Friday, September 29, 2006

Right Beside Me

Chaos fills the air,
Blanketing me like a dark, heavy cloud.
Bogging down every piece of me,
Feels like an albatross around my neck.

The darkness clouds my view,
Obstructions clutter the path.
A constant sense of blindness,
I feel as I navigate my way.

As I try to go this road alone,
The turmoil grows at an even faster rate.
Will I ever learn?
Is it really that bad to lean on someone?

Why can’t I ask for help?
Why do I instead turn inward?
A body full of stubbornness and pride,
Please give me instead a heart full of humility and love.

Help me see the world through your eyes,
Put my chaos at the foot of the cross.
Rest at your feet,
Drink in your peace and grace.

Walk in your presence,
Rest in your love.
Sleep in your peace,
Permeate through every part of me.

More of you and less of me,
So many times I fail you.
But you never leave me,
Right beside me to the end.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Someone was dialoguing with me yesterday via email, as they would like our team to come and speak about our trip at their church. It got me thinking about Sri Lanka and all the memories which are stored away. Someone said to one of my kids on Sunday, that mommy will never be the same again...she went away on missions and now her head is full of memories and experiences. That's probably the best way I've heard it never think the same again, or at least I know I won't.

A side note...

On Sunday, our kids learned about missions in Sunday school and that it doesn't matter what age you are never too young or old to answer God's call to missions. At the end, when things were over and we were closing in prayer, the kids were asked if any of them had felt that call to missions already at this young age. Some raised their hands and we prayed with them.

Little Mister, our youngest boy and middle child, raised his hand. The coolest thing for me was that I was down there to see that. I think as a parent that gives way to huge responsibility, in not only knowing the call he feels, but supporting him in it and allowing every opportunity possible to allow God to fulfill this in Him.

I wasn't surprised, but instead, received strong confirmation in what I already knew. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Little Mister's answer is this...

"I want to build churches, help people to meet Jesus and learn more about Him."

Anyhow, back to the straight and narrow on where this post was originally going...

So I thought I would post a couple of pictures to bring my memories alive. This first picture is of all my little 'rainbows'. I was affectionately named 'Auntie' and was blessed with love every moment I was fortunate to spend with them. They were full of energy, smiles, love for each other and those around them and just a huge love of life in general. I think they kept a piece of my heart with them forever and I know I brought a piece of their love back with me forever as well.

The other thing we brought back a lot of pictures of was the amazing terrain and beautiful scenery. Sri Lanka is such a beautiful's so fresh and tranquil. This picture is of one of the places we stayed for a few days when first in Sri Lanka. This was right beside our little cabin and became a daily point on my morning walk. It was an awesome way to start the day off...simply walking through God's beauty and experiencing His peace in a brand new light.

"The Father sets those dates," he replied, "and they are not for you to know. But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Acts 1:7-8

Here's to Finding a Prayer Groove

Unashamed Love
(Lamont Hierbert - Ten Shekel Shirt)

You're calling me to lay aside the worries of my day
To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place
Worthy, You are worthy

I open up my heart and let my spirit worship Yours
I open up my mouth and let a song of praise come forth
Worthy, You are worthy

Of a child-like faith
And of my honest praise
And of my unashamed love
Of a holy life
And of my sacrifice
And of my unashamed love

I know these are fairly 'old' worship songs, but they have now become a part of my daily routine. My MP3 goes on and I listen to these songs, sing these songs, pray them and even just think them, depending on the day.

These along with now beginning to pray through the book of Ephesians...that will be the routine for the time being. Find me some quiet to throw in there as well and we'll be away to the races ;D! Life is such an up and down, inside and out, mixed bag of events depending on the day. But you know, it's a blessing to simply be here and be surrounded by the people I am, both in the flesh and in the blogosphere. To have a chance to live life, to walk alongside people, to venture down uncharted roads and territory. Life's not perfect, even on the best of days...more like receiving a prize at the carnival fishing never quite know what to expect.

