Friday, December 31, 2010

Take The Year By Storm!

When He thunders, the waters in the heavens are in turmoil, and He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings the wind from His storehouses. ~Jeremiah 10:13

As I was taking my last walk for 2010, it turned into a walk in the rain... with the sound of thunder in the distance. Since I happen to love thunderstorms, it made me smile with anticipation of what may lay ahead. Literally ahead of me, I could observe the spectacular and colorful array of fireworks!! Due to the approaching storms, celebrations by the lake were moved forward and I was blessed to catch the display.The slight melancholia that had been with me as I began this walk (after all, it is the final hours of 2010, and I was reflecting) quickly vanished as though snatched away by the wind that increased in strength.

A friend had written about taking the new year by storm and his words immediately came to the forefront of my mind. Since we share an affinity for this type weather, I knew exactly what he meant when he had used that description.That metaphor gave me the perfect imagery of rejoicing in the power and magnificence and awe of what our God can do!! He had also referred to a verse that had just never grabbed my attention before:

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. ~ Matthew 11:12

As I googled (my favorite new verb!) my way through various translations and commentaries to reach a better understanding of context and application, I was completely caught up and unaware of anything around me. Y'all aren't going to believe me, but I promise this is true: My 'AHA!' moment was punctuated with a brilliant streak of lightning and a tremendous crash of thunder!! I love God's sense of humor!! :)

Violence does have a negative image, just as the thought of a violent storm puts many in fear. I have a respect for the power of a storm, but I have to admit that my first reaction is sheer exuberance. A passion or zeal for God is the connotation I receive from both this verse and thunderstorms. Just as I don't cower in fear during a storm, neither do I want to cower in fear from life ...or God.

As a little girl, we had many summer thunderstorms. As the wind would begin blowing, I would stretch out my arms and race headlong into it as fast as I could run, laughing in absolute delight! The joy I felt while running, spinning around, and dancing along with the leaves in the trees is the same way I want to feel about life now: knowing that a storm is approaching but enjoying the moments before and watching in amazement as God displays His power in the storm.

So, yes, my friend, I agree with you that 2011 will be a year we will take by storm! God will be with you, me, and all the rest every step of the way demonstrating just how mighty and awesome He really is!!!

May 2011 be a year of joy and peace in each of your lives. God bless you all!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Potter & The Clay

Have Thine own way Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay. 
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.

   Text:     Adelaide A. Pollard (1862-1934) 
Music: George C. Stebbins (1864-1945)
That has always been a favorite hymn from my childhood, 
and one I have thought about a lot recently. Have I always 
just mindlessly sang it...or have I ever sincerely asked
 God to mold me into the image He wants me to be?

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?~ Romans 9:20-21

Crosshaven went through the book of Romans this year, so this was the first instance of this verse appearing to me. Unfortunately this is also a verse that is too reflective of my attitude this year. I would say that I have always been accepting of  anything connected to my life. Not to say that I don't rebel because I have pitched some temper tantrums with God that would put any 2 year old to shame.
There have been some wonderful changes in my life in 2010, but the whiney, "Why?", has become too prevalent also. This is certainly an area I am having to deal with much too frequently.

   He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, but something went wrong with it. So he used that clay to make another pot the way he wanted it to be. Then the Lord spoke His word to me: "Family of Israel, can't I do the same thing with you?" says the Lord. "You are in My hands like the clay in the potter's hands." ~ Jeremiah 18:4-6 (New Century Version)

On Sunday mornings in my Life Group (small group, Sunday School, whatever you want to call it), we have been studying the book of Jeremiah. This verse brought to mind that even though we may mess up, God can still use us. When something went wrong, the potter just started over to make the pot into what he wanted. This verse is one that gives me much hope and comfort. God can still use me.

