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GIVEAWAY: Live Full, Walk Free


Gwen Smith

February 10, 2017

Blog, Christian Living, Giveaways

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Hi friend!

Happy Friday! As you’ve probably figured out by now: I’ve got a GIVEAWAY and FRIEND FEATURE for you today! #yay

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my sweet friend: author and Bible teacher CINDY BULTEMA. At first glance, you might see Cindy as a bouncy, suburban, church-going, soccer-mom type. {She might even drive a swagger wagon. Not sure.} When you get to know her deeper, however, you begin to see layer after layer of redemption. You see healing. You see honesty. You see hope. You see Jesus. She’s that kind of beautiful.

Now, open your heart as Cindy shares an excerpt from her new book and Bible Study: LIVE FULL, WALK FREE, Set Apart in a Sinful World.


High school was not kind to me.

Although there are a few fun memories – cheering for the freshmen basketball team, attending a zany psychology class, passing drivers training – I’m glad I never have to return to those four agonizing years again. Ever.

Mostly my adolescent days were filled with intense loneliness, rejection, and a bottomless longing for acceptance and love.

I’ll never forget the day I thought I finally was on my way to high school recognition. A fellow classmate shared she saw something written about me in the girls’ bathroom. Really? Me?!

I ran to the south side of the building as quickly as my clog-wearing feet would take me. I couldn’t wait to examine what someone had taken the time to reveal publicly about me!

I pulled open the heavy wooden door and scanned the chipped bathroom stall’s exterior. Then I spotted the six words that would shape my life for the next two decades…

“Cindy is a fat red cow.”

And on that dreadful day those six words attached to me like a sticky, descriptive name tag.

As the years went on, I may have appeared happy and self-confident. But beneath the cheery smile and bubbly personality, remained an injured and insecure young woman meticulously attempting to cover up the pain, and striving to protect herself from ever being hurt or teased…again.

I wonder if you can relate, sweet friend? What labels have attached to you over the years?

  • Not good enough.
  • Stupid.
  • Ugly.
  • Fat.
  • Not wanted.

Thankfully my story has a joyful ending. In 1996, in the midst of a drug and alcohol addiction, I was introduced to Jesus, and surrendered my life to Him. As I began to study the Bible, I quickly discovered God says I am….

  • Accepted (Romans 15:7).
  • Beautiful (Ephesians 1:3).
  • Chosen (1 Peter 2:9).
  • Dearly Loved (1 John 3:1).
  • Enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  • Forgiven (1 John 1:9).

My dear sister, you are too!

In Christ, we have been given new, Truth-filled, life-giving labels to wear. We all have.

Regardless of where we have been. Regardless of what we have done.

And in Christ, not only are the old labels erased, they have been replaced with power-filled words of Truth. Only God can do that!

What label are you wearing today? Did you put on “loved,” “significant,” “courageous” – or are your old labels trying to impact your new days?

May we say “no more” to not-nice nametags, lying labels, and sassy self-talk. Instead, may God infuse us with a fresh faith to “put on” Truth each day. His Words are always a perfect fit!


Congratulations to Giveaway Winners: Kathy Smith and Alexis Buhr!

Cindy would like to send a copy of her new Bible Study, LIVE FULL, WALK FREE: a Journey Through First Corinthians to TWO of my readers!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:


#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Sunday, February 12th, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US and Canada readers only.}



Be reminded of God’s power-filled words of truth with these free A-Z Scripture Cards available for download at http://www.cindybultema.com/live-full-walk-free/.



With nearly 20 years of ministry experience, Cindy is a popular women’s speaker, author, and Bible teacher. But don’t let her cheerful smile fool you—Cindy has endured single parenting, overcome bondage to addiction, and survived tragic loss.

Cindy’s latest Bible study, Live Full Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin-Soaked World http://www.cindybultema.com/live-full-walk-free/ was released in December 2016. Cindy lives in Michigan with her husband and their four kids. Most days you can find Cindy walking her beagle Rocky, attending one of her boys’ hockey games, or serving hot lunch at her kids’ school. Visit Cindy at www.cindybultema.com.


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About Gwen Smith

Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.


98 responses to “GIVEAWAY: Live Full, Walk Free”

  1. Carmen Gonzalez says:

    Thank you

  2. Alexis A. Buhr says:

    I am so truly excited to have won the giveaway! Everything happens for a reason and I am hopeful that my eyes and heart receive the blessings and message that the Lord has intended for me.

