Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Away Here In Tennessee

I love living in the great state of Tennessee.

My mother was born near Knoxville, but at age three, she and my grandparents followed the available jobs to the Buckeye State of Ohio. My granddad worked on an automobile assembly line for over 30 years until his retirement, but he and my grandmother always considered East Tennessee home.

God brought me here to the Volunteer State after finishing my freshman year of college on summer missions. I never imagined that I would fall in love with the south and with the people of Tennessee. I literally married me a Tennessee boy and, though we have ministered in other states, we are so thankful that we have had this season to call Clarksville, Tennessee home.

This summer I have vacationed a little in Florida and visited family in Ohio, but there is something about hitting that state line and seeing the sign that just seems to have been put there to welcome me back to Tennessee.

This last weekend we traveled across the plateau and spent four wonderful nights and 5 great days in the Pigeon Forge area. If you have had the opportunity to spend ANY time in the Smokey Mountains, you don't need me to try and describe the great beauty and scenic displays of God's creative genius that surround the area.

We have made this trip annually for several years now. We stay with the same sweet family in the same cabin and share the same slow, easy-going pace. We have come to look forward to the respite and become dependent on this getaway.

Spiritually, this has been good for both my husband and for me. Just to get away, to get out-of-town, to be "unplugged." We sleep in, eat what we want and breath the mountain air deeply. We didn't spend a large amount of time in prayer or Bible study, but were constantly reminded of His provision, goodness and grace whether it was in majestic displays of rainbows over the mountains after a summer rain or in the blue tailed salamander that scurried down the sidewalk at the outlet mall. We found Him in our girls' laughter and in each other's arms.

My husband has always jokingly -yet seriously too, referred to Tennessee as the Promised Land. It has been in many ways for us. Part of that is being able to get away and be refreshed here in the beautiful state we love and call home.

As ministering families, we NEED this. We need to plan to get away and be refreshed. What kind of plans have you and your family made? Have you gotten away? Have you found a perfect retreat for you and yours here in the Volunteer State? Please share your special place, it may just be someplace that another one of us is close enough to to steal away to, to get away here in Tennessee.

No comments: