Sunday, September 13, 2015

My Soul Exposed by Cindy H. Reed

If you'd asked me 30 years earlier, where I'd be today, my answer would've been nothing compared to the story I'm about to tell.

As a young teenager, I was one my Mom would say, I thought I knew it all.  I had all the answers, or so I thought.  I always had to have the last word; I thrived on being a great debater.  I loved to be challenged, always wanted to be right and I'd question any and all things.  I had an outgoing/strong personality and I got along with mostly everyone I'd come in contact with.  An Uncle called me a tomboy.  I'd navigate toward the boys and doing what they did.  I'd climb trees; I played the drums through school.  I took a wood burning class and small engines, class.  I loved playing touch football with the fellas and I played on the softball team.  I was a pro at handball.  I was your all around rough and tough girl with a sweet personality.

When I was 13, my Grandfather came to stay with us.  My Grandfather had been a preacher in the Baptist church for longer than I'd been alive.  This was the beginning of my journey.

One day Mom came to me and told me that I needed to wash my Grandfather's feet.  I was horrified and didn't want to do it.  Touch another person's feet?  How disgusting is that??  Not able to tell my mother no, I got the pan, filled it with water and began to wash my Grandfather's feet.  To my surprise, he was happier than words could say.  I saw the joy in his face and I realized that what I was doing wasn't that bad after all.  I embraced the feeling I got from seeing him happy.  I began to talk to him about the afterlife.  I asked him how we're to know if one of our loved ones made it to heaven if they can't ever come back and tell us?  He didn't have an answer but thought my question was a good one.  I then said, "Pop, when you make it to heaven, can you come back and give me a sign that you made it"?  He told me he would and then he laid hands on my head and prayed and asked God for a blessing on my soul.  My Grandfather passed away a few months later.

As my life went on, I grew up, transforming myself from a tomboy into a young lady.  Nineteen now, I'm home alone.  I go into the kitchen, reach for the light but before I could hit the switch, I see my Grandfather sitting at the kitchen table as an Angel.  All white, glowing, with huge wings.  I was scared out my mind and quickly switched on the light.  That was my sign that my Grandfather made it into heaven.  He'd fulfilled his promise to me.

In the years that followed, I'd see visions of my Grandfather a few times.  I began to think he was my guardian angel.  I'd see him during times in my life when I was going through something and needed reassurance that everything would be all right.

Growing older, I began to notice things were happening to me that I couldn't explain.  I felt like the Lord was pulling at my coat strings.  I felt that there was something He wanted me to do with my life or in this lifetime, but I didn't know what that was and I always felt, I wasn't ready.  In my mind, I would run from the Lord.  If he reached out, I'd pull back.  The fear of the unknown had me gripped and I couldn't allow myself to move forward.  I'd see things I couldn't explain.  I'd have premonitions that would come to pass.  I'd feel things I couldn't explain and all that was enough to fear God when he'd reach out to me.  Whatever He wanted of me, I didn't feel I could do.

I became good at running while God remained persistent in chasing.  It got to a point where I finally confided in my Mother, telling her that I feel that God wants me to do something, I just don't know what it is.  I told her I feel He's pulling at me; trying to tell me something but I'm just not ready.

******************************
One day while visiting my parents, I went to Sunday service with them.  The service was awesome and everyone could feel the presence of the Lord in the church.  Being the skeptic I am, when it came to watching folks feel the Holy Spirit inside and watching folks dance around the church because the Lord touched them, I thought it was all hogwash and figured people were just putting on a show. That is until it happened to me. Standing next to my Mother, the Lord touched my soul and my body jerked, my hands flew up and my mouth let out the words, "thank you, Father, praise the Lord".  I did that twice, back to back.  Not knowing what had just happened to me, as I was going through the motions, I began to cry.  Not me?  How could this be happening to me?  How is this possible?  This kind of thing doesn't happen to me?  I later realized that what I'd been seeing others do, was actually real and that the Lord was touching their soul as He did mine.  I began to wonder, why me? I asked myself, what does God want with me?  I don't know anything.  I'm not a Bible scholar, I don't attend church every Sunday, nor do I go to Sunday school.  What on earth could God want with me?

