Monday, November 30, 2015

What? November is Over Already? Day # 30 of Thankfulness

We were off the farm for a little over 24 hours.
Attending a baptism. 
Being with family. 
Trying to embrace this new change. 
Pushing through the loss and grief and all we have known. 

We have been blessed. 
It's so hard because it was so good. 
Not perfect. 
At all. 
But good. 
And the memories made; a treasure. 
We want that for our kids. 


This last day of November is the 30th day of Thankfulness. 
My how this month has flown by. 
Each day wanting, trying, working to enter Thankfully. 

Why is it so hard to walk with gratitude? 
Why is my default always grumbling and complaining. 

The Israelite's were not even to the Red Sea, after their Exodus from Egypt before they were desiring to go back. 
Wanting to go to what was familiar. 
Even though it included slavery and opression. 
But Moses told them,

Eodus 14:14
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

God is at work. 
He is fighting for me. . . He is fighting for you. 
Picture that. 
Someone, loves you enough to be fighting for you. 
We can't always see how it is going. 
It may not feel like anything is happening. 
All we see is heartache and turmoil. 
I assure you. 
He is fighting. 
He is holding tightly and will never let you go. 

I am thankful for:
reminders that I am loved and held by the Author and
 Creator of this vast Universe
 joy that comes from deep within
moments of reflection and quiet
coffee and the warmth of a fire
a light dusting of snow after these long beautiful fall days
a farm boy who turns the Christmas Tree lights on as soon as he gets home
the smell of clean laundry
grace, that covers a multitude of sin
the act of intentional gratitude
the hope of Advent
the memories I hold so dear
brothers who are silly and goofy
sisters in laws that love my brothers
another day to seek and serve as God's child

I hope these 30 days of Thankfulness have strengthened
 your walk with God. 
That walking intentionally into gratitude leaves you full of grace and mercy for those around you. 

They say that it takes 30 days to establish a habit. 
It will take me years of walking this path purposefully to shake the complaining gene. 
But I am willing to walk the path to greater living. 
May I someday be able to say as Paul did.
He had learned, no matter what he face, to be content in all circumstances. 

Philippians 4:12
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

May we all continue to name our gratitude each and every day. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A little Late But So Grateful Day # 20 of Thankfulness

I'm weary. 
500 plus miles in a little over 24 hours.
A baptism. 
Family time. 
Photo shoots. 
All time, marching on. 
I'm powerless to stop it. 
Living needs to continue. 

Hebrews 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. 
It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

My hope is secure
I still don't like this change. 
But I need to press on. 

I am thankful for:
Moments with my dad 

new life
the waters of baptism 

giggles and laughter
a shared meal
Christmas decorations
the farmette and her mommy and daddy who drive 2 hours to be with us
a farmer who stays up until midnight watching Hallmark
 movies with my brother
a niece who gave so we could get away

We get to do this life once. 
I pray that my eyes are wide open to see all that God will do. 
I don't want to be so distracted that I miss what is right in front of me. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How Gratitude Changes Us Day #28 of Thankfulness

I have chosen, with God's help, to walk a journey of Thankfulness this month. 
It is a practice that is cultivated. 
It requires digging deep and reflection. 
Finding things to be thankful for is not always easy. 
There are things to gripe and complain about. 
Rights violated, feelings hurt, fairness not applied. 
This is what makes the world turn. 
Getting ahead. 
At all cost. 
Glamour and prestige. 
The spotlight. 

Yet isn't that what Jesus fought the whole time he was here on earth? 

The idea that he was a King? 

His desire; to seek and serve. 
His desire; for souls to be changed. 
From the inside out. 
He spoke against sin and the devastating affects it has. 
Yet he came along side the sinner. 
He didn't leave them there. 
He walked with them. 
He walks with us. 
He requires change. 
When we yield to gratitude something inside us changes. 
We look for the gift in life. 
I am choosing to look more and more for that gift. 

