Monday, February 27, 2012

Rocky Top... You'll Always Be

Home sweet home to me.

And that was true this weekend. I had been feeling a little anxiety about being in Nashville for so long, so my good friend Kaitlin and I decided to go on a miniature road trip to Knoxville. It was much needed for both us, but we knew our lives would be crazy for the two days we would be there.

We left at 8 am on Friday morning and made the trek towards K-town. Kaitlin and I have been friends since we were 5, but have gotten a lot closer in the past few months. She attends Cross Point church with me, so I get to spend some time with her every Sunday night. The car ride flew by as we talked about everything from where we wanted to eat lunch to some deep aspects of our faith. We were so excited to arrive, but I really cherished the three hours we got to spend together. And of course, there was some really great singing involved. :)

Kaitlin and I

We got to Knoxville and decided to eat at Firehouse Subs. I do love that place, and now they have these incredible drink machines that are touch screen. You can pretty much make any concoction of beverage you can dream of. So yummy.

One of Kaitlin's friends was kind enough to allow us to stay at her apartment. After lunch, we went over there and spent some time with her and heard all about her life. It was really great for them to catch up, and I enjoyed getting to know her better. We got ready for the rest of the day, and went to meet up with one of our friends from college.

I have known Philip since I was a measly little Freshman in college. We went through the PR program together, and ended up becoming pretty close friends. Over the summer, we spent quite a bit of time together reconnecting and learning about each others lives. It was really great to just sit down with him and hear about how things are going. He is also in a band, The Black Cadillacs. He has a great heart, and I'm blessed to have spent some time with him.

Philip and I after one of his shows a while back

After meeting up with Phil, we went to Starbucks so Kaitlin could chat with a friend of hers. I sat int he corner thinking I would do some much needed work, but the curse of free Wi-fi got me and I spent the entire hour doing things that were extremely unimportant. It was still great just to relax and drink some yummy coffee.

We got hungry pretty quickly, so we ventured down to Market Square to grab some food. After going in 34231345 restaurants and trying to decide where to go, we settled on Oodles. If you live in Knoxville and haven't been there, I definitely recommend it. During our light-hearted dinner talk, Kaitlin and I begin to talk in a very raw fashion. She knows a lot about what is going on in my life, and we began sharing many of our struggles that are difficult. Really heavy dinner conversation, but so so great to talk in such a raw fashion.

We ate, then moseyed on over to the Bijou Theatre to see The Black Cadillacs and The Dirty Guv's. Both of these groups are Knoxville bands that we have grown to love over the years. It was a terribly fun show!

The Guvs!

The Black Cadillacs

We decided to go to the Old City, which is downtown Knoxville, after the show. All I can say is wow... So many random people that we could not contain our laughter. From a 40 year old man with jeans tighter than mine, to a birthday girl that gave us stick on tattoos, to some crazy people rocking it on the dance floor. We had a great time watching these characters and listening to lots of cool music.

This post is long enough, so I'll post about Saturday later on.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby

Today would have been Melissa Hope's 2nd birthday. I always thought that on this day, I would be celebrating with her, and the Chapman's, the family that was in the process of adopting her. God had other plans.

I will never forget Melissa and the impact she had on my life. You can read about that here and here.

This has been an especially hard day, but I have felt God's presence so strong and He is giving me peace as I continue this journey. One of the songs that really helped me get through this time was By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North. Here are some of the lyrics:

And I'll be by your side Wherever you fall In the dead of night Whenever you call And please don't fight These hands that are holding you My hands are holding you Look at these hands and my side They swallowed the grave on that night When I drank the world's sin So I could carry you in And give you life I want to give you life Cause I, I love you I want you to know That I, I love you I'll never let you go
On my way to work this morning, this song played on the radio. I knew that God was speaking to my heart and reminding me that He was here for me and was going to get me through this day. Then, we had chapel this morning and the first song the praise band played was this song. I began to tear up, but tried to hold it together. I just closed my eyes and felt God's presence all around me.

As sad as I am that I don't get to hug her and hold her, I know that she impacted so many, and that God will use her story for years to come. But even knowing that doesn't necessarily make it any easier. I covet your prayers as I continue about this day.