Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Powerful Gentleness


"See the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd;He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40: 10-11

I cling to this verse most days. "...he gently leads". He also "comes with power". I need both of these. A powerful Lord to protect me and my family. To work on my heart and stubborness and to mold and transform my children. He has to be powerful. And yet, just after that power-proclamation by Isaiah...we are reminded of His gentleness. Specifically pertaining to "those who have young."
So, tonight, with children finally sleeping and me left with my ponderings---how I could have done better today...words I wish I had back...decisions I would make differently...I am reminded the He who comes with power, will gently lead me tomorrow, just as He has done today. And He knows its hard. He has children too.
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:15-16

My Family


Family. I have been a part of amazing family all my life. On my Dad's side I was grandchild number 12. I loved visiting Granny and Grandpa. Granny always made me fudge (REALLY,REALLY GOOD FUDGE!) and Grandpa had the silliest songs he'd sing for us. At Granny and Grandpa's there was always red beans, always a domino game being played and always lots of laughing and hugs.
On Mom's side, I was grandchild number ONE! Aha--a placement I love and adore. First. :-) My baby sister and my three cousins lovingly point out any time we are together that I have four picture books at Mamma's and Granddaddy's house while their pictures together fill only two or three! I think I usually respond with love and maturity, "Too bad, so sad!"
I love Mamma and Granddaddy's house. To date, it is my favorite place on this earth. I grew up in their home. Learned the expertise of gin rummy and Boggle at their kitchen bar. And I have eaten more pie and ice cream (and cheesy squash!) around their table than I am happy to admit. Mamma and Granddaddy are two of the most influential people in my life. You see, they thought I was wonderful. And told me so. Everybody needs that in their life. I'm so thankful I had it in abundance with Mamma and Granddaddy.
I love holidays at their house when Uncle Tommy, Aunt Pat and the boys come. We laugh alot, play alot of games and eat alot of good food. I love my cousins. I'm proud of them. They are amazing young men.
Why all the family reminiscing you ask? Well, this last weekend, my Mom's side of the family was all together. Cousin number four, aka Jeffrey Todd, became a husband. He is married to a wonderful lady, named Rebecca. They will minister together to a very blessed youth group in Austin.
And I feel sad because I couldn't get there.
Living on the other side of the ocean is a life we have chosen. It is one I love. But there are parts of it that bring alot of pain. Missing family times is one of those.
So, I cry a little. Pray alot. And then just give thanks. The only reason it is sad at all is because I love all of my family so much. And because they are so great to be with.
So, Congratulations Jeff and Rebecca! I love you! If you are ever on this side of the ocean, stop by. We'll play some games and eat some food. And it will be great---because it always is.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

"I Can Read!!"


Of all the fun pretend games of my childhood, I loved playing house and school the most. I remind myself of those childhood dreams each day as I tackle the seemingly overwhelming task of taking care of an actual house and schoolroom. (It was so much easier with dolls that didn't make noise, plastic dishes you don't have to wash, and stuffed bears filling my "classroom".)
Four years ago I was "led" into the world of homeschooling. I was excited about the idea of teaching my own kids, but also perplexed by the enormous amount of choices I had to make...curriculum, timing, schedule, method.... I began asking lots of questions and was given so much helpful advice from family and friends.
When our daughter was three, we began the Cash family preschool. We had class in the back 1/3 of our garage/TV room. I spent one-two hours every night cutting shapes, searching our shelves for books and planning for the next days activities. Our sweet Kinley LOVED school and I could hardly keep up with her eagerness to learn.
Since that time, we have "graduated" to an entire school room dedicated to our home teaching. Kinley is nearly finished with first grade and Alex is about to complete Kindergarten. I still have trouble keeping up with their eagerness to learn...actually with two in school, two toddlers, cooking every meal from scratch and handling all the unique "opportunities"that living in the third world offers, I just have trouble keeping up period!
My favorite part of homeschooling has been watching Kinley and Alex learn to read. Kinley has been a reader now for over a year and she loves it. Alex is just getting started and he is doing so well.
The other day I had a "wow! I'm so glad I'm a Mom!" moment.
I was sitting at our kitchen table with Alex on one side of me, Kinley on the other and Isaac in my lap. Silas was in his highchair. Alex was reading his very first book out loud to all of us and by some amazing miracle, everyone was still and quiet long enough to hear it!
Alex sounded out every word and enjoyed the story so much. It was incredible to see the delight in his eyes with each page he read. I was overwhelmed...in a good way this time! What a gift, to watch him experience this!
We are surrounded by people who never get to experience this kind of moment. The illiteracy rate in Uganda is huge...especially among women. There I sat, with my four healthy children, watching the second of them learn to read. Worlds and dreams and ideas are now becoming available to them as they simply learn how letters sound. What a gift.
I'm thankful I was able to watch it happen. God is Good!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Greetings to all of you in the blog world! I join you with a bit of fear and trepidation...the technology of the internet moves around far beyond my East Africa home. Every once in a while, though, despite constant power outages, computer glitches and the endearing/excruciating cry of "Mommy"---I am actually brought into this cyber world. Wow!
My name is Cheryl Cash and tonight from my home in Ft Portal, Uganda my husband has Gently Led me into this great Blog Land. I have been led to many new and interesting places in the last ten years as a missionary wife...from villages to motherhood to homeschool teacher and more. I'd love to share this journey with you...so when I have a minute...I'll post my thoughts.