Saturday, August 31, 2013

God Changes our Mourning into Dancing.

Psalm 30:11
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

I am not there yet. 
But it is a promise. 
One that I believe with my whole heart.
I want to see the beauty in the ashes. 
Today I saw the hand of God in beautiful ways. 
If you are not careful you are sure to miss the quiet ways God ministers.

I saw a student walking yesterday with his head down. It looked so much like Elijah. . .it took my breath away. . .How I long for my boy. 

I had a planned visit from a friend from my youth.
The years evaporated before us.
It amazes me that time and distance can never really take away the true joy of a childhood friend.
I wish she could have stayed. 

I had an unexpected visit from another friend. 
This caught me off guard. 
I have missed this friend.
It was so good to see her.
We had so much fun together in our late teens and early 20's.

I needed these visits.
God knew I needed some tangible grace today. 

Both these visits helped ease the pain of the day. 
Both of these visits were gifts. 

And there were many others;
The sun shining and warm weather.
Little girls giggles and antics.
High School supply shopping and a much appreciated conversation with a friend there.
Celebrating Thomas'  18th birthday. 
Seeing his new guitar.
Hearing Dave play in the background while we talked
Baled hay
Sweet conversations with my, oh so grown daughter
Car rides with my only earthly son;. hearing how his day went. 
Cherishing every moment 

Each day is different and unpredictable. I want to be aware and live and feel. Complacency threatens to consume. And so I lift my praise to the Father for this day. 
I need him every hour.

Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Quieting My Heart

A friend is coming to visit today.  
The last time I saw her was Elijah's baby shower. 
She came to celebrate life. 
Somewhere I have a picture of her and another friend.
The 3 of us grew up together. 
Now miles apart. 
But today she is coming. 

She's never met Elijah.

She comes now to honor that life.  

From an early age Elijah had a strong sense of beat. He kept it steady.
 He loved music. 

Everything was an instrument. Plucking out the steady beat.

Keeping the rhythm steady when others could not. 

As he grew older we would  play together. But he would get so frustrated with me. . .I could not keep steady. . .Some times it would flow. He would set the beat and the music would fill the house. Especially "These are the Days of Elijah". I hold those memories tight. 
I gaze at his drum set in the corner of the music room. 
So silent. 
I quiet my heart. 
I close my eyes.
And remember.
I breathe deep through the searing pain.
I smile.
And a warmth spreads through me.
He is home. 
God's work is being accomplished. 
There is no other place I want to be. . .than in the center of God's will. 

Love listening to this song. . .
Many of his friends are heading off to to school this weekend. 
They will remain in my heart and in my prayers. . . always. . . 

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Does it Really Make a Difference?

He will carry me, when my burden is too heavy.
When I can not stand. . .
He will.

I woke with JJ Hellers song in my head today.
 "When my world is shaking. . .heaven stands." 
I have grace only for the moment. 

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
 for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

We purchased a van.
We couldn't have done it without the tremendous support all around us.
 It was hard. 
I couldn't even go. 
Clarissa went to support her daddy.
These are the things that are overwhelming.
The van, my flashing clock; represent change.
An unwanted. . .unasked for change.
The demand of the necessity compelling me forward. 

I picked up Cedric. . . from High School.
 Driving through the area of the parking lot where Elijah's Jetta was always parked . . . and the guys gathered. . .brought a wave of grief.
Though he wouldn't be there anyway. He had graduated. . .
But he isn't here anywhere. . .building a future. . .
His work here is finished.

And so Cedric told me about his day. And Clarissa shared her's. 
And they walked the halls where their brother walked and they were sad. 
And they remembered. 
And they pressed on. 

And we will press on. 
With all we have. 
One day at a time. Seeking God's peace. One moment at a time. 
And remembering. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How we Mark Time

The 28th. 
We will mark time now with the date. 
Not a day of the week. 
Though Saturday evenings into the wee hours of Sunday 
will forever be etched in my soul. 
I wonder if I will ever worship on a Sunday morning without remembering my red haired boy? 
Long to hear his drumming. . .

Worship has new meaning in my life.
It is a yearning, an aching, to be ever present with our LORD.

Why do we mark time?
Why this necessity to mark birthdays, anniversary's, events? What causes this? 
God was in the business of marking time and events long before we were. 
As a matter of fact he created the world and marked the final day as a Sabbath.
 He called us to rest.
To rest . . in Him.
He marked feasts and festivals.
He marked covenants.
He longed for his people to remember.
Remember the journey in the desert.
And to remember, this is not our home.

