Saturday, September 8, 2012

Timeless Truths

A timeless truth is a wise saying is followed and applied to life, brings positive results to your efforts - orderliness, success, contentment, happiness, security.... The Proverbs in the Bible are more than just wise sayings; they are divine wisdom itself, for they come from the mind of God, who is the author and creator of life. Read & apply the timeless truths found in Proverbs, and you will not only experience positive results from your efforts, but these results will have eternal significance. God himself will shower you with divine blessings, give you guidance for your next move, offer discernment in difficult situations and help you see the difference between right and wrong, important and trivial, wise and foolish, temporary and eternal.

But it is not enough to just read and know these wise words we must live them out day by day. We must obey.

Proverbs 1:2 " The purpose of the provers is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings."

Prov. 1:23 "Come here and listen to me! I'll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise."

Prov. 2:1 "My child, listen to me and treasure my instruction."

Friday, September 7, 2012


Most of us want spiritual understanding, but we aren't willing to pursue it any further than listening to a few sermons or rushing through ten minutes of Bible reading. Often our failure to understand God's Word is due to our unwillingness to invest time & energy in persistent, serious Bible study. If you really want to understand scripture, consider following a focused & systematic plan of study. Make a commitment to apply to your daily life whatever truth you learn. When God sees that we are serious about pursuing truth & wisdom He opens our minds to understand some of the magnificent mysteries of the Spiritual life.

Proverbs 2:2b-7 ..."concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it is to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly, He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother of Pearl Day 6:

He Will Walk With You by Carey Bailey

As a little girl, I loved baby dolls. Loved them! I played school, adoption agency, daycare operator and babysitter all day. I felt like I was born to be a mama. Therefore, I was a bit anxious when the ages, 22, 25, 28 and 32 came and went and there were no babies. Have you ever desired something so much and feared never getting it? That was me.

My day finally came at the age of 34. I soon realized that God knew what He was doing when He had me wait. To my shock, it wasn’t as easy as playing with dolls. I was surprised that it wasn’t the dream world I imagined it would be! I felt like life became a gigantic prayer.

“God, HELP me!”

“Please, God. Please, please, please make it all better. I can’t do this!”

“God, this feels impossible. Where are you?”

While I adore motherhood, it is harder and there are more adjustments than I expected. (I am hoping there are some nodding of heads and Amen’s being said out there in cyberworld.) Not only did I have a new life to care for, but my identity suddenly felt all scrambled up. It took me until my son was one to finally feel confident in my new role as a mother, confident that I could drop my child off at preschool without crying, confident that I could go out with the girls’ and the world wouldn’t fall apart, and confident that I could go on a date night and have conversations that didn’t revolve just around our son.

I was feeling settled in my new world and then WHAM! I discovered I was pregnant again. Can I be vulnerable with you? I actually cried when I found out. And they were not tears of joy. I feel awful saying that out loud, and I hope you will give me a moment to explain. It was not that I didn’t want another baby or feel like I couldn’t love a new life, it was just that I got scared. Discovering a little person was on the way sent a panic through me. Would my son still receive the love and attention that he deserved? How was my husband going to feel about my body changing again? Would I ever be able to pursue the vision I felt God had for me in writing and publishing? I was truly wondering if I was going to be able to handle another intense wave of identity crisis like the one I had just been through. I wasn’t sure.

God and I needed a serious talk. And in that conversation He carefully reminded me of this:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

He reminded me in our time together that I, too, am His child and He has every intention of loving me, caring for me, and giving me the future that He has planned for me.

As mothers, we can get so caught up in parenting that we forget that we, too, have a spiritual parent who loves us as His child. He loves you as much as He loves the children He has given you. He will never forsake you.  And on those days when motherhood seems too overwhelming and too impossible I step back and take a deep breath. Then I remember that this journey I am on, right now, is the one He has designed and create uniquely for me. I simply need to live in it, learn from it, and allow His love to sweep over and through me.

He will walk with me! He will walk with you! Grab His hand.

Carey Bailey is a recovering perfectionist, wife, proud mama, and the Family Life Director for her church in Arizona. She hosts an online community for moms called Cravings: desiring God in the midst of motherhood where she strives to make God time easier. Not less meaningful, just easier. She is the author of Cravings {The Devotional} which is a set of forty devotional flashcards for the mama on the go.

