Reality Check Anyone? (Stream of Consciousness Thoughts for a Saturday Morning . . . )

Disclaimer: Read the whole thing before you form an opinion. Also, sarcasm. I know . . .

It took me five minutes to spell consciousness. I finally googled it. (Insert Face palm) I think my children are sucking the brain cells right out of my head. That’s a joke (sort of). You can laugh.

Thoughts running through my head on this chilly Saturday morning: My coffee is lukewarm. I don’t care. I can drink coffee anyway you want to throw it at me as long as it’s not super sweet. I kind of love coffee. I haven’t written in . . . two(ish) weeks??? I’m not actually going to go back and look because I don’t have the time or the energy in this moment. I have 45 other things that need to be done before noon. My whole family, our neighbors, and half the town had this awful cold two weeks ago . . . I thought I dodged it. My throat hurts. I do NOT have time for this. Pass the ibuprofen and Sudafed. My kids are 12 and 6. Who thought it was a good idea to have them spaced out so much? Oh yeah, that would be me. Our calendar is FULL . . . I’m tired next month. My Christmas decorations have been up for two weeks . . . yes, two weeks. That’s how we roll in our house. If I’m decorating for Christmas it’s going to be up at least a couple months. Also, I did it while I had time. Some mornings I read my bible, take notes, and pray. Some mornings I fly by the seat of my pants, read the scripture of the day on YouVersion, and pray while I’m driving. It is what it is. I burnt my forehead the other day . . . frying bacon.

You’re welcome for that last one.

I’m sure most of you can relate to all of this in some form or another. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also, hands down, one of the busiest times of the year, and it’s easy to look up on New Year’s Day and realize Thanksgiving and Christmas and every day in between passed by in a blur of busy-ness and preparation and execution of all the things. All the meal planning and prepping. All the gift buying and giving. The visits with relatives. The parties and get togethers.

And I’m one of the worst. I’m a list maker and a checker offer (pardon the made up word), and while I wouldn’t say I don’t enjoy the holidays, I also tend to forget to soak them in . . . to really stop and take in the moments.

Yes, I have a lot of laundry . . . and dishes . . . and a million other things to do . . . but in college, when I had to trek to the laundry mat once a week, I realized what a privilege it is to own a washer and dryer, and I’m really thankful I don’t have to pass the time in a cold laundry room while my clothes dry.

My throat hurts. But it’s not terrible. That lukewarm coffee helped tremendously. 😉 And I’ll be 100% before I know it. In the meantime, I’m just super glad we can buy ibuprofen and Sudafed (even if I do have to pull out my driver’s license).

My kids will never be 12 and 6 again. There are no two people I’d rather have suck my brain cells out than these two. Yes, it can be hard making it to all their programs and parties and lunches and games. Yes, our calendar is FULL. But also, what a privilege. What a privilege to have places to be and friends and family to see. What a privilege to love these people of mine.

The Christmas decorations . . . I love them. I love how warm and cozy they make the house feel. I love how much my youngest loves them. She spent all of October asking when we were putting them up, and seeing the joy it all brings her makes my heart happy. She is 100% living her best Christmas life right now.

Then there’s my quiet time. Can I do better? Yes, I can, and I will always work toward that. But also, I serve a God who wants a relationship not perfection. He’s not sitting on His throne checking off whether or not I spent 15 minutes reading and 15 minutes praying. That’s not to say there is not immense value and importance in both, but He meets me in the early mornings when I have the time to really read and study and pray. And He meets me in the car when I’m dropping off kids and running errands and picking everyone up from school. He’s there for it all. And for that I’m immensely grateful.

And the burn on my forehead . . . well, I have bacon . . . and coffee . . . need I say more?

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

“Just Say No”

It’s been a minute since I last wrote. And I never intended to go this long between posts, but life happens . . . travel happens . . . kids’ activities happen . . . housework happens. . . sick kiddos happen . . . life is busy . . . you get the point.

Which brings me to my title. “Just Say No” . . . if you were a child (or a parent) of the 80s you likely remember the “Just Say No” campaign introduced to us by Nancy Reagan over 30 years ago. We were taught from an early age to say “no” to all the bad and harmful things.

What I’m realizing, as an almost 40 year old, that while being taught to say “no” to all the bad was vastly important, we, maybe, should’ve also been taught that sometimes there are good things we need to “Just Say No” to as well.