But experiencing life together, standing in the gap for each other, walking alongside and experiencing life through the eyes of those around us, that's what life is all about. You are all amazing blessings...peace to you and yours!

Trading My Sorrows
(Darrell Evans)

I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

We say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I am blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
That his joy's gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hard Questions = Equally Hard Answers

I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

I've had a few very poignant questions posed to me in the last 24 hours. They've made me really sit back and try hard to begin figuring things out. What were the questions which would do this?

Question #1 (3 parter)
"Is there anything about the time of year or this month which brings you into a bad place? If not, then what other things could it be? If so, then what are they and what can you do to make things easier and better?

So I've spent the last little bit really thinking about question #1, because it seems that September is a bad time for me the last little while. I sat back and thought about what September holds for me in the past and the future...why it might play such a potentially destructive role in the health of my life and soul. Seven years ago, my grandma passed away from cancer in in September I was still fresh in grief over losing a very special person in my life. Five years ago, my mom was recovering from surgery following the removal of a somewhat rare form of cancer. Three years ago, my mom had just been recently diagnosed with kidney disease and we were dealing with what this meant for the future. Two years ago at this time, I was dealing with the loss of two family members, one completely unexpected and the other one was a terminal disease which only lasted three months after diagnosis. My mom had also began kidney dialysis and was dealing with difficulties with the treatments. Last year, I had only been here for a couple of weeks, after spending a month traveling between two cities. I was dealing with the one year anniversary of the two deaths. I felt very alone and confused. Then a friend got very sick from an aneurysm, suffered a couple of strokes and after almost a month, did completely recover. It's also now the start of the homeschooling year for our family - this comes with a book of challenges of it's very own for me lately!

I look at that paragraph and it explains a lot. You know, you can surrender things to God, but grief isn't something that always leaves easily. You don't just quit loving someone because they're not here. Even when someone makes it through something traumatic, it doesn't mean you never are touched again by what took place in that time or the fact of how that event changed the course of a family's life.

I just never really looked at things enough to realize that my valleys came in September. Couple all that stuff, with the summer break from a ministry year, sometimes along with a feeling of burnout...September just might run the chance of bringing about apprehension, of starting back into the "busyness" of life.

Does it make the valleys go away? No, it hasn't, but it has improved things a bit and helped me along the road in figuring out what to not only get out of the valley, but also to try and break the cycle of events from continuing to happen year after year.

Question # 2 (Made my heart stop, as I knew I had to answer it truthfully - paraphrased a bit as well)
"You know that no matter how bad things get, that they are never bad enough where you would do something irreversible...right? You've never thought about that route, have you? You know you can call your friends at any hour of the day and night...we'll be there for know that, right?

When this question was asked, man, I didn't want to have to give the answer to it. I silently prayed that God would give me the words to explain things truthfully and precise. My answer to this was, "Yes, I have thought about that route, but I WOULD NEVER and WILL NEVER act on that thought." Because that's what it is...a thought which has passed into my clogged up mind in the past. But I know where that thought is coming from...and I know WHOSE I AM and because of who I belong to, I know that nothing is impossible or unbearable, even when it might seem like it. I know that's what life holds for me now and in the future is the truest and most amazing gift, and I will guard and cherish it with everything in me.

I do know that I have friends I can call for help and they will come. The obstacle with this that I have to overcome...I don't want to be a burden on anyone. I don't want to bring people down or bother them with my problems, especially when there's so much going on. And then there's the PRIDE factor...I don't want people to see or treat me differently than before. I guess I don't want to admit that there are times when my head gets really messed up...sometimes without me really knowing until I'm deep in the quicksand.

But, I'm not perfect and if I'm going to try to live "real", then I need to truly live it and allow people to see me for who I truly am all the time, not just in the good moments of life.