 Visit Carey online blog: Facebook: and Pinterest:


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother of Pearl: Day 5

Stepping Out on Faith by Bonnie St. John

"Darcy . . .”

“Yeah, Mom?”

I momentarily held the undivided attention of my teenage daughter. Her thumbs, free of their ubiquitous texting keypad, quietly dangled by her side. Her computer and its omnipresent Facebook page were completely out of sight. I had almost forgotten what she looked like without all these adolescent accoutrements. As we sat down together on the burgundy leather sofa in our living room, I realized this fleeting state of electronic dislocation was my chance to hatch a plan I had been formu- lating for the past several weeks. Carpe diem.

“How would you like to write a book together?”

“About what?” I asked my mom. Write a book? This was a real surprise. I felt a bit suspicious, but still curious.  I love to write, and Mom kept telling me I was really good at it. I like writing poetry, fantasy, and sci-fi, though.  The books Mom wrote were all nonfiction.  I wondered what we could possibly do together.

“Well . . .” I hesitated. If I wanted her to commit to any extra work out- side her busy schedule at school—not to mention work alongside her mother—I had to make this really great. “It would be about women as leaders,” I continued, “a mother-daughter investigation into leadership styles and structures.”

“Leadership?” I blurted. It came out as if I had a bad taste in my mouth—which I did.  I couldn’t imagine a more boring topic to write about. What is there to say about leadership anyway? When you’re in charge, you just get things done, right? Who wants to talk about that?

Her furrowed brow told me I was losing her fast. “Um . . . we could find women leaders all around the world!” I said impulsively, frantically casting the ultimate bait.

“Really? Would we get to travel a lot?”  I hadn’t thought about that. Heck, I’d write about the mating habits of tsetse flies  if I got to go to Africa to do it!

But this project wasn’t just about the influence it would have on Darcy. I wanted to do something that could have a potent impact on an alarming trend I had witnessed in workplaces across the country: far too many women appeared to be making a choice not to apply for top leadership positions when presented with the opportunities to do so.

This project, then, was a bit of a Trojan horse. On the one hand, the saga of a mother-daughter journey could seduce female readers, who might never bother to read the Harvard Business School dissertations on the subject, into a meaningful conversation about leadership. At the same time, if Darcy met a series of brilliant, accomplished women— people even a cynical teen would be in awe of—perhaps they could tell her all the things I’d like her to know—and more.

And she just might listen.

But where to start? How would we make it work? I suggested we do most of our research by phone, as I did for How Strong Women Pray. My telephone interviews with a governor, some CEOs, actors, sports figures, a college president, and others yielded great stories and information. I promised my intrepid co-author, though, that we could punctuate these conversations with a few visits in person to exciting and exotic places—all with reasonably priced airfares.

“Why don’t we follow each subject as she goes about her daily life? That way our readers get to come along with us and get a behind- the-scenes look at what happens to them. Instead of just a boring interview, we—and our readers—get to hang around with these women, see them in their natural habitat, and even see how other people treat them.”

Although I agreed it was a wonderful approach, this idea of “job- shadowing” each featured subject wasn’t going to be easy. Would these high-powered, important women deign to allow us that kind of access? Would they be able to impart the kind of wisdom that would resonate with our readers and truly make a difference in their lives?  We looked at each other, both of us hooked on a crazy idea that we weren’t sure we could pull off.

“It sounds impossible, Darcy,” I said. “We might as well get started.”

And so, we stepped out . . . on faith.

Bonnie is a 1984 Paralympics silver medal winner in ski racing. Her education includes a degree with honors from Harvard, a Rhodes scholarship, and an M.Litt in Economics from Oxford.  Her career includes positions as an award-winning sales rep for IBM and a Clinton White House member of staff. She now is a much-in-demand speaker, who makes nearly 100 speeches each year to corporations and civic groups. You can visit her on the Web at

Re-printed with permission from How Great Women Lead by Bonnie St. John and Darcy Deane

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother of Pearl: Day 4

What I Am Not by Tricia Goyer

Becoming a mother is a complicated thing. Not only am I trying to negotiate a relationship with my child, I am trying to negotiate a relationship with myself as I attempt to determine how I mother, how I feel about mothering, how I want to mother and how I wish I was mothered.
— Andrea J. Buchanan, in Mother Shock3

Sometimes the easiest way to discover who we are is to know who we are not.

