Soy sauce, Will Weir, and the end of the world. An evening at the Davises'.

Last night we debuted the chicken and cashews in lettuce cups. They were rather delightful. Goal part 1 accomplished. But the really important and wonderful thing about last night is the people who sat around the table with us, soy sauce dripping down to their elbows (napkins are highly recommended with this meal). Our sweet company consisted of Kara and Ryan Hamilton, Ryan Warden, and Will Weir! Will is in town briefly after just finishing a really cool fellowship in D.C., on his way to living in a sweet huge house with a bunch of friends, community style, in the same capitol city. It was truly an honor to share a meal with this guy, and all of our friends.
Afterwards, I made a quick and easy test recipe, Lottie Moon Cookies, and we went out back to play corn hole. I was worried that this summer wasn't going to really feel like summer because not that much is changing in my particular schedule--business as usual. But I may be growing into more of a believer in summer's magical qualities. Last night we played corn hole in the alley, stopped mid-swing and gathered everything up into our hands periodically to let cars pass, and waved to our diverse neighbors as they walked to and from. It was simple and fun--even though Will and I lost miserably.
Conversation after the game wasnt simple. We, joined now by Patrick Sewell, talked about politics, literature, the environment, theology, and the end of the world. And at points I was thoroughly confused. But I'm still thinking about it today. And that's a good indicator of a good conversation.
In other news:
  • I LOVE my husband and I LOVE being married. It seriously gets better everyday!
  • I might have crossed over. I might like tea better than coffee. This is a big deal.
  • My new (but not government official yet) last name baffles me sometimes. How do you pluralize it? Davises, no way. but Davis' just looks silly and lonely to me. Which is why i chose Davis's in the title, even though I have a feeling it's incorrect. What's a girl to do?
  • *edit.* A girl is to ask Patrick. And he will solve their problems. Ladies, he's single.


Goal for the week:

I've recently had a revelation in my battle to fight laziness or procrastination or whatever you want to call it. I think laziness is really at the heart of the matter. But the progress is that I've realized that "goals of the week" work much better for me than open-ended "to-do lists" which I write in my red notebook and then never really look at again. short-term goals, in accomplishable numbers, work much better. And posting them on my blog holds me accountable. We saw how it worked with the veggie garden. (p.s. my goal for last week was to get a haircut, which i didnt blog about, but i did accomplish. bangs are now part of my life, and although it was a slightly traumatic experience, i think it worked out in the end.) So here it is for this week:

1. paint something: preferably the living room, but there are other things such as the book shelf and a window pane project that could suffice too. my dad stocked us up with lots of much appreciated painting supplies this weekend.

2. change my name. (a trip to the social security office.)

3. make chicken and cashews in lettuce wraps.

in other news:
  • in case we were wondering if my allergy medicine works...i forgot to take it this morning and i think i have sneezed literally 50 times. 30 of those time while i was driving to work. dangerous. i may really begin counting and let you know how it turns out.
  • we spent time at home (in marietta) this weekend with many dearly loved friends and our families (mine whose time in marietta is too quickly waning). a highlight was a 3 hour breakfast with Ashley and her boyfriend Drew who now reside in Philly. I look forward to more sweet moments of our long-distance friendship with them. they gave us some music recommendations that i'm excited about too, and even though i havnt listened to them yet, they come from a good source and i'll pass on the advice. from the mouth of ashely russ, check out: vampire weekend, white rabbits, beirut, and devotchka.
  • we were walking on the square this weekend and we passed a man with his wife and daughter, wearing sunglasses and a brimmed hat. but when he looked at me he looked SO familiar. i stared and he gave me a small "i know you recognize me" smile and nod. my gut instinct was that he was famous, but then i racked my brain for where i could know him. church? where have i seen that face? oh my! it's Alton Brown! i grabbed Keith and said, that guy is on the food network! he has like three shows! Keith proceeded to run down the sidewalk after him assuring me that i wanted to talk to him. I stopped him before it was too late, but it was a pretty exciting experience. apparently Alton lives right off the square and has been spotted often, including in keith's dad's store.


I am a hypocrite.

Please, as hard as I try to fool you, do not be fooled. I am a hypocrite. Let me tell you why.

I support things that I think are cool and compelling, but how often does my lifestyle actually reflect what I “believe?”

