Faithfulby Kim Cash Tate
"Kim Cash Tate's enjoyable novel is true to both the realities of life and the hope found through faith in Jesus. Romance meets real life with a godly heart. Hooray!"Stasi Eldredge, best-selling author of Captivating
Cydney Sanders thought she knew God's plan for her life. She'd marry, have kids, and then snap her body back into shape by doing/b>/i>
"Kim Cash Tate's enjoyable novel is true to both the realities of life and the hope found through faith in Jesus. Romance meets real life with a godly heart. Hooray!"Stasi Eldredge, best-selling author of Captivating
Cydney Sanders thought she knew God's plan for her life. She'd marry, have kids, and then snap her body back into shape by doing Tae Bo. But she's celebrating her fortieth birthday as the maid of honor at her little sister's wedding...and still single. Now her life is suddenly complicated by the best man. He's the opposite of what she wants in a husband...and yet, he keeps defying her expectations. Starting with a lavendar rosesymbolizing enchantmenteach rose he sends her reflects his growing love for her.
Cydney's best friend Dana appears to have the perfect marriageuntil she discovers her husband's affair and her world goes into a tailspin. Then there is Phylliswho is out of hope and out of prayers after asking God for six long years to help her husband find faith. When she runs into an old friend who is the Christian man she longs for, she's faced with an overwhelming choice.
Life-long friends with life-altering struggles. Will they trust God's faithfulness...and find strength to be faithful to Him?
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By Kim Cash Tate
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2010 Kimberly Cash Tate
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Chapter OneCydney Sanders jumped at the ringing of the phone, startled out of slumber. She rolled over, peeked at the bedside clock, and groaned. She had twenty whole minutes before the alarm would sound, and she wanted every minute of that twenty. Only her sister would be calling at five forty in the morning. Every morning she called, earlier and earlier, with a new something that couldn't wait regarding that wedding of hers. Not that Stephanie was partial to mornings. She was apt to call several times during the day and into the evening as well. Everything wedding related was urgent.
Cyd nestled back under the covers, rolling her eyes at the fifth ring. Tonight she would remember to turn that thing off. She was tired of Stephanie worrying her from dawn to dusk.
Her heart skipped suddenly and she bolted upright. The wedding is tomorrow. The day seemed to take forever to get here, and yet it had come all too quickly. She sighed, dread descending at once with a light throbbing of her head. She might have felt stressed no matter what date her sister had chosen for the wedding. That she chose Cyd's fortieth birthday made it infinitely worse.
She sank back down at the thought of it. Forty. She didn't mind the age itself. She'd always thought it would be kind of cool, in fact. At forty, she'd be right in the middle of things, a lot of life behind her, a lot of living yet to do. She'd be at a stride, confident in her path, her purpose. She would have climbed atop decades of prayer and study, ready to walk in some wisdom. Celebrate a little understanding. Stand firmly in faith. Count it all joy.
And she'd look good. She was sure of that. She'd work out during her pregnancies, and while the babies nursed and sucked down her tummy, she would add weights to the cardio routine to shape and tone. As she aged, her metabolism could turn on her if it wanted to; she had something for that too. She would switch up her workout every few weeks, from jogging to mountain bike riding to Tae Bo, all to keep her body guessing, never letting it plateau. Her husband would thank her.
He would also throw her a party. She wasn't much of a party person, but she always knew she'd want a big one on the day she turned forty. It wouldn't have to be a surprise. She'd heard enough stories of husbands unable to keep a party secret anyway. They'd plan it together, and she would kick in the new season in high spirits, surrounded by the people she loved.
Now that she was one day away, she still had no problem with forty. It was the other stuff that had shown up with it-forty, never been married, childless. Now, despite her distinguished career as a classics professor at Washington University in St. Louis, she was questioning her path and her purpose and dreading her new season-and the fact that she was forced to ring it in as maid of honor in her younger sister's wedding ... her much younger sister.
