Wednesday, December 31, 2014

If He Asks, Are You Willing To Do The Hard Thing?

Most mornings I still wake with a longing for things to be different. 
The piercing ache still very present. 

Images of my red head running through my mind. 
Reconciling the reality. 
His life here, on this earth, finished. 

My life continuing. 
Striving to push against the tide that will threaten to pull me under. 
2014 is coming to a close. 
A year we battled cancer. 

A year we walked on the wings of grace and mercy of friends and community. 

A year where the God of the Universe never let us go. 
A year where faith as small as a mustard seed grew as
 the Ancient word spilled life into my weary soul. 

A year where a little child led us. 
With love never known before. 

I don't have much to show for 2014. 
I can't expound on great theological truths or fantastic accomplishments. 
Most of it passed in a blur. 
I can only say we made it through. 
With grace, we placed one foot in front of the other. 
We kept our feet planted. 
We raised our hands to the living God. 
And by His grace we are here. 
Our souls are still weary. 
The movement of our family still stilted as we carry on without one. 

Yet, we long for all of this to bring us closer to the cross
For all to know the power of the One who gave once. . . for all. 
I can not bring Elijah back. 
These pictures. . . .these pictures are all I have left. 
I see my boy through videos or pictures. 
And the memories etched forever in my being. 

But I can shout from the mountain tops that He is with our Savior. 
That his life was important because each and every day God deemed his steps. 
We can look to the future because God calls us forward. 

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. 

Jeremiah was a prophet of the Lord.
Unfortunately, his job was difficult. 
The words of his prophesy were devastating and depressing. 
The nation of Israel would be sent into captivity. 
The people long had been warned. 
They needed to turn from their wicked ways.
But they couldn't. 
The pull of temptation too great. 
They would suffer the effects of the prophesy. 
But see, the Lord didn't end the prophesy with doom and gloom. 
He told those people to submit to the circumstances. 
Walk into captivity. 
Sometimes walking through the hard is what helps us see the good. 
Because God is in the business of changing and restoring. 

Jeremiah 29:14
I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

You see, even while the Israelites  were in captivity,
God was doing a beautiful thing. 
He was restoring a people. 
A nation. 

Our life circumstances can be hard. 
2014 may not have been the best year for you. 
Death, cancer, financial ruin may have been your path. 
But God is in the wilderness with you. 
He is doing a new thing. 

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; 
do you not perceive it?
 I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

And while I long for Elijah and life before. 
I am going to be open to see where God leads. 
I will breathe deep the Ancient Promises. 
I will declare the praises due His name. 
My heart will be restored. 
He will make my way. 

Lauren Daigle
How Can It Be? 

You plead my cause
you right my wrongs.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

For 17 Months Our Hearts Have Been Held By; God, A Community and Family, We Are So Grateful

A silent, still night. 

The ache  remains. 
Even after 17 months. 
2 birthday's.
2 Christmases. 

And much in between. 
A loneliness along with the  ache. 
I have lost my  child. 
Our  family so changed. 
And sometimes I feel lonely.
I feel like I was part way through a really great book,
 one I have loved  to read. 
And now the rest of the book is gone. 
Never to be finished. 
Year One, you are numb when you decorate the Christmas Tree. 
The Ornaments, they leave you gasping for air. 

Year after year a legacy. 
An ornament for each child, each year; dated. 
Her handwriting a reminder. 
My mom giving memories each year in an ornament.
 A gift, I have come all too suddenly to understand. 
So beautiful.
Each first, resounds with hollow echoes of what life was like and now so different.
The ache, deep,  steps defaulting to the well worn path etched in our being.
A numbness permeates all  you do.
A daily bowing in humbleness before the father for grace enough to make it through the day.
An endless sea of warm hearts making dinners, meeting  basic needs.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Somewhere, somehow you touch earth, delicately at first.
Testing to see if you can stand.
Looking at all around you as if for the first time.
Because what once was will never be again.

Your dear child lies in the cold, dark of the earth.
The child you carried and hoped for, now, gone.

And no matter how much you know you will see him again,
no matter how deep the faith and trust in the One true God,
the reality remains that this side of eternity that boy will never be.

There will be no graduation from the Marine Corps and watching as his career grows.
There will never be a wedding and I will never have the honor of dancing the mothers dance with my red headed boy.
There will be no mini hims carrying on the Davis name and silly antics.
The list will go on until you lose who you are and long for the guttural screams. 
It is not until the act of turning takes place that the journey can continue.
The act of the sacrifice of praise.