I read books like Deep Economy and I pump my fist and say yeah this guy is great when I read things that Obama has said such as: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," and think, more people really need to listen to him…all those arrogant, selfish, SUV driving Americans…

I drive a Jeep Cherokee.
I rarely consider global consequences while consuming.
And I live in an apartment that is kept at below 72 degrees.
I only recycle when I remember, and then pat myself on the back for it.

And if that’s not bad enough…

I make myself feel really good about caring and volunteering, but I work at a Christian company and eat lunch in a setting everyday that is basically segregated by race and socio-economic position. It bothers me quite frequently, but I have done absolutely nothing about it other than look down on other people in my mind and make myself feel good about even noticing the discrepancy.

Then I write blogs or sit and talk with friends about how I’m a hypocrite and don’t change. It’s actually rather overwhelming. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I want to be a person of integrity. And even more than that, I want to be a person whose life-orienting gaze is fixed on the glory of Christ and the gospel. Delighting in him and living like it. But I am far from it. I am far more fixed on my own identity—reputation, appearance, and perception to others—than on how I can walk with and exalt Jesus. I daily choose something other than him.

And the list continues, farther than I even have the strength to face.

I need to be rescued.

Praise God! For I worship and have given my life to a rescuing, redeeming, savior.


Mission Accomplished

We did it! This is our lovely vegetable garden. Really, its an experiment with several factors.
1. We may or may not have given our plants enough room to grow and spread their wings.
2. The bowl i'm holding contain squash and cucumbers, which, from what i've read may take over our entire porch.
3. In the bottom of each planting hole of the tomatoes is a whole, unbroken egg. I read somewhere that this provides a yummy source of sulfur for the little guy right about the time that he'll produce fruit.
4. We planted oregano with one tomato and basil with another. I also read that planting them with herbs gives them flavor.

In other news:
Keith and I reading two books that may change our lives.



I've been wanting to do this for a long time. And i finally have the pictures ready. . . 
This is our HOME! We absolutely love this little place. We've loved making it our own, exploring this wonderful and unique neighborhood, and sharing our place with our friends! Here is the official blog tour. To see more, including our books happily mingled together, and my really happy shower curtain, check out my facebook album.

presenting. . . 2916 10th Avenue South

our bedroom is in desperate need of color, but the bed is SO comfortable and notice our awesome office/nook surrounded by windows, which faces our HUGE walk-in closet.
This is what our home looks like with our dearest friends in it! Nikki and Erin prepare chocolate peanut-butter cheesecake!

Keith is a really great dish washer!
Our friends enjoying chicken chilaquiles. Compliments of the Cooking Light cookbook that Corey gave me.
We love it when we match our dishware!
Life is good.


Redemption and Forgiveness

Sometimes when I read the news I get a little overwhelmed. I value being informed, but at times it feels like too much. The amount of suffering and injustice on this earth is staggering. It seems like there are major natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and stories of twisted psychopaths, random violence, and unjust wars on a weekly basis. I often find myself wondering, despite all desire to not be a weirdo, if we truly are accelerating towards the end times. I think it’s important to face those things in the restful confidence of Christ’s redemption of this earth—his overthrowing of all injustice and his obliteration of suffering and death that will come! But some days, the devastation just buries itself into a deep, hard pit in my chest.

Today however, I read something that was deeply good, hopeful, and redemptive. This photograph is of a Rwandan woman sharing a meal in her home with her neighbor after church. She works with this neighbor’s wife and the friends weave baskets together for Macy’s at a large artisan coop.

The neighbor to her left slaughtered her husband, sons, and other members of her family and friends before her very eyes just a few years ago.

This is a story about forgiveness. One of the most large-scale and remarkable pictures of forgiveness that I have ever seen. When asked how she could manage such a deep and diffucult forgiveness, the woman said "I am a Christian. I pray a lot." This is not an isolated case, but a picture of hope in an African nation that is rebuilding after the unimaginable devastation in the aftermath of millions of people brutally killed by their own neighbors. The forgiveness is actually part of a process encouraged and organized by the government. Men and women are publicly coming before the very communities and individuals that they terrorized, expressing deep remorse and sorrow, and asking for forgiveness. And the people give it. And not only speak words of forgiveness, but welcome the killers back into their lives and homes, working, living, and worshiping alongside them again.

"It hurts my heart to see that I did something wrong to friends of my family, to people who we even shared meals with," he said. "I am still asking for forgiveness from the people I hurt." Amazingly many seem to have forgiven.

