Friday, August 10, 2012


I'm baaaackkk!

We started out on a journey of 4 days to Tennessee but ended up being gone a week due to car troubles. Such is life ... However, we did make it back home and all is well.

I'm horrendously busy at work, but never too busy to make time to share 5 highlights of my week.

1.  When my family and I get together, you know one thing for sure:  there will be some game playing going on.  We love board games and also card games.  When at the thrift store (thrifting is another thing we do when together) my sister found a board game, "Would You Rather."  We played it two nights in a row.  Here is a classic pic of my mom doing a challenge for this game:

(Alex, this one is for you!)

She is supposed to be doing a "disco" pose for two full turns as a challenge.  Of course, the turns lasted longer due to insane giggling.  She's a good sport!

2.  Of course, my readers will know that I always take photos of scenery on road trips.  Here are just a few I'm sharing today since I haven't had time to really organize them.

Creek by the Peg Leg Iron Ore Mine

Some photos of Roan Mountain at Mount Pisgah National Forest:

 So disappointing!  We went to the Rhododendron Garden, but the wrong time of year to see flowers.

It was eerily foggy though ...

Watauga Lake

The lake water looks turquoise here.

Tennessee is a beautiful state!

3.  This has also been a week filled with family time with a lot of good talks and giggles (and eating).

Of course, time with hubby is always a plus. Here at Mast General Store he models some headgear.

My sister, me and our Mom

Lora and Alex

Lora and her husband, Terry

4.  Eating out:  Vacation always includes going out to eat - definitely one of my faves.  We did cook at home some, but we visited several restaurants:  Golden Corral, Beef O'Brady's, Logan's Steak House, Cracker Barrel and Chick-Fil-A, to name a few.  (Have you supported Chick-Fil-A lately?  I've been twice in the last week.)   

Mom came home with us when we returned from our trip.  So, the first night back, we got together with some cousins to eat out.  (We went to our favorite pizza place, Mackie's Pizza.)

Cousins Sharon, Vickie, Shirley, Sue and Ruth

 Kelly and Grover (Aww... someone is camera-shy!)
Sue Ann

Me, Jim, Aunt Willa Fern and Mom

5.  I have had a great week with game playing, viewing beautiful scenery, shopping and eating out.  I do have to say, though, one of my favorite things about this trip was our visit at a church in my sister's area. 

We picked out a church my sister was thinking of visiting (she has just moved to Tennessee).  We walked in a little bit late due to the problem of finding parking.  (All parking lots were full which is a good indicator of a healthy church.)  Naturally, the usher seated us near the front.  I don't mind sitting in front - I always say that is where the Holy Spirit hangs out. 

It was awesome!  I truly felt the presence of the Lord in the church and I saw Him on the faces of the choir.  I felt particularly drawn to this older man sitting in the front row of the choir.  He was really having himself a time.  Often he would pull out his handkerchief and wipe his eyes during the song service.  I thought to myself, "I bet that man has a story to share."  You could just see how much he loved God.

The choir began to sing some specials.  A soloist would sing the verses and the choir would do the choruses.  I was enjoying it very much.  Then the old gentleman I was observing stood up and sang.  Oh. My. Word.  He did an amazing job singing with such heart-felt sincerity.  Here are the lyrics to the song he sang with such passion:

Empty and Broken, I came Back to Him
A Vessel Unworthy, so scarred from Sin.
But He did not Despair... He Started over again
And I Bless the Day, He didn't Throw the Clay Away.

Over and Over, He Molds Me and Makes Me,
Into His likeness, He fashions the clay.
A vessel of Honor, I Am today,
All because Jesus Didn't Throw The Clay Away.

He is the Potter... I am the Clay
And Molded in His Image, HE wants me to Stay.
Oh, but when I Stumble...
When I Fall... When My Vessel Breaks,
He just Picks up those Pieces,
He does not Throw the Clay Away...

Over and Over, He Molds Me and Makes Me,
Into His Likeness, He Fashions the Clay.
A Vessel of Honor, I Am Today,
All Because Jesus Didn't Throw The Clay Away.

A Vessel of Honor, I Am Today,
It's all Because Jesus Didn't Throw The Clay Away.

(as recorded by The Lesters, also Gene Reasoner.  I couldn't find the original author.)

After the music ended, the Pastor got up and did a wonderful job on his sermon on the Holy Spirit entitled The Keeper of the Oil.  He gave me a lot to think about and quoted a lot of scriptures.  I see some bible study on the subject in my future.

You may find it funny that visiting a church gave me such a good feeling.  I cannot help it - God has given me such a love for the church.  Yes, I know it's not perfect, and I know every churchgoer may not be really living for God, but the church is close to God's heart.  The church is His bride, after all!

How was your week?  If you'd like to share, join Susanne, who hosts Friday's Favorite Five, at her blog, Living To Tell The Story.


Faith said...

Oh what a wonderful trip you had! (minus the car troubles!!). Your photos are lovely and I would LOVE to visit Tennessee some day. I have 2 good friends who live down there but it's quite a haul for us as we live in upstate NY near the capital. maybe one day.....and no, I don't eat fast food any longer so i haven't been to a chick fil A altho i have nothing against them!! also we don't have them here in NY. but i don't even do Mcdonalds or wendy's fast food! UGH!!!! glad you had a great time on your vacation!!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Don't you love that family time! I know I do, too. Funny how we both wrote about family vacation food traditions. Those are beautiful lyrics, and sounds like it was a wonderful service.

Love those scenery pics, too. Have a great week ahead.

Karen said...

I enjoyed the pictures and it looks like you enjoyed some wonderful family time...priceless!

The lyrics to that song gave me goosebumps...I can only imagine hearing it sung...powerful!

Anonymous said...

So glad your back, we missed you! Thanks for sharing your special time with your family.

I left you a little something on my last post, check it out and enjoy :) God bless

Willow said...

Your trip sounds great! Loved the scenery too. We've been to Tennessee a few times and always thought it was a beautiful place.