Introducing Miss Delta Huang

“WE HAVE A VAN!”  “Is that OURS?”  “We don’t have to drive in the rain anymore?!” ” Can we take it to school tomorrow?”  Our girls couldn’t believe their eyes.  Honestly, neither could I.  Today, Michael pulled up to our house with a beautiful gift.  Her name is  Miss Delta Huang.  She’s a 2014 Toyota Kijang Innova.  Our entire family can ride in her plus a friend or two!  (Car seats will be added in the morning-my momma heart is elated!).  We cannot wait to use her to bless this community.  We are truly honored to have a way to stay dry and safe in our home away from home.

One of the best things about Miss Delta Huang is her story.  From the moment she was just a dream, to the closing sale handshake, we have been surrounded by His Body.  She was purchased with partnership and prayer.  For every uphill climb, someone has walked along with us.   When things seemed impossible, there were prayers, encouragement, and faith to borrow.  We have literally witnessed community from all corners of this globe join in this journey.  Every time we are sitting in macet (traffic jam) in the shelter of our own space, able to grocery shop in one trip instead of several on a motorbike,  provide refuge from the rain, and see more of this island we love, Delta Huang will tangibly remind us of the power of the Body working together.  We couldn’t be more amazed, thrilled, and thankful.  To God be all the glory.

 

 

Reframing

Several weeks ago, I was returning home for the second time that morning.  The girls had forgotten required items and it was definitely a full-fledged Monday morning.  As I zoomed my motorbike down the road, I let the frustrations fly, too.  “Why can’t we just remember everything?”  “Why aren’t the girls more responsible?” “I can’t believe I’m losing my one free morning this week!”.  As the frustrations mounted, I heard Him remind me that I had asked for time to be Mom.

I pulled into my driveway with a very different attitude.  It was true.  All the years of raising the girls, I had longed to have time to be Mom.  Yet, here I was, complaining about  having to retrieve forgotten soccer cleats and a missing presentation item.  I had the gift of time to take care of my kids.  I actually found myself smiling as I headed back to the school.

My next run home (yep, there were actually three runs back home that morning!) was completely different.  I felt light and joyful.  I was amazed that He had given me such a great place to work which still permitted me to be Mom when needed.  I joined in laughing with the satpam (guards) as I passed each station. They knew I had already been back and forth.

Of the two emotions, joy was definitely more delightful than frustration.  I continued to think about that morning in the craziness since.  How often have I been less than thankful for answered prayers?  Way too many moments came to mind.  Here are a few ways I’ve been seeking to reframe my thinking:

  1.  Focusing on homesickness, instead of being thankful we get to serve Him in such an incredible place.
  2. Frustrated we weren’t keeping things tidy, when the evidence of games and toys out are testimonies to the life we live.
  3. Wishing I could do more, instead of doing just what He has asked.  It is immensely freeing to just operate in obedience.

While reframing is a skill I’m still developing, I am trying to do it consistently.  And guess what?  Joy has followed.

Rainy Season Thanks!

The rain we have diligently sought is all around us.  The greens are more vibrant than our eyes can take in.  We are thankful for the mighty rain from His mighty hand.  We are also thankful for those with vehicles who help transport us Davis people around while the heavens pour down.  To all of you joining in on our van adventure, we hope to have one by March!  In the meantime, enjoy this video from yesterday!

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Greens & Blues

Today was my first jaunt on the motorbike since we returned from Malaysia.  I have to admit, I was overwhelmed by the intense beauty surrounding me.  The sky was that idealistic shade from children’s picture books.  The nearby lake shown a silvery-blue as the sun danced across its surface. The mountains were decorated with patchwork quilts of greens ranging from kelly to evergreen with rich red dirt stripes.  The poofy clouds lept joyfully from hilltop to hilltop.  The other clouds reminded me of those cottonball clouds we used to glue to our sheets of construction paper-stretching them out to cover the whole top!  Even the breeze was waltzing with happiness.  I could feel His presence all around.