I cannot even begin to comprehend the emotional destruction that a sight and experience like that causes. Yet today Rwanda is moving forward, propelled by hope and forgiveness. That is the kind of redemption that is only possible because ultimately, Jesus is King.


All-Employee Ministry to the non-present deaf with fake sign language

This is what the all-employee meeting looked like at work today. And i'm hardly joking. In fact this picture is a gross under exaggeration of what I actually experienced. Thats right folks, today in the all-employee meeting 150 adult professionals were led (a.k.a. forced to participate) in a "contemporary" children's song complete with fake-Christian-sign language. You know, lots of alphabet signs with compelling, interpretive movements. And of course, the all popular Jesus sign made by using your middle fingers to alternately point to the wounds in the hands. It was one of the most outrageous moments and I wanted to crawl under my chair and suddenly discover a magic trap-door in the floor. Did I mention the whole exercise lasted, oh about 20 minutes? I think I'm still experiencing post-traumatic stress syndrome.



This beautiful, wonderful face has graced our little home as our proud first houseguest. Lisa Nicole Davis, lovingly called Nikki by all, has come to visit. She arrived last night after braving construction traffic and severe weather, and we are oh so happy to have her here. Nikki is Keith’s sister and my best friend! If Keith is my soul mate, Nikki is my soul sister. This girl is beautiful, wise, incredibly genuine, constantly growing, always encouraging, hilariously honest, and incredibly creative. We love her. A great thing about Nikki is that she has quickly changing, but passionate phases of interest. This week she told me “I’m really into appliances right now.” She loves naps and wants a Warmariner. Last night we took her to a wild French toast party at 1701, where we enjoyed the delicacy, played speed scrabble and laughed with new friends and old. Today our goals include a great place for lunch, the mcwayne center, the dog park, and a cooking challenge. If you're curious about the picture, part of my wants to leave you wondering, but part of me wants to inform you that it's from when she came to visit me in Spain last year. We went on a weekend adventure to the great ciudad de San Sebastian in the Pais Vasco, on the coast almost in France. A beautiful place. These funny little inexplicable stencils made for a good photo op.
On Sunday my mom, dad, and very own sister Kim are coming for the day. This will be a celebration of mother’s day, as well as a debut for the MacCorkles of our new home and a chance for them to bring a lot more of my stuff to us. We found out some crazy news right after the honeymoon that my family is moving to Wichita, Kansas for my dad’s job, so we treasure the few months when access to them will be relatively easy. Yay for family at our house!


Dream, are you a dreamer?

After a little makeover...
I feel like doing a participatory post today, so we’ll see how it goes.

Last night Keith and I missed a memo, but gladly ended up spending some spontaneous time chatting with the two pastors of Mosaic Church, a new church in Birmingham that is a great friend to Bedouins.

These guys are some of the most energetic dreamers I have ever met. Especially considering that they aren’t college students. One of the ways that they are dreaming for the church and for the city is the idea of creating businesses to sustain administrative costs so that 100% of tithes go to missions and serving. Their ideas include a business that delivers fresh breakfast to offices around the city, and a coffe shop/book store/movie theatre (I contributed the movie theatre part :) because Bham needs an independent theatre). Their heart is not just to support the church through businesses, but also to bring life an community back to the downtown area of the city. I think they’re some pretty cool dreams. And even just the conversation spurred on so many more…such as hosting a weekly summer film night where people gather, possibly on the roof of a loft, to watch movies and discuss them afterwards. Because of the knowledge that conversation spurs on ideas and dreams, they meet with people from the church every week to brainstorm about dreams and ideas, and how to turn them into reality.

I think persistent idealism pays off. I’ve seen it. I hope that I’m part of it. I have friends who have dropped everything to chase a dream of starting a hostel in Europe. And it’s happening. And another who moved to Asia to start a coffee shop. Also happening. What about the friend who went to India to minister to kids and now is the proud mama of 45 of them. Bedouins and Redeemer were also born as dreams. How sweet is it to imagine the father planting dreams in our hearts as seeds, knowing that He will fulfill them! I think for these reasons, it is right to encourage dreaming. It’s also right to expect things to not be easy and simple, and to not fear failure. It’s so important to trust God with our dreams, and hold with loose hands. He is sovereign and ALL of his ways are good.

