Cindy K. Sproles is an author and a speaker, whose dream is to do nothing more than craft words that speak from the heart. God's plan seems to be for her to write and teach the craft. With God’s guidance, Cindy is expanding her horizons. We'll see how He uses her.
Cindy is a mountain gal. Proud of her heritage, she was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains where life is simple, words have a deep southern drawl, and colloquialisms like, "well slap my knee and call me corn pone" seem to take precedence over proper speech. Apple Butter, coal mining, the river, pink sunrises, and golden sunsets help you settle into a porch swing and relax. Family, the love of God, and strong morals are embedded into her life in the mountains. Teaching writers, spinning fiction tales about life in the mountains, history, and down-home ideas find their way into all she does. “I love to write devotions, to seek after the deeper side of Christ, and to share the lessons He teaches me from life in the hills of East Tennessee. I am a writer. A speaker. A lover of God's Word and friend to all.” This is Cindy Sproles. Welcome home to the mountains.
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My boys are grown now. They're in their 40s. Ouch, it hurts to say that. One is a husband and daddy of two boys himself. I laugh and say, "Payback is hell!" He grins and agrees. Another was married on 02/22/22 – they decided it would be easier to remember as they aged. I had to agree. The third will marry this fall, and our disabled boy will always be with us. But my point is, I went to sleep and felt like Rip Van Winkle when I woke up. Where did the years go?
As I am well into my golden years, I look back over my writing career and realize, just from the pictures, the story of my life. When I started my writing career, I was that auburn redhead (my boys are too), then as the years passed, I let my hairdresser continue to add blonde streaks into the grey to help it not look so grey. When 2020 hit and covid-19 caged us all in our homes for a year, the grey caught up with me. I let the hairdresser trim the ends, slowly inching away my natural auburn and making its way to the edge of the grey. That lasted two years, and I finally said, "I'm too old and too busy to worry about this hair thing anymore. It is what it is. I'm getting older. Time to fess up." So, I took the plunge and let my gal just CUT IT.
Here's the hilarious thing. Folks start saying… "You look ten years younger!" Heck, what did I look like before? Just another of the humorous things that happen in my life. Still, along with grey hair comes the aches and pains of aging. Though I'm in good health outside of arthritis, I've had my scares. And that's what I want to talk about.
In 2020, my prince went through bladder cancer. It was a long road that ended in a huge surgery that would either take him or save him. Praise God, He heard the cries of His children as we prayed with fire, and He saved Tim.
Last month, Tim and I sat at the urologist's office, but this time for me. After fighting a kidney stone since August of 2022, the doctor informed me that I might also have bladder cancer. I think we were so stunned that neither could utter a word. I mean, seriously…what are the odds? But we waited another month for the test that would give us the diagnosis. Life sorta falls into slow motion.
My prayer became, Lord, I just need to understand. I accept Your will, but until Your will manifests, I pray with fire for mercy, favor, and healing. During this month, I called my five faithful prayer warriors and asked them to pray privately. We needed to protect Chase from this news until necessary. Once again, we called on the Holy Spirit and His power to lift this plea before the Father. The conference I directed fell on the weekend before my test, and after the conference, I reached out to my faculty and laid this at their feet. Again, God's people prayed with fire.
And here is the wonderful thing about God's people – on the day of my test, email and text after email and text hit my phone with notes of how they were praying for me. I walked into that appointment filled with warmth and strength.
After the test, the doctor smiled and said, "Clean as a whistle." Then I burst into tears. I guess for three reasons. 1) relief. 2) the faithfulness of God. 3) the love of God's people to pray.
I get "growing older," and honestly, I don't fear death. I mourn my family. But then, isn't that the scary part – of death and dying – leaving our loved ones behind?
My photos show the progression of my writing life, and they show the progression of my age. Still, I look over them and thank God that He has seen fit to bless me in so many ways. Good friends, a wonderful family, to be a published author, tell stories, teach, lead, and show how much I love Him. And I am grateful. Do I want to die? Not anytime soon, but am I ready? Absolutely. How blessed are we to be called God's children?
For now, God has gifted me with life. I lift my hands toward the heavens and sing praises. I will continue to worship, praise, and work for the kingdom through my writing. And I will do my best to let Him shine through me.
I asked my friend Billy Wayne to teach a lyrics class at our conference. We bantered back and forth, and I sent him a few lines (I told him I couldn’t rhyme a poem in a box of bells). He took my lines and wrote music, then surprised me. A conferee recorded it, but she missed the first two lines. Still…you get the gist of how God turned my words back to me for comfort. God is good all the time. All the time, God is good. Thank you, Billy Wayne, for the best surprise gift ever. Guess lyrics don’t have to rhyme.