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How quickly I get caught up in to-do lists and getting from point A to point B.  Today, I chose to fight back.  To pull over a few times and just look at my surroundings.  I giggled at the sheep dining on the hill as the shepherd grinned back at me.  I noticed all the teens taking selfies with the gorgeous backdrops around us.  I saw husbands and wives with their jogging feet in time with one another.  I smelled the sweet grasses and observed His beauty with my two gals gasping in delight with me.

Y’all, don’t miss out on Him-whether it is in the beauty of the world around you or those people you do life with.  At Christmas we unwrap gifts from covered with paper and string, but we are given gifts every single day to unwrap.  Don’t let them gather dust.  Take the moment to see His hand, His glory, His delight, and His love for you.  Look for those greens and blues…

Don’t Be Afraid

“DON’T BE AFRAID!” cheered the Kindergarten crew.  I had to choke back tears.  The past week I had taught several classes with the littlest kids at BAIS.  Each and every class had boldly repeated the same line from the story of Jesus’s birth.  These young ones had focused in on one of the key messages from Christ’s birth-DON’T BE AFRAID.  The angel had told Mary, then said the same thing to Joseph, AND to the shepherds.  In every instance where fear had an opportunity to sink in its claws, each person was reminded to be strong, push away fear, and trust in God’s promises.  From a young, teenage gal to an older husband-to-be, to smelly shepherds cast far away from the security of a city’s wall-every single one was assured that God was in control.

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I find these words resound like silver bells in my heart this Christmas season.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to leave your families in My care.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to trust in My provision.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to grow roots where I have you planted.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ of goodbyes or hellos.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to be who I’ve created you to be.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to obey when the only thing you are sure of is Me.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to let everything go to pursue Me.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to dream and see with My eyes.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ to love like I do.  Simply DON’T BE AFRAID.

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My hope this Christmas season is that you will hear these words ring out to your heart in the story of Jesus’s birth.  I hope this Christmas these words give you courage to seek Christ like never before.  To ask the big questions and hear the answers.  To love those who have hurt you.  To allow yourself to feel true joy.  To read the story of Jesus’s birth in  the Holy Bible in the beginning of Matthew and Luke with new eyes.  To put the phones and devices down and just be with one another.  To find delight in the One who dances with delight over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)

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Happy Christmas from all us Davis People to you and yours.  

May His joy and peace be what fills your season.

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On The Recieving End

Virus.  There is not a positive application of this word that I have ever heard.  Last week, it was my turn to have one.  For two days, I fought fever, attempted to stay hydrated, and didn’t leave my room.  In the meantime, my community reminded me how much our family is loved.  Our sabbatical visitor decided she would help watch the gals so Michael wouldn’t be so overwhelmed taking care of everything else.  My classes were covered by incredible teachers so I knew my students weren’t missing out on learning.  An elementary school event was that week-everyone stepped in and made it happen marvelously.  My Bigs helped the Littles make costumes for Storybook Day. Michael Joe even handled picture day!  (well, let’s be honest-jury is still out on that! ha!)

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One detail of His love has yet to be mentioned.  I have a crazy quirk that makes me crave tomato soup and orange juice when I’m sick.  Yes, I am well aware it is disgusting.  But I have wanted that as long as I can remember.  This time was different.  I wanted chicken noodle soup…and not the local version.  I wanted it American style.  Campbell’s version has yet to hit the stores here, so I pushed my longing aside.  On the afternoon of day two, I recieved a text asking if I wanted some chicken noodle soup.  She said He had put it on her heart to make that evening for her family and to ask me if I wanted some.

Y’all.  He loves us SO SPECIFICALLY.

