Dear friends, you are in for a treat!Â 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!
by Cindy M. Jones
â€śThe Friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroomâ€™s voice.Â That Joy is mine, and it is now complete.â€ťÂ John 3:29
Growing up, I had acres of farmland to explore.Â While my body never left the top of grandpaâ€™s hundred-year-old oak tree, my mind traveled the world, time, and space.Â 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.Â While I had a loving family, the sexual molestation I fell prey to at a very young age left its ugly scars.Â Though I rarely came into contact with my predator and was old enough to protect myself, the damage had been done.Â Trust wasnâ€™t so easy anymore.Â Fear chased me into reclusion.Â I escaped the pain and fear by reading.Â I healed by writing.Â I wished out-loud one day that I could leave farm life behind and find something better.Â Granny told me, â€śBe careful what you wish for.â€ť
She was right.
Not long after, a tornado ripped our farm away.Â Six months later my father died. I was twelve.Â Happiness disappeared from the small green patch of Mississippi countryside we called home… for good.Â My pastor told me God wasnâ€™t to blame.
I didnâ€™t believe him.
Pieces that made me whole, faded away.
Before the storm, music from grandpa’s harmonica would set the tone and weâ€™d all sing as we fed the cattle and farmed that hard red clay.Â One of our favorites, â€śThereâ€™s a Hole in My Bucket,â€ť 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! “
Henryâ€™s excuses of not being able to fix the bucket exasperated dear Liza.Â Henry tried the straw Liza suggested, but couldnâ€™t cut it because the axe was to dull, couldnâ€™t sharpen the axe because the stone was to dry, and couldnâ€™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.Â The hole(ly) bucket became me; incomplete, useless, deficient, and drowning in self-pity.Â Hate was what I felt mostly, only I didnâ€™t understand what I hated or why I was so angry.
That simple silly song held such significant implications.Â Like Henry, I became full of excuses.Â When that didnâ€™t work, I tried Lizaâ€™s version of fixing things my way.Â Both failed.Â Once grandpa said, â€śYou’d think they’d just get a new bucket.â€ť
He was a genius.
One night grandpaâ€™s statement pricked my heart.Â Try as I had, I couldnâ€™t fix the brokenness around me, nor my heart.Â I couldnâ€™t make excuses anymore.Â They left me emptier than before.
I needed a new bucket.
God didnâ€™t give me the bucket I asked for.Â But he handed me the bucket I needed to make it through.Â Although it came with two nail-scared holes, it has never lost what it carries.
Life isnâ€™t always easy, but God can take your greatest despair and turn it into your greatest joy.Â I write to heal.Â I write to share hope.Â I write for you.
I pour from my bucket, into yours.
For a humorous look at lyrics for â€śThereâ€™s a Hole in My Bucket,â€ť visitÂ http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/t028.html.
Bio: Cindy M. Jones – Cindyâ€™s writing career debuted at age ten.Â Her articles have appeared in publications such as; Thriving Family, Journey Devotional for Women, and Birmingham Magazine.Â Co-founder of Cahaba Christian Writers, she is an avid teacher and speaker.Â Cindy lives near Birmingham with her husband of 23 years and 23 moves, two of her three awesome children and the familyâ€™s trouble-loving dog, Tina.Â For more information you can visit,Â http://www.cindymjones.com/ andÂ http://www.cahabachristianwriters.com/.
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,