Friday, October 21, 2016

Israel/Jordan trip: the ministries

5 days I've been home now, from the Middle East.
5 days of sleeping in my own bed,
holding my people close,
getting caught up on regular life.

And as I do those things,
I'm trying desperately to process the 10 days prior,
trying desperately to hold the pieces of myself together.

Everything feels very raw, and my skin is very thin.
I've asked around, and I think this is normal.
I can't ever be the same,
and I don't want to lose the awe of what I experienced.

We did so much, so quickly,
and I think I'm just now beginning to process it.

So I'm going to try to begin the process of blogging about my days there.
I won't be able to put it into words,
but I have to make a record of it,
put some virtual standing stones in place to remember.

Much of what we did and what happened while we were there is confidential.
While we played with children and encouraged women,
there were many private meetings and conversations going on that will bear much fruit for the Kingdom in the days ahead, and I obviously can't share those details on a public blog.

I want to write down what I can, though, and I must first introduce you to the ministries we were able to join with while in country.  One of the things I love and respect about the way Hillcrest does short-term mission trips is that we always go to work with a long-term ministry partner who is on the ground in the area we are going to.  We are never going in isolation.  We always go to aid in the work that our ministry partners are doing.

Meet our team!
We are quite an eclectic group of 12,
with wildly different personalities and giftings,
and each one absolutely stole my heart.
It was such a gift to travel and work with these brothers and sisters.
I learned so much about and from them!

In Israel, we joined Bethlehem Evangelical Academy for a day,
and I cannot tell you the JOY that is contained in that school.
and his family are there serving, and their ministry is breath-taking.
We are in the beginning stages of partnering with this school and family,
so please stay tuned!

for their annual network conference.  
We were able to join with women from 12 different countries across the Middle East, for several days of learning and encouragement.  I wish I could tell you the stories here; let it suffice to say that these women and this organization are heroes of our faith.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Words of wisdom from Lore Ferguson Wilbert:

Everyone you meet today is carrying some hidden weight, and the temptation to make your own greater in comparison, or to overlook theirs for laziness or fear, will be great. I beg you today: Do not heal a wound lightly, your own or someone else’s. Do not cry, “Peace! Peace!” simply because you want their sunny disposition returned. Sit across from them and ask what hurts and don’t offer counsel or advice or bandaids, ask only for the Savior to be near, because His word says He is and He is the only One who can heal all the way through to the other side.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Round here

After studying Henry Ford, 
Lana's class made an assembly line for candy cars.
Lana and her friend Regan were in charge of putting tires on,
and inspecting the finished product.  So fun!

Tucker and Jude hanging out while the moms were in a mission team meeting.
It's so fun to watch these 2 buddies together.

A friend posted this recently from her wedding - 
the expression on Tucker's face is my favorite!!

This is what happens when I craft.

This election cycle has been awful so far,
and I anticipate it only devolving as November approaches.
I am #nevertrump AND #neverhillary, in equal measure.
I think I'm going to write in Russell Moore for President.

Lana's latest book report involved reading a book she had not read before,
writing a report in outline form, and creating a pumpkin character from the book.
I think she did an amazing job!

Tucker's Davis cousins gave him the game Blokus for his birthday.
We all love it, and play it frequently!
The other day we were playing, 
and Tucker couldn't find the piece he was looking for.  Ha!

This thing has been going around on Facebook,
with people posting graphics of their most-used words.
Here are mine - I think it's perfect!

Sometimes, when Tucker has called my name a million times,
I start responding in Pokemon.
Instead of using words, I make random sounds and repeat syllables.
It made him so mad one morning last week!
This might be what the Bible means when it tells us not to provoke our children to wrath....but I couldn't stop giggling.

This is what my Mondays look like this year:
No way you could have the Monday blues with these cuties!

Another fun day in Lana's class,
as they finished studying about early America.
We had a celebration that involved old fashioned fun like wearing bonnets, bobbing for apples, having sack races, grinding corn into meal, and writing with feathers and ink.

 I leave today for my trip to the Middle East,
and two nights ago, our precious Katie and Colter showed up at my door with this precious box full of essentials, and a note for me to open every day.  I've gotten to open 2 already, and they will be treasured forever! 

Each time we sit at the table to eat "bread" for our physical bodies, we also read the Word and feed our souls the Bread of Life.  Dan snapped this picture of Tucker and I, and it makes my heart so happy.

Fridays are our day together.
We are both off work, and the kids are in school,
and it's such a treasure.
So far this year, we've spent every Friday either working,
taking care of projects, or having other commitments.
Yesterday, though, we had until noon to be together.
The weather was beautiful, so we went downtown and had a cup of coffee and sat outside and talked and read our Bibles and just enjoyed a few hours of peace together.  You can see how much we both enjoyed it!

 Yesterday afternoon, 
we picked the kids up from school and headed south.
I needed my toes in the sand before leaving the country.
I love this picture of our buddy hauling things out to the water.

It made it even sweeter that our precious Scott family joined us!

Our first beach trip together with everyone being Florida residents!
You can bet it won't be our last!!
This friend is a treasure to me, in a million and one ways.
To know her is to love her, and to get to do life right up next to her takes my breath away with God's goodness!  She is an encourager, speaking words of Life and Truth into me all the time, in a million ways.  I never have to have my guard up with this one, and there's nothing but real life going on as we spend time together.  She has seen the best and the worst of me, and 17 years later, she's one of the best friends I've ever had in all my life.  She loves my children as her own, doesn't let me get away with a THING, will call me out on my junk in a hot second, and sticks around just the same.  Bring on the next 17 years, my dear April.  You're stuck with me!

See you later, Pensacola.
Be back in 10 days.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Featured 5th Grader

Lana was this week's "Featured 5th Grader" for her class.

Her teacher wrote:
Lana Davis was this week's featured 5th grader.  Lana is a "go getter."  If there is a task to be done, I can guarantee she will accomplish it well.  She brings so much joy to our classroom!

This was the display outside her classroom door all week long.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


I couldn't love this picture more.
I am standing with our Jordan/Israel mission team,
as our pastor prays over us.
And then, off to the side,
are our precious friends the Scotts,
who just moved here for Dustin to be our church's student pastor.
I love my church.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Lana's compare and contrast essay

Lana recently had to write a compare and contrast essay at school,
and she chose to write it about she and her brother.
I will treasure it forever!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fishing at the creek with Daddy

If you pull into the garage and Tucker sees his fishing pole,
he'll ask to go to the beach so he can fish.

If you tell him it's a school night and we can't go to the beach,
he'll ask if he can pretend to fish in a bucket.

If he asks to fish in a bucket,
his Daddy will offer to take him to the creek.

If he goes to the creek to go fishing with his Daddy,
he might catch a fish!

And if he catches a fish in the creek,
he'll ask to go fishing again tomorrow.