Women’s Retreat

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Last year, Snowbird hosted our first official Women’s Retreat! This was the first ever ALL ladies weekend designed to spur women on towards Christ. I wrote a few posts on this last year if you want to check it out, here.

This year, we are holding our 2nd annual Women’s Retreat, now called RESPOND. My dear friends Little Holloway and Joy Anisa will be teaching the main sessions. There will be breakout sessions on How To Study the Bible, Missions: How to Go and Send well, Hospitality and more. I have the privilege of leading in worship again with my gal band and teach a session on Marriage. I can’t believe it is only two weeks away!!!

There are still spots available. It is not too late to sign up and be a part of this fantastic women’s event! The cost is only $99 per person for the ENTIRE event! (this includes meals, lodging and SWO recreation)
The dates are Thursday, April 24 – Saturday, April 26, 2014.
Go here for more info and/or to register to come!

I you have been to SWO and are looking for an excuse to bring your gal pals this is the event! Think about it… no keeping up with students or talking thru middle school girl drama in your down time! Take advantage of this inexpensive Big Girl getaway to get refocused on Christ!
Looking forward to seeing you there.

Please, pray for us ladies as we prepare for this weekend!

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From the Archive: I Am The Restored One

A Valentine’s Day treat from the archives! Original Post: January 2011
 

It’s quiet at the moment.
I am snuggled up in our bed trying to get some projects rolling. I look around our room and see bits of him and bits of me.

His hunting bow lies across the top of the Armoire he let me buy our first year of marriage. I sat outside on our porch that summer staining it dark brown while he slept off a long week of summer camp.

I count 6 candles and 2 firearms on top of the Armoire as well. I love candles, but never think to light them.

Two unloaded rifles lean in the corner where the armoire and grey wall touch. One hunting rifle rests unloaded in the corner of the room next to his desk. My jewelry box, lamp and papers scatter the top. I need to clear the clutter before his classes start on Monday.

My broken-in guitar hangs on the wall by my side of the bed. His alarm clock is unset and still blinking from when I tripped the breaker a few days ago.

There is a little of me and a little of him in this room. That’s what makes it ours. Not mine, not his… ours.

Genesis 2:24
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

We are always being melted together, one of us masculine, one of us feminine.
One of us iron, the other glass.
Somehow in God’s sovereignty and for His glory, He is making one glorious life out of two sinful, selfish people. The two “I’s” have become a “WE”. And “we” are learning how to share, prefer, preserve, lead, follow, give, take, serve, love, forgive and all the rest of it – daily!

Ephesians 5:23-2 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in EVERYTHING to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

My husband’s role and mandate is to reflect Christ, work hard and love me, even if I do not do my part. My role as wife, even if my man does not do his part, is to reflect the repentant church, His bride.

FOR I AM THE RESTORED ONE!
The one who follows.
The one who trusts.
The one who hopes.
The one who gets to obey with no pressure to lead.
I am the one given pleasure by giving to my husband through service and submission, as if I am submitting to Christ himself!

Go here read the rest of the series of “The ‘S’ Word”.

3 Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day

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We have entered the season of Love. Sitcoms air their Valentine’s special. Commercials promote diamonds and kissing. The entry way at Target is buzzing with heart prints and chocolate candy as you walk thru the doors. Pinterest is alive with party ideas, clever Valentine prints, DIY Valentine projects and thousands (if not millions) of photo inspiration boards of people kissing, holding hands and children holding up sweet sayings on homemade signs. For the single gal and married gal, this is an expectation-building week that can rob us of our focus on Jesus quickly!

I am not a hater! I am a big time lover of Valentine’s Day! The story of St. Valentine is great and should be challenging and inspiring to every believer. But, it can easily be blown out of proportion and we spend the whole season thinking of ourselves.

Here are 3 ways we can enjoy Valentine’s Day this year:
1. Read the story of St. Valentine and lets ask ourselves what we are prepared to do for The Gospel.


2. Put away the stero-typical Valentine’s Day expectations and cut your man some slack! Most men just don’t think about Valentine’s Day as being the one single day when the entire country stops to recognize February 14th as “Day of Love”. And… while I’m still trying to figure that one out, it’s ok! Babysitters get sick and cancel, dinner reservations fall thru, movies sell out and plans just don’t always come together. You are still loved whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with strawberry cheesecake or not.

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3. If you have a Valentine’s Day Date or not, don’t be sad! Enjoy the day! Go for the heart latte art in your white chocolate mocha and pick up some heart shaped cookies to celebrate with your friends and family. Wear those funky heart leggings and pass out the Hershey Kisses. Don’t hate! Enjoy the celebration and show others how much you love them!

My Rebel-Self

The other week we were visiting a church and the pastor asked everyone to raise his or her hand as an illustration in his message. I just sat in my seat with my hands in my lap. I did not look around to see who was watching or who was raising their hands. It did not matter to me; I just did not feel like raising my hand. The deacons could have walked down the aisle passing out one hundred-dollar bills and I would have still sat there with my hands in my lap. I had made up my mind. That moment has begun to change my life.

