Tuesday, May 20, 2014


" Look, Mommy that's my friend, TuTaloo." J said as we were rushing out of the minivan to make gymnastics class on time. The boys love going to gymnastics!

 Each week we are there,  I spend time working out while watching them through the big glass window, feeling like a great mom because my kids are getting lots of activity and not sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of Fruit Loops. At least for the time being. As I observed all the tiny tumblers, I immediately noticed a little girl named Tallulah in J's class. She is a cutie who seems to really enjoy the class and tries everything with enthusiasm. I also noticed she was a bit heavier than the other 3 and 4 years olds. I didn't really give it much thought but figured she probably loves to eat and her mom probably doesn't monitor her snacks very well but it's great that she's getting some activity in at least. That's really as far as my thought process went, but it was judgmental and it was pride.

 Then, I hurt my back  so I started sitting with the other moms while we watch our babies jump and play. I began to really like Tallulah's mom. She's down to earth, positive and has a great sense of humor. One day we were chatting and she said something in jest about swim lessons and how her daughter was buoyant when learning to swim. We all smiled and even then, I wondered if maybe she should take her weight more seriously and cut back on the Cheetos. It was nothing more than a passing thought but  let me just stop here and say...I not do put much effort into monitoring my kids snacks. I do want them to eat healthy but they eat a lot. They are not overweight so it's okay, right?

A week or two went by and we were chatting again about homeschool and she mentioned that she might homeschool because of Tallulah's health issues. Which of course prompted me to ask, what health issues??? Tallulah has a rare liver disease called Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1b and cannot process sugar. In fact,  Tallulah can not have sugar, EVER and never has. She has to eat every few hours so that her blood sugar doesn't drop and she doesn't have a seizure. That means her mom, her pregnant mom of twins, has to get up in the night to put food in her feeding tube every. single. night. When the rest of us celebrate our newborn sleeping through the night so we can sleep through the night, she will still be up every two hours putting food in her daughter feeding tube for the next 18 years. Every birthday party, she makes sure she brings a sugar free treat for her daughter so she doesn't feel left out. She bakes bread from scratch and shops at special grocery stores. This amazing mom has to warn the Sunday school teachers and everyone who comes in contact with her daughter not to share candy or give her daughter juice or an apple. She also has to to deal with strangers who have no clue, judging her as a bad mom for allowing her daughter to be over weight because for those of us who don't know, its her fault and we have a right to think it or worse..say so.  I cried when I went home because how many people do we pass judgement on when we really have no idea what they are going through. We do not know the details of a health issue, or divorce, grief or spiritual maturity. As a mom, I know the hurt of being judged because of your child's poor behavior. I know that it is a daily battle and we are working on it, but to others, I am a mom who just lets them run wild. I thought about her all week and when I saw Tallulah's mom again I apologized. She told me of so many times people have come up to her and out right said she shouldn't allow her child to be obese but most people make little comments about how Tallulah must have a hearty appetite or offer her a "healthy recipe" .  It hurts but she also told me that she no longer gets upset or defensive and instead wants to grow and teach her precious daughter that it is okay to be special and that she is beautiful. That day, I looked at Tallulah's mom and and thought, "Wow! Super mom! God has entrusted this little girl with an amazing woman who will do what it takes to care for and protect her baby. Even from the judgment of others"

Matthew 7:3-5

King James Version (KJV)
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Friday, January 17, 2014

God is good!

This morning, I read about a little girl, Taylor Smith,  who wrote a letter to her future self with clear directions not to open until 2023 ( unless otherwise noted) . In the letter she encouraged herself to seek God no matter how life turned out.  Taylor died unexpectedly a few days ago and soon after, her parents found this beautiful treasure. The faith of this little girl was inspiring and, of course, I cried my eyes out. How can her parents go on?

 For the past week or two we have been begging God to heal my pastors son, Luke who was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. The whole time, my pastor and his family leaned on the Lord and trusted Him no matter what He willed. Amazingly, Luke's surgery went better than expected and he seems to have minimal side effects. The thousands of us who prayed for him  proudly proclaimed, "Praise God!" "God is Good" and "He answered us". God was glorified and lives were touched and I am so so thankful. But what if God chose to use Luke in a different way and took him home to Heaven? Would He still be good? Could we still proclaim, " Praise God?"  Would that mean, He didn't answer us? Is God good to Taylor Smith's parents?

