All posts by Sarah Little

Wednesday Whispers #4

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In the past few weeks, I’ve been praying for several friends who are currently on journeys of grief. One of my closest friends is grieving the loss of her dearly loved father-in-law, grandma and grandpa. Another friend is struggling to help her daughter deal with the loss of a grandparent. Change usually sparks a new wave of grief in my own life. So, these “whispers of grace” that I’m sharing today have either helped me along my grief journey or are current reads for me.

Grace Covers Me- By Faith Episode #7: Kathy Litton podcast

Kathy’s husband was killed in a tragic car accident. Her honesty about grief is comforting, refreshing, and encouraging. I’m so thankful for people like Kathy who honestly share their grief journey and how God sustains in our darkest of days.

Dorina Gilmore

I was recently introduced to Dorina on Instagram and have been reading several of her blog posts related to grief. She became a widow with three young children after her husband died from cancer. She offers several tips for navigating grief with kids on her website. Her  own story is filled with incredible Gospel hope as she writes of “chasing God’s glory through tragedy and triumph.”

10 Ways to Help Your Kids Grieve When You Are Grieving Too

Michelle Lazurek gives some great advice in this article. I definitely agree with her wisdom to “face the grief head on” and “give yourself (and your kids) time.”

Heaven for Kids 

Randy Alcorn’s book was a good read with my older children after my mom died. Focusing on the realities of Heaven was very encouraging and profitable.

Therefore I Have Hope: 12 Truths that Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy 

“Throughout the journey of my worst nightmare―my descent into a dark, sad valley―the Holy Spirit would remind me of truths that comforted my soul and sustained my life.”

After the sudden death of their three-year-old son, Cameron Cole and his wife found themselves clinging to Christ through twelve key theological truths―truths that became their lifeline in the midst of unthinkable grief. Weaving together their own story of tragic loss and abiding faith, Cole explores these twelve life-giving truths to offer hope and comfort to those in the midst of tragedy. 

I am currently reading this book and finding it to be raw, comforting, and truth-filled! I identify with his message that only God’s truths sustain and give hope as we journey through “our worst.”

Steven Curtis Chapman : The Glorious Unfolding and Beauty Will Rise 

Music brings incredible healing . . . and these albums have ministered grace to me in some of my darkest and lowest days. I’ve found much light and hope in these encouraging words written from Steven’s own experience with grief and pain. He ministers from a heart that has found Christ to be always sufficient and always working His good plan in our lives.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Wednesday Whispers #3

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Opportunity vs. Disruption: Paul David Tripp podcast

I’ll never forget the first time I read a book by Paul David Tripp and then attended a parenting seminar with Paul . . . his words left me with a burning desire to know more of God and to give my children a huge view of our awesome God! I have such admiration for this man of God who lives and teaches the Gospel. Parents, you are missing out if you’ve never met this guy!

How to Teach Your Child Obedience (without Raising a Legalist)

“As we are the ones teaching our children about God, we especially need to ensure that as we teach them obedience it does not get confused with legalism. I have too many friends that grew up in households that were so focused only on behavior modification that they grew up thinking God only wanted good works from them.

. . . As we teach obedience we can’t avoid talking about the actual acts we expect of our children, nor should we, but there are certain things we can do as parents to teach obedience without it leading to legalism or the belief that they can earn salvation and acceptance from God by being “good” or performing. Here are seven ways we can do just that.”  Christina Patterson

Be Held (Lullabies for the Beloved) Christy Nockels

This music album is a favorite in our house! I’ve often given this CD as a baby gift. These lullabies remind me to rest in Christ . . . to be held by His unending love and grace. Elysabeth often requests to hear “River of Grace.” It’s her favorite!

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety Dawn Huebner

Last school year, I found myself sitting in a professional Christian counseling office. One of my children was struggling with anxiety about school. The constant headaches, lack of appetite for breakfast, intermittent nightmares, tears, and the struggle to sleep had taken a toll on both of us. One of the tools that she suggested was this workbook designed for children. God greatly used this book to give my child language for her struggles and tools to help her overcome much of the anxiety!

Carrot Casserole . . . a family favorite!

My kids ALWAYS request this dish for holidays . . . and often throughout other times of the year. It’s delish!