After a day spent in what felt like a black pit of despair, the chance to go to church tonight to hear a message on the HOPE that was born to mankind on Christmas Day helped me begin to climb out with a glimmer of hope for my own life. I have prayed not only for me to live my life with acceptance, but acceptance-with-joy. God even graciously granted a selfish little prayer that I begged Him to send me as a sign that my prayer for forgiveness over my attitude ...especially today's...had been heard. (and that was even after I quickly repented of begging for a favor!)

Now, to truly begin to live as God wants, and to not question every motive or complain because things aren't what I hoped them to me. His Grace truly is sufficient. And whenever I sing along with "Potter's Hand", I want this to be my sincere prayer ... and to joyfully serve His purpose for my life.

December 29, 2010: "I will yield my life to the Potter's Hand"  ~ Cindy

Monday, December 27, 2010

One to write.

I have decided to close out the Cindy's World Blog (loved the look of it, but it just isn't as easy for me to navigate as the site I use for Cindy's Random Thoughts) However, I don't want to lose all I had written. So, they are being transferred here. So, since I seldom went there, here are the entries from Cindy's World:

1. Beyond The Farthest Star 

Posted by Cindy Navarro on July 29, 2010 at 2:26 AM

I just found out about this incredible new film! BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR, from what I have read and seen, will change faith-based films forever! Here's the deal, the only way it will get into cinemas is for us believers to Demand It through their website. Make sure you also become a fan on their FB page! Let's make sure this film changes lives!

2. Nothing To Say *sigh* 

Posted by Cindy Navarro on July 30, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Before I decided to create this, I always had stuff on my mind. Now, I apparently have 2 blogs and absolutely nothing to say. *deeper sigh*

I haven't decided yet how often I will try to update....or exactly what I will update on.

I am excited to see the fanbase grow for Beyond The Farthest Star! I have so much fun encouraging people to become fans!! The Game Of Life is still so special to me too! Not only is it the first group, I got so excited about, but I have grown to love so many of the people I have met through that site.

Isn't it odd how attached you can get to people you have never met? You know, this is bringing up an idea for something to write about!! Now....which blog do I want to write on? I guess I will wait until I throw my thoughts together a bit more coherently before I attempt to write.


3. You Better Get Ready...I'm Coming Home!!! 

Posted by Cindy Navarro on August 8, 2010 at 5:01 PM

"You better get ready, I'm coming home!"  were the words I heard on the phone a few minutes ago from Cody!!   Next was, "I got money for my birthday, so I'll be buying my own stuff now!!   Wait!!  I want to buy a phone, but YOU can keep buying the rest of my stuff!!"
He is hilarious.

But it did trigger a few thoughts of my life. How often, when things are going good, do I want to tell God that I can handle it now? Just as quickly, I want to put those words right back in my mouth. I can have nothing nor do nothing without Him!! I learned that lesson the hard way.

While only God knows when I will be heading toward Heaven, I think of loved ones already there. My least 1 miscarried grandchild! I wonder who else is waiting on me? More important than those I knew and loved is my Savior!! I may not know the day or the hour, but I want to look toward Heaven and joyfully shout..............................................................


** This was the original brief note I put on the blog. Later, the full note was posted on the website A GENTILE ANSWER on the Teachable Moments section. AGAMinistry is the blog of my friend, Kathy Lonsinger.
  (Sadly, I no longer do such drastic editing on my blog! LOL)

4. Sleeping Under The Stars 

Posted by Cindy Navarro on August 14, 2010 at 9:38 AM

The Perseid Meteor Showers are making their annual appearance. It has been years since I lived in an area where I could actually see anything, but I always try. Watching a starry night fascinates me almost as much as a thunderstorm. They both remind me of the magnificence and omnipotence of God.

Thursday night was supposed to be the best viewing night, but there was simply too much cloud cover. However, I did enjoy just sitting outside and communing with God. Last night, I made the decision that I would sit outside again. I had not had a very good day, and just really needed to pour out my heart to the One who loves me and understands.

After about 20 minutes, Caitlyn wandered out to see if I had seen a meteorite yet. I told her no, but that I was going to get a blanket and just lay outside for a while. Caitlyn decided to join me, and as we lay on the blanket talking, it began to get a bit chilly. I volunteered to go in for another blanket. When I returned, she excitedly exclaimed that she had seen 2 streak by!!  I am still happy for her.

