Friday, August 29, 2014

Helping Gomer

Honestly, I have no idea what I accomplished this week. I did create about 15 paintings. Other than that, I Just tried to make it through the week. On Sunday, my beloved three-year-old somehow got out of her floatie and jumped into a friend's pool. Thank God she was rescued. I broke my pinkie toe on a brick that night. By the next day I couldn't walk on it. Its much better now. I splinted it like a true professional with some Barbie bandaids. On Tuesday,  Chayah asked to go swing on the porch swing that hangs in the big tree in our yard. There was a giant wasp nest hidden underneath it. They started attacking my head and legs. Wasp stings to the head are intense. My head is still swollen. My head hurt so badly for hours that I couldn't even feel the pain of the other stings. I jerked poor Chayah off that swing so fast that I scared her. Poor girl. A few minutes later she was choking on a piece of ice. I couldn't get into my doctor to see if my ear infection/ retracted eardrum/ sinus issue from the mold had cleared, so I saw the PA. It seemed to be okay, but the inflammation remained. I had a extremely racy pulse that afternoon so I headed to get checked out. They said my heart and lungs were good. My lymph nodes were swollen again so I need to go back and get blood work. I wanted to make sure I get to see my real doctor of choice so I will have to wait until we get back from the beach to do that. Say a little payer that we get to the bottom of it all. Mold is serious business, y'all. I was only around it for a short time and months later it is still messing with me. 

People keep asking if they can help with my medical bills since we do not currently have insurance. We have a donation site for our non-profit that you can give to. I would appreciate every ounce of your help with our bills and our house. One of our big goals is to get heat downstairs this year. We have been looking into radiant heating and hopefully we will raise enough funds to put it in. 

Our Southern Fish Fry Fundraiser 
is October 11th. Please mark your calendar. We will have live music, witty banter, sweet tea, and pie! I'll have art for sale. Please come. Help the Cherry family get some heat. Love y'all.
Bonus: Look at this picture I found of my man with short hair. He was still a diva back then, just without the locks.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Life in France by Julia Child

I enjoyed this book more than I can say. Julia's honest speech and raw wit are delightful. I loved seeing the stories behind what made her who she was. Her drive and compulsion are the stuff of legend. Obviously, she is a perfectionist, but it was her charm and humor made her seem just perfect. How I wish I could have pulled up a chair in her kitchen. 

You probably watched Julie and Julia and know the gist of Julia's story. (Wasn't Meryl Streep fantastic!) The book fills in the details and all from Julia's perspective. You can see how her husband's government job led them to France and how her very first meal there led her on a adventure to learn to cook French food, though she had never been interested in cooking before. The book follows them on stints in several different countries. The most fascinating thing to me was how devoted she was to this cookbook for a decade. She truly did master the art of French cooking. 

I fell a little head over heels for her in this book. (Someone send me Mastering the Art of French Cooking.) I'll make you dinner. I love to cook. I love the chemistry and learning how things go together. Open air farmer's markets are a part of my heart. Julia's love of people, food, and hospitality stirred me. Let's dine together.

I thought that it was great that she had written this book at the end of her life. She actually passed away before it was published. Her nephew finished and published the book after they had collaborated. Most of the other people in her story and also passed away so her tale was very honest. She told of struggles with her cookbook collaborators and how she showed grace and worked through things. Perhaps she would not have felt so free while the people she loved were alive. It spoke volumes to me about struggle and how to love and be a friend at all times. Of course, that was probably not her intent. She was just being Julia. 

Let's all curl up and watch some Julia.

"If you are afraid of butter, use cream." -Julia Child
" A party without cake is just a meeting." -Julia Child

There is a page on PBS where you can find videos and info on her:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

She Reads Truth

I cried when I saw that She Reads Truth was going to do a short study on Hosea. The prophet Hosea's deep and wild pursuit of Gomer is the most intense picture of Christ's love for us. If you want to see deep with in the story of the Prophet and the Prostitute, join me in studying at for the next eighteen days. Delve into the healing of the unrelenting pursuit of God for your heart.

Five years ago we purchased a 100 year old three story Antebellum mansion to completely restore. We use is as a respite and a refugee camp of sorts for wounded and weary pastors and missionaries. We feed addicts and those who love them. I had many years before had this unrelenting obsession with the type of woman Gomer must have become. I thought long and hard about her picture as the bride of Christ fully restored. How beautiful and how lovely she must have been. We named our house after her because of the lengths her husband went to in order to fully restore her. Beautiful.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Mini Update

Well, summer on the road is coming to close. Denbigh is currently doing opening chapel at Lutheran South Academy in Houston. It has been an eventful summer. I have been ill from some serious mold exposure (not at home) and fighting an infection. Being alone with heart attack symptoms (from mold)and caring for three girls was more than I bargained for. I spent my eleven year anniversary at Urgent Care while my husband was leading worship several hours away. I wasn't able to see him. This infection has been hard stuff. Please say a little prayer for me that my body will be completely restored. 

