Monday, May 2, 2016

Lord, Give Me an Undivided Heart


Lord, I long for You to give me an undivided heart this new month, and each new day. 

May I live each day ...

* Focusing on You, looking to You alone for approval
* Listening to Your Words, new and alive each day
* Quieting my heart to hear Your whispers above the noise
* Believing truth above lies
* Praying instead of stressing and worrying
* Trusting Your promises, obeying Your instructions
* Thanking and praising You each day and in all circumstances
* Living my days, my moments, for Your purposes


Saturday, April 30, 2016

My April Memories


My blog has been quiet - very quiet - during the month of April. But though there has not been any activity here on the blog, there has been a lot going in real life for me. Which, of course, is part of the reason that I have not been able to do as much writing as I normally do. But before the close of this month, and before a brand new month is here, I am pausing, and sharing some of my memories and my thanks from the wonderful month of April! This post is a bit different than my normal devotional-type posts, and is a warm invitation to come by for a visit as I share from my life during the month of April.


It's always good to give thanks ...


At the top of my thankful list for this month of April is ... my dear hubby! I am always so, so thankful for him, and after the scare of a stroke the end of February (you can read about it here on our family/ministry blog), I am cherishing our days together even more. 

Gary is the main reason that I have chosen to cut back on the amount of writing that I do here on my blog. He has always been my biggest encourager to write and share here, but ... I am wanting to be available and supportive of him in even more ways than before. I help a lot in our Cru office in our home, and am also trying to make life simpler and easier for him (and for both of us) in the midst of our very full life of ministry and family!

His doctor appointments have continued since the stroke, as the followup tests have shown several things that need to be taken care of in order to try to prevent another stroke. He has had 7 doctors appointments in April (with 3 different cardiology specialists, and also with our family doctor). He also had an outpatient surgery done (photo above right) where he had a heart monitor (Implantable Loop Recorder) implanted in his chest area, as a means to monitor any unusual activity in his heart. We're thankful for the good care of his doctors.

Both of us love the spring season, and it was a treat for us to have one of our sons-in-law come over and till our 10x30 foot veggie garden spot. It's all ready now for planting soon.


How thankful I am for ... the gift of family! Each connection with our family has been like a gift to me and my hubby. Each time we see them, each phone call, each text. How thankful we are for our three daughters and their families who live nearby, and for another daughter and her family, and for our two sons who live a distance away. They are such encouragers to us, and such a help in many ways. We are blessed.

And our ten grandkids are such a gift, as well. Two grandsons turned 7 years old early in the month of April, and our oldest granddaughter turned 20 years old in the middle of the month! How can that be? We have now had the great privilege of being grama and grampa for 20 years!!

It was fun to go to a junior high track meet last weekend to watch one of our grandsons compete. It was a beautiful spring day, and such a treat to be there with family.


And I am thankful for God's grace and strength that enables my husband and me to care for two family members. We have many responsibilities each month with Gary's older, single brother who has recently moved into Parkview Manor, and also with my 95 year-old father who lives in an Assisted Living apartment at Skyline Retirement Community.

It becomes challenging at times to keep up with things, but we are grateful to be able to be of help. Some of my responsibilities are with taking care of the finances for three different accounts (besides our own, of course): my father's finances, my brother-in-law's finances, and also for a season now, the finances related to the family home that we are preparing for sale. 

April also held a very special celebration: one of my brothers came from Portland to help celebrate our father's 95th birthday! We gathered together with family at Dad's Assisted Living apartment for this special occasion. And we also were able to help Dad pick out an electric wheelchair, something he has been wanting to purchase for a few months now. 


In the midst of our full month of April, I did make time for a few fun personal projects: I did a bit more cooking again (after our very busy month of March when I needed to mainly use my supply of freezer meals) ... started up again with some exercising ... and spent some time reading. I love to read historical fiction, and have been reading Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill. Such a gripping book set during the time of the Revolutionary War, following the life and struggles of a kidnapped child from Africa, taken into slavery. Heart-breaking and very informative. I also am reading  The Beauty of Broken, subtitled "There's no such thing as a perfect family" on my iPhone Kindle app. I am really appreciating this book, and am highlighting so much of what I am reading - so very insightful.

It is hard to describe all that has been going on in my heart this past month. God is gently leading me to new places of surrender since my husband's stroke. It is definitely a process as we give over more and more of our own wills to accept whatever He has planned for us. Much of what He is teaching me is still in process, and I am thankful for His love and presence, and for all that He continually teaches us through all that life brings our way. 

