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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson

You can't say you love God and hate your brother. 1 John 4:20

Did y'all read Jessica's other book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With the Love of Jesus? That book daily encouraged me as I read it. I even downloaded the audio book to put on in the car when I needed someone to remind my heart of the importance of my motherhood. I think mom's need two things each day. We need to laugh and we need someone to preach the gospel to us.

This book took that gospel grace and applied it to all of the other relationships in our lives. I have been asking God to remind me of his gospel in some relationships that I am in. Sometimes, you just want to cut bait and go home if you know what I mean. It is hard to deal with certain personalities and selfishness in the body of Christ. It is difficult to see people wounding one another and even wounding me. There are facades and crippling brokenness to come against. It is tiring to say the least. I need a daily dose of redemption myself and to be reminded to do the difficult work of loving others.

Everyday Grace is a beautiful work toward this end. I loved it. The pages are filled with rich quotation, verse after applicable verse, and humble wisdom. It encouraged my heart to pursue deep love in the face of adversity. I thanked God for the work that Jessica has done in these pages. She truly did an excellent (and I am sure a bit inspired) work. I am asking the Holy Spirit to pour the wisdom I read into my heart.

We are all equally broken.

"Ask him to help you love in the face of opposition. Pray for and seek the Holy Spirit. Pray he will remind you that it is not all up to you. Pray he will give you the right words to say or the ability to be quiet. Pray he will teach you to depend more on his work."

This book was graciously provide by Bethany House Publishers for review.

Here are a couple of quotes quoted in the book that I posted on Instagram.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Just Add Watercolor

I would like to share this lovely little book with those of you interested in watercolor. I usually keep the books that I am reviewing in a stack. This one I kept upright in front of me on my desk for several weeks. I just loved looking at it. It made me happy. This would be a great coffee table book to inspire creative energy.I simply really enjoyed every minute I looked at it.

I do not know much about watercolor. Every thing that I have learned has been trial and error. This book is full of tidbits to push you on to watercolor success. Of course, the gorgeous little book is filled with paintings. If you are like me, those inspire and make you want to try them out. Pick it up and try it out. I am going to try a few techniques over summer. Follow me on Instagram to see what I come up with. This could easily be a book that you would buy simply for art appreciation. 

What inspires you?

This book was graciously provided by Crown Publishing so that I could share it with you.

Monday, May 11, 2015

the life-changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo

I read through the life-changing magic of tidying up last week. I decided to share a bit of what I gleaned each day on Instagram. You can read about it in my previous post Does It Spark Joy? I thought I would put the daily segments from that post and the remaining ones together in one post for anyone considering reading the book or looking for inspiration. I learned most of all that letting go can help you see what you truly love and seeing what you truly love can help you let go. Keep your eyes open and look for things that spark joy.

A photo posted by Stephanie Cherry (@stephaniecherryartist) on
Yesterday I was reading about the enjoyment of properly folding clothes in "the life-changing art of tidying up." I laughed to myself when I came to the part about not rolling your socks in a ball because it ruins them. She stated that socks should be at rest in your drawer. It should be as if they are on holiday. (If you have a need to create a sock holiday, see chapter 3.) . ❤️ Tucked in the folding section I found these words that I loved. The Japanese word for healing is te-ate, which means "to apply hands." The term originated prior to the development of modern medicine when people believed that placing one's hand on an injury promoted healing. She was using them to explain how we bring life by the way we touch things. The words washed over me at a heart level as I thought thankfully about the times we are fortunate to sit with allies and dear friends in the faith. We pray, hold hands, touch, speak beautiful words and sing songs of deliverance. I firmly believe that healing can come through touch. Reaching out to hold a hand is a powerful thing. We are like hurting children comforted in the arms of a tender mother. Reaching in to someone in the desperate need when they feel so lonely with a touch of kindness can most certainly spark joy. It seems to usher in the hope we have. It gives something beyond the physical to cling to. . 🐞 *You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.* Psalm 32:7
A photo posted by Stephanie Cherry (@stephaniecherryartist) on
I was sitting at Shady Grove in the light drizzle with my dear friend Emily today. If you haven't eaten there, go. I had the most beautiful Cobb salad. Em had a Hippie Chick Sandwich. I digress. We were talking about change and letting go. I had been reading about this in the tidy book. Marie was talking about sorting photos and momentos. I loved what she said about how things had served their purpose when we received them. They shaped the person we had become. We can release the past and bless it. "As you put your house in order and decrease your possessions, you'll see what your true values are, and what is really important to you in your life." Everyone needs a sanctuary. We make peace by releasing all of the events of our life to the sovereignty of God. We submit it to him for healing. Then we can give ourselves the greatest gift a woman can give herself. You are free to cherish who you are now.
A photo posted by Stephanie Cherry (@stephaniecherryartist) on
This is how my two-year-old goes to sleep at night...in mama's shoes. We wait until she is good and out until we remove them. It's been a crazy week. I've seen more medical facilities than I wanted to and heard news I didn't want to hear. Tonight I had to leave a party because my sweet Lulu doubled over in pain. She was treated for an infection at Urgent Care. I'm just breathing. I could use a good cry, but I'm just too tired. Sometimes I just have to press in and hold on. God is gracious to give these precious pictures of a girl who wants to be like her mama. I still get butterflies when they hold my hand up and down the stairs. Through all the ups and downs, through the loss, I'm somebody's mama today. That's a miracle. Praying for all of you missing your babies. Praying for you mamas who have their grown babies in heaven like my mamas. God sees us. May he tenderly care for you today. "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me." —Psalm 139:5 #VSCOcam #mothahood #joysparks #doesitsparkjoy
A photo posted by Stephanie Cherry (@stephaniecherryartist) on
I landed in the two pages of the tidy book that spoke on where to keep your personal shrine. As a woman of faith I know that I have no need to gather rocks and stones to influence my life. I am safely in the hands of the Most High God. She redeemed the section with a quote from a client, "Tidying has far more effect than feng shui or power stones, and other spiritual goods." If there is one thing I have learned, it is that letting go is far greater than amassing more. We can confront our overattachment to the past and our fear of the future. When we remove the clutter internally and externally, we will find the things that are truly precious to us. We will clearly see our passion by looking deeply at the items that spark joy. We will see the root of who we are. We will have clarity for our mission in life as we see our heart. We will see how we want to live our life. Of course, in complete and utter honesty, sometimes you have to fight like hell for the things that truly matter. You'll have to pray deeply and with great brokenness to find joy in the midst of the day to day. I have learned that the first step is looking for it. #doesitsparkjoy πŸ‘£Toms is giving away a pair of shoes to a needy child for every Instagram photo posted of bare feet and tagged #withoutshoes. I thought I'd use the opportunity the create some art with my people. πŸ“š*Excerpt from "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by #mariekondo
A photo posted by Stephanie Cherry (@stephaniecherryartist) on
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Saturday, May 09, 2015

