Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How a community grieves

We had visitors again.

This time they received an open invitation.
They didn't have to come. 
It was just an offering. 

But come they did.
Young, old, students. friends, teachers, 
some whom we had never met, relatives. 
They came.
Broken, shattered with grief. 

When a community mourns
You don't feel alone.
For moments you're so supported.

We did not see this . We had no idea how long people were waiting. . 
Waiting to hold us and whisper love into our hearts. 
I didn't want the day to end. 
I knew what it meant.
I know what comes next.

The sum of a young man's life presented in the parlor of his home.
 Laid to rest where other relatives have predeceased him. 
None so young.

Treasures and stores of memories

Crazy Children

Lots of Love


And now Grace

We will miss hearing you play today; 
I bet the heavenly choir will be rockin'

But we know without a shadow of a doubt we will see him again. 

I love this song by JJ Heller
May you find peace an comfort today. 
May you rest in the everlasting arms of the LORD. 
If you don't have a relationship with Christ 
I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking 
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking 
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Unexpected Visitors

We had visitors the other night. 

They are not the kind of visitors you really want to have. 

They didn't bring a gift. 
They brought bad news and pain.

Our beloved first born son had taken his final drive. 

Elijah went home to be with the LORD at about 12:30 am July 28

He is not yet 18. He just graduated. 

You all know that my faith is my life. 
And my family and I will continue to walk in that light.
 God is good because of who He is. Not because of what he does. 
I do not understand this plan or like it. . .Our lives are forever changed.

But I will walk hand in hand with God through this. 
This was the sunrise on July 28, 2013.
This is the masterpiece that only God can create.

We will bring glory to his name. 

He is no stranger to pain and the loss of a son. 

Please remember us in your prayers.

Please know that we grieve with you all.
 I will stand on this song as long as I live.
 I will miss my babe playing the drums on this song. . . 

Elijah Todd Davis , 17,  unexpectedly went home to be with his Lord and Savior early Sunday morning July, 28, 2013.  Born on September 2, 1995, Elijah was a strong and loving young man.  He was passionate about life and all he did. He had just graduated from Mount Mansfield Union High School in June.

            God gifted Elijah with a great musical ability.  He was an amazing drummer and loved to play in church.  He adored and tormented his high school band director Mary Bauer and still received the Mount Mansfield Union High School’s Music Department Award at his honors night. Elijah was an active leader in his church Youth Group at Jericho Congregational Church spending many hours singing, worshiping and playing his beloved drums.  He was a gifted speaker and this was evident during his senior testimony at church.

            Elijah began playing lacrosse in the 5th grade and continued throughout high school.  He loved the sport and considered his team part of his family.  Elijah also loved the challenging demands in wrestling and was a part of the team for 2 years.  This experience helped him get and stay in physical shape. Being in top shape was important to Elijah.  He was proud to have enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was scheduled to head to boot camp, at Parris Island on September 2, his 18th birthday.

            Elijah is survived by his loving parents Gary and Tammy Davis. His siblings; Chelsea (Davis) and Adam Brittain of Biddeford, Maine, Clarissa, Cedric, Christiana, and Eleanor.  He was predeceased by his pateral grandparents, Clayton and Shirley Davis of Jericho and maternal grandmother Lynne C. Searle of MA. He leaves many aunts, uncles, and cousins.   Elijah also leaves his beloved girlfriend Crystal Lanpher and friend Thomas Meyer: as well as his many other dear friends.
            Visiting hours will be at the family home at in Jericho, Vermont on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 3:00 – 6:00 pm.  Funeral services will be on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 10:00 am at Jericho Congregational Church on the green in Jericho Center, Vermont. Burial will be in the Pleasant View Cemetery immediately following the service.   In lieu of flowers the family requests  donations be made to the Elijah Davis Memorial Fund c/o Merchants Bank, P.O. Box 369, Jericho, Vermont.  

Ah, Lord, you tell us in your word :
Psalm 90, there it is: v. 12 "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." 

The time is now. If you do not know the loving grace of our lord. Don't waste another moment. Cry out to him. He will meet you where ever you are. No matter how messy your life is. He IS there. 
Elijah Todd, I don't know why God called you home so early. I can only stand on what I do know.

