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E x p l o r e, lifestyle

Later, Not Goodbye // Clarksville, TN

June 22, 2016

“It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.”
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     Three years ago a little family (then of only 3) made their way to Clarksville, TN to make it their home via the military. Knowingly they came, we met, and became kindred spirits with the knowledge that three years was also how long they planned to stay before skipping on!
So, year one and two snuck by on us all. We became close, we watched this little family grow with the addition of another kiddo, we watched them grow stronger as dad shipped out for a nine month deployment and mama and boys continued faithfully at home, we watched with joy their reunion as the leaf of year three turned over. That’s when the realization hit us.

Wait, they wouldn’t be here forever?!

     As this little family moves on from our embrace to the many other amazing adventures I know the Lord has in store for them, I am just overwhelmed at the memories we’ve shared, the laughs that have shaken us to tears, the bond of friendship that has grown ten-fold stronger because it is united in Christ.
This is something that even an ocean can’t separate.
So, we send the dear H. family off with embraces that long for them to stay, but also with urging hands nudging them on to the place, people and hearts the Lord has for them to touch next!
.   .   .   .   .
Of course sending such a family off requires one last hoorah of memory bank filling, so my sisters and I leaped at the chance when (finally!) a free calendar square made itself known!
The Saturday morning started with cinnamon rolls. Can you get much better?
I think know not.

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As we finished off the tasty pastries and wiped our upper lips we discussed plans for the day, the unanimous decision being to hit the local farmer’s market! While mama got ready, some play time in the most bright and cheerful play room was in order!
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Needless to say, these little guys know how to play! From dress up to Duplo skyscrapers to hilarious quotes of their own (“You’re goin’ in the trash can tomorrow!”) with the addition of looking stinking cute in the process! They reminded me of the little Lost Boys from Peter Pan, which upon my asking them if they had heard or watched Peter Pan, their reply was “Who’s that?”

We also talked all things Toy Story and Finding Nemo, which of course included watching the upcoming sequel teasers of both!
But as always, play time can’t last all day, no matter what Peter Pan may say.
Jammies were exchanged for shorts and t-shirts, blonde hair was combed, and we headed into the real life of the day!

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“I love to walk a city, whether I’ve been there once or a thousand times before. It’s amazing what sort of inspiration you’ll find when you steal a second glance .”
| erin hiemstra |

     How little I knew of Clarksville ’til we took the time to see it! I had been downtown briefly a couple years before, and driving it once every week, I thought I knew it well! Only until we turned another corner downtown did I see a whole new little world of charm! Makes we wonder what other cities I so quickly check off my list as “explored”.

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The thirst quencher of choice was some one-of-a-kind homemade lemonade that totally hit the spot!
I could see local farmer’s markets being a new favorite Saturday activity, having been to very few myself I forgot how exciting they are!
Seeing a glimpse of the diversity of talents and expertise these people share, combined with tempting smells, a fresh breeze through the aisle of tents, the beat of vibrant music from some local musicians, and just watching new faces pass by.

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2016-06-15_01062016-06-15_0097     Of course, it goes without mentioning that outings like these always call for a token/souvenir to remember them by! And as the mama in this sweet family being the extraordinaire paint brush handler that she is, it seemed all too spot on to head to the little pottery studio situated on Franklin Street, called Horse Feathers.
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The personalities of these people. I have loved watching these little guys grow up and getting a sneak peek at their unique quirks that makes them who they are. And also watching their sweet mama and dad nurture those quirks while walking and leading them along the path.

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Our creativity fix satisfied, we headed back out the antique aqua doors and back toward the car, taking in the sights slowly as we did. Seriously, this downtown area has me itching to come back for a more in-depth snooping!

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1 universe.

9 planets.
204 countries.
809 islands.
7 seas.
And I had the privilege of meeting you.

You’ve touched our hearts in ways that can’t be put into words, we are so thankful that God put Clarksville on your map for a season! See ya later sweet friends, we know new adventures are calling your name, but we’re totally keeping those old ones under lock and key!

lifestyle

Sunshine After Rain

May 20, 2016

rainy window


     I’ve been wondering if this rainforest-like-wetness we’ve been experiencing in our area will maybe just take a “rain check” soon!
*chuckles* So. Much. Wata.
But funny, how I never truly notice or appreciate a beam of sunshine until it breaks through after raindrops.
Isn’t it the same in some of our life stories? The sunshine moments gleam even brighter after the cloudy ones shift on for a time.
“The struggle is part of the story”; the rain and sunshine alike, each a beautiful part of the plan.

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rainy window #3
     I have felt, over the past few months, kinda like cereal that has sat a bit too long in a toddler’s bowl of milk.  A bit soggy.
Drenched with life raindrops, I am now ready for some sun.  But being “soggy” in this way, it’s taught me trust, trust only in the Lord.
Experiencing the raindrops, the uncertain ones that would whisk in without notice, it’s reminded me of God’s faithfulness that always shines bright, regardless how overcast the day.
He uses those overcast days, the rainy ones, the stormy ones. . . to grow us.
To help us glorify Him in the moment, but also even more when He rolls in the sun!
We can be utterly amazed at Him in these sunshine opportunities, most times the aftermath of a drenching; by His grace I can say I am,
even when I wondered if I ever could.

Praise Him in the sunshine, praise Him in the rain. He sustains. He is faithful. He is enough.
| Psalm 40 |

jotter's journal, Uncategorized

Jotter’s Journal // a p r i l

April 1, 2015

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//Out-of doors. . .
In the air is the aroma of freshly clipped grass, the honeyed twinge of blossoms blooming, and the ready warmth of continuous sunshine. It’s been in the upper 60s and 70s here in Middle Tennessee the past few days, and every spare moment will find me on the front stoop, getting my reading in (and just a wee bit of fresh air).

//Busy working on. . .
Uncountable amounts of school! I am picking up my pace to finish this leg of the race of my senior year with endurance, joy, and diligence. It’s hard. A bit trying. Itching with excitement to finish and move on. But never without a lesson learned when the day is through.

//Currently reading. . .
Jesus on Every Page by David Murray
Peace Child by Don Richardson

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamot
Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White

//At the Desk. . .
Speech assignments! Learning the art of preparing speeches and executing them in a way so that my audience won’t be snoring! It’s harder than it may seem, but rewarding in many ways.

//Beyond the Desk. . .
Besides the house tasks and personal responsibilities here at home, I have so been enjoying the time I can spend outside (barefooted or flip-flopped) with my siblings. Quite a few bike rides and shooting baskets have occupied my time!

//In the Evening. . .
Journal writing, family time, munching dark chocolate, and catching up on free time reading.

//Reflecting on. . .
Being constantly amazed at God’s goodness of each and every day he gives, knowing that we are here for only a short while, but being convicted to live each day to His glory and realizing each moment is a beautiful gift!

//Through Scripture. . .
Reading through Exodus and Matthew in the mornings, Romans at night with the family.
It is an amazing thing to be reading through both the old and new testaments in the same sitting, and seeing God’s sovereign hand through it all!

//Happy About. . .
/That spring is here and summer is on the way!
/That I am about to embark on another part of life’s journey by finishing up my “formal schooling”
/A steaming mug of earl grey in the morning.
/A chuck of dark chocolate when I break from school in the afternoon.
/Hearing occasional stories from my wonderful Granddad, that always inspires my pen.

//Inspiring Quote. . .
“To love means loving the unloveable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”
~G.K. Chesterton