Katie has brought her daughter, Izzy, and her son, Joey, to Lakeland while she shares her story with us. Her love for her children is evident in the joy in her eyes as she watches them.

“It’s just amazing to me to see how their minds are soaking up what they’re learning at church, the people they’re connecting with.” Her smile widens. “They’re connecting with people I may have gone to church with and are connecting more with them than I did in the past 20 years. For a long time before small groups, I was Joey’s mom, which was nice to get away from my teenage persona.”

Izzy looks up from her spot on the couch for a moment, a charming young girl clad in her St. Patrick’s Day regalia. Joey continues to play nearby, a boy with boundless energy and an impish grin.

“It’s fun listening to what they learned from their perspective in Sunday school and how they’re processing their understanding of God. Sometimes their questions aren’t easy to answer, like where is Heaven.” She smiles again as she reflects on her children’s spiritual journeys so far. “We worked through the story of Jesus for Easter. Izzy really likes Noah’s Ark and Jesus and Mary, because of animals and because of babies. Joey is fascinated by Noah’s Ark because he built a boat and he loves boats. He also really enjoys David and Goliath.”


“And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them.”

Mark 10:16

About My Stories

Every month Pastor Marta Gillilan and members of the Lakeland Social Media Team interview an individual, couple or family. From struggles in faith to joyful events, Lakelanders are sharing their stories through the “Humans of Lakeland” blog series. Get to know the people who call Lakeland home.