How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Good morning, Girls!!!

 At least it is morning right now as I sit here typing away at the kitchen bar.  I can be patient is perfect...perfect temperature, perfectly quiet except for the songs of birds in my backyard, perfect stillness and a beautiful sky over it all!  It's easy to be patient right now.

Twenty-six years ago it wasn't so easy.  I had four children.  That alone will test your patience.  My oldest son, Peter, was attending the Desert Vineyard School and was loving every minute of it.  One day, we had a field trip to a children's museum in LA.  I don't remember the museum at all, but I will never forget the conversation I had that day with Nancy Robinson, one of our pastor's wives.  It changed everything and has influenced  me for over a quarter of a century!

Since I was the "new girl" on the "block," I think Nancy decided to befriend me that day.  We were all carpooling down to LA and in those days, my car was not road worthy outside of a 10 mile radius:).  So Nancy asked if  I would like to ride with her.  Little did I know that this car ride would radically change my way of thinking and would echo in my mind and heart for decades.  As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, Nancy said, "On the way down, I will tell you about me and then on the way back, you can tell me about you."  And that is just what happened.  I heard Nancy's amazing testimony on the way down to the museum, and as we left the parking lot of the museum, Nancy turned to me and said, "Now its your turn." 

Nancy listened as I told her "my story," which was not nearly as wonderful as hers because I did not have a husband who was a Vineyard pastor.  In fact, at that time, I was pretty much disappointed in Peter because he was not leading the family the way "he should."  ("He should" in "Cherri world" at that time meant the way I wanted him to)  So as I talked (complained), I was sure I was conjuring all kinds of sympathy and compassion from Nancy.  As I ended my sad saga, Nancy was quiet for a moment and then she said, "Cherri, you don't wait on the Lord.  He is trying to birth something in Peter, but you keep forcing an early birth and causing miscarriages.  You are trying to  be the Holy Spirit in Peter's life, and you make a pretty crummy one."  I was stunned.  Nancy went on to instruct me in how to wait patiently and what to do in the meantime.  I went home that day changed, and although I was not perfect at all in waiting patiently on the Lord to work in Peter's life or my children's, I have to wonder sometimes what it would have looked like if I hadn't had this profound lesson to look back on from time to time.

Like most moms, I am a fixer.  If something is wrong in my kids or my husband, I will be more than happy to fix it and fix it NOW.   This is my default setting.   Reading Sara's story this week reminded me of how much alike women...especially wives and mothers...still are even after thousands of years.  We will make something happen...even if it is not so good.

I have had some "not so good" things happen trying to "help" and have come to realize that waiting patiently for the Lord to work in family member's lives is something only the Holy Spirit can do in me. Consequently, as the desire to "help God " comes along, I will go through my Bible and look up all the verses on "waiting," since waiting patiently does not come naturally to me at all.  Most of them are underlined and boxed a few times so that I can see them at a glance.  One thing I have learned over the years, through meditating on these verses, the support of some true friends who speak truth to me, and remembering the good counsel of my friend Nancy, is that waiting does not mean sitting around doing nothing and fretting as you wait.  There are things to do.  In Psalm 37 I underlined what I could be doing while waiting patiently.  Here's the list I got:  1. Do not fret  2. Do not be envious  3. Trust God   4. Do good  5. Delight yourself in the Lord   6. Commit your ways to the Lord   7. Trust Him   8. Be still before the Lord   9. Do not fret   10. Refrain from anger   11. Turn from wrath  12. Do not fret  13. Hope in the Lord.  By the way, the emphasis on "do not fret" is His, not mine. 

As I studied through the lesson on patience this week, I couldn't help but notice that there is a theme that runs through all of these chapters:  Focus first on God, then on others and, for cryin' out loud, get your focus off  yourself!   Twenty-six years ago and still today, when my focus turns inward, I say and do nutty things.  Whether it is out of pride, insecurity, fear, a lack of self-control or impatience, the root of it all is me.  It comes down to one phrase that a friend and I have learned to use during "wilderness" or trying times:  "Wait and while you wait, do good." 

I had to smile today as I read the prayer Katie prays at the end of  Day 4.  Throughout this study I keep hearing two words "grow up."  Have you ever thought, "Hmmmmm, I wonder if that is from the Lord or is it just my own thoughts..."?  That is exactly what I have been thinking lately...until today.  In her prayer Katie writes:  "Help me to grow up, Lord, in this area of waiting patiently."  So there is my is time for this girl to grow up.

So honored and glad to be growing along side of you...