She was still irritated that Stephanie kept the date even after their mother reminded her that October 18 was Cyd's birthday.
"Why does that matter?" Stephanie had said.
The only thing that mattered to Stephanie was Stephanie, and if she wanted something, she was going to make it happen. Like now. She cared not a whit that she was ringing Cyd's phone off the hook before dawn, waking Cyd and the new puppy, who was yelping frantically in her crate in the kitchen.
Cyd gave up, reached over, and snatched up the phone. Before it came fully to her ear, she heard her sister's voice.
"Cyd, I forgot to tell you last night-stop," Stephanie giggled. "You see I'm on the phone."
Cyd switched off her alarm. "Good morning to you too, Steph." She swung her legs out from under the warm bedding and shivered as they hit the air. The days were warm and muggy still, but the nights were increasingly cooler.
From a hook inside the closet, she grabbed her plum terry robe, which at Cyd's five-nine hit her above the knee, and slipped it over her cotton pajama shorts and tank. Her ponytail caught under the robe and she lifted it out, let it flop back down. It was a good ways down her back, thick with ringlets from air drying, a naturally deep reddish brown. Her face had the same richness, a beautiful honey brown, smooth and flawless.
Stephanie was giggling still as she and her fiancé, Lindell, whispered in the background.
I can't believe she woke me up for this. Cyd pushed her feet into her slippers and padded downstairs with a yawn to let out the puppy. "Do you do this when you're talking to Momma?"
Stephanie fumbled with the phone. "Do what?"
"Make it obvious that you and Lindell spent the night together?"
"Cyd, we are grown and will be married tomorrow. Who gives a flip if we spent the night together?"
"Stephanie ..." Cyd closed her eyes at the bottom of the stairs as all manner of responses swirled in her mind. Sometimes she wondered if she and Stephanie had really grown up in the same family with the same two parents who loved God and made His ways abundantly clear. Much of it had sailed right over Stephanie's head. Cyd had attempted to nail it down for her over the years, particularly in the area of relationships, but Stephanie never warmed to any notion of chastity, or even monogamy. In fact, when she'd called to announce her engagement six months ago, Cyd thought the husband-to-be was Warren, the man Stephanie had been bringing lately when she stopped by.
But Cyd had vowed moons ago to stop lecturing her sister and pray instead. She took a deep breath and expelled it loudly enough for Stephanie to know she was moving on, but only with effort.
"So, you forgot to tell me something?" She headed to the kitchen, where Reese was barking with attitude, indignant that Cyd was taking too long to get there.
"Girl, listen to this," Stephanie said. "LaShaun called Momma yesterday, upset 'cause we didn't include a guest on her invitation, talking about she wants to bring Jo-Jo. That's why I didn't put 'and guest' on her invitation. I'm not paying for that loser to come up in there, eat our food, drink, and act a fool. And why is she calling now anyway? Hello? The deadline for RSVPs was last month. Can you believe her?"
"Stephanie, was there a need to call so early to tell me this?" Cyd clicked on the kitchen light.
"Don't you think it's a trip?"
"I know! And you know Momma. She said, 'That's your cousin. Just keep the peace and let her bring him.' I'm tempted to call LaShaun right now and tell her both of them can jump in a lake."
Cyd headed to the crate under the desk portion of the kitchen counter. Tired though she was, Reese's drama tickled her inside. She was whimpering and pawing at the gated opening, and when Cyd unlocked it, the energetic twelve-week-old shot out. A mix of cocker spaniel and who knew what else, with dark chocolate wavy hair and tan patches on the neck, underbelly, and paws, she'd reminded Cyd of a peanut butter cup the moment she nabbed her heart at the shelter.
Reese jumped on Cyd, then rolled over for a tummy rub. Three seconds later she dashed toward the back door. At her age she could barely make it through the night without an accident. If Cyd delayed now, she'd be cleaning up a mess. She attached the leash and led her out.
"Well, what do you think?" Stephanie asked.
