Sunday, December 24, 2017

Fishing for... What?

By Cassie Glubzinski

The holidays are a time that bring back fond memories to me, and this year the memories are ones of going fishing with my grandfathers.

My mom's dad (Papaw Larry) took my cousin and I fishing infrequently. I remember he would use Wheaties cereal as bait. To this day it cracks me up that Wheaties is my favorite cereal.

[There you go, ladies. With one cereal you can catch a pretty decent sized bass as well as a man who helps with the laundry and dishes!]

Now, my dad's dad (Papaw Roger) lived on a large piece of property, and his house had a deck that overlooked what we called the lake. Really, it was more of an oversized pond, but to a kid it's a lake. He would show my sister and I how to hook a worm, how to cast a line, and then how to wait...
And wait...
And wait...

Patience is a virtue that was generously granted to many folks in the world.

I'm not one of those people.


So waiting has never been something I was good at, but I've always had a fondness and an affinity for fishing. I've just changed my bait.

Here's how I now fish:

Me: "Ugh! I'm pretty sure I gained ten pounds since I last went on a run! My jeans are so tight, and I officially have a muffin top."

Friend: "No way! You look fantastic! You've maybe gained an ounce, and that's being generous."

Fished for a compliment, and I got it.

And another:

Me: "My kids are completely insane. Sometimes I just look at them and say, 'Seriously, who is your mother?'"

Friend: "Your daughters are incredible! And you're such an amazing mother!"

Fished for affirmation, and I got it.

And one more for the road:

Me: "I have no sense of style. I seem to only be able to wear yoga pants and a tee shirt. Every. Single. Day. Jeans if I am feeling a bit adventurous."

Friend: "You always look so cool and put together! I would never say that about you!"

Fished for a bit of self worth, and guess what? I got it.

Here's the deal, friends, I do sometimes feel down and out. There are days when I feel I'm the worst mother on earth, days when I feel I'm the ugliest creature to walk, and days when I don't think I am worth the love and affection my family (especially my husband) and my friends bestow on me. And so when those days and moments come, I start fishing.

And I'm impatient for it, too. I will repeat my comment multiple times until I hear the words I think I need to hear; the words I think I deserve to hear.

As our family has been going through this time of advent together leading up to this holiday I was struck by how the Lord was working in my heart. Ponder this with me for a moment: God, the Creator of the universe, chose to send His Son, His only child, to earth. Not to be a king in the earthly sense, but to die, a horrible, humiliating and degrading death. And He did it all for us.

For me. For you. For all of us.


Here I am going fishing, and God sent His Son to die for me.

I have some really whacked out priorities.

Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't encourage one another. We absolutely should! God designed people to be with other people, and we need to be lifting one another up in the Spirit.

But I was not designed to fish for compliments, for affirmation, or for human-given self worth. He has already provided me with all of that. When I'm fishing for these things I'm only trying to bring myself up a bit from my inner slump. I'm simply trying to be impressive.

I have been reading great book this week that my sister gave me called "Loving My Actual Life" by Alexandra Kuykendall. In one of the chapters she quotes her pastor saying, "I stopped impressing people a long time ago. I figured out that when I'm busy impressing them, I'm too busy to love them."


In my selfish quest to fish for worldly encouragement and love I have completely missed the mark on loving the people God has placed in front of me.

Jesus was not interested in impressing anyone. He loved them. He was the son of an unwed virgin mother and raised in a humble carpenter's home. He sought out the broken and down-trodden. He befriended the ostracized and outcast. He became a brother to the single orphans and a friend to the friendless. He was, and is, and always will be, all about love.

And here I am, fishing for some sort of affirmation, some bit of self worth, some snippet of a compliment.

Get your head on straight, Cassie.

Jesus himself had actual fishermen follow him. He told them, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men." In other words, "Your casting your net the wrong way. Let me show you how it's done."

How powerful would it be if I simply fished for people to love? What if I chose to fish for the outcasts and the ostracized? What if I started fishing for ways to serve and love on others, rather than ways for them to serve and love on me?

Don't get me wrong, this is a really tough pill for me to swallow. But I need it. I need it everyday.

D.L. Moody was quoted saying, "You impress from afar, but you impact up close."

I know Jesus never tried to impress anyone. He was too busy loving them because of the love he was showing his heavenly Father. But nonetheless, Jesus was impressive. He did many miraculous things, he spoke with great oratorical ability, and he told stories like none other. From afar, he was impressive to many without even trying. And if I'm honest, when I stop trying to be impressive is when I am actually told that I am impressive. Make sense right? Because when I'm not living for me, God shines to bright, and He is the impressive One. Just like Jesus.

Jesus was so very impressive from afar.

But man oh man. He really impacted up close.

So this holiday season I'm going to try to be more like that. I'm going to fish for others, instead of fishing for myself. I'm going to give of myself, because Christ gave me all. I'm going to realize my worth is found in him, and I don't need compliments, I don't need affirmation, and I don't need self-worth that is given from people. It won't last. It never has.

When I realize my worth is found solely in Christ, I'm awestruck by how permanent that can be. I'm praying you will be awestruck, too.

So, what do you say? Wanna go fishing?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

No Stolen Joy

By Cassie Glubzinski

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and December is well underway. But this holiday season has been a particularly rough one for our family...

You see, my husband's family lives in Michigan, and my family is spread through Indiana and Kentucky. Our typical Thanksgiving get together with my father had to be cancelled this year due to his recent job change and move. But this turned out to be a blessing none of us could have predicted...

