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Somehow Jeff and I are blessed to do our “dream jobs.”  I shouldn’t say “somehow”…  we obviously know we wouldn’t have gotten here without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Four winters ago, I sat with one of my high school best friends in a Starbucks back in Illinois, and we both joked about moving to Nashville to work – – her in some avenue of journalism and me in Christian music.  To this day I still cannot remember where that thought originated or when I first talked about it.  Over ten months later, I was in Nashville.  Not working in Christian music… yet… but I was in Nashville.  That came six months later!  Oh, and my friend, she ended up North… way North.  I’m grateful to be where it’s warm!

As for Jeff, he has always had a heart for missions.  After graduating college, he spent a year traveling the U.S. and a month in Taiwan doing music ministry through CTI Music Ministries.  After that, he came down to Nashville to do something with music or ministry.  Oh, and to supposedly chase a girl.  He landed an almost full-time job in music, selling resources to youth ministers.  But those of you who know Jeff well know he is not meant for a cubicle and the 9-5.  What we thought was a lost opportunity to work for a missions organization came back about six months later at Adventures In Missions.  Now he works full-time there at AIM as Director of Marketing.  As he likes to put it, he’s a mobilizer – – he mobilizes people to the mission field.  So he works from home, gets to find creative and cool ways to invite people into mission work, and occasionally gets to go out into the field.  No one could’ve packaged a more perfect position for this particular red head.

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure (and I do mean pleasure) of sitting out in the congregation as Jeffery was given the Sunday morning service to speak about his recent mission trip to Costa Rica.  I’ve heard Jeff speak (sometimes preach, heehee) over the years, but I have never seen him so confident, so mature, so passionate and emphatic, and so knowledgeable as I did on Sunday.  And I’m confident that his time with AIM is only going to continue to get better and that AIM is only going to continue to be used in even more amazing ways for God’s Kingdom.  How awesome to be a part of that.

And as for me, I’m coming up on two years in Christian music at Provident.  No previous work experience in music, no Tennessee-based music business education, and yet after six months at a contracted accounts payable and accounts receivable job, I walked into these doors and am still here.  Doing accounts payable, among other things. I am so blessed to be a part of something that I have seen and heard do amazing works in others’ lives.  And I am so blessed to be in music, something I love.   And I am so blessed to have the co-workers I do, especially in my department.  For those of you who don’t know, today was Administrative Professionals Day.  The other part of my job here is to assist the department, and today I was humbled by being “honored.”  I received a sweet card in which they all sang my praises, and one of the things I was handed was the “key of success”… in chocolate (Even better, right ladies?!).  They are all just as awesome and fantastic and are rockstars themselves.

key

Picture courtesy of http://www.schakolad.com

Having friends is fun.  Having great friends is one of the best gifts.  I love to laugh, and it’s always fun to be around those who draw it out.  Jeff’s the same way, and honestly I think he has one of the best laughs ever.  Sometimes he even crinkles his nose and looks at me, and I swear his eyes are even laughing too.  That’s one of my favorite trophies to obtain… Jeff’s laughter.

Inside jokes are usually a big part of the laughter game.  Sometimes they’re so random you can’t even remember where they came from.  And others sound so, well… stupid to “outsiders” that they look at you like you’re nuts when an inside joke slips out.  And you can’t forget the big no no that is trying to tell an inside joke that you are not a part of.  Not only do your efforts in trying to be cool make you so completely uncool, but you are more than likely going to use the joke outside of its intended context, thus making it so not funny at all.

Jeff and I have these.  The latest one being “junior,” and it pertains to a scene at Sonic several weeks ago.  It’s really not that funny, but for some reason anytime I bring it up, Jeff laughs.  So I keep it coming.  Another trophy, please!

