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About Renee Davis

Writer by day, transcriber by night, Renee is a boy mom, PPD survivor, recovering fear-a-holic, and former educator. She lives on Christ and caffeine as she attempts to finally transcend mediocrity and live the life Jesus died for her to have. When not tied to her desktop and swimming in coffee, the native Floridian can be found wherever the water is salty, spending time with her son and husband of 15 years.

She’s a contributor to Disney's Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post. You can learn more about Renee’s journey and her passion for helping women find their worth in the Word, not the world, at [email protected] Scribe.

Renee Davis

Renee Davis
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Writer by day, transcriber by night, Renee is a boy mom, PPD survivor, recovering fear-a-holic, and former educator. She lives on Christ and caffeine as she attempts to finally transcend mediocrity and live the life Jesus died for her to have. When not tied to her desktop and swimming in coffee, the native Floridian can be found wherever the water is salty, spending time with her son and husband of 15 years.

She’s a contributor to Disney's Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post. You can learn more about Renee’s journey and her passion for helping women find their worth in the Word, not the world, at [email protected] Scribe.

Saying Goodbye to Our Dream Home

#family #freedom #fresh perspective #home ##gratitude #honoring god

SAYING GOODBYE TO OUR DREAM HOME

Today I told my husband that I no longer wanted to fulfill the dream of building our “dream home.” I could instantly see relief in his face as I earnestly told him that I’d rather he be able to quit his high-pressure job that affords zero work-life balance. I realized that my husband would never be free of his job if we built a house.

Not only would he have to stay in his high paying job, but it would mean that he wouldn’t be able to retire at the age he’d planned.

Let’s face it: pretty soon, our son won’t want to be around us much. The longing for solitude and separation and signs of puberty will come. Everyone who has a teenager—or who has ever been a teenager—knows teens are rarely home! And if they are home, they’re locked away in their bedrooms. So I could see me sitting there all alone on our new home’s huge front porch in my rocking chair, sipping coffee, and feeling even lonelier than ever.

Three years ago, we purchased four acres of land I’d dreamt about living on since I was a child. I don’t know why, but this piece of land always called to me. It seemed peaceful there, wooded and shaded and full of woodland creatures, not the scary ones, but the nice ones like Bambies and Thumpers. We prayed about purchasing it and felt that God wanted us to have this for our future home. And so we have been making a mortgage payment on top of our home’s mortgage payment, in hopes that we’d pay it off soon and build a comfy dream house—not a huge one, but certainly one bigger than the 1300 square feet we’re currently living in. We were excited. Now—not so much.

PRIORITIES CHANGE

We never thought that would happen. It happens. Last year, it really hit me hard whenever my husband and I were talking about what kinds of plans we wanted for the house and what we couldn’t live without. We were “dreaming” about how awesome things would be in our large, comfy home with its gigantic closets, no stairs to climb, anything-but-white kitchen, and our back patio with brick fireplace. My husband responded, “Well, Babe, it really doesn’t matter to me because I’ll just be sleeping there. So whatever you want is cool with me.”

THAT STOPPED ME COLD. AND MY HEART SANK.

He was exactly right. He’d rarely be home to enjoy it. So why do I want to burden us with the expense and headache of building a house that my husband never gets to enjoy because he’s always gone to work paying for it?!? When you put it that way… I DON’T!

But “that way” is the truth. That’s exactly what would be happening.

SAYING “GOODBYE” TO OUR DREAM HOME AND “HELLO” TO OUR DREAM FAMILY

As I grow older and closer to Him, I understand more about the temporal and eternal things of life. Since I was created in my mother’s womb, I have been in a state of decay, just as has those things around me. Cars, trucks, boats, planes—our “toys,” if you will. Those things are all in a state of decomposition. Metal will rust and fiberglass will deteriorate in time.

This new house we were going to build will deteriorate right along with everything else that’s temporal. Yes, even a “dream house” will decay. Likewise, this body of mine houses my soul. It is nothing more than a house, a temple. And just like every house or temple, this body of mine will no longer stand tall someday. But what’s in my “house,”— that part of me that is truly eternal, my soul, will live on. Praise God! There’s nothing wrong with having a huge, new home if it’s right for your family and circumstances. And I’ll not pretend that I wouldn’t want to have that for myself. But what I want more, so much more, is time with my husband and son. It just doesn’t seem worth the sacrifice to me.