Now, I know my posts are typically laced with some of the hilarious shenanigans my kiddos have been known to do, but tonight I feel the Lord calling me to be open, raw, and honest in ways I've not yet been.

You see, my husband and I had been trying for baby number three for a while when we found out we were expecting in July of this year. We were truly heartbroken when that baby was miscarried at only six weeks in early August. However, we still wanted to try again, and God granted our prayers.

We found out we were expecting again in early October. It was a very busy time with school beginning and my husband's internship underway while he still took classes, but our excitement was there all the same. God was giving us another baby!

Through the pregnancy I was struck by how good I felt. I had rough pregnancies with my daughters (nausea, vomiting, morning sickness that lasted all day), so this felt like a breeze! I was beyond excited to go to my first appointment the week of Thanksgiving, and exactly one day before I hit nine weeks.

A few days before said appointment, however, I received a call from my father telling me that my grandfather (his dad) was in the ICU back home. He had several ailments that were reeking havoc on his body, and my dad was travelling to Indiana to see him. I asked if I needed to come, and his response was immediate: "Stay where you are. I'll keep you posted. You just keep you, your family and that little one inside you healthy."

The day of the appointment the doctors and nurses were sweet and kind. They took my vitals, they weighed me (that's our favorite part, right?), they ushered me into the exam room, and I sat on the table with my eyes locked on the ultrasound machine. I was anxious for my grandfather, but I had a horrid feeling about what I might get told. Perhaps because of our recent miscarriage? But I had done all the doctor had asked, and my husband and I had been given the go ahead to try again. Everything should be fine, right?

I watched with bated breath as the screen illuminated with a picture of a little circle, and I immediately thought this isn't right.

"Are you sure of the first day of your last cycle?" the doctor asked me.

I assured her that I had told her correctly.

"The baby pictured here is only showing exactly six weeks of development, and there's no heartbeat. I'm sorry, but unless you miscalculated, you will be miscarrying soon. I'm truly so sorry..."

Every other word was lost to me. The week of Thanksgiving, and my husband and I would be mourning the loss of another child.

The doctor and nurse left so I could get dressed, and I found myself taking deep breaths in order to not start crying. I was so grateful to have left my youngest daughter with a dear friend while my oldest daughter was at school. As soon as I was able to get the car the floodgate opened, and I drove away from Walter Reed with tears streaming down my face.

I called family as soon as I was able to do so, and I wept upon my friend's shoulder that afternoon. The next day I received a call from my father that my grandpa had been moved to Hospice. I had to use that conversation to tell my dad that the bleeding started. My Thanksgiving week was spent in and out of the ER, with my phone in hand waiting for updates on my grandfather's condition.

And despite all this Thanksgiving turned out to be completely wonderful. I kid you not, it was an awesome Thanksgiving day. My husband, daughters and I spent a lazy day together watching the parades and football, and eating a frozen pizza because that's what my kiddos wanted. Despite the physical and emotional pain I was feeling I found neither could even begin to steal away the joy God placed inside me at being with the family in front of me.

This was not our first was our third. And we name every child. As I sat curled up with a blanket and my trusty Wonder Woman cup I looked at my family and God spoke silently to my heart as a Comforter in my time of sorrow.

My babies, Alex, Indy and Kestrel, will never have to skin a knee. They will never break a bone, they will never have a broken heart, they are never even going to have a paper cut. Their only memories will be ones of heaven, and what a gift that is for me as their mother, and for A.J. as their father. My babies are not lost. They were never lost. They are tucked safely in the Savior's arms, and one day I will hold them close.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving my grandfather passed away, and while my heart grieves for my grandmother with whom he was married for sixty years, I rejoice in knowing my three babies have another amazing great grandfather to smile and laugh with until I can join them in heaven someday.

And even now, as I write this, with tears on my face, I am so joyous. I have such hope. I rest in such peace. And I am so very thankful... first for the God I serve, second for the husband He gave me, and third for the girls He granted me the privilege of raising with A.J.

The song 'It Is Well' has been on my mind so very much. The words speak so greatly to me even now..

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
"It is well, it is well with my soul"

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul!

We will have peace. We will have sorrows. But only with Christ in our hearts can we ensure that nothing, NOTHING, will ever steal our joy.

I challenge each of you reading this: whatever you are facing, whatever trial or triumph, do NOT let it steal the joy you have found in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ignorance is Hysterical

By Cassie Glubzinski

I love when my kids play well together. Don't you?

I have to actually state that I love this because it doesn't happen as frequently as I would like.

Yeah. That.

When there is silence, I'm a bit concerned. When there are tears, I'm on the move. When there are combined giggles, I'm beside myself with joy!

The other day the girls were in the midst of fits of giggles. They had taken some of their toy pots and pans from their play kitchen and were running around my house with them on their heads.

So. Cute.

I smiled at the girls and said to them, "You girls are sillier than a bag of monkeys! What are you two up to?"

Gemma, my five year, stopped right in front of me and said, "Mommy! Mommy! We're potheads!"

Ummm... no you're not.

My smile swiftly changed into an expression of shock, and then one of complete hysteria. I seriously laughed so hard I cried, and of course my kids thought it was because of their antics, so they began chanting "Potheads! Potheads! We are potheads!" at the top of their lungs, which just made me laugh even harder.

I set them straight after a bit, once I was actually able to catch my breath.

And then, as I got to thinking about it, I realized how much I miss that. I miss my naiveté at times. I miss not knowing the world so well, and just being able to make someone smile because of crazy antics or one silly comment. I miss my untainted life.

But of course, that made me realize that my life was never untainted.

You got that? NEVER.

