Last week, before heading back to Fuquay for the remainder of the summer break (not much left since we start back in just a few weeks!), we traveled to Lexington, KY and Nashville, TN to see friends, meet with potential ministry partners, and see current ministry partners. It was a very fun trip, although very tiring because there were so many people to see. A big thank you to our friends for allowing us to crash their houses!
One of the places we stayed In Lexington was with Rich, Becky, and Sawyer who were our old teammates in Kentucky. Sawyer just turned 2 so we spent all day refereeing the two of them and “trying” to teach them to share. This is one lesson I feel like Kinsley will never learn. Ok, she will, but it sure feels neverending sometimes. Such a reminder to me of how the Lord feels as he tries to teach us the same lessons day in and day out and yet we refuse to listen or just don’t get it. Having kids is definitely sanctification at its finest in so many ways!
Then, we traveled to Nashville and visited with our good friends (they were Ed’s first, but I sure am glad I inherited them when we got married) Scott and Lyndsay and their sweet 4 month old son Matthew. They graciously hosted a small group dinner for us with some of their friends and we were so grateful to the Lord for the amazing turnout! We also got to see some of the Transy alumnis that we worked with when we were ministering in KY who are now living in Nashville. It was super encouraging to connect with them and to hear how they continue to be super involved in serving the Lord even beyond graduation.
Then, we began our travels home and stopped in Gatlinburg, TN to visit my parents who were vacationing at a cabin in the mountains. I think this is Kinsley’s first real trip to stay IN the mountains and it was so cute watching her ride down the road and yell out “Look, mountains, look, mountains.” When we responded with a “yes, there are mountains”, she would say “Coming?” meaning are we going to the mountains? It was hard for her to understand that though we see them around us, we are there too!
This picture is from when we are at the cabin and although it seems random, I can’t help but point out that I wasn’t kidding in one of my last blog posts when I said that EVERYTHING needs a band-aid. Here is my proof. Even a
scrap cut bruise “I hurt myself but there is no mark” deserves a band-aid, even if it is on her lip.
We decided to visit Dollywood while we were there, and to be honest, I was not thrilled about the suggestion. When we spent the summer in Gatlinburg 8 years ago on a summer project with Cru, we went to Dollywood twice and were less than impressed. But, after looking at all things Kinsley could do, and seeing that they were hosting “Kids Fest” which meant kid-friendly shows such as an dog stunt show, I was in. Can I say that I REALLY enjoyed it this time?? Not sure if it was seeing it all through a 2 year old’s eyes, the cute flower pot people (which I would love to have at MY house…hint hint husband), because they have added a lot more things, or because I love spending time with my parents nowadays, but it was seriously FUN!
Kinsley loved riding the duck and bee rides, mostly because she could do these all by herself. I seriously had a sad moment when she walked up to the ride, picked which one she wanted, and rode them all by herself without even caring that we weren’t next to her. Makes a momma proud, but breaks my heart that she is growing up, all at the same time. She also loved the train, after she got over how loud it was! Even though Ed didn’t get to ride as many rides as he would have liked to because of them shutting them down because of thunder and lightening in the area, a great time was had by all.
We are now back in Raleigh – getting ready for the school year, recouping from such a crazy, busy summer, and trying to finish up the remainder of the support we need to raise. God has abundantly blessed us this summer by allowing us to complete a training that will equip us to better minister on campus and with our team, but also by allowing us time to work on ministry partner development and bringing people into our path to partner with us in this ministry. It is so fun and amazing to watch his perfect provision for our needs. Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray that we will finish strong before school begins!