26 Transcript: Healing Your Marriage After Infidelity (with Cindy Beall)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 26.

C: You know, in a world where divorce is so very common, we have opportunities to say, “You know what? It's possible to make it… make your marriage better than new. It's hard and sometimes people just want to throw in the towel, but you know what? It's possible,” so living life as a victor and not a victim.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Hi there, Jen here, and this is Vibrant Happy Women. On our last episode, I got the chance to speak with Heidi Kelly about how she is thriving and not just surviving after she received a breast cancer diagnosis a few years ago. Heidi shares her story of choosing to live life now and grab life by the horns. She's working hard to tick off some items on her bucket list and truly love and live her life to the fullest. Today, I'll be talking with Cindy Beall who had a metaphorical bomb dropped on her many years ago when she learned that her husband had engaged in multiple acts of infidelity and that he had a severe pornography addiction. Cindy hit rock bottom, but after much pleading from her husband, she made the choice to forgive, to stay with him, and to help him through his journey out of that pornography addiction. You're going to enjoy this story of forgiveness and love and dedication and how these 2 wonderful people are living a vibrant and happy life today.

Welcome to today's episode of Vibrant Happy Women, I'll be talking with Cindy Beall today and she's a writer, speaker, and mentor to leaders. She enjoys watching college football, hanging out with her sons, and sitting on her back porch with her husband, Chris. The Beall’s have been married since 1993 and have spent most of their marriage in full-time ministry. They have 3 sons between them, which means there's very little pink in their home, but a plethora of airsoft guns and camouflage. Cindy serves alongside her husband, who is the Oklahoma City campus pastor at Life Church. She also works with the Loving It team that ministers to pastors wives and women in ministry around the world. She has written 2 books, ‘Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken’ and ‘Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New’, which was just released on August 1st. Welcome, Cindy.

C: Thanks, Jen, it's great to be with you.

J: I'm so glad you could be here. So we'd love to start out our show with a favorite quote and we'd love to hear what you have for us today.

C: Well, my favorite quote probably that I use all the time is 3 simple words and I say, “Words have power.” And I'd tell that to my boys a lot when they're saying things or complaining or saying something about someone else or even something about themselves that isn't true and I just say, “Words have power.” And so we really work on making sure we say the right words.

J: Mm, I love that. Do you have an example for us of how that's kind of applied in your life?

C: Well, I think with my oldest son, he'll… he'll say, “Well, they'll never be able to do that,” and I'll say, “Ah, words have power, let's stop and think…”

J: Mm, that’s right.

C: “… say something like that,” yeah.

J: Yeah, oh, I love that. Well, so let's transition into your low point, we'd love to hear every woman's story of something they've overcome and how they've been able to find joy despite that low point.

C: Well, yeah, for sure. My… you know, I’ve had some obviously more than 1 low point in my life, but, you know, as many of your listeners can probably identify with, but my lowest point came in February 2002. My husband and I had just moved to Oklahoma and we joined a church and my husband was the worship pastor on staff at Life Church. And… and 6 weeks into the job, he came home one unexpected morning and dropped a huge bomb on me that he had been unfaithful to me many times, many different places with many different women, he was addicted to pornography. And as you can imagine, right then and there, my world just caved in and everything crashed, and I tell people, I wanted to die. You know, Jen, I wasn't suicidal, I just really thought death would be better. And if…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: … if somehow, God could make it to where I… it happened that I didn't have to do anything, certainly that would be better than the life I was destined for.

J: Mm. So what happened next after he dropped that bomb on you?

C: Well, a lot of people came alongside us, like I said, we had only been there about 6 weeks so we really didn't have a lot of friends, if any. We just had a few staff members who knew us and so it was very lonely, but God put the right people in place. Our pastor came over to our house and his name is Craig Groeschel (many of your listeners might know who he is), and he’s… he’s just a remarkable leader and godly man. And he came in and he and another pastor, Jerry, came and just started the process with us. And, you know, sadly in the American church, Jen, a lot of people kicked people to the curb when they do something wrong…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: … this was not what happened to us. They came alongside us and helped us heal and, you know, that was over 14 years ago.

