Thursday, December 31, 2015

This Last Day of 2015 We Will Gather to Mourn and Celebrate a Life

It's been 29 months. 
The other day. 
And I could barely get out of my own way. 
The whole day. 
The sadness overwhelming. 
But not for me
Not for my journey. 

For a family in our Community.
A father of 4. 
On Christmas Eve. 
A beloved husband. 
And I wept. 
For the journey they are on. 
For a love cherished and honored through the years. 
Bearing 4 beautiful children. 
Athletes and scholars. 
For the wake where they will stand watch. 
Where this Community will come. 
One after the other to walk with them. 

And I wept. 
Because loss is so hard. 

We are a people not meant for death. 
 We were meant for life. 
A story written long ago. 

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Life ever lasting. 
And that is the final word. 

The message of this Season. 
The hope for all nations. 
The Incarnate. 
God put on flesh. 
To give. 
So that we might live. 
Even in hard times. 

We are not meant for death and we recoil. 
The sharp sting. 

Until the time. 
When all will be set straight. 

Romans 14:11
It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'"

So when 29 months rolled around. 

I prayed. 
And sank low; knees to the floor. 
Crying out. 
Seeking comfort where the only true comfort can be found. 
Seeking the peace that passes all understanding. 
Digging deep. 

John 14:2
My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

Remembering the Promises of that Ancient Word. 

My heart and soul ache for this family. 
I don't understand. 

On this last day of 2015 we will gather together. 
To celebrate this man's life. 
To mourn and grieve for the deep crushing ache. 

But I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt,
that we are held. 
That the holy of holies came as a babe;
For us. 
That we might live. 
Because death will never, ever, ever have the final answer. 

I Corinthians 15:54
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory.""Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

Natalie Grant

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

Friday, December 25, 2015

I Can Scarcely Breath This Christmas Morning

I hear the whisper. 
He calms my aching soul. 
The empty stocking. 
My nephews children without their dad. 
My sister in law with out her son. 
The news of another loss of a dad so loved in this community. 
I can scarcely breathe this Christmas morning. 
I hear the whisper as I drive to the barn. 
Hush my child. 

The strains of a loved Christmas Carol play,

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

Sing all ye citizens of Heaven above 

The words strike me. 
We are citizens of heaven. 
Our citizenship is there. 
The freshness of these words pour over me. 
The glory is given even in the pain. 
Even in the heartache. 
He is there. 

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

The Word of the Father. 
Now in flesh appearing.

John 1
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Oh the truth in these verses. 
The simple promise. 
God became flesh. 
The Incarnate.
He came. 
So that we may have life. 
The citizenship already prepared. 
That passport already stamped. 
Entry never denied. 
You are welcome. 
Preparations are made for your arrival. 

This drive to the barn has been a holy journey. 
The air crisp. 
I bring coffee and treats to my farmer and farm boy. 
Even on the holiest of mornings the cows need attention. 
And this morning there are breakdowns and equipment working. 
My farmers take it in stride. 
The farm boy stands watch (Or sits) over the motor. 
Spinning the gear to make it continue on. 
With out it the milking machines can not work. 
But it's Christmas. 
So they do what they do best. 

We're heading to church in a few minutes. 
To the manger. 
An act. 
A journey. 
On this holiest of mornings. 
When my soul faltered. 
When my grief rose up. 
We're purposefully heading to the manger. 

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

The Piano Guys

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Encouragement on This Holiest of Nights

On the Holiest night of the year, I was given a gift. 
The child within moved. 
In the hospital room at 11:48 on Christmas Eve 2002,
 a child was brought forth.
Christiana Shirley Davis. 
A little over a year after her namesake met Jesus. 
A Grammie she would never know. 
Yet, as she grew she would tell us she knew her. 
And I wonder if deep down her soul did know her?

That before the Lord of the Universe sent her to us, Grammie Shirley didn't reach down and kiss that sweet angelic face and
 whisper words of encouragement. 

Because isn't that the way? 