Friday, July 15, 2011


Hello, dear sisters,

I knew this one was coming. You cannot do a Bible study on developing good Christian character without tackling the area of self-control. My emotions were running on two tracks when I flipped the page this week and saw the words "self-control." On one hand, I was excited to get started. I know this is an area of weakness in my life, and I want to change to become more like my Savior. On the other hand, I was a bit melancholy because I know this is a weakness in my life, battling some of the same things for years, and another round of failure is not my idea of a good or profitable time. But because I am involved in this blog with you girls, I had to face the negative, put those thoughts down and go with the positive. And I am so glad that I did. God had something new waiting to be learned!!!:)

While reading the chapter this week in our Bible study, I was also following my daughter-in-law, Jen's blog on praying for sons. Each day Jen prays for a different character quality or aspect in a man-to-be's life. Wouldn't you know and you have probably guessed it... this week one of the topics was "self-control." In the curriculum Jen is using, the author said she recognized that in the realm of self-control, the real need is to pray that our boys would love Jesus more....more than the sin that is currently on the throne of their hearts.   She tells how one day she realized  she did love Jesus, but she loved Him less than a whole lot of other stuff in her life like looking good, filling herself up on her favorite food, and time to herself. She did love Jesus, but less than having her book published, less than getting even with her husband, yelling at her kids or getting her own way.  

That really convicted me. I thought about all the recent choices I made. Like that third cookie I ate last night. Throughout my adult life it has become very clear that food is one of my areas where I lack self-control, particularly when it comes to sweets. Yesterday evening, I heard the Holy Spirit gently prodding me to show self-control, but I ate that cookie anyway. No one was around to watch; no real pressing feelings of guilt until this morning after I read Jen's blog. At the end of her post, she asked what it was that we loved Jesus less than. Immediately that stinking cookie popped into my mind! Oh, I love Jesus, but I loved Him less last night than I loved that third cookie! I hope these words ring through my mind from now on when I am faced with a choice: "Do you really love Him less than that?" 

So at the end of this week, I can honestly say: I loved this week! I loved the exercise on pages 163-64; it helped me see old habits that I hadn't recognized before and gave me insight into what I could do everyday to replace the old with some wonderful new! The "Schedule Self-Test" was a great exercise in making me aware of what was motivating me and that my motivations are changing as I grow and change.  And Katie's ideas on creating a Sabbath rest whether it is weekly or daily are going to become more and more part of my life.

One thing is abundantly clear to me and that is...when it comes to this mouth of mine...what goes in and what comes out...needs to be under the control of the Holy Spirit.  And it is His Spirit in me that can create the self-control that I so desperately need!

How was this week of self-control for you, my friends?

Love from North Carolina!!!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Recipes!!!!!:)

Hi girls!

Some of you asked if we could share summer recipes on this blog. Sounds like a great idea to me. I had completely forgotten about this request until last night. My daughter-in-law, Jen, fixed a wonderful salad last night, and I will share her recipe with you today. I am always looking for new recipes so please don't be shy about giving your thoughts and ideas on how to feed our selves and hungry families during these hot and humid (depending where you are) days and nights!!!!

Share your recipes under this post.

Stay cool!!!!!


Monday, July 11, 2011

What can you do with ten dollars??????

Hey Girls!!!

Did any of you catch that challenge nonchalantly thrown out to us on page 128?  It is at the end of the paragraph with the heading "EXTRA PERSPECTIVE."  Katie writes that we might want to be courageous in a practical way and see "how much good you can do with $10 in an afternoon."  This could  be some beginning steps in becoming courageous in a practical and creative way and in the process have some fun too!

If you decide to take this challenge, share with us what you did with your $10 day!!!  I know that God loves to open doors to willing hearts so asking Him to show us where to be courageous with our $10 is just the kind of prayer He enjoys to answer!  I don't think we should put any time limit on the Lord leads...step out, give and then share with us your story.

 Looking forward to hearing from you....


Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Hello, Sisters of Mine!!!

This week is going to be a doozie for me.  I come from a long line of professional worriers.  In fact, if you don't suffer with anxiety and worry over your children, you must not love them very much.  All this is baloney, but honestly, there was a time when I saw worry and anxiety over my family as "normal" for a loving mom.  It was all I knew.  It was a shock to my system to discover that anxiety and worry were actually sin!!! 

How many of you have suffered with the French philosopher Montaigne (whoever he is) who said:  "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened"?  I will be the first to raise my hand!  I have spent sleepless nights worrying about symptoms I was absolutely sure would kill me by morning...along with various other vain imaginings.  Right about now, those of you who know Peter are feeling a great deal of compassion for him:) and it is justly deserved.

So, girlfriends, what are thinking about as you work through this chapter on "Courage"?

Love to you all!!!