Monday, January 20, 2014

My husband: the introvert

If I was a psychologist, and my husband was my patient, I would diagnose him with "social anxiety disorder."  He seriously hates entertaining.  I guess it's true what they say, "opposites attract."  Hello!

And just recently, I've been running into definitions, explanations, and illustrations about the introverted.  And I had an epiphany.  And it's not like I don't know my own husband, I just didn't ever think to label him as such...until I came across THIS:

And it has really helped me to understand why he acts the way he does.  Out of nowhere, with him never having seen this illustration, I said to my husband, "thanks for letting me in your bubble."  To which he simply replied, "you're welcome."

Crystal Sparks!!!

Mama Chiks Meeting 
January 10, 2014

crystal sparks
I tweeted Crystal earlier in the week that I could not physically write her name without "!!!" behind it, as in -->"Crystal Sparks!!!"<-- because I think she is one of the most dynamic and influential speakers I have ever heard, and her messages change my life.  I am honored to call her friend, and that she takes the time out of her insanely busy schedule to speak to our group, each year.
So, I got a phone call from Crystal at about 8:30am; she was frantic and apologetic, "I'm so sorry, Cindy.  We are so stuck in traffic.  I heard there was a back-up on I30, so I left extra early, and I'm trying; it's just not moving.  I promise I left extra early this morning!  I'm trying!"
To which I replied, "it's okay.  It's not  your fault.  Just get here when you can.  We'll wait."  Then, I texted her, "Be anxious for nothing, but in all things, with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving; make your requests be known to God.  And the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind, in Christ Jesus. Amen." {Philippians 4:6-7 is my go-to prayer for anxiety!}
I made it to our polka-dotted meeting room later than I had preferred to, and was pleasantly greeted by our admin Tiffany and photographer Angelica; their warms smiles make me happy.  I made my way around the room to give hugs and "good morning"s to each of our leaders, and members.  I was delighted to see a few new faces in the room, including mamas who I had texted with, and got to meet for the very first time.
Angelica and I figured out how to get the CD player working, and played Danielle's Noonan's EP: "Restoration," in the background, as we continued to chat.  We said a prayer to thank God for what He was about to do, and blessed the brunch that we were about to share.  After some more time to fellowship, we made announcements, which included a new pregnancy announcement, which is *always* exciting news!  Yay for a new Chikadee in the near-future!
Kristyl had a fun icebreaker for our group: a relay race that involved a cotton ball, a bendy straw, and a lot of laughing!
We have a competitive group of mamas!  Guess which team won.  Haha!
Kristyl shared the message that God spoke to her, as she prepared this activity for the group.  "When you first hear, 'move this cotton ball across the room, using only this straw', multiple thoughts cross your mind:  'That's a long way.  How am I supposed to do that with just the straw?  Am I going to have to get on the ground and blow this cotton ball across the floor with this straw...'  But God will move those mountains for you, if you have faith enough to believe.  And faith as a mustard seed can change everything, in a *moment.*"
After that fun game and insightful word, Elia came forward to share her Glorifying Moment with the group.  Without going into complete detail, tears flowed as Elia shared her upbringing, in which she witnessed travesties against her family.  But The Lord delivers us out of them all.  "God is our Heavenly Father, even if it seems we don't have a father on Earth.  HE is our Daddy.  Father to the fatherless."  He has shown Himself faithful to Elia and to her family.

