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Monday, April 3, 2017

Dawn of a New Project ...

I am a blogger. A writer. I try to hide from it but I always come back. It's ingrained in me. It makes me giddy to type the keys and put my voice out there.

I don't know about you other mamas out there but I struggle. A lot. Struggle to find my own voice. Struggle to find the time. Struggle. One of the things that I have been struggling the most with is my position in the home. Not .. being mama. Not being home. But with feelings of not helping to provide. Not helping to bring the green home. It's so silly. Really it is. However, I often think about just going to work part time or trying to work at home. Um. Let's face it. I don't want to leave my babies and I stink at direct sales. That's about the skinny of it.

Last night while driving around doing errands, I started thinking. Scary. I shouldn't do that but I started thinking about all the money I "make" by having the time to do things that I totally didn't and wouldn't do if I worked at all. I started tallying all the crazy things I do and the money they save. It started adding up!

Now this isn't a MOMMY WARS thing and my numbers and thoughts might not add up to yours but that's okay.

This is my journey. My journey to finding there are monetary benefits to my staying home. I do "make" money in my own way.

Let's face it. Even if there were no monetary benefits, the benefits of sharing every moment with my children and taking care of our home and my husband are so much more important.

I am starting out approximating what I think I would make annually if I were to go back to work. This wouldn't be a fancy job, I am just basing it on what I am trained to do and what I would consider doing.

With all that in mind, I am using the number $26,000 per a year as my salary.

With all that "Jodi Math", here is more "Jodi Math"... Today (in my mind! haha) I "made" $132. Now I know that time is money. I get that! (Some times I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts because I just don't want to deal with a whole chicken. *Gasp!*) However, I am at a time in my life where money is a whole lot more scarce than time!

Today ...

  • We didn't use childcare because I was home with the kids. Now I know that if my kids were in public school, I would only need childcare for Ellison. I only considered childcare for her when coming up with this number. I searched the average daycare charge for our area. I know it could be higher and could be lower but I just went with an average.
  • Now I know that this may lose some of you. I hear ya but please stick with me on this journey. I pulled two 8' x 5' area rugs out of a neighbors trash and cleaned them up. I know. I know. Ick! I just get such a rush when I find something we could use in our home and with a little bit of elbow grease, it works out great! I often find myself shouting (yes! I am strange.) "Yes, Jesus! Thank you! I receive this blessing and I thank you!"
  • I refilled our laundry detergent bottle. This should cost but it didn't! I was (once again!) blessed when a neighbor was moving and left these materials for me to use! Once again... "Thank you, Jesus! I appreciate and receive this blessing!"

So this is today's tally of money I "made". Join me tomorrow when I share my cleaned up "new to us" rugs and how much we spent on decorating our family room! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Down and Dirty

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and 'sinners' were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the 'sinners' and the tax collectors, they asked his disciples: 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?' On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick, I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners." - Mark 2:15-17

For a while now, I have known Andy and I and our little family make people uneasy. We often dance to the beat of our own drum and dive in head first. From our quick marriage to our "many" kids to our now homeschooling to now jumping in the arena of adoption. I know we look like a circus and I know a lot of people often wonder what we are thinking. 

Honestly, some days it feels like I should be selling popcorn as others sit and watch our side show. Ha!

Honestly, some days I am extremely hurt. 

And most honestly, days such as today, I am thanking the Lord for a husband who understands me and likes to get messy with me.

You see, Jesus dealt in messy. He came for messy. He died giving his life for messy. 

He was criticized. The Pharisees whispered and often questioned. And he responds "It's not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick, I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners."

News flash. 

We are all sinners and each messy in our own way. Each. One. of. Us

And here is another one ...

WE are called to deal in messy. We are called to jump in and get dirty. Changing lives for Christ.

I think that's where people get uneasy with me. I jump in and get messy. It often hurts. It's often scary but my Jesus tells me to, therefore I do.