The 17 years we did have.
The treasured memory of an event spent together.
It is these moments that God reaches in and fills the shattered heart with the Holy Spirit.
It is a supernatural occurrence.
There is peace and a contentment in who this God of the Universe really is.
Because Year two the veil and fog that pulled you through year one has dissipated and you are left with raw, exposed emotions.
You take each one of those ornaments with the date and the year and you hold them to your heart. Longing to reach through the years and have time. 
And here your mind dwells on all the memories.

These seconds are hard. 
The fog has lifted and the raw grief is there. 
The walk continues through. 
There is no way around. 
Some days the heaviness weighs. 
I try so hard to rise above. 
I ask God for wisdom and strength.
Because it's too heavy to carry alone. 

Matthew 28:20
 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
17 months ago. I was wakened in the night. 
17 months ago this morning I stepped onto my porch. 
This is what I saw. 

I had called our friends to come over. 
My heart had ceased beating for a time. 
My mind unsteady and unclear. 
When I look at this picture, I am reminded of the peace
 that descended to my soul that morning. 
The beauty of creation; a universal language. 
The praise uninhibited. 
Even in raw grief. 
The God of Universe, who called all things into being placed a heart in the sky. 
A broken heart. 
I don't read much into things. 
I don't pretend to say that makes it better. 
Because I'd take my son back in a heart beat in exchange for the image in the sky. 
(Though my farmer wouldn't)
But it's all connected. 
The ache. 
The heart
 The death. 
It's part of God's plan. 
Funny thing is, often we don't know what God's plan will be. 
We see glimpses and pieces. 
Snippets out of order. 
Rarely do we get to see the whole picture.
But He knows. 
He knows what He is doing. 
It is in trusting, where the grace and mercy touch down. 

And 17 months ago when Gary walked into church to share that Elijah met Jesus early that morning, God knew what He was doing. 
Grace walked through those church doors. 
And no matter how I hurt. 
No matter how much I miss that red headed boy of mine.

No matter how difficult every activity is. 
God is still there. 
The milk prices will drastically drop, My farmer and daughter will go on a missions trip. 
Cancer will loom. 
The world will still spin. 
And God will still be glorified on His throne. 
I had him for 17 years. 
He's been gone for 17 months. 
17 months feels so long. 
But it doesn't compare with all of eternity. 
Our gaze is to be to the cross. 
The symbol of suffering and shame; glorified to hope and salvation. 
We walk in uneasy times. 
Hope must be our quest. 
There is coming a day. 
And oh, how my spirit longs. 

Faith Hill
There Will Come A Day

Friday, December 26, 2014

What I Missed This Christmas

I'm pretty sure I took no pictures. 
I don't have a camera and my cell phone has too many photos. 
I felt off the whole day. 
Most of the day I really wanted to be alone. 
Me; the extrovert.
I watched endless episodes of "Gilmore Girls";
 not stopping until I looked at my watch,
 horrified that it was past the time to go to bed. 
The house; a wreck. 
I hardly picked up a thing. 
I go to bed with an empty feeling. 
It's not until the morning,  
when I walk out into the living room and survey the damage. 
Boxes and tissue paper. 
Stockings and their contents spilled out. 
Little space not consumed by the lack of my attention to anything yesterday. 
It dawns on me. 
A video I started watching the other day. 
A family I have heard of, but know little about. 
A link I happened to click on. 
A family with many children and their traditions. 
Their family motto. 
Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last. 


There it is. 
All day yesterday was about me. 
What did I get for gifts. 
I didn't want to cook. 
I wanted to watch TV. 
I was justified. 
Everyday I work hard. 
I hardly ever sit. 
So, this day. 
This Christmas. 
I was taking a break. 
It was all about me. 
No wonder I went to bed feeling so empty. 
As nice as it was so sit. 
I did it at the expense of Jesus and Others. 
I didn't serve my family in any way. 
There could have been little things I had done to still slow down for the day. 
But my focus changed and I felt it. 
The heartache I feel at Christmas will never go away. 
His stocking will always be empty. 

The tags I find with his name on them will never be used again. 
The jammies I wanted to buy and the gifts I wanted to give will remain unpurchased. 
And the dreams he had and wanted, will never be. 
That is not for me to decide. 
God ordained before the beginning of time the length and number of Elijah's days. 
The plan God's.
Not mine. 
I will miss what God will do, if "I" am in the way. 

While I worked hard to do nothing yesterday, I missed photo opportunities. 
I missed conversations or moments of memories made.
Moments to clear my phone of pictures to make room for new ones. 
New memories, new hope. 