It's hard to say what blogging will look like for me during the month of May. We will wait and see. I do have a few devotional posts already written, and will likely be sharing them soon. In the meantime, I would really love to connect with you on Instagram (click here), as well as on my Pursuing Heart facebook page (click here). I'll look for you over there, and would love to hear what is going on in your life, as well.


Monday, March 28, 2016

I Will Praise You, Lord


It was exactly one month ago today, that a new dimension was added to our lives. Our story as a couple now holds the dimension of having had a stroke. You can read more details of the stroke on our family/ministry site by clicking here.

And now, one month later ... after a three-night hospital stay for my husband, followed by multiple doctor visits and emergency room visits since then, we continue to be filled with thanks. It is always good to give thanks. There has been concern, even fear at times, and most certainly, there have been tears ... but underneath all, there has always been thanks.

Thank You, Lord ...

  • for Your presence with us when the unexpected enters our lives, that You can be trusted with all that You allow into our lives
  • that there were no damaging results left from the stroke
  • for all the testing that was done in the hospital to find possible causes
  • for our precious children who were by our side through the hospital stay, and each time we have needed them since then
  • for friends who have supported us through this time, and who faithfully pray for us
  • for the medical staff and doctors who continue to call for tests to determine the cause of the stroke, and who are continuing to make decisions regarding the best treatment to prevent a repeat stroke
  • for the stroke specialist, whose further testing has revealed some issues that still need to be dealt with
  • for my husband's steadfast faith and trust in the midst of this ordeal, never wavering
  • for Gary's recovery, and his perseverance and passion to continue on with Cru ministry even in the midst of this month of doctor visits
  • for the great, priceless gift of my dear husband -  the one I love above any other, for each new day together, for sweet, faithful love through our forty-four years together; all a gift from God
  • for God's promises and faithful presence with us each new day; for peace amidst the storms of life, and for a deep hope and anticipation of our eternal, forever home

It has been quite an adjustment for us as a couple and a family to have had this new dimension added to our lives. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors with the continued tests and doctor appointments. Please pray for us - for peace, trust, and for surrender to the story God is writing in our lives. All for His glory, and for our good. And please join us in our thanks and praise to Him!



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A New Month


Each month and even each day brings new opportunities for us to grow, and to trust in our faithful, loving God. And to sense His love and direction in our lives.

This new month of March has brought some of these new opportunities of growth and trust for me. And with it, comes a giving up of my own plans to write here on my blog regularly each week. At least for a season of time ...

There are a number of reasons for my stepping back from blogging for a time. The first reason is that my dear sweet hubby had a health scare the very end of February. This situation is calling for a significant amount of my focus in the weeks ahead. (I may write more details at a later date, but want you to know that he is doing very well now - how we praise God for this! We also appreciate prayers for continued health.) 

Also, my hubby as well as the rest of our family who lives nearby will be very involved in the next month or two with the care of another relative. We have helped my brother-in-law (single, and with some needs) move into a smaller apartment. We also are helping line up help for him in a variety of ways, as well as preparing the family house for sale.

So, though I really do love to write here several times each week, God is giving me peace about stepping away for an undesignated period of time. It's a hard thing for me to do, but I know that His plans for me are good, and I am filled with peace as I follow His direction. I may possibly still pop in here with a post periodically, but not as regularly as I usually have been doing.

Thanks so much for your friendship here, and for your prayers during this time! And since I cannot step away completely from writing and communicating things that God is teaching me and prompting me to share, as these things just overflow out of my heart ... you will certainly still find me on my Pursuing Heart Facebook page. And I would love to have you follow me on Instagram ... look for me as @cherrywarrick. I would really love to see you in either of those places of communication and sharing! And thanks so much for praying for me and my family as we focus on the things that God has planned for us at this time.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Project Life: February 2016

A fun little hobby for me ... capturing memories with digital scrapbooking. You can read more about my switch to digital scrapbooking by clicking here.

I've scrapbooked more pages than usual for the month of February, as we were blessed to fly to a conference in Florida the first week of the month. We also spent a few extra days there, as we just cannot leave Florida without spending some time together on the coast!

I picked three of the twelve pages I have done this month to share here - one page from our Florida trip, one from Valentine's Day weekend, and one from a special Family Meal this past Saturday ...







Thanking God for memories of His gifts to us this month ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Nurturing 101

A special gift: 2016 calendar from my daughters with photos of our sweet grandkids!

The amazing, incredible gift of Family ...

