Wednesday, December 24, 2008

He Held Them All!

*Update Below*

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This will be my final post of 2008. It is time to reflect and rejoice in the blessings of the year and look ahead to the future by spending time with God and my family. I hope you will have the time to read a few of my December posts about my sweet guys as you await my return.
I love everything about Christmas. From the importance of the nativity (by the way, I collect nativities and have about 80 of them) and the gift of Christ to the shopping, wrapping , baking and even Santa, there is just something rather magical about the Christmas season. But this year I have decided not to do a traditional Christmas post or message. I want to share with you something that God has done in my life in hopes that this Christmas season you will not just meet the Baby Jesus but will meet the living Son of God.

This post will be the most meaningful to those of you who know me well and especially those who walked 'Behind Those Eyes' with me. But my prayer is that for anyone who reads it, you will be blessed and see why I love Jesus so much.

He Held Them All
The dam so carefully constructed of metal, brick, mortar and concrete stood proudly as it held back the waters which flowed from distant places to this one vast collection spot. It was a beautiful dam which was built over time with patience and hard work. Day after day, month after month, year after year, piece by piece, layer upon layer was crafted and precisely positioned to stop the natural flow of waters. When completed the builder of this vast masterpiece beheld it's beauty and marveled in the accomplishment.
Each day the builder would proudly boast of the greatness of what had been built.
However, unbeknownest to the builder, beneath the lapping waters trying desperately to be free, small stress fractures were breaking down the mortar and weakening the dam. Little by little, spot by spot, cracks began to appear. The builder frantically tried to patch every crack but to no avail. Eventually a leak sprung and water began to seep through a tiny spot in the dam. Then another and another. With every crack the builder would carefully and urgently try to stop the water from leaking through the dam.

Finally, it was just too much for the builder to keep up with and the dam came crashing down as the waters broke through never to be held back again. The builder sat in dismay as the creation which took years to make was now in ruins. The builder stared at the waters now flowing freely and was mesmerized. The builder's eyes began to see the waters in a new way, not something that should be held back but something that must be free. The waters seemed to be dancing with joy as they flowed through the valleys and across the obstacles in their path. They rejoiced in their new found freedom.

And so it has been with me. The dam I had built to hold back years of tears cause by hurt, pain, rejection, bitterness, anger, saddness, and even joy has been destroyed by my creator.

With love, grace and mercy, God has day by day, month by month, year by year, piece by piece and layer upon layer removed the dam I created to free up my tears and...


My creator cares for and carries my burdens. He is real and gentle, loving and forgiving. The Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger whom we celebrate at Christmas is the same Jesus who lives today and cares about every tear we shed. I had built a dam around my tears and my heart. As proud as I was of it's beauty God knew it was not what was best for me so he gently and patiently (very patiently) began to tear down the dam which held not only my tears but everything that cause those tears to be held and now HE Holds Those Tears!!!

I rejoice this Christmas in the freedom God has given me. I rejoice in the love, grace and mercy He has shown me. I rejoice in the Baby and I rejoice in the Crucified and now Living Christ.

It is difficult to grasp the vastness and completeness of God but if you just catch a glimpse of Him this Christmas season, I am absolutely positive He will change your life.

My prayer this Christmas season is that you find and know Jesus in a new way. I pray that your knowledge of Him would become a love for Him and that you would fellowship with Him. We are the reason for the season. If it weren't for us and our sinfilled nature Jesus would not have come to save us. He came for us. He came for me. He came for YOU!! Open your heart to Jesus this Christmas, not just the baby but the Savior!!!

May the peace which is God's be yours today and always!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Considering Everything Joy!!!

*I just had to add a couple pictures from Christmas
and a statement that melted my heart*
Christmas Eve Family Photo

This picture was taken when Kori reached over to give her daddy a hug and said:

"Daddy - you are my best Christmas Present Ever"

My Nana heart just couldn't hold back the tears. She melts my heart!!

More after the 1st!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meet Matthew ~ Our Miracle!

Matthew James Cain, born Jeremy Mellor June 23, 1985, came to join our family on November 1, 1985 as a foster child. His adoption was finalized on December 23, 1987.

I began praying for Matthew months before he was born. We knew his birth family and it was not a healthy situation for any child to be born into. When I began praying for this unborn child I never know that he would end up with our family. I often wonder what would have happened to him had I not begun to pray.

We received a phone call in October 2005 asking us to take this little boy until they found a suitable institution for him to go to. Matthew, we were told, was deaf, blind, paralyzed on one side and would never walk, talk, or function in society. The social worker said she didn't even expect him to live a year but they just needed a temporary place for him to stay. Of course he came to our home a few days later and we have never looked back.

Matthew's therapy sessions began the second week we had him and included, physical, speech, occupational, and the like. We had people in our home nearly everyday until the school district started a pre-school program when Matthew was 3.

Needless to say, God did work a miracle and Matthew is not deaf, blind or paralyzed. He does have some mild developmental delays but he is a healthy, happy, and a smart young man. Matthew graduated from high school 2 years ago and has since taken 2 college courses. He loves video games and computers. He works at a local grocery store, and has been there for over 3 years. Prior to that he worked at Jason's Deli. He has several friends who all enjoy the same things, video games! (Here is a picture of him with some of his video game buddies.)

