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, June 30, 2014

Redeemed Desire

 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in Him and He will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Psalm 37: 3-6

 I have never had such a difficult time writing a blog post.  For two weeks I prayed and asked for words, but the right ones just would. not. come.  I finally found the reason why...I wasn't supposed to write this post!!!!  The chapter on desire was a difficult one for me. I could see clearly the two very distinct sides of desire:  the one side that brings destruction and pain through selfish desires and then the other that comes from a beautifully redeemed heart that delights in the Lord.  But I could not, for the life of me, put words on this screen that seemed right (though the Lord knows I wrote 2,000 of exaggeration)

And this is where I introduce you to my sweet, young friend, Jackie, who did:).  You girls are in for a blessing!!!  Jackie recently had a beautiful son, Cade, who was born with fibular hemimelia (absence of the fibula bone in his lower legs.)  She has a blog where she shares her journey with Cade  and her latest post was just, will have to read it to see why I am uncharacteristically speechless.  What you will find is not only Jackie and her family's story but a beautiful example of "redeemed desire."  Read Jackie's post and then come on back her to TWAOWW.  By the way...this is Cade:)

So, are you as blessed by this momma as I am????  Jackie was a living, breathing example that day in REI of the two-sided coin of desire.  The momma bear rising, "you are going to get your's" kind of desire we have all felt, haven't we?  But then she chose to display "redeemed desire," the "delight yourself in the Lord" kind of desire...the God infused desire that, as Jackie showed us so beautifully, is covered in grace.   This is the kind of desire that beautiful art is made from.  Oh, Cade, you are blessed to have such an artist for a momma...momma bear and all:).

One night I had Peter read one of my many posts on desire.  He read it and then said, "Cherri, you need a story to show what you are trying to say."  He was absolutely right.  Thank you, Jackie, for allowing me to share your story:)  Love you, girl and that sweet boy!

So, my friends, I am sorry for the late post, but it couldn't be written until Jackie wrote hers:)

Love to you, my sisters!!!


PS  So happy to hear that some of you finally received your books!!  Welcome to Together We Are One Wise Woman!!!!!  I look forward to hearing from you, so leave a comment!  Please don't be shy...:)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Some Art of Our Own

 I have received some beautiful posts and/or pictures to share with you girls...enjoy:)

Our friend, Esther, sent this post along...

 Page 21 "Trees have always fascinated me. They are so confident, so sure of their identity. Feet rooted strong in the ground of their birth, they don't wander off to find out where they came from. Instead as they grow, their roots go farther into the ground where they already are and their branches reach up higher to God."

There once was a tree rooted strong in the ground,
till one day someone came and cut it down.
She was re-purposed into posts and scattered about.
One came to live on Santa Cruz Island.
This beautiful post, once part of a living tree, lived through seasons.
She lived spring,
    She lived summer,
        She lived fall,
            She lived winter.
She had a wardrobe to match each season.
    She bent and swayed in the wind,
        She gave shade in the summer,
            She provided shelter for other living creatures.
But now she is set in the ground,
No roots!
No life of her own!
Yet here she stands!
Straight and tall!
Part of a fence holding wires.
But that is not all.
She has a glorious view atop a cliff.
A view of the ocean that feels like a dream.
Wildflowers surround her.
And how many birds have perched atop her to sing?
The moss climbed up on her to join in the awe.
Somehow, though rootless, this tree still lives on.
The seasons are different and so is her wardrobe.
From beauty to beauty, she has a story to tell.
You have to listen closely for she will whisper not yell!
Just ask the moss!
It has become quite attached to her.

* * * * * * *

I too, am fascinated by trees. As a young girl I loved to climb trees, sit on their branches, admire their spring, summer, and fall wardrobes, and wonder at their bare winter branches. Like us, trees go through different seasons of life.