We continued lying there, gazing at the skies and talking both of serious matters and total nonsense. The next thing I knew, I was waking up...and it was 4:30am. I may not have seen a meteorite, but I did add a treasured memory of time spent with my precious granddaughter. God is sooo good!!!

New Living Translation (©2007)
  "He made all the stars--the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky".~ Job 9:9

5. What Am I Thinking!!?? 

Posted by Cindy Navarro on November 22, 2010 at 1:26 AM it is past midnight, and I have spent way too much time trying to connect a blog I seldom even remember to use to everything else.

Why, you ask, do I need yet another place to share my thoughts? :/ I am equally as puzzled. Cindy's Random Thoughts is easier for me to navigate, but I just think Cindy's World looks cooler!!
Plus, I may decide to change them into 2 different type blogs. Or, one just may have to go. Who knows what the future holds?

Well, I know my future needs to hold sleep. I have a lot to do tomorrow, so I am hoping I just about have everything here connected. Or, if I don't, I hope it doesn't take too long to fix.  Anyway, one last glance at www.beyondthe to see if anybody else has signed up to BRING IT to Cullman and then I am going to bed.

Good night & God bless!,

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands." ~ Psalm 19: 1

6. Operation Christmas Child 

Posted by Cindy Navarro on December 3, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Yesterday I was given an opportunity that was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I, along with 42 other members of Crosshaven Baptist Church, served for 4 hours at the processing plant of Operation Christmas Child near Atlanta, Georgia. You cannot begin to imagine what an immense undertaking it is to gather all of these shoeboxes together to send around the world to children who may never receive another gift.
First we saw a brief film about the impact of this ministry, and the smiles on the faces of the children are humbling. It would bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened person. Next there is a short demonstration on the proper way to go through the boxes to prepare them to be shipped.This is just to give the volunteers an overview of the things they will do. Although I was one of those selected to take place in the demo, I actually did none of the jobs we were shown. More on that later.
First thing is to remove any money. Not only are the funds to be used for shipping, but a child could be put in danger from someone wanting that cash. So, even toy money is not advised as a gift. After money is placed in a safe location, the box is turned over to inspectors. These are the volunteers who sort through the box to remove any items that cannot be shipped. Liquids are banned, and after seeing a couple of examples where the liquids spilled, that is totally understandable. Any type toy or clothing that would remind one of war is also removed. Breakable items, food, used items....these are among those that cannot be left in the box. They are placed in separate containers and each item is replaced with an appropriate substitute.
 We had been told that while some items may seem odd, especially for a child, to leave them unless they were on the banned list. One story was one I found very poignant: In one box, someone had placed a hammer and chisel. The child who received that box immediately grabbed the tools and raced for home, absolutely overjoyed. His father had been offered a job....just as soon as he was able to get a hammer & chisel! What would seem like foolishness to us was God's provision for that family!!
The next person in line is the taper. I think that job description is rather self-explanatory. The taper then hands off to a person who packs it into a box labeled with the appropriate gender/age group. If a person has chosen to follow the contents of their box, it does pass through the hands of the person who has the scanner. This enables Samaritan's Purse to update the donor on which country their box went to, making this an even more personal experience.
A job that was not explained to us, but was the one I ended up doing, is called the runner. Those who know me know that not only do I not run, but due to a car accident 16 years ago, I even often have trouble walking. Less than 4 months ago, I walked unaided for a mile for the first time in 16 years and have tried to keep that up and add a little to it. One of the runners kept the bins of extra gifts filled (to replace the removed banned items.) For 4 hours, I walked back and forth, emptying trash cans and taking the banned items to their location.
As a side note, if the thought of these banned items going to waste has crossed your mind...nothing is wasted! There are other ministries that can accept these items to hand out to those in need. Volunteers also man this area to sort the banned items to be easily handed off to the appropriate charities. Something has to be completely inappropriate to be considered unusable.
Near the end of our shift, I sent a message to a good friend; "PRAY! I don't think I have the strength to get back on the bus!" I seriously wondered if I was going to have to live in Atlanta if I was unable to climb the steps aboard the bus. I just kept going while praying, "I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me."~Philippians 4:13.  I also would periodically remind myself that they do have volunteer jobs available for those who need to sit, but I just had to get keep going!
After 4 hours, I was exhausted, in great physical pain, and filthy.....but I was also so very blessed to have been a part of such a glorious ministry. The 2 times we stopped to pray, especially for a box that each person chose to cradle in their arms as though it were the actual child, truly strengthened me!!! So, if you are ever given the opportunity to help with the Shoebox Ministry....DO IT!!!!!

