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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Majesty, Worship His Majesty...

Majesty, Worship His Majesty..

There is nothing like worship.  It somehow frees us from our confined space and allows us to enter into the “Holy of Holies”.  The act of singing as worship is one of my favorite parts of church service.  My family will tell you that I am singing all the time, mostly worship songs – and here lately songs from a favorite children’s movie that just came out!  But I don’t just limit my act of worship to singing.

Worship is the act of turning your whole being to something else.  We can worship TV.  We can worship food.  We can worship other people.  We can worship ourselves.  But these things will never give us complete satisfaction.  They are limiting, and they are just unable to give us what we truly desire, a deep intimate relationship with the creator and author of our lives.

I for one need that reminder from time to time.  I tend to get busy – don’t we all! – and I forget to focus on the Lord.  I let other things come first.  I “worship” my activities.  And when they come before the Lord He sweetly and lovingly calls me back. 

Why?  Because He desires my worship.  Not because He needs it.  But because He wants me to enter into His presence so that I can have that deep relationship with Him.  He desires that I put everything else aside and just spend time with Him.  He wants to be FIRST in my life.

I have a picture in my bedroom of a young Victorian woman who is gazing lovingly out the window.  Before her is a piece of paper, and a quill sits almost forgotten in her hand.  She is the perfect picture of tranquility.  When I see the painting I begin to feel more tranquil.  I begin to relax, and I start to feel just like her.  Quietly reflective. 

Just as important to me, okay maybe even a bit more important, is my cross wall.  On the wall of our stairwell we have over twenty crosses.  Each one is unique.  Each one was either given to us or purchased – or handmade – with the intent of putting up on that wall.  Our family has been intentional about surrounding ourselves with reminders of our faith.  Of who we are, and who we are meant to be. 

It is important to have those reminders.  Without them we can simply get too busy, forgetting to focus on what truly matters. 

From now until May 13th Cherry’s Creations has a list of downloadable art on sale.  Each one is a beautiful reminder of who the Lord is.  His majestic power.  His abiding joy and peace.  His splendor and majesty. His unfailing love.  Each download has a scripture verse or an encouraging message designed simply to help you keep your focus on the Lord. 

These lovely pieces of artwork are being retired and will no longer be available for purchase after May 13th.  But, between now and then you can download one piece of artwork and get another one absolutely free! Use them to create note cards, gift tags or to frame. Click on the link below to see check out the remaining stock. 

click here for availability

* In order to get the free digital download, click on the download you want to purchase.  At checkout, include an email address and the title of the free download you have chosen.  Your artwork will be emailed to you within 24 hours.

(Written by Triana Burroughs - Creative Assistant)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Creative Reuse

I had a friend bring by a bag of craft supplies she wasn't going to use anymore. She wanted to see if the was anything I could use. There wasn't much that I could use but there were some really fabulous large silk flowers. Except, I make small things, hmmnnn, the wheels in my brain started turning. I figured out I could use the flower petals to cut smaller flowers out of and wa la!!!

These smaller flowers will be fabulous on my block sets. I even used some spray inks and glitter mist to make them just perfect for my project:

What kinds of things do you like to remake???

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Champion Your Child Needs You to Be

An open letter to parents of special needs children:

Dear Mom & Dad,

You are amazing! You may not realize it yet but you are.  Life probably hasn’t worked out the way you expected it to but you can pick up the pieces and make something wonderful out of them. Summon every bit of courage you have and keep moving forward remembering that courage is not the absence of fear but action in the face of it.

Look for help and support in your community, it is probably there, not always easy to find but if you search for it, it will be found. NEVER EVER be afraid to ask for help.  Sure, the answer you get may sometimes be no, but do not let that deter you.  Keep asking, keep looking, keeping dreaming of the best life your child could possibly have and let that be a driving force.  Your child needs you to be their champion.  You may not be the expert on their diagnosis but you ARE the expert on your child, you know them better than anyone else does.  So do not be intimidated by service providers, their’ experience, their’ fancy degrees.  These people are usually fabulous resources and can be great advocates for you and your family, but if something isn’t working, say so.  If you need direction, answers, support, do not hesitate to ask for it. Use what is helpful and ignore what is not.

The way you see your child’s special needs and react to them, will set the example for how others respond to your child. The teachers your child comes in contact with probably are not experts on your child’s diagnosis either, and that’s okay.  Educate them about what your child’s special needs are, how they affect your child. Let your child’s teacher know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. If you have strategies that help with their weaknesses, share those.  You may have had to set aside the expectations you had for your child when you discovered their special needs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have hope. Inform the people who work with your child what your hopes and dreams and goals are for them.  Inspire them to believe in your child as you do.

Your job raising a child with special needs is probably one of the most difficult things you will ever do.  But it can also be one of the most gratifying.  Remember to take time for yourself, yes I know this can be difficult to arrange but do whatever you can to make it happen. It is not a luxury that you can’t afford; it is a necessity that you can’t afford to do without.  You effectiveness in your child’s life is largely dependent on your emotional well being which requires rest and breaks and time away occasionally.  Do your best to build a support group around you that can help you with the needs of your entire family.  Make time for your spouse and if you have typical children as well, do everything you can to spend one on one time with them, and teach them to love and care for their sibling.  If you are so wrapped up in the needs of your special needs child that your spouse and other children feel their needs are ignored or overlooked, they could feel resentful toward that child. Help them to want to be a champion for their sibling as well.  

Know that God sees you and loves you beyond all measure.  God didn't give you a special needs child as some form of punishment.  In fact, the opposite is true, God has entrusted you with a very precious child and He is there for you to lean on.  Trust Him, let Him be your peace and your guide and your strength.  Allow Him to show you great & mighty things in the journey of special needs parenting and remember that His idea of great & mighty things are often quite different than ours.

I know, it is all so overwhelming and seems difficult to balance and manage everything. But you can do this.  Believe in yourself, rise to the challenge, don’t give up, don’t feel guilty for needing help, ask for it! Do not be intimidated by people who do not know your child as well as you do, make your voice heard.  Hope for the best, dream big dreams for your child.  You CAN become the champion your child needs you to be!


A parent who has been there.