Tag Archives: love

i love love

i love love

i love stories
i love when people are good at love
i love making someone feel loved
i love feeling loved
i especially love writing songs about love. and i do it a lot.

what i love today, is that we just finished a day camp experience where i know a lot of kids knew we loved them… and because of that, their perception of church, and their perception of God … is that it’s where you go to be loved.

i hope you feel loved.
i don’t know about you, but i’m gonna write a song about it…

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what i’m learning from a kid i never met

super dylan ... a boy i never met preaches to me every day.

super dylan … a boy i never met preaches to me every day.

I never met Super Dylan… but he continues to teach me every day.

he fought a valiant fight with cancer.

now he is perfectly healed. in heaven.

and i think about him all the time.

his family did an excellent job of sharing his journey and his life with a very thorough blog. http://dylan.ericdavid.info/Home/updates

interestingly… i only kind of know his parents, but we share a history. we were at samford at the same time. we studied some of the same things. so i somehow got connected to them, and fell in love with their boy and the lessons he taught in his short life. his main message was “remember always to love”.

now, if you know me at all, then you know i talk about LOVE alot. I talk about what it means, how important it is to remember that everyone has a story, and we should approach them in love. for some reason, this particular sentiment is rocking my world. because love is hard. and you have to remind yourself to give love.

this wonderful testimony by this boy who was facing his morality and the promise of eternity around the corner every day inspires me, encourages me, and i think about him every day.

tomorrow i get to talk to my team of treehouse volunteers about the upcoming year. i can’t wait to talk about GRACE, and all that grace gives us. Grace covers us. Grace is for all of us. Grace cannot be earned. And I can’t wait to share this idea to REMEMBER ALWAYS TO LOVE, as I encourage them to be prepared to extend the grace that God has given us, to others.

ahhhhh. dylan. thank you for saying this. and preaching with your life.

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what is a sister cousin?



what is a sister cousin?

well, it’s not a sister-wife. it kind of looks like this:

4 blondes. growing up with no siblings could’ve been lonely.

being a grown up with no siblings, frankly, even lonelier.

except for this: my mom was a master at making sure i stayed connected to my cousins. we spent
a lot of holidays and vacations going to wherever they happened to be. we stayed in each other’s lives because our moms are sisters, and they stayed connected. so, over the years the girls: Kimberly, Teri and Lindsay have called me a “sister” and treated me like it.

but they took it to whole “nutha” level this past week, in celebration of my 40th birthday.

before i say how, please indulge me as i spend a minute on the idea of growing up lonely as an adult – as you lose a parent (which i did several years) you start to realize you’re eventually gonna be the only one left behind in your immediate family.

you are the only person that has that parent-child relationship with a parent that is gone, so no one misses them the same way you do or knows them like you do. it’s very lonely-feeling. you don’t have anyone that is equally dealing with your loss, no one to sit in your specific sadness with. it’s just, really sad.

interestingly, my sister-cousins lost their dad, the year before i lost mine. this gave us definitely a more simliar understanding of each other’s pain and loss. it also, i believe chrystalized our bond. we had walked through the same loss.

this year, when i was about to turn 40 – the girls called and said that they were coming and we were gonna have a sister’s weekend.

as someone with no sisters, i’ve of course, never had one of these. (it’s kind of crazy that in 40 years, we have never done this before) – but they came to town… and boy did we have make a memory!

we started off laughing… and ended up laughing. it went a little something like this:

i checked into our hotel, as they were still on the way. when they arrived, Teri said “oh no, this isn’t how we’re welcoming 40 in!” after 30 minutes of jokes about a hotel that might you rent by the hour, etc. etc. The problem was, that the hotel was across from the general lee museum, but you could SEE Gaylord Opryland from the outside facing door of our hotel/motel room. The girls were not having that. They wanted to go across the street. (i’m not picky, because i was just astounded that they came all the way from louisiana and texas to be with my for 36 hours… didn’t really care where we were). However… I was more than thrilled to send a text to my friend Carla Burleson and ask her husband for help.