Matthew was the co-president of Best Buddies and was afforded the opportunity to travel to Houston, TX where he met Anthony Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Best Buddies. What an honor to represent the state of Arizona. He has traveled to Washington DC and Mexico on mission trips as well as a wonderful trip with a teacher and two friends to New York City.

Matthew enjoys reading about presidents and things that happened in th 1800's. He also loves California as wishes we would move back there. (Probably not going to happen). Matthew is the kind of kid everybody just loves. He is pettit and sweet, has a great smile, and a cute shyness about him.

This year Matthew has taken up English style riding and loves it. We knew that horses were a love of his when, at 5 years old he was kicked in the face by a horse and then proceded to go out to the horses, after hours of surgery and days of recovery, and kiss and love on them again. He has already begun saving his money to buy a horse and will be entered into competitions this next year. He can't wait.

We are filled with gratefulness to our God that He chose Matthew for our family. Our lives are richer and our relationships deeper because of him. He has caused us to be more compassionate and loving toward things that are different and we have learned to accept all that God has chosen to put in our path. Our journey with Matthew has not been an easy one but it has been rewarding in ways we never would have imagined.

I hope you have the opportunity to meet this very special young man.

Considering Matthew All Joy, Cindy

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Celebrate Andrew ~ Our Lifesaver!

***Update: Today 12/18/2008 is the 25th anniversary of walking into Judge Roberts chambers and signing the final adoption papers to officially make Andrew a part of our family. Andrew, you have brought so much joy to our lives - I can't wait to hug you tonight!***

Today 12/17/2008 is a day of celebration in our home and the perfect day to introduce you to our son, Andrew!

Andrew Mark Cain, born Donald Jay Moore Jr. on November 24, 1981, came to join our family August 29, 1983 as a foster child. He was the cutest red headed, freckle faced little boy I'd ever seen. From the moment I laid eyes on his picture I knew he would fit perfectly into our family. And, as it turned out, he has. Andrew's adoption was finalized on December 18, 1984 and there was no turning back.

Andrew is the most giving, non-judgemental, personable young man I have ever met. From the time he really began speaking we just couldn't keep him quiet. He could talk to anybody about anything and he still does today. There is something about him that just attracts people. Andrew is a rough and tumble kind of guy. He likes dirt, grease, and junk. Fishing, hunting, and outdoors are fine with him. He likes fast, fast, and fast. He couldn't live without a bicycle or motorcycle (Yikees!). When he played baseball they called him 'WildThing'. He loves a challenge!

Andrew does not love clean, tidy, or neat. Just ask his mom! (He probably likes them, just doesn't do them!)

In 1999 and 2000 Andrew was blessed to travel the United States with a youth ministry. They were able to minister to thousands of kids all across this great country of ours and see many lives changed for eternity. What an awesome opportunity he had. He went places and did things that most of us only hope to do. I know he will have many jewels in his heavenly crown because fo this trip.

Andrew is also a life saver. He was secretly tested in 2003 as a possible kidney donor for his adopted dad and turned out to be a perfect match. With great hesitation, we agreed to him donating one of his kidney's to Mark. We worried about his future health, but Andrew would not take no for an answer. He literally did save his dad's life. For that we are eternally grateful. And today - 12/17/08 - we celebrate 5 wonderful years since that transplant!!!!!

But we are also grateful to our precious Heavenly Father who so creatively selected Andrew to join our little family. I could not imagine my life without him being a part of it. He has brought so much joy to our lives. He is funny and loves to laugh. He loves 'Dukes of Hazard' and cartoons.

Andrew has also kept us on our knees. No, he is not perfect. We spent many sleepless nights during his teens and early twenties praying, seeking God for his wisdom on how to help Andrew. Through much fasting and prayer we now see the fruits of God working in Andrew's life.
Today Andrew is serving the Lord at a local church, has a great job. He is a daddy to the most beautiful little girl in the world and living a respectable, happy life.

I am sure I could fill up a book with Andrew stories but I'll save those for later posts. Today I'll just add that Andrew is a treasure and a joy. I hope someday you have a chance to meet this wild and crazy guy with a heart of gold.

My dear sweet Andrew, today I thank God for you. You have filled our lives because of your presence. You have loved us, hated us, made us laugh and made us cry. You have kept us on our knees and close to God. You have also given us 5 extra years of memories because of your unselfish act of devotion and love toward your daddy. I pray that we have offered you love, devotion, joy and a lifetime of beautiful memories. Though I could not understand the future all those years ago when I was dealing with infertility and a hysterectomy at 26, I certainly understand now. God wanted you in our lives and I am so glad He chose you. I am grateful that I have opportunities to see you, hug you and cut your hair (hehehe) several times a week. But mostly today I am just grateful for YOU! You make me smile:) and I love you!

Considering Andrew All Joy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Markie;)

What can I say about my Markie? We met in December 1979 when my parents purchased a restaurant in a small north eastern town in California. He was first a customer then an employee and eventually my hubby. One of the things that drew me to him was our ability to talk about anything and everything. I felt so comfortable sharing life with him. We married in May of 1981 and the rest is history.