While out of town last week, I got a text message for a job opportunity that five years ago I would’ve given my eye teeth for. It was something I actively pursued for a time, but it never seemed to work out. And here it was, years later staring me in the face.

For just a second, I thought, “Oh yeah, we have to make this work. I can’t pass it up now. What if I never get the opportunity again?” But here’s the thing, the reason it never worked out all those years ago is because I would’ve had to walk away from that job, very shortly after starting, when we brought our daughter home from Bulgaria. The week before we left on our pick up trip, almost four years ago, was the last time I worked a paying job. From the time I was 14 until November 25, 2015, I had some sort of “job” whether it was part time at the local newspaper and my family’s oilfield supply store, tutoring in math, teaching school for 10 years, or helping my parents run their businesses. And suddenly, I was jobless. Or so I thought. What I didn’t realize then, but know now, is that I was about to embark on the most important, but not necessarily most highly regarded, “job” I’ve ever had, a full time, stay at home mom.

So I stood there and stared at that text, and then quickly forwarded it to my husband, knowing all the while, what my answer would be. Even though a part of me desperately wanted to jump on it, a bigger part of me knew that for my peace, and more importantly, the peace of my family, now is not the time.

Hear me on this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a working mom. I did it for a long time and wouldn’t change that. I actually tried to quit quite a few times, but God’s (and my husband’s ) answer was always a resounding, “No!”. But with an adopted kiddo with special needs, I quickly learned that for the health and well being of my family sometimes I have to “Just Say No”. Graciously and with thanks, but without excuse or apology, I often find myself saying, “This is not what is right for our family right now”. I said it the first time, when I walked away from teaching public school. I said it the again when I decided to stay home full time. And I found myself repeating it the other day, when I declined this job opportunity.

Work isn’t the only area I’m learning that I can’t do it all. I tend to take on too much and push to the point of exhaustion. Sometimes it’s a birthday party, or a volunteer opportunity, or another activity on an already too busy calendar. Sometimes, a lot of times, it’s things that are seemingly good things, but will not lead to a good outcome. “No” doesn’t come easily for me. The perfectionist in me wants to do all and be all. And in this world of social media influencers and Pinterest level parties, I think, more than ever, we push ourselves to be more than the sum of our parts. We push ourselves to do more and be more to our own detriment. So for now, I will say choose to say “yes” to less and “no” to more. I will say “yes” to those things that bring my family closer to one another and closer to God. To those things that bring us joy and peace and build us up even in the midst of the hard. Many of these “nos” are not permanent but are for a season, and I have no doubt that if and when the time is right, the opportunity that I said no to in this season will come around again.

One of my favorite passages of scripture comes from Ecclesiastes 3. It reminds me every time I read it to savor the season I’m in, whatever that may be, because both the passage of time and change are inevitable parts of life.

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, And a time to die;

A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, And a time to heal;

A time to break down, And a time to build up;

A time to weep, And a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, And a time to dance;  

A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;

 A time to gain, And a time to lose;

A time to keep, And a time to throw away;  

A time to tear, And a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;  

A time to love, And a time to hate;

A time of war, And a time of peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV
Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved     

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.
"Just Say No" Campaign, 1986 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Say_No

Call Me . . .

My daughter, as a result of spending her earliest years in an institution, has struggled with anxiety for all of her six short years on this earth. From the moment we picked her up, we’ve worked, with God’s guidance, to help her heal and overcome her anxiety. But like so many things, it’s a process, and while I can definitely say I’d rather the healing be instantaneous, there is also so much more growth and learning, for all involved, when you go through the process.

So every night, as I put her to bed, she goes through what I jokingly refer to as her “call me” list. It’s a list of things, whatever may be bothering her at the moment, and she wants me to tell her to “call me” if they happen. It goes something like this . . .

A: “Call me if there’s a storm . . .”

Me: “Yes, call me if there’s a storm . . .”

A: “Call me if the smoke detector beeps . . . “

Me: “Yes, call me if the smoke detector beeps . . .”

A: “Call me if the bed flies . . . ” (yes I know, it’s funny . . . she saw it on Sesame Street so it’s legit)

Me: “Yes, call me if the bed flies . . . “

And we continue in this direction until she’s both, exhausted her list of current anxieties, and I’ve assured her that she can “call me” if each one happens. And it’s pretty obvious, some of these are possible, some are not, and some are totally ridiculous, but all are incredibly important and real in her concerned, six year old mind.