(As noted at the beginning...Cindy's World is being closed.)
So, unless I change my mind again, I will stick to one blog. Y'all just be happy that (unbelievably)  I really DON'T post everything I am thinking! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Controversy

         Although I live in an area where Christmas and public displays featuring Christian symbols are not only accepted, but usually expected, each year there seems be more more controversy surrounding the "offensiveness" of Christmas. Everyone who is reading this knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am of the Christian faith. If you aren't aware, I hope to make it more clear in the future. My point of view is shaped by my faith in Jesus Christ and my unwavering belief in the Bible. So, while I try to be open-minded and willing to listen to others, bottom line for me is trying to be the person I believe Jesus would have me to be. I am often a failure, but it is my goal.

The following link is to a news story I recently watched about Christmas trees causing psychological harm to non-believers. My first response was, "What?!?" Click on here for God Discussion. Read the article and watch the video for yourself. I really would like to hear the opinions of others. I guess I have never thought about a Christmas tree being a Christian symbol. Personally, I don't have a tree up this year, but I am going to be home alone. I think they are beautiful and enjoy looking at them, especially at night with only the lights on the tree glowing. But the tree itself does not make me think any more or less about Jesus. Actually it seems to be one of the less controversial aspects of Christmas. Even non-believers seem to have no problem with a decorated tree...or so I thought. I am also including a link to an article about Biblical, pagan, and secular symbolism concerning Christmas Trees. This link will also lead you to other articles surrounding Christmas symbols and beliefs.

Separation of church and state is an issue that continues to be debated. One of the scenes in the upcoming film from Pathlight Entertainment, Beyond The Farthest Star , is the burning of a nativity by a US Senator. Watch writer/director Andrew Librizzi talk about the film's  burning the Nativity scene.

Some have told me that they find that such a scene in a faith-based film to be offensive. Most change their minds and agree that the dramatic statement can and will lead to discussion. I think that keeping things hidden in the dark or refusing to acknowledge them are wrong. Some within the church have become so afraid of offending either fellow believers or non-believers that we timidly huddle together in silence. I don't know how this scene will eventually play out on screen, but I applaud the decision to address the matter. Personally, I have seen many things on public property that I found to be offensive, but none that tempted me to commit arson. But, I digress, and the point I am hoping to make is that the very name Christmas seems to shout that it commemorates Christ.

I don't see Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, or whatever winter holiday anyone else chooses to celebrate being protested. It would never cross my mind to do so, nor do I protest those who prefer to focus on Santa, reindeer, & presents. Actually the excessive gifts and materialism does bother me, but I don't begrudge people celebrating however they want. The hype of the season makes me feel more isolated and left out than any particular symbol that may be publicly displayed. It is all I can do to keep my mouth shut when I hear, what to me is the bizarre question of, "Are you ready for Christmas?" I never know how to answer.

