Category Archives: isabella

some Easter thoughts

I sat on the edge of the bed with Bella Easter morning and read from her “Toddler’s Bible,” a gift from our church when she was dedicated.  Though it didn’t show in my voice, I was anxious as I got to the part where Jesus was crucified.  Before I picked up the book and began to read, I was excited to tell Bella that Jesus was raised from the dead, but didn’t think the story all the way through (remember how Jesus was crucified on Friday, Brian?).  Each Easter morning when we walk into church, I always wonder what the Pastor will say.  I put myself in his position (I would use gender inclusive language there, but I’ve never heard an Easter sermon given by a woman) and think about the difficulty of shedding fresh and meaningful light on the greatest story ever told.  These pastors typically do a good job despite the difficulty.  Their next challenge should be to tell the passion narrative to a toddler.  How do you explain resurrection to a toddler who doesn’t even know about death?  What an enviable position my daughter is in – she has no comprehension about death in this world.  She is ignorant to her own mortality.  I immediately thought back to the story of creation and the first sin – thinking that Adam and Eve were in the same position as my daughter; ignorant of death.  But then remembered the instructions were clear:  if you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will die.  There will come a day when we have to explain the reality of death to Bella.  But on this day, I am completely content with proclaiming the reality of the resurrection.  “Jesus is alive!” she says… over and over again, carrying over to the next day.  My daughter has shed light on Matthew 21:16 for me:  “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.”

It took some teaching, however, for Bella to arrive at that conclusion.  “Jesus died, but on the third day… do you know what happened on the third day, Bella?”  “The Easter Bunny came?”  My daughter is hilarious.  I’m wondering, however, if the Santa’s and Easter Bunny’s of the world aren’t just fun, little, meaningless things to do with our children anymore.  The reality is these things take the place of our reflection and praise of Jesus.  And anything that robs Jesus of his full glory is something that should give us pause.

Lastly, as we were driving to church, Gia shed some light on the resurrection in a way that I had never thought about.  Imagine, she says, that this morning we were going to grave of a good friend who died only two days ago.  Imagine the grief, sorrow, and utter confusion we would be experiencing.  Imagine the pride we would have to buy the best flowers, thinking of the moment we would place them on the grave to honor our dead friend.  Perhaps we would only feel grief, but we would undoubtedly swap stories about or friend:  how funny, intelligent, passionate, and inspiring he or she was.  The nerves would take over, however, as we walked from the car to the grave, facing the reality that we would never be able to have another conversation or enjoy the company of our close friend.  Then as we approach the grave, there is no body there.  Your friend lies in the grave no longer.  He is alive and well.  That is essentially what the women experienced on the morning they went to visit Jesus in his tomb.  On this Easter my only hope is that anyone who might be reading this will sit for a few moments at least, and ponder the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  What does that mean for you?  What does that mean for the world?  The situation you find yourself in right now is this:  either this story is probably the greatest fabrication and lie ever told to you, or it is real and a man really did die and resurrect from the grave.  If it is false, just keep living how you are.  If it is true, however, think about what that would mean for you, and for the entire world.


india or bust

(The following is a family update/support letter that we sent out to some family and friends.  We didn’t send it to everyone we know and thought it might be a good idea to post it here on the off chance someone might read it that does not know our plans.  With that said, here you go…)

Hello Friends and Family!

We are so excited to write this letter to give a quick update on the Davis family!  Exciting opportunities are coming and we are eager to invite you to take part in our plans.

First, a quick update on our current situation: Brian has just finished his first year of a Master’s in Cross-Cultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.  He is on pace to graduate next summer.  Gia continues to be a full-time mom and has also accepted a position with Fuller Housing as a Community coordinator.  Bella is growing FAST and is already 2!  She is beginning to talk a lot and continues to keep our hands full.  Also, we are blessed to have been awarded the “Great Commission” scholarship from Fuller, which will provide substantial debt relief when we go overseas long-term.  That brings us to the reason we are writing.

As most of you probably know, Gia and I have been yearning and planning to go overseas since 2004.  It has taken some time but we are finally in a place to do so.  We have been accepted to a mission’s organization that primarily plants churches in urban slum communities of the world’s mega-cities.  We have been in close contact with one team in India and will be visiting this team from October 29th to November 20th Of this year!  The purpose of our trip at this time is for a few reasons.  Primarily, as stated above, we are planning on going overseas long-term and consider the team in India a strong possibility. It will also fulfill part of the requirements for Brian’s degree at Fuller.  We are so excited to visit India and see what life and ministry might be like for us there in the future!

We would be humbled if you decide to help support us financially for our short-term vision trip to India.  This trip will cost approximately $4,000.  We hope to raise the money to cover this trip, but we also hope to establish a long-term relationship with you as we plan to be overseas long-term.  You are receiving this letter because you have been an integral part of our community and maturity in Christ, and we could not do this without your continued love and support!

If you are able to give financially, please email me ( for more information.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We would also love to hear from all of you, whether that is by phone, email, in person, or on FaceBook.  Please contact us!

Thank you so much for taking the time in reading this letter!