I excused myself from the exercise. My arm was not broken. I was not tired. I was not embarrassed. It was not a matter of being shy or uncertain. It was a decision I made based on my stubbornness and inner rebellion against, well, doing what I was asked to do.

This is a silly way for a revolution to begin. But that was the first time I gave notice to the protesting yell of my inner self blaring down the hallways of my heart, it made me uncomfortable. My rebel-self plays a bigger part in my decision making process than what I thought. In fact, I had never given much thought on the matter. But my desire to rebel invades my mind and sometimes dominates my motivation. My rebel-self opposes the SIMPLE. Things like, replacing the toilet paper in the bathroom or getting a fresh cup from the cabinet because I do not want to walk to the living room and get the one I was using. Sometimes its just a calm and quiet defiance. Other times my rebel-self makes herself known through quick comments, body language and attitude.
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For years I have dismissed this attitude as a tiny dent in my personality. After all, I am an artist, right? Well, lately I have been asking the question, “how can I be made useful for The Gospel while continuing to submit to this rebel-self?”

And the answer is, I can’t.
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I am excited to share my heart revolution with you. Identifying this secret rebel in my heart has cleared up a lot of messy and confusing things about myself. Starting in the areas of cleaning, organizing and serving others I hope you will be challenged as I share what Jesus has been teaching me.

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We Have An Announcement To Make…

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When the secret of having our third child was out in the open, folks started spouting out all kinds of advice to my husband and I on how to handle the transition from having 2 to 3 children. I remember smiling courteously at men who gave sports analogies and awkwardly laughing at women who patted my big belly. But, for my husband and I, the transition from having zero children to 1 child has been the most earthshaking and challenging part of growing a family thus far.

The first time I held my first little girl in my arms it was surreal. A tiny person had been growing and living in my body for months, and now, after a long awaited arrival, she was in my arms. At last, a little round face and squishy body was matched with the secret name we had picked!

I can remember feeling lost, intimidated, and scared. I felt like this new little person knew a secret about me that everyone else was about to find out. It was as if she was going to tell the world that I was a fake, selfish, insecure woman who knew nothing about being a mother. But as we spent more time together as a family, we found our groove. And soon after, God blessed us with another little girl!
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God has used my becoming a mother for my sanctification and to conform me into more of his likeness. My heart grows daily for my three children and I am eager to teach them the heart of Jesus and to show them how to serve others by the way I serve them. We genuinely enjoy one another. We spend time together and take time to play and laugh together. We feel very connected and are now ready to fold another child into our family.

For the past year, my husband and I have been praying through God’s leading for us to adopt. We have been praying with our children and waiting patiently for God to give us the green light in moving forward in the process. Well, that time has come and I wanted to give you readers the inside scoop on what we need to bring a new child into our home.

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Here’s the scoop:
We are trying to adopt from Jamaica.
$. The entire process predicts to be less than 10k (after plane tickets, visas, etc.)
1. A home study needs to take place. This is the bulk of our expense right now. We estimate the home study process to take upwards of $2500.
2. Approval of our home study and application process
3. Pairing with a child
4. Arrangements to bring our child home from Jamaica
5. A blog post thanking everyone for their support of our family!

I want to be clear from the start, I know some people LOVE details on adoption, and some people just want the hot topics. So, for that reason, we have created a FB page dedicated to those who want more information about the process and for quick updates about the journey. Click here if you wan to join, it is called Davis Nation Adoption.

We are preparing some fundraising artwork/projects/opportunities to help raise money for each step of the process. If you feel led to give or help support us in this adoption, please check out the fb page or contact me directly through email or fb message. I am excited to watch the Lord provide all that is required in uniting us with a new child.

Please pray for us as we set out into the unknown and trust the LORD with each step ahead!

Lawn for Lunch & Laundry

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Our schedule during the summer is packed with pre-schoolers, meetings, play time, worship services, sound checks, adventures and tons of fun stuff. At the end of a week of SWO Camp, the last thing we want to do is 3 hours of lawn work! We want to spend as much time together as a family as we can before the next week begins. During this small window of family time, lawn work is something easy we could trade off with summer staffers for a nice meal and free laundry. So, my husband and I got a creative and Lawn for Lunch & Laundry was born!

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After the SWO Saturday meeting, 2 or 3 SWO dudes mow and weed eat our yard. I wash/dry/fold their clothes and feed them a nice home cooked meal when they are done. Lawn for Lunch & Laundry has become a huge blessing for us this summer! My husband can come home and relax/play with our family and not spend a chunk of his hours away from camp on the yard for the summer! Lawn for Lunch & Laundry has also been a great way serve these guys and build community on the time off from camp! We love it! Being around 70 college-aged adults this summer does have it’s perks!

He called this dessert! It's worth sharing. I have a lot to look forward to in raising a little boy! College dudes eat so much!

He called this dessert! It’s worth sharing.

2013 SWO Women’s Retreat

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Hey Everyone! Snowbird Women’s Retreat is just right around the corner, April 25 – 27, 2013! I am super excited about this. I will have the privilege of teaching a breakout session on Principles of Biblical Discipline In The Home and hosting a pretty cool Q&A session on singleness with my friends Amy Rasmussen and Shelli Lewis! There will be a pretty cool band (wink, wink). Little will be teaching the big group sessions and our friend Jackie will be speaking about all the amazing things God has done in her life on Friday night.

