My last blog, “Caring For Orphans” was passionately written and sent out on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 to all of our family, friends and acquaintances. Friday evening, October 21, 2011 I found out I was pregnant. I could go on about how I felt and what happened for that time being, but as I already typed I was pregnant. So with that said, I cannot remember how I felt before I heard the news because my heart quickly went from extreme excitement to extreme heartbroken.
Thanksgiving Day – The first day I felt great in the 8 weeks of pregnancy with morning sickness nonstop. This was also the day I lost my baby and did not know it. I ended up going to the Emergency Room to get an ultrasound on Friday at the time I was suppose to go to work; my OB/GYN nurse told me to get checked out “just in case” and “better safe than sorry” but “things will more than likely be just fine.” Because my symptoms were minor, I didn’t prepare myself for the worst. If you truly know me, then you know I am always prepared for the worst so for once I was thrown off guard when the Radiologist very bluntly said, “Unfortunately, no heartbeat has been found. So you may miscarry soon. Sorry for giving you not-so-good news.” Just like that my heartbeat wanted to stopped, too. I kept a straight face and truly thought I could handle the news. “Because I knew it happens 25% of pregnancies and 1 out of 3 pregnancies are miscarried. Also,I just knew I would miscarry because I know I’m suppose to adopt so why would I get pregnant? So of course I’m not shocked.” Those were the thoughts running through my mind. When I finally dared to glance back to Michael, who had been standing in the corner beside me, I could see the instant pain reflect from the face of this man who just found out he isn’t a daddy after-all. Because I am pessimistic and Michael is optimistic, it may be true that he was more heartbroken than me. At least right away….
So what happened next? I went back to work the next day. Shhh, don’t tell me I am crazy because I now know I was. In my logical mind, it’s only an emotion so I can physically go to work and besides, I did just miss work on BLACK FRIDAY. I owe it to them, right?! Well I barely made it to 2 hours on my shift. Out of nowhere I felt this sharp pain again in my left side but much worse than what brought me to the E.R. I still didn’t want to leave, even though I was sobbing in front of my supervisor. If it weren’t for my co-workers (older ladies) insisting it was labor pains and I shouldn’t be there but to go home to rest, I would have continue to think I was just over exaggerating. That pain continued from Saturday through Wednesday, when I woke up from the D&C procedure, which I begged my doctor first thing Monday that I had to have!
So I go back to work Friday to find out my Assistant Manager is giving me paid sick days for the days I’ve missed from work! PRAISE GOD for not letting us financially slide down because of this and PRAISE GOD my managers are more than compassionate about my absences, especially during the busiest time of the year. I thought my healing was over but after travelling in the car for 5 hours on Sunday to visit my sister I had some minor complications, which effected my time and energy with my family as we celebrate Christmas together (early).
I am confident that God gave me those physical pain in order to bring out my emotional pain. If it weren’t for all of this, I would have bottled up emotions I wouldn’t even know I had (still have) and that would have been a huge problem in the long run. I have been able to deal with strong pain both from my body and from my heart then cope with it as I begin to heal in both areas. At this time in my life, I am literally taking it day by day, not planning my future like I have always been doing since I was a kid. I am taking that as from God as well. I have just opened up only part of the pain Michael and I have been dealing with over the past few months. So there is a lot of healing that needs to be dealt with. I am beginning to see that God giving me a baby then losing my baby is allowing me to heal in that area but also in the other areas in our lives.
One of the resources getting me through ALL of this is the book:
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances — Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions — Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others — Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God’s will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator — Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask:
– Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
– What are legitimate boundaries?
– What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
– How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
– Aren’t boundaries selfish?
– Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.
Posted by Jesalyn Hanna at 8:31 AM 0 comments
So it seems like summer just started and its now August. What happened to it? Well, my summer has been spent in class. summer school are two words that should never go together. Some of my other favorite pairs of words are… Jumbo shrimp… Biggie smalls… Canadian army… and last, but not least… Cute baby.
This summer has flown by. Jes and I have been so busy and so many great (and not so great) things have happened that I really haven’t stopped to smell the… I don’t know what kind of flowers bloom in the summer. So, I want to take a moment to list the events of The Davenport’s summer.