As the years passed, God seemed to leave me be.  I got to a point where I felt I no longer needed to run; that I could chill and go on with my life.  Every now and then, I'd see what I call a spirit but after seeing my Grandfather, I wasn't afraid.  I'd accepted that something was "different" within me, that I had some sort of "gift" to see and feel things that other people couldn't.  I accepted that I had dreams that I couldn't explain.  I was okay with that.  I was okay as long as I didn't feel God tugging at my coattail but in the back of my mind, I knew God was preparing me for something.

When I met my husband Jay, things for me began to change.  I began to once again feel the Spirit of the Lord tugging at my coattail.  My husband, a spiritual person himself, I felt I could confide in him what I'd been going through, pretty much all my life.  After telling him my story, he immediately gave me clarity.  He told me that my Grandfather placing "hands" on me was his way of asking God for a blessing on my life, to which I'd received.  I knew of preachers placing hands on people and asking for this or that but I was never a believer that any of that stuff was true.  Seeing it on TV was where I got most of that conclusion from but I'd seen it in a few churches and seen the same thing happen.  I didn't believe any of it.

Jay and I would converse anytime I had a dream, a strong feeling or if I saw a spirit.  Jay became my lifeline into the world I'd only walked in alone.  Sure, I'd share my visions with my Mother but I felt that even though she believed I'd seen my Grandfather and other things, that in the back of her mind, I always felt she thought I was a little "touched" for lack of a better word.  Touched in the sense of not crazy but heading in that direction.  I never felt the confirmation from my Mother that I did with Jay, that indeed, I had something from God, a gift.

I believe that having Jay in my life, I felt a sense of security.  I felt I could talk to him about anything I was going through spiritually and he'd be there for me, to protect me.  Now I know that only God can do that in the spiritual sense but I looked at my husband and still do, as the head of my household, the Father to my son and the King of my castle.  He's my provider and he gives me that sense of security I need to face the unknown.  He's there to tell me that everything will be all right. To confirm or dispel what I've been thinking, to give input and clarity to my confusion, and to open the Bible and show me verses that fit whatever I may be going through at the time.  He's a comfort to me when I'm scared, and he's my best friend.  Armed with my partner, I felt I could face the unknown so I finally made the decision to tell God, I was ready.  Ready for whatever He wanted me to do.  I got down on my knees one day and prayed like I never prayed before.  In my mind, I opened my heart and soul to the Lord and said Father, I'm ready.  Bless me with whatever it is you'll have me do.

Running no more, my life began to change spiritually.  I found myself always feeling the Holy Spirit inside me; always reminding me that He's there with me.  I began to write when I felt the urge to write.  My urges would always be strong and it was almost like, I would be physically there writing but my mind would be elsewhere.  Kind of like an outer body experience.  It would feel like it wasn't me writing and I knew that my words were guided by God.

One day I didn't feel well.  I went to see my doctor who made me stay home for three days.  I found that a bit odd, I didn't think I was "sick", I was just a tad under the weather and feeling kind of tired. No reason to stay home.  The next day, I felt the presence of the Lord in my home.  Now that's a powerful feeling but I felt that the Lord came in and was there with me.

I started to read this Christian book I get in the mail and as I opened it, I saw a picture of a man standing in front of an open door.  Instantly, I knew I had to write.  I got my paper and pen and I wrote "The Open Door".  As I was writing, I'd get interrupted with the timer on my stove going off, I'd take care of the dinner I was cooking and come right back and pick up where I'd left off.  I was focused.  The Lord was with me.  After I finished writing, I'd later go back and read what I'd written and I was blown away that I wrote it.  That's when I realized that it was the Lord speaking through me.  There was only one sentence rewrite in the entire thing and that was amazing to me.  It showed me just how focused  I was and that the Lord didn't allow anything to distract me from my mission. My mind was on pause while I handled what I needed to in the kitchen.

