the glamour fast

posted by codi bennett , Jan 24, 2012

To truly begin at the beginning we must all locate the branch and carefully follow it back to the network in which it stems from.  As I follow this branch I start with a tree of inhibition in sight and trace it down to the broad trunk of insecurity.  As my eyes visualize beneath the soil I am astounded by the extensive root system.  This is the beginning.  I take a closer look at what is feeding these roots - and in turn this entire tree, and I’m enlightened with discouragement as I realize how much I have allowed the nourishment of this vicious vulnerability of insecurity.
With the welcoming of 2012 I was letting the Lord know this was going to be a year of me regaining territory in my confidence.  I was mentally cataloging all the ways I was going to walk in confidence and boldness.  Assertive phone calls, facing confrontation, gutsy conversations, poised communication... the list goes on.  I was bound and determined to assert myself in self-assurance to prove to you, to myself, and to God that I was an A-type personality and I had wrapped insecurity up, tied the bow tight and mailed that package to an unknown address - never to be discovered or returned to sender.
Gently as ever, I realized the Lord was cautioning me of my overzealous initiative and prompting me to rely on Him to navigate my way back to my confidence - rather than strong arm my path.  I couldn’t believe how much I had missed it.  How wrong the process would have been had I chosen to just coerce my way to confidence rather than allow the Lord to direct me and make a genuine heart change that reflected the certainty of who I was in Him.
I was filled with anticipation for 2012 and the thought of walking in a new security in who I was as daughter of the King - not just on my own ability.
For those of you that are in ARC Churches [or even if you aren’t] many of us launch each new year with a rhythm of prayer and fasting.  Although I always seek the Lord on what I need to give up each year I will say there are some years I have fasted simply because it’s beneficial habit and I’m on board with what we are doing as a church.  There are other years, such as this year that I feel uniquely compelled to examine my life and the upcoming year and prompt the Lord to assign me a fast that is specifically paralleled to the qualities He wants to mature in me.
As women it’s common for us to find our confidence [or lack thereof] in our appearance.  If we are feeling insecure or unsure I find it prevalent that i [or maybe it is just me] tend to make up [no pun intended] the difference in our appearance so we can be assured we have at least one thing ‘going for us’.  I am definitely subject to this weakness and over the years have dealt with the gamut of associated struggles and tendencies of an insecure woman, more concerned with her outward appearance than inward.  Thankfully the Lord is quick to call me back.  I am in a season of being called back... and the vehicle he’s using is our annual fast.
I’m labeling my fast a ‘glamour fast’ - I have cast aside all makeup, all makeup related tools, I have sworn off my CHI, I have abandoned my Conair blow dryer and curling iron and vowed to au-natural for these 3 weeks of the Awakening 2012 fast.  At first I was afraid and dug my heals in - not wanting familiarize anyone with the ‘less-beautiful’ me.  Now, after a week - I am absolutely L O V I N G  it!  Not only am I able to get ready in a flash, but I’m able to fuse myself with my true identity as I am - without the added “outward adornment” [1 Peter 3.3].
For more information on Fasting visit

In addition - I’d really love to hear what YOU’RE fasting and what you’re learning… I love learning from your experiences!
Hopefully I’ll retain access to my blog and be able to let you in on what the Lord taught me through Proverbs 9 soon...


posted by codi bennett

i seriously just hacked into my own blog!

i’ve been locked out for months now with no resolve… and some how [inadvertently] i hacked in to get access… i guess it’s not legitemately ‘hacking’ - since it is MY blog an all… but yet, i still feel accomplished.  if any of you tech geniuses feel so inclined to aid me in my multiple google account issues so as i can continue blogging, i would be much obliged.


[ca] update from director James Bennett...

posted by codi bennett , Dec 13, 2011

Hello Faithful Friends & Family!

I hope this letter finds you enjoying this holiday season and anticipating all God has in store for you in 2012!

You all have been so faithful to support and encourage [ca]dre as well as myself and my family.  I know that some of you have started hearing about the shift that is coming here in Arkansas, so I wanted to keep you up to date on a couple changes in Codi and my world.

Over the past few months, Codi and I have had the opportunity to get involved at one of New Life Church’s extension campus in Cabot.  The more we have spent time there, the more God has stirred our heart that the people there need a shepherd.  They need someone who will be there for them; someone to teach them Truth.  Codi and I believe God has chosen us for thsi endeavor!  As of this weekend, we have officially been announced as NLC Cabot’s new campus pastors.  It is quite an exciting time.  We do not yet know what to expect completely, but we do know God is faithful to those who are obedient.  We have taken this first step, so we trust God to continue leading us through the process.