And you know what I don’t do? No matter how unlikely, or improbable, or downright, silly her worries are, I don’t tell her that her fears are ridiculous or unfounded. Instead, I reassure her that no matter what she’s worried about, real or imagined, she can call me, and I’ll be there for her. I’ll comfort her. Because of this, she’s able to sleep much more peacefully assured that all she has to do is “call me”.

God reminded me the other day that He does the very same for us. For me. How often have I gone to Him completely stressed with small, insignificant, and often seemingly silly, worries? And time and again, He doesn’t shame me or belittle me. Instead He comforts me. He hears me. He answers me.

And just like my daughter, because of this, my confidence in Him grows, my peace grows, and my anxiety lessens, and although, I’d love to not have to go through the process at all, it is only because of the process, the growth, that I’m able to help my daughter through the very same thing. I used to question why God ever allowed me to struggle with anxiety or fear even a little. Why didn’t He just “zap” it out of my mind? But looking back, I know that it’s almost 40 years of going through the process that allows me to walk alongside my daughter with empathy.

I’m a work in progress. We all are. I’m far from perfect, as a parent, as a person, and as a Christian, and I’m going to mess up. But I also know that God is transforming me and working on me through each and every moment. And all I have to do is call Him . . .

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8 NKJV

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved    

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.

Bless the Lord

“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV

How do you start off your prayers to God? Do you start them with praise or with a pity party? Because if I’m completely honest, I don’t always, maybe not even often, start with praise. The truth is I’ve been known to launch into a list of concerns a mile long without once stopping to think of the WHO to which I’m really speaking. But I’m praying to the one and only Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the Creator of the universe.

I think back to the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. The prophets of Baal cried out and cut themselves until their blood “gushed out of them”, and “they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice . . .” (1 Kings 18: 28-29 NKJV).

Enter Elijah . . .

He repairs the altar of the Lord. He digs a trench around it and sets it up for a sacrifice, but then he soaks the altar and the sacrifice with water, not one, not two, but three times . . . he soaks it to the point where the water runs off and fills the trench surrounding it . . . then he says, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:36-37 NKJV).

And the Bible says, “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:38 NKJV) Consumed . . . it doesn’t say singed or scorched . . . it says “consumed” . . . “the fire of the Lord fell and consumed . . .”

This is the God we serve . . . this is the God to which we pray . . . “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!” If that’s all there was, that would be enough. And that’s where we need to start every single prayer. Not for God because He doesn’t need our praise. But for us because we do need to remember WHO it is we serve. But the Psalmist, King David, beloved of God, didn’t leave it at that, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits . . . “. No, he knew that we also would need to call to remembrance all the benefits that come with serving our God, the one and only true God.

“Who forgives all your iniquities ”

All my inquities. All my sins. All my wrongdoings are forgiven through the blood of Jesus. Without that forgiveness nothing else matters.

“Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

If you’re sick, He’s your healer. If your life is utterly destroyed, He’s your redeemer. He’s not just here to fix you though. That’s the truly awesome thing. He goes beyond the fixing, and straight into the blessing. He “crowns” us with “lovingkindness” and “tender mercies”. He “satisfies” our “mouth with good things”. He “renews” us.

I’ll say it again . . . This is the God we serve . . . This is the God to which we pray. Hebrews 12:29 tells us, “our God is a consuming fire”. Don’t ever forget that. You may feel beat up, sick both emotionally and physically, afraid, and exhausted, but if you’ll take a moment to remember WHO it is you serve, I promise your life will be forever transformed.

Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved   

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.

The One

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 NKJV

Cory Asbury sings a song entitled “Reckless Love” and the chorus says:

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah”

Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines the word reckless as “marked by lack of proper caution : careless of consequences”. And that gives me pause. Never in the history of my life, had I thought of God as reckless, but when I read that definition, when I think of Christ enduring the suffering of the cross, and know that He did it for all, but He’d also do it just for the one, there is very much a lack of care for the consequences in that. There is something very incautious about that.

