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Mandisa’s Get Up: The Remixes (& giveaway!)

Me & Mandisa

Hey Friends -

Y’all know how much I love Mandisa, right?!

Last summer I had the best time seeing Mandisa in concert at Muskegon’s Unity Christian Music Festival (remember how I was screaming in my kitchen when I learned I won tickets?!)

Not only is Mandisa’s band amazing and her music powerful ~ I especially appreciated the Truth-filled words  she shared between songs.

Mandisa is absolutely beautiful – inside and out – and I love every time she comes to West Michigan.

Of course, being escorted backstage by Mandisa’s Tour Manager and getting some personal time with Mandisa is definitely at the top of my girls’ dream-come-true list.

Yay, God!

Brandon Heath, Mandisa, & my gang

Brandon Heath, Mandisa, & my gang

Imagine my delight when I learned Mandisa has a brand new CD coming out, and her team wondered if I’d like to share her music with my blog readers.

Um, YES PLEASE! 

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Introducing Mandisa’s brand  new CD –  Get Up: The Remixes! 

This 11-track album puts an upbeat spin on Mandisa’s hits, encouraging everyong to Get Up and move – whether you want to dance and exercise or just need a little extra motivation to face the day.

Get Up: The Remixes follows the success of Mandisa’s best-selling and critically acclaimed album Overcomer which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart. Woo Hoo!

Here’s the amazing playlist –

Get Up: The Remixes

 1. Back To You (Neon Feather Remix)
2. Joy Unspeakable (ATELLAGALI Remix)
3. What If We Were Real (NEVA Remix)
4. Waiting For Tomorrow (Silver Remix)
5. Good Morning (Capital Kings Remix)
6. Stronger (Movin’ Remix)
7. Only the World (Switch Remix)
8. Shackles (Switch Remix)
9. My Deliverer (RawlsCO Remix)
10. Overcomer (Capital Kings Remix)
11. Press On (CB Ultra Run Remix) 

The kids and I went for a drive tonight to listen to the songs and pick our favorite. Bottom line: we loved them all!

Now are you ready for an awesome Mandisa giveaway?! (drumroll please….)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll close with a quote from the beautiful, gifted Mandisa….

“A struggle is a struggle, and Jesus is there through it all. He is there in compassion and grace. I have found that what He has spoken to me through these songs has been encouraging and I think that’ll be true for other people who are going through their own hard times…”

Amen, Mandisa, Amen!

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

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P.S. Here’s how to get connected with Mandisa –

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What’s Up?!

Happy Fall y’all! Looking for some Fall family fun? Check out my A to Z list here . Enjoy!

Hey Friends -

I was recently walking with a friend and she said, “Cindy, what 3 things are on your mind today?”

Isn’t that an awesome question?

It made me stop in my tracks and really think.

Here’s what’s on my mind (not in any particular order) –

1. Ministry

standale baptist group

Standale Baptist Kick-off

Can you believe Red Hot Faith is finally released? Yay, God!

I’ve had the best time traveling to different churches and home groups — meeting so many beautiful women and encouraging them on their faith journey.

I’ve also loved making personalized videos welcoming different groups both near and far. (In fact, if you’re hosting RHF this season, send my assistant a quick note to cindy@cindybultema.com, and I’d love to make a quick “shout out” video to you too!)

The good news: Red Hot Faith is already on its second print. Woo Hoo!

I love how God is answering my mentor Mary’s prayer to “raise up a generation of women who are red-hot for Him!”

I’d love to meet you this fall, friend! Here is a list where I will be speaking  - Cindy’s Speaking Schedule

 

2. Home Remodel

Do you remember the house flood my family endured last winter?

Thankfully, the ice jam + 70′s kitchen + broken refrigerator + moldy floor = new kitchen for us. Yippee!

We also decided to flip some rooms (our dining room became our living room, and vice versa) — so needless to say, since last May we’ve been in the midst of a crazy home project.

And after 6+ weeks of no kitchen, we finally are back in operation! Watch for a full “reveal” coming soon — but for those who have been wondering, here are some photo updates for you.

