Monday, June 30, 2008
6:50am - “Sweetie, time to wake up.” I said as I dragged myself out of bed to the sound of scampering little feet in the hall.
7:05am - “Honey, you really need to get up…you’re going to be late.” I said (in a louder tone) as I passed again by the bedroom door.
7:10am – “Okay; really…not kidding anymore…wake up!” I said as I quickly opened the bedroom door and made certain to shut it with enough force to make my point known.
7:20am – “WAKE UP!!!! GET YOURSELF OUT OF THAT BED!” I finally shouted; slamming the bedroom door behind me as I stomped into the kitchen to make breakfast for the kids.
A few minutes later as my sweet, exhausted husband wandered into the hallway, my 3 year old son looked up with great enthusiasm and shouted;
“Hey Mom look! Dad’s awake! Now you don’t have to be mad anymore!”
UGGH…like a knife in the heart, the Lord used my son to remind me of how badly I had blown it. In the very first half hour of my day, I had already let my tongue get the best of me. I had disrespected my husband and I had set a horrible example for my children.
“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.” (NLT)
How many times do we allow our sinful nature to get the best of us? How many times do we act as if we have the authority to say whatever comes into our minds or to carelessly use our words as a dagger? How many times do we disappoint our heavenly Father by showing a lack of self control and patience?
According to James, our “anger can never make things right in God’s sight.”
No amount of justification will change this.
Sure, my husband needed to wake up. Sure, God appointed me my husband’s helpmate, and sure, I needed to help him stay on track. BUT, no amount of anger and quick speaking can be justified in God’s sight.
Lord, forgive me for the times when I have spoken too quickly and let my anger brew. Let my life exemplify a life that is being lived in your grace and for your glory. Give me the ability to be “quick to listen; slow to speak and slow to get angry.” Amen.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Of course, that implies that I have deep and insightful thoughts on other days, and I think we all know that is not true!:)
Point being, I am in the process of revamping my blog so I will not have time to fill your minds with deep thoughts about ipods, lipliner or how incredibly uncool I really am. So sorry to disappoint! I can feel my mom just writhing in pain.
Check back tomorrow for a new look though!! (Great...now I've committed myself...let's pray I get this thing finished by tomorrow!) Hang in there Mom!!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I can’t tell her about her mother’s talents.
I didn’t carry her in my womb for 9 months.
I’ll never know the way her father laughs or understand her mother’s passions.
There are so many things I’ll never know…and yet;
I know that I am blessed.
James 1: 27
“Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” (NLT)
I wonder how many times we skim over verses like these in the Bible. Let’s face it; they’re tough verses to read. These verses call us to action. They require sacrifice on our parts. They require time. Sometimes they require a ridiculous amount of faith.
I cringe to think of all of the times when I’ve carelessly read verses like these and taken the “somebody else” attitude. Somebody else will care for the widows. Somebody else is better equipped. Somebody else has a bigger heart and can love the orphans. Somebody else is the one that God is calling.
And yet, He didn’t put stipulations on this verse. It doesn’t say, ‘if you have a big home, God is calling you to care for orphans.’ Or ‘If you can cook a really good meal, God wants you to invite the widow to dinner.’ It simply says, “Pure and lasting religion…means that we MUST care for orphans and widows…”
As God’s beloved, He has given us the opportunity to be His hands and feet. He doesn’t need us, but He allows us the blessing of serving Him in this way. And, according to James, it’s not an ‘option,’ it’s a mandate. We “MUST” care for orphans and widows if we call ourselves believers.
Is God calling you to take a leap to serve Him in this way? Is it a special note to a lonely wife who has lost her best friend? Is it a donation of clothing to an underprivileged orphanage? Is it a shoulder to comfort a hurting brother? Could it even be a child that needs a home?
However ‘big or small’ the action, the fact remains; God didn’t give us a choice to care for these hurting brothers and sisters. He gave us a command to show them love.
When it comes to ‘our story’ there is nothing superhuman that we did. We simply realized God’ calling on our life and, in one of the greatest leaps of faith we have ever taken, we chose to answer that call.
