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

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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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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.

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Know It All

Well…as sad as it sounds and as quickly as it came school is just around the corner (pause as my kids groan and moan in disgust).  Time just flew by way too fast.  I had so many plans and followed through on so few because my children had alternate ideas.  It’s all good though, I mean it’s their summer break and they should do stuff that they want to do or not do.  So we lounged around alot, saw a few new movies, had some sleepovers, hit the pool quite a bit and did the shopping thing.

My 15 yr old daughter lives her summers in denial, any time I tried to tell her when school was going to start she’d shoo me away and tell me she didn’t want to know.  So…I didn’t mention “school” anymore.  Today we were discussing our next weekend activities and she realized that school was starting in a little over a week and FREAKED out!  She had a mini panic attacked as she told me she felt the stress come over her like a tidal wave.  “I told you so” was all that came to mind and quickly out of my mouth.  She didn’t really appreciate those words of wisdom and could only think about the TWO books she still needed to finish reading before school starts.

My 11 year old son has had a different outlook on summer not so much wanting me to avoid any school conversations.  Rather  than be in denial he’s been contemplating what entering Middle School will be like. Although I have been making sure that he works on his “summer learning” math prep.  He hates every minute of it but I know he needs the extra help and I explain to him that this will give him confidence to do well in math this year.  My words of encouragement fall deaf on his ears.  All he hears is “yada, yada, yada”

Being a parent is TOUGH!  Duh!!!

That fine line of wanting to be your kids friend but drawing the line at disrespect is truly difficult.  Teenagers think they know all they need to and that we are just not familiar with how their world works now.  We are out of date and don’t have a clue as to what’s cool and what’s not.  We worry and plan too much.  Luckily my kids are genuinely good at heart so I tend to not want to kill them when I focus on that attribute. However every time my daughter is sarcastic or my son tells me “I know”, I just want to scream!  Well actually, I’d really just like to grab them by the shoulders and shake them uncontrollably until they realize they shouldn’t do that.  That would be wrong!  Satisfying…BUT WRONG!  He he he

Seriously, it’s just that sometimes or rather more than often they think they know it all and view our advice as a lecture.  Today my son asked how long we need to be on this budget plan to pay off our debt because he wants to go to Disney.  I told him that we were close to paying it all off and he said “you always say that”.  I let out a slight chuckle but quickly regained my composure to explain how all the sacrificing is paying off and that their dad is sacrificing the most out of all of us.  All my son heard was…”yada, yada, yada” once again.  I went through the whole payout plan thinking that it would make things clear and they could appreciate that sooner than later we would be out of debt and saving for that long overdue vacation.  Words, words and more words.  My daughter turned to me and said  “we got it Mom, we had it in the first ten minutes”.  She smiles her little sarcastic smile as she cocks her held ever so innocently.  “Ok then!  As long as you got it.”

Kids soooo miss the point of things sometimes.  Here I thought I was sharing with them and bringing them in to understand why we do what we do but in reality they just want what they want.  They don’t want to know how the doughnuts are made, they just want to eat ’em.  I recognize that I talk things to death sometimes (ssshhhh, a lot of times) but I have to say that more and more I find myself wishing I’d been told certain things as a kid so I could have made better choices. Though my intention is to pass this knowledge on I have to be realistic in knowing the truth of the matter is that I’m an “adult” thinking this and rare is the kid/teen that will share that longing.

 

So I must decide to accept that kids think they know it all

but in reality

don’t want to know it all

because….

they already do?   

UPDATE: Later that evening my daughter was completely stressed about all things school related. She came to me in tears and needing a hug along with some reassurance.  I did what any parent would when faced with this situation. I just melted and gave way to comforting her. Reminding her of how special and smart she is.  How God would not give her more than she could handle and that no matter how tough it seemed right now these would be years that she would look back on fondly because we tend to forgot the bad and focus on the good.  She suddenly remembered that she would be co-president of the Bible Club at school this year and was instantly excited.

Thank you Lord for the ray of sunshine in the mist of her storm.

he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth. 2 Samuel 23:4

Btw…we decided together that next summer there would be no denial.  We’ll see… #LoveMyKids

 

#Time2Refuel

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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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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

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Calgon Take Me Away…

Did I just date myself?

No matter…I just couldn’t think of a better way to describe the kind of day I had yesterday.

Just one of those days when you need time.

Just one of those days when you need time.

Well, let’s see first I started off the day with a terrible toothache.  Don’t you just love those?  Yeah, me either. I could feel the air moving in and out of my mouth causing horrible pain.  Ugh!  Off to the dentist I went. As I sat in the parking lot feeling like a stalker, waiting for my dentist office to open the pain was unbearable…30 minutes later I see the receptionist unlocking the building door and suddenly noticed that I felt no pain.  Why does that happen?  Why does the pain go away as soon as your with the doctor/dentist?  That happens way to often and no, I’m not a hypochondriac.  Going to the doctor or dentist is always a last resort for me.  It’s not so much that I don’t like going but rather that my insurance stinks and we always end up owing tons of money.   We’re still paying for the last time I had an issue that turned out to be nothing.

Moving right along…after the dentist finds nothing wrong with me except that I’m grinding my teeth causing sensitivity. He asked me if I was stressed.  Heh!  That’s a good one.  Am I stressed?  So I gave the typical loaded answer “no more than usual”. He told me to wear my night guard while I drive and do everything else. Now that’s an attractive look!  Apparently I’m all out of choices and need to wear the darn thing.  So…here I sit typing away while wearing the dreaded night guard. Thankfully typing is much easier than speaking at the moment and no…I won’t be typing with a lisp.

