Friday, May 25, 2012

Last Day of School

Today we celebrate our last day of school.  It's hard to believe another school year is coming to a close.  I remember being in 4th grade and all I did that year.  That year was pivotal for me.  Mr. Perez was my teacher.  He had great influence on me and I knew from that time on that I wanted to be a school teacher.  Now, many years later I watch Isabel finish her 4th grade year.  She loves to read and enjoys when we read together.  We have all enjoyed our reading curriculum this year which introduced us to many new stories and reminded us of some we have read and loved before. We have learned many things together and I have been thrilled to be a part of this year of growth with her.

2nd grade is a little dimmer of a memory for me.  Further away, but no less important in the life of one growing and learning who we are and where we are going.  So it has been for Acacia this year.  Ah, the joys and trials of learning to spell harder words, beginning multiplication facts and reading chapter books.  What a year it's been for her too as she has grown to realize how much she enjoys drawing and painting and loves Science.

And then there's Kindergarten.  That year of years when letters take on sounds, and then words and then sentences and suddenly stories!  James has blossomed this year into a reader of stories.  It's been magnificent to watch him take those letter skills and turn them into reading!  He finds great satisfaction at looking at a word and realizing he can read it.  Math is his favorite subject and he's moving right along with learning his addition and subtraction facts.

So, look out 5th grade, 3rd grade and 1st grade - Here we come!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Roller Skating Through Life ~ Life lessons learned while roller skating

Yesterday was a great event in the lives of my girls ~ their first experience in roller skates.  Maybe you remember the first time you went roller skating.  The excitement at this fun new activity, the careful "walking" on wheels and that first feeling of your feet slipping out from under you as you take a seat on the hard floor of the skating rink.  That was our experience last night.  The girls were so excited at the prospect of joining their friends at the rink to spend their evening skating.  They could hardly believe the time had finely come for them to get to try skating.

Throughout the evening, as I skated in circles with them I was struck by the life lessons present in a skating rink.
Have you heard the term "skating through life"?  It took on a new meaning for me as I watched my poor girls fall and get up and fall again.  Skating through life is not always easy and at times it's painful and downright dangerous.  We began slowly, the girls clinging to me and the wall in order to stay on their feet.  Whey they fell I helped them up and said "Let's try again."  Just when they thought they had it and loosened their grip on me, that was when they fell, and great was their fall!  Sitting on the floor of the rink, they looked up at me, tears streaming down their face, fear in their hearts at the prospect of getting up and getting hurt again and crying out "Mommy, I can't do this!"  What a picture of our lives with Christ!  We begin slowly, clinging to Him, knowing how greatly we need Him and that there is the possibility of falling at any moment.  But over time we gain confidence, think we can do it on our own and we loosen our grip.  Sure enough, it's not long before we fall and cry up at our Father "I can't do this."  The only difference between roller skating and walking with Christ is that it is our goal  to one day have the girls gain that confidence and skill to skate off on their own while in our spiritual walk may we always cling tightly to Christ, keenly aware that we can't do it on our own!

After such a fall I helped my girls up, encouraging them that we were going to try again.  Looking into their face, talking closely to them so they could hear me over the music in the rink, I said "Let's try again, I'm with you, I'll hold you up."  Once again I was reminded of the spiritual lesson of the skating rink.  When we fall in our sin and cry out to our Father, He doesn't just leave us there to figure it our for ourselves or to cry out to one who doesn't hear.  He picks us up and gently, lovingly promises to be with us and hold us up.  I was reminded of Psalm 94:17-18 ~ If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.  If I should say, "My foot has slipped," Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.

One last roller skating lesson I learned last night occurred as Isabel and I rounded a corner.  Trying to control her feet, that were rolling away from her, they rolled directly in front of my skates, tripping us both up.  There we were, piled up on the floor as others attempted to skate around us and not fall over us.  This reminded me of the great influence and effect we have on one another.  Our own sin can trip up others and have effects on those who are coming behind.  Suddenly the sin of one saint causes a pile up of stumblers behind him.  This is why we so desperately need to hold tight to Christ as we skate through life!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Psalm 106 lists the many iniquities of Israel and their rejection of God in favor of serving idols. Yet, even after all their sin and high handed disobedience the Psalmist ends with verse 44 -

Nevertheless He looked upon their distress...He remembered His covenant...He made them objects of compassion.

Nevertheless is a lovely word. Even though we sin God chooses to remember His grace for the sake of His name and glory; not because of anything we have done but because of who He is. He looks upon our distress and remembers His grace and provides a way of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ! He makes us "objects of [His] compassion"! God's love is never deserved but it's always freely given! He is forever faithful to Himself and so remembers His covenant and compassion even to those so undeserving! And so we give thanks to His holy name and bless the Lord from everlasting to everlasting!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Laboring in Vain!?

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. ~Psalm 127:1-2

As I read this psalm this morning I reflected on the vanity of all things not done in the Lord. We wake up each morning with a "to do" list a mile long of all the things we believe we need to get done in a day. How often do we stop to contemplate the vanity of all done in our own strength and not in the strength and according to the will of God!? All is in vain if it is not of the Lord and done for His glory and according to His plans and purposes for the day and the lives of His beloved! My "to do" list is nothing if it is MY to do list and not HIS. Looking back to Psalm 123 I am reminded that "as the eyes of a maid [look] to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He is gracious to us." May I look to Him today, to His grace for this day and submit myself to the work and plans He has for this day that all would be done, not in vain, but to to His glory!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunday School Friends

We have enjoyed getting involved and getting to know the people of Grace Bible Church. Here is a glimpse of childrens' Sunday School.
My sweet Jamesy

Isabel, Madeleine, and Katie

Joel Jarmulak

Kathryn Figliozzi, Jonathan and Joshua Farmer, Thomas Figliozzi