Saturday, May 12, 2012

Come Visit Me at My New Address

Hello sweet friend :)

It's been such a huge blessing to blog here for the past 4 years (can you believe it was that long?!)

Starting in Spring 2012, I moved to a new home! Woo Hoo!

Please hop over to www.cindybultema.com and say hello! I'd love to see you there!

God's richest blessings to you ~



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Change is in the Air (& Memory Verse Challenge)

She Sparkles Scripture Memory Challenge 2012
Hey Friends!
Welcome back to the A to Z Memory Verse Challenge 2012!

Today is the last verse I'll be sharing at cindybultema.blogspot.com. I'm moving!  Have you been to the new site yet? I'd love for you to join us at my new home - www.cindybultema.com.

You'll notice on the new site a "Resources" tab towards the top - with an "A to Z" listing. Whenever you need to review your verses, you'll find them all in one spot! Yay!

My amazing web designer (aka Kedron!) has also created a new button with the new site address (it's listed on the new site with the code you need). If you have a button on your blog, would you mind switching it (it looks similar but with my new address) ? I wouldn't want anyone to get lost!

Also, if you receive *She Sparkles* by e-mail, soon we will get that switched. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for your patience through this transition!

And now for our "J" verse!!!

Can you believe we are on the "J" verse already? Here are the verses we've been learning so far -

A - As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15b
B - Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. Acts 16:31
C - Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
D - Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
E - Every good and perfect gift is from above James 1:17

F - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
G - God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of need.
H - How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth.

I - It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1

and the J verse is .....


J - Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Giveaways ~

Thanks to the extreme generosity of Verseability, one of my Verse Challenge Sponsors, I am thrilled to share TONS of great GIVEAWAYS with you! For this week....

* Memory Verse Challenge Participants ~ I have 5 free custom A to Z Memory Versebooks ($8.00 value, plus free s/h) to share. Woo hoo!



The Kidz A to Z versebooks have ALL of the verses we'll be memorizing this year....however, I hope you'll keep coming back here and checking in! I've learned accountability is KEY to victory!

Also, although the versebooks were designed with kids in mind, I have one by my kitchen sink and I love it! My husband John took one to work and has it on his desk. The kids have one in their bathroom. I love the Kidz Versepack!



To Win this week's Giveaway: Share with us who you are, where you are from, and what verse you are memorizing this week.

Extra Entries:
• Follow me on my new Facebook page (here
)
• Share this giveaway on FB (including a link to this post)
• Tweet about this giveaway (including a link to this post)

Please be sure to leave me a comment to let me know your extra entries.

RULES: Starts today, Monday, May 7th and ends Wednesday, May 9th at 9 PM. Winners will be posted on my blog during the week on May 9th.


If your email address is not connected to your ID, please leave your email address with your comment or email it to me at
cindy.bultema@gmail.com with the subject "Giveaway".
If you are a blogger, please leave your blog address in the comment section. What fun to blog hop and see how you are implementing the verses. Friends, if you are able, please stop by and say hello to these fun A to Z Participants too!!!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*.


Happy Memorizing!


P.S  Be sure to come by my new site on Wednesday (my birthday!) for the "official unveiling" and lots of fun surprises! :)

Disclosure: I was not provided with any financial compensation for this giveaway, and as always, all opinions are mine.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's Here! And MORE exciting news!!! :)

Hey Friends!

You'll never guess what I received today??  Are you ready???


The finished Day of Discovery DVD of my personal testimony....now known as "He Loves Me - A Woman's Journey to Peace featuring Cindy Bultema". 

Can I get a Woo Hoo?!

Only God.

In case you've missed the promo, here is a brief clip...



I'm heading over to RBC in the afternoon to pick up a box of DVD's. I would love, love, love to share one with YOU! In fact, let's get this party started with 10 DVD's to share! :)

To Win my "He Loves Me" DVD Giveaway:

Head on over to my NEW WEBSITE - www.cindybultema.com and enter to win!!

Woo Hoo!!!

See you at the new site....






Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What are YOU wearing?



