Fighting Back with Joy and Sweet Tea – FGF Highlights, Lenoir City, TN

It is so good to be back in Fresh Grounded Faith season! What a fun group of ladies! I love those Tennessee sisters — they make me feel like I’ve come home to hang out with my BFFs that I haven’t seen in years. It was exactly what we needed for our first FGF this month. God is good.

Here are a few photos from our weekend. To see the entire album, click here. Thank you, Vicki Simmons, for the beautiful photos! Also, here are your photo booth pics. So fun!

Our volunteers rocked, as did their fearless leader, Sabrina Stamper. Big thanks to all of you! And while I’m at it, thank you to First Baptist Church Lenoir City and the four co-host churches for loving us so well.

And I had some of my favorite people with me this weekend…

How to Escape a Boring Life and Live a Better Story

In case you missed it, I’m officially a GiGi! I am just beside myself with joy, and I have no time to write because I am holding a sweet baby boy. So I asked my smart, fun, lovely friend Margaret Feinberg to help me out — she’s going to share with you on the blog today. She’s hung out with us before, and I know you love her as much as I do. 

But, girl, today, she is going to share with you how to not only live the life you long for, but write about it, too. I have met so many of you who say you want to write a book or a blog and my girl, Margaret, can help you do just that — in the most brilliant way. So, enjoy what she has to say and let me know what you think! 

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My husband, Leif, is from Alaska. We spent the first five years of marriage living in his hometown of Sitka as well as the capital, Juneau. In each of these towns, cruise ships arrived throughout the summer.

On the busiest days, more than 20,000 people would disembark those ships and fill the tiny towns. The majority of visitors were in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. Many were barely able to walk. Some dragged an oxygen tank behind them.

I found myself welling with admiration for these feisty travelers. They fought hard to realize their lifelong dream of visiting Alaska. Way to be courageous. Way to overcome obstacles.

But the longer we stayed in Alaska, the more I heard these amazing visitors repeat the same story: They had lived their whole lives with a bucket list. Alaska was always in the top five things they wanted to do, but it never reached number one.

By the time they arrived, they physically couldn’t participate in the activities, tours, and hikes that reveal Alaska’s most splendid beauty. They couldn’t hike into the ice caves of Mendenhall glacier to see the mesmerizing sapphires of ancient winters’ beauty. They were unable to kayak along the shore with seals splashing alongside. They couldn’t hike the mountains’ crest to behold Alaska’s rugged coastline while munching on sweet wild salmonberries.

Why do I share that?