The Bible says, "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). We all missed the mark. And our lives were tainted with our first breaths.

My mom says it this way, "Isn't funny that you don't have to teach your child how to sin? Rather, you have to teach them how to obey God."

So. True.

And amidst this dismal outlook, we receive the greatest promise: Jesus Christ. Scripture says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21) [emphasis mine].

Christ himself, the only one without sin, became the sacrifice to wipe away our sins. When we accept Christ, and God looks at us, He no longer sees our sin, but Christ's sacrifice. He sees righteousness.

Mind = Blown.

So, even though we can never be 'untainted' we can live knowing our lives are His and for His use. We can choose to focus on the good that He brings, and we can be tools to bring about more good.

It's not about naiveté, it's about grace. It's about love. It's about His sacrifice.

I'll never look at potheads the same again.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sharing is Caring... right?

By Cassie Glubzinski

I have a kid in kindergarten.
[deep breath]
My daughter is already in kindergarten...
[breathe again]
Seriously, where did the time go?

She came home from school the other day and was so very excited. She held out for my inspection her first check out from the school library.

Very. Big. Deal.

Smiling from ear to ear she showed me, with no small amount of pride, the book that she wanted me to read to her when we got inside.

Now, I had to cock my head to the side and ask her sweetly, "Honeybee, we have this book at home already. Was there a reason you wanted to check it out from the library?"

"Yeah, Mommy. I don't like sharing it with sister, so I got my own book to borrow."

Well, that in and of itself was funny, except for the fact that the book is called "Llama Llama, Time To Share".

Sorry, Llama, but your message has not been received by my five year old.

But even as I was thinking of this I was also reminded of how I hoard things I think are mine. That's my car. That's my book. That's my computer. That's my kitchen. That's my house. That's my church. That's my...fill in the blank. And then I began to contemplate the heavenly perspective God would want me to adopt...

That's God's house, and He's letting me live in it.
That's God's kitchen, and He's letting me cook in it.
That's God's car, and He's letting me drive it.
That's God's computer, and He's letting me use it.
That's God's book, and He's letting me read it.
That's God's church, and He's calling me to serve in it.

A heavenly perspective leaves no room for selfishness, and trying to communicate that concept to kids is difficult. But it's not impossible. It is simply a process. And God granted me an amazing opportunity to cultivate a heavenly perspective in my children's little minds.

You see, just like Gemma got to borrow a book from the library, one she would return the next week, we get to borrow things from God. It's our responsibility to take good care of them, and when He needs them for a different purpose, we need to return them gratefully.

Mitch Albom wrote in his famous book, "Have a Little Faith" about how when we are born our hands are in fists. We hold tight to anything and everything we can. But when we die our hands are open, because we realize nothing in this world was ever meant to be held onto so tightly. Our souls were meant for worship in Heaven someday, and all we need is to let go.

Sharing is caring, indeed. I am praying this week that God will show me when He wants to be share, even when it will be uncomfortable.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Diapers and Pull Ups and Panties... Oh my!

So... It's officially one of the least favorite times for any momma at my house.
Brace yourself...

Potty. Training.

I hate it. The constant wonder of whether an accident is lurking, or if I am going to be able to make it to the grocery bathroom before a clean up is needed on aisle four, and every other part.

I try really hard to get my kiddo excited about the prospect of being a "big girl" and wearing "big girl panties". As such, I took my little one shopping at Burlington Coat Factory (because it's awesomely inexpensive) and I walked her right up to the toddler and little girl panty display. I quickly grab every package that is her size (all three of them) and kneel in front of her. And I'm excited, because she looks excited, and usually that's a good sign, right? That means she's processing the fact that she is close, so very close, to closing the pull up and diaper chapter of her life for good!

So, kneeling in front of my curly haired cutie I ask her which one she likes best. And then, with bated breath, I wait to see how she will respond. Her little face scrunched up, and her eyes turned more pensive. After a few brief moments she told me, "Mommy, I'm poopy-yucky."

Well, that went well.

My kid officially pooped in her pull up while shopping with me for big girl panties.

Best. Mom. Ever.

And after she told me I did what any sane mother of a two and a half year old would do. I cracked up. I'm talking full blown belly laugh right in the middle of Burlington Coat Factory.


I also bought all three packages of panties for her since I figured she would probably need the back ups.

This hasn't been the easiest summer for our family, but I had been praying that God would give me the courage and freedom to let go. And for me, laughing is a way of letting go.

So today, if you haven't already, ask God for the opportunity to let go a bit. I'm praying He will bring you something hilarious to share with all of us when we meet later this month!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tombs and Temples

by Cassie Glubzinski

Summers are insane. Can I get an 'Amen'?

For some reason I spend the Spring looking forward to what I've idolized as a much needed 'summer break', and when it comes I find I've gotten whiplash from the sheer amount of things needing done: gutting the kids' toys and clothes now that the seasons have changed, packing the luggage for a car trip to go see family, planning outings and play dates almost every day in order to avoid my kids' boredom, contacting long lost college friends in hopes of reunions or at least long talks to catch up, and so much more. Life, at least at our house, tends to accelerate to alarming speeds as soon as 'breaks' appear on our calendar.

This summer was no different. The entire month of July saw us all home as a family for a whopping five days. Five days! and three of those five days my youngest daughter was sick with rotavirus (hooray for ER visits!). Yeah, we have a tendency to fill our schedule to the brim and then struggle to stay afloat...