It is easy sometimes to take for granted one of the most priceless gifts there is ... the Gift of Family. And sometimes it also easy to neglect the care of family, as there are so many things that call for our attention.

But we must not forget, and we must not neglect 
to nurture and care for our families. 

I recently pulled a book off my shelf that my sweet hubby gave me 34 years ago on Mother's Day ... What Is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer. I learned from her words thirty-four years ago, and I am learning again as I browse through her book.

Edith Schaeffer likens a family to a mobile. I like to also think of it in terms of a mobile wind chime - a collection of delicately, hand-crafted parts, each part needed to balance the other, and all held together by almost invisible threads. Edith describes it like this:

"A mobile is a moving, 
changing collection of objects
constantly in motion,
yet within the framework of a form."

With each passing year, this description comes even more alive to me ...

When my six children were small, when they were first placed in my arms, I was in absolute, inexplainable awe of the gift of each one. Each one unique, each one a precious gift from God. And each one entered into the holy framework of a family

This family has changed throughout the years, as we all pass through seasons, and we all grow and develop. And also as we go through trials together, and work together through difficult circumstances. The good times, as well as the hard times are what can bind a family together.

But families that are closely bound together are a gift - not anything we can brag of, and claim as our own creation. Families are a gift from God. 

They are like a garden, for as we carefully plant the seeds, and tend the soil, we completely depend on our Creator to bring the growth.

As mothers, we are blessed beyond measure to be a part of tending the garden, to work alongside our Creator, depending on Him alone.

"There is no possible way of having good relationships, nor of having a whole grouping of good relationships in the framework of a family, if there is no one who understands that it takes time, patience, hard times, unselfish work, sacrifice of a variety of sorts, and planning on the part of someone to insure memories of beauty sprinkled all through the difficulties." (Edith Schaeffer)

Mothers - young mothers and older mothers - let us be encouraged that our nurturing and care of our families is of prime importance. We are blessed to work alongside our Creator to love and care for the priceless gift of FAMILY.

A wind chime produces the most beautiful sounds of music. And have you noticed that as the breeze, and even the wind, picks up, that the sounds are even more beautiful than before? 

This month holds memories of when some winds blew on our family mobile ... 
  • memories of a terrible accident that almost took my husband's life fourteen years ago this month, and of how our family was there for us, even some from across the miles, holding us as we walked through those difficult days, weeks, and months
  • memories of a daughter's diagnosis of leukemia twenty years ago this month, memories of pain and sorrow mixed in with the blessings of a family holding on to hope together, and also memories of healing, even beautiful healing of some broken relationships
  • and more recent memories of this past weekend when my husband and I had the responsibility of moving an older sibling, and our own daughters who live nearby stepped in so generously to help us as we helped another family member - they were such a huge help with the move; we could not have done it without them

The winds bring tears, but the winds also are part of producing beautiful music as a family is held together by threads of love. 

As mothers we should never underestimate the importance and value of the giving of ourselves to the nurture and care of our families, and we should never take for granted what a gift it is to live within family. A priceless gift from God; a reflection of His Love. 

---------------

Click to read more on this topic:
Nurturing 101 (January 2016)
FOREVER CLOSE: The Heart of a Mother

Linking up with:
Jennifer at Tell His Story

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yum-a-setta


It's my desire to write a food-related post once each week, though I don't always get it done! But it's always fun when I do have time to share one ...

This week I'm sharing a recipe that I should have shared long ago, as it is one that I have been making for years - Yum-a-Setta! It is an easy, and comforting dish. I can't remember for sure where I first found the recipe, but am thinking that it may have even been from a newspaper article.

This dish freezes well, too, and now that there are just two of us at home, I still make the full pan, and then divide up what is left into meal-sized portions, putting them in the freezer. Yum-a-setta is on the menu here in our home for supper tonight - a prepared meal from the freezer! My daughters and I have included it on some of our Freezer Meal Days, too. 


Print Recipe

Yum-a-setta


Course: Main Dish/Beef
Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 12 lbs ground beef
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • brown sugar little
  • 14 onion chopped
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup 
  • 1 16-oz pkg egg noodles (about 6 cups dry)
  • 1 8 oz. pkg processed cheese

Directions

  1. Brown hamburger with salt, pepper, brown sugar, and onion.
  2. Add tomato soup to beef mixture.
  3. Cook egg noodles; drain.
  4. Add cream of chicken soup to egg noodles.
  5. Layer hamburger mixture and noodle mixture in casserole dish with processed cheese between layers.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

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