I have been part of the messy. I have been part of the lowly that scare people. The drug addicted, party girl. The unwed mother. I have dealt with the "Pharisees" of the church. And that hurts too.

I think that's why I am fine with getting dirty. I know someone has to. I'll be the one to jump in the muck. 

However, I remind you. He didn't call just me. He called us all. He called us all to love and share the Greatest Message of all. 

We are all called. We all have to give an account when we stand before Him. 

Are you willing to get down and dirty for Christ?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Leave My Mama? Say What?!

It never ceases to amaze me how much wisdom I glean from God's Word. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't learn or take something new from it. God is truly amazing.

This morning I began the study of Mark chapter 1. Just a few short verses in and I was already back in time and sitting on the banks watching John the Baptist baptize and listen to confessions as he walked through the wilderness. 

I think the thing that excites me the most when it comes to reading my Bible is relating.

Let's be honest. 

Really honest.

People that do God's work and listen to His calling are weird. Really. Weird. 

Take John the Baptist for example. John Mark begins telling us about John the Baptist and his crazy clothing tastes (may there is more to it and I'm just not in the old times fashion "know") and his crazy eating habits (Um. Yuck.). 

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. - Mark 1:6

This gives me a renewed hope that I can reach souls for the Lord in my yoga pants, mom pony and drinking coffee! 

The next part that stuck out to me the most was when He called the twelve disciples.

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,”Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. - Mark 1: 16-20
Um. Wow! 
Does anyone else read this and just let your eyes bulge?! Now THIS is some amazing blind and complete obedient faith.
Stick with me.
Here you and I are just hanging out by the lake. Casting our nets. Sipping sweet tea we got at McDonald's on the way in to work and waiting on some fish to bite. We are chatting about the weather. Just chilling. All of the sudden a man we don't know who is but many have heard about comes walking up. "Come on guys we are heading out. Come with me and you're going to reel in some people," 
And get this. We JUST FOLLOW.
Then we are strolling along following this guy and we come to some other casters out in their boat and he hollers, "You two. Come on. Let's go." 
And here it is... They GO! They leave everything behind - jobs, families, friends, the town they know, everything and go!
They. Leave. It. All. to follow Jesus.
Here is the big part... NO questions asked.
That's the part that gets me. There is no plan. Jesus does not consult them. He does not call a team huddle or a friendship circle. He just walks ahead and they follow.
Now I don't know about you but I'd need some plans. This control freak would have to have a going away with my friends and family. I'd need to pack. I'd need a map. I'd need an agenda. I'd need some time to process. I'd need to get to know this guy that asked me to leave my mama. I'd need a bit more.
But the faith of these disciples are amazing. They just listened and followed. 
Oh to have a faith like that. Oh to be so secure and trusting in Jesus that I could just drop it all and follow. No questions asked.
Today that is my prayer. To live my life in a place of complete surrender, without question and follow His calling. My prayer is to have a faith that I can say "Lord I drop my comfort zone and I follow you."  

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The PictureThat Changed My Life...

I have always been frugal. Always trying to save money and save for our future. Save to pay off debt. Save so times aren't always tight. Save so that we can do whatever we want and not really have to pay attention to the cost. Save so that my kids can be given all they deserve. Saving for the farm in which all my dreams can come true.

Facebook changed my life. Sounds silly, doesn't it? Facebook? No way. Yet it has. And I am scared to death but there is such a sweet joy and peace in following God's calling. Peace that you are in His hands and that He will provide.

Here is the picture. When you look at it, do you feel your heart break in two and this longing to do all you can? Do you feel God calling you to "take care of the orphans"?

So many stirrings in heart. I do not even know how to begin to express all the thoughts and stirrings in my heart. God spoke to my heart. Touched it in a way that is so sincere.

All my thoughts of the future have been replaced by thoughts of bringing a child into my home. All those thoughts of giving my kids what I believe they deserve have been changed into thoughts of how all we really deserve are the firey gates of Hell but Jesus saved us from that certain death. So many children deserve what I believe children truly deserve - love, shelter, food, basic necessities and a whole lot of being wanted.

