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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Hello my dear friends!

It has been an interesting week to work on "generosity."  Reading about all the massive and very serious financial problems we have as a nation and knowing that the reason we got here is because of greed, made  this chapter quite eye-opening.  I am not a political activist in any sense of the word, but I have been reading what different "experts" are saying about how America can get out of the mess it is in.  Interestingly, they all seem to agree that it will involve sacrifice on the part of all Americans.  What they don't agree on is if we will be able to do it because every group asked to sacrifice has such an "entitlement" attitude.

I have actually been kind of going down the "what if?" road a bit lately.  That thought process was helped out greatly by a man I ran into over the weekend who had a massive case of "conspiracy theory" of the most sinister and scary kind.   As he talked about his ideas of what the world leaders were trying to do, he painted a pretty bleak picture.  I listened for awhile and then finally, had to say something...the only thing I could say to this barrage of bad news:  Because of Jesus, at least I knew my ultimate future was secure.  Ha!  That sure stopped him in his tracks.  All he could say was "I guess that's a good way to look at it."  Actually, that is the only way to look at it.  But this conversation along with the chapter on generosity got me to thinking.  I don't know what is going to happen with all that is going on in our world right now, but there may come a time when we, as Christ followers, singularly and as churches will have to step in and give more than we ever thought we could.  We might have to be the first to show what giving sacrificially means...what it looks like.

Another experience I had this week has also impacted me in a way that I just cannot get out of my mind.  My daughter, Kirsti, is a Child-life Specialist for a hospital.  I was visiting her last week, and while I was there she told me about a brother and sister who came into the Emergency Department one evening.  I will warn you now that the story I am about to tell is pretty graphic, and I am not going to "pretty it up."  These two little ones came in with horrible abuse injuries.  The little boy was 2 years old.  He had bruises, cuts and bumps all over his head and upper body, but his worst injuries were burns to his scrotum.  The little girl was only 8 months old.  She came in with the same kind of injuries to her head and face but in addition to that, she had a broken femur.  Kirsti was assigned  to stay with these little ones as they went through batteries of tests throughout the day.  Finally, tests over, they were in their rooms.  Kirsti was having a wonderful time playing cars with the little boy when his mom and boyfriend walked into the room.  Immediately, at the sight of these two, this little guy's entire countenance changed, he wet himself, and sat hollow-eyed looking at his abusers.  As Kirsti related this story, her eyes filled with tears at the memory of it.  The mom and boyfriend had not been arrested yet because the investigation was ongoing at the time, however, they are now behind bars.

This story haunts me.  Something has to be done for these little ones and those others like them, but what?  There were a few other people in the room that day as Kirsti related her story and talk of the foster system came up.  Someone there said that they just couldn't do foster care, especially of babies, because of the pain it would cause to give them back or give them up to someone else.  Kirsti responded with something profound.  She said, "I don't think that helping others is supposed to be painless."  The truth is I try to keep my life as "painless" as possible.

And then I read the story of the Macedonians this week on Day 4 and that was completely humbling, wasn't it?  They certainly weren't looking for the painless or comfortable way in life and yet they were filled with  "overflowing joy" and "rich generosity."   They "urgently pleaded" for the "privilege of sharing" with those who were in even greater need than they were themselves.  What a testimony of generosity!!!

I have gone back a few times to Katie's prayer on Day 4 during this past week :

"Precious Lord, Would you examine my heart right now?  Am I as generous as I think I am?  Do I have true compassion for people?  Do I stop and really look at the people around me and see their needs?  Do I respond to them like you would?  Lord, I want to be more like you.  I want to overflow with generosity.  I want to find a cause that I feel so strongly about that I'm begging for the chance to support it.  I want to be so aware of others ans so unconscious of my own limitations, that I give more than I am able, for you are my supply..."

There is a lot I just don't know...that I don't have the answers to, but this I do know...if I pray this prayer...if the story of these little ones is meant to be a catalyst in my heart, God will fling wide a door for me walk through.  Then the questions will be:  Will I walk through?  Will I be able to give of time, thought and money EVEN IF it is painful?  Oh, Lord, I hope so.  I hope I have the courage to be generous with me life.

