"Nana" Elaine- Beauty for Ashes  

Posted by Cyndi Lou in ,

God spoke to me in a powerful way this past Sunday morning! I know He spoke to many of us this past Sunday, and you may think you know how He spoke to me, but only 2 others know how He spoke to me and one of them is Joe, my sweet husband, and the other is "Nana" Elaine. Many of you know her and you know that she is not really “my” Nana. I have always called her Elaine, but her family and precious grandchildren call her Nana Elaine. But, I think, after this past Sunday, I am going to call her Nana Elaine and adopt her as our second Nana as well!!

You see, this past Sunday morning, during an amazing worship service, I had to go out to wash the ink off of my hands from a pen that leaked while I was taking notes. I was highly upset that I had to leave the service for a moment to go do this irritating task. But, God used those moments in a powerful way! I ran into Nana Elaine in the restroom, of all places. Joe and I met Nana Elaine back in 1996 when we joined EMC. She was so kind and wonderful to us and she reminded me Sunday morning that we even chaperoned a youth trip together way back before Joe and I had even thought about starting a family. We talked about those days and how we have gotten to know each other so well since then. But Nana Elaine said something to me, that stopped me in my tracks. Let me explain…

She was one of the many friends and family in our lives who prayed so very diligently for us to start a family and to have a healthy, successful pregnancy. She, and many of you reading this post right now (and you KNOW who you are without my having to name names), prayed and prayed and prayed for healthy children for me and Joe. You prayed for a family for us. You were our prayer warriors and our friends & family, who some visited our home to pray with us, some cried with me in person or on the phone, some laughed with me when I didn’t want to think about starting a family, and some just sat silently with me and held me while I cried (thanks Mom for doing that SO many times) because we were so weary from the journey and our journey seemed at times, to me anyway, to be coming to the end, with no children in sight- only ashes, no beauty!

Well, Nana Elaine says to me on Sunday, ‘Cyndi, I truly noticed Anna Grace and Austin this morning and they are beautiful!! They are truly beautiful, handsome children! God really blessed you and Joe with beautiful children!’ Well, I was so grateful and thankful for her comment, but the next one is what got me…. Nana Elaine says, ‘You know all of those times I prayed, we prayed, for you and Joe to have children, we just prayed for healthy babies, but we NEVER prayed for beauty and look what He gave us! Look what He gave you in those 2 children! He gave you health AND beauty!’ Well, (Shana is not surprised at this one) the tears started to rise to the surface at that point! I was overwhelmed because she was right and God is OH so GOOD! We didn’t pray for anything but healthy children and in His time! But, He, in His amazing grace, blessed us with beauty that we don’t deserve in our children, both inside and out. He took the ashes of our pain, our struggles in our marriage, our anger at why it was so difficult, and our sadness over losing so many times, and He restored it with beauty!! He restored our marriage and gave us a family that we do not deserve!! He even blessed us TWICE within 12 months!! Beauty for Ashes is RIGHT!!

Nana Elaine, thank you so much for opening our eyes to show us that He goes over, above, and beyond what we can think, ask for, or even imagine when it comes to answering our prayers!! Our minds are so finite & imperfect and His is so INFINITE & PERFECT!! This post is most certainly NOT about having beautiful children, though I think all of us DO have that! This is about how God restores what we have lost, mends what we have broken, and gives us so much beauty for our ugly ashes!! I hope He shows you this week what He has restored to beauty in your life that would most certainly have been ashes if left up to you!!!

So, this week, the week just before Mother’s Day, I want to say THANK YOU and WE LOVE YOU to Nana Elaine, Grandma Sissy (my mom), our Nana (Joe’s mom), Chelle Regal (who was my prayer warrior during my pregnancies and encouraged me with cards and phone calls and MUCH prayer), and all of my dear girlfriends (you know who you are) who prayed so faithfully for our ashes to become His beauty!! Your prayers, and ours, have been answered and I am so grateful that He has shown me that this week!! He gives us more than we can ever fathom, think, or imagine and we don’t deserve it, but I am so glad that He is a God of grace!! He truly gives Beauty for Ashes, Strength for Fear, and Gladness for Mourning!!

All of these pictures were taken in early June 2002 when Anna Grace was 12 1/2 months old and Austin was 4 weeks old...

This entry was posted on May 6, 2008 at Tuesday, May 06, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


What a wonderful post. You are so right. God is awesome all the time and his plans are always right on time even when we think that they are not! Nana Elaine was right you do have beautiful children and very well behaved I might add. You and Joe are great parents and I hope you have the best Mother's Day ever!!!!
I love you,

Tue May 06, 10:42:00 AM 2008

Wow, I'm amazed at all the stories in our lives. I have to come to believe that everyone has a story. We all have hurts, pains, and major healing from things-some physical-some emotional. God is awesome. He cares so much about us that he is even in the little things, like setting up a leaky pen so that you'll run into Nana Elaine in the restroom at just the right moment to remind you of just the right thing that you need at just the right time. How great is our God!!!!