"About telling LaShaun to jump in the lake?" Cyd turned on the lights in the backyard and stepped outside with Reese, tightening her robe.
Stephanie sucked her teeth. "I mean about the whole thing."
"Well, Momma and Daddy are paying," Cyd said, since it seemed her sister had forgotten, "so if Momma doesn't mind Jo-Jo coming, why worry about it? You'll be so busy you probably won't see much of them anyway. No point getting your cousin and Aunt Gladys mad over something like this."
"Whatever," Stephanie said. "I should've known you'd say the same thing as Momma. I still might call LaShaun, just to let her know she should've called me directly, not tried to go through Momma."
"All right, go ahead and ponder that. I've got to get ready for class and-"
"I wasn't finished," Stephanie whined. "Did you talk to Dana?"
"I talked to her last night. Why?"
"So she told you about the shoes?"
"Mm-hmm." Cyd moved to different spots in the yard, tugging on the leash to get Reese to stop digging and do her business. A light popped on in the house next door and she saw Ted, a professor in the chemistry department, moving around in his kitchen. Many of her colleagues from Wash U lived in her Clayton neighborhood-six on her block alone.
"I wasn't trying to be difficult," Stephanie said, "but something told me to stop by her house yesterday to see for myself what kind of shoes she bought. You said they were cute, but those things were dreadful."
"Stephanie, they're flower-girl shoes. All flower-girl shoes are cute. Mackenzie tried them on with the dress when I was over there last week, and she looked adorable."
"The dress is adorable-because I picked it out-but those tired Mary Janes with the plain strap across the top have got to go. Is that what they wear at white weddings or something?"
"I don't know. Google it-'official flower-girl shoe at white weddings.'"
"Ha, ha, very funny. I'm just sayin' ..."
Cyd led Reese back into the house, half listening as Stephanie droned on about some snazzier shoes with rhinestones Dana could've gotten and why she shouldn't have trusted Dana to make the choice in the first place.
She'd get over it. Stephanie did a lot of complaining about a lot of people, but there was no doubt-she loved Dana. Dana had been like family ever since she and Cyd met on the volleyball team in junior high, when Stephanie was just a baby. Stephanie had always looked up to her like a second big sister, and when Dana got married and had Mackenzie and Mark, Stephanie actually volunteered to babysit regularly. Those kids adored "Aunt Stephanie," and when it came time to plan her wedding, Stephanie didn't hesitate to include them ... even though a couple of great-aunts questioned her appointing white kids as flower girl and ring bearer.
"... so, long story short, I asked Dana to take 'em back and find some shoes with some pizzazz.'"
"She told me she's not hunting for shoes today. She doesn't have time." Cyd stopped in the office, awakened her computer screen with a shake of the mouse, and started skimming an e-mail from a student.
"She told me that too," Stephanie said. "So I'm hoping you can do it."
"Find some cute shoes."
"I have to work." And even if she didn't, she wouldn't get roped into this one. She'd gone above and beyond for Stephanie already. This week alone, she'd taken care of several items Stephanie was supposed to handle. If her sister wanted to sweat the flower girl's shoes the day before the wedding, she'd have to do it alone.
"But your class is at eight o'clock. You've got the whole day after that."
Cyd donned a tight-lipped smile to beat back her annoyance. "Stephanie, you know that teaching is only part of what I do. I have a paper due for a conference coming up, and I'm already behind."
She unhooked Reese's leash and watched her run around in circles, delighted with her freedom. But when Cyd headed for the stairs, Reese fell quickly in step. No way would she be left behind.
"How can you even focus on work today?" Stephanie sounded perplexed. "Aren't you just too excited about the big event? Girl, you know this is your wedding too."
Cyd paused on a stair. "How is this my wedding too?"
"Since it looks like you won't be getting married yourself"-Stephanie had a shrug in her voice-"you've at least gotten a chance to plan one through me. You know, living vicariously. Hasn't it been fun?"