This past week, while Jeff was in Costa Rica, I had lots of time to spend with a new friend.  Her name is Hannah, and she has excellent taste in music and food.  So of course we make great friends.  I had the opportunity to hang out with her and others at Movie Night a few Fridays ago, and then just the two of us took on East Nashville for amazing Mexican at Rosepepper and excellent music at The French Quarter (The Civil Wars, Micah Tawlks, The Champion and His Burning Flame).  She let me in on one of her jokes, and that’s that she has an excuse for everything because “she’s from Texas.” It’s quite funny… and actually quite true, too.

Jeff had a friend, Saul, go with him to Costa Rica to help lead the mission trip.  (It was amazing by the way.)  They’ve become good friends because of a business relationship, and now I think they’ve achieved legitimate friendship status (that means friends outside of work).  They’ve experienced rice and beans at every meal together, 100 degree weather days on end while taking minimal showers, leading a group of teenagers together, building a stage together, and laughing about crock pots… yes, that would be their inside joke.  And, yes, I do mean the slow cooker type thing that you cook roast beef in.  I discovered it because of some ridiculous picture (that looks nothing like a crock pot by the way), and proceeded to get the story out of my husband who couldn’t stop giggling as he told it.  And the joke continues with random posts on each others’ Facebook and by others besides just the two of them.

So here’s to a hard week apart for Jeff and I, but a wonderful reunion weekend and great stories and laughter to share with each other.   And here’s to our friends, new and old, that we are blessed to share life with. 

 

Crock Pot 1  Crock Pot 2
L: Crock Pot. R: Roast Beef. Don't worry... I don't get it either!

 

Jeff hasn’t had much time to recap his week in Costa Rica, but you can continue to check out his blog for updates as they are written.

Welp, the weather in Nashville the past few days has been… interesting.  We had beautiful weather last week, but then came tornadoes on Thursday.  Then absolutely beautiful 70 degree weather on Saturday to only have more storms on Sunday afternoon.  Now the high today is 41, and we’re to expect below freezing temperatures tonight and possible snow flurries.  The weather people here in Nashville aren’t joking when they say it might be tempting in Middle Tennessee to start planting early when it’s nice but wait until Easter!  Thank goodness that is Sunday, and hopefully the temperatures will stay up after that.

While I (along with the rest of Nashville) am here pulling back out the winter clothes and fighting off terrible allergies and sinus headaches due to the drastic weather changes, Jeffery is enjoying nothing but the 90s.  90 degrees that is.  Every day this week.  And it looks like nothing but sunshine all week, too…

Yep, as of today, Jeff is on day five of being in Costa Rica and day three of the actual mission trip with the Florida-based youth group.  For those of you who may not know, Jeff is leading a short-term mission trip for AIM in Costa Rica this week, and his friend Saul has went along to help.  Anyway, Saul and Jeff had Thursday and Friday to meet the contacts, familiarize themselves with the surroundings, and determine possible ministry opportunities.  Then the youth group arrived Saturday evening.  So far everything is going really well, and Jeff’s Spanish has come out of hiding as if he’s been speaking it all his life.   Well ok, maybe it’s not that good, but it’s great!  And that’s an answered prayer there, because he was a bit nervous not getting to use it very much these days!

So please remember to pray for Jeff and Saul and the youth group.  They’ll be ministering through Thursday.  They get a day off on Friday to enjoy Costa Rica before leaving at I think 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.  Jeff and Saul are due to land in Nashville at 4:30 p.m.  To see how you can more specifically pray, click here.  And if/when they are able to obtain Internet access (I know there is some, but just getting to it may be tricky), you can more than likely get updates here.  In the mean time, just pray for whatever God lays on your heart, and pray for me, too, as I try to hold down the fort and survive!  No worries, I am fed and even killed a big nasty brown spider all by myself… and without screaming.  That is quite a feet.

And thank you to the ladies (specifically Hannah and the Friday night movie crew) for finding ways to keep me entertained and keeping me busy while the hubby is away.  You’re wonderful… and are becoming quite the great excuse to get me out of starting to pack for our move next month. 🙂