Mark is a wonderful sportsman. He loves to hunt, fish, and hike. Since moving to Arizona in December 1994 he has not been able to do much of that but if he gets a chance he is out there and fast. He was raised in a small town of about 500 and lived there most of his life. Coming to Phoenix, Arizona (the 5th largest city in the country) was definitely culture shock for him and I'm not so sure he has gotten over it. He has also spent a great deal of time doing wood work, wrapping fishing poles, tying flies (fishing hooks), and working on his 1949 Chevy Pick-Up (still needs ALOT of work). Mark also enjoys racing. Drags, Nascar, Midgets, Boats, anything that goes fast. We have been able to go to a few races but always look forward to being able to go again.

Mark showing off his NASCAR tickets in November of this year.

Mark has been employed by a gas pipeline company where he works in the warehouse, stocking, sorting and distributing parts along with a myriad of other tasks. He has been with the company for 12 years. The past 5 years have been difficult for Mark. He was diagnosed with complete kidney failure on March 29, 2003 and started dialysis on April 9, 2003. He was told he needed a transplant and so began the long process. He spent the next several months at dialysis or doctor visits making sure his body would accept a transplant. In October 2003 he made it to the transplant list and the wait began. Fortunately the wait was very short. We were quite surprised when we received a phone call a few weeks later saying they thought they had a perfect match. Little did we know that it was our oldest adopted son. With more tests and lots of prayer, Andrew, was a perfect match and on December 17, 2003 the transplant took place. What a miracle the doctor's told us was happening. It is almost unheard of for the timeline to be so short and to have an adopted child be such a perfect match was very rare. Less that 9 months from diagnoses to transplant. Praise the Lord. This next week we will celebrate 5 years since his transplant. We continue to give our God ALL the Glory. Andrew is doing very well, perfectly healthy. I'll share more about him in another post. Mark's new kidney continues to function great. He has had a difficult year though. One of the side affects from all of the medications he needs to take is a weakened immune system. He is also anemic. Last July 2007 he was injured and had a wound open up on his leg. He spent nearly 11 months going to the wound center every week for treatments. I changed his bandages every other day and now the wounds are completely healed and again we are praising God. We also continue to Praise the Lord that Mark has been able to continue to work and his company has been great about adjusting his job to meet his needs.

Mark got personalized license plates this year ~ Donate Life Plates:)

Mark became a Christian in 1986 and has volunteered many hours serving the Lord in various capacities. He always says 'behind the scenes' is best for him. Now that we are settled in our new church Mark is seeking the Lord as to where He wants him to serve. I'm sure it will still be behind the scenes ~ probably a Mr. Fix-It kind of ministry. Mark also continues to be very supportive of the call God has placed on my life for ministry. It is my life breath and I'm so thankful to have a hubby who understands me.

Mark putting up with some of my silliness!!

Mark has been a good dad and has great relationships with his boys AND...he also loves his granddaughter. She truly is a joy in our lives. If you ever think about Mark, please lift up a prayer for him and his health. One great thing about him is he does not complain about his health and he always does exactly what the doctor orders. He is a great patient as long as he is NOT in the hospital. It is so hard to make him rest!! Thank you for stopping by and getting to know Mark a little better.

Considering My Hubby All Joy!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What do you expect? It's the Christmas Season!

My Oh My!

I don't seem to be finding time to blog the way I would like to .
I promised myself I wouldn't do too much this season but ...

Unfortunately most of my free time has been spent with a variety of doctors.

One of the "JOYS" I have found since turning '50' is that there are numerous tests doctors think they MUST run to make sure you are healthy.

  • Heart Echo ~ Because I have issues
  • Heart Stress Test
  • Blood, blood and more blood
  • DexaScan
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endoscopy ~ 4 Biopsies
  • Mammogram
  • Bi-lateral Breast UltraSound ~ Because I have issues
  • ???

I have one more such test in the morning and then on the 18th I will receive all the GOOD REPORTS:)

Then there is church stuff:

  • A night of fun shopping and eating with the ladies
  • Decorating the church for Christmas
  • Tonight ~ Wrapping about 25 boxes for the church decorations
  • Tuesday Night ~ Ladies Christmas Party which I am still planning for and making last minute preparations for. (lots of cooking, baking, wrapping, studying and praying still to do)

Then there is work stuff:

  • Go to work, go to work, go to work
  • Work Christmas party last Thursday
  • Go to work, go to work, go to work

Then there is this new business I just started

  • I can't belive I did this now
  • What am I doing?
  • I know this is in God's plan
  • Christmas Party
  • What did I just do?
  • Trust God

Then there is family

With this I'll just say: Husband, Children, Grandchildren, Mom's, Sister, Brother's, Nieces, Nephew's, and all the family that go with each.

Then there is Christmas itself

  • Shopping
  • Lists
  • Shopping
  • Wrapping
  • More lists
  • Shopping
  • Lots of wrapping
  • Baking
  • Eating way too much CHOCOLATE
  • Shopping
  • Wrapping some more
  • Eating more Chocolate
  • Wow ~ I'm tired

Then there is blogging

  • UUMMM? What is that? I just don't have time...Because


This is His birth we are celebrating! This season is about Him and why He came for Us! My focus needs to reflect my love for Him and that is what I intend to do...Focus On HIM!!!

So...for the next couple of weeks I will be posting some things from my previous blog I had before I started this one. I would like you to get to know my family a little better so I will post a short bio on each of them. I hope you enjoy them. Then I will attempt to do a Christmas post ~ hopefully something special that will bless you.