J: Mm-hmm. And pornography is just starting to get more and more press about actually being a true addiction, and people are starting to realize this really is a problem. How was your husband able to overcome that major addiction?

C: Well, it took a lot of things, honestly. It took a heart that finally said, “I don't want this anymore,” and I would even say, Jen, that most people who struggle, not just with pornography addiction but any addiction, they don't want to, they just don't feel like they can overcome it.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And that's where my husband was. He thought, “I've been dealing with…” the first time he saw… saw pornography, he was 8. And so he'd been, honestly, dealing with this for the better part of 22 years and he thought, “I'll just never be able to get through this.” So, you know, it took some drastic things. They came, some of the leaders of our church said, “If you want help, we'll help you, but these are the things that we think need to be put in place,” and so our computer was taken from her house and we didn't have that for… you know, for the better part of a couple months.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: His emails were monitored, everything was just monitored. He… everything in his life had to be open for everyone else to… or at least the people in his life to play a part in helping him. And so we watched just a few things on TV, there was no cable TV, there was… you know, we just… we very particularly chose things that we could actually put our mind to and we… and I participated with him. I made sure that I was viewing things that were, you know, not inappropriate. And so it was a lot of cleansing, and then of course, counseling helped, people… men coming alongside my husband. But he read a book by Neil T. Anderson called ‘The Bondage Breaker’ and it was a profound influence in his life and really helped him see how to overcome such strongholds and hard, you know, bondage and terrible things in his life. So…

J: Mm, mm, that's great. And for our listeners who aren't aware, I wonder if you might share a few stats why pornography really is such a problem for people; why can't they just do that and why is it a big deal, you know? (Laughs)

C: Well, my pastor says that viewing pornography, what it does is it actually sustains a mental injury and so their minds are not thinking… it's just not reality, it's… it's a fantasy, it's some illusion. And so once those tapes or pictures are whatever videos are played and you see them, they actually kind of get stored in your mind. And my husband will tell you that, for years, he didn't need to even look at pornography anymore, he could just sit there and literally close his eyes and imagine it…

J: Wow.

C: … because he's already seen it, and that's how it happens. And so there's a whole… you know, Romans in the Bible talks about in Romans 12, renewing our mind; and that's what he had to do, renew his mind. And so… but there's just… I mean, I could send you… you could just Google stats about pornography struggles and… and that would totally, totally tell you all the devastating things about marriages ending. And, you know, it's just sad because it's not… if you're viewing pornography, it's not physical adultery, but it's definitely emotional and mental. And so…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: … it's just… it's a rough, rough road and it's… it's a very… it's an epidemic.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Well, let's go to the other side of that coin. You experienced an emotional adultery of sense, well actually…

C: Yeah.

J: … you had the physical part too, didn't you?

C: Yes, absolutely.

J: So how were you able to stay with him and forgive and move forward?

C: Well, believe it or not, the forgiveness part was actually the easier part, it was dealing with the pain that was really wretched. But, you know, I'm a believer that I've done a lot of wrong things in my life, I could make a list for you and probably still need to spend more time on that list, and I'm just thankful that God has forgiven me. And so for me to not forgive him who was asking and begging, it was just… it was easy to say, “Okay, I do forgive you,” because, Jen, I don't believe he wanted to hurt me; I don't think he's set out to break my heart.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: He was in a bad, bad place, it was unhealthy, and he was basically sick.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And so forgiving him was… you know, I forgave him, but dealing with the pain, dealing with the images, dealing with the triggers of all these things, and the lack of trust; because even though I forgave him, I certainly couldn’t trust him farther than I could throw him.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: So there was definitely so much to be rebuilt. And… and I just began to ask God, “Okay, I… I know that I have an opportunity to leave the marriage, I believe marital unfaithfulness is grounds for divorce so…” but I kept this… there was just something saying, “But is that the path I'm supposed to take?”

