Loneliness = Reaching Out

This blog refers to the divorce I went through in 2011. I originally wrote this post for Redtentliving.com, but it was unable to be released because of a time constraint (what, me not be on time?!?! That is so unlike me! 😉 ) So, not wanting to waste a post, here you go:

“I don’t belong in this group”, I said through tears on a Monday night. My small group was full of newly married or “kind of newly” married people, and I was in the middle of a divorce. “You guys are so happy, so content, and I am here, with my sadness and same old problems just weighing everyone down”. I felt defeated in life. My heart was angry, lonely and jealous of the life they all lived. Feeling alone the entire day, I was overwhelmed with sadness on my drive to small group. Alone. Hidden. Dying to reach out, but too scared to fall. Despite my fears and desire to not “rock the boat”, I reached for a lifeboat and chose to be vulnerable.

My counselor has a sign in her office that lists the emotions and their “gifts”. Each emotion, should we choose to lean into it and examine it in our own hearts, has a gift or redeeming quality. The gift of loneliness has always struck me as the scariest. The gift of loneliness is reaching out. And what a strange idea reaching out is. In our current culture of fast fixes and superficial social media relationships, the age old idea of reaching out to others is not even a thought to most people. Or, if it is, it’s just too scary.

It’s unnerving to reach out. It’s a risk. Unveiling your heart and being vulnerable are not frontiers people often want to venture out into.  Showing up and reaching out can be an overwhelming idea. “What if no one hears me? What if they don’t answer or think it’s weird that I am sharing what’s actually going on? What if they think I’m too much and are tired of my problems?”

But what if they don’t? What if when you called that friend and confessed loneliness, she says “me, too” and meets you in that space? What if when you finally shared your sadness or anger, your friend says“I know, I’ve felt that, too”? Wouldn’t that be amazing?

I often equate the idea of “reaching out” to a leap. There’s a giant cliff in front of you and your heart, the Lord, and your loneliness beg you to jump. “Reach out”, God says, “I’ll be there if you fall. Share your feelings and see what I can do”.  But fear retorts with “Yes, it’s sadder and more isolated up here, but is it really that bad? I mean, it’s a lot safer up here”. And we choose. Do we jump and trust or do we stay and wither?

Jump. Just jump. Tell a friend, tell a stranger, tell your pastor, your small group. Tell them, reach out to them and say what’s in your heart. It’s a gift that is worth it. Trust me. I’ve called many a friend and said “I’m calling because I feel lonely”, I’ve wept to coworkers, in-laws, siblings, and just shared what’s going on. Once, as my son cried in the grocery store, I saw another mom and I said to her “Does this get better? Because I’m feeling really discouraged”. She got to see my heart and God employed her words to minister to me because I chose to be vulnerable.

I want to encourage you to reach out to someone. Maybe you think of someone often and admire something about them. Reach out to them and tell them. Maybe you’re struggling with sadness, tell a friend and see how God uses them. I truly believe God blesses those who choose to trust Him, even if it seems little. But sharing out hearts is never a little matter, it’s a risk, and it’s a gift that you do not want to miss.

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What on Earth is going on?

“Jesus doesn’t want us to live the Christian life, He wants to live the Christian life through us”

I don’t know about everybody else, but what the hell is going on? (pardon my french) Seriously, people are getting murdered because of skin color, or nationality, or religion, or profession. Millions of children, men, and women are sold into slavery. People are running cars into celebrations. Donald freaking Trump is being nominated for President. What is happening?!?! And I am trying to raise a child in this world!?!?! I am overwhelmed.

I believe that as Christians, we should be known by our love of justice and the work we do to right wrongs. We should be known as people who love and seek the right and true way for others. Unfortunately, that calling is gigantic. Our world is fallen, and if you didn’t see it before, you can see it now. The events that were once a “far off third-world country” have landed in our backyard. Literally.

When I look at all the things that are going mad around me, and I look at my daily struggle to love well and care for my husband and son, I feel lost. I can’t do it all, I can’t possible live the life God wants me to. I can’t speak kindly all the time and read my Bible and think before I speak and not roll my eyes. I can’t not be a jerk. It’s impossible. And, our society and the church tells me to “get it together and live the Christian life”. And, I can’t. There are too many things to do to to live that life, there are too many hurting people to help and too many selfish desires in my own heart.