For the rest of my life there are many things that I will never know about my little girl’s past, but I do know that she has been my daughter since before time. I know that she was handpicked by God to be my little Elle and I was handpicked by God to be her Mommy.
What is God handpicking you to do?
Click HERE for a complete testimony of our adoption journey of faith.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
As I walked in while the speaker was making announcements, I quickly slumped into my chair, trying not to distract the other women who were intently listening. I then looked around at my table and was immediately struck by how incredibly different each one of the women in these seats were. Different races, different ages, different styles. Without a second glance, I immediately thought to myself:
“Wow, this is quite the mix…I wonder if I’ll have anything in common with any of these women.”
I fully expected to make cordial exchanges of “Hi there, where are you from?” and “How many kids do you have?” and then we would each go on with our lives never again thinking about the encounter. However, as the amazing session came to a close and the lights were brought back up, I looked across the table and said to the women:
“Hi there…I’m Cyndie. I’m sorry that I came in late and wasn’t able to catch any of your names.”
And then Jesus sat down…
As the women at table number 54 began sharing stories and thoughts, something became evidently clear:
Never before had all of us met, but it seemed as if we’d known one another for years.
In a short 5 minutes I met women who God ordained for me to meet.
In a short 5 minutes, I had strangers come into my life who would leave 2 days later as sisters.
In a short 5 minutes, the Lord showed me that His plan is always perfect.
What a lesson God gave me on that amazing day.
Who could know that God loves me SO much that He even cared about my seating assignment?
5 of the 7 gals from table number 54
Monday, June 23, 2008
Rewind to Friday morning as I’m driving to the hotel for this life-changing conference that is a dream come true for me. Obviously, being that I am such a laid-back and easy going girl, I had just thrown some old rags in my bag and headed out the door without a second thought…Okay, not exactly true – let’s try that again.
Being that I am such a dork and really wanted to look like someone who had her act together despite the fact that every shirt I own has permanent snot stains on the shoulder; I had labored over the past few weeks to pick out just the right clothes. After 14 trips to the mall and 6 million fashion shows for my husband, I had finally found the right outfits. For the first time in almost 7 years, I had on clean clothes and the cutest shoes you have ever seen! Woo-hoo! I was well on my way to actually looking like I had my act together!
As I headed to the conference on Friday morning, I threw on some lipliner in the car and glanced in the rearview mirror (of course, not to keep an eye on the traffic, but rather to check out my beautiful pink lips).
“Hmm.. that’s odd. ..I wonder why my lipliner looks a little strange?”
“Oh well, no time for messin’ around. There are lessons to be learned...there are publishers to meet!”
I threw on my lipstick and headed down the highway.
The day went amazingly. Wonderful new friends, incredible times with God, so much information that I thought I might burst, and some great chances to meet amazing publishers. I was feeling very blessed as I laid my head on my pillow that night.
The next morning as I woke up and began putting on my makeup for day two of the “pretend like you actually look this good every day saga”, I became stumped.
“Where is the world is my eyeliner?” I rummaged through my bags and pulled out everything from my makeup case.
“Where is it?”
Immediately, my thoughts turned to my 3 year old whom we all know has a knack for “borrowing” things.
AND THEN IT HIT ME.
“No, oh no! Please, NO! You have got to be kidding me!”
The color drained from my face as I ran to my purse. With my heart pounding I reached in and pulled out my 'lipliner' and all I could do was shake my head and laugh at myself.
And so, there you have it….now it’s official.
You can dress me up and you can give me cute shoes, but when it comes down to it, you just can’t take the dork out of me. It’s engrained….It’s clearly a part of my DNA. And no matter how many publishers meetings I sit through or how many hundreds of “truly cool” ladies I meet, I will always be the one who ends up walking around for 24 hours putting eyeliner on her lips!
Hmm…I wonder if those publishers will ever call?
Maybe they’ll be intrigued by the totally dorky lady who clearly must be confident as all get-out to dare walk into a publishers meeting with the world’s darkest lips ever!