So I thought it would be fun to confess our dreams…

Keith and I would love to start a home school co op some day, teaching our friends kids as they teach ours. Exploring the world together. With a high standard of education and community and learning and creativity. I’d also love to teach overseas sometime. Did I mention I dream of teaching?

But sometimes I want to pursue photography and not look back.

Anyone want to sell everything, buy a R.V. a travel around America for a while?

My two book ideas include 1. Taking a year to visit an incredibly large spectrum of churches, from megahuge mega rich ones, to those little mysterious shack type ones you see driving in the middle of no where; Every denomination, part of the country etc. I’m fairly certain that I would learn enough to fill a book. And my thesis would come after the experience. And 2. Writing a compilation of my journals someday for my grandkids…if I’m that lucky.

I dream of living on the same street as our family and friends. I’m not afraid to leave, but I selfishly want all the people I love to live daily life with me.

I want to hear your dreams…


Newly Wed Adventures

A lot of our conversations lately have gone a little something like this: How was the wedding? Oh, it was perfect and beautiful. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Portland, Oregon. Oh wow, how was it? Perfect and wonderful. How's your new apartment? We love it! It's perfect!

And it was. But sometimes it’s even more fun to look at the things that went “wrong.” Throughout the whole weekend there were several things that went seriously wrong and could have put a damper on things. But over and over again they worked out, and we were thankful.

Dilemma #1: First, when we got up to Blairsville and people started setting up for the rehearsal dinner it was realized that though I had borrowed a projector and a screen from work, and though keith and I had stayed up for hours the night before working on a slideshow collaboration of all our cutest childhood photo memorabilia, somehow the cord for the projector had been left behind and we would have to bag the slideshow. I was pretty bummed.
Solution #1: Erin Sutton to the rescue! She noticed that the shape of the plug in the projector looked strangely like her laptop plug. Well, lets just try this … and it worked!!

Dilemma #2: We decided to be cool and indie and get our friend and groomsman Ryan Warden to “DJ” the reception for us using our favorite music and my laptop. Keith gathered my laptop together before the wedding and we were ready to go. But when we got there we realized it was my sister’s identical white mac notebook, not mine. No music! This could seriously ruin the party.
Solution #2: Kim, for some strange reason, brought her laptop up to Blairsville as well. Except she actually brought mine. Music recovered. And we danced.

Dilemma #3: After being pelted with flower petals in a dizzying tunnel of laughter and screaming and camera flashes, Keith and I hopped in the car. We proceeded to scream HOLY COW HOLY COW HOLY COW! WE’RE MARRIED! And drive off down the road. However, shortly into Vogel state park, which would swallow the next 30 or so miles of our drive, we realized that the gas light was on. 11:00 p.m., dark mountain roads, wedding attire, and very little gas. It was a precarious situation.
Solution #3: Pray.

We made it, although it would have been one of those things that you laugh about many many years later.

Dilemma #4: We arrived at our gate in the Atlanta airport fairly early, and ended up dozing off a little bit with the broadcast of the Pope at Yankee stadium in the background. After about 30 minutes a crowed gathered at the desk, and people didn’t seem happy. Apparently they decided our plane wasn’t suited for flying (thank you for deciding that while it was still on the ground), so they were sending us to another gate. A04. So we took the train and walked all the way down to the gate, which is all the way at one end of the terminal, only to find another blinking sign that says the flight to Portland has now been moved to gate A36… all the way at the other end of the terminal. It was annoying, but the flight was only delayed about an hour or so. Little did we know what an adventure the slight delay would catalyze. When we landed in Portland we follow the signs to the rental car area, so we could make the 2 hour drive to our reservation on Cannon Beach, and found a sign for EZRental. We were recommended this company because they have the lowest under 25 fees, but we were told they “don’t have the best customer service.” We arrived at the desk only to find a sign that said If no one is here call this number and get on the shuttle for the Holiday Inn. Ok. Called the number, but no one answered. We waited for the Holiday Inn shuttle. When it came we flagged it down and said, “We’re with EZRental.” The driver shrugged and said, “they’re closed. Sorry.”
Solution #4: O wow, now what are we going to do? We decide to go check with the other rental agencies, even though we know they are going to be outrageously more expensive. First we go to Budget…because the name is encouraging. But their rates do not exactly fit their name. The lady helping us seems laid back enough, so I sheepishly ask her if there are any other agencies with better rates. She surprisingly eagerly tells us that Dollar employees work on commission and match rates. This is when we meet Courtney at Dollar rental cars. This delightful girl indeed matched our rates, plus lowered it by two dollars, plus gave us an upgrade to an all wheel drive vehicle because there was some snow in the mountains and cheerfully drew us a map. She was our first shiny example of the kindness of Oregonians, and we weren’t disappointed the whole trip.

