Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blast from the Past

15 years ago I was just nineteen years old. During this exact time, I was pregnant with my first daughter Rayne. I was 4-5 months pregnant and taking classes at Brookdale Community College toward my Associates Degree. I lived life as if I was unstoppable. I was determined to finish my education even though I was pregnant, not married, and living with my parents. I worked at my parents flower shop on weekends and any day I didn't have class.

10 years ago I was twenty-four years old and attending Fordham University in Manhattan, NY. I was in school for my Masters of Social Work. I would take the train into the city every Saturday and Wednesday. Rayne was four, almost five, years old then and would spend every Saturday with her fathers parents. I was very involved with my church, I taught Sunday school to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders every week, I was the coordinator of the summer's Vacation Bible School, and I led a teen girl's small devotional group.

5 years ago I was twenty-nine years old with 2 daughters. Rayne was 9 years old and Autumn was 3. We were just beginning to see signs of all Autumn's problems. I was living on my own in Ocean Grove and loving life. I broke away from my old church and found a wonderful church that I remain at today, Grace Christian.

3 years ago I was thirty-one years old. Rayne was 11 and Autumn was 6. I was going through a particularly rough time in my life. Autumn's struggle for adjustment and our fight for a diagnosis was in full swing. Financially I was a mess, I had just filed for bankruptcy and was so depressed some days I couldn't get out of bed but through the grace of God I moved on because of my children.

1 year ago, I was thirty-three years old. Life was and still is good. This exact day was the day before Autumn asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior, Praise God!!!! This was also the day we landed in the ER because she fell out of a tree and had a tree limb impaled in her thigh!!!! 14 stitches later and a visit to the pediatric surgeons office to get a piece of wood that was still in there, Autumn has a beautiful scar on her left thigh!

Today, I did not want to wake up, as usual, I am NOT a morning person, AT ALL! I have 2 interviews and a whole lot of work!!! Then I will go see Rayne play soccer at the high school, and come home, make dinner, and help the kids with their homework. I also will remember to praise God for all he has done for me!

Tomorrow, I will hate waking up again! I have a funeral to go to of one of my favorite clients :(! I also Have 5 interviews, hopefully a couple of them I can hire!!!! Oh and Autumn has Therapeutic Horseback riding tomorrow too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

$15 and gatorade

I picked up Rayne from soccer practice and noticed I was on "E" and my gas light was on. There was one problem, I didn't have any cash and I had no money in my account to use my debit card. Pay day is tomorrow and I was tapped out. My sister Jill and her husband have graciously given me a BP gas card so that I can fill my tank up once a month and they would pay the bill for me. There was another problem, I filled my car up the week before using the gas card. I had no choice, I decided to use the gas card again and explain to Jill and Steve later. Rayne and I drove to the nearest BP station which is a few miles out of our way but we had no choice. When we pulled up we had to wait 10 minutes for the car in front of us to move, we soon realized the pressure in the pumps were not working right and it would take forever to fill our car up, but again we had no choice. While we waited for our tank to fill up we noticed a man and his daughter walking around talking to each customer. At one point the man pointed to what I assume was his family standing outside the Dunkin Donuts. There was a woman with two small children and a stroller with a baby in it. Rayne and I at first locked our doors as we thought to ourselves, "What is this crazy man doing talking to all these people." Then I got that feeling, the feeling of the Holy Spirit telling me I cannot ignore this family. I rolled down my window giving the man the opportunity to approach me. He did and asked for money to buy groceries for his family. I told him I only had a dollar, he accepted. I then began a conversation with him, I told him I was a social worker and was trying to figure out how to help him. He went to the police station at 4:30pm but apparently they could not help him with finding a shelter until 9am the next morning, he said he and his family had to survive the night. I made sure he had a plan for tomorrow, he did. I told him I wish I could do more. He thanked me for caring. I told him I would pray for him and "God Bless You". Because the pumps were so slow, after he left my car, it was still several minutes until my tank was full. I began searching the car for change and money. I found a plastic baggie with change in it and started to fill it. I said to Rayne, "I wish we had more money." She then looked in her bag and pulled out $15.00 and said she wanted to give it to them. Rayne also emptied her bag of all the loose change into the plastic baggie. I glanced back and noticed there was a case of Gatorade in the back seat that we never unloaded from the weekend. I quickly got out and put 5 Gatorade in a Shop Rite bag. After our tank was full we pulled up along side the family and Rayne told me she wanted to give them what we had. She rolled down her window and said, "We have something for you." The man came over and I told him Rayne found $15.00 and change and that we had Gatorade for them. He looked stunned and almost like he didn't want to take it. He said, "I feel guilty for taking this", to which I replied, "Don't be". I heard the kids say, "Gatorade!" with delight. Rayne and I pulled off.