Oh, I am just SO cool!
Please now ladies, don't be jealous...maybe someday you'll be as "cool" as me too! :)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
We made it! The proposal is typed out, ready to go and bound nicely! This will be my last post for this week as I will be leaving tomorrow morning to head out to the conference where I will be soaking in knowledge from women who are already a part of the Christian publishing world. I fully expect to come back brilliant!!!!!!:)
Please continue to pray for me during this weekend. I have two meetings with publishers on Friday (at 3:45pm and again at 7:45pm) to pitch this book. I have put more heart into this project than anything I've ever done and I already feel accomplished just because I finally followed through with a dream. LOOK MOM! I DID IT! :)
However, the fact remains that I believe this book is something that will reach women and help them to see their worth in Christ, SO I obviously would love for it to be published so that women will be able to read it!:) Pray for God's direction and that He would empty me of myself and speak through me during those meetings.
Thank you for everything dear bloggy sistahs! (a little ghetto talk thrown in there)!
You da bomb (okay, I'm done now - can you tell I'm writing this late at night?)!
Have a great weekend!
Peace Out! (Okay, really...I am done now)!:)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
One stern look at our oldest son and he would snap right back into shape. When he did something wrong it never seemed to happen more than once. I had even gone to the great length of teaching him some sign language so that I could flash the sign for “no” while we were out in public and he would immediately obey. Yup, I thought I had this parenting thing all figured out…apparently God saw it fit to humble me…
And then we had Brekyn.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my sweet Brekyn with all my heart. He has a sense of humor that is incredible. One day I fully expect to see him somewhere using that humor (hopefully to God’s glory)! He is also one of the greatest cuddlebugs I have ever known and his smile makes every day brighter…
However, there’s another side to Brekyn. Brekyn really “tests” me. He is strong willed and defiant. He seems to find trouble around every corner and I find myself begging God for wisdom on a regular basis as I try to parent this wonderful little boy with blonde hair, blue eyes and dimples.
Let me just see if I can recall some of the “antics” of the past few days: Hmm…
Well, I think we all know about the ipod (enough said)…
How about the marker that he confiscated and tucked away under his pillow so that at bedtime he could pull it out and draw all over the bedding and his arm… (imagine the planning ahead that went into this one)!
Oh yes, and then there was the time that he left the house while I was upstairs putting Elle down for a nap….Yup…I found him in the neighbors living room! (sidenote: we are now installing locks at the top of the doors).
Hmm…TUMS…let’s just say that he likes TUMS and I have to hide them to keep him from “helping himself.”
And these are just a few of the incidents from the past week!
Just this morning as I was with Ayden, I heard some clammering in the kitchen cupboards and I went out to find Brekyn covered in green food coloring. Now, before you go scrolling to the bottom of the page to see a picture, I will burst your bubble. I decided that I couldn’t encourage this behavior by indulging Brekyn with a photo shoot, so I resisted the temptation (though it would have been a picture for the books!)
After proper disciplining (and quite a bit of time sitting in his bed) I finally got Brekyn some breakfast and asked him why he got into the food coloring.
“I was looking for the TUMS” He said. (well, there’s a shock! Hey, at least he’s honest!)
“Brekyn, don’t you remember the verse that says, Children obey your parents?” I said.
“Honey, when you make bad choices it makes Mommy and Daddy sad and it makes Jesus very sad.”
“I know” he said…. “Children obey your parents….I’m supposed to obey.”
However, as I looked at Brekyn, I had to wonder if any of it was actually sinking in.
Luckily, my camera was sitting right next to me and this time I decided to go ahead and snap a picture. Someday (when Brekyn is all grown up and has turned out alright) it will make me smile I’m sure.
Oh Lord, thank you for humbling me. Give me wisdom and help me to parent my children well and to train them up in your ways! Help me to know that they are taking our discipline to heart….even if it is behind a pig nose! Amen.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Well, my friends think a little outside the box and they threw us a YARD SALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As many of you know, Elle has blessed our lives in many ways. I wouldn't trade the experience we have had for anything in the world. When we first looked into adopting, we were told that it would cost at least $20,000.
