My Week of Interviews – And Sharing One with You!

sale

Mother’s Day was certainly unique this year due of the COVID-19 pandemic. For me, the week leading up to Mother’s Day was interesting as it was full of video interviews and preparations for various opportunities to share my story.

  • I recorded an interview with a local pastor (and friend of mind) for his Mother’s Day message
  • I recorded an interview with my local church that was used for the sermon application
  • I did a Facebook LIVE interview with my cousin, who is a children’s pastor in Erie, Pennsylvania where we talked about parenting during this pandemic
  • And I did an interview with author and speaker (any my personal friend) Sara R. Ward, for a Mothering Strong Under Stress Virtual Summit
  • Then, I found out that an interview I recorded last fall was set to air on Mother’s Day as well. 

I felt like a “virtual movie star!” Haha! Thankfully, in “real time,” I was able to stay in my pj’s on Mother’s Day to watch these things from my family room. Then, my family made me lunch and we had a wonderful, relaxing day together. Yay for pre-recordings!

I wanted to share one these interviews with you today. I am grateful to Mitch Kruse of Restoration Road for this opportunity. I hope it encourages you!

Feel free to share and send me your feedback! I love hearing from you!

Have a great weekend!

Christy

Mothering Strong Under Stress

Social Media

Hi friends,

I’d love to personally invite you to this virtual event. I am so honored to be a presenter, but even more, I’m exited to listen to and learn from the other ladies. 

This is a FREE event, and all you need to do is sign up at the link below to receive emails with the video interviews. You can watch them on your own time.

We hope this will encourage you during this crazy and difficult season – and beyond. 

Christy

Mothering Strong Under Stress: A Virtual Summit for Moms
 
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed Out? Need some motivation?
 
In this three-day motherhood summit, you’ll receive a daily dose of encouragement to help you navigate motherhood’s challenges. Through exclusive interviews with six authors (who are moms too!) you’ll learn about mothering strong under stress, finding joy in the unexpected, and raising resilient kids.
 
Sign up and you’ll get all the information you need to access the Mothering Strong Summit on May 6-8.
 
Best of all, you can watch the summit on your own schedule.
 
I’m very honored to be included as a presenter.
 
Sign up here to save your seat:
 

Is It Worth It?

IMG_3863

Sometimes I can’t remember if I just put a new coffee pod into my coffee maker, or if the one I’m staring at in puzzlement is the used one from yesterday. Even though I would have had to put the coffee pod there mere moments before, I seem to forget if I actually did it, or just thought about it. My memory seems to short out like that sometimes. But, I can remember what I wearing on a certain Friday evening in January of 2002. Black slacks and a lightweight pale pink sweater.

I remember because it was an evening that held a pivotal conversation in my relationship with my then boyfriend, Kraig. I had just gotten home from work, and had not yet changed into more comfortable clothes. I was planning to do so, because my plans for the evening were to sit around my house and wonder. Wonder why Kraig had not invited me to go with him to his nephew’s first birthday party. We’d been dating for about two months, and I’d met his family before, so I wasn’t sure why I was being excluded from this event.

And then the phone rang. This was in the days when one had to pick up the receiver without knowing who was on the other end. There was no caller ID or special ring tones for VIPS. I know, youth today shudder at the thought, but we somehow made it through.

I answered the phone and it was Kraig. He said he was on his way to his nephew’s party (he had a cutting-edge flip cell phone) and would I like him to pick me up as he drove by my house? I said yes and kept my slacks and pink sweater on after all.

The hour drive to his brother’s was where the aforementioned pivotal conversation took place. I started it.

“Why didn’t you invite me this evening until last minute?” I asked him from the passenger seat of his Chevy sedan.

Kraig paused for a bit and then told me that he was a little nervous about the evening. This was a party with his family members, and though some had met me, there could be others there this evening that I hadn’t yet met. He further explained that we’d only been dating a couple of months and if he introduced me and included me in such events as this party, then it would take the relationship to another level and it would be more difficult if it didn’t work out and we ended up breaking up.

I thought about this for a bit. Then I decided to speak my mind.