When Jay came home that day, I read him "The Open Door".  He was amazed at the writing and that it came from me.  He said something that blew me out the water.  He told me that he felt that God had something to do with the doctor making me stay home for three days and that he believed that God was there with me in the apartment that day.  Excited, I told him I felt that same way and couldn't believe he felt that way as well.  He said, "that's a blessing, that the Lord came in and spent the day with you"!  He said, "I'm jealous.  God was here, spending the entire day with you and I wasn't here".

************************
My father passed away and that was an emotional time for everyone.  While at the hospital, I got the chance to see him after he was gone.  In his hospital room, I spoke to him in my head while I rubbed his shoulder.  My mother and brother were standing on the other side of Dad; Mom crying, while my brother tried to console her.  My focus wasn't on them but on my thoughts to my Dad.  I wondered if he could hear me telling him I loved him.  All of a sudden, I found my head turning and I felt another out of body experience.  I looked up to were my head stopped and saw my Father.  He was blurry but it was him.  He spoke to my mind and said, "Cin, take care of your Mother".  That's all I heard and as my brother called my name and snapped me out of it; I turned to him and lost the connection I had with my father.  I immediately said, "not yet, I'm communicating with Daddy", but Daddy never returned to me.  Unbelievable you say?  Yep, think of how I feel.  I know what I did, my head turning without my making it turn and my seeing my father and hearing him speak to my mind.  Yes, that's hard to believe but it happened.

************************
One night in a deep sleep, I had a dream.  In my dream, an Angel came into my bedroom.  At the bottom of my bed, the Angel sat and across the Angel's lap, I see myself laying there.  In the Angels left hand was a paint bucket.  I see the paint is blood red and I know its blood.  In his right hand, I see him take the paint brush out the bucket of blood and he swiped it across my calf.  When the Angel did that, I could actually feel it in the human sense and it woke me up because my body jerked when the blood was swiped across my leg.  What a dream and to actually feel it while it's happening! Yes, a dream but one I believe is all connected to what God has in store for my life.  Am I marked by the blood of the lamb?  Am I protected?  Am I chosen?

As life went on, I found myself counseling people about their life situations.  I found that my words to them were comforting and I'd always connect them to God's word.  I recall in the beginning, I'd pray that God directs my words that they'd be within the realm of whatever He wanted me to convey. I believe that what comes out of my mouth is directed by God and I am humbly blessed to be able to help another through Him.

Driving to work one day, I thought about my father.  I've always wanted something to happen in my life where I could finally convince my mother that I am blessed and that I'm not "touched", so I began to pray.  I prayed that God allows me the opportunity to speak to my father so that I could communicate something from him to my mother.  Immediately, I had another out of body experience and even though I was driving, I was not present.

I instantly saw a small window and in my mind, I began calling "Daaaddy, Daaaddy", then I saw him. He wasn't himself but I knew it was him because he responded to the name.  His figure was that of a pencil sketch.  Zigzag lines from top to bottom.  As he recognized my voice, I could see him turn to me in a surprising way.  We made contact and before I knew it, he was at the window where my eyes were.  It was kind of like looking through one of those toy viewfinders we had as kids.  I was surprised that he just "appeared" so quickly from where I saw him, to right in front of my eyes.  In my mind, I said, "Daddy, tell me what you want me to do so that I can communicate to mommy from you".  Immediately, I saw his tombstone and I knew I had to go there.  My vision was gone but I knew I had to make a trip to the cemetery, not knowing why or what would happen once I got there.

I haven't had any more experiences with my father and I've been to his grave site twice since, but in my mind, that was Dad's way of telling me something, communicating to my mind that this is what he wanted me to do and I listened.  Maybe something will happen in my future that's connected to that initial visit, who knows.  What I do know is that what I experience is a blessing and a gift from God.  I know that I am chosen to do something.  I believe that God is still working on me; preparing me for something big to happen.  I get confirmation all the time when the Holy Spirit stirs within me on something I'm either thinking about, writing about, doing or speaking.  When the Lord stirs and I feel His presence, I know that I'm on track and am doing His will.  As I've written this, He's given me confirmation that it's okay to write and share.  I let His will be done - always.