2 lb. fresh carrots (peeled and washed)

½ c. onion, chopped 

1 c. grated cheese

½ t. salt

2/3 c. mayo

1 T. sugar

1 stick butter

1 tube Ritz crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and wash the carrots. Cut the carrots into small circles. Finely dice/chop the onion. Boil the carrots and onions together until soft then drain. (You don’t want the carrots to be too mushy.) Mix the cheese, salt, mayo, and sugar into a bowl. Add the carrots and onions into the sauce. Pour mixture into a casserole dish.  Crush crackers and spread over casserole. Melt butter and pour over the crackers. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Enjoy!!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

 

 

Wednesday Whispers #2

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Out of the Ordinary with Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy

Ya’ll. . .You guys (that’s what they say here in CO), the first two episodes of this podcast have wrecked me! I have listened to each episode at least three times this past weekend! Listening to this podcast was like sitting with trusted friends around the kitchen table. Lisa-Jo and Christie are a delight to listen to! Episode two specifically addresses one of my current struggles –being satisfied in this season of my life. . . it’s so easy to long for what’s ahead (the desire) that I fail to see what God has already done in the past and is currently offering to me in this season. I was so challenged with these two episodes and feel you will be too!

What to Do When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Paul Tripp

“God has given us no sweeter, more beautiful gift than the gift of Himself. He is the gift that changes everything. His presence is what every sufferer needs, whether they know it or not. It is never more important than in times of suffering to hold onto and remember the theology of the Word of God. When you are suffering, it is vital that you preach regularly to yourself the truths that Scripture declares. It is vital that your thinking, feeling, interpreting, and craving heart is given the wisdom, guidance, and comfort that only the theology of the Word of God can give.” 

Paul Tripp continues to be one of my favorite authors and speakers. His words flow with such grace and consistently point to the Gospel and God’s heart for His people. I can’t wait to read his newest book Suffering which releases September 30, 2018.

Singing In the Victory by Austin Stone Worship

I often find myself singing or humming this song as I go throughout my day. As a believer, I’m so thankful for the victory that Christ provides for the battles I face each day! I am able to sing in the victory of the cross. To rest in the shadow of His redeeming love. To stand on the promise of new life. Because I am His forever, and Jesus. . .He is mine!

Pumpkin Crunch 

My mom used to make this recipe often in the fall season. It was a family favorite!  Each time I make this delicious dessert (or breakfast in my house), my heart misses her sweet presence and her yummy cooking. She was an awesome cook! Mom would leave the walnuts out of the recipe and just use pecans. And she always had Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream to serve on the side!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

 

Wednesday Whispers #1

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This Is Not the Life I Expected, Life is So Hard-Part One & Two

My heart was so encouraged with these two podcast episodes by Sally Clarkson. Sally has been a mentor to me for several years through her books, conferences, podcasts, and blog articles. She is a wise woman who loves Jesus Christ and is passionate in offering Gospel hope to other women. Listen to podcasts-Part One and Part Two. 

How to Ruin Your Life in Your 20’s

Jason and I discussed this article with our oldest two children who are now both teenagers. Jonathan Pokluda gives “seven ways you can ruin your life while still in your twenties — based on the opposite of Solomon’s counsel — along with a resolution for what to do instead.” Awesome article! Read this post.

Is He Worthy?

I repeatedly listen to this beautiful song by Andrew Peterson. This song gives amazing hope and reminds my heart of Gospel truth. Listen to this song.

ABC’s of Theology

Each morning on the way to school, my youngest three and I review these awesome little cards of theology. I absolutely love the time we spend discussing theological concepts that even little minds can begin to understand. Check out these products!

Happy Wednesday, friends! 

Wednesday Whispers (Introduction)

Throughout the past few months,  I’ve sensed the Lord expanding my initial direction for my blog.   When I started blogging in 2015, I was processing my mom’s traumatic death and needed to record God’s work in my broken and tender heart. I had a desire to help others dealing with grief.  I was learning to trust God’s goodness and sovereignty.

It’s been five years since my sweet mom met Jesus. . . and although there are days when I grieve intensely, God has brought so much healing into my heart and life. He has continually whispered His grace into my grief and brokenness.