J: Hmm.

C: And so I just began to pray and my pastor said, “Just because you have grounds for divorce doesn't mean you have to,” and so I just said, “Okay, God, do… am I supposed to divorce?” Because I wanted to in many ways, but I still loved him; it wasn't like my love just went away.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And so I began to pray and ask God to show me, and very gradually over the course of a few weeks, he showed himself very powerfully to me and said, “I'm the one you can trust even though your husband isn't trustworthy. And if you'll trust me, I'll show you how I can make all of this more amazing than you can even imagine.”

J: Oh, nice.

C: And he's done that, yeah.

J: So you decided to go forward and put your trust in God…

C: Mm-hmm.

J: … how did you cope with that pain that was still there? How did you let that go?

C: Well, I coped with it by dealing with it head-on, you know?

J: Mm-hmm.

C: A lot of people don't want to deal with pain, it hurts it's, not fun, we don't enjoy it, we want to feel better, we do not want to feel bad. But in order to heal, we must grieve. And so I was grieving, I was… even though I still was married technically, I was still… I was grieving the loss of my marriage.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: It would have to look different in the coming weeks and months and years; so I would grieve it. And so what a lot of people do is they try to push the pain aside, I just hit it head-on. If it came in the middle of Walmart when I saw something that triggered an emotion, I just let it happen.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: Or if it came in the middle… in front of friends when I was having dinner, I just let it happen. And as I began to go through that and just grieve what I was… what I had experienced, the loss, God began to heal me. And I believe… I'm a firm believer that, when we grieve, we are healing simultaneously, and that's why grieving is so important to help us get through a struggle. So that's what I did, I just pushed through. And the thing about that, Jen, is that eventually, you don't have as many to push through. If you push through in a healthy way and you find it healing, it just… it doesn't happen as much, and so that's what began to happen with me.

J: Mm, that’s smart; grieving is healing, that's great.

C: Yeah, yeah.

J: Very good advice. So you guys stayed together, tell us more about what happened going forward.

C: Well, every day was… was a new day and there were some days that were great, believe it or not…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: … even a month in or 2 months in, and there were some days that were just brutal. I tell a story in my first book about having to go to the health clinic, the county health clinic to get tested for STDs because that's…

J: Oh, wow.

C: … just a reality.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And it was brutal, it was… it took part of me out. I don't know how to say that, but I came back less of a woman that day.

J: Oh!

C: It was brutal. But I didn't stay there, I just mean it was so difficult; it was one of the more difficult things that I had to walk through. And so, you know, just those days happened, and then God healed us because we were both willing. You know, and a lot of people think, “Well, I just want to get better,” but really, if you want to get better, you've got a… you got to do the work to get there.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: I mean, your whole podcast is… is like that, it's living and being vibrant; you're not just vibrant and happy without making an effort.

J: Right.

C: So we just began to live it out and… and then eventually, God said, “I've got some work for you to do,” and I started writing a book, which, honestly, took a long time to get published because a lot of publishers didn't think this was a problem.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: Sadly, not only is pornography a problem, but, you know, infidelity is…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: … pretty popular as well. So… so we just began that journey and began helping people and that's kind of where we are today. We still are helping whoever we can, and that's why I write the books I write to help women and men, but mostly my audience is women who been through infidelity. So…

J: So can you share a story with us (without mentioning names) of a couple you were both able to help through your ministry?

C: Oh yeah. I mean, I could name you…

J: Tons and tons, huh?

C: Tons and tons because God's just been so good to bring people. So one particular couple, they… they attend our church, and I don't remember, it's probably 7, 8 years ago, I remember being on the phone with her and her husband had reached out to Chris and… and we began to kind of spend time with them and Chris would meet with him and I would visit with her. And… and now, all these years later, they actually run a ministry that helps women and men be all they can be in… in Christ and so… but what they do is, every September and every January, they start a new group and it's for couples who have… who were walking through infidelity right then and there.

J: Hmm.

