It’s my pleasure to welcome author and speaker Cindy Bultema to the blog today, with a special guest post and giveaway!

I’ve had the privilege of meeting Cindy at two writing conferences. She served as a keynote speaker on one occasion, and I was so moved by her powerful testimony. Cindy has a bubbly, contagious joy and is a dynamic speaker and Bible teacher.

Cindy BultemaCindy’s newest Bible study, Live Full Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin-Soaked World released in December as part of the Inscribed Series at Thomas Nelson. In this journey through 1 Corinthians, Cindy equips women to live a set-apart life for Christ in our sin-soaked world.

Here’s Cindy with a sneak peek at Chapter 5 of Live Full Walk Free:

 

You Are Not the Only One

I was talking with my friend Jamie recently after she’d had a long, disappointing Monday.

Everywhere she turned she was pelted with lies, frustration, and discouragement.

Jamie was lamenting that at the end of her long day, in the midst of trying to bake cookies for a sick friend—and burning half of them—she caved in and inhaled a huge handful of half-burned cookies.

Easy comfort, right? Except every woman knows what happened next: After eating those cookies, Jamie carried guilt and shame on top of everything else that had gone wrong in her life on that horrible, rotten, no good day.

I have so been there. My guess is: you have too.

One more cookie story, because in this life we will have cookie temptations.

Once, when my kids were ages one, two, three and ten, I came up with the brilliant idea to invite all the 4th grade moms from my son’s school over for coffee, conversation, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but my plan to win friends and influence people through chocolate quickly went bust. In the midst of trying to keep my kiddos busy, roll store-bought dough onto cookie sheets, and frantically hide all our clutter – I gave in and ate (more like “sucked down”) four ooey, gooey warm and chewy cookies.

Later that week, when I sunk down into my therapist’s couch, I cried and told her that I was disgusted with myself. I was filled with self-loathing, and shame. Why? Because of the cookies. I told her that I had been striving to pretend I had it all together – when the reality was I was hanging on by a thread (a thin thread, at that).

And then, longing for connection and acceptance from these other moms, I had tried to numb my feelings with homemade cookies. And afterward, what did I do? I let the enemy flood me with lies and guilt and shame.

My therapist listened and nodded. “Cindy, do you think you are the only woman who has eaten some of her homemade cookies?”

“But I ate four cookies. Not one, not two, but four.” I said loudly, as if she spoke a foreign language and couldn’t understand the meaning of the number four.

“Cindy, do you think you are the only woman who has eaten FOUR of her homemade cookies?” my therapist replied.

“Um, yeah, probably not”.

So recently, when I listened to my friend Jamie describe her discouragement and self-loathing over eating her chocolate chip cookies, I recycled my therapist’s question.

“Jamie, do you think you are the only woman who has eaten some of her homemade cookies? Because, friend, you are not the only one.”

The words I gave Jamie are the words I want to give to you: You are not the only one.

  • You are not the only one who deviated from your healthy eating plan.
  • You are not the only one who feels disappointed, discouraged, or overwhelmed.
  • You are not the only one who wonders if you’re “not enough” compared to air brushed perfection.

And, sweet friend, you are not meant to live under harsh judgment, condemnation, and self-loathing.

Thankfully God’s Word speaks realistically to you, to me, and to cookie lovers everywhere about how to live full, free lives—even in the midst of our most disappointing and discouraging of days.

We can start by choosing to extend the same grace we would share with a girlfriend to ourselves.

We would never say to a friend who indulged on fresh-baked cookies, “You stink. You have no self-control, everyone thinks you are fat, and no one likes you anyway.”

You would never say that, right?

So why do we let the enemy put such horrible, garbage thoughts in our head?!

Let’s choose grace over guilt.

Let’s choose freedom over frustration.

Let’s choose kindness over constant criticism and comparisons.

Let’s choose life…life to the full, more than enough, super abundance, full, free life! (John 10:10)

May the God who made you, knows you, loves you, and desires to fill your days with satisfying, life-giving moments remind you afresh that you are accepted, loved and enough—cookie crumbs and all!

***

Cindy’s latest Bible study, Live Full Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin-Soaked World released in December 2016 as part of the Inscribed Series at Thomas Nelson.

Visit Cindy’s blog to watch the study trailer and download FREE resources!

