Monday, March 29, 2010

There's a hole in my umbrella...

So, I've been waiting for the Lord to show me what my next entry would be about and as I was driving to Target with my mom beside me and my little boy in the back seat...He spoke! When I told my sweet hubby the title of this blog- he immediately said, "well, that sounds positive"...but, like he has for the last 9 years...just bear with me! God can do amazing things with holes in umbrellas....

I was talking to my mom about the last 3 years of my life. She was asking questions, in a loving, motherly sort of way, to try to figure out how I "really" was doing and dealing with all that has happened in the past weeks. This was the first time she's seen me in person, so she was watching all my facial expressions (all of you who are close to your mom know EXACTLY what I'm talking about; and I consider having a mom that loves me enough to watch me in that way one of the greatest blessings in my life!) As I was driving, along with the sun beaming through the sunroof, something suddenly became so clear to me about the last 3 years and where I am now, God painted a very specific picture on my heart and I will attempt to share just that in the paragraphs that follow...

The short version of the blessings and awesomeness of the last 3 years is asleep in the room down the hall. His name is William Calan. He has blond hair highlighted by the sunshine. and beautiful eyes that are the color of chocolate pudding! His laugh is music to my soul and his hugs and kisses are warm and cozy (and maybe a little tight) like your favorite sweat shirt from college. Really, he is amazing! After he was born, our lives changed. Our hearts changed. Our marriage changed. Our home changed. Everything changed. We had a full year filled with hurt and heartache and all that comes along with it before we found out he was on the way. And when William came into our lives it was as though it began to rain blessings, straight from God's heart to ours. It was a slow and steady rain, the kind that lulls you to sleep on a Sunday afternoon, it was a healing rain, and a rain that brought unspeakable joy that can only come from God. I was able to work part time, Jason loved his job, we got to spend lots of time with our families...and the rain kept coming down(remember, this is good rain, showers of healing and joyful blessing)!

The picture that I saw in the car Saturday, while talking with my mom, was me standing in the middle of a path with rain pouring on my head, it soaked my hair, my face, my, I got out an umbrella and put on some rain boots. I'd lost my appreciation of the refreshment we can receive in blessings from God. You know, I'd kind of just gotten used to all the showers He was sending me...a healthy and smart little boy, time at home with him, close relationships with friends, a marriage relationship that was growing, a beautiful home, trips to the park, not wanting for anything, another baby on the way...and so on. The blessings kept falling, but I just began not to even notice all the "water" I was standing was still just pouring off the sides of my umbrella. I'd gotten comfortable wading around in the puddles, and wasn't really taking the time to stop, recognize and thank the One who authored this joy-filled season of my life. Then, all of a sudden, on March 1st...I got a hole in my umbrella!

The water started to, "drip....drip...drip..." right on the tip of my nose. Did my heart ache? Yes! But did I come to the realization that I was standing knee deep in blessings that had fallen straight from the hand of God? Definitely! I have come to the appreciate the fact that I may have gone through many more days and seasons standing in water without even noticing how many blessings were in my life, but, I serve a God who loves me so much...he poked a hole in my umbrella! So, I'm going to "consider it JOY!" (James 1:2) and start playin' in the puddles!

Isn't he the cutest, most beautiful "rain drop" straight from heaven????

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

God Size Band-Aids...

First off....wanted you all to know I so appreciate your kids words and prayers in response to my last post! They are more valuable that words could ever explain! Keep praying! :-)

So, in light of where I am in my life and walk, I was thinking today about all the little scrapes and nicks and bruises we get on our hearts just living and going through everyday life. Whether they be big, huge life altering "wounds" or just small ouchies, I am a firm believer that all of these things happen for a reason- and we are the ones responsible for the I said in my last blog- the throne or the pit? When we are handed a set of circumstances it's so crucial to remember that they have passed through His hands before our own. His desire is that we become more like Him!

10 years ago my baby sister was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is a hereditary disease that causes severe inflammation of the joints. It usually requires lifelong treatment, including medications, physical therapy, and possibly surgery. That was a pretty big pill to swallow for a young 15 year old girl, don't you think? She began a long road of doctor's visits and many medications, some which would later be taken off the market because of found dangerous side effects. Several years ago she began taking an injection 2 times a month that was $1500 per shot! But, it managed the side affects of severe pain and serious fatigue so that she could pursue her career in nursing. Now that's the background info....stay tuned for the miracle!