I have been taking two summer classes to keep me on track for graduating this year. I am projected to finish with an A and a B. Both classes have been surprisingly fun and good information for me to learn. They are senior level classes, so the material has been very geared to my interests. It has actually made me consider going a bit further in this “school thing”.
Jesalyn started her new job at Stein Mart at the beginning of the summer. She has already had some great and not so great experiences. She has enjoyed the more moderate schedule and less responsibility that comes with a larger retail company. Like any job it still has its ups and downs, but I can actually say that I am glad she took this job. I was a little skeptical going in, but I think we made a great decision together. That’s why we make a better team than we do individuals.
On the flip side of the last event, I lost my job in June. A week after receiving a tremendous 1 year review at News America Marketing and having my boss sing my praises throughout the company, I found out the company who contracted us was terminating their contract. We were done. Thousands of people in my situation all across the country had two weeks notice that we were loosing our jobs. Some good and bad has come from it, but mostly I have found myself with more time to focus on my family, my magic, and my God. God has been showing me a lot through my “free” time this summer and I know He isn’t done.
We took our first trip to Florida together. We took a long weekend and headed down to see Jes’ brother and his wife. I love spontanious travel and even though this trip was somewhat planned. I love taking side roads and finding new spots for Jes and I to create memories. I think we have grown to love this together. There’s something about not knowing where you are or where you are going that makes a trip more fun. On the way down we stopped on a random public boardwalk that overlooked the beach to watch the sunrise. I took the picture of the sunrise that I used earlier in this post that morning. It was (cliche intended) magical. Then on the way home we timed it so we could stop for dinner in Jacksonville. We ate on the water and walked across the blue bridge together. That was an amazing night. We even got to be on the bridge when it lifted for a boat to pass under it. We also loved checking out the cool places in St Augusting with our own personal tour guide (Grace, our sister-in-law, is a tour guide in historic St Augustine) showing us all the great spots and getting us great deals on everything. Without Bobby and Grace being such supportive siblings we would never have been able to make the trip. They were amazing hosts. God has blessed Jes and me with such awesome families and its things like this trip that make us thank God for how blessed we are.
Since I lost my job we have been bringing in dogs. Mainly my best friend’s neighbor has employed me as her own personal doggy daycare. This has been a huge hassle, but a huge blessing. Without her financial help Jes and I would be in horrible shape, but this dog is no easy dog to take care of. Let’s just say that clothes have been ruined, furniture has been demolished, and even door frames will forever be scarred because of this terrorist. She is such a cute dog that you would never guess how much of a pain she has been, but overall we now see Gucci (yes, her owner likes designer clothing) as the step child that we have shared custody of. She is another great example of how God has continued to provide for us.
Now on to a couple negative things that have happened this summer…
My great friend and mentor in magic moved away. This series of events is difficult for
me to explain, but Craig and I had become really close over the last year. Finding a (great) magician who is a man of God and shares a lot of the same values as me really revived my love for magic. Craig got robbed while busking downtown and punched to the ground by some gang members just a couple weeks before he was supposed to move. This would normally be horrible news, but looking back this allowed Craig to stay a week or so longer and he got to stay at our house. Even though his leaving really sucks, he got to spend his last 10 days here living with us. It was a great time full of magic and eating, the two things Craig and I do best.
Jesalyn’s baby Jake has been going through some tough times. He has been getting worse over the last year, but we spent a long night in the hospital with him and I really thought we were going to loose him. He has been having trouble breathing and controlling his bladder. He has also dropped a lot of weight and we can’t seem to put it back on him. He is very old and we know that these are signs of the end of a life well lived, but that night in the hospital has opened our eyes to just how much he has aged. With some rehab and some meds he has gotten the fluid out of his lungs (for the moat part) and seems to have some good days, but the doc says that he is in the early stages of congestive heart failure and there isn’t really anything we can do.