This holiest of nights was the encouragement of a Nation. 
 The promised Messiah was here. 
The hope of all Nations wrapped in swaddling cloth. 
Not the military figure. 
Destined to bear the weight of the sin that would free us all. 

An encouragement for a hurting world. 
He came with a promise. 
He came with hope. 
On that holiest of nights. 

This child born amidst the splendor and sparkle of Christmas is a gift. 
They wrapped her in a large stocking and brought her to me. 

And in the wee hours of that morning my heart rejoiced over life. 

Her smile contagious.

Her beauty deep. 

She searches and reaches to live a life of surrender. 
She's silly and goofy. 

Fun, loving and beautiful. 

So very talented. 

An eye for beauty

So many challenges in this life. 
 A brother, she adored, in heaven. 

A world cruel with violence and refugees. 
Needs abundant. 
Her heart soft wanting to help. 

Yet, trying to fit in with a culture sharp and harsh. 
Making eternal choices. 

Her journey continues as she embraces her teens. 
I am looking forward to the next to last of the Davis' entering their teens. 

My prayer for this beautiful daughter is that she would grow to love Jesus with all her heart. 
That a deep love of His people will bubble inside her. 
I pray that her gifts and talents will be used for His glory and His purposes. 

So, on this Christmas Eve morning, I sit in the quiet of this century old parlor. 

My heart is at peace. 
My soul yearning for the time when all will be set straight. 

May you all have a glorious Christmas. 
Be encouraged. 

Happy Birthday my dear Christiana Shirley. 

If you have some time I pray that you can watch this video. 

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

There is Good News my friends. 

Advent Lament and a Brave Merry Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Ponder These Things

13 years ago I sat in the wee hours of the morning. 
Bathed in the twinkling Christmas lights. 

Hope wrapped inside; heavy with child. 
Nights uncomfortable. 
 Seeking solace in the quiet. 

So different from my walk today. 

A Christmas child. 
Due at any moment. 

What did Mary feel as she carried the Hope of all Nations? 

What was it like that night when all hung in balance as the 
Incarnate became Flesh? 

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Prophesy fulfilled. 
The journey to the Cross begun. 

All aligned.
Just as planned.

I pondered these things as the life in me moved. 

4 other children in the home. 
Wisdom on my side. 
A desire to slow time. 
Be in the moment. 
Treasure the deep of the night. 
The quiet.  
The season. 
Anticipation of what was to come. 

The moments ticked by as heaviness closed my lids. 
The sweet surrender of sleep. 
I pulled the blankets closer and breathed deep, the joy and expectation. 

Those sweet days of child bearing and hope. 
The future; joyous and unmarred. 

In stark contrast to the grief these days. 
The ache that drags and pulls. 

But that is not the way. 
The hope was not in flesh. 
Not in earthly vessels. 

My hope rests in that which can not be seen. 
In Him who came in humbleness to serve. 
The One I seek; Came for all. 
With a purpose. 

 He became flesh and bore our sin. 
He reigned on High and came as a child. 
His message of Peace for All. 

While sitting in the glow of twinkling Christmas lights;

I ponder these things. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

She Could Do Anything. . . Really.

The waiting. 
Our hearts. 

For Hope. 
Love came down. 
For me. 
For you. 
For All. 

14 years ago today a beautiful woman bowed low as
 she journeyed to meet Jesus. 
Her presence is missed everyday. 
The lessons she lived, still in our hearts. 

Here is a tribute to her from last year. 
She now resides with 2 of her beautiful grandchildren; whom she loved and adored with all her heart. 


December 18, 2014

I can still feel the peace I felt 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. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

When the Missing is Deep

I miss you so much. 
They are coming out with a new Star Wars movie. 
The products are all over the place. 
It's been so fun to look - at all the stuff. 
To remember when I was a kid. 
But then. . .
I got to the Lego aisle. 
And I still can't stop the racking sobs. 
They threaten to undo me. 
Our last Christmas together you got a Star Wars Lego kit. 
You were a Senior in High School. 
Enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. 
Yet the one item you pulled yourself away from the family for was, a lego set. 
Bought on a whim. 
Last minute. 
Yet so loved. 
It sat on the piano until you met Jesus. 
Someone cleaned up. 
They didn't know that you would have put that together 7 months prior. 
That I left it there to remind me of you. 