After the first of the year I'll begin a new on-line Bible study and get back to a more regular posting routine.

I so enjoy blogging and miss it but I must spend some quality God time and Family time during the Christmas Season.

Considering It All Christmas JOY, Cindy

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Said I NEVER Would:)

I said I would never do this!

I promised I would never do this!

I cannot believe I did this!

I am officially old enough to live in a retirement community.

The only problem is ~~~ my budget forgot to read the memo!

Have a Joy~Filled Day:)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fabulous Award~

My friend Connie is turning 50 today ( 12/2 ) and gave me this Fabulous Blog award to celebrate! She now enters my club of '50 and Fabulous'. Make sure you stop by her blog and wish her a Happy 50th Birthday. And by the way Connie is doing a giveaway for her birthday so be sure to check it out today.

So here are the rules: Copy and paste the rules and instructions in your post. When posting on receiving the award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them. Post five winners and link back to them as well. Post FIVE of your addictions. Add the award image. Let your winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

My 5 addictions ~ Do I have to tell?

1. Chocolate ~ only the best ~ no chocolate ice cream or pies or syrup ~ No ~ not for me ~ only real beautiful melt in your mouth chocolate.

2. Scrapbooking ~ well at least shopping for scrapbook supplies.

3. Organizing ~ I am constantly organizing my home office, my work office, cabinets, drawers, closets, etc ~ I know I'm dorky.

4. My granddaughter ~ I just can't get enough of her.

5. Ask my hubs ~ he'll probably say TV, computer, blogging, facebook, hotmail, email, anything to be able to chat.

Now I have the pleasure of passing this fabulous blog award on to some fabulous bloggy friends.

1. Alene at PositivelyAlene who always makes me laugh or think which I believe is a great combination. She is one of the most positive women I have had the pleasure of meeting.

2. Cindy at ArmyBratsandMe who has been battling breast cancer and has so willingly shared her journey with us. She is amazing as she facing the challenges and trusts God to walk her through this season.

3. Angie at ByFaith who shares her life and shares the scriptures in such a positive way as she journeys through them cover to cover.

4. Laura at TheWellblog whom I met during a book study we just completed. I always wanted to check out her take on the study first because she has such eye opening insight. She is also a wonderful poet.

5. Lee at PrayerGifts whom I have personally met and love her dearly. She has a heart to pray and is always so encouraging.

Please check out all of these blogs. These ladies are FABULOUS!!!

Thanks for joining the fun today.

Considering It All Joy,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello to all my bloggy friends and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I have been on a semi-hiatus from blogging due to travel, medical test and holidays but I wanted to say that this year I am thankful for all of you. You have journeyed with me through some tough spots this past few months and you have been so faithful to pray. I am a blessed woman!

I hope to get caught up on everybody's blog this weekend.

I have 4 days off work and am looking forward to relaxing with my hubby.

Our youngest son is going away with a friends family so we will again have an empty nest!

Though I am awaiting results of some biopsys I am feeling healthy and strong.

I have several bloggy friends who are not so healthy just now and in honor of them I would like to share their blogs with you.

It would be a joy to me if you would take a few minutes to stop by these blogs and encourage their families as they face health trials.

We are sisters and friends in the Lord and it is always an honor to pray for each other.

Cindy Summers is battling breast cancer.

DeeDee Sharon is battling breast cancer.

Nicki has a tumor behind one eye.

Lee's brother in law Buddy in battling cancer.

Cindy is battling lymphoma.

Amy's husband is battling kidney transplant rejection.

Thank you for praying for these special friends.

If you would like me to add you to my daily prayer list
I would be honored to pray for you and your family.

Considering It All Joy,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hi Ya' All!

Women of Faith Conference...Well there are just no words today...It was just what I needed.
I hope to give an update in a few days.

Prayer request ~ As I am typing I have just completed my preparation for two very invasive tests which I will be having tomorrow, Monday, November 24th at 8:30 AM.

Let's just say...I am feeling YUCKY` YUCKY` YUCKY!!!

Also, Monday ~ November 24th is our oldest son Andrews birthday!
I wish I had the strength to post some beautiful tribute to him but for tonight I just say that I am so proud of who this young man is becoming and I am thankful that God chose adoption for our family. Happy 27th Andrew.

I hope to have many updates on Tuesday or Wednesda ~ as soon as I am feeling up to it!

Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Joy In Raising Difference!

Today I am excited as well as honored to be the
guest writer at Melody's blog SlurpingLife.
Please join me over here as I share about
raising boys with special differences.
Consider It All Joy,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It is hard to believe that this is my final post in the on-line book study of Behind Those Eyes.

Lisa Whittle: I cannot begin this post with anything else except a huge thank you for listening to God and being obedient in the writing of this book. Your willingness to open your heart and share what is behind your eyes has caused me to dig deeper into my own soul and allow carefully built walls to be broken down in order for God to reveal what pain was hidden behind my own eyes. As I have stated before, God used this book as another tool in the healing of my wounded soul and I am a changed vessel. There are no words to say thank you enough but God will richly reward you with more jewels in your heavenly crown.

Lelia at WRITEFROMTHEHEART: Thank you so much for your willingness to host this book study. I would not be where I am today had I not found your blog and taken the challenge you set forth. You have shared your heart, your struggles and your joys so openly and I am grateful for you.

