Study Trip

My name is Cynthia Smith. 

I am 43 yrs old and embarking on a new season in my life. I had a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2003 and at the time they were not sure how well I would recover. I have had other challenges that I have overcome. 

I have received a new lease on life. Normally I would go to my grandparents and my mom to help but they died in 2008 and 2009. May their memory always be a blessing. 

I am asking you if you would help me accomplish my dream. There are many reasons why going to Israel will be life changing and wondrous for me. I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel to Israel and study and learn. It will connect me to my roots and give me an opportunity to study and visit actual excavation sites. Would you help my dream come true?

I am excited to be a part of a unique educational opportunity of a lifetime: a 12-day study seminar in Israel, designed to give participants an in-depth educational, historical, and archaeological experience of the Holy Land from border to border.

 

They have designed a special itinerary which will allow me to see sites most tourists to Israel never visit—all for the price of $3,450 per person. 

One of the sites is in the side of a mountain and we will walk down one mountain and up the side of the other to get to the excavation site. I am asking for $2,000 to cover the cost of the transportation and lodging etc. I can borrow $1,500 to cover the cost of the class but it would be great if I could have enough to pay down the loan for the class as well. 

I personally believe this may be one of the most exciting trips I have taken. Israel will be buzzing with lots of activities and people from all over the world—even the Pope will be in Israel/Jerusalem during our educational study seminar. I Do not want to miss this opportunity to create lifelong memories as I visit and photograph these historical sites of the Bible. I can borrow student financial aid for the study but I can’t borrow enough to cover the whole trip. Please help me cover the cost of the trip.

If you can’t help financially, would you like it on Facebook and email it and give it attention on social media. The more people who know the more opportunities people have to help.

 

I want to Thank you for your help. Any money given will be put towards the trip and/or educational expenses regardless of whether I make the goal. I needed to withdraw 60 days before they leave if I wasn’t going, so there is no going back now. 

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Study Trip

This is a short video about my trip..

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March 25, 2014 · 10:50 pm

Sheila has been a real blessing to me. Her latest book came out on the 11th and I  had tried to post to my blog by email previously and it apparently didn’t work. She was there for me when my mom died after the TBI. This book she has written is like having a conversation over coffee. It is an easy read and yet she takes on some really hard topics. 

Women feel the storm activity all around. We find ourselves teetering somewhere between everyday chaos and crisis.

 We can feel a storm brewing, we are in the middle of a storm, or we are facing the aftermath of a storm. But don’t be afraid because it is possible to grow through turbulent times.

 Storms show you what’s really going on inside, reveal what you really believe, and actually make you stronger. In this powerful book Sheila will help you:

  •  Redefine your failures as a new beginning instead of an end.
  • Replace the words always and never in your life with positive declarations of hope.
  • Know with confidence how to help a friend in chaos or crisis.

Out now, The Storm Inside book, study guide and DVD Bible Study http://t.co/HAlyd7yX2w+

 

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February 13, 2014 · 11:32 am

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. house: Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

Proverbs 25:28 reminds us, “A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.” When we place expectations on others, but don’t follow them ourselves we invite dissension to the party.

In this fast paced world we live in today the words of Proverbs are screaming out a warning to us! Let’s heed the call. 

Have a great Saturday !

Cynthia

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January 25, 2014 · 11:01 am

I wanted to share with all my Christian followers something I have found to be really good. I was given a copy of my friend Sheila Walsh’s new book to read before release. It is probably the best thing she has ever written. I think that it is well worth your time and effort. She is also doing some webcasts where she will discuss the book and life situations with some of her friends. It is free so please don’t hesitate to join in the fun!

The upcoming Storm Inside webcasts with Women of Faith is up now for free registration: http://www.womenoffaith.com/thestorminside/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Weekly&utm_term=email&utm_campaign=Jan14_wk3&utm_content=#sthash.3uqigeGt.dpbs

Have a great Saturday everyone!!!

Cynthia

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January 25, 2014 · 10:51 am

encouraging words…

Encouraging words…We all need them. Sometimes it is a favorite scripture or a special poem, or just a note from a close friend. For the next several weeks as a new semester starts, I am going to be sharing some things that encourage me. Tonight I was reading in Psalms 121 and thought I would share it with you. Sleep well my friends.