I am thankful for:
friends and family visiting through the day
a farmhouse table full of young and old, munching on leftovers
doors flung open, welcoming those who enter in
the farm boy and his ability to create beauty where I see none
these warm days; so strange
mowing hay on November 27
large font size
decorating for Christmas

the girls and Rachel helping to get the house decorated 
the opportunity to get away for a quick overnight to MA for our new nieces baptism
the promise and hope of Advent
intentionally naming my thanks
choosing gratitude
white lights

this run down farmhouse with torn curtains and broken windows; I love every inch
the reminder that I am loved no matter how difficult or lousy I feel

Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Friday, November 27, 2015

He Knows our Name Day #27 of Thankfulness

Looking back is a practice I need. 
I journal to remind myself. 
I read God's word for the reminders of hope and promises. 
Looking back is a gift. 
Sometimes hard and painful 
Often uplifting. 
Reminding us of the faithfulness set before us. 

2 Peter 1:12
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

Many things are still true this day. 
We are grateful for so much. 
We will get our tree. 
We will step into the Advent season with great expectation. 
The words penned last year. . . .
16 months after our boy journeyed home are still true to this day. 
(well maybe not the snow part. . . )
The day after. .

November 28, 2014

It's the day after. 
The day after 22 people for dinner.
The day after we bowed low in Thanksgiving for the deep gift we have been given. 
After the Turkey and pies and steaming cups of coffee. 

After giggles and playing in snow. 
Now, it is the wee hours of quiet; the day after. 
One daughter off to work. 
Retail and Black Friday. 
My farmer; milking, overseeing all that needs to be done. 
It is also 16 months since our red head walked this earth. 

2 Thanksgivings he has rejoiced with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
2 Thanksgivings that have challenged me to my core;
 of choosing to step into gratitude. 
My quest to reach for Jesus in every moment. 
Seeking Him more. 
He knows my name. 
How can I fully know His more? 

Philippians 3:10
I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection 
and participation in his sufferings, 
becoming like him in his death,

This is the day we also head to gather our Christmas Tree. 
A tradition begun long ago. 
Years of Currier and Ives moments when my dad would pull the truck up to the side doors and the farm house double doors would be flung open. 
Babies all snuggled here at the house while mom and I decorate 
and pink hot chocolate simmered on the stove. 

The fighting being over tired and not wanting to decorate the tree. 

How the little kids kept putting all the ornaments on the bottom 
of the tree and how funny it looked. 
Someone invariably storming off because they were mad. 
Such happy ,delightful memories. 
So, today we will head to the woods -ok the family will head to the woods, I will stay in the house where it is warm and I can appreciate the snow from the inside- and gather the smells of Christmas and bring it home. 
We will pack up Fall and usher in Winter. 

The Season of Advent upon us. 

A time to reflect and seek to be fully known. 
To know fully the One who came to give all. 

Because, don't we all want to be known?

Don't we all long to be understood and be heard. 
There is One who hears. 
Who longs for His people to return to Him. 

This day, as the Tree is placed and the lights are hung, may this preparation prepare my heart to enter in. 

Into Thanksgiving, into knowing God more fully. 
He knows our name. 
No matter how much I struggle with resting in a God who knows my name; yet also allowed my heart to shatter into a million pieces, he does know my name. 
And He will one day make all things right. 
I pray that your heart is surrendered to the King of Kings and that your soul rejoices in the free gift He has given to All. 

I am thankful for:
Clarissa's friends here for a visit
a home full of teenagers and children
a kitchen that needs much cleaning
a day ahead of decorating for Christmas
the Season of Advent
a warm home and hot coffee
(which I ruined the first cup by thinking somehow
 I would grow to like eggnog in my coffee)

meals you can create with leftovers
snow softly falling
17 Thanksgivings with my red head
a God who know my name
growth in spite of the pain
the gift of grace
friends who continually help us journey on
a family from California who shared the meal at our farmhouse table
the quiet moments where God reaches down and soothes my aching heart
the hope of today and strength He gives

Francesca Battistelli
He Knows My Name 

He calls me chosen,  free, forgiven, 
wanted, Child of the King
His forever, held and treasured, 
I am loved

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Intentional Praise Day # 26 of Thankfulness

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost

We sing it every Sunday. 
For years. 
In response to giving. 
To giving of His tithe and our offering. 
The words and melody simple and familiar. 

