Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Tuesday around town


Happy Tuesday, friends! I have a question for those of you reading this and who write on a blog—would you be interested in joining a link-up through me? I've tried this before and it did not work well at all...and it takes some figuring out and scheduling on my end, so I'd love an honest opinion from you on this topic. This idea came to me as I prayed yesterday. I was thanking the Lord for the people He has put in my path that have been reading my blog and encouraging me lately and I was able to name of those of you whom I feel like are friends in real life, even if we're spread across the country. And that got me to thinking how much I'd love to take a tour of the town you reside in right now...if we can't do that in person, what better way than through a blog link-up?

So think about it and let me know your thoughts. This would be a bi-monthly thing. (Updated to say that I went ahead and went with it and created an inlinz party for anyone who wants to join in.)

That being said, I thought I'd share about my hometown that I lovingly refer to as The Ville. I live in Collierville, Tennessee and have the privilege of being able to tell you that I grew up here and stayed here my whole life. Our claim to fame here is that in 2014, Parade magazine awarded us with the "best main street in America". I'll include a link here for you to read about what the pros had to say about our little town. 

We are located near Memphis, but far enough away that it feels different here. We have close to 50,000 residents residing here, according to a couple of online sources that I looked at, but the thing about The Ville that is truly magical is that it feels like a small town. We have the most charming town square that I actually visit pretty regularly, we have an outdoor mall, churches on every corner, a wonderful municipal school system, and the prettiest public places and spaces. We have strict rules on signage here in The Ville and it has to be kept below a certain height. We have zero billboards and I am glad for that. Our power lines run underground in most of the neighborhoods and we're established enough that we do well out here on the edge of our county. I literally grew up here and I'd be thrilled to stay here for the rest of my days, or as the long as the Lord would have me here. 

In the coming weeks I'll share some pictures of the locations I mentioned that I love, along with some personal stories to go with them, but this week I am sharing about my favorite place and home away from home: my church.

It's hard to believe that we've been attending Collierville First Baptist Church for ten years. Jonah and Noah were eight years old and finishing up their second grade year in elementary school, Drew was eleven and finishing the fifth grade and Graham was twelve and finishing sixth grade. The further we get in time, the less everyone remembers our old church that the boys were all born into or grew up in during their earlier years of childhood. It became important to us to attend a church in the community we lived in and the boys were always wanting to go with their friends from school who would invite them for certain events. Ever since Graham was six years old, our kids played recreational sports here, even though we were not attenders at that time. 

I always served in whatever ministry my sons were in, which I feel is extremely important. That means I've worked in the nursery at our old church and I've served with the children's and youth ministries. I spent many a week as a kids' camp counselor and heading up a portion of VBS or backyard kids' clubs. I've been a Sunday school (Bible fellowship) co-teacher and youth volunteer. I've co-led community groups for teenagers, I've traveled with youth to camps in Florida and North Carolina, I've been on a mission trip with my church, my sons have been on mission trips, I've volunteered to fill in for a season in the nursery, I've volunteered my time as an assistant in the women's ministry, I've helped decorate the church for Christmas, I've sung and helped lead worship in church on Sunday mornings and for Bible study and women's conferences—you name it, I've done it. I feel blessed to be able to say all of that, by the way, because it's important to go and serve others within the body of Christ.

I love the people that make up this body of believers. I love the pastors and staff and I pray for them so very often. I've seen a lot of staff and pastors come and go, but I can say with confidence that even though change is hard, it's okay and necessary to grow. Most of you know me pretty well and how much I hate goodbyes. We've said goodbye to some incredible worship pastors, but I'm grateful for being able to serve and worship under each one who led. I learned things with each of them and I'll always consider them friends. We have a new worship pastor now and I'm so thankful for him and his sweet family. Change is always necessary.

We've seen a lot of change with youth pastors, as well, which I feel is very normal. My sons have sat under some solid teaching and I am so grateful that they can say that and for the friendships they formed with their leaders at the time they were in youth. I have sat under their teaching and preaching as well, during the years I spent with the youth and I was always thankful for what they did for the youth leaders to help us deepen and grow our relationship with the Lord. One in particular was always giving us great books to read on spiritual leadership that I still have and read today. 