Cyd held the phone aloft and stared at it. Did Stephanie really think these last few months had been fun? She had involved Cyd in every decision from her dress to her colors to the style, thickness, and font of the invitations to the type of headpiece Mackenzie should wear-all of which could have been fun if Stephanie had really wanted her sister's opinions.
What Stephanie wanted was for Cyd to accompany her about town to every wedding-related appointment, listen with interest as she debated with herself about gowns, floral arrangements, and what to include on the wedding registry, and affirm her ultimate picks. She also wanted Cyd to handle whatever she deemed drudgery. And Cyd didn't mind; as the maid of honor, she thought it her duty to address invitations, order favors, and the like. What bugged her was Stephanie's ingratitude, which wasn't new but had taken on a high-gloss sheen. It was Stephanie's world, and everyone else revolved around it, especially Cyd, since in Stephanie's opinion she didn't have a life anyway.
Now she was telling Cyd-matter-of-factly-that it looked like her sister wouldn't ever be getting married. Cyd wished she could dismiss it as she did Stephanie's other flippant remarks. But how could she, when her own inner voice was shouting the same?
Tears crowded Cyd's eyes, and she was startled, and grateful, when the phone beeped to announce another call. She didn't bother to look at the caller's identity.
"Steph, that's my other line. I've gotta go."
"Who would be calling you this early? Besides me, that is." Stephanie chuckled at herself. "Probably Momma. Tell her I'll call her in a few minutes. By the way, what did you decide to wear to the rehearsal tonight?"
"Steph, really, I've got to go. Talk to you later."
Cyd clicked Off, threw the phone on the bed, and headed to the bathroom. She couldn't bear more wedding talk at the moment, and if it was her mother, that's all she would hear.
She peeled off her clothes, turned on the shower, and stepped under the warm spray of water. Now that she was smack up against it-the wedding, the birthday-everything seemed to rush at her. She wouldn't mind being forty, unmarried, and childless if she'd expected it. But from a young age she'd prayed repeatedly for a husband-and not just a "Christian" but someone on fire for the Lord. And she'd believed deep in her heart that God would answer.
Cyd looked upward, past the dingy housing of the lightbulb, as tears mingled with water, questions with accusation.
I trusted in Your promises, Lord. You said if I delighted myself in You, You would give me the desires of my heart.
The tears flowed harder.
You said if I abide in You and Your words abide in me, I could ask whatever I wish and it would be done. Haven't I delighted myself in You? Haven't I abided in You?
Her eyes moved to the tiny square tiles as she considered her mind-set over the years, always believing, holding out faith, weighing every major decision on a scale that counted marriage a given. Her house was Exhibit A.
To buy made financial sense. A capital investment would benefit her singly and the marriage later. But the details took some sifting. She'd thought about buying in the city and found great list prices, but what about resale? What if the promised revitalization didn't make it to her block? What if she-they-got stuck with two bedrooms and one bath in a declining neighborhood where they feared for the safety of their children and where their children-three, maybe four of them-were sleeping on top of one another because Cyd didn't think to buy bigger?
That was the other thing-how much house to buy? Would she buy comfortable-for-her small or a size that would attract a larger pool of potential buyers? Assuming she would sell when the time came to marry. Her fiancé might like the home, the neighborhood, the driving distance to work. If he worked in the area. What if they met as he passed through town on business? What if he lived in Atlanta, D.C., or Chicago? He probably wouldn't want to relocate.
Only one conclusion satisfied the scale: buy what she could easily sell. So she bought in Clayton, a suburb just west of St. Louis, known for its award-winning public school system and stately old homes. Hers she wouldn't call stately, but definitely old. And starter-home size, just right for the young family who would buy from Cyd one day and walk their firstborn to kindergarten a couple of blocks away. Or the professor who, like her, would enjoy a five-minute commute to Wash U. Through the repair work that was sorely needed, she could see its inherent charm. It was her investment.
