No, I am not going to write a daily diary of what happened each of the past thirteen days! (Did I hear a collective sigh of relief?) That doesn’t mean this won’t be a long post. 😜
In my last Trip Log, I wrote that I was in Chattanooga for a couple of weeks. I’ll tell you more about that in a moment. But first…
Let me back up to our week in Ashburn, VA.
My dear husband had three days of difficult and important meetings. He is on the board and executive committee of an industry trade association. This organization represents companies throughout the heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and ventilation industries. They help set standards, lobby congress on behalf on the industry, and assure that products meet standards set by the industry and the government.
Wednesday afternoon he came “home” to our hotel and said, “I’ve finished three days of hard meetings and I want to celebrate! Let’s go out for a nice dinner and see a show!” He then mentioned a few live theater options and a few movies he was interested in seeing.
Instead of putting on a smile, congratulating him on a job well done, and hopping in the shower to get ready to out with the man I love, I sat there and talked about the ugly messages we had received. I shared my feelings and hurt. I rehashed the whole thing over and over. I refused to go out. We ordered pizza.
Ladies, I WAS WRONG! So very wrong!
And, yes, I have since apologized and asked his forgiveness.
There was nothing we could do that night to change this person’s view of us. We could not change the situation by staying in the hotel and being depressed. Yet that is exactly what I chose to do. And I dragged my dear husband with me. I should have supported him. I should have celebrated with him. I should have gone out to dinner with him. And maybe, just maybe, going out with him might have helped get me out of my funk. Complaining about the ugly things said and rehashing it all certainly did not help.
I am grateful for the wise gal I spoke with later that night, after Ron had gone to sleep.
Why am I writing about this now? Because I want to remember what to do next time.
There will be a next time! It may not look the same, but in my life, I seem to keep getting the same test over and over until I get it right. I want to get this one right next time! I want to put aside the ugliness and choose to enjoy being with the man I love in the time we have together.
Now, on to Chattanooga.
Tuesday, May 10
I spent part of the morning working on homework. Then I went by Precept Ministries International (PMI) offices to see a sweet lady whose husband died five weeks ago. I love this gal! I hugged her and told her how sorry I was. I got to love on her a bit and hear stories of God’s grace in her husband’s last few days. I’m glad.
Then I went to lunch with Meredith’s mother-in-law, Marsha. We had never really spent any time together, but she knew I was in town alone, so she called and invited me to lunch. Having never really gotten to know her, I though it would be a quick lunch. Nope. We sat and talked for four hours! I love my new friend! I am so glad my daughter has such an amazing woman in her life! And I really needed to be with someone who likes me! We laughed and talked and shared our common struggles along with testimonies of how God has helped us through them. Yet another reason I love Chattanooga! I have a wonderful new friend!
I went up to hang out with Meredith and her family that evening. I won’t bore you with stories of how darling my grandchildren are. Trust me. They are darling!
Wednesday and Thursday
My mornings were spent in class at PMI. Our study of James was great…and convicting! Afternoons were spent completing my homework so I wouldn’t have to do any homework after Thursday evening when I went with Meredith to buy groceries for my family for the next week.
Friday through Thursday, Family Reunion Time!
We rented two cabins at Hidden Hollow Resort in Chickamauga, Georgia. About forty-five minutes southwest of PMI. Ron and our second oldest daughter arrived Friday night. Adam came in late that night. David arrived about four in the morning. Only one son couldn’t come due to previous commitments.
Saturday morning we all went to Elijah’s baseball game. I picked up Marsha on my way from class. We had a great time cheering on the teams. No score was kept, so everyone was a winner! My sons and daughters had a great time playing with their nephews and holding Lucy. I took Marsha home then my family all went back to the cabins that afternoon, even the ones who live on Lookout Mountain.
We spent the next few days at Hidden Hollow Resort.
Sunday some of us went to church then I went to class while everyone else went to the cabins for naps and playtime. We all had dinner together on picnic tables.
Each morning, I got up and drove into class. I was there through lunch then drove back to Hidden Hollow. The aunts and uncles introduced the boys to catching crawdads, fishing, shooting a BB gun, building dams in the creek and much more! My husband and I had a great time watching our kids and grandkids play. There was canoeing, hiking, Nerf wars, frog catching and snake hunting. Long conversations took place on the porch after the grandkids were in bed. It was lovely!
One uncle discovered that the boys had never had S’mores! So the next morning, right after breakfast, they built a camp fire and introduced their nephews to a new treat.
If you are ever looking for a fun place to stay in north Georgia, I highly recommend Hidden Hollow Resort! The large pond is spring feed and full of fish. It is quiet and peaceful, except when my adult sons are having a Nerf war with their squealing nephews.
One daughter left Monday. One son left Wednesday. Mark and Meredith and their family went back to their home Wednesday. The other son and youngest daughter left Thursday. Ron and I moved into a hotel closer to my class.
Thursday morning while I was in class, Ron went to the children’s museum with the grandsons.
We had a wonderful time with our family. I love them dearly!
Friday, May 20. Chattanooga
Ron has never been a part of a Precept class, so I invited him to join me for the final session of the James Study Program (with permission from the instructors). We had a great discussion and wrap up of the study. Ron was taking notes fast and furiously! I am seriously jealous of his typing skills!
We ate lunch with my fellow students and Ron got to meet many of the folks he has heard much about over my years of coming for Study Programs.
After lunch we talked with three of my fellow students. These guys are from Nigeria. They were amazed that our youngest daughter’s middle name is from our Nigerian friend. One of them said I don’t look like I would even know any Nigerians! We had a great time laughing and sharing stories. Then the five of us stood and prayed together. It was beautiful! These men, like our beloved friend Ruth, know the God to whom they speak when they pray! They know scripture. They believe He hears their prayers. I want to be just like them when I grow up!
I think Ron may join me for the Galatians Study Program in July! Yeah!
We had planned to head to Memphis as soon as we finished in class. But then Meredith called and asked if we could babysit Friday evening. You can guess our answer.
We drove to Memphis Saturday.
Sunday, May 22. Cordova, Tennessee. (A suburb of Memphis)
We attended Grace Presbyterian Church this morning. I loved it! Wonderful hymns, kind people, and a great message which we discussed the whole way back to our hotel.
Then we rode our bikes on the Shelby County Greenway. I’m not sure of the official name. It was a beautiful day for cycling.
Tomorrow Ron goes back to work after a week of playing. I’ll be in the hotel working on a study of Jude. I’m leading it starting May 31, so I need to get started on the homework! In the afternoon I’m meeting a couple of While We’re Waiting moms for coffee. New friends! What fun!
Tuesday, after Ron finishes his appointments, we will start the drive towards Texas. We hope to spend the night in Hot Springs so we can see friends Wednesday before driving the rest of the way home.
We plan to be home until the Galatians Study Program in July! Seven weeks at home!
When we get home Wednesday night, I will have been gone thirty-five days. I wonder if my dogs will recognize me.