C: And they'll take them and they're doing hands-on meeting with them, you know, 4 to 5 couples at a time because honestly, when you're walking through that, you think you're the only one. And so when you see someone who's walked through it and found, you know, hope and healing and… and a great life, you want to be around them because it gives you hope. So they are influencing so many people, about to write a book, and it's just… it's incredible to see what God has done in their lives and… and just use our story as a part of it.

J: Hmm, so if a couple or a woman is listening who is currently facing this exact problem, where could they go to connect with you or this other couple?

C: Someone who is facing infidelity?

J: Yes, or pornography addiction or anything like that.

C: Yeah. Well, honestly, this couple is here in Oklahoma so if you’re listeners are…

J: So they work locally?

C: Yeah, so they’re locally. But, honestly, there are so many opportunities for… around the country, there are people who are really coming out. And, I mean, you could just Google ‘infidelity couples’ and you’d probably find just dozens and dozens of people who would want to help. I've got some friends, Justin and Tricia Davis, who live in Indianapolis, Indiana, lead a church up there, and they also do marriage seminars and stuff because they have walked this road as well.

J: Hmm.

C: So theirs are around the country so you could go to their website, refineus.org, and you could find out where are they going to be next and where could we go. So… but in connecting with me, you can go to my blog and, but honestly, my books are the best way to connect with me because…

J: Yeah.

C: … I lay it all out.

J: Hmm.

C: Because a simple email to you is not going to tell you what I could tell you in those chapters, so that's why I wrote the book.

J: Well, tell us more about the books.

C: Well, the first book I kind of explained as trauma. So it's called ‘Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken’, and people often get it, you know, at the beginning when they're… just found out some devastating news about their marriage. And it doesn't have to be just pornography or infidelity, it could be another betrayal; maybe it's financial. So the truths and the… what I'm talking about in the book can go over different subjects. And then the second book is ‘Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New’, and it is really kind of like helping you progress after you've been on the journey a little bit.

J: Mm-hmm.

C:So if someone just found out about infidelity in their marriage, they probably would not want to pick up my second book, they would need a little more time; they would need some… some time under their belts.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: So… because the reason I wrote this second one was because people were coming to me and go, “Cindy, we’re 2 years in, we're 3 years in, we're 4 years in and we're doing well, but what else? What… what's next?”

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And so that's why I wrote that second book. So it's more therapy, the first one's more trauma.

J: Okay, okay. So for those of us who might not have faced infidelity or… or a big betrayal yet, could you pull out a few points from your second book that would help any marriage?

C: Absolutely, I think the… I talked in there a lot about becoming… having a new marriage. And like I said, the second book has actually got a broader audience.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: It's not only for people who've walked the road I have, but it… may be it's for the couple who they just lived like roommates for a decade. They've raised kids, but they don't really know each other or maybe they just don't invest in their marriage. There's no infidelity, there's no betrayal they just don't have a great healthy marriage.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: So it's for that couple as well. So one of the things I've talked about is, you know, if you want a new marriage, you've got to be willing to work individually. Because a lot of people want to fit, a great, great, great marriage, but they've got 2 people who are kind of broken and needs some help and need to grow and need to improve.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And so, until you… until you begin to look inside of yourself and see, “What am I doing to contribute to the mess of my marriage right now?”

J: Mm-hmm.

C: …. then there won't be a newness of a marriage; so that's obviously one thing. And then I go in there and talk about different tips that my husband and I have used; practices that we do to maintain healthy. The first one is, I call it, ‘find your porch’. And my husband and I sit on our back porch all the time and we have for years in whatever house we've lived in. And it's finding a way to connect; that place where you can connect with your spouse. So you have to find your porch. You may not sit outside, maybe you sit inside in your study or maybe you go on walks or maybe you sit in your bedroom, maybe that's your porch; so that's one of the ways that I encourage people to find a way to connect. Because if we're not connecting as a couple one day and then we don't the next day and then the next, we're going apart from each other, so we must learn to connect; so this is just a couple of things.

J: Mm, I love that find your porch.

C: Yeah.

