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Archive for the ‘Woodmont Hills Family of God’ Category

I was raised in the Episcopal Church (Many Episcopals joke that the Episcopal Church is Catholic Lite). I went to Sunday school when I was young and I was an acolyte (altar boy to the non-Episcopals) from middle school to high school. I was always very spiritual, but as I grew older I began using the old euphemism “I’m spiritual, but not very religious.” I stopped going to church regularly, and my relationship with God really took a back seat.

Well I decided recently, that if I was going to be the spiritual foundation of my new family with Savannah, I was going to have to bring God to the front of the car and eventually drive (which is hard for me to do since I am a bit of a control freak, but I am working to that end). Even though I had religious influence in my life, I had never read the Bible. I don’t know if it was too daunting of a task, or if i was just lazy or if after reading the first few lines I realized I had no clue what I was reading, but I have never read the Bible from cover to cover.

Well, 39 days ago, to be exact, I started reading. Genesis Chapter 1…”In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” And for 39 days I have read two or three chapters a day. For anyone who hasn’t read the Bible, or those who wanted to read the Bible and have had the same trouble as me, what has really helped me is a website call YouVersion.com. They have numerous translations to pick from (I have been reading the New American Standard Version) so if you prefer the traditional King James, or want something a little more in your vernacular, or if you want to read it in Arabic, they have a version for you.

Really the best parts about YouVersion is 1) they have a bunch of reading plans to choose from. I have a little OCD so I picked the Canonical Plan which goes from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, straight through from cover to cover. (Today I am on Leviticus 24.) They even have an iPod/iPhone App so you can read on the road.

So this being Easter week, Savannah and I went to church on Sunday to get the Holy Week going. During the sermon, our preacher, Dean Barham, referred to a chapter in Exodus, and for the first time in my life, I knew what the speaker was referring to. It was an amazing feeling, and I felt so proud of myself!

So if you are thinking about reading the Bible, you should definitely check out YouVersion.com. And feel free to tell either one of us how you’re doing. Sometimes it helps to be held accountable by someone else. 🙂

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Hello Gang! Just thought I would give you all an update on our weekend. Saturday night we went to Ru San’s with some of our friends that Savannah went to college with. Savannah and I had not been to Ru San’s in FOREVER! I had forgotten how delicious their sushi is. I think we stopped going because the techno music they play, while enjoyable and creates an authentic chic Japanese Sushi Bar experience, was so loud. You can barely hear yourself enjoying their delicious sushi. Well I am happy to report, they have decreased the volume, at least between the hours of 6:30pm and 8:00pm (which is when we were there). And the sushi is still awesome! (Side note though: although Ru San’s is good, the best sushi in Nashville is Peter’s Thai and Sushi in Brentwood).

After sushi, the group went to one of Savannah and my favorite bands EVER, SafetySuit. They put on one of the best live shows. They have so much fun and such a great respect and love for their fans. They went to number 1 on VH-1’s Top 20 Countdown and still willingly agreed to come back to 12th and Porter for $10 a ticket. If you get a sec, you should check them out. You will not regret the decision. Despite the cold, we managed to show some smiles and excitement!

Sunday Savannah and I went to church at Woodmont Hills and then went to lunch with our friend Heather. We went to Chili’s on West End. I always enjoyed Chili’s but they have this new going on that is FANTASTIC! For $6.29 you get chips and salsa, a bowl of soup and a house salad. Oh wait! Did I mention they are all BOTTOMLESS! That’s right. Chili’s All-You-Can-Eat for $6.29. And if you get the Citrus-Balsamic Vinaigrette, you basically have the Quesadilla Explosion Salad, sans quesadillas and grilled chicken (which if this is more your speed, then this is their best salad and the only salad I have known Savannah to crave. She really doesn’t like salads, so this speaks volumes for her to crave it). So that’s our money saving tip for the week!

After lunch we headed back home where I proceeded to crash due to a sinus headache, which pretty much consumed my evening. I even missed the Super Bowl because I could barely move to get something to drink, let alone get out of the house. We don’t have cable and although we have a digital TV, our antenna doesn’t get CBS, so going out would have been the only choice to see the Super Bowl. I wasn’t too disappointed since my team, The Steelers, didn’t even make the playoffs. Although I am sad I missed the commercials. Thank goodness for YouTube and Hulu, right?!

