Friday, October 30, 2009

Hairdressers and Halos

Hairdressers and Halos

Fulfilling His Purpose

It is amazing how little events bring people in and out of our lives. What is even more amazing is how we often take for granted those who enter our world on a regular, seemingly casual basis. I truly believe that God creates each of us to fulfill a distinct purpose in life, and I believe my hairdresser fulfils hers perfectly.

It was by "chance" that I found Tiffany. I usually do not go to a new person cold turkey (except when dictated by finances or time…and the results are almost always disastrous!) This time, however, my father-in-law had won a gift certificate in a raffle for a free haircut and style. Being that he had a regular barber, and due to the fact that he didn't particularly care for the idea of going to a "hair stylist" and sitting with a bunch of "gossiping women", he shared the gift certificate with me.

My husband finally talked me into using it. I think he even called to make the appointment for me! I loved her from the moment I walked into the shop. She did an excellent job on my hair, but just as important, I so enjoyed visiting with her. She and her best friend and fellow hair stylist, Melissa, worked side by side, and they were a hoot! You definitely got your money's worth of entertainment value watching and listening to the two of them.


I knew she was destined to have her own shop, and I was so excited for her whenever she made her move. Sadly, I have to admit that I strayed for a short period of time (it is such an awful thing to cheat on your hairdresser!). It had nothing to do with discontent with her expertise. It had more to do with finances and time. Once again, neither proved to be worth the sacrifice. You'd think I'd eventually learn!

Anyway, to get to the point...Tiffany is much more than a terrifically talented hairdresser to me. She is my friend. She has provided a listening ear, an open mind and a caring heart on many occasions when I know she had many concerns of her own. She possesses strength, wisdom and maturity well beyond her twenty-eight years. I thank her for the many times her wit and understanding helped me in more ways than she will ever know.

I truly believe God created in her the artistic ability to make women look and feel more beautiful on the outside. Even more incredible, He provided and she accepted His gift of a renewed life. Through this gift she shares His touch with each and every person He brings into her life. This can't help but make us feel a little more special and leave us feeling beautiful from the inside out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hello and Welcome

The journey finally begins. I've spent a lot of time and energy thinking about creating this blog site. As usual, I procrastinated a while. For some reason I tend to do this with many things in my life. I really don't know what I am waiting for, unless it is that elusive dream of perfection. Perhaps it is the fear of failure, which I suppose is simply the convoluted truth of the former. But I digress...



Okay, so I woke this morning with the determination to end this agony. I decided to become a doer instead of one of those "someday I'm going to (you fill in the blank)" kind of people. I suppose that sounds a little snobbish of me, but hey, since I sit here actually writing, I am no longer included in "that" group, right? (Oh how soon we forget from whence we came.)



So you may ask, why Cinderella's Corner? Well, I officially became Cinderella whenever I met my husband, Charlie. I will never forget the first time I heard him call me by this name. We had known each other for a couple of years but had never really talked to each other. We had mutual friends that he came to visit on a regular basis, so we quite frequently ended up at the same place at the same time and enjoyed many of the same activities. We watched each other for a couple of years before realizing we were soul mates.



It was one of those same place, same time events that Cupid struck me right between the eyes with his little arrow. I had descended the staircase at his apartment where my friends and I had been visiting. I looked up to see him smiling down on me from the balcony. It was at this exact moment he softly uttered "goodbye Cinderella". Music flowed down from the heavens... doves flew in pairs carrying satin ribbons in their little beaks...and I swear I saw a couple of fat little cupids draw back their bows simultaneously striking us both with the realization of true love.



Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic, but it may as well have been. How else can you explain the fact that a few well spoken words drew two families together? Two families from different cities, different backgrounds, even different ages (did I happen to mention the fact that I am 6 years older than Charlie?). You're right, God had to have had a hand in this plan.



So here we are ten years later, overcomers. Survivors of deep struggles, immeasurable joys, rivers of tears, hours of prayer and still growing stronger each day that passes by. It hasn't been easy...nothing worthwhile ever is. As a result of these experiences, however, my colors are more vibrant, my senses more acute, my emotions deepened. I realize this is what it means to be alive. One cannot live a full life by taking the easy, comfortable route. The abundant life takes risk, determination and tons of hope and faith.



In these blogs you will learn that, before Charlie spoke the name Cinderella, I had spent many years locked in my own prison scrubbing soot and ashes in rags on my knees. Thankfully I had the love and companionship of three wonderful children. Unfortunately, like Cinderella's companions, they too were locked in with me. One day, however, God sent a few fairy godmothers who helped me to see I belonged in the ball gown instead of in the ashes. They granted me the confidence and courage to find my self-worth and to regain my self-respect. Over time they provided the things I needed to get out and attend the ball, to dance with the prince, to risk despite the consequences.