As I prepare to enter into the second chapter of my life, I look upon it with excitement.  I know God has my life written out exactly how He wants it to be and as He takes me through my chapters, I will continue to let my soul be exposed to any and all He has in store for me.

Cindy Reed
Written in 2013

Friday, September 11, 2015

My Japan Journey


Giving honor to God, I want to acknowledge that I've prayed that God provides me with all the memories that are significant for the purpose of this writing.  This writing not only has a meaning for me but it has a purpose.  I hope it touches those that are open and willing to receive.

Some of you know that for years now, I've been saying I didn't want to make the trip to Japan due to my fears of flying that long distance.  I've flown many times before but knowing I'd be in the air that long, had its challenges for me.  My daughter wanted me to come visit since she arrived there, three years ago.  All I could think about was all the plane accidents that I'd been watching on the news and it never settled within me to say okay, I'll come.  I also had a fear of arriving in Japan, not knowing the language and something happens, like my daughter not being there to get me where I'd be at that airport stranded by myself, not knowing the language.  I don't know how many people reassured me that I'd be fine at the airport; that there are people there that speak English, should anything like that happen.

I decided to go to God with my fears.  I knew that I couldn't move forward without asking God to remove them from me.  I accepted that if it was my time to leave this earth during that flight, that I was okay with it.  I also comforted myself by acknowledging that I know God has something, a purpose for my life, one yet to be revealed.  I couldn't accept that with all I'm going through spiritually, that my time would end on that plane without God allowing me to fully walk into my destiny.  God blessed me by removing all fears and reservations I'd had and I began planning my trip.

Preparing for the trip was a job within itself.  Several things to add to my already loaded "To Do List".  I'd never been out the country before so I never owned a Passport.  Looking into how to get one, into buying a ticket and all the other details that came along with securing my way, was in no way, shape or form, enjoyable.  It was just another thing I had to do.

August 20, 2015 - I'm in the airport getting ready to go through security checkpoints.  It'd been a few years since I've flown so I never experienced the new full body scan machines in place.  I'd read the signs posted and knew I had to take my laptop out my backpack for it to go through the scanner.  I had a bin for my backpack, one for my money, passport and credit cards (in the body pouch), and another for my sneakers and computer.  I had three bins to concern myself with and keep an eye on. Alellena warned me about paying attention as someone tried stealing her computer on one of her trips so my guard was up.  I was more concerned about having to put my money pouch in a bin, even though they put a lid on top of it; anyone who travels knows that's what's inside.

Stepping inside the body scanner, I couldn't see my belongings on the conveyor belt.  All I wanted to do was comply and have the man tell me to move forward.  I needed to get over to that belt and retrieve what was mine.  In doing so, I believe I had such an adrenaline rush that I totally forgot my laptop in the bin.  I grabbed my sneakers, saw my computer but it didn't mentally register.  It was almost like I was looking at the bottom of the bin it was in and I walked away from it.

Putting my sneakers on is when God sent the first Angel over to me.  Now let me back up some.... my laptop is a bright Fuchsia color.  When I had to take it out my backpack, in line, I guess people in line with me, saw me carrying it.  Thank God for the bright Fuchsia color!  This man (Angel number one), also a traveler, came over to me and said, I think you left your computer up there.  I thanked him and bolted over to the belt where it sat.   I couldn't thank God enough for His intervention with that Angel.

On the flight, we were given a Customs form to fill out so we'd be ahead of the game once there.  I figured my way around, asking questions when needed.  I got my luggage and began looking for my daughter.  I didn't see her so I walked up to a lady who was standing near me with her young son.  I told her it was my first time traveling out the country and that my daughter was supposed to meet me here.  I asked her if my daughter was allowed in that baggage area.  She told me no, that I'd have to go through a final security check but she'd be upstairs waiting for me.  I thanked her with excitement because I believed my daughter was upstairs waiting.

When I got upstairs, my daughter was nowhere to be found.  I stood around with my two large pieces of luggage and my heavy backpack and tried calling my daughter.  That's when I realized that I couldn't and I tried connecting to the airport WiFi but it wouldn't work.  As I stood there trying to figure my way, I thought, call Jay or Mom and have them call Alellena but that didn't matter because I couldn't call anyone.  Imagine my blood pressure quickly creeping up.  After not being able to control my situation and seeing that my worst fears had actually come true - being in the airport and my daughter not being there; emotions started to kick in.  I felt helpless and in a position that I couldn't control.