I missed that because "I" got in the way. 
It's not too late to change. 
The coffee is on. 
The radio may have ceased the Christmas Carols. 
But my heart can find the melody. 
Even when your walk is strong and your faith deep. 
The way can be hard. 
I am pushing the "I" away today. 
I think the family motto from the video I watched was a gift sent by God. 
I just missed it at first. 
Today I see it. 

Jesus first, Others next -Yourself last.

May you find the time to grab something hot and listen to this beautiful song. 

God is with us. God is for us.
God is in us. 

Casting Crowns
God Is With Us

Thursday, December 25, 2014

His Stocking is Empty; But The Manger Isn't (a repost from 12-25-13)

His stocking is empty. 
The stocking I made to match with Cedric's.
 A stocking I have filled for 17 precious years. 
Stockings that were 4 and then became 8 and this year would have been 9. 
 But after 17 years.
It hangs limp, while all the others burst from the seams; awaiting their precious owners.

But it's not about the stockings, or the tree.

It's not about the presents; but His presence. 
And as I stepped outside this morning, the heavens declared their Majesty. 
The moon and the stars in all their bright, glory rang out the song that Jesus is born. 
He came, He walked this earth, He suffered and died for you and for me. 
But today. 
We celebrate His birth. 

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We celebrate the joy and the greatest gift he gave; himself. 
So while Elijah's stocking is empty, the manger isn't.
It is full. 
Full of life and joy all for you and me. 
Embrace the gift so freely given. 
We can lay down all that troubles us and leave it in the manger.
We can pick up that baby boy and carry him with us.
And the funny thing is; he will carry us. 
That is grace and mercy. 

Psalm 23:6
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

We continue to receive blessings from friends and strangers.
A beautiful Christmas bouquet to adorn our table.
A barn full of help this morning so my farmer can get back to the house for awhile.
The presence of Christ in your life and the presence of your life in another's are the beginnings of understanding this journey.
May you know the untold joy from the presence of Christ in your life.

Merry Christmas from The Davis Farm to all of You 

Steve Green
The Birthday of a King

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

She's Growing Up And I Am Powerless to Stop It

She flashes those baby blues. 

She is beautiful.

She has grown inches over the past year. 

All the kids have. 

Her tender heart still unsure. 
Her last year before the teens. 
And I marvel at how she has grown. 

How this little baby born on one of the holiest of nights,
 has turned into a lovely young woman. 

Her smile lights up a room. 
She is the first to snuggle of all our kids. 
Her spirit; sensitive.
She tests the waters. 
Her words not always gentle. 
This world confusing and frustrating. 
Her desire to be more independent, yet still a child. 

Wanting to grow up too fast. 

And aren't we, the kingdom people, so much like that? 
We wish to move forward, find the answers, often before the time?
We can't be patient with what is here, before us. 
Always wanting more. 
We push instead of waiting.
We step ahead of God. 
We fill space with noise, instead of quiet seeking.
We think we know what's best.  
And I watch this pre-teen. 
My daughter. 
I sense her uneasiness and restlessness. 
 I want to teach her well. 
I want to shield her from more of the worlds heartache and pain.
I don't want her to have lost her brother and watch as her 
father struggled through the days of chemo and radiation. 
But she did. 

I can't shield her. 

Life will continue to come at her. 
These losses will not be her last. 
We can never know what will be in our path. 
But I can equip her for the struggle. 
I can teach her to bend low.
To set her heart in the path of the One who created her. 
I can teach her of the One who breathes life into our weary souls;
who calls forth the wind and the sea. 
The deep joy that transcends earthly indulgences.  
That she is loved, not because of what she does, but because of who she is. 
I can teach her the Ancient Word and the promises set forth before the creation of time. 
Grace for all. . .including herself. 
To make a difference in a world that shuns so much of what we believe. 
These are the things I can do. 
Much she has already learned. 
Yet, there is still much to learn in her journey. 
Until God parts our ways I will stay with bended knee sharing all that I can. 
Daily, I will surrender this child to the King of all, as He wills according to His purpose. 
I will step into joy no matter how long the time with my girl will be. 
Watching as this Christmas Eve gift becomes a woman with the heart of God. 

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, 
Even when he is old he will not depart from it. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Have A Son, Who Is Rejoicing With The King of Kings

Facebook posts declare it. 
Pictures show it. 
Families reunited. 
Students returning home from college for the holidays. 
Church is full of those boys and girls; home. 
It is Lessons and Carols, a beautiful service,
 celebrating the birth and coming Savior.
There is excitement and hugs. 
I am numb. 
I sit and literally focus on breathing in and out. 
The hollowness overpowering.
My boy is not coming home. 

