Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tuesday -- the one where I talk about Sunday, parakaleó, and a God story


Happy Tuesday, friends! I thought I'd share about something fun I did on Sunday. I'll back up with a little of the backstory first. 

Most of you know I love worship music, I love books by godly authors that are relevant to me in this stage of life, and I love to be with girlfriends. All of those things combined for one perfect afternoon in Nashville on Sunday. I discovered on Friday (Thursday?) that my favorite blogger/author/podcaster Sophie Hudson was in Nashville speaking at a women's event at the church where Travis Cottrell leads worship. It was a free event, so Missy and I talked and decided we wanted to go. Add to that the fact that our friend Teresa lived nearby and that she wanted to go as well, and that's how we found ourselves in my car with bags of snacks for the road after church on Sunday, heading east toward Nashville. 

We had been planning on taking a weekend trip to go see Teresa soon, but we've never been able to nail down a date. We decided that we needed to go so that we could see her, even if it was just a quick day trip. We pulled out of the parking lot of our church at 12:30, we made one stop at the half way mark for gas and a restroom break, then we pulled into the Olive Garden around 4:00. We decided on a location that we knew would have great food, and that wasn't too far from the church where the event was held. It was so good to see our dear friend!

We ate a delicious early dinner, then left in plenty of time to drive to the church, and get spots at a table. 

I had to take a picture of the steeple. Did you know that I have a thing for them? Missy had ridden with T, so I had time to kill since I beat them there. 

I'm so glad we left after church, because if not for that, I might not have remembered to bring a Bible and my journal. Here we are about to go inside! I'd gotten directions from a sweet lady who told me where to park and which door to enter. Brentwood Baptist Church is huge! It's also beautiful. 

Because I love women's ministry, I took pictures of this to show my friend Amy, our director of women's ministry. Some things that I love and took note of: I loved how the tables were decorated simply. Also, all that was served at this event were bottles of water and "friendship tea". I also love that they had a craft planned for us to do while we waited.

And I loved that they do everything with a QR code! I laughed over this picture below, because they were comparing grandchildren. They each have grands that are either a young toddler, or a baby. Yes, I am younger than them both. 🤣

We made friendship bracelets! The name of the event was Gather. 

We had a time of worship, which was amazing, then Sophie took the stage.

Many of you know Sophie from her role in the podcast, The Big Boo Cast. I know her from the early days of blogging, where she was Boo Mama, Melanie Shankle was Big Mama, and when Travis Cottrell joins in, he's known as Fry Daddy. 🤣I love both of the ladies I mentioned, and have read their blogs since I knew who they were. They've both written several books, of which I've read them all and they're working on new books that will come out in 2024. I have had the privilege of meeting them both!

Here's when I got to meet Melanie, and this is one of my favorite books of all time that she wrote.

And here's when I got to meet Sophie, when she came to my area, and one of my favorite books that she authored.

Missy and I traveled to Dallas to meet Melanie and her best friend Gulley, which is also when we went to McKinney. We had the most fun on that trip and it was our first best friends trip when it was just us as adults and not as youth leaders with a bus full of teenage girls. Sophie was here in our area the night I met her, and to this day, that was one of my favorite events ever. Both of these ladies are similar, but I relate to everything that Sophie says, and her accent just makes her even more endearing. She is one of the most funny people I've ever heard speak. 

It's funny that even though we wanted to do this and go and have fun together, the reason that we went was because our friend needed some girlfriend time. She's gone for months without seeing friends from here, and it was way past time to remedy that. Oddly enough, Sophie talked about a word that summed up the whole evening—parakaleó, which means to encourage, to exhort, to admonish, or console. It was such a wonderful and encouraging afternoon and evening, and it was worth the seven hours spent in the car in one short span of time in a day. We weren't really sure about going to this, for just the one day and coming back that evening, but it because obvious that the Lord wanted us to do this, and He made the way for us to be able to go. He worked out every detail and amount of time, down to the minutes. Isn't He sweet to do that for us? He certainly doesn't have to, but He knows what we need even when we don't. We all needed that time together, and we needed to be encouraged. Basically, we parakaleó-ed so that we could be parakaleó-ed. How amazing is the Lord??? He never ceases to amaze me. 

He's such a good and loving Father to us! So that's my story from the week about a kiss from the King. I love hearing God-stories, don't you? Do you have one to share? I'd love to hear it, if so! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 🖤


  1. What a fun trip! I'm so jealous that you're just a few hours from Nashville! I haven't been to a women's conference in years, but I used to love doing those kinds of things with friends and family. I would go to the Women of Faith every year, many years ago.

    I bet y'all were tired, but in the best of ways, when you got home :)

  2. What an amazing trip and absolutely a blessing from the big guy- thank you for sharing!

  3. Debbie, it was so much fun! I have to confess that we do get to go to that area pretty often. It's about three hours from where I live, so it's nothing at all to make a quick trip there and back, either for a day or over the span of one night. I love that you went to the Women of Faith conferences! I never went to one, but I know I'd have loved going. I slept so good that night!

  4. Holly, it was a blast, and you are so right. I hope you have a great day!

  5. I'm so happy for you all...that God treated you with that wonderful time together! Thanks for sharing the story with us. I love to be reminded how God pieces everything together for us like that.

  6. Thank you, Cathy! Isn't He so good to us all? I love hearing stories like that too. You should do this on your blog, I'd love to read one such thing from you!

  7. Oh my goodness, what a fun weekend! So fun to hear her speak!

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  9. I love that you got to hear and meet Sophie. I also follow her blog!

    One question: Who led the worship? It looks like two of the singers are a couple that attends church with me (when they aren't traveling to sing/lead worship). If so, wow, what a small world!!

  10. What a fun weekend. I would love to hear Big Mama and Boo mama speak!

  11. What an amazing and purposeful getaway!


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