Before

Before

After Habitat for Humanity came.

After Habitat for Humanity came.

 

Updated kitchen - not quite finished yet

Updated kitchen – not quite finished yet

 

New dining room/old living room

New dining room/old living room

3. Family and Marriage

Mystery Day 2014

Mystery Day 2014

This school year I have a 5th grader, 6th grader, 7th grader & a Junior in college. Wow!

Although the transition for my eldest son Jake to leave for college was extremely hard (Jake is living off campus again this year) – I’m transitioning ok these days.

I haven’t melted down on my bathroom floor yet this fall. Whew!

Me & my man

Me & my man

Lastly, I’m so in love with my man I can barely stand it!

If you’re in a hard place in your marriage (like we have been – recap here) – please keep praying and don’t give up.

God is a Master Restorer and Rebuilder!

Keep praying, surround yourself with Godly women to encourage you, and get sound Biblical counsel (if needed). Your marriage is so worth it!

If God can do it for us, He can do it for you!

Well that’s “what’s up” in my neck of the world. How ’bout you? What 3 things are on your mind today? 

I would love to hear your favorite highlight this Fall so far! Fill me in please. :)

Have a super, joy-filled rest of your week! I thank God for you, my dear bloggy friend!!

Sweet blessings

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P.S. Next week my publisher is hosting a Twitter party for Red Hot Faith. Wanna come? Pretty please?! :) redhotfaith-800a

 

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Letting Go & Going Forward

Hey Friends -

With the start of a fresh school year, I’ve been thinking and praying for moms going through seasons of transition.

Whether it’s the start of kindergarten, senior year, college – or somewhere in between — these transitions can be hard/sad/painful/difficult.

Trust me — I’ve been there.

When my son Jake started college in 2012, I could barely function.  It was bad.

Truth be told: one day my Sarah found me in a heap on my bathroom floor bawling my eyes out. My sweetie said, “Mom, I’m sorry you are sad. Do you want me to get your Bible for you?” 

My response, “Sarah, my Bible? No. I need Jesus Himself right now.”

My compassionate little girl put her hand on my tear-filled cheek and prayed for me and asked Jesus to come help me. Precious.

Whereas this year the transition was much easier (my kids are now 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and junior in college) — my heart goes out to anyone and everyone going through hard seasons.

Here’s a post I wrote in the midst of my pain.

May it encourage you today, friend. Please know you are not alone.

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Y’all know I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to my firstborn Jake leaving home to live with his dad & step-mom while he attends Aquinas College.

I should clarify – by hard time I mean major bouts of bawling my eyes out, melt downs on my bathroom floor, puddles of tears at night when I realize Jake’s not coming home and I need to go ahead and turn the lights off. That kind of hard time. :/

I am happy to report it’s been almost a full week since I’ve experienced a meltdown.

Woo Hoo for progress!

I’ll confess I did almost lose it when I went to set the table with 6 plates in my hand, and realized we only have 5 at our table now.

Ugh.

It was painfully hard to walk back to my cupboard and put that lone 6th plate away.

Sometimes letting go just plain stinks.

However, today I have fresh hope! I’m committing to letting go and going forward!

One of my suggestions to Jake as we embrace a new season was to meet for breakfast at his favorite local place – Wolfgangs. The owner’s wife also happens to be one of my super good friends. (She held my hand as I gave birth to Jake 18 years ago). Wolfgang’s is a special place with many warm memories for us both.

Jokingly I said to Jake, “We could have ‘Wednesday’s at Wolfgang’s’ – my treat!”

Would you believe that when Jake received his schedule he has Wednesday’s off?! Yay!

Thankfully he also has hockey practice at 7 AM every morning (so he’s out of bed early), and was more than willing to have breakfast with his mom at Wolfgang’s right after practice today.

The only thing he wasn’t happy about was “marking the moment” with my camera. LOL!

Jake let me sneak in one picture, but wasn’t going for my idea of a redo because of the shadow. Oh well…I’ll still treasure it always.

