Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I've had so many thoughts over the past few days. 

I was sitting on my front patio listening to my kiddos chatter about their day at school and watching them twirl around the lawn as the first signs of spring had finally made their way to our Northern climate.  I looked at the sky, put my sunglasses on and did a silent "thank you God for this beautiful day" as I soaked in the blessings of this life.

And then my phone beeped.  It was a simple message from my sister who lives in Boston.

"Just heard that the Boston Marathon was bombed!"

I sat and stared at my kids as I immediately began the round of questions in my head...who would do this?  What is happening to this world?  Will my kids know what it's like to live in peace?

As I looked at my oldest son, who had now climbed up to the top of his favorite tree, I wondered...what does it feel like for God to look down upon his children and see all that we have become?  If I feel such sadness as I try to get a grasp on how my children are growing up, what does our Heavenly Father feel when He sees the choices we've made and the ways that we've disregarded Him?  How much must He ache when He looks down upon our fallen world?

I pulled my thoughts together and gave a half smile as my daughter came bouncing around the corner with sidewalk chalk...

And then I embraced one of the greatest treasures I've been given in this life.  The treasure of being a mother.  The treasure of loving something so dearly that I would give anything to make their world better...safer...happier. 

If I can love something so much, how much more does our Daddy love us?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What would you say??

For years I've had to ask myself one question....

What would I say?

You see, my middle school and high school years were not the best years of my life.  I know on some levels, we could ALL echo that sentiment.  Who can really say that they love the years filled with horrible mood swings, zits the size of your head and the drama that can only be found when you pack hundreds of teenagers in one building...Lord have mercy.

My biggest problems in high school stemmed from the simple fact that sometime during my sixth grade year, I began to buy into the lie that the most important thing in life was to be popular.  Everything I did revolved around this concept and over time my entire personality was shaped around this lie.  I became someone I wasn't and in turn I became very self centered and bratty (just ask my mom). :)

Since moving back to Gloversville, I have asked myself many times, "what would you say?"

"What would you say, Cyndie, if you ran into that girl who you know you were not always kind to?  You know, the one who was pretty mean herself and who always seemed to be alone.  The one who didn't smell quite like you and looked like she was always angry.  Sure, maybe she wasn't always the nicest person to be around, but what would you say if you ran into her today?"

All those times when I've thought about that question, I've pictured two girls particularly.  I couldn't even remember their names, but their faces were etched in my memory forever. I'll be honest, on occasion, I've actually seen one of them walking down the street as I've been driving by.  I've been tempted to stop but I've always faltered as I've thought about how weird it would be for me to swerve over to the side of the street to talk to a person I haven't seen in 20 years (and whose name I can't even remember)!

But over the past 3 years, I've known in my heart that 'one day' God would put me face to face with those ladies and I would finally find out what I would say...

That day finally came. On just my 4th day of working at C1, I did a 180 as I looked over my shoulder and saw a girl rushing past me as I stirred my coffee.  Her head was down and she looked like she was avoiding all eye contact.  Her clothes were worn and she looked as though she hadn't slept in ages.  She headed straight into the ladies room and didn't come out for over 20 minutes.

I ran over to Donn and asked if he knew that lady.  He said her name was Sue.  That's right!  It was Sue!  He said she'd been coming into C1 for the past few months.

My head raced as I attempted to find something to do to keep busy in my strategic location by the coffee bar. I figured the minute she came out of the bathroom, she would head for coffee.  I knew my time had come...

Finally, she emerged from the ladies room looking as though she had brushed her hair and maybe washed up her face. As she walked over to the coffee bar, I looked her in the eyes and said, "Sue, is that you?  Do you remember me?  I went to school with you."

She smiled a pleasant smile and said, "Hi Cyndie!"

We exchanged small talk for a bit and finally I said to her, "Sue, I need to apologize to you.  When I was in school, I was a stuck up snob and I may have said or done things that were mean to you. I'm really sorry about that and hope you can forgive me."

She looked shocked.  She then went on to tell me about how dark her school days were.  She said that in some ways she was always relieved to arrive at school because when she was home she was beaten so badly that school was at least a place to escape to.  But then, when she would get to school she was bullied so badly (not by me, don't worry) that she would become incredibly angry and start fights often.  She thinks her last year of school was ninth grade.  In her eyes, her school years were the worst years of her life.

