My Personal Testimony – Continued.

Well, as promised, this week I’m back on track with my testimony.  I last said that from birth until the time I graduated from high school, life was great!  And as far as I was concerned, life would always be great!

After high school I started junior college and absolutely hated it; but I loved my boyfriend!  So I quit school, got married, and had two children.  Sadly, our marriage didn’t last very long.  We were young and at this point we didn’t have a relationship with the Lord.  If we had, perhaps things would have worked out differently.

Our two children and I moved from Jackson, MS to Hattiesburg, MS and I began the next chapter of my life … as a young, divorced, clueless mother of a three-year-old daughter and a fourteen-month-old son.

My children and I attended Church a couple of times, but that was about the extent of my relationship with the Lord.  Over the years I knew that the children and I needed to be in Church but I convinced myself that God knew all the responsibilities I had – the children, their school work and other activities, the bills, my job, cleaning the house, cooking, the laundry, the ironing, the car, the yard, the dog, etc. – and I convinced myself that God knew it took me all weekend to get ready for the next week.

Also, during this time I was working at the University of Southern Mississippi.  So I spent each work day with students and college professors and I started thinking, “Gee, I’m young and look at all of this great stuff that life has to offer that I’ve missed out on.”

So, regrettably, I spent a great deal of time and effort looking for and experiencing things the world said would bring me happiness.  Oh, by the way, most of the things the world calls “the way to happiness,” God calls sin!

While I was seeking happiness through worldly things, which by the way does not exist, an unexpected thing happened – time passed quickly!  I got older and my little children grew into big children.

I was heartsick when I realized how old my children were and I had done nothing to teach them about God.  Because of the choices I made, my children didn’t even have an elementary understanding of Jesus and salvation – not that I was a Bible scholar myself.  They were forced to begin the journey of their youth without God in the driver’s seat; they didn’t even know that God needed to be in the driver’s seat!

My daughter hit a couple of rough bumps along her journey but thank God she survived.  However, my son CRASHED!

More to come next week!

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Two Weeks

Whew!  I feel like I just jumped off a roller coaster!  The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.  A real doozy!  I’ll explain.

Last blog I was 17 years old in my testimony.  However, just for this blog, I’m going to jump forward 42 years to today and write about what’s been going on the past two weeks.  Next week I’ll get back on track with my testimony.

I’ve recently published two Christian children’s books – Choices! and Ima Pea, Including It’s Your Turn Study Guide.  Here’s a little info about each book:

Choices! is an extremely well-illustrated, rhyming book through which children and youth will comprehend the various and numerous choices they will face in life, and ultimately THE CHOICE of all choices.

Sadly, in today’s world/society, children and youth are frequently faced with adult-sized choices at astonishingly young ages.  Therefore, it is imperative that they are aware of the adult-sized choices they may face and receive godly counsel in how to handle them.

It is often difficult for adults to broach certain topics with children and youth. Likewise, it is often difficult for children and youth to broach certain topics with adults.  For these reasons, Choices! was written.  Choices! is a powerful, unique, and delightful resource for parents, designed to easily foster the much-needed open and honest communication between children, youth, and adults.

Ima Pea, Including It’s Your Turn Study Guide is also an extremely well-illustrated, rhyming book.  It is a dynamic anomaly in Christian resources for children and youth.  The playful story and interactive study guide captivate them as they are absorbing the life-changing knowledge of who they are in Christ Jesus.

Set in a vegetable garden, Ima Pea is filled with life lessons and biblical truths to help guide and support children and youth through both common and complex struggles.

Ima Pea did not want to be born a “pea”, and despite the advice of her friend Cob Corn, she tries very hard to become a different vegetable. “It’s God’s plan,” Cob states.  But Ima doesn’t listen, and what follows is an exciting adventure of discovery, as Ima tries desperately to recreate herself in the garden.  Eventually, she realizes that what’s more important in life is not what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside.

This book goes into great detail biblically addressing topics that are relevant to children and youth in today’s world/society.

Now, back to the past two weeks.  Why the roller coaster ride?  Why the whirlwind?  Why the doozy?  Because I’ve begun the local marketing process on both books and over the past two weeks I’ve been up to my neck in marketing activities.  And, much to my dismay, I found that I’m not good at it!  No crackerjack salesman here!  Not even close!

Now don’t get me wrong.  It’s not the merchandise that I’m having a problem with.  I strongly believe in these books and I know that every word in them is from God.  And I have no problem telling anyone who will listen to me about these books and the fact that I want them to have a copy of each one because I know that they will be a positive influence and make a difference in the lives of children.  When it comes to Choices!, I want children to be aware of the choices they may face in life and to make godly decisions in regard to those choices.  With Ima Pea, I want children to know that God created them, loves them, and has a plan and a purpose for them that are unique to each one of them.  They are each special!  Each one is one of a kind!  And in regard to both books, I want every child to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; He loves them; He died for our sins; He wants them to accept Him as their Lord and Savior; and He wants to spend eternity with them.