As I was driving home from Wolfgang’s, I was struck by my need to let go of what we’ve experienced in the past so I could fully embrace and move forward towards new opportunities.

If I keep hanging on and lamenting about “what used to be,” how can I keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to what God wants to do during this new season?

  • I need to let go of Jake being under our roof – but going forward, I treasure the thought of having him to myself over breakfast for a full hour without any distractions every Wednesday.
  • I need to let go of my desire to have Jake safe here “in my nest,” and instead look forward to watching how God grows him – spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
  • I need to let go of control, and instead trust God as Jake makes decisions, new friendships, and begins a fresh season as a college student.

Sometimes letting go just plain stinks…but until I stop looking back, I cannot move forward.

I’ve been thinking of other ways I wrestle with hanging on to the old rather than embracing the new….

I’ve declared it’s time to …..

  • Let go of old, self defeating “tapes” & instead go forward confidently in courage and Truth
  • Let go of how our family did things last year & prayerfully embrace new traditions and opportunities, as necessary
  • Let go of how much I loved being the mom of a high schooler (& being a house where lots of kids hung out) and instead get an Aquinas College cow bell and get ready for some hockey! WOO HOO! (AQ hockey schedule here)

Now is it going to be easy? Of course not.

Is it possible I have more meltdowns? You betcha.

But do I sense God is wanting to grow not only Jake during this season, but this mama bird as well?! Sure do.

Sometimes growing pains are uncomfortable…but so worth the time, effort, prayers and tears.

How about you, friend? As we head into a new Fall season, are there habits, attitudes, actions or beliefs that you need to let go? Is it time to let go of controlling that relationship? Those self-defeating thoughts and behaviors? The fear that is holding you back?

Is it time to let go??

God can’t put anything in hands that are already full. – Chuck Swindoll

I’d love for you to share with us! How have you’ve exerienced growing pains during changes and transitions? What has God has taught you through them? Is there something you need to let go off?

Aren’t you so glad we don’t have to journey alone?

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! I thank God for you, my dear bloggy friends!Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sweet Blessings -

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Overcoming Addiction – Part 2 & Vlog

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Hey Friends -

Do you know someone who is struggling with addiction?

Or perhaps you’ve been entrapped by the intense cravings and obsession addiction can bring to one’s life.

I get it. I’ve been there too.

Addiction is not a topic I share in detail about regularly, but most recently I’ve been asked a number of times to share how God set me free from my serious drug and alcohol addiction. (Recap here)

I’d much rather talk about Jesus, confetti, living fat talk free — anything but this. However, I’ve prayed all along if my story could help anyone, I would be willing to share it.

So here comes the truth, friend. Nothing but the truth.

For question # 2 — Did you ever use drugs or alcohol again — I need to answer those questions separately.

Rather than typing out my whole story, here is a quick video answering the question,

“Did I ever use cocaine again after my near fatal overdose?”

Disclaimer:  My daughter Amanda filmed this for me in one take. Please forgive the raw, rough footage, and the end of day make-up and hair. Manda said, “You look much better in real life, Mom — but it should be fine.” Thanks, Manda?!

 

Sweet friend,  I’m not sure where my story finds you today, but please be reminded our God is a God of redemption and new beginnings.

No matter where you have been.

No matter what you have done.

No matter what has been done to you.

Our God is a God of new mercies, fresh starts, forgiveness, unconditional love and oodles of grace.

If you are caught in the trap of addiction  — whether it’s food, alcohol, need for approval, porn, or shopping — may today be the day you declare “No More!”

Please cry out to God, then call a friend and share the whole truth. You do not have to journey alone.

You were created for so much more than the destruction and defeat addiction brings.

Sweet friend, you need Jesus. Please don’t wait another day.

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P.S. In my next post I’ll address the question  – did I ever use alcohol again? The answer may surprise you!

 

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Overcoming Addiction

imagesLLFF8GKQHey Friend –

Who do you know who has been ensnared by the allure of addiction?