    Thank you to Gwen and Cindy!!


    Alexis A. Buhr

  3. Elba says:

    Thank you for the chance to enter this giveaway! Would love to win a copy.

  4. Lisa says:

    Sounds a lot like my high school years. Would love to win this book!

  5. Carlynn says:

    What a wonderful giveaway!!

  6. Patti P. says:

    What a wonderful giveaway. I have heard a lot about this book and I would love to win a copy.

  7. Darlene Dunlap says:

    Thank you for the post. I, too, feel that I am not good enough. I struggle with who I am. But reminders like this puts my head a little straighter.

  8. Debra says:

    Sounds like my prior life, Thank God for his love and care.

  9. Audrey Hartsell says:

    Hi Cindy, Yes I can relate to everything you went through in high school as I was tall, too thin and surely didn’t have any friends except friends who used me as my mother pointed out to me each and every day. I felt very un loved even though I had a lot no love.

    Since I met the Holy Trinity my life turned around for I know I can do anything through Jesus Christ who loves me and gives me strength, grace and energy to do what needs to be done. Jesus has been there for me all of those very lonely years of grade school, high school and college and marriage which has so many trials and tribulations. I thank you for this latest book which you wrote and I know will bring everyone else to God closer

    Thank you for the ability to be able to read this free of charge if I am one of the lucky one who gets a free copy. Amen to the Holy Trinity.

  10. Kahealani says:

    This was a great devotion. We have all felt this way and I want to say thank you for encouraging us to take the labels that God has given us rather than the labels that others give us. Why is it that we believe others before we believe God. The God who knows all, sees all and has created all. Sometimes I am dumb founded by what I hang on to. So mahalo nui loa! (thank you very much)

  11. Nancy Keith says:

    Thank you for sharing. Like you, I would not want to repeat HS. Would really enjoy the Bible study

  12. Jenny McGee says:

    Thank you for a chance to win this book and Bible Study.

  13. Nelly says:

    Thank you for the devotion. I can very much relate to the labels and still struggle even today with a lack of self esteem. Thank you for the the words and Bible verses about who God’s says we are. I will have to write them down So reminders of who I really am especially when things pull me down. Thank you for the chance to possibly win your book. I really would love to read it.

  14. Natasha Otero says:

    Cindy, as I began to read the excerpt from your book, I knew I could relate. Being labeled started young for me too. Thank you for being real. I can’t wait to read your Bible study! God will bring me to it because He made me aware of it. God bless.

    • Dear Natasha, I’m so thankful that God has new labels for both of us, sweet sister! Praying for you tonight, asking God to remind you afresh what He says about you. You are dearly loved!

    • Dear Natasha, I’m super thankful God has new labels for us! I’m praying for you tonight, asking God to remind you afresh the Truth of who He says that you are, sweet sister! You are the apple of His eye and dearly loved by Him. And that is the capital T TRUTH!

  15. Linda Neely says:

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this. What a generous give-away.

  16. Juanita says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to reading your book. 🙂

  17. Wilma says:

    I know those label a all to well…God is good thank you for sharing your words.

  18. Judy Whiteco says:

    Thank you, it’s hard when you feel that you aren’t good enough or in the click. Sometimes even in Christian churches that happens, I even had a Christian woman say about me not having college degree, what? Why do Christians hurt others? Thankful God loves me as I am.

  19. Julie says:

    Thank you for offering this amazing opportunity to us and God Bless you for being so beautiful. I can so relate, I’ve been called stupid by my father when I was younger because I did not know how to read and spell. It is heart breaking to know that my father would have evil in his heart to crush me like I’m nothing and never felling loved. I would love to know Gods Love for me the way I should be loved. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.

  20. Cheryl Romberger says:

    I just found this site and look forward to the Bible study. This book looks like another one to read just before you close your eyes.

  21. Lori Hitz says:

    My high school years were terrible as well. Being picked on because I was shy and had red hair. But I’m not any of those things in Christ. I would love to read this book.

  22. Heidi says:

    This sounds like a great devotional! We have been doing a few different studies in our Sunday School on what it means to be a godly woman, and this sounds like it would be a good continuation of that study!


    Sounds great! Would love to WIN and READ!

  24. Ellen Nolan says:

    Would love to win this for my daughter. She’s 13. High school was rough for me. I love your devotionals. Read them daily. If I don’t win , I’m getting this book for her anyway. Blessings to you all! Thank you!