I’M CONVINCED THAT THE GOD I KNOW AND LOVE WANTS GOOD THINGS FOR ME BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF MY FAMILY.

God cares about our family, and He cares about yours. He cares about our hearts, the sacrifices we make, the impacts we have on others. I’m convinced that God wants us to put people before objects and that we do it in His name. When I told my husband that all I really wanted wasn’t, in fact, a dream home but for him to be less stressed and at home with us more (which means changing careers and most definitely means a much lower paying job), the relief was evident. It was as if I had unloaded a truck from his shoulders. In the sweetest voice ever, my husband thanked me. That big wrinkle in his forehead instantly seemed to fade.

So we will stay in this House for Hobbits, as I so affectionately call it. And we will be just fine. I’ll plug along, blogging, transcribing, and writing. And we’ll trust God with our future. No matter what comes, I have peace in knowing that we’re prioritizing our lives based on the eternal and not the external.

We’re now making plans of a different kind, plans that will, with God’s grace and guidance, allow him to find a less stressful and less consuming job. I know God will open that door.  

We’ll now plan a future of putting the time and effort into our dream family as opposed to our dream home.

Even though life and the things of this world are but vapors, the values, morals, time, and memories I instill in my son and share with those I love will last for generations to come. This means that I’m committed to a life of faithful obedience that is focused on eternal and not external, temporal things.

IT ALSO MEANS NOT GIVING A RIP ABOUT THE JONESES!


The Time My Best Effort Looked Like Sketch Comedy

#body image #Christian women #encouragement #pleasing God #criticism #competition #Christian values

THE TIME MY BEST EFFORT LOOKED LIKE SKETCH COMEDY

Huffin’ and puffin’ like an old wolf from a fairytale. I wiped the perspiration from this 40-something-red-hot-face as my lungs finally allowed themselves to take in a deep one. I let it out, along with a sigh of relief. I had done my best! Yes, a two-and-a-half-mile-summertime-run in Florida will make you feel both alive and dead—at the same time. (I just love that I used all those hyphens in the first paragraph alone. Right or wrong–you know how I love those!)

I went about the rest of my day with vigor (after my recovery, which included one hot shower, two iced knees, three Tylenol, and jugs of water). I had a sense of achievement and was pleased I’d pushed myself to run yet again that same week, even with an injured tailbone. I didn’t time myself, but I was pleased with the pace and distance. I felt like it probably was a time to be proud of. 

So imagine my surprise when my dad told me he’d seen me running that morning, and—ahem—called my run a “mere shuffle, not even a jog.”

A mere shuffle? Really?

This is from a man whose only experience or familiarity with ANY FORM of running consists of frequent bee-lines to the nearest bathroom, courtesy of an overactive prostate!

Okay, so I was probably a little insulted. (I’m not really sure my being offended will shine through in this particular piece of writing, so I just want to be transparent right up front!)  

So my dad and I don’t agree on what exactly a shuffle is, I suppose. His definition is obviously,

apparently,

clearly,

categorically,

conclusively,

undoubtedly,

unquestionably,

irrefutably,

positively

different than mine.

For clarity, here’s the definition of the word shuffle as per the writers who KNOW the meaning of words and put them in a humongous book my dad most certainly hasn’t read:

Simple Definition of shuffle

shuf·fle \ˈshə-fəl\

  • to slide your feet along the ground or back and forth without lifting them completely

Thank you, Mr. Webster, for clearing that up!

Look, I get it! I won’t be setting any world records. But, just for the record, I was most definitely not sliding my feet along the ground! And, did I mention the busted tailbone, which I received earlier this year because I was running too hard?

Yes, you can actually injure your tailbone from running, believe it or not. Google says so. You don’t believe me, do you?

Okay, I admit I may be offended. Still. I’m working through it, as evidenced by my current reading of  The Bait of Satan: Living Free of the Deadly Trap of Offense.