Everyone Praise Him 

It doesn't say where, or when. 
Just to praise. 
In obedience. 
All creatures. 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Stepping into gratitude when you want
 to step right back to bed takes practice. 
Each day tiny steps. 
Remember to encourage each other with life giving words. 
Find a way. 
Seek the blessed. 
Find the good. 
Reach for hope. 
While the missing is deep today, the choice to order my steps
 toward hope was intentional. 
We'll gather around this farm house table to celebrate our gratitude. 

Two families deep in grief. 
Two families standing on the promises of hope. 
I can not do this alone. 
My flesh is weak. 
But He is strong and in Him is my trust. 

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
the Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 

I am thankful for:
a week of surprises and love
blessings in Best Buy
a puppy who is getting stronger each day
the college girl being home
the oldest farm girl and the traditions she is making with the farmette
the farm boy and two little girls-who aren't so little anymore
the pink hues of the sunrise
50 degrees on Thanksgiving Day
a day set aside for giving thanks
quiet mornings and hot coffee by the fire
the Ancient Word that brings life to my weary soul
opportunities to serve in other countries
people who want to help serve the people of Haiti and drop of items to the farm
not always knowing the outcome; learning how to trust
my farmer and our life together;
 it is not always easy and we have much to learn;
all I am learning in this journey with God 

May your day be rich in the goodness and love meant for all. 
Laying down my life at the foot of the cross was 
the best decision I have ever made. 
May you know that complete peace that is offered freely. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blessings in Best Buy Day # 25 of Thankfulness

Each person has a story to tell. 
The fabric of their life woven together. 
Some of the stories we know. 
Others lie buried deep within. 
Sometimes our lives intersect. 
A chance meeting. 
Social Media. 
Strangers become friends. 
Blessings given. 
Aching hearts touched. 
An artist. 
Reached out. 
She touched two mama's hearts. 
Cousins; gone way too soon. 
She gave.
Part of her story. 
Helping to bring warmth to our story. 

In Best Buy we meet.
While I wait for phone's to be switched over. 
While my heart breaks because my texts from Elijah are gone.
I receive a gift. 

A Portrait. 
A work of two years. 
A heart that gives. 
And now when death knocked on my farmer's sisters door. 
This artist painted all her love into a gift. 

I do not know what God has in store for my life. 
I do know that I am humbled and in awe of his amazing grace. 
I sometimes feel the burden of all He has asked me to carry is
 too much, too soon. 
Too much grief all at once. 
Yet who am i? 

Psalm 8:4
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
 human beings that you care for them?

I will focus on walking a path of gratitude. 
A path since the police drove away from our home with the news that my first born son had journeyed to the arms of Jesus. 
My steps began with thank you for this home, and kept on as I praised God for the water for the shower and the towels. 
I put one foot in front of the other with my heart held by the 
One who created me. 
And so on this Thanksgiving Eve, I will continue to give Praise to God and thanks for his indescribable goodness.  

I am thankful for:
new friends
the grace shown through another's amazing talent
meetings in Best Buy
a sister in law that teaches me so much
an afternoon spent with my kids
a treat with the kids on a refilled Starbucks card

baking and cooking for Thanksgiving

Rachel and Ella helping my farmer
Rachel and Ana helping me clean this big old dusty, dirty farmhouse
Loki getting stronger each day
the opportunity to serve in Haiti
supplies already coming in
the warm weather
our farm boy and all his antics, smiles and help

I am not going to lie
Thinking about spending another Thanksgiving without 
my boy is heart wrenching.

Knowing that my sister in law will spend her first 
without her boy deepens the grief. 

But knowing how much we are loved by our friends, this community and our Father in heaven spurs us on. 

I have said many times in this blog. 

Our job is not done yet. 

There is more for us to do. 
I eagerly await the work that needs to be done. 
Through it all I am changing. 
I pray with all my heart that I am becoming more like Christ.

We all have work to do. 

You can make a difference. 
Starting right now. 
Have you invited someone to Thanksgiving dinner? 
If dinner is too much. . . ask them over for dessert. 
Reach out beyond your comfort zone. 
Share the preparation for the meal. 
Work in community.
Do not wait for someone to reach out to you. 
Be the first to reach out. 