I’ve been doing a study about the “Christ Directed Life” this summer, and like actually doing it, like reading and praying and really pouring myself into it. And this week, I felt it. I had spent a few days being a total ass to my husband, and I kept shaming myself thinking “man, I was doing so good!” and then I read this:

“Jesus doesn’t want us to live the Christian life, He wants to live the Christian life through us”. Like, He is going to do it. If we ask Him to direct the ship, He will. When I became a Christian and I gave my life to Him, He gave me the Holy Spirit, and my body and life became no longer mine. I am a vessel. He is working through me, and I don’t have to do it.

It’s like a ship. The ship isn’t thinking “Oh crap, I better get it together to get these people on the water, and then I have to steer, and then I have to avoid icebergs, and geez, how will I keep this boat going”. The ship just is. It’s there, and someone steers it, and all it has to do is allow itself to be used for it’s purpose.

And that’s us. I don’t have to drive this ship, I don’t have to save everyone and make sure I’m super nice to my husband and live that super neat “Christian” life. He’s going to do it for me, if I let myself be directed by Him.

So, take heart. We don’t have to right the wrongs all by ourselves. God is working and He has a plan for Justice and that plan is us. Not because we are totally awesome, in fact, in spite of our best efforts, He will work. Let’s take a moment, breathe, and ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit. (by fill I mean guide and direct, not get all warm fuzzy and stuff).

He wants to be who He is through us. We have been crucified through Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. That’s it. He owns me, and I am really glad that He’s steering the ship because in this scary world, that ship needs the right Captain.

Sending the kids home for Summer

It’s almost summer.

This week was so very difficult. In my career as an educator, I would rank it the saddest, hardest, and most overwhelming week I’ve had. And, in the midst of the struggle of the week, I kept hearing others saying “it’s almost summer” as if summer is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And that’s true, in some regards. Summer brings relaxing days, with little to no work and lots of freedom.

And it’s the same for the students. For some students “summer is almost here” brings excitement and joy. It’s almost time for days of exploring the neighborhood with our friends, swimming, cookouts, and family vacations. And, hopefully, most of our students have that to look forward to.

But some do not. For some kids, “it’s almost summer” brings feelings of fear and dread.  If we are honest with ourselves, we do not know what we send our students home to. I know, in my experience, that some of my students experience an increase in problem behaviors toward the end of the year. They know a break from school is coming, and they do not look forward to it.

Some of us send our kids home for the summer to a home where they are not treated well, where they don’t have a regular breakfast or lunch, where they may not have any activities to do, where the boredom will lead to destruction or they are left alone all day because mom is at work and can’t afford day camp. Some of our students go home to unclean conditions with nothing to do all day.

And, this week proved to me, that we have no idea the demons some of our students face when they are not at school. We have no idea if they will have someone remind them they are loved, cared for, and important. We hope they do. We pray they do. But we cannot know for sure.

So, in this last week of school, when so many kids are acting crazy nuts, and behavior problems are off the charts, let’s take a moment to breathe and remind ourselves that these children bring much more to school than a backpack, and they face much more in the summer than a vacation. Hug those kids before you send them home, tell them you will think of them, remind them they are loved. And tell them you are excited to see them again in the fall.

It’s almost summer.

Team Davis

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Wilson turns 1 in less than a month. This year has been so stretching. Our little family has struggled and grown and learned. It’s been hard for me, honestly. I know I err on the side of drama, but this year has really been a struggle.

We (Collin and I) have gotten married, moved in together, had a baby, moved church campuses and small groups, and learned to work/coparent/be married in less than 2 years. Our learning curve was steep and fast. There are moments where I get lost in despair and  feel like I will be on the struggle bus for ever, saying things like “I will never learn to be a good wife. I will always be someone who argues and my sassy mouth will ruin this marriage. We will never get this together and learn that we are on the same team”.

I need some grace. I need grace for Collin. I need grace for myself. I need grace for our marriage. Because perfection cannot be achieved, and I can try, and I will fail, and I will try again. And grace is needed.

Because, in the end, we are on the same team. It’s hard to take a step back and see that sometimes. We are for each other. I am for you, Collin and you are for me, and we are often blind to that reality.