I did manage to finish the floor in the guest room. It's stunning. I know I did it. I'm not bragging. It's the wood. It is gorgeous. Let me tidy the joint up and I'll post a picture.

Did y'all see that I now have my art in The Dancing Bear in Gruene? I met with the owner and did some wholesale transacting. Y'all, I'm practically famous. Really, it is so encouraging that Sweet Beth would believe in my work enough to put it in her store. Of course, the Lord is always up to more than art with me (and all of us). My new friend recently lost her son and I am thankful that Jesus saw fit to bring us together. Go to the Dancing Bear and buy some of my art. All proceeds benefit Gomer.

I need y'all to Save the Date for our Southern picnic fundraiser. It is going to be on October 11th. We will be having live music all day, frying up fish, and pedaling art. Please do come. I cannot tell you how much we need your help to be able to finish this project and keep pressing on in the name of Jesus. 

love y'all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Talk to me, Abba.

I've been thinking a lot about truth and loving my neighbor as myself. What does that truly look like? I posted something last week and received some bashing hate mail from someone I don't even really know. It was so distracting that I chose to delete the article I posted. The question I came away with is how to gracefully share truth. How can we call sin sin without injuring our friend? How do we mercifully plead with someone to come home to truth. Honestly, I don't know. I just keep seeing all of these things that say our faith can't dictate our sexuality, but the more I read the more I see that the Bible speaks in huge ways about it. One of us is wrong. If sin ceases to be sin or if we can choose what we believe to be sin, do we have any need of Jesus?

On a another note, I am deeply grieved about Robin Williams. That could have been me. It was one of my brothers. In the past I sat deeply and drank from the well of deep despair for many years. I attempted suicide. I can look back and see how every thought was shrouded by the enemy. Lie built upon lie and I agreed with him. In those moments, that facade seemed so real. I had never really felt loved. I can see into that pain. I just want to share something with you. You may be sitting there stuck in the mire. You may not believe you are trapped in sin. If, however, you wake up one day in the pain of a heart looking for answers and needing a hand up to healing, I'm here. I'll be here. Jesus is a beautiful, gracious, merciful Saviour that will never shame you. May your healing come. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter

It took me several weeks to get through this book. That's somewhat unusual for me. It was a little longer than normal, but it don't think that was it. I went back and forth with really enjoying the book, being bored, and thinking I've seen this plot line before. Sometimes, the conversations about God seemed quite contrived. I did however think it was a sweet tale. It wasn't overtly romantic, which was nice. The focus was on God and serving him. It showed much of the how and why we tend to run from the Lord based on our human experience. 

I thought it was quite interesting to see how arduous and lengthy trips across America were in these times. They were perilous and many did not survive. Some of the Indian beliefs were equally interesting. I did think the author could confuse the reader by saying Yahweh and the Great Spirit could be one in the same. I probably wouldn't lend this book out. 

This book was graciously provided by the publisher for review. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Come to Jesus Meeting

I'm sorry for my blurry pictures. My phone is currently being held together by stickers. Hurry it up with your new iPhone release, Apple. Mama needs a new camera by her side. Of course I have a Canon, but I also have three kids that I keep protecting it from. As you can see from my blurry photo, I finished the last leg of the floor in the guest room. I may add a little top coat, but the hard work is finished. Now, I'm on to the moulding. 
The moulding and the doors would have been a snap, but whoever stayed in this room really loved taping tiny pieces of paper to the wood work. As you can see, it left permanent marks. Who knows how long that tape had been there. A little light sanding, some rag-wiped stain, and . . . 
It looks like this. I have a bit more to go, but I had to take a break to come see my mama. More on that in a bit. 
I'm doodling for a painting and creating some sails. I've been asked to sell some of my artwork in the gift shop in the new hospital in New Braunfels (the one I made the tree for). Are you beside yourself with glee? I'll be meeting with the owner in a few weeks to showcase some pieces for her. 
This is our new trash can. I knew you would all want to see it. 
I've been in recovery from sickness for a bit. It's actually been really difficult. I have seen some of the worst parts of myself as I have attempted to heal while caring for my children at home alone. I have been incredibly stressed as I have tried to take on all of the things my role requires of me. I came to that breaking point of knowing I cannot do this alone. I have taken on too much. I have been frustrated with my children. My husband told me it was okay because I had taken on so much. He told me I was brave. All I wanted was for Jesus to rip this sin out of my heart so that my girls could see His face in me. I did the only thing I could do. I told them how sinful I was and just like I said, that they would see Jesus in me. I have been asking for grace, mercy, compassion by the bucket and begging the Lord to refill my cup so that I might love. I have been crying out for healing. In the midst of this great pain, I came to an end of myself. I began looking to Jesus with fresh desperation. I realized that I have been a one woman show for too long and that I am greatly in need of help. I am asking for that help and will be. I need help to finish our house. I need help to be healthy. I need your encouragement more than I can articulate to you. I long for your prayers, dear friends. Pray that healing and help will come to us on every level. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. May the grace of Christ abound to you. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