“Kraig, you need to decide if I’m worth that risk. Yes, this could make things more difficult if we break up someday, but we can’t just plan and act in a manner that protects us from pain because then we’ll miss out on the fun stuff. You just have to decide if I’m worth that risk or not.”

I’m not sure if this was a mic drop moment or an expedited way to get myself dumped.

Spoiler alert: Kraig decided I was worth the risk. We’ve been married now for over 17 years.

I’m not here to make a statement about dating relationships. No. I was young and naive then, and in many ways, and I’m still naive now. But, I am here to say that some things in life require a risk.

No one likes failure, but successes worth anything are almost always preceded by risk.

When I wrote my first book, a memoir of many personal stories from my life, I had to decide if I was willing to risk people actually reading it. Because I knew some would not like it. I might get poor reviews (I have!). I would not be everyone’s cup of tea. And that stings. And it’s scary. And I don’t like the pain it causes. But, I took the risk anyway. And let me tell you, the joys and the opportunities to bring hope to others through my words has been worth the pain.

When we decided to have kids, we didn’t know how it would go! We were twenty-somethings who had never parented before. We sat through the classes at the hospital as wide-eyed rookies. But, we decided the joys of raising children would far outweigh any risk that we’d fail them. And guess what? Sometimes we have failed them! But the joys they bring us far outweigh the struggles. We wouldn’t trade parenthood for anything!

Speaking of our kids, we’re trying to teach our three that anything truly worth striving for may involve pain and risk. We told our son that yes, he might get cut from the sports team, but he should still try out nonetheless. How will he know if he doesn’t try? We tell our daughter that yes, she may not be given the part in the school play that she’s been practicing for and dreaming about. But that’s okay. What would she miss out on if she didn’t try at all? How would she learn and grow for next time? We tell our youngest that yes, she should try running club though she’s never run a mile before. Who knows, maybe she’ll find a new skill and make some friends along the way. How can you cross the finish line if you never crossed the starting line?

If it’s worthy, it’s probably risky. I wish it didn’t have to be so, but I haven’t yet found a way around it.

I still lose track of my coffee pods, but I do know what I was wearing one evening in December of 2002. A white dress. And Kraig was wearing a tux, and we were standing in front of family and friends. He had told me something weeks before. He said that because my own mother had died at the age of 34 from a sudden heart issue, he considered that I could die young also (another spoiler alert: I now know I don’t have the same heart condition). Kraig said he decided that even if he only got to be my husband for a short time because of such a tragedy, that I was still worth it. He’d marry me for whatever amount of time we were given. Basically, he was telling me I was worth the risk.

And that’s something I hope to never forget.

 

What the Bible Taught Me About Writing

I’ve written two books. I blog. Occasionally, I summarize my thoughts into 280 characters and tweet them to everybody and nobody. I post updates on Facebook and “The Gram” (as I heard a cool twenty-something call it). I’ve even written a children’s Bible curriculum.

No, this isn’t my resume.

The point I’m trying to make is, in my forty-one years of existence (see why I rely on cool twenty-somethings now?), I’ve written about a variety of topics.

I’ve told emotional stories with my words, such as sharing about my mother’s death, my son’s cancer journey, and our struggle with miscarriages. I’ve used my words to teach children how the Bible fits together, and the fact that Moses lived after Abraham, and before David. I’ve written about the time my middle school son wore the same pair of socks for seven straight basketball games and how I almost died from the odor on the drive home. I offer a wide-range of topics.

And that’s just me.

When I scroll through my newsfeed, or browse the library shelves, I see articles and books on every topic known to man.

What could possibly be left to write? (I know that sentence could be improved grammatically, as in, ‘What could remain about which to write?’ but this is my essay, and I happen to like the ‘left to write’ thing.)

So when I sit down to work on my next book, or to pound out a blog post, I sometimes get discouraged. What could I possibly write about that hasn’t already been written? What wisdom, humor, information, or idea do I possess that has not already been released into cyberspace? Won’t my voice just be drowned out by the millions of others who have already sung this chorus and verse?