I realize that it is extremely doubtful that Jesus was born this time of year, but that is a side issue for me. I celebrate the fact that God came to earth as a man to sacrifice Himself in atonement for my sins every day. However, December 25th is when those who have placed their faith and trust in Him choose to celebrate His birth. Am I simply not acknowledging protests of other faiths? Again, the area I live in is not very culturally diverse. Baptist vs Methodists is to be more likely than Christian vs (fill in the blank). I am not one of those who goes ballistic if you choose to wish me a Happy Holiday rather than a Merry Christmas. I don't care if you refuse to say anything to me. However, I do object to unfairly targeting symbols of the Christian faith during the time chosen (for whatever reason) to celebrate the birth of our Messiah. If you don't believe, just don't celebrate not tell me that I can't because you disagree with my belief.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Truth Of The Matter (The Homelanders #3)

This time I decided to find a book within the Youth Fiction genre, since I think it is so important for teens to develop a love of books that goes beyond all they have to read at school. I admit to being a bit dismayed to realize that I had picked up book #3 of a series, but there is more than enough background provided that it was not the stumbling block I feared it to be. You quickly get the general idea of what has gone on before and aren't left confused by what is happening.

Book Description (provided by publisher):
Charlie is certain that if he could just regain his memory, the chaos around him would make sense. But the truth of the matter is even more incredible than he could imagine.
Charlie West was an ordinary high school kid who went to bed one night and woke up in the clutches of terrorists and wanted by the police for murder. He also woke up with no memory of the events of the past year.
Now Charlie has found the one person who knows what happened . . . and who can help him remember. But remembering is painful--as well as dangerous--and figuring out what to do with this new knowledge may be Charlie's toughest challenge yet.

There is loads of excitement and plot twists and turns that is sure to capture the interest of a teen boy. That this book is faith-based and patriotic is a major plus, in my opinion. The fourth and final book in this series is not due out until next August, so this would be the perfect time to get The Truth Of The Matter, as well as the 2 previous books in the series: The Last Thing I Remember and The Long Way Home. This is a very good series to invest in for boys between the ages of 11 & 15.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let Your Light Shine

Matthew 5:14-16
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

  This Little Light Of Mine, I'm Gonna Let It many of us learned that song as children? It is one of the first I can remember learning. I didn't completely understand what the song meant, but I sure did love it! (Still do, for that matter.) However, I did have an example of that song in action. There were many people in my life whom I saw practice their faith, but the one who stood out most to me was my grandmother, Ruby Louise Watkins Aycock.

Seeing Grandma read her Bible, study the lesson and make the plans for what she was going to teach to her Junior Girls Sunday School class, and practice the piano for the music in church made a deep impression on me. But what made the biggest impact on me was watching her throughout the community. I have seen her taking food to someone who needed it, collecting funds for charity, praying with others, and simply taking time for others. She lived her faith and that inspired me to want to live my life for Jesus. We never talked about it, and I do regret not telling her what an influence she was in my life. Watching Grandma serve God by serving others is probably the main reason I accepted Christ as my Savior at an early age.

Although I am nowhere near as capable or as giving as Grandma, I still believe that service to others is a vital part of my faith. This time of year is when people seem more generous and giving, and a time when we become more aware of the needs of others. I hope each person who takes the time to read this will also do what they can to reach out to the name of Christ. It doesn't have to be a financial gift, or any type of material possession. Sometimes all a person needs is for someone to listen to them and take an interest. A smile may be more than adequate. Whatever you have to offer: money, warm clothing, blankets, all makes a difference in the life of someone. Not only does it affect the one who are reaching out just never know who is watching and the impact you are making on them.

This is a favorite song that I hope each will listen to and LIVE:

God bless you all,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh No!! Snow Flurries??

Once again it is that time of year in Alabama when we begin to hear rumors of the possibility of SNOW FLURRIES!!!!!! To be fair, we still have the memories of the infamous "Blizzard of '93" to remind us of the possibilities that we indeed can get a big snowfall in our area. Yearly we revisit this phenomenon with weather specials: Blizzard Of '93 or stories like Dennis Gordon's Weather Tales Storm Of The Century !! It has happened before, it could happen again!