J: My mind's thinking, “Hmm, here is our best porch?” (Laughs)

C: Yeah, yeah.

J: Consistency; I love that. So what does a vibrant happy life look like for you today?

C: I would say, for me, its living life as a victor and not a victim.

J: Oh yeah,

C: Yeah, yeah, that's… because, I mean, let's face it, Jen, there's going to be a lot of women who hear this… this podcast and they're going to feel sorry for me, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

C: They're going to think, “Man, she's been through a lot!”

J: Right.

C: And they may read my book and go, “Wow, I could never do that,” I get that a lot, and to which I always say, “Yeah, I don't think I could ever do that either,” but, you know, I tease and say, “You know, it was… it was the power of God working and… and me surrendering to that.” So I just choose to see the things I've walked through as opportunities and not obstacles.

J: Yeah! Nice.

C: Yeah, because now… I mean, now I have this opportunity to be there for other people, to encourage other people. And, you know, in a world where divorce is so very common, we have opportunities to say, “You know what? It's possible to make it your marriage better than new. It's hard and sometimes people just want to throw in the towel, but…”

J: Mm-hmm.

C: “… you know what? It's possible,” so living life as a victor and not a victim.

J: Hmm, that's a quotable right there.


J: I love that.

C: I wrote a whole chapter about it in my second book, so yeah, it’s…

J: Oh, nice.

C: It’s pretty… yeah.

J: Nice. So even though you've come so far, share… share a current weakness or a struggle that you kind of are working on or facing in your life right now.

C: Well, honestly, what I'm kind of… what I've been struggling with probably for the better part of my life really has nothing to do with my marriage.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: So if it's okay I'm just going to tell what that is.

J: Sure.

C: It's food.

J: Mm.

C: I love food, Jen, I'm not going to lie.

J: Me too.

C: I love sweets, I love Mexican food, I love Italian food; I love food, I love lots of it. And so I don't… it's a struggle that I've had most of my life and I'm just continuing to work through it and not letting food own me. You know, the thing that annoys me is when I let food have power over me and I'm like, “That is ridiculous. Food is an inanimate object.”

J: Yeah.

C: “It should not have power over me.”

J: Yeah.

C: So that's what I'm currently pushing through. I… I assume… I try not to… “Words have power,” I'm going back to my quote. I don't want to say that I'll struggle with this forever, but, you know, for the… for the foreseeable future, this is something I have to really, really work for to not overeat.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: To make sure I'm putting the right foods in my mouth and I'm staying away from a lot of sweets because, for me, that's a trigger, for me is, you know…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: Not every food is a trigger for me, I'm not going to probably binge on spinach…

J: (Laughs)

C: … or okra, but, you know, I will definitely do it on some other things. So food is something I have to really work on.

J: Yep, we all have some addiction of some kind, right? (Laughs)


C: Absolutely, we really do.

J: Yeah.

C: Everybody has something that is trying to be in control of their life.

J: Yeah.

C: And, for me, mine is food. So…

J: Hmm, good, thanks for sharing that. I think…

C: Yeah.

J: … that most of us can resonate with that. (Laughs)

C: I think you're probably right.

J: Yeah. Well, let's talk about a few of your favorite things; this is always kind of fun to hear what other women like.

C: Right.

J: So what's your favorite personal habit that contributes to your success?

C: Probably the thing I can't even think I could live without doing this is just spending time in the Bible every morning; that's what I do.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

C: I wake up, grab my tea, sit on the porch, that's the most important thing I do every day.

J: Awesome. So give us a before and after. What…. what do you feel like before you read and then after?

C: Yeah, I mean, because I read so early, so it's like I literally get up, brush my teeth to grab… you know, get the tea and then got side. So, for me, the after is… is just knowing okay, “I'm… I’ve surrendered the day to God, I'm looking for ways to help others and to make an impact and I'm asking him to show me, to help me to have eyes that see things and see places where I need to be,” so it's…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: It's just kind of asking him to show me and… and then I'm also looking for ways that he can speak to me through his word, because even though it's a very old book and I've read it dozens of times, I believe that when we go in with an attitude that is teachable and wants to learn, we will actually learn something new. It could be a verse that we've read 100,000, but it…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: When God is going to show us something new, he'll show us something new; so that's what I look forward to and… and it's exciting to me. So even if I just hear one thing, I’ll… I'm excited about that.

