Update on the Davidson Clan

It’s crazy how long it has been since I posted last.

We are now a family of SIX!
I have another blog for my childbirth classes that I have been attempting to keep up with as well.

Here is the link to baby #4’s story:  Gunnar’s StoryIMG_1312

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Christmastime is here…

Well, almost anyway. But while I am baking pies for Thanksgiving and feeling excited about hosting 17 adults and children in my 1200 square foot home, I am thinking about how much God does for us each and every year.

Only one more full day before I put on Christmas music 24/7 and decorate my home in ways that remind me of our Savior’s Birth (even though I know it was not in December- yada yada, I love Jesus anyway)

I am part of the listening team for one of the local stations and they sent 199 Christmas song clips to vote on and what I realized is just how much I am drawn to the classics: Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra around  Christmas. The newer songs on the radio are ok, but they do not spark the sentiments from my Childhood like the “oldies do”. However, in the room listening with me were my kids and they DID like the new Toby Mac Christmas songs and I realized that have a brand new generation to show the world of Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra while we sing along to a new version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful together.

I will always LOVE the classics, but it is exciting to learn new songs along with my kiddos too.

Christmas is all about bringing back memories that are comforting and about making brand new ones for future generations!

A Mothers’ Day story

This is used with permission from my friend and our Troop Leader at Frontier Girls troop 205, Tami Larsen. She sent this email out to a number of us moms and I thought it so inspiring, I asked her if I could share it with you! 

I just love writing something for my mom friends for Mothers Day.  Most years, God lays something on my heart early in the week before Mothers Day, and I just can’t stop writing until I have it down.  But this week, I have felt pretty empty.  

 

Until today. 

 

Today, I yelled at another mom.

 

But not in the way you think.

 

I didn’t yell at her for how she was treating her children, or for cutting me off in traffic, or for being ugly to my kids. 

 

I was driving thru the HEB parking lot. It was pouring down rain outside – I mean POURING. I saw a mom holding two toddlers on her back as she tried to run through the rain into the store. Besides being very wet, she looked tired and defeated. She seemed to be slowing down.  Something came over me – almost instinctive.  Without even thinking about it, I rolled down the window and yelled through the rain as loud as I could, “Keep going! You can do it!” 

 

At first, she looked at me in much the same way YOU might look at someone who was suddenly cheering you on…in the rain…in the grocery store parking lot!  She was baffled, trying to figure out if she knew me (which she did not).  Then suddenly, she realized we were complete strangers…and she smiled. I mean a HUGE smile…filled with relief and understanding.  The weariness seemed to melt away.  A new resolve seemed to build within her as she ran the rest of the way across the parking lot, actually laughing with her young children.

 

It made me feel so…convicted.  It made me wonder…why don’t I do this more often??  There are moms I see every day…from the closest friends to the most remote strangers…and all they need to hear is, “Keep going! You can do it!”  It could be with my words or with my actions.  It could be a smile, a pat on the back, or a hug at just the right time.  But all too often the moment just passes by.  Maybe sometimes I am just too busy.  Or maybe I am just not sure of whether to say something or not, or how to say it.  Sometimes I probably just don’t pay attention.

 

But think of the way the world would be impacted if all the moms in the world became cheerleaders—for each other!  We would all feel so renewed and lifted up.  We would be filled with a new sense of our ability to fulfill this amazing privilege given to us as moms.  The weariness wouldn’t be such a big deal any more…because someone out there understands…and is willing to cheer us on when we need it.

 

So, today I am here to tell you this.  I know you’re tired.  I know motherhood can be challenging.  I know you are dealing with more stuff than you ever imagined.    But I also know that Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

 

Keep going, mama!  You can do this!  God has you in the palm of His hand…and He’s not letting go.  Keep running.  Stay focused on the reason why you do what you do. 

 

And while you’re at it…be another mom’s cheerleader today.  It is hard to focus on your own struggles when you are cheering for someone else.  And maybe you can start a cycle of encouragement you never dreamed possible.

 

I know it’s raining mama, I know the load is heavy…but keep going.  You can do it.

 

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength”.

Philippians 4:13

We don’t “do” April Fools.

Funny-April-Fools-Day

As my kids were  turning the calendar in their morning notebooks, my daughter noticed on the calendar “April Fools” notated and questioned me about it.