Dilemma #5: We finally got out of the airport around 9:30 or so which, after miles of mountain road with ELK and TRUCK crossing signs, put us in Cannon Beach at about 11:30. Unfortunately at about 11:20 I read a message in our confirmation email print out that said The office closes at 10:00 p.m. if you will be arriving late please call ahead. Crap. Well, maybe we could try to call anyway. Both cell phones dead. Crap. We get to the Inn and it is locked and dark. Get to the office and it is locked and dark with a sign that says in case of emergency call… There is a pay phone across the street. Do we have change? Sure. Well…40 cents, is that enough? Keith runs in the rain to find out…no. its 50. Ok, this one looks like its going to top it all and end our lucky streak.
Solution #5 We drive down the road to find a gas station or somewhere where we could either use a phone or plug ours in. As we drive, we pass a parked cop car. Keith decided this might be our best bet, as awkward as it is. So we explain our dilemma to the officer. He escorts us to the police station and lets us use the phone. And was for sure the kindest police officer I’ve ever encountered. Our key was waiting for us under a flower pot.

Dilemma #6: Didn’t happen on the honeymoon, but it was funny. The other night I cooked a delicious meal of chicken fried rice and yellow squash, and we went out on our back porch to enjoy the warm spring night. When we were done eating we went to go inside to tackle the last night of unpacking only to discover that the door was locked behind us. We were without shoes, keys, wallets, or cell phones.
Solution #6: We met 2 of our neighbors and spent the evening relaxing and talking on the roof for 3 hours while we waited for our landlord (who was at a party and told us to go get a 6 pack and enjoy ourselves) to come let us in. It ended up being a pretty relaxing evening, and we’re especially thankful to have met some more of our neighbors.

I think its almost even more remarkable that God meets our needs in little funny situations like these than that he does it in big ones. Almost like if we were somehow under the illusion that we deserve the big stuff, we can’t kid ourselves into thinking that we deserve kindness from strangers, slack for our mistakes, and helpful coincidences. Those things the Father lavishes on us anyway, and it’s sweet and humbling.


sweet last update

Pictures are great updates I think. The wedding was perfect. As good as a dream, but better, because we were given the grace to feel the weight and reality of it too. I remember a lot of the beautiful things Grandaddy said, which I hear doesn’t happen sometimes. And I distinctly remember several of the looks on Keith’s face during the ceremony. Treasures of connecting glances. And our friends really had fun. Another treasure.

Communion was really amazing. Before the ceremony we wanted to share communion with out guests as a symbol of our desperate need and great privilege to come and receive Christ’s redeeming body and cleansing blood, and that we believe that so much of sanctification and redemption happens in the context of a body of believers, celebrating with and supporting one another. This experience penetrated so much deeper than I could have imagined as we watched our deeply beloved friends and family come up and take part in Jesus with us. It was a beautifully slowed down moment, and I can still see the faces of so many people who mean the world to us joining us in our wedding ceremony. It was an answer to our hearts desire.

Oregon was just the right place for us for a week of peace, contentment, exploration, discovery, conversation, and beauty.

We unpacked our books last night. Now they’re all delightfully mixed up together on the bookshelf. Every moment it feels more like home, and our hearts feel more deeply at home with one another. God’s faithfulness to his promise of both sustenance and growth is overwhelming.
so after that update, which was a really great one to write about, I move on to thinking about the identity of my blog. It’s hard for me to decide what I want this blog to be. I know for sure that I compare myself too much to other people, try to please and impress, and it makes my identity a little confused sometimes. That applies to more than just this blog to be certain.

I know I want to write, to write regularly, without the pressure of “updating.” Which, somehow, is the pressure that keeps me from writing more regularly. So today, I will set the updating aside, and begin to write about what I feel like on any particular day. What’s going on inside my thoughts and senses. I'm still definitely in new places, just not necessarily ones that need to be expressed in update format.