Saturday, December 20, 2014

Advent....New Traditions for Old Beliefs

It's December 1st, 25 days before Christmas, the count down has begun the rush is on.  Each year my children and I cut strips of paper to create a count down chain to that big day.....Christmas Day.

The days between December 1st and the 25th is full of activities such as parties, eating, giving and receiving gifts, parades, Christmas shows, shopping, decorating, singing Christmas carols, creating memories and special traditions.

Lindsay McConnell Evatt found herself last year at this time experiencing a miserable Christmas due to some big decisions she had to make and some health issues she was dealing with.  Lindsay said that when November rolled around this year she found herself dreading the Christmas season like never before; remembering how bad it was last year didn't help the matter. Lindsay said, "I can't really explain why I was dreading it so much. I've always loved Christmas!"

God then really began to deal with Lindsay about the true meaning of Christmas and how little she was stressing that with her children. She said her thoughts went on for days and she was heartbroken by the honesty with herself.

Lindsay said though they read the Christmas story every year and try to stress the reason for the season, we ALWAYS find ourselves so busy running from event to event and stressed to the max because we're spending money to the max all to celebrate Jesus' birthday? She said it all just didn't make sense, "Nothing was adding up to me, my heart wanted so much more out of Christmas, but so much more would mean so much less."

That is when she began researching the Advent practices.

Advent is recognized on the Christian calendar as the four weeks prior to Christmas; it's taking the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas to intentionally focus your time and efforts on the coming of Christ, his first coming to this world as a baby and His second coming when he returns. Lindsay said, "It's intentionally slowing the fast pace that we typically set for ourselves at Christmas." Lindsay has started a new tradition this year for her family to slow down Christmas; the Jesse Tree.

Representation usually in carving or stained glass of the genealogy of Jesus
 as a tree with Jesse at the base and intermediate descendants on branching scrolls of foliage.

"Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" 

Lindsay McConnell Evatt's inspiration for the Jesse Tree and her families
Jesse tree her dad (Tim McConnell) made.

"I absolutely love traditions, new and old, and I also live to have ones that are so rich in meaning and help me to visualize things.  Though some may think it's very ritualistic, celebrating Advent has been just what my heart needed this Christmas season."- Lindsay McConnell Evatt

The Evatt's Jesse Tree;
Devotion with their three children.
As a family, no matter how busy our days are, we set aside time each night in recognition of Advent. We have chosen to light candles on our Advent wreath (all rich in meaning) as we do our devotions each night.  Our devotions are focused on people in the Bible from the family tree that Jesus comes from, starting with Adam and Eve, all the way to the birth of Jesus. Taking the time to recognize all along the way, that it is part of our family tree as well. -Lindsay McConnell Evatt

Day 1: Shoot springing forth from Jesse Tree
All ornaments are hand painted by
Wes Evatt (Lindsay's husband)

Day 2: In the beginning...
Day 3: Fell for the lie that God didn't
love us.
Day 4: Christ comes like an ark;
to save.

Day 5: Promise Land, the blessing is His presence.

"We are slowing the usual pace of the season for our family.  Saying no to the hustle and bustle and taking the time each day to anticipate the coming of our Savior.  And it's working! The kids are excited and Christmas has never been so alive to me.  I'm breathing in the moments and God is speaking louder than ever before." -Lindsay McConnell Evatt

Lindsay and Wes Evatt


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Gift of a Child

Our thoughts this time of the year is on a baby that was born over two thousand years ago, a gift that was given to us from the Lord to save us.

               "Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:10-12

God gave us the gift of Jesus, in our Dacusville community God gave the Howard  family a gift; a little girl named Daylin.

Daylin Mirica Howard was born on August 21st, 2013 at 27 weeks to Julie and David Howard. Julie had an incompetent cervix and had surgery to fix it at 13 weeks of her pregnancy; everything up to that point was great.  Julie woke up that morning not feeling well.  She called the doctor and they wanted to see her immediately.  Julie made it to the doctor at 9:30 and was already dilated 5 cm, she was rushed to the hospital.

Surrounded by family, they all prayed.

Daylin on C-pap
Julie had to have a C section because Daylin was breached and labor wouldn't stop. Daylin was born at 5:30 weighing 2 lbs. and 8 ozs. Her lungs were underdeveloped and she had to be put on a ventilator.  The families' prayers were already being answered, she was only on the ventilator for 24 hours. The doctors were really surprised to see this happen.  Daylin was then placed on a C-pap for a few days and then on straight oxygen.

Daylin had her first bath 2 days later, she was small enough to fit inside the kidney shaped bowls the hospital uses when you get sick, she fit perfectly. 

Daylin's First Bath

Daylin Howard
Julie was able to hold Daylin for the first time 3 days after she was born in the "Kangaroo Hold".  Daylin had to go back on the C-pap machine because her oxygen level kept dropping. Daylin also needed 3 blood transfusions while she was in the hospital because her little body couldn't keep her blood count up. She was making red blood cells but because she was constantly having blood drawn for testing her body couldn't keep up and in turn her oxygen level kept dropping so she had to stay on oxygen. The family found out later that Daylin was born with a hole in her heart as well, with medicine the hole closed. 

On September 24th, a month later the Howards were able to hold Daylin like a normal full term baby. Daylin was able to regulate her temperature enough on her own that she was put in a newborn crib.  On October 1st Daylin had her first bottle, up until then she had a feeding tube. Julie said that each day got harder and harder to leave  her and they knew that she had to handle all 8 feedings from a bottle before she could come home. They asked the nurses when would Daylin be able to come home and the nurses said around her due date which was November 18th, but that wasn't good enough for them.

They began to pray and ask God to let her make it home by Halloween.

