3

Careful What You Wish For

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

 

It was about 5:15 am when he climbed down from his bunk-bed. Stomach spasms and nausea hit like angry, swollen waves forcing him to clutch his belly in desperation. He ran to the nearest sink hitting the kitchen counter first. Oh how I wish I would have emptied the sink earlier. No matter…I need to focus on getting to the bottom of what’s causing this nausea. Did he eat something last night that didn’t agree with him? Could it be the Tupperware full of sweet peppers he consumed after a bag of caramel corn? Not exactly the best combination, but no. The slight heat radiating from his brow was the final tell tale proof…the flu had reared it’s head and it was ugly.
Today I’m playing nursemaid to my youngest. My poor baby…sure he’s 12 and taller than me, but he’s still my baby people. About 2 nights ago as he was doing his homework at the kitchen table he randomly stopped and said “I haven’t been “really” sick in a VERY long time. I wish I would get sick, like really really sick”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Who wishes to be sick. Of course he’s just thinking of having a day off from school and not about the pain and miserable discomfort that comes with it. So I proceed to remind him about how terrible it is to wish such a thing and to try and remember how bad it feels. You think he’d take a moment to ponder. He took a moment alright. He took a moment and prayed a really fast prayer that went like this, “Dear God, ppleease, please, please let me get really really sick, Amen”. What the!?!?!? Is he kidding me right now? Who does that? Am I forgetting what it’s like to be 12 or is he off his rocker? I tell you that I still don’t get it, but it did remind me of something.
How many times do we go through rough patches, painful things caused by bad choices we’ve made and as time goes by we forget the severity of the pain it brought and make the same mistakes wishing, praying for the same again. We in essence bring on a “spiritual flu” of sorts. It’s only when the pain hits that we see the error in our ways and ask ourselves “What was I thinking?”
It’s our humanity. We’re broken and scarred but luckily we have a savior that looks passed that and sees our hearts intention. He takes our bad choices and uses them for good. We’re suppose to learn from our situations, choices, decisions. Do we have to bang our heads against the wall each time? No, definitely not but it all lies in the choices we make. What we think is good for us in the moment is not necessarily what’s best for us in the long run. If only we would commit this to memory so that what we’re learning is to change and seek Him first before making any decisions.
In the end He wants what’s best for us, to heal and make us well. Who better to put our plans, future, well-being and trust in? There is none other.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11

Now go, Rest in Him and let Him replenish your thirst. Hopefully it’s just a 24 hour thingy.

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

 

I’m linking up with: 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 BlogMomfessionalsFaith Filled Friday, Fath and FellowshipGive Me Grace, Still Saturdays, Saturday SoireeThe Weekend BrewSunday StillnessA Group Look, Spiritual Sundays, Faith N Friends, DancingWithJesus, Renewed Daily

 

 

#Time2Refuel

30

King of Glory

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

Like a river flowing freely in the desert

You quench the thirsty land that seeks for you

Without a moment’s thought or hesitation

You offer all your love and life brand new

I praise your holy name above all names

For you alone are worthy to be praised

I lift my eyes to you in adoration

My heart rejoices for I know you are the way

Who alone reveals the answers to all things?

Who alone conceals in his hands the source of life?

The one who lifts my burdens

The one who rescued me

Behold the King of Glory

 

You who gave such life to all the lifeless

You who filled the sky and all the seas

In you I found my shelter from the darkness

My Savior

My Lord

King of Glory

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“7 Lift up your heads, you gates;be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.Lift up your heads, you gates;lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”

Psalm 24:7-9

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, DancingWithJesus

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

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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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

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

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

2

Must Have Done Something Right…

My baby girl enjoying God's beautiful scenery.

My baby girl enjoying God’s beautiful scenery.

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

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

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

 

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

0

Going against the flow…

Fish symbol

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

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

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

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

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

kids on pier 3 crosses 2

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

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

0

Restoration

cruise restoration

You wake up to a beautiful day full of routines, errands and chores.  Your To Do list seems to be pushed wayward because a new set of priorities always find its way to the surface.  STRESS is high and patience runs thin.  How much longer can you hold off the meltdown? 

You know what?  It’s time to redirect your attention.  It’s time to refocus. Life is deeply affected by the way that we think and handle what’s before us.  If problems become monumental than we lose sight of all blessings, making life that much darker, harder and complicated. Instead of letting yourself get swallowed up in your circumstances choose to offer it up to God.  He will lighten your load where you are unable. Take time to bring your worries to Jesus in prayer and leave them with Him.

“He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3

#Time2Refuel