We are on the same team. Team Davis vs. the world who tries to tear us apart. All marriages are that. You’re not fighting against your spouse, you’re fighting against the world. You’re fighting against the lies that tell you the person you married is the reason your life is “unhappy”.

I am writing this to encourage myself. I am writing this so that those who read it will help me to remember that I am on “Team Davis” not “Team Kacy”.

Team Davis forever.

The Hardest/Easiest Job

 

 

 

i heard your heartbeat

it was all I knew

i look into your eyes now

we both know

we are for each other

i am for you

you are for me

we are a family, you, me, daddy

we are growing

the prayers are lifted each day

prayers to grow brave and kind

prayers to love the unloveable and preach the gospel

we all need to grow towards God

teaching you, growing you, leading you is the hardest job i’ve ever had

teaching you, growing you, leading you is the weight I bear

it’s the easiest/hardest calling

there’s no other calling i’d rather have

i am for you, we are for you, we are all three for each other

our family, our calling, it’s hard, but God carries our burdens

His yoke is light

 

The Weight of Parenthood

 

I was watching Wilson the other morning as he rolled around on the floor, babbling with delight. “What a cute kid” I thought. And, then I had this thought. I’ve had it many times before. I thought “He’s here to stay. He’s my son. He’s our son. He’ll learn how to live in this world from us”.

What. A. Weight.

I felt the heaviness of that calling, the importance of what God charged me with, in a way I haven’t felt before.

Perhaps it is because he is growing. He is eating real food, he watches what we do ALL THE TIME, he reacts when we laugh and talk. He hears what we are saying.

And, at the same time that I am honored God would give us this gift, I am terrified. The weight is there.

I have been thinking about how I want to mentor and teach Wilson, and how we can teach him as parents, but before I even think about that, I have to think about what I desire for him.

In a nutshell, we want him to be brave, honest, and kind.

How is that achieved? Can we achieve it?

The simple answer is no, but sort of. We can try as hard as possible, and we intend to, but, at the end of the day, Wilson’s salvation and future are in the hands of God. I can pray, we can pray, we can call on our families and our “village” to pray and guide and help. We will do this, we already do this. We will work hard.

And the thing God is constantly reminding me of is that He is working harder than I am. His love for Wilson and desire for Wilson’s growth and heart is more than I can even imagine. God wants for Wilson what I could never even dream of. And the plans He has for Wilson are good. God’s plan is always the best, even if it seems the worst.

So, yes, I feel the weight of parenthood in a very real way. I am afraid I will mess up and harm Wilson with my words or my actions, I am afraid I won’t teach him how to love well because of how poorly I love sometimes. I feel the weight of wanting to teach him about trusting God, when I don’t do that well. I really mess up sometimes, and now I have someone who is learning from me. That’s a substantial calling.

The weight is heavy, guys. The calling is large, important, and scary. We have a big job to do, Collin and I (and all other parents). It’s overwhelming at times, but when I look at who God is and who I believe Him to be, it reminds me that I don’t have to carry it all. I will try, I will work, I will disciple, I will pray, and I will earnestly seek God in all I do as a parent, but I will also rest in Him, knowing full well that His love for Wilson is vast and endless. He’s got this.

He’s got the whole world in His hands. Rest in that, parents.

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Things I am Loving…

My older sister, Kyle, posted something in her blog about a podcast she listens to, something something Jamie something. I forget. I subscribed to it and now I forget. I usually listen to podcasts about life in America, or TED talks, or weird people in sub-saharan Africa and their tribal traditions  concerning brushing teeth, so I thought I would give this one a try. Change can be good.

This one was good. It was just this Jamie lady and a guest and they talked about everything. Literally, everything. They covered topics like breast cancer, Gilmore Girls, adoption, waking up at 5 am just so you can workout, I mean, all of it. All while keeping it focused on Jesus.

I love it. It’s refreshing and nourishing to the soul, much like coffee with your best friend, where you talk about your latest foray into fashion (currently “joggers” and “booties) and how you are struggling (currently hopelessness and anger) and what you are seeing God do (melt hearts).