So, if I don’t have a problem with the merchandise – if I feel so strongly about the quality of these books and I know that they’re from God and will make a difference in the lives of children, why am I having so much trouble selling them?  That’s just it.  I don’t want to sell them.  I want to give them away!  And, sadly, I can’t afford to do that.  If I could, I would!

Therefore, to get these books into the hands of children and into the hands of the parents who can use these as a resource for their children, I’ll continue to do what I’ve done over the past two weeks – pray that I’ll become a better salesman!

Please pray for me and all of God’s children, regardless of age!

Cathy Easter Breland
Take Heart! with John 16:33
2/20/12

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Hello and welcome to my second blog in regard to “Cathy Easter Breland – My Personal Testimony.”

Monday already? And here I sit in pain at 1:55 a.m. (central time) on Monday morning writing my Monday morning blog? Getting something done this late is unusual for me because I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD – which I’ll talk more about later in my testimony). My OCD causes me to want to have a project completed four weeks before I know that it’s due (which, to say the least, causes me a great deal of stress). However, in this case, I do have an excuse for waiting so long to write this blog.

Why? Well, as I wrote at the beginning of this paragraph … I’m in pain!

Why? I’d like to tell you that at 59 years old I single-handedly overtook a street gang that was about to commit a serious crime. That would make me a supernatural heroine; but, of course, that’s not true. I’d also like to tell you that I got into a kick boxing fight with a kangaroo and sent him hopping as fast as he could back to Australia; but, of course, that’s not true either. Besides in my part of the country (South Mississippi), we don’t see a lot of kick boxing kangaroos. However, we do see an occasional kicking donkey; which, by the way, there’s no chance in China I’d get close to! And I’d like to tell you that I lost 60 pounds this week from an exercise program that was so intense the U.S.A. has asked me to be a part of the Olympic team and to “go for the gold.” But the truth is the only thing the U.S.A. has asked me to do is pay my taxes.

So, what truly is the source of my pain? A large, ugly above the ground tree root, which I tripped over while walking fast through my yard. Yep, a large, ugly, above the ground tree root is responsible for sending me on my first air trip without a plane. Needless to say, my landing was not easy (a swollen nose, two black eyes, a cut forehead, and a fractured rib)! And yes, now you know why the earth shook one day this past week! And to think, when we moved here almost 20 years ago my husband wanted to cut that tree down. But noooooooooooo, I insisted we leave the beautiful, giant, 100+ year old oak tree. Now I can honestly say, the stinker is on its own …

… And now back to my testimony …

My testimony would probably be more gripping if I told you I was reared under a bridge by a bunch of trolls, but the truth is I was born into a very happy, loving family. I’ve often said that if God had allowed me to pick my family, I couldn’t have picked one better than the one He blessed me with. I’m the youngest of three children. My father, mother, sister, brother, and I weren’t rich financially but we were rich in love! We still are! My father went home to be with the Lord around 13 years ago and we all look forward to seeing him again one day soon in Heaven.

When I was growing up, my family attended Church a lot – Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, family nights, and on and on and on. I gave God a lot of thought during those days. I believed in God, but unfortunately, I didn’t have a good understanding of God’s Word … of who Jesus Christ is … or the plan of salvation … or my personal need for Him. Sadly, this happens a lot in our churches.

Anyway, from birth until the time I graduated from high school, life was great! And as far as I was concerned, life would always be great!

Then I …

Well, I suppose this is the best place to stop for this week. I hope you’ll visit me again next Monday for more of my testimony. Thank you and may God richly bless you and yours!

Cathy Breland
Take Heart! with John 16:33
1/30/12

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A Warm Welcome

Photo Credit: Working Wise, Flickr

Hello and welcome to my new blog site.  This is my very first time to blog and I’m so excited.

As I was thinking about what subject I wanted to write about, I thought of something my speech teacher once said, “Don’t speak about something that doesn’t reflect you.”  I got her meaning right away; as a lifetime member of Weight Watchers who is WAY OVER goal, I wouldn’t  speak to you about “How To Stay On A Diet.”  And that’s just one subject I’m not qualified to write about – the list goes on and on and on.  So what am I qualified to write about?  Me.  Now that probably sounds very boring, and indeed to some it may be.  But it won’t be boring to you if you’re interested in reading a personal testimony that has many twists and turns along the way.

First, I confess that I am a chocoholic!  I really, really like chocolate … chocolate pie, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, chocolate cookies, chocolate milkshakes; (which has a lot to do with me being way over goal with Weight Watchers);but, I just adore chocolate candy.  Every time I see a box of chocolate candy, I’m reminded of the line from the movie Forrest Gump … “Mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get.’”

Indeed, in life we don’t always know what we’re going to get.  I certainly didn’t.  And next Monday, I’d like to begin sharing some of my life’s “box of chocolates” with you.

I hope you’ll visit me again then.  Thank you and God bless! -Cathy Breland

Photo credit: Working Wise, Flickr

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