We are not home yet. And our eyes need to be fixed heavenward. All that we do here on this earth should mark where we long to live. Our actions and words should reflect the gift we have been given.
I will always remember and mark the 27th as the last day we spent with our beloved son.
And the 28th will be the day my heart almost stopped beating. . .and I needed to learn to breathe in a whole knew way.
Elijah, I miss you with all my heart.
Our work here on earth is not finished and as hard as it is. . .we need to live. Cedric starts High School today. Clarissa starts her Junior year. The pace of time marches steadily even in grief.
And as that time marches. . . I want to be present. . .to not miss any detail of these children God has left here on earth for me to love and nourish.

 I long for all of this to be a nightmare from which I wake.
But that is not the case.
This is real.
And with every breath I have left on this earth, I want to share who makes me strong. . .
Life is hard.
But a life without God is harder.
As a memorial to God, after the battle, Samuel raised an Ebenezer- a memorial to God - to remind them of God's help when they were in trouble.

And here I raise my Ebenezer, to remember God's faithfulness to me.
Oh how faithful he has been. . .and continues to be.
Praise the Mount I am fixed upon it.
Teach me ever to adore Thee. . .

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting at what's important

This farm. Oh how I love it. 
It has been a respite.

 I love coming home. I never tire of the view of the mountain or the meadows.

There is peace and beauty.
Even amidst grief.
 There is always much work to be done here. . .but somehow the beauty in this place makes all that ok.
 I long for a healing balm, for the pain within.
 Losing your son is like having a gaping hole. . .a festering sore.
The burn deep within my soul aches continually. How does a mommy say good bye to her son until eternity? Even when all I know, and believe with all my heart that this is God's plan. . .that He is in every single detail. . .even then, this is hard. It is hard to watch my children grieve. Longing for their big brother.  I watch Crystal grieve. . .I watch Elijah's friends grieve and long for him. . . and it all doesn't make sense. Ah, my farmer. Oh how he misses his son. How he longs to spend time with him. Yet, the farmer has had many years of wrestling with much out of his control and he has humbly bent his knee to the drought, floods. . .failed crops. . .brutal winters. His sweet surrender to his Savior is guiding me and helping.

Much of my day requires moment by moment clinging to what I know.
And what I know is; God is good. . .God is sovereign, and God knows. . .
 He knows my pain. Sometimes that does not give me peace. And that is where my faith meets the truth. If I claim to know God; then I will claim to know and trust him in the agony.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
 the evidence of things not seen.
This faith is not something I can see or make sense of. . . 

This is the place I call home. This is where I have entered the covenant of marriage. Where "I do" took on meaning. This is where the generations before us laid bare the land to bring forth life. Where we have sweat and toiled, carving out a living.
This is where we have loved and this is where we grieve.
Things have not been easy.
Working the land for a living is faith producing.
But it's good.
For us.
And so we will continue to wrestle with grief and we will
continue to work the sod of this earth.

And we will continue to lift our hands as we continue to believe.
Psalm 30:5
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning

Monday, August 26, 2013

When you feel Weary. . .

Amazing worship, back porch visits, 
flowers remembering the 4 weeks we have missed our son, sun shine with a soft breeze, forts in the back yard. These are the elements of today; of this day of rest. 

Cedric was leaving for camp and his brother leaned in the car to give him a hug. 
I snapped a picture with that smart phone I desperately never wanted. 
This was the last time Cedric saw Elijah. 
Who knew how important this picture would become?
The bond is strong. 
Their communication needs few words. Sometimes just more floor space to wrestle. 
They have an understanding. They are blood. And as they have matured they became friends. They have much in common. . .yet so different.
Now that bond is forever broken. 
How does a brother grieve for a brother? 
How does a mother help?
I continue to bow my knee in humble submission as I cry out and plead for wisdom. 

And I am weary today.
 I have cried. I have visited. 
 I have praised God in worship with my hands held high. . .as tears flowed freely. We held on tight to each other during worship. . .singing the praise that our hearts were created for. 
Pslam 147:1
Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God,
 how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

We were created for praise. Our souls long to give praise to God and to be thankful. Yet at every turn we forget. We get consumed with the daily grind and forget to praise. . . to say thank you. . .to count our blessings even when our hearts break. And it felt good to praise. . .Even when I am worn. And I am worn. I am tired and I am weary. 

Even in our grief, there is a yearning to praise. To lift up our hands in surrender to God. He will heal our breaking hearts and he will make a way. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baby Showers and New Life

It's been 4 Sundays since your feet have not walked this earth. 
4 Sundays of missing.

