Longing for Home – Psalm 84

One of our foster daughters was Little Miss Sunshine. She bounced on her toes all day long with the joy of living, her curls dancing over her shoulders. But quieting down in her room at night, we’d hear her crying. I attempted to comfort and pray with her, but I couldn’t give her what she yearned for most. She moaned, “I want my mom.”

It didn’t seem to matter what they’d suffered there, or how much they enjoyed living with my family, my foster children expected some day they’d be home again and all would be well. And though our L.M.S. was a part of our family for most of her childhood, she didn’t outgrew the deep longing in her heart for home.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you” (Psalm 84: 1-4 NIV).

Sleeping campers. JoshDavis 6-2015

The boys sleeping in their tent

Something’s Missing

I’ve noticed I continue to search for home. It seems I’m always interested in improving the one I have or moving to a different one. Or like others my age, we wish for our grown children to be nearby.

It’s more than just the grass being greener on the other side. I think it’s innate, that there’s something in us that recognizes things are not as they should be; we’re not home yet.

Last weekend Jerry and I went camping with my son’s family. My three young grandsons threw hundreds of rocks into the river and wet pairs of shoes multiplied by the tent door. We ate our camp food around the fire and explored waterfalls and lava beds. At the end of the day the boys collapsed, falling asleep in a heap.

God’s Open Door

Like my grandsons, I relish having adventures with the people I love. It’s great to come to the end of my day satisfied in my relationships and ready for rest. Is that what it will be like when I come to the end of my life? I think so.

The scripture says, “my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” If he has a place in his house for a swallow to build her nest, I know there’s room for me. And my response to his open door is extreme gratitude. “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.”

Prayer

Thank you so much, Lord, for the promise of being with you forever. My song of joy and praise will be unending!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Keeping the Joy

My son and his wife and daughter from Florida are here this week, and we’re filling our days with all the touches of love that we can – from siblings, aunties and uncles, great-grandparents, and more.

We’ve played Frisbee on the beach at Florence, popped in to see old friends from church, visited family in Portland, and sat in the Oregon sunshine to eat BBQ. Three homes have felt the gyrations from all kinds of raucous noise.

Where my Joy Comes From

KD joyfulmom 10-1980

With my first two sons, Joshua and Aaron 1980.

When I asked God for children, I felt I understood the heartaches that would likely come with parenting. That’s why I chose to recognize him as the source of my joy. I am a “joyful mother of children” (Psalm 113:9 NIV), even when disappointing things happen, because of who he is and what he’s promised.

These Things are True

God made me a woman, and my desire for marriage and the capacity to have children was his idea. Therefore, I can find reasons to be thankful even in the middle of misunderstanding and schisms – when my world seems to be completely falling apart.

Here’s what Jesus said:

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:10-12 ESV).

He wants us to follow him, do stuff his way, and abide in his love. His purpose is to give us the fulfilling joy that comes from abiding in his love.

Note that he only asks us to do what he does. He wasn’t known for following the whims of folks around him, but rather, he kept his Father’s commands, staying close to his heart. He loved people, even to the point of severest agony, for those who misunderstood him (“for the joy set before him,” Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV).

Abiding in his love, I can do this, too.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

When our Heroes Showed Up

My husband rented a log splitting machine last Saturday hoping we could split our year’s supply of firewood in a day, but we were in over our heads.

When I arrived Jerry was pushing against a segment of the tree that didn’t want to budge. It looked like a slice of sausage still attached by the skin, and he had to roll it back and forth to break it free. My man worked with everything he had.

The ticking clock

JD crew firewood 4-2015

I took my position at the lever to raise and lower the wedge, freeing him to feed the slow-moving guillotine. He leaned his weight against the wood until the loud crack announced our success at breaking it into woodstove-sized pieces.

To save costs we hoped to finish the job in one day, and though my arrival quickened the pace exponentially, we admitted we wouldn’t be able to get it done in time. The pressure was intense as we discussed what to do.

The cavalry rode in

I texted for help and our daughter arrived with two strong friends, pulling on their work gloves. Within minutes they’d taken Jerry’s place rolling, pushing, and tossing the wood onto the growing pile, hustling like madmen. Amy took my spot at the lever, and Jerry and I, encouraged, just watched and grinned. We ended up with a nice pile of wood and happy hearts.

JD.KD.AmyFrank Anthonyfirewood 4-2015 crop

They were amazing

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23 NIV).

Part of my anxiety that day grew from concern about the future. I know one day we may not be able to physically handle harvesting firewood, and our family and friends will not always be nearby to help us.

I can’t worry, though. Every human since Adam wondered how they’d survive as their bodies weakened. For now it’s profitable to work hard, trust God, and thank him for the people he’s brought to our lives, like Richard, who arrived to take Anthony’s spot when he left.

Here’s a note

Some things I don’t mind using till they’re worn out, like my car, my Bible cover that’s ratty and won’t zip any more, and my body–especially my body. May I use these things well for their prescribed purposes.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Sometime in the next few weeks I’ll start a series of Bible study/devotionals on my blog. I’m interested in exploring the book of Proverbs again, but I’m not sure where we’ll go yet. I love reading the words of the wise!