So what does this look like in regards to the world of Cadre Acadmey?  Great question!

My new pastoring role will come alongside my role in [ca]dre.  Aaron Kruse and Katie Watts will continue overseeing the day in and day out schedule of the program.  I will still act as Director and meet with staff and leadership on a consistent basis.  Chapels, big events and workouts will be where I continue to get face time with all the students.  My heart is to see this vision flourish, and I will do all I can to make sure this happens.

For next year… We are hoping to have [ca]dre campus directors at all three campuses: Conway, Little Rock and Cabot!  As God continues to grow this vision, we know students will need more direct, focussed leading.  Having specific directors over each campus will aloow more students to be discipled by staff on a regular basis.

I thank you for your continued prayers as my family and the students make these transitions.  It is such an exciting time, and I am thankful for such a great support system!

Making the Most,
James Bennett


off the map 1.3

posted by codi bennett , Nov 7, 2011

cadre academy: brought to you by risk
In September we welcomed a new class of Cadre Students; the team immediately hit the ground running with classes, ministries, events and diving into relationships.  Every year I’m amazed how quickly the students step into their new roles and each class takes on a new identity of their own.  Each year at Orientation I look across the sea of faces as the students circle their necks with the new Cadre lanyard - remembering, I too once donned that lanyard in anticipation and expectancy.  It’s a great risk stepping away from your parents umbrella and going beyond the expected norm of community college or a state school and opening yourself up to new possibilities and new people.  Shaking hands with the unknown can be quite intimidating.
I smile as I remember my own memories knowing these students are embarking on an unforgettable journey of adventure and laughter, transformation and tears, companionship and challenge, struggle and victory.  I’m immensely proud of these students for taking the leap and trusting God with this phase of their life.  They will undoubtedly never forget these moments, friendships, and landmark experiences with the Lord.
Several years ago, while traveling in Thailand, I was told a story by a local pastor.  It begins hundreds of years ago with a struggle between two nations.  Burma and Thailand, if I remember correctly.  The two countries were in a dispute over a certain mass of land.  The King of Thailand suggested they hold a competition to settle the conflict; whichever country returned victorious from the competition would secure the land.  At that point in History Burma was especially well known for it’s pearl divers and confidently knowing such, the King of Burma advised they hold a competition for whoever could stay under the ocean waters the longest.
The Thai King accepted.
The King of Burma searched his country for the most esteemed pearl diver who was sure to hold his breath the longest and fortify Burma’s probability to take the land and increase the size of their nation and likely gain more power.
Upon the day of the ‘match’ each country showed up with a great multitude of supporters in hopes to see which country would take home victory.  The Burma King proudly announced their acclaimed diver and championed him as the best.  The Thai supporters were curious who their King had chosen to represent their nation, knowing full-well that the Burmese diver had the odds stacked in his favor.  As eyes turned to the King of Thailand to present his diver he turned behind himself and pointed to an unnamed and previously undetermined bystander and casually said, “You'll do”.  Both nations gasped with astonishment and the Thai King held confidently his gaze, convinced of his election.
The divers were led to the shores and the countdown began.  Upon the gunfire, the two men; one confident and determined, the other confused but willing, dove into the deep blue waters.  The crowd gathered as the timer began to tick.  With each passing minute the eyes drew closer on the waters wondering which diver would crest the blue canvas first, handing triumph to the other country.
One minute.
Two minutes.
Three minutes.
No movement on the water.
Four minutes.
Five minutes.
The men were still under.
Six minutes.
Seven minutes.
Eight minutes.
The onlookers could not believe a human could hold one’s breath so long.
Nine minutes.
The crowd grew impressed with the rookie Thai man who had no diving experience.
Ten minutes.
The waters were yet still.
Eleven minutes.
A man appeared.  He struggled to swim ashore.  Men raced out to drag him to the beach, curious to see which diver it was.
The man stood to his feet and was distinctly identified as the Burmese diver, previously favored to win.  Both nations were in shock.  The untrained Thai had outlasted the esteemed Burmese.
The eyes of all witnesses turned back towards the blue waves - waiting in expectation for the Thai man to break the water’s surface.
Twelve Minutes.
Thirteen Minutes.
Fourteen Minutes.
Fifteen Minutes.
The crowd began to murmur.
Twenty Minutes.
Thirty Minutes.
One Hour.
An audience of both nations continued to count the hours throughout the night.  Upon the 24-hour milestone the victory was handed to the nation of Thailand and the Kingdom rejoiced.  
The Thai man never surfaced.
The Thai King and his loyal subject understood the value of risk and sacrifice.  Sometimes we have to be willing to jump into unknown waters without expertise on our side, knowing the risk is worth the gain.  That day Thailand gained great territory because of the willingness of one man to honor His King - even when He didn’t understand.  I discovered a quote which I thought aptly fit this account of history:
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” -Andre Gide
I know there are several areas in my life where the Lord has challenged me likewise.  I’m quite fond of control and being able to calculate the outcome of my choices brings me comfort.  However, I have learned the less willing I am to take risks and make sacrifice the more I tie the Lord’s hand to show up in my favor.
Where do you stand?  Do you embrace risk and the unknown or hold close to control, as I tend to?  Has an unresolved fear or the unpredictability of life imprisoned you with a ‘formula’ for life?  May the Thai King and these Cadre students embolden you to risk big.
May I gently remind us all, without great risk there is seldom great gain.


