Sunday morning playlist

I’m pretty much obsessed with Spotify these days. For a long time I was a “free” member. That’s where you can download songs and play them, but it was always on shuffle, you can’t back up to previous songs, or skip 4 or 5 songs ahead. You also can’t select a song to listen to it. So a few months ago I became a supscriber and I haven’t
regretted it for a second! Since then I’ve put together a playlist I listen to when I need to reflect, to worship, to be calm. If you’re interested in songs that help remind us of how big God is, yet how
personal He is, and how much He loves us, take a listen to my most recent worship playlist.

King of My Heart – Kutless

Sun & Moon – Phil Wickham

In Awe – Hollyn

Holy (Wedding Day) – The City Harmonic

Come Thou Fount – MercyMe

How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill

There Is A Fountain – Selah

Clear – Needtobreathe

This Blood – The Prestonwood Choir

Canary Cage – The Whistles & The Bells

-Out of the Wilderness

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Will you still love me tomorrow?

Last week I dropped off my two dogs, Piper and Asia, at a kennel because, along with my brother, I’m volunteering at a Christian sports camp for a week in southern Missouri. Now we’re in the middle of our week here and I wonder what my dogs are doing. What are they thinking? What are they barking at? Is Piper chasing rabbits? Is Asia biting Piper’s ears to play? I miss my dogs! I even had a dream about them last night. There were a couple of puppies in the dream, too, and at one point I was carrying all of them in a Kroger grocery cart. No idea what that means but I hope they’re doing OK! I’ll see them Sunday and I just hope they still love me, much less remember my name!

-Out of the Wilderness

Judah and the Lion – Suit and Jacket

I first came across Judah and the Lion from their song “Take It All Back.” I thought it sounded a lot like Eminem actually. Check it out real quick:

Right? Two totally different types of music, though, that’s for sure. Now they have another song out called “Suit and Jacket” and I love it even more than their last single.

I ain’t trading my youth for no suit and jacket
I ain’t giving my freedom for your money and status.

The lyrics are about not conforming to the status quo: go to school, get a job, get married, work for 40 years, retire. Not that living your life like that is bad or wrong, but I think from maybe my generation or one up from mine, and down we care more about what we’re doing and having a sense of gratification from our work, being fulfilled in our work instead of a needing security from our job. That’s why the word career has always been taboo to me. I can’t imagine working in one place for 25, 30, 40 years. Now with that said, I know planning for the future is important. I think the older people get they realize that while living in the moment is great, you gotta have a plan. Store away for winter in a sense.

And I ain’t trading my dreams for no 401k
And I ain’t giving this fire for a cold, cold heart.

It’s why I left Florida. It’s why I became a production assistant. It’s why I’m determined to not work in a corporate setting ever again. It’s why I have 3 part-time jobs. It’s why I’m writing this post. I don’t ever want to settle for what I am supposed to be doing at 38 years old. What I’m expected to be doing. What I “should” be doing.

So instead of doing whatever you should be doing right now, here, watch this…
“Suit and Jacket” 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

Independence Day for the rebels

I’ve had the opportunity to celebrate July 4th for 38 years and watch fireworks shows all over the country. In fact, tonight I’ll be watching one in Missouri of all places. I’ve been to a show or two in Nashville, a couple in Ohio, quite a few in Florida, and up and down the east coast as I was growing up. I’m hoping today is a day that everyone around the country can set their political differences aside and simply celebrate. Firworks. Grilled burgers. Sparklers. Red, white, and blue.
Without the rebellious lovers of freedom hundreds of years ago, our country wouldn’t be as amazing as it is today. Before we are Democrats or Republicans, before we are Americans or immigrants, we are people. We are people who love freedom. We are people who believe in love and equality. It’s why the rest of the world wants to move here, and why some of the rest of the world hates us. But by golly, what an amazing country! One man can grow up to become a professional baseball player. One woman can grow up to run for president. There are teachers, and maintenance people, taxi drivers and Uber drivers, pastors, lawn mowing professionals, inventors and entrepeneurs, horse caretakers and zoo keepers. There are so many possibilities for everyone that calls themself an American and it’s all thanks to Independence Day.

So as you hoist your flags this morning, as you watch the fireworks explode in the night sky, be thankful for the rebels. The dreamers. The fighters. God bless America and I pray that our country unites again under God for the purpose of pursuing happiness with loving our neighbor as ourselves as our montra.