JB Burleson (the dad of one of Jackson’s best friends) saved the day… he called the hotel and arranged an amazing rate for a 2 night stay at the Gaylord Opryland hotel. I think my cousin Teri said “I love JB” no less than 20 times and … she was of course not talking about Justin Beiber. Our room was glorious, with a patio overlooking the Cascades conservatory. It just made everything we did more special.

-i had checked out what was going on in nashville and was thrilled to find out the Time Jumpers (kenny sears, dawn sears, vince gill, jeff taylor, joe spivey, larry frankly, paul franklin, ranger doug, andy reiss, billy thomas) were performing at 3rd and Lindsley. We ended up with the most perfect table, and my cousins almost died when they heard the talent in that small room. it’s just ridiculous… but only in nashville!.

-the next day we ate at the pharmacy, which was divine as usual. we shopped in the hillsboro village area. we visited a friend of mine from college, who now works at belmont – and checked out the campus – deciding that at least 3 of our collective children should go to school there one day. dinner at mafiozas where we ran into Thomas Bain (one of my favorite people, that i was thrilled for them to meet), went to see Jordan Reynolds (someone i co-write with occasionally, that i also wanted them to meet) play at The Basement.

-then they left. their gifts were: a clock, a compass in a treasure box, and a welcome sign.

i thought how fitting:

they travelled to see me (compass)

they took the time (clock)

they are my home, my family (welcome sign)

i have never felt so sister-loved…

i might have to write a song about that!



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give the love that you need.

friends. i have found a new love. songwriting.

i have often said that my goal is to find as many ways as i possibly can to tell the true story of Jesus. this is just the next new way that God is allowing me to do that. and i freaking love it.

i’m enchanted by the process, the craftsmanship, the team effort it requires and the results.

i believe it is great stewardship of a good idea to trap it in a song. it has an endless life cycle that is many time enjoyed more, the more times it is experienced. you might watch your favorite movie a handful of times… but a song… you will put on repeat. you will share. you will think about. i just love the nature of what a song provides.

when i first started wanted to write a song it was all about a certain song i wanted to write.

We know that everyone around us has pain… so at our best we try to extend grace.

then i started realizing something adults (eh hem, myself) were kinder to each other than they were to kids they encountered.

but somehow when it comes to kids, i think we(I) default to thinking: that just because they are smaller, they should just obey and listen to us (whether they are our own or not) and we(I) forget that they have a story, too. many kids have more pain in their lives than you or i. and they are powerless to change their situation. unlike adults, kids are trapped in whatever situation the adults around them have put them in.

so… i wanted to write a song that was convicting… would move people to action … to love…

which is not altogether horrible, but if my premise is to look in love, then i also have to look at those who i’m trying to encourage with that same love.

you’ve possibly read about “THE LOVE FILTER” before, and in fact, you will see the thought process behind the song from months ago.

anyway, here is where i landed… i dont need a convicting song. or tearjerker. i want to remind people about the love they have been shown and encourage them to show the same love.

in a writing session with one of my favorite worship leaders and voices ever, Jordan Reynolds… we finally wrote the song that has been in my heart and mind all of this time. the song that started my journey, even though it’s not the first song i’ve written.

i’m so stoked and can’t wait to have a recorded version that i can share

this is the chorus:

people are crying,
inside they’re dying
that’s why you gotta keep trying
if someone needs a helping hand
give em both and help ‘em stand
you don’t always have to agree
just give them the love that you need.

