21

On Guard

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

The age-old “grass is greener on the other side” is ever prevalent.  It’s funny how it always seems like everyone else’s relationship is so much better than your own.  You might look to your side and notice the special way that another couple  looks at each other, or the way they go on about one another. 

Sooner or later if you look close enough you’ll find that those relationships are facing similar struggles if not worse ones than you are.  What can we learn from this?  No one’s life is perfect of course…no one has a trouble-free relationship. 

The difference is that there are those that pursue a solution versus those that toss in the towel prior to finding that one thing that will make the difference.   It’s never easy to give in and say, I can’t take it anymore.  But sometimes it’s even harder to go the distance and seek out someone that can help.

Why is it that we struggle with talking about our issues?  Shouldn’t we want to do anything we can in order to resolve those things that are so huge in our lives?  Being proud only hinders your progress. 

When will we realize that our spouses are not the enemy but rather that we are being used against one another?  When we realize the issues at hand we have to consider who benefits from the turbulence in our relationships. 

I want to encourage you today to be ever vigilant. Be clear minded and don’t let the darkness invade your light but consider yourself blessed when you are attacked. Yes, I said blessed!  Attacks come upon those that are heading down the right path, make sure not to let the darkness run you off.

 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

“En garde”

#Time2Refuel

I’m happy to be linking up with the lovely 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

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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52

Know Your Worth

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

From the moment I met You
I knew
Life’s not always going to be perfect
In this fractured and broken world
but I hear You whisper…

“Know your worth”

Trudging through mud
Dirt will cling to your shoes
Never permeating the soul

Know your worth

Yours is the choice
to walk around dirty
Or have Him wipe it all clean

Know your worth

If we wore our sins
For all to see
What would that look like?

Know your worth

He knows
And He loves
Despite what you’ve done

Know your worth

Be clean or unclean
He knows

He knows your worth

He’s known it
from the that very first moment
when He thought you into existence

He knew it

Self-worth should not be based upon what others think or say
Your value is not in who you are but rather whose you are

Know your worth

You are worth blood
You are worth tears
He chose to give His life for you
Did you hear that?
You are worth dying for

Know your worth

You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears.

1 Corinthians 7:23

Have you felt put down or forgotten? Do you feel insignificant? 

Please know that our God in heaven values you so much that He gave His one and only son. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

I want to encourage you today to know your worth and in turn remember to grace those around you with words that would edify them.  That you be an example of God’s love to those around you.

Be encouraged | Be faithful | Be kind

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

Modest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, A Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the Word, Titus 2sDay, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRaLinkUp, Purposeful FaithCornerstone Confessions, Teaching 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, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends,

So Grateful and honored to have been featured on Mama Moments Mondays

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17

In Remembrance of Me

Hallelujah

Long ago on an eve similar to this the most amazing act of selflessness was set into motion.  A declaration of sacrifice followed by a meal, a friends rejection revealed, with a side of betrayal.

Jesus gathered with his disciples broke bread and drank wine.  A meal we’ve come to know as the last supper. We take this time to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made to save us. How emotional that night must have been.

Imagine just for a moment the gravity of what was taking place.  He was well aware of the actions to come.  He clearly knew that Peter would reject Him and the final blow of Judas’ betrayal was enough to make anyone distressed and emotional.

Jesus was flesh and bone with emotions just like you and I.  Just because He was Jesus doesn’t mean it hurt him any less. Yet still He had longed for this time with them despite clearly knowing what was about to take place.

And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.

Luke 22:15

“Before I suffer” He declared, and suffer He did. Tortured, beaten and degraded was our loving Savior yet He did not lose sight of His love for us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Though the crowds shouted blasphemies, the religious leaders mocked Him as Soldiers were basically flipping a coin for possession of His clothing…He forgave

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Luke 23:34

The best part about this story is that it has no end…On the third day Jesus rose, despite the doubts, our Lord did as He said He would.  Jesus Christ has risen Hallelujah! But it doesn’t end there because He reigns now and for evermore.

During this time I encourage you to look inward at the condition of your heart relative to your relationship with Christ.  Always keeping close watch on remaining near to the Father. Making sure to never lose sight of the significance of His sacrifice.  Always being grateful for what He has done for us.

Happy to be joining the women at;

Give Me Grace, The Weekend Brew, Missional Women, Waiting on Wednesday, Sunday Stillness, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends,

41

Left

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

This morning I was driving along as usual on my way to drop off my son at school.  We were having a nice time just singing and talking in the car when I came up to the spot where I needed to make a left turn.  I waited for the oncoming traffic to come to a stop so I could get by like I do every day.

Suddenly I saw my opportunity when one lane stopped but I noticed the far left outer lane just came to a crawl so I was afraid to go ahead since I had no idea if he would stop or not. The driver looks at me in anger mouthing something that seemed to express his annoyance at my need for turning at that particular spot . Waving his hands and yelling something (mind you there was no where for him to go, he would just be blocking the intersection).  I was confused and literally asked “What?” as I lifted my shoulders.

