Monday, November 12, 2012

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...kind of...

Today marks the beginning and the ending of a season in the life of our family. As many of you know, our family has been jobless since May 21st of this year...that's almost 6 months ago. Thank you to those of you who have prayed and prayed for our family. You share a piece of this testimony too!

Today, my man went back to work.
Our God is faithful.
He really is.
Here's how I know...

The last year of our lives has been one of molding, growth, discovery, and learning. Our views and mindsets have been challenged to the core. The Lord has taught us so much of what His true calling on our lives should really look like- and while doing so, chipping away at our pride and the many strongholds in our lives in order to bring us to a point of actually understand what it means to be living out this calling. He has changed the things we are passionate about, the way we desire to spend our time and money. We began to trade things that we were taught as the norm for Christian life (not saying any of them were altogether bad) to seek out things that have more of an eternal significance and impact. Now, as we began to wander down this path we talked a lot about faith. How we must rely fully on it. How it was what would help up to become more like Him.

Then, in late May we realized it's much easier to talk and read about faith- when everything is comfy and safe. When we are really the ones still in so much control. We were brought to the beginning of a new season in our lives in which we must begin to truly let the words we read, spoke and taught become the substance by which we lived. All other securities were torn away. No income. No health insurance. No idea what the future would hold. It was a very scary place to be. But, honestly I can remember driving home on Jason's last day and saying to God, "Well, this is it. The show is all yours." And for the first time in our lives as a family- it really was. It really, really was. And in a strange way, I was so excited. (and maybe a little tiny bit freaked out)

I know from hard seasons past, blessings and leasons are reaped- our family has learned that to be true. So, I knew God had an amazing plan. As we began to try to come up with a plan and figure out where we were supposed to go and what we were supposed to do somehow my man just didn't know any of these answers. He just didn't know. At the time this was so hard and so frustrating for both of us. I kept wondering "How can he just not know what we should do?" So, I began to pray for him with an urgency and specificity that I never have prayed for him before. Now, looking back I know that this was part of the learning of this season. We were still trying to find our way to fix the problem of provision, instead of trusting fully in His provision for us.

As months passed, He provided in the unexpected. I had 5 weddings booked to do flowers during this time period- I hadn't done a wedding since before Anderson was born! I got a job keeping 2 brothers, the same age as my boys and this met a great need, and also enabled William to return to preschool in the August. Jason had strong resolve and worked tirelessly posting applications day after day after day, cutting back and paring down our expenses, and managing the money we did have. He also worked on a landscaping crew- June thru September...hottest part of the year...without one complaint. I fear I may not have been so gracious in the 100 degree heat! We received the full amount of support we needed to go on a mission trip to Detroit with our Sunday School class that has been planned since the begining of the year.

We didn't miss one bill.
No one got sick.
We went without nothing.
There is still money left over.
Our God shows up!

As we are at the end of this season I can honestly say, it has not ended at all how I thought it would. I think I fully believed it would end in some major life change, with our home packed in boxes facing the wild and unknown. Two things have come from that expectation...1- I am ok with it when and if we are asked to make a major life change and pack our home in boxes. 2- This is not the end. He is not through with us yet. These things may still come to pass. But, for now we have been given an awesome opportunity: To brag on the provision of our God when we were in need. And most importantly to allow ourselves to be used as His provision to others in need.

Today, Jason has gone back to dress shirts, commutes, meetings and flow charts. I have gone back to running the household solo, laundry, and wrangling 4 boys during the day without adult company. Things seem to have gotten back to normal..."regularly scheduled programming"...but, I assure you...the Davis' are, by God's grace, tuned in to a different channel, with a strong and passionate resolve to live a life for the King and His kingdom, by faith and only through His grace.

Thank you for those of you who traveled alongside us down this bumpy road. There were some pretty rough days- and words can't express what your encouragement meant to know who you are, and we love you so very much!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

...plans formed long ago....

