A Post From Beautiful Cindy – GRATITUDE

I was uptight and out of sight at work today (STRESS!) and got this email from an AMAZING friend who gave me permission to share her update on her journey with cancer!   Her gratitude is amazing!  A grateful heart is a full heart!  A heart full of hope, promise, and joy!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

So, I just had to post it so we can pray for her, consider seeing her debut on television, AND can you hear the biggest trust and faith journey about the second half of life!  I would so love to sit and have a cup of tea with her to hear the intimate details of what God is showing her.  What an intimate God we have–He desires us.  NOTHING SEPARATES US FROM HIS LOVE!  NOTHING!

Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Her post:

Gratitude, Gratitude Gratitude!  I am filled with gratitude for how well this chemotherapy adventure has gone so far and with  hopes and dreams for this new year.  On February 4, I will have the last infusion in the series of six which began in October.  With your love and support, I have experienced very few complications and I feel so grateful. I will continue to have one infusion for the aggressive factor in the cancer until mid-September, but that drug does not have the same side effects as the ones I finish on Monday. My sister-in-law took  a Bald Barnes Children picture of the four of us for Christmas, but we let my sister, Abigail, keep her hair!  I have ridden Majic ( horse) three or four times a week until the weather became so cold last week, and I have ridden the day after chemotherapy every time.  I am also so grateful for all  I have learned about myself and about life in this process. Trust me, change, growth and learning do not stop in the second half of life!   I am “sticking with the winners” and staying out of the stressful places. An interesting thing happened last week. I went to the Massey Cancer Center for an interview related to a study in which I am participating.  I thought the interview was for graduate students.  Well, it was actually with a reporter from the local CBS affiliate, and it will be on TV (Channel 6) at 5:00 PM on Monday, February 4 – the day I finish this round of chemotherapy!  No, I didn’t wear the wig, so I hope the top of my head was not shiny!

Lots of love and gratitude to all of you,           Cindy

Small Things

  • Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. – Mother Teresa
    Ever notice it’s easier to present a major project at work than it is to do the dishes for the third time in the same day?  To listen to one more “It’s not fair!” story, or remind a child of their chores?
    Small things….
    Like telling your spouse you love them and taking the time to look them in the eyes.  Hugs, kisses, prayers, setting the coffee pot…
    Oh Jesus when the small things begin to feel like mountains to climb remind us that the small things are what matter the most.
    Increase our strength to manage the small things and experience Your JOY!
    AnnakissingParish

God Size Dreams!

I had a wonderful night with my Woman of Worth Mentoring Ministries girls!  We went to the Pregnancy Help Center (http://www.phcchesterfield.com/) and helped move baby items around to another room and heard two great testimonies!  The Pregnancy Help Center is not only there to help you in your time of need if you are pregnant and confused, but also they desire to provide counseling for anyone desiring to know more about healthy relationships God’s way and sexual integrity.  They have partnered with social services and other agencies to provide material resources and parenting classes for new moms.wowpregnancyhelpcenter 001 wowpregnancyhelpcenter 005

We were also blessed to hear from Julie Carden’s testimony!  Her and her husband are working little by little towards their God size dream of opening Grace Home Ministries (http://www.gracehomeministries.org/)–a home for pregnant girls in crisis.  They are selling their home, have an eye on an existing property, and they are ready to go!  Julie has always had this God size dream and her husband came right along side her, hand in hand to see this God dream come to be a reality!  God gave them 3 beautiful daughters and Chris, her husband, is the perfect Godly man to nurture girls who are hurting and often have the absence of a father in their lives.

Watching Julie talk about her dream was like hearing a little girl describe her future wedding day!  She was beyond passionate and in love with every girl who will come through their Grace Home.

As we were cleaning and moving items around I turned on my radio and “Your Grace is Enough” was playing.

I pray you will check these ministries out on the links listed above and see how you can get involved or refer clients!  Julie is willing to share their vision and dream with your church so please contact her!  You can also follow both of them on Facebook!

WOW  what a GREAT WOW night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love to see someone so passionate about their love for Jesus and the dream He has established in them!