Of course; since we're just ROLLIN' IN THE DOUGH (because every family in ministry is), the $20,000 didn't scare us at all! Okay, just kidding. We were TERRIFIED!
Walking this road and watching the Lord answer every prayer has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. He has done so many miraculous things to bring our daughter home to us and just this past weekend we watched as He continued the miracles!
My dear friends Jennie and Laurie called in the troops and asked for items to be donated to a yard sale that was benefitting Elle's adoption. By the time Saturday rolled around I had more stuff in my house than I could have imagined. We had an amazing day and when all was said and done, we had raised $371 to help pay off the tiny bit that we still have remaining for Elle. PRAISE GOD!
Praise God for good friends, praise God for children and praise God for yard sales!!!!!!
Friday, June 13, 2008
I have gone to bed every night thinking about my poor three readers (you see, it used to be 2 but due to my incredibly deep and insightful thoughts, we have now graduated to 3 loyal readers) and how you must all be tossing and turning as you commiserate my deep loss and the downward spiral of my high-tech world.
Well girls! Get yourselves up and out of bed and put on your fanciest outfits! Come on; this is high heels and mascara time!!! Shave your legs and get out the curling iron!! It's time to celebrate, for the party was "dampened" (excuse the pun) but it couldn't be drowned!
After many long days of Edy's ice cream and boxes of kleenex, I plugged in my ipod this morning and it WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH, the power of Kenny G! He can be silenced for a time, but he can't be destroyed! :)
And now, you may all resume your normal lives. There's no need to cry any more! :)
PS. Just as a reminder...I don't actually have any Kenny G on my ipod. Kenny Loggins...maybe...Kenny Chesney, probably....Kenny G...NOPE!!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Your blonde hair and red beard
The way you make the perfect cup of coffee
Your obsession with keeping your car vacuumed out
The way you bring me back down to earth when I’ve gone off the deep end
Your hidden “redneck” tendencies
The sparkle in your eye when you hold Elle
Your athleticism that puts me to shame
The way you have fought to overcome fears
Your desire to keep life “simple”
How you can turn a trip to Walmart into a “date”
Who are these kids? :)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Desperate for garbage bags, I dragged three kids to Target this morning.
What was I thinking?
“Brekyn, stop hitting your brother.”
“Ayden, PLEASE find your shoes.”
“Oops…forgot to change Elle’s diaper.”
“Ayden, you still don’t have shoes on!”
“Brekyn, I swear, if you don’t stop hitting your brother…”
Then we made it to the car.
The two minute trip seemed much longer than normal…
“Mom! He’s lookin’ at me funny!”
“Hey, Mom look; I’ve got one eye closed!”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh”….(the sounds of Elle adding her two cents).
And, wouldn't you guess that the garbage bag isle is way in the BACK of the store!
“Mom, let’s get this!!”
“ Oooh, Mom; did you see that!”
“Mom, I need more toothpaste!”
“ Mommmmm…Why is this taking SOOOOOO long?”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” (screaming baby now MUCH louder and smelling quite foul)!
Oh, the sweet sounds of summer! :)
… And all for a box of garbage bags!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
It has been a year of much laughter, some tears and MANY, MANY lessons!
We were SO proud of Ayden today when he received the award for the "friendliest kid" in his class.
Granted...every kid received an award; but to little Ayden that didn't matter a bit! He is proud of his accomplishment and we are too!
I must admit that I laughed a bit when I opened up his report card and saw the comment that the teacher had written. You see, in my elementary years, my report card said "Cyndie is a good student but a little too much of a social butterfly." I know that's a major shock to you all!
When I got Ayden's report card today it said, "Ayden is a spunky little guy."
Well, I think one thing is for certain; if Ayden follows in his mommy's path, he will spend many more days talking incessantly and finally one day he'll decide that maybe he should start a blog.
From one "social" freak to another "spunky" boy; I'm so very proud of you Ayden!!