So, now that I've had these revelations, am I going to just "pop" out of it? Probably not...I'm sure I've already cried enough tears to recreate the flood and I'm sure that there's more to come. But I'm okay with that, because that's all part of being "real" and "healing". Just like a fast, the tears help to cleanse the dark and dreary out of a body. Things will eventually look up and until then, I'll rest in the love of Christ and the love of those who are standing in the gap for me...there'll come a time, once I'm back on the up and up, that I'll be called to stand in the gap for them. When that time comes, I'll be there too...anytime of the day or night!

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
(Casting Crowns)

Friday, September 22, 2006

...Are You My Flashlight?


I love You Lord
You are my strength and my shield
I need Your love
I trust Your wisdom my Father

'Cause You alone are my God
No one loves me like You do
I want to show You that I love You
I dedicate my life to You

I love You Lord
You are my strength and my shield
I need Your love
I trust Your wisdom my Father

You left your glory in heaven
And came down here to set us free
Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace
I just want to say that

You alone are my God
No one loves me like You do
I want to show You that I love You
I dedicate my life to You

©1998 SONshines music
music & lyrics –Joe BevAcqua

I find it interesting how God brings things into the forefront of your brain for a purpose. Yesterday, as I sat attempting to have quiet so as to gain a reprieve of peace, God brought me this song. He knows what I've been thinking this past week...He knows what people have been telling me...He knows what the "enemy" has been trying to feed me.

As I sat on my couch, this prayer was being lifted up silently..."I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that I let down my guard and put down my armor. I'm sorry I've allowed my head to be turned from the light. I love you and I need you more than ever now. Help me to find peace, strength and gentleness, instead of continuing to be on constant edge. Show me what to me find rest in You again.

This prayer was barely out of me before this song began to fill the room. As I began to sing to Him, I was flooded with a whole wave of emotions. I was overcome by them and brought to a place where I wept...but this time I wasn't weeping out sadness, I was weeping out of relief because I could feel His spirit flooding the room and wrapping around me, saying it's okay that I'm human and not perfect. That He'll guide me down the road I need to go, He'll give me strength and endurance, a calm and gentle spirit, a peace that passes all understanding.

I know the road lately has been winding and treacherous at times...I simply want a more peaceful journey through it. I don't want to be in the same old cycles of life, especially the destructive ones which seem to take me away from the light. I'm sick of going off-roading into those "dark" detours and especially without my flashlight and sword.

Yesterday for me was a day to be quiet in all my voices and to listen to the voices around me. I wasn't going to email, wasn't going to write things out on my blog. I was simply going to listen for God's voice through reading His word and through talking with Him in prayer. I was going to read and listen where I felt led...whether that be in the people right around me, books, the words in a song, blogs and/or their comment boxes, etc. He brought me many places and filled me with many things.

As I was reading comments placed on a post, one line of a comment flew off the screen and into my brain. It didn't even fly off in terms of the context, but simply because of where God was leading my thoughts.

i think the problem is that we think that we have to figure it all out in order to pray for God to do the right thing. we should probably just ask for that, whether we can discern what the right thing is or not. he's God. he'll figure it out. (

I sat quietly and thought on why this had flew off the screen at me. The answer which came was simple...I was trying so hard to figure out why I am "feeling" the way I am right now and have been in a really low place because I don't have a clue. Instead of raking myself over the coals and trying to desperately discern what's going on and what I need to do, I just need to fall back on the eternal knowledge I have deep inside. He knows what's going on and why it's happening, and He knows what steps I need to take to get things to a better place. I don't have to have it all figured out before I go to Him. He's fine with me coming in a "messed up" state...He'll be able to see through the "mess" and help me to navigate through.

It's refreshing to type that last paragraph. Because, despite all that's going on, I feel Him with me...feeling the Light is so very much better than feeling the loneliness of the dark.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Inadequately Equipped...