Later that afternoon  I pickup my daughter at the bus stop and as we watch the driver pull away she informs me that she left her Iphone on the bus.  Queue the doom and gloom track “dun, dun, dunnnnn”.  All I could think about was how expensive that phone was but I remained “outwardly” calm and proceeded to contact the bus dispatch.  After several phone calls we finally got the correct department and were told that they found the phone. YAY!!!  Now all we needed to do was pick it up by 6:30pm.  It was a mere  13 miles away and traffic was horrendous. Was I still calm?  Let’s put it this way…I needed to get my night guard back in.   Luckily my hero of a husband volunteered to pick up the phone himself.  Once the phone was back in our possession I proceeded to give the responsibility lecture and explained how I expected her to be more careful in the future.

After dinner it’s family time. We always sit down to relax and maybe watch an episode of “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe or “Mythbusters” together.  Right before that starts I proceed to ask if backpacks are ready for school tomorrow at which point my daughter realizes that her swim suit is missing.  You see she goes to a school that has swimming for PE which is cool but apparently she left her $65 bathing suit in the school bathroom which is not cool.  Ummm!  Why!? In the midst of my conniption she mentions having water and pain in her ear from all the swimming.  I asked if she wore her earplugs and she responded “no, I couldn’t find them”.  Another lost item.  Deep breath…count to 10…there was a lot of forehead rubbing and night guard wearing.  I needed to move on. So I did just that.

I think it’s safe to say that some organizational instruction is needed, I always offer but somehow kids just always “know” better.  Apparently this wasn’t one of those times. Can you relate?

#Time2Refuel

When anxiety was great within me,your consolation brought me joy.  Psalm 94:19

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Hand Over the Laptop and No One Gets Hurt

Wow!  I never realized how much I rely on my laptop.  Well that is until my husband’s vacuuming incident swept the laptop onto the floor.  My old friend met his fate on that cruel dust free day and is no more. *tear
I thought to myself how bad could it be? It’ll probably boot right back up…Uhhmm, maybe not.  Do you understand that I do everything on my lap top?  This was my everything gadget.  Need to write something down? Get the laptop.  Need to help kids with homework?  Get the laptop.  Need to look up kids grades? Get the laptop .  Need to order a new hard drive?  Get the lap…oh wait a second here.  How am I suppose to order a hard drive online if I don’t have a working laptop?  Hmmmm, kids! Can you bring me YOUR laptop?  Uhuh…I found a way.  Well at least I was able to order my much needed hard drive.  I even paid extra in order to receive it in 3 days.
Seven days later…
Oh wait! Is that the UPS truck outside with my new hard drive?  Yeah!!!  I opened the box carefully as if half expecting the contents to fall to the floor causing it to endure the same fate as my laptop.  But no I was successful and held the hard drive in my sweaty hands as I dreamed of days filled with Microsoft publisher, Wordpress, Bing, Pinterest  and so many more old friends.  I proceeded to act like I knew what I was doing and unscrewed the back panel of the laptop to reveal the old hard drive.  I removed the old one carefully and replaced it with the new.  It clicked right in.  Then…my worst nightmare came true!  As I attempted to replace the lid to screw it back on I realized that this hard drive is almost twice as thick as the old one.  WHAT!?  How did this happen?  My computer geek brother-in-law told me this was the right hard drive!!!  A few deep breaths later I came to the conclusion that I will not be perusing or using my laptop in any way shape or form.  My computer time is now limited to when my children are not using theirs.  Did I mention that they are always using it and are always waiting for the other to finish?  Yeah that’s right!
Apparently I need to return the hard drive and figure out which one I need. So this is a sad case that won’t be resolved for what looks like a few more weeks.  Will I survive?  Probably, but I definitely won’t enjoy it. 
Well, I guess this means I’ll be back here as soon as I can get another turn with the kids laptop.  Wish me luck!
 
#harddrivefailBOO
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That Dreaded Six Letter Word…M-o-n-d-a-y

It may be a bit bruised but it was thrown together with Love. ♥

It may be a bit bruised but it was thrown together with Love. ♥

Monday comes

Chaos screams

Welcome to the week

Alarm gets snoozed

Fruit gets bruised

As the lunch box it does meet

Book bags fly

Homework’s lost

Quick we’re running late

Shoes in hand

Breakfast ham

Slides right off the plate

Drives a cinch

Or so you think

‘Til traffic starts to slow

Bob and weave in a pinch

But find nowhere to go

Could it be the school I see

Just beyond the light?

Anxious group of children scream

Careful hold on tight!

Finally get to school on time

They gather all their things

Suddenly to realize

Lunch box they did not bring

Ugh!

Happy Monday?

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Hanging on By a Thread?

Ever have one of those days when you feel frazzled and like your hanging on by a thread. Take courage.  We've all been there.  Actually...I visit quite often and linger to the point of loitering. I'm just sayin'.

Ever have one of those days when you feel frazzled like your hanging on by a thread?
Take courage. We’ve all been there.
Actually…I visit quite often and linger to the point of loitering.
I’m just sayin’.

There is a lot going on in our lives and we could all stand a little courage in order to face the day.  Whether we need encouragement or strength it’s always good to seek out ways to improve ourselves.

I was just recently made aware of the author/speaker Brene Brown who spoke at The Global Leadership Conference at my church this year.  I have to say that I absolutely love the positive way she speaks so honestly and with conviction.

I’m always on the lookout for “great reads” and definitely plan on reading some of her books that I saw on brenebrown.com but can’t seem to decide which one to start with.

Have any of you read her books?  If so, any suggestions as to which I should read first?

Oh and here’s a little Brene Brown nugget I found that I wanted to share with you all:

The Power of Vulnerability Sample

*I just wanted to let you know that this is solely my opinion and I  was not paid to mention any of the above.  I merely enjoy what I’ve learned from her and wanted to share the wealth.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness”.