Today, E woke up with similar symptoms as this little girl who died last week. She had a fever and has been throwing up. Symptoms that all of our kids have had before. What if God chooses the same fate for my baby girl? Honestly my mind can't even entertain that thought because He doesn't promise grace to imaginary circumstances. But I want my heart to be ready no matter what comes our way.  When He took my dad, I really struggled. I wondered if He was good, I wondered if He was even real. I could not believe Proverbs 3:5-6. My heart was not prepared to handle that kind of tragedy. I thought it was but I didn't have the truths that He is good, He is sovereign and everything He does is for my good and His glory stored in my heart. I didn't know that His definition of good, is for me to look more like the image of His Son. Life is beyond terrifying without the peace that only God can bring. I have actually woken up in the night with panic attacks begging him not to take my children. Yes, I am a Christian but I struggle to trust him and always have since I can remember. I am afraid to die and afraid for my children to die. I have believed the lie that this is just how I am and there is no hope of true peace and I will always be afraid.  But I am seeing a light, a small twinkle at the end of a tunnel. I am seeking Him in His word. It sounds so simple and something we have all heard before but His word and His truths are the only way to be completely satisfied in Him. You will never have real peace without it.  Does this mean that we won't grieve? No, there is no worse torture in this world than the agony of grief and I still feel it over the loss of my dad. But there is comfort in God. God in His mercy is showing me these things through His word, my husband and church.God used Luke Sprott's aneurysm and the faith I saw in my pastors family to cause me to seek Him and want to trust Him. I am committed to His word and clinging to the promises that HE IS GOOD NO MATTER WHAT. I am claiming Proverbs 3:5-6!

What about this mommy who just lost her little girl. How can they proclaim that God is good even though He chose to use Taylor by taking her to Heaven?  Read what she wrote, read what her little girl wrote. Seek Him! Read His Word! Trust Him!

Here is the link to Taylor Smith's letter to her future self. http://www.viralnova.com/12-year-old-letter/

Here is what her mom, Mary Ellen Smith wrote on her FB status. All I can is  WOW! This precious, grieving mommy knows that God is good no matter what and God is using her and He is being glorified through this horrible tragedy. This makes me want to know Him even deeper.

I want to share a few things from the outside looking in that you may be wondering. What happened? Why? How could this happen?

Taylor Smith had just returned late January 1st from a six day trip with our youth group. She was so excited to be home and to share with us about her trip. It was the last conversation we would have as a family of four. The kids took turns showing us pics and videos from their time at the One Thing conference. We had asked what their big take aways were. Taylor had been greatly impacted by dancing to a song by Misty Edwards called Shine Like the Stars. The verse literally says: we will shine like the stars, we will live after we die. We actually downloaded the song right then and there so we could all have it in the coming months to worship with. Her other big aha moment was about the importance of being "hot" in our faith toward God rather than just "lukewarm". There is a passage in Revelation that speaks of this if you want to look it up. This was interesting to me as a mother because Taylor was the least lukewarm person I know. I know every mother thinks her child is amazing but Taylor loved (and lived) out her relationship with God in such a big and outward way that we were often challenged and led by her spiritually. Her hope for 2014 was to share this idea even more with her friends and see her generation ablaze for His kingdom.

The hard truth. Taylor woke up the next morning with fever and some achiness. She had had a flu shot in the fall. The next morning she saw a doctor and was treated for flu. She got worse rather than better and literally was talking to me one minute and unconscious and in heaven the next. We don't know a medical reason why yet and may never. (as of now we've been told it was from complications with pneumonia. We had been assured that there were no signs of pneumonia whatsoever on Friday when she was at the Doctor.)