I asked her what she was doing now and where she was living.  She looked down at the table and said that she was living on the streets. She had been living with a man who beat her so she grabbed her purse and left.  She had slept for the past two nights on a bench in the 20 degree weather and snow.

My heart broke as I thought of how blessed I am to do what I do.  For 3 1/2 years, I have been back in Gloversville and I've not run into this girl.  But in 4 days of being at C1 full time, God brought her back  into my life.  She's rough around the edges and she still doesn't smell like me or act like me, but He loves her just as much as He loves me.

And I can now say that I have a new friend, whom I knew years ago, but never knew.  Her name is Sue.  Where are the "Sue's" in your life?  And what would you say??

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Walk On Water Video Link

Thanks to my wonderful little sister who has a passion for making videos, we now have a new 3 minute introduction that can be used when we present the 150/40 challenge to churches and individuals!  It's nice having talented family members! :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Beginnings!

Well, how can I describe the last few days?  Surreal is a perfect word.  I pulled up my calendar on Friday, March 8th and had the strangest feeling as I saw the ONLY item listed...

"MVH Last Day"

For the past 3 and a half years, I could have only dreamed that God would allow us the opportunity to serve alongside of one another in ministry.  To be honest, in many ways, I doubted that God would ever open up that door again for me.  It seemed that ministry may be a part of my past life that had now been replaced with the full throttle business world.  I had many ups and downs over the past years as I've grieved the loss of ministry, but I had finally come to terms with the life that God had called us to.  I accepted that He had given me the job I had as a blessing for my family. 

And then He turned our world upside down again...

 And so, here I now sit.  In my "new" office with the sounds of 10 or 15 men in the other room drinking coffee, shooting pool and talking about God.  It's a sweet sound that I could have only dreamt about a few months ago.

And I feel grateful....overwhelmed...and completely humbled.

This will not be an easy road.  It has already had many ups and downs and our faith is being tested on a moment to moment basis, but we are certain of the calling and excited to see how God moves!

And so we wait on Him and we pray that as we wait, He will reveal more of Himself to us!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Next Big LEAP!

Three years ago, our lives changed forever.  The familiar became a distant memory and faith became more than just a word…it became reality.

In the three years since taking that initial step, we have experienced just about every emotion a person could, awe, confusion, fear and complete adoration.  But through all of the emotions, one thing has remained constant.  No matter how unclear things around us may seem; our calling has only become more vivid. 

Three years ago we came to a realization.  No matter how crazy, how absurd, how ‘out of the box’ it seemed; we wanted to follow God.  We would rather pack up all our belongings, put the house up for sale, resign from the jobs and move across the country than say ‘no’ when God called us. 

And we’re so glad He gave us the faith to trust Him!

It seems like this would be a nice happy place for this little story to end; right?  Not so much…

You see about a month ago, God began to unveil another calling to us.  Over the past three years, C1 has gained enough individual and church support to pay its monthly bills as well as a small salary of $800 per month to Donn.  We’ve been happy with this scenario and have felt blessed that God has also provided a great job for me that allowed our family to pay our monthly bills.  All was happy…all was good…until …

One morning, as I sat at my desk devising the annual fundraising plan for my employer, something hit me right between the eyes…I spend 40 hours every week raising money for another organization!

As I took a deep breath and tried to understand what God was saying to me, I watched as some pretty big puzzle pieces fell into place in my mind.                                                                              

Since moving here, we have never had time to put into helping C1 get fully funded.  Donn is too busy with the growing ministry and I’ve been swamped with my job, ministry and keeping our family going (as is evidenced by the lack of activity on this blog over the years)!                                        

For the past 18 months, Donn and I have prayed that God would lead a woman to join him at the store front to help “even out” the ministry that he doesn’t feel comfortable doing as a man.                                                                                 

For the past 2 months, our Board of Directors has been praying for someone to come alongside of Donn to help carry the load that the day to day ministry entails. 

