This week's Interview with a Communicator is another online friend of mine with a very unique mission.
Cindy is a wife, mom, musician, writer, Christ follower and friend to many. She is also a private music teacher, teaching 25 piano and voice students each week. She has a BA in music from Northwest University and has been involved in ministry and music her whole life. She is passionate about motivating students young and old to be the best they can be . I'm sure you will be inspired by reading more about her...
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a very positive person (most of the time) have learned to appreciate my friends and family well. I love pouring into others and love to embrace and encourage. I have a quirky sense of humor which can get me into trouble a lot - and I'm a terrible tease. But most say it is lots of fun and feel inspired to be around my energy and positive take on life. I've been married to the same man for 30 years this September and that's no easy task! We have two children - Ashlee is 23 and Shawn 19. I also have a wonderful son-in-law, Drew who has been a part of our family now for about 3 years.
2. What is a typical day in the life of Cindy Holman?
A typical day would begin with Greg bringing me coffee in bed, where I begin the day with my devotional and looking through some applications on my iPhone to find just the right "quote of the day" for my twitter and facebook status updates. I then have breakfast with Greg - we are both self-employed and work from home so we can do this every morning. His office is upstairs and mine is down. I love having him home - didn't think I would like it, and although it took a little adjustment - I really love it now. I use the morning to write and return emails - comment on my many blogs that I follow and prepare music for the afternoon of teaching. Monday through Thursday this is my pattern. I have every Friday, Saturday and Sunday off of teaching and do more running around on those days - except for church on Sunday morning. I love to take walks and listen to music too :)
3. I love hearing people's testimony! Please share how you came to know the Lord and how important The Great Commission is to a believer.
I accepted the Lord as a small child. I was four years old and I remember exactly where I was when I asked Jesus into my heart. I was in my bedroom looking out the window and then went into the kitchen to tell my mother. I believe that our life should reflect what we believe and that it is the greatest testimony that we posses. I have always wanted for others to see Jesus in me - whether it was in school, church or in the community. As a teacher and a friend I believe that being an encourager and a person full of grace and mercy with a lot of love speaks volumes to people - and is much more effective than preaching and teaching.
4. How many years have you been married and how important has effective communication been in your marriage?
Greg and I will be married 30 years this September. We've had to continually grow and be willing to learn during the different seasons of life. We had a set-back a few years ago and it taught us that we need to be willing to change if we wanted our marriage to continue. We learned how to communicate: what works and what doesn't. I learned not to "stuff" how I was feeling and just "go along" because it's less work. It's taken hours and hours of talking and developing a meaningful way to communicate our deepest feelings that we just took for granted. For years I don't think Greg really knew how unhappy I was at some things and felt like he was taking me for granted and even shutting me off emotionally. After being able to learn some tools of communication and releasing the "fear buttons" when speaking up - it was a very healthy new beginning to us as a couple. I learned to speak up and be clear - Greg learned to really listen and that was very hard for him - it was very hard, though - because married couples learn the "dance" and do it well - even the unhealthy ones. To unlearn and relearn is difficult - but in a crisis you have to make a choice - and we did.
5. Share with us your greatest blessings and challenges you have had as a parent.
I think raising teenagers is the biggest challenge that any parent faces. We went through it with a daughter first, and then a son - four years apart. They were both unique - girls go through an interesting time in those years and it was a very dark and frustrating time for me. Our daughter is more like Greg - so he always understood her better than I did. And I always understood Shawn because he is more like me in personality and disposition. Releasing them when you're not sure if they are ready - is another big challenge. Our daughter moved out when she was 20 and it was the best thing for her and for us. She grew up a lot when she had to be on her own. Our son leaves for California in less than a week and I worry that he is not ready and will not be able to handle it - and then I think about how well Ashlee did - and I know he will be fine.
6. What is your favorite scripture and share what God is communicating to you personally through it.
I have always love Proverbs 3:5,6 - it's been my favorite my whole life. He is the only one who truly guides and leads our steps - all we have to do is trust. Such freedom in that - such reassurance. I like to think I can solve things - and try to understand everything that happens - and then something happens to me that is beyond my understanding. It is then that this scripture comes back to me "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will make your paths straight" I want my paths to be straight - not crooked or bent with fear and heartache because I tried to stubbornly do it my own way.
7. You have a unique ministry/business. How important is effective communication for you as you go about your daily activities?
I teach piano and voice lessons in my home. I am very intentional about email and facebook communication with my students and parents. I love to chat with my students and parents during the week - when I find a song I think they might be interested in learning - or posting a song from a recital with them in it. I provide advance notice through written notes, email, facebook or my website for my music studio when I have things I want them to be aware of - such as holidays or weather changes that will prevent the studio being open for business for that day. Funny thing - even though I teach most holidays - I still have students missing - even though I always give plenty of good communication - I guess it is something that every teacher deals with.
8. What forms of communication do you use in your ministry/business? Which one is your favorite and why?
I have a facebook fan page for my studio called "Cindy's Music Studio" and I also have a website/blog where I post many of the schedule things with my studio. I also use text - email and facebook. It is frustrating when students and parents don't have a facebook account because it is where I post most everything including pictures and video.
9. What are the challenges in communicating in other ways?
My only challenge is that people are not all on facebook - or a fan of my music page, so I have to print out a note for those people - or call them to make sure they received something that everybody else did because they saw me post it online. It's much more time consuming and frustrating.
10. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice about a misunderstanding you had in the past, what would you tell yourself?
I would be careful who I entrusted with my heart felt and personal information. I would tell myself, "are you sure they are trust worthy? - will they easily run off expose, accuse and then hide instead of protecting my heart if they are miffed about something? - how well do you really know them? - be very careful about trusting before it is earned"
11. How can we learn more about you and your business/ministry?
My blog is http://cindyholman.wordpress.com
my fan page is: http://www.facebook.com/cindysmusicstudio
and my website/blog is: http://www.facebook.com/cindysmusicstudio
12. Any final thoughts you'd like to leave us with today?
I love the quote: "Feed the body food and drink, it will survive today. Feed the soul art and music , it will live forever." That says so much - and because music is such a part of me - passing it on is a huge blessing because I know I am helping to develop and feed their soul with this gift.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us, Cindy! I'm so glad I got to share you with my readers!
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