As I was rummaging through my closet today looking for a Spring-like outfit to wear, I was reminded of my blog post on our "thought closets". It made me stop and ponder on what I was REALLY preparing to wear..and boy do I have some work to do!   Enjoy this mid-week repeat!


Hey Friends ~

What thoughts have been rolling around in your mind these days??

A Bible study I'm studying by Jennifer Rothschild (Me, Myself, & Lies - it's awesome!) encourages us to think of our thought life like a closet.

Our thought closet is designed to host the mind of Christ.

We cannot allow it to become cluttered with wrong thoughts or words or ill-fitting labels.

What's hanging in your closet??

For many years, my closet was filled with rags and hand-me-downs labeled "Not good enough", "Unloved", "Rejected".


And then I met Jesus. (Can I get a "Woo Hoo"?!)

Jesus ripped down the old rags (that were never meant for me to wear), and exchanged them for beautiful, glorious garments perfectly designed and hand-crafted just for me.
"Loved", "Beautiful in His Sight", "More than enough", "Redeemed" now hung in my new and improved thought closet.

Unfortunately, every once in awhile, I pick up an old rag and bring it in. I walk past a magazine with a mom of 8 kids in a bikini on the cover (although she had a tummy tuck!) and add "fat girl" and "unlovely" to my closet.

I flip through Pottery Barn catalogs, and suddenly "not good enough" becomes wrapped tightly around my waist.

I see pictures on FB of friends hanging out together, and I slip on "alone", "not wanted", "not loved".

If I'm going to be the victorious, powerful, fruit-bearing woman God has called me to be ~
I must not allow that old rag to hang in my closet for even a moment.

One smelly lie can start stinkin' up my whole thought closet. It must be removed. Confessed. Replaced with God's Truth. Immediately.

 


Today I choose to fill my thought closet only with Truth.

I will meditate on Colossians 3:12 and clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

I will live on guard to the enemy and his schemes.

I will ask God to help me keep my thought closet clean and orderly and pleasing to Him.

I will live loved.

How about for you?? Are there any old "rags" hanging around that need to be tossed out?

Is it time for a new garment....or maybe a whole new wardrobe? What's in your thought closet these days??

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have an amazing, liberating, Truth-filled day!

P.S. One of my most popular handouts is called "What is True to Me According to the Scriptures". My mentor Mary gave it to me years ago, and I try to pass it out every where I go. May I send you a copy? Please leave me your email address, and I will be sure to digitally send a copy your way!


Monday, April 30, 2012

Mailbag Monday ~ Keeping You In the Loop

Hi Friends!

Thanks for all your sweet notes after my week of being a frazzled, emotional mess. Thankfully I'm doing much better this week! Woo Hoo! :)

I spoke at a wonderful Mother/Daughter Luncheon in Prescott, Michigan on Saturday. The committee was extremely warm and gracious, and would you believe, about 70% of the women did NOT know Jesus. Wow! What an amazing outreach event. I loved every minute of my time with this sweet group, and it fired me right back up again! Yay! I feel like I'm back to being ME! Thank you for your prayers! (Not to mention, 7 hours of worship time in the car did wonders for my weary soul!)

I've been getting lots of mail from y'all lately (thanks!) ~ so here are the answers to some of the questions you've been sending my way! (Be sure to stick with it to the end - I have a SUPER fun surprise to share with you!)

When does "He Loves Me" come out? How can I get a copy?



Starting May 11th, you'll be able to view the "He Loves Me" program at the Day of Discovery website. (You can also purchase copies there too).  When they are in, you'll also be able to purchase DVD's from *She Sparkles*. I'd be humbled to send a copy of "He Loves Me" your way!  

Doesn't Jake graduate this year? Where is he going to college?

Yes, my baby is graduating this year! Jake hasn't made any firm decisions yet. He was invited to go to a hockey prospect camp this July in Canada. His hope is to play hockey somewhere in the fall (I knew when his first was "hockey: I was in trouble!). I'll keep you posted!

Cindy, Are you speaking at Speak Up again this year?


Yes! I'll be teaching 3 workshops during the Speak Up Conference, as well as sharing at one of the main sessions. I can't wait! I love, love, love meeting all of the great women from around the nation ~ not too mention, Carol and her team are as Christ-centered and encouraging as they come! For more info (including what I'll be teaching) - visit here.

