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

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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

heart scroll bar

“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

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

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

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.

10

You Lucky Dog

Yep!  That's my pup.  I get to look at this mug everyday, all day.   I'd call that pretty lucky.

Yep! That’s my pup. I get to look at this mug everyday, all day.
I’d call that pretty lucky.

We don’t always have much to offer.  Our lives are complicated and full of issues that we sometimes wish would just disappear.  But the truth is…difficulties are ever present with no signs of diminishing.   As hard as we may try to forget, our messes seem to follow.

The silver lining is that we don’t have to work it out perfectly. God wants to be close to us.  He alone is the author and creator of our story. He is the one that sees our messes and doesn’t run the other way. He chooses to enter our mess to bless and restore for the opportunity to start a brand new day.  Though broken He still wants us…our bodies, our praise and our prayers.

”My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

Psalm 51:17  

 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” 

Ephesians 3: 20-21

Today I want to encourage you to stop focusing on what you’ve done in the past and start trusting God for your future.  He makes your issues His own. God is there when all else fails.  He is always there, ready, waiting for you to come to Him. 

You Lucky Dog!

#LifeGivingLinkUpWholeHearted Wednesday, Women With Intention, Three Word WednesdayTellHisStoryCoffee for your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Word Filled Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, R&R Wednesdays, Wise Woman Wednesday,The Deliberate Mom,Thought Provoking Thursday,Growing In Grace, I Choose Joy, A Field of Wild Flowers, Purposeful Faith,, Grace & Truth

http://arabahjoy.com/spring-break-and-link-up/

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