Cynthia

The Lord Guards His People

A song for going up to worship.

121 I look up to the hills,
    but where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let you be defeated.
    He who guards you never sleeps.
4 He who guards Israel
    never rests or sleeps.
5 The Lord guards you.
    The Lord is the shade that protects you from the sun.
6 The sun cannot hurt you during the day,
    and the moon cannot hurt you at night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all dangers;
    he will guard your life.
8 The Lord will guard you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Accept Yourself

Cynthia's words of faith

Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

So what would you say about this safe? I saw it and it got me to thinking…  It reminds me that we have no choice in what is done to us, but we do have a choice in how we choose to respond. It is said that with PTSD you recover a lot quicker if you don’t use avoidance to numb your pain. the avoidance only buries the pain. It doesn’t heal it. Only exposing it and dealing with it, can healing begin. It is like a scraped knee. take it and clean it up right away and it will hurt but it will be fine. If you don’t and it was badly scraped, it will get infected and will need more work and hurt more to clean it up after it…

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Accept Yourself

Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

So what would you say about this safe? I saw it and it got me to thinking…  It reminds me that we have no choice in what is done to us, but we do have a choice in how we choose to respond. It is said that with PTSD you recover a lot quicker if you don’t use avoidance to numb your pain. the avoidance only buries the pain. It doesn’t heal it. Only exposing it and dealing with it, can healing begin. It is like a scraped knee. take it and clean it up right away and it will hurt but it will be fine. If you don’t and it was badly scraped, it will get infected and will need more work and hurt more to clean it up after it started to become infected.

When we accept our pain, it hurts less. Before my brain injury, I was a total extrovert. A social butterfly. I was loud, gaudy, extravagant and extremely social. I loved people and was a real people person. I still love people and care deeply for them but I am an introvert. Where I was once the life of the party and loved to socialize, I now have no use for small talk. I am uncomfortable at parties and I struggle to fit in.

Rather than resisting my pain, and so creating my own suffering, It would behoove me to accept my authentic self—My experience of who I really am and what I am really struggling with. The loss of who I was before the accident. In doing this, I can develop self-acceptance and self-compassion. For instance, when I as an introvert accept my introversion, I can feel good about myself; whether or not I decide to work on developing more social interactions. I can also be compassionate to my own struggles with attending parties. 

I challenge you today to be authentic and accept yourself. Give yourself the gift of compassion.

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October 16, 2013 · 12:04 am

Hope.. hopeful or hopeless..

I have been so busy with school and life, that I have left my blog writing for papers and assignments. I have been battling health issues and relationship problems and a myriad of assaults against my life. I have always been resilient but I have always struggled to keep my head just above water. I have always felt like I was the person waving in the midst of the ocean, waving because I was drowning and people always thought I was waving to say, “Hi there, how are you?” When i thought I was about to die. I have gone through life wondering why no one had a clue and why I didn’t belong.  Ever feel like you were all alone? One thing is different than ever before, I have hope.

I recently had the opportunity to do something that I had really wanted to do. I had taken off work for a doctor appt. and then realized that I was not going to be able to keep it. I really wanted to be able to go to support a friend who is adopting a little girl who is HIV positive. She is precious. They both are very precious. i didn’t have the money to go the way I had wanted to go-(by plane and 1st class all the way! 🙂 ) However at the last minute things worked out for me to go. I drove 12 hrs and showed up and they were surprised. It was great fun.

On my way home, I was driving and the weather was bad. I had stopped to get gas and was looking for a place to eat. I remember seeing a distraught lady but I just went on my way.  I was upset myself. I stopped to get something to eat. I had to stop, It was mid-morning and yet it was as dark as night out. It was raining fiercely and it was foggy. I had to stop, so I might as well stop for something to eat.  It was a modest meal. Nothing fancy, eggs and biscuits. I paid my bill and left. As I was leaving the parking lot, I had this lady pull up next to me and honk and ask me to stop. So I pulled over and got out of my car and asked what was wrong? She was distraught, I mean I could see she had been crying and I recognized her as the lady who I had seen before. I saw her sell her GPS for cheap to this man and he brag how he had gotten a deal.