off the map 1.2

posted by codi bennett , Nov 5, 2011

baby #4: brought to you by marriage
proud mama with ultrasound pic
As stated earlier - in August we discovered we were pregnant.  Of course we are incredibly thankful to God for His will and new creation in my body.  To be honest - in that moment of discovery - my attitude did not reflect thankfulness.  I was somewhat panic-stricken at the thought of having 4 children in 5 years - That’s 4 children, age 5 and under.  I mean - how is that even possible!?  I must admit I had a season of distress while I couldn’t understand why the Lord would choose to hand us this situation at a time that seemed so inappropriate.

Secretly and selfishly I was unsettled and arrogantly suggested to the Lord the timing was off.  I didn’t feel ready to be a mother of 4.  Financially, it seemed like the worst possible time to take on the expense of another life.  I thought James would be particularly upset to receive the news, and most of all - my altruistic [insert sarcasm] self just didn’t want to be pregnant again...right now anyway.
In spite of my uncertainty, I told Mr. Bennett the momentous news and immediately broke down into tears...actually, I believe the tears preceded my words.  In my expectation of James to be wolverine-ish in response; he was astonishingly calm and comforting.  He reassured me it was God’s timing and His provision would cover us.  He affirmed the Lord’s sovereignty in this situation and our family.  He’s just solid like that.  I, conversely, continued to sob - knowing he was right but honestly still facing the reality of it.  
I’ve now joyfully accepted and embraced my 4th pregnancy and anticipate the arrival of baby #4.  I’m due April 22 so at this point I’m roughly 16 weeks and have definitely ‘popped.'  For some reason I show quickly and it tends to be rather obvious that I’m pregnant.  Maybe I’ll try to include some progress photos of my ‘bump’.  Maybe.

off the map 1.1

posted by codi bennett , Nov 2, 2011

marriage: brought to you by the Holy Spirit

On August 24 2011 Mr.Bennett and I celebrated 9 years of marriage.  hooray!  Of course I’m thankful for my husband - I can definitely attribute 9 successful and God-honoring years of wedded brilliance to him.  However - much more so I know it has nothing to do with him - or I, but the decision to surrender our relationship to the Holy Spirit.  I seriously cannot fathom how marriages survive without Him.  I know ours wouldn’t.  Granted I accept that not every individual has the personalities that coincide with that of James and I, nonetheless, there’s no doubt our marriage would collapse on our skillfullness alone. 
This last week we were gifted with a new book on the Holy Spirit and I’m charged up to dive into it - I’m sure it will be a great look into who the Holy Spirit is and how effective and integral He must be in order for us to live life to the full as stated in John 10:10.  I encourage you to dive into the Word and learn more about the Holy Spirit.  Pick up Robert Morris’ book and educate yourself on who He is.  And most importantly, seek Him.  The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and as such, will not be controlling or forceful.  He patiently waits on us to make the first move.  Respond in a way that demonstrates James 4:8. “Come near to God and He will come near to you.
L->R: YoungBennett, KenJorgenson, ChristopherBeard, TedGates, BenGates, AndrewSchmidt, JamesBennett,CodiBennett, RandiGleason, ShelleyStephenson, MhariTurner, CristeeTesta,PaigeEgan, LauraDavis. front: JedPolk, SamanthaStephenson, DesireeStephenson