Over the last year and a half I have gotten to know a great family. I met them on the basketball court, but our relationship has grown serving together at Radiant Life. The kids are half of the youth group (literally) that I took over at RLF. I have loved serving with them, going to their ball games, playing at the park with them, and eating a lot of pizza with them. They always brought their friends and several of their friends are now part of the youth at RLF. These guys are just great people who everyone loves. Well, they unexpectedly had to move back to Mexico (after being here 7 years). Their oldest son graduated high school and got a full scholarship to an international university in Mexico to play basketball. This is a dream for him and the family. So within a week they packed up all their things and just left. We had a great send off for them at church, but it all seemed so short. Jes and I really feel like we were just starting to build great relationships with AT, Edwardo, Dalia, and Ally (all the kids) and now they’re gone. Just like that…
A few more good, no, GREAT things…
My grandmother celebrated her 75th birthday on July 9th. Nanny and Poppy are (outside mine and Jesalyn’s parents) the people I look up to the most in every aspect of life. I think Jesalyn would probably agree. To celebrate this with my grandmother was amazing. We had a big surprise blow out at my parents house. My grandmother is the last of all her siblings to be alive so dad invited all of her sibling’s kids to the party. This was the first time that several of them even met each other. Some of the family had not even spoken in my lifetime so for all of us to be at one place celebrating such an amazing person was unbelievable. I haven’t seen Nanny this happy in a long time. She just lost her sister (her best friend) a month before and this couldn’t have come at a better time. I know I keep mentioning the importance of family in mine and Jes’ lives and Nanny is the biggest reason why I will always have that value instilled in me.
I just mentioned this, but I think it deserves a paragraph all on its own. My great aunt Rosie passed away this summer. Nanny’s best friend and last remaining sibling. Funeral’s are hard, especially when my dad usually has to deliver the eulogy and it makes me upset to see him get emotional, but the reason this is going with other “good” stuff is because Rosie is in such a better place now. She loved Jesus and lead a great life that exemplified the life of a servant. She battled for the last couple years with all kinds of medical issues and health problems. This is a good thing, because she is healthy again and she is so much better off now.
Jesalyn’s best friend got married this weekend. We just spent the weekend in Asheboro. Shandra and Dexter finally tied the knot and it was a great wedding. My wife was away from me for a couple days so getting to go to the wedding and see how beautiful she was when she was all dolled up made me fall in love with her all over again. A moment I will try never to forget was dancing with her at the reception. It was just one of those moments in your life when time stands still.
Over all, this summer God has shown me so much about life. He has been reinforcing values and priorities in my life and He has even been introducing new ones. I have gotten the opertunity to serve at Radiant Life this summer at Angels and Sparrows serving food to some great people in Huntersville and in Huntington Green spending the afternoon with kids who need some good adult influences in their lives. Chris also gave me the opertunity to teach twice in our summer series called At The Movies. The first time I have ever prepared a sermon on my own and delivered it. Some great friends, my grandparents and my parents all came to be a part of the first one I did and it was a great day. I really enjoyed the entire process and I know God taught me so much through this experience.
God is working like crazy in my heart and in our life. All this has happened in just the last couple months and yet the upcoming couple of weeks are going to be jam packed. I have the Final for my second summer class next week. Then Jes and I are going to the Tim McGraw concert the next day. Then the next week we are taking a week vacation with my parents and my brother’s family to Cherry Grove. Jes and I couldn’t be any more excited for this trip. We haven’t had a full week vacation since our honeymoon 4 years ago. Then once we get back from that trip fall semster starts the next day. So we have a lot to pack into these last couple weeks of summer.
Crazy me is wanting to jam one more thing in. I really feel God is working on my heart this summer. I have been thinking for some time now about taking a road trip on my own to get away and talk to God. A lot of spiritual leaders do this and take time in the mountains or in the wilderness, but I am not a “wilderness” type of guy. I love the city. I love watching people and listening to the sounds of life around me. I love the feeling of standing in a place with millions of people and feeling small. I don’t know why I am designed this way, but I appreciate how insignificant I become in a place like this. So I have decided in what time I have left to myslef this summer to get away. I am either going to Philly or NYC or both and I’m going this week. I invited a friend with me to cut costs and just have someone to keep me company on the drive, but I am going to do this with or without him. I am going to do this for myself. I’m going to end this summer with a bang and I can’t wait to spend time with God this weekend.
