Category Archives: Love

Call me a Confident Woman?

I was recently reminded by two of my followers that I had not posted anything lately and that is true.  I like to just pop off the saying….  “life happened”.  But,life  just did not happen for me, it was all planned out even before the days that turned into months passed.

During the past two years, I lost my mother, blossomed in my artist’s journey, and learned a lot along the way about myself.  I had many tears but they were both sad tears and happy tears.   God took my mother home but allowed me to be there in her arms when she passed.  God opened doors for me in my business and answered each soft prayer I whispered.  Believe me I was bold in  my requests at times.  (future blog)

But before I list all the things that have happened in my world, I just felt compelled to talk about the word “a confident woman.”

I believe when we ask God for something He will answer that prayer.  I also know that many times we (and I include myself) are afraid to pray for something as we do not think we deserve it, or it is too big for us to think God will give that desire to us.  Believe, if we are not supposed to have it, it will become apparent that we are to either wait for it or allow God to show us what we are supposed to have.

I have had other people, both men and women tell me they feel I am a very confident woman.  While this did not happen over night, I am 100% certain that this confidence people see in me is my letting God have control of my path.  I guess you might say this has made me fearless in stepping out and doing new things,  Along the way, I have had people tell …. “don’t you think you should do this or that?”  Well, my answer to that is… if I felt what I was doing was God leading me, do, I do not second guess what I am doing.  Are there days I feel vulnerable and hiding under my covers….. yup!!  many days, but then I feel this little voice telling me to get my heels on and start kicking again.  I honestly think many of us are afraid to ask for something as God just might give it to us and then we have to be confident enough to step forward.  IT is like we are so surprised God would actually open that door.  Well, I ask and then when God says YES, I confidently walk through that door.  When I feel afraid, I remind myself, I am not alone.

I also know that there are things I would like to do in my life, but I am waiting on God to open that door.  I know all too well if I rush it, I in my own power will fail.  If I wait for God’s timing, how can I fail?

So what you see in me, those that call me confident, is not MY strength or my doing….. it is all God’s.  I guess a better way to say it is that I am confident in Christ.

Do not be afraid to ask God for the desires of your heart.  Do not be afraid to then step out with confidence when the door is opened.  AND then know with your whole heart, God it there with you.

I am not sure who will read this as I have not posted in so long, but my prayer is if even one person will step out with me on this journey of being a confident women, then I know it was meant to post.

Love, Cheryl

God’s Perfect Timing…..

2015-12-18_16-47-16I am in such awe at the thought of how many times God’s timing has proved itself to be “perfect”. I would say that there are also MANY times I have not understood His path… at first. I am reminded of the saying I once heard….

“God does not say no, He says, not now.”

As mere humans, this can be such a hard thing to hear. We pray for a situation and in our hearts, wait for that answer and many times think the outcome will be one scenario or another, and then we wait ….

God might have a different plan from our desires and many times, He does. If we can only sit back and let God work His plan, we will see in the end His perfect love and answer. Is this easy? NO, it is not. In fact, at some times during our pain, we might get depressed.

I want to tell a sweet story about how God answered a prayer in His timing and how the end result was incredible, or in this case, perfect.

As many of you know, my sweet daughter in law lost her dear little dog, Holly. She loved Holly and she was her little furry companion. Holly was such a sweet part of her life when she was going through so many trials. In September, Holly became very ill and died in Addy’s arms. God has to have a plan in his vast master blueprint for pets in our world. They give us so much joy and comfort. Their requirement of food and shelter matches our need to give. When they are gone, we are left with heavy emptiness.

Holly was not just a pet; she was a confident, a girl friend, a soft pillow, a late night girlie movie best bud.

I remember my daughter in law asking me to pray for them to find another pet to fill that very lonely void. As we all know, a new pet cannot replace our lost friends, but they can fill a hole of loneliness. Tears turn into laughter.

So here is her story. My daughter in law found her little perfect fury friend. The cutest little white Pomeranian came available in Florida, but so far away! They lived in the Mid-west!!! But this sweet little boy was perfect. How could God have the perfect puppy so far away? But my daughter-in-law could not get this sweet white ball of fur out of her heart. She called about him even though the miles were far and the center informed her they just adopted him out. Addy would have found a way to get to him, but he was gone to someone else. Why did God allow this to happen? He was perfect.

So, let’s fast forward… a couple months.

Addy still prayed for a dog. She still longed for this little sweet pup called “Pumpkin.”

God was not saying NO, He was saying, NOT NOW. Wait Addy, wait for me to allow my plan to be perfect.

