Life Lessons

Reason to Fly!

I watched the process of birthing and nurturing a family from my window this past year. Male and female became mates and nested in our ready-made house. Equally excited, they did their best to ready it as an incubator. One going in to tidy things up. The other waiting to check the progress. One such day, I observed the Mrs. toting an extra long piece of grass--twice the length of their new home. The Mr. was standing guard from above-- then popped down there and pushed the opposite end into the hole-- as a true helpmate should! Weeks later, a choir of triplets announced their birth. Incessant baby-chirps insisted on needing fed. Then one day, my "Nook" guests and I were entertained as Momma gave her babes their first flight instructions. Tiny bodies dressed in soft downy feathers aligned the roof of our car port. Momma B hurriedly fetched a beak-full of energy food for each to fuel their first flight. One by one, they spread their wings. Most of their movement was down-not-up! They landed on the driveway. By the month of August, the in-and-out traffic of that tiny house was nearly nonstop. Five sparrows still consider it their home. Some days they must wait their turn to go inside. The sides of the little house bulge with [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:37:59+00:00 December 16th, 2014|, , , |0 Comments

Look At The Globe!

When is the last time you gazed at a globe? Twirled it on it's axle? Considered the geography of this grand sphere, this planet Earth? In the midst of the "pandemic" named Ebola, God deemed the new year as the culmination of a 10 year call for  ME, Cynthia K. Stiverson, to teach, preach, share Jesus and introduce Woven to the women of East Africa. As the fear increased and the virus spread, I began to question: "After 10 years of waiting...NOW?" In the initial responses of family and friends to my quest, I fought these questions and fears in my own heart and mind. Yet, He continued to confirm this call. Now is the time. In a recent such battle of the heart, He clearly directed me: "Look at the Globe!" I measured the distance from West Africa to East Africa. I measured the distance from Texas to Ohio, then considered how close the supposed enemy Ebola awaits. It had moved to Akron, just 2 hours away. One thing I know for sure about Africa is that it is a continent. There is a misperception that Africa is a country; a tendency to lump every African country into one large conglomerate. Being the 2nd largest continent with 54 countries, it takes a hard hit. When something happens "in Africa", then suddenly [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:04+00:00 December 2nd, 2014|, |0 Comments

Slow Down

When was the last time you actually took the time? Time to simply slow down, enjoy the day Time to allow your inner child to come out and play Time to be idle; observe the cycle of nature Time to witness the miracles of our Maker God has been returning me to my roots. It began through a reconnection with my first BFF: my childhood friend and neighbor. Resurrected memories burst forth of so much life, play, simplicity, wonder. I realized how much of my life had been spent in the woods. I longed for the simple, quiet, rhythms of life. God had this in mind and paved the path for this process. It began with a stay at Sts. Peter & Paul Retreat Center. The weather could not have been more perfect. A simple walk in the woods burst forth reminders everywhere: This is where I began. This was my escape to never-never land. The woods: my childhood playhouse with endless wonder and possibilities! Oh how I had missed: The Woods! I was in awe of how God had clothed a fallen log with beautiful ruffles upon ruffles, and was reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 6: Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:09+00:00 October 16th, 2014|, , |0 Comments

LIFE LESSONS: Courage to Begin

I'm an artist, writer, speaker. An initiator, leader, dreamer, visionary. All of these require Courage. Courage to begin. But sometimes I get stuck. Lack of vision, opportunity? Occasionally. More often than not, I'm overwhelmed with all the possibilities. When I find myself in that place, indecision grips me. Indecision promotes procrastination. Procrastination opens the door to fear and failure. I am frozen in space and time. I feel frustrated. I've allowed fear to steal my faith. Paintings wait to be painted. Words long to be placed on paper, to be shaped into sentences. Sentences expect to form paragraphs, destined to build a story. Such is life. Not just the life of a creator, but of being obedient to The Creator. He is shaping a story through each of us. Our story is just waiting to be lived, to be shared, to take form and shape, to bring beauty to the world and glory to God. But fear can get in the way of His work. We lag behind, afraid to take the next step. We lack faith. It's like taking an exam you haven't studied for...and all the questions are essays. The white space on the page is so blinding that any potential recall is irretrievable. The fear of taking [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:14+00:00 August 21st, 2014|, |0 Comments

Life Lessons: The Nitty Gritty

My grandsons Jude and Isaac playing in the sand   The nitty gritty truth? I love the beach. Hate the sand. An oxymoron? I suppose so. After all, the beach is sand and sand is the beach: a beautiful host to the immense ocean. It provides a homecoming for the tide. It harbors hidden treasures, empty shells, a foreground for unending horizon and glorious sunsets. But, the sand...does it have to be so messy, so sticky, so sandy? In the midst of this beautiful scene, the sand is such a distraction. It's easy to talk myself out of going to the beach because I don't want to mess with the sand. And yet, I LOVE the beach! How crazy is that? What I don't like? I don't like how the sand sticks to my skin, to my lotion. I don't like to feel dirty, gritty, sweaty. I don't like getting sand in my mouth, on my clothes, on my towel. I don't like dragging it into my room and having to clean it up. I don't like messes, I guess. I want to enjoy life without all the grit. I'm thinking that if an oyster could talk, she would say the same thing. Sand is the irritant [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:18+00:00 August 12th, 2014||0 Comments