We do not serve a careless Savior, but we serve a Savior who was “careless” about the consequences to Himself because He cared far more about saving us. Maybe you don’t think you’re worth saving. Maybe you don’t see your value. I’m here to tell you that you’re not just valuable, you’re the most valuable to Jesus. We all are.

The parable of the lost sheep is not one of a shepherd wandering through lush pastures looking for a sheep who may be slightly off the beaten path. No, it’s a picture of a shepherd leaving everything and heading into treacherous territory to seek that one sheep who has gone so far astray. It’s a picture of a shepherd desperate to not let go of even one. It’s the picture of a Savior willingly crucified and taking upon himself all the sins of mankind so that we do not have to suffer condemnation.

If ever you think, for even a millisecond, you don’t matter, look no further than Matthew 18. You are that sheep. You are that loved. You are never too far gone or too lost to be found. And all of heaven rejoices at your rescue.

Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved  

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.

The Act of “Sabbath”

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” – Exodus 20:8 NKJV

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]” – Psalm 91:1 AMP

I’ve been thinking a lot on the concept of Sabbath here lately. The word Sabbath actually comes from the Hebrew Shabath which means to “cease, desist, rest” ( https://www.biblestudytools.com ). We use Sabbath as a noun, but its root is a verb. It’s not a thing, but an action. I think we often look at the word Sabbath, and think “went to church checking that one off the list”, but you know what? That’s not what God was getting at. I’m not even fully sure how we made the leap from Sabbath being a day of rest to “must attend church”. Not that we shouldn’t go to church, we should (“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25 NKJV – no one come at me about not attending church), but when God is talking about the Sabbath, and keeping it holy, He’s actually telling us to cease and desist from our labor and instead, rest. There is holiness in rest. That’s kind of a foreign concept in our modern world.

I struggle with rest. I always have. Sleeping through the night has never not been an issue for me. Taking time, much less a full day, to rest is HARD for me. I find that I feel guilty when I rest. And even when I am “resting”, I’m not. Because rest is more than just a posture or a removal of work. It’s a state of mind. If we are “resting”, but our mind is still mentally going through all the things, I think we’re missing the point.

So back to Sabbath. It’s not just a day to check off the list. And I don’t think it’s about whether it’s the first day or the seventh day of the week (yes, I know the significance behind each of those days), but more about actively resting in God. And if you’re in the ministry, in any capacity whether that be individually or as a family, you know that Sundays are about as far from restful as you can imagine. I would love to be able to take a day out the week to do absolutely nothing . . . okay, I’m probably lying here . . . I’m not sure how much I would “love” it, but even if I could, I have kids, and a husband, and a dog (she’s kind of high maintenance), and I’m not sure that doing absolutely nothing for an entire 24 hours, no matter what day it is, is going to be a feasible concept at this point in the game.

But I’m also becoming increasingly convicted regarding my inability to rest . . . my inability to have a Sabbath state of mind.

Psalm 91 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. Years ago, when my oldest was very little, I memorized most of it, and what I didn’t memorize, I can pretty well paraphrase. I didn’t memorize it so I could come on here 10 years later and flaunt my impressive scripture memory skills, but because I have always struggled with anxiety. The catalyst for memorizing Psalm 91 was actually the great swine flu outbreak of 2009. I’m sure some of you remember. My son wasn’t even two when it started, and I. Was. Terrified . . . almost immobilized with fear. So I sat down and committed Psalm 91 to memory, and almost daily, I find myself quoting portions of this passage of scripture. But I also realized that the first verse . . . the one about resting . . . I kind of skim over as I hasten to make sure I remind God that He’s supposed to deliver us from the “perilous pestilence” and “give His angels guard over us”. You know, because I’m pretty sure God doesn’t remember from day to day . . . read the sarcasm.

But y’all . . . rest . . . it’s very well and good to memorize and quote scripture, but we, I, also have to find that place of Sabbath, Shabath, in our lives. Not as a noun but as verb. There comes a point where repeatedly hurling scriptures back at God like it’s some sort of magic is kind of counterproductive. We have to come to the place where we believe that God is faithful to His word and commit to the action of resting in who God is and what He has done for us.

I haven’t arrived in this area. Not even close. For me it looks a lot like letting go of little things on a daily basis. Of refusing to be ruled by the guilt of not doing the next thing on my list. My life is an ever evolving work in Christ, but I also know I’m not alone in this struggle so I challenge you to look at how you can you can just rest and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty today.

Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved  

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.

Did God Really Say?

This isn’t the post I set out to write. The post I set out to write is one I’ve been working on for over a week, and although I feel like I’m supposed to write it, I need to write it, the words aren’t coming easily. After sitting with it for a while, I think it’s one of those things that needs more time . . . time in prayer . . . time in the Word . . . time to process.

So here we are. Did God really Say? I was reading Colossians 3 this morning, and this particular section of Colossians specifically speaks to putting to death our carnality and putting on the things of Christ. But as I was reading about those things that should be to death, I heard, “Is that what God really meant? Did He really say that?”

Woah . . . we’re stopping this runaway train right here and now and getting off. Let’s take a second to look at another chapter 3 of the Bible, Genesis Chapter 3 where the serpent, aka Satan, straight out of the starting gate says to Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)

Did God really say?

Satan isn’t original nor is he very creative, but the sad truth is, this phrase has been working on the human race pretty much forever. Now more than ever in our society we deal with issues that our carnal minds want to call “right” and “okay” when the Bible pretty clearly calls them “sin”. And I’m not immune. None of us are. Which is why I daily have to press in to God. I have to seek His truth above all else even when it means that some people aren’t going to like it. Even when it means that the “unfriend” or the “unfollow” buttons might be pushed more than not. Not just in the difficult moments but in all the moments, the easy and the routine and the mundane, because I think those are where and when we let our guard down. That’s not to say, I speak truth in a spirit of meanness and vindictiveness because God had something to say about that too, but I have to stand for truth even though it might not make everyone happy. To do any less would be a lie.

Did God really say? If His word says it, whether we like it or not, the issue is settled.

Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved  

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.

Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little? The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.” Proverbs 10:19-21 NKJV

I opened my Bible app this morning and there was Proverbs 10:19. It’s amazing how one, seemingly small, scripture can have such huge ramifications if we allow it.

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking . . . “

How often do I say too much? How often do I speak the truth, not in love but out of some misguided need to set people straight? Even as I write this, I have to ask myself if I’m measuring my words and speaking truth that will draw people closer to Jesus. I’m not always good at restraining my lips. I’m a rule follower to the nth degree and often to my own detriment. So when I see something not being done “right” I often feel the need to correct it.

“. . . But he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver . . .”

Learning to restrain my lips is no easy task. And I don’t think it means we never speak up, but rather, we use wisdom about when to speak and when to stay quite, about what to say and what not to say, and how to say it. Our words are valuable and carry weight.

“The heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.”

Are my words feeding others? Even when I disagree wholeheartedly, do the things I say to others bring life or death? The Bible tells us that God is not “willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And I have a role to play in that as a follower of Christ. Whether it be with my children, my spouse, the cashier that is taking too long, the political views others spew, or even behind the wheel (finger pointed firmly at myself), my words can destroy or build up. They can bring peace or division. They can point to Christ or away.

There’s an old saying “You may be the only Bible a person may ever read”, and while I’m not responsible for the decisions others make to follow Christ or not, I am responsible for bearing witness to Jesus as the Savior and Redeemer. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” We cannot be careless, cutting, or conniving with our words. They are just too valuable.

The Vanity of Anxiety

“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:1-2 NKJV

“Unless the Lord builds the _________” fill in the blank. It doesn’t really matter . . . family, marriage, friendships, church, businesses . . . our lives as a whole . . . that’s “the house” we’re dealing with. Without God building and guarding it, all our work is for not.

I’ve been trying to write about these two verses for a couple days now. Two verses that encompass so much. Forming the words that convey what I’ve learned, am still learning, regarding them is not coming as easily as it usually does.

So many nights I wake up in the early morning hours, my mind racing with all the things . . . things that need to be taken care, questions about the present, the future, finances, decisions to worries about things that seem small in the daylight hours but huge in the darkest hours of the night . . .

I’ve always been a worrier. I can recall being five years old and laying in bed and worrying over both the most insignificant and sometimes, significant, to my young mind, things. My worries are no respecter of the actual legitimacy of the problem. But as I was reading these scriptures, I was, once again, reminded that it’s not our right, our privilege, or our job to worry.

The first verse of Psalm 127 tell us that “unless the Lord builds the house . . . unless the Lord guards the city . . .” then all of our worrying, our watching, our anxious thoughts are “in vain”. But it’s verse two that really caught my attention as I was reading the other morning, “It is vain” . . .