Our band leading in worship at SWO Girl night last summer! Hannah Wyble will be playing and singing with us band during worship, too! She's awesome!

Hannah and Me leading worship at SWO Girl night last summer! She’ll be playing and singing with us during worship!


The price is only $99 and includes food, lodging, and SWO Recreation. Click here for more information and let me know if you are coming so I can look for you there! Oh, I can’t wait!!

*Just a little note for those of you anticipating the last 4 post in the Motherhood and The Great Commission series. I hope to have them edited and posted very soon! I appreciate all the emails, texts, high-fives and encouraging comments from those of you who have been reading.

All Of The Good News

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Last year we spent a lot of time praying and preparing for how we would celebrate Easter as a family. The first time our oldest daughter heard that Jesus died, it was a big shocker. She became really upset. So we wanted to pray through how we would again tell her the whole story, being sensitive to answer questions she may have. We decided to share stories about Jesus every day for the week leading up to the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. My husband and I put a ton of prayer and planning into which stories we should share with our 2 and 3 year olds. We tried to think through the best way to prepare them to hear not only that Jesus died, but also that people killed Jesus.
I am glad to report that my oldest was excited to hear that he rose up from “the death” (her words), and that we celebrate Jesus coming back to life on Easter Sunday.

For the foundation of our faith, and to the praise and glory of His great name, he dominated death and rose up from the dead. This is a miracle. It is cause for more than just one day of celebration and remembrance! It is too big to keep to ourselves!

Then, Monday came. And well, honestly, it was back to business as usual.
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A few days later on I realized, “I did not extend the full story of The Gospel to my kids.” What? Well, looking back, it came out more like, “Jesus came back to life on the 3rd day and now we must tell everyone about Jesus – the end”. I am sure I left out the amazing -ness of it all. …How Jesus appeared to tons of followers. How he told his disciples to tell everyone in the world about what they have seen and how they were to go make more disciples. Jesus was taken up into the sky and said he will return one day – and I breezed through it like I was recalling a great deal from a good sale at Kohl’s! I had spent so much time preparing to tell my kids the “bad news” that I didn’t even process how to tell them about the “Good News,” and how God wants us to spread the Good News to the ends of the earth!

Jesus’ death was not just for me and my family. Ouch. Really? Jesus’ death was not just for me. Often I think, “I’m safe” so… I’ll just clap for everyone else as they round the bases. …am I truly concerned for the lost?

In confession, I am very embarrassed to even write this out, because I know how selfish it is. I want my children to hear the full story of the Gospel and be in awe!

God wants the whole world to hear the full story of HIS Gospel and be in awe… not just my family and me!

So… I encourage you to start with your children and then extend it to someone who needs to hear The Good News… and read the next post in this series!

Motherhood and The Great Commission: Series Introduction

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On our days off this summer we are often on the GO! One weekend we got as far as a man-made beach in Hiawassee, GA. We splashed and swam in the cool lake water and enjoyed the hot summer day to the full. Walking to the dressing rooms to change out of our sandy, wet clothes, out of nowhere my oldest says, “If these people do not know about Jesus, we need to tell them about Jesus…”
“What exactly should we tell them, Alani?” I ask as we continue walking to the dressing rooms.
I hear her sigh as her little hands smack the sides of her wet legs, “The Gospel, mama.”
(she’s 4…)

Wow! I calmly smiled at her as we kept walking to the dressing room and quietly thanked God for opening her little ears to notice words like GOSPEL!
The Good News: Jesus has come to rescue us!

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Motherhood is more than just the best job in the world; it is the biggest responsibility for a woman. When I was single and newly married with no children, I could not fully understand the depth of a sentence like that and honestly, I might even have even been offended by reading it. But, it is the truth. I am the mother of 3 small children who watch my life closely. This is not the same thing as meeting with my “small group” weekly or even having 3 other roommates who sometimes annoy each other with strange living preferences. I am responsible to dwell among these little people. I eat cereal, play ball, doodle with sidewalk chalk and chat over flavor-ice. We discuss the mysteries of the universe and discover amazing things about creation. I answer questions, laugh at jokes and listen to songs and plays. We chase and tickle, cry and forgive all day long. And somehow, in the middle of all the tiny-tot terrific-ness… Alani grasped beautiful, bold words… “The Gospel.”

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There is a difference between being a good mom and being a Christ-focused mom. Biblical motherhood demands that we live and teach our children The Gospel (The Good News). It demands we keep Christ central in our home, our language, our coming and going. Jesus has to be on display at all times!

For months, I have been heavy in heart to write out my thoughts on motherhood and The Great Commission. I hope you are encouraged by these thoughts and pray they inspire you to saturate your children (and your future children) in The Gospel.

He Pursues: A Valentine’s Reminder For All

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Hosea 2:14 to the end…
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.

And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

“And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety.

And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.

Be encouraged today with God’s Word!
He Loves. He pursues. He covers you with crimson…