Off the Map - 1.0

posted by codi bennett , Oct 29, 2011

For a while I’ve been ‘off the map’ so to speak and with good reason.  As children, we were well taught; ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.’  Hence - my stillness.  There’s a certain occurrence in a woman’s life that in my experience has the tendency to steal one’s personality and that occurrence just happened to befall this woman late this summer.
Pregnancy. [insert dramatic music]
On August 28 I discovered I was pregnant with baby number four and was able to give explanation to why I had been feeling so disconnected with myself, inexplicably nauseous and had yes, misplaced my personality.
I have good news; pregnancy doesn’t always shoplift ones disposition indefinitely - in my exposure to this creature of fallen nature it’s typically most disruptive of just the first few months - well known as the first trimester.  I have officially broken the tape of the first trimester and graduated to phase two so am confidently regaining the reigns to my presence and temperament.  And all the people said, “Amen”.
In light of my sabbatical from mass communication, updates, twitters, facebooks, blogs, extended phone conversations and held tongue (in effort to remain kind and creditable) I would like to commence an official update to apprise you of the recent happenings amongst the Bennett Tribe.  I’ve learned through my brief and inexperienced path of blogging and writing that I have a tendency to be somewhat lengthy in my discourse so I have aptly chosen to distribute this update in a series.
Stay tuned.


hello thirty

posted by codi bennett , Jun 21, 2011

june 21 1981 - i was born at st peter’s hospital in helena, mt to chuck + tammi gates.  i am the oldest of their 3 children, and the only girl.  i don’t have my baby book in front of me to look back on, but i recollect from thumbing through it i began walking around 10months and, according to my mother, i am in appearance exactly like my firstborn [londyn aleise] and in personality much like our second born [corban jamison].  i have a love for life and can really only call to mind sparse moments in which i didn’t.  i remember coming to know jesus in my closet at 1823 garrison after a broken time of child-like prayer.  i love to dance.  i love to sing.  my husband prefers me not to attempt the latter.  my love language is gift giving and i’m unfortunately better at receiving than i am at giving.  what a thrill to look back on 3 decades in this world and grasp what the lord has done in my life and the grace he has had on me.  jesus, i am so grateful.  i have a stunningly handsome husband, 3 joyous children, health, and a home filled with laughter.  i can confidently say i am growing in wisdom with each passing day and all the while an understanding of how incapable i am of anything good without my god.

  1. nike tempo shorts
  2. origins peace of mind
  3. starbucks verona
  4. hobo ‘lauren’ wallet
  5. iphone
  6. scrabble
  8. teva ‘mush’ flipflop
  9. macbook pro
  11. dymo label maker
  12. pandora radio
  13. zumba
  14. chi straightening iron
  15. groupon
  16. southwest airlines
  17. a thesaurus
  18. ikea
  19. michelangelo’s italian nachos
  20. kali wrap bracelets
  21. sally hansen nail shields
  22. co bigelow mentha organics lipgloss
  23. bare minerals foundation
  24. handscraped bamboo hardwoods
  25. moroccanoil hair oil
  26. select-a-size paper towels
  27. table topics conversation cubes
  28. trader joe’s
  29. smartwool socks
  30. jergens natural glow lotion

honorable mention:
  1. square up iphone app
  2. netflix
  3. 28 day mascara
  4. magic eraser
  5. craigslist
  6. hulu
  7. hgtv
  8. vigoss jeans
  9. chipotle
  10. spin class


help us sell our home

posted by codi bennett , Jun 17, 2011

click above for more information + pictorials
we have our house listed for sale by owner.  please, if you know of anyone interested in a purchasing a home in the conway area send them by our website!  [] or email


Books That Make Me A Better Mom

posted by codi bennett , Apr 25, 2011

my TOP TEN favorite parenting books… in no particular order

I try really hard to ‘be a good mom’… but on my best day I’m still just a broken women trying to remain patient, be creative, set a healthy example for my children and maintain sanity all whilst I attempt to keep up with the laundry and make dinner.  Of course the bible has been a tremendous resource in our adventure of teaching, training, raising and parenting our kiddies.  In addition to the Bible I’ve found a few books [below] that have been great assets in navigating the world of motherhood.  I’d love to get your input if you’ve read these books and hear what you’re reading now and what tools have helped you along the way!

What’s your fave parenting book?