Being unaccustomed to much snow, many of us were not prepared. My electricity was out for nearly a week; but, being one of those who does listen to weather forecasts, I was ready with non-perishables, kerosene, candles, and plenty of books!! We even had an unexpected smaller event in February '96 that made people a tad cautious. I know my cable was out a good 2 or 3 hours that time. Never fear, I had taped the A&E Pride & Prejudice, so I survived quite nicely.

But today the words Snow Flurries and Donner Party seem to be almost interchangeable words in the minds of some! :) Everyone must rush to the grocery store if even a rumor that "snow was mentioned" happens to circulate!! What are the necessities of life that we most fear losing? Candles? Batteries? Non-perishable food? NO!!!! MILK & BREAD!!!!! After all, one may be snowbound 2 or 3 hours before the snow melts!!!! I must admit, I may double-check to make sure there is plenty of coffee and chocolate. Nah...that is normal for a sunny day too. :) Chocolate is not as necessary for my well-being as coffee is....and coffee is necessary for the protection of others who may encounter me....but when I want chocolate, there must be chocolate available!

Now, I can recommend an excellent Facebook page for those who live in Alabama and need others to bond with as we struggle to survive the snow flurries. We who suffer together need a support group. Those outside of the state may also wish to check in on family and friends. Photos are taken and tales must be shared, & even a few suggestions of what to do with the massive supplies of milk and bread, abound as reports filter in on our Snow Flurry Days....and yes, our schools frequently close due to snow flurries! Check it out at Surviving Alabama Snow Flurries .

All of that, simply to share a prayer request for all kind enough to read this: Tomorrow is the only day I have available to go to Walmart and buy groceries!! It is Saturday....always a nightmare day there! It is December.....Christmas shoppers! SNOW FLURRIES are in the forecast! I really do NEED milk and bread this weekend...and there will be none to be had! I just hope I survive this monthly trek with such a triple threat lurking. I can only hope to arrive back home, battle-scarred and weary, but armed with enough supplies to get us through the month without my having to jump into the fray once again. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Cherami Leigh and Tyler Corie
Depression is a problem that seems to run rampant at this time of year. Whether it is the pressure of feeling the "holiday spirit" or a myriad of real, or even perceived, problems there is no doubt that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day can exacerbate emotions. The pressure of trying to live up to expectations or the disconnect from loved ones can increase feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and despair. This can be a time of bonding or a time when everything falls apart.

For teens, there is the added stress of being between childhood and becoming an adult. Everything always seems so much more intense and important during those years. I remember wanting to pull away from family and establish myself as my own person, yet a part still longing to cling to my childhood. At no other time is the heights of exhilaration and the depths of despair more keenly felt. During a season filled with family events, it is so easy to withdraw and no longer feel a part of those you once loved unconditionally. Finding out that your parents are indeed human can be a shock. Admittedly, the parents also wonder what happened to the sweet, pliable child who believed Mom and Dad knew everything and could solve any problem.

Beyond The Farthest Star tells the story of a father desperate to connect with his Goth daughter and regain the love of his wife. The rush of this season pulls us in so many different directions that we often lose sight of those who should matter the most to us. Instead of letting our families know how important they are to us, we concentrate on things that will be quickly forgotten in years to come and neglect what and whom really matters. We have become a culture where families appear to be a throw-away commodity, and we need films such as this to make us re-examine our own priorities. I truly believe this will be a film that can make an impact on the lives of millions.  


Of course, I want everyone to become a Facebook fan of Beyond the Farthest Star and to sign up to Bring It to your local cinema. They need people like you to support them and let distributors and local theater owners know that there is an audience. Either go to the website at or ......Click here to "LIKE" on Facebook 


TEEN SELF HARM: In Pathlight Entertainment's, Beyond The Farthest Star, the character Anne Wells (Cherami Leigh) struggles with depression. The movie takes an unflinching look at the subject. Teen Depression and self-mutilation is a very real issue.

A site that I personally would recommend is TWLOHA .

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. They do not represent or have the consent and/or knowledge of Pathlight Entertainment, Beyond The Farthest Star, or TWLOHA.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

An Incredible Beginning To December!