No one really knows where the exact origin of April Fools came from. Some say it was from the swapping of the calendar from Julian to Gregorian because those that did not get the memo were celebrating the turn of the year in April and did not realize it had been already the new year for a few months.

You can read about some of that history here.

I explained to her that it is a day when people all over play tricks on each other, making them feel foolish, and that we would not be participating or celebrating it.

(I also told her that just because someone printed it on the calendar did not mean it was something we had to follow.)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph. 4:29

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Rom. 14:19

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Prov. 13:20

 

When I was a kid, we loved this day. We played jokes from fake spiders and scorpions on the wall, to my best friend telling me she was moving away.

When I first lived on my own, we took it to EXTREMES. A friend and I staged an elaborate hoax that I was a German assassin sent to target officials. We set up a whole ruse and even got the Apartment security guard to bust in the room to “apprehend” me. While in the moment it seemed fun and games- our friends were seriously shaken up during all of it, and I can only imagine the neighbors that saw us brandishing a fake gun and shouting at each other in the parking lot were scared and pretty close to calling the police on us.

And then my friends were so mad they retaliated by stealing my keys and moving my truck, leading me to believe it had been stolen.

I know what people are probably thinking, “what’s the harm in a little bit of practical joking?”

Some of you may be thinking that sounds like a really good joke. And at the time, and for years after, I agreed!

But as I got closer to God, I realized the harm and danger in a bit of “lying”.  I think back on what that “fun and games retaliation” could have led to and the trouble it could have caused.

I think of the boy who cried wolf for one; no one believed him when he was in actual danger.

Then I think of the seed of doubt that can be placed in the hearts and minds of people that are the ones at the butt end of these jokes.

And I think of how it feels to be called a fool.

I spent my life arguing until the other person gave up because I did not like to be wrong. I did not like to look like a fool or to look like I was an idiot, for lack of a better term. So I argued my case, stood firm and refused to let anyone tell me I was wrong. I did not put myself in positions to be made a fool. I became a skeptic of everything and everyone.

WHY then, would I choose to make someone else feel that way for the sake of a marking on a calendar and for a one-sided laugh?
Why would I want to create skepticism?

Our church ministry is founded on pillars we call the 5 E’s and 3 Cs.

One of those Es is Edification or Edifying.

Edifying is defined as :

the instruction or improvement of a person morally or intellectually.
“the idea that art’s main purpose is to supply moral uplift and edification”
But it is also to lift each other up, to encourage the body of Christ.
And the complete opposite of that would be to make someone look foolish, or tear them down and make them laughed at.
I did not write this post to take the joy and laughter out of people.
God LOVES laughter. He loves joy and cheer. He loves when people smile…TOGETHER. In unity and wholesomeness.
 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov. 17:22

I love my friends and family too much to make fun of them or play pranks on them that would leave them irritated, feeling foolish or naive.

So today, I will not be participating in April Fool’s Day.

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” Psa. 14:1

I am no fool.

You are no fool.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

 

REMEMBER

REMEMBER

REMEMBER

It’s funny how the strangest things can make you look back. Looking back is something

that we must always do in order to improve our present and our future. Looking back is

a skill. I say it is a skill because it is as much dangerous as it is beneficial. Looking

back can revive old memories of times long past that were good, fun, or even some that

should remain where they are in the shallow sea of forgiveness that we humans toss

the bad ones into.
My sea is shallower than most, and I have forgiven the worst.

Though they haunt my mortal mind to this day, I struggle each day to forgive those

trespasses against me and move on in spite of the pain that does its best to surface

from that sea and distract me from my true worth and destiny. Sometimes though,

those painful memories can serve a purpose. Remembering where you were, how you

felt, what you were dealing with, remembering the pain and the confusion of being lost…

Those are the things we must always remember when dealing with people. Not

everyone is in the same boat as you. Not everyone has had their world transformed.

Not everyone has escaped their own personal hell yet. It is our job to remember. It is

our job to recognize. It is our job to direct them. It is our job to provide the solution.