My why revelation: This is not a bad thing happening to a good person. This is a hard thing happening to a world who loved a brilliant person. I was reminded last night how I have puzzled over why God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. She was close in age to Taylor, An unmarried girl. I always wondered how did he choose her. I had a revelation of sorts related to this going through a box of Taylor's things last night. We were looking for some things to share with you at her memorial service and we grabbed her special box from her room. The box was full of God. Her journal, which every entry was a scripture, a prayer, an exhortation to herself to live more Him, or a wondering about Him. A book of poems. A book of sketches. Letters undelivered encouraging others in their faith. A gratitude journal. And my favorite, a letter to her future self with reminders to do more for God. She was full of God. She was in middle school. Public school. Where our culture says life is about being famous for all the wrong reasons, or boys and crushes, or sex, or your parents being idiots,or being popular. Her box of her most secret things contained not one jot or tittle of what our culture says twelve years old are. She was like Mary. She was looking and longing not for the things of this world but for the Messiah. I am not trying to be sacrilegious. It was just an aha moment of the "why" for me. She was chosen of God. She wanted to change this world for His Glory. She wanted as many people as possible to be reconciled to him as possible. God saw her heart, heard her prayers, and answered her. We pray for revival. We pray to be used. Then we need to be prepared for the possibility that sometimes the road to his kingdom coming isn't paved with gold and the American dream but rather dirt and blood like the way to the cross was for Jesus. Jesus' life wasn't easy. I'm sure as his mother Mary's was equally as challenging. Sometimes the answered prayers are hard roads and gaping holes. My world is forever changed. You will never shut me up again about the truth of who God is. I am praying that my life is not the only one changed. That many will be hot for him in 2014 and shine like the stars. Revolution is coming. He is coming. Love you all. Love well.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Here is a post from Facebook from my pastor, Mike Sprott, who recently found out that his 6 year old son has a brain aneurysm. This was very encouraging to me but I can see how one might wonder HOW can he have this prospective? The answer... he knows the King of Kings! 

Why do bad things happen to good people? Well first off that question is not a good one because NONE are good (Romans 3:10-11). Yes we are God's children, but in fact, we are born dead in our sins and deserving judgment, BUT GOD sent His Son to die for those who place their faith and trust in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ made a way for sinners, like my son Luke and myself to be made right with God through trust in Him (Romans 5:1). So there are no good people only justified people who God is changing to make look more His Son and lost people who need to repent and believe in Him.

This process of change for the believer includes helping us to value Christ over the things of the world more and more (Romans 12:2). This transformation includes our attitudes and commitments to health, wealth and popularity. These things must not be our 'idols.' They must not be more important to us than knowing and enjoying God. We must turn to Christ and trust in Him alone continually (Proverbs 3:5-6). This week we have been able to demonstrate our faith in Jesus like never before. We are trusting in the God who is SOVEREIGN over all (1 Timothy 6:15). He has ordained for my son to suffer. He has determined for my wife and I watch in agony as our little son has suffered. I know this sounds horrible, but it is not!

Many may ask "if God is so good why would he allow or ordain such events for His children who are trusting in Him?" THE short answer may not be accepted by many, but it is also the main line from a Shai Linne Rap song, “Our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases! (Psalm 115:3) This is where faith is shown in this world. When we who have been saved by God trust in Jesus, the only thing that really matters is what pleases God, even if it doesn’t please us. See we are the creation. We don't always see how these events will effect eternity. We don't see how this is actually for our good. We don't fully understand it, but the Word tells us these circumstances are for our good and God’s glory (Romans 8:28-29). So we trust in Him!

Some of you might ask, “How are you doing it?” Well first off let me explain something. IT IS NOT EASY! It hurts...My eyes are burning. My soul is weary. I have gone hours without sleeping well. I have eaten very little. I am very concerned. I hurt and more importantly I WANT to fix my Son or take His place! But God has ordained this! Beloved, God saved me from the hell I deserve so how in the world can I question His goodness. I know He loves me because He saved me from the just judgment I deserve! Praise the Lamb! So it is not easy, but GOD has shown love beyond measure in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Second, I am forever aware that GOD has ordained something much worse that He also used for His glory. See The FATHER watched The SON suffer like I have watched my son suffer. However the suffering The Father observed far surpasses anything Luke or any of us will ever experience. Jesus was seized by cruel men and nailed to a cross. He was rejected and despised by His own people (Isaiah 53). He was mocked and tortured (John 19). And then to top it all off, He endured the JUDGMENT on the cross from the Father that I DESERVED (Romans 5:10)! Jesus took my eternity in Hell, my judgment that I deserved, upon Himself for three dark hours. This was suffering beyond what I could ever experience or Luke could ever experience. And The Father watched!

