The Bucket, by Guest Blogger Cindy M. Jones

Dear friends, you are in for a treat!  Today’s 5th Tuesday Guest Blogger is Cindy M. Jones, a writer and friend I met at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference several years ago. I can’t wait for you to read this article straight from her heart. And even though it’s a serious message, you’ll get a little chuckle along the way. Thanks for joining us, Cindy!

The Bucket
by Cindy M. Jones

“The Friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.  That Joy is mine, and it is now complete.”  John 3:29

Growing up, I had acres of farmland to explore.  While my body never left the top of grandpa’s hundred-year-old oak tree, my mind traveled the world, time, and space.  While my only friends might have been several dozen dejected cows and impetuous chickens, I knew many charming and courageous characters, all of which I longed to be.

Anyone but me.

I was overweight, boring, and suffered a great deal of low self-esteem.  While I had a loving family, the sexual molestation I fell prey to at a very young age left its ugly scars.  Though I rarely came into contact with my predator and was old enough to protect myself, the damage had been done.  Trust wasn’t so easy anymore.  Fear chased me into reclusion.  I escaped the pain and fear by reading.  I healed by writing.  I wished out-loud one day that I could leave farm life behind and find something better.  Granny told me, “Be careful what you wish for.”

She was right.

Not long after, a tornado ripped our farm away.  Six months later my father died. I was twelve.  Happiness disappeared from the small green patch of Mississippi countryside we called home… for good.  My pastor told me God wasn’t to blame.

I didn’t believe him.

Pieces that made me whole, faded away.

Before the storm, music from grandpa’s harmonica would set the tone and we’d all sing as we fed the cattle and farmed that hard red clay.  One of our favorites, “There’s a Hole in My Bucket,” made us laugh till we cried.

“There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, Fix It! “

Henry’s excuses of not being able to fix the bucket exasperated dear Liza.  Henry tried the straw Liza suggested, but couldn’t cut it because the axe was to dull, couldn’t sharpen the axe because the stone was to dry, and couldn’t wet the stone because, of course, there was a hole in his bucket.

“In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, dear Liza, in what?
In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, THE Bucket!
Ummm, there’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, A Hole!”

The circle repeated itself, as did I with my own circumstances.  The hole(ly) bucket became me; incomplete, useless, deficient, and drowning in self-pity.  Hate was what I felt mostly, only I didn’t understand what I hated or why I was so angry.

That simple silly song held such significant implications.  Like Henry, I became full of excuses.  When that didn’t work, I tried Liza’s version of fixing things my way.  Both failed.  Once grandpa said, “You’d think they’d just get a new bucket.”

He was a genius.

One night grandpa’s statement pricked my heart.  Try as I had, I couldn’t fix the brokenness around me, nor my heart.  I couldn’t make excuses anymore.  They left me emptier than before.

I needed a new bucket.

God didn’t give me the bucket I asked for.  But he handed me the bucket I needed to make it through.  Although it came with two nail-scared holes, it has never lost what it carries.

Life isn’t always easy, but God can take your greatest despair and turn it into your greatest joy.  I write to heal.  I write to share hope.  I write for you.

I pour from my bucket, into yours.

Cindy

For a humorous look at lyrics for “There’s a Hole in My Bucket,” visit  http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/t028.html.

Bio: Cindy M. Jones – Cindy’s writing career debuted at age ten.  Her articles have appeared in publications such as; Thriving Family, Journey Devotional for Women, and Birmingham Magazine.  Co-founder of Cahaba Christian Writers, she is an avid teacher and speaker.  Cindy lives near Birmingham with her husband of 23 years and 23 moves, two of her three awesome children and the family’s trouble-loving dog, Tina.  For more information you can visit,  http://www.cindymjones.com/ and  http://www.cahabachristianwriters.com/.

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And who’s the winner of Robin Bryce’s book?

It’s Bren Bowman! Congratulations, Bren. Just Contact Me with your mailing address and Robin will get your free book right out to you! Enjoy!

And friends, thank you for all your great comments last week. That was fun! Be sure to visit Robin Bryce’s website for your own autographed copies of Come Awake!

Thank you for another great Tuesday together. Be sure to check back on Thursday for the Writer’s Headlines just for you!

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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  • Karen

    Thank you, Cindy. Wow, brought back so much of “me” as I read your words. I also went through the hole in my bucket deal growing up. Sometimes, the problem is that we don’t want the new bucket. We want the drama of not having one and using the excuse of a faulty bucket (life) not to progress. It took me a long–and I mean long–time to understand you have to throw away the old bucket and accept the new, shiny one as a gift. Then you must hold it out to receive blessings, motivation, purpose, and encouragement.

    We must be kindred spirits because my goal of sharing my journey, the path to healing, and overcoming is similar to yours. Of course, we also share the weight issues, self-doubt, and moving every year or so.

    • Thank you for your encouragement for Cindy, Karen. Her story touched a spot in a lot of us. And if you feel God is calling you to speak to women, I hope you’ll check out Christian Communicators.com. We’ve just posted the first info for the 2012 conference at The Cove and would love to have you join us. 🙂

    • (Sorry, I hit POST before I was finished…)

      Karen, your story and your healing will encourage many as you share your journey.

  • Lill Kohler

    What a good word of encouragement.

  • Brenfbowman

    Thank you! I know I’ll enjoy Robin’s book!
    Thank you , too, Cindy for your heart felt testimony. We all need a new bucket at times. Bless you.
    Vonda, thank you as well. Love you!

  • Thank you for sharing your life-changing testimony. Your story and writing touched my heart this morning. Grateful to read it. Blessings to you and Vonda.

  • kimberly long

    That was so wonderful. I got lost in your story and could picture it all so clearly. What a great testimony you are and will continue to be, I’m sure! Your writing will not only bring healing to your own life but to many others also!

  • Thank you for the sweet comments! Blessings to you Vonda for having me!
    For all of you, never give up, your rainbow is on the other side of those dark storm clouds. Keep looking for it!

    • Thank YOU for baring your heart and soul for us. You showed us the power of grace and healing, and that’s something we all need to see again and again.

      Bless you, sweet friend!

  • Oh Vonda, I needed to read that post today. My life hasn’t been easy (as you know) and everytime I ask God to give me a “new bucket” He just gives me what I need. Thank you for the timely post, Cindy.

    • Yes, I know your life hasn’t been easy, Jamie. But what a picture of ministry in the midst of struggle you paint for all of us. Thank you. 🙂

  • Thank you for stopping by and encouraging Cindy as she encourages us this morning. Julie worded it well, “a beautiful story of healing from brokenness.” Which is what we all need–and can have–in our lives through Him alone!

  • Julie Garmon

    Thank you, Vonda and Cindy. What a beautiful story of healing from brokenness. Thank you for sharing!

  • Love this, Cindy. He never leaves us without hope!

  • Tammy Whitehurst

    Cindy……You bring the words on the page alive. I found myself picturing it in my mind through out this piece and even hearing Grandpa sing on the porch. Thank you for sharing something so personal and then ending it with your personal Savior. May you be blessed beyond belief today!

  • Cindy, what a great post. Thanks for sharing!