We are not our children. We all know mothers who go overboard trying to make themselves look good by making their children look great. I saw one woman on the Oprah television show who had bought her preschool daughter more than twelve pairs of black shoes just so the girl could have different styles to go with her numerous outfits! Just as we -don’t get report cards for mothering, we also -don’t get graded on our child’s looks or accomplishments. While you want your children to do their best and succeed in life, your self-esteem -shouldn’t be wrapped up in your child.

Life as I See It:

My individuality will never end. There will be no one exactly like me, not even my child. She will be like me in some ways, but not at all in others. I -wouldn’t have it any other way.
— Desiree, Texas

We are not our mothers. I remember the first time I heard my mother’s voice coming out of my mouth. The words “because I told you so .  .  .” escaped before I had a chance to squelch them.

It’s not until we have kids that we truly understand our mothers — all their frets, their nagging, and their worries.

It’s also then that we truly understand their love.

Since you are now a mother, it’s good to think back on how you were raised. If there were traditions or habits that now seem wise and useful, incorporate them into your parenting. You also have permission to sift out things you now know -weren’t good. Just because you’re a product of your mother, that -doesn’t mean you have to turn out just like her. Repeat after me, “I am not my mother.”

We are not like any other mother out there. Sometimes you may feel like the world’s worst mother. After all, your friend never yells at her son — and sometimes you do. Then again, your friend may feel bad because you have a wonderful bedtime routine that includes stories and songs. In many cases, the moms you feel inferior to only look like they have it together. All moms feel they -don’t “measure up.” Instead of feeling unworthy, we should realize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The key is where we place our focus.

The Bible says, “Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without .  .  . comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we -aren’t” (Romans 12:5 – 6, MESSAGE).

The problem with comparison is, we always measure our weaknesses against the strengths of others.

Instead, we need to thank God for our strengths. We can also ask God to help us overcome our weaknesses — not because we want to compare ourselves, or look good in someone else’s eyes, but because we want to be the best mom out there.

Tricia Goyer is a CBA best-selling author and the winner of two American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Awards (Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights). She co-wrote 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and contributed to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Also a noted marriage and parenting writer, she lives with her husband and children in Arkansas. You can find her online at or at her weekly radio show, Living Inspired.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother of Pearl: Day 3

She’s…My Everything by Suzanne Woods Fisher

A mother is one who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.
--Cardinal Mermillod 

Just a few more months. My mother was hoping Dad would hang on long enough so they could celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary in April. But on January 1st, as the sun rose on the new year, my dad’s worn out heart beat its last. Dad had battled Alzheimer’s Disease for ten years. As many of you know, AD is a long, hard journey. Hard on the one afflicted with the disease, hard on the caregivers.

But not without its blessings.

Four years ago, as I began researching stories for Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, my path crossed with a handful of Plain families who were coping with Alzheimer’s. It was just about the point when Dad’s illness was shifting from early to mid stages AD and the timing was a divine accident. I learned so much as I observed the calm acceptance of these families. Rather than waste time shaking a fist at God for allowing this disease to take their loved one, they put their energy into trusting God’s sovereignty. They didn’t deny the difficulties and complications and sadness of Alzheimer’s, but they didn’t dwell on them. “God has a plan,” one woman told me. “He always has a plan.”  

Something else I noticed was how privileged my Amish friends felt about caring for their loved one. Caring for the elderly, they believe, is the time to give back to them.

Those encounters shaped my perspective of Dad’s illness. I started to pay attention to how God provided answers to new wrinkles created by Alzheimer’s, just in time. God may be slow, but He is never late.
I started to cherish special moments or good days with Dad—just as he was at each point in his illness. Not mourning the past, not dreading the future.

I really miss my dad. I miss his scratchy whiskers and the way his eyebrows would wiggle at us, even as words failed him. Yet I have such peace in my heart that he was well loved and well cared for, right to the very end. And as hard as Dad’s end of life has been, it isn’t the end. We will meet again. As the saying goes, “Some may see a hopeless end, but as believers we rejoice in an endless hope.”

There’s a beautiful story that illustrates my parents’ 59-year marriage. This event happened about a year or two ago. My sister had accompanied our mother to the doctor appointment for Dad at the Stanford Memory Clinic.