Excerpted from faithful by Kim Cash Tate Copyright © 2010 by Kimberly Cash Tate. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Kim Cash Tate isthe author of The Color of Hope, Hope Springs, Cherished, Faithful,Heavenly Places, and the memoir More Christian than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is alsoa Bible teacher and women's ministry leader at The Gate Church in St. Louis.She and her husband have two children. Twitter: @KimCashTate Facebook: kimcashtate
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A story of life-long friends each struggling with life changing moments that tests their faith in God. Cydney thought she knew God's plan for her life but at 40 she realizes the path God has chosen for her may not be what she thought after all. Dana seems to have the perfect life until she discovers her husband is having an affair and her world is rocked out of control. Phyllis has a deep relationship with God which she passes on to her children easily but her husband is a non-believer which makes their life together tumultuous at best. When she runs into an old friend, a very Christian man, she starts to question her life choices. God and their faith play very important parts in each of these women's lives. Is their faith strong enough to help them through their struggles? The author writes quite naturally about not only individual relationships with God, including the issues of premarital sex, lust, betrayal, trust, and faithfulness but she does it without being preachy and doesn't lead us to the "happily ever after" scenario. There are definite Christian messages throughout the entire book but it is truly the story of three women in totally different stages of their lives and how the deal with strife as well as the day to day issues every woman faces daily. The women and men in this book are flawed just as all of us are, there is no perfect life. Challenges are faced , dealt with, moved on, just as we all of do everyday. The difference is that in this book the relationships with God are brought to the forefront, not kept in the background and while the issues tackled are not easy, the author has written them in a way that not only shows God's love but interweaves hope and faith in a way that shows that all relationships including those with God and our family entail a great deal of work. We are never promised that life is going to be easy. If you are looking for a typical Christian romance book, this is not it. This book is much more. As a Christian our faith can be questioned daily and this book uses these three women's lives to show us just a few instances of questions but there is a true underlying message for everyone. God will give us strength but we must put in the time too. The time for prayer, the time of helping others, the time for ourselves. Most importantly our hearts need to be open to receiving His gifts. This is a well written novel that I truly enjoyed but be prepared to not only read about the faith of the characters in this book, it will also make you look at your own faithfulness. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I enjoyed Kim Cash Tate's debut novel not only for the intriguing characters and the sisterhood they enjoyed (who doesn't love a girlfriends novel?) but also for the subtle ways the characters learn that faithfulness is not only between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and life-long friends. Ultimately the One the characters learn to be faithful to is God. Beautifully written, and highly recommended! Cindy Thomson Author of Brigid of Ireland
Faithful, a novel by Kim Cash Tate, takes you through the joys and struggles of three special friends. Cydney, Dana and Phyllis are strong women of God who encourage and walk through life together. As trials and difficulties hit, they each learn deep lessons in faithfulness - to each other, and most importantly, to God. The cover of the book lead me to believe it would be all romance and lovey-dovey relationships, but I was relieved to discover the storylines went much deeper and beyond the typical romance novel. I don't often read fiction, and this was my first time reading a novel by Kim Cash Tate. I was pleasantly surprised as each page drew my attention. The author did a fantastic job of bringing each character to life. As I got to know each one, I felt I could relate to different characteristics in each of them. I loved them and wished I could be the fourth member of their tight-knit friendship!
I love everything she writes!
Very riveting and kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next thing to happen. I laughed, cried, laughed and cried some more. Faithful showed me what I need to do and woke me up to my unfaithfulness. I loved every minute of it and couldn't put it down. This is a definite must read for any woman, Christian or not that is struggling with some things.
This book lets the reader into the lives of three women, who also happen to be friends. What makes this book unique is the reality circumstances each of these individuals go through and how God is needed, relied on and then magnified in each of these situations.
Faithful presents the story of three women who must face diverse trials and stages of growth. It gives a realistic account of what so very often happens to women. "Before the cross" tendencies meet "in the grace" moments for a super-charged drama that will have you turning the page for more. Read this book and you will find a fresh perspective on faith, fellowship, and friendship. Rating: 5/5 Stars
This book has ministered to me in a profound way! I totally recommend it!
