It’s not hard to pick a highlight from September – our family vacation in Pigeon Forge is a highlight of the year! This was only our second family vacation since my sister and I have been married and we all had the best time.
We recreated the picture from our first Pigeon Forge vacation (my nephews were in the stroller in the first picture!).
We had the best time just hanging out at our condo, swimming, eating, watching football, and being together!
We spent part of an afternoon and evening at Dollywood. It’s a beautiful theme park with loads of Southern charm!
My mom’s Christmas cookie decorating contest was such a hit last year that we decided to do a game tournament for this vacation! We kept score with all the board games and mini golf that we played and awarded first and second prize (to my sister and my mom, in that order).
I shared about our delicious meals and the fun times at Paula Deen’s store in previous posts so I won’t go into that again here. It was such a wonderful trip that caused my heart to echo these words:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” (Ephesians 3:14, James 1:17)
We also enjoyed some fun date nights this month – supper in our charming little downtown and a southern gospel concert!
We were able to visit this lovely September 11th memorial on the campus where we both graduated college. They set out one flag for each life that was lost that day.
While the highlights from our family vacation and the fun date nights might make it appear that my life is perfect, let me assure you that it is not. Some days are long and hard. I choose to focus on the highlights here because that’s what I want to remember! 🙂
In this month’s Bible reading I’ve found so much practical help and encouragement from 1 and 2 Timothy as well as from my old friend, the prophet Jeremiah. Both Paul and Jeremiah were alone as they faced hatred, persecution and “unprecedented times” in their nation. Paul said:
At my first defense, no one stood by me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that I might fully preach the word and all the Gentiles might hear it. (2 Timothy 4:16-17)
If you feel like you’re alone in your trial, take comfort in the presence of God. He is with you! Not only that, you have the community of believers, including Jeremiah and Paul, who are testimonies of God’s grace and strength in the midst of trials.
All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us. Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us. (Hebrews 11:39-12:1)
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