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”

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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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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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4

You Are More

CeliArt © 2015 @Time2Refuel ™

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proverbs 31:25-28

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

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

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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.  

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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

 

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