Now, I mean no disrespect to my dad—ever mindful of Deuteronomy 5:16 and Ephesians 6:2—but as great as he is, he’s no encourager—never has been. So it really shouldn’t have taken me by surprise. And his insult shouldn’t have bothered me like it did. I mean, I’m in my forties, for goodness sake!  But itreally did bother me—in case you haven’t picked up on it yet.  😉

How much?

Well, I quit running.

That was MONTHS ago!

Every time I tried, I’d think of what He had said. And there was a part of me that asked myself, “Then, why even bother, Renee?”

I’d try to jog a little on the treadmill here at home now and then—oh, wait, maybe it was a shuffle???  And since I brought it up (yet again), let’s just stop right now (yet again) and further clarify (yet again) why I’m TOTALLY sure I was NOT, that’s N.O.T. not shuffling.             

This guy shuffles, not me:

Oldest Man Shuffle - The Stay at Home Scribe

(So, I’m totally dating myself here (yet again). That’s a scene from my favorite TV program as a kid, The Carol Burnett Show—for you young whippersnappers out there who have no idea who the “oldest man” (Tim Conway) is! BTW, why don’t we have these kinds of shows anymore?)

Now there should be no room for misinterpretation. We’re all clear on who was doin’ the shufflin’ and who wasn’t, right?  Give me a thumbs-up or something, just so I’m sure we’re all on the same page and I can finish this blog post.  Please?

Thank you, sweet lady. You know a real shuffle when you see it, don’tcha?!

Where were we? Oh, yeah. I was talking about my favorite pastime of publically humiliating myself. Here we go…

But as far as getting out there on the sidewalk, putting my face to the wind and my Asics on the pavement for all to see? For all to judge? Nope. I’d rather just shuffle in hiding.

Then I quit doing even that. Why bother, right?

I QUIT!

Isn’t that how it is sometimes, friend? Don’t we try our hardest, do our best, and think we’re finally getting somewhere, only to have someone else point out our flaws, our not-good-enoughs, our shortcomings—our shuffles in life?

And sometimes those doing the pointing are closest to us. And we may even be offended and hurt. And that shuts us down.

So…

Let’s get real here for a sec and just put it out there, K?

Some of us are just trying to put one foot in front of the other, trying to make it through the day. Trying to gain some ground.

Trying not to

F

A

L

L

flat on  our  faces!

Trying to get somewhere, gain some ground. Trying to be ALL we can be. Trying to rise to the occasion. Trying to feel a sense of accomplishment. Trying to measure up, while trying to stay grounded. Trying to traverse the terrain, no matter how uneven or unstable or unfair. Trying to move fast enough, surefooted enough, graceful enough. Trying to run at the speed of life, while trying to stand firm in our convictions.

And truth is, maybe that’s the issue after all.  Maybe we’re trying too hard, friend.

Maybe we’re not relying on Him as much as we should. Maybe we’re trying to do it all ourselves.

Trying to be perfect. Trying to look the part. Trying to be invulnerable. Trying to keep a stiff upper lip, while trying to  keep our eyes from leaking like a sieve. Trying to appear self-sufficient, like we’ve got it all together…

Trying to depend on girl power when we need to rest in God Power.CLICK TO TWEET

So let’s just stop all this trying, shall we?

ENOUGH!

 Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.  Galatians 6:9 

I’m not talking about giving up or giving in. 

I’m talking about giving it over. Giving it over to Him. Because HE is able.

Whaddaya say? How ‘bout…

You quit all that exhausting trying you’ve been doing. You give it all to Him and go on with Him. You go on with your shaky, unsteady, wobbly legs (that you probably haven’t had time to shave in months).

And should you trip? Should you lose your footing, as we all do? Fall if you must. But fall on your knees in prayer to Him. And He will lift you. You will rise because He is able. Because the Strengthener is within you.

So you lift your heart and head and bring up the rear, sweet lady!  You crawl with the best of them if that’s what it comes down to! But you do it all for Him and in Him and in His strength. You go on out there today. No matter who’s watching. Be a witness of His faithfulness and a testimony to His strength and grace, no matter what the odds say.

