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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Jogging in what’s left of Hurricane Irma

I was about to title this The Art of Running in the Rain but I didn’t, for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s too close to the title of a great book called The Art of Racing in the Rain*
  2. It’s not so much artistic as it is just keeping your head down and finishing

Yesterday, as Hurricane Irma continued to dwindle down to a misty precipitation, I set out to run. The original plan was to drive over to a nearby Greenway but it was 4pm. So while getting there would be a cinch, afternoon traffic in Nashville is anything but. I’d get stuck in Google traffics dreaded red line with all the other people heading home for the day. I kept the car in park and went on foot around the neighborhood.

As I mentioned a few days ago, my goal is to beat my best 5K time. This run, however, I wasn’t going for gold. Just a jog pace. I needed to be in the rain. Let my mind and spirit be refreshed. I used this time to turn a few things over to the Lord. Any frustrations, nerves, fears, I prayed for God to replace them with joy.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

img_20170914_111415.jpgGod wants me to give Him my anxiety, my worries and fears, which is totally awesome because I don’t really want them anyway! As I was running I confessed how I was feeling. I asked God to take on the burden and with the new space in my life, for joy and freedom. Freedom in my heart that will spill over into my daily life, which brings joy.

By the end of the run I definitely felt refreshed. It was good for my soul to be in that vulnerable place of admitting my feelings to the One who already knew them anyway. The frustration and anxiety were gone. All that was left was a happy albeit fast-beating heart…and wet clothes.

I didn’t break any records. No gold medals. I didn’t even run very fast. And yet yesterday did more for me than any 5K will ever do. As my pastor would say, I had a front row seat to see God work. A chance to take God up on one of His promises and know that He didn’t leave me hanging. I’d say that’s worth more than gold!

-Out of the Wilderness

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I will receive a portion of sales associated with this Amazon link

Please Tell Me This Is Normal. #5

Trying to be a good daddy to two whipper-snappers named Piper and Asia, I generously decided they could forgo their crates today and play in the backyard all morning while I was at work. I know, I know… my grand gesture was nothing short of heroic. What a guy, right?

I got to work and noticed it was getting cloudy. Radar check. Holy crap.

Ok sure, I left them out in the rain for an hour or so, but I was also the only one rushing home to save them. Let’s not downplay it, I’m a hero. What a guy!

For more stuff that may or may not be normal, click here.

The Nashville Flood, May 2010

If there never was a reason to love this city, there is now. What I’ve witnessed in the kindness of people here is not something I’ve seen before, and I’ve been through my share of tough storms (former resident of hurricane-prone Florida, including Hurricane Andrew). A quick recap- Saturday it started raining. Saturday afternoon it was still raining. Sunday rolled around and brought the same amount of sunshine Saturday had. More rain. It finally slowed down Sunday evening. And like a dog that comes inside after chewing up the garden hose, Monday came around with sunny skies acting like nothing never happened. Come on, Monday! Have some class. Historic flooding and you show up with sunny skies and calm wind? You’re a punk, Monday. Along with Saturday and Sunday, all three of you are real punks! With all the rain and wind and now gigantic loss. But I tell you what, the hearts of the people here are unforgettable to see. I’ve heard of areas turning down volunteers because there were too many! My first day to lend a hand was Wednesday. My friend Bill and I made our way to West Nashville and helped a family rid their house of all the appliances, waterlogged dressers, cabinets, clothing, pictures, bedding, and various other household goods. Bill and I were the second and third to arrive at this house, and before I knew it, there had to be about twenty people in the house with trashbags separating the salvagable from the loss, the jewelry, family pictures, sweeping water out of the kitchen, taking bag after bag out to the roadside. At one point, Bill and I were asked to walk two houses down the street to help move a refrigerator, washer, and dryer. There were four guys already there. I have no doubt three were former military because they were all talking loudly about what we should do, each absolutely confident their idea was the best. So we had three plans for each task, and the fourth guy, Orlando, must’ve bore the brunt of these three chiefs all morning long. I was glad Bill and I could step in and take some heat off Orlando. During one of these “brainstorming sessions,” I took the liberty of relieving myself in the backyard. I decided a few more ounces of liquid wasn’t going to do any more damage to this house. About thirty minutes and twenty-five ideas later, we got the appliances out the door and into the front yard. Back to the first house we went. Once it was completely empty we walked down the street to find that devastation was at every single house. Guess what else was at every single house? People. Folks are so caring around here, even people I don’t like were volunteering! You know the people I’m talking about, the ones that somehow steer the conversation back to themselves? I won’t get into specifics about this person, but when we’re there to empty out a family’s flooded house, I don’t necessarily need to know how sick you were a month ago, how far you drove to be here, how old you are, or how you can’t find the guy with the clipboard. But know this, reader, she was there. She was spending her day by helping people that needed help. And remember when I said Bill and I were the second and third to arrive at this house? Well, she was the first. That’s pretty awesome.

The easiest way to start making a difference is simply show up.

So if you’re now asking what the people in Nashville are like, wonder no more: they show up… in masses!