While I am grateful for those happy, sweet reunions. 
I can't experience that. 
And I so long to. 
My boy lies six feet under in the cold, hard packed earth. 

I want to hear how he is doing and look into those baby blue eyes,
 see that crooked grin. 
I want a future.
Yet that is never to be, 
And I feel robbed. 
I continue to focus on breathing. 
In and out. 
My heart beating with the searing ache. 
You see, the walk of grief is not an easy one. 
It is always there, waiting to consume you. 
There is a power in the world that would love to see us fail;
would love to see us crumble under the weight of all this pain. 

So, the reaching is deep. 
Deep to shake off the heaviness. 

To remember:

Job 14:5
A person's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months
 and have set limits he cannot exceed.

Our boy resides with the King of Glory. 
The same King whom we wait for, this Advent Season. 
The babe in a manger; come for all.
The Incarnate. 
God With Us. 
You see, God set the world in motion. 
He created us.
We are His. 
Held by Him. 
Even when the unthinkable happens. 
The grace given for each moment is there. 

Because this isn't all there is. 

The hope that awaits each believer is rich. 
Our souls were created to serve our Savior. 
To yield to the Master's Touch. 
Sin has marred so much of that relationship. 
But it has not overcome. 
No, indeed, Christ has overcome all so that we might live. 

All of creation has been in rebellion since the Fall and the only anecdote is a Redeemer. 
One who came as a babe. 
One whose mother cried out in fear and stepped into a walk of faith. 
A blessed woman. 

Her voice rings sweet and clear in that church. 
 A young teen, who has walked a rough road. 
A heart that has yielded to Him, who reigns on high. 
Her song, based on the Magnificat. 
My heart resonates with the words she sings. 
Because, I am scared, nearly terrified
I don't know how to walk this road. 
And the thoughts a life without Elijah terrify me. 
A life without my farmer looms continually. 
So, I settle in and listen to the wisdom of a young woman whose knee has bended. 
Much like the young woman centuries ago. 
Who said yes to the possibilities. 

Words and Music by
Hannah Loggins

But, I am scared, I am nearly terrified, but your peace, it calms my heart
And I know that you'll bring me through, that I can lean on you
Behold I'm a servant of the Lord let it be to me according to your Word

Lord, Let it be to me according to your Word. 
Let it be no other way
Because a walk through the pain with you, is better than any other way. 

May these final days in Advent find you able to say Mary's words. 

Are we not blessed to walk a road, no matter how rough, 
with a God who has gone before us? 

I have a son who is rejoicing over the birth of the Savior. 

His joy complete. 
His walk finished. 

My prayer for you is to know this holy peace, no matter the road traveled. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Farmer's Wife I Called Mother In Law

I can still feel the peace when I entered her home. 
The country charm. 

The warmth. 
The smells. 
The open door. 
Oh, how I loved and admired her. 
She could bring a calf to the barn as easy as whipping up a tasty meal. 
There was always room on her lap for one more. 

Room at the table for another to sit. 
Always time for coffee.
There was always a solution to every problem. 
Life was a journey with God as her companion. 
Her creative touch transforming gardens and rooms into things of beauty. 
The light left her 13 years ago today. 
In a moment; she was gone. 
At 65 it seemed too young. 
Her husband just 16 months before her. 

The ache we all felt; still felt today. 
I miss her laugh and the twinkle in her eye. 
I miss her encouraging words and support on the farm. 
She accepted me; this city girl. 
She never laughed at my inabilities or lack of knowledge. 
She taught by example. 
She lived what she believed. 
Her hands, never idle.
Her heart, always full. 
So, my dear Shirley I miss you greatly. 
I am grateful for the legacy you left. 
I am thankful for the farmer you bore, the strength you modeled. 
I know I am the woman I am, because you believed in me. 
Because you shared a life surrendered to Christ and to your family. 
I know you're rejoicing with the King of all Kings and sitting at the banquet table with my red head.
This assurance brings me peace and fills my being with strength. 
Heaven holds so many of my dear ones. 
There have been days I have longed for your wisdom or to hold my hand when
 my heart can't take the pain anymore. 
For now I will continue as you modeled; though not nearly as adequately as you. 
My eyes are lifted to the cross. 
My soul surrendered. 
Life breathed into my weary heart by the Giver of all life. 
Thank you for giving. 
Thank you for loving. 
I was blessed to have been a part of your family. 

I was blessed to have you in my life.