Monday, October 16, 2017

A small book about a big problem.

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review of its content.

Would you say that you have a problem with anger?
Or even just that you sometimes experience anger?
It's not something that we like to talk about, much less admit, but when we read the definition of anger, it probably makes us all cringe a bit:

I mean, honestly?

We experience strong feelings of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility on a daily basis!
when that driver cuts us off on the interstate
when the child who's old enough to know better does it again
when our spouse does the same old thing again
when the customer service person is unreasonable
when the wait at the doctor's office is too long
when the political posts on Facebook are too much
when the waitress takes too long bringing the drinks
when the pictures on Insta show places we should have been

Just daily life can be annoying...and can make us angry.

But friends?  What I've learned is that anger can only come out of me if anger is already in me.  Life circumstances, as annoying as they may be, can only reveal what is already going on in my heart.

And as it turns out, anger doesn't always manifest itself in yelling or rages.  It can, sure, but it can only show its ugly head through passive aggressive silences, or resentment.  Anger isn't always hot - it can be cold as ice, too.  It can show up through sarcasm, or gossip, or complaining.  Withdrawal and silence, or shades of indifference.  When we feel envy and jealousy, anger is never far behind. 

You see, I think someone who claims not to struggle with anger probably hasn't taken a close enough look at their heart. 

I'll be gut level honest with you: I hide my fear behind anger, and it's not pretty.

So when I got a copy of Ed Welch's newest book A Small Book About a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace, I sort of gave God the stink-eye.  He has done a great work in my heart over the past decade in this area, but He's clearly not done with me yet.

As it turns out, this little book of 50 daily meditations is a breath of fresh air.  Ed Welch doesn't pull any punches when it comes to dealing with our anger, and the ways that sin manifests itself in our life....but he doesn't hesitate to point us back to the gospel of grace that frees us from the weight of our anger.

They're short, each little daily reading; and they're full of Scripture and deserve to be read again and again.  I even think they could be perfect for a family devotional.  Ed Welch has done it again: provided us an excellent, theologically and Scripturally sound resource to deal with a problem common to all of us, but that's often left untouched in religious circles.  I'm ever thankful for his leadership and writing!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

On daughters and dating.

As we look toward the teenage years with our Lana, we pray nearly constantly for wisdom (for us and her!) as we navigate relationships of all kinds, and particularly with boys.  We pray for God to protect her from the wrong spouse, and save her for the right one.  We talk about her intrinsic value as a child of God, and how focusing on friendships through high school will yield much fruit.  We listen to this song from time to time, and she & I sing along at the top of our lungs.

So all that being said, I really appreciate this excellent article from The Gospel Coalition on daughters and dating.

This is the commentary they posted with it - I couldn't agree more!
If you raise that daughter, she’ll likely intimidate her fair share of “nice Christian boys” as well. Because a decent number of those guys have some nutty ideas about what it means to be in charge.
I’m amazed and saddened at how often I hear young single guys say of bright, gifted single women, “Wow, she’s so strong I don’t think I could lead her.” At which point, too many bright, gifted single women begin to consider ways to “tone themselves down” or “soften themselves a bit.”
Raise a strong daughter, even if—no, especially if it means potential suitors question whether they can “lead her,” whatever that means to them. You’ve just identified those suitors as ineligible, without so much as an application process. Leadership is not about the strong looking for weaker people to lead. It’s about the humble looking for those whose strengths offset their weaknesses and complement their strengths.
Strong leaders surround themselves with strong people, not with weak ones. Rather than finding the strengths of others threatening, they celebrate them and leverage them. This is Management 101, but I fear young Christian men and well-intentioned Christian parents of daughters have gotten a little fuzzy on the concept.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Serve Our City

Today was Serve our City at Hillcrest!
Our Women's Ministry + Student Ministry combined forces to serve in various ways all over our city - we had almost 300 people spread out all over Pensacola, being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Lana joined her small group at a local nursing home.
They sang, gave out beanie babies, played Bingo, and listened to stories.

She came home gushing about what a wonderful time she had,
and how much she loves "old people."
I'm praying that the Lord continues to develop that love, 
and use it for His glory!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Flag football

Tucker is having a great season playing flag football at Hillcrest this season.
He is so adorable to watch!

The real MVP of the team, though, is Coach James.
Do you see him huddled down with the boys in the picture below?

He is absolutely just as concerned with their character and sportsmanship as he is with their skills, which at this level is essential.