So, she always asks her lady guests to share three things they are loving at the moment, and I thought I would share those things, too. (Because I know all the people who read this really care what I’m digging’ these days)

  1. Wilson and Collin. Yes, I enjoy them both as their own separate entities, but watching them together is really quite hilarious. Collin adores Wilson. And Wilson, he loves Collin. My favorite part of the whole relationship is how Collin sings to Wilson all the time. Literally, all the time. Literally. All.The.Time. Currently, his favorite song is “He’s a big boy, he’s a big boy, he’s a big boy and he is here” (I am aware he is here. He came out of me. He is, most definitely, here). He also calls Wilson “Hungry Hippo” and ding dong.
  2. My new journaling Bible. I can write in it! I can write in it! I distinctly remember drawing in my Bible when I was four years old and getting in trouble in Sunday School, because “we don’t color in our Bibles”. I was thoroughly confused, seeing as how both of my parents wrote in their bibles. Also, side note, I got in a lot of trouble at church growing up. A LOT.
  3. Breast pumps. This may be TMI for some of you, but I am an exclusive pumper. This means my offspring does not nurse, but takes bottles of breast milk. This means I must pump to get the milk out. This means that if the pump is struggling, things can go downhill quickly. This evening, my breast pump stopped pumping well. I thought “No problem, I’ll use the other one.” The other one was struggling, as well. I was not happy. I was full of milk and there was no where to go. So, I thought to myself, well, I’ll just nurse Wilson. He can nurse still. So, I put him on there and this little toot, with his brand new teeth, bit the ever loving tar out of me. HE BIT ME! I informed him that we do not bite, and asked him kindly to let go. At which point, I sat him at the table and tried to feed him cereal and eat my own dinner. And then after dinner Collin and I worked on the pumps and got them working again, and praise Jesus, I won’t get bit again. So, I am really loving the breast pump.

Here are three things I am NOT into:

  1. Donald Trump
  2. people saying mean things
  3. cloudy, cold weather.

And, in the good and the bad, God is constant. When I am rejoicing over a fixed pump or broken hearted over words said, God is constant. He was, He is, and He will always be.

Also, look at Wilson, looking all innocent, that little booger BIT ME!!!

It’s gonna be wild…

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Dear Wilson,

Hi. You are three months old now. You can hold your head up, you smile and laugh. You also lose it when we go somewhere new or there is too much going on. I totally get that. I’m the same way, I just have words to express it.

I have been praying for you since the day I found out you were on your way. I have been praying for you to be kind, brave, and open. I have prayed for you to be healthy, happy, and free from heartache.

But, really, what I have prayed is that God would save your soul. That He would open up your heart, and that, in turn, you would let Him in.

Today, I heard a new song. I sat there, and I prayed it for you.

I have dreams for you, son. I want you to grow up, learn, go to college, love to read, and marry a really nice girl who loves you as much as I do. I want you to impact the world for good. I want you to hug orphans and feed the hungry. I want you to see the world and worship the God who made it.

But the truth is my plans are nothing compared to what God has for you.

The song says:

I have a plan for you. I have a plan for you.

It’s gonna be wild.

It’s gonna be great.

It’s gonna be full of Me.

And, I want this song to be your anthem, Wilson. I want you to open your heart to Jesus. He has some wild plans for you. They are going to be great. They are going to be scary sometimes. They are going to be confusing. They will make you laugh and cry and wonder.

But, they will be full of Him. And that’s the best part.

Daddy and I love you. So much. And God loves you so much more.

He has a plan for you.

I love you,

Mommy.

I See You

This morning was just like all the other seemingly endless mornings that have come since Wilson was born. I woke up, he cried, I fed him, he cried, he laughed, he talked, he screamed at me while he did tummy time, and then I opened the door to leave to go on a run and there was something on my doorstep.

It was a little metal pail. It had a card in it, a giftcard, a bath sponge, some lipgloss, and a facial mask.

I quickly opened the card, and read the kind note inside, and flipped it over and over and looked and looked and nothing.

There was no name on this besides “To: Kacy”.

It was anonymous.

I teared up.

Because it’s been a hard go around here, guys. Really hard. I love my son. I love my husband. I struggle. Since Wilson arrived, I have been seriously struggling. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel multiple times, pack my bag, and move to Canada. I just can’t seem to get it right. I can’t seem to please my husband and be the wife he needs me to be. I can’t seem to get my son to stop screaming when we go anywhere that’s not our home. I can’t seem to be a good friend, sister, or daughter. I’m constantly pulled in multiple directions and I feel under so much pressure to get it right.