Over the last 10 years "HOPE" has become Ellen's motto. We all buy her all the little nick nacks we see with "hope" on them. She has claimed in prayer for the last 10 years for God- Jehovah Raffa- to heal her body, as have many of us who love her. I know sometimes praying for "healing" can sound so cliche'......but let me just tell you, the amount of conviction that she has prayed with would put many to shame. It was part of her everyday conversations, "Well, when God heals me this ...and that." She never doubted that this heartache (or entire body ache) was in the hands of an Almighty, holy and fully capable God!

This past August she and her husband moved all the way to San Fransisco for Colby to attend seminary, after which they will follow God's calling on their lives to South Africa. As a result, insurance changed, and she had to find a new doctor. Which, as many of you know, is such a waiting game. She went a month ago to her new doctor and he decided to run an entire new panel of tests to re-evaluate the progression of the disease. This past Monday Ellen went back to the doctor- and guess what? She has NO arthritis! Now, THAT is a God sized Band-Aid!

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." - Romans 5:3-4

So, if God has a Band-Aid big enough for a lifelong battle with a disease, He most definitely has one just for me that fit the broken pieces of my heart exactly. That has been my prayer this week, that He would be the healer my heart and the insecurities that continue to try to take root there- what if it happens again? what if you can't have another baby?...what if? what if?....and on and on! Let's face it, we have all tried to patch up our pain with things that we think will "help"...but the truth is those are like the cheapo Band-Aids that peel off as soon as you put them on! God size Band-Aids have some serious lasting power- they're like the ones you get at the doctor when they draw your blood that you have to practically rip your skin off to remove- the healing is there to stay!

Here's one more band-aid miracle I just had to share- it has encouraged me to the core! ...Just a few months ago one of my best friends called and just said pray! Her sister had suffered from a miscarriage early in her marriage, much like I had when I lost my first baby. It gave me an opportunity to pray in way for her and reach out to her in a way that I couldn't have if I didn't have those little patched up, band-aid covered spots on my heart from that same loss. And you know what? I heard last week she was expecting again- so exciting! But, then, I heard yesterday she's not only going to be getting one special little bundle but 2-TWINS! Now, isn't that just like God?

I will close with a quote from one of my favorite women of all time- Elisabeth Elliot. Her entire life was a reflection of living under the grace and healing of God. For those who don't know, her husband, Jim Elliot, was a missionary to a people group in South America who murdered him and several of his collegues. Just a few short years later- and a God sized Band-Aid, Elisabeth returned to the tribe who claimed her soul mates life. The Lord used her to win their village to Him!...incredible!

"Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.... The love of God did not protect His own Son.... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son., A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process."
Elisabeth Elliot

Lord, make us more like You!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Let's try this again!...

Sooo...I've been "sucked" into blogger world tonight and have been so inspired and encouraged by the testimonies I've read. Then, I thought back to the time earlier this year when I started this blog, and well, didn't get much further with it! I'm sure a lot of you are like me and love to look at all the blogs like The Nesting Place (on of my personal favs!) and follow all these fabulous ladies make over their homes for every single holiday (and I mean Christmas and St. Patrick's Day are now on the same decoration playing field!) and seemingly just redecorate because, well, they can! It makes me feel like the things that are going on in my life are not so "cutesie" or "stylish"....but, you can rest assured, they don't cost as much! :-) As a result, I just kind of walked away from the blog world.

