Duane and I have spent the last two days at a conference for mental health ministries, creating a what/why/how blueprint for our church to launch a support group for individuals and their families who deal with mental illness. It is humbling and exciting – you can’t care for veterans, marriages, families, seniors, anyone without also caring for their emotional and mental well being. It doesn’t have to take money or staff – just a willingness to provide Community, Assistance, Resources, and Education (CARE). We are so grateful that our church leadership made it possible for us to attend this conference, and are looking forward to what God has planned!
But, before I head into today’s conference… lets hodgepodge!
1. What’s surprised you most about your life or life in general?
Oh wow… so many things. I don’t regret much – love being married to my husband and the adventure our life has been together, absolutely love being a mom, love my job as well. There are a couple of things I’m sad about that I would have never anticipated… but what are you going to do… deep breaths, pray, and keep moving forward.
2. Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie…you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?
A baked sweet potato please! yummm…..
3. What’s a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?
The Grapes of Wrath – and nope, I haven’t read it.
4. There are 60 days until Christmas…have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?
No I haven’t started shopping – added a couple of things to my Amazon wish list for the kids, but not actual shopping yet. I stay organized with the help of my assistant (Siri!), my calendar, and Amazon Prime!
5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you’d like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis’s Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee’s Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)
How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?
I’ve been to the Smoky Mountains – and oh my goodness, they were amazing! Haven’t been anywhere else in Tennessee…
6. Insert your own random thought here.
As many of you know, my husband’s non-profit develops low income housing and provides social services for the residents. One of his properties is in Rockport, Texas and suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey two months ago. All 150 residents are displaced while repairs are done to the property – which had just undergone a $2million renovation in June. My husband and his business partner flew in to assess the damage and meet the residents within 72 hours of the hurricane hitting, and will be going back out next week to check on the construction progress. I’m looking forward to seeing what has been done and hopefully have a projected date for when we can allow our residents to move back home. But oh, these poor people… they already don’t have much, they make around $10,000 a year if that… and now all of their belongings, furniture, appliances, mattresses, everything they own was damaged. We have set up a GoFundMe account so that we can help them get back on their feet, and it has been humbling to see how people from all over the nation have stepped up to help. One dear friend of mine, Zoanna, (who I met through the Hodgepodge!), has, along with several friends, been making pillowcases for all of the children in our property, so that when we have a “Welcome Home” party for them we can give them something special that has been made just for them, prayed over, and made with love. I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces! (And let me just say, my sweet friendship with Zo has been one of the greatest blessings through my blog – and it was so fun to finally talk with her on the phone and hear her voice for the first time as we talked over the particulars of the pillowcase project! Maybe this next year will be the year we can actually meet face to face!)
If you would like to see pictures of our property and what my hubby’s company does, check it out here: https://www.stepforwardcommunities.com