Beloved these truths shut my mouth when I begin to complain and grumble! I know GOD worked through an event like this to save a people for Himself! HOW can I give up? How can we despair? How can we loose hope with this great news ever before our eyes? WE CAN’T and WE WON’T! For as for me and my house we will serve the LORD! (Joshua 23:15)

Third, why in the world would I rob God of an opportunity of showing Himself off in My life and the life of my family?!?! God is using this to reach people all around the world. He is saying through our faith and trust in Him, “GOD is worthy of following even in suffering!” God is better than life or death; sickness or health; wealth or poverty! God is GOOD! So my friend I don’t despair “I Can NOT believe how blessed I am that He would consider me worthy of suffering for His name sake!” Praise the Lamb! Thank you for your prayers. Please keep them coming for we want to glorify Him more! We want every person in the world to hear OUR God is in the heaven and He does whatever He pleases and this is GOOD so trust HIM!  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Are you Ready?

God has taught me something this week that I wish I would have learned a long time ago and have struggled with since before I can remember. It sounds simple but it seems impossible sometimes. Here is is..TRUST GOD! Although, I know I won't do this perfectly until I am glorified in Heaven. For me to trust God and to know that He is good that and EVERYTHING is for His glory is nice to say but it's hard to do, especially when there is a tragedy. A few days ago, we found out that my pastor's 6 year old son, Luke, has a brain aneurysm. 

My family started attending our church about a year and a half ago completely against my will.  I could write a book about the ways God has changed my heart, my marriage and my family but the main thing I have learned from being here is what true Christianity looks like. The word of God is exalted in this church and Christ is the center.  I have a pastor that genuinely loves Christ and points us to do the same and it is like nothing I have experienced before. Just walking to the nursery after church the side conversations I hear are without a doubt about the Lord, not cute hairstyles, complaints about finances, or gossip, but the Lord. This is a body of believers that serve each-other and want to know Him more. Each week, I honestly don't want church to end because I love being taught the Word of God verse by verse and I don't want to go back into my sin and pride of everyday life. It's not always easy to hear because the bible can be offensive but it's never looked over or danced around or explained away. If I have learned anything it is that God is good, He is sovereign and everything is for our good and His glory. 

Last Sunday, Pastor Sprott preached out of Luke 2:47 as we have been going through the book of Acts. He called us to be a body of believers that prays. He told us that this may be our weakest area as a church. That he desires that we become a church who really prays in 2014. It's no coincidence that 2 days later, we became a church that REALLY prays. We have come together to beg God for his grace and mercy for our pastor's precious little one. And we are not the the only ones praying. Literally, believers all over the world are coming together to pray for this sweet boy. I was so blessed last night to attend Grace on Campus and hear the college students come before the Lord and really pray and seek the Lord on behalf of our pastor's son. Everything he preaches was put into practice this week and I learned something amazing. He was ready.  With tears and fear, I have been on my knees and I have confessed as much as God brings to my mind. God is also giving me grace not to worry but to trust Him and trust that He is good. Part of my bible reading this morning was Proverbs 3: 1-6. I have heard it many many times and have it memorized but wow...what a great reminder not to lean on my own understanding! The Sprott family already have these truths stored in their hearts so that when a trial came, they were ready to lean on Him and know He is good and give Him the glory. To witness this family glorifying God through something so terrifying speaks volumes about our God and makes me only want to know Him more. 

Here is a quote from my pastor as he is waiting for his son to undergo Brain surgery. 

Beloved the marathon week continues. We are now in TGH. Luke is such a trooper. He has his leg strapped to the bed to keep from moving around and causing problems with his pic line. He has not eaten much over the last three days but had a cracker and some apple juice tonight. He HOPEFULLY will have the surgery tomorrow. We are very thankful for the team who are preparing for the surgery. 

I have worshiped God with my wife and son the last three days. It has been the hardest week of our lives, but in a strange 'Christian thing' it has been one of our best! Totally focused on JESUS because we know he is good and our stronghold. We know we need Him and the Spirit has been with us the entire time. There has been such a peace over all of us as we have pushed forward with the next hurdle. By Gods grace we will make it to the end of this journey and come out knowing and trusting God more! 

But to keep things very real, I would love it if Jesus returned before the surgery!!! Come quickly Lord Jesus! 

We are still pleading for your prayers. We long for the day when Luke is able to share what his Lord did for him during these days. May God be glorified in us.

God has blessed me with a godly, wise husband who has fallen even deeper in love with Christ over the last year. He sent me this email that normally would have scared me or caused me to put a wall up because losing a child is my greatest fear but instead caused me to worship my God and beg him to give me this kind of faith.