Dad had declined quite a bit that month. He was weak and lethargic, even to the point of whispering, as if it took too much energy to project his voice. During the doctor's appointment, the doctor told my mother and sister that Dad was now in late stages of Alzheimer's. Dad didn’t have much vocabulary left, but when the doctor asked him who mom was, he whispered something back. The doctor looked at Mom and asked, "Did you hear what he just said?"

Mom shook her head.

"When I asked him who you were, he whispered, 'She' everything.'"

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a writer of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne is the host of Amish Wisdom, a weekly radio program on, and writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post. Suzanne can be found on-line at

Re-printed with permission by Cooking & Such,

Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mother Of Pearl: Day 2

Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother's Day blog series - a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today's best writer's (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John, and more). I hope you'll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother's Day.

AND ... do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother's Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother's Day!

Joy Comes from Perseverance by Sheila Walsh

One of the most important lessons I have learned in my own life is the joy that comes from perseverance. Eugene Peterson, borrowing a phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote his book  “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction …Discipleship in an Instant Society.” He points to the Psalms as the way believers have always learned to pray what they live and live what they pray but it is not a short journey. It is an intentional commitment to keep walking even when you are worn out.

*If we want to see lasting results in any area of life it’s important to keep walking in that direction.

*If we want to have a better understanding of the Gospel of John then it takes time and commitment to dig deeper day after day.

*If we want to be thinner this summer than last summer then the work begins now not then.
So too in our relationship with Christ…..

*If we want to know Him at a more profoundly intimate level, that also takes an intentional seeking after Him every day.

As a grown woman I have come to love the beauty of this gift. Passing this “mined treasure” onto my son on the other hand has been an interesting challenge.  We live in such a fast paced, attention-challenged culture where the latest thing can be delivered to your doorstep by tomorrow for a few dollars more. But, as you know, by the time it is delivered it has already been replaced or updated!

How do we speak then into the lives of our children to help them understand and value perseverance?

For me…part of the puzzle meant a large piece of poster board, scissors, some photos and a bottle of Elmer’s glue. My son, Christian and I spread everything out on a sheet in the game room as I explained our project. “We’re going to make a family faith-tree,” I said. “These are photos of family on your dad’s side and on mine. Many of them have gone on to be with Jesus but the seeds they planted into our family continue to grow.” Then we wrote down their names and when they came to faith in Christ (as many as I knew).  It was quite something to see when we were finished.

“Your life matters Christian. Running your race well matters.”

That night we read these words from the writer to the Hebrews,

We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up.
Hebrews 12:1 (NCV)

Sheila Walsh is a Bible teacher, speaker, singer, and best-selling author with more than 4 million books sold. Sheila Walsh is the creator of the award-winning Gigi, God’s Little Princess® and her new series, Gabby, God's Little Angel. Meet Gabby in Gabby's Stick-to-It-Day. As a featured speaker with Women of Faith®, Sheila has reached more than 3.5 million women by artistically combining honesty, vulnerability and humor with God’s Word. She resides in Dallas with her husband Barry and son Christian. Visit for more information about Sheila, her other books or Women of Faith.

Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!


Contemplating.... I've been doing that a lot lately. Seems the more some things come into focus other things seem to blur. Life decision flash through my mind and either bring more clarity or painful remorse. I suppose this is partly normal or at least I hope it is, otherwise I may be a tad nuttier than I suspect I am. Seems there are a lot of painful remorse decisions plaguing my mind's eye lately. As I sit here writing this I know in my head there is no condemnation in Christ there certainly is in the human heart. There are so many things that I don't want to miss out on. I don't want to miss any more opportunities to spend time with any of my boys. I don't want to miss Bryce's graduation, I don't want to miss Tyler's last 2 years of high school. I don't want to miss my kids playing with their grandparents, or miss my niece's ballets or Max's 2nd birthday. I don't want my kids to miss the chance to know their incredible Aunt. To know their super cool Gramps and to watch movies and have popcorn with their Gran.

How is it that we get so wrapped up in our business that we miss everything. We are glued to our phones, computers, and tv that we miss life. We think we have time. Time to spend with our kids, with our husbands, with our families. Suddenly the kids are grown, we are on separate pages with our husbands and what's left of our families lies in ruins. This is not even the worst part of it. The worst part is our separation from God. If we are too busy for our husbands, kids and families, we are mostly certainly to busy for God. He will of course understand our business, won't he? I mean after all we can't expect to really make quality time everyday for Him, we just have SO much going on.