Today is a very special, and very exciting day in the life of our family. Today holds events that are the culmination of many, many prayers and the faithfulness of our God to answer them. Today Jason and I will be going on a mission trip together. Today 8 young couples from our church will be uniting in 1 GO. You see, 7 years ago, shortly after Jason and I were married I began to pray. I began to pray that there would be a place for me, a place for us, a place for young couples like us, in our church to serve God. I prayed for friends. I prayed for a feeling of belonging to something greater than myself. Today represents, in a way bigger than I imagined, an answer to those prayers. Over the last 4 years God has been working in the heart of our Pastor to encourage growth and involvement in our church from our peer group. He's supported us, and challenged us. There have also been countless hours spent planning and praying and planning some more to create a "niche" for young couples. Beginning with Nathan and Miriam Jones...Dino and Marsha...Craig and Carey and us...and now Brian and Tamara and Trent and Elissa have joined in! What a privilege it has been to actually be a part of the answer to my prayers! We now have 2 young couples classes...and we are determined to bring glory to His name- together! The amount of growth and work that the Lord has done in our lives through small groups, Radical and all of our discussion about God's Word encourages my heart, and blows me away! We are praying that as our name says, we will truly be a catalyst for His glory...starting in our marriages, our homes, our church and to the uttermost parts...and now we are going, 16 of us are going! 7 years ago, I prayed for a Sunday School class, and now we are going- together! Not only now do we have a place of ministry where we belong and are priviledged to serve, the Lord has surrounded me with the most amazing group of women! We are all young mommies in the "trenches" of toddlerhood trying to make our mark on our children, our homes, and the world around us. What an answer to prayer all of you are in my life! Praising God today for all this day will hold...Detroit here we come!...but also for all that it shows that God has done! He is so faithful...He is alive and working in our midst, and for that I am so humbly thankful. O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. -Isaiah 25:1

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Smelly Church

A week ago today, I celebrated Easter Sunday in San Francisco with my sister, brother-in-law and their sweet babies at the church they have been serving at while in seminary. This experience, tied in with a book I've been reading, and a lot that God has been teaching me, has taken me all week to process. There is just so much there, I need to get it out in writing, share it, and pray that it encourages you and spurs you on to follow His calling more closely.

We walked into the sanctuary of a beautiful, old building (actually, the oldest Baptist church in California) was bright, and warm and filled with many faces, vibrant. Worship music was playing through the sanctuary and you could tell there was a celebration that was about to get underway! We found our seats and a few minutes later, after the service started and we were worshiping I smelled something...something that I am not accustomed to smelling at was the strong, very strong, stench of alcohol and cigarette smoke, and body odor. I immediately wrinkled my nose, and undoubtedly look down it at the same time. As I stood there celebrating my risen Lord, He spoke to my heart... "This is how I want my church to smell..." for, while it smelled of sin and a rough life lived on the streets of the man sitting behind me, the Lord reminded me that His house, and most importantly His Son whose redemption we were celebrating was for this man too. Tears began to flow down my face as this soaked into my soul. God has called us, the Church, to be His hands and feet to these people. People who we often don't understand, look down upon, and definitely don't accept. His blood was shed for them too. It broke my heart that my initial reaction was disgust and condemnation. Throughout this past week I've thought a lot about what this means for me, where I am...and honestly, I don't exactly know the specific answer to that, other than change...change in how I look at His people, created in His image, change in how I treat others that are different than me, change in the way that I serve others, change in how I "do" church...

