Weekend Guests

This past weekend we enjoyed the company of Bobby's sister, Casey and her fiance Michael. We really missed his youngest sister, Jamie, but still managed to enjoy our short weekend together! (Next time J, for sure)! They rolled into town Friday night to catch Bobby's concert out in the middle of nowhere in the cute little town of Mount Pleasant, TN.  Unfortunately I had to work, story of my life, but Casey made sure to take plenty of pictures and videos for me to feel like I was there the whole time and Bobby brought me home some fish taco's to help me feel included in their fun family dinner I missed. =) Thanks guys.

Saturday morning we enjoyed Chef Bobby's pancakes (a staple breakfast in our house if you're ever a guest) made with olive oil (accident) and then headed out to explore Nashville's farmers market. Here's the gist: farmers market + a love for cooking + no money = farmers market blues.

I did try to convince my husband that we desperately needed at least two pumpkins to show our Halloween spirit to all our trick or treaters we'll have this year because no one ever goes to the houses that aren't decorated, duh. And everyone knows you are supposed to buy one pumpkin for each person in the family (pets included) so clearly we could not just buy one.  Apparently I was pretty convincing.

We ate a delicious lunch at Puckett's Grocery, a Nashville must if you like southern food, and then headed off to the UGA vs. Vanderbilt game.  I didn't take any pictures. Sorry. It was fun.. but very long. But fun.

Sunday was fun day. We got in pretty late Saturday night so we all slept in, ate a little breakfast and headed down the street to the park to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.  Ever played Can Jam? Me neither, until yesterday. If you like tailgating games, you'll enjoy this one. Here's how it works. You have two "cans", a frisbee and a partner. You and your partner stand on opposite sides behind the cans. Then one at a time you throw the frisbee towards your partner who tries to hit it into the can.  There are points associated with where the frisbee goes but I never really pay attention to the details so I don't really remember that part. Anyway, Bobby and I dominated the first game but got worked by Casey and Michael in the second.

We decided to continue the competition will some good 'ole fashion hill rolling but found out that Bobby doesn't know how to roll... (?) so we had to teach him before we began but he quickly caught on. The sequence Casey captured is pretty funny, at least we think so. If your friend or spouse or sibling doesn't know how to roll, here's the lesson:
First laugh and explain they should probably be a little sad that they didn't have more fun as a kid...
Then tell them to tuck and roll. Easy peasy.

They may be confused so you will probably have to talk them through the first one.

They may not get it the first time, so you might also have to help them through it.

Then they're ready to compete.

We finished with a quick engagement shoot of the cute couple.... clearly in love...

Casey ate grass while rolling down the hill...

All good fiances pick grass out of your teeth.

and finally a self-timer family photo because we're weird like that. =)

All in all it was a great weekend and we were sad to see them go. Hopefully they had enough fun rolling down hills with us that they'll be back to visit soon.


In case you were wondering...

Sharp Top was awesome, absolutely rocked my world, and I couldn't have asked for a more amazing group of beautiful girls so thirsty to know the Lord!

That is all. =)


Young Life Leader Retreat & Weekend Camp

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were 2 out of 500 Young Life leaders in the Tennessee region at this year’s Leader Retreat at Sharp Top Cove.  It has taken me a few days weeks to digest the weekend, and honestly I still feel my mind going back to relive the worship and lectures getting even more out of it. So bear with me, I’ll try to make my thoughts as fluid as possible… =)

During the week leading up to the retreat I prayed fervently for God to prepare my heart for the weekend.  Specifically I prayed for God to soften my heart, open my eyes and my ears so I could receive His message with an open heart and mind. I prayed that this weekend, as we worshiped alongside hundreds of other believers and leaders, would fill me up and re-energize my spirit to be bold as I chase after the amazing sophomore girls at BHS and to be intentional with every interaction. I prayed that this weekend away from all worldly distractions, would deepen my marriage with my husband, strengthening our bond as one in Christ. Most importantly, I prayed that God would move mountains in my heart to deepen the roots of my faith in Him.  The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-9) was stuck in my mind the entire week:

“Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

I have struggled for a while with my wavering faith, becoming more and more aware of how my faith is like the seed which fell on the rocky ground; though I hear the Word and receive it with joy, the root is not deep, and so it is short lived.  It is discouraging to know this, and yet at the same time, I know I cannot let it way too heavily on my heart because this is the process of growing faith. I know God is working in me because I am constantly aware of my weak faith and seeking Him for strength, where as in the past I was not. But oh how I desire an unwavering faith in Him.

