Just had to share about the incredible time I had in East TN last weekend. Was blessed to be invited back to the church that Mandi, the kids, and I attended for about 6 years while we lived there. Impact Fellowship in Maryville. It was so cool seeing so many familiar faces and let me tell you, Impact Fellowship is doing "it" right. So excited for them.
So I flew up on Thursday. Greeted at baggage claim by my friend and pastor, Greg. Have one of those friends that no matter how long you are apart, the instant you see them it's like no time has passed? Yep that's how it is with me and Greg. After retrieving my bag, his awesome wife and my dear friend - aka my sister from another mister - pulled up. We loaded up and headed to their place. Now they live in the country straight up and for those of you that know me well...um anyway. :) It's so beautiful out there. There are no photos that do justice to the natural backdrop behind their home. It's like the most awesome postcard you have ever seen with a little touch of Heaven mixed in. As we pulled up, the boys had a nice fire going outside and they whipped out the hot dogs, chili, cheese, chips, and other goodies. Yep we cooked hot dogs over an open fire. Those were simply some of the best hot dogs I've ever eaten. After dinner we headed to the basement where it was just me, Laura, Jacob, and Andrew. We had a little "pre-rehearsal, reunion, get your praise on like hot-buttered popcorn", jam session. It was so much fun.
On Friday I got up and headed out for a little run. After making up a rather long and steep hill, I hit the main road. About 50 meters down the road I encountered about 4 dogs running around with no leashes. SOOOO I quickly turned around and headed back to the house. Stopped in to see Valerie, Connor, and Savannah on my way back. What a great family. Miss them so much but it was so good to see them. Hope I get to see Danny next time. Got caught up on a little work - boo! - and then Greg took me to lunch at El Jimador. Probably my family's favorite Mexican restaurant of all time. We had a great time catching up and Greg dropped some serious knowledge on a brother that I will always keep and cherish. That evening the rest of the band and praise team came over and we got our eat on again with some BBQ this time and then headed down for rehearsal. Wow what a great rehearsal we had. Probably one of the best I can remember from the like trizzilion rehearsals we had together in the past.
Saturday was a pretty chilled day. We did grab some Bella Roma pizza for lunch. Another Team Jackson favorite and Laura busted out with this pot roast that she had been cooking since the night before for dinner that was completely and totally off the chain. Wrapped up the evening watching TN football with Greg until we couldn't stand it anymore. :( Another tough game for the Vols. But I didn't really care because it was cool just sitting and hanging with my pastor. You know what I mean?
Of course Sunday was just incredible. The usual early morning start to go get set-up, rehearse, and then have church. The band and praise team are so talented and so committed and it is always an honor to sing with them. We had a nice lunch right after the service and I had a great time catching up with old friends and making some new ones. We held back the tears as we said goodbye at the airport. Although the sun was basically going down and Laura did have on some big ole sunglasses. Hmmm, LOL.
Oh yeah and of course we made two different trips to Sonic for fountain drinks while I was there.
I could write on and on and on but I won't. It was great!
The Howards are a special family, they took me in and I felt right at home from the first second I was there. So excited for Impact Fellowship and the wonders you all are going to see. Hope to see you all again soon and God bless.