  25. High school can be the worst time for many girls. I also hated my high school years. It may take years of pealing off all those labels, as I well know. Through reading the Bible and walking with Jesus they have come off one by one.

  26. Susan Erickson says:

    What an encouraging story, Jesus does meet our needs where we are!

  27. Noelle says:

    Thanks you for giving us this opportunity to win. love the article. Shared on fb

  28. Risemary Schneider says:

    I would live to win this book both to read myself and to possibly pass on to others.

  29. Lori Adams says:

    Thank you. You share what so many of us experienced and how we continue to be affected.

  30. Seeing the author’s picture, I find it VERY difficult to believe she was ever labeled “…fat, red cow” much less believed that lie. And here’s what I have to say, even if she had been FAT, rather RED &/or COWISH — big deal!!!! I am not trying to sound callous. Rather I am trying to appeal to maturity.

    Show me a female, western adolescent who has not grappled with such labels; & that’s a rarity! Appearances & peer approval are infantile. Yes, we may be stung by such comments, but that’s the cause of great despair? Come on! Grow up!!! First century Christians were being raped, tortured & killed for their beliefs. That is cause for despair!!!

    I think it may be time to growing up the girlfriends into a less narcissistic point of view.

  31. Tiffany Baker says:

    I think almost everyone must have faced something like this in school. (I was the shy nerd. 😉 )
    I think it sounds like Cindy’s book gives us a helpful look through 1st Cor at our real identity!
    Thanks for sharing it & the giveaway.

  32. dana sweatt says:

    putting on love today. Thank God for you guyz.

  33. Andrea says:

    This is on my list of books I’d like to read. Would LOVE to win!

  34. Kellie Metzker says:

    Everyone needs to know this:
    Accepted (Romans 15:7).
    Beautiful (Ephesians 1:3).
    Chosen (1 Peter 2:9).
    Dearly Loved (1 John 3:1).
    Enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).
    Forgiven (1 John 1:9).

  35. Cathy Craig says:

    It is hard to let go of the negative labels. Your words are encouraging. Thank you, Cathy

  36. Theresa Rypstra says:

    I would love to win a copy of Cindy’s study. I have a few friends I would love to go through this together with.

  37. Janice says:

    Thank you, your words of encouragement are awesome, I frequently share them with my sister, I was called talk and lanky (taller than the boys in my class in grade school). Would love to win the book!

  38. Steven says:

    Your daily devotions are daily blessings in my life!

  39. Julie says:

    I can still remember that deep hurt from being overweight in school and all my life,
    still am, I have had that to battle all my life. Never had enough confidence about anything I ever did in my life. People can be so cruel. You carry that hurt in the
    your heart all your life. People look down on you in this world if you aren’t the
    perfect figure, smart person, everything has to be picture perfect.

  40. I had a massive stroke and can’t find my self confidence.

  41. Julie says:

    This devotional was just what I needed – this has been a tough week for me. Thank you for reminding me to focus on all that I have as a daughter of God.

  42. Theresa Janack says:

    I can remember back to my younger years where I felt almost if not all of those feelings as well. I had a sister who was one grade ahead of me & she was BEAUTIFUL! Oh the joy of older sisters poking fun at the younger one. It is now with joy & sadness that I remember these times for to have them again with my sister knowing that I too am BEAUTIFUL, Smart, loving, kind, funny & so many other things would be pure joy!

    Blessings to you & thanks for all the wonderful words you pass on from the Lord!

  43. Helena Fulmer says:

    This looks like a book I need to read! I’ve had a low self esteem since I was a teen and even though I’m 56 I still am shy and afraid to step out of the boat for fear I’ll fail and face ridicule.

  44. Thank you for these daily devotions! They are uplifting and encouraging AND a great reminder of the love of God for us, each and everyone!

  45. Teresa says:

    Thank you so much for this devotion. I have struggled with low self-esteem for years.I was made fun of in high school. But with God I can do all things whom strengthens me.

  46. Lori says:

    Thank you for sharing your insights with us! And for the opportunity to explore another great book!

  47. CaroL Engle says:

    My son is a drug addict who turned his life around too,I would love to have your book for the both of us to read together. His little boy at age 7 is called fat at school,breaks my heart how cruel others can be. My son is thirsty for inspirational books and would be delighted to soak in your words.