Proverbs 31:10-31: The Noble Wife (NIRV)
10 Who can find a noble wife? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband trusts her completely. She gives him all the important things he needs. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She chooses wool and flax. She loves to work with her hands. 14 She is like the ships of traders. She brings her food from far away. 15 She gets up while it is still dark. She provides food for her family. She also gives some to her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it. She uses some of the money she earns to plant a vineyard. 17 She gets ready to work hard. Her arms are strong. 18 She sees that her trading earns a lot of money. Her lamp doesn't go out at night. 19 With one hand she holds the wool. With the other she spins the thread. 20 She opens her arms to those who are poor. She reaches out her hands to those who are needy. 21 When it snows, she's not afraid for her family. All of them are dressed in the finest clothes. 22 She makes her own bed coverings. She is dressed in fine linen and purple clothes. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate. There he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen clothes and sells them. She supplies belts to the traders. 25 She puts on strength and honor as if they were her clothes. She can laugh at the days that are coming. 26 She speaks wisely. She teaches faithfully. 27 She watches over family matters. She is busy all the time. 28 Her children stand up and call her blessed. Her husband also rises up, and he praises her. 29 He says, "Many women do noble things. But you are better than all the others." 30 Charm can fool you. Beauty fades. But a woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned. Let everything she has done bring praise to her at the city gate.

I've been in a serious writer's block lately, but it seems perfect timing to do some writing about this scripture passage. For year's I've looked at this passage and felt burdened by how badly I am at my roles in life. The last few months I've looked at this more than once and just felt extreme guilt, sadness and burdened with the feeling of failure.

My family is so important to me...being the best wife and mother I can be to them is one of the most important goals in my life. Yet, as I have come into each day the last while, I have felt increasingly inadequate to do those roles. By the end of the day, I'm ragged and somedays feel like I went backwards, instead moving forward in getting things where they need to be. Many people around me say, "Well Cinder, you have three kids...", but the woman in Proverbs 31 had kids too, so I'm not playing into that line anymore.

For weeks now, I've said I didn't feel myself and now as I examine and reflect, I know it's because I've been inadequately putting on my Christian armor daily. There are sometimes days in between my armor going on and that's just blatant stupidity on my part to try and go it alone.

Ephesians 6:10-18: God's Armor (NIRV)
Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor. Then you can stand firm against the devil's evil plans. Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.

So put on all of God's armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing.

So stand firm. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all of the flaming arrows of the evil one. Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God's word.

At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God's people.

Because of my careless, I've allowed huge "attacks" at various levels in my life and as a result have brought some pretty big "storms" onto my family. As a result of this, it's making it virtually impossible for me to live up to Proverbs 31 right now. But deep down, I know as I begin to live life more responsibly and use my brain, things will improve and look up.

I think the most precious thing in this life is when, even when you can't see the light or through the storm, your mate can and helps God with the navigating. As I talked the other day with Mr. Cinder about the fact I might need to get a job late at night or early in the morning, in order to help us get completely debt-free, my husband spoke words which simply left me speechless and taken aback. For me, I felt like a failure of a wife and a mother and his words spoke what he sees. He said, "Your time is priceless and precious. It might not seem like that to you, but the time you spend with our kids and with me, it's more important than anything."

As I read Proverbs 31:25-29 this morning, his words rang crystal clear in my head and those, along with God's word, will get me back where I need to be. In my eyes, I might have a very long way to go...but in my husband's and God's eyes, I'm priceless and precious and eventually, with their help and love, I too will see the positive light.

"It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up." (1 Cor. 13:7 NIRV)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Is Life A Slow Dance?? I Think A Really Crazy Funky Chicken Sums It Up!

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,"Hi"

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

I received this in an email from a college friend. This speaks so much of what society today had made life out to be. And as I sit here and type, I'm ashamed in knowing that I've completely and totally bought into it. I came home this summer, from the most awesome experiences and it should have been will be in time. But right now, I'm SO tired and just feel like I have no peace in my life. I just want quiet...from the noise of life, from the stuff screaming at me in my head and just from life in general. I go to sleep tired and I wake up tired. Life's passing me by and I'm missing it, because it's a huge blur!