Henry Hodges Needs a Friend by Andy Andrews

I just adored Andy Andrews last book, The Boy Who Changed The World. Of course, that could be due to the fact that I am a huge fan of George Washington Carver. It was truly inspiring and wonderful. It showed us how simple acts of kindness can alter the course of a life. 

This book follows along that vein. It shows us how tenderness and kindness shown towards our children can effect them. Sweet Henry needed a friend. He could have gone on as a lonely child, but his parents saw his need. They took the opportunity to remind him of how special he is and give him a companion. 

We all struggle with fitting in. It's nice to be seen as special instead of singled out as odd. How can you encourage your children today?

The book is precious. It received a thumbs up from the Cherry girls. We even gave one a way to a friend. 
This book was graciously provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review.

Andy has written some great books for adults too!


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Does It Spark Joy?

Last week, I went and had a ultrasound of my abdomen. I had been having pain and issues since last fall. I am on my fifth doctor. I had done a lot of research and went in to his office with my own diagnosis. He listened. Off I went to get my ultrasound. I had a feeling that the problem was my gallbladder and my liver. I have been exposed to toxins and had some other complications that could lead to this. 

The wonderful woman doing my ultrasound was asking me questions about my health. I'm not the candidate you would expect to be there. I am not overweight, an alcoholic, and I have a good diet. I have been exposed to mold, which is a factor. She asked me about my pregnancies. I don't know if it was saying out loud that I had been pregnant nine times or thinking of my two brothers that I lost to liver problems when they were the age I am now, but tears just started streaming down my face. I am sort of an intrepid personality, someone who just keeps moving forward. In the vulnerability of that moment however emotion gripped me full force. 

I had been thinking a lot about the time since I began this blog leading up to that appointment. I started it almost nine years ago. It was named Terribly Interesting because I loved the phrase the French say about women not becoming interesting until 38. I still had time. Now, at 38, had I achieved this?(Terribly has to do with me thinking deeply about the Lord being referred to as terrible...and it being a good thing) I had recently lost my first brother at that point. It made me really want to overcome a shy, tender heart and start loving people demonstratively. All of that led to buying a hundred year old mansion and inviting people to stay with us and find healing. I lost another brother and a total of six babies since then, but oh how Jesus taught my heart to love. He humbled me and spoke to me and drew me in through that pain. I have encountered the lavish love of God through the gift of hospitality.

It's all hard. Diagnosis is hard. Ministry is hard. Traveling 4 months out of the year is hard. Working in a church is hard. Loving people wounded by the church is hard. Restoring a 100 year old house with three children is hard. I cried all over the man who is putting in our air conditioning and redoing our guest bath the other day. He and his wife are the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living to me, the aroma of Christ. I am so thankful that someone would step in and invest in us as we strive to love others. I want to cling to that joy. 

The day after I went to get my ultrasound, I went to visit my daddy and my step-mom. She had ordered a book for me. That book is "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. In it, I came across a question she used in organizing. Does it spark joy? That is how you know what to keep and what to discard. I have been thinking about this every day. What if I tried to diligently search for these moments every day? I could capture them on film. I thought of when One Thousand Gifts came out and people everywhere found joy because they were looking for it. I'm looking. I'm posting on Instagram. Join me. 

Does it spark joy?

A photo posted by Stephanie Cherry (@stephaniecherryartist) on
Yesterday I was reading about the enjoyment of properly folding clothes in "the life-changing art of tidying up." I laughed to myself when I came to the part about not rolling your socks in a ball because it ruins them. She stated that socks should be at rest in your drawer. It should be as if they are on holiday. (If you have a need to create a sock holiday, see chapter 3.) . ❤️ Tucked in the folding section I found these words that I loved. The Japanese word for healing is te-ate, which means "to apply hands." The term originated prior to the development of modern medicine when people believed that placing one's hand on an injury promoted healing. She was using them to explain how we bring life by the way we touch things. The words washed over me at a heart level as I thought thankfully about the times we are fortunate to sit with allies and dear friends in the faith. We pray, hold hands, touch, speak beautiful words and sing songs of deliverance. I firmly believe that healing can come through touch. Reaching out to hold a hand is a powerful thing. We are like hurting children comforted in the arms of a tender mother. Reaching in to someone in the desperate need when they feel so lonely with a touch of kindness can most certainly spark joy. It seems to usher in the hope we have. It gives something beyond the physical to cling to. . 🐞 *You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.* Psalm 32:7
A photo posted by Stephanie Cherry (@stephaniecherryartist) on