But this summer brought a new joy to our family as well. My husband and I have been trying for eight months to have number three. Now, eight months isn't really all that long of a period of time, but for us it was unexpected. We've never had trouble conceiving before, so this was weighing on my heart heavily, and I was beginning to feel discouraged. I wanted so much to have another child, and I felt like a failure every month I didn't conceive.

But then I got home for one night before heading back out on the road, and God blessed me with a positive pregnancy test. I was beyond thrilled! As soon as my husband came home from work I shared the amazing news with him, and we found a fun way to tell our parents as well. I was only five weeks along, but I was already so deeply in love with this little child.

We made our way to New York for a wedding, and then to Pennsylvania to pick up our kiddos from my husband's parents. They, too, were excited for us, and our daughters vehemently insisted that they wanted only a baby brother (Newsflash: mommies and daddies don't get to pick the gender of their baby). It was a treasured moment.

We got home and began telling a few close friends and dearly loved ones, and our joy was great to share. I felt so amazingly content, excited, and simply full.

Then Wednesday I started to feel funny. I had some pains through the day in my abdomen, but didn't want to think the worst. When my husband was getting ready to board the Metro I had him meet me at Walter Reed. After a few hours in the ER our fears were confirmed: our baby was gone.

This was our second miscarriage. The first was in between our girls, and I was eight weeks along. This baby left us at only six weeks, yet the hurt seemed to linger on a far deeper level. All those feelings of failure resurfaced on a new level, and they made valiant attempts to consume me.

But God is so good. The morning after the news of the miscarriage I was reading my Bible. I happened to be in 1 Corinthians, and was reading the passage about sexual morality. Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to remain pure, because their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (verse 19). The thought resonated with me. I had awoken to the feeling that my body was a tomb. And the Lord used that moment to remind me that my body is His temple.

My body was not designed to be a tomb. I was designed for worship. I was designed for a purpose. I may feel like a failure sometimes, but I am never a failure because God still resides in me. I am His temple.

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Girl Needs Help

By Cassie Glubzinski

So my youngest has been sick this week.



She's been miserable and downright lethargic. Poor thing hasn't even really had much of an appetite either (which is HIGHLY unusual for her).

This morning I took her to the ER because she had been complaining that her tummy hurt while writhing in pain quite a bit yesterday and last night. Broke my heart.

After seeing the doc, getting some meds, and eating two grape popsicles we were on our way back home with strict instructions to quarantine her, disinfect everything, and call if anything changed for the worst.

As we gathered up our belongings to leave I set Evolet down on the hospital bed in order to pack everything away. She insisted on keeping her water cup and her snuggle blanket in her arms, and she had a death grip on her little cup of Cheerios. Her small arms weren't quite able to wrap around all of her treasures. She looked at me with the sweetest little expression and quietly stated, "Mommy, the girl needs help."

I kind of froze for a moment. Those five little words were so powerful to me in that situation. All night last night I was up with this little cutie trying to comfort her while praying we could both get some sleep, I kept thinking about my to do list. I have a meeting tomorrow afternoon, we have a dear friend coming to town tomorrow and staying the night, my five year old has sports camp this week that's twenty minutes away (we are in the car quite a bit), we have a ceremony to attend on Friday, a concert Friday night, boating on Saturday as well as a surprise birthday party Saturday night. We have church on Sunday, and I have another meeting Sunday afternoon. And then the icing on the cake is that we are leaving for vacation on Monday, and I still need to pack.

This was what was running through my head all night last night. How was I going to make it all happen flawlessly? I'm the stay at home wife and mom, and it's my job, exclusively, to get all this done and taken care of [not to mention meals, the laundry, cleaning the house, and of course Mommy's Chauffeur Service].

But looking into this sweet little girl's eyes as she tried desperately to juggle her treasures I realized that even though she said she needed help, really I was the one who needed help.

This girl needs help.

I need help realizing it's NOT THE END OF THE WORLD when life doesn't go exactly as I think it should.

There is such beauty to be seen in the chaos. It's a colorful mosaic of life if we let it be.

God never intended for me to dwell on my to do list. I did that completely on my own, and I needed His help in that moment to simply be in the moment.

I needed to look at this time of comforting my little girl for what it was: the opportunity to snuggle my precious daughter, because she won't be that little to snuggle with for long. I needed to chuck the to do list because it was distracting me from my true job: being a godly wife and mother.

You can't make your faith a box you check. It's so much more than a task. It's an identity.

And if you are having trouble getting to that point pray the same prayer I did:
The girl needs help.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

By Cassie Glubzinski

You know that moment when your kid opens her mouth, and you hold your breath because you know, deep in your gut you know, that whatever your kiddo is about to say is gonna be either epically profound or epically embarrassing?

Yeah, you know that moment.

About three years ago my daughter, Gemma, and I were leaving Target in Arizona. While walking across the parking lot we both heard a man on his phone. His tense posture, gruff appearance, and loud conversation (which included a very colorful and animated vocabulary) caused me to allow him a wide berth. I weaved around cars in order to get to our vehicle, all the while hoping that the man would not pay us any mind.

So of course he saw us as soon as he hung up.

And of course he had to say something.

"What?!" He screamed at me. "You got a problem with how I talk? Why don't you just say so rather than avoid me like the plague!?"

You know that moment when you have said nothing, and yet a can of proverbial worms has been opened?

Yeah, you know that moment.

"We're just heading to our car, sir." I said quietly, ushering my two year old over to our car and trying desperately to avoid the man.

"That's what I thought!" He yelled at me. "Better keep that pretty little girl away!"