What a summer!!!
This is what happens when I’m bored. Last night my wife was watching one of her dumb shows on TV and I didn’t know what to do. So I grabbed the camera and decided to have fun with myself. There are no camera tricks or fancy edits. I just edited a bunch of clips of me jamming for the camera together and this is what I got.
I hope you enjoy. If you are looking for some other of my magic videos click here.
Last night was the first ShamRock n Roll music festival the the NC Music Factory in Charlotte. Jes and I took the evening and went early. She had an interview with a family in Charlotte for a nanny position with their new baby. From there we stopped by the original Lupe’s Cafe on the way to the Music Factory. It was great! We both had one of the best burgers we have eaten in a long time and I definitely recommend the sweet tea. They served mine in a mason jar. Other people were ordering tea and it was coming in regular glasses so I’m not sure why mine came in a jar, but I liked it! I’m thinking I will start drinking everything from a mason jar.
After Lupe’s we stopped by to see some friends and then headed to the concert. We got there super early so we claimed out spots in the front and waited for an hour and a half until the show finally got started. Sister Hazel
was Jes’ favorite band in middle and high school and she has kept up with them for all these years. You may remember their biggest hit, “All for You”. We got to see them up close and personal.
I’m so glad Jes got to experience that. We left the concert and I was thinking was that the only thing cooler for her would have been to be able to meet them in person. So we did what any groupie or crazed fan would do and hunted down the tour bus and stalked them until they came out. And wouldn’t you know, it actually worked. After standing outside for a while and almost giving up
Ken Block, the lead singer, came out of the bus and greeted us and a few other hardcore fans that have been standing around with us. He gave Jes a big hug, shook my hand and thanked us for coming to see the show. It was a very cool moment for Jes and I was so happy to be there with her. The concert was great and I actually have a short video clip of it on my youtube channel. I got about 20 seconds recorded before you can see the bald security guard come over and make me turn off the camera.
I have been into magic for almost 20 years. I love the art and mystery, but mostly I love the interaction with my audience. I live for that moment when I get a smile, a laugh, or a gasp. Sometimes a stunned silence can be even better. This is why I study magic. This is why I perform magic. This is why I love magic.
Its easy to forget the reasons we first fell in love. In my day to day life I often have to stop and think about the first night I realized how in love I was with Jes. We stayed up all night talking about our family, our future, and our faith. I have to force myself to remember the things that made me fall in love with her, because its so easy to forget. Its so easy to only think about the here and now.
I never thought about it like this, but I can also remember the first card trick I learned. I read a simple trick out of a self working card trick book and for the next couple days I showed everyone who came within a 100ft radius. I was hooked. I had fallen in love with magic.
No, I’m not saying I love magic like I love my wife. I actually love it more (just kidding Jesalyn).
It is the same way with anything that we commit to for a long time. We forget why we originally fell in love with it. Magic reminded me of this. Last week I watched a young guy (14) perform on the street and get some screaming reactions. He did simple effects that were clear and easy to follow. They were good, not because of the difficulty or the hidden skill, but because of the reaction. The spectators saw a miracle. A 14 year old just made the card in their hand switch with a card in the deck.
Magician’s break down effects to make them symmetric, linear, framed, etc, but we often miss the simple beauty of the trick because we don’t see it like a spectator. We see it like a magician. We concentrate on fooling people who know every trick in the book. We concentrate on heavy misdirection because its hard to misdirect our eyes. We forget that spectators are easily misdirected, easier to fool, and at best they have only seen page one or two of the book.
Here’s a clip of Shawn performing downtown last week. This is just one of the great reactions he received.
So magic has taught me another great lesson. Sometimes we need to take a break and look at the original reasons we fell in love. It could be a person, a hobby, or a career. Take some time to remember why you first fell in love and remember what it was like to realize your passion and start out on that journey.