I like to wonder what this post looked like before it was taken from its roots. Was it tall? Where did it live? Was it young or old? Was it growing in a pasture, on a hill, in rocky ground, or in a forest? Was it taken on purpose or did a storm blow it down?

How did it end up here? If only this post could talk, what a tale it would tell! Moved from one canvas to another I don't believe it has lost a stroke of beauty. I know not from whence it came but I am blessed to have seen where it ended up. Today it is planted in the soil of Santa Cruz Island. Its purpose is meant to hold up wire, to be a part of a fence. To my eyes it is so much more. It is a beautiful work of art and it takes my breath away.

Lynn sent along these beautiful pictures of majestic pines who very definitely reflect the glory of God!

I am so glad that one of the readers of this blog sent a poem she wrote for all of us to enjoy.  Emily e-mailed me this beautiful poem and I think it is a perfect example of giving God glory through our gifts.

Tree of life tapestry
  Tapestry of Life
Our lives are just a tapestry
And woven they must be
of emerald gold and crimson red
Outlined with burgundy
When the master takes his had
from the weaving he has done

He marvels at the tapestry
he wove  us to become
Love is woven through and through
With mercy side by side
Salvation is delicately woven as a light
 for which Christ die
Yes this is tapestry of life
and the border is
unending love

I found this beautiful picture of a tapestry called "The Tree of Life" designed by Morris and Company in the 19th century.  I thought it fit with Emily's poem perfectly:)  Thanks, Emily for sharing your lovely poem with us.

Please don't hesitate to share with us your own art! E-mail me at

Blessed by you...


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Created to Reflect


The quotation at the beginning of this post are the very words that sold me on Emily's book for our study this summer.  The beauty of her words captured my heart in an instant.  The truth is, I was taken by Emily's words...but I was undone by the image above when it flashed on my screen as I searched " low country oaks." I wanted to see what these unusual trees actually looked like.  This great beauty is the Angel Oak Tree in South Carolina.  It is sixty-five feet tall, has a circumference of over twenty-five feet, and gives shade to over 17,000 square feet under its "audacious" branches.  It has lived an estimated 1,400 years, surviving fire, hurricanes, earthquakes, war and the encroachment of civilization.  And here it stands...yet.  What it has weathered, stood up against...endured for over a millennia!  I see this beautiful image well worth every cent I spent on it...and the art in the life of this oak as it reflects God's glory is obvious.  

However, all this tree has to do is "just be"...for me there are just SO many excuses for not reflecting God's glory in my life.  After all, I can look at myself and see every imperfection, every shortcoming, every shame, every sin.  How in the world could I possibly reflect God's glory?  I am a blurred, scratched up mirror for sure.  So many things have stopped me...I am too young, too inexperienced, not talented enough or educated enough.  I am too old...too late.  My good productive years slipped by...somehow, between too young and too old.  When did that happen????  I imagine you might have your own excuses...a disability, a diagnosis, or maybe a history, a past that surely tarnishes any reflection you could have had.  Or maybe something happened to you...divorce, abuse, rejection, or a sorrow or pain so great no light seems strong enough to penetrate the depression, bitterness, fear, or grief that cloaks your life.

And then God comes along and gives us object lessons...beautiful, breathtaking a 1400 year old low country oak who reflects God's glory in spite of.  Or a small pine tree that grows in the midst of difficult circumstances to say the least...

What I learned this week from this chapter is really quite simple: If we are able to take a breath, we can reflect the glory of God in how we live our lives...our choice entirely.  We are the living, breathing poem of God with unwritten stanzas left to live matter what circumstances we find ourselves matter what we have endured...there is good to be done, kindness to be shown, beauty to be created. 

I had to smile as I read Emily's words toward the end of this chapter:  "You need not go on a search party to find yourself."  I wasted a lot of time waiting for that elusive "something" that proclaimed to me and the world I was "ready" to be who I was made to be.  Circumstances would be perfect.  I would have gathered all I needed.  I would have finally found what I was made to do.  THEN I could stop searching and waiting for my art.  It really is much like having a baby.  If you wait until you are will never be a mother. 