 I could hardly believe it.  After all the months that we’d prayed those prayers, I had never realized that God was calling me to fill those roles!  As I sat at my desk that day, I knew our world was about to shift again.

Over the past month, we have prayed tirelessly over this new calling, sought much wise counsel and begged for God to make it clear.  And every time we prayed for wisdom; one thought kept coming to mind; “Do you have the faith to leave the paycheck behind to pursue Me?”  Gulp.

And so, I say again: Three years ago we came to a realization.  No matter how crazy, how absurd, how out of the box’ it seemed; we wanted to follow God…

Three years later, we’re trusting in that same Sovereign God as we take another absurd step into the unknown.  Knowing only one thing…that He has asked us to ‘go’.

And so, as of March 8th I will resign from my position as Marketing & Development Director with Hospice and I will  put all of my efforts into keeping our supporters informed of all that is going on here in Gloversville (through newsletters, blog, phone etc.) while seeking to bring C1 to a fully funded status.

We believe that God has big things in store for this city and its people and we believe that He is saying that we need to get all of our financial needs taken care of so that we can focus on what really matters.  Once the finances are out of the way, I will be freed up for women’s ministry, expanded youth ministry and to help Donn with the day to day needs.

Don’t get us wrong…we’re scared out of our minds.  We have 4 precious lives who look to us daily and the thought of not having money to meet their needs frightens the daylights out of us.  But; the thought of  disobeying God when He asks us to ‘go’ scares us even more.  We’ve taken the leap before…we pray that we’ll have the faith to follow it through again.

And here’s where you come in.  If you are currently a regular monthly supporter of C1, then we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  You have been part of the ground floor of this incredible adventure and we are counting on your ability to continue to partner with us.  We have already factored your support into our budget and we are honored that you believe enough in the work God is doing in Gloversville to be a part of it.  Please pray about continuing to support C1 with the regular amount that you already give.  You are such a blessing.

For those of you who are not regular monthly supporters, this is where we need your help!                                                         

 We are introducing the 150/40 Challenge.

 This simply means that we are looking for 150 NEW supporters to come behind us with $40 a month (or higher).  For $40 per month, we can link arms and watch as God unfolds His next steps for this great city and its people.  I can hardly imagine what He will choose to do if we all dive in and take this leap of faith together!  When we reach the goal of 150 new supporters at $40 per month, C1 will be fully funded to both pay Donn a regular salary and continue to pay for the current operations and growing ministry outreach.

And so we’re asking from the bottom of our hearts.  Would you consider partnering with us on this adventure by committing $40 per month?  Of course, as a 501c3 organization, your gifts are tax-deductible.  More importantly, your $40 per month will open the door for God to expand the ministry throughout our city and to those who are hurting.

We are so excited as we take this next step of faith and trust in our Lord to direct the path.  We hope you will join us on this adventure!

For more information, please call 518-725-6058 or visit


Thursday, September 6, 2012

There are days...

when you don't need words.

When all it takes is a simple picture to make you realize the blessings of this life.

Today is one of those days...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Homework Bliss!

So, I'm going to let you in on a little case you don't know me OR in case you do know me but have been living under a rock for years, let me just clue you in...

I have a sickness.

On most days, I like to think that it's a gift, but the simple fact is that it's probably more of a sickness than a gift. 

I heart decorating.

Wow, that hardly does it justice...


I love ALL things decorating!  I spend hours during summer break pouring through potterybarn, storage solutions, better homes and gardens or any other thing that remotely resembles a decorating magazine.  I dream of the day when my little universe will one day again collide with Disney World...I mean, IKEA; and I find walking down the aisles of TJ Maxx to be cathartic...I know, it's a problem...

However, when my decorating OCD collides with my Organizing OCD, you're all in for a real treat!

And so, today, in honor of 'Back To School', I present you with our tested and approved homework organization center!

Let me first take you in my time machine to visit my lovely kitchen 2 years ago when we moved in...

*Warning* The following image may be harmful to some viewers...

