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Sunday Recap - Church at home

Today was the last day of the Cullen Family "Staycation" and we spent the morning not driving to one or two different LCC campuses (which is what we normally do), but at home, worshiping together as a family. We take one maybe two Sundays off a year where our entire family is together, so this is a treat for us to not be serving on a Sunday, but to just be worshiping together as a family.

Todd fixed a great breakfast (his famous eggs and bacon on the grill!) and then we went to the living room to have our "church" time.  I was all excited about this today. Just the family together...and then it started.  Sydney started crying because I got out my guitar and she thought she had to sing by herself (she is "shy", she says!) Sean starts repeating "I want to watch Toy Story!" We explained to him that we were having church together at home. Then he started saying "I want to go to Promiseland! (Kudos, Barb and Vinnie!)...Todd looks at me - I look at him - yeah, this is going well :)

After I had a little "private" chat with Sydney (the 6-yr-old) and after Todd had a "quiet chat" with Sean (the 3- yr-old), and we explained as best we could what we were trying to do (and that we were going to the beach after this!)  We finally got things settled down and we started singing songs the kids knew. We did "Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children.." Father Abraham, Kum Ba Yah, Jesus Loves Me, and the B-I-B-L-E. We ended with "How Great is Our God." Todd had Sydney read Luke 15 about the Lost Sheep from her new Bible she received for K-5 Graduation and then we read it from her Read with Me Bible from school.

As soon as we started talking about sheep and the sound they make, Sean proceeded to become a sheep from the rest of our "service" and we pretty much just let him be a sheep. Sydney began to really engage about the story and we closed it out with doing the devotional from Luke 15 from our family devotional book called Book of Devotions-The Beginner's Bible. Sydney really engaged with us and we found a great prayer to start doing together with her at her bedtime prayer time.

    " The Lord is my shepherd and I am His sheep. He watches over me even when I sleep. Watch over me, Lord as I prance and play. Watch over me, Lord, by night and by day. Amen."  pg. 136 - Book of Devotions-The Beginner's Bible.

Our "Church at home" experience was just that - a family experience. It's the greatest responsibility that Todd and I have as ministers to teach our kids that church is not where Mommy and Daddy work. It is so hard to do that. I grew up in a minister's home and it was hard to get that sometimes. So, for today, we made an honest attempt, it was fun, and a great way to end our vacation as a family.

Leave it to Pixar

Image They can't make a bad movie. Even if you don't love them all, none of them come close to even being a bad movie. Toy Story came out the year I was married.  I remember seeing it with my family in Florida where we lived at the time. I've seen everyone of them, but nothing was as special as seeing Toy Story 3 with BOTH of my kids. Sean is finally old enough to sit through a two-hour movie and actually stay with it (as long as there is plenty of popcorn, candy, and drink flowing!) We watched Toy Story 1 & 2 all week in anticipation for going to see it today, As they clung to their Buzz Lightyear and Jessie Cowgirl action figures (recent purchases from Walmart), they watched with wide eyes and laughed all the way through.

SPOILER ALERT!  Mom and Dad, on the other hand, were not always laughing (although "Ken"-voiced by Michael Keaton-was my favorite character-he was awesome!) I could have done without the ending. As Todd and I quietly sniffled through Andy's mom looking at his boxed up room and as Andy said goodbye to his toys, they got us. They made the grownups cry like babies.

We were not home five minutes and Sydney and Sean had assembled baby dolls, stuffed animals, trains, and other of their toys in the living room. They started acting out their own stories with them. I just sat and watched.

I read EW and I hardly ever agree with the reviews they do on movies. However, Owen Gleiberman did a great piece on Toy Story 3 about how HE cried during the movie. I loved the last paragraph of his article...

"...the spirit of imagination hasn't gone out of our world - it's there every time a child picks up an inanimate object of fun and sees, feels, experiences the hidden life in it...It says that they-and we-are going to be okay. As long as we remember that our inner child isn't what we're told, but what we invent."   - Owen Gleiberman, EW, 7.2.10 - pg. 24

I hate picking up toys...I really do. But Owen is right. The ability to play and invent is a priceless value. So, I'm going to be a little less frustrated when I see the towns and cities my kids have built all over the house and enjoy the invention of their creativity and imaginations a whole lot more than I do.