Fellow bloggy friends: Thank you for your encouraging words, comments and posts. I have enjoyed reading your stories and getting to know each of you. I know that some of us will remain friends for many years to come. It has been my pleasure to be a part of this study with each of you.

When I first began reading Behind Those Eyes I never expected to have my life change. I began this study during my 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday when I was looking to do things I had never done before. I saw this study and thought: Oh, I've never done an online study, that looks like fun, so I joined in. I was not prepared for the challenges I would face.

I've allowed God to do a lot of work in my heart over the past couple of years as I've struggled with the pain of being hurt. I believed I was healed because I had forgiven and moved on in my life. Little did I know what I was about to face as I began to read Lisa's words.

From the truth hurting to the truth healing my heart has been laid bare and restoration has taken place. Yes, the truth of what was behind my eyes did hurt I just thought nobody else could see so deep within my soul. I realize now that no matter how we try to hide our pain, it will always be there, hidden in the recesses of our soul just waiting to be revealed.

I believe you have seen a progression of God painstakingly removing the wall around my heart brick by brick. You have seen me ask hard questions, go through depression, and take a chance at opening up to share my soul. I wish that at this moment, you could hear my voice, see my face and look into my eyes to hear what they are saying now. The truth has healed and they say I am free.

I am free to love and accept God's love for me. That is the one thing I could never do. I accepted the love of Jesus but not God. Through this study I have been able to acknowledge that painful truth. I wanted so desperately to accept God's love, I was just too afraid. Living in denial of that truth has caused me to miss out on so many wonderful adventures with Him but today I can honestly say that He is my greatest adventure.

Lisa writes: "Know this, my sisters and friends: Jesus is the only One who can truly heal our souls, from the inside out. The healing balm He provides is on a different level altogether from any other soothing balm. The results of His balm in our lives are not temporary and don't wipe off, wear off, or come off. It's not a quick fix. The balm of our heavenly Father is the gift of peace and joy and spiritual growth and unconditional love that is ours for the taking. And it is the gift that allows us to know the sometimes-ugly truth about ourselves, and yet be set free by it." How true these words are. I have been set free from my own self-built prison. I can no longer hide behind perfectionism, confidence, happiness or spiritualism because today I have the freedom to live openly with Joy, Peace and Love.

The process may not be totally complete. I still have not been able to cry but I am confident in knowing that damn will be torn down soon and I hope you will return to hear how God does it.

I have the privilege of going to the Women of Faith conference this weekend. The timing could not be better. I am actually going by myself, which I believe is God's plan. I am expecting closure to this portion of my healing to take place.

I'm not quite sure how to end this post because I feel for many of us it will be good-bye. That makes me sad yet happy that I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful women and sisters in the Lord. You have been privy to a heart being transformed and that makes me happy. I feel a bond with each of you as I have shared such a deep portion of my life and healing with you. I will continue to check in on you to see what wonderful things God is doing in your lives. You are forever a part of my life.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

As I sit here this morning typing this post the Lord has spoken four short yet meaningful words to my heart that I will leave you with.

Well done, my daughter!

Considering It All Joy, Cindy

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Very First Award!

I am so excited! I received my very first bloggy award!
Thank you Liz~

Now, I have the pleasure of listing 10 things that make me happy ~ so here goes!

1 - God, and if you have read my blog at all lately, you will know why.

2 - My hubby, he is alive and we are near the 5 year anniversary of his kidney transplant.

3 - My boys, what joy they bring to my life.

4 - My granddaughter, if you have grandchildren, you know how much they make you happy.

5 - Our extended families, for so many different reasons.

6 - Scrapbooking!

7 - Walking in the morning and talking to God while the sun is just beginning to peak over the horizon.

8 - Going to work, I have so many hats to wear as the administrator for a pediatric office, my days are so varied and I get to be a part of such a variety of areas in medicine and healing.

9 - Spending time in God's word, soaking in His voice and knowing He is present.

10 - Blogging, every aspect of it is joyful. Writing, reading, praying and getting to know you. I just love it and it makes me happy.

I now have the joy of passing this award on to two very special people.

Jenny, who lives a life similar to mine when I was a young mom and shares such wonderful insights on raising a child with Special Considerations as well as her Money Monday and Thank You Thursday.

Grace, whom I call Ms Sunny, because every time I read her blog I receive encouragment or a good laugh. She lives in Sunny, CA and I believe that she is what makes Sunny a happy place.

Thank you to Liz ...AND... congratulations to Jenny and Grace~

Considering It All Joy,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Flawed Yet Forgiven!

I want to share a couple of photos with you before I start my Behind Those Eyes post.

My hubby Mark and I were blessed with tickets to this past weekends NASCAR races! Yipee!! We have been NASCAR fans since before it was cool! Thank you to Mark's boss!

Before my 50th birthday I would never have gotten in this car (too embarrassing, I suppose), but here I am in a car that Dale Earnhardt actually drove ~ I even sat on the same seat.

I have never worn a hat in public ~ but now that I am 50 ~ and God has done such an amazing work in my heart over the past few weeks ~ I figured it would be ok.

We had such a great time ~ I just wanted to share.

Now for my Behind Those Eyes post. I cannot believe we are already on Chapter 9, We Are Completely Flawed Yet Forgiven Completely, and we only have one week to go. It has been a challenging yet rewarding study and I am thankful to Lisa Whittle for writing this wonderful book and to Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart for hosting this study. I know I am not the same person who first picked up this book in mid-September.