 Yup - there she is! Aint she prrrty!!  In all of her 1950's charm mixed with partial white cupboards, cherry wood wallpaper and a GINORMOUS cupboard shooting right out into the middle...oh, she was love at first sight!
But alas, the day came when we knew we needed to part ways with our lovely Blue Bertha so we slowly but surely made the changes that our crazy schedule and even crazier budget would allow...
And now we bring you to today...
Ignoring the obviously poor picture quality, our updated kitchen is a MUCH better fit for our family.  We shook it up a bit, moved a few cupboards and appliances around and were able to add in a nice long counter for me to cook on...but I had big plans for one area in particular...
Isn't that just lovely?? I'm ashamed to admit that I never even painted under that counter.  4 kids ya'll...4 kids, 1 husband, 1 full-time job and I didn't paint under the counter.  Judge me if you must...I can take it.                                                     
However, of all that I have yet to learn about raising a wild little brood, one thing I have figured out is that if you don't stay organized you'll be run over by the pack.  And so, last year I began assessing how we could best handle that horrible homework and school paperwork issue.  I thought of bins and strolled down the aisle of Target looking for them, but I kept running into the issue of counterspace to store them all.  I had already tried a hanging wall file system but once the kids got out of kindergarten, I seemed to have too much paperwork to neatly fit in those...
But then I came across this beauty (with the help of my amazing Mom-who also raised 4 kids!)
Yikes!  DUST!  Mental note...NEVER EVER take another picture of my house using the flash!  Another gentle reminder...this is a happy place - no judging.

And here you have the catalyst for our homework system that has revolutionized organization amongst my crazy little crew.  For the sale price of $22 at Target, I packed two of these puppies in my minivan and drove off.  I had a mission and I could feel the thrill!

Of course, a little assembly by the studly hubby and I watched as the shelves slid perfectly underneath my countertop...LIKE A GLOVE! (You can barely even see them in there)!  You can also NOT see the gorgeous unpainted wall behind!!

However, this would not do...we needed more organization and I needed aesthetically pleasing vibes.

I waited until Target had a sale on their large milk crates and then I scored 6 of them for $10 each. A little pricey for my taste, but SO worth the expense.  And then we were at this point...

SO CLOSE NOW!!  Can you feel it?  Of course; each child needed to know which cubby was theirs so I picked up a few adorable tags from- where else, (Target of course...small town you know...options are limited).

and then I made name labels from the templates over here at Better Homes and Gardens...

I simply taped the name labels to the back of the storebought tags and tied them onto the baskets.  With the extra two baskets, I used my templates again to create a 'junk' label and a 'school lunch' label to help with some overflow in those areas.

And, so was born our organizational bliss! 

Each day, I make sure the labels are switched to the side with the child's name on it.

When the kids come home, they simply empty the contents of their bag into their bin.  They then do their homework and once they are done they place it on top of their pile and flip their label so the name is no longer facing out. 

When I get home from work, all I have to do is look at each bin to see if any names are showing.

If I can see a name, I promptly scream and yell (just kidding) to find out why said child has not yet done their homework and left it for me to correct.  I can then go through the rest of their papers at my leisure (still wondering when that day will come)!

And there you have it!  Bliss in a basket!  And it makes my OCD heart VERY happy :)

 What 'Back To School' organizing have you been up to?  Let me know!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September 1st.

I can hardly believe how quickly time flies!  One year ago today, I was sweating profusely, showering with a bucket and using more bug spray than any person should probably ever use (that may account for the slight twitch in my neck). 

The exact spot where we had met "Prince" (Asher) 2 years earlier
We were on the adventure of our lives (and oh what an adventure it was!)  Through major obstacles and intense emotions, we spent countless days in African Governmental offices and prayed more than I've ever prayed for our little Asher to actually be able to board the plane to come home with us.

Brothers from Day 1
On September 1st, 2011 the plane finally touched down in Atlanta, Georgia and, for the first time, I allowed myself to cry.  With the screeching of the tires and the dinging of the seatbelt sign, a reality finally hit me.  My African Prince was finally home and we were finally a family of 6.  We were on US soil, Asher was seated safely next to me, and he was officially a US Citizen.  After two and a half years of seeing his life pass me by through long distance pictures, I was finally holding his hand as we made a memory together.
The very moment the plane landed on US soil
And so, the months have passed by at Mach 5 speed and life has settled into the new norm of 4 children, crazy sports schedules, 2 full-time working parents, a crazy ministry schedule and the occasional, "GO TO YOUR ROOM" moment "Gee whiz, you're a great kid" moment!