I don't know about you; but, as I look back over the years, art has changed in my life.  I wish I would have realized then that I didn't have to wait to create art.  I wish I would have known that art was being created in my mothering and now in my grandmothering.  It was in my teaching and now in ministering to women and parents.  It was in my homemaking (as chaotic as it sometimes was:) and now in my gardening.  I wish I would have known that all my reasons for hesitation were not keeping me from living the art He had created me to live.  They were the diamond cut facets.  It is a remarkable truth that God has created glory FROM my imperfections, my pain, my loss, my grief, and dare I say it...even from my mistakes and sin.  It is because of His great goodness in my life that I can reflect any of Him in any glorious way.  

I have a fun thought for this week...Please share your own pictures of God's "object lesson" in your life.  Send a picture to with a short explanation, and I will add them to our blog. Be creative and have a good time with this!  Your story will bless others who read this blog and will reflect the Lord's goodness in your life:)

Reflecting His glory together, we would be blinding:) a good way!

Love and blessings!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Awaken the Artist Within!!!!

"Art is when we do work that matters in a creative way,
in a way that touches [people] and changes them for the better."
~Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur
This week we are covering the very first, very short chapter entitled "Awake" in our book, A Million Little Ways.  Emily shares her "Sarah experience" and explains that through the creativity and generosity of artists like Sarah who "live" in their giftedness, we see things we might have otherwise missed.  I had a unique "Sarah experience" of my own recently that really blessed me and opened my eyes to the joy that comes when you share your "art" with others.

I don't know if my cousins, Dan and Barb, consider themselves artists...probably not, at least not in the way I perceive them to be, but I was blessed to witness the love and passion they have for their land and everything on it, and that was art to me.  Dan and Barb live on a ranch at the foot of the Short Pine Buttes in South Dakota.  A unique piece of property with a rich history that spans before recorded time.  The day I spent with them was filled to the brim with experiences I honestly had never had, and it left me wanting more.  Their passion for this land was contagious...from the cattle they raise, including a few pet milk cows and their calves who eat with reckless abandon from your hand,  to the Pony Express Trail that winds up the mountainside to the Indian camps and buffalo jumps that allow you to vividly imagine teepees, buffalo and a people busy at their own "art."  That day I saw a tiny calf not more than thirty minutes old, nine piglets with their muddy mama, beautiful spotted curlew eggs lying in a nest on the prairie floor, the weather-beaten, collapsed hideout of a notorious outlaw, mysterious "fairy rings" in the grass, a pine tree denuded of bark by a porcupine, and "The Names," a steep, rock outcropping where names one hundred years old have been etched into the soft, white stone.  With excitement, Dan read off names and dates as familiar to him as his own.  We climbed to the peak of a ridge, following the ruts of a Pony Express Trail, eating sweet, wild onions and wild celery along the way.  All of this was only part of a glorious day filled with wonder.  What Dan and Barb did not realize is that each moment, each new experience was a colorful, beautiful stroke upon the canvas of that memorable day. It awakened a desire in me to create in the home that I have something that can be beautiful, unique and memorable that will bless those who visit.

And that is exactly what artists do.  They leave you in wonder, wanting more.  Dan and Barb are artists unaware.  They generously share their love for the beautiful land they own with excitement and great joy.  That evening as we left Dan said, "Come back next week...there is more to see!"  Those are the words of an artist:).

Dan and his bulls

Mama and her brand new calf
The Buffalo Jumps

View from the Short Pines Buttes

The Names

Curlew eggs

Simply beautiful

The hideout
Mama pig
And her piglets

So that is my example of someone who "lives" the art they were made to create.    Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on the beginning chapter of this study, and share with us your "moment when you were moved by the heart of an artist."

Blessings to you as you awaken the artist within!!!