Friday, October 18, 2013

He Cares for Me

It's fall and looking like we are going to have slightly cooler temperatures in the near future. A welcome respite from the summer heat. This year is flying by and my "word" for the year is "Remember", today I'm remembering my fun summer vacation.

As summer approached, it was brought to my attention that I had some vacation time at work that I needed to use. I began researching where, when and how I might use some of this time and opted for a trip to Nashville, Tennessee for the Fourth of July weekend.

There are many choices to consider when planning a trip: Who will go with me? Where will we stay? What will we do once we get there? When will we come home? As I considered these choices to be made, God seemed to provide every answer. In telling my friend Jennifer about my plans she was excited and offered to go with me. She was even able to get a room for us at a very conveniently located hotel free of charge. Weeks before setting out on our journey, we each spent some time researching what to do, compiling lists of the many options and selected which night we would attend The Grand Ole Opry. With our lists in hand, we made the six-hour drive to Music City.

This was my first trip to Nashville and as the driver, I was heavily relying on my car navigation system, iphone and prayer to get us where we needed to go.

Arriving in Nashville the evening of July 4th, we checked in at the hotel and then set the navigation to take us downtown for the evenings festivities. Approaching Music Row, we began to see parking lots with attendants accepting payments of $10. Unfamiliar with the area, we wanted to drive all the way to our destination before choosing a parking spot. With each block, the rate for parking went up, $20…then $25…then no parking available. Arriving at our destination, we turned on Broadway to then find a suitable parking spot. The navigation system showed us where to go, but then we had choices make: which road to turn on and in which lot to park. Of the ones we passed, some were very near to where we wanted to be, but cost a little more and some would require a longer walk, but cost a little less. We made a turn down a road we had not traveled and immediately saw a sign for free parking!

Yes, just around the corner from our destination, and free. In that moment, I was reminded of how much God cares for me…even in the little things and small choices like searching for a convenient parking spot. He sees the need and goes way beyond.

Now unto him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, amen. - Ephesians 3:20-12

It was a little rainy that night, but we pulled out our umbrellas and walked to the Wild Horse Saloon for dinner and a little line dancing. You can’t go to Nashville without line dancing, right?

The weekend remained a little rainy (a lot rainy at times) but we were blessed with a fun tour of the Belle Meade Plantation.

After the tour, it became “a lot rainy” so we did what any girl would do on a rainy at The Mall at Green Hills. We shopped up an appetite and made our way to Sunset Grill for what turned out to be our favorite meal of the trip.

I had the kale salad with grilled chicken for dinner…

…and the chocolate sushi for dessert!

Closing out the evening was a show at The Grand Ole Opry…what a fun time! Performances that night included The Band Perry, comedy by Henry Cho and a stunning performance by Carrie Underwood. 

The next day we ate a delicious breakfast at the Pfunky Griddle…in my opinion, this is a must do when in Nashville, but arrive early. We had to wait about an hour for seating, but it was well worth
the wait! They offer gluten-free pancakes and French toast, which was very tempting, and when I go back again I will definitely give one of those options a try. Plus you have a griddle on your table where you cook your own pancakes, toast and eggs...I chose a balanced meal of chicken salad and fruit salad, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

After brunch, we toured The Ryman Auditorium. This is also a must do! Simply walking in to the auditorium put chills all over me. There was a sense of power in that place and I enjoyed learning about the history while walking around in the auditorium.

The last thing on the agenda was shopping for boots…

On Saturday evening we drove back as far as Birmingham so that we could get up and attend The Church at Brook Hills on Sunday morning. The service was enlightening, uplifting and thought provoking. After a stop at Whole Foods for lunch and a few groceries, we were on our way home! It was a fun summer getaway filled with choices and blessings. Which brings me back to my word of the year, Remember. Today I am remembering a fun summer vacation and taking time to reflect and remember all the ways God has led me, loved me, taught me, changed me...truly He is my source and my strength, always with me, reassuring me as my source of security and hope.  

I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand....For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand...fear not...I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. - Isaiah 41: 10-14

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