Thursday, March 24, 2011

Geocaching and War Wounds

We just got back from a long, much needed weekend at the lake. It is a wonderful blessing to have friends who love us enough to share one of their most precious possessions- their lake home. We don’t take this blessing for granted and are thankful to have an escape from the everyday burdens of this world, even if is it for a few days. I refer to the Davis Family Cabin as, “My Happy Place.”  When one sits on the front porch you can’t help but think you have a front row seat to heaven. The view will take your breath away.

We decided to share the love this weekend by inviting some friends to spend a day with us. We cooked the most amazing steaks, enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship, did a little fishing off the boat dock, (no luck there) and then the Indians got restless. I think it’s pitiful that children aren’t content with just sitting on a front porch gazing at the beauty of nature. What has happened to society as a whole?

Everything changed in a moment when Clint suggested we go geocaching. Geocaching is a global treasure hunting game where participants locate hidden physical containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share their experience online. There are more than 1.2 geocaches hidden worldwide. Go to www.geocaching.com for more info.

Is there and app for that? Absolutely. We quickly located one a few miles away on a hiking trail so off we went. This is our team minus me and Chandler. I was taking the picture and Chandler was retrieving my water bottle.

lake weekend

When we were within 70 feet of discovering our very first geocache, My husband decided to take us to the cliff area. He was convinced it was somewhere up there. After a lot of blood (I’m not kidding about that) sweat and some fake tears, we came up empty handed and further away from the treasure. So we headed back to the point of deviation. Note to self: Don’t ever deviate. Stay the course.

Oh my word. The excitement gets a little intense as you near the vicinity of the geocache. After an hour long search we finally found it.

lake weekend2

It was so much fun. The deal is, you sign a book to say you have been there and then you leave something in the box. You may take a treasure, only if you leave a treasure. The kids had so much fun. As for the adults, I think we had more fun.

Back at the cabin we were reviewing our day’s adventure. We gave Ed a hard time for taking us off the path, for causing us all to bleed. Deep down we were all thankful that it was part of the journey. It made it more exciting. I told everyone, in reference to our cuts and scrapes, “these are our war wounds.”  Everyone looked at me like that doesn’t sound right. Meredith said, “you mean battle scars.”  I always mess up little clich├ęs.

Yes, battle scars. That’s it. Grateful to bear them on my body. Also grateful to bear the battle scars of this life. The times I have deviated from the path God has chosen for me have caused me great pain. I am thankful for a God who loves me enough to let me find my way. He never forces us but is always there to guide us. AND because of His great faithfulness towards me He will ultimately use everything…every pain, every struggle, every disappointment for His Glory. Praise Jesus.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Comfortable with Uncomfortable

Well the title says it all. Lesson #1 learned in 2010. Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. Let's face it. No one likes to be uncomfortable. I am the absolute worst about this. I must have the thermostat set at 67 degrees each night. I like the room super cold and I can get really cranky if my sweetheart forgets to turn it down before he comes to bed. I can actually tell if it is set one degree higher. I'm seriously twisted. I have learned that the pursuit of comfort can easily become an idol in one's life. Africa was good for me for this one reason alone. The entire trip was one giant leap out of my comforts. (not to be confused with comfort zone. Comforts. Those wonderful things in life I have come to worship and adore)

God has been taking me to school on this. My husband is a Realtor and we have (so far) survived this real estate crash. The times of discomfort, fear and frustration we have felt are beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I won't go into detail, but I will tell you that after this 4 year battle with the business I have finally learned to be comfortable with uncomfortable. Is it a settling for less and a resolve that this is the way it is going to be from here on out? Absolutely not. We are believing God for some awesome things in our lives. We are on our faces daily pleading with Him for opportunity, open doors and buyers.

Life just seems to roll so much smoother when I learn to find comfort in the uncomfortable. It is a place that is fostered in complete trust and a deep abiding faith. It is a place where great transformation occurs. I can honestly say I am changed. And I hope this transformation looks more like Jesus. I think it does. I am more calm. I don't get depressed as often. I have fewer "freak out" moments with my kids. It is the most amazing thing. I have come to truly understand that He is faithful. He will never leave us of forsake us. He is always good. And He uses painful, ugly, uncomfortable times in our lives to make us more like Him.

My prayer is that my children will remember a mom and dad who never wavered in unbelief. A mom and dad who truly lived out their faith. A mom and dad who knew what it meant to be comfortable with uncomfortable.

