Their home was chic; yet the rooms were all filled with soft cushions, meaningful keepsakes and sweet photos that confirmed that it was clearly a real home. In a sought-after historic downtown, it sat in the middle of a big, gorgeous lawn with beautiful trees all around it. Watching the dogs and squirrels run around in the back yard, you’d never guess their home was just a few minutes from super-trendy restaurants and a busy night life. With their close friends, church and favorite restaurants all close by, this was CLEARLY the “perfect” house for such an fun and loving couple.
But the tragic death of her close friend lead to an uphill struggle in my friend’s life. After a dark season that a lot of us have experienced, my friend attended a Women’s Retreat with Ann Voskamp (author of the New York Times Bestseller, One Thousand Gifts). Before I tell you what happened as a result of that conference, I’ll give you a few ‘take-aways’ from the experience:
- Fear is in opposition to faith.
- Open our hands and be still; there are blessings all around us.
- Be still and accept where He has me.
- Taking risks brings rewards.
I won’t attempt to tell her story for her (although I’d LOVE for her to be a guest-blogger and share it with you one day), but I will tell you about a choice she made…
Although it seemed like a difficult decision, she choose to listen to the relentless press on her heart.
She choose to say goodbye to her friends, church family, neighbors and everything that made her life feel ‘safe‘.
She packed-up her home and moved into a small cabin hours away from everything familiar.
When I first heard about her move, I was SO happy for her I couldn’t hardly stand it. (Although we ALL get caught-up in technology, social media and crazy-busy schedules, I can’t help but think I’m NOT the only one who DEEPLY desires LESS distractions and more time to BE STILL.) ALL I wanted was to sit with her and hear every detail about this transition and how it has affected her life.
So, naturally, when she and her wonderful husband invited my family to stay the weekend with them at their cabin in the north Georgia mountains, I was, like, “Um… Yes. 100%. We’ll be there!”
The weekend was simply amazing…
- Driving into town the first night, we came across a mama bear and her cubs!
- We went to a REAL rodeo. And just like all the locals, we screamed, yelled and watched Ross and Rayna chase a cow until it finished at midnight. The kids, even Ruthie who was up 4 hours PAST her bedtime, loved every second of it!
- We enjoyed my friend’s amazing, home-cooked meals. (Most of which was all local, grass-fed/hormone-free and organic.)
- The kids got to play with goats, pigs and horses before sampling home-grown apples and peaches from the community.
- Oh, and then we got to watch a big, GORGEOUS black BEAR walk all around their backyard and watch us while we talked to him. (No biggie, right?!?!)
I wish I would have taken a million more pictures, but, honestly, no photograph would have been worth disrupting our deep conversations, lots of laughs and simply watching the kids enjoy nature and the animals around them.