Saturday, November 30, 2013
In the spirit of Ann Voskamp's 1,000 gifts, we are counting the days of November with deliberate, intentional gratitude.
There is a constant, very real struggle with the darkness, in this world and in my heart and in my mind. In my own heart and mind, the battle is often waged against me with words like "If only...." "When ____ happens," "It's not fair that...." I have learned that I can keep all of that at bay by heeding the words of that old hymn, Count Your Many Blessings
When up life's billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
Count your blessings, name them one by one......
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
Count your blessings....
So amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.
Count your blessings...
1. 3 gifts eaten: a bite of Tucker's candy bar, melty from his hand, offered to his mama because "Mama, you like chocolate." homemade chicken noodle soup from the freezer stash. meatloaf, cooked for Dan's dinner because we are glad he is home from retreat.
2. 3 gifts worn: pajamas, while watching cartoons with Lana and Tucker. fuzzy socks on cold feet. the Mother/Daughter necklace that Lana bought while shopping at a friend's birthday party for she and I to wear.
3. 3 gifts that start with N: neighbors, Tim and Mary. netflix, for mornings home with feverish children. nighttime, when all the house is quiet and still.
4. a gift gathered, given, good. sushi, dropped off at my front door by mark & valita & josh at just the right moment. Dan out of town, kids sick....the thought of it meant more than even the sushi.
5. 3 gifts, acorn small: a rock, chosen just for me by my boy. the clap song, taught to me by my daughter - nothing tangible at all, but it connects us. a kiss, on the top of my head, for no reason at all from my Dan.
6. 3 gifts government: revealing how desperately we need Jesus. doing the job the church isn't doing: caring for the poor. roads to drive on. (and not in that particular order.)
7. 3 gifts from your window: palm trees. the cul-de-sac where my kids ride their bikes. the jeep that my father-in-law generously let us borrow when we were down a vehicle.
8. a gift sweet, salty, sipped: thieves tea, to ward off the yuckies.
9. 3 gifts harvest: honeycrisp apples, special this time of year. rows of fluffy white cotton, southern snow. Young Living oils, from seed to seal.
10. 3 gifts found in Bible reading: 2 Corinthians 1:20. Colossians 1:17. Colossians 2:13-15.
11. 3 gifts of remembrance:
12. 3 gifts at noon: a morning spent cleaning house. a breeze, blowing through open windows and rustling the branches of our palm trees. a text from Dan, just to say hi.
13. 3 gifts behind a door: students behind my classroom door, my vacuum cleaner behind a closet door, a reliable vehicle behind a garage door.
14. 3 gifts silent: diffuser for my oils. Dan's hand holding mine in the night. my new study bible (except that isn't really silent, is it?)
15. 3 gifts golden: wedding rings. painting from Dan's mom. "pirate treasure," left on a shelf in my closet for safekeeping.
16. 3 gifts hard Eucharisto: forgiving, even as the hurt continues.
17. 3 gifts of laughter: donut frosting from ear to ear. mis-pronounced words and phrases. Tucker scaring me to death underneath the table.
18. a gift made, shared, passed on: Keurig, hand delivered to our door by Jon & Ashley Andrews.
19. 3 gifts autumn: slower schedule, with those dark early nights. warm drinks. cozy candles.
20. 3 gifts of tradition: Thanksgiving tree. Advent house. nightly family worship.
21. 3 gifts family: all 4 of us at Tucker's Thanksgiving feast. friends who are like family, who will perhaps be geographically closer to us soon. "museum kisses."
22. a gift grateful: taking a half day off teaching to be with my family for Tucker's feast, and having a principal tell me she is proud of me for doing that. having a boss who prioritizes family is nothing short of grace.
23. 3 gifts only in Christ: forgiveness. identity. purpose.
24. 3 gifts humble: Tucker's last bite of oreo. Lana setting up for night of thanks. Dan cleaning.
25. 3 gifts ugly-beautiful: for the aftermath of a boy with food poisoning - a washing machine, a bathtub with warm water, lysol and clorox.
26. 3 gifts preparing: jesse tree ornaments. daily advent scripture readings. acts of Christmas kindness list.