God knew Addy was going to be in Florida in December. The day before she arrived in Florida, (3 hours away from the site where this sweet pup was adopted), God plan was going into effect. The family that adopted Pumpkin, realized they were too old to handle an active little puppy. Sweet little “Pumpkin” was again up for adoption the day Addy was to arrive in Florida, 3 hours away. NOTE: Addy was initially 25 hours away!!!

Addy called the center and they told Addy, she could adopt “Pumpkin.”

SO, what is the message! Many times God puts a plan on hold for a reason. We might become impatient, or upset that we think God is saying NO, but what He is saying is…. not now and please wait for me to work thing out. We may hurt and desire to have an answer and even want to take the reins but God has a perfect plan.

It is not easy to wait. But God does have a plan and His plan is perfect.

PS… his name is now “Meiko”

Self-Reflection, part one.

Photograph by Christina Toole  Photography(R)
Photograph by Christina Toole Photography(R)

There was another blog I wanted to write today, but I felt that I wanted to share with you a tool I use to help me reflect on who I am and who I feel God wants me to be. Psalm 139:14 says: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

In other words we are all unique, again God made no mistake when He made you. You are exactly who He wanted you to be, but it is up to us to take care of our bodies, our minds, our gifts…..

I started a while back my own unique statements that define me. Some were for a season, but they still seem to fit. I add to them often.

I hope you start a list like this and read it often.

  1. My life is like an unfinished painting. There is always something to tweak.
  2. Everything in life is about balance.
  3. What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? (Lord Byron)
  4. Our scars remind of us our incredible journey.
  5. Stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax
  6. It is not the failure, it is how we turn that failure into our growth.
  7. Eventually all the pieces fall into place, until then, laugh at the confusion, live in the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.
  8. When you repeat a mistake, it Is not a mistake anymore, it is a decision
  9. God makes no mistakes
  10. A true friend is to is to see all of their magic, and to remind them how magical they are when they have forgotten it themselves.
  11. Love is that unselfish desire to meet the needs of the cherished object.
  12. Just when you think you have me all figured out, the seasons are already changing.
  13. We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
  14. I can be a blank canvas some days, but the goal is to end up with beautiful paint at the end of the day all over me!
  15. Music makes me change my mine from grumpy to happy.
  16. Be kind to yourself when you think you have failed.
  17. We cannot control the filters that others choose when they look at us. God made us who we are supposed to be.
  18. Life is like a piano; white keys are the happy moments, black keys are sad moments, but together, they play beautiful music.
  19. On days you do not want to do anything else, go to the piano shack and play music loud.
  20. A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on one another.
  21. Love can be just a word, but when you find someone it fits, it becomes a definition.

God lays on my heart what to say.

Do you have Passion?

imagesPassion means to have a very strong feeling about something or someone. It is an intense emotion. Recently, I painted a canvas with little regard to style, form, or design, I just let passion direct my hand into this painting and I painted what I felt. I posted this painting and within minutes, my painting made its way to someone that absolutely loved it and bought it for their office.

I tried a couple days later to do the same painting but without the same passion and that paining will never see the light of day as it is now painted over with another coat of paint!! I let other things dampen my passion and I knew it.

I decided to sit back and understand what was the reason behind one painting being a treasured and looked at and a motivator to others and another one just a painting on the wall. I realized it was the passion I felt when I painted. Now it also goes that the one loving my painting has to also have this same passion for it.

So how do we get passion and how do we let passion give us the creativity, the drive, the desire to enjoy the day and allow ourselves to be used by God to actually make a difference in this world. Are we on this earth to just live each day to just breathe or are we here for a purpose?

I realized that I was not meant to be a great singer, or preacher, or composer, but I can be that person that can encourage the great singers, preachers, and composers of this world. I can be “their person” by being passionate in what I do and how I do it in hopes that others will be encouraged by my words or actions. Have you ever read a quotation by someone and it changed your way of thinking? Your entire day changed. The poem created passion in your life. The day actually went better and not much bothered you.

You can be that poet in someone’s life. You can give that inspiration with your smile, your patience, your willingness to listen to someone. See, we do not have to be someone great to make a difference, but we can be the wind that swoops in behind of them to push them to greatness.

Tomorrow I will talk about what we can do to get that passion …. It is not always easy, I think we have to work at it sometimes. We have to have a plan.

But for today…………… think about it, do you have passion?

Will someone listen to me?

youremypersonDon’t you hate it when someone tells you to stop complaining and whining when you feel bad and really just want someone to listen to you? I am normally a very positive person and am the “go to person” for many when they are hurting and need to share their heart.