Jeremiah 29:11 
For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Gift of Rain

In a year when it's flooded more times than ever before in the history of our town. 
Saying rain is a gift, seems like a stretch. 

Roads were washed out in May.
Making travel impossible.
And sending road crews working over time. 

Fields that had been seeded. . .now were flooded

And the funny thing was. . .
we were in drought conditions. 
Grass wasn't growing. .. because it was so dry. 
Water tables were very low. 
And we were concerned. 
How do you survive a drought in farming, 
when things haven't been really that great over the past few years? 

How does parched land yield a harvest?

How do you continue to trust 
when year after year you are faced with; 
economic crisis, death, natural disasters, and then a drought?

What waters your soul?

John 4:14 "but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, 
the water I give them 
will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Funny thing about farming. . . is this is how you roll. 
It is never easy. 
The work is hard
Days and nights can be grueling. 

Why do you stay in a job that continues to test and try at every corner?

This is why. . .

and this. . . 
A different perspective changes your view.

Even when there is drought there are lessons to learn.

And each day dawns with a new hope.

New hope, and new life. . .
(So proud of my boy!)

Adventures that you didn't even know were headed your way.
 (those darn heifers)

And this. . . this is the result of hard work, 
of joy, of loss and heartache.

The drought ended. 
And it rained and rained and rained. 
And we were faced with a different problem.

But I have learned much from my farmer. 
Sometimes you really need to remember, 
you're in this for the long haul. 
These temporary setbacks 
don't compare with the beauty awaiting. 

Philippians 3:14 
I press on toward the goal 
to win the prize for which God has called me
 heavenward in Christ Jesus

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Date Night

Oh how we longed for the phone call. 
(yes on a phone. . .with a cord) 
We did have answering machines. . .but you knew they would call; and it made you excited.
 Each moment was like a breath of fresh air. 
New relationships are like that. 
 I would sit with Gary for hours just talking or sitting in silence
 (he liked that a lot. . .me, not so much).

It was just being together that was important. 

We went for walks in the pasture. . .we sat on the hill and watched the sun sinking low.
 Often in silence (he liked that. . .)

Eventually on a sunny, fall day we got married.

And it was bliss.  No, really it was.

Look at our journey! Our first wedding! Oh what a beautiful couple.

We've even been away on a few trips! 
Away from the farm. 
Away from the state! 
Though I really love our home and the farm.
 Being away is great. . .but I love coming home. 

Then, somewhere along the line, date night was pushed aside. 

Finances have been tight. 
With so many kids and homeschooling, schedules are full and I am tired at the end of the day. 

 We began to forget that love is patient. . .
that it is NOT easily angered. . .
that is keeps NO record of wrongs. . .
none. . .
Did you get that?  NO record of wrongs. 

 I Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

My mom's journey with cancer became trickier and my dad's health became compromised. And time just kept marching forward. . . .with few or no date nights

And then life became even more complicated as my mom's journey here on earth came to an end. . .and all of the other losses we endured over the past 8 months. 

And somewhere in there. . .I realized I missed my best friend. 

I missed going for walks. . .

And watching sunsets. 

So, last night after a crazy day of driving to New York to drop the kids off at camp. . .only to find out it was supposed to be today. . .

We went out for date night.
And we held hands.
And there was silence (which he loved).

We need to protect our marriages. Even if they are good. They can be better.
We are celebrating 20 years this year. 
And I can still say I am glad I married my best friend. 

Ephesian 1:15-19 . . . I thank God continually for you and I never give up praying for you; and this is my prayer. That God, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and the all-glorious Father, will give you spiritual wisdom and the insight to know more of him: that you may receive that inner illumination of the spirit which will make you realize how great is the hope to which he is calling you—the magnificence and splendor of the inheritance promised to Christians—and how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Happy Place

This. . .is my Happy Place. 
This is where my husband and children like me to be.
In a Happy Place.

I share my space with everyone. But sometimes I like it alone
Getting away from the farm hasn't always been easy. We have been blessed with seasons where we can. But mostly getting away has not been an option. So, this became our vacation spot.

We hang a line here for towels.

This is our view looking up. Then at night. . . Words can't express. . .
In the stars His handiwork I see
On the wind He speaks with majesty
Though He ruleth over land and sea
What is that to me? (He's Everything to Me)

There's plenty of space for family. There's a rope swing. There is always a breeze.
It's just my happy place.