Blessings on this Thanksgiving Eve. 

Hebrews 13:12
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Will You Help, So They Can Go? Day #24 of Thankfulness

What do you think when you hear the word?
Foreign country?
 For the first 15 years of my life I attended a Methodist Church. 
Missional in its purpose. 
I remember filling barrels with clothing to send over seas. 
I remember the barrels. 
We prayed continually for other countries and the missionaries. 
Vacation Bible School was a challenge to raise funds to purchase chickens and milk for families in need. 
I remember holding tightly to the quarter in my hot sweaty hand.
I remember the poster board chart. 
 The chicken and milk column's growing with each day. 
The desire to help deeply rooted. 
When I was 15 we switched to an Evangelical Covenant Church. 
Missionaries, there, had faces. 
They came and there were potluck dinners. 
They shared about their work; what God was doing. 

At home my father often became incensed
 when talking about serving in other countries. 
His philosophy; why can't we take care of our own? 
There are so many people in need. 
Right here in our own backyard. 

Until we end poverty in our own backyard we have no business going other places. . . he would say. 

These practices throughout my childhood led me to apply to be a missionary teacher in a mountainous community in Virginia when I graduated college. 
I was not accepted. 
(Good thing)
 I had no experience. 
I was an incredibly naive, city girl. 

But these experiences and the desire never left. 
Somehow I wanted to help.
My farmer had the opportunity to go with Josh McDowell's ministry
 to Romania about 15 years ago. 
The Lord closed the door tightly. 
The loss of his parents. 
Then two more children were added to the scene. 
And so many other life happenings. 
The opportunity never presented itself again. 
Until death and cancer knocked on the door. 
The urgency to go became so real for my farmer. 
He wanted his kids to experience another culture. 
I wanted to help get them there. 
And so an article in a pamphlet and a response from our community sent my farmer and his daughter to the country of Haiti. 

The experience changing them forever. 

This year their desire to go is even more fervent. 
They want to take a team. 
And God is slowly opening those doors. 

We would love to have you enter in this journey with us. 
First and foremost we need people to pray. 
There are so many logistics for this trip. 

Second we need folks to partner with us financially. 
We are not in a place to handle this on our own. 
We recognize that. 
We also recognize if the funds are not there. 
Then the trip for all of them is not meant to be. 

So if you are inclined to pray please come along side us. 
Send us a note, or just keep us in mind. 

Donate to Haiti Trip

There is also a Davis Family account at the Jericho Merchants Bank. 

Thank you to those who have already so graciously given. 

Please be sure to click on the Haiti Project tab and enter in the memo box 
Davis Trip to Haiti. 

Thirdly we are collecting supplies to fill suitcases to bring to the people. 
Through your generous donations, last year,  we were able to send 2 full suitcases of supplies. This year we are hoping to fill 9 suitcases!
Items that we are aware of are; feminine products, deodorant, bra's and underwear for teen girls. 

There is also an exciting opportunity for you to meet the team leader of this Haitian Trip and ways to serve right here in the United States!

While Global Compassion Network serves over seas, they also function in the United States as an Emergency First Response to disasters. 
They have equipped trailers with Emergency supplies to meet a Communities needs when Natural disasters occur. 
Dennis will talk to us about the many ways you can be involved in this ministry. 

Please join us, Friday, December 4, 2015, at 6:30 pm. in the

A light supper of beans and rice will be served. 
There will also be an opportunity to hear from a couple who are interested in bringing 2 Nicaraguan Orphans here to the states to help educate and equip them to go back to live in Nicaragua. 

I am thankful for:
an opportunity to serve
children who want to serve others
realizing our needs are met each day
intimacy with Christ
a home bursting with giggles and friends and kids home
a quiet night with my farmer
lessons I am learning while giving thanks
running water and heat
The crisp air, reminding us that winter is on the way
a freezer full of summer
a puppy that is mending well
a farm boy that is so grateful
a God that knows my needs before I even speak them

I pray your Thankfulness journey is going well. 
Something changes us when we give thanks. 

Remember to mark your calendars for Dec. 4, at 6:30.
Come partner with us in these exciting opportunities. 

Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, 
and he will reward them for what they have done.