WHAT’S YOUR GOD SIZE DREAM?  If you are married, how can you build this dream together?  Julie and Chris began their dream on their wedding day and through the years of raising three Godly daughters…..major practice for things to come.  It might take years, but all of a sudden it happens–God’s timing and things begin to change drastically!  I loved watching this tonight!wowpregnancyhelpcenter 002 wowpregnancyhelpcenter 009

Worship in Spirit and Truth…

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

John 4:24

In Worship this morning God brought new meaning to this verse.  Worship can be confusing at times because of its intimacy.  You are at the very throne of God worshiping and praising Him.  It’s only natural that during that time the enemy tries to cloud our view of Him.  At times he may try his best to keep you from the throne of God.  The enemy may bring to remembrance things from your past or that very morning and try very hard to bring you down.  That’s when it hit me in the middle of one of those struggles in worship……..TRUTH!

Truth is complete honesty and realness with what we are thinking, feeling, and giving it to God.  Stuffing, denial, and pretending it’s not there never gets to the TRUTH–the heart of the matter.  “In accordance with fact or reality” says Merriam-Webster.  So instead of fighting against the truth, perhaps worship is supposed to be a mixed deliverance and offering.  God in His Spirit reveals things to us, we worship in Spirit and in truth, asking Him to forgive, provide, and show us new direction.

How do we decipher between truth and the enemy?  Is the message empowering and convicting us toward blessing and safety?  Is it reality grounded in God’s truth –His Word?  Speak the truth in your heart and to God during worship.  His ways are higher than ours.  His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  God knows our thoughts before we think them.  He wants us to work through them with His love, mercy, and grace.  Don’t be ashamed of your thoughts instead talk them over with God during worship. He will help you and reveal great things.  Practice covering those thoughts that are not based on reality with the promises of God.  Speak a loud as you worship how much God loves you and adores you.  He delights in you!  For those things that are from Him and He desires change, ask Him to give you the wisdom and strength to change.

Peace

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

Listening to Joyce Meyer’s testimony, she shared a vulnerable truth about herself.  She said that she was one person at work, a different person at home, and yet a different person within herself.  Three confusing people in which she desired desperately to be whole and at peace.  The testimony was with her husband and how God transformed them individually and as a couple.  Andy Stanley, the son of Charles Stanley, was interviewing them.

How do we let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts?  They both agreed that the transformation took years and God’s timing in many events, words spoken, and changes were the pivotal times in their transformation process.  It didn’t happen over night.

I think of God’s peace as an anchor of Hope.  We can be in the midst of utter chaos and hopelessness; but our Hope comes in knowing that Jesus is our peace.  The snow in all it’s beauty, the sun rise, the breath in our lungs, the sound of the heat turning on to keep you warm, the coffee pot brewing –a new day.  Giving thanks.

His peace calms us even during the anxious thought.  His peace reminds us this is not our home.

Purposeful praise…

Eyes that are purposeful and praying…..Jesus be my peace.

I could relate to Joyce’s words of being three people.  We are all three people –I don’t think co-workers want to know my intimate thoughts.  We are supposed to be professional at work and more relaxed at home.  How could we get our jobs done if we viewed our jobs as home?  I think what she was trying to convey was the word peace–being at peace no matter the setting.  Perhaps a desire to feel worthy, accepted, a sense of belonging?

Jesus,

Wherever our feet take us today may your peace be our very anchor to the Hope and Joy that only comes from You.  May we breathe in Your peace, and breathe out a word of thanks for all You have done for us.  Help us to be okay with the fact that we are working out our salvation until we see you face-to-face.  Transformation is a journey not a quick pill, a drink, a person, a hobby, a book we read and we are done, and certainly not perfection.  Transform us with Your peace day by day, year by year, until we arrive safely home in Your arms.

Amen

http://www.joycemeyer.org/BroadcastHome.aspx?video=Making_Marriage_Work_-_Part_1

Above is the link to Joyce Meyer’s broadcast:  Making Marriage Work Part 1

How Great Thou Art!