When we were mourning and rejoicing over Nana's homegoing. 
I can still so vividly see you on the floor. 
Your large hands manipulating those pieces together. 
Me calling you over to finish opening presents. 
But all you wanted was to put the Legos together. 
Oh how I long for you. 
It is a cruel twist of circumstances that leave a mama without her boy. 

And while I trust with all of my being in the God of the Universe. 
My soul aches for you. 
My flesh.
My heartbeat. 
My red head. 
I long to fill your stocking with all the fun lego pieces. 

I long to talk to you about the movie. 
To hear all your thoughts and criticisms. 
To enjoy the hype. 
But those things have been torn from me. 

Leaving a hole and an ache; crater size. 
I bought pajamas's for everyone to wear on Christmas Eve; minus your pair. 

In the quiet of the morning I shed these tears. 
I fall to my knees as I gasp for air the pain so intense. 

But I can't stay here. 
I can't remain. 
This beautiful tree in the parlor of your ancestors. 

Is a symbol of light. 
The light that came into the world. 
Light that penetrated the darkness. . . 
To save us. 

To restore and cleanse us. 
The future and hope of all Nations. 

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

He took on sin so we can live. 

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We have hope in the form of a child. 
A promise given. 

One day, my dear son, I will see you again. 
I don't know what it will look like. 
I don't really understand. 
But I have the blessed assurance. 
Until then. . . .
I ache for you with all of my being. 
Yet I will place my feet firmly on the ground. 
I will step into Truth. 
I will not be blinded by the lies that threaten to pull me under. 
With each breath I have here I will strive to live as Christ commands. 

It is not about me. 
At all.
It's not about making sure I am happy.
It has nothing to do with me. 
It is all about the surrendering. 
The journey to the Manger. 
Laying before him my gifts and treasures. 
To be used. 
For Him.
For His Glory. 
That He might receive All Praise and Honor. 
 The journey to the Cross.
Where Once for All was given. 

A hope. 
A light. 
A promise. 
The assurance for all Eternity. 

This you know my dear Elijah. 
This you all understand now. 

I pray that God will strengthen my weary heart. 
That I may remain faithful until I am called home. 

Until then my dear, precious son. 
Until then. 

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

When They Return

A new day is dawning.

With gratitude I face this day. 
One of the older farm girls. 
One that has come back to the farm. 
A cousin. 
Is giving my farmer a break.
And her side kick. 

Not that one. 

This one.

She has brought a contagious joy with her. 
Even when she is feeling miserable. 
There is a lot happening in her life right now. 
And true to Davis style, she is digging in. 
Willing to step on a path uncharted. 

Sometimes I feel like God has abandoned me. 
Turned his back. 
The ache and struggle overwhelming. 

That is a lie. 
God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. 
We have needed a boost here. 
Sometimes it feels like we're drowning. 
Low milk prices, transitioning to Organic, breakdowns, change in help. . .
It gets down right discouraging. 
But then in walks a ray of hope. 
Both of us needy. 

That's when the miracles happen. 
When you least expect. 

And when that sun began to come over the mountain this morning 
I felt the glimmers of hope. 
My farmer has rested two mornings in a row. 
He completed a few little projects around the house. 
We went to a Christmas Party. 
We watched movies. 
We all had dinner together. 
It's been a gift of a weekend. 

We're grateful for this older farm girl. 
She has brought us much joy through the years. 
Now she brings hope. 
Somehow those cousins are mingled in with the siblings. 
And where they start and stop becomes unknown. 

Two of those cousins now cease to sing their songs on this earth. 

It has rocked this family to the core. 
It has only increased our love for each other and 
deep commitment to carrying on a legacy of deep faith. 

As Advent continues may the richness of this Season reach deep. 
May it affect you profoundly.
So that you are changed. 
For the good. 
For eternity. 

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.