I was blown away with His response to my prayers.  No matter how old I am or how deep my faith is rooted, I will always and forever be in awe at His response to our prayers.  Tom Job was the speaker for the weekend. I had not heard of him prior to this but just after 2 days of listening to him preach I can say with certainty that this is one godly man (and absolutely hysterical)!

Each lecture lifted my heart higher and higher, it was almost unread. His last lecture was my favorite. It was about being in love with Christ. His reference in this lecture was John 21: 15-17 when Jesus came to the disciples on the boat and the first question He asked was "do you love me?".

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon
son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”
He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep."

His words of encouragement through this lecture filled my heart up. He said, "Staying in love with Christ is the only way you'll make it through being a YoungLife leader. AND, the only reason you should be a YoungLife leader is because you love Jesus. Make Christ your first love." Amen!

It definitely can be trying at times as we chase after high school students. They have 300x more energy than you could ever have, it's crazy!  It's so fulfilling watching them grow year after year, seeing your friendship with them deepen into something more meaningful, but still, we are only human and our flesh is weak. Tom's encouragement was to make sure we wake up each and everyday, ready to fall in love with Christ all over again. Only then can we start our day the right way, filled with the Holy Spirit, completely in love with our one and only Savior.  Only then can we lead our friends according to God's will and plan.

This weekend we are heading back to Sharp Top but this time, with 150+ BHS students. My thoughts and prayers this week have been consumed by this amazing weekend coming up, asking God to equip me in ways I didn't even know were possible to lead my group of sophomore girls,  to use me as His instrument to help them know their Savior. 

Please pray for me, my group of sophomore girls and all the other leaders and high school kids at camp this weekend. Pray that we leaders would be well equip to lead this high schooler's towards a relationship with Christ. Pray that our hearts would be soft and aligned with His will, amongst all the craziness of the weekend. Pray that God would open the eyes and ears of the high schooler's and soften their hearts, so they can readily accept Christ into their lives.

 "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:14-19.



I am SO behind in posts it is unreal. I think I have about 4 more drafts in my post list right now so bear with me because I'm about to bombard you with them this week. =)
First up, our house.

Remember this room??
Well, we finally cleared out all of our junk,

moved in our dining table, and now it looks like this:

It's not finished, clearly, but sure looks a lot better than before, not to mention I now have a FUNCTIONING dining room. Heck yes!
Two thumbs up for making progress (and a lot of help from my mom and aunt)!

So what happened to the kitchen nook you say? Well, we decided to make that a multifunctioning room. Sound interesting? I'll tell you more. We moved the desk out of the teeny tiny guest room (so our guests in a few weeks won't feel like they are being gobbled up by all our stuff) and moved it into the the kitchen nook. Bobby's parents are also loaning us a small round kitchen table from their basement. Hello awesome in-laws! (They really are quite amazing). We don't have the table yet, that will be coming in mid-October with my parents, so for now it is another half empty room, but with a plan. =) Waahoo!

Check it out:

I'm also hoping to find a cheep comfy chair to put in the corner with a floor lamp if it will fit. We'll see.

After having our friends over for a fabulous night of fellowship, we quickly realized that our living room was NOT convo friendly. So after they left, we did a quick switch-er-ooo with the furniture (best and cheapest way to freshen up a room in my opinion) and went from this:

to this:

I'm so much happier with the layout, much more cozy. All we need are some pictures on the wall and a sofa table behind the love seat. (Oh, and a fabulous lantern I found in Hobby Lobby).
Ok ok, so we were pretty productive this weekend. Not only did we move furniture, we also unpacked the last of our boxes!! Wooohoo!

Now, if you'll just pray for me that we don't end up moving again in June, that would be awesome!!

Next up, our guest room. Stay tuned.
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