  • Vain – 1: having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance or achievements : conceited 2: marked by futility or ineffectualness : unsuccessful, useless vain efforts to escape 3: having no real value : idle, worthlessvain pretensions 4 archaic: foolish, silly (Merriam-Webster dictionary)

All of these definitions fit the bill for verses 1-2, but when I read those words “It is vain . . .” I was struck by the pride and conceit encompassed in the action of letting anxiety rule in our lives, in my life. Ultimately, it’s a control and trust issue, and it says to God that I think I know better, and I think I can maintain control of a situation by worrying rather than rolling it off onto Him. And bottom line? It’s a sin.

The Bible tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NKJV) That’s not a suggestion. It’s a command. “Be anxious for nothing . . .” As someone who has always been prone to anxiety, sometimes mild and other times so fierce it’s almost debilitating, I do not take those words lightly. I know how hard, almost impossible, it is to set anxiety aside, but if the Bible says to do it, then I have no doubt God has infused me with the ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to follow through. That’s not to say the feelings don’t come. They do. This week alone, my sleep has been interrupted repeatedly in the early morning hours, and in those moments I have a choice to make. I can pray, or I can worry. I can seek God, or I can be gripped by anxiety. I can “eat the bread of sorrows” or as the Amplified puts it “eat the bread of [anxious] toil”, or I can let God give “His beloved sleep”. The world may tell us, it’s not a choice, but it absolutely is a choice. It may not be an easy choice, and I’ll readily admit that this is a work in progress in my own life. I daily have to decide how I’m going to respond to all the things that could cause me to worry. I have to make the choice to give my worries, my fears, my anxieties to God and leave them there, and some days I’m better at that than others. But it’s a battle that I will continue to fight because the idea that I am in control or exert some sort of control by worrying is nothing more than illusion.

Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved 

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.

Two Are Better . . .

If you follow me on Instagram, @courtneyscontemplations (you can click on my Instagram page on the right, and it’ll take you straight there), you’ve seen my posts about Eva Love. Even if you don’t follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen posts about Eva Love. This precious little girl, that I’ve never met and don’t know any of her immediate family personally, has been heavy on my heart for the past couple weeks. Maybe part of it is because I’m a mama of an equally precious, rambunctious, life filled little girl, but I think it’s more. I wholeheartedly believe that the Holy Spirit is prompting every prayer, every whispered plea, and every loud cry regarding beautiful Eva Love. This is one of the functions for which the body of Christ was created. We were created to rally when one or more of our members is struggling and weak. We were created to lift up one another, to pray and stand in the gap and seek Christ on behalf of one another.

Over these past couple weeks, I’ve seen God’s people mobilize. I’ve seen His children at their finest. I’ve seen differences in theology and practice and denomination set aside to lift up this child and seek God’s face for her healing. And I have to wonder, why does it take a tragedy to get us to do this? Why do we argue and fight amongst ourselves more than we come together and pray and seek God’s face?

We live in a world that pushes against the things of Christ more with each passing day. A world where satan looks to bring attacks against the children of God more vehemently than ever before, and yet, we have dissension within our ranks. Yes, we are to hold one another responsible. Yes, we are to stand against sin and false prophets and false testimonies. Absolutely, unequivocally, yes, the bible instructs us on how to do that, but fighting about worship styles and worship songs and order of service and whether or not you lift your hands (or don’t)? All of that is a major distraction from the war that we can only win with Jesus by our side. And y’all if Jesus, 1/3 of the Holy Trinity, is your Savior, and you know without Him there’s no other way, no other way to heaven, no other way for forgivness, no other way to live both here on earth and after death, then we are on the same team, and we fight together not against one another.

So today, I’m asking you to put aside the petty differences that divide, and look to the One who unites. Not just in this fight, but in the daily fight against the enemy who wants to destroy. I am also asking you to hop over to the Instagram pages for the Sherbondy family (@dugansherbondy and @lindsayletters.co) and follow Eva’s story and pray for her complete healing. We, the body of Christ, were created to walk together, side by side, celebrating and supporting both on the mountaintops and in the darkest valleys that we face. We were never meant to do this alone.

“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Copyright 2019, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved 

The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.