He goes out of his way to speak life and encouragement to each player and their family.  For example, here's a portion of an email we got from him this week:

Hello Dan and Rachael,

I wanted to give Tucker a heads up that i am going to have him play a little QB on Saturday.  He has been liking playing at Center and snapping the ball, but he is a good leader and paying really good attention at practice and i think he will really do well at QB.

In particular, and he will remember this from practice, he is really good at executing a plan, like the throwbacks and fakes and has a lot of fun with it.  

I am sure he will have success on Saturday and all of his teammates are going to support him.

Have a great week,

When we responded with gratitude for his kind words, this was his response:

Thanks Dan.

What the Lord shows me about Tucker is that he is a very natural leader and in his best version of himself, when he is confident and engaged, people naturally listen and go with him.  That can obviously be useful in Kingdom work as he becomes a Mighty Man of Valor.

The other side of that coin, like a lot of us, we can allow the enemy to steal our joy or cause doubts about the role the Lord set out for us.  The Bible is full of examples.  I pray that Tucker will never forget that with God, all things are possible and in our weakness, He is strong.

Going over the plays with him will be a huge help.  I know he is a thinker and likes to be "ready" ~ that's why i reached out.  There are only 6 plays that he will need to run.  I think it will be pretty easy for him to learn the plays... and then, his leadership can come through.  He already shows a steady hand and patience at the position and when he is engaged, he is really alert.  

I expect that he will do great.  i also expect that he will make a mistake or a few.  There is plenty of grace to go around.  Coach Steve and I have confidence in him and know that he can do great things.  He will have a lot of fun, for sure.

This mama may not understand the rules of football,
but I do understand the great value of having adults in your child's life that will speak truth and blessing over them.  It's immeasurably great, and I am so unbelievably thankful for Hillcrest, Upward, and Coach James.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Round here

Now that I'm working from home full-time, I can get a little distracted with things like laundry or organizing projects, when I need to be working.
I sometimes go to my "office" at Barnes and Noble to power up and get projects knocked out.

Speaking of work, here's an original song our friend Jordan wrote about me:

We got this guy a mouth guard for flag football 
(because I don't mess around with teeth!),
and he loves making this face because it creeps me out.
He does the same with these weird eyeball popper things.
BOYS!  They are so gross.

Our beagle is basically our baby.

Tucker asked me for Pop-tarts; I buy them maybe once a year or something.  I ordered them from WalmartGrocery online for pickup, and didn't realized I had ordered the most enormous box ever.  We'll be eating poptarts 6 months from now, but he was so happy that it made it all worth it!

Little tiny Pipsqueak will snuggle with us now!
Lana has trained her to be such a good pet.

Basically, all Davises are snugglers, clearly.

An empty box still makes her creativity come out!  I love it!

Dan's grandfather passed away last month;
a great loss for us all.
I love this picture I snapped of Tucker sitting in 
his Great Grandaddy Ruddy's chair.

Afternoon snacks are best with a buddy!

We are still loving our new outdoor space;
I often find the kids out there,
and we are taking full advantage on football Saturdays.

School for the entire state of Florida was cancelled for a couple of days last month,
so we took full advantage, and headed to Fort Pickens!  It was lovely!

The little Pip has gotten out twice now.
Once, Dan found him, and once, some friends who were over did.
Glad we found him before Pepper did.

My newest niece Beth Eryn Armitt was born on 9/6 at 1:06 a.m., weighing 8 lbs and 13 oz.  She is every bit of perfect, and I can't wait to get my hands on her.  We're planning a Thanksgiving trip!

Dan and I spent one Friday while the kids were in school cleaning out the garage.  It was a big job, but we got rid of TONS of stuff, and it's super organized now.   

 We are hosting a Sunday night discipleship group for 6th grade girls at our house, and we are all loving every minute of it!

I save special stamps for mailing in quarterly taxes:

Dan has his Grandaddy's truck. 
The kids love riding in it; it's really special.

Some mornings start sweet and slow.
They're my favorites: the mornings and the people.

It's still warm enough in October to play in the hose after school!!
So awesome!  We love fall in Florida!

Dan and I have started taking the kids on dinner dates Wednesday nights before church; we switch kids each week.  It has become something we all look forward to all week long, and don't want to miss!
Listen to this talk Lana and I had on our date last week:

And here's Tucker and I talking about math as we were getting ready for our date this week:

Love beautiful Florida sunsets!

and moonrises aren't so bad, either....

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Painting date with Lana

 My friend and neighbor Mary organized a Mom/Daughter painting night last night, 
and Lana and I had a wonderful time!

We picked up sushi for dinner on the way, 
painted for hours together with our friends,
all went to get Wild Honey together,
and then managed to get home sometime between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m.
I am so glad she's my daughter!