Okay, here's what you need to know about me. You can say whatever you want about me, but as soon as my kids are involved I am a WILD MAMA BEAR. I froze, and turned slowly toward him with deadly calm. And even though I stood a good foot shorter than him, the look I gave him was one of fierce protectiveness. I opened my mouth, ready with words that would make even the foulest of mouths blush when my little Gemma opened her mouth.

"You know, sir, Jesus loves everyone! Even when you are mad, he loves you!" she shouted excitedly to him. And in a blink the entire atmosphere shifted. My mouth was agape, his face softened, his shoulders dropped, and my stiff back relaxed.

Out of the mouths of babes.

My knee-jerk reaction was blowing a bridge and building a wall, while my daughter's was kindness and love. My only thought was hatred and judgment. Hers was calm understanding. I was burdened with hostility. She was burdened with humility.

All I could do was stare.

Then, as if nothing was amiss, Gemma asked me, "Can I have ice cream when we get home?"

Girl, you just put me in my place in a humbling way. You can have the whole box of Klondikes.

The man looked at her, then at me, then at her again before his head swung backward and he began laughing. Like, a full blown belly laugh that was neither contained nor guarded.

My daughter had bridged a gap that was miles wide, with one simple statement.

How often do we judge others and only think of ourselves? How often do we ignore and look the other way when God calls us to reach out? To be His hands and feet?

In the book of Matthew Jesus tells a story of sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus explains that on the day of judgment everyone will be divided before the King, either on His right or His left. Those who know Him (the sheep) will be on His right, and the ones who do not (the goats) will be on His left. Here's what He says:

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Today I challenge you, what have you done for Jesus? What have you done for the least of these? I ask you, what is your knee-jerk response? What is your go to reaction? Is it hostility or humility? Is it judgment or kindness? Is it hatred or love?

Out of the mouths of babes...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Popsicles and Ponderings

By Cassie Glubzinski

I am happily blessed to have two sweet daughters who take part in a daily exercise called 'Rest Time', but I secretly call it 'Mommy Sanity Time'. My oldest just turned five, and my youngest is two and a half.

The other day I went to get my girls up from rest time and found my oldest (Gemma) still sleeping. Knowing she had had an exhausting day I went ahead and let her sleep, but my youngest (Evolet) came downstairs with me. She began playing with her little people, and seemed completely content. So in true mom-fashion I hurriedly finished all the tasks I wasn't fully able to complete while my children slumbered. I was running around putting away clean dishes, folding the last bit of laundry, and clearing the table before trying to figure out what we would eat for dinner.

During this time I heard Evolet talking under her breath. I walked a bit closer and asked her if everything was okay. She looked up and showed me the two little people in her hands: Prince Eric and Princess Ariel.

"Oh," I told her. "Are Eric and Ariel talking?"

"Yes," she informed me seriously. "They are playing together and sharing."

"Sharing is very good. Are they also going to eat together?"

"Yeah, Mommy. They are having chicken nuggets and apple slices."

"Wow. Eric is taking Ariel to dinner? Sounds kind of like a date to me."

I had to keep myself from laughing out loud at the expression on my daughter's face. She looked exasperated! She sighed heavily and shook her head at me as she calmly said, "Mommy, chicken nuggets aren't what you get on a date."

"Huh," I supplied. "What would make it a date?"

She pondered this a moment before looking at me with quiet confidence and said, "Popsicles."

Well, okay then.

May I take this moment to say that if a date is only a date if popsicles are involved then I have been grossly cheated by my husband. ;)

I chuckled as I turned and went upstairs to wake Gemma and bring her down to play with her sister as well. In my mind, however, there was a part of me that so grateful for her quiet confidence and her decisiveness. I was NEVER that confident or decisive when I was two, or ten, or twenty for that matter. And  in that moment I realized something: God had been slowly but surely answering my prayers all along.

I think every mother deeply desires for her children to learn from her mistakes instead of having to make those same mistakes themselves. I am no different. My earnest desire to please absolutely everyone around led me to never wonder what I would want. I spent all my time and energy being a peacemaker, and it left me feeling hollow. I wasn't making peace for God's glory; I was doing it for my own comfort.

As such, I often felt like wasted space. I wouldn't make decisions because I didn't want to have to take the blame if and when things went wrong. I longed for the confidence of my peers.

In that beautiful moment, seeing my young daughter form an idea in her mind and speak so clearly about what she thought and believed, I didn't care that she thought a date was going out for popsicles. I cared that she answered with certainty and authority. My prayers to my Heavenly Father for her and her sister to be strong, poised and decisive women are coming to fruition, even at this tender young age.

I was reminded of Joshua in the Bible. He is told over and over by God to " strong and courageous...", and when the idea was first presented I thought, well, he's following after Moses, and those are big shoes to fill. 

But as I studied more and more I wonder if God was telling him to be strong and courageous because he was about to step far outside of his comfort zone. His decisions as leader of the Israelite nation (at that time about two million people) would have very long term repercussions. Talk about intense!

Now, I am no biblical scholar, but it is so reassuring to me that a spiritual powerhouse like Joshua was reminded repeatedly to " strong and courageous...", and he is told why:

Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." [emphasis mine]

Where are you needing to be strong and courageous? How can you practice? Maybe it's something as simple as telling your spouse what constitutes a date (even if it's popsicles) or maybe it's a more sensitive area. The fact of the matter is that we are all facing situations that require us to be strong and courageous, and we often need reminded that we can be strong and courageous BECAUSE the Lord our God is with us wherever we go!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Wonder Woman, or Wonder Blunder?

By Cassie Glubzinski

For those who have met me you know I'm an Army wife. My husband is active duty. We have been married for six and a half years, we have two beautiful daughters, and we have survived two deployments and countless trainings that have taken him far from his girls.