She told me of how her husband had always been the one who took care of everything and he had recently died and she had gone on a trip to visit her daughter and had her purse stolen when she had stopped for gas. She had cancelled her credit cards but had no way of getting gas and had no one to call for help.  She had 400 miles till home and no gas money.  I asked her why are you telling me this? (I’m thinking, I am tired and I have a long drive and what do you want from me?) She took off her diamond earrings and offered them to me for whatever I could give her for them. she must have taken 30 minutes to tell me her whole story. I told her I only had 40 dollars to my name and I had twice as far as she had to go, I couldn’t possibly be of any help to her. Then I saw a all too familiar sight. It was the look of shame. She said well surely you have a credit card don’t you? I said no. She said well then you really can’t help me. I am so sorry for bothering you, and she turned and started to walk away. I told her to wait. I checked my heart and said a prayer. 

 

I told her I would split it with her and gave her twenty. She reached out to give me her earrings and her wedding ring. I said no you don’t owe me anything. Just do something good for a stranger sometime. she asked me why I was doing this for her. I said because I have something that she doesn’t have right now, I have hope. I am certain that everything is going to be alright and you don’t know that for certain. 

 

I said a prayer with her and went on my way. It was an eye opening experience for me and I felt elated. In fact the rest of my trip home was wonderful and trouble free. Before that I was calling and asking people for prayer and felt really uncertain. 

 I have often been a person who has found leaks in her hope.. I have been through so many things in my life and I have had to learn to make patches in my hope container. Have you ever been in the house and you didn’t know you had a leak in your roof until it rained? After the storm is gone, you may forget about that hole, until it rains again? I have. I learned that day that I had grown. I realized that through the storms of life I had gained experience of God’s faithfulness. Had I not encountered the storms I would not have known HE would be faithful in them.

I learned it is ok to messy and not be perfect. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Though sorrow may endure for the night, joy comes in the morning. How is your hope?   

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Failing Forward..

What if everyone else is making New Year’s Eve Resolutions and all YOU want is a NEW YOU? 

Psalm 121

Psalm 121 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if you are still reeling from the decisions that others made that are still shaping your life? What do you do if the decisions you made in 2012 are still reaping consequences?

How in the world do you step hopeful into the next year when you tripped messy through the last year?

These aren’t easy questions.. but they are ones I have…

My first answer is to seek G-D.  I am fasting my favorite TV program. It frees up 1 hour a day. My answer is to lean into G-D. I am bound to make mistakes and fail… I accept that will happen.  Where do I run? My hope is G-D. I have found it so hard to trust him at times…and yet.. HE is like the air I breathe. I want to trust him. I choose to trust HIM.

So you may have had a great 2012 and don’t have a clue what I went through but if you failed last year and dread failing again; look at failing as experience gained.

Do you feel like you are falling apart? Why not decide to fall forward…

Why not choose to move forward no matter what happens?

Why not look at 2013 as a year of “Glory be to God’s” instead of a to do list of resolutions? I don’t know about you, but my first step of faith is to move out of fear.

We live in a fallen world. I fall forward into a New Year, and I fall forward into Christ’s safe arms. He is safe to trust. Being a victim of Sexual abuse in the past, I know how hard it is to trust. God is the only one truly worthy of my trust. Psalms 116 has been a balm in Gilead for me.  

Psalms 116 msg

 1-6 I love God because he listened to me,

listened as I begged for mercy.
He listened so intently
as I laid out my case before him.
Death stared me in the face,
hell was hard on my heels.
Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn;
then I called out to God for help:
“Please, God!” I cried out.
“Save my life!”
God is gracious—it is he who makes things right,
our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest.
God has showered you with blessings.
Soul, you’ve been rescued from death;
Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;
And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”

9-11 I’m striding in the presence of God,
alive in the land of the living!
I stayed faithful, though bedeviled,
and despite a ton of bad luck,
Despite giving up on the human race,
saying, “They’re all liars and cheats.”

12-19 What can I give back to God
for the blessings he’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God;
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it together with his people.
When they arrive at the gates of death,
God welcomes those who love him.
Oh, God, here I am, your servant,
your faithful servant: set me free for your service!
I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice
and pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it in company with his people,
In the place of worship, in God’s house,
in Jerusalem, God’s city.
Hallelujah!

 

 

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January 1, 2013 · 4:03 pm