J: Yeah, great; that chance to connect and chance to learn something new.

C: Right.

J: Nice.

C: Right.

J: What's a favorite easy meal that you like to eat regularly?

C: Okay, what I'm about to say is going to change everybody's life…

J: (Gasps) Okay.

C: … right now; I know, I know.

J: I'm not so excited. (Laughs)

C: So the meal that my family loves the most is when I baked a whole chicken, just get a chicken fryer from the store and I bake it. I bake it till it's real tender, you know, you pull on the legs and they're about to fall off.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And I literally… I put olive oil on top and a little seasoning and I bake it and it's melt in your mouth and my family loves it and they go crazy over it. And it's cheap, I mean, a chicken fryer is pretty cheap. So…

J: Yeah, yeah. How… do you do it in the oven or the Crock-Pot?

C: I do it in the oven.

J: Oh, nice.

C: Yeah, I do it in the oven.

J: Oh, nice, nice.

C: And I'll make sure that, you know, the oil on top it allows the skin to get a little crisp. So, yeah, I'll even take it… we'll have it just by itself and then I'll take leftovers and I'll chop it up and make chicken salad. So it's a pretty tasty thing and it's really good.

J: So what temperature and how long?

C: I probably started about 3250 and then I bake it for a few hours. It doesn't need it to cook that long, but then at the very end, maybe the last hour, I turned it down to 2750 just to kind of… kind of roast it a little bit. And then I basically… once I can pull those legs, I can tell when it's tender. I can tell when I'm going to be able to just pull it apart and it's amazing. So…

J: Mm, yummy.

C: I put a little chicken stock at the pan just to give a little moisture, but it secretes a lot of juices obviously as well. So it's… and then you dip that chicken in that juice, girl, I'm just telling you…

J: (Laughs)

C: … I need to go bake it right now. (Laughs)

J: Yeah, you do, you do. Wow, thank you, that's… that's…

C: Yeah.

J: I'm going to go buy a chicken fryer for sure.

C: Do it, do it.

J: What's your favorite kitchen gadget?

C: Okay, so my favorite gadget is something I just got about 2 months ago, it's an immersion blender. You know, those long stick things, those blenders?

J: Yeah, I have one. (Laughs)

C: I… I have never had one. I am 45 and I've never had one until this year. And I don't know what I've been doing in my whole life without one of these.

J: (Laughs)

C: So I love it.

J: So what are you making with it?

C: Oh, I'll make sure the eggs are mixed up and then I'll… but I'll use it for salsa or if I'm just doing some vegetables, like it if I want a little dip. What else? I've used it for smoothies, I use it when I'm making a soup and you have to use it a little bit to like make some of it kind of pureed. And so…

J: Yeah, yeah.

C: Yeah.

J: Yeah.

C: Anything… anything I can use it for, I'm using it.

J: Mm. I've been using mine to make homemade mayonnaise with olive oil; so olive oil mayonnaise.

C: Really?

J: It's yummy.

C: Oh, okay.

J: Well, I could probably post that recipe on my website.

C: Please do.

J: I'm going to be interviewing the person who wrote the recipe so I'll get her permission to post it. (Laughs)

C: Yes! Do it, I would love it.

J: Yummy.

C: That'll be great.

J: Okay, so what's a favorite book that you'd recommend to the Vibrant Happy Women community?

C: Well, there's a book called ‘Leading on Empty’ by Wayne Cordeiro. He is a pastor out in Honolulu and this book really helped me when I was in a place of burnout. And I know a lot of people experience that.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: In fact, probably everybody is going to experience burnout at some point. And…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And it was just very practical and helpful to help us set things in place to where we won't experience burnout. So it was a really good; ‘Leading on Empty’ by Wayne Cordeiro, I recommend it.