You'll turn out just fine! We hope :)!
Monday, June 9, 2008
At least, that's what we do in our family!:)
Hope you all had a great weekend!:)
Saturday, June 7, 2008
You see, my good friend Angie (who is the adoptive mother of Carmen and Isamar) runs a ministry that travels to Nicaragua to minister to the people in the remote villages. As part of that ministry, she ministers to the orphans as well as to the older boys and young men. In Nicaragua, there is one major sport that supercedes all others….BASEBALL!
Well, you’ll never believe how the Lord has blessed this ministry. A man from the area heard that Angie was going to be heading to Nicaragua in 2 weeks and he heard about her baseball ministry. The ministry caught his attention and he worked it out to have his sports store donate 37 Major League Baseball jerseys to the men who play on this village team. THESE ARE $100 JERSEYS YA’LL!
After Angie’s heart stopped pounding, she started to realize that it would be a bit weird to provide the team with baseball jerseys to use as their team uniform but not to give them anything to wear on their bottom half! Though it may make for an interesting picture; it certainly would not be appropriate!
Angie then contacted another person who lives locally and he agreed to have his shop sell her baseball pants for each player at cost AND without any shipping!
And so; this is the deal: Angie’s ministry work is supported 100% by people like you and I. Every dime she spends is very carefully planned out in order to make these ministries effective. She has the opportunity to help this baseball team receive these amazing complete uniforms for just $200! Can you believe it? Just $200! And yet, she needs some help. She has spent her budget for this trip and doesn’t have $200 to spend on this. Can you help?
If you feel led to help her; please visit her site and check out her ministry. http://www.thepowerofoneministry.org/
It’s such a small amount when a few of us come together to donate a bit!
All donations are 100% tax deductible.
If you plan on donating money; please email Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org, to let her know the amount that you will be sending. The trip leaves in just a few days so there is no time to spare.
All checks can be made to THE POWER OF ONE MINISTRY and mailed to
198 Mellwood Dr. Charlotte, NC 28214
Thanks so much friends for praying about this need. I realize there are MANY ministries that we can choose to help out, and I am honored to be able to introduce you to another wonderful one that is making a difference in the world.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
GULP…this is the phrase I woke up to this morning.
With eyes half shut my heart began to pound a bit as I looked over at Ayden who was standing beside my bed with a very serious look.
“What do you need to talk about Ayden?” I asked…praying the entire time that it wasn’t going to be nearly as deep as it sounded.
“I had a bad dream.”
“Oh, okay; well sometimes if you talk about it, it feels a bit better…what was it about.”
At this moment Brekyn came bounding into the room and began listening intently to Ayden’s dream.
“Well, Goliath was in it and he was HUGE and he chased me all through our house. I asked Brekyn to help but he didn’t and I yelled for you but you couldn’t hear me. I ran up our stairs and Goliath had a big knife and he tried to get me with it, but at the top of the stairs I ducked and he missed and ended up getting himself with the knife…then I woke up.”
“I’m so sorry Ayden; that sounds pretty scary but at least it was just a dream and at least Goliath ended up dead meat in the end.”
At this moment Brekyn, who apparently was feeling a bit left out, jumped into the conversation.
“Hey, I had a dream like that too!” Brekyn excitedly shouted.
“Was Goliath in your dream too?” Ayden asked.
“Yea he was, and he was big and he chased me up the stairs!” Brekyn replied.
“So, did you duck at the top of the stairs too?” Ayden asked.
“Yup…I sure did… QUACK, QUACK, QUACK. “ Brekyn exclaimed.
At which point, Mommy burst into laughter and decided it was time to drag herself out of bed!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I listened to the sweet songs of the birds chirping as the sun set its last sweet glow in the distance.
It had been a hard, long day that began with an ipod in the washing machine and seemed to carry that theme through the next 12 hours.
I sat exhausted in my big yellow Adirondack chair on the back patio and thought…"Lord; thank you for bed. Thank you that you knew how much we would all need sleep." Sure, it rejuvenates us; but sometimes I think the Lord created sleep just so we would be able to put closure on days like this one.
