i love free wifi

I know I sound like a broken record, but the last couple days have been crazy. We are living so moment-by-moment that I often forget what day it is! I feel like I began this trip without being fully prepared, honestly though I’m not sure one could ever fully prepare themselves for an adventure such as this. We set out with the heart of our mission being to love on individuals, to show that our world is not made up of a sea of faces, that each morning as we’re driving to school or to work or daycare or whatever the people all around us are living their own stories and experiencing feelings of excitement, joy, fear, hurt, and every other emotions that we ourselves feel on a daily basis. I myself am not the center of the universe… I’m not the leading role. Everyone is special. Everyone has their story to share. Its beautiful and difficult and exciting and surprising to be sharing in other peoples stories.

As we listen to people’s opinions on what love is the most frequent underlying answer, no matter the presentation, has been self-sacrifice. I feel like that’s what I’ve been learning as we travel. There are 4 of us and we are almost always together, we spend hours in the car together, we volunteer together, we eat together – and this is a beautiful thing – but none of us is perfect, I am very quick to admit there are things about me that are not lovely :) we see every side of one another. I’m learning to show love the most to Emily, Stan, and Jason. Because if I can’t be love to them there’s no way I can be love to strangers. Its hard, but I will be successful! Everywhere we go though people talk to us about being love to one another and encouraging one another and pointing out good things about one another. Being peaceful, patient, kind, gentle, and graceful. It’s been so helpful to have it pounded into our heads and hearts from every direction.

I guess to give a bit of a trip/travel update from my viewpoint…. Lets go back a little bit…Its Sunday in Knoxville and we’re leaving tomorrow. We’ve been planning on heading over to New Orleans but last minute find out that our housing plans aren’t going to work out. During the drive up to Knoxville on friday we had been listening to my dad on the radio and heard him mention that some of the Joy fm guys were planning on driving up to Nashville to deliver a bunch of tens that were donated by radio listeners for the homeless people that used to live in tent city. Savetentcity.com . but I didn’t really think much of it at the time. Fast forward back to Sunday in Knox, we’re having a group meeting and talking about New Orleans and somehow the information we had heard on the radio comes up and we decide to call my dad up and ask him about what they were doing in Nashville. We all felt like it could be a really awesome opportunity to help people out because of the flood and all the damage it caused so we changed our plans and found friends in Nashville to crash with.

We arrived in the Nash on Monday afternoon and hooked up with Otter Creek Church, who the Joy fm was working with, and agreed to help out the next day (Tuesday) and sort tent sizes and pass out tents and sleeping bags to homeless people. We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening getting to know the guys that we’re staying with (they have an awesome house! I love that it had so many musical instruments… it inspired me to start practicing guitar again when I go home… but that’s a whole story in itself… anyways), having dinner at SATCO, and meting new friends and asking them their thoughts on love :)

Tuesday morning we got up and helped out with the tents… it was a pretty crazy day for the church staff/members and we ended up sot of being put in charge of the whole process, which we weren’t expecting but it was totally cool, and we got to meet a number of awesome people; Bill and Kris from the Joy fm (Jason has a major friend crush on Kris :P ), Brian the creator of savetentcity.com and his crazy cool 10 year old son Anthony, Otter Creek Church members, and a missionary named Joseph who works with Youth With a Mission teaching classes about discovering your calling and purpose at different Universities of the Nations around the world. I believe Emily wrote a lot about our visit with him in her most recent post.

Next we headed to get dinner. My sister, Grace, attends Belmont University here in Nashville and she highly recommended a café called Silly Goose for some good fresh food (yay!). It was a little bit more expensive than we really wanted but we decided to go ahead and try it out anyways.

[quick side note: a silly goose is carrot apple ginger juice, which basically = me (by which i mean those are some of my favorite things) I thought that was awesome].

So, sitting at a table near us were these super trendy Nashville guys

(honestly I think everyone in nashville is trendy… we felt mildly out of place :P stevie lewis you must visit Nashville! :D )

when their food arrived they stopped to pray for it and we all got really excited! We immediately started trying to figure out a way to go talk to them… we thought about walking by their table and dropping a business card on the floor and then picking it up and being like, “ohh is this yours?!” ooor maybe praying really loudly for our food and looking over to see if they noticed…. In the middle of all of this conversation Jason got up and walked over to their table and said, “Maybe this is awkward but…” blah blah and gave our Love Each One schpeel. AND THEN they invited us to a party. Crazy right? But they did. We later went back to the house and we invited our new friend Jordan, who was sort of living with the guys we were staying with, along too.

The 5 of us headed over around 10 something ish. As we got out of the car and headed towards the door I had butterflies in my stomach… I was always really shy and its only been in the past 2 years that I’ve become more bold and confident. I feel like though if I had been by myself I might have just turned around and run home before I got to the front door, as silly and sad as that is. I’m very thankful that everyone was with me and that we went in because it was wonderful. We made some very good friends and had some good good heart to heart to heart time :) I love Nashville! I’m hoping to drive back up in august with my sister when she goes back to school.

Anyways, Wednesday we drove over to Shreveport, LA to check out Moonbot Studios and continue to show some love. It was really cool touring the studio, I had never done that before… it’s a whole new world to me. We stayed with friend/ringling grad/moonbot-er Adam and that was really fun, it was cool how excited he was to hang out with us and show us around the city. We also got to help set up a gallery show in which all of the work was made using bubble wrap which was cool, its different from any of the other volunteery things we’ve done.

As I sit here writing we are in Tulsa, Ok at the Coffee House on Cherry Street. I just finished drinking an amazing chai/chocolate/coffee drink that is currently nameless and was created by Nick who is an awesome barista who goes to Rhema. Thank you Nick and Jessica for serving us and hanging out with us tonight!

Last night we went to Stan’s sister Victoria’s graduation and finished the night with a dance party. We decided we should have more dance parties in our future.

as I post this we have just arrived in Wichita, KS where we are staying with our lovely friend Emily B :)

I’m sorry this post has been so very long… we will be updating much more frequently in the future so that we don’t have to throw so much stuff at you all at once!

Good night!


ps: Jordan – we’ve got a seat with your name on it in our car if you feel like taking a break from work at any point :D


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