Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tennessee Wrap-up!

Wow, who would have thought I was going to be SO busy in the month extra we ended up having in Knoxville!

As some of you know, it was our plan to move to Texas by October 1rst after the vote went through positively on September 18th. While we were incredibly enthusiastic about getting on with life and heading to Amarillo, as gut check with all that needed to be done forced us to look a little differently.

First, one of the realities of life in Texas revolves around fires. While Amarillo has escaped the big fires you heard about on TV recently, they're are smaller ones that pop up all over that you never even hear about. One such fire took the home of a family of Beautiful Savior. Lucky for them, the parsonage had been vacated by that point. They have been able to live there while they rebuild their house - which was completely destroyed during the fire. While they have been in the house since April or so, as you can imagine, construction can only happen so fast. When everything about our call started to fall into place, we noticed things weren't falling in as smoothly as we all would have liked. After a number of suggestions of how to treat the family in the parsonage fairly (amongst other things) we all agreed we wouldn't move until November. While initially I (Betsy) was pretty bummed, God has a plan that kept us here where we were most needed.

And so, here are some of the amazing gifts God gave us during our extended stay.

We enjoyed the rain tremendously. Reminding ourselves we wouldn't see much of it in Texas, we find ourselves constantly giving thanks to God for this remembrance of baptism. BUT then, ONE day, were blessed to see, you got it, a DOUBLE RAINBOW!

 While you can't see it well in this photo, trust me, it was pretty awesome. Here is a faith-sharing video from Stephen and myself - a la Andrew Glibbery. It is profound. 

This was our view. Behind the trees is the beautiful Lake Norris.
 The week before BSLC voted to call Stephen, we spent some time at the Brook's (family friend) lake house. We enjoyed as much of those mountains as we possibly could. It was a BEAUTIFUL week. With a slight chill in the air, Stephen rode his bike on the trainer on the porch (mine, not the wind tunnel some of you remember from Seminary). I enjoyed the breeze and spent HOURS upon HOURS sleeping, reading, and doing crosswords in the hammock. We made a pot full of chili and ate it all week. It was always accompanied by a fire in the fire place with roasted marsh mellows. It proved to be the most relaxing week ever!

Stephen straddling Virginia and Kentucky.

While there, we took a day to visit Cumberland Gap. Right now, you're looking at Virginia and Kentucky. Yes, it was even more beautiful in person.

October arrived swiftly, and we were EVEN more thankful that we were able to spend more time around here.

Among one of our extra pleasures was attending a UT football game. Before you laugh, it was the only game they have won yet...against Buffalo. Ok, ok, you can laugh! But we enjoyed the walk from St. John's (Free parking! Thanks ya'll!) Here is the famous World's Fair Ball from 1984. A Knoxville icon.

Below is a beautiful skyscape picture from Stephen, taken on our walk on the way to Neyland Stadium.

For that early in October, it was a chilly day. We were way up in the stadium and the wind would gust and chill you to the bone. We left around the third quarter. It was looking good by then, and we had a long walk back to St. John's. Below you'll see me at an end zone.

And this was the scene of everyone else leaving at the middle of the third quarter. :-)

 And this is Stephen acting welcoming in his orans position outside the arch of St. John's parking lot. 

We spent the rest of the month catching up with old friends and spending LOTS of time with family. I got to head over the mountains to Hickory, NC (Home of Lenoir-Rhyne University) to visit my best friend from L-R and her husband in their new house. We had a fabulous time. It was oh-so-good to get to see her one last time before switching time zones.

We move Saturday, and I KNOW you're thinking, really? You're posting without putting ordination pictures up. Well my friends, that is more than can fit in this lengthy post, and think we can ALL agree it deserves a post of it's own!

Packing is going well, but we're saving tonight for one last memory of my all-time favorite things to do in Knoxville. Oh yes, ladies and gents, it's the start of men's basketball season, and tonight, there is an exhibition game against Carson-Newman. With a new coach, we're praying this one goes well because, well, to put it in perspective. Lenoir-Rhyne regularly plays Carson-Newman and considers it one of it's biggest rivals. So in part, I pull for UT because I'm from Knoxville, and my brother is an alum. But, part of me wants Carson-Newman to win for all of us Division II liberal arts schools. That and the Knoxville Friedrich's have pretty much adopted Liza Hawkins, and by nature, I must cheer for Carson-Newman as well! (Shout-out to Liza!!!!)

So tomorrow is loading day, and then internet will be spotty. When we get digital copies of official ordination photos I'll post. I hear there are some on facebook and Jim's blog.

Now, off to finish last minute packing! 

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