Completely flawed ~ yep ~ no denying that! All of the MS. that have been shared in this book are only cover-ups for the real deal ~ a sin-filled nature. Taking the mask or armor or concealer off has only revealed the truth and we all know that scripture tells us that the truth will set us free! Thank God ~ I am free!

Freedom does not mean that I do not sin any longer ~ on the contrary. Often times I feel as though I sin more now than I used to. I believe that is, in part, because I am more fully aware of God's character and how He is trying to change me.

I am so much like Paul. Lisa shares scripture from Romans 7 with us when Paul speaks about his desire to do good and right things but finds himself making wrong choices. I do that all the time. It's kind of like: I'm definitely going to start my diet on Monday then all of a sudden it's Thursday and I say: Oh well, I'll start next Monday when I know God has spoken to my heart about my body being His Temple and the need to take care of it. I want to yet I don't.

Yes, I am completely flawed. But thank God (literally) the story doesn't end there.

I am forgiven completely!

In 1997 God took me on an incredible 8 month journey. My husband took a temporary job transfer to Wyoming. While he was away working during the week and the kids were doing their thing, I had many hours to spend with God. He taught me lessons in forgiveness that I never dreamed possible. During those months he cleaned my heart of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness toward my dad. It was a long process but one I will never forget.

The wonderful thing about learning to forgive my dad is that I came to a new depth of understanding about how God forgives us through the blood of Jesus.

Lisa uses one of my favorite scriptures on the subject: Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." To me that means, no matter how many times the enemy may try to put those sins back on me, he can't because they truly can never catch up to me again. They are gone, never to be found again, and never to be remembered by God.

Lisa's challenge question: In your heart of hearts, do you think God is ready and willing to forgive you? Honestly...will you let Him?

I can honestly say, though I don't deserve one moment of it, His grace and mercy have overcome my unworthiness and YES! He is ready, I have let Him and I am forever Thankful!!

What about you? Ask yourself the same question. Will you let Him?

Considering It All Joy, Cindy

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Opened The Door!

On Tuesday morning my employer asked me to go to her home and wait for a delivery truck to pick up a chair and deliver 2 others. When I first walked into the house the chair to be returned was sitting right in front of the door. I left the door open, closed the screen and decided to just sit in the chair and wait. As I sat, waiting nearly 2 hours, the Lord began to speak to my heart. Today I am sharing a portion of what our conversation was like.

Sitting in this lonely chair in front of an open door yet closed off to the world, I wonder.

As I am feeling the coolness of a beautiful fall mornings' air, seeing the beauty in the peach colored roses that adorn the walkway and hear the sounds of birds happily carrying out their morning chores, I wonder. I smell the fragrance as the breeze flows across nature's blooms and enters the doorway, something is calling me to leave this lonely chair and join in falls delight.

But I'm afraid; there is safety in this fear, yet loneliness too. Have I held myself captive in this place so long that I find comfort in it? It is easy, simple and safe. Yet, there is a voice whispering my name and calling me from the outside while something inside is struggling to get out. What choice will I make? Today is the day.

There appears to be freedom and joy just beyond the door but what danger lies out there? I yearn to have joy, peace and the freedom of life. As I sit here, with every breath I desire to breathe in all of the sensations that are now just beyond my grasp. Pushing through the fear I stand. As if in slow motion I place one foot in front of the other and hesitantly walk toward the door. It is still safe, for the screen is closed and I continue to be protected. But I know it is now or never that I make the choice.

With quivering hands I reach for the screen door handle. Fear~! Turn the handle, open the door, breathe, Cindy, Breathe! My unsteady foot began to move forward, my heart beating strongly, my body trembling with uncertainty at the first step, off the threshold as if for the first time.

And now I stand, rejoicing in the beauty of God's creation, just beyond what moments before was safety. Looking back I know I will never return from where I came. There is such peace in this place, such comfort, such trust. Why have I hidden my heart from God with such passion? Today, it doesn't matter, because today HE HAS IT!

The passion I have used to protect myself has just multiplied and been transformed as God was given the key to the lock of my heart when I Opened The Door!

Considering It All Joy,

Monday, November 3, 2008

Completely Honest!

I begin this post with the same concern in my spirit that many may be feeling today.
I believe though, that no matter the outcome tonight, My GOD still sits on the throne
and it is in HIM I place my trust, faith and hope! Our country may change,
but My GOD never changes!

Now, I will share my thoughts about chapter 8 of Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle. It has been both joyful and at times difficult to continue with this study hosted by Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart! I have both loved it and dreaded it at the same time. It has pushed me to face truths about my life and myself that are painful yet healing. I see hope in the days ahead but this post will be my most difficult to write.

If you are a family member, other than my mom or siblings, you may read some things today that you have been unaware of. I have purposely kept what I am about to write a very private matter as to not bring shame or humiliation to my family. My father and grandmother both passed away in 1999 and it is time for me to come clean to the depth of my being in order to become totally free to live the life God intended for me to live long before He created the world.