What would happen if we actually gave God the time He deserves? What would happen if we were to pour over the Scriptures the way we pour over Google or spend as much time in prayer as we do watching tv? Would we suddenly watch less tv? Spend less time online? Would we worry as much as we do now? Would our children notice the difference? Would our children pull our their Bibles instead of their ds's? Would they flip on the Bible cd instead of the tv? Would our marriages start to show some love instead of selfishness? Would there be more listening and less finger pointing? How would it impact our work, our witness? Would we then begin to tell others about the love of Jesus? Would we be less afraid of what others think and more bold in Christ?

If Christ came back tomorrow would you be with Him or would you be left behind? I think we will be surprised at who is gone and who is here when that day comes. I'm a nobody really, just a small town girl who has made an enormous amount of mistakes. In the world's eyes my voice has no real value, I'm not rich or famous, no one reads my blogs or really cares what I have to say. But I will say this I refuse to live like God doesn't matter, that He doesn't matter to me because He does. I refuse to miss out on anymore time with Him. I refuse to miss anymore time with my family.

I am a follower of the ONE TRUE GOD. JESUS CHRIST IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR. I believe there is coming a time soon when we will not be able to write those words in public without fear of imprisonment or even death. When that time comes I pray I'll as bold then as now. I long for Christ to be more in the center of my heart and life and not on the outskirts. Lord help me to give You the time you deserve in my life. Help me to not turn our time together into something cheap and disposable. Help me to put You first, and my husband and family where they deserve also. Help me not to lose sight of what You have put me on this earth to do. Help me to use the talents you have given me to accomplish what You will to be done. I love you Lord with all my heart. Help me to show it more to those around me. Help me to bold about Your love for them. Help me to not wimp out on telling those that need you all about you. Thank you for loving me the unlovable and giving me this life that I so don't deserve.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother Of Pearl: Day 1





Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother's Day blog series - a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today's best writer's (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John, and more). I hope you'll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother's Day.

AND ... do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother's Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother's Day!

Priceless Treasure by Cindy K. Stiverson

We've heard it said and often find it true:
You don't know the value of a treasure until you're without it. 

We take for granted the things in life that seem so readily available.
   A paperclip or rubber band, to hold things together.
   A tissue or napkin, to wipe our nose to clean our face, to absorb our tears.
   A Bible to speak words of wisdom and instruction and life and love.

And a Mother, who is all these things and more.
   She is readily available.
   She holds things together.
   She wipes our nose, cleans our face (and our fingers, and, well…everything else!)
   She absorbs our tears and calms our fears.
  "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." (Proverbs 31:26)
   She loves.

Within hours after my mother passed into the gates of our heavenly home, I was missing her. Her quick wit…humor…charm. Her warm smile and melodious laughter, which served her well to the very end, as did our Lord Jesus Christ, who so graciously allowed her to slip quietly and peacefully into His arms.

She simply stopped breathing.

As I stood at her bedside in those priceless moments after her passing, I wanted to touch her skin as much as possible while there was still warmth in her body; to nuzzle my nose against her head and breathe in the scent of her hair while she was still there. Priceless treasures I was guilty of taking for granted, clouded by unmet needs. I was so consumed with what she was not, that I never fully appreciated who she was. It’s like I was blind, but now I see!

I see her strength, her commitment. Her perseverance…sacrifice…her unspoken love. I see how much she meant to me, how much she did for me, how much she taught me, and how much of the good in me was modeled by her.

She was a virtuous woman, as described in Proverbs 31 of the Bible.
“Her children stand and bless her… a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise (vs. 31).”

This last verse of the poem serves as an epitaph for the woman of virtue. It speaks of the legacy she leaves in her passing. It spurred me to write a personal epitaph for my mother, which I read at her funeral.

We publicly declare your praise today, 
and in the days to come,

for you deserve to be praised and blessed,

"We honor you, Mom, for all you have done!"

In my earliest of memories, 

You worked so hard, striving for the rest.

You persevered through great trials
and did your very best.

I know you are being rewarded

in ways far beyond our reach.

We honor you now by practicing what you've taught,
and even what you preached!

You've stood for us for all these years,

Today, we stand for you!

I pray that our applause on earth
will reach your heavenly ears.