My Day

So, you want to know about my day. I let my girls eat outside and I see this remnant of a meal. It looked like a half smirk/half "meh" face. I said, " I feel you buddy." You have to find the humor in things, y'all. Otherwise when you find your daughter jumping off the baby grand or throwing a full cup of water across the inside of your car, you might lose it. You might lose it anyway, but I'm  sure you'll bounce back more quickly. Perhaps it leads the heart to grace more quickly by disarming pride. 
As you can see, I'm really into looking awesome on film. My girls are always bringing me things to put on during the day. Usually they want me to keep them on. They cry when I take them off. 
Then, they want to put on every single accessory in the house and have my undivided attention all day long. Somehow, when I say that mommy needs some space, they can't seem to grasp it. 
This is apparently my daughter's impression of a French model. Please hear the "ooh la la."
Well, this just made me laugh. Laughing is good. 
So, I sketched up a painting and then moved on to sketching a sign for our house. I painted the background of the canvas for the painting and well, my toddler drew on it. I'll do it again tomorrow. We just keep moving forward. I also stained a door. 
I've had a way small trash can for far too long. It's  gross and someone accidentally threw the lid away. I thought it was high time we had a decent trash can. This one even had a video. We are so fancy. 
Since I had already qualified for free shipping on Amazon, I thought I should buy something kitcheny for myself. I bought My Life in France. Of course I needed some Julia Child here. Hand me the butter!
After a crazy day, I took my girls to Hobby Lobby. That may not have been well thought out. One was laying in the isle. One wanted to touch every. glass. object. I was swinging myself back and forth between the girls so much to keep an eye on them that when I went to get out my debit card, I flung it at the cashier! Y'all, she was not amused. I tried to make a joke. Not. Amused. At all. 

Then I took my girls to Half Priced Books and let them each get a book. As we walked past this little guy, one of my girls asked who this weird poofy man was. I just said, "Sugar, I think he is supposed to be the likeness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." He kind of looks a bit like an Albert Einstein doll. Hair dye and a wardrobe change, but it's Al alright. 

After that we'd bought lemonade. Someone spilled theirs and there was weeping. Then some of our favorite people came over. The girls have been bathed and put to bed. Bless the Lord. Fist bump.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

All the King's Daughters—Talk to me, Abba

No one could have prepared me for motherhood or restoring this old house. I never knew how hard it would all be. It's like marriage. You cannot fathom the sanctification it will bring if you submit yourself to it. The fatigue sets in sometimes and I wonder if I am really equipped for all of this. Did I sign up for too much? The weariness will make you sound like a fool. I've said things I didn't mean to my girls. I have repented and walked in forgiveness. Motherhood is no joke. If you really want to fight your natural fleshly inclinations and love people fiercely with gospel love, it is going to be painful. It is going to be exhilarating. It is going to wreck you and remake you in a way that can't be explained. Every single day you have to remind yourself not to give up. For me, it is every fourth-five minutes. Work as if working for the Lord takes on a deep, holistic meaning. 

I think about working as if working for the Lord quite a bit. I think of it in restoration and in parenting. A wise woman recently reiterated to me that we are raising God's children. Of course, we all say that. I just wonder if we act like it. It made me think of the Shirley Temple classic The Little Princess. In the beginning, when the people at the boarding school are getting the father's money and believe him informed, they dote on the young girl. Then, the minute they think that the father is out of the picture, they begin to abuse her and take away her food. 

To be honest, it's easy to be kind when the blessings abound. It's hard when there is poop on the floor, a child ripping out her sister's hair, and people screaming at you all day. It's easy to forget that these are the King's daughters. I just keep coming back at the point of every failure and asking Jesus to make my heart tender to him. I want a heart that is so tender to him that it can yield to grace even on the driest of days. When mercy is on short supply, I tell my girls where I am at. I use the opportunity to share the gospel. We all fall short of the glory of God and can rely solely on his righteousness. Jesus is the perfect parent. My girls are safe with him. 

Even when we work alone on an old restoration project, we work as unto the Lord. Please feel free to stop by. This sista needs a fist bump and a hearty, "well done." I finished the guest room floor...even though one of my children walked in it. Now on to the moulding. 

The Lord bless you. 

Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...