I stood up from my chair and walked in the back door just in time to hear screaming come from upstairs where my boys were supposed to be sleeping like angels. As is customary, I listened for a moment to see if the screaming would magically end on its own (like that ever happens) and then I realized something….
...this wasn’t just angry screaming…this was something bad…this was someone hurt.
As I went tearing through the house, I got to the bottom of the stairs just in time to see Ayden standing at the top with a face full of blood that was dripping down his body. My reaction of huge eyes and “Woahhhhhh….Donn come here!” was certainly not comforting to Ayden and only made the screaming worse. (Way to go Cyn – I never did have a very good poker face)!
Through the sobs I heard the words; “Slipped, Bunk-bed railing and teeth”
Sure enough, I looked in his mouth to find his two front teeth pointing backwards.
And so; to make a long story short; the day that began with an ipod in the washing machine will now also be remembered as the day that ended in the ER dentist’s office getting two teeth pushed back into their proper positioning while we now wait for them to inevitably fall out on their own.
Ahhhh….does it get any better than this? :)
I would have gone and consoled myself with some Kenny G but we all know that is no longer an option in my less-than-high-tech world.
Funny thing is…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I once read somewhere that we don’t remember days…we remember moments.
I probably won’t be able to tell you what June 3, 2008 was like in a few years; but I certainly will remember the day that my ipod got a good washing and my big boy showed me how brave he is.
Of course; Praise God for sleep…man, was I ready for bed!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I can't stand laundry. It's never ending and somedays I feel like all I've done is wash and fold.
But, do you know what I hate MOST about doing laundry?
Hmm, let me think...
There's the red crayon that ruined an entire load (whose pocket was that in)?
There are the endless plastic grocery bags that Brekyn seems to find it fun to stick into the wash (sometimes I find them before the load is started...sometimes I don't)!
There's the ATM card that my husband accidentally put through the load...talk about laundering money!
Yea, those were good....but nothing like what I found today!
You see, today I filled up the wash and got distracted by my stench and decided to go jump in the shower. Somewhere in between filling up the wash and actually starting it; apparently one of my children (who shall remain nameless - although since one is in school all day, and one doesn't yet walk; you may be able to figure it out) decided that it would be fun to get into mommy's purse and see what he could find...
Apparently, something in his little brain thought that it would be neat to see what would happen if he put his little found "treasure" into the wash.
Alas, this is what I found at the bottom of the wash when I went to move the clothes to the dryer....
Come on; let's take a closer look...
Needless to say I am incredibly bummed! After years of being the only person on the planet who was hopelessly behind the times (especially for someone who works with youth), I finally used some Christmas money from my parents and went out and bought an ipod.
Ahhh, short-lived bliss. I will now resort back to my days as a loser who is anything but high-tech.
My child (who again shall remain nameless) is now enjoying the view from his bed for the next hour.
Oh YES, I said 'hour'! Mommy needs a bit of time to herself!:)
PS. By the way, I don't really have any Kenny G on my ipod...it was just a catchy title (sorry to all you Kenny G fans out there)!
Monday, June 2, 2008
I can't begin to tell you how much I have felt the prayers of the saints since I posted my desperate plea for prayers concerning my book proposal.
Since that post I have had many great evenings of solid focus and writing. I was also able to spend close to 9 hours on Saturday where I got away from the busyness and locked myself in Donn's office while I did some mad editing!! God is SO GOOD and I am SO grateful for your prayers!
I may never know how many of you sent up a quick prayer on my behalf, but I can assure you that your prayers have made the difference. I am feeling very peaceful about this upcoming meeting and I am in awe of God's hand in my life.
So often in life it is easy to remember to ask for prayer in times of need, but often I fear that I forget to praise God for the answers to that prayer.
Well, I am PRAISING GOD today for my sisters all around the U.S.A who are standing beside me on this venture!! May God bless each one of you today!!
Man, what a mushy girl I am...don't you just feel like we need a big group hug?! Happy Monday!