Love to you all....



  1. Well, Cherri, I think we're all winding down end of summer, preparation of fall activities. I just opened up to start Persevering and realized I didn't comment on generosity.

    I've tithed for quite a while. But I always feel like I could give I don't give sacrificially. So when this came up my "guilt" kicked in. But I realized a generous spirit isn't just about money.

    In fact, I wonder if we we're as challenged with being generous giving our time as we do our cash. Cash I can give and walk away untangled. But when I give my time, it usually means being engaged in a relationship which is more than a one-time event.

    Just a thought...


  2. I'm cheating a bit, because I haven't finished the week on generosity but when I see there's a new post, I can't control myself.

    Your post broke my heart. I find it so difficult to believe that such monsters exist in the world and want to believe that people genuinely want to be good. I wish I weren't so naive at times and, even more so, that monsters didn't exist.

    I feel like the season in life that I am in right now is a bit more difficult with the giving of time. I do it, because I feel called and I don't believe that motherhood is a "get out of jail free card" for service. I do acknowledge though that there is definitely a line; a line where a shift occurs and others receive more than your family. I often wonder where the line is and if I ever cross it. There is a balance and I try to keep it and am thankful that the ministries we involve ourselves with can somewhat involve the family. Even still, I try to be aware and try not to let "mommy guilt" cloud my judgment.

    Hopefully, I won't be ousted from the group since I haven't finished the week and still chimed in. :) Cherri, you are an amazing woman of God and have inspired me in more ways than you know. I would be honored in joining you in prayer regarding the things God is pressing on your heart. That you would have courage to face the painful, as a matter-of-fact, I will make that my prayer for all of us. May He straightforwardly direct your paths and may He always keep Kiristi's heart tender towards his most precious gifts, all the while protecting her.

    Much Love,

  3. I'm also curious as to your thoughts on keeping clothes for kids you don't yet have. I have continued to hang on to baby and pregnancy clothes, because we aren't sure if we are done yet. Do you think that would be considered a "slap in the face" and that I'm not trusting God to supply for that "possible" future baby/pregnancy. In full disclosure, I do think my desire to hang on to them is not just for frugality, but rather I have some developed some attachment issues. I'd love your honest opinion, that way I can either free up some space in our home or stop thinking I should turn myself into TLC's television show "Hoarders."

  4. Thank you for your prayers, Erica. I truly appreciate them for myself and for my daughter. Kirsti's job can be difficult at times and even more so since she has her own son...the emotions are a bit stronger because she can relate so well now.

    As I read your post, it brought me back to the time when I was trying to balance "the world." In truth, it took its' toll on me. This morning I tried to think of how I could have known when I was out of whack and the one thing I came up with was that during those times, I let important things drop.

    I love the fact that you don't view motherhood as a "get out of jail free card" and instead involve your children in your ministry. They will be blessed because of it and learn some very valuable life lessons!

    I had to laugh at your last post because I used to keep clothes: mine, the kids and Peter's.(And for that matter, I kept all kinds of other stuff as well "just in case") I'll tell you what had a profound impact on me...moving my mom from Kansas to California after my dad died. She had kept all kinds of stuff from old clothes to old toys and stacks and stacks of paperwork. It was while I was going through boxes, bags, drawers, cupboards and piles and piles and PILES with my sister that we both vowed NOT to put our own children through this. I got home and was merciless as I went through my closet. I figure if I ever get down to a size 4 again, Peter can buy me new clothes...I will deserve it:)

    I have saved some special pieces of baby clothing that have a sentimental value to me. As the years have gone by, my box of "special things" has gotten smaller and smaller because, honestly, some of them have gotten so ratty looking even I didn't want them!

    I found out that I like my home better with less clutter and though it is true that sometimes I find that I have given away something I could have used, there have been far more items that I got rid of that I never thought of again. It has just made life easier for me and less stressful in the long run. Letting go of my hoarded stuff was freedom to me.

    So my honest opinion in one sentence: I would free up the space.

    That is just my thoughts, Erica, not absolute authority on what it is right for you.

    I love you, sweetie!



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