These doubts slow my creative process, and often bring it to a place where I sit and sulk with my friend, Low Self-Esteem.

Why tell my story? 

Why add my voice? 

Why write my words? 

And then one day, while I was doing my hair in front of my bathroom mirror, I looked at myself, and I thought, What about the Bible?

There are 66 books in the Bible, written by about 40 different authors. And, many of those authors write about topics in their books that are the same, or very similar, to the topics in other Bible books! They are humming the same tune. That’s quite the choir!

For example, take the guys in the Old Testament called “The Prophets.” There are 17 Prophecy books in our Bibles. Five of these are Major Prophets, and 12 are Minor. By the way, we call them “Major” and “Minor” because of the length of the books, not because Isaiah and Jeremiah had a weight problem. Just FYI.

Anyway, these 17 Prophecy books were written by 17 different men (actually, to be technical, 16, because Jeremiah wrote Lamentations. He’s always making things difficult), but these books all basically have the same message.

“Turn back to God or you will be punished.”

I’m summarizing, but that’s the main topic of each. Most of these men are even writing to the same audience; the divided nation of Israel. (Jonah, however, was called to Nineveh, and is an exception. If you remember him from Sunday School, you always knew there was something fishy about him!)

So, these 17 authors are all adding their voices, out of obedience to God, because they were called to share the message He gave them. Even though they aren’t the only ones sharing it.

DSC_0152

And then there’s the New Testament.

As I always tell my 5th grade students in my Bible class, the closer we get to Jesus in the Bible, the more information we have written. So in the account of creation, we only get about two chapters in Genesis, but by the time we get to the New Testament, we have four whole books dedicated to one man’s life. Jesus.

Four books. Four different authors. Four different versions. Four different voices.

But they all put their own flavor to it. And that’s what makes them so special.

Matthew was a Jew, and really connected with the Jewish reader. The Jews knew the Old Testament writings, and therefore Matthew shows them in his book how Jesus is the Messiah that fulfills the prophecies they’ve read so many times.

Mark wrote to a Roman audience. He tells of the same wonderful Jesus, but is writing to people who aren’t as familiar with the Old Testament prophecies, so he doesn’t explain how Jesus fulfills those. Rather, he tells of Jesus’ many miracles, and points them to the true God – who is greater than their many gods.

Luke was a physician, so one of my favorites little tidbits about him, is that in the story of Peter chopping off a guy’s ear when they came to arrest Jesus, (Peter was a not a subtle dude), is that Luke is the only writer that mentions that Jesus puts the ear back on! You can read about it in Luke 22:51. Of course a doctor would take note of such a “surgery!”

And John, he wrote to the world! He’s the one who wrote John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John has gotten the most post-Bible era press for this verse with the invention of the football end zone.

So basically, if God designed the Bible to be a collection of voices, and styles, and flavors, and audiences, and personalities, then having a sea of voices sharing about the same topic must not be so bad after all.

I guess it’s time I stop second-guessing the messages and stories I feel led to share, and get to work.

Sharing my words, even if I’m not the first (or the best) to write about the topic, is an act of obedience to the loving God who is able to use them for His glory!

 

It’s My Book’s Birthday!

Today, after three years of labor, my book has been born! (Phew!)

I’m so excited to announce that my first book, Brownie Crumbs and Other Life Morsels, is now available on Amazon in paperback, and for the Kindle.

You can find it here:

 

Also, I had a book trailer made to give everyone a short glimpse of what the book is about – much like you’d discover from reading the back cover. If you’d like to see it, it is here:

 

 

And finally, if you’d like to follow my writing page on Facebook, you can find it here:

https://www.facebook.com/christycabewriter/

Thanks for your support, reader!

Happy Birthday, Book!

Christy

That’s Gonna Leave A Mark

We sat in a circle with Bibles open on our laps and scribbled words on our papers. We’ve been studying the life of Moses and today we discussed that crazy day when Joshua was called to fight the Amalekites and Moses stood on top of a mountain all day holding his staff up in the air.

Weird.