The sad truth is, that because I've bought into this whole rat race, I don't even think I know how to slow down and gain a true sense of peace and hear the music. I have no clue what's around that next corner, but still I play with fire and put faith in the fact that there's got to be more days.

I just want to live my life with purpose, peace and know that I'm living exactly where and how I'm supposed to. But for some reason, right now I've completely lost sight of what that purpose is. I look in the mirror and hardly recognize the person looking back at me. I look deep inside of myself and right now, it frankly scares me! How do you even attempt to share what's going on inside, when you don't even understand it yourself? When you don't want to bring this burden onto someone else's shoulders? Maybe deep down, it's a pride thing...not wanting people to truly know how bad things sometimes get.

Once things are going more smoothly, my goal is to try and "schedule" quarterly retreats for me and God. To examine where I am and where I need to be going. The most important live more like Matthew challenges us to and simply to be true, to allow people to see how messed up I sometimes am and to know that despite that, most of us will continue to stand together and be in the gap for each other when it's needed.

Matthew 5:1-12
1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


This was actually posted somewhere as a joke, but really depending on the day, I should probably have this on my back, in order to warn people to stay out of the direct fire. That's not something I'm proud of...really quite taken aback and embarrassed by it. I guess that's why I'm still classified a huge work in progress and am grateful for the eternal love and grace of a loving heavenly Father. Thank goodness I can come to the foot of the cross daily, admit my short-comings and start afresh, knowing He's right there with me through it all.

"But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their sinful nature to his cross. They don't want what their sinful nature loves and longs for. Since we live by the Spirit, let us march in step with the Spirit. Let us not become proud. Let us not make each other angry. Let us not want what belongs to others."
~ Galations 5:22-26

Monday, September 11, 2006

One Year Ago...

As I woke up this morning, I was flooded with a variety of emotions. This day serves as a reminder of the innocent people who lost their lives 5 years ago and how that changed many lives forever. This is also the 1st anniversary of being in our home and city. Today has been a day of reflection into where God has brought us and why this was exactly how things were supposed to play out. I did reflect a little on 9/11, freedom, etc., but instead of putting the same post two places, that post can be found at northVUs. I wrote this Cindertales post yesterday and posted it, but then took it off and chose to wait until later on today to repost it.

Find Yourself
by Brad Paisley

When you find yourself in some far off place
and it causes you to rethink some things
You start to sense that slowly you're becoming someone else
And then you find yourself...

When you make new friends in a brand new town
and you start to think about settling down
The things that would have been lost on you are now clear as a bell
And you find yourself,
yeah that's when you find yourself

Well you go through life
so sure of where you're headed
And you wind up lost
and its the best thing that could have happened
Cause sometimes when you lose your way, its really just as well
because you find yourself,
yeah that's when you find yourself.

When you meet the one, that you've been waiting for
and she's (he's) everything, that you want and more
You look at her (him) and you finally start to live for someone else
And then you find yourself,
yeah that's when you find yourself

Well you go through life
so sure of where we're headed
And you wind up lost
and its the best thing that could have happened
Cause sometimes when you lose your way, its really just as well
Because you find yourself,
Yeah that's when you find yourself.

As I sit here typing, I'm brought back to where I was at this time on Sept. 10th/05. We were broaching the last hour of packing a moving truck, surrounded by friends who we had "did life together" with for the few years. I was a basketful of emotions...choking back tears, sadness, anger, anxiety, fear of the unknown, etc., yet I knew God had a plan and I needed to have faith in that and follow His lead. On the 11th, we spent our last day with friends, kicking off the start of a new ministry year which we wouldn't be a part of. Driving into a new city, only knowing a handful of people, not knowing what lay ahead...met and surrounded by what would be our "new" family.