Well, after reading several tonight, I thought to myself...I'm just going to look back at mine and read what I had written. God got me all over again! Let's just say that the Davis' have been handed kind of what you might call a bushel of lemons over the last week! Have you ever tried to pick up a bunch of fruit, or toys or anything small really and balance them all in your arms- only to drop all of them on the floor and watch them roll under the couch (never to be seen again!)? Well, I've been "juggling" the lemons this week for sure! When really- I need to just hand them over to the One who can make something sweet and refreshing out of them! On February 24th- my 27th birthday- I woke up at 5:30 to get ready for work. I had taken a pregnancy test the previous week, only to get a negative result...but the left over test was just staring at, I took it. When I got out of the shower- MUCH to my surprise I got my best birthday gift of the day! It was positive! I was so excited!
I should add here that this was not planned and was truly a huge surprise! I had been struggling over the past weeks after finding that my part time teaching position would no longer be an option next school year whether or not to go back to work full time or to stay at home with William. I told my sister that I had prayed for a flashing neon sign to come from the sky and instead, God sent me a baby!
So, needless to say, this was one of the most exciting birthdays...ever! As the next few days passed we began to tell our family and just a few other people (we lost a baby at 16 weeks in 2006, so with good reason proceeded with caution in telling everyone we met on the street we were pregnant...although, it was pretty tempting!). We began to dream of what a great big brother William would be, planning for rearrange and make room for another Davis in our cozy little abode, what would we name them...and Jay was absolutely sure that it would be a girl! He even had William talking all about a baby sister! And of course, anyone who knows me knows I was dreaming about hair bows, smocked dresses, nursery decor and all things monogrammed! They were just those good days when you wake up and for those first few minutes you just can't help but smile and give glory to Him who gives us life!...and all the wonderful things that go along with it! Then, at the beginning of the following week, I began to feel so uneasy. I could just really sense Satan's attack on the insecurities of my heart. I was asking everyone who knew to just pray for peace- I told my mom that I didn't remember feeling that way with William- but we had already had 3 ultra sounds by this point and had heard his little tiny heart beat. My appointment was still almost 2 weeks away-and that would just have to be soon enough. Trust Elizabeth, trust in Him! We had already learned the hard way that babies never really belong to us- we have to trust God with their care from the very beginning of their lives. I went to bed Thursday night with some strange cramping and I told Jay that I just knew something was not right....but, somehow, slept like a baby praying that God would just "do His thing!"...I awoke the next morning with an alarmingly familiar feeling in my abdomen. Cramping...I think I knew long before this morning the road that would lie ahead...piled high with those lemons I had promised to hand over....but I just couldn't swallow that- not now. I told God while I was in the shower...we'd already lost a baby, we learned a lot, we don't need to go there again, right God? As I drove to school I pleaded with God to let me keep the baby- with tears pouring down my face I talked to my mom and just told her over and over "I can't do this again, I just can't". I did not want to descend into that deep, dark pit that I had fallen into 4 years previous. It was such a dry and desolate time for me- but a time of refining none the less. As I pulled in to school I tried to compose myself to go in and face a room full of 5 year olds- until I could make my escape to go to the doctor. As I walked into my room, my parapro and my neighbor teacher knew something was not right. Shelley teaches in the room next door and we began @ Strong Rock together 3 years ago....she coached me through my pregnancy with William- and is just a precious friend. When she found out what was going on she was already getting her purse and keys to take me to the Dr. so I wouldn't have to drive there alone. I'm so thankful that God gives us friends like that! Instead she arranged things in my room so I could be in the office when they opened. The symptoms continued to worsen- and I braced myself for the news I knew I would hear. It was like a dream....a horrible alternate route for the dreams that had been floating through my mind for the past week! After an ultrasound it was confirmed that I was in the process of miscarriage...and so the journey began- at that moment I had a choice to make....would I go to the pit or the throne? (or for the blog's sake..the lemonade stand!) My arms were beginning to be piled with lemons, they were about to spill over and roll all over the place into every area of my heart and mind- making things sour....So, I chose the throne- begging God to help make our heartache into something sweet, refreshing and glorifying to Him! I can't really explain it- don't know if it's because I have William and he is absolute pure love and sunshine to my soul...or that I just know we will make it through but the peace of God reigned in my heart through that weekend and weeks beginning. I don't know if you've ever had a time in your life when you could almost tangibly feel God just holding you up- knowing all those who were interceding on your behalf for His peace. It was awesome. As the week has gone on Satan has pummeled me with a few lemons-especially Thursday. But,...there is much comfort to be found- and even more to be given from what I've learned and continue to learn.

Psalm 22 was written during a time in David's life when he was definitely juggling lots of verse 1 he asks God why He is so far away. Times like these in our lives it can often feel that way...but, I've come to the conclusion that it's because we are running from Him in the opposite direction with lemons flying everywhere.....while He sits and waits with sugar, and ice.