Just after he left on his most recent deployment a dear friend of mine gave me an odd gift. She said that her favorite phrase to tell wives who were left at home was to 'strap on your big girl panties and get things done'. 

Well, okay then.

I look in the bag and there is a single pair of Wonder Woman panties.

I kid you not.

She told me that she had been saying this same phrase to countless other wives, before realizing that she never had really ensured that the women actually owned a pair of big girl panties.

I questioned whether or not having panties with the emblem of a Justice League member counted as being 'big girl', but who was I to judge a gift? I love gifts! I love giving gifts and receiving them. And this gal knew me well, because I am an EPIC Wonder Woman fan.

So... she gives me my very own pair of big girl panties, and they work. Seriously. Every time I wear them I feel as if I can take on the world and win. And goodness I needed it through that deployment! The only person who was as excited about this gift as me was my oldest daughter, Gemma. She loves superheroes, and she knows I adore Wonder Woman.

A couple of months ago I took Gemma into Walter-Reed for an eye doctor appointment. The place was buzzing with activity as she was sat next to me in the hall waiting. Folks were all running around heading to appointments of their own. The largest group to walk by was seven soldiers talking together, all young like they were fresh out of high school. They smiled at Gemma and told her good morning. Rather than responding with a smile and saying "Good Morning" like her mother taught her, (why would my toddler want to do that?) she looked at them, then calmly turned to me to ask, "Mommy, did you wear your Wonder Woman panties today?"

Yeah. That happened.

Sitting there watching as this group of some of America's finest young men faltered a step (a couple snickered, a few gasped and had jaws dropped, and one even quirked a brow daring me to answer), I was torn between running away and hiding or laughing hysterically. It was equally funny and mortifying at the same time. I giggled a bit and told her that we don't ask those kind of questions when we aren't at home. That seemed to satisfy her, and the men went on their way. But the crazy part was that I was actually wearing them that day.

And somehow Gemma knew. 

When I told my husband about the incident later (he chose to laugh, though not hysterically) he said even he knew I was wearing them, even though he hadn't seen me dress that morning. 

"How is that even possible? Do you have x-ray vision like Superman?" I had asked him jokingly.

"No, I don't," he told me seriously. "You carry yourself differently when you wear them. Like you are more confident and sure of yourself. And I honestly have no idea why. But it doesn't surprise me that Gemma noticed. She notices everything."

What?! I didn't really know how to respond to that. As I sat there digesting that bit of information I found myself pondering the fact that it shouldn't take an article of clothing to give me confidence or to make me feel better about myself. I am the same woman when I wear Wonder Woman apparel as I am when I wear Fruit of the Loom. Nothing should affect that, and nothing should taint it.

I am a wife and a mother who has always loved Wonder Woman. But first and foremost I am woman of God. That and that alone is more than enough to give me confidence, to give me gumption. Wonder Woman is pretty amazing, and her apparel lines are fun and a quick fix to a slump, but at the end of the day nothing comes close to the kind of surety our God gives.

Paul's words ring out loudly with these thoughts:
"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone but on the tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." [2 Corinthians 3:3-5]

I had confidence wearing 'big girl panties', until my four year old opened her mouth and I found myself being stared down by seven men in uniform. Worldly confidence fades in times of trouble. Godly confidence, the kind that comes from knowing we are His and He is for us, never even wavers.

Wonder Woman has nothing on that.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hide and Seek? No, it's Seek and Find

By Cassie Glubzinski

My daughters are a riot.


My Gemma just turned five, and little Evolet copies her every move (Ev is 2 and a half). The other morning my girls were playing, and I heard Gemma say to Evolet, "Let's play hide and seek. You go hide, and I'll count to ten and then come find you."

Excited about the prospect of playing a 'big girl game' little Evolet scurried off while Gemma stood in the corner of the room and slowly counted to ten. I smiled as I saw my youngest wedge herself beneath our Little Tikes trampoline, and I even giggled a bit upon seeing her stuffed snuggle puppy securely stashed at her side. Her brow was furrowed in concentration, as if she were trying with all her might to become invisible.

Gemma finished counting and declared, "Ready or not here I come!" At which time Evolet announced, "Here I am, Gemma! Come find me! I'm right here!"

I don't think she quite understands the concept of 'Hide and Seek' just yet.

As I sat watching Gemma sweetly explain to Evolet how to play the game quietly, I was struck by a thought: This is exactly what our Lord does. He doesn't play 'Hide and Seek'. With Him, we Seek and Find, because He makes Himself known to us.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 reads, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" [emphasis mine]

What a beautiful thought. As I sat there watching my girls all I could think of was surrendering with righteous abandonment, that I might be able to seek Him with my whole heart. It almost seems daunting at first, doesn't it? But really take a moment to reflect on this idea of seeking with your whole heart...

As I pondered it more and more I felt lighter, freer, and downright giddy with relief. I don't ever have to feel as if I have wasted a day, an opportunity, or even a moment (How often has that happened?). When we seek God fully He doesn't allow anything to be wasted. Seeking Him with my whole heart, with righteous abandonment, frees me to more naturally follow Christ. Because suddenly nothing else matters but Him, and everything else becomes an act of worship to a holy and awesome God.