As Daniel was moving up the ranks of the kingdom, other leaders became jealous and tried to find the dirt in his past. As you read through the first part of chapter 6 of Daniel, it sounds a lot like an attempted smear campaign in today’s time. I guess things don’t change that much in 2000 years. When the administrators realized they couldn’t find any dirt on Daniel they decided to change the law to make it illegal for Daniel to pray to anyone except King Darius. King Darius declared that anyone who prayed to someone other than him for 30 days would be thrown into the Lion’s Den and left for dead. Even though it was banned, Daniel continued to pray to God in the privacy of his own home. As you probably already know, he was ratted out and sentenced to the mercy of the Lions.
Lions… have you ever been face to face with a lion? Me neither. Its a little hard to imagine being locked in a lion’s den with real lions. Our lions can be a little different than Daniel’s.
Lions=Fear Lions=Obstacles Lions=Addiction Lions=Oppression
Daniel 6: 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
Daniel was squeaky clean. He had lived his entire life following God’s plan for him and yet he ended up here. He was face to face with one of the most intimidating creatures in the world. If you were in his shoes, how would you feel? I think most of us would question God.
“God, I don’t deserve this!” “Why am I here.” “All the other ‘bad’ people out there and I’m the one in this pit.”
Sound familiar? When we get faced with lions in our lives we often feel that its because of something we have done wrong or its unfair because we have done nothing wrong. Daniel didn’t feel this way. He kept his faith. He trusted that this was all part of God’s plan and God would deliver… and He did!
Daniel 6:19-22 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
Are you facing any lions? Are you overcome with fear and anxiety? Are you battling an addiction that seems to be killing you? Are you stuck in a pit full of obstacles with seemingly no way out? Have you ever been in Daniel’s shoes?
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
Trust in God. He will save you from your lions.
When you are faced with your own lions, how will you react? Will you let it kill you or will you be like Daniel and emerge with no wounds because you trusted in God?
A little mind reading on the streets of NoDa in Charlotte.
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Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Blythe Movie Night was tonight and it was a huge success. This is one of the ways we serve our community in love at Radiant Life Fellowship. God has called us to love others by putting them first. A team of volunteers from RLF put aside their Friday evening and night and devoted it to serving their community and it was a beautiful thing.
1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
Watching the setup, breakdown, and all the work put in behind the scenes was like seeing God paint a collage with all the different gifts he gave us. Some people working on the technical stuff, some on putting out chairs, lights, plants, and other decorations to make the stale gym feel a bit more like a home theater than a gym, and some serving food and drinks to everyone. What a beautiful picture!
Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Nights like this give me hope, they inspire me, and they fill me with strength. By serving others, we become strong. That is how I know God is present. When we serve out of our own strength we become weary. When we serve with God’s strength, we are able to accomplish more and become stronger. Without God’s strength Blythe Movie Night would never have happened.
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
I can’t wait to see how we will “Prove It” next!
This weekend I started going through a lesson plan with the 5th graders at Radiant Life. Billy Graham Ministries based a study around Daniel and geared it towards students. Its to better equip them to share the Gospel and stand firm in their beliefs just as Daniel did in the Bible. I don’t think students are the only people who can learn from this study.
I learn most effectively through teaching. As I prepare myself to teach I always learn more and grow deeper. So as I walk through this with the 5th graders I am going to walk through it on here for myself.
When Daniel is introduced in the Bible he is a pre-teen. He has been chosen by the Babylonians as one of the best and brightest youth. They take him and the other chosen youth and begin brainwashing them and forming them into the perfect Babylonian.
Daniel 1:3-5 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
The King even changed their names, which in those times was a common practice when someone was “born again”.
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
Daniel chose to stand strong in his beliefs. The Babylonians worshiped their king and many gods, but Daniel had been raised to believe in the God of the Bible, the Hebrew God, Yahweh. He also was raised to respect himself and his body.
Daniel was able to stand firm in his beliefs even when the king and the Babylonian world were trying to tell him otherwise. He was able to do this because of his strong foundation in God and the scriptures. This is why we study the Bible and why we memorize scripture. So that we can stand up against the false teachings of the world and defend ourselves with the Word of God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This is the first verse in equipping anyone to share the Gospel. It is our first memory verse in D2BD. This is our first step in being able to stand up against the false teachings of the world and spread the love of God. This is where it begins…