When does your study filmed in Turkey come out?

The filming we just completed in Turkey is for a new 8 session, video driven Bible study. The filming is finished, but now there is lots of work to do on the study guide. RBC Ministries is hoping the study will be available next spring/summer, so a church could plan on launching it Fall 2013. Only God!


Are you celebrating May Day this year?

For many years we celebrated May Day faithfully every year. Believe it or not, I'm not sure if we will this year. I'm trying not to "over-do", so we'll see. :) You can check out our previous May Day adventures here.

Are you teaching a Summer Bible Study in Grand Rapids??


Y'all know how much I love sharing God's Word! Julie and I are praying about "something"...details to be announced as soon as we know more....  Grand Rapids friends, would you be interested in coming to a little something in July?? What if the topic was "Living Balanced in an Unbalanced World?"

Lastly, although you didn't ask....I want YOU to be the first to know!

Coming VERY SOON *She Sparkles* will have a new look! Yay! I've been working with an incredible web designer, and we hope to do the big unveiling very soon! Not to worry, it'll still be sparkly! :)
I'm trying to think how to make the "Grand Unveling" fun and celebratory. Any suggestions???

Thanks for sending questions my way. Please keep them coming! :)  And thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*, my friend!  I thank God for you!

God's richest blessings to you~



Friday, April 27, 2012

Coping Strategies for the Frazzled Female

Hey Friends ~

I'll be painfully honest...it's been a tough week.

I'd love to tell you my week has been filled with family fun, creativity, warm fuzzies and snuggle time ~ but this mama is struggling. Big time.

I keep saying to John, "Why do my feelings still get hurt so easily?", "When am I going to grow past this?" "What do I do with these feelings"???

Yesterday I was listening to a powerful teaching and a gifted teacher said these 4 words that have rocked my world ~ "....YOU CANNOT SELECTIVELY NUMB.....".

If we numb the hurt, the pain, the fear and the insecurities ~ we also numb our joy, our love, our happiness, our peace.

And friends, I refuse to live numb. I will feel the feelings...even if it hurts. 
Can anyone else relate??


You may remember, last year one of my precious little ones was meeting with a therapist for some extra help. She spent one session learning "coping strategies" ~ her mini toolbox of tips to pull from when she's faced with a difficult situation.



Thankfully one of her assignments was to copy the strategies and hang them all over the house. They are still hanging! This week I decided I need to revisit them and put them back to use in my life too!!!


**Here are my Top Ten Coping Strategies for the Frazzled Woman**
(adopted from my daughter's list)

1. Deal with your feelings

It's ok (and very helpful/healthy) to share, "I feel......".

Our feelings are our feelings and we need to get them out in healthy, safe ways. And yes, we use the feelings chart in our home (a lot!). Unfortunately this Mama has forgotten that her feelings matter too.


How are YOU feeling today???

2. Think about the good side

Today I'm choosing to think on thoughts that are good, healthy and positive. Philippians 4:8 (MSG) has been wonderful to reflect on...

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

3. Focus on what can and can’t be changed

We can't change people, their responses, or the pain they are dealing with and their unhealthy reactions....but we can change how we respond and what we do with our feelings.

4. Nobody’s perfect

That's freeing, isn't it? I don't have to be a perfect mom/wife/woman (and you don't either!)

5. Take a break.

What a good reminder during the busy Spring season. We can't so everything. Someone else can drive on the field trip or bring the cookies for the parent meeting. The emails can wait. Moms need breaks too.

6. One step at a time

7. Take care of yourself.

This week I went to the gym 2 nights after I tucked the kids in. Of course, they whine "Don't leave me. I can't sleep if you're not here." (Good grief. Their dad is home. All is well). 

I went anyway, and let me tell you I felt VICTORIOUS! It 's great to model "Mom needs to take care of herself too"

How will you take care of yourself today???

8. Plan ahead

I'm learning that it is very helpful to plan ahead, but then to hold the plan loosely. Life happens.