Please never doubt His love for you.  Whether you are crying on your couch, celebrating in your car, or sick on foreign soil, He Loves You. “I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8

The rest of the week and weekend remains a bit of a blur as I tried to convince myself I was better and those around me insisted I wasn’t!  I’m still hugging sprite (which I typically loathe), but I’m so thankful to be oodles better than last week.  Enjoy a few pics of the fun I missed out on!

Storybook Day Characters!

 

 

Learning by Lissie Joy

Lissie Joy has entered preschool this year.  Her classmates are Indonesian, Korean, Austrian, American, Indian, and probably somewhere I’m forgetting.  She truly enjoys the new adventures she finds each day in her class.  Her teacher is fantastic! There are no devices, just pure hands-on fun and activities.  Everytime I glance into the classroom, she is actively chatting, doing, playing, puzzling…in short, she is learning.  My favorite is the songs she is learning.  I absolutely adore hearing her and her teeny voice singing all day long!  Here are a few pics (and a video!) of our Lissie Joy…learning.

 

 

WhoSoEver Dinners

This year we have started a new tradition at the Davis home.  We are hosting WhoSoEver Dinners!  The process is simple:  Set a date and time.  Decide on meal offering. Make cute invite. Send out invite.  Then we wait for the eight spots to fill up!  The funnest part is not knowing who is going to respond!  We love having people over at least weekly (if not more!)  This new approach opens the door to any of the teachers and their families in the school to come!  This idea did not originate with me.  A fabulous lady with an incredible capacity to love used to do these for BAIS families.  We thought it would be absolutely fantastic to continue the tradition!  This last time, another family joined in the fun by offering dessert at their home.  So we all dined upon an Italian feast of spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and salad as Sinatra crooned in the background.  Not long after, the happy crew sauntered to the next street over for homemade Apple Crisp.  You could almost imagine leaves changing color with the deliciousness of the dessert!  How blessed we are with our community!

 

Kaybrietta’s Tea Party

My Kaybrietta Lorelai is suddenly six whole years old.  I adore seeing the world through my gal’s eyes.  Her giggles, shakes of her head when someone is silly, the jokes that make no sense, and her passionate love for dancing-each makes her all the more dear to my heart.  For her sixth birthday, we had a Tea-Totally-Terrific Tea Party…with Prince and Princess attire required.  A boxed-cake from America, Tim-Tams, and heart-shaped PB&J rounded out tea-time treats.  We also had sweet tea, fruit tea, and the oh-so-appropriate hot tea with milk and sugar!  Since she loves dancing, we joyfully danced and pranced all over the backyard! We had such a delightful time that I’m still grinning though it ended hours ago.  How marvelous it is to specifically love on my Kaybri-girl!

 

A Day in Avonlea

When life gets a bit topsy-turvy, it is natural to want to be somewhere familiar and safe.  Living oceans away from familiar, I had to be a bit more creative to find a haven.  I told Michael Joe a couple of weeks ago that I needed to go to Avonlea on on my birthday.  And that is exactly what happened.  A smattering of kindred spirits joined me throughout the day to enjoy the adventures of Anne Shirley in a place as familiar as my home.  I cannot recall watching the entire series in a day in many years.  However, each nook and cranny, shaded tree lane, and antic was a friend.  I love seeing Anne mess up and learn-she reminds me of myself in so many ways.  Perhaps that is why my most favorite-est of quotes comes from this series.

“Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes.” Lucy Maud Montgomery

I’ve had this up in classrooms and my own home.  Such a darling way to remind me His mercies are new every morning.

It was such a gift to gasp when Anne breaks her slate over that boy’s head, to mourn when Matthew is lost, and to laugh along with Marilla. I get my girlhood crush all over again watching Gilbert love Anne through it all.  Yes, Avonlea is definitely another home to me.

“I don’t need sunbursts or marble halls.  I just need you.” Anne to her Gilbert-finally.

Thank you to each of you across this spinning globe who made my special day rich with laughter, memories, well-wishes, and love. How blessed I am to be loved so well.

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