I have prayed with these people, poured into some of these people, laughed with them and cried with them. I've traveled with them and become the "new kind of friends" because of the state we saw each other in (at camp, in a swimming suit, or on a dusty field in Arizona) and I will forever hold them close in my heart. The wonderful thing about being a part of the family of  God is that we'll always be family—even when people come and go, even though things change. I can say this about people from our old church and old pastors that I've seen come and go.

My time spent attending church has not been perfect and there are frustrations that popped up here and there, but the Lord always reminds me to get my eyes back on Him instead of the circumstances going on around me. He is quick to remind me that people are imperfect and everyone will eventually let me down. Jesus is the only One who never will.

At this time in my life, I have the pleasure of being able to serve in two areas that I love—in helping with leading in worship on Sundays and Wednesdays, either in choir or on a praise team and by helping write Bible studies with a team of four other ladies for women anywhere who want to study the Word of God.

I promise that I do not take either of these things lightly. I truly consider them an honor to be able to do and I am willing to do them both for as long as the Lord wants me to. I always have to pray and ask the Lord to help me guard and protect my heart...I never want to be prideful about either of these things and I want to do them both for His glory. He alone is worthy of praise and honor! I consider it a blessing that He allows me to serve in these ways and if you ever want to know how you can pray for me, pray with me about what I wrote above. I always want to make sure that my heart is in the right place and that I am never after the approval or applause of man. I want to pour out the talents that the Lord gave me for Him, I never want to waste them or take them for granted. 

Some of my favorite events are held around Christmas.

Tablescapes is a yearly women's event that I love, when women volunteer to decorate tables and we enjoy dinner together and a night of Christmas music. I also always love whatever our Pastor preaches through in that season and I love our Christmas Adam or Eve candlelight service. 

Twice a year we have picnics on our property and one thing I love most is that there are ALWAYS people there inside the building. Lots of people work there, but there are always events taking place inside, either for the people that attend there or as part of something for our town. Just last week a luncheon was held there for town officials and the chamber of commerce. We have lots of Bible studies and Bible fellowship classes to offer and there is even a gym that people can use to work out in for free. Don't trust the treadmills, though—ask me how many times I've almost face planted on one when it abruptly stopped on me. There's a walking track above the gym and when it's too hot or cold outside, you'll find most of my sons there playing or watching basketball games.

I love that it's a hubbub of activity for our community and I LOVE that we have a cross standing on our property that towers over everything in town. It's what we're known for and I'm so glad the town approved for us to have something like that. It's not a perfect place with perfect people inside, but you'll always be welcomed with open arms, you'll hear sound teaching and preaching, you'll hear great music. and you'll find something you're looking for either for yourself or for those in your family. We have a new S.H.IN.E. ministry that is incredible— "seeing Him in everyone" is our special needs ministry from children on up to adults. 

I hope you've enjoyed learning a little about the place where I spend most of my time outside of my home. I feel so honored to able to say all of these things about a place I love to be. I could talk about this all day, but if you have any questions or want to reach out about finding a church near you, please comment or email me. I'd love to talk to you more. I'll end with one last thought—find you a church home and plug in to a small group! It's so important, especially in this day and age. 

Thank you for reading my blog! I'd love to hear from you. Love to all! ❤ 

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  1. I loved reading about your town and church (I wondered what town you lived in (not as creepy as it sounds as I promise I am not a stalker or anything!)). Your town sounds delightful- do post pictures sometimes if you get a chance and I liked reading about your church and your involvement in it over the years. It sounds like a wonderful place to worship.

  2. Thanks, Maria! That's funny. I don't think you're stalking. Ha! I do love our little (big) town. I especially love it in the fall and Christmas...someone has referred to it as Stars Hollow- did you ever watch Gilmore Girls? Or maybe like a Hallmark movie town. I feel very fortunate to live here! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I so love your post. It sounds like you live in a wonderful town and also have a wonderful church. I agree that it is so important to be part of a church and also a small group. I love the idea of this and who knows...maybe I'll link up sometime. I'm not sure I could do it justice like you, but I do love my town and my church too.

  4. Thanks, Cathy! We do for sure love it here and we love our church family! I hope you join in with me sometime! Thanks for stopping by!


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