It caused two lonely hearts to finally be where they belonged…together.

Wedding Vows @ Time2Refuel
I wrote these vows 19 years ago for my hubby

Now we are a family of four

It’s amazing to think how quickly the years go by.  My husband and I knew each other for 13 years even before we started dating.  Here we are 19 years after our wedding…WOW that means we’ve known one another for 32 years now!!!

That’s amazing!

You know I don’t claim to have the best relationship because we definitely make our share of mistakes, but what I’m noticing more and more is that God is constantly teaching us through every situation.  When things don’t go right I’m learning to ask what He’s trying to tell me, what I need to learn from it.  Trusting God to fill in the cracks is how we make it.

More than ever I’m also noticing that our children are watching.  They’re learning what marriage is, not just from what they’re told but from what they see and experience through us.  I know we fail them a lot but we also show them that no matter what, we love each other and we love God, so everything works itself out.

It’s great whenever we have an excuse to celebrate something. However it becomes more challenging when you’re trying to live on a budget and be debt-free. So we’re sacrificing by cutting back on gifts and fancy dinners.  I really enjoy the little gestures that we can show one another that can also serve to show our kids that the simple things are very important.

For example this morning I left this on our bathroom mirror for my hubby.

Happy Anniversary @ Time2Refuel

Today I have loved you for 6,939 days. 19 Years and Counting


I sent that picture in a text to my daughter as she was on her way to school this morning. She responded with this text…

STOP BEING SO CUTE MY LITTLE HEART CAN’T TAKE IT.

My son’s reaction was similar yet a bit more manly.  Bottom line they love the “mush” and that’s a great thing since I am the mushiest of them all!

So with all that said I would like to encourage you all to make the best of any situation.  If you can’t afford a luxurious outing or gift that’s okay, be creative but most of all be thoughtful and Celebrate Your Love. You’re spouse and children will love you for it.

 #Time2Refuel

2

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Faith

Seems like lately college aged students are choosing to leave the church.  Claiming that God doesn’t exist.  What’s going on?  Why the wave of doubt and confusion?

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8

It’s scary to think that you worked hard to get your child into a decent college hoping they’d have all the best opportunities. Start on the path to a great career and  successful future.  What you didn’t bargain for was paying all that money and upon graduation finding out she’s decided that there isn’t a God.  Wait! What?

I see now that as a parent I need to take a more pro-active role.  My kids still have several years before they get to college so the time is now. It’s time to make sure and provide them with the necessary tools they’ll need to feel confident and stand firm when their faith is being challenged, whether by a college professor or fellow students planting a seed.  I want my kids to be prepared.

Here is where I’ve decided to start, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An atheist” is a book that answers a lot of the things that are commonly questioned; The authenticity of the bible, Who Jesus really is, If God is real why do we suffer? These are just a few topics that caught my attention.  I’ve heard great things about this book and I’ll be checking it out for myself, for my kids, for their future.

On that note, I’d like to offer up my two cents in a list of sorts…

Top 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Faith

  1. Devotional/Bible time– Have your kids gotten into the habit of reading their bible daily?  Start them on devos as soon as possible.  The younger the better. We did it first thing in the morning at the breakfast table. When they were 3 and 7 we’d start the day off with keysforkids followed by adventuresinodyssey they loved both.  Jellytelly.com is another great one for young kids.  Whateverdevo you choose the important thing is to create a habit of reading studying and sharing God’s word.
  2.  Pray– Seems obvious however needs to be mentioned.    Kids are natural sponges and the best way to teach them to pray is by praying. Pray with them at meals pray with them at bedtime and let them see you pray while you’re standing at the kitchen counter or at the stop light.  They remember that…those are defining moments. There is power in prayer and they learn from watching you.
  3.  Seek and Find– Teach them to look stuff up.  They might hear so-called truths from classmates or teachers and believe it, because they said it, so it must be true.  Challenge them to verify information.  Kids say some incredible things sometimes and can be quite gullible as well, making it all the more important to teach them to question what they’ve heard and know when to disregard
    As mere opinion.
  4. Challenge them– Present them with a scenario  that they might encounter in high school or college. How will they respond? Will they know how to respond? Or will they just remain quiet?  Once presented with the challenge, offer ways to deal with the situation.  This would be  a great time to remind them how important it is to memorize God’s word so they are never caught off guard. As they get older the challenges should get more complicated.  How will they react to tragedy or disappoint?  You won’t always be around but God’s word can be hidden in their hearts.
  5. Encourage them– As parents this is a given however, At times we just go through the motions and while expecting their best effort we forget to acknowledge the small victories.  Don’t focus on what they haven’t achieved yet…encourage them with your actions by demonstrating your faith on a daily basis. That they might learn not to be afraid to speak up but rather defend their faith with confidence.
Strengthen their Faith and watch it Grow Wild

Strengthen their Faith and watch it Grow Wild

I hope you find these suggestions helpful.

What are some ways you are preparing your children?

Remember, the  stage your children are in doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that you start helping them learn how to put their faith into action.

 #Time2Refuel

0

How to Be a Cool Mom…NOT!

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

How are we supposed to get things right anyway?  I always dreamed that I’d be the cool mom that my kids would love having me around and tell me everything.  I guess I thought we’d be best buds or something of the sort.  I’ve been realizing a lot about myself lately.  For instance, that I pride myself on being so nice, patient and a great listener however, recent events have proven otherwise.

I found that when my daughter speaks I quickly give an opinion even before considering her state of mind on the issue.  In my head I was just trying to be helpful, but all she heard was predetermined judgment.

Wow! I don’t even recognize myself sometimes, this isn’t who I thought I’d be.  This isn’t who I want to be. I need to work on my listening skills.

Moving on to my son…here’s where my patience comes into play or does it?

Grades aren’t exactly a priority for him, never really have been. However, I have explained on more than one occasion that he needs to try his best.  He always responds with an “I’m sorry and I’ll try harder”.  After the 3rd or 4th time I pretty much lose it.

Patience goes flying right out the proverbial window and I can see him shutting down.  Where’s that together mom that I was supposed to be?  I could sure use her right about now.  Instead I’m left to deal with this half crazed lunatic spouting off how disappointed and frustrated she is.

You know, when my son is acting out or being disrespectful and we sit down to have our devotional, on many occasions the topic has been on point to what he’s been doing or going through.  I always manage to point out to him that perhaps God is trying to tell him something.

But lately it’s me that God is targeting.

From God's lips...

I sat down to my morning devotional in the stillness of my darkened living room to find that God had words, a message, for me.   It spoke of a healthy, loving environment where your kids can feel safe even in failure.

A question was posed about whether or not your child’s mistakes were a doorway to your anger or seen as an opportunity to model God’s love to help them grow and learn something new.

Whoa!  Right there I realized that I had lost perspective, I was broken.

At first I was sad, sad for the mom I wanted to be but am not. Sad that I lost my way.

Then I prayed and was grateful that He showed me not only what I was doing wrong, but guided me to where I needed to be.  That’s not to say that I miraculously changed, but I find myself thinking and praying more before I speak or act.

I know I have a lot of work ahead of me but with God all things are possible, even for the broken.

I trust that He will guide me every step of the way, that I might show my kids the love of God that drives out fear.

There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18

I’d love to hear your thoughts on parenting. How do you keep a handle on it?  Share what works for you…I can use all the help I can get.  

#Time2Refuel

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