This enraged him and he proceeded to show me a hand gesture that completely floored me. My son was shocked to see how angry this stranger was and how rude he had become in a matter of seconds.  I did nothing.  I just turned left and kept driving.  I did nothing because as silly as it sounds, my feelings were hurt. I mean one minute we’re singing and just like that the sweet lyrics turned sour.  I let this rob my joy, change my mood and I briefly shut down.

What had I done to this “stranger” that warranted such an insult?  I know some people might say I gave it too much thought but honestly there was so much more behind it and it hurt. Can you believe that my son took hold of my hand and actually apologized to me?  For what? He didn’t do anything to me.  No, but he saw the offense on my face.  I couldn’t hide it. He was offended for me and wanted to make me feel better. I gathered my thoughts and simply told him (as calmly as I could) that I felt sorry for that man.  That I found what he did to be disgusting and insulting but…I felt sorry for him.  My son replied with “I don’t, not one bit”.

I totally understood my sons response and even appreciated the support he gave me in saying so, but I wanted him to learn that we need to live a different way.  We need to live the “W.W.J.D.”(What Would Jesus Do) way.  That’s really hard isn’t it? It felt literally impossible at that precise moment, but I felt a nudge telling me it was still what needed to be done. My initial reaction was to ignore it and stay upset but the nudge wouldn’t go away. It’s hard to argue with that.  My “self” was wanting to yell and say things to retaliate for the offense but I just went inward struggling with thoughts of anger versus choosing to do what was right.

I felt my son watching me, wondering, and feeling sorry for me. He was still holding my hand as if trying to console me. So I broke the silence as I came to my senses and said “what that man did was disgusting and ridiculous.  He needs prayer”.  My son was not happy with that answer and mentioned how the stranger was an idiot and shouldn’t have treated me that way.  I had to agree but I also said ”this stranger’s life must be so empty that the simplest of things will set him off.  Maybe he has a rough life.  I don’t know, but he needs prayer.”

This world can be a rough place always willing to pull you off course

I can’t ask my children to “do right” if I’m not willing to be an example.  Some might think I’m being exaggerated with this whole thing. I mean it was just a left turn people, a rude guy and a blip in time. If I would have never turned I could have avoided the whole incident but then again I would have never gotten to my destination.

The way I see it, is that “left” turn represents the difficult things we need to do as Christians. How sometimes this means we need to go against the traffic of the world which is not always easy and can even cause us pain and repercussions.Though in the end it will be worth it as long as the road we’re traveling is headed straight toward Christ.

So let them think I’m exaggerated. I would rather lean more to the kind of thinking that I don’t want to change or turn just because the world says so.  I want to change and live the way Christ says so. That might make me look weak to the “world” but I have no interest in conforming.   As flawed as I am I need to keep my eyes on Christ and travel in which ever direction He guides.

 Show me the right path, O Lordpoint out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me,for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

Psalm 25:4-5

I pray that you trust in the Lord, keep Him close to your heart and don’t let this world throw you off course. If God says turn left…you turn left.

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

I’m happy to be linking up with the wonderful women at;

Modest Mondays, Proverbial Homemaker, A Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine, The Life of Faith, Mom’s the WordWise 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, Faith Filled Friday,Give Me Grace, The Weekend Brew,Sunday Stillness, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends,

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11

Mouth Watering BBQ Ribs

Tender fall off the bone moist delicious goodness is what this is. Oh my goodness!  If you love ribs than this is the recipe for you. Easy to prepare with the dry rub that I’ve come up with using just a few simple ingredients.
Trust me once you try these you’ll be hooked and asking for more.
Just a heads up: You’ll have to start this early since it needs to cook low and slow in the oven.
aroma
CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™
Ingredients:
2 racks of ribs (St Louis Style BBQ Ribs)
Dry rub (recipe below)
Sonny’s BBQ sweet sauce                      ( I buy mine at BJ’s in a big’ole momma jug )
                        Sonny's
Dry rub:
4 tablespoons powdered garlic
3 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Lawry seasoned salt
CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™
Directions:
Prepare your dry rub first. Mix to blend spices thoroughly.
Pre-heat oven to 250°
Take roasting pan and double line it with aluminum foil.  Prepare ribs first by removing silver skin off back of ribs by pulling it off in strips.  This can be a little tricky but it’s necessary for the seasoning to penetrate properly.
Next trim off any excess fat. Place both racks onto lined pans.  Sprinkle on dry rub making sure to spread/rub in evenly over both racks.  Turn them over and repeat the same process.
Once both sides are seasoned. Cover with foil or another roasting pan (I usually use the pan myself).  Place roasting pan in the oven for approximately 5 hours or until the meat is tender and easily removed from bone.
When meat is tender brush on BBQ sauce until both sides are covered.  Cover ribs and place back in oven for 30-40 minutes.
Turn ribs again (turn carefully using tongs because ribs should be VERY tender by now). Brush on a bit more bbq sauce just to moisten place back in oven uncovered for 30-40 more minutes. When done remove from oven and let it rest covered for 15-20 minutes.

