I Stand With Cherish


There are a few stories in the media that catch our attention and have the potential to mold us, change us, and help us grow.  The story of a young mother of 4 children, Cherish Peterson, has been one of these for me personally.  Have you all heard of this?  This mother had a bad mom moment: she accidentally, without intent, thinking she had the baby with her, left her baby in his car seat in the bottom of a shopping cart and drove away to other errands she needed to run.  This could happen to anyone: brain research has actually shown us that this is how children are left in cars, left places, etc. because she got out of her routine in a small way and really thought she had placed the baby behind her seat when she left.  After errands, her older child happened to ask where the baby was, and she turned around to see the baby was not there.  She panicked, called her husband, and rushed back to the store.  You can see her whole side of the story here: Cherish’s Side of the Story.

Now, let me tell you why this story has changed me.  People who have no idea who she is, or who just have read a headline by the news, have judged her and said TERRIBLE things about her.  I have been appalled at what has been said about her, and I have only read a few comments.  I have rushed to her defense and joined the #istandwithcherish cause because we are ALL imperfect people.  If we feel we have the right to judge someone’s entire character based on one decision, we are seriously messed up.  I make mistakes EVERY DAY of my life, and I pray that I am forgiven and can move on and try to be better.  However, do I give everyone else this same benefit of the doubt?  In truth, no.  I don’t.

I have always been the type of mom to judge teachers or babysitters based on ONE OR TWO accounts, good or bad, and have then requested teachers or babysitters based on only these accounts.  I have always thought this was fair, and even passed on these stories to others to “warn” them about potential teachers or babysitters because I thought I was doing a service.  I am ashamed to admit it, but that’s how I have lived up to this point.

This story has helped me change; I have promised myself I will no longer do this.  If I want others to accept my shortcomings and forgive and move on, I will do the same for others. 

Cherish, I am so sorry for what you are facing, and I simply have no idea how you must be feeling right now, but there has been some good come from this.  People have come together: the #istandwithcherish Facebook group is over 17,000 as of this morning!  And your story, Cherish, has changed me for the better, and for that, I thank you.

I invite any of you reading this to join with me and all other imperfect people and Stand With Cherish and every other imperfect person!!

New Christmas Song: He Was Thy Son Before He Was Mine

I am thrilled to share this new song with you.  It has been in my thoughts for over a year and it’s finally finished!

My husband, Gerrit, and I are in the process of writing a Christmas Cantata entitled “Voices from The First Noel,” and this song will be placed near the beginning of that cantata.  We are hoping to have the complete cantata written by fall of next year so we can share it with you all before Christmas 2016, however, we would love for you to be able to this song now in whatever noncommercial capacity you would like to.

This song is sung from the perspective of two amazing women: Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her cousin, Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.  It is sung as a duet for a soprano and alto as they individually pray to Heavenly Father about their divine roles as mothers to these great men.  I tried to convey what I feel these women might have been thinking and what their prayers may have sounded like after learning of their roles.  I know what many of us feel like when we find out we are to be mothers, and I tried to express those feelings in this song as well.

If you decide to use it in a Christmas program, some appropriate scriptural narration about Elisabeth is found in Luke 1:5-7, 11-17, 24-25.  Appropriate narration about Mary is found in Luke 1:26-35, and Gabriel then tells Mary about Elisabeth in Luke 1:36-38.

I want to thank my friend, Angi Johnson, for sharing her talents and her willingness to sing with me in the recording.  Her beautiful voice is perfect for the alto part, and I have loved working with her!  Thank you, Angi!

I hope you enjoy it!  Please let me know if you are able to use it somehow, and I hope you’ll look forward to our complete Christmas cantata next year!

He Was Thy Son Sheet Music