So today, I implore you to take a few moments to pray. To seek and find God. He doesn't hide. He shouts loudly to us! He calls us to Himself, and when we seek Him fully we are finally free!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hope When It Hurts

By Rian Ryan

I am a worrier.  An anxious person. I feel ALL THE FEELINGS deeply and outwardly, barely containing them.  Since having kids my tears can come at the drop of a hat.  I probably need a pill (seriously).  At times, I wonder why I’m on edge and snapping at my family for no apparent reason.  But then I look inside and see some deep (or maybe not so deep) distress that is eating away at me, exposing my raw nerves.  There are so many things in this world that can do us in.  So much heartache around us that we can easily be overcome. 
Lately I have felt a deep sadness in my very core at times.  I feel as though so much is crumbling around me.  I can’t take in anymore hurt, despair, loss, anger, fear, or hatred.  Because when I do, when I let my brain process ANY of it, I’m weeping again.  That familiar, stifling disquiet starts in my chest and threatens to consume me.  But I still have to make dinner.  I still have to read to and play with my kids.  And I still have to fold laundry…or at least put all the clean stuff in one basket.  And some days I even have to shower.  Crying in the fetal position doesn’t facilitate these activities.  So, I put up a tiny bit of a wall.  Enough to get through the moment and move on with my life.  Enough to read a gut-wrenching headline and not start hyperventilating.  And when the tears come anyway I try to keep them brief so I can wipe them away to see where the next brick needs to go.  And it’s protective and that feels better.  Until it doesn’t.
Building up walls comes with a price.  You see, my walls don’t discriminate.  They are equal opportunity barriers to sharing my heart, whether with a stranger’s heartache, or the attempts of my husband to reach me.  In my place of worry, the place where I shield myself, I’m missing out.  I’m missing out on the love and hope God wants to show me.  I let my fear harden me when I slap mortar on another brick.  And it makes me closed to the good things that can come from the God who loves me, loves this broken world.
I don’t want to miss the goodness of things that bring us hope (with a little “h”).  Instead of carrying the hardness into everything, I can let goodness soften me.  I can choose to get lost in the laughter of my kids instead of keeping that edge, that wall, in front of me. I can choose to marvel in my three kids wanting to have a family snuggle on the couch that miraculously still holds us all. (By the way, a family snuggle in my house looks a lot like a wrestling match with feet kicking someone’s face and at least one person falling off the couch.) I can choose to let joy and hope fill me in those moments, leaving my worry behind, at least for a time.  I can remember the despair of this world is not mine to shoulder.  I may feel things deeply and that’s ok – God himself gave me my emotions.  But I can’t let the circumstances of the world or my emotional response to them rule me.  I need to let Hope (with a big “H”) reign in my heart.  A Hope that comes from the God who formed every person and every piece of space dust in this universe.  The God who has given himself for you and me.  The God who laid down his life for us.  And for this hurting world and everyone in it.  And oh yeah, he ALREADY WON.  Love HAS WON.  Like, it’s done!  All the anguish in this world, every horror, has been paid for and cannot compare to the glory to come.  And when I think of that Hope, the tears come again.  But I don’t put up another piece of wall against these tears.  Instead I let them wash some of that wall away.  As it turns out, I’m a lousy mason in comparison to God’s goodness.
Recently on WGTS, Jerry Woods shared something one of his Facebook friends told him.  I was driving so I tried not to cry too much in response - just a few tears escaped my lower lids.  He said, “The older we get, the more Heaven looks like home, not Earth.”  Amen and AMEN.  YES!  That’s the Hope.  This place IS broken, and I long for a place where my heart is not anxious.  A place where peace reigns.  But for now, I’m here.  And if I open my eyes to the hope God has put around me, I see it’s not all dark.  I realize I hurt with this world because I love it, and I love God’s children.  And God has given us so many good things in the midst of all the yucky stuff.  Are we looking around with expectation and hope?   Are we seeing the wonder in the mundane?  Recently I was folding laundry (applause are welcome) and grabbed my seven-year-old’s shirt.  And it was huge.  Like, how did my baby become large enough to fit in this shirt?  And I felt the blessing of being his mom weigh heavy on my heart.  And, you guessed it, the tears flowed (as they are now…Lord, help me!).  What had I done to deserve this gift?  Nothing.  And this giant green polo shirt filled my heart with hope in a way I’m still struggling to express.  Maybe it’s the hope of a better future?  Maybe it’s just the hope that comes with watching a child grow up.  I don’t know.  But it was a beautiful thing. And I let it wash over me.

My husband knows me.  He knows my struggles.  He knows despite my belief in what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34 (look it up, it’s good stuff) I am still anxious.  I still feel ALL THE FEELINGS that come with the weight of sin in this world.  So, when I verbally spewed my worries at him as we were about to put dinner on the table last month, he wrapped me up in his arms.  I often choose to surround myself with my sad little wall in these moments because, if I’m just being honest, it feels safe to stay inside there and reject comfort, stewing in my mess.  But this time, I just let go.  I felt my worry dissolve and I was melting into his embrace and I felt at peace.  And that wonderful man started singing to me.  Now, he doesn’t have a crooner’s voice…he’ll admit it.  But his rendition of Bob Marley’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” was a salve to my weary soul.  And I even laughed a little.  And it gave me the Hope I needed to carry on in that moment.  If I’d kept up that wall I would have missed that moment of God’s Hope for me.  I think my wall-building-and-destroying battle will go on.  But I’m hoping to follow the example of my five-year-old and spend more time on the demolition side, embracing the goodness and Hope around me.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

March MNO and Play Date Information!