God quickly spoke to my heart through His Word that He has blessed Andy and I abundantly. Not that we can afford all kinds of wants but we have more than enough for our necessities AND we have a whole lot of love to shower on a child who needs it.

After praying and praying and praying and praying some more, I went to Andy with the calling on my heart. "Crazy woman" was the look on his face. Love was the gleam in his eye. And "Um. I don't know about that" was what came from his lips. I have to be honest, I felt a bit defeated. So I went back to the Lord. I knew He would not call me without calling Andy.

A few weeks later, Andy came to me and together we talked with the boys. Here is where I know God has blessed me and called our family to be a missional family. God has given me children with huge hearts. They quickly became excited and jumped on board with mama's crazy new idea.

I know that I have kids that will open their hearts to a new sibling. One who needs an extra dose of "being wanted" and I know they are praying right along side mama and daddy.

My dreams of being completely debt free and having savings and for Andy to be able to retire some day are very much still there but for the right now, my dreams of giving a child a home and love is so much greater. Time to shower our blessings and love on someone looking for a family.

Going to bed last night, I was excited. As the night drug along, I became anxious.

"The money we need is not a lot to some but is a lot to us. The whole adoption journey through Action Adoption takes an average of 5 -7 months. That's not a long time to come up with thousands of dollars. There are a lot of stories of adoptions where things didn't turn out great. There are a lot of stories that they turn out wonderful." Back and forth my thoughts went all night.

That's when His peace comes in.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your desires to God. - Philippians 4:6

We are listening to God's call. We are thankful for all we have and we are listening. There is no need to be anxious. He's got this. We are right in His hand, as is the precious child He has waiting for us.

Please join us in presenting this adoption before God. And if you feel lead, please help ease the financial uncertainty by purchasing a t-shirt or donating . #davisfamilyadopts

Being His hands and feet,

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Gift

The same argument.

The same consequence.

Over and over again.

Time and time again.

So many times I get discouraged. What am I do? Am I doing it right?

I must not be. They don't hear me. What is going on?

Day in and day out. Over and over. And now... My husband and I are discussing bringing our kids home from the government ran education system.

What. Am. I. Thinking?

Clearly I'm not.

But then I look to scripture...

Say what?! Is this a white elephant gift? These children are a gift from God?

Then I sit and watch.

A smile. A hug. Laughter. Sharing. Bickering. Learning. Belonging. Growing. Loving.

It is a gift. I am doing kingdom work. I am doing His work. I am shaping the future for the kingdom of God. I am raising an army.

These little squabbles are perplexing and aggravating but they are necessary. Necessary times for my to shepherd these young hearts. Times for my to choose grace instead of anger. Forgiveness instead of grudges.

We are on a journey together - child and mother. We are a long road to becoming the ones called us to be. We are His.

Even in the exhaustion in the day to day grind. Children are a gift. I am abundantly blessed to be called mother and raise them for the kingdom.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Balancing Dreams

Dreams are such a tricky thing.

I have such big dreams. Often times I wonder if they align with God's will.

I am certain they do NOT align with our wallet.

Balancing dreams are even more of a tricky thing.

Finding the balance between contentment and working towards those dreams is so tricky.

How do I save for the future and think of all the things I'd like to achieve but live in the today, knowing that we are not promised tomorrow?

Is being a mom and wife and staying home compatible with having dreams?

The only place the answer can be found is in the Word.

Commit to the Lord, whatever you do and He will establish your plans.  - Proverbs 16:3

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Yearly Check-In

Wow! I guess I am really bad at updating.

A year... That's all.

A new baby.... That's all.

A girl! ... Wowza. 'Nough said.

This year is bringing a lot of changes in our lives and coming back to the table is bringing on yet another meaning.

It's been a hard year. A lot of school drama. A lot of family sickness. Just a lot of stuff.

Time to cowboy up. Work through it. And, you guessed it, write through it.