But if I plan ahead and think about, for example, what I will feed my family at 6 PM ~ it sure helps alleviate a lot of chaos in the home (and then I end up ordering pizza. again.)

9. Ask for help

Aren't you glad we don't have to journey alone? Who are your 3 people that you could call at 4 AM in the morning and they'd help you in a heartbeat? We all need those people!

10. Pray! (Added by me!)

After my "mini meltdown" this week, it was GREAT to go to the coffee shop yesterday for 3 hours and just pray, lifting all of my concerns/needs/worries to God! I'm leaning hard on Him and His Word as I learn how to "cope" with these "tight spots" in life!

How about for you? What coping strategies do you have in your "tool belt"? How do you live "frazzle free"?

I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*!

May your weekend be filled with love, real face to face connections, joy and oodles of peace!



P.S. One of my good friends (and graphic designers) turned this "coping strategies" list into a pdf file. If you'd like a copy, send me your email and I'll send a copy to you (next week)!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Calling all Speakers, Writers & Leaders (& Carol Kent Giveaway)

If you didn't see the new "Sneak Peek" of Day of Discovery's upcoming DVD featuring my life story, you can view a clip here!

Hi Friends!

I'm curious...what is it you are most afraid of??

As many of you know, for years I wrestled with a fear of public speaking.

When I was little, I often wet my pants at school because I was too afraid to raise my hand in class. The thought of everyone looking at me was just too much for this shy, insecure, red haired little girl.


After I came to know Jesus, I sensed God wanted me to share my testimony with others.


I was terrified.


In 2003, I heard about Carol Kent's Speak Up Seminar. I knew I should go.
 I chickened out.


FOUR years later, I faced my fears and attended Speak Up.


Can I just tell you....Speak Up with Confidence changed my life. Literally.


I vowed I'd never allow FEAR to hold me back from what God is calling me to do.


From the messages Carol and her team share, to the empowering workshops, the opportunity to meet gracious women from around the country, and the encouragement received in a small group setting ~ God has used Speak Up in very significant, transformational ways.


Most importantly, Speak Up with Confidence has given me tools not only to help me grow as a speaker, but to develop as the woman that God desires for me to be.


If I had all of the resources in the world, I would fund every single woman I know to attend Speak Up with Confidence in Grand Rapids this June 21 -23, 2012!

Carol has an AMAZING schedule planned for this summer's Speak Up Conference (here).


This year she is combining the best of her Original and the Advanced Speak Up Seminars into a single speaking track....plus a writing track, and a leadership track.

Not to mention recording artist Babbie Mason
will be the worship leader. Yippee!

Whether you sit in PTO meetings, share at your MOPS group, attend a Bible study, or simply want to be more comfortable talking in front of others ~ I think everyone can benefit from the prinicples Carol and her team share at this amazing conference.



You can learn more about the details of Speak Up Conference here. You will LOVE it! (Please don't allow expenses to hold you back ~ there are scholarship dollars available to help ~ contact Bonnie for more information.)


And guess what??! Just like last year, I'll be there as a facilitator and workshop leader. Woo Hoo! I would love to see you there! :)


Also, for any *She Sparkles* friend that signs up, please write *She Sparkles* in the memo line, and Carol will present you with a personally autographed copy of her book Speak Up with Confidence.

And now, dear bloggy friends, whether you are able to attend the conference or not ~ I would love to give you a personally signed, autographed copy of this resourceful book!


To Win my Speak Up with Confidence book Giveaway: Leave a comment in the comment section answering this question:

Why would you like to win Carol Kent's book Speak Up with Confidence??

Extra Entries:
•Follow *She Sparkles*
•Subscribe to *She Sparkles*
•Add my *She Sparkles* button to your blog
•Tweet about this giveaway including a link to this post

Please be sure to leave me a comment to let me know your extra entries.

RULES: Starts today, Wednesday, April 25th and ends Sunday, April 29th at 9 PM. Winner will be posted on my blog during the week of May 1st.

If your email address is not connected to your ID, please leave your email address with your comment or email it to me at
cindy.bultema@gmail.com with the subject "Giveaway".

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*. Have a wonderful, fearless, power-filled, day!!






Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this review (I just love the Speak Up Seminar!) and, as always, all opinions expressed in this post are fully my own.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"He Loves Me" Behind the Scenes Secrets (& new Video Clip)

Hey Friends ~

I'm excited to share some "He Loves Me" Behind the Scenes secrets today!  First, let's see if you can figure them out! Want to play along?

1. Where was "He Loves Me" filmed? What city??

If you guessed, Kokomo, Indiana you are correct! (Recap of why Kokomo - here)

I think Kokomo is super appropriate, especially since it it the "City of Firsts" ~ and this is my first video project! Yay, God!


And if you are familiar with Kokomo, Indiana and wonder if I saw "Big Ben" while I was there, the answer is YES! Picture below is me and Director Fred Hollis (another Kokomo native) with the historic Big Ben of Highland Park.


2. What was the first scene I had to film?

Although the promo is the first scene the viewers will see (promo here), it was actually one of the last scenes we shot. For the first scene, all I had to do was pull pedals off of a daisy and let the pedals fall to the ground. No speaking. No facial expressions. Just pull the pedals, Cindy.


Simple enough, right???

Can I tell you I was a shaky, nervous wreck?? At that moment I thought to myself, "Oh good grief, what in the world did I get myself into? It's going to be a looong 2 days. Lord help me!" Thankfully God heard my cries and helped me get through the opening daisy scene, as well as the other scenes where I actually talked. Whew! (Thank You, God!)


3. How many of my family members (from my home) participated in this video production?

If you guessed ALL SIX you are correct!

When you watch the video in its entirety, you'll see 5 familiar faces (from my home) and recognize 1 voice (besides mine). Another close family member is in the Christmas scene - but that's another secret for another day!

See if you can tell from this mini clip which family members are involved. :) 


Did you recognize anyone??? 

(Special thanks to Jeanine, RBC's Editor Extraordinaire  for coming up with the idea to have my Sarah pull the daisy pedals, and to have my Amanda's voice in the background. I love that my girls are a part of one of the opening scenes!)

Thanks for stopping by and learning some of my "Behind the Scenes" secrets. :)  Most importantly, thanks for the special role YOU have played praying on the journey! May God use this "He Loves Me" project to share hope, joy, and TRUTH with ALL who have the opportunity to view it!

Sweet blessings to you~

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A to Z Memory Verse Challenge - "I" Verse & "5 pack" CD Giveaway

Hey Friends!

Welcome back to the A to Z Memory Verse Challenge 2012! I'm so glad you are here!
If you are new to the A to Z Challenge, you can read all about it here ! You can join in at anytime!

Today is the perfect day to start memorizing verses with us!

Here are the verses we've learned so far....

A - As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15b
B - Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. Acts 16:31
C - Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
D - Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
E - Every good and perfect gift is from above James 1:17

F - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
G - God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of need.
H - How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth.

And now for our "I" verse -


It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Galatians 5:1


Memorizing Ideas ~

* My daughter Manda likes to jump rope around the block saying her verses at the same time. (My neighbor/friend Lori saw her the other day and said to Manda, "Yes, you are your mother's daughter!)


* Don't forget the dry erase marker idea. Write the verse on mirrors in your home. (Send me a pic when you do!)

* Put it on a note card by your toothbrush. Say it aloud each morning & night when you brush your teeth.

* For families, you may want to print off a letter "I" on colored cardstock. Write the verse on the "I", and hang it on your refrigerator.

* Get crafty! My friend recently sent a pic of some fun verse cards that she recently made with her gang. So cute!

For more ideas of memorizing verses, check out this great list!

**Feel free to share your favorite tips, ideas, even pictures. I'd love to share your suggestions and/or link to you in the weeks to come!

Giveaways ~

I am thrilled to share another GREAT GIVEAWAY with you!


This week I have a "CD 5 pack" of awesome Christian music! The CD pack includes music from Planet Shakers (featuring Israel Houghton), Michael W. Smith, Burlap to Cashmere, Elevation Church, and One Sonic Society.

**A huge note of thanks to Tom Brown, music rep for Provident Music, for his willingness to share these great CD's with a *She Sparkles* friend! :)

To Win this week's Music Giveaway: Share with us who you are, where you are from, and what verse you are memorizing this week.