  48. Marcia C Neal says:

    This study is exactly what I’ve been looking for-I just didn’t know it! I too would not relive those high school years for anything! I would love to immerse myself in this study. Thanks for the opportunity! God bless!

  49. Candy Waggener says:

    Great devotion, I would love to win a copy of this book thank you

  50. Christina Arthur says:

    It is very sad to be bullied at school. It does leave a mark on our souls. I went to counseling to figure out why I had such low self esteem. Through several pastors and a counselor, they helped me realize Jesus loves me just as I am. I became a Christian at a very young age. He was my rock, my salvation, my redeemer. Without His love, we would all be full of nothingness. Praise God, praise God.

  51. Jan Andrade says:

    Hi my name is Jan and I can totally relate to your high school experience as well as elementary and jr high years. I grew up in a Christian home and excepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at age eight and was so loved at home and desired the same thing at school, however, that was not the case so I tried to fit in with them by doing the opposite of what Jesus wanted for me ditching classes to ditching school all together, to getting pregnant at age 14 and running away 4 states from home and more….to much to get into. But all along Jesus never left my side and always told me I was worth MORE. Our God is such a loving and forgiving God and I totally know and believe how much I am loved by Him and how important, forgiven, beautiful, and accepted I am in Him. Thank you Jesus for all you have done for me and how you are using each thing I have done for your glory. Amen

  52. Elizabeth Lowery says:

    Good morning, I meet you last year at the women of worth in whitville nc, and I must say I had an awesome time. I fight depression and anxiety everyday of my life. My faith in Jesus gets me through day by day. I will be returning to the conference this year, as a matter of fact, it starts tonight. You ladies had some powerful testimonies. It was a blessing to meet you all. I still read your e-mails and other things you send. I would love to have the chance to read this. Thank you for your time and being obedient to the Lord. Have a blessed day.

  53. susie link says:

    Thank you for a great devotion. I would love win a copy of this book.

  54. suzie fisher says:

    HIgh School was rough for me as well. And now I live in a retirement community, that is very much like the high school scene, of who’s popular and who is not.

  55. So important, Mama’s and Papas teach your children to be kind to others. Teach them God’s love for them!

  56. This is so exciting and looks great! Thank you for your giveaways!

  57. Roylan Sullivan says:

    Love your devotionals, Gwen! And your Friend and Freebie Friday’s! 🙂

  58. Lisa Harness says:

    Cindy, thank you. God says I am His. Your study looks great! Thanks for entering me.

  59. Shana Hall says:

    I would love a bible study to help me better understand 1 Corinthians! Thank you so much Cindy for sharing your story with those of us who have experienced unkind labels. And thank you for reminding me that I am enough 🙂

  60. Kris says:

    Thank you for this awesome devotion. sounds like this is a read I need!

  61. joy says:

    what a great devotion. it brought tears to my eyes. would love to share this with our women’s group. we all have days that we feel we are not beautiful, or enough thank you

  62. Would love to share this in a start-up study for a women’s group at my church!

  63. Julie B says:

    Thank you for the devotion and the chance to win Cindy’s Book. Shared on Facebook and tweeted the giveaway.

  64. Michelle says:

    I would LOVE to win this book!! I’ve listened to Cindy on Facebook and love her down to earth style. I actually have this book already but I have a friend that I’d love to give this one to if I won. We could read and study it then meet for coffee and discuss it. To me that would be amazing!! ❤

  65. Sandy Montgomery says:

    great devotion….would love to win a copy of the book

  66. Kristi says:

    Such an inspiration- hope to have a copy of this book soon!

  67. Elaine Tomasello says:

    Thank you for reminding me that God made me & He made me perfectly.

    God bless you always!

  68. Kellie Kindberg says:

    Great devotion.. My thirteen year old daughter needs this in her life.

  69. Diane says:

    I absolutely love this! I can so relate. Even though it’s been many years since I was in high school, it brought back memories of my high school days. This sounds like such an encouraging book. Hope I win!

  70. Lin says:

    I appreciate the verses! Can’t wait to read more –

  71. Angie Wright says:

    I work in a not so Christian environment. I try to be the light that they see . Positive encourage.

  72. Mary says:

    So many of us can relate to your pain in the high school years. Mine was from a church “friend ” in my early twenties. Her and I have moved on and she, I am sure,
    doesn’t even know how her comment in front of so many hurt me. I have forgiven. However I remember it clearly even today.

  73. this would be of great benefit to me. it can help me to recover from some of my brokeness.