This is only the 5th of December, but I must admit that I have had an incredible few days. Just to remind myself of the highlights and have a record of ways God has blessed me...:

Dec. 1: The Wedding!! My daughter, Brandy, married Jamie Roat. To witness my daughter joyfully praising God and marrying the man she loves was a very emotional evening. They recently joined Desperation Church and their new church family went over and beyond in making this a special event. The candles, flowers, cake, and reception were totally unexpected, and filled me with such joy to see how loved and welcome Brandy, Jamie, and the kids are in their new church. I am still praying for my sons, but this was just a small foretaste of worshiping God with my child and grandkids. I look forward to doing this forever!!

Dec. 2: My first mission trip!! I have been involved with local missions projects for several years and love them, but this was the first time I have ever gone out of state to be involved in such a huge project. Since I wrote extensively about my experience with Operation Christmas Child in my Cindy's World blog, I won't recount it all here.
But it was a blessing to be a part of it and spend time with some members of my Crosshaven church family. After 10 years of being a member of Northbrook, I am still trying to find my place in my new church home. But, I am where I truly believe God wants me to be.

Then, there was the experience of my first visit to Starbucks! My fellow coffee aficionados on Facebook were appalled that I had never had coffee there, so I can now cross this off my list of things I need to do. Don't ask me what I had.....I just know it was good. A friend sent me a message with a suggestion, so I just showed that to the person who filled my order. :) Considering that a cup of coffee was $1.50 more than I spent on lunch, I don't see me making too many trips back. But I am glad I had the experience and will want to try it again.

Another place I had always wanted to visit was Varsity's in Atlanta. Now I have been there too!! The food was okay, but I honestly was not impressed enough to care if I ever eat there again. Again, though, just fulfilling yet another thing I had wanted to do for years was very satisfying.

Dec. 3: RECOVERY! I was exhausted, so it was good to have a day to sit around and relax. Of course I spent most of the day catching up on Facebook....and promoting all I could. I know I probably annoy most of those who are my FB friends, but I want everyone to know about projects other friends are involved in and care about. There are many wonderful films, books, etc. that others may want to experience for themselves.

I also spent time rejoicing and praising God because it looks like prayers for a friend are about to be answered in a magnificent way. God is always good and His plans are always best, but I still like to see friends given great gifts.

I did not actually burn the house down!! I did manage to only slightly scorch lunch. Supper went from cheese toast to actual flames shooting out of the oven! I meant to only preheat the oven, prepare a can of soup, and some cheese toast to go with it. Apparently, I absent-mindedly put it in the oven and walked out of the room. Fortunately, I was hungry and only out of the kitchen for a short time. Cooking is such a grand adventure! :)

Dec. 4: My first ballet! A friend was going out of town and blessed me with her tickets to The Nutcracker. Of course I am familiar with the story and the music, but the only performance I had ever seen was when my 4th grade class did a short play. This was way better!! LOL!!
The costumes, the gracefulness and energy of the dancers, the "snow" cascading down were all amazing. Getting to share this experience with my granddaughter, Caitlyn, made this afternoon even more of a treasured event. Once again, I had always wanted to see a ballet performed! This was fantastic!!

Dec. 5: Really not done much today. Church is always wonderful, so that alone makes the day special. I have had more of a "weepy" day while listening to music and thinking about all of my many blessings. Actually the thought even crossed my mind that I have had so many dreams fulfilled this week, that I could not help but think of The Bucket List and wonder if my time on earth is nearly over. (Btw, if I suddenly come up with tickets and a ride for Trans-Siberian Orchestra next Saturday, I will be convinced that I am heading HOME real soon!! YAY \o/)

But, I am about to tackle something difficult. Brandy has given me her Blackberry, and I must figure out how to install my contacts.....and how to use the tomorrow!! So, y'all pray for this poor technically-challenged woman as I go through yet another new experience in an already action-packed week!! GOD IS GOOD and I can't wait to see what is in store for me next!! :)