February has been quite the warm month, eh?  I have no idea what March holds weather-wise, but MOPS will be bringing some fun activities~

**Update** March is crazy and snow is date for the MNO below!

Mom's Night Out - Game Night and Mom Clothes Swap!
Monday, March 20th, 7:30 PM
Join us in the sanctuary of the old building at DBC for a fun game night!  Bring a favorite game to play AND bring some clothes that you no longer wear and would like to swap.  It will run the same as the totswap (you bring 4 items, you take 4 items, assuming sizing availability, obviously).  Please bring nice (not stained, torn, etc) clothes that another mom would like to wear.  Light refreshments, drinks will be served :)
Playdate - St. Patrick's Day Green and Growing Scavenger Hunt
Friday, March 17th, 10 AM
Brookside Gardens - 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
$7 per child. You MUST register early...for more info and to register, go through this link:

Hope to see you at our events!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

February Mom's Night Out and Play Date Details!

Reminders: The January Mom's Night Out is tonight, January 26th, and the Play Date is January 30th at the Germantown Soccerplex...

February is coming fast, so put these dates on your calendars!

Play Date: February 14th - Valentine's Day Free Play and Crafts!
Nicole Yeh is heading up this month's events and has booked the DBC auditorium for us!  She has planned Valentine's Day crafts for us and there will be plenty of space for our kiddos to run around and burn off some energy.  YAY! You can even bring some ride-on toys if you like.  My kids always enjoy these play dates - room to run and be crazy! Feel free to bring your own lunch and picnic on the floor :)

Mom's Night Out: February 26th - Oscar Party!
8:00 PM
Nicole Yeh's House

Enjoy a night hanging out with the ladies, snacking, watching the Oscars, and a a playing game for guessing the winner of each category - whoever gets the most right will get a prize!  This will be a fun, relaxing evening.  I thought about glamming it up by wearing my wedding dress, but since it doesn't fit anymore that wouldn't be very fun for any of us to see ;)  Feel free to wear sweat pants.  Or your pajamas.  Seriously, this is super low-key!

We look forward to seeing you at our February events!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In Silent Awe of God

By: Emily March

I once knew a girl
Who stood by the sea,
And witnessed a great storm.
She was captivated by the mighty power that was portrayed.
The power of the angry sea.

I once knew a girl
Who walked along in the night.
As she looked to the heavens,
She was struck by the vastness of the sky;
For she could not count the number of the stars.

That same girl studied the sky.
On a cold night,
In a lonely place on the opposite side of the world.
She was comforted by the faithfulness of the stars;
For she recognized every one.

I once knew a girl
Who witnessed the setting sun over the African plains.
She was captured by the fullness of color
 displayed across the sky.

I once knew a girl
Who felt new life forming inside her.
And when her baby was born,
She was amazed at the perfection she saw
As she held her little once close.

That same girl was walking along with her child one day
When her child stopped
Stooped down
And peered at the most vibrant caterpillar she had ever seen.
The girl and her child were both astonished
At the variety of creatures this world holds.

 One day
This girl stopped
 and recounted the moments in time that caused her to pause…
the power of the angry sea
the vastness of the night sky
the faithfulness of the stars
the colors of the sunset
the perfection of a new life
and the variety of creatures in this world

Then she sang praises to her Creator
For she knew that His creation
Is a reflection of Him.

He is more powerful than an angry sea,
Larger than the night sky,
More faithful that the stars above,
And more beautiful than a sunset.
His perfection creates new life,
And His creativity is displayed in every living thing.

And then
This girl knelt
In Silent Awe
Of God.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


By: Nancy Kohut, Mentor Mom, Awesome Woman

Same you, new beginning. New Year’s resolutions – many of us make them in hopes of a new and improved version of ourselves by year end. I tend to shy away from making resolutions. Because they’re too much pressure. Because I have unrealistic expectations. Because I fear failure. Because I want to improve all aspects of myself, all at once, and I know that’s crazy. Because when the calendar flips over to February and I’m still desperately trying to tell myself that I don’t need sugar every afternoon at 3pm, and I still haven’t cracked open the book that three friends recommended to me, and speaking of friends, why haven’t I made an effort to have coffee with any of them yet?  I’m not feeling so motivated about my resolutions any more. So no resolutions made = no resolutions broken, right?

But something my daughter, Amie, said convinced me (again) that I learn just as much, if not more from her, than I teach her. At a rest stop on New Year’s Day, my husband explained to Amie how some people like to make New Year's resolutions and what that meant. He gave her some examples of typical resolutions. We then asked her if she wanted to make a New Year's resolution and awaited her answer with curious anticipation. Matter-of-factly (as only children know how), she said, "I would like to do two kind things each day." What? I seriously thought she was going to say “two kind things for the year”, which still would’ve impressed me for a six-year-old, but “each day”? That’s nearly imposs-…no wait, why hadn’t I thought of that? That’s so doable! 

While I don't know if she's actually going to follow through on this, it made think about how most of our resolutions are tangible, measurable, and self-focused – lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, spend less money, get more sleep, spend more time with friends, read more, and so on. These resolutions presume that we have to fix something about our every day, and often involve overcoming mental hurdles to alter our lifestyle. And though I believe it is worthwhile to improve ourselves by instilling good habits and letting go of bad habits, these changes take time, sometimes much longer than a year. Maybe we could all benefit by adding something that is a little less daunting to our lists, something that is “other-” and "love-focused".  Being kind is something we can all do, right now, every day. No monthly membership fee, special equipment, or app needed - just your heart. We might be out of practice and it might feel strange at first, but I think we all know how to live it out. Choosing a gentle reminder over a harsh word, showing patience over an eye-roll, giving a friendly smile to a stranger, sending a quick text message to a hurting friend, and even forgiving yourself for falling behind on that New Year’s resolution. 

Who will you be kind to today?