As a mom the wave of time washes over me on sleepless nights.  How did I become 47 with no babies in my arms?  My children are growing too fast.  I was up late praying for them, crying (good tears of joy), asking God to fill this void I’m feeling of times gone by and rejoice in the future He has for us, for them individually.  It’s just a good old mama cry at about 1:00 in the morning.

On a snow day if a friend was not available, I would take long walks into the woods of our house on Walnut Grove Road.  There was this one snow day in which you had to drag your feet through the snow or walk like a soldier.  I was determined to go on an adventure.  I found myself in a field, and I decided to lay down in the snow and look up.  I had never done this and to my eyes the magic of all the earth appeared before my eyes.  The blue sky, the clouds, the trees, birds flying by.  The sound of the earth was healing and my back against the snow with layers of clothing felt like a blanket made from the very hands of God.  I was saddened as the snow melted, but any time it snowed that was my magic spot.

Today, I remembered…..SnowDay 043

Looking up I purposed to listen to God’s handiwork.

A woodpecker making his home..

A mocking-bird….

The snow is melting…drip, drip, drip…

The trees bearing melting snow is falling around me….plop on my cheek…

Children laughing…

The cold earth again my blanket…

The sun shinning on the trees…

The clouds moving against the bluest of sky…

Turning on my music the song ringing out is “How Great Thou Art” and all the earth is dancing around me….

How Great Thou Art!

How Great Thou Art!

SnowDay 047 SnowDay 045 SnowDay 044 SnowDay 040 SnowDay 038 SnowDay 036

Got a story in your mind? What’s it saying?

This post originated in my heart from hearing a Michael Hyatt podcast on re-creating your story and Dr.  David Jeremiah’s sermon on the radio coming home from my first night back in class.  Michael shared that we all have stories inside our minds that we play out.  Our thoughts become actions.  Have you ever really consistently listened to the story line of your thoughts?  He challenges you to write them down and re-create a better future.  Interestingly the voice or story within our minds is not created by us, but the very words spoken to us and over us.  It’s your boss, co-worker, spouse, parents, your best friend, a sibling…

When the voice comes up, stop, listen, and take notice.  Is it empowering? Encouraging? Propelling you to greatness?  Or, is the voice/story accusatory? Demeaning? Ridiculing?

If it’s negative, write it out and replace it with God’s truth about you, or something more positive.  Practice speaking good things about who you are becoming.  He gave a personal example, which to me, sounded like re-framing.  He was a young executive in a powerful job.  He felt that any day someone was going to recognize all his weaknesses and fire him.  He ran on anxiety during the day and fear kept him up at night.  He stopped the negative story line he rehearsed every day.  Instead of your too young, he claimed his youth was good because he had more energy and not set in his ways –open to new ideas and growth.  Instead of your inexperienced, he claimed he was a passionate learner willing to make mistakes and grow.  It took awhile, but this simple act over time conquered his fears.

No one can read your mind, but your thoughts direct your language and action, and people around you respond.  If you feel unqualified, interestingly enough, people will start to treat you that way.  Your intent, although unspoken, often becomes a reality or a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Faith…..

Dr. Jeremiah shared that for so long he tried to muster up faith.  He felt if he could concentrate more, work more, do more maybe faith would grow.  God’s word says this, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17  He went through the long list of heroes of the Bible who began with very little faith, yet God delivered.  For example, Moses who tried to bail out because of a speech impediment ultimately rescued his people from Egypt through faith in God’s ability to provide and guide him on the journey.  Faith demands action. Moses may have stuttered but in the end the way he talked did not matter.  His faith and action mattered more.

You want a lot of faith?  Start by following God’s recipe for faith –reading His Word, the word of Christ.  Second, act! Go!  Do!  Don’t let disabilities, fears, thoughts of inadequacy, feelings of  failure stop you.  Dr. Jeremiah shared that the moment you get a direction from God and you say, “Yes!” gives no footing for the enemy to change your mind, or cause you to rationalize.

What is the story you tell yourself over and over again, day after day?  Believe in a God who can re-write this story line, give you wonderful opportunities to act out this new story, and have FAITH!  Act on His promptings!  The greatest place to strengthen our faith and change our story to God’s story in us is hearing the very words of Christ–the Bible.