It so encouraged my heart to see such a diverse body of believers celebrating our risen Lord. The presentation that was given of the Gospel was in the context of what the people of this culture could relate to and understand (this involved very different "verb-age" than what you would hear in a church in the south). It so challenged me to question whether I meet people where they are, or just with what I am familiar with. I was blown away, and convicted, as people clapped and cheered, not for a home run or a touch down (although it was a similar response), but as new brothers and sisters (some of whom were homeless members of the community) were baptized. This so humbled me to think about the stale and jaded "golf clap" that baptisms often receive from me. Someone's life being transformed and redeemed is worth cheering for! This reaction posed such a unified front of His Church to anyone, from any walk of life that would have come into this house of worship. All of these different pieces of the puzzle of this experience, however, were all brought together with what I knew to be the "glue" behind this church. I knew that in months previous this church has not been such an exciting place. I knew of the sacrifice that was involved. The sacrifices were given by several young families, with young children (one of them being a family that is very special, and dear to my heart) that answered a calling. A call to leave their family. Leave the comforts of home and friends and grandparents and church in the "Bible Belt"... to come to San Francisco where God had great and mighty plans to use them for His glory. He needed them to begin restoring and rebuilding His Church. They came to a city so dark and far from knowing their great show them the love of a Savior. A Savior who lived and walked and ministered among those who seemed unlovable and unlikely and, to many, unworthy.
This beautiful Easter morning God revealed to me that He would want His Church to be "smelly"...for this is evidence that we are truly His hands and feet...showing His pure and selfless love, and extending His precious grace to those who need Him most.

Thank you First Baptist San Francisco for showing me a fresh and new glimpse of Christ’s love for His people.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

our happy ever after...

So, at the end of reading my mom's morning challenge blog from a group I'm in with some of my favorite girls....she posed a challenge to blog about your love story on this special day of luuuvvv! So, that is just what I am going to do! I think that reliving those early days of being oh so oblivious to the outside world, and even sometimes the not so glamorous days you spend together can be such a healthy thing to do! I find that it can bring an attitude of gratefulness to my heart for how the Lord numbered my steps, and then our steps together! So, here goes...

Our story started at Toccoa Falls College in the fall of 2001...there was this guy with exceptionally broad shoulders that I passed on my way to class in the Woerner missions building everyday. He would always smile at me and say, "Hey Liz!"...there were 2 things that were really weird about this..1- I had NO CLUE who he was, what his name was or how he knew me..and 2- NObody called me "Liz" except for very close friends from home and my family....really weirded me out! I told my room mate about it and from then on we coined him (whoever he was) "stalker boy". Poor guy! Come to find out he and his buddy had a bet going to see how long it would take for me to stop and ask him what his name was...well, sorry, I never did- oops! :-)

Several months later, I returned back to campus after Christmas. Sarah (my closest friend from high school who also went to Toccoa) had returned for the mini-semester they offered in January, but I stayed home to work. While I was gone she just made herself a whole new big group of friends, and wouldn't you just know stalker boy was in it! :-) Turns out his name was Jason, but everyone called him "JD". He was one of those kind of guys that was just so super nice to everyone, friends with everyone, but just friends with everyone. As I got to know him a little more I realized that he was funny, really goofy, but also very generous- always helping anyone out who needed it.

At the end of March Spring break was upon us... Sarah and I were having this conversation in the dining hall one night about how we just HAD to go to the beach...just kinda dreaming. Jd and his roommate Joel were sitting with us and they said, well, let's just go! So, 2 days later, we did! Looking back this was really not the best looking of situations- 2 guys, 2 girls, 2 tents...oops! Just goes to show how innocent it really was! We actually, looking back in hind sight, could've most definitely been "excused" from TFC for our little camping excursion! Oh, well, in the words of Mr.B..."Some things are worth getting gratis for!" Anyway, I got to really know JD on this camping trip. From the moment we got to our camp site he just took care of things- pitching the tent, making the fire, cooking dinner, etc...We had SO much fun! I remember telling Sarah one night, "He's going to make a really good husband to someone one day." Not having any idea or interest in it being me he would be a good husband to! Anyway, in the weeks following spring break the 4 of us were together all the time- along with a few other stragglers!- Sarah and Joel declared their love and intentions for one another (awww...). But, we were still just friends. Around May, however, my feelings began to grow a little deeper for this friend who I had come to know so well! There was one night when a bunch of us went to Lake Hartwell and spent the day swimming and just hanging out, then had a big bon fire that night. We after flirting relentlessly all day, JD put his arm around me at the campfire...and the next day came DTR #1 (for those of you who didn't go to Bible college where people are actively on the hunt for a spouse, that stands for "Define The Relationship". He proceeded to tell me that he thought I was great, but didn't want to go out with me just because he knew I liked him, like he had so many other girls. Wow, that was one I'd never heard before! Ouch! Well, fast forward about 2 more months...leaving college to go home in May I realized I was in love with this friend of mine...and a few days later boarded a plane for China. The whole time I was in China I thought all about him and missed him terribly, well, I missed everything USA related terribly! When I flew into Atlanta at 5:30 a.m....there he was! So, let's face it, 5:30 a.m. kinda seals the deal! We've been together ever since!