-Out of the Wilderness

3 miles up hill both ways

Remember your grandparents rough life walking to school up hill both ways? Totally not even possible, right? Well, I’m being as serious as I’ve ever been when I say that my brother and I have run a 5k two days in a row, same path but reversed the path the second day and, y’all, it. is. up. hill. both. ways.

Or at least it felt like it. I’ve never felt as old as I do right at this moment, typing, and my back hurts, my knees ache, I’m thinking about my bedtime (it’s 8:16pm, so what?), I’m upset I missed Wheel of
Fortune tonight and my dentures are cracking!

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OK, OK, some of those aren’t completely true, but I tell ya what, my body is
hurtin’ all over. I’ll say this in my defense though: along with running, we’ve worked out and worked outside a ton in the last two days. In a nutshell we’re volunteering at a summer camp so we can both keep believing that we can hang with 20 year old guys.

It’s going OK to very OK. But I feel every bit of 38 years old. And really all it took was to see young counselors at this camp going hard every second, every day, and smiling about it.

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But my brother and I did set a personal elevation record on today’s run. Same
route as yesterday but somehow we ran higher. Take that father time! Take that earth! We’re setting records!

-Out of the Wil….zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Great and not-so-great games for kids on road trips

Nashville, Tennessee to Tallahassee, Florida. Tallahassee to Memphis,
Tennessee. Memphis to Branson, Missouri. Those are all road trips I’ve
been on recently and while they might not be considered long road
trips, the shortest was still over 5 hours. The longest was about 10
because with children, it just takes longer. Think about stops for
snacks, potty breaks, etc.

The first leg of my trip I was with my dogs and they are great
travelers. That was Nashville to Tallahassee. From there I launched
out with my brother and two of his kids to Memphis, Tennessee. I was
quietly anxious to show these two nieces a couple of spots that I hold
in high regard- Graceland (Elvis Presley’s home) and the Lorraine
Motel (where Martin Luther King, Jr gave his life for the cause of
equality and “freedom of the whole human race”).

But we’ll get to that! Before leaving on the trip I looked up sites
with lists of fun car games to play. I jotted down a list of 9 games.

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The game we enjoyed the most starts with this line: I’m going on a
picnic and I’m bringing a _________. There is where you fill in a word
that starts with A. The next person repeats the line, along with the A
word and adds a B word. The next person repeats it all, plus A, plus
B, and adds a C word. On and on it goes till you get to Z and it was
so fun. We all loved coming up with odd or silly words for each
letter. And to keep the game going without anyone getting frustrated,
it’s more than OK to help out when someone gets stuck along the way.

We also played 20 questions which I’d say was the second most popular
game. We each came up with a person, place, or thing, and then
everyone else in the car had to guess it within 20 questions. It was a
little tough for my youngest niece because she’d fire off 37 questions
in a few seconds, so it may be best to go around one by one to ask the
questions, as a way to prolong the game and keep it organized.

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Another top 3 game was using a print-out map of the United States.
With the map you can mark off every time you see a state, whether it’s
on a license plate, billboard, road sign, etc. This one is good
because you can do it for a while, set it aside, and when another
state name pops up, pull out the map again and mark it off. So it
could last the entire trip as a game you do, then come back to.

We also added a twist to it where I had the girls close their eyes and
point to anywhere on the map. I’d say something like, “This state is
where you were born.” They open their eyes and read off the state. You
can come up with fun ways to set it up- you met your husband in this
state, you will get a job next year and move to this state, etc. That
was fun!

The game that didn’t work so well was the question game. This is where
any conversation taking place has to be in the form of a question. For
instance…
Person 1: How was your day today?
Person 2: How do you think my day was?
1: Is it safe to say it was an amazing day?
2: Does a bear poop in the woods?
1: What kind of answer is that?
2: Aren’t I free to say what I want in this country???
1: What country are we in, anyway?

And so on. I think it would work best for older kids, or adults. But
even when my brother and I tried it, just he and I with my nieces
listening along, it just didn’t ever really take off.

So I hope you can try out some of these games and help make a long and
potentially hectic trip go by fast and make some great memories along
the way. And if you’re ever in Memphis, make sure to at least drive by
Graceland and check out the Lorraine Motel (if you have time, also add
going into the home of Elvis, and into the National Civil Rights
Museum next to the Lorraine Motel).

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-Out of the Wilderness