Down Home for the Holidays, indeed. As we gear up to celebrate our 4th Annual Christmas event with those we have been blessed to serve, you might wonder...
What does it even mean to be Down Home?
Well, meet Denton the Down Home Bear. His heartwarming smile greets all who come through our doors. His ability to remain consistently optimistic is second to none. His unconditional love and unfailing faith are evident. He wears his servant heart on his sleeve. Oh wait, I mean foot. Denton epitomizes what it means to be down home.
"Down home, where they know you by name and treat you like family. Down home, a man's good word and handshake are all you need. Folks know ifthey're falling on hard times they can fall back on those of us raised up down home."
Do you remember this song "Down Home" from the band Alabama? (released 1991)
Denton's name is Divinely inspired. Up until this point I only had one meaning for his name. Tanya Light was the winner of our bear naming contest leading up to our 2nd annual Hoedown fundraiser. Her name submission stated,
"Denton-the Down Homebear. English name for happy home."
That's even what is written on his name tag for when you come meet him at DH. Extremely fitting given our mission of transforming an empty space into a comfortable home to embrace. Well, I did a Google search while writing this post, and I found a second meaning that sent holy shivers through my body, "from the valley farm". While I didn't have any part in giving Denton his name, I did grow up on a farm in the Red River Valley. Anyone else with me on this?
From.the. valley. farm. Ponder that one for a bit. Coincidence or Divine affirmation? I now know that the name Denton is meant to remind me of my own down home roots and to cling tight to the One who has called all "those of us raised up down home" to be a part of His powerful works. You don't need to have grown up on a farm to have been raised up down home, to be a Denton. There are Denton's in abundance in our community. You are among them.
As the holiday season is upon us, may Romans 8 help prepare your heart to embrace the spirit of the season,
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. In all things God works for good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
In the last four years, my spirit has been on a front seat, roller-coaster ride with His unrelenting purpose. It's been invigorating and equally as terrifying. Complete disclosure, I know I am inadequate. Starting with being the executive director of a non-profit. I still feel a little blind-sided by it all. No joke. God certainly didn't call the equipped on this one, yet He did convict, align, and set the stage for the need to embrace a shameless audacity in helping build His kingdom. He did position and commission an army of DH junkies, TOMs (team of muscle), and movers & shakers within our community to help Git-R-Done, according to His purpose.