I am in the process of writing a book about this journey, so some of my blogs may become future excerpts from the book. Others will be tales of humor and adventure from my hodgepodge of experience...from my small-town roots growing up as the middle child of an Aggie Baptist preacher, to moving back to that small town to assume the role of a single Mom to two soon-to-be teenage boys and one teenage daughter. I also have extensive experience as step-mom to two extraordinary yet very normal children who had to learn to share their Dad not only with me, but with my three children as well. Add to that the role of step-wife to one ex-wife and also to the wife of my children's father.



Like Cinderella I am living happily ever after, but not ever happily during (this is the part they conveniently leave out of the fairy tale). I have been blessed beyond measure. Blessed during the toughest of times and during the best of times. As Job declares in Job 14:1 "Man that is born of a woman is of a few days and full of trouble." Or as it is written in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."



I am learning that troubles and challenges are a part of life in this world, that the other shoe will drop, and often in the most humbling and humorous ways. I am learning that a sense of humor is one of the most valuable coping skills God imparted to His children. I am learning there is no perfect parent, step-parent, child, friend, co-worker, husband, etc. I am learning we are all in this boat together, and that is much easier to row if we let our walls down long enough to be real with one another. Real enough to share our struggles and our laughter...to admit our humanity...to express the truth no matter how horrible it sounds coming out of our mouths...to offer the gift of compassion and understanding when appropriate, and of tough love when necessary (I still find myself seeking the wisdom to know the difference).



Yes, this Cinderella still finds herself somedays in tattered rags scrubbing soot and ashes. The difference in the old Cinderella and the new is choice and respect. Like Cinderella, I've learned what it means to be loved by a man of dignity and integrity. I've learned this dignity and integrity is reciprocal. I've learned that in order to be loved I must choose to place value on myself. I must open mindedly hold fast to those things in which I believe. I've learned that it is okay to have an opinion, and that it is okay to agree to disagree. I've also learned it is okay to change my mind and to grow in the way in which I believe. I've learned it is okay to admit and own my mistakes - to forgive, to ask forgiveness when appropriate and, most important, to forgive myself and move on.



Like Cinderella, although my Father is not physically present, He is with me in Spirit, and He watches over me in this world. He loved me in tattered rags, and He loves me in beautiful gowns and glass slippers. He saw the princess in me when all I could see was a girl in tattered rags meant to serve other's selfish needs...a peasant unfit for a prince.



So my journey of writing this Cinderella's story begins. I urge you to come along for the ride. I do not claim to be an expert, as I am still learning. This ride may be bumpy at times, but what an adventure you have in store. My hope is that through my experiences, triumphs and failures you find a little hope for your circumstances, peace for your sorrows and laughter that is soothing to your soul.





"A dream is a wish your heart makes

When you're fast asleep

In dreams you lose your heartaches

Whatever you wish for, you keep

Have faith in your dreams

and somedayYour rainbow will come smiling thru

No matter how your heart is grieving

If you keep on believing

the dream that you wish will come true"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Poem for PaPa

Drue’s Poem for Papa
by Cindy Hester

(Dedicated to Drue, Tyce, Kaleigh; Skyler in loving memory of Ted Johnson, “Papa”)

I said goodbye to my Papa today,
I felt so sad as I went on my way.
Angels came to carry his soul up above
to meet his sweet Savior, whom he dearly loved.

I thought of the times we’d shared in the past,
the six years I’d known him, to me went so fast.
I walked through the house where so often we’d played,
and where numerous times overnight I had stayed.

Tears filled my eyes when I happened to see
the remote control truck he had bought just for me.
We shared the controls, and we laughed so hard,
that Papa of mine, he could be such a card.

We watched Ninja Turtles until he fell asleep,
All curled up beside him I wouldn't make a peep.
I knew he was weak and he needed his rest,
to help him get better, I’d act my very best.

I saw all of his books, his Bible and such,
I told my sweet Nana, I wanted so much,
A little something of Papa’s to take to my bed,
so she gave me a Bible that he’d often read.

Tyce, Kaleigh, Skyler and me,.
felt lost without Papa and didn’t want it to be.
We put on his clothes and with all of our might,
imagined him with us, his arms holding us tight.

I drew you a picture to lay by your side,
to remind you my love, was so deep and so wide.
I recorded a video for you on Mom’s phone,
I just know you could hear it each time it was shown.

My Momma, she cried at the funeral today,
She was so sad; I wished it would all go away.
I wanted her to smile with all of my might.
So I patted her shoulder, eased her sadness and fright.

I know I’ll see Papa in heaven above,
and until then I know he sends down his love.
My guardian angel I know Papa will be,
Watching over Tyce, Kaleigh, Skyler and me.

True Freedom

by Cindy Hester A couple of weekends ago while relaxing in Galveston with family, I happened to walk into the living room of the condomin...