Today I realized that I am a churchgoer. Not that that is entirely bad, but from a

leadership perspective, that denotes stagnation, frustration, and a lack of creativity. It

started as a noble idea. The pursuit of excellence in worship. As a member of the

leadership of the worship team in our church, I strive to make things better on a week to

week basis. Let’s backtrack a bit. I believe that our duty as members of the worship

team is to usher in the presence of God, to build the foundation of that mercy seat that

the congregation can use in their personal worship to build upon, the only seat in the

house that is big enough to bear the weight of the Holy Spirit. We had a sampling of it

in weeks past, where we were able to really flow in it and let the Godsong come out.

Somewhere in the last few weeks we lost it, and went into survival mode. Just make it

through the next service. What happened to duty? What happened to the joyful,

fearful, worshipful, excited Levites that we had become for oh so brief a moment? In my

frustration with the state of affairs, I became bitter. I became the person I never wanted

to be. The person that FORGOT. I got wrapped up in principle, strategy, plans, skill

and schedules. In voicing this frustration, I realized that the ME that I am now would

NEVER have connected with the ME that I was. What was the me from 13 years ago

thinking on this day? Where was I 13 years ago? In listening to some songs from that

period of time in my life I found my answer. What was I 13 years ago? Cold. Where

was I 13 years ago? Lost and in rehab. Who was I 13 years ago? No one. What

changed 13 years ago? Someone cared.

There must be leaders in every church, they are the ones that pave the way for those

that come after. They are the ones that have been there, done that, and felt that way.

This is the natural order of things. But, when those leaders forget who they WERE, and

focus instead on who they ARE, the efficiency of the system is lost. I forgot. We forgot.

14 years ago, I thought that God had forgotten about me. Books, poems, and literary

geniuses have tried in vain to put to words the depth of that kind of despair and hurt. It

just is not possible to describe the true feeling of a broken spirit. I thought that no one

loved me. Even those that were close to me I had built self imposed boundaries and

reservations on them to protect me. I carried so many bad memories and dead weight

around with me that no one could break through. Despite the bravest attempts by

others to draw me in, to break down those walls, to discover who I was, I remained

steadfast in keeping those walls intact. I let NO ONE in. I only wanted people to see

the better part of me, never allowing them to see my ugly side. It was a long and

arduous process to allow certain people (whom I treasure most dearly now) to chip

away at the walls of my personal prison.

Allowing those people to begin the process of chipping away at my rough edges was a

decision that I made when I decided to start going to church. It was not an easy one. I

had my privacy to protect, my pride to keep intact, and it was not a process that came

naturally. Through my ever growing faith and the friendships that were formed, I started

to become someone new. This person is still evolving to this day. It is a process that I

both loved and hated, because it meant letting go of what was, letting go of my

securities, letting someone into my life, and allowing the process to start revealing the

man I always knew I could be but never was. All of us have that deep down, but it takes

a certain type of person to turn potential energy into kinetic when it comes to deep

seated character issues.

Remembering this I realized that I have not been the catalyst for anyone else’s change

in my current state of being. Staying focused on the processes, the principles, and the

weight of duty that comes from being on the worship team in the church has turned me

into a Pharisee. I look good on the outside, but getting down to the brass tacks of it, I

influence no one directly. Sure, people say I play good (had your ears checked lately?).

Yes, they say things like “worship was great today, I was really feeling it”… but that is

only half of what matters. When we, as a team, forget to invest in people personally we

are not doing our job. Yes, we play skillfully unto the Lord, and yes we worship Him…

but what about those people in the congregation, or even worse, on OUR TEAM that

are contemplating suicide? What about those that merely want to belong to something,

and WE are all that they have? What about the ones that are completely comfortable

worshipping God, but have absolutely no self-worth? These are the issues that we as

fragile humans must contend with on a daily basis. Especially in the ministry that we

are in, having that human touch and sensitivity to the plight of the individual are KEY.

Sure, our reputation in the outreach is that “Austin has GREAT praise and worship”…

but what are we doing outside of that? Is it really just us? Are we all that matters?

Looking back, I realize that there is not much for the me of today to say to the me of

yesterday. There was no common ground, no sympathy, no empathy, no feeling, no

sensitivity, no leeway, no give-and-take, no compromise…. until today.

Me of today, meet me of yesterday. I am a member of your church. I am new. I have

issues. I have pain and hurt. I have reservations. I have flaws. Embrace me. Love

me. Tell me I am worth something. Tell me you have been there and things get better.