I am not a stranger to pain, hurt, loss of a loved one, loss due to miscarriages, health issues, among other pains. I guess at 58, you would have to expect a life of some pain and challenges and I have had my share of them. I thank God He knew to give me a sister to lean on and share with.

I think as women, we do need to have someone “your person” that you can share with, talk about anything with and even complain to. There are times that I do not want to load her down with my problems, and frankly I should not. She is dealing with her own issues. Don’t get me wrong, sharing with another woman, especially if she is a believer, is helpful. And sharing our burdens, our heavy hearts with someone we trust provides us an emotional balance. In a way, it restores us.

But, here is what I have learned in my 58 years and what I wanted to share! I have to be careful to not let all the issues and burdens overwhelm me to the point that I cannot see through them. I think God puts “things” in our life that we totally miss because we are not looking. If I let the feelings of hurt or depression overwhelm me and blanket me I tend to wrap up in the blanket and not peep out. If we allow ourselves, no matter how hard it is to let go of what we are going through to breath deep and actually peek out of what we think is our safety bubble, for hope or encouragement, we will find it.

I am not saying this will be easy because I know when I am hurting, the last thing I want is to expose myself to more hurt. What if I look for that happiness and it is not there and I find more pain. I know this feeling. But, keep looking. God many times is sharing His blessing in small things like a kind word from someone, a stranger that lets you in front of them in the line, even someone humming a pretty tune around you. If you can let the small blessings around you into your day, you will possibly not let the next hurtful thing drive you deeper into your hole.

Once you start looking for the small things, you will start to SEE them around you without looking!! God does not promise us every day will be without pain, but He does promise to be faithful in His love and be there for us when we are going through pain. To everything there is a season. When my brother was missing and then found dead, life stood still for me. I could not breathe for days. But I did eventually breathe and He was there waiting for me.

One verse that is a promise I hold onto is: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. No one can be there for me on every occasion. But I know that God is there. I might not reach out to Him as my first source because I am hurting and think He is not listening to me and cannot comfort me like a phone call to “my person” but, actually, He will never be working, be on the phone, or on vacation, but His phone is never busy. Let God by “your person.”

Turn on Your Music and Dance

rose music - CopyI cannot remember how many times I have told other women to be kind to themselves after they have shared with me some story from their heart.  I have to remember many times to tell myself that too!!

I think as women we are too hard on ourselves.  We take care of others (I think this is a trait born into almost all women whether we chose it or not), we take care of our pets, we clean our homes, we work as hard as men on our jobs and then we take care of our husbands.

Like this morning. I did not sleep well last night and was up a lot. I have a huge training presentation to work on and I needed my sleep. So about 4am I had just fallen into a deep sleep, much needed too!! and my husband rushed into the room with his lunch box on his way out the door to ask for his lunch. Now, did I look like I was excited to jump out of a warm bed to get him a sandwich when he was perfectly able to make one himself? Well, actually, I am not sure he had even made a sandwich himself, but you know what I mean.

I wanted to throw something at the voice coming from the door, but the only thing close was a soft pillow I WAS USING, so that was not an option. I softly said, did you look on the top shelf on the lunch space for your sandwich. He said no, I thought I would ask you if you made one. I said, well, go look, I think you will find one I already made for you last night.

Now that I am actually up and ready to work after my 2 cups of coffee and green tea with honey (my promise to my new daughter Addy) I can now think. My husband can make his own lunch, he is an engineer. But he will go without lunch if I do not make him one (or go have someone else make one at a restaurant!) But, I have to remember, he likes me to make his lunch. Instead of being mad at him for broken hands on this task, I need to be humble and be happy someone does need me.

What if I did not have a husband, or a friend? What if I did not have a little fuzzy animal that needed me to take her out at night? When I needed a hug or someone to listen to my story, he would not be there. When I was working on my training slides, my fuzzy friend would not be at my feet to remind me she loves me.

I titled this blog as turn on your music and dance. Many times, we need to turn on music to remind us of our happiness. Music tends to do that to us. Ephesians 5:9 says: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Women, first, be kind to yourself today and listen to what God has for you today. Turn on your music and dance and let your hearts heal.

Thursday, March 13, 2014. I ask the Father, one more thing……….. “Keep them safe and make them strong.”

1970459_668649933193142_1593178405_nThis past weekend I was there to watch my son marry the woman of his dreams.  He told her in his vows that he would love her for a thousand years and he meant that.  The weather was perfect, the words from the preacher were fitting to a tee, and the bride was absolutely stunning.

But when I saw was my son’s face I saw his life from a little boy to the man that he is today.  His first steps, his first giggle, his tears when he fell, his struggles in piano lessons, his first goal in soccer, his glance back at me as we left him at college, his smile when we would come visit, his first salute when he commissioned, his walk down the aisle when he graduated from college and his excitement when he was chosen for ENJYPT pilot training, his graduation from pilot school and when he talked about Addy.