The last three days have absolutely been that word. More sleep than normal, good diet and exercise, almost all of of my time with my family, and time to sit, read, and reflect. Words cannot describe how refreshed I feel and at the same time so alive. I feel so blessed to have the husband and children that I have, to live on this beautiful Island, and to have the privilege of taking time away from the normal pace of life. It is in these moments that what is truly important in life really bubbles up to the surface of your thought life. Here's what I have come up with so far...

  • I need time to dream. I've had time to pray and ask God for what He dreams for me and my family.
  • I need time to read...not for work-related education, parenting, or other reading that I normally do.  I need time to enjoy a great novel because I have always been such an avid reader and  I truly just love to read.  I love a great story that is written very well.  I'm enjoying a great novel by Francine Rivers called "Her Mother's Hope." (my Mother's Day present from my kids!)
  • I need time to eat right and exercise - both of them at the same time. We are eating pretty healthy this week, riding bikes, swimming, and doing a lot of activity. It feels great to be able to do them both at the same time.

So this is what my first three days have produced in me. The fact that these three things need to be a part of my lifestyle - not reserved for when I can fit them in to my regular routine. As I realign my life,  I truly desire to make more of an effort in my lifestyle to keep these things as a regular thing and not reserved for "if I have time."  For now, I have four more days of this and I am excited to continue them and see what comes from this time. More to come...


Straight_as_an_arrow_sticker-p217645205628483388tdcj_210 My absence from Cheval Glass on a regular basis here is not because of lack of interest in blogging. I've been on another track. These last few months as I have embraced my new role at LowCountry as the Programming Director have been amazing. There have been days of hard work, learning brand new things, sharing new ideas, involving new people, but most of all...a huge investment of time. Now, as I look forward to a great week of vacation unplugged from my daily routine and ministry life, it is time to realign. Some big rocks have been moved over the last few months.  Here are just a few things our team has accomplished.

  • We moved our website to a web-based platform (Thanks to Luke at Hunger and Thirst Design).
  • We have trained and equipped an entire volunteer technical staff at the Bluffton Campus.
  • We are rotating players and singers between two campuses.
  • We are operating Pro4 as our video presentation software at both campuses.
  • Our most recent set design and logo were designed and implemented by volunteers.

I am so thrilled about our team and the journey ahead for us. I am so blessed to have the team of volunteers to serve with at LCC. However, the time has come for some personal realignment.  Realignment is defined as "to change the position or direction of (something) slightly usually in relation to something else." The something else for me is focused and scheduled personal development time. I hope to begin this week with some new things that I want to make a part of my life routine. I will be sharing about them over the next week here at cheval glass.

Would you pray for me? If you are a follower of Christ and are reading this, just say a prayer for me for the next seven days. I have great expectations for a tremendous week of realignment.

It's just a number least that is what I keep telling myself today. I don't know why, but this birthday number is having a harder time rolling off my tongue. Why is that? Maybe it's because I led worship yesterday with a stage filled with people in their upper teens and twenties :) It was awesome, by the way!

For whatever the reason, it's been harder today than most birthdays. 26 was like this...because I knew I was closer to 30 than 20. Maybe it's the fact that I have a six year old now...I don't feel old enough to parent a rising first grader!

So, I'll just type's to 37 more years (God-willing!). Thanks to ALL my friends and family who took the time to share their birthday wishes with me through Facebook. A special shout out goes to my birthday buddy, John Willyard, who happens to be the most amazing voice talent out there (CMA's, baby!). Here's a little greeting he made for me today...Thanks, John!

Till next year :)


15 years

Todd & cynthia wedding 2 I found roses in my office today and the nicest card. Todd is the master of the perfect card. I, on the other hand, never find a good one (at least I don't think I do). Thursdays are my marathon days. I write this blog at the end of our special day. A plate of spaghetti was waiting for me when I got home from rehearsal tonite, made by my man (we are going out to celebrate on another night).

We grew up together, really. He was 22 - I was almost 22. We were kids. All we knew is that we were better together than on our own. We brought out the best in each other...we still do. We've lived in 4 states, 9 homes, had two kids,owned one dog. We planted a church together and we still like each other :) The best part is that I can't believe June 3rd, 1995 was 15 year ago. Time flies when you are having fun...

I'd marry you again, honey. Thanks for loving me for who I am and always encouraging me to be the best me I can be. I love you more...