That’s what we are. Sabbatical means we are AWAY from our church for a time. Deciding on what church to attend in the area has been difficult. Our hearts are at Boones Creek every time we know the door are open, but while our bodies are away, our prayers are for whatever is going on there at that moment.
Last week we decided to attend two different churches on Sunday morning to get a fresh perspective, and to encourage that pastor and wife of one church, with whom we are friends.
It was a special blessing to surprise our friends. They are doing a great work out in the country in a beautiful setting. It made me so thankful for the men who work bi-vocationally so that these dear ones will have a pastor to shepherd them and give them God’s Word. The hymns rang out in that country corridor as well as in our hearts. As we rest, we, too are “Leaning on the everlasting arms,” resting in our Savior. The special music my sweet friend sang was as beautiful as the setting in which it was sung. It flowed out of her love for those she helps her husband care for. They had some wounds of trials, and her song was the balm they needed. Thank you, Mary.
Sitting side by side in worship services is a blessing for a couple who are always apart in their own church!
I am a homebody. I love my routine. I love my bed. I love the coziness of waking up in my own home with my coffee maker perking first thing in the morning. But sometimes you just need to get away from all the duties that home calls you to every day – things like dusty furniture and dirty laundry. So, this week, we went AWAY. This was the first time we were gone for more than an overnight stay during our sabbatical. I have to say it was good – very, very good.
We went to the nearby Smoky Mountains for three nights this past week. We had the fun of Alli and her husband joining us for the first day and night – his day off. We went to Dollywood for the day and had a great time at the park.
Our accommodations were very nearby and offered beautiful views of the mountains and a lovely pool to enjoy. The days were very hot, so it was a blessing to read a bit, then jump in and cool off! This routine was repeated MANY times during the day! Along with my Bible and journal, I took a stack of books with me to the pool area. I’m happy to say another book was checked off my list by the time our stay was over!
From our chairs we could see this hot air balloon each day. It only enhanced the view of the mountains – not that they need any improvement!
One of my goals is to Reload – so each day I have dug in and journaled about what the Lord was saying to me. How rich and sweet God’s Word is. Whether you’re in a corner of your home, on the sofa of a resort, or on a chaise lounge, God’s Word speaks if we slow down enough to stop and listen!
The pictures below are of one of our favorite places in Pigeon Forge – Old Mill Pottery Cafe’. We had lunch here on the day we left to come home. We love to eat outside, and that’s where we started, until the rains came and drove us inside! They bake bread and all kinds of confections, but we go for their main entree’s and we ALWAYS share a meal because they are large portions.
Anywhere you look, it’s beautiful outside of their restaurant. Another thing I love about it is that they serve all their meals on the pottery dishes that are made in the building next door – hence the name – Pottery Cafe’!
It’s been another week of some incredible blessings for which we feel so unworthy. Our God is so good and HE is always near and never AWAY.
Where were you this week and what did you do?