He’d talked about her often for several years like he knew she was the girl he would proposed to on that cold day at the National Harbor. I know now that Addy was that little girl I prayed for all those years as Robert was growing up during …. her first steps, her tears when she fell as a little girl, her struggles school, when she left  for college…… she was that woman I prayed for every night for my son.

I wanted to share the mother son dance played during the reception when I danced with my little boy, now a man.

A MOTHER’S PRAYER
Words by Bonnie J. Barbey
Music by Kay Crawford

A PRECIOUS LITTLE BABY BOY TUCKED IN HIS MOTHER’S ARMS
LISTENS AS SHE ASKS HER LORD TO KEEP HIM SAFE FROM HARM
HE LOOKS AT HER IN WONDER, AS HE HEARS HIS MOMMA PRAY
FOR GOD TO BLESS THE BABY GIRL WHO WILL MARRY HIM SOMEDAY

Chorus
KEEP HER SAFE, MAKE HER STRONG
GUARD HER BODY, HEART, AND SOUL
AND LET HER LIFE BE FILLED WITH LOVE
LIGHT THE PATH THAT SHE’S BEGUN
GIVE HER FAITH, FOR SHE’S THE ONE
WHO WILL GROW INTO THE WOMAN WHO
WILL STAND BESIDE MY SON

WADING POOLS AND BIG BOY TOOLS, HIS BUSY HANDS AT PLAY
SOMEWHERE THERE’S OTHER TINY HANDS THAT WILL JOIN WITH HIS ONE DAY
MOM’S HEART GOES OUT ACROSS THE MILES AS SHE SEEKS HER FATHER’S FACE
PRAYERS RISE INTO HEAVEN, TRANSCENDING TIME AND SPACE

KEEP HER SAFE, MAKE HER STRONG
GUARD HER BODY, HEART, AND SOUL
AND LET HER LIFE BE FILLED WITH LOVE
LIGHT THE PATH THAT SHE’S BEGUN
GIVE HER FAITH, FOR SHE’S THE ONE
WHO WILL GROW INTO THE WOMAN WHO
WILL STAND BESIDE MY SON

A LOVELY BRIDE COMES DOWN THE AISLE, MOM’S EYES ARE FILLED WITH TEARS
HER SON IS JOINING WITH THE ONE SHE’S PRAYED FOR ALL THESE YEARS
SHE SEES GOD’S HAND, HIS PERFECT PLAN IN THE COUPLE STANDING THERE
SHE BREATHES A SIGH OF THANKS TO GOD WHO HEARD A MOTHER’S PRAYER

KEEP HER SAFE, MAKE HER STRONG
GUARD HER BODY, HEART, AND SOUL
AND LET HER LIFE BE FILLED WITH LOVE
LIGHT THE PATH THAT SHE’S BEGUN
GIVE HER FAITH, FOR SHE’S THE ONE
WHO HAS GROWN INTO THE WOMAN WHO
NOW STANDS BESIDE MY SON

THE MARRIAGE VOWS ARE SPOKEN, EXCHANGING OF THE RINGS
AND SHE PRAYS, “OH FATHER, NOW I COME AND ASK FOR ONE MORE THING”
KEEP THEM SAFE, MAKE THEM STRONG
GUARD THEIR BODIES, HEARTS AND SOULS
AND LET THEIR HOME BE FILLED WITH LOVE
LIGHT THE PATH THEY’VE NOW BEGUN
GIVE THEM FAITH, FOR THEY’RE THE ONES
WHO WILL GROW INTO A COUPLE WHO WILL GLORIFY YOUR SON
LIGHT THE PATH THEY’VE NOW BEGUN
GIVE THEM FAITH, THEY’RE CHOSEN ONES
LET THEM GROW INTO THE COUPLE WHO WILL GLORIFY YOUR SON

Robert and Addy, I love you both.  Love, mamma.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Hot Tears to Healing.

Recently I was hurt by a situation that I found hard to resolve in my heart.  It was not really one incident, but several that all entwined together that slowly broke me from within.  I found myself waking up with hot tears rolling down my checks uncontrollably.    I have never felt this despair.  It was foreign to me. I could not tell anyone about it.

I am normally the one that helps others get to their healing place and yet I could not get there myself. I am the soft healer and support to others and yet I felt alone and weak and defeated.  The more defeated I felt, the deeper I felt I was falling.  But, I still prayed for God to hold me in His hands until I could gain control of my tears.

