Cindy Colley: Making the Most of Your Time

I am so honoured to introduce in my first “Worthy Woman” post, Cindy Colley. If you know of this incredible woman, then you have probably wondered (as I have), “How does she do it?!”
This woman seems to have an unlimited amount of energy and zeal, she never stops serving and giving. Cindy is travelling and speaking practically every week—sometimes several times a week, writing articles, making podcasts, organising Bible studies, having guests—and yet still is able to maintain a great relationship with her husband! She has also written several excellent books on various topics.  On top of all this, she has successfully raised two godly children—who have also written books!
Curious to know how she manages everything and yet still retains her sanity? I was …and I was not disappointed. There is so much to be learnt from this worthy woman.

I hope this inspires you as much as it has me.

Here is what Cindy Colley has to say on keeping happy and holy…

You are so busy with speaking appointments and writing! You are often on the road. How do you manage your time?

 It’s not easy. It takes prayer and planning and prioritizing. I pray “Please God, help me to accomplish the things today that matter and help me not to worry about the things that don’t.”

Sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed, but usually a little ride in the convertible with my husband fixes that. I can come back home and refocus and clean up that huge mess in the kitchen and get back to the study for the podcast or the ladies day and feel better about the challenges ahead.

Of course, sometimes I fail at balance, but stepping back and looking at the big picture and knowing that I am doing with life what will be eternally important (at least, in general, if not always in every specific) is very comforting.

I really lean on Matthew 6:33. I WANT to smock, clean my basement, take harp lessons and make curtains. But if my grandchildren (if I ever have any) wear clothes from Walmart to my funeral and my kids have to go through the clutter in my basement and Glenn has to call my harp teacher and tell her I’m never going to make that first lesson after all and the sun is still shining through bare windows when I am in glory… well, really, now… what does all that matter?

And really, what is any of that worth in comparison to a soul I could possible take with me to the great singing around the throne?

So I plan to keep doing whatever little I can do, in the great, barreling run we are all making toward eternity; for heaven.

…But I am not getting rid of my sewing machine, just in case I can find a moment to make a dress for a grand-daughter one day.

 What are some things you have found help you keep the house well (cooking and cleaning) during busy times?

…Well, keeping one spot in the house for Titus 2 kinds of counsel sessions makes me a little less stressed about the house. Cleaning by the calendar, rotating the spaces, also helps. If that room is not on the calendar yet, even though it might be dusty, then there’s a psychological release. Just knowing it’s time is coming, but not YET!

I also cook times four! I mean every time I cook a lasagna, a chicken casserole or a cobbler, I buy ingredients and cook the recipe times four. I no longer can get my own permission to make a single meal. It just seems such a waste. It’s cheaper and you just make (and clean up) one big mess. And then you have lots of food in the freezer for company and benevolence.

I buy pyrex dishes constantly for paltry amounts of money at thrift stores, so if one doesn’t get returned? No worries! I also just keep home-baked bread in the freezer all the time. I’m telling you this not to brag. I do this to survive the loads of company with which we are blessed. I do NOT want to stop opening up the house and our little cabin to Christians and I could not enjoy these times of fellowship if I did not do this.

Also, like everyone else, sometimes I still pull my hair out, but it is a fun kind of insanity – at least most of the time. Can you tell I am trying to be transparent?

My kitchen, right this moment looks like a cyclone has come through and there are suitcases kind of dumped out in my bedroom floor, BUT I have spoken eight times in six days on this last jaunt and had nine people staying over at our house, along with doctor’s appointments and baby showers and people who need to talk. So, we do what we can and try and catch up – just like everyone else!

What are some tips on preparing for last minute guests? I know you often have people come stay in your house and cabin!

 Well, I guess I have a wonderful husband. He often says, ” I can give you twenty minutes. Give me your nastiest job.” I love that about him. I have also learned what quick foods at the grocery are good for company. And it helps to prioritize for last minute people.

Get the house clean (enough) and then get the visitors to help with the cooking, once they arrive. People love to come and chop up a salad for you. But clean the toilet? Not so much!

What do you do to find time for personal bible study/ prayer in your daily life?

Again, being transparent, I no longer have to really set aside time to study and pray. I think, if you do this when you are young and make yourself teach, then when you are old, the Bible study and prayer grabs YOU, rather than the other way around. Now I have to spend lots of time in preparing for podcasts and ladies days and seminars. I am driven to pray for all the people whose stories and struggles daily touch my heart (Albeit, I need to do it more!). It is such a part of me that I could not escape it if I try.

I am NOT saying to young women that you don’t need to prioritize study and prayer. I am saying you have to put it first. Make whatever time is feasible and be loyal to that appointment:

  1. Take your Bible in your purse for those waiting times (train, doctor, school pick-up line).
  2. Go to faithful lectureships.
  3. Buy the CDs and listen over again.
  4. Play “Hannah’s Hundred” in your car!

Get in the book and then one day, it will be so much in you, that you are just naturally preparing for conversations, teaching times, etc. You will be so thankful for your ingestion of His Word.

There is still so much I want to study and know, so much I do not know – but now, my study is pretty much dictated by what’s coming up the next time I’m speaking or studying with someone who is struggling. I’m so thankful for these opportunities. I know that each one is a gift and I am not worthy, just blessed.

Bottom line: Get in the Word and then one day, you will not be choosing your own study schedule. You will be frantically searching for the answers to the next personal study or public teaching opportunity for women. You open the book now and He will open the doors later!

What do you to find time for your partner and keep marriage fun?  I can really tell that you and Glenn have a great relationship!

Well, You have to read “Your Singing My Song” for the complete answer, but the short answer is this: Force yourself to show RESPECT to the man God has given you.

I mean, even if it feels so weird and goes against the grain of every politically correct feministic bone of your culturally trained body, be submissive and happy toward the husband. I know there are cases of abuse and marital torture, but, whenever possible, show him the spirit of Titus 2: 3-5, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3: 18, and I Peter 3.

God wasn’t kidding when He gave us these clear commands. He always saves his best for His children. When I do these things, I’ve stepped out on faith and I will be rewarded. I am so very blessed to have a prince of a husband. But all marriages take work.

  1. Pray together.
  2. Read the Bible and other fun books together.
  3. Be sexually playful.
  4. Be interested in hobbies that interest him. Have a month-i-versary mini-celebration every month.
  5. Give him a candy bar or a tantalizing promise for an evening together on the date of your marriage each month.

Life is so short. Do you love him? If you love him, redeem the time. Don’t waste a single day in pouting, nagging, criticizing or manipulation. Remember he wants to be your hero; not your project! I’m telling you, I have learned that you never get what you want out of marriage by depriving the husband of what he wants or needs. Be about giving and you will be surprised at the dividends that come your way!

What are the challenges you face as a preacher’s wife?

The biggest challenge is a lack of close friends. I think some loneliness is the “lay of the land.” I am blessed with many encouragers that I barely know, but, close friends are hard to come by. Other blessings, though, far outweigh this liability!

What are the blessings of being married to a preacher?

Too many to list. The biggest blessing is opportunities that are unique to the situation of being a preacher’s wife: opportunities to teach people the gospel. If one person gets to go to heaven because I tied the knot with Glenn Colley, thus giving me an opportunity down the road to influence her through our work together, it’s worth every difficulty of our ministry and so much more! God is good to provide those chances to teach.

Although we wouldn’t know it, I’m sure you face discouragement at times! What do you do to help yourself when facing discouragement?

I go and take someone who’s more discouraged than I a casserole, and then I get an expensive sup of coffee and walk through an antique store. Somehow, looking at those antiques and thinking of the way my grandmother faced the tough days, in her feed-sack apron as she did ironing for people to bring in needed cash or wrung the neck of a chicken for dinner, gets me back on track.

So many women tell me they couldn’t be a stay-at-home mum because it’s boring or they won’t have enough money. What encouragement can you give to people with such fears?

Just do it! Usually the right thing to do is the hard thing. Sure, sitting at a desk or even sweeping a floor, or ringing up a customer, or flying to a sales meeting (alone), is easier (and maybe more exhilarating) than doing what you would do at home with three preschoolers! (Duh!) But why did you have those kids if you didn’t wan to raise them?

Kids still need the same things they needed fifty years ago. Their needs haven’t changed. Our culture has changed. It is materialistic and feministic. We have to be careful that we do not change with the culture. Titus 2 has to mean something in our private worlds.

The Deuteronomy six brand of blessed parenting takes TIME – lots of it. I know there are some mums who really do have to work outside the home to put the beans on the table, but realistically that is a small minority of those mums who are out there every day. Worldliness comes in all forms and choosing to let others largely raise our kids by choice, is being like the world around us rather than being devoted to what’s ultimately best for our kids.

I know it’s not a popular thing to say, but you asked ME – not someone sitting behind a desk in a corporation. So, quite honestly, I believe Christian moms of young children are getting it wrong when we CHOOSE to spend massive amounts of time each week outside the home while our kids are being trained (or not) by others. I do not believe that’s really applying Titus 2 in a responsible way.

We have to have faith that this life can be fulfilling. God’s way is ultimately and eternally fulfilling!

What is your favourite scripture, and why?

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

It is hope encapsulated for all the tough times in life! It is like God wrapping me up in a security blanket!

 Don’t you just love her? I am so thankful to have such great examples who can give such encouraging and thought provoking advice! 

 You can learn more about Cindy, her family and the books they have written here.

 

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