Cindy: “God took my never​s’ seriously”

Hi friends, I’m here with the delightful Cindy Kettle. A dear mutual connected us at our home church during the latter part of my mom’s illness (read more about that here). She prayed for us and my family will never forget how she was heaven-sent with her help at my memorial service we held for my mom. 

I’m looking forward to discussing more about her life, her testimony, and more.

Meet Cindy, everyone.

I mean full disclosure here: but you are my boyfriend’s mom actually— or as one of my friends actually call you my future “MIL” (mother-in-law) or mom. You and I connected many months before Matthew came along! You raised the man I love, so you are an automatic favorite of mine no matter what. I love you and Dan (husband) and it’s been so fun getting to spend time together. 

Debbie, you are truly an answer to prayer! Matthew is so blessed to have you, a truly Godly young woman who loves the Lord and serves Him so faithfully! From the start, after we had met, I asked the Lord on how Matthew could meet you… I couldn’t see it happening, since he is ministering up in Alhambra (LA area) and is going to school.. He usually wouldn’t come to our church.

Should we just get out of the way this fun set-up story of how Matthew and I came to meet? We all know I’m excited to talk about that [laughs]

Pastor Mike said, “These two have to meet!” I couldn’t believe it and I told him how I’ve been thinking the same thing all these months! Mike said your dear friend Margo had the same thought! He arranged for you two to be at a dinner at he and Hannah’s home.. Dan and I had the privilege of being there and to witness the beginning of a beautiful relationship! The Lord orchestrated the two of you to meet… to happen!

Mike was so incredibly proud of Matthew, I’ll never forget the day he asked me if I was interested in meeting him. Mike, always keeping others on their toes, told me about Matthew’s life, all of his wonderful qualities before actually telling me who this guy actually was [laughs]… 

And we have been praying for Matthew to meet you for many, many years! He had been discouraged how it seemed like everyone around him during college had someone, but I just continued to encourage him that maybe God wanted him to just focus on school for now and  he would meet “her” outside of school, at church… and then I had prayed with a friend who had known Matthew since he was young and she said that maybe his wife would be someone from his past? And here you are! Such a blessing. We are glad to be gaining a daughter.

Awwww. Well I am so flattered and so very blessed. It’s kinda ridiculous how we’ve all taken a liking to each so quickly. I see you and Dan more than Matthew does actually. Haha.

Now, we can go on and on about Matthew for hours (at least I know I can) [laughs]– but I want to get talk about you and a little more about your life.

So, tell me how you spend your days?

Daily, I start by being in the Word and praying. Then I am off and running! My days look different now, since I am retired and have an empty nest. There are days the Lord sends people He wants me to connect with and sometimes they contact me and I learn about their life situations and needs.

God blesses me with the ability and time to serve them through prayer, and at times, actually to “be there” for them in whatever way is needed… visits, meals, shopping, errands, etc. Flexibility is a blessing at my current stage of life!

That is so sweet. I love that you are so open to what God wants you to do in this season. I have seen first-hand how you so lovingly care for your family and I know you strive for excellence in all that you do, because that’s just who you are.

You are originally from Hawaii. Born and raised. Now how did you come to CA? Can you talk a a little more about your life in Hawaii and career as well?

 Hah! Well God took my nevers…I was content to be a gerontological social worker… to never marry….to not have children…I was completely content! I was settled!

[Laughs] God likes to do that a lot. I said never to a pastor! Well, then someonecame into life and your life took a turn didn’t it?

Dan entered my life when I least expected it!! He was stationed in Hawaii and we together for 2 years before we married. He had to leave for CA so that is how we arrived in Oceanside. Soon after, Matthew came along and God gave me a new career: MOM!

I left my career back in Hawaii, and was blessed to be a full-time mom to my one son, who has always lived up to his precious name, Matthew: “Most Precious Gift of God”

Then, Dan responded to the Lord’s call to serve Calvary Chapel Oceanside… a new calling on my life, from being the wife of a marine, to being a pastor’s wife.

Pastors wives have a special place in my heart. They are all so different and come from so many backgrounds, and support and care for their man as he serves the congregation. How do you feel your background in social work has helped you minister to others at church?

Social work taught me to appreciate how to uniquely and preciously made God’s children are. When God leads me to help someone, my desire is to understand theirperspective of life events that are ongoing. Getting an idea of theirstory, history… it gives me a glimpse into how they are coping with their life events. My hope is to meet each person’s need as the Lord has led me to minister to them.

Can you discuss a little bit about how you came Christ and He changed you?

I was a 21-year-old student that was on “cruise control” for far too long in my freshman and junior years at the University of Hawaii. Suspension from UH was the wake-up call that I needed. It was ingrained early in my childhood that college was a given and not a choice– so suspension was utterly devastating. God found me in that broken place, in the midst of depression and anxiety.  And then, Julia through Campus Crusade, prayed for me one day on campus… I’ll tap her on the shoulder in Heaven someday, and thank her!

That’s so wonderful. It must be crazy about all the time that has passed since that day. And all that God has done in your life since.

 In the time we’ve known each other, I’ve seen how much you have a love for God’s Word. Can you tell me how you go about studying the Word? How does that look for you?

The Scriptures are indeed alive and available to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, to exhort, teach and mold us. The Lord uses His word to teach me about Him, His character, and as Kay Smith always taught– How to leave to please Him! My desire is that I continually grow to be who He desires me to be… to live for Him… and to please Him!

For my personal study, I have a song set on my phone or I use our Amazon Echo to play praise and worship songs. Then prayer, and I dive into God’s Word.

Personally, studying God’s Word in a group setting keeps me accountable. I appreciate structure and time frame to completing Bible studies. It helps me to keep on track and dig deeper! I also love to hear how the Lord speaks to other members of the group through the study, it is so very enriching! I love when the formal group studies include digging deeper into the background behind the Scriptures for the week.

Lastly, can you speak on the different seasons of life and how studying God’s Word looked for you in each one? As a single woman, then married and then as a young mom!

 As a mom of a baby… of a toddler… it was difficult. Time and energy were at a premium and there seemed limited, if any, amounts left for Bible study.

Yet, I was parched and not able to function in the godly manner that I couldn’t accomplish on my own. It was easy during that time to lose perspective, being mired in the busy-ness!

Similarly, when I began working full-time when Matthew was older, many times I came home exhausted, trying to fulfill my roles as wife and mom to a teenage son… without God’s Word and time at His feet, I kept running into a wall! The enemy planted depression, frustration, anxiety, guilt– I was exhausted!

 I learned a very important lesson: being at His feet, first and foremost, changed everything. God will bless and multiply time if you honor Him first in your day. He will allow you to accomplish all that He would have you to do in your day. God is in control and sovereign. I had to learn, I am still learning to daily turn over the reins to Him and let Him reign!

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Well folks, I think I just fell in love with Cindy all over again while putting this blog post together. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s not hard to do. Others are quick to say, that she is one of the most thoughtful and genuine people you’ll come to meet.

 She’s pretty fun too and has the most contagious laugh. A fun fact would be that she and I realized that we… are lacking a sense of direction. Honestly, like I think east is west and I can’t get anywhere without my maps app. Once, I got lost in a mall with Cindy and it took me a half hour to get us out of the mall… and it took her another half hour to remember where she parked the car. Also, we both laugh pretty easily and love reading!

Enjoy this picture which accurately describes our relationship (and lack of direction… why am I pointing to the sky?! I guess some of us are more challenged than others.):

 

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