Are you going through some uncomfortable times in your life? Stressful situation at work or home. Financial. Marital. Wayward children. Learn to embrace them as gifts from God. Openly accept the fact that the very situation He has brought into your life is meant to transform you into His image. Sounds crazy doesn't it? Be encouraged today dear friend. God loves you and has plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. And hope never disappoints.

Monday, January 10, 2011

4th Quarter Parenting

Hello Blog. It's been a while. I did very little writing in 2010 except for what is in my journal. I would mark it as one of the most amazing years I have had with the Lord. The message from His heart to mine was one of consistency and great relevance. I will be blogging about the top 10things God taught me in 2010 over these next few months. Can't wait to share them with you.

But first things first. One of the things I like about myself is that I am a morning person. I love the early morning. I love the quiet, stillness. I love getting my cup of coffee and turning on the fire. (love my gas logs) I love opening the Word of God and wondering what He is going to speak into my life of this particular day. I love covering my family in prayer and asking God to go before us, to bless us and for His favor to shine upon us. I am so thankful for God's Word and His faithfulness to me and my family.

Ha, my family. They can all sleep til 10:00 or later. And even on school days they kick into high gear around 9:00.p.m. All 3 of them. It drives me nuts. Most days I have been up since 4:45 or so and by 9:00 I am toast. This is one of those things I have to fight in motherhood. I have to tell myself this is THE 4TH QUARTER. The game is not over. I have to pull up myself up by my bootstraps and stay in the game. After all, I want to win the game. I want to leave it all on the field.

Last night I literally drug myself upstairs to their rooms to begin our "good-night' routine.
As I was tucking Katelyn in, I said to her, "Do you know what I love about you?" Her eyes lit up and I could clearly see that she couldn't wait to be bathed in the love, acceptance and encouragement that only a mother can give. I told her that I loved her heart for Jesus and that she was one of the sweetest, most kind people I had ever known. She smiled. And then she returned the blessing. My heart was overwhelmed as she shared what she loved about me. We prayed together and I was reminded how precious these moments can be and I was thankful that I did not send her off with a kiss, crawl into my own bed and miss altogether the blessing God had for me.

Many times in the late evening the window of my teenager's heart will open. In simple terms: she wants to talk in lieu of texting. That is not the time for me to sit on the bench. It is time for me to stay in the game. To finish strong. I was reminded once again how important 4th Quarter Parenting can be. Most of the time, it is the most critical time of the day...the time when the hearts of our children are open and their cups are ready to be filled.

The older my children get, the more difficult this becomes. I know they need it. I know how very important this is in their lives. I am committed to 4th Quarter Parenting this year and believing that the seeds of God's love that will be planted into their hearts will produce young women who diligently seek after the heart of God.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Red Hot Monogamy


I once saw a book titled "Red Hot Monogamy." Did not read the book, but the title is super catchy. Obviously. In keeping with the spirit of this upcoming holiday, I thought I would write a bit about my marriage relationship. I love Valentine's Day. I told Ed that all I wanted was to spend Friday alone with him. I think he is excited about it. We have been married for 18 years. Like any marriage we have had our ups and downs. I am grateful to God today that we have always managed to pull ourselves back up, make-up and go on. The making up is the best part...right? I thought I would share today some of the things I have prayed for in our marriage over these last 18 years. I am so thankful I have asked these things of the Lord, because He has so graciously granted them to us. These things are on my daily prayer list, so I ask them of the Lord often.



  • Lord, bless us. Expand our borders of influence and keep us from evil. (Jabez's Prayer)

  • Guard over our hearts and minds. Let us be innocent in what is evil and wise in what is good. Romans 16:19

  • Let our eyes be captivated only by one another. Hem us in. Our marriage belongs to you.

  • Let our passions grow deeper, wider and higher with each day we are blessed with. (God is faithful, need I say more)

  • Let us see one another only as you see us. With eyes of mercy and compassion.

  • Help us to love each other with and inexhaustive, unconditional love.

Ladies, pray for your marriage. Prayer is our one secret weapon. The God of heaven will hear your prayer. He will hear your cry for help. Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy. And he is attacking marriages big time. We have to fight for what we want. Are you fighting for your man? If you are truly struggling in your marriage and would like me to pray with you, I will. Email me at ginaf@fbcs.net. May God bless you, your marriage and your family today.