See that spot? It's an empty spot
That spot should NOT be empty.
 Do you know what belongs there. . .? 
The camper. 
That's what should be there. The camper is old. The camper had a new roof put on this year (Yay! Harold. Harold can fix anything. . . like my husband. They are good friends. . .Harold is retired. . .so he can fix old, broken things). So there is a roof. But there is no ceiling. . .yet. (Because Harold left. . .He stayed for a month. . .it should have been 2)
Here's Harold working hard. 

He really works hard. . .

We used to be able to walk into the river here. . .waaaaaaay back in June. . .But the rains have changed the course and now this is a jumpy in place. . . I don't like jumpy in places. . . I like to take my time and ease in. . . somehow this has to change. . .so it can still be my really happy place.
Gary says I need to stop sending him pictures of the empty spot. It's stressing him out. I thought I was just reminding him. . . 
I went in the River today. It was 90 degrees out. The water was -2. I am not kidding. I gave a little shout when I went in. The kids said I screamed. I think I gave a little shout.

1 Chronicles 16:31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

When You're Rear Ended

16 candles. 

There were 16 candles on your cake last night. Each one representing a year of your life. 
Each precious year. 
How quickly those years have gone and how rich and full they have been. 

And I think what do I have to show for those years? 

So much has changed. 3 of those years I dropped you off at daycare everyday.

I missed your first steps

 I never sat in the afternoons and snuggled with you. I remember watching your caregiver enjoy that gift. But time has a way of changing and teaching you.

You don't seemed marred by the mistakes I made.

You're beautiful and fun
Your faith is evident in all you do. 
And I marvel at the way you have rolled with the punches.

On birthday Eve, as we were driving, a car pulled out in front of you. You reacted well and safely. You're a good driver. 
That same car, a 1/2 a mile down the road came to an abrupt halt. . .
but you're a GREAT driver and stopped well before their rear bumper (though secretly I wanted to bump it hard). . .Unfortunately the driver behind you wasn't able to stop. . .and we were 
rear ended 
(that's what I get). 

You were so calm

You pulled over to the side of the road. The poor gentlemen who hit us was struggling to put his car in gear. . .he got out of the car and I noticed he was a USMC vet.
 (Elijah is enlisted in the Marines and leaves for boot camp Sept 2) 
Neither car was harmed. He was so concerned.  I assured him all was good. 
And I thanked him for his service to our country. 
A friend saw us and stopped to make sure we were all ok. And we were. 
And we travelled on. . .And I thanked God for you.

Then on the day of your birthday. . .it all started out so calmly.
 Little did we know the storms that would be brewing. . .Our plans were made. 
A day to celebrate this milestone birthday and get your license. 

Yet every step was a challenge. 

No insurance card. . . yet we just happened to be having lunch right across the street from the insurance agent and Debbie Hamm had come to lunch with us. . .in her own car. . . so she could drive over to the agents office and get new cards. While we headed to the DMV .(because of course we were going to be running late.)

Then, at the license office our van was naughty and the emergency brake froze up just as you were to take your test. 
And you were unable to take the test. . .
until we realized of the 3 students in your time slot. . .you were the last. . .Mrs Hamm had her truck . . .
  so there was still time. 
And you jumped into a truck you had never driven and passed your test. 

Isn't life like that. Curves are thrown in every direction. 
We are rear ended time after time. . .yet, if we take the time to look. . .
we see evidences of God's hand. 

A difficult day. . .turned into a wonderful lesson.
With a wonderful outcome. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sweet 16

I wasn't expecting a girl.

 I had a step daughter and she was perfect and then I had our boy and he was perfect. . .and frankly, I was afraid of a daughter. I hadn't had the best relationship with my mom. I never wanted to make the same mistakes. So I figured God blessed me with a step daughter and the rest would be boys.

But nope.

They said she was girl.

I asked them twice if they were sure.

They said they were sure. 
They had a little experience in this area. 

And July 11, 1997 began a journey that has been nothing but joy,
(most of the time) ever since.

She's helpful.


Hard working.

Friendships mean a lot. . .

She's crazy. . .

She has loved. . .

And is loved. . .

And she's beautiful. . .both inside. . .. . .and out.

And today she is sweet 16.

Happy Birthday Clarissa.

Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him