I’ve been recently reflecting on my personal journey from struggling with an intense drug and alcohol addiction – and nearly losing my life – to a place of great freedom, peace, and joy. (My story recap here)

To be honest, my drug and alcohol addiction is not a subject I enjoy discussing.

Can you blame me?

Who wants to admit vomiting in their mom’s sink?

Or overdosing on cocaine as a young single mom?

The older I become (and as my kids age) — the more the enemy would love to heap shame and guilt on my already fragile soul.

The good news: my poor choices don’t have to define me, but instead God can use them to refine me, making me strong, useful, and effective for Him. (And the same is true for you too, friend!)

I’ve promised God I’ll share the truth of my journey anytime and in anyway He wanted me to. Recently I’ve been asked over and over two important questions:

1. Did you go to rehab, Cindy? How did you get clean?  2. Did you ever use drugs or alcohol again?

I sense it’s time to share with you. my dear bloggy friend, the whole story.

For today , let’s start with question #1.

Did you go to rehab, Cindy? How did you get clean?

In 1996, in the midst of my mess, I tried many times to stop the drugs and alcohol use on my own. I knew I desperately needed help, and I quickly learned willpower alone is not enough to overcome the allure of addiction.

My accidental cocaine overdose became my “bottom.”

Out of desperation and a determination to survive, I asked a friend’s mom for help.  This dear woman shared with me four words – simple words, but words that have changed my life –

“Cindy, you need Jesus.”

And on that day, July 26, 1996, freshly discharged from the hospital after my overdose, I cried out to Jesus and asked Him to enter into my addiction and help me.

Willpower alone is not enough to overcome the allure of addiction – but Jesus is.

Jesus alone can rescue, redeem, save, deliver, restore, and open up those prison gates and set any captive free.

There is no one too far gone from His redemptive reach. No one.

Now I wish I could share it’s been an easy, carefree journey of sobriety and freedom.

Not so much.

Although Jesus delivered me from my pit of despair and destruction, I’ve also had to do my part, including:

• Pursuing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Surrendering every area of my life to Christ, and inviting Him to be the Lord of my life.

• Renewing my mind with the Truth of God’s Word. My life has been transformed because my mind has been transformed, and that’s come by meditating on and memorizing God’s Word.

• Leaving behind the “old” life, involving: quitting my job, letting go of any alcohol/drug related friendships, and avoiding any environments where temptations would be high.

• Stopping secrets and lies, and exposing all areas of my life to His Light.

• Getting to the “root” of the problem. What was I trying to numb? Why? Through Godly counselors, we were able to identify the true source of my pain, allowing inner healing to come.

• Asking for accountability. For many months I met daily with a recovered drug user. The times I didn’t want to meet, she’d find me and make me stay longer. Day-to-day accountability and support made a huge difference in my journey to freedom.

• Starting new healthy habits. As I left behind the “old,” I needed to replace my behaviors with healthy, life-giving choices. I began reading the Bible daily, attending church and a weekly Bible study, making new friends, finding new ways to have fun.

• Praying! I asked God daily to protect me from temptation, replace my destructive cravings with His satisfaction and peace, to surround me with women to build me up and encourage me, and to fill my heart and mind with His Truth.

The good news? This year I celebrated 18 years of sobriety. Yay, God!

Please know I’m not a trained therapist, addiction expert or licensed counselor – just an ordinary girl transformed by an extraordinary God.

There isn’t one single day I don’t invite Jesus to be Lord and do His powerful work in my life. I’m desperate for Him! But I show up to do my part as well. Life’s worth it. Jesus is worth it!

How about you, friend?

Who do you know who has been ensnared by the allure of addiction?

How has addiction impacted your life?

If you’ve been searching for something to fill the emptiness and find yourself ensnared by the lure of addiction, please remember, willpower alone is not enough to set you free.

Sweet friend, you need Jesus. Please don’t wait another day.

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P.S. In my next post I’ll address questions #2 – did I ever use drugs or alcohol again? The answer may surprise you!

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