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something i bet you’ve never seen before

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my kids could not be cooler. we were driving around with 1 hour to kill and on our way to an outdoor mall when quint saw a sign… for an art gallery. he said, “let’s go!” i drove past it thinking that the others wouldn’t be as interested as quint and i would be. he said “why did  you pass it? let’s turn around” so i did. i said, ok, if it costs more than $2 each we’re not going to go. we went in… and it was free to the public. boom. let’s stay! we looked at some of the art, and the guide told us no touching except for one room where you can touch the sculptures… we looked at about 20 paintings… then somebody, i’m not sure which one, started to act out the paintings/etchings. then they would run to the next one and act out the scene… then the next one.. and the next one… quickly the museum guards began to circle us, to make sure we weren’t touching anything because we were having way too much fun. i can’t imagine that they’ve ever had 4 kids, ages 7-15, laughing and having a blast walking through their museum. but that’s what my kids were doing. the pictures tell the story best. here’s what i would tell you… teach your kids to love art. teach them to interact with art. since when was an art museum as interactive as this experience was… so proud of these four people that i get to parent, teach, learn from, and love to pieces. i never enjoyed an art museum more.

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my family is your family… LOVESTOCK

mi familia es su familia…

when my cousin rachel got married this past weekend it was a love fest of immense proportions.

i don’t think i can adequately describe for you the feeling of love in the air.

you see, my cousin never wanted to get married.

then she met thomas. several years later, here we are, and they are married. this is what she said…(paraphrase)

“marriage, to me, was just a contract, a document… i wanted to get married because i know how this side of my family values marriage. you all hold marriage in such high regard, that i really wanted to do this for you. i wanted to share this moment in time with you all. and as we began to plan, we began to see what marriage was really about and wanted to share this with everyone”

wow. humbling and beautiful.

and she brought her friends. 19 of them from all over the country. and we all fell in love with each other.

some were friends from nyc, where they live, some from kentucky, some from connecticut, some from austin, pittsburgh.

rachel and thomas collected people and those people love them enough to come all the way to the south.

and our family is amazing… so she knew that her friends would be welcomed with open arms.

it was enchanting.

does your family do that? welcome others with open arms?

who can you bring into your fold that needs a family?

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today was vand-tastic! holla!!

fun story… i took graduation pictures for this guy 4 years ago in texas at PCA. today i shot pictures at his graduation from vanderbilt in biomedical engineering. as with the last time… i was in an almost-state-of-tears the whole time. the way this family loves each other is compelling and so palpable. and the way that stephen loves people is obvious by the sheer number of people that greet him with a bear hug. he leaves each one with a smile and many times an “i love you”. i would hope that people would see me coming and feel like these people felt when they saw stephen. what an honor to be part of their day and capture all of the joy that they share and spread as a family.  the hollabaughs at the strawberry and champagne reception

do people feel better after they are with you?

they do when they spend one minute with this guy!

how can you focus on loving others wholly today?

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hard to love or love hard?

they call him love. love. love. love. love.

you know. i’m often talking to people about love.

to my family: love one another. that’s your sister, love her. i love you.

to my friends: i love you. let’s look at each other through a love filter.

to my leaders: love kids. love them hard. when they are hard to love, love them anyway.

it hit me today… you can’t ask people to love hard, unless you love them hard.

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this is where it gets interesting…

this is where it gets interesting…

elicia and all the love that goes with her.

so. today we talked about loving your enemies with the orphans.

we sang some songs about love.

we acted out and narrated the story of the good samaritan.

we did some application vignettes…

this is where it gets interesting.

you see, about a month ago we implemented a “quiet time” in treehouse, where kids are given 60-90 seconds to pray and ask God a question, and then to share if anything was put on their heart.

i thought it would be a good thing to do for the time with our orphans in Jeremie… ask them to ask God something…

but i think this got lost in translation.

when i asked them to bow their heads and ask God “who is my enemy that I should love this week?

one kid stood up and started pointing fingers and naming names. she pointed and yelled “LOUNA…. FALINE…..”

first of all HILARIOUS!!!!!

secondly, i thought, boom there it is. what if people always knew where they really stood with us?

do we communicate as clearly and efficiently as Elicia did?

no one has to wonder what she’s thinking. do they have to wonder about you?

i’m not saying go call out your enemies, i just know God used that experience to remind me how important it is to share…

and oh. man. it was so funny. i wish you could’ve been there.

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just freaking pand-tastic.

just need to celebrate another wonderful piece of art from quint.

it’s clearly, just pand-tastic. i love it.

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