My heart goes out to this family. As it is raining and windy outside I wonder if they obtained enough money to rent a room for the night. The face of the man and his daughter are burned into my mind. That could be me, it could be any of us. God is confirming my mission and passion everyday. It is amazing. Today He let my bank account run so low that I had to go to a gas station I would have never gone to if I had money. He allowed the gas pumps to run extremely slow so I would have to be at that location for 20 minutes instead of 5 minutes. God provided $15.00 plus change from my daughter who would rather spend it at the mall, and he allowed the Gatorade to remain in the car from the weekend. God is soooo good!

Matthew 25:31-46

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

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. 35For 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, 36I 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? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Autumn!!!

Autumn Grace Trouwborst was born today 9 years ago!!!! I can not believe it. Next year she will be in the double digits!!!! This girl has by heart, we are so close sometimes I can't explain it, I can't imagine my life without her.

This morning we woke up in our usual way, to my sister Hilary flicking on the bright overhead light and yelling "Time to get up!". Autumn and I just moaned and rolled over! But then we realized it was her birthday and we both perked up (Autumn and I hate mornings, and right now we are sharing a room and a bed until the basement is finished). Rayne came in the doorway and I motioned to her to say Happy Birthday to her sister, she did, very nicely, with a smile (Thanks Rayne!!!!). Autumn opened her present from me, a Jungle In My Pocket set and played with it until it was time for school. The birthday girl requested pancakes in her room for breakfast so Rayne brought them up to her. All the kids went to school on the bus but Autumn and I went to Dunkin' Donuts to get munchkins for her class. Autumn was so proud to walk into school with 2 big boxes of munchkins!!!

This afternoon Autumn will be surprised to find her second gift from me . . . Roxy the parakeet!!!!

It's a great day, the day God blessed me with Autumn Grace!!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Baptism . . . getting dunked for Christ!

On Sunday September 7th Autumn and my sister Jill were baptized by my pastor with 10 other believers. It was the day after "Tropical Storm Hannah" hit, what a beautiful day it turned out to be! Praise GOD!!!!

Here is Pastor Vince praying for all of the people who made the decision to be baptized.

I gave Autumn's testimony. She asked Jesus into her heart on October 2, 2007. She wanted to be baptized to follow God's Word!

I'm so proud of her!

Truly a beautiful sight!

We love Pastor Vince!!!

Jill's testimony was inspiring!

Here is the whole gang! Dunked for Christ!!!!

Rayne taking the photos!

Jake taking a dive!

Lucy is such a ham!!!!

Aedan, our very own cannonball!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our large family- who knew?

So I am addicted to reading blogs about large families, it fascinates me, then I realized I am a blogger with a large family! Who knew????!!! In June 2008 I moved back with my sister who is going through a divorce. Together, my sister and I, raise 5 children. Here is the breakdown:

Rayne- age 14- 9th grade- soccer star- piano/clarinet player- artist- too cool
Aedan- age 9- 4th grade- baseball star- basketball star- sports fanatic
Autumn- age 9- 3rd grade- horse lover- gymnast- artist- ADHD- ODD- PDD-NOS
Teddy- age 8- 3rd grade- bird lover- gymnast- momma's boy- singer- music lover
Riley- age 3- pre-K- gymnast- boss- colorer extraordinaire

Our days are crazy, our nights are even more crazy. Our weekly schedule is a mess. But Hilary and I are a great team. We are raising our kids together and we love it!