With the reading of this poem, I asked everyone to stand. We clapped our hands in celebration and praise of the life of my mother, Margaret Alice Stiltner.
Imagine our surprise to discover that she had left a poetic epitaph for us! She had clipped it from an old magazine and framed it. I found it when I was cleaning her home, on a nightstand by her bed. My mother was never versed at expressing emotion. This was her sweet way of kissing us good-bye: a priceless treasure to remember her by

Cynthia (Cindy) Stiverson is a speaker, writer, and artist.  In 1998, she founded Woven: Women of Virtue Network, a spiritual formation and friendship ministry. She pastors the women at Newark Church of the Nazarene in Ohio. She is currently working on her fourth Woven Workbook, and also a book for mothers and daughters on the subject of sexual abuse. Cindy considers raising her daughter, speaker/author Nicole Braddock Bromley, to be her greatest achievement. She loves the men in her life, hubby Mark, grandbabes Jude and Isaac, and son-in-law Matthew. You can find more of Cindy at and

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tales from the Crypt

Obviously I took a good long break from blogging, not really intentional, I just sorta lost my voice. I do that from time to time, have a lot of writer's block. Someone mentioned to me recently that I hadn't written and honestly the past month I've just been too sick to do any writing whatsoever. I prayed some days that I would just die! Okay Lord just take me, I really can't stand being sick anymore. I felt like I was on my death bed, in my own personal crypt. But alas I've made it, well almost, to the other side. I'm still a little bit sick, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyway, I've been working on a project, a book, that has been swirling around in my head for a few years. I don't really have a great way with words like my sister or a friends daughter I know. The following is an unedited, extremely rough, almost incoherent excerpt from my book; tiled "Surviving my childhood and beyond"

For most of my life I’ve felt like life is just passing me by.  Almost like an out of body experience where I was just watching my life and saying who is that and why are we not going in a better direction.  Weird I know, but true none the less. There are so many things I wanted to do that I STILL want to do. When did I lose that independent, outgoing, and no fear person from my youth. When did I become this person who is essentially afraid to leave my house, even some days out of my own bed.  I was always a buck the system kind of gal, never say die and the person who would stand up to anyone on just about any subject. When did I lose that piece of me? When did I become this person that I do not recognize?  I want to be out embracing life and making memories with my kids. I can say a lot of negative things about my childhood, but my parents did some cool things with us. We experienced parts of America. We stood at the Grand Canyon, went up Pike’s Peak, and camped in the KOA’s. I can remember our dad “waking” us up in the wee hours of the morning, gently guiding us to the car where he had the turtle all packed and ready to go and beds for us in the back. We would sleep and he would drive. My kids can’t say that about us or me.

What they can say is that most days I struggle to keep it all together. It isn’t like this every day, but a lot of days are. Maybe they won’t say that maybe they don’t really know the struggle that Mom is going through every day, I pray they don’t. I try to tell them every day, many times, how much I love them, how awesome they are and how proud I am of them. It’s something I really want them to know and understand that Mom loves them and is proud of them. I am still a little bit shocked when my Mom tells me she is proud of me. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve actually heard it come out of her mouth (bearing in mind that my mind and memory is terrible).

The past few years have been really hard on me physically and emotionally. I’m still battling both parts and although I seem to finally be getting control over the physical the emotional is really taking it’s time to bounce back. I lost a part of myself the summer between my eighth and ninth grade year that I can never get back and in reality is seems that a lot of my life is like that. I lost so many parts of myself so early on that when I look at myself, I sometimes see, Humpty Dumpty. Like I’ve tried to glue myself back together with the purple glue, you know the stuff, it’s purple until it dries and then becomes clear. Except mine never dried and it’s still all purple.  Slowly, ever so slowly, I am learning to hand over those pieces that the only One that can turn the purple clear. It is an excruciatingly slow process that I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get it all done.  “All the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back to together again”.

When I look back on my life what do I want to see? What will I leave behind? What will people say about me? Did I do anything great? I probably won’t by the world’s standards and that’s okay with me. Did I shine the light of Jesus in this dark world? I’m not doing a great job of that now. Something that I must change! Did I point my children toward the Savior and a real relationship with Him? I can honestly say that I am trying to with everything that is in me. There are still things I want to do, to see, to be and to accomplish. The question is now how? If you know you want to too and you know you need too but you just can’t quite seem to get there. Where do you go from here?