Looking back over the past 10 years since we became "JD & Liz" it is so encouraging to see how we have changed each other, challenged each other and learned to love each other so much more! I am so thankful for the man God has given me, and feel honored to be his bride. It's such a blessing to go through life not just living and loving someone, but also serving by their side. I have a sneaking suspicion that the next 10 years of our lives are going to be even more action packed than these first 10. I'm so excited to share them together for His glory!

Friday, January 27, 2012


After a really amazing and timely sermon at our church this past Sunday morning, I have been contemplating the act of forgiveness. We all have bumps, bruises and scrapes on our lives from others who have hurt us. But, some of us have deep, deep wounds that are woven into the make up of who we are. We have a choice of what to do with these wounds...will we let them fester and continue to bleed into our everyday lives, how we live and the person we will become? or will we let go of the hurt that has been forced into our lives and live a life of freedom in Christ, the One who painted to perfect picture of forgiveness for us?
As I’ve talked with a friend about the need for forgiveness in her life, it’s brought one of my greatest scars to’s made me think about the process I went through to get to the point that I am at in my life. The Lord has brought healing, but it has not come easily...and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that a little “band-aid” is needed from time to time. I found as I was praying over and reflecting through what I had found forgiveness to be, that the easiest way to define it was just listing things out. I pray that if you are at a point in your life where you are dealing with a broken or damaged relationship, that you would take these words to heart. It may seem easiest to move on with your life without that person or issue being resolved, but there are chains and bondage that come along with that choice. It's been in my experience that those things can greatly hinder your walk with the Lord, and your ability to serve others in His name. Seek the freedom we have through Christ's forgiveness for us in the relationships in your own life...

Forgiveness is...

-An on going process, sometime weekly, daily, hourly...
-A commandment from the God we serve.
-Inviting peace into our lives
-Freedom from the captivity that other’s actions can have on our lives
-We are given the perfect example of what it should look like through Christ’s death.
-It’s limitless, boundless, unending and full of grace....all these things can only take place when we ourselves have accepted forgiveness from Him.- Then, and only then, we can rely on Him to help up in forgiving others.
-Oftentimes a one-sided “transaction”- It cannot be dependent on whether or not an apology or forgiveness is asked in return.
-It must be a decision and an attitude that you purpose in your heart, regardless of the response, or lack of response, it may elicit.
-Forgiveness is an attitude, it’s a way of life.
-Forgiveness is getting to a place where you can let go. Yes, it is an ongoing process, but when you truly forgive you get to the point where it no longer dictates how you live your life, how you feel about life, and how you serve others.
-Forgiveness is a choice to love- without condition.
-We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.

On of the most influential women of God in my life once said this, after surviving years in a Nazi Concentration Camp..
"Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you." – Corrie Ten Boom

...just let go...let Him steady your heart, as you strive to live after His perfect example!

Here's a new song by Kari Jobe that was a great encouragement to my heart as I thought about all I wanted to share with this special friend through this post...hope that it's a blessing to you too!

"We are to forgive so that we may enjoy God's goodness without feeling the weight of anger burning deep within our hearts. Forgiveness does not mean we recant the fact that what happened to us was wrong. Instead, we roll our burdens onto the Lord and allow Him to carry them for us." -- Charles Stanley, Landmines in the Path of the Believer