That's when the lady and her son walked over to me - Angel number two.  She said, I noticed you're still here, did you see your daughter?  That's when I lost it.  My mouth opened to speak but I was gripped with emotions.  I couldn't articulate anything my brain was telling me to say.  My eyes started to swell with tears and at that moment, my brain said - Cindy, get it together!  I pulled myself together enough to ask her to forgive me and explain that my daughter wasn't there and I couldn't call her because my cell phone wouldn't work.  She asked me if I wanted to use her phone to call my daughter.  I said, "Are you sure?"  She said, "Yes, I live here so its not a problem."  I thanked her a few times and got Alellena's number out my phone and the lady dialed it for me.  I was in heaven hearing my daughter's voice on the other end.  She was at the airport but the wrong entrance.  She told me she'd be there in a few minutes after I told her I was using the lady's phone and to just come get me.

The lady asked me if I wanted her to wait with me.  She said, "Are you sure she's coming?"  I assured her that Alellena was at the airport but the other wing and she were on her way.  Again, she asked me if I wanted her to stay with me.  I thanked her many times and said no, I'll be fine, she's on her way. God placed that lady, Angel number two in my life to work it all out.  He refused to let the enemy prevail and derail my purpose filled journey.  As God always does, He showed up at the right time - Always, on time!

As I turned my head, I saw my child walking up to me and I broke down in tears as we locked arms in an emotional embrace.  I was never so happy to see her than then.  I learned something from that experience.  Even though I am one who likes to control outcomes, figure things out and just make things happen; I had no control over that situation whatsoever.  I learned that instead of getting myself rattled, I should have reserved that energy and devoted it to praying, right there, right then, that God fixes it for me.  (Psalm 46:1)  "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble".  If I'm ever in a position that is out of my control, I know now, that without hesitation, I'll be calling on the Lord.

************************
I never got a chance to experience jet lag that first week there because my daughter and I had plans. Alellena wanted to show me a good time the week she was home with me so I was always on the go. She immediately taught me how to count my money in Yen.  From the dollars to the coins, I found myself understanding it rather quickly.  My understanding of it wasn't enough to make me feel less dependent on her, though. I found myself just handing her my wallet.  It just seemed easier that way. In my mind, I wasn't fast enough with finding the correct amount so I totally depended on her swiftness to see me through.

Every time someone at the counter would speak to me, I'd immediately turn to my daughter to respond.  She told me over and over and over again, just don't say anything, they'll get it.  She said Japan is a tourist country so they know or will get it that I don't understand them.  Still, I felt bad when I couldn't remember what the words were for "Thank You". I felt bad when I couldn't immediately respond to them looking directly into my eyes and asking me something.  I depended on my daughter the entire time there, to respond for me and to pay my bills.  It was just easier that way.

************************
Three years ago, my daughter came to me asking for my blessing to move and live in Japan.  She was 24 at that time, an adult.  I was honored that she respected me enough to ask for my blessing.  I gave it to her after some serious consideration.

Alellena had never lived on her own.  She lived on campus in college but that's different than living by yourself and paying your own bills.  Moving to Japan, never experiencing life on your own in the United States was a very bold and daring move on her part.  Not something I could do.  Working at ExxonMobil at that time, I knew my company had a very strong presence in Japan.  Our engineers lived and worked there.  In order to give my daughter my blessing, I had to settle my own spirit down so I reached out to one of my engineers who reached out to one of our Japan contacts.  I made the connection to this man and he was willing and very receptive to being an emergency point of contact for my daughter while there.  I couldn't thank God enough.  My daughter reached out to him and thanked him as well.  With no family or friend's living in Japan at that time, I put all my trust in the Lord, that He'd put His arms of protection around my child and with that, I gave her my blessing.

************************
It was different seeing my child living on her own.  My walking into her home, her place of refuge, her domain; it was different but with a strong sense of "I'm so proud of you" present.  Nothing could please me more than to see that she was doing well for herself.

