Nashville…but not like the t.v. show

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

      If you've ever been on a trip to Nashville, you're probably familiar with a small portion of it. Big lights, country music, cowboy boots…that's downtown. If you've ventured any farther you may know of the up and coming East Nashville. Full of musicians, cute houses, and trendy restaurants (hipster land). Or maybe you visited the college part of town-Vandy and Belmont. Cue backpacks and late night coffee shops. Then you have Brentwood, the wealthiest county in all of Tennessee. Lots of mansions and beautiful homes. And you can't leave Nashville without visiting historic downtown Franklin. A picturesque town with the cutest shops and eateries. Of course there's a lot more to Nashville that I'm not mentioning, and that's kind of my point...
      You see, there's a part of town that you probably didn't visit while being in Nashville. I'm not blaming you, after all it's not well known. There's a 6 mile stretch of road North of Old Hickory Road towards downtown. It's somewhat like an International Village. You'll see signs in Arabic, Nepali, Spanish, and more. And I could take you to a place where you could eat authentic Mexican tacos for 2 bucks. So what am I getting at?
Behind all these foreign stores and shops are apartments and neighborhoods full of international people.
      These are the people that have made me fall in love with Nashville. This is what I want people to know about Nashville. It's more than just a vacation destination, it's a mission field. The people who live in this area probably feel just as out of place here as you might if you were driving through this section of town. They're looking for someone to be their friend. Someone to help them get accustomed to our culture.
      So next time you find yourself in Music City, don't forget about these people. Step into their world for a bit. Shop in their local store. Volunteer through World Relief. Just show them some love.

I'm going to miss all the cultures I was surrounded by; the friendships I made, the food I tasted, and of course these sweet girls. Nashville is so dear to me and has made for an amazing 2 years here. It will always feel like home for Mitch and I. 
We said "goodbye" to Nashville in May when we moved out of our apartment, but we've been here several times since then and decided to fly out from here to Guatemala. Our official goodbye will be October 1st (NEXT tuesday!). Here's to one more week in Nashville! 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

 Visiting the University of Arkansas
Visiting the spot where Mitch proposed to me in Fayetteville, AR. Isn't it beautiful?! Good pick, Mitch! 

Tailgating at my first Razorback game. Woo pig sooie. Good thing they don't play Florida State, right? Then we'd be a house divided!

Meeting sweet baby Nathan. Sorry folks, it will be a while before you see us holding our own child. 

Packing for Guatemala! Don't be fooled, I did most (all) of the packing.

Lola wishes she could come with me…and I wish she could too :) 

Yummy country cookin'. This is the first local Nashville restaurant Mitch and I ate at when we first moved to Nashville and where we saw two famous people! 

Trek-X Launching Ceremony 

The 5 of us entered into Trek-X at the same time and now we are being "launched" into the world. David is continuing in Nashville, Sean and Steven are headed for Turkey and Mitch and I are off to Guatemala!

Mitch and I, Steven, Sean and David (and our new backpacks!)

These people are like family. So blessed to be a part of a Mobilizing Students and Trek-X.

On Saturday, our organization held a launching ceremony for the 5 of us being sent out. After a night of worship, prayer, and fellowship I felt so encouraged and humbled. I am surrounded by an amazing group of people who love Jesus. What an honor it is to serve with them! Mitch and I pray we can find a group of believers and friends to connect with in Guatemala. 

Our 5 months of traveling is almost over(!!!). We are in Nashville until the official move next month. While it has been fun to travel around where all our friends and family are, it has been so tiresome for me. The nomad's way of life is a lot more glamorous than it appears. I feel tired physically and emotionally, but the Lord has been so faithful. Each day we get a little closer to being in beautiful Guatemala! I am fully aware that we will have our own set of struggles in Guate, but I am just looking forward to being settled

Thank you to everyone praying for us as we prepare to leave the country in 2 weeks! 

Chris + Mary

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wedding photography is a lot of work. This was only my second wedding, but after the day was done I felt like I needed a good chiropractor from carrying heavy equipment all day. It is physically a tough job. But when I finished the photos and saw the outcome of my labor, it made it all worth it. It's so neat to me that I got to be a part of Chris and Mary's special day. 

Chris and Mary's story is a fun one! She was living in Memphis at the time and drove to Nashville just get some of Blue Coast Burrito's famous fruit tea. And Chris happened to work there! The rest I guess you could say is history. The wedding took place in Nashville, TN and the location/property was so beautiful. It was formerly the home of Hank Williams Sr. and is now a Korean church. Unfortunately it began raining as soon as we went outside to take Chris and Mary's photos, but thank God we squeezed in a few before it poured! The ceremony was so beautiful and Christ-centered. What a wonderful day of love. Hope you enjoy these beautiful photos!

How cool is it that Mary wore her mom's dress?

Mary surprised Chris with a song! So sweet! 

Chris and Mary, thanks for letting me be a part of your special day!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

We've been playing the waiting game over here and we're just patiently waiting for it to end. It was planned for us to leave the country September 17th, but now it has been extended to October 1st. I know it's only 2 weeks and it's not that big of a deal, but since we've been talking about this move for so long now we are just so ready. Mitch and I both know that God is sovereign and is in control. We are trusting in him fully, even when our plans change. We will spend our 2 week extension in Nashville (of course). We are so eager and excited to get to Guatemala we can't hardy stand it :)
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