This has been our home for a year tomorrow and as I joked with someone, we are now switching things up...time to change the furniture layout, jack hammer out the sidewalk and build a new one, take down some trees, do some painting, etc. It took a long time for this to feel like home to me. It's not been an easy road the last year, but as I look back, no matter what I might have thought one year ago, this is exactly where we were supposed to come.

Does that mean things are always easy and I feel that way everyday? No...I still have days where I miss people and wish I could just get in the car and drive 5 minutes to see them vs. 2 1/2 hours. I still have difficulty putting myself out there, which causes problems in really getting past surface relationships with people. But, that will pass and things will continue to grow in exactly the way they're supposed to.

A friend had asked us if we would be coming to our "old" church to attend the kickoff Sunday. At first I thought it would be a good way to see a lot of people, as most would be there for that event. Then I found out I was on for worship singing and as I thought on what to do, I heard a still small voice saying, "This weekend's the anniversary of being here a year...bring it in with your immediate church family, not the extended one." We had the most amazing worship service this morning and weekend in general. I walked away knowing we brought this weekend in exactly where we were supposed to be.

I feel like I'm finally beginning to find some of the pieces of myself, which I lost sight of the past year. We just recently saw the Disney movie "Cars" with our kids and I loved the music, partly because it was performed by some of my favorite stars, some of the songs are my favorites and they speak volumes of this last year. Our family has been on a huge journey...last year at this time I didn't think we would make it through together, but God, as always, knew exactly what we were made of. Does it mean that life is peachy and there aren't any battles, etc.? No, but we are stronger than ever, despite all that's going on and are excited for this next year to be upon us and to see what it holds.

These songs describe so much of this year, so that's why they have their place in this post. Despite the battles, the chaos of life, the noise that's inadvertently there and other things, having the love of your family, enjoying growing together, drawing closer in a church which feels like it will be one we're at for a very long time and being in love more than ever after 10 years of may not be perfect and happy-go-lucky all the time, but these things are what life's about and it ROCKS!!

Blessings to you and yours...;D !

Life is a Highway
by Rascal Flatts

Life's like a road that you travel on
When there's one day here and the next day gone
sometimes you bend and sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your head to the wind
There's a world outside ev'ry darkened door
Where blues won't haunt you anymore
Where brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore
We won't hesitate
Break down the garden's gate
There's not much time left today

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Through all these cities and all these towns
It's in my blood and it's all around
I love you now like I loved you then
This is the road and these are the hands
From Mozambique to those Memphis nights
The khyber Pass to Vancouver's lights

Knock me down get back up again
You're in my blood
I'm not a lonely man (woman)
There's no load I can't hold
Road so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Just tell 'em we're survivors

Gimme gimme gimme gimme yeah
If you're going my way
I wanna drive it all night long
There was a distance between you and I
A misunderstanding once
But now we look in the eye

There ain't no load that I can't hold
Road so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Just tell 'em we're survivors

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Life's so full of questions somedays,
Wondering how to live this life for You,
Instead of for those who are alongside.

Longing to understand why things are the way they are,
Hoping to have plans more clearly revealed,
Wanting to simply be content with where things are and who this person truly is.

To live for You and be who You want,
And be happy with what that is and what it brings down the path,
Instead of wishing for things to be different or have some of what there was before.

**I want to thank Joyce for the comment you left last's so very true that we do often live for Him through those who are alongside us...that's the awesome thing about this life and I think it's essential!

In my life, I think I've been guilty of living my life, and aligning who I am, too much by the expectations of what those around me think things should be, rather than searching out the true direction sometimes.