At that time, I checked on Crystal.  She had taken a third detour, and found her way to a clearer path!  She was going to make it!  We got into our small groups and took prayer requests.  I could hear the chains falling as the mamas poured their hearts out.  This is what Mama Chiks is: a refuge, a safe place, where you can cry out to God, and know that your Sisters will hold you hand, embrace you, hand you a tissue, and cry with you.
We circled up into our prayer circle and lifted up our prayer intentions to The Lord.  The energy that flows among us we pray His word back to Him, knowing that it will not return void, is electrifying.
As we prayed, Crystal and her best friend/best assistant Nancy came into the room, breathing heavily from the rush of their morning.  It had taken them three hours and fifteen minutes to make a forty-five minute trip!  Praise God for their resilience and for their faithfulness.  They held true to their word.
So, at that point, Crystal looked at her watch and said, "I've got 23 minutes.  Let's do this!" {We had allotted at least an hour for Crystal to speak; she was going to move fast!  but she made sure we were not going to miss the blessing God had for us on that morning.}
Here are my notes from her message, which she asked us to title:
Remembering What we Should Forget and Forgetting What we Should Remember
Crystal referenced Numbers 13:25-32 AMP, which tells the story of Moses and Aaron's assignment to take the land which The Lord had given them.  Moses, instead, sent in twelve spies to assess the land, who returned with a report that "the people who dwell there are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large," making it seem impossible they would possess the land.  Joshua and Caleb, however, rise up to say they were well able to conquer it.
"After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ minister, "Moses My servant is dead. So now arise [take his place], go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, the Israelites." [Joshua 1:1 AMP]
In Joshua 6:1-5 AMP, the plan is set out that Joshua was to march around the city of Jericho, a fenced town with high walls, once a day for six days, with his men of war.  Then, on the seventh day, seven priests, bearing seven trumpets are to march around the city walls seven times and then blow their trumpets.  Then all the people were to shout a great shout, and the wall shall fall!
"Now, Joshua has got to be thinking, "we've waited forty years for this plan?!"" says Crystal, "the first thing we remember is our failures more than our successes.  God had already delivered them from so much.  When it looked like there was no way around the Red Sea, and it seemed they were trapped, God parted the Red Sea.  When it seemed they would starve in the wilderness, He sent manna from heaven.  He delivered them from plagues..."
"They had seen all of the miracles, but they remembered, instead, what they should have forgotten, and they forgot what they were supposed to remember."
"We need to be Promise-focused instead of problem-focused.  All it takes is one word from God to turn everything around.  We are never too uneducated or too poor.  He never questioned His ability when He chose you; see if you can trust His ability.  Sometimes, all we can talk about are the walls."
Crystal described the calling on her family.  "The Lord wouldn't leave us alone about planting a new church in Royse City.  He has shown us one supernatural miracle after another."  She described this time in her life as the scariest and most exhilarating.  The only way she could survive in these waters is if God's hand was holding her up from drowning.   They've seen so many miracles.  Their house in Sulphur Springs sold to the first buyer.  Even though they've doubled their debt to acquire a new home in Royse City, where they don't know anybody, they know that God has called them knowing the walls were there.
"Rely on God.  If He called you to do it, you can do it."
In the book of Joshua, there is only one verse talking about the walls; however, in Numbers, there are multiple verses talking about the fortified walls around Jericho.  Crystal pointed out that they're the same walls.  It's just a matter of focus.  "Where your focus goes, God's power follows.  Focus your eyes on Heaven."
"Peter walked on water because of the storm.  Sarah conceived a child because she was barren.  The problem comes first, the miracle comes second.  The thing that qualifies you for a miracle is your problem.  He is your Provision.  He goes before you as a shield.  But He only goes where you are already walking.  Peter didn't walk on water, he walked on a WORD, and that word was, "Come."
"God's word is enough.  It is greater than recession.  It is greater than a budget.  It is greater than a medical diagnosis, a layoff... Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."
"All you need is one scripture to restore your marriage, to bring a wayward child home.  It is the unlock code to get in."  Crystal said, "God spoke to me and told me to, "Pray my word, not what you want.""
"Believe in addition, not subtraction; opportunity, not obstacle; possibility, not impossibility."
"Your best friend is waiting for you.  Every best friend starts out as a stranger."
"You are on a treasure hunt for miracles, and the Word gives you the cues on where to go."
"The Word is the lamp unto your feet, but it only shines where you're going.  Is your faith moving?  Your actions show where your faith is."
"Promises are given because there will always be reason for doubt.  We think we get promises, and it will go smoothly thereafter.  When the truth is, God gives us promises because He knows there will be reason for doubt."
Joshua 23:14: "And behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. Know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one thing of them has failed."
We will look back, just as Joshua did, and say, "God was my wealth, my provision.  We walked on water."  It's not going to happen without a fight.  In the moments when you feel like you're losing, stay in the game.  Have faith and patience.  Romans 8:31 says, "If God is for us, who can {successfully} come against us?"
"We will walk on the storms that were sent to kill us!"
Psalm 65:11 says "You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance."  Crystal shared a dream she had in which Jesus told her to tell His children, "Cleave to me," as he handed them gold crowns, and jewels the size of their heads.  When you see the world digging, hold on to Jesus."
And she ended with this, "Surely, you're more valuable than the birds.  Birds wake up, every morning, fat and broke, and they're singing about it!  Surely, you're more valuable than the birds in the air." [Matthew 6:26]
{And she did all of that in 23 minutes.  Which is why I call her "Crystal Sparks!!!"}

Monday, January 13, 2014


  1. 1.
    the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.