We all shuffle together, crawl together, walk together, and run together at some point in life, don’t we? Though we may be hurt or unsure or maybe even offended, let’s help each other remember that we don’t have to let the words and actions of another human dictate how we act, react, or feel about ourselves. So let’s go on out there on the journey with Him and do the hard stuff  no matter what—no more shuffle in hiding.

I did that today; I got back out there. And I’m gonna get back out there tomorrow. And I’m gonna keep shufflin’ right along that skinny sidewalk with a fat smile on my red-hot face.  And I’m gonna keep shufflin’ right along on the hardest of days, the days when the enemy would have me turn tail and run limp away.

BUT FOR HIS GRACE.

Friend, on those days when you yearn to be a gazelle but are reduced to a slow crawl, forget about what it looks like to those around you, even to an earthly daddy. Because what really matters is the work of your Heavenly Daddy in you. And He yearns to see you finish and finish well.

He will give you what it takes to do the hard stuff today, tomorrow, each and every day…

Even on those days when you’re mistaken for Tim Conway!

XO,

Renee


Hold On. Hunker Down. Hear God.

HOLD ON. HUNKER DOWN. HEAR GOD.

The tiny raccoon scurried and climbed, choosing the highest branch, hunkering down as low as it could. I bet it even held its breath for a second or two—maybe more. Its heart banged from under its fur, causing its tiny chest to quiver.

The predator came close.

Closer.

Closer still.

The furbaby’s little hands gripped harder at the bark-covered arms of the giant tree. At the base of the raccoon’s refuge, the predator’s breath is audible.

Its size is massive.

I’m thinking about hiding my eyes now or turning the channel, but my 10-year-old has his heart set on watching this “nature” show with me. Why is it that there’s always a cute and cuddly little love-muffin of fur that I instantly fall in love with, only to become witness to its demise five minutes later?

So there he is–that adorable, little, masked-face coon that reminds me of the book I read to my first graders and then to my son on his first day of preschool:  The Kissing Hand.

I’m clenching my jaws and donning my worried face. But I can’t seem to look away.

I wondered where his mama was. Wherever she was, she has taught this little one well. The little bunch of fur stayed quiet and still, its enemy roaming below, seeking to devour it if given the chance.

                    BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD…. PSALM 46:10

How keen that animals instinctively know how to be quiet, to be still.

Why don’t we humans do that when our enemy comes lurking?

Surely we’re smarter than a juvenile raccoon, right? (No offense to the cutie-pie coons of the world.)

Maybe it’s because most of the time we don’t even realize the predator is near.

Life is so incredibly hurried and scurried. Some days most days we’re just operating in a flurry of motion and emotion, so hyped up on schedules and busyness that we’re left caught off guard. That means we’re less instinctual, more tired, and super sluggish.

You might say—as we do here in the south—we become “easy-pickins.”

BE ALERT AND OF SOBER MIND. YOUR ENEMY THE DEVIL PROWLS AROUND LIKE A ROARING LION LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO DEVOUR. 1 PETER 5:8

Just as our little friend’s potential slayer is subtle yet determined, so is our enemy.  The evil one stalks us, learns our weaknesses, sizes us up—looks for the slightest opportunity to pounce.  Hold on. Hunker Down. Hear God. Are you running so fast that your head is spinning, yet you're wondering why you can't hear from God? http://thestayathomescribe.com/

Let’s don’t make ourselves easy targets for the enemy. 

Just like the tiny coon, let’s climb high into the arms of refuge, get low, and become very still, listening for the still, small voice that guides and directs. That still, small voice that comforts and calms.

The more I study His word, the more I believe that He actually longs to have communion with us, to guide and direct us, to bless us, and position us so that we’re victorious over the enemy. If only we’ll take time. If only we’ll be still long enough.

Oh! And don’t worry, friends; little-but-clever “Chester” outsmarted his enemy, and, in my mind—

He lived happily ever after.

Are you like me and have been making yourself an easy target for the enemy lately?  Let’s don’t make ourselves easy targets for the enemy.

 

What’s one thing you can do differently this week that will help you slow down (or even stop), hunker down, and hear God?