This chapter "We are completely loved and accepted completely" was difficult for me to read. Though I have been a Christian since I was very young, have loved Jesus since my earliest memories, have known that Jesus loves me, has accepted me and I am completely His there is a part of me that has never been able to grasp fully the love of God the Father. I have spent this week in quiet reflection as I've prepared for this post. I pulled back from most things this week and have just spent time with God. Seeking His face and understanding as I have asked Him the questions I posed last week.

Yes, I have been hurt, much more deeply than what I have shared regarding my previous church. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of my earthy father. I can say that without tears because, with God's help, I forgave my dad a couple years before he passed away and was holding his hand when he took his last breath on earth. I honestly do not know where he is today but I can say that I pray he is resting with Jesus.

So, if I have truly forgiven then why do I continue to have questions and fight depression and loneliness? I have come to realize that when a trust is broken between and father and his daughter it is a trust that affects her entire life. It affects every aspect of her life including all of her relationships, her marriage bed and her ability to trust her own creator.

I was deathly afraid of my dad. I had reoccurring nightmares growing up. I attempted to share with a few people but there seemed to be no place of safety, no place of rescue, no place of real love, no place of protection. I began building walls around my heart just to survive. Thoughts of suicide become my constant companion because I felt that if things got too bad I could always kill myself and then I would be safe, or so I thought.

I stuffed my feelings until I had 2 ulcers at the age of 18. I ended up leaving home and eventually got married but never shared my past with anyone. In 1990 I became so depressed and despondent that suicide really did become my option. But God...had another plan.

I ended up in a hospital for 30 days which helped to begin the process of forgiveness toward my father. There was a lot of fear, anger, bitterness and pain stored within me that needed to be released and sorted out. In time I was able to forgive and had a decent relationship with my dad before he died.

I could relay to you the details, and there are many, but that is not the point of this post. My greatest desire is to relay what God has been speaking this week in my quiet moments with Him.

First, AND I HAVE NEVER SPOKEN THESE WORDS TO ANYONE BEFORE THIS MOMENT, He has revealed that I hold my dad accountable for the fact that I was unable to have children and my hysterectomy at 26. When a young girl's body is subjected to abuse I believe damage can be done. I am not a physician so I cannot substantiate these claims from a medical standpoint, but it doesn't really matter, because deep within my spirit, I blame him. So, this is a new area that God is planning on remolding and shaping in my heart.

Second, and most importantly, He, my Heavenly Father, has spoken that I am still afraid to grasp a hold of His complete love for me. Yes, I have fear. Loving Jesus the Son, is so simple for me but loving and trusting God the Father is more challenging than hiking up from the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It is easy for me to work my fingers to the bone for God and the church, hoping to gain love, respect, and acceptance but not easy for me to just accept His love.

As I sit here and type my hands are shaking and my heart is pounding as if someone where beating a drum. I am shivering and sweating at the same time. I know I am on the brink of a breakthrough but quite frankly it scares me to death.

James is one of my favorite books of the Bible. James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you". Lord, I want to come near but fear of being vulnerable locks my heart behind the years of walls I have so carefully constructed. I give you permission as I type to complete the tearing down process that has begun.

I end by saying this: I am not depressed, despondent, discouraged or depleted. I am scarred and scared. But somehow in the midst of this moment ~ I have peace.

This may be an unusual response to this chapter but it is mine and I'm thankful for it.

I continue to Consider It All Joy,

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Good, The Great, and The Goofy!

Hi and thank you for stopping by my blog-life today.

I love blogging!

I love life!

I LOVE to laugh!

There are some who have questioned those three statements lately.
In reading my Yes To God Tuesday posts you may think I walk around depressed and questioning God every moment. You may think I live a serious and thought provoking life. You may wonder if this girl ever has any fun.

My Yes To God Tuesday posts are a bit on the serious side. I am questioning things in life just now. Those posts are raw, real and relevant as God is doing a deep work within my spirit. It's an important work and a painful work. It is something very difficult to share in a public forum yet a work that needs to be shared because learning to be authentic and real is part of what God is doing. BUT, I do love life and consider everything I go through necessary in my growth with God.

However, I do not have a sad and boring life.

So today I thought I'd share some of the pictures that have been taking in the past 2 weeks around my world.

The Great is the work God is doing in me!

Here is some of the good and goofy moments in recent days.

My mom took me out for lunch on my birthday and then we came back to my house for a few pictures.

Our family 'meeting' place at the Grand Canyon and me feeding Mark a piece of my birthday cake.

This picture was taken in our hotel room at the GC ~ Mark just LOVES having his picture taken!!

Kori and I showing off our new pedicures and my mom with some of her grand and great-grand kids.

Mark and Kori being silly ~ we drained our pool for a fall cleaning and decided to play in it while we waited for it to fill back up.

Family birthday party fun ~ The three birthday kids with their spouses and then we added my 72 year young mom.

And then there was this moment!

Left to Right

My sister ~ Pam ~ 52 on November 7

My brother ~ Ken ~ 40 on October 27

Me ~ Cindy ~ 50 on October 24

Yes ~ we fell into the fire pit behind us ~ luckily it had not been lit yet!

So you can see ~ I do love life and laughter and just having fun.

I do Consider It All Joy including the great and hard work God is doing in my spirit!

Make it a joy-filled day!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Without All The Concealer!

Before I begin this week's book study post I have the pleasure of announcing the winner in my 50 on my 50th birthday giveaway, Jenny at Special Considerations. Congratulations Jenny, please email me with your address and I will put the book in the mail.