We read about how when Moses lowered the staff, the Amalekites would begin to win, and when he raised the staff up, then his people, the Israelites, would be the victors. The staff was a visual represtentaion of God’s power.

We studied that as the day wore on, Moses’ arms grew weary (who can blame him!) and so he pulled up a rock, took a seat, and had his buddy, Hur, and his brother, Aaron, hold his arms up for him.

I don’t claim to understand how this all worked. Like I said, it’s kind of strange and not something I see every day. Or ever.

But I believe it.

And what’s more, I was struck in our study by the fact that God actually asks Moses to record what happened that day so that Joshua and the rest of the Israelites (and you and me too!) would know about this whole staff and tired arms thing. And even more important than that, so we’d all see how God led His people to victory in a powerful way, like only He could.

Basically, God wanted Moses to be sure to tell the story.

To not let the memory of that day fade with the setting sun.

Poor Moses didn’t have the great tools we have today to do such telling.

He couldn’t tweet:

@EgyptnoMoe Just helped my army win a big battle… but boy are my “armies” sore now!
#punintended #AaronandHuraremywingmen

He couldn’t blog:

Check on my new post “My Triceps are Killing Me but the Amalekites Aren’t” over at http://www.wanderingwildernessramblings.com

He couldn’t even update his status on Facebook:

Check out this group selfie of my bro Aaron, my buddy Hur and me. Long day helping Joshua win a battle. Can’t win ’em all, but we sure won this one! 😉 By the way, this staff sure is something!!

But technology, tools, convenience, or not, God asked Moses to record the events of the day and to pass it down to others.

God asked Moses to tell the story.

I see this theme in Scripture elsewhere. In Deuteronomy, God tells his people to impress God’s laws on their children. To talk about God and his law in their daily lives. To tell the stories of God’s work in their history. To pile a group of stones in a location where God did something and when their kids asked, “Hey Mom, what’s that pile of rocks for?” to tell them the story.

Because when we tell the story, we tell what God has done.

And that’s gonna leave a mark.

That’s Gonna Leave A Mark.

I’m giving Five Minute Friday a try again. I find it fun, challenging, and I just drank coffee too late in the evening so I’m wide awake and why not! 🙂 Five Minute Friday is where a group of bloggers are given a one-word prompt and then they write about that topic for five minutes and then link up with others who have done the same. The prompt is given at 10pm on Thursday night here if you’d like to join us! And if you want to read what others have written about today’s word you can find them all linked here

Today’s word prompt is: LEAVE 

That’s Gonna Leave A Mark.

We sat in a circle this morning with Bibles open on laps and scribbled words on our papers. We’ve been studying the life of Moses and today we discussed that crazy day when Joshua was called to fight the Amalekites and Moses stood on top of a mountain all day holding his staff up in the air.

Weird.

We read about how when Moses lowered the staff, the Amalekites would begin to win, and when he raised the staff up, then his people, the Israelites, would be the victors. The staff was a visual represtentaion of God’s power.

We studied that as the day wore on, Moses’ arms grew weary (who can blame him!) and so he pulled up a rock, took a seat, and had his buddy, Hur, and his brother, Aaron, hold his arms up for him.

I don’t claim to understand how this all worked. Like I said, it’s kind of strange and not something I see every day. Or ever.

But I believe it.

And what’s more, I was struck in our study by the fact that God actually asks Moses to record what happened that day so that Joshua and the rest of the Israelites (and you and me too!) would know about this whole staff and tired arms thing. And even more important than that, so we’d all see how God led His people to victory in a powerful way, like only He could.

Basically, God wanted Moses to be sure to tell the story.

To not let the memory of that day fade with the setting sun.

Poor Moses didn’t have the great tools we have today to do such telling.

He couldn’t tweet:

@EgyptnoMoe Just helped my army win a big battle… but boy are my “armies” sore now!
#punintended #AaronandHuraremywingmen

He couldn’t blog:

Check on my new post “My Triceps are Killing Me but the Amalekites Aren’t” over at http://www.wanderingwildernessramblings.com

He couldn’t even update his status on Facebook:

Check out this group selfie of my bro Aaron, my buddy Hur and me. Long day helping Joshua win a battle. Can’t win ’em all, but we sure won this one! 😉 By the way, this staff sure is something!!