Well I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week! Get geared up for Valentine’s Day! You still have time to get a date!

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The big plan for our wedding recaps was to start at the beginning and work our way through the process. And I think we will do that eventually… 🙂 But Sunday night’s episode of Desperate Housewives reminded me about our premarital counseling and how thankful I am for that experience, and I’ve been thinking about it all week. So what better time to blog about that than when I am feeling inspired?

I always knew that I want to do premarital counseling. Coming from a divorced home, it had always been important to me to find ways to overcome such a fate for myself and my future husband. Divorce is messy and painful, and it leaves so many scars in the lives of those who have been through it. I learned at an early age that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves, and I vowed then and there to not become part of that statistic. I also learned somewhere along the way that couples who go through premarital counseling are less likely to get divorced. I wanted to do premarital counseling to give myself that fighting chance. Not to mention, residents of the state of Tennessee have to pay $99 for a marriage license, but there is a $60 discount for couples who go through pre-marital counseling. More likely to stick together and $60 off? I’ll take it!

So this is where Terry Smith comes into the picture.

Ryan and I have been attending church with the Family of God at Woodmont Hills for some time now. So when we were discussing our premarital counseling options, Woodmont Hills seemed like the perfect place to start. We called the church office and were directed to Terry Smith for our counseling and quickly had our first appointment scheduled.

To be honest, I was actually a little nervous on the way to our first session. I had heard several horror stories about how uncomfortable, awkward, pointless or painful premarital counseling had been for friends and acquaintances of mine. And between those horror stories and the information I derived from the movie “License to Wed” with Mandy Moore and Robin Williams, the picture I had in my mind wasn’t a very good one.

After our first meeting with Terry, all of those fears were laid to rest. We spent the first session learning about Terry’s approach to premarital counseling, which mainly focused on creating a genogram for each of us. A genogram is a lot like a family tree, but it goes into more depth by also taking other important relationships into consideration and allowing you to visualize the patterns between the relationships in your life. It was such an amazing experience for both of us—a meaningful discovery process that forced us to be honest and open with one another. Hopefully, we can go into more details about the counseling experience in another post down the road. The overall message we learned during this process is that as much as we try to overcome negative feelings and experiences from our past, they are still inside and have the potential to negatively affect our relationships today. We have to consciously choose to not let those childhood defense mechanisms rule our lives. But even more importantly, we need to take the time to be aware of one another’s past and the reasons why we may react the way we do. When you know that, so many things a person does in a relationship make so much more sense.  

If you read the subject line of this post, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Desperate Housewives. Well, in Sunday’s episode, Tom and Lynette (who are married) hire this older gentleman Roy to be their handyman and do some projects around the house. But every time Lynette tells Roy to do something, he goes around her and asks Tom what he wants. When Lynette confronts Roy about this, Roy tells her that Tom is the man of the house, and he is just trying to show him the respect he deserves for that position. Lynette immediately fires Roy and later tells her husband Tom what happened. So Tom goes to Roy and explains it all to him. He says that Lynette grew up without a father and with an alcoholic mother, so she had to be responsible for everything. He goes on to say that as a result, Lynette has a fear of things falling apart and feels a need to control things. He says that even though Lynette can’t control everything, she can control Tom, if he lets her. She he does. Because it makes her feel safe. And that is his job as her husband—to make her feel safe.

Sounds like Tom went through one of Terry Smith’s classes. Even though Lynette might have control issues that she needs to work on, Tom knows his wife and he loves her and he realizes that her actions now are a result of what she went through in her past. He doesn’t yell about it or try to force her to change. He just acknowledges it and gives her what she needs. How beautiful is that?

And that’s why I’m so thankful for our premarital counseling. Because even though we haven’t quite perfected it yet, it gave us that foundation of knowing one another’s past and patterns in relationships.

 I have a tendency to be a little long-winded. I think Ryan might have summed up everything I’m trying to say here in a couple sentences. He said he thinks one of the big reasons people fight is because they don’t put themselves in the other person’s shoes (and we’re guilty of that too). What Terry taught us to remember is that we are all broken, and we need to be sensitive to that.

By the way, we definitely recommend Terry Smith at Woodmont Hills to anyone looking for premarital counseling. You can get the church’s contact information here: http://www.woodmont.org/. Terry also has a blog for his poetry that you can check out here: http://yourstorymatters2him.wordpress.com/.

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