Tue May 06, 11:46:00 AM 2008

Cyndi, I can remember when mom prayed for you deligently every day. I didn't know you very well, but I remember her talking about you and Joe and how burdened she was for you. She knew God would bless you in His own time so she was not the least bit surprised when He blessed you double.

I'm so thankful for my mother and what a strong prayer warrior she is. We are so glad to share our "Nana Elaine" because who wouldn't want her praying for them.

And by the way, you not only have two beautiful children inside and out, you are a beautiful family of "four" inside and out!

Love ya, Angela

Tue May 06, 12:00:00 PM 2008

Cindy, Cindy, Cindy
You make me cry! (as does my daughter) I am so humbled by your sweet post. Most importantly I am struck by the fact that God can still use me. I get to thinking because I am old and have some health issues right now that God can't possibly use me. I forget it is in the simple things like saying what is on your heart to the person concerned because it is usually God speaking. Thanks for Blessing Me and making my day.
I had just come from the doctor and was so mad about some previous charges that the doctor billed "just because he can" that I was probably destined for a bad day. Your post changed my course! Thank you so much.
God Bless you
Nana Elaine ( I would blessed to be Nana to your family)

Tue May 06, 02:21:00 PM 2008

What a powerful post! Your words are so true. Somtimes we don't see the beauty until someone points it out to us. You truly do have such a beautiful family and that is a gift from our heavenly Father for which we are all thankful!!!

I love Nana Elaine too...and we all know she is a mighty prayer warrior for all of us.

We are all greatly and abundantly blessed!!



Tue May 06, 11:15:00 PM 2008

Cyndi - you DO have beautiful children. I remember coming to your house right after Anna Grace came home from the hospital. I was taken aback by her beauty. She truly looked like a little porcelin doll! And Austin is a handsome little man too! I love your family so very much, and am so blessed to worship beside you each week! We have talked about this before, but I absolutely LOVE it that our children are growing up together!!!!!

Wed May 07, 09:51:00 AM 2008

Wow Cyndi what a great reminder that our God is an awesome God! He not only meets our needs - he lovingly exceeds our expectations! Your family is beautiful, as is our entire EMC family. All those beautiful children that God has lovingly blessed us with. Thank you for being so open on this post.
Thank you Nana Elaine for the great prayer warrior you are!
Love ya,

Wed May 07, 10:20:00 AM 2008

I love it when we recognize our blessings as undeniable and precious gift straight from our Father's hand. It is so humbling to think that He loves us so much and that He is intimately involved in every detail.

And you know what??? I think God loves it when we recognize His gifts too.

Thank you God, for the gift of Anna Grace & Austin....and for all of our children....Help us to always remember that children truly are a gift from the Lord.


Wed May 07, 11:01:00 AM 2008

I have to be the one to truly let you all know how Awsome God is. I am Joe's Mom NaNa and God has blessed me with the gift of Joe, Cyndi (the best daughter-in-law in the world)and answered all our prayers when we recevied his gift of Austin and Anna Grace. I as so appreciative of all of you, the friends and church family that takes care of my angels on a day to day basis. My dream is to be able to see them every day, but they have decided they like to talk on the phone so I get a lot of calls. Anna Grace asked me if I would buy her a cell phone for her birthday and I said I thought we might better wait or Daddy will kill me. Thanks again to all of you and your families and to all the Mom's my prayer is for you to have a very blessed Mother's Day. I know I will because The Rogers family is coming to Alabama this week-end. Nothing makes me happier.So you can see how truly I am blessed. God Bless you all.

Wed May 07, 01:25:00 PM 2008

I know I've told you before, but your kids, too, remind me of what God's core business is---blessings, miracles, healings, and on and onnnn.

Thu May 08, 08:26:00 PM 2008

Your children are beautiful! I love it when God takes us back and reminds us of all that HE has done. Praise God for Nana Lane!

Sat May 10, 07:58:00 PM 2008

I just love it how God suprises us (like in the bathroom), and makes unlikely moments end up being little hugs from Him.... I've heard Him referred to as "Jehovah Sneeky" during those moments! I just love that! :)

Indeed, you are a blessed mother of beautiful children!!!!

Sun May 11, 04:44:00 PM 2008
the best cousin ever!!!  

I love Anna Grace and Austin Rodgers soooooo much! Can't wait to see you!!! Happy Birthday to the both of you!!!!! I wan't really sure where to write!


Tue May 20, 11:06:00 AM 2008

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