And I don’t even know what “right” is!

And when I opened the door today, there was more than just a gift sitting there. There was encouragement. There was someone saying “I see you”. Someone, whoever it was, sees me trying, sees me caring, sees me wanting to do what’s best, and they wanted to let me know.

And even more than them letting me know, God was letting me know that He sees me. He sees those struggles. He sees those moments when I want to give up and scream and I don’t, and He says “Good job”. He sees me working hard at this new role I’m in, and He knows that I need encouragement sometimes. And He knows my needs, and He gives me what I need. He doesn’t give me a peaceful home, with a giggling baby, and a marriage that is conflict free, but He gives me grace to continue to work and fight and dream.

He sees me. And He loves me. And He sees you, too. He knows how hard you’re working, and how tired you are. He knows how hard it is to love your spouse and care for your children. He knows your heart and He loves you, and He sees the good work you are doing, even when it seems no one else does.

And, honestly, as long as God sees me, everything else is just icing on the cake.

P.S. I think we should all get in the habit of dropping off anonymous gifts of encouragement to others. Because, sometimes, people need to be seen and loved and given a little “good job”.

Life, Planned Parenthood, and Grace.

I usually don’t weigh in on political topics, at least not on any sort of public forum. I have many opinions, but I tend to keep them to myself unless asked. So, this post is not my foray into political rantings, but I felt it was something I wanted to share. Before I start, I will share that I am prolife, I do not believe abortion is right and I think babies are humans the moment of conception.

I was awake this morning, feeding my infant son, who was eating, screaming, eating, farting, eating, screaming, and repeat. And, as I looked as his little hands and ears, my thoughts when to Planned Parenthood and abortion. It wasn’t the usual “abortion is evil and let’s bomb the clinics and evil evil evil” that we have all seen recently. I just got sad. And it wasn’t sadness for the babies, it was sadness for the mothers. I kept thinking of them, taking a test, being alone, being young, scared, not able to handle it, not willing to handle it, and making the decision to abort. And I wanted to give them a hug. Because being a mom is terrifying.

Honestly, being a mother is scary enough with support. When I took the test at the gas station in November, I was scared. I spent the entire afternoon afraid of what the reaction was going to be, and afraid of our ability to raise a child. We weren’t planning on having a baby for a few years, so Wilson was a complete surprise.

I can’t imagine what my feelings would have been had I not been married, not had a committed partner, not had a good job, not had a support system and loving family, and especially not had a relationship with God.

I don’t know what I would have done. And so I have been thinking of these mothers today, and thinking of them watching TV or scrolling Facebook and being shamed over and over again by pictures of babies and baby parts and videos and memes about caring about lions more than children, and how judging someone gives Satan a huge foothold. Imagine the things being whispered to those girls from that liar! He’s saying things like “You did that to a baby. You are evil. You are gross. You are worthless. Everyone hates you. God hates you. God hates murder and you murdered a baby.” I mean, Satan is a seriously piece of crap and he won’t stop at anything to shame someone and take them down.

I just want Satan to lose that foothold. I want God to come in and clean the hearts and minds of women who have chosen abortion and shine His love on them. I want them to know that God loves them, regardless of the past, regardless of the future, He sent His son to die for them and they are clean. I just want those mommas to be able to sleep at night and know they are precious, loved, and cherished. There is no shame for those in Christ Jesus.

And I want the church, and people who love God, to do something. I want the church to be a place apart from judgement of the unmarried or single mom. I want the church to be a place where a pregnant woman can come and say “I don’t want this baby, can you help me?” and there will be actual help for them. A family to walk with them through pregnancy, a family to take the baby they carried, a family to help them heal afterward. I want more people to step up and say “I’ll adopt. I’ll help you pay your medical bills. I’ll do whatever I need to do so you know there are other options”.

I want healing. I want those babies to live. And I want those moms to know there are choices, options, and grace. Can we show them the love they need, the grace they need, and the hope they long for? I think that would go way further in stopping abortion than a meme about a lion on Facebook. Because we may never stop government, but we can show women who feel this is the only option, that there are more options. And if we can show love, hope, and grace, we may not need to stop the government, because the demand can dwindle. Let’s love each other, show grace and mercy and remember that we are not the judge.

Because we are all sinners, we are all gross, evil, and full of yuck.

But God.

Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”