A year ago, I found out that my cousins would be moving to Japan and not far from where my daughter was living at that time.  I'd never met my cousins but communicated with them on Facebook.  Mom, of course, knew them.  I put them in touch with my daughter and thanked God that she would have family there with her.  My cousin being a military man, set my heart at ease.  If Alellena needed something, he'd know what to do/where to go.  Alellena met them and they had a good time together.  I met them a few days after I arrived and as you can see from the pictures and video, we had a wonderful time together.

************************
My first night there, I wanted familiar food to eat.  When my daughter mentioned there was a Denny's in walking distance, I was elated.  She'd never been to one there so we both expected it to be like the States but it wasn't.  There was nothing familiar about that Denny's, to say the least.  They don't serve breakfast there so I couldn't even get that.  This Denny's was like an upscale Denny's restaurant with fancy food.  The dessert menu looked fantastic!  Even though I didn't order anything, looking at those pictures made me want to try a little bit of everything!

************************
I'm not going to go into every daily thing I did or write every memory I have.  I realize that my trip was for more than one purpose.  Yes, I was supposed to go to Japan to see my daughter and see how she's living but I also realized that it wasn't all about her; it was a spiritual trip and it was a time for me to be away from my husband and him away from me; a time to reflect on what God brought together.

As many of you know, I'm on a Spiritual Journey and have been for some time now.  God is preparing me for something.  I don't know what that is but I trust that in His time, all will be revealed. Here's what I DO know.  I know that God loves me.  I know He hears me and I know He's using me. I am blessed to hear and recognize His voice.  I know that some of the things that are happening to me are from God and I see how His blessings of these gifts are being "fine tuned" within me.  I am not where I used to be - scared to walk into my destiny but I am HERE and strong in HIM that I no longer possess a fear of the unknown or what He has planned for my life.  I no longer fear death, something that for as long as I can remember, I did.  I recognize that I am a new me.  I recognize that my ability to articulate like I once did has come back.  Yes, I'd lost my voice.  I know that I am not alone in this spiritual warfare, that I face obstacles with God because I know that no weapon formed against me shall prevail.

************************
Alellena had one week of vacation - the first week I was there.  The second week, I was on my own. That's when God had a chance to reach me without distraction.  That's when all was quiet and my me time with Him was ever present in everything I did, said or saw.  It was unbelievable to me that in pretty much everything I thought, I'd connect it to God in some way, shape or form.

Stepping out the shower one day, I'm directly in front of the mirror. Now, I never noticed this week one but this particular day, I did.  I noticed that immediately, I could see a square shape in the mirror, perfect in shape with me in the middle.  The fog was everywhere else on this large bathroom mirror.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  How as that possible?  Dismissing it for lack of too much thinking for any sense of logic to come out of it, I didn't think of it until it happened again. Hmmm, what on earth?  Now, to you, you may think - so what, what's the big deal in that?  Well, I am a very analytical person and I try figuring any and everything out. When it happened again, I began thinking, is there some message here for me to receive?  Maybe, maybe not, but I walked away with one anyway.  The message I received is, look in the mirror and reflect on yourself. Nothing else around you matters when reflecting, blot everything else out.  Look deep within yourself and see what you need to see, what I want you to see, what I want you to accept, then you will see where I'm going to take you.

************************
I purchased two books for the flight over.  I bought "The Spirit Filled Life" by Charles F. Stanley and "The Utmost For His Highest" by Oswald Chambers.  The only book I managed to read and am still reading is by Mr. Chambers.  I got my Progressive eyeglasses in July.  I got tired of always having 20 pairs of reading glasses everywhere because, without them, I truly struggled with reading anything. Come to find out, my distance slacked up over the years so Progressive eyeglasses, was right up my alley.

Anyway, while reading one night, my glasses started to slip down my nose several times; quite unusual... never happened before.  (Reason for everything - remember that).  Because that happened a couple times, I decided to (and I don't know why) see what the words in the book looked like with them off and with them on so I'd lift up the frames, then lower them back down.  I did this several times.  I couldn't see one word on the page with them up - only a blob of black ink, I couldn't make out one character. But, when I looked through my lenses, everything, every character was made clear and there was purpose.