4 weeks of Sundays that we have shed hot tears...4 Sundays of longing to see you again.
4 Saturdays of wishing I could do anything about that day differently. 
I watch the clock tick away the minutes. . .
4 weeks of nothing really feeling right. 
But it is also 4 weeks you have spent in glory.
While we are left behind to feel the ache. 

Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing 
with the glory that will be revealed in us.
(thanks for reminding me Molly D)

Life continues it's ebb and flow as we work out our grieving. 
There is new life. . . all planned long in advance.

Psalm 139:13-16
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Baby showers.
A time of decorating and spending much needed time with sister-in-laws. 

 A time when woman come together and love on a mom to be.
 A time for fellowship and helping give the new budding family a boost. Some items are practical. Some are just fun. Especially a girl. Such pretty, dainty things. A time for prayer over the mom.
This mom that is a gift to me. One that I did not tear with or bring forth. But one I circled my arms around and enjoy mostly on the outskirts. She is hope and grace.

 Beauty struggling to find her way. . .

This is a  time of mixed emotions as you see new life. . .
yet long for the one that has departed. 
Small toys that play familiar music, rock my inner world. . .it stirs memories of the long ago. Memories that I want to cherish with joy and not remember with pain. All the longings that will never be. 

The sunrise this morning was not as spectacular as that morning; 
when for a moment my world stopped turning and time stood still. 
I want to scream against the normalcy of the day. 
But I seek the peace that is so available. I bend my knee in quiet submission. . .
in submission to His perfect will. 
I surrender all. 
I pray you enjoy this beautiful rendition of "I surrender All" with Michael English and Selah. 
May you surrender all today. 
Because even when your worst nightmare has come true. 
There is NO other place to go than to the foot of the cross and surrender.
He meets me there and he sets my feet on solid rock. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How a Mom Grieves

When we are quiet and still.
God meets us. He is everlasting and true. Each day that passes takes us further away from the accident. But closer to Christ's return.
 I struggle with wrapping my arms around this entire journey.

I Corinthians 13;12
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; 
then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
 even as I am fully known.

This morning I again lean into the door frame of Elijah's room. The pain still permeates the heart like a knife. I try to twist from the pain. I want to gently rub his sleeping cheek. Tickle his toes to get up. Tell him it's time to get ready for school. I want to hear him groan and pull the covers over his face. I put some of his clothes in the drawers. It's habit I guess. I pick up some trash. And I again breathe in deep all the years of loving. How does it come to this? How do I pick up the shattered dreams and delicate pieces of my heart?
Where do I go with the 'not enough's'? 
There have not been enough nights to say good night, not enough celebrated birthdays. 
Not enough time with only 17 years. Not enough dinners cooked and definitely not enough hugs and I love you's. . .

But there are "just enough's". 
There is just enough grace for today.  
There is just enough of everything else to meet our needs. 

And in those moments where I cry, 
"There was NOT ENOUGH"
God whispers back,
 I AM enough. 
And He his. He is all I need. 

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness.
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Proclaiming His Testimony

49 days after he gave his Senior Testimony
 Elijah Todd Davis went home to be with the LORD.
Here is his testimony.

Are you ready to meet the LORD? 
Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the LORD is King?
And that you're heaven bound?
Do you have peace that passes all understanding?

None of us had any idea that when Elijah kissed me good bye
and bounded out the door Saturday evening,
July 28, 2013, that he would never come home.
That he would fall asleep at the wheel. . .and
 when he would open his eyes he would be in the presence of the King of Kings.
And that we, his family would be on one of the
darkest journey's we have ever faced.

To listen to this testimony after Elijah has left his earthly home, is quite moving.
He speaks of fighting the good fight. He talks about heaven. . .he talks about looking forward.
He was 17.
He was not a perfect kid.
But he belonged to the giver of life.
"He wanted to fight the good fight now, for what lies in store for me ahead."
He shared his fathers desire to "travel through God's beautiful Creation"
And what God had in store,
 was that his sweet life, this side of eternity, would abrubtly come to a halt.
His residence is now in heaven and is able to travel all through God's beautiful Creation.
And my heart soars with him as I yearn to see him again. . .as I struggle to make sense of all that God is requiring of us.

Our family continues to be blessed by the generosity of this community.
Notes in our mailbox, cards on the porch. Fresh colorful flowers on the table, back porches cleaned off, and vacuuming done. Front porch visits.
All helping to soothe the aching spirit.
And remind us we are not alone.

