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

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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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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

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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0

In God We Trust

It was just like every other morning.  Wake up early to start the day and trudge through all the “stuff”.  Going through the motions just to get to the end of another day.  Bus stops, school work, homework and study for tests in between.  Taxi back and forth, home to school, school to home with sports or church in between.  There never seems to be any down time.  No time to reflect or just be a family.  That’s a wake-up call letting me know that something needs to be done.  Life is not given to us to merely trudge through wasting our few precious moments together complaining about how bad it all is.  I choose to forego the complaining about what’s wrong and make changes even small ones that will help improve the quality of how we live–of how we are a family.

So…I made a clear statement to my kids.  “When we’re tempted to complain about something no matter how big or small let’s not.  Instead let’s think about a positive”.  As the words left my mouth I have to admit that I was doubting if I could even keep myself in check.  That’s easier said than done but when you pinky promise you have to follow through, at very least make an attempt.  The first day was great we helped one another by holding each other accountable to keeping our promise.  The second day wasn’t as easy.  Complaints seemed to trickle in and were quickly excused away.  That’s when I realized that we were focusing too much on our will and not at all on God’s.

New pinky promise…in everything we do, do it to please the Lord not by our strength but rather through what He alone can provide.

 

Psalm 37:5

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will.

0

The Word In My Heart

CeliArt

This is a sketch of a picture I took a few years back.
It’s my absolute favorite! I could stare at my kids all day long.

In recent weeks I’ve been listening to a series of parenting CD’s that are quite helpful in pointing out the things so easily overlooked when raising children. My kids are a miraculous gift and sometimes (a lot of times) I’ll feel ill-equipped to be all that they need. I started off listening and nodding. Lots of agreement on my part. Today it was about God’s word and how we need to teach our kids the scriptures that will one day be what they need in order to successfully handle life’s trials. That hit me square in the face. Not because I disagree but rather because I didn’t think of it that way. Raising kids can be scary when you think about the pressure. Questions arise…am I messing up my kids? Do I do too much for them? Will they be responsible adults? When is my helping them a disservice? I drove myself crazy thinking “I better start looking up verses that deal with struggles and start the training program”. I had to stop and remind myself that this will be a process and I just need to…breathe.

What are some ways that you teach your kids scripture? I’d love some input as to how God’s word is incorporated and engraved into the minds and hearts of your little ones.

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.  

Psalm 119:11

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Regardless of our methods for teaching our kids, impressing God’s word is what’s most important in order for them to move through whatever struggles life might bring them…trusting that there will be brighter days.

I pray that your day be filled with blessings and that you face each new encounter armed with God’s truth and love.

#Time2Refuel