Her doctors and nurses were so amazed at how quickly she was growing and tolerating her feedings. They agreed that she could go home but she would be on oxygen. Julie said that would be okay, as long as she was coming home.

God does a complete work, on October 16th Daylin came completely off her oxygen after her last blood transfusion and on October 25th, she came home from the hospital. 

Julie said it was so wonderful to see what God was doing in her life each day, and is still doing.  Daylin was in the hospital for 65 days total, she has had one breathing episode at home due to reflux but medicine has helped with this.  The hole in her heart is gone, and her lungs are perfect, she has no signs of having developmental issues; she caught up in size by 9 months of age. Julie was told that Daylin would have to wear glasses but remember God does a complete work.  Julie's family and church went to God in prayer and the doctors are yet amazed again that her eyes are fine and there are no signs of problems.

Children are a gift from God, the Howards were given a miracle gift. Daylin "Mirica" Howard meaning miracle is now a happy, healthy one year old all due to the prayers of family, church, and community.

Julie Howard (M0m) with Daylin

Daylin Mirica Howard

David Howard (Dad) with Daylin

"Many people were praying for Daylin that didn't even know us.  I am still overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, prayers, and support from everyone and I can't thank them enough for all they did for us during this time!  My family is so blessed to live in our wonderful community of Dacusville."- Julie Howard

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Country Santa

Santa isn't always from the North Pole, he also lives right here in Pumpkintown and his name is Buddy Cox. Buddy started Country Santa in 1978 to help needy children in the foothills of South Carolina. Country Santa collects unwrapped gifts and monetary donations year round to prepare for distribution on Christmas Eve.

"Children don't understand that life is hard and sometimes there just isn't enough for Christmas presents.  A child believes that Santa will find them Christmas morning." -Country Santa

Buddy Cox
photo credit wyff 4

Country Santa starts bagging the gifts for the children on December 1st and they ask for help through volunteers.  If you, or a group is interested in volunteering contact Karen Dodgens

*All information is courtesy of Country Santa's web site

For more information see web site.

Each year Stephanie White and her family participate in helping Country Santa deliver the toys on Christmas Eve.  This is a 12 hour day for Country Santa because they deliver to over 1300 families; this equals to over 3100 children. This will be her 21st year helping with Country Santa.

Shyanne White, Hadassah White, and Jeremiah White waiting
in line to pick up toys to take to the children before the sun is up. 

Brent White helping to get the bikes to deliver to the children.

Brent and Stephanie White sorting the bags to give to the families.

This is such a great way to help our surrounding  communities.

Photos of Country Santa:
Country Santa

Bags of Toys for the children of Pickens County

Many, many bikes

Buddy Cox and all the unwrapped toys 

Boy Scouts helping to bag the toys

Buddy Cox sorting through the names of the boys and girls.

Preparing to deliver all the toys

Volunteers waiting in line to pick up toys
to deliver to the children

Photos courtesty of,, 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dacusville Christmas Info.

Dacusville Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 13th at 2:00
Grand Marshall: Sweet Potato Pie Band
Sponsored by Dacusville Community Club 
accepting new members (Free Membership)

Dacusville Christmas Tree Lighting

Friday, December 12th
at 7:00

Announcement of
Business of the year
Citizen of the year

Dacusville United Methodist Church
3rd Annual Arts & Crafts Bazaar
December 13th 8-2 pm (hot dogs till 4 pm)
Blood Connection 10-2

Pancake Breakfast with Santa
Sponsored by Dacusville Rec.
Saturday, December 13th 
Dacusville Community Center
8-10 am
Tickets $5.00

        *If you have any Christmas Information you would like to share with the community please contact 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Servants Heart

Do you have a desire to see the Kingdom of God advance? Servants Heart is a group of men and women in our community that have been called by God to be disciples and workers for God's Kingdom.

Our Mission starts in our everyday life, then to our community and neighbors.  Will you join with Servants Heart to make a difference in your life and your community?

Servants Heart meets the needs of the people in the Dacusville Community.  If you would like to be part of this ministry, or if you have a need contact:

 Micheal Burton 1(864) 421-3147

Helping a Widow in need...

For more information:

It's Fall!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autism...Fitting the Pieces Together

Autism is a sensor disorder, a broad spectrum which involves high function and low function. The spectrum can be from one extreme, very smart children to another extreme, children that are 10 years of age and still need to be potty trained.  

Eli Horn
Elijah (Eli) Horn was diagnosed with med/high function Autism.  When Eli was first diagnosed his mother noticed that he never wanted to be out of her sight. Amanda Horn, Eli's mother said that he had anxiety issues.  When Eli was 6 months old, the family was eating inside a Mexican Restaurant and he began screaming because of the music that was playing.  When playing cars with his brothers Eli lined his cars up, and if one of his brothers took one of his cars he would have a meltdown that could last from five minutes to two hours. Eli suffered with terrible meltdowns, he had bad anxiety at school with panic attacks.

Amanda and Eli
Amanda and her family believe in the power of prayer, they recently started attending LIFEchurch in Dacusville.  They believe that when Pastor Chad Albertson prayed for Eli, he received his healing. He is a different little boy now, he does things that the doctor said he could never do, he is excited to go to school, he loves going to church, and he is smiling for the first time in ways he never smiled before.  

Amanda and her family believes that this is a ministry that God has given them.  They understand Autism because they have experienced it first hand.  They want to give back and in doing so they are raising money for "Autism Speaks", an organization that does ABA Therapy which raises $70,000 a year without a grant.

Saturday they will be doing a walk in Charlotte N.C. to raise money and awareness for Autism. They are selling t-shirts in honor of Eli,so far they have raised $650.00.  If you would like to purchase a t-shirt or donate money to the "Autism Speaks" you can contact Amanda  @ 864-419-9448. 
By donating you are helping to fit the pieces together.

For More Information:

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