Today’s interview is with Cindee Snider Re, a wife and homeschooling mom from Wisconsin. Cindee is a Platinum 500 member and has many Free Reprints posted on FaithWriters.com. You may remember her as the author of a couple devotionals posted on this blog for the Wednesday Word of the Week. Join me in getting to know Cindee a little better.
LYNDA: Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
From the day we met, my husband wanted a large family, announcing to all at our wedding reception that he hoped we’d one day be the proud parents of six. “Six?” I thought. “Wrong wife!” Yet clearly, God had other plans, for we are not only the busy parents of five kids here on earth, but also of a sweet little child in Heaven. Our daughter Megan’s tiny twin was gone almost before we knew she was there, but in His own mysterious, incomprehensible way, God blessed my husband with the desire of his heart.
LYNDA: When did you first discover your love for writing?
CINDEE: I have loved words for as long as I can remember, loved to feel the shape and texture of them on my tongue, to hear their rhythm and flow in my ears, their resonance deep in my soul. Yet while I’ve always written for me, I’d never expected to write for others. Again, God had bigger plans.
Six years ago, my five kids and I were involved in a serious auto accident. Their injuries healed within weeks, mine did not, and for many months, I wondered why God was pulling me away from serving in ways I loved. How was that good? How could that be part of His perfect plan for my life?
The answer arrived in a surprising way. My husband and I were asked to share our faith journey with other adults at our church. Following that sparsely attended Adult Education Hour, our pastor’s wife approached me and said, “Others need to hear what you have to say. Would you consider writing an article each month for our church newsletter?” That was it. No direction. No parameters. No suggested topics. I took a deep breath and wrote article number one. Four years later, I’m still writing monthly for North Shore Church News.
LYNDA: How and when did you find FaithWriters? What do you love about the site?
CINDEE: I discovered FaithWriters on a rainy, cold, late autumn afternoon via a link on fellow writer Pam Ford Davis’s website. I followed the link and fell in love with the ministry of FaithWriters. I wasn’t sure if anyone beyond the borders of our church family would actually read what I wrote, but I decided to list two of my favorite articles, The Pink Envelope and Little by Little, and see what happened. Early on the morning of November 26th, I called out to my husband, “You’ll never guess what happened! Both my articles have been reprinted!” I was amazed and could only thank God, whose vision is so much greater than my own, for a beautifully unexpected, absolutely perfect birthday gift.
I love the FaithWriters Forums and just wish I had more time to participate in them, the Regular Submission section, and especially the Free Reprint Articles Section. I’m overwhelmed (and a little awed) by the number of times my articles have been published through Free Reprint Articles. What a blessing to be able to share the words of my heart with far wider audience!
LYNDA: Another way you share your work is through your blog, Breathe Deeply. How did you come up with that name, and is there any special significance?
CINDEE: As the readership of my articles grew, I began to wonder if a website would provide a better venue than my little laptop for their growing volume, a place people could visit at their leisure and read as they chose, and I soon discovered the first thing I needed was a name. While visiting my cousin, I hesitantly mentioned my possible desire to launch a website and within minutes we were brainstorming names, continually coming back to Breathe Deeply, words I first wrote used in the concluding paragraph of An Adventure Directed by God (December, 2007): “And that afternoon, I remembered to savor the moment, to soak in the beauty surrounding me, to breathe deeply and feel the immensity of God.”
Breathe Deeply is apt, if ironic. For six years, I’ve been unable to physically breathe deeply because of my injury, yet every single day through the grace of God my soul breathes ever more deeply. He is so good!
LYNDA: A couple of your devotionals have been posted on the FaithWriters blog and you have many posted on your blog. Are devotionals what you like to write most?
CINDEE: I enjoy writing devotionals, sharing God’s extraordinary Hand at work in the life of our very ordinary family, yet my soul soars and dances free in writing poetry. A friend challenged me along the way to write a “Re psalm.” I hadn’t written poetry since college, but still regularly drank it in, so I took her challenge and soon finished, Sing to the King! Since then, I’ve written eight others and find in poetry exquisite freedom to play with words, rhythm, syntax, and to find a word “so right it trembles at the slightest explanation.” (Rita Dove, poet) Poetry give wings to the words of my soul.
LYNDA: You’re a homeschooling mom. What is a typical day like at your house?
CINDEE: I am a homeschooling mom, and it’s been quite an adventure these past twelve years. One I wouldn’t trade for the world. Our days are different now than when we first began, less structured, less tightly ordered, more flexible, more open to deep discussion and practical application of concepts than simply studying facts. I am enjoying the junior high and high school years far more than I enjoyed the early elementary years, watching my kids wrestle with the bigger issues, learning to define their own positions, their own opinions based on their own understanding of the world around them and how they fit into it, learning to navigate their own personal relationships with God, separate and apart from mine, learning to take off the cloak of my beliefs and determine their own. It’s an exciting, exhausting, extremely rewarding season of motherhood.
LYNDA: What do you like to do for fun?
CINDEE: I thoroughly enjoy spending time outdoors, walking with my husband, observing and photographing God’s incredible creation, watching our puppies romp and play, reading, writing, sitting with a friend over coffee or dinner, and perusing the shelves of our local Half Price Books store in search of hidden treasure.
LYNDA: What are your future goals as a writer?
CINDEE: One day I hope to raise money through my writing to help support good friends serving on the mission field in North Africa. Over the past year, God has opened doors to offer my blog on Amazon Kindle, to print the beautiful Breathe Deeply logo designed by my son on mugs, t-shirts, journals, hats and pens, and to begin work on a coffee table book all in support of our missionary friends. I have no idea where all this will lead, but I’m excited to be a part of the adventure, excited to see where God will lead and what He will do with these words He lays on my heart.
Thank you, Lynda, for the opportunity to share a little more about myself with others. God bless!
LYNDA: And thank you, Cindee. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. God bless you as you continue writing for him. And prayers for total healing for you, too!
Check out Cindee’s blog, BREATHE DEEPLY