There are times in my life where I just need a haven of rest. A place to escape to when the drama of work, ministry, and life in general has worn me down. I sometimes feel selfish when I admit that, until I read Scripture where even Jesus went to a quiet place to rest and spend time with His Father.
This past weekend, I had the privilege to go to one of those places - Robinson Mountain - as I've coined it - the home of Mark and Sharon (you can figure out their last name) in Nashville. They sort of reside on the top of a mountain (as moutainous as Nashville can be), but it refers more to the quiet place a mountaintop resembles, and a wonderful place of refreshment and peace.
I met Mark and Sharon about 3 years ago when I went to visit them in their home here in Louisville after they visited my church. They had moved to Louisville for Mark to attend seminary and were looking for a church home. I never realized what a blessing being involved in my church's outreach program would be. I had an immediate connection with Sharon - had to be divine. She shared her testimony of remaining single until the brink of 40 and how she dealt with that while still serving the Lord. After they became members of our church, and God kept smacking me in the face by allowing Sharon to continually cross my path, I approached her about spending time with her as prayer partner and friend.
What a blessing! After spending time with Sharon and then with her and her husband, Mark, I began to realize what a model this couple was for me. They were wise, honest, and not afraid to let you learn from their ups and downs on this journey of life. Their stories wouldn't seemed "charmed" in the eyes of the world, but when you hear how God has woven into their tapestry of life, it's encouraging. From the loss Mark suffered from his previous wife's death to their struggle with infertility, you'd never know all their struggles, because all is to the glory of God.
Last Spring, Sharon informed me she was praying about an awesome job opportunity in Nashville. Although my heart initially sank selfishly, knowing they'd be moving, I was excited about this blessing that came into their life at just the right time. And, only being 3 hours away was a bonus. Since their move, I'd been trying to find a free weekend to go visit, and this past weekend, it finally happened.
Mark and Sharon have a dream to one day own a Christian Bed and Breakfast. I can vouch for the fact that they definitely have the passion and talent for such a venture. My time was precious as they specially prepared my bedroom and all the meals to my liking. And a Saturday night in front of the fireplace making smores was one of the many highlights. This "B&B" offered free shuttle to the local Baptist church, which was a double blessing for me as my former Minister of Music is serving at that church now. And, a blessing to attend a church without any responsibilities in leadership and soak in the whole worship experience.
The part of the weekend that impacted me the most was Mark and Sharon including me in their daily family devotions. As a single person, I "devote" all on my own, which is a necessity, whether married or single, but it was so refreshing to unite with a couple, modeling what a godly couple does to continue to first stay close to God, and second to each other.
As I drove home from Nashville in the beautiful Spring weather, I was thankful for my small retreat down south to Robinson Mountain.