Weekend trip to Memphis

This past weekend I went to Memphis, Tennessee because one of my nieces had a soccer thing there. Her team is based in Tallahassee, FL so I don’t get to see them play terribly often. This was a great opportunity since the trip is only about 3.5 hours from Nashville.

Well, the downside is that it rained the entire trip. And I don’t mean spotty showers. I left Nashville in the rain, drove the entire trip there in the rain, all the soccer events were under rain, and then drove the entire way back in the rain. There wasn’t even a 5 second span where it wasn’t raining. Crazy. I *think* I even saw a guy building a wooden boat and I can’t be totally sure but there may have been animals walking towards him two by two.

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My sis and I on the team bus

Now with that said, it was still such a fun weekend. My niece played in two soccer games Saturday afternoon, and I love watching her play. I also chatted and laughed a lot with my second oldest sister. I count soccer and laughing as two of the best things I get to do as an uncle! Plus, I’ll be totally honest, I’m competitive. I really enjoy watching all kinds of competitions. So those were the top highlights of the weekend.

Another memorable highlight was being able to reconnect with a dog we met in Memphis last summer. You can see him in this video I made from July 2017:


The short story is that he was homeless, alone, hungry, and in need of some love. My nieces were champions for him, so we weren’t leaving there without making sure his circumstances improved, even if it was to give him a little more hope than he had right then. He ended up at a dog rescue organization and that might be the best thing that had ever happened to him up to that point in his life. Since then, he’s been brought back to great health, and was adopted by a married couple that works at that rescue.

So this weekend we had a small window of time to break away from the soccer stuff going on. We arranged to go see Cole man and here’s a short video showing him now, just 7 months later.


I’ll obviously count this weekend trip to Memphis as a highlight of 2018, with my fingers crossed for more great highlights to come!

-Out of the Wilderness

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In the name of love…

I heard a saying recently: “Days go by slow but weeks go by fast.” How true that’s been for me in the last 15 to 20 days. It seems like yesterday I was watching deer in a neighborhood yard…

…and that’s already been 4 weeks ago! Since then I’ve been around the southeast from Birmingham to Tallahassee, Memphis, Branson, Montgomery, Nashville, and lots of little towns in between.

In the name of love.

On the way to Missouri we stopped at the Civil Rights Museum, the site where MLK gave his life for freedom and love.

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My brother and two of his kids at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee.

Then we went on to Missouri, where my brother and I could do our part to serve in the name of love.

In Branson (actually it was Lampe, Missouri), we volunteered at a camp where we worked when we were in college. I’m sure I’ll post more about our time there but for now I’ll say it was a really great, exhausting, learning, fun week with him. We did a lot of manual labor type work, lifted weights, ran a 5k every day for 5 days, played whiffle ball homerun derby, and lots more. We got there on a Saturday. When my body felt like it had done all it could do, and I was ready to pack up and head out, “It’s been a great week, y’all!” I came to realize it was still Saturday. Dang. Long days, for sure!

Straight after that week was Wilder beach week back in Florida, at a little beach just south of Tallahassee called St. Teresa. This is the week all the Wilders meet up for a week of fun with 8 kids, 8 adults, and 3 dogs. Lots of love in this family!

Exhausting was this week, too, but mostly because we’re all having fun on my dad’s boat (tubing, skiing, dolphin watching, etc), playing soccer on the beach, knockout on the basketball court, volleyball on the beach, and other random fun things that don’t include flying a kite. More on that later!

I returned to Nashville two weeks after leaving. It was nice to sleep in my own bed again, to watch Leverage on Netflix again, to play sand volleyball with my friends again. But this trip was so great.


-Out of the Wilderness

The Needle Test

A few months ago I participated in an activity known as “the needle test.” If you are unfamiliar, ask a female and they’ll tell you it’s about finding out the gender order of children you’ll have. Some swear by this method of revelation, others are more sceptical. Whether it’s reliable or not  I can’t say, but in three separate tests, it gave me the same results. According to the test I will have a boy, then a girl, then another boy; Three children. While I find the results interesting given my current situation (single and barely dating), you may find it interesting that a 31-year old male participated in such an activity. Rest assured that your interest is well-grounded. I sometimes take part in things better suited for baby showers or bachelorette parties. But I’m still all male. I’m not ashamed to say my favorite movie is “Elizabethtown” and in rotation for second place are “500 Days of Summer” and “The Notebook.” I’ve been created with a soft heart, and most of it reserved for family so naturally, I was curious about what results the needle test would give for my future family. I’m also curious why we scream when something hurts, what it means for good people to have bad habits, and how fame and fortune affected Alex Rodriguez. As an 8th-grader at Westminster Christian School, I didn’t see A-Rod often (he was in high school then), but he seemed nice enough, except for one story my brother told me. I wonder if A-Rod has ever done the needle test? Alex if you’re reading this, let me know what results you got. And if anyone else reading this knows why good people have bad habits or why we scream when something hurts, feel free to share.

The results of the needle test are something I’ve thought about since then. If it’s accurate, if I will eventually have two boys and a girl, when is it going to happen? Who is it going to happen with? My parents would have loved for it to happen five years ago. Back then it would have been in Tallahassee, Florida with a girl I’m no longer friends with. She’s a great person from a great family, however not fit for the role of my wife or my children’s mother. Just a passenger on the road for a short while, but not for the long haul. Speaking of roads, a local Nashville pastor once used the illustration that if you’re in Nashville traveling on West on Interstate 40, you will go to Memphis. That’s where you’re going. You can’t travel on Interstate 40 and hope to end up in Ohio. It won’t happen. The pastor then applied it to life, saying if you’re on the wrong road, you’ll end up at the wrong destination. I love that illustration because of it’s simple truth. As I apply it to my own life, I wonder what I want my destination to be. If I want the needle test to be accurate, then the destination is marriage. If the destination is marriage, I need to find out what road takes me there. Once I find the road that takes me there, I need to find out if I’m on it or not. Road signs tell the truth. If I see a road sign labeled “friends with benefits” I’m on the wrong road. If I see a road sign labeled “compromising what I want most” or “settling” I’m on the wrong road. However, if I see “Godly,” “great,” “blessing,” “gift,” “faithfulness,” “challenge,” “don’t give up,” “right,” chances are I’m on the right road.

Chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.  ~Zig Ziglar