When my mom was dying I often posted this song. And I share it again.
We have hope. We will see Elijah again.
And we want to live our lives sharing that truth and living well.

"Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes"

Isaiah 41:13
 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your 
right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Digging Through the Fog.

As I dig through the fog each morning. I cry to God to find unspoken peace in Him. I settle there. . .for a while. Even in the midst of this deep anguish, we can find hope. We need to dig through the dirt and mire to find the core. The core of our souls that longs to find redemption. We each were created for a reason and a purpose. That gives me hope. It sets my feet on solid ground.

As I grapple with this new life, I trust that God will guide my steps. When waves of grief flood my soul and I think I can not bear it any longer. . .it is too much. When all of me wants to scream, No! This can't be. A peace steals over my being. It is a peace not as the world gives. .  .

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. 
I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

A hard thing on this journey is the missing. 
The longing. . . heart wrenching, yearning to see him again.
Our souls should be that zealous to see the LORD.
Oh how we should long to be in His presence and do all within our power to
share that beautiful message.

But we get stuck. . .with the details of this life. And there is beauty here.
We will all too quickly see the that beauty displayed in a majesty of color as fall approaches. 
We see beauty in a new born baby, the giving of covenant vows. . .never to be broken. 
But if this is all we see. If this is all that stirs our hearts. . . we are missing the greatest gift ever given. 
The beauty that comes with a life surrendered to the Lord of Lords and the assurance of eternal life is the greatest gift one can find. 

We went to look for vans today. This is day 2 of our search and I am almost paralyzed in making a decision . . . It pronounces loudly that our van is gone, our son is in heaven and I need to move on. I am stuck. . .I don't want to move on. I am anxious. I don't want to spend any money. I don't know what is the right decision. I am stuck. And it is because I have taken my eyes off the One who will not let a sparrow fall. I need to dig through the fog and cling to what I know. 
Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

God knows our needs even better than I. And I am going to rest in his unfailing love and trust.

 You raise me up. . .to more than I can be. . .

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Beat of the Heart

Today is my parents Anniversary. It would have been their 47th. Last year we celebrated their 46th in the hospital at Brigham and Woman's. The doctors brought them a cake. . . honoring their years together as mom's life slipped slowly from her. . .I have said before, my parents relationship was  NOT perfect. They fought, said hurtful things, threatened to break that vow they had once cherished. Yet, they stuck it out. They persevered. And it became beautiful. This year mom celebrates in Heaven. . .that perfect Bride of Christ. . .

It was interesting to watch as dad's memory faded, the tenderness he brought to their relationship. When once mom had longed to get flowers or have him be more loving. . .He now was all those things. He would bring flowers, not remembering that he brought some a few days ago. As the realization that mom's cancer had progressed to the point that the ebb and flow of life would be silenced. . .he grew tender and attentive. She grew softer and peaceful. It was beautiful. It was also a gift. And on the day that the LORD called mom home, dad was right beside her. 

 I thought my heart was breaking when mom died in December. She was 69. She had a new grandchild. It was hard to lose her. But we praised God for her life and the blessing that she was able to see Tristan be born and then experience his baptism. Oh what a service that was! Mom standing up out of her wheel chair to give praise to the living God who was calling her home. . .moment by moment. 

I thought my heart was breaking in June when I picked up our sweet puppy from the hard packed road and watched him slip away in my arms. . . When I had to meet Clarissa in the driveway and let her know her precious white bundle had been snatched from this earth, too soon. 

And I then thought my heart might stop beating the night the visitors came to my door to tell me our son had not survived a car accident. . .so close to home . . .And those moments stilled the world for me. As the wee hours of the morning passed. . .I needed to  climb the stairs, walk past his room and tell his siblings that their brother now resided with the King of Kings. 

Each morning the sun rises. . .the milking needs to be done and the beat of the day presses the necessity forward. I am honored and blessed to have friends who have come along side me. . . and are just present in my home. They have folded laundry while I type out evaluations. They have washed dishes and watered plants while I do book work; they have played with my kids while I climb those stairs to lie on my sons bed and pour out my beating heart to the One who gives, and takes life. 

My heart will continue to beat until I am called home. Sometimes I think the beat will be unsteady as my aching heart longs for what it can not have. 

And as each sunrise comes, I will lift mine eyes to the hills from whence my help cometh. (Psalm 121) 
And I will give thanks and praise. 

I posted this song before. It is by a classmate of Elijah's. 
She is a gem, and a treasure. She has a gift and she gave it. 
And for that I am grateful. . . 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Today I changed my clock. The incessant flashing, now a steady glow. It is the cry of my heart that our lives will reflect the steady glow of Christ. That memories of Elijah will flood our hearts.