 

Cindy Bultema

 

 

Cindy BultemaWith nearly 20 years of ministry experience, Cindy is a popular women’s speaker, author, and Bible teacher. But don’t let her cheerful smile fool you—Cindy has endured single parenting, overcome bondage to addiction, and survived tragic loss. Cindy lives in Michigan with her husband and their four kids. Most days you can find Cindy walking her beagle Rocky, attending one of her boys’ hockey games, or serving hot lunch at her kids’ school.

 

 

And now it’s time for a giveaway!

Cindy is generously offering a copy of her Bible study to one winner!

Enter to win below!

Cindy Bultema

 

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24 thoughts on “you are not the only one {giveaway + guest post from cindy bultema}

  1. I’ve spent the last couple of decades so angry with myself (as it turns out, who knew? Ha!) that God was the first one I turned away from. The last few years I’ve looked everywhere for spiritual guidance until, during this last year, I remembered my grandmother telling me the only place to turn for anything and everything is back to God. I’m back on the right path now but have a lot of that self-loathing still hanging in there. This looks like a study that would be helpful in my daily walk. Thank you for sharing and for hosting the giveaway!

    • Dear Pam, I appreciate your authenticity and vulnerability. I am praying for you today—asking God to infuse you with fresh hope, faith, and love. May He sprinkle your path with tokens of encouragement to remind you in a special way of His personal love for you Your God is so for you! 🙂

  2. I know God is not giving me just the priverbial wink but a big old ” come hither smell the roses” nod. The common thread through my spiritual readings this morning is the uniqueness in each of us as set apart by God so we are fulfilling our purpose for His purpose in the journey of life.
    Thank you Cindy for the chance to win a Bible study that will bless others in the place God has me in this season of life. To Kate thank you for the ” grief letters.” They were a special blessing to me because I had a friend who was able to get strength from the lessons I shared with her after I read them. Too overwhelmed with circumstance and unable to grab on to Jesus and His grace and sunk in the throes of action oriented Christian belief I am able to show her the chance to be intimate with Jesus that changes everything. I had to handle it and I am still handling it with the tiniest chunks of Inspired words sometimes mine sometimes others like the “grief letters.”

    • Dear Corena, thank you for sharing your beautiful, wise words. I love hearing the common thread God spoke to you through your readings today. God’s richest blessings to you, sweet sister! ♥

    • Thanks for sharing, Kristin! I had tons of fun traveling Paul’s second missionary journey in Greece in preparation for writing this study. My prayer is that God uses Live Full Walk Free to point all hearts towards Him. God’s richest blessings to you, dear Kristin! ♥

  3. I think this is such a big way Satan gets us – he makes us think we are the only ones that…. fill in the blank. It’s when we share our struggles and areas of weakness with others that all that is brought into the light. In the light, it has no room to grow. Thanks for sharing this! This Bible study sounds awesome!! I’d love to win a copy and share it with my ladies’ Sunday school class! 🙂

    • Amen, Rosanne, Amen! I think one of the enemy’s tools is isolation. If he can get us to keep our sin in the dark, it helps us stay stuck. I’m super thankful we are not unaware of his schemes! And we fight not for our victory, but from a place of victory. Woo Hoo! Now that’s some Good News! Blessings to you, Rosanne! ♥

    • Thanks for sharing, Jennie! I love the cover too! The publishing team did a great job, and I am thankful! When I see the confetti, I think of the anniversary I celebrated last year—20 years cocaine free! Now that’s living full and walking free! Thank You, God! I’m so grateful no matter what we have done, there’s still more grace! #onlyGod

    • Thanks for sharing, Beth! I am praying for you today! May God infuse you with fresh strength, courage, and faith so that you might live full and walk free in all areas of your life. You are loved, sweet sister! ♥

  4. This sounds like a wonderful study. I ate so many chocolate kisses yesterday because I wasso exhausted
    from physical pain. The kisses tasted great, but didn’t help the pain.

  5. I love Cindy, and I love this book! I had the honor of being a member of Cindys’s launch team for #LiveFullWalkFree! I am planning to do this study with a group of women from my Church later on this Spring, and I can’t wait!! 😁Anyone who decides to do this study will not be sorry!

  6. These words especially resonate with me, “… you are not meant to live under harsh judgment, condemnation, and self-loathing. I so desire to live a full, free life “even in the midst of our most disappointing and discouraging of days.” Would love to win this giveaway to receive another tool to stay centered on Jesus in the midst of a season of loss and transition.

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