This week in our Behind Those Eyes Book study hosted by Lelia of WriteFromTheHeart, Lisa Whittle challenges us to take the concealer off and reveal the real us. Umm, ok but I have a few questions first.

What if you have used concealer so long that the layers are just too thick to be removed?

What if in covering up the flaws you just cannot see the 'real' you any longer?

What if the concealer has become so hard that there is just no way to penetrate its depth?

What if your tears have been held back for so many years trying to protect the concealer from, you know, those lines that ruin the perfectly applied makeup, that the well of tears is totally dry?

What if, in response to other's comments regarding your emotions, you pulled the emotional trigger and buried your emotions so deep that you cannot find them in the mountains of concealer they are buried under?

I don't live my life in the 'what if's', I am far too busy to live in that neighborhood, yet there are times when I go visit and reading these two chapters this week has caused me to slow down and take a walk through the what if's. I don't like what I see in this dark and lonely neighborhood and it actually scares me to think that this place exists within my soul. A place called lonely.

How could lonely exist is someone as busy as myself? How could there be emptiness in someone who loves the Lord as much as I do? How could there be a hole in my heart as big and deep as the Grand Canyon itself in someone who knows God is there is fill every void?

Layer upon layer upon layer of concealer!

Insecurity, jealousy, rejection, fear, pride, and hurt cause us to lather on the concealer. Don't let anyone see the real you, they may not like what they see and therefore may not like you. The problem with that coverage is you lose site of who you are and loneliness settles in. I stand and look in the mirror and I do not even recognize the person staring back.

Here is were the concealer comes off.

I have lived my life with some concealer attempting to cover up a few bruises and scars from battles long since ended. However, five years ago I became very proficient in the use of concealer. There was a particular day, I remember it so vividly, and that concealer became my very best friend. Details are not important but looking back it was the most damaging day in the life of my emotions. It was the day I decided to turn off all emotion and cover them with the ever growing mountain of concealer.

I can look back at that day and see, it was not only the day I buried my emotions, butI think it was the day Cindy died. I just can't seem to find my way back to life.

So, I go back to my what if questions.

What if even God cannot peel the layers off?

What if my heart stays buried and I never feel again?

What if healing rain never comes and I never cry again?

It is possible that God is using this book like stripper on an old piece of furniture. Pouring it on THICK, allowing it to penetrate and then scraping it off to reveal the beauty which lies underneath. I hope so! But you know what ~ it hurts and it takes time.

The layers are plentiful. They are thick, deep and hardened by life's disappointments. But this morning as I type I am reminded of a scripture that I have prayed numerous times over my children.

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Though it is terribly painful, Lord complete the work you have begun.

I really am Considering It All Joy,


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Finally! The GC Pictures and Highlights

Oh my, I know many of you have been holding your breath waiting for me to post highlights and pictures from our trip to the Grand Canyon. I really intended to early this morning but instead I got called into work at 6:30 am and have been playing catch up all day. The sun has set, my granddaughter just fell asleep and I have come back to my computer with hopes of completing my promise before the end of this day.

Let me remind you that you still have a chance to win in my 50 on my 50th birthday post. Just scroll down to that post and leave a comment. I will do a random drawing on Monday and post the winner(s) with my Tuesday 'Behind Those Eyes' post. Of course, I know you ALL want to win so don't be shy, just leave a comment.

I am incorporating this post with 'My One Month' hosted by Genny at MyCup2Yours. She has challenged us to live as though we only have one month to live (based on the book One Month To Live). I have not done alot of posting in this regard yet I have really focused on what is important in my life and have made changes to my priority list. One of the things I realize I need to do more of is spend time with my family ~ not just in physical proximity ~ but really spending time WITH them.

My husband, boys and I have not taken a family vacation in 18 years or so with the exception of going to visit family. I decided that one of the things I wanted to do before my 50th birthday was to spend an entire weekend with them away from home. So, I planned a weekend trip to the Grand Canyon. Here are a few highlights.

Words escape my thoughts as I attempt to write the emotions and joy I experienced last weekend. I thought I would finally cry but instead I couldn't get the smile off my face. I had such peace and was filled with a sense of gratefulness as I scanned the vastness and creativeness of God.

Spending 2 days with my guys, no phones, computers, TV or radio allowed us to focus on each other. We visited our lives and memories of days gone by. At one point we found a quiet, secluded cliff and nestled together just talking and loving on each other. It was such a special moment. Still, a week later I am basking in the afterglow of time well spent.

We went to Bedrock City (yes, it is a Flinstone town), Planes of Fame Museum, Tusayan Ruins, an IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon and every single view point from the South entrance of the park to the East entrance. We ate way too much food but walked alot.

I have lived with a fear of being pushed from high places so standing on the edge of a cliff was not easy for me but I did it and it felt great. My guys were so good to me that they were 'willing' to get up in the dark of the night so we could be on the edge of the canyon before the sun rose Sunday morning. It was glorious! I could continue to ramble on but words really do escape me just now so I will just share a 'few' of the nearly 100 pictures I took.

I have enjoyed 'My One Month' and will continue to live the lessons I have learned during this time. Thank you Genny for reminding us that life is more about relationship than our to do list!

I will share Birthday pictures next Saturday!

Until my next post I am:

Considering It All Joy,