Does anyone remember the old days of blogging?  Back when this whole blogging thing was somewhat new and we didn’t really know what to do with it?  You know… before analytics, hits, branding, and marketing became the primary focus?  I’ve been a fan of blogs for years, but I really miss the old days (or so I call it) of blogging where we weren’t simply given content, but we were given something more authentic, and many times, a fresh look into their lives.  Many of us have learned the hard way of what to share and what not to share on the internet, and I support that motion 100%, but there was something raw and real about the old days.  I don’t know.  I woke up reminiscent this morning, so I want this blog post to be more like that.

This weekend, we hiked to Stillhouse Hollow Falls just out of Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee.  Ashlynn and I both had the craziest of weeks.  I can’t speak for Ashlynn, but for me, it was one for the record books.  I headed home Friday afternoon simply dumbfounded by the events that had unfolded over the week.  If I’m honest, it’s like this every year around this time, but this week got to me on a different level.  For me, (in true enneagram 7 style) escaping is my coping mechanism.  So, Saturday morning, we got up, had breakfast, headed just south of Nashville to enjoy the day.  This hike was incredible, very short, just around a mile and a half.  Coming back is completely uphill, and it reminded that I was in much better shape when we hiked Mt. Leconte a few years ago.  After that, we drove to Mt. Pleasant and walked around Main Street before heading back to Nashville.  It was refreshing getting outdoors, even if only a few miles south of where we live.

This weekend reminded me of two things I’d like to share:

  1.  Take time to rest.  One of my favorite things is to hit the open road with Ashlynn to places we’ve never been.  It feeds my soul, and friends, we must invest the time to feed our souls and allow ourselves the rest we need to do the work God lays in front of us.  The quote, “You can’t pour from an empty cup” is so cliche’, yet so true.  God has given us all a task, and we have to remember to take care of ourselves so that we can do the work!  And don’t believe the lie that it’s a selfish thing to do.  I’ve learned as I’m turning into an old man that I do my best work when I allow myself to rest.  It may look like something completely different for you.  For me, it’s traveling near and far, spending time with the people that know me best, being outdoors, reading, writing, and cooking.  Find what feeds your soul and allow yourself permission to spend time doing those things.
  2. Keep doing the work.  This week, I’ve been cussed out, chewed out, and lied about to my leadership team.  This world will bring you down, but please remember that we’re not of this world.  We are set apart.  Remember that.  And when the world has torn you to pieces, take time to rest, get back up, and keep fighting.  If you are at all compassionate, caring, generous, you will get hurt.  It’s inevitable, but please keep doing the work, making a difference where we work and live.  We need people like you to show us glimpses of God’s love.  Without the work you’re doing, what kind of world would we live in?  We need people that show love to others.  We need people that want to help others.  We need people that get up everyday and do the work despite the toxic environment they’re in so that others can find their way.

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