Grace and Peace,

bartending on beale st


(from our recent trip to memphis, which i said i would write more about… but haven’t)

trying times

The last few days have been incredibly trying for the Davis family. It all started with flight home from Memphis, particularly with our “missed” connection flight from Denver back to Fresno. I promise to write a longer post about our travel charade later, but for now, suffice to say that we didn’t really miss our flight to Fresno, but United still decided to slam the gate in our face. (Yes, we literally watched the door close, then be informed, “you’ve missed your flight, sir.”  Like I said, more later…)  In the end, United dropped us off in San Jose a few hours after our flight in Fresno was scheduled to land and we needed my mom and sister to come pick us up (all the while our luggage went to Fresno, where our car was also parked).

We had planned to move to Pasadena the following day, which turned out to be somewhat smooth (and expensive) but very difficult since our apartment is on the 2nd floor and there were some tight angles to move around with all our belongings. Our first night in Pasadena turned out to be an eventful one. Isabella woke up around 2pm BURNING hot. Good thing our thermometer was in a box somewhere, but we honestly didn’t need it to know something was severely wrong. While most of you might have been singing Christmas carols in church during the last Sunday before the 25th, the Davis’ were sitting in urgent care. After about 4 hours and chest x-rays, Isabella was diagnosed with pneumonia. This is the third time in the past two months Isabella has been sick, and obviously, she’s more miserable now than she ever has been. To add to the trials, Gia had a sinus infection, and I’m currently getting sick (again… for the second time in the past two weeks).

My child’s sickness strikes me in ways that nothing else can. It prompts some deep interaction between God and I. I find myself asking God to heal. I ask Him for health. Then I ask Him… “is that too much to ask?”  Frankly, those prayers have yet to be answered, but that hasn’t stopped me from continuing to ask, and it hasn’t stopped God from responding.

As I sat down to journal at Starbucks, I was listening to music and Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God” began to play.  Then, a pretty intense question popped into my head… Why? Why is our God great?  It seemed like a fair question, given the circumstances of the last few days and the song playing from my computer.  Chris Tomlin attempted to answer the question with his lyrics… because he is “clothed in majesty,” “time is in His hands,” He’s the “Beginning and the End,” and because “darkness tries to hide” and “trembles at His voice.”  In other words, God is “great” because He is large, powerful, timeless, all-knowing or (insert your favorite synonym of “great” here).  Yes, the core characteristics of God should truly inspire awe, but so should standing before Half Dome or the Pyramids of Giza.  So I guess my deeper question is this: should these things alone illicit a response from humanity of praise and worship?  Do we worship God because He is powerful and mighty and awesome and majestic?  Further, what do these things have to do with me?  What do they have to do with my daughter’s sickness?  

It seems appropriate for me to be thinking about these things on Christmas Eve.  For tomorrow represents why God is truly great, decidedly different from any other, and profoundly worthy of humanity’s admiration, praise and worship.  Our God is great because He took an interest–and truly much more than that–in my life, and in my daughters life, and in the lives of the billions who have ever walked this earth.  He is great because after Adam sinned against Him, He STILL called out… “Adam! Where are you??” (it occurs to me that God didn’t have to play hide and seek with Adam).  He hasn’t stopped pursuing us since, and ultimately, He entered humanity and died in our place.  I believe that is the true definition of greatness.

So, I will continue to pray for my daughter to be healed.  I will be persistent.  I will continue to be concerned but hopeful.  But I will also begin a new prayer… that God will show me His greatness in the midst of sickness and difficulty.  I pray that the incarnation of the sovereign God will be enough for my family and I during these trying times.  And I will joyfully sing “O come, O come Emmanuel…”


Bella woke up from her nap the other day and I had to take some pictures…

(she was fascinated with the garbage truck outside…)

i have the most beautiful daughter in the universe

I guess the title is pretty self explanatory… and here’s proof:

A BIG THANKS to Cherie Gilbertson who is kind enough to spend time with us and take these amazing pictures. She’s obviously VERY GOOD at what she does.

happy birthday bell!

(from Gia)

BELL IS ONE TODAY!!! Just thought I would shout that out into CyberMyFaceSpace 🙂

At this time last year I was finally getting checked into the hospital experiencing the joys of 10 cm dilation with no pain meds. Woo Who! I would do it a million times over for her.

After two hours of pushing the most amazing thing happened. A BABY came out of me. She was gooey and perfect. She looked at me and I said “Hi Bella. I’m your mama. Do you think you could have made me push any longer?” She had brand new rosy skin and the nurses were all insisting that she was the prettiest baby they had EVER seen. They told Brian and I over and over: “No really *serious face* she is the most beautiful baby we have helped birth in this hospital. Brian and i weren’t disagreeing with them.

The visitors had finally cleared out. Brian was resting for the first time in 18 hrs. Bella and me finally got our first Mom and Daughter moment. I will treasure that moment for the rest of my life. We stared at each other for a while then I kissed her lips. She reached up and put her little mittened hand on my check. I talked into the night with her about stuff: the world, her dad and how he won’t let her wear Giants apparel or bikinis, really great food she’s gonna love: (icecream, hotdogs, garlic fries) her family and about commitment. To God to people and to what is right. She fell asleep.

It was so good though because I had a break through after blabbing away for an hour. :)It is this: there is no way i am going to repeat the cycle my mother left for me of abandonment and abuse. That instead of living my life with the “inconvenience” of children I had died to myself to live for my daughter. Isabella deserves that. All kids do. She transformed the day I met her and continues to daily.

Brian and I have turned into bonefide parents!!. I’m so proud of her and she doesn’t even win scholarships or cheer competitions or MVP’s. May I remember that when she is in her teens-yikes! NEway… She is our little treasure from heaven and we celebrate her today. Love you my Bella D.