Voila!  Mouthwatering ribs are now done.

I like serving these ribs with mashed potatoes or potato skins, either way is delicious. YUMMMM!!!!  I’m telling you that my family goes to town on these ribs.  You just have to try it for yourself.
I’d love to know what you think.  Give them a try and let me know.

Enjoy!

#Time2Refuel

I’m happy to be linking up with the beautiful woman at;
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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10

My Past Is Always in My Present

In you

I see myself as we navigate our crazy, messy motherhood’s

With you

I cry and vent about all the struggles that we endure

In you

I trust to listen and not to ever judge

With you

I Laugh and know that I can always be myself

In you

I find a heart to trust that never holds on to grudges

With you

I voice my fears and doubts finding your compassion

In you

I value the comfort that helps to keep me grounded

With you

I have a past that is always in my present

In you

I’m blessed to find solidarity and reassurance

With you

I’m reminded to have faith and trust God has something more

In you

I have a best friend that always makes me feel normal

With you

I can confidently share any whisper

I am certain of all this

And I know

Because…

You are my sister

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

Life has been crazy, good and painful at times but I’m so very grateful that I have you to share it all with.

I am blessed that you have been beside me since birth

you are

from my past

and

always in my present.

“Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”

Genesis 12:13

Be it for a season or a lifetime

Be grateful for the women that God places in your lives, in your paths and in your hearts

She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.”

Proverbs 3:15

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

 Modest MomMy Joy Filled LifePurposeful Faith Cheerleading

Five Minute Friday, Faith Filled Friday

Blessing Counters Link, Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop,

Look at the BookArabahjoy Grace & Truth

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0

Will the “Real” People Please Stand Up…

She saw each new encounter as an opportunity to find a real friend.  Today was no exception…as she walked through her son’s school parking lot and scanned the faces there was nothing familiar to quell her anxiety.

Though friendship was something she sought out no one seemed too receptive.  Wall after wall kept going up with each conversation.

Why is it so hard to find a “real “person these days? Someone willing to engage.

At the close of the day, when volunteering was done she found herself in deep thought.

“What is it about me that people just don’t let me in?”  “Am I that different from them?” “Are they just stand-offish or is it me?” Anxiety suddenly turns into self doubt and self doubt into loneliness.

There are various kinds of people in this world with all different types of needs.  Don’t let others lack of interest, rudeness or just plain apathy drive you to conform to who they are.  The focus should be on the only true friend that will always be there for you.  The one you can always count on.The one who will always be real with you.

Continue to follow your heart as long as your heart is really following Jesus.

leaf heart

I see Christ’s love all around us…even capture it in my pictures.

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Proverbs 22:11

Five Minute Friday, Faith Filled Friday

4

Let Your Written Words Be Gracious

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

For the longest time I have always loved writing.  Since I was twelve I can remember loving to write and most specifically writing poems and letters.

For some reason when I couldn’t communicate with someone I found that a letter said so much more and with so much feeling, which is kind of odd since you’re not actually face to face and in person.

But there’s something non-pressure filled about having a letter in front of you rather than the actual person.

Because when you’re reading the letter you’re just taking in the information,

…there’s no prejudgment, there’s no one waiting or watching your face for expressions or reactions.  No one’s there to interrupt with their take on it, no quick knee jerk reactions.

It’s an easier way to take in the situation whether it’s a conflict, sharing faith or just feelings that need to be felt.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting avoidance.

I’m merely presenting a way to deal with someone that may not be in a place where they’re able to express themselves or want to listen.

Maybe it’s because they’ve been through a bad situation in the past where they felt judged or weren’t given the time of day so they tend to react too quickly before listening.

“Shoot first ask questions later” kind of mentality.

Or maybe you yourself have difficulty expressing your emotions or sharing your faith with that particularly closed off person.

A well thought out letter may be the way to conquer that.

{{Just tell yourself that you’ll never send it and your feelings might surface easier}}.

In the situation of conflict, having a letter in front of them lends the opportunity to read it and take in the information without being interrupted. They don’t have to feel like they need to defend themselves because no one is there waiting.

Obviously you’re going to use kind words.  Your words should always be encouraging and even in a bad situation make an effort to find that one good thing

…there has to be one good thing, find it then elaborate on it.

Work your way through the conflict and how it makes YOU feel and not so much how they made you feel because that’s just a blame tactic.  You don’t want to go there.

If you have trouble communicating maybe you could use the time writing to try and express yourself better.  Just don’t let opportunities slip by.

So, next time you have a situation where you’re having difficulty communicating, try writing a letter.

 It might liberate you, it might get it off your chest but most importantly it might just work things out.

2 Peter 3:1

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

Colossians 4:6 

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

#Time2Refuel

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