You know what a mother fears. . . after her child is gone?
 Is that his memory fades.
How does the seed of love . . .the child that left you scarred. . .fade?
These are things I think about. 
These are things that bring me to my knees grasping to hold on to our loving God. I blink back tears.
  I still can't believe he is gone.  
I don't want him to just be a memory. He had so much to live for. He was working so hard to be the best Marine he could be. He excelled in making his body strong. . .He was intense. He recognized his sin and the hold it had on him and his need for grace. 
Everywhere we look.  . .he is there.
He had been working on the calf fence up at the barn. The work now, unfinished. Stopped. 
Yet the reminders remain. 

It's the mornings that are the most difficult for me. The moment when I wake up. . .the moment when you become conscious and the weight and magnitude of all that has happened comes crashing down. . .I wonder how long it will be like this? How long will I feel like somewhere, something just isn't right?
Yet all around us the hub of life continues. 
The demand of the day requires my attention. 
It's a new life for me. A new lens in which to view my world. 
A world in which I will never see my boy again. 
A world that is snapped out of focus. 

But I am changing. The lens with which I view this world is skewed. But the lens looking heavenward has become clearer. My strength each day is renewed through God's precious Word. It brings me peace and hope. It is renewed. . .by hugs at the bank, cards in the mail and cd's on the front porch. 
All of it part of Community. Most of it divine Grace. 

I came across this song in January and it refreshed my weary heart as I grieved for my mom. I came across it today again. And I now grieve for my son. . .and long for hearts to be changed. 

"I need Thy Presence Every Passing Hour"

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Though you Slay Me

As I walk this path of grief I am learning new things.
I struggle with the dichotomy of joy, that Elijah is with Jesus,
and deep anguish because I miss him.
But I am learning.
If I really believe what I say I do, then there is no dichotomy.

 Church was beautiful. Thomas and Christian, 2 of Elijah's friends, shared a medley, "Worn". The words to the first part were from , "Cry to Jesus."
Oh how often I have cried out to Jesus;
 pleaded with the Author of the Universe that this is NOT my path. . .
Yet what am I crying? 
Will I only take the good that He has to offer? That when the tough stuff comes. . .
I am out of here?
What am I crying?

Today was also a day for new life.
We celebrated baptisms.

There are 4 generations represented here. 
A great grandpa baptizing his great grandson.
What a testimony. What an honor. 

And here is the group.
There is a gift in this group.
A touch from Heaven.
One of these entered the waters  of baptism after giving their life to Jesus at Elijah's funeral.
They heard the call and answered "yes" to eternal life.
What a gift of grace for my family.
How incredibly humbling. . .
that the same Author of the Universe that called
my son home. . .also called a new believer into the Kingdom.
That. . . is wild Grace. 

September 22, 2009
Elijah's Testimony:
I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart when I was five or six. I don't really remember exactly how I felt, but I remember knowing for certain that this was an important event. and that it was wise to pay attention. I said a prayer with my mom and ever since I have been working to build a relationship with God. It hasn't been easy, especially in public school, but in the middle of 7th grade my mom decided to home school me for the rest of that year and the next. Being home schooled really gave me some time to reflect on how I had been acting in public school, and how I needed to act when I went back. The transition from homeschooling back to public school this year has been a little difficult, but a friend of mine showed me a verse that is wonderful to say in your head when there is so much going on and you're overwhelmed. Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own.

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--

Sunday, August 18, 2013

When is too much, too much?

A friend was just diagnosed with cancer.
She has 2 teenage children.
Uncertainty looms before them.

Another friend moved away and is now
in the battle of her life with cancer.
Oh how I miss her.

Our hearts ache and long for our redheaded boy.
I watch my children cry; their hearts broken.
Mine breaks a little more watching them.
It's been 8 months since my mom died.
How I long to share with her my deep ache.

My dad is in need of intense care.
My mind swirls with thoughts and my heart feels like. . .
this is too much.
Where do you go with deep grief;
with questions that remain unanswered?

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, 
whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may 
be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We are told to consider it joy "when" we face the trials. . .not if . . .
We have been warned. 
The trials are coming.
We need to be ready.

So where do I go when I am reliving the night of my sons accident over and over. . .
when my heart breaks watching my children grieve. . . 
when a friend is diagnosed with cancer. . . 
when the floods come and fields produce unusable hay?
When uncertainty permeates. . .

John 6:35
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. 
Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, 
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

I head to the only safe harbor I know. . .