Extra Entries:
•Follow *She Sparkles*
•Subscribe to *She Sparkles*
•Add my *She Sparkles* button to your blog
•Tweet about this giveaway including a link to this post

Please be sure to leave me a comment to let me know your extra entries.

RULES: Starts today, Monday, April 23 and ends Wednesday, April 25th at 9 PM. Winners will be posted on my blog during the week on April 30th.

If your email address is not connected to your ID, please leave your email address with your comment or email it to me at
cindy.bultema@gmail.com with the subject "Giveaway".

If you are a blogger, please leave your blog address in the comment section. What fun to blog hop and see how you are implementing the verses. Friends, if you are able, please stop by and say hello to these fun A to Z Participants too!!!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*.
Happy Memorizing!


P.S. Verseability has also made a custom A-Z Versepack that contains all 26 of the verses for the year. The Versepacks are business card sized and perfect for carrying in your purse or pocket and are available for a special price of $ 5.00, plus shipping. You can order them by e-mailing:
darlenedykstra@yahoo.com
. Be sure to mention *She Sparkles* to get the special rate.
Disclosure: I was not provided with any financial compensation for this giveaway, and as always, all opinions are mine.

Friday, April 20, 2012

TobyMac Concert - Woo Hoo!


Hey Friends :)

Last night was the TobyMac concert! What a GREAT show!

My kids were all very excited for the "Meet and Greet" with him before his concert. (Um, well I guess, not just the kids. Lindsey & I were a teensy bit excited too!)

When the time came to meet TobyMac, he could not have been any nicer. He asked the kids their names. He talked to them about our Spring Break to Washington DC (he's from Arlington). I talked with him about his "The Bomb Mom" clothing line.
He chatted with John about what band members would be playing.

Even though he was late for the start of the show, TobyMac never seemed in a hurry and couldn't have been more gracious. What a blessing!

(Family pic with TobyMac below. My son Jake had hockey practice, so we brought along Benj's best friend, also named Jake).

Of course, my girls may never wash their arms again. :)



TobyMac: A Night of Unplugged Stories & Songs is unlike any concert I've been too before. The stage was set up like a living room, and it felt as if we were just hanging out with TobyMac and his musicians.

They would sing a song or two, tell some stories, introduce what the lyrics meant to the song, as well as share how God had handpicked each of the singers/musicians.

The concert was worshipful, yet rockin', prayerful but also powerful, and overall just an amazing time. We all agreed it was one of our favorites!

TobyMac shared the theme of his concert was the importance of surrounding yourself with good friends and good people that will help you be more Christlike.

He shared how he prayed specifically that God would bring people into His life that loved Him even more than he did, to inspire and encourage him and keep him on the right path. What a powerful reminder!

We left the concert excited, refreshed, fired up and thankful for a great night of amazing music and a life-giving message. Woo Hoo!

Here's a little TobyMac for you to start out your weekend!



Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! May your weekend be filled with much joy, laughter, and fun family moments!

P.S. To see if TobyMac's show is heading to your town, you can check here. I'd highly recommend it! :)


Thursday, April 19, 2012

"He Loves Me" Video Debut :)

Hey Friends!

It's Thankful Thursday! What are you thankful for today???

Although it's been a bit crazy this week, I'm choosing to be thankful! :)

I'm thankful my family is healthy (woo hoo!), lice free (yay!), we're going to the TobyMac concert tonight (double woo hoo!) and I'm thankful for the chance to share another video clip with you from my story. Yippee!

Since you have prayed for this project so faithfully (remember my big plea for prayer here), I wanted to give you, my sweet *She Sparkles* friends, another special "sneak peek".

This portion of my story I am sharing was the hardest to film for a bzillion reasons (trust me, since I don't like video cameras, the whole project was hard!).

Not only am I talking about a very tragic part of my journey (my hardest, saddest day ever), portions of this clip were filmed at my parent's home (where I originally received the devestating phone call). Reliving December 10th, 1998 at my parent's home was beyond difficult, but yet, at the same time I had so much peace.