J: Awesome. So if you had to pick 2 things that helped you most to avoid burnout, what would those be?

C: Scheduling time for myself every day…

J: Mm-hmm.

C: … something I like to do, that would be one; which would be the part that refuels you. And then the other thing is just making sure that I'm doing the things that only I can do first; those are the most important things.

J: Oh.

C: Yeah, like I'm the only one who can be the wife here or the mother here; all these things. But if I'm doing something that's number 15 on my list before I'm doing number 2, then that could potentially lead to burnout.

J: Gotcha, so delegation as well…

C: Yeah.

J: … would be a part of that.

C: For sure.

J: Mm-hmm. And what's the best advice you've ever received?

C: You know, it's hard to say the best, but the thing that stands out to me the most and the… the advice that I give the most is, “Don't make a decision when your emotions are heightened.”

J: Mm, you’re right.

C: So that's happened so much. I mean, that's why people get married in Vegas…

J: (Laughs)

C: … when they just met 2 hours earlier. So…

J: Okay.

C: Just don't make a decision when your emotions are full throttle.

J: Right. That reminds me of a similar advice from my mom, “When you feel like crap, sleep on it and then decide some things in the morning.” (Laughs)

C: Sure, absolutely.

J: Right.

C: Good advice, mom; good advice.

J: Right. Well, Vibrant Happy Women, you can find links to everything Cindy has been talking about by going to jenriday.com/26. And now, we’ll hear Cindy's happiness formula. So, Cindy, if you had to create a 3 to 5 part formula of things that make you happiest, what would that include?


C: I would say I'm happiest when I hear from God, when I live disciplined, and when I mentor others.

J: Hmm, nice; all the parts right there.

C: Yeah.

J: Great. And finally, a challenge for our listeners, what would you like to challenge them to do or try this week?

C: Well, I think the heart cry behind my life, my books, everything I really stand for, is to challenge people to use their past experiences to help others because it will really help those people see that there is hope and that they are not alone on that journey.

J: That's great. And I'm kind of struck by how you were able to really… you and your husband both, to be vulnerable; to not be ashamed of what happened. Do you have any advice on how people can overcome that fear and shame of the mistakes they've made?

C: Well, the thing that people often do, Jen, is they take what they've done and they make that who they are.

J: Mm-hmm.

C: And I want to help people understand, “Who you are is not what you do,” you know?

J: Mm-hmm.

C: I… I am a mom, sure, but… but really, for me, I'm a child of God and I… and I happen to mother; you know, I'm a child of God and I happen to make a bad decision. So that's what I try to help people understand that. And so, for us, the path of sharing what the world was… I mean, I don't know that we knew that we was going to be like this. I didn't know that I expected to have 2 books under my belt and speak to different places and be doing interviews, I don't… I don't know that I saw that. Maybe if God showed me that in the early days, I would have run.

J: (Laughs)

C: I don't know, but… so I would just say that, not everybody has to shout from the mountains like we do, but I do think whatever you're going through, don't go through it alone, tell somebody who you trust and who… who could be there for you.

J: Perfect. Well, Cindy, thanks so much for being on the show, I really appreciate it.

C: It was my honor; thanks, Jen.

J: Take care.

Cindy is such a strong, positive person and I love how she's living life as a victor and not a victim. We all could learn so much from her positive forgiving attitude. Be sure to join me next time as I talk with Scarlet Paolicchi about a miscarriage she suffered when her baby was just 22 weeks gestation. It was a really devastating time for her, but Scarlet was able to use writing and help from her friend to move out of that lonely and sad place and to go forward and raise her other 2 children. Also, in Vibrant Happy Living, the membership site, we are discussing abundance this month. If you'd like to learn more about abundance and scarcity and how you can invite greater abundance into your life, largely through shifting your attitude to one of gratitude, join us in that membership. You can sign up by going to vibranthappyliving.com.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.