That got me to thinking about my own "progression" in my walk with Christ and knowing the Father better.  Before my progressive transformation in Christ, I was spiritually blinded.  I always knew God and some of the Word... kind of like a blind person, I could get around and figure things out but I was spiritually blinded indeed.  It wasn't until I accepted what God has in store for my life that I began this progressive transformation.  Without wearing my glasses, I can still see but with them, my vision is improved times 10.  With the Holy spirit and my acceptance of what God has for me, I am able to see with clarity, distinction and my ability to discern is heightened.  Yes, I am on a Progressive Journey with Christ.

************************
The first week there, Alellena was preparing me to be able to leave the house by myself.  She equipped me with her Japanese cell phone, the door key, and GPS so I would always find my way back home.

I was determined to get out by myself, just to prove to myself that I had no fear and I could do it, even if I didn't speak the language.  Monday past, Tuesday flew by, before I knew it, it was Friday and I still hadn't ventured out.  I knew that if I didn't go out that day, I'd not have another opportunity before heading back to the states on Sunday.  I decided to get myself together and head out to the store.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it without my daughter's assistance.

It was early evening by the time I got out the house, the sun was going down but I didn't have any fears or reservations.  Confident in my stride, God showed me visions along the way that I've only shared with my daughter and husband.  I believe that God is showing me my purpose, which isn't just one thing but many things rolled up into one.  After seeing these visions, I began to pray as I continued to walk.  Still confident, I went grocery shopping and to the floral shop and did my thing without the assistance of anyone.  I began singing in my head - I feel good nana nana nana na, like you knew that I could nana nana nana na (LOL)!  By the time I walked back home, it was dark but that didn't bother me.  I had this, God was with me and I felt fantastic!

************************
There were so many little things that happened to me spiritually, that it was almost like that was the sole purpose for my trip.  I thank God for His love and mercy on my life; for His continued blessings for me and my children and for the love of my family.

My journey to Japan was a part of my progression of what God has in store for my life.  I'm glad those of you who enjoyed the pictures and videos expressed it.  This journey I'm on, I'd like to extend, you an invitation.  Walk with me as I do God's will.  Pray with me and for me as I pray for you.  We are all soldiers in God's army.  Let's be on one accord in accordance to what is written.

Cindy*







Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ExxonMobil Homage

At times feeling like I can't slow down because there's so much to do; I find myself overworking every aspect in my life.  With so much to do, I can't seem to get a grip on slowing down.  I think that's because I really don't want to slow down.  I'm energized with the feeling that comes when you walk into your blessing(s).

There's so much going on with me, that at times, I wonder why I work so many hours and push myself so hard.  The beauty in it all is, if I don't want or feel like working, I don't have to and I do recognize that my strength to push on is from above.

I decided to write on my blog today because I need to relax and writing helps do that for me.  I'm also documenting my journey.

As many of you know, on May 5, 2015, I ended my employment with a company that I loved dearly. I was an employee of ExxonMobil for 19 years.  I started out working for Mobil Oil, then the merger came.  I mention this part of my life because it has huge significance on where I am today.  My 14 year old son was born into the ExxonMobil world and 14 years later, I'm unemployed and starting new chapters in my life.

I have no regrets.  ExxonMobil moved to Texas and I elected not to move with them.  I couldn't leave my family and I didn't want my husband to quit his government job to join me there.  My son is at a crucial point in his life; he'll be going into high school in September and I couldn't in good conscience, take him away from the friendships he's built and the teachers who have his academic priorities in place.  It was a decision that wasn't quickly arrived upon.  It was a decision I made based on a lot of prayers.

My company took good care of me.  I dedicated 19 years to them and they truly showed me how much they appreciated me, my commitment and hard work, every year.  I thank God for the relationships I forged working there.  I thank God for the learning experiences, the exposure, the money, the gifts, the ExxonMobil (XOM) family, the traveling, the parties, the company picnics.... the list goes on.