I met my husband when I was {barely} twenty, and he was {almost} forty-two.  *Gasp*  We dated for two years before my family knew about it; I used his daughter, who is 3 years younger than me, as my alibi for where I was spending all of my time away from home.
Somehow, we both knew, before I had read it in any marriage-advice books, that love is a CHOICE.  Thirteen years later, we still grow as individuals, as we grow together as one, and it is because of the choice we make to love each other.
There has always been a firestorm debate over the wife's role in a marriage.  There's a dirty word called submission that really gets the party started.  For my home, it's the most peaceful when I "know my role," and by that, I mean I show unconditional respect to my husband, and do my best to make his requests a priority in my day.  It seems pretty simple, but it is sometimes really hard to execute.  For whatever reason, his requests always get pushed on to the back-burner, because of all of the other responsibilities I've given myself.  And each time he makes a request, I feel inadequate.  I get immediately defensive, and feel like I have to justify what I've done with my day.
My husband and I run a business together, so he's not only my husband, he's also my boss.  On his favorite channel is CNBC, where business news is reported 24/7.  After the markets are closed, they sometimes have special informative programs.  One evening, he watched a special on Successful Partnerships, and by successful, I mean multi-gazillion dollar world-wide corporations.  There was exactly ONE point he took from this program, which lasted about an hour and a half:  there can only be ONE BOSS.  It explains why the partnership he had with his brother had dissolved.  They tried for an "equal" partnership, and failed because there was always a power struggle between them.
This speaks to me as to how important it is for me to recognize that he is the head of our household, and the head of our business.  And there's no doubt that our employees hold him in a much higher esteem than they do myself or our son, as they should.  After all, as my son at 2-years-old had expressed it so eloquently, "Daddy's the BIG BOSS."  My husband swears he didn't teach him that, but I suspect otherwise.
Then, there is Scriptural instruction on the like.  God commands us, very clearly, ""Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged." [English Standard Version, Colossians 3:18-21]
Now, if we are to love God by being obedient to His command, and He is telling us in black and white: "WIVES, submit to your husbands, as fitting in the Lord," we are to submit to our husbands.  As much as society tells us we are equals.  50/50.  There can only by ONE head of the household.  There can only be ONE head of a body.  Just as Jesus Christ is the head of the body, while the church is the body of Christ, our husbands are the heads of our households.
If we look at Colossians 3:18-21, we would unequivocally agree with the Lord's command to our husbands to "love your wives," and to our children to "obey your parents in everything." Yet, we take issue with His command to us.
If the Bible is the key to unlocking the secrets that keep our marriages from prospering, why don't we go back to the source, and take God's advice.  He created us, and He knows what's best for us.  He gave us the instructions we need to have a successful partnership.
Some may, and I used to, point to the notion that my husband is an unbeliever, which would nullify his place as high priest in our home.  However, I have only found the opposite to be true, based on scripture.  "For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy." [1 Corinthians 7:14]  I proclaim that we are made holy because of our spouses, and that our children are also holy.  How would you rather have it?  Would you want your husband to be unrecognized, uprooted as high priest, and for you to be put in his place?  I say, "No, thank you."
"if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination." [Titus 1:6]
"To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” [Genesis 3:16]
"Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." [1 Peter 3:7]
If I want my husband to take his proper role as high priest of our household, I must treat him as such, and "call those things that are not as though they are." [Romans 4:17]
I believe God when He says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your entire household." [Acts 16:31]
If I want God's promises to manifest in my life, and in my family, I must submit to God's commandments, by submitting to my husband, as The Lord commands.  There is no other way.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, " says the Lord. [Isaiah 55:8]  He doesn't expect us to understand.  He expects us to obey.
"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  [Joshua 24:15]  Oh, we will.