Not only have I discovered whispers of grace in “God’s classroom of pain and change”, but I continue to experience those whispers of grace in my everyday life. Sometimes He whispers grace through a song. Sometimes it’s through an article or book. Other times, He whispers grace through a shared meal with family. This morning, my heart was encouraged with His grace from a podcast.

I experience whispers of grace in exploring His beautiful Creation. He whispers grace in a conversation with a friend. Often, He whispers grace through my husband and children. My time in the Word is rich with His whispering grace.

God, in His abundance, loves to whisper grace into my heart. Often I fail to recognize those whispers because my heart is not in tune to listen or observe! With His help, I’m seeking to purposefully listen for His whispers and take notice of His daily grace in my life.

Since moving to CO, I have been taking regular walks through my neighborhood. I’m in love with the “no humidity” here! I often stop along my walk to sit on a bench that overlooks the mountains and the Denver skyline. The views are just gorgeous!

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I use this time on “my bench” to pause, pray, and praise. Today, as I sat listening to worship music and reading an article for teenage girl moms, I felt surrounded with whispers of grace from God. Through the song, He reminded me that nobody loves me like Jesus. I am deeply loved by the God of the universe!

As I read the article, I was overcome with humility that He would trust me to parent a teenage girl. I was led to pray for my teenage daughter as she continues to adjust to new CO cultures and surroundings . My eyes filled with tears as I reflected on God’s work of grace in her life. God continues to answer so many prayers for my children.

In looking at the creation around me, I was reminded that my God is in control and all-powerful! He made the mountains. He made me. He takes care of both! I can trust Him with my life.

For those few moments on the bench, I paused to dwell on Christ and His work all around and within me. As I praised Him, I also felt the Lord tell me to share. To share with my readers the various ways God whispers grace to my heart in everyday life. God’s goodness is meant to be shared!

So in humble obedience, I plan to begin sharing Wednesday Whispers!

Wednesday Whispers will feature various articles, songs, Scriptures, podcasts, recipes, pictures, books, and sites to explore. . .in hopes that God will whisper His grace to you as well.

I am so excited about this! If you’re not an email subscriber, you may want to sign up now!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

 

 

 

 

Navigating Change

In less than 2 weeks, our family will drive away from this house and enter another season of change. You would think that I’m used to change by now. Truthfully, I feel like my life has been a roller coaster or ups and downs every since we moved to SC. But NO. I’m still not used to change. . .nor do I necessarily like it. . .nor is it easy!

I cried myself to sleep Sunday night. I woke up sobbing Monday morning. I cried driving through town on Monday afternoon. I’m just so emotional these days! A million crazy thoughts jumble up my mind and heart. “Are we crazy?” “Can we survive a cross-country move?” “Does God have good plans ahead?”

I struggle. I pour out my tears and heart to the Lord. . . just like I have so very often these past several years. I tell Him all of my fears, frustrations, and feelings. I’ve found He is the only one who truly understands and can bring peace to my chaotic thoughts and fearful heart.

Very gently and quietly, He reminds me of His goodness and grace. He begins to flood my memories with answered prayers, with enduring promises of Scripture, and kind whispers of grace. He holds me close and assures me that “Sometimes God allows change in our lives so we can have His presence like never before.” (Kristen Strong in her book Girl Meets Change) Continue reading Navigating Change

Waiting

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In the summer of 1998, Jason and I traveled together on a college ministry trip to the western part of the US. During that trip, a God-given desire was birthed within us to return one day to the West and church plant. We began praying then that God would clearly guide and provide us with this opportunity.

After college, we served 11 years in the Raleigh, NC, area in Jason’s home church. Those years of ministry were very sweet and taught us so very much. Looking back, we recognize that God softened our hearts for all people and allowed us to clearly see a pastor and his wife love God, each other, their family, their church, and the lost. Those years of ministry were relatively easy, life was predictable, and our families were close by.

Just shy of nine years ago, our family moved to Greenville, SC, in August 2010. We planned for Jason to complete his seminary degree in a few years, then we would head out West to plant a church. God’s timeline has been very different from ours. These nine years in SC have been anything but easy, smooth, and predictable! Through the past several years, God has humbled our hearts in so many ways, given us new understanding of His grace and goodness, and strengthened our desire to serve Him. We have been through the fire but He has walked with us each step of the way. . . often carrying us when we had no strength of our own. God has been abundantly faithful in every circumstance.