It's been almost a year since our move and these words simply came as a result of entering a time of questioning some stuff ...going through my life with a fine tooth comb.**

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Masks, Costumes, True Colours

True Colours
(Kalan Porter feat. Theresa Sokyrka)

You with those sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Though I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it
And that darkness inside you makes you feel so small

But I see your true colors shining through
I see your true colors
That's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors, true colors
Are beautiful like a rainbow

Show me your smile
Don't be unhappy
Can't remember when
I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
Just call me up because you know I'll be there

And I see your true colors shining through
I see your true colors
That's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors, true colors
Are beautiful
Like a rainbow

You're beautiful
I see your true colors
Just remember
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
Just call me up because you know I'll be there

And I see your true colors shining throughI see your true colors
That's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors, true colors
Are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Like a rainbow

You're beautiful

Your true colors are beautiful

I know this song has been sung by a variety of people, but the version I have is by the Season 2 Canadian Idol finalists. This was a song which I listened to a lot while away on our trip...while I have it playing now on my MP3 player, I can see different places flying by in my head of hill country and coming into Colombo.

This song, along with a bag of Jollybeggar's Sour Skittles, became the inspiration for a sharing time with the children on the last Sunday we were in Sri Lanka. It's interesting for me to see how God works through the simplest of avenues to get His message across. I was given the general direction of the sermon to be given and I had absolutely nothing pop into my head, in terms of speaking with the kids about. Then as I stood on the balcony of our hotel, listening to this song and thinking of the last bag of Sour Skittles available for my use, my head started to flow with ideas. See for me, that's how it comes...I can be completely empty and then in an instance be completely overcome with a head full of ideas and/or visions.

That day I talked with the kids about how looks are sometimes deceiving...the Sour Skittles appear to be "sweets", but when you pop those things in your mouth, you are completely taken by surprise. They make your mouth pucker, because they essentially have a "costume" (or a mask) on...once you get past the cover, you get to the sweet part of the treat and then experience their true colors. We talked that day about how God doesn't want us wearing masks or costumes and that He wants us to live our lives showing our true colors. If we aren't showing our true colors, then we're really not being true to God.

For me it was a really rich time, as I gave it to God and said, "It's about you, not through me and speak what you want spoken!" I was just there as an instrument of voice that day. And as in many aspects of the trip, I took away more than I brought...I told the kids that from now on, whenever I eat Sour Skittles, I will remember them...their faces as they ate them on many occasions, just the innocence which shines through their beautiful faces. I told them that they were like a rainbow to me...just like the Skittles together make up a beautiful rainbow and just like we together make up the body of Christ.

This whole time of sharing with them served as a very poignant reminder to me...if I'm going to tell it to others, then I need to make sure I'm living it. I've lived very far from what my true colors are in many ways for a long time. I've struggled with relationally putting myself out there, inviting people into my home to have pure times of fellowship and make friendships, simply not being ashamed of who I truly am. Part of it is, that when you can't necessarily find people with which you have common areas of life with, it becomes harder to relate to each other. In my life, I often find myself changing to meet the molds of those around me, because it's simply much easier to lose sight of my true colors, than to show them and risk living with loneliness in this life.

I guess the question posed is this? Is it better to live a lonelier life, but be who you truly are than to live a fallacy or only a portion of who you are, instead of allowing people to experience the whole package? I'm going to be trying harder to live out my true's really easier said than done, but that's my game plan. That's the person my family and people really close to me know and love, and it should be the only Cinder people get to experience, know and love.

As I have began to be more like myself and actually am reaquainting with the "true" me, my head's began to flow with "visions" and is full, where for a while it was really empty. I think that's why I relate so much with this song...when you lose sight of who you are and start living differently, it makes you sad, lonely, crazy and allows life to not be fun and feel really unbearable and sometimes not worth living. I've experienced all those realms and it's now causing to me to sit back and take notice, and to truly think about what I need to change. I cannot express how it feels to have my head "full" again...I love to write down what God places inside and it then becomes a time of deciding what needs to be done with what He brings to me. I will elaborate more later on, but I'm excited about some of the ideas which are great ways of bringing my kids full force into missions here on their mission field and so much more!!

Blessings and love to you as you live out this day and the remainder of this week...God's peace and love be with you!