Working for XOM afforded me opportunities I know wouldn't have crossed my path had I been with another company.  While a Mobil employee (before the merger), I was able to travel with the company.  Mobil flew me on two all expense paid trips.  One trip was to Atlanta, GA where I worked the African American Women on Tour event with my Diversity Marketing co-workers.  The other all expense paid trip was to Miami, FL.  Our Diversity Marketing group consisted of about 15 of us.  We went to Miami for diversity and inclusion training.  I had one of the best times in my life.  We were there for one week, on the beach doing our drills.  My hotel room faced the water and I remember how blessed I felt standing on the balcony watching the sun rise and set.  As a Mobil employee in the Diversity Marketing Department, I traveled to different gas station events we'd set up at.  The music, the giveaways, the people coming through...... those were the days and a lot of fun!

XOM encouraged me to take advantage of training they offered.  If they didn't offer a course, each supervisor would tell me to let them know if there was something off site I wanted to attend and I could.  Again, I took full advantage of all opportunities presented.

I remember when I hit my 10 year service anniversary.  I decided I wanted to have my company lunch celebration at Legal Seafood.  I could invite anyone I wanted and so I invited my section and my family.  I was happy to have my parents and siblings there to celebrate with me.  I still have the menu and pictures of that blessed day/event; my name is on the menu, it was personalized for me.

I met one of my best friends during my Mobil days.  We're still dear friends today.  She's my son's Godmother.  God placed me in her life and she in mine.  She's my Sister in Christ and I'll never forget how we met.....  Let me share that with you.

Back in Mobil days, I was the social butterfly of the office.  I knew pretty much everyone and I wasn't born with a shy bone so no one was off limits to me.  In the cafeteria one day, I see this young lady all alone, looking a little shy and lonely.  She was trying to figure out what to order for lunch.  I'd never seen her before and because she looked so shy and lonely, I decided to go over to her and introduce myself.  I did and we've been friends ever since.  I've known her 18 years now.  That's a long time and even though we don't talk often, I know that if I needed her, she'd be there for me and vise versa.  I love her very much and this she knows.  I'm glad God had me in the right place at the right time to connect to her.  She's been a blessing in my life ever since.

Another dear friend I worked with was in the group I was hired into.  This woman has truly been a star in my life.  She and I don't talk often but I know that she's there if I need her and vise versa.  She used to tutor my daughter in Mathematics.  She attended my daughter's high school graduation party.  She's truly an angel.   She's such a humble person, full of God's love.  I'm not sure I know of another who's as loving and giving as she is.  I love this lady like she's a member of my family.  God places people in your life for a reason or a season..... she's an angel on earth so she's God's reason.

I have another friend who too used to work for XOM; another dear relationship very meaningful to me.  This lady is 20 years younger than I am and only 3 years older than my daughter.  I love her too.  She's like a younger Sister to me.  Our backgrounds are diverse, our cultures totally different but what we have in common is the love we have for the Lord.  I've learned so much from her, even some words in her language.  Her daughter calls me "Auntie Cindy" and I love them both very much.

These three ladies weren't placed in my life by happenstance but by God's plan for my life.  Unknowingly, each woman has helped me to grow on my journey.  I walk away from XOM feeling proud of the relationships I've forged over the years and even the short term ones that blew away with the breeze once I pulled out the parking garage for the last time.

I could go on and on about my life as an XOM employee, that's just how proud I was and still am to have been a part of such a diverse company that had my best interest at heart.

I'm sure you heard the saying - when one door closes, God opens another.....  By not working for XOM anymore, I have the time to devote to being a business owner of three businesses.  I am the proud owner of Cindy's Simple Pleasures, LLC, Petals by Cindy, LLC and I have an unfranchise business with Market America.

God has placed me in a position where I can work from home doing what I love.  Who knew I'd take on owning three businesses?  I pray that God will continue blessing me with whatever my purpose is that He has for me.  I believe that while I'm home working my businesses, that God will continue to guide my footsteps in the direction in which he wants me to travel.

May God bless you and keep you.  Until the next blog entry, I'm faithfully dedicated to His will.

Cindy*