Tell me that this too shall pass. Show me how to let someone in. Lead me, disciple me,

and teach me how to help others just like me… just like you.

Remember.

 

 

This was written at the end of 2014 by my husband as he reflected on the year. As worshippers, ministry overseers, or just Christians, we always need to remember those we are called to reach. We ALL have that calling.

Inversion Method review (free way to grow your hair)

In April 2013 I had the great idea to do a “real pixie cut”.

 I chopped off all of my hair as close as  I could just to see if I could get away with it. 

And immediately started growing it all out again. 

I do not look good with a pixie and I felt like a boy. I just do not have the cute face for it and as I started reading on modesty and becoming more feminine as God made me , I realized that it is a beautiful thing for women to have lovely long flowing locks. 

IMG_0367

See, a pink shirt and I still look like Peter Pan. This was April or May 2013

After looking into all natural ways to grow out my hair since I have stopped coloring it (the top pixie pic is henna and the bottom recent pics are my natural hair which is still holding a red-tint even though I am a blonde. I think I need more sunlight! 

My sister sent me a link to the  1 week Inversion Challenge and I was instantly intrigued.  

The basis behind it is to massage a warmed oil into your scalp for 4 minutes while you invert your head, and let the blood flow to your roots. You do this once a day for 7 days and the results have been anywhere from 1/2″ to 1.5″ of new growth in that time frame. *You can only do this once every 3 weeks and need to give your hair a rest or it stops working*.

I started with a lemon and honey hair mask to lighten my hair anyway and figured I could add some oil before washing it out. I used half castor and half coconut. 

That was WAY too oily for my hair. Our water softener was out of salt so my hair looked greasy and wet for 48 hours. 
I decided to go every other day with the oil, but still inverted every night.

 

THE RESULTS:

Starting Photo: Jan 9

Final Photo: Jan 17

I did not measure my hair before and after, I just used my handy hair length tee and from what I can tell, I got around 3/4″. 
That is pretty amazing because if I add it to the normal 1/2″ of growth in a month, I will get 1 1/4″ of growth this month, so if I do it again next month, I will have added 3″ onto my hair before Disney. 

unnamed IMG_3545

My goal length is to my waist because the last time it was that long I was 6 years old. (You can’t see, but I marked that length with a *star* on my shirt. 

I will keep using this method for a few reasons

a) it makes me pay attention to my hair once a month

b) the coconut oil and the scalp massages made my hair so soft and shiny

c) it worked!

 

This is yet another amazing use for coconut oil.

I think the next time, I will do the coconut oil every day, sleeping on it and washing out in the morning so I don’t have to worry about grease head when I am trying to take my kid to Co-op or get groceries.

 

Have you ever tried the Inversion Method? 

Give it a shot and tell me if it worked for you! 

Sloppy Papa Joes (THM S)

When I was 8 or so, I remember a visit where my Papa Joe made his version of sloppy joes.
1 lb ground beef browned
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Half bottle of mustard.
Mix it up and serve it between hamburger buns.

My brother of course hated it, vehemently claiming to be allergic to mustard but it was amazing to me because I have never liked sloppy joes- too sweet or something.

Over the years I have tweaked it, adding whole wheat bread, then making my own cream of mushroom, then the transition to grass fed beef.

I now present-

TRIM HEALTHY MAMA SLOPPY PAPA JOES -S

Sloppy Papa Joes

 

1.5 lb organic ground beef (4.99 lb at Costco)
1/2 cup sour cream (watch the carbs)
1/2 cream
Half bottle gulden’s spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup water
1/8-1/4 tsp gluccie
1 tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup diced onion
Splash of liquid aminos

*I NEVER use measurements so the above is a guess. I scoop, squirt and taste*

Brown the beef with salt and onion and garlic.
Stir in sour cream, heavy cream, water and mustard and simmer. (I add mustard when my kids are not looking so they won’t question it) Wisk in the gluccie as needed to make it thicker and tweak to taste with salt, pepper and a splash of aminos.
For my husband and I, I serve this over buttered spaghetti squash with either a side salad or cheesy broccoli and add cracked pepper on top.
For my kids, I add in some carbs with peas and soaked brown rice.