  74. Tammy Dyer says:

    Cindy…thank you! Like you I was big and not popular tho I so wanted to be. By junior high I weighed in at 180-190 pounds. By high school in the 200’s. I laughed away the hurt. They gave me the nickname TANK!! So instead of showing upset at that I ran with it, laughed with them and never showed how much it hurt. I never had a boy or a man after school show interest in me. So I wore things I shouldn’t, did things I shouldn’t like drink to be more interesting, drugs to dull the hurt and slept with strange men to feel loved/wanted. I had 3 miscarriages and was a single Mom by 26. I went through a bad marriage at 33 that ended 10 years later….and that’s when I took an overdose. My mom found me and that was when I realized what I did to her…my son…myself. I was better than that…. It took a while after that but God picked me up, told me I was loved and chosen. And now I still struggle with how I look, I’m still big, but I like me more and the Lord’s not finished with me yet!

  75. Jean Storey says:

    Enjoyed the devotion. It would be great to win a copy of this book to read and to share.

  76. Marlayne Staley says:

    Teenage years are the hardest. Thanks for sharing. I would love this book.

  77. Tamara says:

    This book sounds like a wonderful tool, filled with God’s love and the Word to remind me of who I am and whose I am… I am loved…. I am cherished…. I am redeemed. I would love this! God bless you `

  78. Emily Reyes says:

    Wow, this book seems to be along the lines of what I’m needing….the Truth of God & how He sees me….versus how I see myself after 21 yrs of verbal & emotional abuse by dad & then stepdad along with emotional abandonment by my mom…I then married my hero, my knight in shining armor who ended up never abusing me (PTL) but emotional damage was done for about 18 as our marriage has ridden the rollercoaster of his addictions (drugs & alcohol). He’s got 9yrs drug free & 1 year sober!

    I’m working on healing & growing but mainly SURRENDER, trust, self-worth!

  79. Sharon C.+ says:

    I thought my high school days were awful but I can see I wasn’t the only one that had the same kind of hurts and pain. I’d love to win your book and see how you are dealing or have dealt with it. I see girls of all ages being picked on and it brings back all those memories. Thank you for your blog today. I guess I still live with the pain. I not only had to deal with it from other kids but then I would have to go home to an abusive household. It’s so hard to forgive when they won’t acknowledge what happened so my sisters and I can have closure.

  80. Debra Batchelor says:

    Thank You for sharing your experience with us. I also went thru this in school,I was taller and bigger than everyone in my class. They called me Grape Ape. Thank God I found him and he has done a lot of healing in my life. Hopefully I will be reading your book soon. God Bless You.

  81. Brenda Williams says:

    Really needed to read this today. We all have struggled with our teenage years. This is healing to me. I appreciate the offer for the Bible Study. I would use it for my Sisters Sunday school class. Thank you.

  82. Karon Yohn says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book, your devotional was an encouragement to me. GOD Bless.

  83. Tracy Thomas says:

    I’m longing to improve my relationship with Christ and feel this book would be such a blessing!

  84. Alexis Buhr says:

    I truly am grateful for your willingness to open your heart and share a similar story to mine. I pray that someday I may be able to help a soul in need. Spiritual healing outranks all!

  85. JOAN L HORICK says:

    Sounds great, I can relate!

  86. Jolinda says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. It truly has helped

  87. Susan's knox says:

    As a teacher, my heart so aches when I see students be so cruel. It’s not something I take lightly or let slide. Fortunately, I teach at a Christian school, so I can remind them whose they are and the other person is 🙂

  88. Cathy says:

    I’m so thankful that God loves me. Thanks for sharing

  89. judy.bateman@sbcglobal.com says:

    Thanks for sharing. I can relate to what you shared. I had eczema when I was a child and had to face many insulting comments. I took to the books and made good grades as coping skills but was still bullied. When I went to high school, I went to a different school and saw few of the same people and things got better. College was great because there was only one person there that I knew. I’m proud that peer pressure sent me to the books rather than other things that could have shortened my life.

  90. My high school years were horrid. I retreated to the library and had one, sometimes two acquaintances. I would love this book

  91. Lori says:

    Thanks for sharing today. I always enjoy the viewpoints and thoughts shared by Godly girlfriends.

  92. Esther says:

    I love your books and devotions. I would love to have
    another devotion to read.

  93. Lynda says:

    Thank you for the great devotion. I would love to win a copy of this book.

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