I found this book to be very sincere and believable. I sensed the author's heart for marriage and healing in this story. I could tell that she poured her heart into the message that was so skillfully woven into the story. This book, while dealing with Scriptures, church, and other Christian themes, did not feel preachy at all. I dislike preachy stories. This was so natural in flow and theme that I didn't feel like a sermon was being preached. That is a good thing, especially if people of weak faith read this book. It won't turn them off to the message. Having known people in just about every situation written about in this story, I found the conflict to be well done. It showed the dark side of sin and temptation without getting too ugly. So many books where women were cheated on show rage that goes on and on and frankly, that gets old. I want to walk into the pages and tell the characters, "A-hem, you are supposed to love Jesus and believe in grace and forgiveness, remember?" There was such a godly balance in this story that was refreshing. The author didn't shy away from showing the beauty of marital love and true peace in the home. These issues are so important and many authors skim over them, probably out of fear that it won't be well-received. I loved how deep the author delved into the story regarding the marital themes. Sex in marriage is beautiful and if the author had totally shied away from showing this, then the book would have been weak, at best. I also loved how the author showed that honesty is essential in any relationship for it to be solid enough to withstand temptation. Real love doesn't hold back.
The bond between women friends is unique and can withstand many of life's most difficult situations. The book Faithful, by Kim Cash Tate explores the friendship between three women and their faith. The three main characters of this novel experience each have a crisis in their lives. Whether the characters' struggles are infidelity or commitment issues, women lean on each other and their faith to stand tall during their crisis. What I took from this novel is that no person's life is perfect. We don't know what is going on behind closed doors. But, when a life altering event happens, women turn towards their girlfriends for support and guidance. And, for some, their faith helps them pull through the difficulties. No matter how a person handles life's difficulties, it's always easier to have the support of friends to carry you through. Also, one of the characters of this book has a life attitude that is admirable. She takes a stand for her beliefs and lets no one sway her from her life purpose and goals. In today's world, strong woman characters are an important example that women are in control of their lives and goals. No one can stand in the way of a determined, strong woman.
This book focuses on the relationships of four different women, all in different stages in their relationships. It was interesting the way the author focused on God in these relationships, and showed that through Him, anything is possible. I may not agree with everything the author had to say, but I did find the book enjoyable. I think it would make a great book club book.
"Faithful" is a book about 3 friends, Dana, Cydney (Cyd) and Phyllis. The three are strong Christian women who always put God first in their lives. When the book begins, each is at a different point in their relationships. Dana catches her husband in an affair, Phyllis is struggling with a husband who is a non-believer and Cyd is floundering in the dispair of not being in a relationship--on her 40th birthday--at her baby sister's wedding. As the book goes on we see each woman struggle to deal with the new situations before them. Dana has to come to terms with an unfaithful husband. Does she stay, does she kick him out. How does God play in all this, and can she maintain a strong relationship with Him through it all. As a leader in their church, Scott (the husband) makes his infidelity public and the church as a whole ends up learning about sex and it's role in God's Plan. Phyllis attends a college sorority reunion and meets the man of her dreams: handsome, spiritual, loves his family. She struggles greatly between wanting that godly man and wanting to be faithful in her marriage and to God as well. When Syd meets Cedric, the best man at her sister's wedding, she is pulled to him physically, but when she finds out he is a ladies man, and a luke-warm Christian at best, she decides to turn her back on those feelings and focus on finding a man who is as strong in her faith as she is. But Cedric isn't ready to give up on her, or God for that matter. This book has a LOT going on. I think I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if it only focused on one or two of the woman's issues. But there's the three main characters, the cheating husband, Cyd's younger sister...it all adds up to a lot to keep up with. Once I would get into one storyline, I would jump to another, then another and another. It was a nice little read, with some great spiritual tidbits to think about. But I just couldn't get into it that much with all that was going on. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."