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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Chick, Chick, Chick

9/30/2023 8:35:00 PM BY Cindy K. Sproles

“Chick, chick, chick,” I called my chickens, and they ignored me. I’m spent. It would be nice to say that I’m spent because my money is gone – but it’s not that kind of spent. It’s a weariness. So, I felt this was a good time to address my imperfections and maybe those of my chickens.

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am a very transparent person. I learned years ago trying to hide behind a poker face is a lie for a couple of reasons – 1) people can’t pray for you when you need their spiritual support, and 2) you can’t be who you really are if you are anything less than transparent. I do my best to be forthright and honest, even when it’s not a pretty picture.

I’ve had a pity party these last couple of weeks. I know – 30 minutes is usually the acceptable time for a pity party, but I sorta felt like I earned a time of Blue-ism. Shall I list the whys?

Well, the prince and bladder cancer. Surgery for that, a new life and adjustment to that new way of living, tons of travel (all these things aren’t bad, by the way), and the loss of three dear friends. My health issues. A kid (the baby) just got married, two books released this year (which is stressful), money is seeping out of our pocket on home repairs and a car, The Prince and Episode Two (The Hernia), seven days in the hospital at UT…and let’s top it off with turning 65. Then rejections start filing in on the next book my agent is trying to sell for me. Generally, rejections don’t bother me, but these are, and there’s a reason for that bother, but not something you’d care about. So, we skip that. I could go on, but I digress.

Anyway, there you have it. A three-year time frame that has either been extremely high or devastatingly low. As I said, everything hasn’t been bad, but it’s all been stressful. Apparently, I don’t handle stress like I used to handle it. Through this time, I’ve just not had an opportunity to take a breath and get my feet back under me.

This is why I am spent. We just returned home from a wonderful week in a beautiful mountain cabin as our son (my baby) married the sweetest gal ever. I’ve prayed for her, and it’s wonderful to know that God still answers a momma’s prayers for her babies. After all the wedding fun is over and my son and new daughter-in-law headed back to Orlando, I laid my head on the prince’s shoulder and, well…boo hoo’ed. It was so bittersweet. I even asked Tim how could you be elated and blue at the same time.

Anywho…I say all that to prove I felt like I’d earned more than a 30-minute pity party.

Still, here I sit at my desk, wondering what God has in store for me. I’ve been so blessed to have Him allow me to be a writer, trust me with a ministry, and bring wonderful friends into my life – yet I can’t get my feet on the ground. The moss is slick, and my shoes keep sliding off the rocks.

This is that spot where I feel sure the enemy wants me. Stuck in a pity party – so whether I feel like I’ve earned it or not, I’m inviting the enemy to an open banquet. I hear him telling me I’m not good enough. I’m weak. I’m unloved, and then, just as I am about to believe him, the mail comes. Yep, the mail. (Did you hear the record player arm screech across the LP just then?) When I start to feel this way, my best solution is physical labor. It gives me time to think, to say a prayer, to try and figure out what the heck I’m doing. So, holding true to form, I dragged out the new paint sprayer and painted the storage barn. It’s 10x12, not 1500 sq. feet! It took an awesome 15 minutes to paint with the sprayer and 1 ½ hours learning curve, plus 35 or so minutes to clean up the mess. This includes washing the paint off my hands and legs and maybe off my shorts, too.

Just as we were finishing up, eagle ears Tim said, “Mailman on the street behind us.” Now, seriously, who really hears the mailman a street away? The prince is who. I put away the paint sprayer and walked into the house, and there on my chair was a shipping envelope. The return address was a friend, Ane, who lives in Georgia.

I sat down and opened the envelope only to find a cute box. Opened that and found a sweet note.

          I saw this and chuckled. It made me think of you. – Love, Ane

Right that second, my blue started to turn yellow because Ane’s face popped into my mind, and her loving voice and joyful laugh echoed in my memory. I pulled the card close to my cheek, hoping to feel her tender hugs. I liftef the lid open to find a cloth bag with hearts, and after I untied the string, all I could do was laugh. A tiny chicken stapler.

It only took seconds for me to grab a sheet of paper and click a staple. From then on, I was all over the house trying to find things to staple. I felt like a three-year-old.

The point is three things brought me out of my pity party. 1) That Ane even thought of me, 2) a chicken stapler, 3) the warm love of a friend hours away from me.

God knew what my heart needed – a chicken stapler! Perhaps it was a bit deeper than that, but anything else runs a tight second place.

While being stuck, hung, and spent, God heard my heart cry. I didn’t ask for anything. Our Maker picked up on my stuckness (if that’s a word) and sent Ane to the rescue.

I’ve found that my heavenly Father doesn’t always need to hear me ask. He knows that sometimes, I don’t even know I need to call on Him. Yet in His infinite wisdom, He felt my despair and had no intention of letting it go unaddressed.

Here’s what He taught me (cuz you know I always look for the life lesson).

*I’ve done a good job raising the children He entrusted to my care.

*He’s pleased with the work I’ve done.

*Rejections in writing are just part of the swinging bridge authors balance on to cross.

*The prince is healed (again).

*Rest is found in Him. Sleep on the couch for a few nights so I can rest without yanking the covers.

*He always provides. Hasn’t failed us yet. It’s just money.

*Fear has no place in my heart and neither does the enemy.

*Watch an episode of The Curse of Oak Island and see if Rick and Marty give up when they hit adversity.

*Ane Mulligan is a saint.

* AND chickens always make me smile.

I can’t say I’m 100% yet. I’m still tired. But I can say my heart feels lighter, and there is no doubt my Father keeps His eye on me. One last thing made me laugh. At 6:45 p.m., all my chickens come marching down the run and into the coop WITHOUT ME CALLING THEM. STINKERS. My little army of feathers put themselves to bed. Who says chickens aren’t smart?

Finally, I have this great little chicken stapler and nothing to staple. You have anything I can peck – uh – click – er uh…staple?

Photos 1 and 2 from courtesy of www.pixabay.com   Photo 3, personal  Photo 4 from Ane’s Pintrest



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