It’s been 20 years since that college trip. . . and it’s been 20 years of waiting! Waiting on the Lord to fulfill our desires. Waiting on Him to give clear direction. Waiting on God to answer our prayers. Waiting on God to provide opportunities. Continue reading Waiting

Freedom in Education. . .Risen Motherhood


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One of my blog goals is to share Gospel-centered and practical resources for my readers. Resources that encourage my own heart. Resources that point my heart to the Gospel. Resources that challenge my thinking. Resources that promote greater spiritual growth in my life. Resources that help me make wise decisions.

Several months ago, I was introduced to Risen Motherhood with Emily and Laura. I love listening to their podcast, using their resources, and reading their blog. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart! As a mom to 5 children,  I am in constant need of Gospel truths to guide, encourage, motivate, and convict my own heart. Each time I listen to a RM podcast, I find that my spirit is lifted and my love for motherhood is renewed! I find such hope in the Gospel!
Risen Motherhood education

Recently, RM featured a series on “Freedom in Education.” These podcasts and blog posts are a MUST LISTEN/READ for parents! Making wise educational choices for our children require that we be well-informed, prayerful, aware of individual needs of our children, and mindful of our current season of life.

Educational choices for my children are in constant review in my home. Currently, I have all 5 children (K5-9th grade) enrolled in our local public school. However, we have experienced both Christian private school and homeschool in past seasons of life. In my years of parenting school-age children, I have found such freedom in the Gospel for our family choices of education. I have also experienced God’s faithfulness with each prayerful educational choice.

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Fellow moms, I encourage you to check out these awesome resources, explore the RM blog, and faithfully listen to the RM podcast. Your heart will be blessed and encouraged in so many ways. Most of all, your heart will always be directed to the truths and hope found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

 

Good Words On Grief

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Grief is a friend that I am well acquainted with and have much respect for. When Grief suddenly enters your life, you embark on this wild and crazy journey! Grief will change you in unimaginable ways and can shake your faith to the core.

This week, one of my favorite authors, Christine Hoover, interviews Kathy Litton on her podcast By Faith. Kathy’s first husband was killed in a tragic car accident 15 years ago. In this interview, Kathy honestly shares her grief journey. Her words are full of wisdom, truth, insight, and encouragement.

I found myself agreeing with her statement, “Suffering sanctifies us and sets us apart from this world.” It is so easy to become enthralled with “the now”. . .but suffering and loss have a way of drawing our focus to Heaven and our future with Christ. Heaven does become sweeter.

I encourage you, friends, to listen to this podcast and continue to walk by faith in your own grief journey. Share this podcast with a friend who is grieving. Find hope that Christ is with us in our suffering. Rejoice in the promise of Heaven!

 

The Struggle with Discouragement

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Discouraged. . .”to be deprived of courage or confidence, disheartened.”

I have found myself there repeatedly in the past week. The tears have flowed freely. My emotions have seemed faithless. My heart has questioned the Lord in so many ways. I have lost sleep. I have snapped at my husband and children. I have completely lost it in the grocery store. I have wrestled with the goodness of the Lord. I have felt like a complete failure in parenting. I have failed to see the beauty of the Lord in this season of my life. I have wanted to curl up in bed and hide my head under the pillow.

I’m sure I’m not alone. If we allow ourselves to be honest, we all would have to admit we struggle with discouragement. Life is hard. The days can seem so long, the mess we find ourselves in can seem overwhelming, and our hearts can feel so disconnected from those we love.

I am always blown away with the faithfulness of God to lead my heart to His truth when I so desperately need it. Even as I am running away from Him, He is always running toward me. Pursuing my heart. Leading my heart to His.

This morning was no different. A few months ago I had printed out a blog article from one of my favorite blogs-Grace Covers Me by Christine Hoover. Christine had written an article entitled “How to Diagnose Your Discouragement.” I found this printed article and began reading her words. . .

Continue reading The Struggle with Discouragement