I knew the way to heal my heart, but I could not find the way to stop the tears to start the healing process.  I knew I had to grieve through my pain as I have told so many other to do.  Only God could take my hand to that healing place, I just could not do it alone.

I know that many times God will allow us to cry, deep hot tears but He NEVER lets us go.  He is there to hold us up until we stop crying and He will lead us to that place to heal.

Even today, I am healing.  But I am stronger because I let myself cry, I let myself greave and I let God heal my heart.

I also know that one small email from someone …. (They will never know how powerful that email was) was enough to help me know God was there….  Still.

As women, we need to support each other, help each other in our weaknesses.

If you paint, paint every time you can.  If you dance, dance every moment you have a chance. If you write songs, write on every paper …… don’t let anything stop you.  Your art will touch someone around you even if you do not know you are healing someone heart.

I love you all.  What could break us, makes us stronger!!

Love, me

Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Beautiful Women from Within.

MaggieJohnsonMaggie, you are gift to me.

I am so fortunate to have some extremely special women in my life.  They love me for who I am at every stage of my life.  As I reflect on each one of them, I am reminded at how blessed I am for what they each give me. I am not even sure some of them know how beautiful they are and how they touch my heart.

Today, I wanted to tell you about one of them.  Her name is Maggie.  I met Maggie several years ago when I walked into Alexandre de Paris to get my hair done.  I instantly saw Maggie and saw how graceful she was and asked if she was busy.  I was willing to wait, but she was free!  The asked me to change into a black robe to start my venture.  When I came out of the dressing room, Maggie met me with a beautiful smile and I felt like we were instantly best friends.

The reason I want you to met Maggie is because she is a gift that should be shared.  Every time I go to get my hair done by Maggie, I am a better person when I leave.  I could tell you stories of when we laughed so hard I thought I was going to burst!.  We have cried over life heartaches  and shared our faith with each other.  Maggie told me one time that she puts love into each hair cut and each person she touches is special to her.

Do you remember the The Present: The Gift for Changing Times by Spencer Johnson.  The Present is a small book with an incredible story of a young man’s journey to adulthood, and his tireless search for The Present, a mysterious gift. When the boy grows to manhood, he becomes sad and knows he is missing something.  He returns to the old man who told him about “the present” ….. in search of this magical gift.  The story tells us about the gift that we all must find.

Maggie never read this book – but she has “the Present!”  She shares a part of it with everyone that sits in her chair.

Maggie is one of the reasons I write my blog.  To share what is in my heart with those I cherish.  I want to share what God has given to me.  A friend once told me that I needed my girlfriends as girlfriends cry with me, laugh with me, understand when I order my no fat, with whip, extra hot peppermint mocha….  stirred in a double cup.

I hope you all have a Maggie in  your life.

Friday, January 11, 2013. Love has many Seasons

I am watching a romance bloom with the excitement of new love.  Each other learning about each other.  The little things do not bother the other and each finds those little things actually cute.  Kindness is forefront and consideration is paramount.  My husband and I have been married for almost 30 years.  The cute way I slept has turned into an annoying snore and I am awaken often with a slight push!!  It is blamed on our cat actually.  Love in the English dictionary provide pretty much one definition, “a strong affection for a person or thing”.  But as we do further research, we also find the Greek language provides us different ways the word “love” is used.  Agape love:  the Bible speaks to this word as true love, a sacrificial love or the unconditional love of God. (Corinthians 13).  Then there is the “Philia” love, the friendship or affection love for a loyal friend or family member.  This includes the love of being together.  Now, “Storge” love in modern Greek means natural affection.  This reminds me of the love you have for your children no matter what they do.  “Eros” love which is the passionate love and desire expressed for each other.
I think as there are many definitions for the word love, we can all feel these types of love, all at once, some more than others and even feel several of them for the same person.
As we mature through life, we experience levels of pain, loss, joy, contentment, hate and hurt.  All these make a mark on our life.  Some make a deeper mark than others.  I like to call them the seasons of our life.  As we grow in our relationships or as individuals, we react to the life situations all in different ways.  As I had to live through miscarriages, losing my sibling, getting sick, building my business, seeing my parents get older and just getting older myself, I had to let go of some dreams and found myself finding other dreams.  As I was going through my seasons of my life, my love for my husband took different shapes and directions.  Sometimes I did not feel like loving anyone.  Sometimes I wanted more love and a simple touch was not enough.  There were days I wanted assurance of security.  Love takes many forms in our life.  Even though we are not in the stages of the initial romantic whirlwind, we still love, we still care, we still need love; it might just look different.
You know, there was one love that never changed.  That of God’s love.  No matter what season I am in, God’s agape love is unwavering.