The first time we ALL met
And this weekend we celebrate!

We celebrate that for exactly one year we have journeyed together and made memories we used to long to make.

We celebrate that for one year we have learned to read together, write together, play soccer together and put-hotsauce-on-everything-we-eat together! (Yes, I believe I just made that a verb of some sort)

We celebrate a little boy who has shot up 3 inches and grown out of two pairs of sneakers (well, maybe we don't celebrate that as much)!

And We celebrate that we no longer have to look to the sky and wonder if our little boy is safe...

But, above all else, we celebrate that we serve a God who is still in the business of miracles. 

A God who led us on a missions trip that changed our world and broke our hearts. 

A God who kept our little guy safe during terrifying raids and famines that I can't even begin to comprehend...

A God who broke down political barriers that were keeping us from being with our son...

And A God who knew at the beginning of time that our family would not be complete without the four precious gifts He has given us.

Thank you Lord for September 1st and thank you for the gift of family!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Allowing God To Reinvent Me...

Sometimes I feel like I've lost it...

Like it's a part of my being that I said goodbye to so long ago.

The things that used to come so easily to me, now seem buried so deep inside my soul that I'm not sure where to look to even dust them off. 

The truth is...I think I'm just scared to begin.

I used to have a simple life that I took for granted.  I spent my mornings at story hour with my kiddos or leading women's ministry at my church.  I created peanut butter and jelly lunch masterpieces and tucked my little ones away to nap land while I retreated to the world I had grown to love.

The world where I could express my soul.

The world where my words seemed to make sense of life and

The world where I felt like me.

I'm amazed when I look at the last time I wrote on this blog...over a year and a half ago.

Life has changed so much since the days of PB&J and blog posts that seemed to make sense...

Our home has moved

Our ministry life has taken on mach 5 speed

Our family has grown

Our roles have changed.

The days of playdates and new recipes were replaced with budget meetings, conference calls, PTA leading and fitting in the ministry that I loved around everything else.  The more my life took on this new role, the more the old Cyndie screamed to make sense of it.

Where am I?  Where is the crazy, stupid writer and speaker who made light of life's disappointments and took pictures of God's amazing provisions?

Well, it's time for some changes to take place.

I may not be able to control our circumstances or the way in which God has chosen to provide for our family so that we can serve Him in ministry...

I may not be able to control the way it feels to miss one of my precious kiddo's school events because I have a meeting I can't reschedule...

And, I may not be able to sneak away mid-afternoon to sip a coffee and script a bit of my heart on a page...

BUT, I can do something.

I can shed the fears and embrace the fact that life is no longer what it was. 

In all honesty, life is better. 

It's harder, It's chaotic, It's much more messy, It's tear filled, It's not always exactly how I would have planned it;

BUT, it's the center of God's Will.

And so, I am shedding the fears.  I will no longer give into the fear that God has taken away my gift of writing.  I will no longer worry if I can't post thoughts every day.  I will no longer allow Satan to deprive me of who God has made me to be. 

I am Cyndie.  I am a Wife.  I am a Mommy.  I am a Business Woman.   I am a Christ Follower and I am a Writer.

Today, I am allowing God to reinvent me.  No fears...both feet jumping right in...

It may not be the way it used to be...

but maybe...

just maybe...

It will be even better!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How Can It Be?

How can it be that you are getting so big?

I think that thought daily when I see my children (who live with me) find new independence, or when I catch of a glimpse of them and realize how mature they are beginning to look...but this is different...

When I watch you grow; it is through pictures...

Pictures that are often taken months apart and arrive in my inbox, taken by some sweet person who was able to visit you and capture a smile from you. Pictures that I find myself studying with great detail; in hopes of seeing your heart through the film.

My sweet are looking so grown are looking so handsome...and I am forever grateful that you are looking happy.

If I were with you right now, I would hug your sweet smile and tell you to stop growing...stop getting bigger...stop becoming a little man! And then we would laugh...knowing full well that we can't stop the years from passing...

I only wish I was passing the years by with you.