27. a gift handmade, held, happy. ornaments from the Jesse Tree exchange. so thankful for my friend Mindy including me! we met in Paris, spent just a week and a half together, and she is a sister of my soul.
28. 3 gifts in community: borrowing books and playing with puppies at the Scanlan's. Dan hunting. Knowing that they "have our back."
29. 3 gifts red: coca cola, in a can. Advent house, bought on clearance from Target. J-O-Y, hung in large letters on my mantle for Christmas.
30. 3 gifts astonishing! how a nap can work wonders. making room in our budget to be able to give more. hope.
Friday, November 22, 2013
This morning was Lana's 2nd grade musical.
They did a production called "Front Porch Songs" with lots of folk songs.
Love this one of her coming in and spotting us - can you see her?
She is such a joy!
This is Mr. Passmore, one of our school's music teachers.
The artwork you see behind him was done by art students and one of the art teachers.
We are so thankful to be in a school where the arts are still important!
Getting ready to sing...
Lana's class sang "There's a Hole in My Bucket."
Here's her special part in the introduction: click here
class singing - we weren't quite sure what she was doing here, ha!
They had done the musical every morning that week, so it was her 5th or 6th time.
I think she was kind of done, funny girl!
She was very happy that her PawPaw and Nana came:
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Today was Tucker's Thanksgiving Feast at his preschool - it is absolutely one of our very favorite things that they do all year long. We love Hillcrest so much - it reminds me of my beloved Little Lambs in Raleigh, in all the best ways. They just seek to love our babies, and tell them about Jesus, and really, could you want anything more during these early years?
This was Tucker's placemat, showing us which table to sit at:
I got a sub for a half a day, and checked this beauty out of school - we make these things a family event. I love everything Team Davis.
Look at this expression when he got on stage and saw us!
I cannot believe how grown up and handsome he looked up on that stage.
He will always be my baby boy:
Singing "Ten Little Indians"
Singing "Albuquerque Turkey"
And then, after all the classes had done their sweet songs,
Mrs. Amy (the director) dismissed everyone to sit with their parents except my buddy.
He was totally, truly fearless as he sang this song!
Singing "Amazing Grace"
I sing hymns to the kids every night at bedtime.
Amazing Grace is Tucker's very favorite, and most often requested one.
One day at preschool, they were singing songs, and his teacher was taking requests.
He suggested "Amazing Grace," and apparently when his friends didn't know it, he offered to teach them. As the feast approached, Mrs. Kathy mentioned to him that perhaps he could sing Amazing Grace for the parents.
"Sure!" he said.
In the weeks leading up the feast, he wouldn't practice it at all, at home or school.
He said he was "saving it for the feast."
Finally, yesterday, Mrs. Kathy told him he needed to practice with the microphone.
She gave him the choice to have his friends stand with him, or to sing by himself.
He chose to sing by himself. Total confidence.
He never even hesitated today.
I don't know that anything could make my heart happier than to hear
these ancient, gospel, life-giving words coming from my boy.
May this always be the anthem of his heart.
So, so blessed and thankful to be the mama of Team Davis.
After Tucker's song, and the pastor's prayer of blessing,
we got to enjoy a true Thanksgiving feast!
Tucker with Mrs. Amy, the director of his preschool:
The way Mrs. Amy leads her program is amazing. She is so calm, and sweet, and careful to know each child and what they need. She is the one who suggested moving Tucker up to the 4 year old class this year, since he just barely missed the cut-off. It was absolutely the right decision, and I still remember talking with her about my concern that Tucker might be behind academically because he's so young, and her calm reassurance that preschool wasn't about academics - it was about preschool, and that he would be just fine. She could not have been more right. I'm so thankful for a director who was willing to consider my one individual child, even among the needs of all.
And here he is with Mrs. Kathy, his beloved teacher.
She is completely gifted to be a preK teacher, and she may be the very best one I've ever known. Every single day, she has something to tell me about my Tucker: a funny story, sometime he particularly enjoyed, etc. She SEES him, you know? And she loves him - I can tell just by the way she talks to him. He is absolutely thriving in her classroom - she truly brings out the very best in him.
What a wonderful day! My heart is full.