But technology, tools, convenience, or not, God asked Moses to record the events of the day and to pass it down to others.

God asked Moses to tell the story.

I see this theme in Scripture elsewhere. In Deuteronomy, God tells his people to impress God’s laws on their children. To talk about God and his law in their daily lives. To tell the stories of God’s work in their history. To pile a group of stones in a location where God did something and when their kids asked, “Hey Mom, what’s that pile of rocks for?” to tell them the story.

Because when we tell the story, we tell what God has done.

And that’s gonna leave a mark.

 

 

 

Tell Me A Story

I sat across the table from a gentleman with slumped shoulders and a cardigan. He wore his more than 80 years on his wrinkled face. Beside him was another similar-looking man who was putting ketchup on his onion rings, and beside him was a grey-haired woman. The seats at our rectangular table were full of these people. Other than my presence on this day, it was just like every other lunchtime at the assisted living facility. I was there to visit my grandmother and I was grateful that her table-mates had allowed me to disrupt their meticulous routine.

The conversation was sparse. Actually it was mostly focused on the fact that because of my presence, we were short one bowl of tapioca. I offered to part with mine, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Instead, the woman with the walker slowly made her way to the kitchen to request another cup of pudding. This is how they did things at their table, and I wasn’t about to argue.

I was so intrigued with them all. After the tapioca situation was resolved I listened to the snippets of conversation between these weathered friends. One man had finally sold his home. His children had helped work with the realtor and now finally their father could rest assured he was officially living in his last earthly residence. Others talked about their grandchildren, their health, and their plans to play BINGO or dominoes later in the day.

The mealtime came to an end and they all slowly rose and shuffled away, but I wish they would have stayed longer. I wanted to hear more. These people had lived so much more life than I had. They each had so much history and so many stories that I would have loved to hear.

How many children did they have? How long had they been widowed? Did they serve in the war? What were their occupations as young people? How did they fall in love? What were their biggest regrets and greatest accomplishments?

So many stories… yet, so little tapioca.

That mealtime reminded me how much I love to hear about people’s lives. I love true stories. Just as I could have sat there all day listening to those senior citizens share, I could spend hours reading or watching biographies. There is so much to be learned from hearing about other people’s lives.

Stories make things real. Stories pull us all in and level the field so that we can find ways to relate and understand.

Stories are powerful.

But, sometimes we shy away from telling our stories.

We may think it’s fun to hear the stories of others, but we don’t see the value in sharing our own.

Does anyone really want to hear about my childhood? Is there any benefit in sharing about the way my husband and I met and fell in love? Can I really help another mother who has a child dealing with the same disease that plagued my son? Does sharing about my frustrations with the daily, mundane tasks of being a wife and mother really touch another’s heart?

I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.

Yes.

Even if we don’t think our stories are special, they may be special to someone else. They connect us to people in a real way instead of through a virtual network or screen. They strip away the fronts and perceptions and make things real. And we like that, because life is real.

When I hear a girlfriend talk about the fatigue she feels from disciplining the same child for the same issue day in and day out, I’m encouraged. I’m reminded that I’m not alone.

When I hear an older woman tell me her love story and how she was married to the same man for decades, I’m inspired. I’m reminded that I can strive for a stronger marriage and deeper love.

When I hear a mentor share about their weaknesses and fears, I’m uplifted. I’m reminded that no one is perfect and we all deal with failures and pain.

When I hear a friend share about their loss and heartache, I’m broken. I’m reminded that I need to help carry the burdens of others and reach out to those who are hurting.

It doesn’t really matter if the people who are telling the stories are old, wrinkled, young, trendy, close friends or a new acquaintances. They may be wearing a cardigan, hospital gown, mom jeans or a jersey. It doesn’t really matter. I want to listen. And when the opportunity arises, I want to share my story too.

Sharing our stories helps us live better stories.

And sometimes you even get a bowl of tapioca to top it all off.

DSC_0721