Your prayers made a HUGE difference, so I thought I'd start with this piece of the story to share. It's 3+ minutes long. Here goes...



I was telling some friends that I feel like I'm "standing before you in my underwear" as I share my story through video. There's nothing like bringing all my past, fears and insecurities right to the forefront!

It's still painfully hard for me to watch and to share - but you are a perfect way to practice. :) I am SO THANKFUL for YOU and your encouragement and support. Thank you!

It's Thankful Thursday! What are you thankful for today??? I'd love to hear from you!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! God's richest blessings to you~


P.S. As you probably remember, Mother's Day is the official air date of my full 30 minute program on Day of Discovery (local schedule here).

If you like what you see, please continue to visit Day of Discovery here or
here and thank them for their hard work and investment in this project!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lessons in Laodicea

Thanks for all your kind comments on my "Big unveiling". Y'all are too sweet! I'll post another section of my story later this week. :)

Hey Friends :)

A bloggy friend sent me a note the other and shared she wanted to hear more about my filming in Turkey
. I learned so many "lessons in Laodicea" ~ I'd love to share more with you!

You have to know ~ I went to Turkey excited...but also knowing I was in way over my head!

Me, a Bible teacher in Turkey? The one who doesn't like cameras and has a testimony like this
?! Really?

Not to mention, I needed to have 7 full teaching sessions PLUS 7 intros/closings memorized and ready to share to the camera at any moment.

No podium.


No cue cards.

No teleprompters.

Once we were on location in Ancient Laodicea, I didn't teach the sessions in order.


Depending where we were filming at Laodicea (i.e. the stadium, the theater, the Syrian Road, etc....), as soon as we finished one session, I'd just quickly change outfits and pick right up in the next teaching, and sometimes in the middle of that teaching.

For example, we finished Session #7 near the stadium, I changed my clothes in the middle of the ruins (don't worry, the guys looked away), and immediately had to pick up in the middle of teaching # 4.


(Pic below is right before we began shooting # 4. And yes, I am standing on glass overlooking more ruins! See me scrambling to get my head around the new material.)



If it sounds difficult and confusing for me, it was.

The production was set up this way to save our precious time. The ruins of Laodicea are quite large (covering a huge area of land), and it would have taken forever (and been exhausting!) walking back and forth to the restrooms between every scene/teaching change.


Friends, this production was by far the hardest thing God has ever asked me to do.


I longed to see the faces of my Monday night Bible study girls, and not just my reflection in the camera lens. I desperately wanted/needed a coffee break. I was convinced God picked the wrong girl.

I wish I could tell you I was strong and confident and just totally trusted the Lord.

Um, not so much.

Except don't tell the crew. On the outside, I kept smiling and was prepared to be flexible and serve in any possible. Fred and the others just saw...



On the inside I was crying out something like this, "God, this is too hard. I can't do it. How am I supposed to pick up the "Gold teaching" when we were just talking about "Lukewarm Living". God, this is just too hard. I can't do it"

Finally I cried out, "Oh God, would you reveal Yourself to me??? I need to be reminded that you are here with me!!! Can you show Yourself to me, please????!!!! And soon?!!!!"


Just then I looked down, and covering my feet were flowers surrounding the ruins nearly everywhere I looked like this..
.


(You may remember last year God used "daisies" to remind me of His presence and love when lice had taken over our house. Yes, lice. (Feel free to itch now.) You can read a recap here.)


I sensed God saying to me in Laodicea..."Yes, Cindy, it's too hard. No you can't do it. BUT I CAN. You just keep focusing on Me and I'll do the rest".

Can I just tell you....almost everything we filmed was in "one take" (yes, they called me a "one take wonder") and the Director Fred Hollis had wonderful things to say about how quickly I caught on.


Only God!!!

John 14:21 AMP

....whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]

Are you faced with a situation that feels too hard for you to bear?


Circumstances that seem overwhelming and you're in desperate need of His Presence and strength?? I pray John 14:21 will become a reality in your life. May God reveal Himself to you in a very specific, physical, tangible way as you call out to Him! :)

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*, my dear friend! Have a joy-filled day!

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