Now that the children are medicated, I've had more than 1.5 hours of sleep, and the fire from my eyeballs has subsided... I think I have now come to my senses and can be cheerful. =) Sorry you had to endure the negativity!
There were actually things other than sad news, sick people, and homesickness during our trip to Tennessee. Some really great things did take place and your prayers were not in vain. To say it was a bad week really isn't fair. So, I thought I would share those good things with you.
Everything really started the day before we even left. It started in the kitchen, which you know... I love!
You see... we knew this trip was coming a few weeks before but we weren't for sure we were going to be able to go. In the end our church was very generous and allowed us the time off and we were blessed with a beautiful place to stay for completely free. So we planned to just share cooking with the other team members while there to avoid eating out that way we could afford eating away from home for one week.
But there is still that loooong drive and fast food and convenience stores can break you. So... that is how it started in the kitchen, cooking food for the road. Plus baking two apple pies I had promised to deliver before we left.
Normally the kids are hands on with the cooking, but this day I had much to do and little time to get it done so I gave them fun little things to do instead of having them help cook. Jordan did help a lot with the pies but I didn't snap any pictures except for the finished product. =(
Jordan had lots of fun "cooking" with water
And what 19 month old doesn't love a sink full of water, bubbles, and dishes?? I know my Judah loves it!
Alli was setting the basement up to be a restaurant so they could all play together down there. I never made it down to take any pictures of them in action... I know, I know, what is up with me lately?
That day our friend Cindy dropped by Daniel's work to drop off some things we had asked to borrow for our road trip. But little did we know she had a travel pack FULL of wonderful goodies for our trip! There was something for everyone, even mom and dad. That little (actually big) travel pack was a survival tool for us, the kids LOVED it so much and Daniel and I were very blessed with our "adult part" too!
Then, that night we had Youth Group. At the end as everyone was going home I had a student come up to me and handed me an envelope. Enclosed was $30 (almost all in 1's). She said "I went to the craft fair last week and played my violin for people walking around." she continued: "I placed a sign next to my case about you guys and what you are doing and this is the money I made from tips." CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?
Do you know what I did next? Yep, I totally cried.
God used two totally different people that day to bless us in such unexpected ways. He is so amazing. Not to mention, they are so amazing for showing love to us the way they did, in faith.
We left out at 3am Thursday morning sleeping on and off (me, not Daniel ;-) Once finally awake to stay I was able to cast my eyes on the beauty of God's creation in this part of the country.
Oh wait! I can't forget to show off these pics...
Yes, this is Daniel taking pictures of himself (while driving) as I slept. He totally cracks me up.
Finally around 12:30 we crossed into TN.
Below is downtown Nashville...
As I mentioned in the prior post, the kids and I got sick shortly after the trip kicked off. But below are a few pictures of the things we were able to take part in before getting sick.
A tour of the land...
and the beauty...
We didn't think about taking pictures of all us together when we first arrived, that is something you typically do towards the end. But since we left 4 days early and during the middle of the night at that, we never did get any group pictures :-( We're totally bummed about that.
And there it is, kind of in a nut shell I guess? We were really blessed to be able to go down there and we're glad we did. It helped us understand there is lots to do there but we are not there yet for some reason, we are here and we need to continue life here to the fullest! Investing in people and building relationships... living like we will be here forever until he takes us away.