Thursday, February 4, 2010

Africa Bound


Our Trip is just 6 weeks away. We leave for Malawi on March 16th. Meredith's 13 birthday.
I am anxious about the actual trip...The Getting There. Almost 3 days of travel. Meredith is anxious about sharing her testimony. She has made it very clear that she does not like speaking in public. I am so excited about what God is going to do in her life. I love the fact that when we don't know what to do, there is God. I think He must absolutley fill up inside when His children come to the end of themselves and find that they must depend upon Him. That is where we are. This trip is stretching me further than I have ever been stretched and we haven't even left yet. I rest in the fact that God will show up. I know He will. And when He does it will be something. Can't wait for that.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The "Blesser"

I came across an old book in my library last week. It's called "The Blessing" by Gary Smalley and John Trent. I call it old. It was published in 1986, the year I graduated High School. I guess I just called myself old. I needed that little laugh today. This truly is an amazing work. The book basically gives instruction on how to give a blessing to our children. The authors trace back the concept of the blessing to the Old Testament. If you have studied the old testament you understand how the model of affirmation was found in the home. Friend, our children desperately need our affirmation and approval. It is critical that they get it from mom and dad while they are still at home. A child who is truly affirmed and blessed will grow to be an adult who affirms and blesses others, someone who can truly make a difference in this world. However, a child who is cursed and devalued will curse and devalue the world, making very little contribution to God's work and the world around them. Tragic. We have to get this right. And truth be told, we only have one shot.

I'll break down the book for you. The authors give 5 elements to passing the blessing onto our children.
1.) Meaningful Touch - We must touch our children in ways that say to them, I love you, you are special to me, I value you as a person.
2.) A Spoken Message - Our words are so important. Make sure you daily speak positive words into your children. Words of affirmation. "You are doing great in school, I am so proud of you." "I love watching you play with your friends, I understand why they like you so much." "I like being with you" "I am glad God gave you to me" "You are precious" "I love your smile" It goes on and on.
3.) Expressing High Value - To value someone means we attach high importance to that person. Have you ever yelled at your kids in a way that completely crushes their spirit. I have and it kills me every time. I'm not talking about getting onto them about something. I'm talking about going off on them when you are mad or angry and not necessarily at them. You have to immediately right the wrong. Say you are sorry and tell them how valuable they are to you. Been leaning to much on the grumpy side? Check yourself and bring balance (value) back to your household and the people you love.
4.) Picturing a Special Future - I really love this one. What girl doesn't like to dream about things to come, things that could be. Talk with your children about their future. Let them dream. Affirm them, encourage them, believe in them.
5.) Make an Active Commitment - No doubt about it, parenting is hard work. You have to be committed to doing these things day in and day out. He writes in this chapter about "learning our children." He says this will help us guide and direct them and it will also help us understand how to pray for them.
Do I know the following things about my children...
  • What do they most often daydream about?
  • What do they want to be when they grow up?
  • Of all the people they have studied in the bible, who is the person they most want to be like?
  • What do they believe God wants them to do?
  • What type of boyfriend/girlfriend are they most interested in?
  • What is the best part of their school day and what is the worst?

I know for certain that I do not want to hold back. I want to be a "Blesser." (I think I just made up a new word) You know, when we are focused on blessing others, we loose site of ourselves and our own problems. It amazes me that it works that way, but it does. So, calling all "Blessers.' Anybody in?

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Mother's Prayer

A friend of mine was speaking on the Holiness of God and he said this, "God calls us to come out, be set apart, and reserved for Himself, His glory and His purpose. All to often we desire the contrary, to "fit in." And while that's less risky and feels more comfortable, it's there that we miss God's best for us." (Jebo Barnes - Children's Pastor FBC Atlanta)
I had to stop and do a self-spiritual check after reading this. All of us, from the time we were toddlers, want to feel accepted. We all want to "fit in" somewhere. As a mother of two daughters, I have to be honest and say, I do want my girls to be admired and accepted by their peers. But not at the expense of holiness. This is way more easier said than done. I am trying to instill in my daughters the idea that is it OK to be different and that there will be a price to pay for holiness. That is for certain. It may mean some lonely nights and some difficult days, but I know that the pay off will be a blessed life and a life that is pleasing unto the Lord.

Oh Father, I pray that my daughters would be willing to pay the price...that they would have enough spiritual depth to understand that the pursuit of holiness is not the "easiest route." It is not the route where they are going to fit in with everyone else. Yet it is the best route. It is the route that will lead them straight to You time and time again. It is the route that will bring them true fulfillment and joy. It is the route sprinkled with your best blessings. Let them get this. Let them fully understand this. I ask that they would run to the things that please you. The things that bring joy to your heart. And may the run away from evil, ungodliness and things that break your heart. Thank you for being a God who hears our prayers and answers them. I pray this in the Holy, Awesome and Powerful name of Jesus. Amen