I came to a point where I wondered if I was holding anything back from God. The health of my children came to mind, so through many tears, I gave them over to God to do with as he pleases. That has alleviated a lot of mental stress for me regarding whether they will die prematurely or not. I feel at ease with whatever he wills. And no, that doesn't mean that God will not put us to a test. The tests that God has for us have already been prepared. Our submission to his sovereignty doesn't mean that he now has to come up with new plans to test us with. He doesn't react in petty ways. His plan is perfect and good no matter what. When you fully embrace this, then fear and worry will have to die.

God is good! He is Sovereign! Everything is for His glory and our good!

Please join me in praying for Luke Sprott!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Math fact practice

We decided to take a break from L's Saxon math fact sheet today. I saw this idea on Pinterest and was excited to put my own spin on it. I filled water balloons and wrote doubles and doubles + 1 facts on them because that is what we are working on.

 I went outside and wrote 2 columns of large numbers 1-20 on the street with sidewalk chalk. I would have used our driveway but couldn't move my car since my husband took my keys with him to work today. ( I am always the one who does things like that so it was nice to not be the only forgetful one!-haha...I'll save that for a later post) But no worries...vehicles rarely go down my street and if they do it's usually a golf-cart, so we were safe.

I had the boys take turns. When it was L's turn, he had to answer the problem and tell J what number to stand on. J had to find the right number, stand there and hope L didn't hit him. Poor guy! If he got hit, L got a point. When it was J's turn, L still had to answer the equation, stand on the number and J tried to hit him for a point.

  When we ran out of balloons,  I counted out loud  to 20 and had them race to pick up the broken balloon pieces for extra points. The score was L-27 and J-16 but who's counting. I don't think J had any clue he came in second place but L stood by me and counted piece by piece to make sure he was the champion. I also emphasized the letter B for balloons for J's letter of the week.

  E enjoyed handing the boys the balloons. And for all concerned mama's out there...I promise I took it away from her before it popped in her mouth but isn't she the most adorable thing on the planet?

Here's our heart moment: About two hours after we finished, I was working with L, J was on the computer using Starfall and E was asleep. J stopped what he was doing and said with a precious, trembling, baby voice, " I sorry I took sissy's balloon and broke it, Mommy. Will you forgive me?"
I looked at him and he was trying his hardest not to cry but looked absolutely heartbroken.  I picked him and up and hugged him and told me of course I forgive him. I love that tenderhearted little fella so much! 

Did I mention that I LOVE homeschooling??

Sunday, September 8, 2013

All I have is Christ

There is not much more I can add to this except to beg God to change me to be more like Him. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Happy Grandparents Day

I have been blessed beyond measure with an amazing woman to call my Gramma and quite the incredible Poppy too. She was young when I was born, 37, and most people thought she was my mom when we went out. I hated it, she didn't mind. Every Friday, Poppy would pick me up after school to spend the night at their house.( unless it was my sister's turn of course.) Poppy would order Pizza for him and Uncle Jerry and Gramma and I would eat Chinese. Sometimes we would go shopping or to see a movie but my favorite thing would be to cuddle up and watch TV in her big comfy chair. There was no safer place. I continued this tradition until I left for college and even now although I am married with babies of  my own, when I am home in NY, I still spend a night with Gramma. Unfortunately,  we no longer fit in her chair (we tried)  but we still stay up all night talking. She always had the best breakfast-crispy bacon, egg and cheese on a roll! Last time I was there, I was the one who cooked but it didn't taste as good. They came to every birthday party and major event, whether it meant coming to all of my track meets, church plays or singing concerts. Gramma proved she was the coolest when  at my second grade grandparent's day party she held our class pet, Monte the boa constructor. Poppy and I would sing opera on top of our lungs in the car on our way to my orthodontist appointments and any other chance we got. Gramma and Poppy were there to watch me get on the bus for kindergarten and every other first day of school. They watched me go off to college and Poppy shared a special dance with me at my wedding. Gramma is the one I call when I am upset and she never judges and always listens and cares. She is beautiful, funny, giving, a cancer survivor and my best friend. She has gone through many trials but last year in 2012, I saw my Gramma go through the hardest thing anyone has ever had to endure. She lost her first born son unexpectedly, my daddy, and yet she tries to be strong for all of us. That same year, she lost her home in Hurricane Sandy. Through these tragedies she has not complained, or given up and somewhere in there her spirit is not broken. She is still strong, beautiful and my shoulder to cry on. My daddy is watching her and she has made him proud. I love my Gramberloo and Poppernickle so much and I want to wish them  a HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!!